Lenin’s instructions for a propaganda pamphlet (1918)

In December 1918 Lenin issued the following instructions for a ‘reading book’ (in reality, a propaganda pamphlet) for distribution to Russian workers and peasants:

“Assignment: a reading book for workers and peasants to be compiled within a fortnight. The book to consist of separate, complete, independent leaflets of two to four printed pages. Wording must be very popular, designed for the ignorant peasant. Number of leaflets from 50 to 200…

Subjects: organisation of Soviet power, its domestic and foreign policies. For example: What is Soviet power? How to run the country. The law on land. The economic councils. Nationalisation of the factories. Labour discipline. Imperialism. The imperialist war. Secret treaties. How we offered peace. What we are fighting for now. What is communism? Separation of the church from the state. And so on.

Good old texts can and should be used, and old articles rewritten.

The reading book should provide material for public readings and home reading, for reprinting of separate texts and for translation (with slight additions) into other languages.”