Answer 2 questions in 4 pages

timer Asked: Dec 11th, 2018
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Instructions for Completing the TAKE-HOME FINAL ESSAY EXAM:

Write one paper in ONE FILE (i.e., a single essay that contains your 2 responses to the 2 Final Essay Exam questions). The maximum length of your entire TAKE-HOME FINAL ESSAY EXAM is 4-pages--i.e., 2 pages maximum for each of your responses to the 2 FINAL ESSAY EXAM questions for a maximum of 4 pages). Submit ONE PAPER in a SINGLE FILE via upload as a Microsoft Word attachment at this Canvas course site where the TAKE-HOME FINAL EXAM is posted. Please note that only a Non-pdf Microsoft Word document is acceptable. DO NOT SUBMIT SEPARATE FILES FOR YOUR RESPONSES TO EACH OF THE TWO QUESTIONS, BUT SUBMIT ONLY ONE FILE THAT CONTAINS BOTH OF YOUR RESPONSES TO THE TWO QUESTIONS. Points will be deducted for non-compliance with the above-stated submission instructions.


Remember to follow paper submission guidelines--i.e., mandatory typed, double-spaced, 12 font, no more than 1 inch margins around the page, and name in upper right hand corner of your paper. Use citations as appropriate. Note that the citation's section of your paper DOES NOT count towards the 4 pages maximum length of your 2 responses to the 2 essay exam questions. Ensure as well that you indicate the title of the assignment, which is Take-Home FINAL EXAM ESSAY, and indicate where your response to essay exam question #1 and question #2 begins.

This assignment is worth 300 points maximum--i.e., 150 points maximum for each of the 2 questions.

Respond to the following 2 questions:

1. Why did Marx contend that capitalism is inherently an unstable and unethical mode of economy which would eventually be replaced by a socialist mode of production? Critique Marx's views.

2. Explain and critique the Leninist thesis regarding "The State and Revolution"? What do you agree with in respect to Lenin's perspective and what do you disagree with in respect to Lenin's perspective, and explain why.

Helpful Links:

***Excerpts from Lenin's Collected Works (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., Vol. 25

Read the following pages: 46-48; 51-54; 140-142; 367-370; 385-393; 454-459; and 461-473.

W O R K E R S O F A L L C O U N T R I E S , U N I T E! LENIN COLLECTED WORKS h A THE RUSSIAN EDITION WAS PRINTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH A DECISION OF THE NINTH CONGRESS OF THE R.C.P.(B.) AND THE SECOND CONGRESS OF SOVIETS OF THE U.S.S.R. ИНCTИTУT МАРÇCИзМА — ЛЕНИНИзМА пpи ЦK KНCC B. n. l d H n H СОЧИНEНИЯ И з дa нuе чеmвеpmoe ГОСУДАРСТВЕННОЕ ИЗДАТЕЛЬСТВО ПОЛИТИЧЕСКОЙ ЛИТЕРАТУРЫ MОСКВА V. I. L E N I N cOLLEcTED WORKS VOLUME h )une –September 191U PROGRESS PUBLISHERS MOSCOW TRANSLATED FROM THE RUSSIAN EDITED BY S T E P A N A P R E S Y A N AND J I M R I O R D A N First printing 1964 Second printing 1974 From Marx to Mao M L © Digital Reprints 2011 www.marx 2 Printed in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics l 10102– 036 Ç Üà è Ç õÄÉå. 014(01)–74 7 CONTENTS PREFACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 JUNE- SEPTEMBER 1917 FIRST ALL-RUSSIA CONGRESS OF SOVIETS OF WORKERS’ AND SOLDIERS’ DEPUTIES. JUNE 3 - 24 (JUNE 16 - JULY 7), 1917 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1. S P E E C H ON THE ATTITUDE TOWARDS SIONAL GOVERNMENT, June 4 (17) . . . 2 . SPEECH ON THE WAR, ECONOMIC DISLOCATION GLE AGAINST IT . . . . THE THOUSAND AND THE PROVI- . . . . . . June 9 (22) . . . . . . . . . AND THE PROLETARIAT’S STRUG- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FIRST LIE OF THE CAPITALISTS . . . . . THE DIEHARDS OF JUNE 3 FAVOUR AN IMMEDIATE OFFENSIVE . . . . . . THE USE OF STICKING TO THE POINT IN POLEMICS . AN EPIDEMIC OF CREDULITY . . . . . . . . . . . A BIRD IN THE HAND OR TWO IN THE BUSH . . . . AN ALLIANCE TO STOP THE REVOLUTION . . . . . . . . . . . . IS THERE A WAY TO A JUST PEACE? . THE ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE . . . . . NOTE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . “THE GREAT WITHDRAWAL” . . . . . GRATITUDE IN T R O D U C T I O N O F OF THE STATE? . SOCIALISM OR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EXPOSURE . . . . . . . . . . . CONFUSED AND FRIGHTENED . . . . . . . INSINUATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . “RUMOURS AGITATING THE POPULATION” . . A RIDDLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . OF . . . . . . . . . . 15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PLUNDER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 29 43 46 48 51 54 55 57 59 60 63 65 67 68 70 73 75 76 8 CONTENTS DRAFT STATEMENT BY THE C.C. R. S. D. L. P. (B. ) AND THE BUREAU OF THE BOLSHEVIK GROUP TO THE ALL-RUSSIA CONGRESS OF SOVIETS REGARDING THE BAN ON THE DEMONSTRATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 SPEECH ON THE CANCELLATION OF THE DEMONSTRATION, DELIVERED AT A MEETING OF THE PETROGRAD COMMITTEE OF THE R . S . D . L . P . (B . ), June 11 (24), 1917 . . . . . . . . . 79 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LETTER TO THE EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . THE FOREIGN POLICY OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION . A CONTRADICTORY STAND . . . . . . . . . . . . THE UKRAINE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . THE TURNING-POINT THE CLASS CAVAIGNACS . HOW TO ORIGINS OF PRESENT-DAY AND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . AND THE DEFEAT OF THE RULING JUNKOVSKY . . . STRANGE MISQUOTATIONS . . . . . RULING AND RESPONSIBLE PARTIES . ANOTHER COMMISSION . . . . . . . THE EIGHTEENTH OF JUNE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FOR . . . . . . . . . . 88 91 93 97 99 CONCEALING . . . . . THE REVOLUTION, THE OFFENSIVE, AND OUR PARTY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IN WHAT WAY DO YOU SOCIALIST-REVOLUTIONARY MENSHEVIK GENTLEMEN DIFFER FROM PLEKHANOV? . . HOW RODZYANKO IS TRYING TO JUSTIFY HIMSELF 85 PARTIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PROSECUTE RODZYANKO AND AN AGENT PROVOCATEUR! . . 84 “FUTURE” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FIGHT COUNTER-REVOLUTION . . . . . . . . . . . THE UKRAINE OF RUSSIA . 82 . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 104 105 108 110 113 AND . . . . . . . . . 116 117 TO WHAT STATE HAVE THE SOCIALIST-REVOLUTIONARIES AND THE MENSHEVIKS BROUGHT THE REVOLUTION? . . . . . 118 . . . . . 121 CAN “JACOBINISM” FRIGHTEN THE WORKING CLASS? THE NEED FOR RUSSIA . . . . A A AN AGRICULTURAL . . . . . . . . Article One . . . . . . . Article Two . . . . . . . DISORDERLY REVOLUTION . . . CLASS SHIFT . . . . . . . . . MIRACLES OF REVOLUTIONARY . . . . . LABOURERS’ . . . . . ENERGY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UNION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IN . . . . . . 123 123 125 128 131 134 9 CONTENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 HOW THE CAPITALISTS CONCEAL THEIR PROFITS, Concerning the Issue of Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140 PHRASES AND FACTS . . . . . . . . . . . . AND WHY THE PEASANTS WERE DECEIVED . . . . IS RESPONSIBLE? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142 145 148 151 WHAT COULD THE CADETS HAVE COUNTED ON WHEN THEY WITHDREW FROM THE CABINET? . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 CRISIS IS APPROACHING, DISLOCATION IS INCREASING JUST HOW IS IT TO BE DONE? HOW WHO ALL POWER TO THE SOVIETS! WHERE IS LUTION? . FROM MARX . . . TO . . . . MAO . . . . . . . . STATE POWER AND WHERE . . . . . . . . IS COUNTER-REVO- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FOUL SLANDER ALEXINSKY . . BY ULTRA-REACTIONARY NEWSPAPERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CLOSE TO THE TRUTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A NEW DREYFUS CASE? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SLANDER AND FACTS  . . . . 157 AND . . . . . . . . 162 163 165 166 APPEAL OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMISSION OF THE PETROGRAD COMMITTEE OF THE R . S . D . L . P . (B . ) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CRISES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168 170 171 DREYFUSIAD NOT FOR . COMMERCIAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DISTRIBUTION IN REFUTATION OF SINISTER RUMOURS THREE THE QUESTION IN COURT . . OF THE BOLSHEVIK LEADERS APPEARING THE POLITICAL SITUATION LETTER TO THE EDITORS OF NOVAYA ZHIZN LETTER TO THE EDITORS OF PROLETARSKOYE DYELO. ON SLOGANS . . . . . . . . . . . . CONSTITUTIONAL ILLUSIONS . . . . I . . . . . . . . . . . . II . . . . . . . . . . . . III . . . . . . . . . . . . AN ANSWER . . . . . . . . . . . I . . . . . . . . . . . . II . . . . . . . . . . . . III . . . . . . . . . . . . OUR THANKS TO PRINCE G . Y . LVOV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176 178 181 183 185 193 196 197 201 204 211 211 219 221 10 CONTENTS THE BEGINNING OF BONAPARTISM LESSONS OF THE REVOLUTION . . . . . . . . . Afterword . I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IN THE C. E. C. ON THE STOCKHOLM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RUMOURS OF A CONSPIRACY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . THEY DO NOT SEE THE WOOD FOR THE TREES . . . . . . . POLITICAL BLACKMAIL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PAPER RESOLUTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . THE STOCKHOLM CONFERENCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FROM A PUBLICIST’S DIARY . Peasants and Workers . . . . . SLANDERERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TO THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE R . S . D . L . P . . . . . . . FROM A PUBLICIST’S DIARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1. The Root of the Evil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. Corvée and Socialism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CONCERNING THE PARTY PROGRAMME . . . . . . . . . . . ON ZIMMERWALD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . VIOLATIONS OF DEMOCRACY IN MASS ORGANISATIONS . . . . . ON COMPROMISES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . KAMENEV’S SPEECH CONFERENCE . . . DRAFT THE RESOLUTION ON THE PRESENT POLITICAL SITUATION 223 227 229 231 232 234 234 236 239 241 242 243 244 247 255 261 265 269 278 287 289 294 294 302 305 307 308 309 315 IT 323 Famine Is Approaching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Complete Government Inactivity . . . . . . . . . . . Control Measures Are Known to All and Easy to Take 327 329 331 IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT 11 CONTENTS Nationalisation of the Banks . . . . . . . . . . . . Nationalisation of the Syndicates . . . . . . . . . . Abolition of Commercial Secrecy . . . . . . . . . . . Compulsory Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Regulation of Consumption . . . . . . . . . . . . . Government Disruption of the Work of the Democratic Organisations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Financial Collapse and Measures to Combat It . . . . Can We Go Forward If We Fear to Advance Towards Socialism? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Struggle Against Economic Chaos—and the War . . The Revolutionary Democrats and the Revolutionary Proletariat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ONE OF TION . . THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS OF THE 333 339 342 346 350 353 357 360 364 367 REVOLU- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 370 HOW TO GUARANTEE THE SUCCESS ASSEMBLY . On Freedom of the Press OF THE CONSTITUENT . . . . . . . . . . . 378 THE STATE AND REVOLUTION . The Marxist Theory of the State and the Tasks of the Proletariat in the Revolution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter I . Class Society and the State . . . . . . . . 1 . The State—a Product of the Irreconcilability of Class Antagonisms . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 . Special Bodies of Armed Men, Prisons, etc . 3 . The State—an Instrument for the Exploitation of the Oppressed Class . . . . . . . . 4 . The “Withering Away” of the State, and Violent Revolution . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter II . The State and Revolution . The Experience of 1848-51 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 . The Eve of the Revolution . . . . . . . . . 2 . The Revolution Summed Up . . . . . . . . 3 . The Presentation of the Question by Marx in 1852 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter III . The State and Revolution. Experience of the Paris Commune of 1871 . Marx’s Analysis . . . . . . . 1 . What Made the Communards’ Attempt Heroic? 2 . What Is to Replace the Smashed State Machine? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 . Abolition of Parliamentarism . . . . . . . . Preface to the First Edition Preface to the Second Edition. 385 387 389 390 390 393 396 400 406 406 410 416 418 418 422 427 12 CONTENTS 4 . Organisation of National Unity . 5 . Abolition of the Parasite State . . . . . . . 432 . . . . . . 435 Chapter IV . Continuation . Supplementary Explanations by Engels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1. 2. 3. 4. The Housing Question . . . . . . . . . . . Controversy with the Anarchists . . . . . . Letter to Bebel . . . . . . . . . . . . . Criticism of the Draft of the Erfurt Programme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 . The 1891 Preface to Marx’s The Civil War in France . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 . Engels on the Overcoming of Democracy . . . Chapter V . The Economic Basis of the Withering Away of the State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1. 2. 3. 4. Presentation of the Question by Marx . . . . The Transition from Capitalism to Communism The First Phase of Communist Society . . . . The Higher Phase of Communist Society . . . Chapter VI . The Vulgarisation of Marxism by the Opportunists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 . Plekhanov’s Controversy with the Anarchists 2 . Kautsky’s Controversy with the Opportunists 3 . Kautsky’s Controversy with Pannekoek . . . Postscript to the First Edition Notes 437 438 440 444 447 454 459 461 462 464 469 473 480 480 481 488 . . . . . . . . . . . 497 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 499 The Life and Work of V. I. Lenin. Outstanding Dates . . . . 541 ILLUSTRATIONS First page of the manuscript “Rumours of a Conspiracy”, August 1917 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249 First page of the letter to the Central Committee of the R . S . D . L . P . , August 30 (September 12), 1917 . . . . . . . . 291 First page of the manuscript The Impending Catastrophe and How to Combat It, September 10-14 (23-27), 1917 . . . . . . 325 First page of the manuscript The State and Revolution, AugustSeptember 1917 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 386-387 13 PREFACE Volume 25 contains works Lenin wrote between June and September 1917, during preparations for the Great October Socialist Revolution. The volume opens with Lenin’s speeches at the First AllRussia Congress of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. In these speeches and in his articles “Confused and Frightened”, “A Contradictory Stand”, “The Eighteenth of June”, “The Revolution, the Offensive, and Our Party”, “To What State Have the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks Brought the Revolution?”, and “A Class Shift”, Lenin exposes the counter-revolutionary policy of the Provisional Government and the conciliatory tactics of the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries. He expounds the Bolshevik programme of the struggle to resolve the fundamental issues of the revolution, and explains that only Soviet power can lift the country out of war and ruin, win peace and give land to the peasants. In a number of articles—”The Political Situation”, “On Slogans”, “Constitutional Illusions” and “Lessons of the Revolution”—Lenin outlines new tactics for the Bolshevik Party in view of the drastic change which occurred in the political situation in the country following the events of July 3-5. In his work The Impending Catastrophe and How to Combat It, Lenin sets forth the economic policy of the Bolshevik Party and draws the conclusion that the proletarian revolu- 14 PREFACE tian is the only means of saving the country from the approaching disaster. This volume includes the well-known The State and Revolution, in which Lenin develops the Marxist theory of the state and defends it from distortion and vulgarisation by the opportunists. Also included are seven articles absent from earlier editions of Lenin’s Collected Works. In his articles “An Alliance to Stop the Revolution”, “The Foreign Policy of the Russian Revolution” and “Ruling and Responsible Parties”, Lenin explains that the Provisional Government is an alliance of the capitalists on the one hand and the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries on the other to stop the revolution. He blames the ruling conciliatory parties for the counterrevolutionary home and foreign policy and for the disaster threatening the country. In the article “How Rodzyanko Is Trying to Justify Himself”, Lenin shows up the former Chairman of the Fourth Duma, Rodzyanko, as a man who protected the agent provocateur Malinovsky. The articles “A New Dreyfus Case?” and “Our Thanks to Prince G. Y. Lvov” expose the provocative methods used by the Kerensky Government against the Bolsheviks. In his article “All Power to the Soviets!” Lenin justifies the Bolshevik Party’s slogan of the transfer of all state power to the Soviets. All works in this volume dating from the period after the events of July 1917 were written by Lenin when he was in hiding from persecution by the Provisional Government. FIRST ALL-RUSSIA CONGRESS OF SOVIETS OF WORKERS’ AND SOLDIERS’ DEPUTIES 1 JUNE 3 - 24 (JUNE 6 - JULY 7), 1917 SSERGNOC AISSUR-LLA TSRIF ’SREKROW FO STEIVOS FO 1 SEITUPED ’SREIDLOS DNA 7191 ,)7 YLUJ - 6 ENUJ( 42 - 3 ENUJ 17 1 SPEECH ON THE ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT JUNE 4 (17) Comrades, in the brief time at my disposal, I can dwell— and I think this best—only on the main questions of principle raised by the Executive Committee rapporteur and by subsequent speakers. The first and fundamental issue before us was: what is this assembly we are attending, what are these Soviets now gathered at the All-Russia Congress, and what is this revolutionary democracy that people here speak so much about to conceal their utter misunderstanding and complete repudiation of it? To talk about revolutionary democracy at the All-Russia Congress of Soviets and obscure this institution’s character, its class composition and its role in the revolution —not to say a word about this and yet lay claim to the title of democrats really is peculiar. They map out a programme to us for a bourgeois parliamentary republic, the sort of programme that has existed all over Western Europe; they map out a programme to us for reforms which are now recognised by all bourgeois governments, including our own, and yet they talk to us about revolutionary democracy. Whom are they talking to? To the Soviets. But I ask you, is there a country in Europe, a bourgeois, democratic, republican country, where anything like these Soviets exists? You have to admit there isn’t. Nowhere is there, nor can there be, a similar institution because you must have one or the other: either a bourgeois government with “plans” for reforms like those just mapped out to us and proposed dozens of times in every country but remaining on paper, or the institution to which they are now referring, the new type of “government” created by the revolution, examples of which 18 V. I. L E N I N can be found only at a time of greatest revolutionary upsurge, as in France, 1792 and 1871, or in Russia, 1905. The Soviets are an institution which does not exist in any ordinary bourgeois-parliamentary state and cannot exist side by side with a bourgeois government. They are the new, more democratic type of state which we in our Party resolutions call a peasantproletarian democratic republic, with power belonging solely to the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. People are wrong in thinking that this is a theoretical issue. They are wrong in pretending that it can be evaded and in protesting that at present certain institutions exist side by side with the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. Yes, they do exist side by side. But this is what breeds countless misunderstandings, conflicts and friction. And this is why the original upswing, the original advance, of the Russian revolution is giving way to stagnation and to those steps backwards which we can now see in our coalition government, 2 in its entire home and foreign policy, in connection with preparations for an imperialist offensive. One or the other: either the usual bourgeois government, in which case the peasants’, workers’, soldiers’ and other Soviets are useless and will either be broken up by the generals, the counter-revolutionary generals, who keep a hold on the armed forces and pay no heed to Minister Kerensky’s fancy speeches, or they will die an inglorious death. They have no other choice. They can neither retreat nor stand still. They can exist only by advancing. This is a type of state not invented by the Russians but advanced by the revolution because the revolution can win in no other way. Within the All-Russia Congress, friction and the struggle of parties for power are inevitable. But this will be the elimination of possible mistakes and illusions through the political experience of the masses themselves (commotion), and not through the reports of Ministers who refer to what they said yesterday, what they will write tomorrow and what they will promise the day after tomorrow. This, comrades, is ridiculous from the point of view of the institution created by the Russian revolution and now faced with the question: to be or not to be? The Soviets cannot continue to exist as they do now. Grown people, workers and peasants, are made to meet, adopt resolutions and listen to reports that cannot FIRST ALL - RUSSIA CONGRESS OF SOVIETS 19 be subjected to any documentary verification! This kind of institution is a transition to a republic which will establish a stable power without a police and a standing army, not in words alone but in action, a power which cannot yet exist in Western Europe and without which the Russian revolution cannot win in the sense of victory over the landowners and over imperialism. Without this power there can be no question of our gaining such a victory by ourselves. And the deeper we go into the programme recommended to us here, and into the facts with which we are confronted, the more glaringly the fundamental contradiction stands out. We are told by the rapporteur and by other speakers that the first Provisional Government3 was a bad one! But when the Bolsheviks, those wretched Bolsheviks, said, “No support for and no confidence in this government”, how often we were accused of “anarchism”! Now everybody says that the previous government was a bad one. But how does the coalition government with its nearsocialist Ministers differ from the previous one? Haven’t we had enough talk about programmes and drafts? Haven’t we had enough of them? Isn’t it time to get down to business? A month has passed since May 6 when the coalition government was formed. Look at the facts, look at the ruin prevailing in Russia and other countries involved in the imperialist war. What is the reason for the ruin? The predatory nature of the capitalists. There’s your real anarchy. And this is admitted in statements published, not in our newspaper, not in any Bolshevik newspaper—Heaven forbid!—but in the ministerial Rabochaya Gazeta, 4 which has reported that industrial coal prices were raised by the “revolutionary” government!! The coalition government hasn’t changed a thing in this respect. We are asked whether socialism can be introduced in Russia, and whether, generally speaking, radical changes can be made at once. That is all empty talk comrades. The doctrine of Marx and Engels, as they always explained, says: “Our doctrine is not a dogma, but a guide to action.” 5 Nowhere in the world is there pure capitalism developing into pure socialism, nor can there be in war-time. But there is something in between, something new and unprecedented, because hundreds of millions of people who have been involved in the criminal war among the capitalists 20 V. I. L E N I N are losing their lives. It is not a question of promising reforms—that is mere talk. It is a question of taking the step we now need. If you want to talk of “revolutionary” democracy, then you must distinguish this concept from reformist democracy under a capitalist Ministry, because it is high time to stop talking about “revolutionary democracy”, handing out mutual congratulations on “revolutionary democracy”, and get on with a class definition, as we have been taught by Marxism, and by scientific socialism generally. It is being proposed that we should pass to reformist democracy under a capitalist Ministry. That may be all well and good from the standpoint of the usual West-European models. A number of countries, however, are today on the brink of destruction, and we can clearly see the practical measures said to be too complicated to carry out easily, and in need of special elaboration, according to the previous speaker, the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs. He said there was no political party in Russia expressing its readiness to assume full power. I reply: “Yes, there is. No party can refuse this, and our Party certainly doesn’t. It is ready to take over full power at any moment.” (Applause and laughter.) You can laugh as much as you please, but if the Minister confronts us with this question side by side with a party of the Right, he will receive a suitable reply. No party can refuse this. And at a time when liberty still prevails, when threats of arrest and exile to Siberia— threats from the counter-revolutionaries with whom our nearsocialist Ministers are sharing government—are still no more than threats, every party says: give us your confidence and we shall give you our programme. This programme was given by our conference on April 29. 6 Unfortunately, it is being ignored and not taken as a guide. It seems to need a popular exposition. I shall try to give the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs a popular exposition of our resolution and our programme. With regard to the economic crisis, our programme is immediately—it need not be put off—to demand the publication of all the fabulous profits—running as high as 500 and 800 per cent—which the capitalists are making on war supplies, and not as capitalists in the open market under “pure” capitalism. This is where workers’ control really is necessary and possible. This is a FIRST ALL - RUSSIA CONGRESS OF SOVIETS 21 measure which, if you call yourselves “revolutionary” democrats, you should carry out in the name of the Congress, a measure which can be carried out overnight. It is not socialism. It is opening the people’s eyes to the real anarchy and the real playing with imperialism, the playing with the property of the people, with the hundreds of thousands of lives that tomorrow will be lost because we continue to throttle Greece. Make the profits of the capitalists public, arrest fifty or a hundred of the biggest millionaires. Just keep them in custody for a few weeks, if only in the same privileged conditions in which Nicholas Romanov is being held, for the simple purpose of making them reveal the hidden springs, the fraudulent practices, the filth and greed which even under the new government are costing our country thousands and millions every day. That is the chief cause of anarchy and ruin. That is why we say that everything remains as of old, that the coalition government hasn’t changed a thing and has only added a heap of declarations, of pompous statements. However sincere people may be, however sincerely they may wish the working people well, things have not changed—the same class remains in power. The policy they are pursuing is not a democratic policy. You talk to us about “democratisation of the central and local power”. Don’t you know that these words are a novelty only in Russia, and that elsewhere dozens of near-socialist Ministers have given their countries similar promises? What are they worth when we are faced by the real, concrete fact that while the population elects the authorities locally, the elementary principles of democracy are violated by the centre claiming the right to appoint or confirm the local authorities? The capitalists continue to plunder the people’s property. The imperialist war continues. And yet we are promised reforms, reforms and more reforms, which cannot be accomplished at all under these circumstances, because the war crushes and determines everything. Why do you disagree with those who say the war is not being waged over capitalist profits? What is the criterion? It is, first of all, which class is in power, which class continues to be the master, which class continues to make hundreds of thousands of millions from banking and financial operations. It is the same capitalist class and the war therefore continues to be 22 V. I. L E N I N imperialist. Neither the first Provisional Government nor the government with the near-socialist Ministers has changed anything. The secret treaties remain secret. Russia is fighting for the Straits, fighting to continue Lyakhov’s policy in Persia,7 and so on. I know you don’t want this, that most of you don’t want it, and that the Ministers don’t want it, because no one can want it, for it means the slaughter of hundreds of millions of people. But take the offensive which the Milyukovs and Maklakovs are now talking about so much. They know full well what that means. They know it is linked with the question of power, with the question of revolution. We are told we must distinguish between political and strategic issues. It is ridiculous to raise this question at all. The Cadets 8 perfectly understand that the point at issue is a political one. It is slander to say the revolutionary struggle for peace that has begun from below might lead to a separate peace treaty. The first step we should take if we had power would be to arrest the biggest capitalists and cut all the threads of their intrigues. Without this, all talk about peace without annexations and indemnities is utterly meaningless. Our second step would be to declare to all people over the head of their governments that we regard all capitalists as robbers—Tereshchenko, who is not a bit better than Milyukov, just a little less stupid, the French capitalists, the British capitalists, and all the rest. Your own Izvestia 9 has got into a muddle and proposes to keep the status quo instead of peace without annexations and indemnities. Our idea of peace “without annexations” is different. Even the Peasant Congress 10 comes nearer the truth when it speaks of a “federal” republic, thereby expressing the idea that the Russian republic does not want to oppress any nation, either in the new or in the old way, and does not want to force any nation, either Finland or the Ukraine, with both of whom the War Minister is trying so hard to find fault and with whom impermissible and intolerable conflicts are being created. We want a single and undivided republic of Russia with a firm government. But a firm government can be secured only by the voluntary agreement of all people concerned. “Revolutionary democracy” are big FIRST ALL - RUSSIA CONGRESS OF SOVIETS 23 words, but they are being applied to a government that by its petty fault-finding is complicating the problem of the Ukraine and Finland, which do not even want to secede. They only say, “Don’t postpone the application of the elementary principles of democracy until the Constituent Assembly!” A peace treaty without annexations and indemnities cannot be concluded until you have renounced your own annexations. It is ridiculous, a comedy, every worker in Europe is laughing at us, saying: You talk very eloquently and call on the people to overthrow the bankers, but you send your own bankers into the Ministry. Arrest them, expose their tricks, get to know the hidden springs! But that you don’t do although you have powerful organisations which cannot be resisted. You have gone through 1905 and 1917. You know that revolution is not made to order, that revolutions in other countries were made by the hard and bloody method of insurrection, and in Russia there is no group, no class, that would resist the power of the Soviets. In Russia, this revolution can, by way of exception, be a peaceful one. Were this revolution to propose peace to all peoples today or tomorrow, by breaking with all the capitalist classes, both France and Germany, their people, that is, would accept very soon, because these countries are perishing, because Germany’s position is hopeless, because she cannot save herself, and because France—(Chairman: “Your time is up.”) I shall finish in half a minute. (Commotion; requests from the audience that the speaker continue; protests and applause.) (Chairman: “I inform the Congress that the Steering Committee proposes the speaker’s time be extended. Any objections? The majority are in favour of an extension.”) I stopped at the point that if the revolutionary democrats in Russia were democrats in fact and not merely in words, they would further the revolution and not compromise with the capitalists, not talk about peace without annexations and indemnities but abolish annexations by Russia, and declare in so many words that they consider all annexations criminal and predatory. It would then be possible to avert the imperialist offensive which is threatening death to thousands and millions of people over the partitioning of Persia and the Balkans. The way to peace would then be open, not an easy 24 V. I. L E N I N way—we do not say it is easy—and one which does not preclude a truly revolutionary war. We do not put this question as Bazarov does in today’s Novaya Zhizn. 11 All we say is that Russia has been placed in such a position that at the end of the imperialist war her tasks are easier than might have been expected. And her geographical position is such that any power would have a hard job on its hands if it risked using capital and its predatory interests and risked rising against the Russian working class and the semi-proletariat associated with it, i.e., the poor peasants. Germany is on the brink of defeat, and since the war was joined by the United States, which wants to swallow up Mexico and which tomorrow will probably start fighting Japan, Germany’s position has become hopeless, and she will be destroyed. France, who suffers more than the others because of her geographical position and whose state of exhaustion is reaching the limit—this country, while not starving as much as Germany, has lost infinitely more people than Germany. Now if the first step were to restrict the profits of the Russian capitalists and deprive them of all possibility of raking in hundreds of millions in profits, if you were to propose to all nations a peace treaty directed against the capitalists of all countries and openly declare that you will not enter into any negotiations or relations with the German capitalists and with those who abet them directly or indirectly or are involved with them, and that you refuse to speak with the French and British capitalists, then you would be acting to condemn them in the eyes of the workers. You would not regard it as a victory that a passport has been issued to MacDonald, 12 a man who has never waged a revolutionary struggle against capital and who is being allowed to come because he has never expressed the ideas, principles, practice or experience of the revolutionary struggle against the British capitalists, a struggle for which our Comrade MacLean and hundreds of other British socialists are in prison, and for which our Comrade Liebknecht is confined to a convict prison because he said, “German soldiers, fire on your Kaiser!” Wouldn’t it be more proper to consign the imperialist capitalists to that penal servitude which most of the Provisional Government members in an expressly reconstituted FIRST ALL - RUSSIA CONGRESS OF SOVIETS 25 Third Duma—I don’t know, incidentally, whether it is the Third or the Fourth Duma—are daily preparing for us and promising us and about which the Ministry of Justice is already drafting new Bills? MacLean and Liebknecht—those are the names of socialists who are putting the idea of a revolutionary struggle against imperialism into practice. That is what we must say to all governments if we want to fight for peace. We must condemn them before their people. You will then put all the imperialist governments in a difficult position. But now you have complicated your own position by addressing your Peace Manifesto of March 14 13 to the people and saying, “Overthrow your tsars, your kings and your bankers!” while we who possess an organisation unprecedentedly rich in number, experience and material strength, the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, join a bloc with our bankers, institute a coalition, near-socialist government, and draft the kind of reforms that have been drafted in Europe for decades. People there in Europe laugh at this kind of peace struggle. There they will understand it only when the Soviets take power and act in a revolutionary way. Only one country in the world can at the moment take steps to stop the imperialist war on a class scale, in the face of the capitalists and without a bloody revolution. Only one country can do it, and that country is Russia. And she will remain the only one as long as the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies exists. The Soviet cannot exist long side by side with the ordinary type of Provisional Government, and will remain what it is only until the offensive is taken. The offensive will be a turning-point in the whole policy of the Russian revolution, that is, it will be a transition from waiting, from paving the way for peace by means of a revolutionary uprising from below, to the resumption of the war. The path that opened up was transition from fraternisation on one front to fraternisation on every front, from spontaneous fraternisation, such as the exchange of a crust of bread with a hungry German worker for a penknife—which is punishable by penal servitude—to conscious fraternisation. When we take power into our own hands, we shall curb the capitalists, and then the war will not be the kind of war that is being waged now, because the nature of a war is 26 V. I. L E N I N determined by what class wages it, not by what is written on paper. You can write on paper anything you like. But as long as the capitalist class has a majority in the government the war will remain an imperialist war no matter what you write, no matter how eloquent you are, no matter how many near-socialist Ministers you have. Everyone knows that, and everyone can see it. And the cases of Albania, Greece and Persia 14 have shown this so clearly and graphically that I am surprised everyone is attacking our written declaration about the offensive, 15 and no one says a word about specific cases! It is easy to promise Bills, but specific measures are being postponed time and again. It is easy to write a declaration about peace without annexations, but the Albanian, Greek and Persian events took place after the coalition Ministry was formed. After all, it was Dyelo Naroda, 16 not an organ of our Party, but a government organ, a ministerial organ, which said that it is Russian democracy that is being subjected to this humiliation, and that Greece is being strangled. And this very same Milyukov, whom you imagine to be heaven knows who, although he is just an ordinary member of his party—Tereshchenko in no way differs from him— wrote that the pressure exerted on Greece came from Allied diplomats. The war remains an imperialist war, and however much you may desire peace, however sincere your sympathy for the working people and your desire for peace—I am fully convinced that by and large it must be sincere—you are powerless, because the war can only be ended by taking the revolution further. When the revolution began in Russia, a revolutionary struggle for peace from below also began. If you were to take power into your hands, if power were to pass to the revolutionary organisations to be used for combating the Russian capitalists, then the working people of some countries would believe you and you could propose peace. Then our peace would be ensured at least from two sides, by the two nations who are being bled white and whose cause is hopeless—Germany and France. And if circumstances then obliged us to wage a revolutionary war—no one knows, and we do not rule out the possibility—we should say: “We are not pacifists, we do not renounce war when the revolutionary class is in power and has actually deprived the capitalists of the opportunity to influence things FIRST ALL - RUSSIA CONGRESS OF SOVIETS 27 in any way, to exacerbate the economic dislocation which enables them to make hundreds of millions.” The revolutionary government would explain to absolutely every nation that every nation must be free, and that just as the German nation must not fight to retain Alsace and Lorraine, so the French nation must not fight for its colonies. For, while France is fighting for her colonies, Russia has Khiva and Bokhara, which are also something like colonies. Then the division of colonies will begin. And how are they to be divided? On what basis? According to strength. But strength has changed. The capitalists are in a situation where their only way out is war. When you take over revolutionary power, you will have a revolutionary way of securing peace, namely, by addressing a revolutionary appeal to all nations and explaining your tactics by your own example. Then the way to peace secured by revolutionary means will be open to you, and you will most probably be able to avert the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Then you may be certain that the German and French people will declare in your favour. As for the British, American and Japanese capitalists, even if they wanted a war against the revolutionary working class—whose strength will grow tenfold once the capitalists have been curbed and put down and control has passed into the hands of the working class—even if the American, British and Japanese capitalists wanted a war, the chances would be a hundred to one against them being able to wage it. For peace to be ensured, you will only have to declare that you are not pacifists, that you will defend your republic, your workers’, proletarian democracy, against the German, French and other capitalists. That is why we attached such fundamental importance to our declaration about the offensive. The time has come for a radical turn in the whole history of the Russian revolution. When the Russian revolution began it was assisted by the imperialist bourgeoisie of Britain who imagined Russia to be something like China or India. Yet, side by side with a government in which the landowners and capitalists now have a majority, the Soviets arose, a representative institution unparalleled and unprecedented anywhere in the world in strength, an institution which you are killing by taking part in a coalition Ministry of the bourgeoisie. In reality, 28 V. I. L E N I N the Russian revolution has made the revolutionary struggle from below against the capitalist governments welcome everywhere, in all countries, with three times as much sympathy as before. The question is one of advance or retreat. No one can stand still during a revolution. That is why the offensive is a turn in the Russian revolution, in the political and economic rather than the strategic sense. An offensive now means the continuation of the imperialist slaughter and the death of more hundreds of thousands, of millions of people—objectively, irrespective of the will or awareness of this or that Minister, with the aim of strangling Persia and other weak nations. Power transferred to the revolutionary proletariat, supported by the poor peasants, means a transition to revolutionary struggle for peace in the surest and most painless forms ever known to mankind, a transition to a state of affairs under which the power and victory of the revolutionary workers will be ensured in Russia and throughout the world. (Applause from part of the audience.) Pravda Nos. 8 2 and 8 3 , June 2 8 and 2 9 (1 5 and 16), 1917 Published according to the Pravda text checked with the verbatim report edited by Lenin FIRST ALL - RUSSIA CONGRESS OF SOVIETS 29 2 SPEECH ON THE WAR JUNE 9 (22) Comrades, allow me, by way of an introduction to an analysis of the war issue, to remind you of two passages in the Manifesto to all countries published by the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies on March 14. “The time has come,” said the Manifesto, “to begin a resolute struggle against the predatory designs of the governments of all countries. The time has come for the people to take the decision on war and peace into their own hands.” Another passage in the Manifesto, addressed to the workers of the Austro-German coalition, reads: “Refuse to serve as tools of conquest and violence in the hands of kings, landowners and bankers.” These are the two passages that have been repeated in different wordings in dozens, hundreds and, I should even imagine, thousands of resolutions by Russia’s workers and peasants. I am sure these two passages show best of all the contradictory and hopelessly complicated position in which the revolutionary workers and peasants find themselves owing to the present policy of the Mensheviks and Narodniks. 17 On the one hand, they support the war. On the other, they belong to classes which have no interest in the predatory designs of the government of any country, and they cannot help saying so. This psychology and ideology, much as it may be vague, is unusually deep-rooted in every worker and peasant. It is realisation that the war is being waged because of the predatory designs of the governments of all countries. But, together with this, it is very vaguely understood, or even not understood at all, that a government, whatever its form, expresses the interests of definite classes and that, 30 V. I. L E N I N therefore, to contrast the government to the people, as the first passage I quoted does, is an awful theoretical muddle, utter political helplessness, and means condemning yourself and the whole of your policy to the shakiest and most unstable position and trend. By exactly the same token, the closing words in the second passage I have quoted—that excellent call, “Refuse to serve as tools of conquest and violence in the hands of kings, landowners and bankers”—are splendid. Only including your own, because if you Russian workers and peasants turn to the workers and peasants of Austria and Germany, whose governments and ruling classes are waging the same kind of predatory war of plunder as the Russian capitalists and bankers, and as those of Britain and France—if you say: “Refuse to serve as tools in the hands of your bankers” but admit your own bankers into the Ministry and give them a seat next to socialist Ministers, you are reducing all your appeals to nothing, and in fact you are refuting your whole policy. Your excellent aspirations or wishes might just as well not exist, for you are helping Russia to wage the very same imperialist war, the very same predatory war. You are coming into conflict with the masses you represent, because these masses will never adopt the capitalist point of view, openly expressed by Milyukov, Maklakov and others, who say: “No idea could be more criminal than that the war is being waged in the interests of capital.” I wonder whether that idea is criminal. I have no doubt that from the point of view of those who half-exist today and will perhaps no longer exist tomorrow, the idea actually is criminal. But it is the only correct idea. It alone expresses our conception of this war. It alone expresses the interests of the oppressed classes as a struggle against their oppressors. And when we say the war is capitalist and predatory, we must have no illusions—there is not the slightest hint that the crimes of individuals, of individual kings, could have provoked this kind of war. Imperialism is a definite stage in the development of world capital. Capitalism, which has been developing for decades, created a situation in which a small group of immensely rich countries—there are no more than four: Britain, France, Germany and the U.S.A.