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Passages excised from Lenin’s Letter from Afar

June 24, 2017

Appendix 2 to “Letter from Afar, Correction from Up Close: Censorship or Retrofit” by Lars Lih

See also Appendix 1: “Lenin’s Letter from Afar, as Printed in Pravda, March 21 and 22, 1917

The following passages were deleted from Lenin’s first “Letter from Afar” when it was printed in Pravda on March 21 and 22, 1917 LINK). Prepared by Lars Lih.

[Excised passages are cued by letter to the text of the Letter provided in Appendix 1.]

A: [The Pravda version does not contain the following words:]

or—if instead of general critical definitions we use political names familiar in Russia—only the Guchkovs and Lvovs, Miliukovs and Shingarevs on the one hand, and only the Gvozdevs, Potresovs, Chkhenkelis, Kerenskys and Chkheidzes on the other,

B: [the Pravda version changes “Soviet of worker deputies” to “Soviet of Worker and Soldier Deputies” here and throughout the article (later instances are not flagged).  Furthermore, the Pravda version does not contain the following words:]

which has begun to win over the soldier and peasant deputies

C: [The Pravda version does not contain the following words:]

(of which Kerensky and Chkheidze are the principal representatives)

D: [The Pravda version does not contain the following words:]

Those who, groveling to the bourgeoisie or simply lacking backbone, howled and wailed about “defeatism,” are now faced by the fact of the historical connection between the defeat of the extremely backward and barbarous tsarist monarchy and the beginning of the revolutionary conflagration.

E: [The Pravda version does not contain the following words:]

 by means of out-and-out organization of a plot against Nicholas Romanov.

F: [The Pravda version does not contain the following passage:]

organized a plot along with the Octobrists and Kadets, along with a section of the generals and the officer staff of the army and the St. Petersburg garrison, especially

[The passage is replaced by the following word:]

strove

G: [The Pravda version does not contain the following words:]

Let us not make the mistake of those who—like certain “O.C.” supporters or “Mensheviks” who are oscillating between the Gvozdev-Potresov line and internationalism and who only too often slip into petty-bourgeois pacifism—are now ready to extol “agreement” [soglashenie] between the workers’ party and the Kadets, “support” of the latter by the former, and so on. In conformity with the old (and by no means Marxist) doctrine that they have learned by rote, they are trying to throw a veil over the plot of the Anglo-French imperialists along with the Guchkovs and Miliukovs aimed at removing the “chief warrior,” Nicholas Romanov, and putting more energetic, fresh and more capable warriors in his place.

H: [The Pravda version does not contain the following words:]

It would simply be foolish to speak of the revolutionary proletariat of Russia “supporting” Kadet-Octobrist imperialism, which has been “patched up” [smetannogo] with English money and is as abominable as tsarist imperialism.

I: [From the following passage:]

were destroying, have destroyed already to a considerable degree and will continue to destroy [razrushali, razrushili … budet razrushat’]

 [the Pravda version retains only the following:]

have destroyed [razrushili]

J: [The Pravda version does not contain the following words:]

 monarch and also preferably a Romanov!

K: [The Pravda version does not contain the following words:]

with the officers of the Guards

L: [The Pravda version does not contain the following words:]

This new government, in which Lvov and Guchkov of the Octobrists and Peaceful Renovation Party, yesterday’s abettors of Stolypin the Hangman, control the posts of real importance, the crucial posts, the decisive posts, the army and the bureaucracy—this government, in which Miliukov and the other Kadets serve mostly for decoration, for a signboard, for sugary professorial speeches, and the “Trudovik” Kerensky plays the role of a balalaika for gulling the workers and peasants—

M: [In the Pravda version, the word “new” replaces the word “chief” [glavnoe] in Lenin’s original.]

N:  [The Pravda version does not contain the following words:]

which is seeking ties with the soldiers and peasants, and also with the agricultural workers, with the latter particularly and primarily, of course, more than with the peasants

O: [The Pravda version does not contain the following words:]

an organization of workers,

P: [The Pravda version does not contain the following words:]

The antagonism between the first and second force is not profound, it is temporary, the result solely of the present conjuncture of circumstances, of the abrupt turn of events in the imperialist war. The entire new government is monarchist, for Kerensky’s verbal republicanism simply cannot be taken seriously, is not worthy of a statesman and, objectively, is political chicanery. The new government has not succeeded in finishing off the tsarist monarchy, has already begun to make a deal with the landlord Romanov dynasty. The bourgeoisie of the Octobrist-Kadet type needs a monarchy to serve as the head of the bureaucracy and the army in order to protect the privileges of capital against the working people.

He who says that the workers must support the new government in the interests of the struggle against tsarist reaction (and apparently this is being said by the Potresovs, Gvozdevs, Chkhenkelis and also, all evasiveness notwithstanding, by Chkheidze) is a traitor to the workers, a traitor to the cause of the proletariat, to the cause of peace and freedom. For actually, precisely this new government is already bound hand and foot by imperialist capital, by the imperialist policy of war and plunder, has already begun to make deals (without consulting the people!) with the dynasty, is already working to restore the tsarist monarchy, is already soliciting the candidature of Mikhail Romanov as the new kinglet, is already taking measures to prop up the throne, to substitute for the legitimate (lawful, ruling by virtue of established law) monarchy a Bonapartist, plebiscite monarchy (ruling by virtue of a fraudulent popular vote).

No,

Q: [The Pravda version replaces the following words:]

Miliukov and Kerensky

 [with the following:]

 of liberalism

R: [The Pravda version does not contain the following words:]

, conmon swindles [moshennicheskaia prodelka]

S: [The Pravda version does not contain the following words:]

Otherwise the Guchkovs and Miliukovs will restore the monarchy and grant none, absolutely none of the “liberties” they promised.

[Instead, the following words appear:]

Otherwise the people will be deceived.  Promises are cheap; promises cost nothing.

T: [The Pravda version does not contain the following words:]

say the Potresovs, Gvozdevs and Chkheidzes, as Plekhanov said yesterday.

[Instead, the following words appear:]

say the worthless politicians from the camp of the Liquidators.

U: [The Pravda version does not contain the following words:]

(only infants can think that Guchkov and Lvov are sincere) to give the people

V: [The Pravda version does not contain the following words:]

of plunder [grabezh], one that wants to plunder

[Instead, the following words appear:]

of conquest [zakhvat] that has not uttered one word to renounce the tsarist policy of the conquest of

W: [The Pravda version does not contain the following words:]

and has already begun to make deals with the Romanov dynasty

X:  [The Pravda version does not contain the following word:]

relative

Y: [In the Pravda version, “most essential” [nasushchneishie] replaces “most serious” [ser’ëzneishie] in Lenin’s original.]

Z:  [The Pravda version does not contain the following words:]

instead of the Guchkov-Miliukov semi-monarchy.

 

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One Comment
  1. Kudos to Lars Lih for publicizing evidence that Kamenev and Stalin suppressed Lenin’s sharp break with the provisional government, which of course undercuts his “old Bolshevik” narrative.

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