V.I Lenin

First published in Russian in 1931 in Lenin Miscellany XVII.Published in Volksrecht Nos. 26 and 27, January 31 and February 1, 1917. Written (in German) between January 13 and 17 (26 and 30), 1917. Translated from the German. Published according to the manuscript.

First published in 1931 in Lenin Miscellany XVII. Written (in German) in late January 1917.

Written in January 1917, Lenin analyses the cynical imperialist manoeuvres behind World War One and puts forward the proletarian revolutionary alternative as the only way out of the impasse for the working class.

This lecture on the 1905 Revolution was delivered by Lenin on January 9 (22), 1917 at a meeting of young workers in the Zurich People’s House. The 1905 revolution was the dress rehearsal of October 1917. #1917Live

The international situation is becoming increasingly clear and increasingly menacing. Both belligerent coalitions have latterly revealed the imperialist nature of the war in a very striking way. The more assiduously the capitalist governments and the bourgeois and socialist pacifists spread their empty, lying pacifist phrases—the talk of a democratic peace, a peace without annexations, etc.—the sooner are they exposed. Germany is crushing several small nations under her iron heel with the very evident determination not to give up her booty except by exchanging part of it for enormous colonial possessions, and she is using hypocritical pacifist phrases as a cover for her readiness to conclude an immediate imperialist peace.

Of the essays here presented for the reader’s attention, some are published for the first time, others appeared in various periodicals before the war. They deal with a question which now, naturally, arouses especial interest—the significance and role of national movements, the relationship between the national and the international. The biggest drawback, one most frequently encountered in all the arguments on this question, is lack of concreteness and historical perspective. It has become customary to smuggle in every manner of contraband under cover of general phrases. We believe, therefore, that a few statistics will prove anything but superfluous. A comparison with the lessons of the war of what we said before the war is not, in our view, unuseful. Unity of theory and perspective gives the essays continuity.

"No matter how democratic the state may be, the woman remains a "domestic slave" under capitalism, a slave of the bedroom, nursery and kitchen."

"One must take into account the objective fact that otherwise they will snatch the appropriate passages from your pamphlet, interpret them in their own way, make your pamphlet into water pouring on their mill, distort your ideas in the workers’ eyes, “confuse” the workers""

"The thing is not what you subjectively “mean” by this. The thing is the objective logic of class relations in affairs of love."

"Acrobats in the field of philanthropy and police defenders of this system which makes mockery of poverty and need gather “to struggle against prostitution”, which is supported precisely by the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie...."

"A display of proletarian women’s poverty and indigence will bring a different benefit: it will help wage-slaves, both men and women, to understand their condition, look back over their “life”, ponder the conditions for emancipation from this perpetual yoke of want, poverty, prostitution and every kind of outrage against the have-nots."

As people recover from the food and drink during the Christmas and New Year break we publish something from Lenin: "Those who toil are taught by religion to be submissive and patient while here on earth, and to take comfort in the hope of a heavenly reward. But those who live by the labour of others are taught by religion to practise charity while on earth, thus offering them a very cheap way of justifying their entire existence as exploiters and selling them at a moderate price tickets to well-being in heaven."

On the occasion of May Day we republish the below May Day leaflet written by Lenin in 1904