—amassed wealth amounting to hundreds of thousands of millions, and FIRST ALL - RUSSIA CONGRESS OF SOVIETS 31 concentrated vast power in the hands of the big banks and big capitalists—there are only a couple or half a dozen of them at most in each of these countries—immense power encompassing the whole world, and literally divided the whole globe territorially by setting up colonies. These powers had colonies in every country of the world. They redivided the globe among themselves economically as well, because concessions, and the threads of finance capital, penetrated into every single part of the globe. This is the basis for annexations. Annexations are not a figment of the imagination. They did not arrive because people who loved liberty unexpectedly became reactionaries. Annexations are nothing but a political expression and political form of the domination of giant banks that has arisen inevitably from capitalism, through no one’s fault, because shares are the basis of banks and because the accumulation of shares is the basis of imperialism. And the big banks, which dominate the whole world through hundreds and thousands of millions in capital and link entire industries with capitalist and monopoly alliances—that is where we have imperialism, which has split the whole world into three groups of immensely rich plunderers. One group—the first, which is closer to us in Europe— is headed by Britain, and the other two, by Germany and the U.S.A. The other accomplices are compelled to help while capitalist relations persist. Therefore, if you have a clear idea of the essence of the matter, which every oppressed person realises instinctively and which every Russian worker and the vast majority of peasants realise instinctively—if you have a clear idea of it, you will see how laughable is the idea of fighting the war with words, manifestoes, leaflets and socialist congresses. It is laughable because the banks are still omnipotent no matter how many declarations you issue, no matter how many political revolutions you carry out—you have overthrown Nicholas Romanov in Russia and have to some extent made her a republic; Russia has taken a gigantic stride forward, and may be said to have overtaken, almost overnight, France, which in different conditions required a hundred years to do as much and yet remained a capitalist country. And the capitalists are still there. They have lost some ground. They did so in 1905 as well, but did that under- 32 V. I. L E N I N mine their strength? While this may be new to Russians, in Europe every revolution showed that with every upswing of the revolutionary movement the workers achieved something more than they had before, but capitalist power remained. The struggle against the imperialist war is impossible unless it is a struggle waged by the revolutionary classes against the ruling classes on a world scale. It is not a question of landowners in general. There are landowners in Russia and they play a greater role in Russia than in any other country but they are not the class which brought imperialism into being. It is a question of the capitalist class led by the biggest finance magnates and banks, and there will be no way out of this war until this class, which dominates the oppressed workers allied with the poor peasants, the semi-proletarians, as our programme calls them, until this class is overthrown. The illusion that you can unite the working people of the world by leaflets and appeals to other nations can only come from the narrow Russian outlook, ignorant of how the press in Western Europe, where the workers and peasants are used to political revolutions and have seen dozens of them, laughs at such phrases and appeals. They don’t know that the mass of workers has actually risen in Russia, where most of the workers are absolutely sincere in their faith and condemn the predatory designs of the capitalists of every country and want to see the people freed from the bankers. But they, the Europeans, cannot understand why you, who have an organisation which no one else on earth has, the Soviets of Workers’, Peasants’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, which are armed— why you make Ministers of your socialists. After all, you are handing power to the bankers. People abroad accuse you not only of naïveté—this is not the worst—Europeans can no longer understand naïveté in politics, they cannot understand that there are tens of millions of people in Russia who are stirring to life for the first time, and that people in Russia know nothing of the link between the classes and the government, of the link between the government and war. War is a continuation of bourgeois politics, nothing else. The ruling class shapes the country’s policy in war-time as well. War is politics from beginning to end. It is pursuit of the same old aims by these classes using a different method. That is why, when you write in your workers’ and peasants’ appeals FIRST ALL - RUSSIA CONGRESS OF SOVIETS 33 “overthrow your bankers”, every politically-conscious worker in a European country either laughs at you or cries bitterly over you, saying to himself: “What can we do since people there have overthrown a half-savage idiot and monster of a monarch, the kind we did away with a long time ago—this is the only crime we have committed—and now, with their ‘near-socialist’ Ministers, they back the Russian bankers?!” The bankers remain in power. They pursue a foreign policy through an imperialist war, fully supporting the treaties concluded by Nicholas II in Russia. This is particularly evident in our country. All the principles of Russia’s imperialist foreign policy were predetermined not by the presentday capitalists, but by the previous government and Nicholas Romanov whom we have overthrown. He concluded those treaties, they remain secret, and the capitalists cannot publish them because they are capitalists. But no worker or peasant can see his way clear of this tangle because he tells himself: “Since we call for the overthrow of the capitalists in other countries, we must first of all get rid of our own bankers, otherwise nobody will believe in us and nobody will take us seriously. People will say we are naïve Russian savages who put on paper words that are excellent in themselves but lack political substance, or, worse still, they will think us hypocrites. You would see these things in the foreign press if that press, every shade of it, passed freely into Russia across the frontier instead of being stopped by the British and French authorities at Torneå. You would see from a mere selection of quotations from foreign newspapers the glaring contradiction in which you find yourselves. You would see how incredibly ridiculous and erroneous is this idea of fighting the war with socialist-conferences, with agreements with the socialists at congresses. Had imperialism been the fault or crime of individuals, socialism could remain socialism. Imperialism is the final stage of capitalism’s development, a stage at which it has gone as far as to divide the whole world, and two gigantic groups are locked in a life-and-death struggle. You must serve one group or the other, or overthrow both groups. There is no other way. When you reject a separate peace treaty, saying you don’t want to serve the German imperialists, you are perfectly right, and that is why we, too, are against a separate peace treaty. Yet in effect, and in 34 V. I. L E N I N spite of yourselves, you continue to serve the Anglo-French imperialists, who have predatory designs of the kind that the Russian capitalists have translated into treaties with the aid of Nicholas Romanov. We do not know the texts of those treaties, but anyone who has followed political writing and has glanced through at least one book on economics or diplomacy must be familiar with the content of the treaties. Moreover, as far as I can remember, Milyukov wrote in his books about those treaties and promises that they would plunder Galicia, the Straits and Armenia, retain what they had annexed earlier and get plenty of other territories. Everyone knows that, but still the treaties are kept secret, and we are told that if we annul them it will mean breaking with our Allies. With regard to a separate peace treaty, I have already said there can be no separate peace treaty for us, and our Party resolution leaves not the slightest room for doubt that we reject it as we reject all agreement with the capitalists. To us, a separate peace treaty means coming to terms with the German plunderers, because they are plundering in the same way as the others. Coming to terms with Russian capital within the Russian Provisional Government is the same kind of separate peace treaty. The tsarist treaties remain, and they, too, help to plunder and strangle other peoples. When it is said, “Peace without annexations and indemnities”, as every worker and every peasant in Russia should say because life teaches him so, because he has no interest in bank profits and because he wants to live, I reply: Your leaders in the present Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies from the Narodnik and Menshevik parties have become tangled up in that slogan. They have said in their Izvestia that it means retaining the status quo, that is, the pre-war state of affairs, going back to what existed before the war. Isn’t that capitalist peace? And what capitalist peace, too! Since you are putting forward that slogan, you must remember that the course of events may bring your parties to power. That is possible during a revolution, and you will have to do what you say. But if you propose peace without annexations now, the Germans will accept and the British will not, because the British capitalists have not lost an inch of territory but have grabbed plenty in every part of the FIRST ALL - RUSSIA CONGRESS OF SOVIETS 35 world. The Germans grabbed a lot too, but they also lost a lot, and not only lost a lot but found themselves up against the U.S.A., a most formidable enemy. If you who propose peace without annexations mean retaining the status quo, you are drifting into a situation in which your proposal will produce a separate peace treaty with the capitalists, because, if you propose that, the German capitalists, being faced by the U.S.A. and Italy with whom they signed treaties in the past, will say: “We shall accept that peace treaty without annexations. It will not be a defeat for us, it will be victory over the U.S.A. and Italy.” Objectively, you are drifting into the same kind of separate peace treaty with the capitalists which you accuse us of, because fundamentally you are not breaking—in your policy, in reality, in your practical moves—with those bankers expressing imperialist domination all over the world whom you and your “socialist” Ministers support in the Provisional Government. You are thereby creating a contradictory and precarious situation for yourselves in which the masses misunderstand you. The masses, who have no interest in annexations, say: “We refuse to fight for any capitalist’s sake.” When we are told that this sort of policy can be ended by means of congresses and agreements among the socialists of the world, we reply: “It probably could, if only imperialism were the handiwork of individual criminals; but imperialism is an outgrowth of world capitalism with which the working-class movement is connected.” Imperialism’s victory is the beginning of an inevitable, unavoidable split of the socialists of all countries into two camps. Anyone who keeps on talking about the socialists as an integral body, as something that can be integral, is deceiving himself and others. The entire course of the war, the two and a half years of it, has been leading to this split—ever since the Basle Manifesto, 18 signed unanimously, which said that imperialist capitalism was at the root of this war. The Basle Manifesto does not say a word about “defence of the fatherland”. No other manifesto could have been written before the war, just as today no socialist would propose writing a manifesto about “defence of the fatherland” in the war between Japan and the U.S.A., in which it is not a matter of risking his own skin, his own capitalists and his 36 V. I. L E N I N own Ministers. Draft a resolution for international congresses! You know that war between Japan and the U.S.A. is a foregone conclusion. This war has been brewing for decades. It is no accident. Tactics do not depend on who fires the first shot. That is ridiculous. You know very well that Japanese and U.S. capitalism are equally predatory. There will be talk about “defence of the fatherland” on both sides. It will be a crime or an indication of terrible weakness due to the “defence” of the interests of our capitalist enemies. That is why we say that socialism has been split irrevocably. The socialists have completely departed from socialism—or rather, those who have deserted to their government, their bankers and their capitalists, no matter what they may say against them and however much they may condemn them. Condemnation is beside the point. Sometimes, however, condemnation of the Germans’ backing for their capitalists covers up defence of the same “sin” by the Russians! If you accuse the German social-chauvinists, i.e., people who are socialists in words—many of them may well be socialists at heart—but chauvinists in fact, people who actually defend the dirty, selfish and predatory German capitalists rather than the German people, then don’t defend the British, French and Russian capitalists. The German social-chauvinists are no worse than those in our Ministry who continue the policy of secret treaties, of plunder, and cover this up with pious wishes in which there is much that is kind, and which I admit are absolutely sincere from the point of view of the masses, but in which I do not and cannot see a single word of political truth. It is merely your wish, while the war remains as imperialist and is being waged for the same secret treaties as ever! You are calling on other peoples to overthrow the bankers, yet you are backing your own! When you spoke of peace, you did not say what peace. No one answered us when we pointed out the glaring contradiction in a peace treaty on the basis of the status quo. In your resolution, speaking of peace without annexations, you cannot say that it will not mean retaining the status quo. You cannot say that it will mean retaining the status quo, that is, restoration of the pre-war state of affairs. What will it be, then? Taking the German colonies away from Britain? Try that through peaceful agreements! Everyone will laugh FIRST ALL - RUSSIA CONGRESS OF SOVIETS 37 at you. Try to take away from Japan, without a revolution, Kiaochow or the Pacific islands she has grabbed! You have got yourselves mixed up in hopeless contradictions. When we say “without annexations”, we mean that this slogan is only a subordinate part of the struggle against world imperialism. We say we want to liberate all peoples and begin with our own. You talk of war against annexations and of peace without annexations, but in Russia you continue the policy of annexations. That’s simply ridiculous. You and your government, your new Ministers, actually continue the policy of annexations in regard to Finland and the Ukraine. You find fault with the Ukrainian congress and, through your Ministers, prohibit its sittings. 19 Isn’t that annexation? It amounts to a mockery of the rights of a nationality which was tormented by the tsars because its children wanted to speak their mother tongue. That means being afraid of separate republics. From the point of view of the workers and peasants, there is nothing terrible about that. Let Russia be a union of free republics. The workers and peasants will not fight to prevent that. Let every nation be free, and first of all let all the nationalities with which you are making the revolution in Russia be free. By not taking that step, you are condemning yourselves to being “revolutionary democrats” in words while your entire policy is in fact counter-revolutionary. Your foreign policy is anti-democratic and counter-revolutionary. A revolutionary policy may mean you have to wage a revolutionary war. But that is not inevitable. This point has been dealt with at length by the main speaker, and lately by the newspapers as well. I should very much like to dwell on this point. What is the practical way out of this war as we see it? We say: the way out of this war lies only through revolution. Support the revolution of the classes oppressed by the capitalists, overthrow the capitalist class in your country and thereby set an example to other countries. That alone is socialism. That alone means fighting the war. Everything else is empty promises, phrase-mongering or pious wishes. Socialism has been split all over the world. You continue to confuse things by associating with socialists who back their governments. You forget that in Britain and Germany, the 38 V. I. L E N I N true socialists, who express the socialism of the masses, are isolated and have been thrown into gaol. Yet they alone express the interests of the proletarian movement. But what if in Russia the oppressed class found itself in power? When asked how we shall break out of the war by ourselves, we answer: you cannot break out of it by yourself. All our Party resolutions and all speakers at our public meetings call it absurd to say you can break out of this war by yourself. This war involves hundreds of millions of people and hundreds of thousands of millions in capital. The only way out is the transfer of power to the revolutionary class which must really break imperialism, its financial, banking and annexationist threads. Until this happens nothing will have been done. The revolution was limited to your getting, in place of tsarism and imperialism, a near-republic which is imperialist through and through and which cannot treat Finland and the Ukraine democratically, i.e., without being afraid of division, even through revolutionary worker and peasant representatives. It is untrue to say that we are seeking a separate peace treaty. We say: No separate peace treaty with any capitalists, least of all with the Russian capitalists. But the Provisional Government has a separate peace treaty with the Russian capitalists. Down with that separate peace treaty! (Applause.) We recognise no separate peace treaty with the German capitalists and we shall not enter into any negotiations. Nor must there be a separate peace treaty with the British and French imperialists. We are told that to break with them would mean coming to terms with the German imperialists. That is not true. We must break with them immediately because it is an alliance for plunder. It is said that the treaties cannot be published because that would mean showing up the whole of our government and the whole of our policy in the eyes of every worker and peasant. If we were to publish these treaties and plainly tell the Russian workers and peasants at meetings, especially in every remote hamlet: “What you are now fighting for is the Straits, and because they want to keep Armenia,” they would all say: “We want no such war.” (The Chairman: “Your time is up.” Voices: “Let him speak. ” ) I ask for ten minutes more. (Voices: “Let him speak. ” ) FIRST ALL - RUSSIA CONGRESS OF SOVIETS 39 I say that this contrast—“either with the British or with the German imperialists”—is wrong. It implies that if we make peace with the German imperialists we must fight the British, and vice versa. This contrasting suits those who are not breaking with their capitalists and bankers, and who accept any alliance with them. But it doesn’t suit us. We speak of our defending the alliance with the oppressed class, with the oppressed people. Remain loyal to this alliance, and then you will be revolutionary democrats. It’s no easy task. This task will not let you forget that under certain circumstances we shall be unable to do without a revolutionary war. No revolutionary class can rule out revolutionary war, or it will doom itself to ridiculous pacifism. We are not Tolstoyans. If the revolutionary class takes power, if its state keeps no annexed territories, and if no power is left to the banks and big capital, which is not easy to do in Russia, then that class will be waging a revolutionary war in reality and not merely in words. You cannot rule out this kind of war. That would mean succumbing to the Tolstoyan philosophy and to philistinism, forgetting the whole of Marxist science and the experience of all European revolutions. You cannot pull Russia alone out of the war. But she is winning more and more great allies who do not believe you now because your attitude is contradictory or naïve, and because you advise other peoples to “end annexations” while introducing them in your own country. You tell other peoples to overthrow the bankers. Yet you do not overthrow your own. Try another policy. Publish the treaties and show them up in front of every worker and peasant and at public meetings Say: No peace with the German capitalists, and a complete break with the Anglo-French capitalists. Let the British get out of Turkey and stop fighting for Baghdad. Let them get out of India and Egypt. We refuse to fight for the retention of booty that has been seized, just as we shall not put an ounce of energy into helping the German plunderers to keep their booty. If you do that—so far you have only talked about it, and in politics words are not credited, which is just as well—if you do that, and talk about it, then the allies you now have will show what they can do. Think of the mood of every oppressed worker and peasant. They sympathise with you and regret that you are so weak you leave the bank 40 V. I. L E N I N ers alone even though you have arms. It is the oppressed workers of the world that are your allies. It will be just what the revolution of 1905 showed in practice. It was tremendously weak at first. But what is its international effect? How did that policy, and the history of 1905, shape the foreign policy of the Russian revolution? Today you are conducting the Russian revolution’s whole foreign policy with the capitalists. Yet 1905 showed what the Russian revolution’s foreign policy should be like. It is an indisputable fact that October 17, 1905, 20 was followed by mass unrest and barricade-building in the streets of Vienna and Prague. After 1905 came 1908 in Turkey, 1909 in Persia and 1910 in China. 21 If, instead of compromising with the capitalists, you call on the truly revolutionary democrats, the working class, the oppressed, you will have as allies the oppressed classes instead of the oppressors, and the nationalities which are now being rent to pieces instead of the nationalities in which the oppressing classes now temporarily predominate. We have been reminded of the German front where the only change we proposed is the unrestricted dissemination of our appeals written in Russian on one side of the sheet and German on the reverse. In them we say: The capitalists of both countries are robbers. To get them out of the way would be merely a step towards peace. But there are other fronts. I don’t know how strong our army is on the Turkish front. Let us assume it is roughly three million strong. It would be better if that army, which is now kept in Armenia and is carrying out annexations that you tolerate while preaching peace without annexations to other peoples, although you have strength and authority—if that army adopted this programme, and if it made Armenia an independent Armenian republic and gave her the money which the financiers of Britain and France take from us. It is said that we cannot do without the financial support of Britain and France. But this support “supports” us like the rope supporting a hanged man. Let the Russian revolutionary class say: down with that support, I refuse to recognise debts contracted with the French and British capitalists, and I call for a general revolt against the capitalists. No peace treaty with the German capitalists and no alliance with the British and French! If this policy were actually pursued, FIRST ALL - RUSSIA CONGRESS OF SOVIETS 41 our army fighting the Turks could be released and sent to other fronts, because all Asian peoples would see that the Russian people do not merely proclaim peace without annexations on the basis of self-determination but that the Russian worker and peasant are in fact placing themselves at the head of all oppressed nationalities, and that with them, the struggle against imperialism is not a pious wish nor a highflown ministerial phrase but a matter of vital concern to the revolution. As we stand now, a revolutionary war may threaten us, but this war is not bound to take place, since the British imperialists will hardly be able to wage war against us if you act as a practical example to the peoples surrounding Russia. Prove that you are liberating the Armenian republic and reaching agreement with the Soviets of Workers’ and Peasants’ Deputies in every country, that you are for a free republic, and then the Russian revolution’s foreign policy will become really revolutionary and really democratic. At present it is that only in words. In reality it is counter-revolutionary, because you are bound hand and foot by the AngloFrench imperialists and refuse to say so openly, you are afraid to admit it. Instead of issuing that appeal “to overthrow foreign bankers”, you would have done better to tell the Russian people, the workers and peasants, in so many words: “We are too weak, we cannot throw off the tyranny of the Anglo-French imperialists, we are their slaves and are therefore fighting.” It would have been a bitter truth that would have been of revolutionary significance. It would actually have brought this predatory war closer to its end. That means a thousand times more than an agreement with the French and British social-chauvinists, than the convening of congresses which they would agree to attend, than the continuation of this policy by which you are actually afraid to break with the imperialists of one country while remaining the allies of another. You can draw on the support of the oppressed classes of Europe, of the oppressed people of the weaker countries which Russia strangled under the tsars and which she is still strangling now, as she is strangling Armenia. With their support, you can bring freedom by helping their workers’ and peasants’ committees. You would put yourselves at the head of all the oppressed classes, all op- 42 V. I. L E N I N pressed peoples, in the war against the German and British imperialists, who cannot join forces against you because they are locked in a life-and-death struggle against each other, and because they are in a hopeless position, in which the Russian revolution’s foreign policy, a sincere and real alliance with the oppressed classes, the oppressed peoples, can be successful—it has 99 chances in 100 of being successful! Recently we read in our Moscow Party newspaper a letter from a peasant commenting on our programme. I should like to bring my speech to a close with a brief quotation from that letter, showing what a peasant makes of our programme. The letter was printed in No. 59 of Sotsial-Demokrat, 22 our Moscow Party newspaper, and was reprinted in Pravda No. 68.23 “We must,” says the letter, “press the bourgeoisie harder to make them burst at the seams. Then the war will be over. But things will turn out badly if we don’t press the bourgeoisie hard enough.” (Applause.) Pravda Nos. 9 5 , 9 6 and 9 7 , July 1 3 , 1 4 and 1 5 (June 3 0 , July 1 and 2 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text checked with the verbatim report edited by Lenin 43 ECONOMIC DISLOCATION AND THE PROLETARIAT’S STRUGGLE AGAINST IT We are publishing in this issue the resolution on economic measures for combating dislocation, passed by the Conference of Factory Committees.24 The main idea of the resolution is to indicate the conditions for actual control over the capitalists and production in contrast to the empty phrases about control used by the bourgeoisie and the petty-bourgeois officials. The bourgeoisie are lying when they allege that the systematic measures taken by the state to ensure threefold or even tenfold profits for the capitalists are “control”. The petty bourgeoisie, partly out of naïveté, partly out of economic interest, trust the capitalists and the capitalist state, and content themselves with the most meaningless bureaucratic projects for control. The resolution passed by the workers lays special emphasis on the all-important thing, that is, on what is to be done 1) to prevent the actual “preservation” of capitalist profits; 2) to tear off the veil of commercial secrecy; 3) to give the workers a majority in the control agencies; 4) to ensure that the organisation (of control and direction), being “nation-wide” organisation, is directed by the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies and not by the capitalists. Without this, all talk of control and regulation is either sheer bunkum or outright deception of the people. Now it is against this truth, as plain as can be to every politically-conscious and thinking worker, that the leaders of our petty bourgeoisie, the Narodniks and Mensheviks (Izvestia, Rabochaya Gazeta), are up in arms. Unfortunately, those who write for Novaya Zhizn, and who have repeatedly wavered between us and them, have this time sunk to the same level. 44 V. I. L E N I N Comrades Avilov and Bazarov try to cover up their descent into the swamp of petty-bourgeois credulity, compromise, and bureaucratic project-making by Marxist-sounding arguments. Let us look into these arguments. We Pravda people are said to be deviating from Marxism to syndicalism just because we defend the resolution of the Organising Bureau (approved by the Conference). Shame on you, Comrades Avilov and Bazarov! Such carelessness (or such trickery) is fit only for Rech 25 and Yedinstvo 26 ! We suggest nothing like the ridiculous transfer of the railways to the railwaymen, or the tanneries to the tanners. What we do suggest is workers’ control, which should develop into complete regulation of production and distribution by the workers, into “nation-wide organisation” of the exchange of grain for manufactured goods, etc. (with “extensive use of urban and rural co-operatives”). What we suggest is “the transfer of all state power to the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies”. Only people who had not read the resolution right through, or who cannot read at all, could, with clear conscience, find any syndicalism in it. And only pedants, who understand Marxism as Struve and all liberal bureaucrats “understood” it, can assert that “skipping state capitalism is utopian” and that “in our country, too, the very type of regulation should retain its statecapitalist character ”. Take the sugar syndicate or the state railways in Russia or the oil barons, etc. What is that but state capitalism? How can you “skip” what already exists? The point is that people who have turned Marxism into a kind of stiffly bourgeois doctrine evade the specific issues posed by reality, which in Russia has in practice produced a combination of the syndicates in industry and the smallpeasant farms in the countryside. They evade these specific issues by advancing pseudo-intellectual, and in fact utterly meaningless, arguments about a “permanent revolution”, about “introducing” socialism, and other nonsense. Let us get down to business! Let us have fewer excuses and keep closer to practical matters! Are the profits made from war supplies, profits amounting to 500 per cent or more, FROM MARX TO MAO  NOT FOR COMMERCIAL DISTRIBUTION ECONOMIC DISLOCATION AND PROLETARIAT’S STRUGGLE 45 to be left intact! Yes or no? Is commercial secrecy to be left intact? Yes or no? Are the workers to be enabled to exercise control? Yes or no? Comrades Avilov and Bazarov give no answer to these practical questions. By using “Struvean” 27 arguments sounding “near-Marxist”, they unwittingly stoop to the level of accomplices of the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie want nothing better than to answer the people’s queries about the scandalous profits of the war supplies deliverers, and about economic dislocation, with “learned” arguments about the “utopian” character of socialism. These arguments are ridiculously stupid, for what makes socialism objectively impossible is the small-scale economy which we by no means presume to expropriate, or even to regulate or control. What we are trying to make something real instead of a bluff is the “state regulation” of which the Mensheviks, the Narodniks and all bureaucrats (who have carried Comrades Avilov and Bazarov with them) talk in order to dismiss the matter, making projects to safeguard capitalist profits and orating to preserve commercial secrecy. This is the point, worthy near-Marxists, and not the “introduction” of socialism! Not regulation of and control over the workers by the capitalist class, but vice versa. This is the point. Not confidence in the “state”, fit for a Louis Blanc, but demand for a state led by the proletarians and semi-proletarians—that is how we must combat economic dislocation. Any other solution is sheer bunkum and deception. Pravda No. 7 3 , June 1 7 (4 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 46 THE THOUSAND AND FIRST LIE OF THE CAPITALISTS In today’s leader, Rech writes: “If Germany had her own Lenin acting with the kind foreign collaboration of the Robert Grimms and the Rakovskys, one could only suppose that the International did not wish to prevent the great Russian revolution from consolidating its position, and, more important still, from growing in depth. But so far the Germans have politely replied that they do not need a republic and are satisfied with their Wilhelm. Vorwärts, 28 for example, is even more amiable in arguing that the Russian democrats ought not to tolerate secret treaties. And the socialist organ modestly fails to mention the German democrats.” It is a lie to say that “the Robert Grimms and the Rakovskys” have “collaborated” with the Bolsheviks (with whom they have never agreed) in any way. To confuse the “German” Plekhanovs (it is they and only they who are writing for Vorwärts) with the German revolutionary internationalists, who (like Karl Liebknecht) are thrown into German prisons by the hundred, is the thousand and first, and the most infamous and brazen, lie of Rech and the capitalists generally. There are two Internationals: 1) the International of the Plekhanovs, i.e., of those who have betrayed socialism, i.e., of people who have deserted to their governments: Plekhanov, Guesde, Scheidemann, Sembat, Thomas, Henderson, Vandervelde, Bissolati and Co.; and 2) the International of the revolutionary internationalists who even in war-time fight everywhere in a revolutionary mood against their governments, against their bourgeoisie. THE THOUSAND AND FIRST LIE OF THE CAPITALISTS 47 “The great Russian revolution” can become “great”, can “consolidate its position” and “grow in depth” only if it stops supporting the imperialist “coalition” government, the imperialist war which that government is waging, and the capitalist class as a whole. Pravda No. 7 3 , June 1 7 (4 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 48 THE DIEHARDS OF JUNE 3 29 FAVOUR AN IMMEDIATE OFFENSIVE The gentlemen of June 3, who after 1905 helped Nicholas Romanov drench our country in blood, strangle the revolutionaries and re-establish the unlimited power of the landowners and capitalists, are holding their meetings simultaneously with the Congress of Soviets.30 While Tsereteli, who found himself in bourgeois captivity, tried by a thousand tricks to hush up the vital importance and urgency of the political question of an immediate offensive, the diehards of June 3, companions-in-arms of Nicholas the Bloody and Stolypin the Hangman, landowners and capitalists, did not hesitate to put the question straightforwardly and openly. Here is the latest and most essential resolution on the offensive which they adopted unanimously: “The Duma (??) considers that only an immediate offensive and close co-operation with the Allies will guarantee a speedy termination of the war and consolidation of the liberties won by the people”. That is clear enough. These people are real politicians, men of action, faithful servants of their class, of the landowners and capitalists. And how do Tsereteli, Chernov and the rest serve their class? They offer pious wishes in words and support the capitalists in actions. Tsereteli asserted that the question of an immediate offensive could not even be raised, for were he, Minister Tsereteli, to know anything about an “immediate” offensive, he, a Minister, would say nothing about it to anyone. In saying THE DIEHARDS OF JUNE 3 FAVOUR AN IMMEDIATE OFFENSIVE 49 that, Tsereteli had no inkling (poor innocent man) that he was refuted by the diehards of June 3, refuted by actions, for they did not hesitate to speak, even in a resolution, and in everyone’s hearing, about an offensive—not an offensive in general, but an immediate offensive. And they were right, for this is a political issue, an issue bearing on the destiny of our revolution as a whole. There is no middle course. You must either be for or against an “immediate offensive”. You cannot abstain from expressing an opinion. In this situation, to evade the issue by referring or alluding to military secrecy would be positively unworthy of a responsible politician. To favour an immediate offensive means being in favour of continuing the imperialist war, slaughtering Russian workers and peasants in order to strangle Persia, Greece, Galicia, the Balkan peoples, etc., reviving and strengthening the counter-revolution, completely nullifying all the phrases about “peace without annexations”, and waging war for annexations. To be against an immediate offensive means being in favour of all power passing to the Soviets, of arousing the revolutionary initiative of the oppressed classes, of an immediate offer by the oppressed classes of all countries of “peace without annexations”, peace based on the precise condition of overthrowing the tyranny of capital and liberating all colonies, all the oppressed nationalities, or nationalities not enjoying full rights, bar none. The former way is, together with the capitalists, in the interests of the capitalists and for attaining the aims of the capitalists. It is the way of confidence in the capitalists, who for more than two years have been promising everything under the sun and many things besides, provided the war is “carried on to victory”. The latter way is one of breaking with the capitalists, of distrusting them, of curbing their vile self-interest, of putting an end to their business of making hundreds of millions in profits from contracts. It is the way of confidence in the oppressed classes, primarily in the workers of all countries, the way of confidence in a world workers’ revolution against capital, the way of supporting it in full measure. 50 V. I. L E N I N You must choose the one or the other. Tsereteli, Chernov and the rest prefer a middle course. But there is no middle course. If they vacillate or try to get away with mere talk, they, Tsereteli, Chernov and the rest, will completely make themselves tools in the hands of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie. Pravda No. 7 4 , June 1 9 (6 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 51 AN ALLIANCE TO STOP THE REVOLUTION That the new coalition government is precisely this sort of alliance between the capitalists and the Narodnik and Menshevik leaders is far from obvious to all. Perhaps it is not obvious even to the Ministers belonging to these parties. Yet it is a fact. This fact became all the more evident on Sunday, June 4, when the morning papers carried reports on speeches made by Milyukov and Maklakov at the meeting of the counterrevolutionaries of the Third Duma (called the “State Duma”, by tradition of Nicholas Romanov and Stolypin the Hangman), and when, in the evening, Tsereteli and other Ministers made speeches in defence of the government and of the policy of an offensive at the All-Russia Congress of Soviets of Soldiers’ and Workers’ Deputies. Milyukov and Maklakov, like all capitalist and counterrevolutionary leaders of any merit, are men of action who appreciate full well the meaning of the class struggle when it concerns their class. That is why they put the question of an offensive with such perfect clarity, without wasting a single minute on utterly meaningless talk about the offensive from the strategic point of view—the kind of talk with which Tsereteli deceived himself and others. The Cadets certainly know their business. They know that the question of an offensive is now posed by reality as a political and not a strategic question, as the question of a radical turn in the Russian revolution as a whole. It is from the political point of view that the Cadets raised it in the “State Duma”, just as the Bolsheviks, and internationalists generally, raised it on Saturday evening in their written 52 V. I. L E N I N statement to the Steering Committee of the Congress of Soviets. “Russia’s fate is in her own hands,” announced Maklakov, the wellknown accomplice of Stolypin the Hangman, “and it will be decided very soon [hear, hear!]. If we do succeed in launching an offensive and waging the war, not only by means of resolutions, not only by speeches at public meetings and by banners borne through the city, but by waging the war as intently as we have been waging it so far [listen to this—it is a capitalist leader speaking these historic words: “as we have been waging it so far”!], then it will not be long before Russia recovers completely.” These are remarkable words which should be learned by heart and thought about time and again. They are remarkable because they tell the class truth. This was repeated, in a slightly different way, by Milyukov, who reproached the Petrograd Soviet: “Why is it that its [the Soviet’s] statement says nothing about an offensive?”, and stressed that the Italian imperialists had put “a modest [Mr. Milyukov’s irony!] question: ‘Are you going to take the offensive or not?’ Moreover, no specific answer was given [by the Petrograd Soviet] to this question of theirs, either”. Maklakov voiced his “profound respect” for Kerensky, and Milyukov explained: “I have a very uneasy feeling that what our War Minister [“our is right, meaning one who is in the hands of the capitalists!] has organised may again be disorganised from here and that we shall miss the last opportunity we still have [mark the “still”] of answering our Allies, who are asking whether we are going to attack or not, in a manner satisfactory both to ourselves and to them.” “Both to ourselves and to them”, meaning both to the Russian and to the Anglo-French and other imperialists! An offensive can “still” “satisfy” them, i.e., help them finish off Persia, Albania, Greece and Mesopotamia, and ensure that they retain all the booty snatched from the Germans and take away the booty seized by the German plunderers. This is the point. This is the class truth concerning the offensive’s political significance. It is to satisfy the appetites of the imperialists of Russia, Britain, etc., protract the imperialist, predatory war, and take the road not of peace without annexations (this road is possible only if the revolution continues), but of war for annexations. That is the meaning of an offensive from the standpoint of foreign policy. Maklakov defined its meaning, in the AN ALLIANCE TO STOP THE REVOLUTION 53 historic phrase quoted above, from the standpoint of home policy. What Maklakov means by “Russia’s complete recovery” is the complete victory of the counter-revolution. Those who have not forgotten Maklakov’s excellent speeches about the period of 1905 and 1907-13 see almost his every speech reaffirm this appraisal. To wage the war “as we have been waging it so far”—“we” being the capitalists with the tsar at the head!—to wage this imperialist war means enabling Russia to “recover”, i.e., ensuring the victory of the capitalists and the landowners. This is the class truth. An offensive, whatever its outcome may be from the military point of view, means politically strengthening imperialist morale, imperialist sentiments, and infatuation with imperialism. It means strengthening the old, unchanged army officers (“waging the war as we have been waging it so far”), and strengthening the main position of the counterrevolution. Quite independently of whether they wish it or not, and whether they are aware of it or not, Tsereteli and Kerensky, Skobelev and Chernov, as leaders of the Narodnik and Menshevik parties, not as individuals, have given their support to the counter-revolution, gone over, at this decisive moment, to its side, and taken a stand inside the alliance for stopping the revolution and continuing the war “as we have been waging it so far”. There must be no illusions on this score. Pravda No. 7 4 , June 1 9 (6 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 54 GRATITUDE We are very grateful to the chauvinist newspaper, Volya Naroda,31 for publishing (in its issue of June 4) our documents relating to our passage through Germany. It is evident from these documents that even at that time we found Grimm’s behaviour “ambiguous” and declined his services. That is a fact, and facts cannot be talked away. Our answer to the vague insinuations of Volya Naroda is: don’t be cowards, gentlemen, accuse us openly of suchand-such a crime or misdemeanour! Have a go! Is it really hard to understand that it is dishonest to make vague insinuations because of a fear to come out with an accusation over one’s signature? Pravda No. 7 4 , June 1 9 (6 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 55 IS THERE A WAY TO A JUST PEACE? Is there a way to peace without an exchange of annexations, without the division of spoils among the capitalist robbers? There is: through a workers’ revolution against the capitalists of the world. Russia today is nearer to the beginning of such a revolution than any other country. Only in Russia can power pass to existing institutions, to the Soviets, immediately, peacefully, without an uprising, for the capitalists can not resist the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies. With such a transfer of power it would be possible to curb the capitalists, now making thousands of millions in profits from contracts, to expose all their tricks, arrest the millionaire embezzlers of public property, break their unlimited power. Only after the transfer of power to the oppressed classes could Russia approach the oppressed classes of other countries, not with empty words, not with mere appeals, but calling their attention to her example, and immediately and explicitly proposing clear-cut terms for universal peace. “Comrade workers and toilers of the world,” she would say in the proposal for an immediate peace. “Enough of the bloodshed. Peace is possible. A just peace means peace without annexations, without seizures. Let the German capitalist robbers and their crowned robber Wilhelm know that we shall not come to terms with them, that we regard as robbery on their part not only what they have grabbed since the war, but also Alsace and Lorraine, and the Danish and Polish areas of Prussia. 56 V. I. L E N I N “We also consider that Poland, Finland, the Ukraine, and other non-Great-Russian lands were seized by the Russian tsars and capitalists. “We consider that all colonies, Ireland, and so on, were seized by the British, French and other capitalists. “We Russian workers and peasants shall not hold any of the non-Great-Russian lands or colonies (such as Turkestan, Mongolia, or Persia) by force. Down with war for the division of colonies, for the division of annexed (seized) lands, for the division of capitalist spoils!” The example of the Russian workers will be followed inevitably, perhaps not tomorrow (revolutions are not made to order), but inevitably all the same by the workers and all the working people of at least two great countries, Germany and France. For both are perishing, the first of hunger, the second of depopulation. Both will conclude peace on our terms, which are just, in defiance of their capitalist governments. The road to peace lies before us. Should the capitalists of England, Japan and America try to resist this peace, the oppressed classes of Russia and other countries will not shrink from a revolutionary war against the capitalists. In this war they will defeat the capitalists of the whole world, not just those of the three countries lying far from Russia and taken up with their own rivalries. The road to a just peace lies before us. Let us not be afraid to take it. Pravda No. 7 5 , June 2 0 (7 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 57 THE ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE Plekhanov’s Yedinstvo (which even the Socialist-Revolutionary Dyelo Naroda justly calls a newspaper at one with the liberal bourgeoisie) has recently recalled the law of the French Republic of 1793 relating to enemies of the people. A very timely recollection. The Jacobins of 1793 belonged to the most revolutionary class of the eighteenth century, the town and country poor. It was against this class, which had in fact (and not just in words) done away with its monarch, its landowners and its moderate bourgeoisie by the most revolutionary measures, including the guillotine—against this truly revolutionary class of the eighteenth century—that the monarchs of Europe combined to wage war. The Jacobins proclaimed enemies of the people those “promoting the schemes of the allied tyrants directed against the Republic”. The Jacobins’ example is instructive. It has not become obsolete to this day, except that it must be applied to the revolutionary class of the twentieth century, to the workers and semi-proletarians. To this class, the enemies of the people in the twentieth century are not the monarchs, but the landowners and capitalists as a class. If the “Jacobins” of the twentieth century, the workers and semi-proletarians, assumed power, they would proclaim enemies of the people the capitalists who are making thousands of millions in profits from the imperialist war, that is, a war for the division of capitalist spoils and profits. The “Jacobins” of the twentieth century would not guillotine the capitalists—to follow a good example does not mean 58 V. I. L E N I N copying it. It would be enough to arrest fifty to a hundred financial magnates and bigwigs, the chief knights of embezzlement and of robbery by the banks. It would be enough to arrest them for a few weeks to expose their frauds and show all exploited people “who needs the war”. Upon exposing the frauds of the banking barons, we could release them, placing the banks, the capitalist syndicates, and all the contractors “working” for the government under workers’ control. The Jacobins of 1793 have gone down in history for their great example of a truly revolutionary struggle against the class of the exploiters by the class of the working people and the oppressed who had taken all state power into their own hands. The miserable Yedinstvo (with which the Menshevik defencists were ashamed to form a bloc) wants to borrow Jacobinism in letter and not in spirit, its exterior trappings and not the content of its policy. This amounts in effect to a betrayal of the revolution of the twentieth century, a betrayal disguised by spurious reference to the revolutionaries of the eighteenth century. Pravda No. 7 5 , June 2 0 (7 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 59 NOTE On June 6 Novoye Vremya32 said: “Why is it that in these days of freedom this black hand has reached out from somewhere and is moving the puppets of Russian democracy? Lenin! But his name is legion. At all cross-roads, a Lenin pops up. And it is quite obvious that strength lies not in Lenin himself but in the receptiveness of the soil to the seeds of anarchy and madness.” Anarchy, as we see it, is the making of scandalous profits from war supplies by the capitalists. Madness, as we see it, is the waging of a war for the division of annexed territories, for the division of capitalist profits. And if these views find sympathy “at all cross-roads”, it is because they properly express the interests of the proletariat, the interests of all working people and all the exploited. Pravda No. 7 5 , June 2 0 (7 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 60 “THE GREAT WITHDRAWAL” “The great withdrawal of the bourgeoisie from the government.” This is what the main speaker of the Executive Committee, in a report he submitted last Sunday, called the formation of the coalition government and the entry of former socialists into the Ministry. Only the first three words in this phrase are correct. “The great withdrawal” does indeed characterise and explain May 6 (the formation of the coalition government). It was on that day that “the great withdrawal” really began, or, to be exact, manifested itself most clearly. Only, it was not a great withdrawal of the bourgeoisie from the government but a great withdrawal of the Menshevik and Narodnik leaders from the revolution. The significance of the Congress of Soviets of Soldiers’ and Workers’ Deputies now in session lies in the fact that it has made this circumstance clearer than ever. May 6 was a triumph for the bourgeoisie. The bourgeois government was on the verge of defeat. The masses were definitely and absolutely, sharply and irreconcilably opposed to it. One word from the Narodnik and Menshevik leaders of the Soviet would have sufficed to induce the government to relinquish its power unquestioningly. Lvov had to admit that openly at the sitting in the Mariinsky Palace. The bourgeoisie resorted to a skilful manoeuvre which was new to the Russian petty bourgeoisie and to Russia’s masses in general, which intoxicated the intellectual Menshevik and Narodnik leaders, and which took proper account of their Louis Blanc nature. The reader may recall that Louis Blanc was a renowned petty-bourgeois socialist who entered “THE GREAT WITHDRAWAL” 61 the French Government in 1848 and became as sadly famed in 1871. Louis Blanc imagined himself to be the leader of the “labour democrats” or “socialist democrats” (the term “democracy” was used in the France of 1848 as frequently .as in Socialist-Revolutionary 33 and Menshevik writing in 1917), but in reality he was the tail-end of the bourgeoisie, a plaything in their hands. During the almost seventy years that have elapsed since then, that manoeuvre, which is a novelty in Russia, has been made many times by the bourgeoisie in the West. The purpose of this manoeuvre is to make the “socialist democratic” leaders who “withdraw” from socialism and from the revolution harmless appendages of a bourgeois government, to shield this government from the people by means of near-socialist Ministers, to cover up the counter-revolutionary nature of the bourgeoisie by a glittering, spectacular facade of “socialist” ministerialism. This method has been developed to a veritable art in France. It has also been tested on many occasions in Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian, and many of the Latin countries. It is this manoeuvre that was made in Russia on May 6, 1917. “Our” near-socialist Ministers found themselves in a situation in which the bourgeoisie began to use them as their cat’s paw, to do through them what the bourgeoisie could never have done without them. Through Guchkov it would have been impossible to lure the people into continuing the imperialist, predatory war, a war for redivision of the colonies and annexed territories in general. Through Kerensky (and Tsereteli, who was busier defending Tereshchenko than defending the post and telegraph workers), the bourgeoisie were able, as correctly admitted by Milyukov and Maklakov, to begin “organising” the continuation of this kind of war. Through Shingaryov it would have been impossible to ensure the preservation of the landed estates system at least until; the convocation of the Constituent Assembly (if an offensive were to take place, it would “enable Russia to recover completely”, said Maklakov. That means that the Constituent Assembly itself would be “healthier”). Through Chernov, this can be brought about. The peasants have been told, although they have not been very glad to hear it, that 62 V. I. L E N I N to rent land from the landowners by agreement with each individual owner is “order”, while to abolish the landed estates at one stroke and rent from the people, pending the convocation of the Constituent Assembly, land formerly owned by the landowners is ”anarchy”. This counter-revolutionary idea of the land owners could only be put into effect through Chernov. Through Konovalov it would have been impossible to ensure the safeguarding (and the increase—see what the ministerial newspaper, Rabochaya Gazeta, writes about the coal industrialists) of the scandalous profits from war contracts. Through Skobelev, or with his participation, this safeguarding can be ensured by allegedly preserving the old order, by near-“Marxist” rejection of the possibility of “introducing” socialism. Because socialism cannot be introduced the scandalously high profits made by the capitalists not from their purely capitalist business but from supplies to the armed forces, to the state—these profits can be both concealed from the people and retained!