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From the Editorial Board of the Central Organ of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party

V. I. Lenin


We wish to draw your attention to one of the methods of co-operation between the Central Organ and the press of the various localities, in the matter of agitation. The Central Organ is very often accused of being out of touch with the movement, being couched in unpopular language, etc., etc. There is of course some truth in these reproaches, and we are fully aware that our work, which is conducted from afar, is inadequate in such an eventful period. However, our isolation is in part due to the infrequent and irregular communications between the Central Organ and the masses of local Social-Democrats, and to insufficient co-operation between the two. We quite agree that we are not helping you sufficiently, but then, neither are you giving as enough help. We now want to draw your attention in a comradely way to the elimination of one of these shortcomings.

The comrades on the spot do not make sufficient use of the Central Organ for purposes of agitation. The Central Organ arrives late, and the number of copies received is small. It is therefore necessary more frequently: 1) to have articles and items reprinted in local bulletins; 2) more often to adapt or paraphrase in more popular language the slogans (and articles) of the Central Organ, in local bulletins, in doing which you may complement, alter, abridge them, etc., since you, who are on the spot, can see what is best, and all Party publications belong to the Party as a whole; 3) to quote the Central Organ in local bulletins more often, so as to familiarise the masses with the title of the Central Organ, with the idea of having their own permanent paper, the idea of having their own ideological centre, of always being able to turn to it, etc., etc. You should on all occasions endeavour to indicate in your bulletins that the very same idea was pro pounded in such and such an article in Proletary, or that news to the same effect is contained in such and such of the letters it has published, etc., etc. This is most important for the purpose of familiarising the masses with our Central Organ, and widening our entire sphere of influence.

The local committees have often republished articles, selecting whatever appealed to them most. What is particularly important now is to have uniform slogans (on the attitude towards the liberals, the Osvobozhdeniye League, their "theory of agreement", their draft constitution, etc.; on the question of a revolutionary army and the programme of a revolutionary government; on the boycott of the State Duma, etc., etc.). You should try to make every possible use of the Central Organ in your local agitation, not only by republishing but also by paraphrasing its ideas and slogans in your bulletins, developing or amending them to conform with the local conditions, etc. This is extremely important for establishing actual co-operation between us, for exchanging opinions, correcting our slogans and acquainting the masses of the workers with the fact that we have a permanent Central Organ of the Party.

We earnestly request that this letter be read and discussed in absolutely all organisations and study circles of the Party, down to the very lowest.

The Editorial Board of "Proletary"

Published: Rabochy, No. 2, September 1905. Published according to the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1972, Moscow, Volume 9, pages 288-289.
Translated: The Late Abraham Fineberg and Julius Katzer

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