V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1929 in the journal Proletarskaya Revolyutsiya No. 8-9. Sent from Shushenskoye to Podolsk. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 266-268.
Translated: The Late George H. Hanna
Transcription\Markup: D. Moros
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive.   You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work, as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.README

June 20, 1899

I have received your letter of May 31, Mother dearest. Merci. With regard to the statistical returns—from Tver and Vyatka—I think I have already written that there is no need to send them all to me; I am not working on this now and do not intend to until my term of exile is finished. If any particular book is needed it will be better for me to order it separately, otherwise I shall have a mountain of books to bring back. But you are probably sending only a few statistical returns. Mikhail Alexandrovich writes that he does not expect his fiancée until the end of summer.

We do not think it worth while asking for a transfer to Krasnoyarsk. We have been talking recently with Yelizaveta Vasilyevna, who is thinking of asking for permission for me to go with them to Ufa this autumn because of the difficulty of a winter journey for her and Nadya. If she carries out her intention I will let you know.

We have been paid our allowances.

We have news from Yermakovskoye that Anatoly is no better.

We have also heard that Lyakhovsky has made a trip to Chita as a doctor.

It is a pity you are having such bad weather and have no opportunity for a good rest in the country. June has been rainy here, too.

Life here goes on as usual. I am not working much at present and soon, when the shooting season opens, I shall probably work even less.

I have received the May issue of Nachalo—pretty badly cut up. I do not think there is anything of particular interest in it. I am losing all hope of that journal regaining its health. I have had a letter telling me that the Ministry of the Interior has demanded that the editors reveal the names of the authors who wrote in the first and in the April issues under pseudonyms. It would be interesting to know whether we have any mutual acquaintances among the “revealed”.

Many kisses for you and regards to all.

V. U.


I have seen Nauchnoye Obozreniye No. 5 and find that Tugan-Baranovsky’s article in it is monstrously foolish and nonsensical; he has simply arbitrarily introduced changes into the rate of surplus value in order to “refute” Marx; he assumes an absurdity—a change in the productivity of labour without a change in the value of the product. I don’t know whether every such nonsensical article is worth writing about. Let him first fulfil his promise to develop it in detail.[2] In general I am becoming a more and more determined opponent of the latest “critical stream” in Marxism and of neo-Kantianism (which has produced, incidentally, the idea of separating sociological from economic laws). The author of Beiträge zur Geschichte des Materialismus[1] is quite right in declaring that neo-Kantianism is a reactionary theory of the reactionary bourgeoisie and in rebelling against Bernstein. I am extremely interested in Bogdanov’s new book (Osnovniye elementy istoricheskogo vozzreniya na, prirodu, St. Petersburg, 1899) and have ordered it; the review of it in the May issue of Nachalo was written ridiculously, with pompous phrases but no mention of the real problem. I am very sorry that I somehow missed the advertisement of the book when it was published. I think it should be a sensible book and that such a review should not be left unanswered.[3]

Am very pleased with the gun. We did not shoot much in spring. Soon the real season will begin and I intend to spend more time shooting this summer.

All the best,
V. U.

Please send me a list of the Zemstvo statistical returns that have been sent to me—titles and brief contents, i.e., tables or tables+text, nothing else.


[1] Essays on the History of Materialism by G. V. Plekhanov.—Ed.

[2] Lenin mentioned Tugan-Baranovsky’s article in a footnote to the last paragraph of his article “Uncritical Criticism” (Collected Works, Vol. 3, p. 632) and in a letter to A. N. Potresov dated June 27, 1899 (Collected Works, Vol. 34, p. 39).

[3] The review was that by G-d of A. Bogdanov’s book Osnovniye elementy istoricheskogo vzglyada na prirodu. It is not; known whether Lenin wrote anything in reply to the review. From his letter to Maxim Gorky, dated February 25, 1908 (Collected Works, Vol. 13, p. 448) we know that he had the book in Siberia.

It is known from a letter to A. N. Potresov, dated June 27,1899, that Lenin at that time assumed that A. Bogdanov was the pseudonym of G. V. Plekhanov (see Collected Works, Vol. 34, p. 41).

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