—this is the wonderful Struvean argument which has brought together Tereshchenko and Lvov, on the one hand, and the “Marxist” Skobelev, on the other. Popular meetings and the Soviets cannot be influenced through Lvov, Milyukov, Tereshchenko, Shingaryov and the rest. But they can be influenced through Tsereteli, Chernov and Co. in the same old bourgeois direction. And one can pursue the same old bourgeois- imperialist policy by means of particularly, impressive, particularly “nice”-sounding phrases, to the point of denying the people the elementary democratic right to elect local authorities and prevent both their appointment and confirmation from above. By denying this right, Tsereteli, Chernov and Co. have unwittingly turned from ex-socialists into ex-democrats. A “great withdrawal”, all right! Pravda No. 7 6 , June 2 1 (8 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 63 THE USE OF STICKING TO THE POINT IN POLEMICS Dear comrades writing for Novaya Zhizn, you resent our criticism, which you call angry. We shall try to be mild and kind. To begin with, we wish to take up the two questions you raised. Can one seriously speak of control over production, to say nothing of regulating it, without ending the “inviolability of commercial secrecy”? We have maintained that Novaya Zhizn has not answered this “practical” question. Novaya Zhizn objects, saying that we can “find” the answer “even” in Rabochaya Gazeta. We cannot find it, dear comrades! Nor can you ever find it. Look more carefully and you will see you cannot find it. You will pardon us for saying so, but Novaya Zhizn has sinned because, while holding forth about “control”, it has not raised the practical question of the inviolability of commercial secrecy in a practical way. Second question: can one confuse the immediate introduction of socialism (which Novaya Zhizn has been arguing against and which we have never suggested) with the immediate assumption of actual control over the banks and trusts? When, in answer to that, we pointed out that we did not propose to expropriate, regulate, or exercise control over small-scale economy, Novaya Zhizn commented that we had made a “valuable confession”, a “legitimate” one, but had done it “overhastily”. Have a heart, dear comrades, how can you call it “overhasty” when it is just a brief paraphrase of the long and 64 V. I. L E N I N detailed resolution passed by our conference? Or didn’t you care enough to read that resolution? In polemics, one should stick to the point. It is harmful in this kind of polemics to try to quibble the issue away. Pravda No. 7 6 , June 2 1 (8 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 65 AN EPIDEMIC OF CREDULITY “Comrades, the resistance of the capitalists has apparently been broken.” We gather this pleasant news from a speech by Minister Peshekhonov. It is staggering news! “The resistance of the capitalists has been broken.” And such ministerial speeches are heard and applauded! What is this but an epidemic of credulity? On the one hand, they use “the dictatorship of the proletariat” more than anything else to scare themselves and other people. On the other hand, what is the difference between the idea of the “dictatorship of the proletariat” and breaking the resistance of the capitalists? None whatsoever. The dictatorship of the proletariat is a scientific term indicating the class which plays the leading role in it and the special form of state power called dictatorship, i.e., power based not on law or elections, but directly on the armed force of a particular section of the population. What is the purpose and significance of the dictatorship of the proletariat? To break the resistance of the capitalists! And if “the resistance of the capitalists has apparently been broken” in Russia, it is as much as saying “the dictatorship of the proletariat has apparently been realised” here. The “only” trouble is that this is no more than a ministerial phrase. Something like Skobelev’s brave exclamation: “I shall take 100 per cent profit!” 34 It is one of the gems of the “revolutionary-democratic” eloquence that is now overwhelming Russia, intoxicating the petty bourgeoisie, befogging and corrupting the people, and spreading by the handful the germs of an epidemic of credulity. 66 V. I. L E N I N A scene in a certain French comedy—the French seem to excel at the game of socialist ministries—has a gramophone record that repeats, before audiences of voters in every part of France, a speech full of promises by a “socialist” Minister. We think Citizen Peshekhonov should pass on his historic phrase, “Comrades, the resistance of the capitalists has apparently been broken”, to a record company. It would be very convenient and useful (for the capitalists) to spread this phrase throughout the world, in every language. Here we have, it would say, the splendid achievements of the Russian experiment in having a bourgeois and socialist coalition Ministry. Still, it would be a good idea if Minister Peshekhonov, whom both the Mensheviks and the Socialist-Revolutionaries (who in 1906 dissociated themselves from him in their press, regarding him as a petty bourgeois who had moved too far to the right) call a socialist now that he has entered the Ministry together with Tsereteli and Chernov, answered the following simple and modest question: Isn’t it too much for us to try to break the resistance of the capitalists? Shouldn’t we rather try to expose before the labour unions and all the major parties the fantastic profits made by the capitalists? Shouldn’t we try to abolish commercial secrecy? Isn’t it too much for us to speak of the “dictatorship of the proletariat” (“breaking the resistance of the capitalists”)? Shouldn’t we rather try to expose embezzlement and misappropriation? If the price of coal supplies has been raised by the revolutionary government, as reported by the ministerial “Rabochaya Gazeta”, doesn’t it look like plunder of the state? Hadn’t we better publish, at least once a week, the “letters of guarantee” of the banks, and other documents relating to war contracts and to the prices paid under those contracts, rather than make speeches about “the resistance of the capitalists having been broken”? Pravda No. 7 6 , June 2 1 (8 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 67 A BIRD IN THE HAND OR TWO IN THE BUSH Minister Peshekhonov uttered many beautiful and highsounding phrases in his speech. He said that “we must divide equitably all we have”, that “the resistance of the capitalists has apparently been broken”, and many more phrases of that kind. But he cited only one exact figure, only one exact fact in his speech, devoting six lines to it out of eight columns. Here it is: nails leave the factory at 20 kopeks a pound, but they reach the consumer at 2 rubles a pound. Isn’t it possible, since “the resistance of the capitalists has been broken”, to pass a law on publishing (1) all letters of guarantee concerning prices of supplies under the war contracts; (2) all prices of supplies to the state in general; (3) the cost price of products delivered to the state; (4) isn’t it possible to give the workers’ organisations an opportunity to verify all these facts? Pravda No. 7 6 , June 2 1 (8 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 68 INTRODUCTION OF SOCIALISM OR EXPOSURE OF PLUNDER OF THE STATE? It has been decided and laid down that socialism cannot be introduced in Russia. This was proved, in near-Marxist fashion, by Mr. Milyukov at a meeting of the June 3 diehards, following the ministerial Menshevik Rabochaya Gazeta. And it was subscribed to by the largest party in Russia in general and in the Congress of Soviets in particular, the Socialist-Revolutionary Party, which, besides being the largest party, is also the party with the greatest ideological (disinterested) fear of seeing the revolution develop towards socialism. Strictly speaking, a mere glance at the resolution passed by the Bolshevik Conference held from April 24 to 29, 1917, reveals that the Bolsheviks, too, recognise the impossibility of immediately “introducing” socialism in Russia. What is the argument about, then? Why the fuss? By the hue and cry against the “introduction” of socialism in Russia, some people are sustaining (many of them unwittingly) the efforts of those who are opposed to the exposure of plunder of the state. Let us not quibble over words, citizens! It is unworthy of “revolutionary democrats” and, indeed, of grown-ups in general. Let’s not talk about the “introduction” of socialism, which “everybody” rejects. Let’s talk about the exposure of plunder. When capitalists work for defence, i.e., for the state, it is obviously no longer “pure” capitalism but a special form of national economy. Pure capitalism means commodity production. And commodity production means work for an unknown and free market. But the capitalist “working” for defence does not “work” for the market at all—he works on government orders, very often with money loaned by the state. SOCIALISM OR EXPOSURE OF PLUNDER OF THE STATE? 69 We believe that to conceal the amount of profit made on this peculiar operation and to appropriate the profit in excess of what is necessary to cover the living expenses of a person actually participating in production is embezzlement. If you disagree, then you are clearly out of step with the overwhelming majority of the population. There is no shadow of doubt that by far most of the workers and peasants of Russia agree with us and would say so in plain language were the question put to them without evasions, excuses or diplomatic tricks. But if you do agree, then let us fight together against excuses and tricks. To make the greatest possible concessions on a common undertaking such as this fight and to show a maximum of tractability, we are proposing the following draft resolution to the Congress of Soviets: “The first step towards any regulation of, or even simple control over, production and distribution [note that does not belong to the text of the draft: even Minister Peshekhonov promised to strive to ensure “that all we have is divided equitably”], the first step in any serious struggle against economic dislocation and the catastrophe threatening the country, must be a decree abolishing commercial (including banking) secrecy in all transactions arising from supplies to the state or for defence in general. Such a decree should be supplemented immediately by a law treating as criminal offences all direct or indirect attempts to conceal pertinent documents or facts from persons or groups who have mandates from: “(a) any Soviet of Workers’ or Soldiers’ or Peasants’ Deputies; “(b) any trade union of industrial workers or office employees, etc.; “(c) any major political party (the idea of ‘major’ should be defined specifically, at least on the basis of votes received).” Everybody agrees that the immediate introduction of socialism in Russia is impossible. Does everybody agree that the exposure of plunder of the state is an immediate necessity? Pravda No. 7 7 , June 2 2 (9 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 70 CONFUSED AND FRIGHTENED The atmosphere in Petrograd is one of fright and confusion reaching truly unparalleled dimensions. This was illustrated by a small incident prior to the big incident of banning the demonstration fixed by our Party for Saturday. 35 This small incident was the seizure of Durnovo’s countryhouse. Minister Pereverzev first ordered the house cleared, but then declared at the Congress that he was letting the people use the garden and that the trade unions were not to be evicted from the house! All that was necessary, he said, was to arrest certain anarchists. 36 If the seizure of Durnovo’s country-house was unlawful, then it was wrong either to leave the garden for the people’s use or to allow the trade unions to remain in the house. If there were lawful grounds for arrest, the arrest had no bearing on the house, for it could have occurred either in the house or outside it. As it happened, the house was not “vacated”, nor were any arrests made. The government found itself confused and frightened. Had they not become nervous, there would have been no “incident”, for nothing has changed anyway. The big incident was the demonstration. Our Party’s Central Committee, together with a number of other organisations, including the Trade Union Bureau, resolved to call a peaceful demonstration, a march through the streets of the capital. In all constitutional countries, the holding of such a demonstration is an absolutely incontestable civil right. A CONFUSED AND FRIGHTENED 71 peaceful street demonstration calling, incidentally, for an amendment of the Constitution or a change in the government is in no way regarded as unlawful by the legislation of any free country. People who were confused and frightened, including, in particular, the majority at the Congress of Soviets, made an awful “fuss” over the demonstration. The Congress majority adopted a devastating resolution against the demonstration, full of abuse against our Party, and prohibited all demonstrations, including peaceful ones, for three days. When this formal decision had been adopted, the Central Committee of our Party, as early as 2 a.m. on Saturday, resolved to cancel the demonstration. The cancellation was effected on Saturday morning at an emergency meeting with district representatives. The question remains: how does our second “government”, the Congress of Soviets, explain its ban? Agreed that every party in a free country has the right to hold demonstrations, and every government can, after proclaiming a state of emergency, prohibit them. But the political question remains: why was the demonstration banned? Here is the only political motive, clearly stated in the resolution of the Congress of Soviets: “We know that concealed counter-revolutionaries want to take advantage of your demonstration [i.e., the one planned by our Party]....” That is the reason why the peaceful demonstration was banned. The Congress of Soviets “knows” that there are “concealed counter-revolutionaries” and that they wanted to “take advantage” of the action which our Party had planned. This statement by the Congress of Soviets is highly significant. And we must re-emphasise this factual statement, which by virtue of its factualness stands out from the spate of abuse levelled at us. What measures is our second government taking against the “concealed counter-revolutionaries”? What exactly does this government “know”? How exactly did the counter-revolutionaries wart to take advantage of one pretext or another? The people cannot and will not wait patiently and passively until those concealed counter-revolutionaries act. 72 V. I. L E N I N If our second government does not want to remain like people who by bans and torrents of abuse try to cover up their confusion and the fact that they have allowed themselves to be frightened by the Right, it will have to tell the people a great deal about the “concealed counter-revolutionaries” and do a great deal to combat them seriously. Pravda No. 7 9 , June 2 4 (1 1 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 73 INSINUATIONS Those who rant and rage and fulminate, who gnash their teeth and pour a ceaseless torrent of abusive and riot-raising words upon our Party, do not accuse us of anything directly. They merely “insinuate”. Insinuate what? There is only one thing they can insinuate: the Bolsheviks wanted to effect a coup d’état, they are Catilines, 37 and consequently they are monsters deserving to be torn to pieces. Our enemies cannot bring themselves to make this foolish statement openly, and so they are compelled to “insinuate” and rage in “rhetorics”. For this accusation is exceedingly stupid. A coup d’état through a peaceful demonstration, decided upon on Thursday, planned for Saturday and announced on Saturday morning! Now, gentlemen, whom are you trying to fool with your ridiculous insinuations? “A demand for the overthrow of the Provisional Government,” says the resolution of the Congress of Soviets. So the removal of some of the Ministers from the Provisional Government (one of the inscriptions on the planned streamers was to have read: “Down with the bourgeois members of the government!”) is a coup d’état, eh? Why, then, has no one tried, or even threatened, to institute proceedings against those who have repeatedly appeared in the Petrograd streets carrying the banner: “All power to the Soviet”? Those who rage have been frightened by their own shadow. A government which knows that it is supported in its 74 V. I. L E N I N entirety by the will of the majority of the people should not fear demonstrations announced in advance. It would not ban such demonstrations. Only those who realise they have no majority to back them, and who lack popular approval, can behave so savagely and make such insinuations in malicious articles. Pravda No. 7 9 , June 2 4 (1 1 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 75 “RUMOURS AGITATING THE POPULATION” The Provisional Government is calling upon the “population” today to stay calm in face of “the rumours that are being spread in the city and are agitating the population”. Doesn’t the Provisional Government think that one sentence in the resolution passed by the Congress of Soviets is, and should be, a thousand times more agitating than all “rumours”? That sentence reads: “We know that concealed counter-revolutionaries want to take advantage of your [Bolshevik] demonstration.” This is “more than rumours”. How can they fail to agitate the population? Pravda No. 7 9 , June 2 4 (1 1 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 76 A RIDDLE What is the difference between an ordinary bourgeois government and a government which is extraordinary, revolutionary, and which does not regard itself as bourgeois? Answer: An ordinary bourgeois government can ban demonstrations only on constitutional grounds and after declaring martial law. An extraordinary and near-socialist government can ban demonstrations without any grounds and on the strength of “facts” known to it alone. Pravda No. 7 9 , June 2 4 (1 1 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 77 DRAFT STATEMENT BY THE C.C. R.S.D.L.P.( B.) AND THE BUREAU OF THE BOLSHEVIK GROUP TO THE ALL-RUSSIA CONGRESS OF SOVIETS REGARDING THE BAN ON THE DEMONSTRATION 38 We hold that the unique institution known as the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies is the nearest approach to a popular body expressing the will of the majority of the people, to a revolutionary parliament. On principle we have been, and are, in favour of all power passing into the hands of such a body, despite the fact that at present it is in the hands of the defencist Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, who are hostile to the party of the proletariat. The fact that the position of the Soviets is internally contradictory, shaky and unstable, and powerless in regard to the counter-revolution, is due to their tolerating a nest of counter-revolution—the ten bourgeois Ministers—and to their not breaking with Anglo-French imperialist capital. The shakiness of their position accounts for the nervousness of the present majority of the Soviets and their touchiness towards those who point out this shakiness. We refuse to co-ordinate our struggle against the counterrevolution with the “struggle” of the defencist and ministerialist parties. We cannot recognise the decisions of the Soviets as proper decisions taken by a proper government as long as there remain the ten bourgeois, counter-revolutionary Ministers who are part and parcel of the Milyukov spirit and the Milyukov class. But even if the Soviets seized all power (which we want and would always support), and even if they became an omnipotent revolutionary parliament, we would not submit to decisions that restrained our freedom of propaganda, for instance, prohibiting leaflets at the front or in the 78 V. I. L E N I N rear, banning peaceful demonstrations, and so on. In that event we would prefer to become an illegal, officially persecuted party, rather than give up our Marxist, internationalist principles. We shall act similarly if the Congress of Soviets sees fit to brand us officially before the entire population of Russia as “enemies of the people” or as “enemies of the revolution”. We regard only one of the motives given for banning the demonstration for three days as conditionally valid, namely, that concealed counter-revolutionaries lying in wait wanted to take advantage of the demonstration. If the facts underlying this motive are correct, and if the names of the counterrevolutionaries are known to the entire Soviet (as they are known to us privately from the verbal information given by Lieber and others on the Executive Committee), then these counter-revolutionaries should be immediately proclaimed enemies of the people and arrested, and their followers and helpers tried in court. As long as the Soviet does not take such measures, even its valid motive is only conditionally valid, or altogether invalid. Written on June 1 1 (2 4 ), 1 9 1 7 First published in 1 9 2 4 , in Byloye No. 2 4 Published according to the manuscript 79 SPEECH ON THE CANCELLATION OF THE DEMONSTRATION, DELIVERED AT A MEETING OF THE PETROGRAD COMMITTEE OF THE R.S.D.L.P.(B.), JUNE 11 (24), 1917 The dissatisfaction voiced by most comrades over the cancellation of the demonstration is quite natural, but the Central Committee had no alternative for two reasons: first, we were formally banned from holding the demonstration by the semi-organ of power; secondly, the motive for the ban was stated as follows: “We know that concealed forces of the counter-revolution want to take advantage of your demonstration.” In support of this motive, we were given names, such as that of a general, whom they promised to arrest within three days, and others. And they declared that a demonstration of the Black Hundreds 39 had been arranged for June 10 with the intention of breaking into our demonstration and turning it into a skirmish. Even in ordinary warfare, it sometimes happens that a planned offensive has to be cancelled for strategic reasons. This is all the more likely to occur in class warfare, depending on the vacillation of the middle, petty-bourgeois groups. We must be able to take account of the situation and be bold in adopting decisions. The cancellation was absolutely necessary, as subsequent developments proved. Today Tsereteli has delivered his historical and hysterical speech. 40 Today the revolution has entered a new phase of its development. They began by banning our peaceful demonstration for three days, and now they want to ban it for the entire duration of the Congress. They 80 V. I. L E N I N demand that we obey the decision of the Congress under threat of expulsion from the Congress. But we have declared that we prefer arrest rather than renounce freedom of propaganda. Tsereteli, whose speech showed him up as a blatant counter-revolutionary, declared that the Bolsheviks must not be fought by words and resolutions, but must be deprived of all the technical means they have at their disposal. The result of all bourgeois revolutions is: first arm the proletariat and then disarm it to prevent it from going any further. The fact that a peaceful demonstration had to be banned shows that the situation must be very serious. Tsereteli, who emerged from the depths of the Provisional Government to attend the Congress, clearly expressed a desire to disarm the workers. He was savagely furious in demanding that the Bolshevik Party be ousted from the ranks of the revolutionary democrats. The workers must clearly realise that there can now be no question of a peaceful demonstration. The situation is far more serious than we thought. We were going to hold a peaceful demonstration in order to exercise maximum pressure on the decisions of the Congress—that is our right—but we are accused of hatching a plot to arrest the government. Tsereteli says that there are no counter-revolutionaries apart from the Bolsheviks. The meeting that passed judgement on us was organised with particular solemnity. It consisted of the Congress Steering Committee, the Executive Committee of the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies in full force and the bureaus of the groups of all the parties attending the Congress. At that meeting they blurted out the whole truth, namely, that they are calling an offensive against us. The proletariat must reply by showing the maximum calmness, caution, restraint and organisation, and must remember that peaceful processions are a thing of the past. We must give them no pretext for attack. Let them attack, and the workers will realise that it is an attack on the very existence of the proletariat. But reality is on our side, and it is a moot point whether their attack will succeed—at the front there are the troops, among whom discontent is SPEECH AT A MEETING OF PETROGRAD COMMITTEE R.S.D.L.P.(B.) 81 very strong, and in the rear there is the high cost of living, economic dislocation and so on. The Central Committee does not want to force your decision. Your right, the right to protest against the actions of the Central Committee, is a legitimate one, and your decision must be a free one. First published in 1 9 2 3 , in Krasnaya Letopis No. 9 Published according to the minutes of the meetings of the Petrograd Committee of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.), 1 9 1 7 82 THE TURNING-POINT At the first stage of its development the Russian revolution transferred power to the imperialist bourgeoisie, and created, alongside of that power, the Soviets of Deputies, with the petty-bourgeois democrats in the majority. The second stage of the revolution (May 6) formally removed from power the cynically frank spokesmen of imperialism, Milyukov and Guchkov, and virtually transformed the majority parties in the Soviets into governing parties. Our Party remained, before and after May 6, a minority opposition. This was inevitable, for we are the party of the socialist proletariat, a party holding an internationalist position. A socialist proletariat whose outlook during an imperialist war is internationalist cannot but be in opposition to any power waging that war, regardless of whether that power is a monarchy or republic, or is held by defencist “socialists”. And the party of the socialist proletariat is bound to attract an increasingly large mass of people who are being ruined by the protracted war and are growing distrustful of “socialists” committed to the service of imperialism, in the same way as they previously grew distrustful of imperialists themselves. The struggle against our Party, therefore, began in the very first days of the revolution. And however infamous and abominable the forms of struggle carried on by the Cadets and the Plekhanov people against the party of the proletariat, the meaning of the struggle is quite clear. It is the same struggle as the imperialists and the Scheidemann people waged against Liebknecht and Adler (both of whom were, in fact, declared “mad” by the Central organ of the German THE TURNING - POINT 83 “socialists”, to say nothing of the bourgeois press, which described these comrades simply as “traitors” working for Britain). This is a struggle of the whole of bourgeois society, including the petty-bourgeois democrats, however r-r-revolutionary they may be, against the socialist, internationalist proletariat. In Russia, this struggle has reached a stage where the imperialists are trying, through the petty-bourgeois-democratic leaders, the Tseretelis, Chernovs, etc., to destroy the growing power of the workers’ party at a single hard and decisive blow. As a pretext for this decisive blow, Minister Tsereteli has struck upon a method repeatedly used by counter-revolutionaries: the charge of conspiracy. This charge is a mere pretext. The point is that the petty-bourgeois democrats, who take their cue from the Russian and the Allied imperialists, need to do away with the internationalist socialists once and for all. They think that the moment is ripe for the blow. They are agitated and frightened, and under the whip of their masters they have made up their minds: now or never. The socialist proletariat and our Party must be as cool and collected as possible, must show the greatest staunchness and vigilance. Let the future Cavaignacs 41 begin first. Our Party conference has already given warning of their arrival. The workers of Petrograd will give them no opportunity to disclaim responsibility. They will bide their time, gathering their forces and preparing for resistance when those gentlemen decide to turn from words to action. Pravda No. 8 0 , June 2 6 (1 3 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 84 LETTER TO THE EDITOR I am being asked about the reason for my absence at the meeting held on Sunday evening by the Executive Committee, the Steering Committee of the Congress and the bureaus of all groups. The reason is that I upheld the refusal of the Bolsheviks, as a matter of principle, to participate in the meeting, and urged that they present a written statement to the effect that they refuse to participate in any meetings on such questions (the ban on demonstrations). N. Lenin Pravda No. 8 0 , June 2 6 (1 3 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 85 THE FOREIGN POLICY OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION No idea could be more erroneous or harmful than to separate foreign from home policy. The monstrous falsity of this separation becomes even more monstrous in war-time. Yet the bourgeoisie are doing everything possible and impossible to suggest and promote this idea. Popular ignorance of foreign policy is incomparably greater than of home policy. The “secrecy” of diplomatic relations is sacredly observed in the freest of capitalist countries, in the most democratic republics. Popular deception has become a real art in foreign “affairs”, and our revolution suffers very badly from this deception. The poison of deception is spread far and wide by the millions of copies of bourgeois newspapers. You must side with one of the two immensely wealthy and immensely powerful groups of imperialist predators—that is how capitalist reality poses the basic issue of present-day foreign policy. That is how this issue is posed by the capitalist class. And that, it goes without saying, is how it is posed by the broad mass of the petty bourgeoisie who have retained their old, capitalist views and prejudices. Those whose thinking does not go beyond capitalist relations cannot understand why the workers, if they are politically conscious, cannot side with either group of imperialist plunderers. Conversely, the worker cannot understand why socialists who remain true to the fraternal alliance of the workers of the world against the capitalists of the world are accused of being inclined towards a separate peace treaty with the Germans, or of virtually serving such a peace treaty. Under no circumstances can these socialists (and hence 86 V. I. L E N I N the Bolsheviks) agree to a separate peace treaty between the capitalists. The basis for the foreign policy of the politically-conscious proletariat is no separate peace treaty with the German capitalists and no alliance with the Anglo-French capitalists. By rising up in arms against that programme because they fear a break with “Britain and France”, our Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries are virtually carrying out a capitalist foreign policy programme, while embellishing it with florid and innocent phrases about “revision of treaties”, declarations in support of “peace without annexations”, etc. All these pious wishes are doomed to remain hollow phrases, for capitalist reality puts the issue bluntly: either submit to the imperialists of one of the two groups, or wage a revolutionary struggle against all imperialists. Have we any allies for this struggle? Yes. The oppressed classes of Europe, primarily the proletariat. The peoples oppressed by imperialism, primarily our neighbours in Asia. The Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, who call themselves “revolutionary democrats”, are in fact pursuing a counter-revolutionary and anti-democratic foreign policy. Were they revolutionaries, they would advise the workers and peasants of Russia to march at the head of all peoples oppressed by imperialism and of all the oppressed classes. “But in that event the capitalists of all other countries would rally against Russia,” the frightened philistines object. That is not impossible. No “revolutionary” democrat has the right to renounce revolutionary war in advance. But the practical likelihood of such a war is not very great. The British and German imperialists will not be able to “come to terms” against revolutionary Russia. The Russian revolution, which as early as 1905 led to revolutions in Turkey, Persia and China, would have placed the German and British imperialists in a very difficult position if it had begun to establish a truly revolutionary alliance of the workers and peasants of the colonies and semicolonies against the despots, against the khans, for expulsion of the Germans from Turkey, the British from Turkey, Persia, India, Egypt, etc. Social-chauvinists, both French and Russian, like to refer to 1793. By this spectacular reference they try to cover THE FOREIGN POLICY OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 87 up their betrayal of the revolution. But people here refuse to think that the truly “revolutionary democrats in Russia could and should act in the spirit of 1793 towards the oppressed and backward nations. The foreign policy of the capitalists and the petty bourgeoisie is “alliance” with the imperialists, that is, disgraceful dependence on them. The foreign policy of the proletariat is alliance with the revolutionaries of the advanced countries and with all the oppressed nations against all and any imperialists. Pravda No. 8 1 , June 2 7 (1 4 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 88 A CONTRADICTORY STAND The Congress resolution in today’s papers condemning our Party will no doubt be compared by every class-conscious worker and soldier with our Party’s statement addressed to the All-Russia Congress of Soviets, a statement made public on the 11th, and printed in today’s Pravda.42 The contradictory nature of the stand taken by the Congress leaders has been revealed by their resolution and particularly by our statement. “The basis for the success and strength of the Russian revolution is the unity of all revolutionary democrats—the workers, soldiers, and peasants,” reads the first and cardinal clause of the Congress resolution. And, of course, this point would undoubtedly be correct if what it meant by “unity” were unity in the struggle against the counter-revolution. But what if through their leaders a certain number of the “workers, soldiers and peasants” form a bloc and unite with the counter-revolution? Isn’t it clear that this section of the “democrats” is in reality no longer “revolutionary”? The Narodniks (Socialist-Revolutionaries) and the Mensheviks will probably be indignant at the mere fact that we think it possible, that we think it conceivable, for any section of the “workers, soldiers and peasants” to “unite” with the counter-revolution. To those who attempted to obscure our arguments and hush up the issue by indignation, we would reply by simply referring them to the third clause of the same resolution: “. . . the resistance of the counter-revolutionary groups of the propertied classes is growing”. This is an important statement. It would have bean perfectly correct if it had said: the bourgeoisie, or capitalists, and landowners (instead A CONTRADICTORY STAND 89 of the “propertied classes”, which include the well-to-do section of the petty bourgeoisie). Unquestionably, the resistance of the bourgeoisie is growing. But then it is the bourgeoisie that control the majority in the Provisional Government with whom the SocialistRevolutionary and the Menshevik leaders have united, not only in general political terms, but also organisationally, in one institution, the Ministry! This is the pivot of the contradictory stand taken by the leaders of the Congress, this is the fundamental source of the instability of their entire policy. They are allied with the bourgeoisie via the government, where they are controlled by the bourgeois Ministers forming the majority. At the same time, they are forced to admit that “the resistance of the counter-revolutionary groups of the propertied classes is growing”! It is obvious that, under the circumstances, the party of the revolutionary proletariat can accept “unity” with the “revolutionary” democrats (revolutionary in word but not deed) only up to a certain point. We are for unity with them as long as they fight against the counter-revolution. We are against unity with them as long as they ally themselves with the counter-revolution. The “growing resistance” of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie is an urgent problem posed by reality. To evade this main and fundamental issue through non-committal phrases about “the unity and co-ordinated actions of the revolutionary democrats”, thereby glossing over the unity or co-ordination between a section of the revolutionary democrats and the counter-revolution, would be illogical and foolish. Hence, all the arguments in the Congress resolution condemning our demonstration as “clandestine” and maintaining that mass actions and demonstrations are permissible only with the knowledge or consent of the Soviets, fall to the ground as a matter of principle. These arguments are of no consequence at all. The workers’ party will never accept them, as we have already said in our statement to the All-Russia Congress. For every demonstration is merely a means of agitation as long as it is peaceful, and you can neither ban agitation nor impose uniformity on it. FROM MARX TO MAO  NOT FOR COMMERCIAL DISTRIBUTION 90 V. I. L E N I N On the formal side, the resolution is even weaker. To ban or decree you must be vested with state power. First achieve that, you gentlemen who now lead the Congress—we are in favour of it, although you are our opponents—and then you will have the right to ban or decree. At the moment you do not wield state power, at the moment you allow yourselves to be swayed by the ten bourgeois Ministers—you are caught in the meshes of your own weakness and indecision. Phrases like a “clearly expressed will”, and so on, will not do. A will, if it is the will of the state, must be expressed in the form of a law established by the state. Otherwise the word “will” is an empty sound. The moment you thought of law, gentlemen, you would have been certain to recall that the Constitution of a free republic cannot ban peaceful demonstrations or any mass actions by any party or group. A contradictory stand has bred very strange revolutionary ideas—ideas as to the struggle against the counter-revolution, ideas about the state (Constitution), and ideas of law in general. With the furious abuse against our Party refuted, nothing is left, nothing whatsoever! Despite the furious abuse against our proposed demonstration, the demonstration is to be held a week later. Pravda No. 8 1 , June 2 7 (1 4 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 91 THE UKRAINE The new, coalition Provisional Government’s policy failure is becoming more and more obvious. The Universal Act on the organisation of the Ukraine, issued by the Ukrainian Central Rada 43 and adopted on June 11, 1917, by the All-Ukraine Army Congress, plainly exposes that policy and furnishes documentary proof of its failure. “Without seceding from Russia, without breaking away from the Russian State,” reads the Act, “let the Ukrainian people have the right to shape their own life on their own soil. . . . All laws by which order is to be established here in the Ukraine shall be passed solely by this Ukrainian Assembly. And laws establishing order throughout the Russian State must be passed by the All-Russia Parliament.” These are perfectly clear words. They state very specifically that the Ukrainian people do not wish to secede from Russia at present. They demand autonomy without denying the need for the supreme authority of the “All-Russia Parliament”. No democrat, let alone a socialist, will venture to deny the complete legitimacy of the Ukraine’s demands. And no democrat can deny the Ukraine’s right to freely secede from Russia. Only unqualified recognition of this right makes it possible to advocate a free union of the Ukrainians and the Great Russians, a voluntary association of the two peoples in one state. Only unqualified recognition of this right can actually break completely and irrevocably with the accursed tsarist past, when everything was done to bring about a mutual estrangement of the two peoples so close to each other in language, territory, character and history. Accursed tsarism made the Great Russians executioners of the Ukrainian people, and fomented in them a hatred for 92 V. I. L E N I N those who even forbade Ukrainian children to speak and study in their native tongue. Russia’s revolutionary democrats, if they want to be truly revolutionary and truly democratic, must break with that past, must regain for themselves, for the workers and peasants of Russia, the brotherly trust of the Ukrainian workers and peasants. This cannot be done without full recognition of the Ukraine’s rights, including the right to free secession. We do not favour the existence of small states. We stand for the closest union of the workers of the world against “their own” capitalists and those of all other countries. But for this union to be voluntary, the Russian worker, who does not for a moment trust the Russian or the Ukrainian bourgeoisie in anything, now stands for the right of the Ukrainians to secede, without imposing his friendship upon them, but striving to win their friendship by treating them as an equal, as an ally and brother in the struggle for socialism. * * * Rech, the paper of the embittered bourgeois counterrevolutionaries, who are half demented with rage, savagely attacks the Ukrainians for their “unauthorised” decision. “That act by the Ukrainians,” it says, “is a downright crime under the law, and calls for the immediate application of severe legitimate punitive measures.” There is nothing to add to this attack by the savage bourgeois counter-revolutionaries. Down with the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie! Long live the free union of free peasants and workers of a free Ukraine with the workers and peasants of revolutionary Russia! Pravda No. 8 2 , June 2 8 (1 5 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 93 THE CLASS ORIGINS OF PRESENT-DAY AND “FUTURE” CAVAIGNACS “When a real Cavaignac comes, we shall fight in the same ranks with you,” we were told in No. 80 of Rabochaya Gazeta, organ of the very same Menshevik party whose member, Minister Tsereteli, in his notorious speech, went to such lengths as to threaten to disarm the Petrograd workers. The above-quoted statement clearly brings out the fundamental errors of Russia’s two ruling parties, the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, and therefore deserves attention. The ministerial organ’s arguments mean that you are looking for Cavaignacs at the wrong time and in the wrong place. Remember the class role played by Cavaignac. In February 1848 the French monarchy was overthrown. The bourgeois republicans came to power. Like our Cadets, they wanted “order”, by which they meant the restoration and strengthening of monarchic instruments for oppressing the masses: the police, the standing army and the privileged bureaucracy. Like our Cadets, they wanted to put an end to the revolution, for they hated the revolutionary workers with their “social” (i.e., socialist) aspirations, at that time very hazy. Like our Cadets, they were implacably hostile to the policy of extending the French Revolution to the rest of Europe, the policy of transforming it into a world proletarian revolution. Like our Cadets, they skilfully used the petty-bourgeois “socialism” of Louis Blanc by making him a Minister and so transforming him from leader of the socialist workers, which he had wanted to be, into an appendage, a hanger-on, of the bourgeoisie. These were the class interests, the position and policy of the ruling class. 94 V. I. L E N I N The petty bourgeoisie, vacillating, frightened by the red spectre, and falling for the outcries against the “anarchists”, were another basic social force. Dreamily and bombastically “socialist” in their aspirations, and readily calling themselves “socialist democrats” (even this term is now taken up by the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks!), the petty bourgeoisie were afraid to entrust themselves to the leadership of the revolutionary proletariat, and did not realise that fear condemned them to entrusting themselves to the bourgeoisie. For there can be no “middle” course in a society rent by bitter class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, particularly when this struggle is inevitably aggravated by a revolution. And the whole essence of the class position and aspirations of the petty bourgeoisie is that they want the impossible, that they aspire to the impossible, i.e., to a “middle course”. The third decisive class force was the proletariat, which aspired not to “reconcile itself” with the bourgeoisie, but to defeat them, to fearlessly promote the revolution, doing so, moreover, on an international scale. That was the objective historical soil which brought forth Cavaignac. The vacillation of the petty bourgeoisie “debarred” them from an active role, and the French Cadet, General Cavaignac, taking advantage of the petty bourgeoisie’s fear of entrusting themselves to the proletariat, decided to disarm the Paris workers and shoot them down en masse. The revolution ended in that historic shooting. The petty bourgeoisie, while numerically superior, had been and remained the politically impotent tail of the bourgeoisie, and three years later France saw the restoration of a particularly vile form of Caesarist monarchy. Tsereteli’s historic speech on June 11, clearly inspired by the Cadet Cavaignacs (perhaps directly inspired by the bourgeois Ministers, or perhaps indirectly prompted by the bourgeois press and bourgeois public opinion—it does not matter which), was remarkable and historic in that Tsereteli let out, with inimitable naïveté, the “secret malady” of the entire petty bourgeoisie, both Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik. This “secret malady” consists, first, in a complete inability to pursue an independent policy; secondly, in the fear to entrust themselves to the revolutionary pro- CLASS ORIGINS OF PRESENT-DAY AND “FUTURE” CAVAIGNACS 95 letariat and wholeheartedly support the independent policy of the latter; thirdly, in a drift—inevitably following from this—towards submitting to the Cadets or to the bourgeoisie in general (i.e., submitting to the Cavaignacs). This is the heart of the matter. Tsereteli, Chernov and even Kerensky are not destined as individuals to play the role of Cavaignacs. There will be other people to do that, people who at the right moment will tell the Russian Louis Blancs: “Step aside.” But the Tseretelis and Chernovs are leaders pursuing a petty-bourgeois policy that makes the appearance of Cavaignacs possible and necessary. “When a real Cavaignac comes, we shall be with you”— an excellent promise, a splendid intention! Only, it is a pity that it reveals a misunderstanding of the class struggle, typical of the sentimental or timid petty bourgeoisie. For a Cavaignac is not an accident, his “advent” is not an isolated development. A Cavaignac represents a class (the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie) and carries out the policies of that class. And it is that class and those policies that you Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik gentlemen support today. It is to that class and its policies that you, who at the moment admittedly command a majority in the country, give predominance in the government, i.e., an excellent basis on which to work. Indeed, the All-Russia Peasant Congress was almost entirely dominated by the Socialist-Revolutionaries. At the All-Russia Congress of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik bloc had a vast majority. The same is true of the elections to the Petrograd district councils. The fact is there: the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks are the ruling party now. And this ruling party is voluntarily ceding power (the majority in the government) to the party of the Cavaignacs!! Wherever there’s a swamp there’s sure to be the devil. Once there is a shaky, vacillating petty bourgeoisie dreading the revolution’s progress, the Cavaignacs are sure to appear. In Russia there are many things now that make our revolution different from the French Revolution of 1848: the imperialist war, the proximity of more advanced countries (and not of more backward ones, as was the case of France at the time), an agrarian and a national movement. But all 96 V. I. L E N I N this may modify only the form in which the Cavaignacs come forward, the moment, the external causes, etc. It cannot change the essence of the matter, for the essence lies in the class relationships. In words, Louis Blanc, too, was as far removed from Cavaignac as heaven is from earth. Louis Blanc, too, made countless promises “to fight in the same ranks” as the revolutionary workers against the bourgeois counterrevolutionaries. Nevertheless, no Marxist historian, no socialist, would venture to doubt that it was the weakness, the instability, the credulity of the Louis Blancs with regard to the bourgeoisie that brought forth Cavaignac and assured his success. The Russian Cavaignacs are inevitable products of the counter-revolutionary character of the Russian bourgeoisie led by the Cadets and of the instability, timidity and vacillation of the petty-bourgeois parties of the SocialistRevolutionaries and the Mensheviks. Whether the Russian Cavaignacs will win or lose the battle depends solely on the staunchness, vigilance, and strength of Russia’s revolutionary workers. Pravda No. 8 3 , June 2 9 (1 6 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 97 HOW TO FIGHT COUNTER-REVOLUTION Only a few days ago, Minister Tsereteli declared in his “historic” speech that there was no counter-revolution. Today the ministerial Rabochaya Gazeta strikes an entirely different note in the article “Dangerous Symptoms”. “There are clear indications that a counter-revolution is afoot.” Thanks for finally admitting the fact at least. But the ministerial organ goes on to say: “We do not know where it [the counter-revolution] has its headquarters, nor to what extent it is organised.” Is that so? You don’t know where the counter-revolution has its headquarters! Permit us to help you out of your ignorance. The counter-revolution which is afoot has its headquarters in the Provisional Government, in the very same coalition Ministry in which you gentlemen have six of your colleagues! The counter-revolution has its headquarters within the walls of the conference hall of the Fourth Duma, where Milyukov, Rodzyanko, Shulgin, Guchkov, A. Shingaryov, Manuilov and Co. rule, for the Cadets in the coalition Ministry are the right hand of Milyukov and Co. The staff of the counter-revolution is recruited from among the reactionary generals. In includes certain retired high-ranking officers. If you want to do more than merely complain about the counter-revolution, if you want to fight it, you must join us in saying: Down with the ten capitalist Ministers! Rabochaya Gazeta later points out that the counter-revolution’s chief instrument is the press, which is fomenting anti-semitism, inciting the masses against the Jews. That is correct. But what is the conclusion? You are a ministerial 98 V. I. L E N I N party, gentlemen, aren’t you? What have you done to curb the infamous counter-revolutionary press? Do you think you can, while calling yourselves “revolutionary democrats”, refuse to take revolutionary measures against the unbridled, blatantly counter-revolutionary press? And then, why don’t you start a government organ that would publish advertisements and deprive the infamous counter-revolutionary press of its chief source of income and hence of its main chance to deceive the people? What evidence is there, indeed, that thousands upon thousands of people must now be kept away from productive labour in order to publish Novoye Vremya, Malenkaya Gazeta, 44 Russkaya Volya 45 and other reptiles? What have you done to fight the counter-revolutionary press which is doing all it can to bait our Party? Nothing! You yourselves have supplied material for that baiting. You have been busy fighting the danger on the Left. You are reaping what you have sown, gentlemen. So it was, so it will be—as long as you continue to vacillate between the bourgeoisie and the revolutionary proletariat. Pravda No. 8 4 , June 3 0 (1 7 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 99 THE UKRAINE AND THE DEFEAT OF THE RULING PARTIES OF RUSSIA The ruling parties of Russia, i.e., the Cadets, who have a majority in the government and the omnipotence of capital in the economy, and the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, who now have an obvious majority in the country (but who are powerless in the government and in the country’s capitalist economy), have all suffered an obvious defeat over the Ukrainian issue, and what is more, a nation-wide defeat over an issue of vast importance. The Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks put up with the fact that the Provisional Government of the Cadets, i.e., of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie, had not done its elementary democratic duty, had not declared itself in favour of the Ukraine’s autonomy and of her right to freely secede. According to Minister Chernov’s report in today’s Dyelo Naroda, the Ukrainians demanded far less than that. They only wanted the Provisional Government “to declare by a special act that it is not opposed to the Ukrainian people’s right to autonomy”. This is a most modest and legitimate demand. The other two demands are just as modest: (1) The Ukraine should through her own people elect one representative to the central Russian Government. The modesty of this demand can be seen from the fact that in 1897 the Great Russians in Russia were estimated at 43 per cent, and the Ukrainians at 17 per cent of the population. In other words, the Ukrainians could have insisted on having not one but six Ministers out of the sixteen!! (2) In the Ukraine 100 V. I. L E N I N there should be “one representative of the central Russian Government elected by the local population”. What could be more legitimate than this? By what right does a democrat make free to depart from the principle, proved in theory and confirmed by the experience of democratic revolutions, that “no officials for the local population should be appointed from above”?? The Provisional Government’s rejection of these very modest and legitimate demands was an instance of utter shamelessness, of savage impertinence, on the part of the counter-revolutionaries, and a true manifestation of the policy of Derzhimorda 46 . The Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks made a mockery of their own party programmes by tolerating that in the government, and are now defending it in their papers!! To what a disgraceful level the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks have fallen! How pitiful the subterfuges of their organs, Dyelo Naroda and Rabochaya Gazeta, are today! Chaos, confusion, “Leninism over the national question” anarchy—these are a wild landowner’s outcries 47 that the two newspapers are hurling at the Ukrainians. Let us ignore their outcries. What is the substance of their argument? Their only argument is that until a Constituent Assembly is convened it will be impossible to settle in a “regular” manner the issue of the Ukraine’s boundaries, her freedom, her right to collect taxes, and so on and so forth. They insist on a “guarantee of regularity”—this expression used in Rabochaya Gazeta’s editorial gives the whole gist of their argument. But that is an obvious lie, gentlemen, it is a manifestly shameless thing on the part of the counter-revolutionaries. For to advance such an argument means actually helping real traitors to the revolution!! “Guarantees of regularity” ... stop and think for a second. Nowhere in Russia, neither in the central government nor in any local department (except in a very small institution, the Petrograd district councils), is there any guarantee of regularity. In fact, there is admittedly no regularity. There is admittedly no “regularity” in the existence of the Duma or of the Council of State. 48 UKRAINE AND DEFEAT OF RULING PARTIES OF RUSSIA 101 There is admittedly no “regularity” in the composition of the Provisional Government, for its composition is a mockery of the will and intelligence of the majority of Russia’s workers, soldiers and peasants. There is admittedly no “regularity” in the composition of the Soviets (of Workers’, Peasants’ and Soldiers’ Deputies), for these institutions have not yet worked out any guarantees of really complete and strictly democratic elections. Still, this does not prevent either our Party or the mass of the workers and peasants from regarding the Soviets as the best exponent of the will of the majority of the population so far. Nowhere in Russia are there, can there be, or have there ever been at a revolutionary time like the present any “guarantees of regularity”. Everyone realises that, no one asks anything different, everyone is aware that it is inevitable. It is only for the Ukraine that “we” demand “guarantees of regularity ” ! You are paralysed with fear, Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik gentlemen, having yielded to the counterrevolutionary howls of the Great-Russian landowners and capitalists led by Rodzyanko, Milyukov, Lvov, Tereshchenko, Nekrasov, Shingaryov and Co. You are already the perfect picture of people overawed by the rising Cavaignacs (and those “lying low”). There is absolutely nothing terrible, not the shadow of anarchy or chaos, either in the resolutions or in the demands of the Ukrainians. Accede to their most legitimate and most modest demands and authority will be just as effective in the Ukraine as it is everywhere in Russia, where the Soviets (which have no “guarantees of regularity”!!) are the sole authority. You and all the peoples of Russia will be given a “guarantee of regularity” by the future Diets, by the future Constituent Assembly, not only in regard to the Ukrainian issue, but in regard to all issues. For at this moment there is admittedly no “regularity” in Russia about any issue. Accede to the Ukrainians—common sense demands it. For, unless you do, things will be worse. Force will not check the Ukrainians. It will only embitter them. Accede to the Ukrainians, and you will open the way to mutual confidence and brotherly union between the two nations on the basis of equality! 102 V. I. L E N I N The Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks, who constitute ruling parties, have been defeated over the Ukrainian issue by yielding to the counter-revolutionary Cadet Cavaignacs. Pravda No. 8 4 , June 3 0 (1 7 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 103 PROSECUTE RODZYANKO AND JUNKOVSKY FOR CONCEALING AN AGENT PROVOCATEUR! The findings of the committee of inquiry into the case of the agent provocateur Malinovsky indicate that the following fact has been established: Both Junkovsky and Rodzyanko knew, not later than May 7, 1914, that Malinovsky was an agent provocateur. 49 Neither of the two leaders warned the political parties in the Duma, primarily the Bolsheviks, of the agent provocateur operating in their midst!! Isn’t that a crime? How can Junkovsky and Rodzyanko be tolerated after that among honest citizens? Let all political parties think it over, and let them voice their opinion! Pravda No. 8 4 , June 3 0 (1 7 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 104 STRANGE MISQUOTATIONS The newspapers Dyen 50 and Novaya Zhizn, which yesterday published a more detailed report of the findings of the committee of inquiry, 51 have quoted a passage from my testimony that is missing in Birzhevka, 52 which in certain respects has published an even more complete report of the findings. Both of the first-mentioned papers printed a quotation from my testimony that begins with the words: “I do not believe there are any agents provocateurs involved here.” There are no dots before the quotation, and the perfectly absurd inference is that now “I do not believe”. Only an extremely strange misquotation by both papers could result in such nonsense. What I did testify was this: “I personally have often had to (before Malinovsky was found to be an agent provocateur) reason as follows: after the Azef 53 case nothing can surprise me. But I do not believe there are any agents provocateurs involved here, not only because I see neither proof nor evidence, but also because” (and so on, as quoted by Dyen: had Malinovsky been an agent provocateur, the secret police would not have gained as much as they had expected, for we have been doing everything through two legal posts, etc.). And so, my testimony concerned the past. Dyen and Novaya Zhizn * have by a strange misquotation attributed to me an absurdity implying that I spoke of the present. The result is the direct opposite of what I actually said. Pravda No. 8 4 , June 3 0 (1 7 ), 1 9 1 7 Signed: N. Lenin Published according to the Pravda text * Both newspapers contain another misprint: “The Bolsheviks will not organise an armed rising.” The word not should be taken out. 105 RULING AND RESPONSIBLE PARTIES The formation of a united or federal Central Committee by the Congress of Soviets and the Executive Committee of the Peasant Congress is due to take place in the next few days. This question is up for discussion and will be settled in a matter of days. The petty squabble between the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks over the forms in which the Central Committee should be constituted deserves no attention whatsoever, for this fight between two parties, both of which advocate defencism (i.e., support for the predatory war) and ministerialism, i.e., support for the government of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie, is much too petty. The formation of a Central Committee is of vast importance as the ultimate feature showing the distinction between the latest political situation and previous ones. Typical of the new political situation is the final establishment that most people today follow the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties, which, as we know, form a bloc. The All-Russia Peasant Congress and the All-Russia Congress of Soviets of Soldiers’ and Workers’ Deputies, now in session, have finally established, after the elections to the Petrograd district councils, that the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik bloc is the ruling party in Russia. That bloc admittedly has a majority now among the people. There can be no doubt that it will also have a majority in the united or federal Central Committee of Soviets (or the Council of Soviets—no decision seems to have been taken on the name so far) now being formed. The Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks are ruling and responsible parties. This is the fundamental fact about the new political situation. Prior to the elections in Petrograd, and prior to 106 V. I. L E N I N the Peasant Congress and the Congress of Soviets, the Mensheviks and the Socialist-Revolutionaries were in a position to take refuge, at least with a hint of plausibility, in the argument that the will of the majority was unknown, that the Cadets were probably likewise close to the majority, and so on and so forth. But these subterfuges cannot be used any longer. The fog which some people artificially worked up has dispersed. You have a majority, gentlemen of the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties, you are the ruling parties, or rather the ruling bloc. You are responsible. In propaganda and agitation in general, and in the Constituent Assembly election campaign in particular, our chief task now is to explain to the mass of the workers and peasants, as carefully, efficiently and clearly as possible, that it is the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties, the ruling parties, that are responsible for our country’s policy today. The situation was different before, because they had not yet revealed their majority as parties, and readily posed as an “opposition” to the ruling Cadets. But now it is beyond doubt that the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks command a majority. They are responsible for the entire policy of the country. They are now responsible for the results of the six weeks’ rule of the “coalition Ministry”. They are responsible for the fact that most of the cabinet Ministers represent the party of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie. Everyone knows, sees and feels that these Ministers could not have kept their posts for a single day without the consent of the Congress of Soviets and the AllRussia Peasant Congress. The Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks are responsible for the fundamental policy contradictions that are making themselves felt more and more sharply and painfully, and are imposing themselves on the people more and more obviously. In words, they “condemn” the predatory war, and “demand” peace without annexations. In reality they continue the predatory war in alliance with notorious predators, the imperialists of Britain, France, etc. In reality they are preparing for an offensive at the instance of these allies, in RULING AND RESPONSIBLE PARTIES 107 keeping with the secret predatory treaties which Nicholas II concluded with a view to enriching the Russian landowners and capitalists. In reality their policy is one of annexation, i.e., the forcible incorporation of nations (Albania, Greece) in one country or one group of imperialists, a policy of annexation also inside “revolutionary” Russia (which is, however, following a counter-revolutionary course), and treating Finland and the Ukraine as if they were annexed nations and not really free, really equal nations having an indisputable right both to autonomy and to secession. In words, “the resistance of the capitalists has apparently been broken”, as Peshekhonov, a Minister of the bloc, boasted. In reality, even the resolution of the Congress of Soviets had to admit that “the resistance of the propertied classes [i.e., the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie, who have 10 capitalist Ministers out of the 16 and are virtually allpowerful in the country’s economy] is mounting”. In words, they promise to establish control and regulation and to take away 100 per cent of the profits (Minister Skobelev). In reality, nothing of the sort has happened in six weeks! Positively not a single effective and important step has been taken against the capitalists who resort to lockouts, against the profiteering marauders, the knights who capitalise on war contracts, or the big bankers!! Don’t let us go on listing these crying contradictions. We have indicated enough. Economic dislocation is getting worse. A crisis is imminent. Disaster is drawing irresistibly near. The Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries reason with the capitalists, threatening to take away 100 per cent. They boast that the capitalists’ resistance is broken, they draft resolutions and make plans, make plans and draft resolutions. Disaster is on the way. The entire responsibility for it will fall on the ruling Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik bloc. Pravda No. 8 5, July 1 (June 1 8 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 108 ANOTHER COMMISSION Economic disintegration has begun. The bourgeoisie are attacking all along the line. Decisive measures must be taken. What does the Provisional Government intend to do? To save Russia, to combat economic disintegration, to normalise the economy, it has a project for a new organisation, a detailed plan for combating economic ruin. The business of “organising the national economy and labour” is to be the concern of an Economic Council. At last they are taking measures, passing from words to deeds. Excellent, they are long overdue! But what is the composition of this Economic Council? Who is going to fight economic ruin? Who is going to carry on the struggle against the criminal policy of the capitalists, the employers, the factory owners? It turns out that the overwhelming majority of the Council will be capitalists. Isn’t that a mockery?! Here is the composition of that worthy body: Bourgeois Ministers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Capitalist representatives (Bank Council, the Stock Exchange, agriculture, etc.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Total . 9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 From the workers (Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies) From the trade unions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . From the peasant deputies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Total 3 3 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 The Council membership includes the Ministers of War and of Labour, and three members of the co-operatives. ANOTHER COMMISSIONS 109 It is clearly the capitalists who will take decisions. Another body is to be set up that at best will benefit no one. Further, there are to be, as usual, countless commissions, sub-commissions, committees, etc. That is how they intend to combat economic disintegration. A shark has been thrown into the water. Pravda No. 8 5, July 1 (June 1 8 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 110 THE EIGHTEENTH OF JUNE In one way or another, June 18 will go down as a turningpoint in the history of the Russian revolution. The mutual position of the classes, their correlation in the struggle against each other, their strength, particularly in comparison with the strength of the parties, were all revealed so distinctly, so strikingly, so impressively by last Sunday’s demonstration that, whatever the course and pace of further development, the gain in political awareness and clarity has been tremendous. The demonstration in a few hours scattered to the winds, like a handful of dust, the empty talk about Bolshevik conspirators and showed with the utmost clarity that the vanguard of the working people of Russia, the industrial proletariat of the capital, and the overwhelming majority of the troops support slogans that our Party has always advocated. The measured step of the battalions of workers and soldiers. Nearly half a million demonstrators. A concerted onslaught. Unity around the slogans, among which overwhelmingly predominated: “All power to the Soviets”, “Down with the ten capitalist Ministers”, “Neither a separate peace treaty with the Germans nor secret treaties with the Anglo-French capitalists”, etc. No one who saw the demonstration has any doubt left about the victory of these slogans among the organised vanguard of Russia’s workers and soldiers. The demonstration of June 18 was a demonstration of the strength and policy of the revolutionary proletariat, which is showing the direction for the revolution and indicating the way out of the impasse. This is the tremendous historical significance of last Sunday’s demonstration, THE EIGHTEENTH OF JUNE 111 and its essential difference from the demonstrations during the funeral of the victims of the revolution and on May Day. Then it was a universal tribute to the revolution’s first victory and to its heroes. The people looked back over the first stage of the road to freedom, which they had passed very rapidly and very successfully. May Day was a holiday of hopes and aspirations linked with the history of the world labour movement and with its ideal of peace and socialism. Neither of the two demonstrations was intended to point the direction for the revolution’s further development, nor could it do so. Neither demonstration put before the people, or raised in the name of the people, specific, definite and urgent questions as to how and in what direction the revolution should proceed. In this sense, June 18 was the first political demonstration of action, an explanation of how the various classes act, how they want to and will act, in order to further the revolution—an explanation not given in a book or newspaper, but on the streets, not through leaders, but through the people. The bourgeoisie kept out of the way. They refused to participate in that peaceful demonstration of a clear majority of the people, in which there was freedom of party slogans, and the chief aim of which was to protest against counterrevolution. That is natural. The bourgeoisie are the counter-revolution. They hide from the people. They organise real counter-revolutionary conspiracies against the people. The parties now ruling Russia, the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, clearly showed themselves on that historic day, June 18, as waverers. Their slogans spoke of wavering, and it was obvious to all that the supporters of their slogans were in a minority. By their slogans and wavering they advised the people to remain where they were, to leave everything unchanged for the time being. And the people felt, and they themselves felt, that that was impossible. Enough of wavering, said the vanguard of the proletariat, the vanguard of Russia’s workers and soldiers. Enough of wavering. The policy of trust in the capitalists, in their government, in their vain attempts at reform, in their war, in their policy of an offensive, is a hopeless policy. Its collapse is imminent. Its collapse is inevitable. And that col- 112 V. I. L E N I N lapse will also be the collapse of the ruling parties, the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks. Economic disruption is coming nearer. There is no escaping it except by the revolutionary measures of the revolutionary class which has taken power. Let the people break with the policy of trust in the capitalists. Let them put their trust in the revolutionary class— the proletariat. The source of power lies in it and only in it. It alone is the pledge that the interests of the majority will be served, the interests of the working and exploited people, who, though held down by war and capital, are capable of defeating war and capital! A crisis of unprecedented scale has descended upon Russia and the whole of humanity. The only way out is to put trust in the most organised and advanced contingent of the working and exploited people, and support its policy. We do not know whether the people will grasp this lesson soon or how they will put it into effect. But we do know for certain that apart from this lesson there is no way out of the impasse, that possible waverings or brutalities on the part of the counter-revolutionaries will lead nowhere. There is no way out unless the masses put complete confidence in their leader, the proletariat. Pravda No. 8 6 , July 3 (June 2 0 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 113 THE REVOLUTION, THE OFFENSIVE, AND OUR PARTY “The Russian revolution has reached a turning-point,” said Tsereteli informing the Congress of Soviets that the offensive 54 had begun. Yes, the whole course of the world war as well as the Russian revolution has reached a turningpoint. After three months of vacillation the Russian Government has actually come to the decision demanded by the “Allied” governments. The offensive has been declared in the name of peace. And it is also “in the name of peace” that the imperialists of the world send their troops into battle. Every time there is an offensive the generals in every belligerent country try to raise their troops’ morale by holding out the real hope of that particular offensive leading to early peace. The Russian “socialist” Ministers have garnished this common imperialist method with very high-sounding phrases in which words about socialism, democracy, and revolution sound like rattles in the hands of a clever juggler. But no high-sounding phrases can conceal the fact that the revolutionary armies of Russia have been sent into battle in the name of the imperialist designs of Britain, France, Italy, Japan, and America. No arguments from Chernov, once a Zimmerwaldist 55 and now Lloyd George’s partner, can conceal the fact that while the Russian Army and the Russian proletariat do not really pursue any annexationist aims, this does not in the least change the imperialist, predatory nature of the struggle between the two world trusts. 114 V. I. L E N I N Until the secret treaties binding Russia to the imperialists of other countries are revised, and as long as Ribot, Lloyd George and Sonnino, Russia’s allies, continue to talk about the annexationist aims of their foreign policy, the offensive of the Russian troops will continue to serve the imperialists. Tsereteli and Chernov object, however, that they have repeatedly declared their renunciation of all annexations. So much the worse, we reply. That means your actions do not accord with your words, for your actions serve both Russian and foreign imperialism. And when you begin to co-operate actively with the imperialist “Allies” you render splendid service to the Russian counter-revolution. The joy of all the Black Hundreds and all counter-revolutionaries over the decisive turn in your policy is the best evidence of that. Yes, the Russian revolution has come to a turningpoint. Through its “socialist” Ministers, the Russian Government has done something which the imperialist Ministers, Guchkov and Milyukov, could not do. It has put the Russian Army at the disposal of the general staffs and the diplomats who act in the name and on the basis of unabrogated secret treaties, in the name of designs frankly proclaimed by Ribot and Lloyd George. The government could only fulfil its task, however, because the army trusted and followed it. The army marched to death because it believed it was making sacrifices for freedom, the revolution and early peace. But the army did so because it is only a part of the people, who at this stage of the revolution are following the Socialist-Revolutionary and the Menshevik parties. This general and basic fact, the trust of the majority in the petty-bourgeois policy of the Mensheviks and the Socialist-Revolutionaries which is dependent on the capitalists, determines our Party’s stand and conduct. We shall keep up our efforts to expose government policy, resolutely warning the workers and soldiers, as in the past, against pinning their hopes on unco-ordinated and disorganised actions. It is a question of a phase in the people’s revolution. The Tseretelis and Chernovs, having become dependent on imperialism, are putting into effect a phase of petty-bour- THE REVOLUTION, THE OFFENSIVE, AND OUR PARTY 115 geois illusions and petty-bourgeois phrases, which serve to disguise the same old cynical imperialism. This phase must be brought to an end. Let us help to end it as speedily and as painlessly as possible. This will rid the people of the last petty-bourgeois illusions and bring about the transfer of power to the revolutionary class. Pravda No. 8 7 , July 4 (June 2 1 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 116 IN WHAT WAY DO YOU SOCIALIST-REVOLUTIONARY AND MENSHEVIK GENTLEMEN DIFFER FROM PLEKHANOV? Dyelo Naroda repeatedly called Yedinstvo social-imperialist. Rabochaya Gazeta officially condemned the election bloc with Yedinstvo (after elections had taken place to almost all the district councils). Today, the offensive that has begun is clearing away the fog of empty phrases, showing the people the naked truth. Everyone sees that Plekhanov and the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik leaders are at one over the serious and important issue of the current offensive. It means, therefore, that you—Yedinstvo, Kerensky and Chernov, Tsereteli and Skobelev—are all “social-imperialists” (to use Dyelo Naroda’s expression). Pravda No. 8 7 , July 4 (June 2 1 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 117 HOW RODZYANKO IS TRYING TO JUSTIFY HIMSELF Russkaya Volya No. 143 has published an interview with Rodzyanko, who regards as “unfair” the charge (made by Pravda and Rabochaya Gazeta) that he sheltered Malinovsky. It appears that as early as April 22, 1914, Junkovsky told Rodzyanko that Malinovsky was an agent provocateur but made Rodzyanko give his “word of honour” (!!!) that he would say nothing about it to anyone. Incredible, but there it is. Rodzyanko pledged his “word of honour” to a member of the secret police and told the Duma members nothing about the agent provocateur. And our Party and the whole of society, among whom the agent provocateur Malinovsky was still operating, continued to labour under a delusion—because Rodzyanko had given the secret police his “word of honour” that he would not betray the agent provocateur. How can we tolerate that? How can we fail to consider Rodzyanko a criminal? Pravda No. 8 7 , July 4 (June 2 1 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 118 TO WHAT STATE HAVE THE SOCIALIST-REVOLUTIONARIES AND THE MENSHEVIKS BROUGHT THE REVOLUTION? They have brought it to a state of subjection to the imperialists. The offensive is a renewal of the imperialist war. Nothing essential has changed in the relations between the two gigantic capitalist blocs waging war on one another. Even after the revolution of February 27, Russia remains under the complete sway of the capitalists, who are bound to AngloFrench imperialist capital by alliance and by the old, tsarist, secret treaties. Both the economics and politics of the continuing war are the same as before: the same old imperialist banking capital dominating economic life, the same old secret treaties, and the same old foreign policy of alliances of one group of imperialists against another. The empty phrases of the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries are still empty phrases, in practice only serving to adorn the resumption of the imperialist war, which quite naturally meets with enthusiastic howls of approval from all the counter-revolutionaries, the whole bourgeoisie, and Plekhanov, “who tails after the bourgeois press”, as the Menshevik Rabochaya Gazeta put it, which itself tails after the whole horde of social-chauvinists. But we must not overlook the distinguishing features of this particular resumption of the imperialist war. The resumption came after three months of hesitation, during which time the mass of workers and peasants thousands of times expressed their condemnation of a war of conquest (while continuing in practice to support the government of the predatory Russian bourgeoisie bent on conquest). TO WHAT STATE S.R.s AND MENSHEVIKS BROUGHT REVOLUTION 119 The masses hesitated, as though they were about to carry out at home the advice which the March 14 appeal to the peoples of the world gave other peoples, namely, “Refuse to serve as tools of conquest and violence in the hands of the bankers!” But here at home, in “revolutionary-democratic” Russia, the masses have remained in effect an instrument of conquest and violence in “the hands of the bankers”. A distinguishing feature of this situation is that it was created by the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties at a time when the people enjoyed a comparatively large measure of freedom of- organisation. It is these parties that have gained the majority at the moment: the AllRussia Congress of Soviets and the All-Russia Peasants’ Congress have undoubtedly proved this. It is these parties that are at present responsible for Russia’s policy. It is these parties that are responsible for the resumption of the imperialist war, for more hundreds of thousands of lives sacrificed virtually with the aim of enabling certain capitalists to “overcome” other capitalists, and for the further aggravation of the economic dislocation inevitably resulting from the offensive. Here we had, in the purest form, the self-deception of the petty-bourgeois masses and the deception of them by the bourgeoisie with the aid of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks. These parties both claim to be “revolutionary democrats”. But in fact it was they who placed the people’s fate in the hands of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie, the Cadets; it was they who deserted the revolution to continue the imperialist war, who deserted democracy to make “concessions” to the Cadets on the issue of power (take, for instance, the “confirmation” from above of the election of authorities by the local population), on the land issue (the Mensheviks’ and Socialist-Revolutionaries’ renunciation of their own programme, namely, to support the revolutionary actions of the peasants, including confiscation of the landed estates), and on the national question (defence of the undemocratic attitude of the Cadets towards the Ukraine and Finland). The petty-bourgeois masses cannot help vacillating between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. This has been 120 V. I. L E N I N the case in all countries, especially between 1789 and 1871. And it is also the case in Russia. The Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries have induced the masses to submit to the policy of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie. That is the heart of the matter. That is the meaning of the offensive. That is the peculiarity of the situation: it was not violence, but trust in the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks that led the people astray. Will it be for long? No, not long. The masses will learn from their own experience. The sad experience of the new stage of the war (a stage already begun), of further ruin accentuated by the offensive, will inevitably lead to the political downfall of the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties The task of the workers’ party is, first of all, to help the masses realise and take proper account of this experience, to prepare properly for this great downfall, which will show the masses their true leader—the organised urban proletariat. Pravda No. 8 8 , July 5 (June 2 2 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 121 CAN “JACOBINISM” FRIGHTEN THE WORKING CLASS? The bourgeois and chauvinistic Dyen, an organ of “socialist thought” (don’t laugh!), returns in issue No. 91 to Rech’s really interesting editorial of June 18. Dyen has completely failed to understand that editorial, in which a historian speaks out alongside an embittered counter-revolutionary bourgeois. Dyen reads into the editorial “the Cadets’ intention—which has become a firm resolve—to withdraw from the coalition government”. That is nonsense. The Cadets threaten so as to frighten the Tseretelis and Chernovs. That is not serious. What is serious and interesting is how the Rech editorial on June 18 posed the question of power from a historian’s standpoint. “Whereas,” he wrote, “with the previous government composition it was possible, at least to some extent, to direct the course of the Russian revolution, from now on it is apparently destined to develop in accordance with the spontaneous laws of all revolutions. . . . The inadvisability of the further existence of a government arrangement that has not justified itself is a question already being put not only by the Bolsheviks [note this: not only by the Bolsheviks!] . . . and not only by the majority in the Soviet. . . . It is a question which the capitalist Ministers themselves must raise.” The historian is correct in admitting that not only the Bolsheviks, but the entire interrelation of classes, the life of society as a whole, has brought to the fore the question of “the inadvisability of the further existence of a government arrangement that has not justified itself”. What we actually have is vacillation. The offensive is a possible road to victory for the imperialist bourgeoisie. Is there any other possible road? 122 V. I. L E N I N The historian in Rech answers this question as follows: “Once they have got ‘all power’ the Soviets will soon see that they have very little power. And they will have to make up for lack of power by resorting to the historically tested methods of the Young Turks 56 or the Jacobins. . . . Will they, once the whole issue has again been raised, be willing to stoop to Jacobinism and terrorism, or will they attempt to wash their hands of it? This is the pressing question that will be answered in a few days.” The historian is right. In a few days or not in a few days, that is the question that will soon be answered. Either the offensive, a turn to counter-revolution, a success (for how long?) for the cause of the imperialist bourgeoisie, “a washing of hands” by the Chernovs and Tseretelis, or “Jacobinism”. Bourgeois historians see Jacobinism as a fall (“to stoop”). Proletarian historians see Jacobinism as one of the highest peaks in the emancipation struggle of an oppressed class. The Jacobins gave France the best models of a democratic revolution and of resistance to a coalition of monarchs against a republic. The Jacobins were not destined to win complete victory, chiefly because eighteenth-century France was surrounded on the continent by much too backward countries, and because France herself lacked the material basis for socialism, there being no banks, no capitalist syndicates, no machine industry and no railways. “Jacobinism” in Europe or on the boundary line between Europe and Asia in the twentieth century would be the rule of the revolutionary class, of the proletariat, which, supported by the peasant poor and taking advantage of the existing material basis for advancing to socialism, could not only provide all the great, ineradicable, unforgettable things provided by the Jacobins in the eighteenth century, but bring about a lasting world-wide victory for the working people. It is natural for the bourgeoisie to hate Jacobinism. It is natural for the petty bourgeoisie to dread it. The classconscious workers and working people generally put their trust in the transfer of power to the revolutionary, oppressed class, for that is the essence of Jacobinism, the only way out of the present crisis, and the only remedy for economic dislocation and the war. Pravda No. 9 0 , July 7 (June 2 4 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 123 THE NEED FOR AN AGRICULTURAL LABOURERS’ UNION IN RUSSIA ARTICLE ONE There is a highly important question which the All-Russia Trade Union Conference now in session in Petrograd 57 should consider. It is the question of founding an all-Russia union of agricultural labourers. All classes in Russia are organising. Only the class which is the most exploited and the poorest of all, the most disunited and downtrodden—the class of Russia’s agricultural wage-labourers—seems to have been forgotten. In some nonRussian border regions, such as the Latvian territory, there are organisations of agricultural wage-labourers. The rural proletariat in the vast majority of the Great-Russian and Ukrainian gubernias has no class organisations. It is the indisputable and paramount duty of the vanguard of Russia’s proletariat, the industrial workers’ trade unions, to come to the aid of their brothers, the rural workers. The difficulties involved in organising the rural workers are clearly enormous, as is borne out by the experience of other capitalist countries. This makes it all the more necessary to set about using political liberty in Russia as speedily and vigorously as possible and to immediately found a country-wide union of agricultural labourers. This can and must be done by the trade union conference. It is the more experienced, more developed, more class-conscious representatives of the proletariat gathered at this conference who can and must issue a call to the rural workers, urging the latter to join them in the ranks of the independently organising workers, in the ranks of their trade unions. It is the wage-workers at the 124 V. I. L E N I N factories who must take the initiative and use the trade union cells, groups and branches scattered all over Russia to awaken the rural worker to independent action and to active participation in the struggle to improve his position and uphold his class interests. It may seem to many, and perhaps even to most at the moment, that with the peasants organising throughout Russia and calling for the abolition of private ownership of land and for “equalised” land tenure, this is not the right time to set up a rural workers’ union. Quite the contrary. This is precisely the time when it is particularly opportune and urgent. Those who share the proletarian class point of view can have no doubt as to the correctness of the proposition which the Mensheviks approved at the Stockholm Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party in 1906 on the initiative of the Bolsheviks, and which has ever since been part of the R.S.D.L.P. programme. That proposition reads: “The Party should in all eventualities, and whatever the situation with regard to democratic agrarian reforms, consider it as its task to steadfastly strive for independent class organisation of the rural proletariat and explain to it the irreconcilable antithesis between its interests and the interests of the peasant bourgeoisie, to warn it against illusions about the small-holding system, which can never, as long as commodity production exists, do away with the poverty of the masses, and, lastly, to point to the need for a complete socialist revolution as the only means of abolishing all poverty and exploitation.” Every class-conscious worker, every union member, would agree that these propositions are correct. They must be carried out by the trade unions, since it is a question of independent class organisation of the rural workers. We hope that at this revolutionary moment, when the urge to express themselves, to chart their own path, to see that life is not shaped anew without the workers themselves independently deciding labour issues, is making itself felt among the working people in general and the workers in particular—that at this time the trade unions will not confine themselves to narrow craft interests and forget their weaker brethren, the rural workers, but will exert all their energy to help them by founding a union of Russia’s rural workers. NEED FOR AGRICULTURAL LABOURERS’ UNION IN RUSSIA 125 In the next article, we shall try to outline some practical steps in this direction. ARTICLE TWO In the previous article we dealt with the fundamental significance of a rural workers’ union in Russia. Here we shall touch upon certain practical aspects of the question. A union of Russia’s rural workers should group all who are engaged mainly, or even partly, as labourers at agricultural undertakings. Experience will show whether or not it will be necessary to subdivide these unions into those of pure agricultural labourers and those of part-time labourers. At any rate, this is not the main thing. The main thing is that the fundamental class interests of all who sell their labour power are identical and that the unity of all who gain at least part of their livelihood by hiring themselves out is absolutely necessary. The wage-workers in the cities, in the factories, are bound by thousands and millions of ties with the wage-workers in the countryside. A call issued by the former to the latter cannot go unheeded. But issuing a call is not the only thing to be done. The urban workers have far more experience, knowledge, means and forces. Some of their forces should be directly used to help the rural workers on to their feet. All organised workers should give one day’s wages to promote and strengthen the unity of town and country wageworkers. Let a certain part of this sum be fully used as a contribution from the urban workers to the class unity of the rural workers. Let this fund be drawn on to cover the expenses of putting out a series of the most popular leaflets, of publishing a rural workers’ newspaper—at least a weekly to begin with—and of sending at least a few agitators and organisers to the countryside to immediately set up unions of agricultural labourers in the various localities. Only the experience gained by those unions themselves will help find the right method of furthering this work Each union should first of all try to improve the condition of those who sell their labour power to agricultural undertakings and to secure higher pay, better housing conditions, better food, etc. 126 V. I. L E N I N A most determined war must be declared on the preconceived notion that the coming abolition of private landownership can “give land” to every farm-hand and daylabourer and undermine the very foundations of wage-labour in agriculture. This is a preconceived notion and, moreover, an extremely harmful one. The abolition of private landownership is a tremendous and unquestionably progressive reform that unquestionably meets the interests of economic development and the interests of the proletariat, a reform which every wage-worker will back to the utmost but which in no way eliminates wage-labour. You cannot eat land. You cannot farm without livestock, implements, seed, a reserve of produce, or money. To rely on “promises” from anyone—that the wage-workers in the countryside will be “helped” to acquire livestock, implements, etc.—would be the worst kind of error, unpardonable naïveté. The basic rule, the first commandment, of any trade union movement is not to rely on the “state” but to rely only on the strength of one’s own class. The state is an organisation of the ruling class. Don’t rely on promises. Rely only on the strength of the unity and political consciousness of your class! That is why it must be made the immediate task of the rural workers’ trade union not only to fight for better conditions for the workers in general, but in particular to defend their interests as a class during the coming great land reform. Many peasants and Socialist-Revolutionaries maintain that “labour power must be put at the disposal of the volost committees”. The class of agricultural labourers holds the opposite view—it wants the volost committees to be put at the disposal of labour power! It is clear enough where the master and the labourer stand. “Land for the whole people.” This is correct. But the people are divided into classes. Every worker knows, sees, feels, experiences this truth which the bourgeoisie deliberately obscure and the petty bourgeoisie always forget. When alone, a poor man is helpless. No “state” will help the rural wage-worker, the farm-hand, the day-labourer, the poor peasant, the semi-proletarian, if he does not help NEED FOR AGRICULTURAL LABOURERS’ UNION IN RUSSIA 127 himself. The first step in this direction is independent class organisation of the rural proletariat. We hope the all-Russia trade union conference will tackle this task with the greatest energy, will issue a call to all Russia and hold out a helping hand, the mighty hand of the organised vanguard of the proletariat, to the rural workers. Pravda Nos. 9 0 and 9 1 , July 7 (June 2 4 ) and July 8 (June 2 5 ), 1 9 1 7 Signed: N. Lenin Published according to the Pravda text 128 A DISORDERLY REVOLUTION “The Bolsheviks are to blame for everything”—this is agreed on both by the Cadets, who are leading the counterrevolution, and by the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, who call themselves “revolutionary democrats”, probably because of their pretty little bloc’s daily departures from the principles of democracy and revolution. “The Bolsheviks are to blame for everything”—for the growing economic dislocation, against which no measures are being taken, for the poor state of food supplies, and for the “failure” of the Provisional Government over the Ukraine and Finland. You might well imagine that an evil Bolshevik had wormed his way into the midst of the modest, moderate, prudent Finns and “misled” the whole people! The universal howl of anger and fury against the Bolsheviks, the dirty slander campaign carried on by the dirty Zaslavskys and the anonymous writers of Rech and Rabochaya Gazeta all indicate a desire, inevitable with representatives of a disorderly revolution, to vent their anger on someone over certain of their policy “failures”. The Cadets are the party of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie. This has even been admitted by the SocialistRevolutionary and Menshevik ruling bloc, which declared in a resolution passed by the Congress of Soviets that the resistance of the propertied classes is growing and that it constitutes the backbone of the counter-revolution. Yet this bloc, which Rech accuses daily of lack of character, has in turn formed a bloc with the Cadets and, moreover, a most original bloc, confirmed by the composition of the Provisional Government! Russia is ruled by two blocs: the bloc of the SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks, and the bloc of this bloc with the Cadets, who constitute a bloc with all the political A DISORDERLY REVOLUTION 129 parties to the right of them. The inevitable result is a disorderly revolution, for all parts of this ruling “bloc of blocs” are loose. The Cadets have no faith in their own republicanism, and this applies even more to the Octobrists 58 and the monarchists of other shades who are now hiding behind the Cadets and voting for them. The Cadets have no faith in the “socialbloc people”, and they willingly use the Ministers of that bloc as errand boys for all kinds of “pacification” even as they hiss in anger and indignation at the “excessive demands” of the mass of peasants and the section of workers who have now entrusted themselves to the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks in response to pompous promises (“to satisfy the working people without offending the capitalists”) but who are impudent enough to expect and demand the actual fulfilment of these promises! The social-bloc people have no faith in each other: the Socialist-Revolutionaries have no faith in the Mensheviks, and vice versa. So far neither “spouse” has ventured an explicit and frank public statement, made officially and in a principled manner, as to how, why, for what purpose and to what extent the adherents of a Struvean, emasculated “Marxism” and the advocates of the “right to the land” have united. Unity is bursting at the seams even within each of the two “spouses”; the Socialist-Revolutionary Congress blackballed Kerensky by a vote of 136 to 134, which led to the withdrawal of “Grandmother” 59 herself from the Central Committee and to the Central Committee clarification saying that Kerensky had not been elected only because he was overburdened (unlike Chernov) with ministerial duties. The “Right” Socialist-Revolutionaries of Volya Naroda revile their party and its congress, and the Lefts, who have taken refuge in Zemlya i Volya, 60 have the audacity to maintain that the masses do not want this war, which they continue to regard as an imperialist war. The Right wing of the Mensheviks has migrated to Dyen; it is headed by Potresov, at whom “love’s tender glances” are cast by Yedinstvo itself (which only recently, during the Petrograd elections, was in a bloc with the whole Menshevik party). The Left-wing is sympathetic to internationalism and is founding its own paper. A bloc of the banks and the 130 V. I. L E N I N Potresovs through Dyen; a bloc of all the Mensheviks, including Potresov and Martov, through a “united” Menshevik party. Surely that is loose enough. “Defencism” is doing a poor job of concealing this disorderly revolution, for even now, even after the resumption of the imperialist war, even amid the ecstatic cries evoked by the offensive, the “offensive” of Potresov’s followers against his opponents in one alliance, and of Kerensky’s followers against his opponents in the other alliance, has gained in intensity. The “revolutionary democrats” no longer believe in the revolution. They are afraid of democracy. They fear a break with the Anglo-French capitalists more than anything else and they fear the displeasure of the Russian capitalists. (“Our revolution is a bourgeois revolution”—Minister Chernov “himself” has come to believe in this “truth”, so amusingly distorted by Dan, Tsereteli, and Skobelev.) The Cadets hate the revolution and democracy. Surely that is loose enough. The universal savage howl of anger and fury against the Bolsheviks is a common complaint by the Cadets, SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks about their own looseness. They are in the majority. They are in power. They have formed a bloc with one another. And they see that nothing comes of their efforts!! How can they help raging against the Bolsheviks? The revolution has posed problems of unusual difficulty, of colossal importance, of world-wide scope. It is impossible either to cope with economic dislocation or to break free from the terrible grip of the imperialist war without taking the most drastic revolutionary measures that will be backed by the unbounded heroism of the oppressed and exploited and without them trusting and supporting their organised vanguard, the proletariat. The masses are still looking for the “easiest” way out— through the bloc of the Cadets with the bloc of the SocialistRevolutionaries and the Mensheviks. But there is no way out. Pravda No. 9 1 , July 8 (June 2 5 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 131 A CLASS SHIFT Every revolution, if it is a real revolution, amounts to a class shift. Therefore, the best way of enlightening the people, and of fighting those who deceive the people by invoking the revolution, is to analyse the class shift that has taken or is taking place in the present revolution. From 1904 to 1916, in the last years of tsarism, the relative positions of the classes in Russia became particularly clear. A handful of semi-feudal landowners, headed by Nicholas II, was in power and maintained the closest alliance with the financial magnates who were reaping profits unheard of in Europe and for whose benefit predatory treaties were concluded with foreign countries. The liberal bourgeoisie, led by the Cadets, were in opposition. They were more afraid of the people than of reaction and were moving closer and closer to power by compromising with the monarchy. The people, i.e., the workers and peasants, whose leaders had been driven underground, were revolutionary. They constituted the “revolutionary democrats”—proletarian and petty-bourgeois. The revolution of February 27, 1917, swept away the monarchy and put the liberal bourgeoisie in power, who, operating in direct concord with the Anglo-French imperialists, had wanted a minor court revolution. Under no circumstances were they willing to go beyond a constitutional monarchy with an electoral system conditioned by various qualifications. And when the revolution actually went further, completely abolishing the monarchy and establishing Soviets (of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ 132 V. I. L E N I N Deputies), the entire liberal bourgeoisie became counterrevolutionary. Now, four months after the revolution, the counter-revolutionary character of the Cadets, the main party of the liberal bourgeoisie, is as clear as day. Everyone sees that. And everyone is compelled to admit it. But not nearly everyone is willing to face up to it and think about what it implies. Russia today is a democratic republic governed by a free agreement between political parties which are freely advocating their views among the people. The four months since February 27 have fully consolidated and given final shape to all parties of any importance, showed them up during the elections (to the Soviets and to local bodies), and revealed their links with the various classes. In Russia, the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie are in power today, while the petty-bourgeois democrats, namely, the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties, have become “His Majesty’s opposition”. 61 The policy of these parties is essentially one of compromise with the counterrevolutionary bourgeoisie. The petty-bourgeois democrats are rising to power by filling local bodies to begin with (just as the liberals did under tsarism—by first winning places in the zemstvos 62 ). These petty-bourgeois democrats want to share power with the bourgeoisie but not overthrow them, in exactly the same way as the Cadets wanted to share power with the monarchy but not overthrow it. The pettybourgeois democrats (the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks) compromise with the Cadets because of the close class kinship between the petty and the big bourgeoisie, just as the class kinship between the capitalist and the landowner, living in the twentieth century, made them embrace each other at the feet of their “adored” monarch. It is the form of compromise that has changed. Under the monarchy it was crude, and the tsar allowed a Cadet no further than the Duma backyard. In a democratic republic, compromise has become as refined as in Europe, the petty bourgeoisie being permitted, in a harmless minority, to occupy harmless (for capital) posts in the Ministry. The Cadets have taken the place of the monarchy. The Tseretelis and Chernovs have taken the place of the Cadets. FROM MARX TO MAO  NOT FOR COMMERCIAL DISTRIBUTION A CLASS SHIFT 133 Proletarian democracy has taken the place of a truly revolutionary democracy. The imperialist war has hastened developments fantastically. Had it not been for this war, the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks might have sighed for decades for ministerial posts. The same war, however, is hastening further developments. For it poses problems in a revolutionary rather than a reformist manner. The Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties could have given Russia many a reform by agreement with the bourgeoisie. But the objective situation in world politics is revolutionary and it cannot be dealt with by reforms. The imperialist war is crushing the peoples and threatens to crush them completely. The petty-bourgeois democrats can perhaps stave off disaster for a while. But it is only the revolutionary proletariat that can prevent a tragic end. Pravda No. 9 2 , July 1 0 (June 2 7 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 134 MIRACLES OF REVOLUTIONARY ENERGY Our near-socialist Ministers are developing near-incredible energy. Peshekhonov has declared that “the resistance of the capitalists has apparently been broken” and that everything we have here in Holy Russia will be “equitably” distributed. Skobelev has declared that the capitalists will have to give up 100 per cent of their profits. Tsereteli has declared that the offensive in this imperialist war is the most righteous thing from the point of view of both democracy and socialism. But Minister Chernov has without a doubt outdone everyone in these manifestations of miraculous energy. At the last meeting of the Provisional Government, Chernov made the Cadet gentlemen hear his report on the general policy of the department entrusted to him, and said he was introducing as many as ten Bills! Surely that was a miracle of revolutionary energy. Less than six weeks have passed since May 6, and yet as many as ten Bills have been promised in this short period! And what Bills! The ministerial Dyelo Naroda reports that these Bills “in their totality encompass all the principal aspects of the economic activity of the countryside”. “All aspects”—no more no less. What a whopper! The only suspicious thing is that the ministerial newspaper devotes more than one hundred lines to a description of some of those splendid Bills without saying anything definite about any of them. “Suspension of certain legislative acts concerning the peasants”—we are not told which. The Bill on the “courts of conciliation” is the most interesting. We are not told who are to be conciliated and how. MIRACLES OF REVOLUTIONARY ENERGY 135 “The regulation of rent relations”—we are kept completely in the dark; we are not even told whether it is a question of leasing the landed estates, which are expected to be expropriated without compensation. “A reform in the sense of greater democratisation of the local land committees.” Wouldn’t it be better if you authors of sweeping promises immediately listed at least a dozen local land committees, giving, in exact terms, their present, post-revolutionary, yet, according to your own admission, not fully democratic composition? The point is that the tireless activity of Minister Chernov, as well as of the other Ministers mentioned above, is the best illustration of the difference between a liberal bureaucrat and a revolutionary democrat. The liberal bureaucrat submits to his “higher-ups”, i.e., Lvov, Shingaryov and Co., voluminous reports on hundreds of Bills that are supposed to benefit mankind. All he offers the people is palaver, fine promises, Nozdrev 63 phrases (such as the one about 100 per cent profit or a “socialist” offensive at the front, and so on). The revolutionary democrat, while submitting a report to his “higher-ups”, or even before submitting it, reveals and exposes every evil and every shortcoming before the people to arouse their activity. “Peasants, expose the landowners, expose how much they take from you by way of ‘rent’, how much they have had adjudged to them in the ‘courts of conciliation’ or the local land committees, how much cavilling or interference they have been guilty of as regards cultivating all the lands and using the landowners’ implements and livestock to meet the needs of the people, particularly the poorest sections! Expose it yourselves, peasants, and I, ‘a minister of revolutionary Russia’, ‘a minister of the revolutionary democrats’, shall help you to publish all such exposures and to remove all oppression through your pressure from the bottom and mine from the top!!!” Surely, this is how a true “revolutionary democrat” would speak and act. Nothing of the kind here! Nothing at all! Here is the language used by the ministerial newspaper in regard to Chernov’s “report” to Lvov and Co. “While he does not deny that there are a number of agrarian excesses in some 136 V. I. L E N I N gubernias, V. M. Chernov thinks that, on the whole, rural Russia has proved to be much more balanced than one would have expected....” Yet not a word was said about the hold-up of the only Bill named specifically—the one about “suspending the sale and purchase of land”. For the peasants had long since been promised the immediate suspension of sale and purchase. It was promised as early as May, but on June 25 we read in the papers that Chernov had presented a “report” and that the Provisional Government “has not yet taken a final decision”!!! Pravda No. 9 2 , July 1 0 (June 2 7 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 137 PHRASES AND FACTS Minister Skobelev has published an appeal to all workers of Russia. In the name of “our” (that is what it says: our) socialist ideal, in the name of the revolution, on behalf of revolutionary democrats, and so on, and so forth, he urges the workers to accept “courts of conciliation” and severely condemns all “unauthorised” actions. This is how well the near-socialist Minister Skobelev the Menshevik sings his part: “You [workers] have every reason to be outraged by the enrichment of the propertied classes that has been taking place during this war, The tsar’s government has wasted thousands of millions of the people’s money. The revolutionary government must restore this money to the people’s treasury.” He sings well, but where will he alight? Mr. Skobelev’s appeal was published on June 28. The coalition Ministry was formed on May 6. But during all this time, in which economic dislocation and an unprecedented catastrophe have been advancing on the country with seven-league strides, the government has not taken a single real step against the capitalists who have made “thousands of millions”. To “restore” these thousands of millions “to the people’s treasury”, a law should have been enacted on May 7 abolishing all commercial and bank secrecy and establishing immediate control over the capitalist banks and syndicates, for otherwise it is impossible to find, let alone “restore”, these thousands of millions. Does the Menshevik Minister Skobelev really imagine that the workers are babes in the wood whom one can feed with promises of the impossible (for it is impossible to 138 V. I. L E N I N “restore” the “thousands of millions”—may God help us to end plunder of the state and to restore at least one or two hundred millions) without doing the possible and the necessary for weeks on end? As luck would have it, on the very same day the Menshevik Minister Skobelev presented the workers with another basketful of the most florid republican, revolutionary and “socialist” phrases, Comrade Avilov, who wants to “unite” the defencists (i.e., the chauvinists) with the workers, hit on the unusually, extraordinarily fortunate idea of contributing an article to Novaya Zhizn in which he gave facts without making deductions. Nothing on earth could be more eloquent than these simple facts. On May 5, the coalition Ministry was formed. In a solemn declaration it promised control, and even “organisation of production”. On May 16, the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet adopted “directions” for its Ministers, demanding “the immediate [listen to this!] and most energetic realisation [this is how it reads, believe it or not!] of government regulation of production”, and so on, and so forth. Energetic realisation began. On May 19, Konovalov resigned, making a very “energetic” statement against “the extreme socialists”! On June 1, the All-Russia conference of representatives of industry and commerce took place. The conference declared emphatically against control. The three Deputy Ministers remaining after Konovalov’s resignation began to “realise energetically”: in the conflict of the Donets mine owners (who are wrecking the industry by a “go-slow strike”), Stepanov, the first Deputy Minister, backed the employers. After that the employers rejected all Skobelev’s conciliatory proposals. Palchinsky, the second Deputy Minister, sabotaged the “fuel conference”. Savvin, the third Deputy Minister, instituted “a crude and even silly caricature” of regulation in the form of an “inter-departmental conference”. On June 10, first Deputy Minister Stepanov presented a “report” to the Provisional Government taking issue with the Executive Committee’s programme. PHRASES AND FACTS 139 On June 21, the Congress of Soviets passed another resolution. The people began to set up supply committees on their own initiative, from below. From above, a chief “Economic Council” was promised. Second Deputy Minister Palchinsky explained: “It is hard to say when it [the Economic Council] will begin to function.” It sounds like mockery, but these are the facts. The capitalists mock at the workers, at the people, by continuing the policy of secret lock-outs and of concealing their outrageous profits, and send the Skobelevs, Tseretelis and Chernovs to “reassure” the workers with empty phrases. Pravda No. 9 4 , July 1 2 (June 2 9 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 140 HOW THE CAPITALISTS CONCEAL THEIR PROFITS CONCERNING THE ISSUE OF CONTROL How much they talk about control! And how little it all means. How they dodge the issue by resorting to general phrases, grandiloquent turns of speech, and solemn “projects” doomed for ever to remain projects only. Now the issue is that unless commercial and bank secrecy is abolished, and unless a law is immediately passed making the books of commercial firms open to the trade unions, all phrases on control and all projects for it will be so much meaningless verbiage. Here is a small but instructive illustration. A comrade who is a bank employee has sent us the following information showing how profits are concealed in official reports. On May 7, 1917, Vestnik Finansov 64 No. 18 published a report of the Petrograd Loan and Discount Bank. The report gives the bank’s net profit as 13,000,000 rubles (the exact figure is 12,960,000; we shall use round numbers in the text and give exact figures in parentheses). On closer scrutiny, a well-informed person will see at once that that is not the whole profit at all and that a considerable part of the profit is cleverly concealed under other items, so that no “tax”, “compulsory loan” and, in general, no financial measure will ever bring it out unless commercial and bank secrecy is completely abolished. Indeed, the amount of 5,500,000 rubles is given as reserve capital. Profits are quite often entered for concealment as so-called reserves, or reserve capital. If I am a millionaire who has made a profit of 17,000,000 rubles and wants to reserve 5,000,000, I only have to enter this 5,000,000 as “reserve capital” to do the HOW THE CAPITALISTS CONCEAL THEIR PROFITS 141 trick! In this way I dodge all the various laws on “state control”, “state taxation of profits” and so on. Again, the report indicates slightly less than 1,000,000 rubles (825,000) as money made in interest and commissions. “The question is,” writes the bank employee, “what are the sums that generally constitute the bank’s profit, since the money made in interest is not listed under profits??” Moreover, the sum of 300,000 rubles, listed as remaining profit made in previous years, is not included in the total profits! Together, then, with the foregoing item, we have more than another sweet million in profit hidden away. Similarly, the sum of 224,000 rubles of “unpaid dividends to shareholders” is missing in the total profit, although everyone knows that dividends are paid out of net profits. Furthermore, the report lists the sum of 3,800,000 rubles as “carry-overs”. “Whoever has not taken a direct part in the business will find it hard to establish what these carryovers are,” the comrade writes. “One thing is certain: in preparing a report, one can easily conceal a part of the profit by listing it under ‘carry-overs’ and then transferring it to ‘where it belongs’.” To sum up. The profit has been listed as 13,000,000 rubles, but, in point of fact, it must be somewhere between 19 and 24 million, or almost 80 per cent profit on a basic capital of 30 million. Isn’t it obvious that the government’s threats to the capitalists, the government’s promises to the workers, the government’s Bills and laws aimed at taking 90 per cent of the profits of the big capitalists are useless, absolutely useless, as long as there is commercial and bank secrecy? Pravda No. 9 4 , July 1 2 (June 2 9 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 142 CRISIS IS APPROACHING, DISLOCATION IS INCREASING We are compelled to sound the alarm daily. All kinds of foolish people have accused us of being “too much in a hurry” to transfer all state power to the Soviets of Soldiers’, Workers’ and Peasants’ Deputies. They think it would be more “moderate and proper”65 to “wait” with dignity for a dignified Constituent Assembly. Today, even the most foolish of those petty-bourgeois fools can see that reality will not wait and that it is not we but economic dislocation that is “in a hurry”. Petty-bourgeois cowardice, as typified by the SocialistRevolutionary and Menshevik parties, has resolved: let us for the time being leave all affairs in the hands of the capitalists. Perhaps dislocation will “wait” until the Constituent Assembly meets! Day by day facts prove that dislocation will probably not wait until the Constituent Assembly meets and that the crash will come earlier. Take, for example, facts published today. The Economic Department of the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet of Soldiers’ and Workers’ Deputies has resolved “to inform the Provisional Government” that “the metal industry of the Moscow area (fifteen gubernias) is in an extremely critical state”, that “the Goujon works management is clearly disorganising production, deliberately trying to bring the works to a standstill”, and that for this reason “state power [left by the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks in the hands of the party of the Goujons, the party of the counterrevolutionary capitalists who resort to lock-outs] must take over the management of the works ... and provide operating funds”. CRISIS IS APPROACHING, DISLOCATION IS INCREASING 143 Operating funds to the tune of up to five million rubles are required urgently. The meeting (of the Economic Department and a delegation from the Department of Supplies of the Moscow Soviet of Workers’ Deputies) “calls the attention of the Provisional Government [poor, innocent, childishly-uninformed Provisional Government! It knew nothing about it! It is blameless! It will learn; the Dans and Cherevanins, the Avksentyevs and Chernovs will exhort and persuade it!] to the fact that the Moscow Factory Meeting and the Provisional Bureau of the Committee of Supplies of the Moscow Region have already had to intervene in order to prevent the stoppage of the Kolomna locomotive works, as well as the Sormovo works and the Bryansk works in Bezhetsk. All the same, the Sormovo works is now at a standstill owing to a strike, and the other works may stop at any moment....” Catastrophe will not wait. It is advancing with terrific speed. Writing about the Donets area, A. Sandomirsky, who no doubt knows the facts very well, says in today’s Novaya Zhizn: “The vicious circle—lack of coal, lack of metal, lack of engines and rolling stock, suspension of production—is growing wider. And while coal is being burned and metal piles up at the works, it cannot be obtained where it is needed.” The government, supported by the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, simply obstructs the struggle against economic dislocation. Sandomirsky reports it as a fact that Palchinsky, Deputy Minister of Commerce and virtual colleague of the Tseretelis and Chernovs, has responded to the complaint of the manufacturers by prohibiting (! ! ) “selfappointed” (! ! ) control commissions from acting on the inquiry instituted by the Donets committee to determine the quantity of metal available. Just think what a madhouse this is: the country is on the rocks, the people are on the verge of famine and disaster, there is a shortage of coal and iron although they can be mined, the Donets committee is conducting an inquiry through the Soviets of Soldiers’ and Workers’ Deputies concerning the quantity of metal, i.e., is looking for iron for the people. On the other hand, a servant of the manufacturers, of the capitalists, Minister Palchinsky, in league with 144 V. I. L E N I N the Tseretelis and Chernovs, prohibits the inquiry. Meanwhile the crisis is mounting and catastrophe is drawing even nearer. Where and how does one get the money? It is easy enough to “demand” five million for one factory, but surely one must realise that much more is needed for all the factories. Isn’t it obvious that no money can be obtained unless the measure we have been demanding and advocating since early April is adopted, unless all the banks are consolidated into one bank and brought under control, and unless commercial secrecy is abolished? The Goujons and the other capitalists, with the co-operation of the Palchinskys, are “deliberately” (this word was used by the Economic Department) trying to bring production to a standstill. The government is on their side. The Tseretelis and Chernovs are mere ornaments or just pawns. Isn’t it high time you gentlemen realised that the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks as parties will have to answer to the people for the catastrophe? Pravda No. 9 5 , July 1 3 (June 3 0 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 145 JUST HOW IS IT TO BE DONE? Rabochaya Gazeta is disturbed about the political significance of the offensive. One of its contributors even reproaches another, saying that the latter’s evasive phrases ultimately amount to an admission that, objectively, the Russian revolutionary army is now shedding its blood for the annexationist plans of the Allied bourgeoisie rather than for peace without annexations (Rabochaya Gazeta No. 93, page 2, column 1). Now this “objective” significance of the offensive is bound to disturb the workers, some of whom are still following the Mensheviks. And this is also reflected in the columns of Rabochaya Gazeta. Not wishing to venture upon an open break with the workers, the paper is trying to somehow link the “offensive” with the revolutionary proletarian peace struggle. Unfortunately for the cunning editors, the only connection that can be established here is a negative one. It would be difficult to imagine more pitiful and confused people than these respectable editors frightened by those very spirits which they, together with the Socialist-Revolutionaries, have conjured up. On the one hand, Rabochaya Gazeta reports that “the West now sees the significance of the Russian offensive in an entirely false light. The British and French bourgeois newspapers regard it as a renunciation of the Soviet’s ‘utopian’ plans. Chauvinist resolutions are being passed under the pretext of hailing Kerensky and the advancing revolutionary 146 V. I. L E N I N army. And while the war drums thunder for the Russian offensive, the persecution of those who hold the same views as the Russian democrats and accept the same peace policy is growing”. A very valuable admission! All the more so because it comes from a ministerial newspaper which only yesterday considered our forecasts of these inevitable consequences of the offensive to be prompted by Bolshevik malice. It turns out that the question is not of our “malice” at all, but of the fact that the policy adopted by the leaders of the Soviet has its own logic and that this logic leads to the strengthening of the anti-revolutionary forces in and outside Russia. It is this unpleasant fact that Rabochaya Gazeta would like to gloss over somehow. The method suggested by the editors is very simple: “It is urgently necessary that the Central Executive Committee of the Congress of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, together with the Soviet of Peasants’ Deputies, should issue an explicit and categorical statement to the effect that, as far as Russian democrats are concerned, the aims of the war remain the same as before”, and so on, and so forth. You see how resolutely the Mensheviks fight against the imperialist war: they are willing to make another urgent and categorical statement. The number of the most “urgent”, most “categorical”, and most “impassioned” statements that have already been made! How many more times will it be necessary to repeat those categorical statements as speedily as possible to moderate with words, if only a little, the actions of a government which the ministerial Rabochaya Gazeta fully supports! Really, gentlemen, your most “categorical” words, declarations and notes cannot alleviate the facts which you yourselves report. Those facts can only be countered by actions which would actually mark a break with the policy of continuing the imperialist war. The government of Lvov-Tereshchenko-Shingaryov-Kerensky-Tsereteli cannot do that. All it can do is confirm, by its cowardly and pitiful policy towards Finland and the Ukraine, its complete inability to carry out its most “categorical” statements about “no annexations” and about the “right” to self-determination. Under these circumstances, all those promised declarations will JUST HOW IS IT TO BE DONE? 147 serve as a means of lulling the people. Lulling the people with high-sounding declarations instead of waging a “proletarian peace struggle”—this is Rabochaya Gazeta’s programme, this is its real answer to the growth of the antirevolutionary forces due to the offensive. Pravda No. 9 5 , July 1 3 (June 3 0 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 148 HOW AND WHY THE PEASANTS WERE DECEIVED It is known that when peasant deputies from all over Russia arrived in Petrograd for their All-Russia Congress, they were promised—by the Socialist-Revolutionaries and by the government—that the sale and purchase of land would be immediately prohibited. At first, Minister Pereverzev really wanted to carry out that promise, and sent a telegram to stop all transactions involving the sale or purchase of land. But later some invisible hand intervened, and Minister Pereverzev withdrew his telegram to the notaries public, i.e., again permitted the sale and purchase of land. The peasants began to worry. If I am not mistaken, they even sent a delegation to the Ministry. The peasants were reassured. They were soothed as one soothes little children. They were assured that a law would be issued immediately prohibiting the sale and purchase of land and that Pereverzev’s temporary order had been “suspended” “only” because such a law was about to be issued. The Socialist-Revolutionaries reassured the peasants and fed them with promises. The peasants believed them. The peasants felt reassured. The peasants went home. Weeks passed. On June 24—no earlier—news appeared in the papers that Minister Chernov, leader of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party, had submitted a Bill to the government (no more than a Bill, as yet) to prohibit the sale and purchase of land. On June 29, the papers published reports about a “private conference” of the Duma, held on June 28. At the conference, HOW AND WHY THE PEASANTS WERE DECEIVED 149 according to Rech (a paper of the majority party in the Provisional Government), Mr. Rodzyanko “in his concluding remarks dwelt on the question of land transactions in connection with the new [oh yes, exceedingly new, new in the extreme!] government measures. He maintained that if land deals were prohibited, land would lose its value [for whom? For the landowners, obviously!! But isn’t it from them that the peasants want to take the land?], all security for loans would depreciate, and the landowners [the former landowners, Mr. Rodzyanko!] would be denied all credit. From what funds, asked Rodzyanko, will the landowners pay their debts to the banks? In most cases the debts are already overdue, and this Bill would lead to the immediate and legitimate abolition of all landed property without auctions. “In view of this, Rodzyanko proposed that the conference should instruct the Provisional Committee to examine the matter in order to endeavour to prevent the enactment of a law that would be fatal to the state, not to private ownership of land.” Here, then, is the “invisible hand” made visible! Here is the “cunning mechanism” of the coalition government, with its near-socialist Ministers, given away by this gentleman, this former Chairman of the former Duma, this former landowner, this former confidant of Stolypin the Hangman, this former protector of the agent provocateur Malinovsky— Mr. Rodzyanko! Let us even assume that now that Mr. Rodzyanko has so clumsily let the cat out of the bag, the law prohibiting the sale and purchase of land will at last be passed. At last! But that is not the whole point. The point is that this striking example should make clear to all of us, and help the peasants understand, how and why the peasants were deceived. For the fact is incontrovertible and indubitable: they have deceived the peasants by not fulfilling immediately what they had promised to fulfil immediately at the All-Russia Congress of Peasants’ Deputies. How did they deceive the peasants? By feeding them with promises. That is the “cunning mechanism” of every coalition government on earth, i.e., of every bourgeois Ministry which includes traitors to socialism. In these Ministries, former socialists serve—whether consciously or not makes no difference—as tools with which the capitalists deceive the people. Why were-the peasants deceived? Because the tools of deceit, the Socialist-Revolutionaries—we shall make the 150 V. I. L E N I N most favourable assumption about them—themselves failed to understand the cunning mechanism of class domination and class policy in the present administration of Russia. The Socialist-Revolutionaries allowed themselves to be led astray by talk. But actually, as the Rodzyanko “incident” shows very well, Russia is being ruled by a bloc between two blocs, by an alliance between two alliances. One bloc is the bloc of the Cadets and the monarchist landowners, among whom Mr. Rodzyanko ranks first. The existence of this bloc as a political fact was shown to the whole of Russia during the Petrograd elections, when all the Black Hundred papers, all the papers to the right of the Cadets, supported the Cadets. Thanks to the SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks, this bloc has a majority in the government. This bloc delayed the prohibition of transactions involving the sale and purchase of land. It is supporting the landowners and the capitalists responsible for the lock-outs. The second bloc is that of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks, which has deceived the people by empty promises. Skobelev and Tsereteli, Peshekhonov and Chernov promised an awful lot. It is easy to make promises. The “socialist” Ministers’ method of feeding the people with promises has been tried in every advanced country in the world and has everywhere ended in failure. Russia’s specific feature is that owing to the revolutionary situation in the country the failure of the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties will be worse and will come sooner than usual. Let every worker and every soldier use this example, which is particularly instructive to the peasants, to fully explain to the peasants how and why they were deceived! The peasants can only achieve their ends in alliance with the workers, not in a bloc (alliance) with the capitalists. Pravda No. 9 6 , July 1 4 (1 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 151 WHO IS RESPONSIBLE? Mr. N. Rostov quotes in the ministerial Rabochaya Gazeta several excerpts from soldiers’ letters which attest to the extreme ignorance of the peasants. The author, according to his own words, has at his disposal a bulky batch of letters sent to the Agitation Department of the Executive Committee of the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies from every part of the country. He says that all the letters clamour for one and the same thing: Papers, send us papers! The Menshevik writer suddenly exclaims in alarm: “If the revolution does not get through to them [the peasants] as a clear fact of great usefulness, they will rise against the revolution....” The peasants are “as ignorant as ever”. The Menshevik and ministerial official was a bit late in becoming alarmed over his batch of letters. More than seven weeks have passed since May 6, when the Mensheviks began to serve the capitalists, and in all this time bourgeois counter-revolutionary lies and slander against the revolution have been pouring freely into the countryside through the bourgeois papers, which have become dominant, through the direct and indirect servants and supporters of the capitalist government backed by the Mensheviks. If the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries had not been betraying the revolution and supporting the counterrevolutionary Cadets, power would have been in the hands of the Executive Committee since early May. The Executive Committee could immediately have established a state monopoly over private advertising in the press, and could thus have obtained tens of millions of newspaper copies for free distribution in the countryside. The large printing 152 V. I. L E N I N presses and stocks of newsprint would have been used by the Executive Committee to enlighten the peasants and not to befog them through a dozen or so bourgeois, counter-revolutionary newspapers which have virtually seized the key role in the newspaper business. The Executive Committee could then have disbanded the Duma, and, having saved the people’s money on this—not to speak of many other things—it could have spent that money on sending a thousand agitators, or even thousands of them, to the countryside. In times of revolution, procrastination is often equivalent to a complete betrayal of the revolution. Responsibility for the delay in the transfer of power to the workers, soldiers and peasants, for the delay in carrying through revolutionary measures to enlighten the ignorant peasants, rests wholly on the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks. They have betrayed the revolution on this matter. They bear the blame for the fact that the workers and soldiers are forced to limit themselves to primitive means in the fight against the counter-revolutionary bourgeois press and agitation, whereas they could and should have had nation-wide means for the purpose. Pravda No. 9 6 , July 1 4 (1 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 153 WHAT COULD THE CADETS HAVE COUNTED ON WHEN THEY WITHDREW FROM THE CABINET? 66 The question arises quite naturally. To correctly meet events with definite tactics, we must understand them correctly. How, then, are we to understand the Cadet withdrawal? Spite? Disagreement in principle over the Ukraine? Of course not. It would be ridiculous to suspect the Cadets of loyalty to principles, or the bourgeoisie of the ability to do something out of spite. The Cadet withdrawal can only be understood as a calculated move. What are their calculations? To govern a country which has carried out a major revolution and is still in a state of unrest, and to govern it during a world-wide imperialist war, you need the initiative and scope of a truly revolutionary class—massively courageous, historically great, wholeheartedly enthusiastic. Either you suppress this class by force, as the Cadets have been preaching for some time, since May 6 in fact, or you entrust yourself to its leadership. Either you are in alliance with imperialist capital, then you must take the offensive, you must be an obedient servant of capital, you must sell yourself to it, you must throw overboard the utopian ideas of abolishing landed property without compensation (see Birzhevka for Lvov’s speeches against Chernov’s programme); or you are against imperialist capital, then you must immediately propose precise peace terms to all nations, because they have all been exhausted by the war, you must dare to raise, and be able to raise, the banner of world proletarian revolution against capital, and to do so not in words but in deeds, to further the revolution with the greatest determination in Russia herself. 154 V. I. L E N I N The Cadets are wily businessmen in trade, in finance, in safeguarding capital, as well as in politics. They have correctly taken into account the fact that the situation is objectively a revolutionary one. They agree to reforms and enjoy sharing power with the reformists, the Tseretelis and Chernovs. But reforms will not help. There is no way out of the crisis, the war and economic disruption, through reforms. From their class point of view, from the imperialist exploiters’ point of view, the Cadets have calculated correctly. They seem to say: “By withdrawing, we present an ultimatum. We know that at present the Tseretelis and Chernovs do not trust the truly revolutionary class, that at present they do not want to conduct a truly revolutionary policy. Let’s frighten them. To be without the Cadets means being without the ‘aid’ of world-wide Anglo-American capital, means raising the banner of revolution against the latter as well. The Tseretelis and Chernovs wouldn’t do that, they wouldn’t dare! They will give in to us! “If not, then even if a revolution against capital starts, it will fail and we shall come back.” That is how the Cadets calculate. We repeat: from the point of view of the exploiting class, their calculations are correct. Were the Tseretelis and Chernovs to take the point of view of the exploited class and not that of the vacillating petty bourgeoisie, they would reply to the Cadets’ correct calculations by correct adherence to the revolutionary proletariat’s policy. Written on July 3 (1 6 ), 1 9 1 7 Published in Proletarskoye Dyelo No. 2, July 2 8 (1 5 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the manuscript 155 ALL POWER TO THE SOVIETS! “Drive nature out of the door and she will rush back through the window.” It seems that the ruling SocialistRevolutionary and Menshevik parties have to “learn” this simple truth time and again by their own experience. They undertook to be “revolutionary democrats” and found themselves in the shoes of revolutionary democrats—they are now forced to draw the conclusions which every revolutionary democrat must draw. Democracy is the rule of the majority. As long as the will of the majority was not clear, as long as it was possible to make it out to be unclear, at least with a grain of plausibility, the people were offered a counter-revolutionary bourgeois government disguised as “democratic”. But this delay could not last long. During the several months that have passed since February 27 the will of the majority of the workers and peasants, of the overwhelming majority of the country’s population, has become clear in more than a general sense. Their will has found expression in mass organisations—the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies. How, then, can anyone oppose the transfer of all power in the state to the Soviets? Such opposition means nothing but renouncing democracy! It means no more no less than imposing on the people a government which admittedly can neither come into being nor hold its ground democratically, i.e., as a result of truly free, truly popular elections. It is a fact, strange as it may seem at first sight, that the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks have forgotten this perfectly simple, perfectly obvious and palpable truth. 156 V. I. L E N I N Their position is so false, and they are so badly confused and bewildered, that they are unable to “recover” this truth they have lost. Following the elections in Petrograd and in Moscow, the convocation of the All-Russia Peasant Congress, and the Congress of Soviets, the classes and parties throughout Russia have shown what they stand for so clearly and specifically that people who have not gone mad or deliberately got themselves into a mess simply cannot have any illusions on this score. To tolerate the Cadet Ministers or the Cadet government or Cadet policies means challenging democrats and democracy. This is the source of the political crises since February 27, and this is also the source of the shakiness and vacillation of our government system. At every turn, daily and even hourly, appeals are being made to the people’s revolutionary spirit and to their democracy on behalf of the most authoritative government institutions and congresses. Yet the government’s policies in general, and its foreign and economic policies in particular, are all departures from revolutionary principles, and breaches of democracy. This sort of thing will not do. It is inevitable that a situation like the present should show elements of instability now for one reason, now for another. And it is not exactly a clever policy to jib. Things are moving by fits and starts towards a point where power will be transferred to the Soviets, which is what our Party called for long ago. Pravda No. 9 9 , July 1 8 (5 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Pravda text 157 WHERE IS STATE POWER AND WHERE IS COUNTER-REVOLUTION? This question is usually answered quite simply: there is no counter-revolution at all or we do not know where it is. But we know full well where power is. It is in the hands of the Provisional Government, which is controlled by the Central Executive Committee (C.E.C.) of the All-Russia Congress of Soviets of Soldiers’ and Workers’ Deputies. This is the usual answer. Yesterday’s political crisis, 67 like most types of crises, which tear down everything conventional and shatter all illusions, left in its wake the ruins of the illusions expressed in the usual answers—cited above—to the basic questions of any revolution. There is a former member of the Second Duma, Alexinsky, whom the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, the ruling parties in the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies, refused to admit on to the Executive Committee of the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies until he rehabilitated himself, i.e., until he redeemed his honour. 68 What was the trouble? Why did the Executive Committee publicly and formally deny Alexinsky its confidence, demanding that he redeem his honour, i.e., declaring him dishonest? It was because Alexinsky had made himself so notorious by libellous statements that he had been branded a slanderer in Paris by journalists of the most diverse parties. Alexinsky did not bother to redeem his honour before the Executive Committee. He preferred to hide himself in Plekhanov’s newspaper Yedinstvo, appearing first under initials, and then, after he had plucked up courage, under his full name. 158 V. I. L E N I N On July 4, yesterday afternoon, a few Bolsheviks were warned by friends that Alexinsky had laid before the Petrograd journalists’ committee some new malicious libel. Most of those who received the warning ignored it completely, treating Alexinsky and his “work” with disdainful contempt. But one Bolshevik, Jugashvili (Stalin), a member of the Central Executive Committee, who as a Georgian Social-Democrat had known Comrade Chkheidze for a long time, spoke to the latter at a meeting of the C.E.C. about Alexinsky’s new infamous slander campaign. This happened late at night, but Chkheidze declared that the C.E.C. could not be indifferent to the spreading of libel by people who are afraid of open court and an investigation by the C.E.C. In his own name, as Chairman of the C.E.C., and in the name of Tsereteli, a member of the Provisional Government, Chkheidze immediately telephoned all newspaper offices, suggesting that they refrain from publishing Alexinsky’s libel. Chkheidze told Stalin that most papers had expressed readiness to comply with his request, and that only Yedinstvo and Rech had “kept silent” for a time (we have not seen Yedinstvo, but Rech has not printed the libel). As a result, the libel appeared only on the pages of a petty, yellow, and to most intelligent people completely unknown paper, Zhivoye Slovo 69 No. 51 (404), whose editor and publisher signs himself A. M. Umansky. The slanderers will now answer before the court. In this respect things are quite simple. The absurdity of the libel is striking: a certain ensign of the Sixteenth Siberian Rifle Regiment by the name of Yermolenko was “dispatched” (?) “on April 25 to us behind the front lines of the Sixth Army to agitate for the speediest conclusion of a separate peace treaty with Germany”. Apparently, he is the escaped prisoner of whom the “document” published in Zhivoye Slovo says: “This commission was accepted by Yermolenko on the insistence of the comrades”!! From this alone you can judge how little faith can be put in an individual who is dishonourable enough to accept such a “commission”!... The witness has no sense of honour. This is a fact. And what was the witness’s testimony? WHERE IS STATE POWER, WHERE IS COUNTER - REVOLUTION 159 He testified the following: “Officers of the German General Staff, Schiditzki and Lübers, had told him that propaganda of a similar kind was being carried on in Russia by A. Skoropis-Yoltukhovsky, chairman of the Ukrainian section of the Union for the Liberation of the Ukraine, 70 and an agent of the German General Staff, and by Lenin. Lenin was commissioned to do all he could to undermine the confidence of the Russian people in the Provisional Government.” Thus the German officers, in order to induce Yermolenko to commit this dishonourable act, shamelessly lied to him about Lenin who, as everybody knows and as is officially stated by the entire Bolshevik Party, has always rejected most emphatically, consistently, and unconditionally a separate peace treaty with Germany!! The lie of the German officers is so obvious, crude and preposterous that no literate person would even for a moment take it for anything but a lie. And a politically literate person would be even more certain that to associate Lenin with an individual like Yoltukhovsky (?) and with the Union for the Liberation of the Ukraine is particularly preposterous, for both Lenin and all other internationalists have repeatedly dissociated themselves publicly from this dubious social-patriotic “Union” during the war! The crude lie told by Yermolenko, whom the Germans had bribed, or by German officers, would not deserve the slightest attention, were it not that the “document” has added what it calls “fresh information”—it is not known by whom, from whom, how, or when received—according to which “money for propaganda is being received” (by whom? the “document” is afraid to say plainly that the accused or suspected is Lenin!! The document says nothing about who “is receiving it”) “through trusted people”: the “Bolsheviks” Fürstenberg (Hanecki) and Kozlovsky. It is alleged that there is information proving the transfer of money through banks, and that “the military censorship has discovered a continuous (!) exchange of telegrams of a political and financial nature between German agents and Bolshevik leaders”!! Again such a crude lie that it sticks out like a sore thumb. If there were even a word of truth in that, then how could it happen (1) that Hanecki had quite recently been allowed freely to enter Russia and permitted to leave her just as 160 V. I. L E N I N freely? (2) that neither Hanecki nor Kozlovsky had been arrested before the appearance in the press of information concerning their crimes? Is it really possible that the General Staff, had it actually been in possession of even remotely trustworthy information about the sending of money, telegrams, etc., would have permitted the publication of rumours about this through the Alexinskys and the yellow press, without arresting Hanecki and Kozlovsky? Isn’t it clear this is nothing but the cheap work of newspaper slanderers of the lowest order? We may add that Hanecki and Kozlovsky are not Bolsheviks, but members of the Polish Social-Democratic Party; that we have known Hanecki, a member of its Central Committee, since the 1903 London Congress from which the Polish delegates withdrew, and so on. The Bolsheviks never received any money from either Hanecki or Kozlovsky. All that is a lie, a complete, vulgar lie. What is its political significance? First, it indicates that the Bolsheviks’ political opponents are so low and contemptible that they cannot get along without lies and libel. Secondly, it provides us with an answer to the title question of this article. The report about the “documents” was sent to Kerensky as early as May 16. Kerensky is a member of the Provisional Government and the Soviet, i.e., of both “powers”. May 16 to July 5 is a long time. The power, if it really were a power, could and should itself have investigated those “documents”, interrogated the witnesses, and arrested the suspects. The power, both “powers”—the Provisional Government and the C.E.C.—could and should have done this. Yet both powers are inactive, while the General Staff is found to have some sort of relations with Alexinsky, who was not admitted to the Soviet’s Executive Committee owing to his libellous activities! The General Staff, at the very moment of the Cadets’ withdrawal, permits—probably by accident—the handing over of its official documents to Alexinsky for publication! The power is inactive. Neither Kerensky, nor the Provisional Government, nor the C.E.C. so much as think of arresting Lenin, Hanecki, or Kozlovsky, if they are under suspicion. Last night, July 4, both Chkheidze and Tsereteli WHERE IS STATE POWER, WHERE IS COUNTER - REVOLUTION 161 asked the newspapers not to print the obvious libel. But just a little later, late at night, Polovtsev sent military cadets and Cossacks to wreck Pravda’s offices, stop the paper’s publication, arrest its publishers, seize its ledgers (on the pretext of investigating whether or not suspicious funds were involved). At the same time that yellow, base, filthy little rag, Zhivoye Slovo, printed foul libel to arouse passions, revile the Bolsheviks, create an atmosphere of mob violence, and afford a plausible justification for the behaviour of Polovtsev, the military cadets and the Cossacks who had wrecked Pravda’s offices. Whoever does not close his eyes to the truth cannot remain deluded. When it is necessary to act, both powers remain inactive—the C.E.C., because it “trusts” the Cadets and is afraid of irritating them, and the Cadets, who do not act as a power because they prefer to act behind the scenes. Counter-revolution behind the scenes—this is it, as clear as day: the Cadets, certain quarters of the General Staff (“high-ranking officers”, as our Party’s resolution calls them), and the shady, semi-Black Hundred press. These are not inactive, these “work” together hand in glove; this is the soil in which pogroms, attempted pogroms, the shooting of demonstrators, etc., etc., are nurtured. Whoever does not deliberately shut his eyes to the truth cannot remain deluded any longer. There is no power, and there will be none until the transfer of power to the Soviets lays the foundation for creating power. Counter-revolution thrives on the absence of authority by uniting the Cadets with certain high-ranking officers and with the Black Hundred press. This is a sad reality, but a reality nevertheless. Workers and soldiers! You must show firmness, determination and vigilance! Written on July 5 (1 8 ), 1 9 1 7 Published in Listok “Pravdy”, July 1 9 (6 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the newspaper text 162 FOUL SLANDER BY ULTRA-REACTIONARY NEWSPAPERS AND ALEXINSKY Today’s issue of Zhivoye Slovo, an obviously Black Hundred type of paper, carries low, foul slander against Lenin. Pravda cannot appear because its premises were wrecked by military cadets on the night of July 4-5. This accounts for the delay in publishing a detailed refutation of the foul slander. For the time being we declare that the Zhivoye Slovo report is slander and that on the night of July 4-5 Chkheidze rang up all the big papers, asking them not to publish slanderous, riot-raising articles. The big papers complied with Chkheidze’s request, and on July 5 none of them published the infamous slander, with the exception of the filthy Zhivoye Slovo. Alexinsky is so well known as a slanderer that he has not been admitted to the Executive Committee of the Soviet until he rehabilitates himself, i.e., until he redeems his honour. Citizens! Don’t believe those foul slanderers, Alexinsky and Zhivoye Slovo. Zhivoye Slovo’s slander is evident at a glance from the following: the paper writes that on May 16 a letter (No. 3719) accusing Lenin was sent to Kerensky from the General Staff. Obviously, Kerensky would have been duty bound to have Lenin arrested immediately and to order a government investigation, had he for a single moment believed those accusations or suspicions to be serious. Written on July 5 (1 8 ), 1 9 1 7 Published in Listok “Pravdy”, July 1 9 (6 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the newspaper text 163 SLANDER AND FACTS An immense torrent of abuse and slander is being poured on the Bolsheviks for the demonstration of July 3 and 4. They go so far as to accuse the Bolsheviks of “trying to seize the city”, of wanting to “violate” the will of the Soviets, of “encroaching on the authority of the Soviets”, and so on, and so forth. The facts, however, show that the Bolsheviks did not seize a single building, a single institution, let alone a section of the city (although they could have), nor tried to do so even though the people were armed. The facts show that the only political act of violence against an institution occurred on the night of July 4-5, when the military cadets and Cossacks wrecked Pravda on Polovtsev’s orders, without the knowledge and against the will of the Soviet. This is a fact. It was a deliberate, malicious use of force against an entire institution, an “encroachment” and “violation” not in words, but in deeds. Had this encroachment been lawful, either the Provisional Government or the Soviet would have sanctioned the measure. Neither authority, however, did so. Those who committed violence against “Pravda” received no support either in the Soviet or in the Provisional Government. The Bolsheviks appealed to the soldiers who had started the demonstration to act peaceably and in an organised way. Neither the Provisional Government nor the Soviet appealed to the military cadets, the Cossacks or Polovtsev to act peaceably and in an organised, lawful way. 164 V. I. L E N I N * * * But, we are told, there was shooting. Yes, there was. But who did the shooting? Who dares blame it on anyone without an investigation? Please listen to a witness from bourgeois quarters. This witness is the paper Birzheviye Vedomosti, evening edition of July 4—a witness whom nobody in the world could suspect of partiality towards the Bolsheviks! Here is what the witness says: “At 2 p.m. sharp, when the armed demonstrators were passing the Sadovaya and Nevsky corner and a large number of spectators were watching them quietly, a deafening shot rang out from the right side of Sadovaya, after which disorderly firing began.” And so, even the witness from the bourgeois paper is compelled to admit the truth, namely, that the shooting began from the right side of Sadovaya!! Surely this is a clear enough indication that the shooting was aimed at the demonstrators. Is it really so difficult to appreciate that if the demonstrators had planned or wished to use force, they would have sent people against a definite institution, as Polovtsev sent military cadets and Cossacks against Pravda? Since sailors were killed, and since the witness from the bourgeois paper says that the shooting was started “from the right side of Sadovaya” “when the armed demonstrators were passing”, isn’t this obvious enough proof that it was the Black Hundreds, the opponents of democracy, the quarters close to the Cadets, that wanted and were bent on violence? Written on July 5 (1 8 ), 1 9 1 7 Published in Listok “Pravdy”, July 1 9 (6 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the newspaper text 165 CLOSE TO THE TRUTH Speaking at the Central Executive Committee meeting on the evening of July 4, Citizen Chaikovsky came surprisingly close to the truth. He objected to the Soviet taking power and, among other things, advanced this what we might call “decisive” argument: we must carry on the war but cannot do it without money, and the British and Americans won’t give any money if power is in the hands of “socialists”; they will only give money if the Cadets participate in the government. That is close to the truth. It is impossible to participate in the imperialist war without “participating” in the capitalist business of subjugating the people with loans from the capitalist gentlemen. In order to really oppose the imperialist war, we must sever all ties that fetter people and bind them to capital. The workers and peasants must fearlessly take over the supervision of the banks and production and the regulation of production. We, too, think that the British and Americans will give no money unless they have a guarantee from the Cadets. The alternative is: either serve the Cadets, serve capital, pile up imperialist loans (and put up with the fitting title of imperialist democrats instead of claiming to be “revolutionary” democrats); or break with the Cadets, break with the capitalists, break with imperialism, and become real revolutionaries on war issues as well. Chaikovsky came close to the truth. Written on July 5 (1 8 ), 1 9 1 7 Published in Listok “Pravdy”, July 1 9 (6 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the newspaper text 166 A NEW DREYFUS CASE? Are some of the “leaders” of our General Staff planning to re-enact the Dreyfus case 71? This idea is suggested by the outrageously insolent and monstrous slander published in Zhivoye Slovo and analysed by us in detail elsewhere. In the Dreyfus case, the French General Staff made itself sadly and disgracefully famous throughout the world by resorting to wrong, unfair and downright criminal (base) measures to indict Dreyfus. Our General Staff showed their hand in a “case” against the Bolsheviks, doing it publicly for the first time, I think, through—this is strange and significant and incredible— Zhivoye Slovo, a Black Hundred rag, which printed an obvious slander about Lenin being a spy. The report begins as follows: “The Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command sent the record of interrogation [of Yermolenko] to the War Minister, with his letter No. 3719 of May 16, 1917.” Is it conceivable—if the case is handled properly at all— that records of interrogation belonging to the General Staff should be published in the Black Hundred press before investigation is instituted and before the suspects are arrested? The General Staff is in charge of intelligence. This is beyond question. But how can an intelligence service function if a document dispatched on May 16 and received by Kerensky long ago is put in circulation by a Black Hundred rag instead of Kerensky? In what way does this differ, in point of fact, from the methods used in the Dreyfus case? Listok “Pravdy”, July 1 9 (6 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the text in Listok “Pravdy” 167 APPEAL OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMISSION OF THE PETROGRAD COMMITTEE OF THE R.S.D.L.P.(B.) In pursuance of the decision of the C.C. R.S.D.L.P. published yesterday (signed also by the Petrograd Committee), the Executive Commission of the Petrograd Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. appeals to workers to resume work tomorrow, i.e., on the morning of July 7. This decision is supported by a meeting of delegates from the factory staffs of Vyborgskaya Storona. Executive Commission, Petrograd Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. Written on July 6 (1 9 ), 1 9 1 7 First published in 1 9 2 8 in Lenin Miscellany VII Published according to the manuscript 168 DREYFUSIAD A combination of the old and the new—this has always been the case with methods of exploitation and repression used by tsarism. It has not changed in republican Russia. The counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie flavour their political baiting of the Bolsheviks, the party of the international revolutionary proletariat, with the foulest slander and “campaigning” in the press that is quite like the campaign of the French clerical and monarchist papers in the Dreyfus case. The watchword at that time was that Dreyfus must be indicted for espionage at all costs! Today the watchword is that some Bolshevik or other must be indicted for espionage at all costs! The foulest slander, garbling, crude lies and artful tricks to confuse the reader—all these devices are being used by the yellow press and the bourgeois press generally with great zeal. The net result is a wild, furious uproar in which it is sometimes impossible to make out articulate words, let alone arguments. Here are some of the methods used in our modern, republican Dreyfusiad. First they trotted out three main “arguments”: Yermolenko, Kozlovsky’s twenty million, and the implication of Parvus. Next day Zhivoye Slovo, the chief riot-instigating paper, published two “corrections” admitting that the “leader” of the Bolsheviks had not been bribed but was a fanatic and changing the twenty million to twenty thousand. Meanwhile another paper declared Yermolenko’s testimony to be of secondary importance. 169 DREYFUSIAD In Listok “Pravdy” 72 of July 6, we showed the complete absurdity of Yermolenko’s testimony. * Obviously, it had become inconvenient to refer to it. In the same issue of Listok there is a letter from Kozlovsky denying the slander. Following the denial 20,000,000 is reduced to 20,000—a “round” figure again instead of an exact one. They implicate Parvus, trying hard to establish some sort of connection between him and the Bolsheviks. In reality it was the Bolsheviks who in the Geneva SotsialDemokrat 73 called Parvus a renegade, ** denounced him ruthlessly as a German Plekhanov, and once and for all eliminated all possibility of close relations with socialchauvinists like him. It was the Bolsheviks who at a meeting held in Stockholm jointly with the Swedish Left Socialists 74 categorically refused to admit Parvus in any capacity, even as a guest, let alone speak to him. Hanecki was engaged in business as an employee of the firm in which Parvus was a partner. Commercial and financial correspondence was censored, of course, and is quite open to examination. An effort is being made to mix these commercial affairs with politics, although no proof whatsoever is being furnished!! They have gone to the ridiculous extreme of blaming Pravda for the fact that its dispatches to the socialist papers of Sweden and all other countries (dispatches which, of course, had to pass the censor and are fully known to him) were reprinted by German papers, often with distortions! As if reprinting, or malicious distortions, can be blamed on the original source! It is a veritable Dreyfusiad, a campaign of lies and slander stemming from fierce political hatred. How foul the sources must be to substitute slander for the clash of ideas! Written on July 6 - 7 (1 9 - 2 0 ), 1 9 1 7 First published in Lenin Miscellany VI, 1 9 2 5 * See ** See Published according to the manuscript pp. 157-61 of this volume.—Ed. present edition, Vol. 21, pp. 421 - 22.—Ed. 170 IN REFUTATION OF SINISTER RUMOURS Listok “Pravdy” of July 6 carried a detailed refutation of the foul slander spread by the Black Hundred papers * with regard to Lenin and others. A similar refutation, in a briefer form, was published as a separate leaflet on behalf of our Party Central Committee. In addition, we have only to answer the following question put to us: are the rumours concerning the arrest of Lenin, Kamenev, Zinoviev and others true? No, these rumours are untrue. All the Bolsheviks named here who are baited with particular zeal by the vile and slanderous press are members of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee of the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. Once again we request all fair-minded citizens not to believe these infamous slanders and sinister rumours. Written on July 7 (2 0 ), 1 9 1 7 First published in 1 9 2 8 in Lenin Miscellany VII * See pp. 157-62 of this volume.—Ed. Published according to the manuscript 171 THREE CRISES 75 The more violent the slander and lies against the Bolsheviks these days, the more calmly must we, while refuting the lies and slander, reflect upon the historical interrelation of events and the political, i.e., class, significance of the revolution’s present course. To refute the lies and slander, we only have to refer again to Listok “Pravdy” of July 6, and to call the reader’s attention especially to the article printed below which gives documentary evidence that on July 2 the Bolsheviks campaigned against the demonstration (as admitted by the SocialistRevolutionaries’ paper). The article indicates that on July 3 the popular mood exploded into action and the demonstration started against our advice. It shows that on July 4, in a leaflet (reprinted by the Socialist-Revolutionary paper Dyelo Naroda), we called for a peaceful and organised demonstration, that on the night of July 4 we passed a decision to call off the demonstration. Slanderers, continue your slander! You can never refute these facts and their decisive significance in every connection! Let us turn to the question of the historical interrelation of the events. When, as early as the beginning of April, we opposed support for the Provisional Government, we were attacked by both the S.R.s and the Mensheviks. But what has reality proved? What have the three political crises proved—April 20 and 21, June 10 and 18, July 3 and 4? They have proved, in the first place, that the masses are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the bourgeois policy of the Provisional Government’s bourgeois majority. 172 V. I. L E N I N It is rather interesting to note that the ruling SocialistRevolutionaries’ newspaper, Dyelo Naroda, despite its marked hostility to the Bolsheviks, is compelled to admit, in its July 6 issue, the deep economic and political causes of the action of July 3 and 4. The stupid, crude, infamous lie that this action was artificially created, that the Bolsheviks campaigned in favour of action, will daily be more and more exposed. The common cause, the common origin, the deep common root of the three above-mentioned political crises is clear, especially if we look at them in their interrelation, as science demands that politics be looked at. It is absurd even to think that three such crises could be produced artificially. In the second place, it is instructive to grasp what each one of them had in common with the others, and what was its specific features. What is common to all three is a mass dissatisfaction overflowing all bounds, a mass resentment with the bourgeoisie and their government. Whoever forgets, ignores or underestimates this essence of the matter, renounces the ABC of socialism concerning the class struggle. Let those who call themselves socialists, who know something about the character of the class struggle in European revolutions, think about the class struggle in the Russian revolution. These crises are peculiar in the ways they manifested themselves. The first (April 20-21) was stormy and spontaneous, and completely unorganised. It led to Black Hundreds firing on the demonstrators and to unprecedentedly savage and lying accusations against the Bolsheviks. After the outburst came a political crisis. In the second case, the demonstration was called by the Bolsheviks, and was cancelled after a stern ultimatum and direct ban by the Congress of Soviets; then, on June 18, came a general demonstration in which the Bolshevik slogans clearly predominated. As the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks themselves admitted on the evening of June 18, a political crisis would certainly have broken out had it not been for the offensive at the front. The third crisis broke out spontaneously on July 3 despite the Bolsheviks’ efforts on July 2 to check it. Reaching its THREE CRISES 173 climax on July 4, it led to a furious outburst of counterrevolution on July 5 and 6. The vacillation of the S.R.s and Mensheviks expressed itself in Spiridonova and a number of other S.R.s declaring for the transfer of power to the Soviets, and in the Menshevik internationalists, previously opposed to it, voicing the same idea. The last, and perhaps the most instructive, conclusion to be drawn from considering the events in their interconnection is that all three crises manifested some form of demonstration that is new in the history of our revolution, a demonstration of a more complicated type in which the movement proceeds in waves, a sudden drop following a rapid rise, revolution and counter-revolution becoming more acute, and the middle elements being eliminated for a more or less extensive period. In all three crises, the movement took the form of a demonstration. An anti-government demonstration—that would be the most exact, formal description of events. But the fact of the matter is that it was not an ordinary demonstration; it was something considerably more than a demonstration, but less than a revolution. It was an outburst of revolution and counter-revolution together, a sharp, sometimes almost sudden elimination of the middle elements, while the proletarian and bourgeois elements made a stormy appearance. In this respect it is extremely typical that, for each of these movements, the middle elements blame both of the specific class forces—the proletariat as well as the bourgeoisie. Look at the S.R.s and Mensheviks. They lean over backwards to frantically shout that, by their extremes, the Bolsheviks are helping the counter-revolution. At the same time, however, they admit again and again that the Cadets (with whom they form a bloc in the government) are counter-revolutionary. “Our urgent task is to draw a line,” wrote Dyelo Naroda yesterday, “to dig a deep moat between ourselves and all the Right elements, including Yedinstvo, which has gone militant” (with which, we may add, the S.R.s formed a bloc during the elections). Compare that with today’s (July 7) issue of Yedinstvo, in which Plekhanov’s editorial is compelled to state the indisputable fact that the Soviets (i.e., the S.R.s and 174 V. I. L E N I N Mensheviks) will “think over the matter for a fortnight” and that, if power were to pass to the Soviets, “it would be tantamount to victory for Lenin’s supporters”. “If the Cadets don’t stick to the rule—the worse, the better. . . , ” says Plekhanov, “they themselves will have to admit that they have made a big mistake [by withdrawing from the Cabinet], making the work of Lenin’s supporters easier.” Isn’t that typical? The middle elements blame the Cadets for making the Bolsheviks’ work easier, and the Bolsheviks for making the Cadets’ work easier! Is it so hard to guess that if we substitute class names for political ones we have before us the dreams of the petty bourgeoisie about the disappearance of the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie? Isn’t the petty bourgeoisie complaining about the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie? Is it really so hard to guess that no Bolsheviks in the world could have “created” even a single “popular movement”, let alone three movements, if the deepest economic and political causes had not set the proletariat into action? Is it so difficult to guess that no Cadets and monarchists combined could have called forth any movement “from the Right” if it had not been for the equally deep causes that make the bourgeoisie as a class counter-revolutionary? Both we and the Cadets were blamed for the April 20-21 movement—for intransigence, extremes, and for aggravating the situation. The Bolsheviks were even accused (absurd as it may be) of the firing on Nevsky. When the movement was over, however, those same S.R.s and Mensheviks, in their joint, official organ, Izvestia, wrote that the “popular movement” had “swept away the imperialists, Milyukov, etc.”, i.e., they praised the movement!! Isn’t that typical? Doesn’t it show very clearly that the petty bourgeoisie do not understand the workings, the meaning, of the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie? The objective situation is this. The vast majority of the country’s population is petty-bourgeois by its living conditions and more so by its ideas. But big capital rules the country, primarily through banks and syndicates. There is an urban proletariat in this country, mature enough to go its own way, but not yet able to draw at once the majority of the semi-proletarians to its side. From this fundamental, THREE CRISES 175 class fact follows the inevitability of such crises as the three we are now examining, as well as their forms. In future the forms of crises may, of course, change, but the substance of the issue will remain the same even if, for instance, the S.R. Constituent Assembly meets in October. The S.R.s have promised the peasants: (1) to abolish private landownership; (2) to transfer the land to the working people; (3) to confiscate the landed estates and transfer them to the peasants without compensation. These great reforms can never be realised without the most decisive revolutionary measures against the bourgeoisie, measures that can only be taken when the poor peasants join the proletariat, only when the banks and the syndicates are nationalised. The credulous peasants, believing for a time that these beautiful things can be achieved by compromising with the bourgeoisie, will inevitably be disappointed and . . . “dissatisfied” (mildly speaking) with the sharp class struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie for the implementation of the promises of the S.R.s. So it was, and so it will be. Written on July 7 (2 0 ), 1 9 1 7 Published in the magazine Rabotnitsa No. 7 , July 1 9 , 1 9 1 7 Published according to the manuscript 176 THE QUESTION OF THE BOLSHEVIK LEADERS APPEARING IN COURT 76 Judging by private conversations, there are two opinions on this question. Comrades succumbing to the “Soviet atmosphere” often incline towards appearing in court. Those closer to the workers apparently incline towards not appearing. In principle, the question chiefly boils down to an estimation of what is usually called constitutional illusions. Anyone who thinks that a regular government and a regular court exist or can exist in Russia, that a Constituent Assembly is likely to be called, may arrive at a conclusion in favour of appearing. That idea is completely erroneous, however. It is the latest events, after July 4, that have most vividly shown that a Constituent Assembly is unlikely to be called (without a new revolution), that neither a regular government nor a regular court exists or can exist in Russia (at present). The court is an organ of power. The liberals sometimes forget this, but it is a sin for a Marxist to do so. Where, then, is the power? Who constitutes the power? There is no government. It changes daily. It is inactive. The power that is active is the military dictatorship. Under these conditions, it is ridiculous even to speak of “the courts”. It is not a question of “courts”, but of an episode in the civil war. This is what those in favour of appearing in court unfortunately do not want to understand. Pereverzev and Alexinsky as initiators of the “case”!! Isn’t it ridiculous to speak of courts in such circumstances? THE QUESTION OF THE BOLSHEVIK LEADERS 177 Isn’t it naïve to think that, in such conditions, any court can examine, investigate and establish anything?? Power is in the hands of a military dictatorship. Without a new revolution, this power can only become stronger for a certain time, primarily for the duration of the war. “I’ve done nothing against the law. The courts are just. They will sort things out. The trial will be public. The people will understand. I shall appear.” This reasoning is childishly naive. The authorities need not a trial but a persecution campaign against the internationalists. What Kerensky and Co. need is to put them in gaol and keep them there. So it was (in Britain and France), and so it will be (in Russia). Let the internationalists work illegally as much as they can, but let them not commit the folly of appearing in court of their own free will! FROM MARX TO MAO  Written on July 8 (2 1 ), 1 9 1 7 First published in the magazine Proletarskaya Revolyutsia No. 1 (3 6 ), 1 9 2 5 Published according to the manuscript NOT FOR COMMERCIAL DISTRIBUTION 178 THE POLITICAL SITUATION 77 FOUR THESES 1. The counter-revolution has become organised and consolidated, and has actually taken state power into its hands. The complete organisation and consolidation of the counter-revolution consists in a combination of its three main forces, a combination excellently conceived and already put into practice: (1.) The Constitutional-Democratic Party, i.e., the real leader of the organised bourgeoisie, has, by withdrawing from the Cabinet, confronted it with an ultimatum, thus clearing the way for the Cabinet’s overthrow by the counter-revolution; (2.) The General Staff and the military leaders, with the deliberate or semi-deliberate assistance of Kerensky, whom even the most prominent Socialist-Revolutionaries now call a Cavaignac, have seized actual state power and have proceeded to shoot down revolutionary units at the front, disarm the revolutionary troops and workers in Petrograd and Moscow, suppress unrest in Nizhni-Novgorod, arrest Bolsheviks and ban their papers, not only without trial, but even without a government order. At present, basic state power in Russia is virtually a military dictatorship. This fact is still obscured by a number of institutions that are revolutionary in words but powerless in deeds. Yet it is so obvious and fundamental a fact that, without understanding it, one cannot understand anything about the political situation. (3.) The Black Hundredmonarchist and bourgeois press, which has switched from hounding Bolsheviks to hounding the Soviets, the “incendiary” Chernov, etc., has indicated with the utmost clarity that the true meaning of the policy of military dictatorship, which now reigns supreme and is supported by the Cadets THE POLITICAL SITUATION 179 and monarchists, is preparation for disbanding the Soviets. Many of the leaders of the S.R.s and Mensheviks, i.e., the present majority in the Soviets, have admitted and expressed this during the past few days, but, true to their pettybourgeois nature, they shrug off this formidable reality with meaningless high-sounding phrases. 2. The leaders of the Soviets and of the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties, headed by Tsereteli and Chernov, have completely betrayed the cause of the revolution by putting it in the hands of the counter-revolutionaries and by turning themselves, their parties and the Soviets into mere fig-leaves of the counter-revolution. Proof of this is that the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks have betrayed the Bolsheviks and have tacitly agreed to close down their papers without daring to tell the people plainly and openly that they are doing so and why. By sanctioning the disarming of the workers and the revolutionary regiments, they have deprived themselves of all real power. They have turned into the most loud-mouthed ranters who help the reaction to “divert” the people’s attention until it is finally ready to disband the Soviets. It is impossible to understand anything at all about the present political situation without realising this complete and final bankruptcy of the S.R.s and Mensheviks and the present majority in the Soviets and without realising that their “Directory” and other masquerades are an absolute sham. 3. All hopes for a peaceful development of the Russian revolution have vanished for good. This is the objective situation: either complete victory for the military dictatorship, or victory for the workers’ armed uprising; the latter victory is only possible when it coincides with a deep mass upheaval against the government and the bourgeoisie caused by economic disruption and the prolongation of the war. The slogan “All Power to the Soviets!” was a slogan for peaceful development of the revolution which was possible in April, May, June, and up to July 5-9, i.e., up to the time when actual power passed into the hands of the military dictatorship. This slogan is no longer correct, for it does not take into account that power has changed 180 V. I. L E N I N hands and that the revolution has in fact been completely betrayed by the S.R.s and Mensheviks. Reckless actions, revolts, partial resistance, or hopeless hit-and-run attempts to oppose reaction will not help. What will help is a clear understanding of the situation, endurance and determination of the workers’ vanguard, preparation of forces for the armed uprising, for the victory of which conditions at present are extremely difficult, but still possible if the facts and trends mentioned in the thesis coincide. Let us have no constitutional or republican illusions of any kind, no more illusions about a peaceful path, no sporadic actions, no yielding now to provocation from the Black Hundreds and Cossacks. Let us muster our forces, reorganise them, and resolutely prepare for the armed uprising, if the course of the crisis permits it on a really mass, country-wide scale. The transfer of land to the peasants is impossible at present without an armed uprising, since the counter-revolutionaries, having taken power, have completely united with the landowners as a class. The aim of the insurrection can only be to transfer power to the proletariat, supported by the poor peasants, with a view to putting our Party programme into effect. 4. The party of the working class, without abandoning legal activity but never for a moment overrating it, must combine legal with illegal work, as it did in 1912-14. Don’t let a single hour of legal work slip by. But don’t cherish any constitutional or “peaceful” illusions. Form illegal organisations or cells everywhere and at once for the publication of leaflets, etc. Reorganise immediately, consistently, resolutely, all along the line. Act as we did in 1912-14, when we could speak about overthrowing tsarism by a revolution and an armed uprising, without at the same time losing our legal base in the Duma, the insurance societies, the trade unions, etc. Written on July 1 0 (2 3 ), 1 9 1 7 Published on August 2 (July 2 0 ), 1 9 1 7 , in Proletarskoye Dyelo No. 6 Signed: W Published according to the manuscript 181 LETTER TO THE EDITORS OF N O V A Y A Z H I Z N Permit us, comrades, to turn to your hospitality on account of the forced suspension of our Party paper. Certain papers have begun a furious baiting campaign against us, accusing us of espionage or of communicating with an enemy government. The extraordinary thoughtlessness (an inappropriate and much too weak a word) with which this baiting is conducted may be seen from the following plain facts. Zhivoye Slovo first published a statement that Lenin was a spy. Then, in a “correction” which is supposed not to change anything, it declared that he was not accused of spying! First the paper came out with Yermolenko’s testimony, then it was compelled to admit that it is downright awkward and shameful to see such a person’s testimony as evidence. The name of Parvus is dragged in, without mentioning, however, that no one denounced Parvus as sharply and mercilessly, as far back as 1915, as the Geneva SotsialDemokrat, which we edited and which, in an article entitled “The Uttermost Limit”, branded Parvus as “a renegade” “licking Hindenburg’s boots”, * etc. Every literate person knows, or can easily find out, that all political or other relations between ourselves and Parvus are completely out of the question. The name of one Sumenson is trotted out, a woman with whom we have never even met, let alone had anything to do. Business enterprises of Hanecki and Kozlovsky are also dragged in, but not a single fact is mentioned as to where, how and when the business was a screen for espionage. * See present edition, Vol. 21, pp. 421-22.—Ed. 182 V. I. L E N I N Not only have we never participated directly or indirectly in business enterprises, but we have never received from any of the above comrades a single kopek either for ourselves personally or for the Party. They go so far as to blame us for Pravda dispatches being reprinted in a distorted fashion by German newspapers, but they “forget” to mention that Pravda issues German and French bulletins abroad and that the reprinting of material from these bulletins is entirely free. 78 And all this is done with the participation and even on the initiative of Alexinsky, who has not been admitted to the Soviet, who, in other words, has been recognised as an obvious slanderer!! Is it really impossible to understand that such, methods against us are tantamount to legal assassination? The Central Executive Committee’s discussion of the conditions on which the Committee’s members could be brought to court undoubtedly introduces an element of orderliness. 7 9 Will the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties want to participate in an attempt at legal assassination? Will they want to take part in an attempt to put us on trial without even indicating whether we are accused of espionage or mutiny, in an attempt to put us on trial without any precise indictment at all? Will they want to take part in an attempt to stage an obviously unfair trial which may handicap their own candidates in the Constituent Assembly elections? Will those parties want to make the eve of the convocation of a Constituent Assembly in Russia the beginning of a Dreyfusiad on Russian soil? The near future will give an answer to these questions which we deem it the duty of the free press to raise openly. We are not talking about the bourgeois press. Of course, Milyukov believes in our espionage or in our acceptance of German money about as much as Markov and Zamyslovsky believed that Jews drink children’s blood. But Milyukov and Co. know what they are doing. N. Lenin Novaya Zhizn No. 7 1 , July 1 1 (2 4 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the text in Novaya Zhizn 183 LETTER TO THE EDITORS OF P R O L E T A R S K O Y E D Y E L O Comrades, We have changed our minds about submitting to the Provisional Government’s decree ordering our arrests, for the following reasons. From the letter of Pereverzev, the former Minister of Justice, published on Sunday in Novoye Vremya, it became perfectly clear that the “espionage” “case” of Lenin and others was quite deliberately framed by the party of the counter-revolution. Pereverzev has openly admitted that he took advantage of unconfirmed accusations to work up (his actual expression) the soldiers against our Party. This is admitted by the former Minister of Justice, a man who only yesterday called himself a socialist! Pereverzev is gone, but whether the new Minister of Justice will hesitate to adopt Pereverzev’s and Alexinsky’s methods, nobody can venture to say. The counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie are trying to create a new Dreyfus case. They believe in our “espionage” as much as the leaders of Russian reaction, who framed the Beilis case, 80 believed that Jews drink children’s blood. There are no guarantees of justice in Russia at present. The Central Executive Committee, which considers itself the plenipotentiary organ of the Russian democrats, appointed a commission to investigate the espionage charges, but under pressure from the counter-revolutionary forces dismissed it. The Central Executive Committee refused to either directly confirm or to revoke the warrant for our arrest. It washed its hands of the case, virtually delivering us to the counter-revolution. 184 V. I. L E N I N The charges of “conspiracy” and “moral incitement” to revolt preferred against us are of a very definite nature, but no precise indictment of our alleged crime is brought either by the Provisional Government or by the Soviet, both of which know full well that it is sheer nonsense to speak of “conspiracy” in referring to a movement like that of July 3-5. The Menshevik and S.R. leaders are simply trying to appease the counter-revolution that is already bearing down on them too, by delivering a number of our Party members to the counter-revolutionaries in compliance with their demand. At present there can be no legal basis in Russia, not even such constitutional guarantees as exist in the orderly bourgeois countries. To give ourselves up at present to the authorities would mean putting ourselves into the hands of the Milyukovs, Alexinskys, Pereverzevs, of rampant counter-revolutionaries who look upon all the charges against us as a simple civil war episode. After what happened on July 6-8, not a single Russian revolutionary can harbour constitutional illusions any longer. Revolution and counter-revolution are coming to grips in a decisive fashion. We shall continue to fight on the side of the former. We shall continue to aid the proletariat’s revolutionary struggle as far as we can. The Constituent Assembly alone, if it meets, and if its convocation is not the handiwork of the bourgeoisie, will have full authority to pass judgement upon the Provisional Government’s decree ordering our arrest. N. Lenin Proletarskoye Dyelo No. 2 , July 2 8 (1 5 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the text in Proletarskoye Dyelo 185 ON SLOGANS Too often has it happened that, when history has taken a sharp turn, even progressive parties have for some time been unable to adapt themselves to the new situation and have repeated slogans which had formerly been correct but had now lost all meaning—lost it as “suddenly” as the sharp turn in history was “sudden”. Something of the sort seems likely to recur in connection with the slogan calling for the transfer of all state power to the Soviets. That slogan was correct during a period of our revolution—say, from February 27 to July 4—that has now passed irrevocably. It has patently ceased to be correct now. Unless this is understood, it is impossible to understand anything of the urgent questions of the day. Every particular slogan must be deduced from the totality of specific features of a definite political situation. And the political situation in Russia now, after July 4, differs radically from the situation between February 27 and July 4. During that period of the revolution now past, the socalled “dual power” existed in the country, which both materially and formally expressed the indefinite and transitional condition of state power. Let us not forget that the issue of power is the fundamental issue of every revolution. At that time state power was unstable. It was shared, by voluntary agreement, between the Provisional Government and the Soviets. The Soviets were delegations from the mass of free—i.e., not subject to external coercion—and armed workers and soldiers. What really mattered was that arms were in the hands of the people and that there was no coercion of the people from without. That is what opened 186 V. I. L E N I N up and ensured a peaceful path for the progress of the revolution. The slogan “All Power Must Be Transferred to the Soviets” was a slogan for the next step, the immediately feasible step, on that peaceful path of development. It was a slogan for the peaceful development of the revolution, which was possible and, of course, most desirable between February 27 and July 4 but which is now absolutely impossible. Apparently, not all the supporters of the slogan “All Power Must Be Transferred to the Soviets” have given adequate thought to the fact that it was a slogan for peaceful progress of the revolution—peaceful not only in the sense that nobody, no class, no force of any importance, would then (between February 27 and July 4) have been able to resist and prevent the transfer of power to the Soviets. That is not all. Peaceful development would then have been possible, even in the sense that the struggle of classes and parties within the Soviets could have assumed a most peaceful and painless form, provided full state power had passed to the Soviets in good time. The latter aspect of the matter has similarly not yet received adequate attention. In their class composition, the Soviets were organs of the movement of the workers and peasants, a ready-made form of their dictatorship. Had they possessed full state power, the main shortcoming of the petty-bourgeois groups, their chief sin, that of trusting the capitalists, really would have been overcome, would have been criticised by the experience of their own measures. The change of classes and parties in power could have proceeded peacefully within the Soviets, provided the latter wielded exclusive and undivided power. The contact between all the Soviet parties and the people could have remained stable and unimpaired. One must not forget for a single moment that only such a close contact between the Soviet parties and the people, freely growing in extent and depth, could have helped peacefully to get rid of the illusion of petty-bourgeois compromise with the bourgeoisie. The transfer of power to the Soviets would not, and could not, in itself have changed the correlation of classes; it would in no way have changed the petty-bourgeois nature of the peasants. But it would have taken a big and timely step towards ON SLOGANS 187 separating the peasants from the bourgeoisie, towards bringing them closer to, and then uniting them with, the workers. This is what might have happened had power passed to the Soviets at the proper time. That would have been the easiest and the most advantageous course for the people. This course would have been the least painful, and it was therefore necessary to fight for it most energetically. Now, however, this struggle, the struggle for the timely transfer of power to the Soviets, has ended. A peaceful course of development has become impossible. A non-peaceful and most painful course has begun. The turning-point of July 4 was precisely a drastic change in the objective situation. The unstable condition of state power has come to an end. At the decisive point, power has passed into the hands of the counter-revolution. The development of the parties on the basis of the collaboration of the petty-bourgeois Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties and the counter-revolutionary Cadets has brought about a situation in which both these petty-bourgeois parties have virtually become participants in and abettors of counterrevolutionary butchery. As the struggle between parties developed, the unreasoning trust which the petty bourgeoisie put in the capitalists led to their deliberate support of the counter-revolutionaries. The development of party relations has completed its cycle. On February 27, all classes found themselves united against the monarchy. After July 4, the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie, working hand in glove with the monarchists and the Black Hundreds, secured the support of the petty-bourgeois Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, partly by intimidating them, and handed over real state power to the Cavaignacs, the military gang, who are shooting insubordinate soldiers at the front and smashing the Bolsheviks in Petrograd. The slogan calling for the transfer of state power to the Soviets would now sound quixotic or mocking. Objectively it would be deceiving the people; it would be fostering in them the delusion that even now it is enough for the Soviets to want to take power, or to pass such a decision, for power to be theirs, that there are still parties in the Soviets which have not been tainted by abetting the butchers, that it is possible to undo what has been done. 188 V. I. L E N I N It would be a profound error to think that the revolutionary proletariat is capable of “refusing” to support the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks against the counter-revolution by way of “revenge”, so to speak, for the support they gave in smashing the Bolsheviks, in shooting down soldiers at the front and in disarming the workers. First, this would be applying philistine conceptions of morality to the proletariat (since, for the good of the cause, the proletariat will always support not only the vacillating petty bourgeoisie but even the big bourgeoisie); secondly— and that is the important thing—it would be a philistine attempt to obscure the political substance of the situation by “moralising”. And the political substance is that power can no longer be taken peacefully. It can be obtained only by winning a decisive struggle against those actually in power at the moment, namely, the military gang, the Cavaignacs, who are relying for support on the reactionary troops brought to Petrograd and on the Cadets and monarchists. The substance of the situation is that these new holders of state power can be defeated-only by the revolutionary masses, who, to be brought into motion, must not only be led by the proletariat, but must also turn their backs on the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties, which have betrayed the cause of the revolution. Those who introduce philistine morals into politics reason as follows: let us assume that the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks did commit an “error” in supporting the Cavaignacs, who are disarming the proletariat and the revolutionary regiments; still, they must be given a chance to “rectify” their “error”; the rectification of the “error” “should not be made difficult” for them; the swing of the petty bourgeoisie towards the workers should be facilitated. Such reasoning would be childishly naïve or simply stupid, if not a new deception of the workers. For the swing of the petty-bourgeois masses towards the workers would mean, and could only mean, that these masses had turned their backs upon the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks. The Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties could now rectify their “error” only by denouncing Tsereteli, Chernov, Dan and Rakitnikov as the butchers’ aides. We are wholly ON SLOGANS 189 and unconditionally in favour of their “error” being “rectified” in this way.... We said that the fundamental issue of revolution is the issue of power. We must add that it is revolutions that show us at every step how the question of where actual power lies is obscured, and reveal the divergence between formal and real power. That is one of the chief characteristics of every revolutionary period. It was not clear in March and April 1917 whether real power was in the hands of the government or the Soviet. Now, however, it is particularly important for classconscious workers to soberly face the fundamental issue of revolution, namely, who holds state power at the moment? Consider its material manifestations, do not mistake words for deeds, and you will have no difficulty in finding the answer. Frederick Engels once wrote the state is primarily contingents of armed men with material adjuncts, such as prisons. 81 Now it is the military cadets and the reactionary Cossacks, who have been specially brought to Petrograd, those who are keeping Kamenev and the others in prison, who closed down Pravda, who disarmed the workers and a certain section of the soldiers, who are shooting down an equally certain section of the soldiers, who are shooting down an equally certain section of troops in the army. These butchers are the real power. The Tseretelis and Chernovs are ministers without power, puppet Ministers, leaders of parties that support the butchery. That is a fact. And the fact is no less true because Tsereteli and Chernov themselves probably “do not approve” of the butchery, or because their papers timidly dissociate themselves from it. Such changes of political garb change nothing in substance. The newspaper of 150,000 Petrograd voters has been closed down. The military cadets on July 6 killed the worker Voinov for carrying Listok “Pravdy” out of the printers’. Isn’t that butchery? Isn’t that the handiwork of Cavaignacs? But neither the government nor the Soviets are to “blame” for this, they may tell us. So much the worse for the government and the Soviets, we reply; for that means that they are mere figureheads, puppets, and that real power is not in their hands. 190 V. I. L E N I N Primarily, and above all, the people must know the truth—they must know who actually wields state power. The people must be told the whole truth, namely, that power is in the hands of a military clique of Cavaignacs (Kerensky, certain generals, officers, etc.), who are supported by the bourgeois class headed by the Cadet Party, and by all the monarchists, acting through the Black Hundred papers, Novoye Vremya, Zhivoye Slovo, etc., etc. That power must be overthrown. Unless this is done, all talk of fighting the counter-revolution is so much phrasemongering, “self-deception and deception of the people”. That power now has the support both of the Tseretelis and Chernovs in the Cabinet and of their parties. We must explain to the people the butcher’s role they are playing and the fact that such a “finale” for these parties was inevitable after their “errors” of April 21, May 5, June 9 and July 4 and after their approval of the policy of an offensive, a policy which went nine-tenths of the way to predetermining the victory of the Cavaignacs in July. All agitational work among the people must be reorganised to ensure that it takes account of the specific experience of the present revolution, and particularly of the July days, i.e., that it clearly points to the real enemy of the people, the military clique, the Cadets and the Black Hundreds, and that it definitely unmasks the petty-bourgeois parties, the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties, which played and are playing the part of butcher’s aides. All agitational work among the people must be reorganised so as to make clear that it is absolutely hopeless to expect the peasants to obtain land as long as the power of the military clique has not been overthrown, and as long as the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties have not been exposed and deprived of the people’s trust. That would be a very long and arduous process under the “normal” conditions of capitalist development, but both the war and economic disruption will tremendously accelerate it. These are “accelerators” that may make a month or even a week equal to a year. Two objections may perhaps be advanced against what has been said above: first, that to speak now of a decisive struggle is to encourage sporadic action, which would only benefit ON SLOGANS 191 the counter-revolutionaries; second, that their overthrow would still mean transferring power to the Soviets. In answer to the first objection, we say: the workers of Russia are already class-conscious enough not to yield to provocation at a moment which is obviously unfavourable to them. It is indisputable that for them to take action and offer resistance at the moment would mean aiding the counter-revolutionaries. It is also indisputable that a decisive struggle will be possible only in the event of a new revolutionary upsurge in the very depths of the masses. But it is not enough to speak in general terms of a revolutionary upsurge, of the rising tide of revolution, of aid by the WestEuropean workers, and so forth; we must draw a definite conclusion from our past, from the lessons we have been given. And that will lead us to the slogan of a decisive struggle against the counter-revolutionaries, who have seized power. The second objection also amounts to a substitution of arguments of too general a character for concrete realities. No one, no force, can overthrow the bourgeois counterrevolutionaries except the revolutionary proletariat. Now, after the experience of July 1917, it is the revolutionary proletariat that must independently take over state power. Without that the victory of the revolution is impossible. The only solution is for power to be in the hands of the proletariat, and for the latter to be supported by the poor peasants or semi-proletarians. And we have already indicated the factors that can enormously accelerate this solution. Soviets may appear in this new revolution, and indeed are bound to, but not the present Soviets, not organs collaborating with the bourgeoisie, but organs of revolutionary struggle against the bourgeoisie. It is true that even then we shall be in favour of building the whole state on the model of the Soviets. It is not a question of Soviets in general, but of combating the present counter-revolution and the treachery of the present Soviets. The substitution of the abstract for the concrete is one of the greatest and most dangerous sins in a revolution. The present Soviets have failed, have suffered complete defeat, because they are dominated by the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties. At the moment these Soviets are 192 V. I. L E N I N like sheep brought to the slaughterhouse and bleating pitifully under the knife. The Soviets at present are powerless and helpless against the triumphant and triumphing counter-revolution. The slogan calling for the transfer of power to the Soviets might be construed as a “simple” appeal for the transfer of power to the present Soviets, and to say that, to appeal for it, would now mean deceiving the people. Nothing is more dangerous than deceit. The cycle of development of the class and party struggle in Russia from February 27 to July 4 is complete. A new cycle is beginning, one that involves not the old classes, not the old parties, not the old Soviets, but classes, parties and Soviets rejuvenated in the fire of struggle, tempered, schooled and refashioned by the process of the struggle. We must look forward, not backward. We must operate not with the old, but with the new, post-July, class and party categories. We must, at the beginning of the new cycle, proceed from the triumphant bourgeois counter-revolution, which triumphed because the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks compromised with it, and which can be defeated only by the revolutionary proletariat. Of course, in this new cycle there will be many and various stages, both before the complete victory of the counter-revolution and the complete defeat (without a struggle) of the SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks, and before a new upsurge of a new revolution. But it will only be possible to speak of this later, as each of these stages is reached. Written in mid - July 1 9 1 7 Published in pamphlet form in 1 9 1 7 by the Kronstadt Committee of the R . S . D . L . P . (B . ) Published according to the pamphlet text 193 OUR THANKS TO PRINCE G. Y. LVOV In a farewell talk to members of the Committee of Journalists under the Provisional Government, Prince G. Y. Lvov, former head of the Provisional Government, made some valuable admissions for which the workers will certainly be grateful. “What strengthens my optimism above all else,” Lvov said, “are the events of the past few days inside the country. I am convinced that our ‘deep breach’ in the Lenin front is incomparably more significant for Russia than the German breach in our South-Western Front.” How can the workers not be grateful to the prince for this sober appraisal of the class struggle? They will be more than grateful, they will take a lesson from Lvov. What an endless flow of fine words and infinite hypocrisy all the bourgeois people and landowners, as well as the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks trailing after them, pour out while orating against “civil war”! But look at Prince Lvov’s valuable admission and you will see that he very calmly appraises Russia’s internal situation from the point of view of civil war. What the paltry truth of the prince’s admissions amounts to is that the bourgeoisie, which head the counter-revolution, have made a deep breach in the revolutionary workers’ front. Two enemies, two hostile camps, and one has made a breach in the front of the other—this is how Prince Lvov sums up Russia’s internal situation. Let us, then, give Prince Lvov our heartfelt thanks for his frankness! After all, he is a thousand times more correct than those sentimental Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik philistines who imagine that the class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, which inevi- 194 V. I. L E N I N tably becomes exceedingly aggravated during a revolution, is likely to disappear because of their curses and magic spells! Two enemies, two hostile camps, and one has made a breach in the front of the other—this is Prince Lvov’s correct philosophy of history. He is right in practically discounting the thira camp, the petty bourgeoisie, the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks. This third camp appears to be big, but, in fact, it cannot decide anything independently. That is clear to the sober-minded prince, just as it is clear to every Marxist who understands the economic position of the pe tty bourgeoisie, and as it is clear, lastly, to anyone who thinks about the lessons of the revolution’s history, which have always revealed the impotence of the petty-bourgeois parties whenever the struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat became acute. Even in war-time, the internal class struggle is far more important than the struggle against the foreign enemy. What savage abuse the big and petty bourgeoisie have hurled at the Bolsheviks for recognising this truth! What efforts to deny it have been made by the numerous lovers of alluring words about “unity”, “revolutionary democracy”, and so on, and so forth! But when a serious and decisive moment came, Prince Lvov at once fully admitted this truth, openly declaring that a “victory” over the class enemy at home was more important than the position in the struggle against the foreign enemy. An incontestable truth. A useful truth. The workers will be very grateful to Prince Lvov for admitting it, for reminding them of it, for spreading it around. And to express their gratitude to the prince, the workers will use their Party to see that the greatest number of working and exploited people understand and assimilate this truth as well as possible. Nothing is more useful to the working class in the struggle for emancipation than this truth. What is this “breach” in the civil war front which Prince Lvov is so triumphant about? This question must be dealt with very carefully if the workers are to learn well from Lvov. OUR THANKS TO PRINCE G. Y. LVOV 195 The “breach in the front” of the internal war on this occasion came, firstly, from the fact that the bourgeoisie had poured oceans of filth and slander on their class enemies, the Bolsheviks, and had shown exceptional tenacity in this really infamous and vile business of slandering their political opponents. It was the “ideological preparation”, if we may call it that, for the “breach in the front of the class struggle”. Secondly, the material and really essential “breach” came from the arrest and outlawing of people of hostile political trends, from the murder of some of them in the street without trial (Voinov was murdered on July 6 for carrying publications out of the Pravda printers’), from the closing down of their newspapers and the disarming of the workers and revolutionary soldiers. This is what the “breach in the front of the war against the class enemy” means. Let the workers think this over well so as to be able to apply it to the bourgeoisie when the time is ripe. The proletariat will never resort to slander. They will close down the bourgeoisie’s newspapers after openly declaring by law, by government decree, that the capitalists and their defenders are enemies of the people. The bourgeoisie, in the shape of our enemy, the government, and the petty bourgeoisie, in the shape of the Soviets, are afraid to say a single open and frank word about the ban on Pravda, about the reason for closing it down. The proletariat will tell the truth instead of resorting to slander. They will tell the peasants and everyone else the truth about the bourgeois newspapers and why they must be closed down. Unlike the petty-bourgeois—Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik—windbags, the proletariat will know very well what is actually meant by a “breach in the front” of the class struggle and by making the enemy, the exploiters, harmless. Prince Lvov has helped the workers realise this truth. Thank you, Prince Lvov. Proletarskoye Dyelo No. 5 , August 1 (July 1 9 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the text in Proletarskoye Dyelo 196 CONSTITUTIONAL ILLUSIONS 82 Constitutional illusions are what we call a political error when people believe in the existence of a normal, juridical, orderly and legalised—in short, “constitutional”— system, although it does not really exist. At first glance it may appear that in Russia today, July 1917, when no constitution has yet been drafted, there can be no question of constitutional illusions arising. But it would be very wrong to think so. In reality, the essential characteristic of the present political situation in Russia is that an extremely large number of people entertain constitutional illusions. It is impossible to understand anything about the political situation in Russia today without appreciating this. Positively no step can be taken towards a correct formulation of our tactical tasks in Russia today unless we above all concentrate on systematically and ruthlessly exposing constitutional illusions, revealing all their roots and re-establishing a proper political perspective. Let us take three ideas which are most typical of the current constitutional illusions, and look into them carefully. Idea No. 1 is that our country is about to have a Constituent Assembly; therefore, everything going on now is temporary, transitory, inessential and non-decisive, and everything will soon be revised and firmly regulated by the Constituent Assembly. Idea No. 2 is that certain parties, such as the Socialist-Revolutionaries or the Mensheviks, or their alliance, command an obvious and undisputed CONSTITUTIONAL ILLUSIONS 197 majority among the people or in “the most influential” institutions, such as the Soviets; therefore, the will of these parties and institutions, like the will of the majority of the people in general, cannot be ignored, and even less violated, in republican, democratic and revolutionary Russia. Idea No. 3 is that a certain measure, such as closing down Pravda, was not legalised either by the Provisional Government or by the Soviets; therefore, it was only a passing phase, a chance occurrence, which cannot at all be regarded as something decisive. Let us look into each of these ideas. I The first Provisional Government promised to convene a Constituent Assembly. It considered that its main job was to prepare the country for a Constituent Assembly. The second Provisional Government fixed September 30 for convening a Constituent Assembly. The third Provisional Government, after July 4, solemnly reaffirmed that date. Nevertheless, the chances are a hundred to one against the Constituent Assembly being convened on that date. And even if it is, the chances are again a hundred to one that it will be as impotent and useless as was the First Duma— until a second revolution triumphs in Russia. To appreciate this, you only have to detach yourself for a moment from the present hubbub of empty phrases, promises and petty doings which fuddles your thinking, and take a look at the main thing, at what determines everything in public life— the class struggle. It is clear that the bourgeoisie in Russia have become very closely tied up with the landowners. This is shown by the whole press, the elections, the entire policy of the Cadet Party and the parties to the right of it, and by speeches made at “congresses” of “interested” persons. The bourgeoisie understand perfectly what the petty-bourgeois Socialist-Revolutionary and “Left” Menshevik windbags cannot understand, namely, that private landownership in Russia cannot be abolished, and this without compensation, except by carrying through a gigantic economic revolution, by bringing the banks under popular control, by national- 198 V. I. L E N I N ising the syndicates and adopting the most ruthless revolutionary measures against capital. The bourgeoisie understand that perfectly. At the same time, however, they must know, see and feel that the vast majority of peasants in Russia will now be much more to the left than Chernov as well as declaring for confiscation of the landed estates. For the bourgeoisie know better than we do, both as to how many partial concessions were made them by Chernov, say, from May 6 to July 2, over delaying and curtailing the various peasant demands, and as to how much effort it took the Right Socialist-Revolutionaries (Chernov, believe it or not, is regarded as a “centre” man by the Socialist-Revolutionaries!) at the Peasant Congress and on the Executive Committee of the All-Russia Congress of Peasants’ Deputies to “reassure” the peasants and feed them on promises. The big bourgeoisie differ from the petty bourgeoisie in that they have learned, from their economic and political experience, the conditions under which “order” (i.e., keeping down the people) can be preserved under capitalism. The bourgeoisie are businessmen, people who make big commercial transactions and are accustomed to getting down even to political matters in a strictly business-like manner. They take the bull by the horns rather than putting their trust in words. The Constituent Assembly in Russia today will yield a majority to peasants who are more to the left than the Socialist-Revolutionaries. The bourgeoisie know this and therefore are bound to put up a tremendous resistance to an early convocation. With a Constituent Assembly convened, it will be impossible, or exceedingly difficult, to carry on the imperialist war in the spirit of the secret treaties concluded by Nicholas II, or to defend the landed estates or the payment of compensation for them. The war will not wait. The class struggle will not wait. This was evident enough even in the brief span from February 28 to April 21. From the very beginning of the revolution there have been two views on the Constituent Assembly. The SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks, completely swayed by constitutional illusions, viewed the matter with the cred- CONSTITUTIONAL ILLUSIONS 199 ulity of the petty bourgeoisie who will not hear of the class struggle: the Constituent Assembly has been proclaimed, there will be a Constituent Assembly and that’s all there is to it! Everything else is of the devil’s making. Meanwhile the Bolsheviks said: only the growing strength and authority of the Soviets can guarantee the convocation and success of the Constituent Assembly. The Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries laid emphasis on the act of law: the proclamation, the promise, the declaration to call a Constituent Assembly. The Bolsheviks laid emphasis on the class struggle: if the Soviets were to win, the Constituent Assembly would be certain to meet; if not, there would be no such certainty. That is exactly what happened. The bourgeoisie have all along been waging both in the open and under cover a continuous and relentless struggle against calling a Constituent Assembly. This struggle was prompted by a desire to delay its convocation until after the war. It expressed itself in the fact that several times they postponed the date of convocation. When, after June 18, or more than a month after the formation of the coalition Cabinet, the convocation date was at last set, a Moscow bourgeois paper declared this had been done under the pressure of Bolshevik propaganda. Pravda has published an exact quotation from that paper. After July 4, when the servility and timidity of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks had led to the “victory” of the counter-revolution, a brief but highly significant phrase—the “impossibly early” convocation of a Constituent Assembly!!—slipped into Rech. And on July 16, an item appeared in Volya Naroda and Russkaya Volya, saying that the Cadets insisted on postponing the convocation of the Constituent Assembly under the pretext that it was “impossible” to convene it at such “short” notice, and adding that the Menshevik Tsereteli, a lackey of the counter-revolution, had consented to its postponement until November 20! Undoubtedly, this item slipped in against the will of the bourgeoisie who cannot benefit from such “revelations”. But murder will out. The counter-revolutionaries, letting themselves go after July 4, blurted out the truth. The 200 V. I. L E N I N very first seizure of power by the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie after July 4 was immediately followed by a measure (a very serious measure) against calling a Constituent Assembly. That is a fact. And that fact reveals the utter futility of constitutional illusions. Unless a new revolution takes place in Russia, unless the power of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie (primarily the Cadets) is overthrown, and unless the people withdraw their trust from the SocialistRevolutionary and Menshevik parties, parties compromising with the bourgeoisie, the Constituent Assembly will either never meet, or else will be just a “Frankfurt talking shop”, 83 an impotent and worthless assembly of petty bourgeois people frightened to death by the war and the prospect of the bourgeoisie “boycotting the government”, and helplessly torn between frantic efforts to rule without the bourgeoisie and the fear of getting along without them. The Constituent Assembly issue is subordinate to that of the course and outcome of the class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Some time ago, Rabochaya Gazeta blurted out the remark that the Constituent Assembly would be a Convention. This is an example of the empty, wretched and contemptible bragging of our Menshevik lackeys of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie. If it is not to be a “Frankfurt talking shop” or a First Duma, if it is to be a Convention, it must have the courage, the capacity and the strength to strike merciless blows at the counterrevolutionaries instead of compromising with them. For this purpose power must be in the hands of the most advanced, most determined and most revolutionary class of today. For this purpose that class must be supported by the whole mass of the urban and rural poor (the semi-proletarians). For this purpose the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie, i.e., primarily the Cadets and the high-ranking army officers, must be dealt with mercilessly. These are the real, the class, the material conditions necessary for a Convention. You have only to list these conditions in a precise and clear way to understand the stupidity of Rabochaya Gazeta’s bragging and the utter foolishness of the constitutional illusions of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks regarding a Constituent Assembly in Russia today. CONSTITUTIONAL ILLUSIONS 201 II When lashing the petty-bourgeois “Social-Democrats” of 1848, Marx was particularly severe in his condemnation of their unrestrained use of empty phrases about “the people” and the majority of the people in general. 84 It is well to recall this in examining the second idea, in analysing constitutional illusions about a “majority”. For the majority in the state to really decide, definite conditions are required, one of which is the firm establishment of a political system, a form of state power, making it possible to decide matters by a majority and guaranteeing the translation of this possibility into reality. That is one thing. Another is that the class composition of this majority and the interrelation of classes inside (and outside) it should enable it to draw the chariot of state concertedly and effectively. Every Marxist knows that these two concrete conditions play a decisive part in the question of a popular majority and of the direction of state affairs in line with the will of the majority. And yet the political literature of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, and their political conduct even more so, betray a complete lack of understanding of these conditions. If political power in the state is in the hands of a class whose interests coincide with those of the majority, that state can be governed truly in line with the will of the majority. But if political power is in the hands of a class whose interests diverge from those of the majority, any form of majority rule is bound to become deception or suppression of the majority. Every bourgeois republic provides hundreds and thousands of examples of this kind. In Russia, the bourgeoisie rule both the economic and political life. Their interests, particularly during the imperialist war, violently conflict with the interests of the majority. Hence, from a materialist and Marxist, and not from a formally juridical point of view, we must expose this conflict and combat bourgeois deception of the people. Our Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, on the contrary, have fully demonstrated and proved that their true role is to be an instrument of the bourgeoisie for deceiving the people (the “majority”), to be the vehicle of 202 V. I. L E N I N that deception and contribute to it. However sincere individual Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks may be, their fundamental political ideas—that it is possible to break free of the imperialist war and gain “peace without annexations and indemnities” without the dictatorship of the proletariat and the triumph of socialism, and that it is possible to secure the transfer of land to the people without compensation and establish “control” over production in the people’s interests without the same condition—these fundamental political (and, of course, economic) ideas of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks are, in practice, nothing but petty-bourgeois self-deception, or deception of the masses (the “majority”) by the bourgeoisie, which is the same thing. That is our first and main “amendment” to the majority issue as understood by the petty-bourgeois democrats, socialists of the Louis Blanc type, Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks. What, in fact, is the value of a “majority” when a majority is in itself only a formal thing and when materially, in actual fact, that majority is a majority of the parties through which the bourgeoisie deceive the majority? And, of course—and this leads us to our second “amendment”, to the second of the above-mentioned fundamental conditions—this deception can only be properly understood by ascertaining its class roots and class meaning. This is not self-deception, not (to put it bluntly) a “swindle”, but an illusory idea arising out of the economic situation in which a class finds itself. The petty-bourgeois is in such an economic position, the conditions of his life are such that he cannot help deceiving himself, he involuntarily and inevitably gravitates one minute towards the bourgeoisie, the next towards the proletariat. It is economically impossible for him to pursue an independent “line”. His past draws him towards the bourgeoisie, his future towards the proletariat. His better judgement gravitates towards the latter, his prejudice 85 (to use a familiar expression of Marx’s) towards the former. For the majority of the people to become an actual majority in state administration, the actual servant of the interests of the major- CONSTITUTIONAL ILLUSIONS 203 ity, and the actual protector of its rights, and so on, a certain class condition is required, namely, that the majority of the petty bourgeoisie should join forces with the revolutionary proletariat, at least at the decisive moment and in the decisive place. Without this, a majority is mere fiction which may prevail for a while, may glitter and shine, make a noise and reap laurels, but is absolutely and inevitably doomed to failure nonetheless. This, incidentally, was where the majority of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks came to grief, as the Russian revolution showed in July 1917. Further, a revolution differs from a “normal” situation in the state precisely because controversial issues of state life are decided by the direct class and popular struggle to the point of armed struggle. It cannot be otherwise when the masses are free and armed. This fundamental fact implies that in time of revolution it is not enough to ascertain the “will of the majority”—you must prove to be stronger at the decisive moment and in the decisive place; you must win. Beginning with the Peasant War in the Middle Ages in Germany, and throughout all the big revolutionary movements and epochs, including 1848, 1871 and 1905, we have seen innumerable examples of the better organised, more politically-conscious and better armed minority forcing its will upon the majority and defeating it. Frederick Engels particularly stressed the lesson to be drawn from experience, a lesson which to some degree is common to the peasant revolt of the sixteenth century and to the Revolution of 1848 in Germany, namely, disunity of action and lack of centralisation on the part of the oppressed owing to their petty-bourgeois status in life. 86 Examining the matter from this point of view, we come to the same conclusion, namely, that a simple majority of the petty-bourgeois masses does not and cannot decide anything, for the disunited millions of rural petty proprietors can only acquire organisation, political consciousness in action and centralisation of action (which is indispensable for victory) when they are led either by the bourgeoisie or by the proletariat. In the long run we know that the problems of social life are resolved by the class struggle in its bitterest and fierc- 204 V. I. L E N I N est form—civil war. In this war, as in any other war—a fact also well known and in principle not disputed by anyone—it is economics that decide. It is quite typical and significant that the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, while not denying this “in principle” and while realising perfectly the capitalist character of Russia today, dare not face the truth soberly. They are afraid to admit the truth that every capitalist country, including Russia, is basically divided into three main forces: the bourgeoisie, the petty bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The first and third are spoken of and recognised by all. Yet the second—which really is the numerical majority!— nobody cares to appraise soberly, neither from the economic, political nor military point of view. Truth does not flatter. That is why the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks shrink from recognising themselves. III When I was just beginning this article, the closing down of Pravda was merely an “incident”, one that had not yet been legalised by the government. But now, after July 16, the government has formally closed Pravda down. If viewed historically and as a whole, throughout the process of its preparation and realisation, this measure casts a remarkably bright light on the “nature of the constitution” in Russia and on the danger of constitutional illusions. It is known that the Cadet Party, headed by Milyukov and the newspaper Rech, has been demanding repressive measures against the Bolsheviks ever since April. This demand for repression, presented in various forms—from “statesman-like” articles in Rech to Milyukov’s repeated cries “Arrest them” (Lenin and other Bolsheviks)—has been one of the major components, if not the major component, of the Cadet political programme in the revolution. The Cadet Party had been systematically, relentlessly and continuously demanding repressive measures against the Bolsheviks long before Alexinsky and Co. in June and July invented and fabricated the foully slanderous charge that the Bolsheviks were German spies or were receiving German money, and long before the equally slanderous charge CONSTITUTIONAL ILLUSIONS 205 —running counter to generally known facts and published documents—of “armed uprising” or of “rebellion”. Since this demand has now been met, what are we to think of the honesty or intelligence of those who forget, or pretend to forget, the true class and party origin of this demand? How on earth can we help describing as crude falsification or incredible political stupidity the futile efforts of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks to make out they believe the “occasion” which presented itself on July 4 for the repressive measures against the Bolsheviks was an “accident” or an “isolated” incident? There must surely be a limit to the distortion of indisputable historical facts! You have only to compare the movement of April 20-21 with that of July 3-4 to realise immediately that they are alike in character: both contained such objective facts as the spontaneous popular outburst of discontent, impatience and indignation, the provocative shots from the right, the killings on Nevsky, the slanderous outcries from the bourgeoisie, particularly the Cadets, to the effect that “it was the Lenin people who fired the shots on Nevsky”, the extreme aggravation and exacerbation of the struggle between the workers and the bourgeoisie, the utter confusion of the petty-bourgeois parties, the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, and the tremendous range of vacillation in their policy and in their approach to the issue of state power generally. June 9-10 and June 18 give us just the same class picture in a different form. The course of events is as clear as can be: it shows growing popular discontent, impatience and indignation and an increasing aggravation of the struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, particularly for influence over the petty-bourgeois masses. Linked with this are two very important historical developments which have made the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks dependent on the counter-revolutionary Cadets. These developments are, first, the formation on May 6 of a coalition Cabinet in which the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks turned out to be the hangers-on of the bourgeoisie, getting themselves more and more into a tangle by making deals and agreements with the latter, rendering them thousands of “ser- 206 V. I. L E N I N vices”, delaying the most essential revolutionary measures time and again; and secondly, the offensive at the front. The offensive inevitably implied the resumption of the imperialist war, a vast increase in the influence, weight and role of the imperialist bourgeoisie, the most widespread chauvinism among the people, and, last but not least, * the transfer of power—first military power and then state power generally—to the counter-revolutionary highranking army officers. This was the course of historical events which between April 20-21 and July 3-4 deepened and sharpened class antagonisms, and which after July 4 enabled the counterrevolutionary bourgeoisie to accomplish what on April 20-21 had stood out very clearly as their programme and tactics, their immediate aim and their “clean” methods, which were to lead to the achievement of that aim. Nothing could be more pointless historically, more pitiful theoretically or more ridiculous practically than the philistine whining (echoed, incidentally, by L. Martov as well) over July 4, to the effect that the Bolsheviks “contrived” to defeat themselves, that this defeat came from their own “adventurism”, and so on, and so forth. All this whining, all these arguments to the effect that we “should not have” participated (in the attempt to lend a “peaceable and organised” character to the perfectly legitimate popular discontent and indignation!!), are either sheer apostasy, if coming from Bolsheviks, or the usual expression of the usual cowed and confused state of the petty bourgeoisie. In actual fact, the movement of July 3-4 grew out of the movement of April 20-21 and after as inevitably as summer follows spring. It was the imperative duty of the proletarian party to remain with the masses and try to lend as peaceable and organised a character as possible to their justified action rather than stand aside and wash its hands like Pontius Pilate, on the pedantic plea that the masses were not organised down to the last man and that their movement sometimes went to excesses—as though there had been no excesses on April 20-21, as though there had ever in history been a serious popular movement free of excesses! * These four words are given in English by Lenin.—Ed. CONSTITUTIONAL ILLUSIONS 207 The defeat of the Bolsheviks after July 4 followed with historical inevitability from the whole preceding course of events because on April 20-21 the petty-bourgeois masses and their leaders, the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, were not yet tied by the offensive and had not yet got themselves into a tangle by their deals with the bourgeoisie in the “coalition Cabinet”, whereas by July 4 they had become so tied and entangled they could not but stoop to co-operation (in repressive measures, in slander, in butchery) with the counter-revolutionary Cadets. On July 4 the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks slid for good into the cesspool of counter-revolution; they had been stead ly sliding towards it throughout May and June due to their role in the coalition Cabinet and their approval of the policy of offensive. We may appear to have digressed from our subject, the closing down of Pravda, to a historical estimation of the events of July 4. But this only appears so, for the one cannot be understood without the other. We have seen that, if we look into the matter and the interconnection of events, the closing down of Pravda, and the arrests and the other forms of persecution of the Bolsheviks are nothing but the realisation of the long-standing programme of the counter-revolutionaries, the Cadets in particular. It would now be highly instructive to see who specifically carried out this programme, and by what means. Let us have a look at the facts. On July 2-3 the movement was growing; the people were seething with indignation at government inaction, the high cost of living, economic dislocation and the offensive. The Cadets withdrew, playing a give-away game and presenting an ultimatum to the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, leaving them, tied to power but lacking power, to pay for the people’s defeat and indignation. On July 2-3 the Bolsheviks were trying to restrain the masses from action. This has been acknowledged even by an eyewitness from Dyelo Naroda, who reported on what took place in the Grenadier Regiment on July 2. On the evening of July 3, the movement overflowed its banks and the Bolsheviks drew up an appeal stressing that the movement must be “peaceable and organised”. On July 4, provocative 208 V. I. L E N I N shots from the right increased the number of victims of the firing on both sides. It should be pointed out that the Executive Committee’s promise to investigate the incidents, to issue bulletins twice a day, etc., etc., has remained an empty promise! The Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks did nothing whatsoever, they didn’t even publish a complete list of the dead on both sides!! On the night of July 4 the Bolsheviks drew up an appeal to stop the action and Pravda printed it that same night. But that same night, firstly, counter-revolutionary troops began to arrive in Petrograd (apparently upon the summons or with the consent of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, of their Soviets—a “delicate” point regarding which, of course, the strictest silence is maintained even now when every bit of need for secrecy is past!). Secondly, that same night military cadets and suchlike, clearly acting upon instructions from Polovtsev, commanding, and from the General Staff, began raids on the Bolsheviks. On the night of July 4-5, Pravda’s office was raided. On July 5 and 6, its printers’, “Trud”, was wrecked; a worker named Voinov was murdered in broad daylight for carrying Listok “Pravdy” from the printers’; house searches and arrests were made among the Bolsheviks and the revolutionary regiments were disarmed. Who started it all? Not the government or the Soviet, but the counter-revolutionary military gang grouped around the General Staff and acting in the name of the “counterintelligence service”, circulating the lies of Pereverzev and Alexinsky in order to stir up the army, and so on. The government is absent. So are the Soviets; they are trembling for their own fate as they receive message after message that the Cossacks may come and smash them up. The Black Hundred and Cadet press, which led the hounding of the Bolsheviks, is beginning to hound the Soviets. The Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks have bound themselves hand and foot by their entire policy. Being bound, they called (or tolerated the calling of) counterrevolutionary troops to Petrograd. And that bound them even more. They have sunk to the very bottom of the foul counter-revolutionary cesspool. They cravenly dismissed their own commission, appointed to investigate the “case” CONSTITUTIONAL ILLUSIONS 209 of the Bolsheviks. They basely betrayed the Bolsheviks to the counter-revolutionaries. They abjectly participated in the funeral procession of the Cossacks who were killed, and so kissed the hand of the counter-revolutionaries. They are completely bound. They are at the bottom of the cesspool. They try this, that and the other; they hand Kerensky the Cabinet, they go to Canossa to the Cadets, they organise a “Zemsky Sobor” or a “coronation” of the counter-revolutionary government in Moscow. 87 Kerensky dismisses Polovtsev. But nothing comes of all those efforts. They in no way change the actual state of affairs. Kerensky dismisses Polovtsev, but at the same time gives shape and legality to Polovtsev’s measures and to his policy; he closes down Pravda, he introduces capital punishment for the soldiers, he bans meetings at the front, he continues to arrest Bolsheviks (even Kollontai!) in accordance with Alexinsky’s programme. The “nature of the constitution” in Russia is coming out with striking clarity: the offensive at the front and the coalition with the Cadets in the rear have cast the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks into the cesspool of counter-revolution. In reality, state power is passing into the hands of the counter-revolutionaries, the military gang. Kerensky and the government of Tsereteli and Chernov are only a screen for it; they are compelled to legalise its measures, actions and policies post factum. The haggling going on between the Cadets and Kerensky, Tsereteli and Chernov is of secondary importance, if not entirely unimportant. Whether the Cadets win in this haggling, or whether Tsereteli and Chernov hold out “alone”, will have no effect on the actual state of affairs. The fundamental, the main and decisive fact is that the SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks have swung over to the counter-revolutionaries (a swing forced by the policy they have been pursuing since May 6). The cycle of party development is complete. The SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks have slid steadily downwards—from their expression of “confidence” in Kerensky on February 28 to May 6, which bound them to the counter- 210 V. I. L E N I N revolutionaries, and then to July 5, when they touched rock bottom. A new period is coming in. The victory of the counterrevolutionaries is making the people disappointed with the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties and is paving the way for the masses to adopt a policy of support for the revolutionary proletariat. Written on July 2 6 (August 8 ), 1 9 1 7 Published in Rabochy i Soldat Nos. 1 1 and 1 2 , August 4 and 5 , 1 9 1 7 Published according to the manuscript 211 AN ANSWER I On July 22 the newspapers printed a report “from the Public Prosecutor of the Petrograd City Court” about the inquiry into the events of July 3-5, and about the prosecution of a group of Bolsheviks, including myself, who are charged with treason and the organisation of an armed uprising. The government had to publish the report because this dirty business had already created too much of a scandal, having clearly been rigged, as every intelligent person realises, with the aid of the slanderer Alexinsky to meet a long-standing wish and demand of the counter-revolutionary Cadet Party. But by publishing the report, the government of Tsereteli and Co. will disgrace itself even more, for now the crudeness of the fabrication just hits one in the eye. I left Petrograd on Thursday, June 29, on account of illness and did not return until Tuesday morning, July 4. But of course I assume full and unqualified responsibility for every single move or measure of our Party Central Committee, as well as of our Party as a whole. I call attention to my absence to account for my ignorance of certain details and for my allusion mainly to documents that have appeared in the press. Obviously, it is documents of this nature, particularly if published in the anti-Bolshevik press, that the Public Prosecutor should have carefully collected, set in order and examined before anything else. But the “republican” Prosecutor, who is carrying out the policies of the “socia- 212 V. I. L E N I N list” Minister Tsereteli, failed to perform his principal duty! Shortly after July 4, the ministerial newspaper Dyelo Naroda admitted that it was a fact that on July 2 the Bolsheviks had taken action in the Grenadier Regiment by campaigning against a demonstration. Had the Prosecutor a right to keep quiet about this document? Had he any grounds for discounting the testimony of such a witness? As it so happens, this testimony establishes the highly important fact that the movement developed spontaneously and that the Bolsheviks tried to put off rather than hasten the demonstration. Furthermore, the same paper printed a still more important document, namely, the text of an appeal signed by our Party Central Committee and written on the night of July 3-4. The appeal was written and sent to print after the movement, despite our efforts to check or rather control it, had “spilled over”, after the demonstration had become a fact. The utter baseness and unscrupulousness of the Tseretelian Prosecutor, and his boundless treachery, show in his evasion of the question of exactly when, on what day and hour, whether before the Bolshevik appeal or after it, the demonstration began. As a matter of fact, the appeal stressed the need to give the movement a peaceable and organised character! Can you imagine a charge more laughable than that of “organising an armed uprising”, made against an organisation which on the night of July 3-4, i.e., the night before the fateful day, issued an appeal for a “peaceful and organised demonstration”? Or take another question: what difference is there between the Prosecutor of Dreyfus or Beilis and the “republican” Prosecutor of the “socialist” Minister Tsereteli, a Prosecutor who keeps completely quiet about the appeal? Further, the Prosecutor does not say that on the night of July 3-4 our Party Central Committee wrote an appeal to stop the demonstration and printed it in Pravda, whose offices were wrecked by counter-revolutionary troops that very night. AN ANSWER 213 Further, the Prosecutor does not say that on July 4 Trotsky and Zinoviev, in several speeches delivered before the workers and soldiers marching towards the Taurida Palace, called on them to disperse once they had made known their will. Those speeches were heard by hundreds and thousands of people. Then, let every fair-minded citizen who does not want his country to be disgraced by another rigged “Beilis case” see to it that irrespective of party affiliation, those who heard the speeches make written declarations to the Prosecutor (keeping copies for themselves), stating whether Trotsky’s and Zinoviev’s speeches contained an appeal to disperse. A decent Prosecutor would himself have made such an appeal to the population. But how on earth can there be decent Prosecutors in the Cabinet of Kerensky, Yefremov, Tsereteli and Co.? And isn’t it high time Russian citizens themselves took care to make “Beilis cases” impossible in their country? By the way, owing to illness, I personally made only one speech on July 4, from the balcony of Kshesinskaya’s Palace. The Prosecutor mentions it, and tries to set out what I said, but far from naming any witnesses, he is again reticent about eyewitness reports given in the press. I have by no means been able to secure a complete set of the papers, but still I have seen two testimonies: (1) in the Bolshevik Proletarskoye Dyelo (Kronstadt) and (2) in the Menshevik ministerial Rabochaya Gazeta. Why not verify the contents of my speech by these documents and by a public appeal? The speech contained the following points: (1) an apology for confining myself to just a few words on account of illness; (2) greetings to the revolutionary people of Kronstadt on behalf of the Petrograd workers; (3) an expression of confidence that our slogan “All Power to the Soviets” must and will win despite all the zigzags of history; (4) an appeal for “firmness, steadfastness and vigilance”. I bring out these particulars in order not to pass by the scant but truly factual evidence which the Prosecutor touched upon—barely touched upon—in such a cursory, indifferent and careless fashion. However, the important thing is not the particulars, of course, but the overall picture, the overall significance 214 V. I. L E N I N of July 4. The Prosecutor proved completely incapable of so much as even thinking about this. On this question, we first of all have the highly valuable testimony given in the press by a rabid anti-Bolshevik, who turns upon us a veritable spate of invective and spiteful phrases. I refer to the ministerial Rabochaya Gazeta correspondent. He contributed his personal observations shortly after July 4. The facts fully established by him show that his observations and experiences fall into two sharply differentiated parts. He contrasts the second with the first, saying that things had taken a “favourable turn” for him. The first part of the author’s experiences is the attempt he made to defend the ministers amid a raging crowd. He was insulted, pummelled, and eventually detained. He heard extremely violent outcries and slogans, of which he recalls in particular “Death to Kerensky” (because he ordered an offensive, “sent forty thousand men to death”, etc.). The second part of the author’s experiences, the one that brought a “favourable” turn for him, as he puts it, began when the raging crowd led him “before the tribunal” at the Kshesinskaya Palace. There he was released at once. Those are the facts which prompted the author to turn a torrent of abuse upon the Bolsheviks. Abuse coming from a political opponent is natural, particularly if the opponent is a Menshevik who senses that the people, crushed by capital and the imperialist war, are against instead of for him. Yet abuse cannot alter the facts, which even as stated by a most rabid anti-Bolshevik testify that the aroused crowd went as far as to shout “Death to Kerensky”, that by and large the Bolshevik organisation gave the movement the slogan “All Power to the Soviets”, and that this organisation was the only one that carried any moral weight with the people and urged them to forgo violence. Those are the facts. Let the willing and unwilling lackeys of the bourgeoisie shout and curse about the facts, accusing the Bolsheviks of “conniving with the mob”, etc., etc. We of the party of the revolutionary proletariat reply that our Party has always been and will always be with the oppressed FROM MARX TO MAO  NOT FOR COMMERCIAL DISTRIBUTION AN ANSWER 215 whenever they voice their absolutely justified and legitimate indignation at the high cost of living, at the inaction and treachery of the “socialist” Ministers, at the imperialist war and its prolongation. Our Party did its bounden duty by marching together with the justly indignant people on July 4 and by trying to make their movement, their demonstration, as peaceful and organised as possible. For on July 4 a peaceful transfer of power to the Soviets, a peaceful development of the Russian revolution, was still possible. The crass stupidity of the Prosecutor’s fairy-tale about the “organisation of an armed uprising” can be seen from the following: no one will deny that the vast majority of the armed soldiers and sailors who crowded the Petrograd streets on July 4 were on our Party’s side. Our Party had every opportunity to set about removing and arresting hundreds of high officials, taking over dozens of public and government buildings and institutions, and so on. We did nothing of the kind. Only people so mixed up that they repeat all sorts of tall stories spread by the counter-revolutionary Cadets do not see the laughable absurdity of the assertion that on July 3 or 4 an “armed uprising” was “organised”. The first question the investigation should have put, if it had at all been worthy of that name, was “who started the shooting?” The next question should have been, “How many killed and wounded were there on each side? In what circumstances did each killing and wounding take place?” Had the investigation been anything like a real investigation (and not like a trouble-making article in the papers of the Dans, the Alexinskys, etc.), it would have been the investigators’ duty to hold an open, public cross-examination of the witnesses and then immediately publish the record of the interrogation. That is what courts of inquiry always did in Britain when Britain was a free country. That, or roughly that, is what the Executive Committee of the Soviet felt it had to do at first, when fear of the Cadets had not yet completely numbed its conscience. We know the Executive Committee then promised in the press to issue two bulletins daily on the work of its investigating commission. We also know 216 V. I. L E N I N the Executive Committee (i.e., the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks) deceived the people by not keeping its promise. But the text of that promise has gone down in history as an admission from our enemies, an admission of what any fair investigator should have done. It is instructive, at any rate, to note that one of the first bourgeois, rabidly anti-Bolshevik papers to carry a report about the shooting on July 4 was the evening Birzhevka of the same date. And it is this report that suggests that the shooting was not started by the demonstrators, and that the first shots were fired against them!! Of course, the “republican” Prosecutor of the “socialist” Cabinet preferred to say nothing about this testimony from Birzhevka!! And yet this testimony of the utterly anti-Bolshevik Birzhevka fully accords with the general picture of what happened as our Party sees it. Had it been an armed uprising, then, of course, the insurgents would not have fired on the counter-demonstrators but would have surrounded certain barracks and certain buildings; they would have wiped out certain army units, etc. On the other hand, if it was a demonstration against the government, with a counterdemonstration by government defenders, it was perfectly natural that the counter-revolutionaries should be the first to shoot, partly because they were enraged by the enormous number of demonstrators, and partly with provocative intent. And it was just as natural the demonstrators should counter shots with shots. Lists of the dead, though probably incomplete, were published, nevertheless, in a few papers (I think in Rech and Dyelo Naroda). The prime and immediate duty of the investigation was to verify, complete, and officially publish these lists. To evade this means concealing proof that the counter-revolutionaries started the shooting. Indeed, even a cursory examination of the published lists shows that the two main and prominent groups, the Cossacks and the sailors, had each about the same number killed. Could this have been so if the ten thousand armed sailors who arrived in Petrograd on July 4 to join the workers and soldiers, particularly the machine-gunners who had many machine-guns, had been intent on an armed uprising? AN ANSWER 217 Obviously, the number of dead among the Cossacks and other opponents of the insurrection would in that case have been ten times greater, for no one will deny that the predominance of the Bolsheviks among the armed people in the Petrograd streets on July 4 was enormous. There is a long list of relevant testimonies in the press from our Party opponents, and any fair investigating body would undoubtedly have collected and published all this evidence. If the number of dead is approximately the same on both sides, this proves that the shooting was started by the counter-revolutionaries and that the demonstrators merely returned the fire. Otherwise there could not have been an equal number of dead. Finally, the following piece of press information is exceedingly important: Cossacks are known to have been killed on July 4 during an open skirmish between the demonstrators and counter-demonstrators. Such skirmishes take place even in non-revolutionary times, if the population is at all aroused; for instance, they are not infrequent in the Latin countries, particularly in the South. Bolsheviks are also known to have been killed after July 4, when there was no clash between excited demonstrators and counterdemonstrators, and hence when the murder of an unarmed by an armed person was really an act of butchery. Such was the murder of the Bolshevik Voinov in Shpalernaya Street on July 6. What kind of an investigating commission is it that does not fully collect even the evidence which has appeared in the press concerning the number of dead on both sides, and the time and circumstances of each killing? This is just a mockery of an investigation. It is clearly futile to expect as much as an attempt at a historical evaluation of July 4 from such an “investigating” commission. Yet this evaluation is indispensable to anyone wanting to maintain an intelligent attitude towards politics. Whoever attempts a historical estimate of July 3 and 4 cannot shut his eyes to the exact identity of this movement and that of April 20 and 21. In both cases there was a spontaneous outburst of popular indignation. 218 V. I. L E N I N In both cases armed people came on to the streets. In both cases there was a skirmish between the demonstrators and counter-demonstrators, resulting in a certain (approximately equal) number of victims on both sides. In both cases there was an extremely sharp outburst in the struggle between the revolutionary masses and the counter-revolutionaries, the bourgeoisie, while the neutral, intermediate elements which inclined towards compromise were temporarily inactive. In both cases the special kind of anti-government demonstration (its special features have been listed above) was due to a deep and protracted crisis of power. The difference between the two movements is that the latter was much more intense than the former and that the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties, neutral on April 20 and 21, have since got themselves into a tangle by their dependence on the counter-revolutionary Cadets (through the coalition Cabinet and the policy of taking offensive action), and so, on July 3 and 4, found themselves on the side of the counter-revolution. The counter-revolutionary Cadet Party brazenly lied even after the events of April 20 and 21, shouting, “The shooting on Nevsky was done by Lenin’s men”, and, clownlike, they demanded an investigation. The Cadets and their friends then constituted the majority in the government and so the investigation was wholly in their hands. It was begun and abandoned, and nothing was published. Why? Evidently because the facts in no way confirmed what the Cadets wanted. In other words, the investigation concerning April 20 and 21 was “smothered” because the facts proved that the firing had been started by the counterrevolutionaries, the Cadets and their friends. This is clear. The same thing apparently happened on July 3 and 4 and that explains the crude and glaring falsification used by the Prosecutor, who affronts all standards of reasonably conscientious investigation to please Tsereteli and Co. The movement on July 3 and 4 was the last attempt by means of a demonstration to induce the Soviets to take power. That was when the Soviets, i.e., the Socialist- AN ANSWER 219 Revolutionaries and Mensheviks controlling them, virtually handed over power to the counter-revolution by summoning counter-revolutionary troops to Petrograd, disarming and disbanding revolutionary regiments and the workers, approving and tolerating acts of tyranny and violence against the Bolsheviks, the introduction of the death penalty at the front, etc. Military, and consequently political, power has now virtually passed into the hands of the counter-revolution represented by the Cadets and backed by the SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks. Now, a peaceful development of the Russian revolution is no longer possible and the historical alternative is either complete victory for the counter-revolution, or a new revolution. II The charge of espionage and relations with Germany is purely a Beilis case deserving only a brief comment. On this point, the “investigation” merely repeats the slander of the notorious slanderer Alexinsky, distorting the facts in a particularly crude way. It is not true that in 1914 Zinoviev and I were arrested in Austria. Only I was arrested. It is not true that I was arrested as a Russian subject. I was arrested on suspicion of spying, the local gendarme having mistaken the graphs of agrarian statistics in my notebooks for “plans”! Obviously, that Austrian gendarme was quite on a par with Alexinsky and the -group. But it appears that I have been persecuted for internationalism more than anyone else, for I have been persecuted by both belligerent coalitions as a spy—by the gendarme in Austria and by the Cadets, Alexinsky and Co. in Russia. It is not true that Hanecki played a part in my release from the Austrian prison. Victor Adler helped put the Austrian authorities to shame. Poles helped, being ashamed that such an infamous arrest of a Russian revolutionary could take place on Polish soil. It is an infamous lie that I was in contact with Parvus, that I visited military camps, etc. Nothing of the kind happened, or could have happened. Upon the appearance of the 220 V. I. L E N I N very first issues of Parvus’s journal The Bell88, our newspaper, Sotsial-Demokrat, described Parvus as a renegade and a German Plekhanov. * Parvus is as much a social-chauvinist on the side of Germany as Plekhanov is on the side of Russia. Being revolutionary internationalists, we had and could have nothing in common with German, Russian, or Ukrainian (Union for the Liberation of the Ukraine) social-chauvinists. Steinberg is a member of an exile committee in Stockholm, where I first met him. About April 20 or a little later, Steinberg came to Petrograd, where I remember him soliciting a subsidy for the exile society. The Prosecutor could have verified this quite easily if he had wanted to. The Prosecutor’s argument is that Parvus is connected with Hanecki, and that Hanecki is connected with Lenin! But this is just a big swindle, for everyone knows that Hanecki had financial dealings with Parvus, but none with me. Hanecki, being a tradesman, worked for Parvus or did business with him. But then a great many Russian exiles associated with the press have worked in establishments and institutions belonging to Parvus. The Prosecutor’s argument is that business correspondence may have served as a screen for relations in the nature of espionage. One wonders how many members of the Cadet, Menshevik and Socialist-Revolutionary parties could be indicted for business correspondence according to this wonderful formula! But since the Prosecutor is in possession of several telegrams from Hanecki to Sumenson (which have already been published) and since the Prosecutor knows in which bank, when, and how much money Sumenson had (for the Prosecutor has published a few figures of this nature), why shouldn’t he invite two or three office or business employees to take part in the investigation? It would surely take them no more than a couple of days to make a complete extract from all the business and bank records for him. Hardly anything reveals the true nature of this “Beilis case” as well as the fragmentary figures cited by the Prose- * See Vol. 21 of present edition, pp. 421-22.—Ed. AN ANSWER 221 cutor: within six months Sumenson drew 750,000 rubles, she has 180,000 rubles left on her account!! If you are going to publish figures, why not publish them all? When exactly, from whom exactly did Sumenson receive money “within six months”, and to whom did she pay it out? When exactly, and exactly what consignments of goods were received? What could be easier than to collect these complete data? This could and should have been done in a matter of two or three days! It would have disclosed the whole round of business dealings between Hanecki and Sumenson! It would have left no room for the obscure insinuations the Prosecutor is making! How low the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks have fallen is shown by Alexinsky’s foulest and most infamous slander, paraphrased to read like a “state” document by the officials of the Cabinet of Tsereteli and Co.! III Of course, it would be extremely naïve to regard the “judicial cases” instituted by the Cabinet of Tsereteli, Kerensky and Co. against the Bolsheviks as actual judicial cases. That would be an absolutely unpardonable constitutional illusion. Having entered into a coalition with the counter-revolutionary Cadets on May 6 and having adopted the policy of an offensive, i.e., resumption and prolongation of the imperialist war, the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks inevitably found themselves under the thumb of the Cadets. Being captives, they are forced to participate in the filthiest Cadet deals, in the Cadets’ lowest and most slanderous intrigues. The “case” of Chernov is rapidly beginning to enlighten even the backward, that is, to corroborate our view. After Chernov, Rech is now denouncing Tsereteli as well, calling him a “hypocrite” and a “Zimmerwaldist”. Now the blind will see and the stones will speak. The counter-revolutionaries are closing their ranks. The Cadets form their basis. The General Staff, the military leaders and Kerensky are in their hands and the Black Hun- 222 V. I. L E N I N dred press is at their service. These are the allies of the bourgeois counter-revolution. Foul slander against political opponents will help the workers to realise all the sooner where the counter-revolution is, and to sweep it away in the name of freedom, peace, bread for the hungry and land for the peasants. Written between July 2 2 and 2 6 (August 4 and 8 ), 1 9 1 7 Published in Rabochy i Soldat Nos. 3 and 4 , July 2 6 and 2 7 , 1 9 1 7 Signed: N. Lenin Published according to the manuscript 223 THE BEGINNING OF BONAPARTISM Now that the Cabinet of Kerensky, Nekrasov, Avksentyev and Co. 89 has been formed, the gravest and most disastrous error Marxists could make would be to mistake words for deeds, deceptive appearances for reality or generally for something serious. Let’s leave this pastime to the Mensheviks and SocialistRevolutionaries who have already gone as far as to play the part of clowns around the Bonapartist Kerensky. Indeed, it certainly is buffoonery on the part of the Chernovs, Avksentyevs and Tseretelis to start striking postures and uttering fancy words at a time when Kerensky, clearly at the Cadets’ bidding, forms something of a secret Directory composed of himself, Nekrasov, Tereshchenko and Savinkov, keeps quiet about both the Constituent Assembly and the declaration of July 8, 90 proclaims the sacred union of classes in his address to the people, concludes an agreement on terms unknown to anyone with Kornilov, who has presented a most brazen ultimatum, and continues the policy of scandalously outrageous arrests. At a time like this, it certainly is buffoonery on the part of Chernov to challenge Milyukov to appear before a court of arbitration, of Avksentyev to shout about the futility of a narrow class point of view, or of Tsereteli and Dan to push through the Central Executive Committee of the Soviets the emptiest resolutions stuffed with utterly meaningless phrases, resolutions that call to mind the Cadet First Duma during its worst period of impotence in the face of tsarism. Just as the Cadets in 1906 prostituted the first assembly of popular representatives in Russia by reducing it to a miserable talking shop in face of the growing tsarist counter- 224 V. I. L E N I N revolution, so the S.R.s and Mensheviks in 1917 have prostituted the Soviets by reducing them to a miserable talkingshop in face of the growing Bonapartist counter-revolution. Kerensky’s Cabinet is undoubtedly a cabinet taking the first steps towards Bonapartism. We see the chief historical symptom of Bonapartism: the manoeuvring of state power, which leans on the military clique (on the worst elements of the army) for support, between two hostile classes and forces which more or less balance each other out. The class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat has reached the limit and on April 20 and 21, as well as on July 3-5, the country was within a hair’s breadth of civil war. This socio-economic condition certainly forms the classical basis for Bonapartism. And then, this condition is combined with others that are quite akin to it; the bourgeoisie are ranting and raving against the Soviets, but are as yet powerless to disperse them, while the Soviets, prostituted by Tsereteli, Chernov and Co., are now powerless to put up serious resistance to the bourgeoisie. The landowners and peasants, too, live as on the eve of civil war: the peasants demand land and freedom, they can be kept in check, if at all, only by a Bonapartist government capable of making the most unscrupulous promises to all classes without keeping any of them. Add to this the situation created by a foolhardy offensive and military reverses, in which fancy phrases about saving the country are particularly fashionable (concealing the desire to save the imperialist programme of the bourgeoisie), and you have a perfect picture of the socio-political setting for Bonapartism. Don’t let us be deluded by phrases. Don’t let us be misled by the idea that all we have is the first steps of Bonapartism. It is the first steps we must be able to discern unless we want to find ourselves in the ridiculous predicament of the stupid philistine who laments the second step although he himself helped to take the first. It would now be nothing short of stupid philistinism to entertain constitutional illusions, such as, for instance, that the present Cabinet is probably more Left than all the preceding ones (see Izvestia), that well-meaning criticism THE BEGINNING OF BONAPARTISM 225 by the Soviets could rectify the errors of the government, that the arbitrary arrests and suppression of newspapers were isolated incidents which, it is to be hoped, will never recur, or that Zarudny is an honest man and that in republican and democratic Russia a fair trial is possible and everyone should appear at it, and so on, and so forth. The stupidity of these constitutional philistine illusions is too obvious to require special refutation. The struggle against the bourgeois counter-revolution demands soberness and the ability to see and speak of things as they are. Bonapartism in Russia is no accident but a natural product of the evolution of the class struggle in a petty-bourgeois country with a considerably developed capitalism and a revolutionary proletariat. Historical stages like April 20 and 21, May 6, June 9 and 10, June 18 and 19, and July 3-5 are landmarks which show clearly how preparations for Bonapartism proceeded. It would be a very big mistake to think that a democratic situation rules out Bonapartism. On the contrary, it is exactly in a situation like this (the history of France has confirmed it twice) that Bonapartism emerges, given a certain relationship between classes and their struggle. However, to recognise the inevitability of Bonapartism does not at all mean forgetting the inevitability of its downfall. If we only said the counter-revolution had temporarily gained the upper hand here in Russia we should be dodging the issue. If we analysed the origin of Bonapartism and, fearlessly facing the truth, told the working class and the whole people that the beginning of Bonapartism is a fact, we should thereby start a real and stubborn struggle to overthrow Bonapartism, a struggle waged on a large political scale and based on far-reaching class interests. The Russian Bonapartism of 1917 differs from the beginnings of French Bonapartism in 1799 and 1849 in several respects, such as the fact that not a single important task of the revolution has been accomplished here. The struggle to settle the agrarian and the national questions is only just gathering momentum. 226 V. I. L E N I N Kerensky and the counter-revolutionary Cadets who use him as a pawn can neither convoke the Constituent Assembly on the appointed date, nor postpone it, without in both cases promoting the revolution. And the catastrophe engendered by the prolongation of the imperialist war keeps on approaching with even greater force and speed than ever. The advance contingents of the Russian proletariat succeeded in emerging from our June and July days without losing too much blood. The proletarian party has every opportunity to choose the tactics and form, or forms, of organisation that will in any circumstances prevent unexpected (seemingly unexpected) Bonapartist persecutions from cutting short its existence and its regular messages to the people. Let the Party loudly and clearly tell the people the whole truth that Bonapartism is beginning; that the “new” government of Kerensky, Avksentyev and Co. is merely a screen for the counter-revolutionary Cadets and the military clique which is in power at present; that the people can get no peace, the peasants no land, the workers no eight-hour day, and the hungry no bread unless the counterrevolution is completely stamped out. Let the Party say so, and every step in the march of events will bear it out. With remarkable speed Russia has gone through a whole epoch in which the majority of the people put their faith in the petty-bourgeois Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties. And now the majority of the working people are beginning to pay heavily for their credulity. All indications are that the march of events is continuing at a very fast pace and that the country is approaching the next epoch, when the majority of the working people will have to entrust their fate to the revolutionary proletariat. The revolutionary proletariat will take power and begin a socialist revolution; despite all the difficulties and possible zigzags of development, it will draw the workers of all the advanced countries into the revolution, and will defeat both war and capitalism. Rabochy i Soldat No. 6 , July 2 9 , 1 9 1 7 Published according to the text in Rabochy i Soldat LESSONS OF THE REVOLUTION The article was written at the end of July, the Afterword on September 6 (1 9 ), 1 9 1 7 The article was published on September 1 2 and 1 3 (August 3 0 and 3 1 ), 1 9 1 7 , in the newspaper Rabochy Nos. 8 and 9 Signed: N -kov in No. 8 and N. Lenin in No. 9 The Afterword was published in 1 9 1 7 in the pamphlet: N. Lenin, Lessons of the Revolution, Priboi Publishers Published according to the pamphlet text NOITULOVER EHT FO SNOSSEL ot gnidrocca dehsilbuP txet telhpmap eht nettirw saw elcitra ehT drowretfA eht ,yluJ fo dne eht ta 7 1 9 1 ,) 9 1( 6 rebmetpeS no no dehsilbup saw elcitra ehT ,) 1 3 dna 0 3 tsuguA( 3 1 dna 2 1 rebmetpeS 9 dna 8 .soN yhcobaR repapswen eht ni , 7 1 9 1 8 . o N n i v o k- N : d e n g i S 9 .oN ni nineL .N dna 7 1 9 1 ni dehsilbup saw drowretfA ehT ,nineL .N :telhpmap eht ni ,noituloveR eht fo snosseL srehsilbuP iobirP 229 Every revolution means a sharp turn in the lives of a vast number of people. Unless the time is ripe for such a turn, no real revolution can take place. And just as any turn in the life of an individual teaches him a great deal and brings rich experience and great emotional stress, so a revolution teaches an entire people very rich and valuable lessons in a short space of time. During a revolution, millions and tens of millions of people learn in a week more than they do in a year of ordinary, somnolent life. For at the time of a sharp turn in the life of an entire people it becomes particularly clear what aims the various classes of the people are pursuing, what strength they possess, and what methods they use. Every class-conscious worker, soldier and peasant should ponder thoroughly over the lessons of the Russian revolution, especially now, at the end of July, when it is clear that the first phase of our revolution has failed. I Let us see, in fact, what the workers and peasants were striving for when they made the revolution. What did they expect of the revolution? As we know, they expected liberty, peace, bread and land. But what do we see now? Instead of liberty, the old tyranny is coming back. The death penalty is being introduced for the soldiers at the front. 91 Peasants are prosecuted for the unauthorised seizure of landed estates. Printing presses of workers’ newspapers are wrecked. Workers’ newspapers are closed down without trial. Bolsheviks are arrested, often without any charge or upon blatantly trumped-up charges. 230 V. I. L E N I N It may be argued that the persecution of Bolsheviks does not constitute a violation of freedom, for only certain individuals are being prosecuted and on certain charges. Such an argument, however, would be a deliberate and obvious lie; for how can anyone wreck printing presses and close down newspapers for the crimes of individuals, even if these charges were proved and established by a court of law? It would be a different thing if the government had legally declared the whole party of the Bolsheviks, their very trend and views, to be criminal. But everybody knows that the government of free Russia could not, and did not, do anything of the kind. What chiefly exposes the libellous character of the charges against the Bolsheviks is that the newspapers of the landowners and capitalists furiously abused the Bolsheviks for their struggle against the war and against the landowners and capitalists, and openly demanded the arrest and prosecution of the Bolsheviks even when not a single charge against a single Bolshevik had been trumped up. The people want peace. Yet the revolutionary government of free Russia has resumed the war of conquest on the basis of those very same secret treaties which ex-Tsar Nicholas II concluded with the British and French capitalists so that the Russian capitalists might plunder other nations. Those secret treaties remain unpublished. The government of free Russia resorted to subterfuges, and to this day has not proposed a just peace to all nations. There is no bread. Famine is again drawing near. Everybody sees that the capitalists and the rich are unscrupulously cheating the treasury on war deliveries (the war is now costing the nation fifty million rubles daily), that they are raking in fabulous profits through high prices, while nothing whatsoever has been done to establish effective control by the workers over the production and distribution of goods. The capitalists are becoming more brazen every day; they are throwing workers out into the street, and this at a time when the people are suffering from shortages. A vast majority of the peasants, at congress after congress, have loudly and clearly declared that landed proprietorship is an injustice and robbery. Meanwhile, a govern- LESSONS OF THE REVOLUTION 231 ment which calls itself revolutionary and democratic has been leading peasants by the nose for months and deceiving them by promises and delays. For months the capitalists did not allow Minister Chernov to issue a law prohibiting the purchase and sale of land. And when this law was finally passed, the capitalists started a foul slander campaign against Chernov, which they are still continuing. The government has become so brazen in its defence of the landowners that it is beginning to bring peasants to trial for “unauthorised” seizures of land. They are leading the peasants by the nose, telling them to wait for the Constituent Assembly. The convocation of the Assembly, however, is being steadily postponed by the capitalists. Now that owing to Bolshevik pressure it has been set for September 30, the capitalists are openly clamouring about this being “impossibly” short notice, and are demanding the Constituent Assembly’s postponement. The most influential members of the capitalist and landowner party, the “Cadet”, or “people’s freedom”, Party, such as Panina, are openly urging that the convocation of the Constituent Assembly be delayed until after the war. As to land, wait until the Constituent Assembly. As to the Constituent Assembly, wait until the end of the war. As to the end of the war, wait until complete victory. That is what it comes to. The capitalists and landowners, having a majority in the government, are plainly mocking at the peasants. II But how could this happen in a free country, after the overthrow of the tsarist regime? In a non-free country, the people are ruled by a tsar and a handful of landowners, capitalists and bureaucrats who are not elected by anybody. In a free country, the people are ruled only by those who have been elected for that purpose by the people themselves. At the elections the people divide themselves into parties, and as a rule each class of the population forms its own party; for instance, the landowners, the capitalists, the peasants and the workers all form separate parties. In free countries, therefore, the people are ruled through an 232 V. I. L E N I N open struggle between parties and by free agreement between these parties. For about four months after the overthrow of the tsarist regime on February 27, 1917, Russia was ruled as a free country, i.e., through an open struggle between freely formed parties and by free agreement between them. To understand the development of the Russian revolution, therefore, it is above all necessary to study the chief parties, the class interests they defended, and the relations among them all. III After the overthrow of the tsarist regime state power passed into the hands of the first Provisional Government, consisting of representatives of the bourgeoisie, i.e., the capitalists, who were joined by the landowners. The “Cadet” Party, the chief capitalist party, held pride of place as the ruling and government party of the bourgeoisie. It was no accident this party secured power, although it was not the capitalists, of course, but the workers and peasants, the soldiers and sailors, who fought the tsarist troops and shed their blood for liberty. Power was secured by the capitalist party because the capitalist class possessed the power of wealth, organisation and knowledge. Since 1905, and particularly during the war, the class of the capitalists, and the landowners associated with them, have made in Russia the greatest progress in organising. The Cadet Party has always been monarchist, both in 1905 and from 1905 to 1917. After the people’s victory over tsarist tyranny it proclaimed itself a republican party. The experience of history shows that whenever the people triumphed over a monarchy, capitalist parties were willing to become republican as long as they could uphold the privileges of the capitalists and their unlimited power over the people. The Cadet Party pays lip-service to “people’s freedom”. But actually it stands for the capitalists, and it was immediately backed by all the landowners, monarchists and Black Hundreds. The press and the elections are proof of this. After the revolution, all the bourgeois papers and the whole Black Hundred press began to sing in unison with the LESSONS OF THE REVOLUTION 233 Cadets. Not daring to come out openly, all the monarchist parties supported the Cadet Party at the elections, as, for example, in Petrograd. Having obtained state power, the Cadets made every effort to continue the predatory war of conquest begun by Tsar Nicholas II, who had concluded secret predatory treaties with the British and French capitalists. Under these treaties, the Russian capitalists were promised, in the event of victory, the seizure of Constantinople, Galicia, Armenia, etc. As to the people, the government of the Cadets put them off with empty subterfuges and promises, deferring the decision of all matters of vital and essential importance to the workers and peasants until the Constituent Assembly met, without appointing the date of its convocation. Making use of liberty, the people began to organise independently. The chief organisation of the workers and peasants, who form the overwhelming majority of the population of Russia, was the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies. These Soviets already began to be formed during the February Revolution, and within a few weeks all class-conscious and advanced workers and peasants were united in Soviets in most of the larger cities of Russia and in many rural districts. The Soviets were elected in an absolutely free way. They were genuine organisations of the people, of the workers and peasants. They were genuine organisations of the vast majority of the people. The workers and peasants in soldiers’ uniforms were armed. It goes without saying that the Soviets could and should have taken over state power in full. Pending the convocation of the Constituent Assembly there should have been no other power in the state but the Soviets. Only then would our revolution have become a truly popular and truly democratic revolution. Only then could the working people, who are really striving for peace, and who really have no interest in a war of conquest, have begun firmly and resolutely to carry out a policy which would have ended the war of conquest and led to peace. Only then could the workers and peasants have curbed the capitalists, who are making fabulous profits “from the war” and who have reduced the 234 V. I. L E N I N country to a state of ruin and starvation. But in the Soviets only a minority of the deputies were on the side of the revolutionary workers’ party, the Bolshevik SocialDemocrats, who demanded that all state power should be transferred to the Soviets. The majority of the deputies to the Soviets were on the side of the parties of the Menshevik Social-Democrats and the Socialist-Revolutionaries, who were opposed to the transfer of power to the Soviets. Instead of removing the bourgeois government and replacing it by a government of the Soviets, these parties insisted on supporting the bourgeois government, compromising with it and forming a coalition government with it. This policy of compromise with the bourgeoisie pursued by the SocialistRevolutionary and Menshevik parties, who enjoyed the confidence of the majority of the people, is the main content of the entire course of development of the revolution during the five months since it began. IV Let us first see how this compromising of the SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks with the bourgeoisie proceeded, and then let us try to explain why the majority of the people trusted them. V The Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries have compromised with the capitalists in one way or another at every stage of the Russian revolution. At the very close of February 1917, as soon as the people had triumphed and the tsarist regime had been overthrown, the capitalist Provisional Government admitted Kerensky as a “socialist”. As a matter of fact, Kerensky has never been a socialist; he was only a Trudovik, 92 and he enlisted himself with the “Socialist-Revolutionaries” only in March 1917, when it was already safe and quite profitable to do so. Through Kerensky, as Deputy Chairman of the Petrograd Soviet, the capitalist Provisional Government immediately set about gaining control of and taming the Soviet. The Soviet, i.e., the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks who predominated in it, allowed itself to be LESSONS OF THE REVOLUTION 235 tamed, agreeing immediately after the formation of the capitalist Provisional Government to “support it”—“to the extent” that it carried out its promises. The Soviet regarded itself as a body verifying and exercising control over the activities of the Provisional Government. The leaders of the Soviet established what was known as a Contact Commission to keep in touch with the government. 93 Within that Contact Commission, the SocialistRevolutionary and Menshevik leaders of the Soviet held continuous negotiations with the capitalist government, holding, properly speaking, the status of Ministers without portfolio or unofficial Ministers. This state of affairs lasted throughout March and almost the whole of April. Seeking to gain time, the capitalists resorted to delays and subterfuges. Not a single step of any importance to further the revolution was taken by the capitalist government during this period. It did absolutely nothing even to further its direct and immediate task, the convocation of the Constituent Assembly; it did not submit the question to the localities or even set up a central commission to handle the preparations. The government was concerned with only one thing, namely, surreptitiously renewing the predatory international treaties concluded by the tsar with the capitalists of Britain and France, thwarting the revolution as cautiously and quietly as possible, and promising everything without fulfilling any of its promises. The Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks in the Contact Commission acted like simpletons who were fed on fancy phrases, promises, and more promises. Like the crow in the fable, the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks succumbed to flattery and listened with pleasure to the assurances of the capitalists that they valued the Soviets highly and did not take a single step without them. But time passed and the capitalist government did absolutely nothing for the revolution. On the contrary, during this period it managed, to the detriment of the revolution, to renew the secret predatory treaties, or, rather, to reaffirm them and “vitalise” them by supplementary and no less secret negotiations with Anglo-French imperialist diplomats. During this period it managed, to the detriment of the revolution, to lay the foundations of a counter-revolutionary 236 V. I. L E N I N organisation of (or at least of a rapprochement among) the generals and officers in the army in the field. To the detriment of the revolution it managed to start the organisation of industrialists, of factory-owners, who, under the onslaught of the workers, were compelled to make concession after concession, but who at the same time began to sabotage (damage) production and prepare to bring it to a standstill when the opportunity came. However, the organisation of the advanced workers and peasants in the Soviets made steady progress. The foremost representatives of the oppressed classes felt that, in spite of the agreement between the government and the Petrograd Soviet, in spite of Kerensky’s pompous talk, in spite of the “Contact Commission”, the government remained an enemy of the people, an enemy of the revolution. The people felt that unless the resistance of the capitalists was broken, the cause of peace, liberty and the revolution, would inevitably be lost. The impatience and bitterness of the people kept on growing. VI It burst out on April 20-21. The movement flared up spontaneously; nobody had cleared the ground for it. The movement was so markedly directed against the government that one regiment even appeared fully armed at the Mariinsky Palace to arrest the ministers. It became perfectly obvious to everybody that the government could not retain power. The Soviets could (and should) have taken over power without meeting the least resistance from any quarter. Instead, the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks supported the collapsing capitalist government, entangled themselves even further in compromises with it and took steps that were even more fatal to the revolution, that tended to lead to its doom. Revolution enlightens all classes with a rapidity and thoroughness unknown in normal, peaceful times. The capitalists, better organised and more experienced than anybody else in matters of class struggle and politics, learnt their lesson quicker than the others. Realising that the government’s position was hopeless, they resorted to a method which for many decades, ever since 1848, has been practised LESSONS OF THE REVOLUTION 237 by the capitalists of other countries in order to fool, divide and weaken the workers. This method is known as a “coalition” government, i.e., a joint cabinet formed of members of the bourgeoisie and turncoats from socialism. In countries where freedom and democracy have long existed side by side with a revolutionary labour movement, in Britain and France, the capitalists have repeatedly and very successfully resorted to this method. When the “socialist” leaders entered a bourgeois cabinet, they invariably proved to be figureheads, puppets, screens for the capitalists, instruments for deceiving the workers. The “democratic and republican” capitalists of Russia resorted to this very method. The Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks let themselves be fooled at once, and the “coalition” cabinet, joined by Chernov, Tsereteli and Co., became a fact on May 6. The simpletons of the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties were jubilant and fatuously bathed in the rays of the ministerial glory of their leaders. The capitalists gleefully rubbed their hands at having found helpers against the people in the persons of the “leaders of the Soviets” and at having secured their promise to support “offensive operations at the front”, i.e., a resumption of the imperialist predatory war, which had come to a standstill for a while. The capitalists were well aware of the puffed-up impotence of these leaders, they knew that the promises of the bourgeoisie—regarding control over production, and even the organisation of production, regarding a peace policy, and so forth—would never be fulfilled. And so it turned out. The second phase in the development of the revolution, May 6 to June 9, or June 18, fully corroborated the expectations of the capitalists as to the ease with which the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks could be fooled. While Peshekhonov and Skobelev were deceiving themselves and the people with florid speeches to the effect that one hundred per cent of the profits of the capitalists would be taken away from them, that their “resistance was broken”, and so forth, the capitalists continued to consolidate their position. Nothing, absolutely nothing, was undertaken during this period to curb the capitalists. The ministerial turncoats from socialism proved to be mere talking machines 238 V. I. L E N I N for distracting the attention of the oppressed classes, while the entire apparatus of state administration actually remained in the hands of the bureaucracy (the officialdom) and the bourgeoisie. The notorious Palchinsky, Deputy Minister for Industry, was a typical representative of that apparatus, blocking every measure against the capitalists. While the ministers prated everything remained as of old. The bourgeoisie used Minister Tsereteli in particular to fight the revolution. He was sent to “pacify” Kronstadt when the local revolutionaries had the audacity to remove an appointed commissar. 94 The bourgeoisie launched in their newspapers an incredibly vociferous, violent and vicious campaign of lies, slander and vituperation against Kronstadt, accusing it of the desire “to secede from Russia”, and repeating this and similar absurdities in a thousand ways to intimidate the petty bourgeoisie and the philistines. A most typically stupid and frightened philistine, Tsereteli, was the most “conscientious” of all in swallowing the bait of bourgeois slander; he was the most zealous of all in “smashing up and subduing” Kronstadt, without realising that he was playing the role of a lackey of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie. He turned out to be the instrument of the “compromise” arrived at with revolutionary Kronstadt, whereby the commissar for Kronstadt was not simply appointed by the government, but was elected locally and was confirmed by the government. It was on such miserable compromises that the ministers who had deserted socialism for the bourgeoisie wasted their time. Wherever a bourgeois minister could not appear in defence of the government, before the revolutionary workers or in the Soviets, Skobelev, Tsereteli, Chernov or some other “socialist” Minister appeared (or, to be precise, was sent by the bourgeoisie) and faithfully performed their assignment; he would do his level best to defend the Cabinet, whitewash the capitalists and fool the people by making promise after promise and by advising people to wait, wait and wait. Minister Chernov particularly was engaged in bargaining with his bourgeois colleagues; down to July, to the new “crisis of power” which began after the movement of July 3-4, to the resignation of the Cadets from the Cabinet, Minister Chernov was continuously engaged in the useful and inte- LESSONS OF THE REVOLUTION 239 resting work, so beneficial to the people, of “persuading” his bourgeois colleagues, exhorting them to agree at least to prohibition of the purchase and sale of land. This prohibition had been most solemnly promised to the peasants at the AllRussia Congress of Peasant Deputies in Petrograd. But the promise remained only a promise. Chernov proved unable to fulfil it either in May or in June, until the revolutionary tide, the spontaneous outbreak of July 3-4, which coincided with the resignation of the Cadets from the Cabinet, made it possible to enact this measure. Even then, however, it proved to be an isolated measure, incapable of promoting to any palpable extent the struggle of the peasants against the landowners for land. Meanwhile, at the front, the counter-revolutionary, imperialist task of resuming the imperialist, predatory war, a task which Guchkov, so hated by the people, had been unable to accomplish, was being accomplished successfully and brilliantly by the “revolutionary democrat” Kerensky, that new-baked member of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party. He revelled in his own eloquence, incense was burned to him by the imperialists, who were using him as a pawn, he was flattered and worshipped—all because he served the capitalists faithfully, trying to talk the “revolutionary troops” into agreeing to resume the war being waged in pursuance of the treaties concluded by Tsar Nicholas II with the capitalists of Britain and France, a war waged so that Russian capitalists might secure Constantinople and Lvov, Erzurum and Trebizond. So passed the second phase of the Russian revolution— May 6 to June 9. Shielded and defended by the “socialist” Ministers, the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie grew in strength, consolidated their position and prepared an offensive both against the external enemy and against the internal enemy, i.e., the revolutionary workers. VII On June 9, the revolutionary workers’ party, the Bolsheviks, was preparing for a demonstration in Petrograd to give organised expression to the irresistibly growing popular discontent and indignation. The Socialist-Revolutionary and 240 V. I. L E N I N Menshevik leaders, entangled in compromises with the bourgeoisie and bound by the imperialist policy of an offensive, were horrified, feeling that they were losing their influence among the masses. A general howl went up against the demonstration, and the counter-revolutionary Cadets joined in this howl, this time together with the SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks. Under their direction, and as a result of their policy of compromise with the capitalists, the swing of the petty-bourgeois masses to an alliance with the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie became quite definite and strikingly obvious. This is the historical significance and class meaning of the crisis of June 9. The Bolsheviks called off the demonstration, having no wish to lead the workers at that moment into a losing fight against the united Cadets, Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks. The latter, however, so as to retain at least a vestige of the people’s confidence, were compelled to call a general demonstration for June 18. The bourgeoisie were beside themselves with rage, rightly discerning in this a swing of the petty-bourgeois democrats towards the proletariat, and they decided to paralyse the action of the democrats by an offensive at the front. In fact, June 18 was marked by an impressive victory for the slogans of the revolutionary proletariat, the slogans of Bolshevism, among the people of Petrograd. And on June 19 the bourgeoisie and the Bonapartist * Kerensky solemnly announced that the offensive at the front had begun on June 18. The offensive meant in effect the resumption of the predatory war in the interests of the capitalists and against the will of the vast majority of the working people. That is why the offensive was inevitably accompanied, on the one hand, by a gigantic growth of chauvinism and the transfer of military power (and consequently of state power) to the military gang of Bonapartists, and, on the other, by the use * Bonapartism (from Bonaparte, the name of the two French emperors) is a name applied to a government which endeavours to appear non-partisan by taking advantage of a highly acute struggle between the parties of the capitalists and the workers. Actually serving the capitalists, such a government dupes the workers most of all by promises and petty concessions. LESSONS OF THE REVOLUTION 241 of violence against the masses, the persecution of the internationalists, the abolition of freedom of agitation, and the arrest and shooting of those who were against the war. Whereas May 6 bound the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks to the triumphal chariot of the bourgeoisie with a rope, June 19 shackled them, as servants of the capitalists, with a chain. VIII Owing to the resumption of the predatory war, the bitterness of the people naturally grew even more rapidly and intensely. July 3-4 witnessed an outburst of their anger which the Bolsheviks attempted to restrain and which, of course, they had to endeavour to make as organised as possible. The Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, being slaves of the bourgeoisie, shackled by their master, agreed to everything: dispatching reactionary troops to Petrograd, bringing back the death penalty, disarming the workers and revolutionary troops, arresting and hounding, and closing down newspapers without trial. The power which the bourgeoisie in the government were unable to take entirely, and which the Soviets did not want to take, fell into the hands of the military clique, the Bonapartists, who, of course, were wholly backed by the Cadets and the Black Hundreds, by the landowners and capitalists. Down the ladder, step by step. Having once set foot on the ladder of compromise with the bourgeoisie, the SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks slid irresistibly downwards, to rock bottom. On February 28, in the Petrograd Soviet, they promised conditional support to the bourgeois government. On May 6 they saved it from collapse and allowed themselves to be made its servants and defenders by agreeing to an offensive. On June 9 they united with the counterrevolutionary bourgeoisie in a campaign of furious rage, lies and slander against the revolutionary proletariat. On June 19 they approved the resumption of the predatory war. On July 3 they consented to the summoning of reactionary troops, which was the beginning of their complete surrender of power to the Bonapartists. Down the ladder, step by step. 242 V. I. L E N I N This shameful finale of the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties was not fortuitous but a consequence of the economic status of the small owners, the petty bourgeoisie, as has been repeatedly borne out by experience in Europe. IX Everybody, of course, has seen the small owner bend every effort and strain every nerve to “get on in the world”, to become a real master, to rise to the position of a “strong” employer, to the position of a bourgeois. As long as capitalism rules the roost, there is no alternative for the small owner other than becoming a capitalist (and that is possible at best in the case of one small owner out of a hundred), or becoming a ruined man, a semi-proletarian, and ultimately a proletarian. The same is true in politics: the petty-bourgeois democrats, especially their leaders, tend to trail after the bourgeoisie. The leaders of the petty-bourgeois democrats console their people with promises and assurances about the possibility of reaching agreement with the big capitalists; at best, and for a very brief period, they obtain certain minor concessions from the capitalists for a small upper section of the working people; but on every decisive issue, on every important matter, the petty-bourgeois democrats have always tailed after the bourgeoisie as a feeble appendage to them, as an obedient tool in the hands of the financial magnates. The experience of Britain and France has proved this over and over again. The experience of the Russian revolution from February to July 1917, when events developed with unusual rapidity, particularly under the influence of the imperialist war and the deep-going crisis brought about by it, has most strikingly and palpably confirmed the old Marxist truth that the position of the petty bourgeoisie is unstable. The lesson of the Russian revolution is that there can be no escape for the working people from the iron grip of war, famine, and enslavement by the landowners and capitalists unless they completely break with the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties and clearly understand the latter’s treacherous role, unless they renounce all compromises with the bourgeoisie and resolutely side with the revolutionary LESSONS OF THE REVOLUTION 243 workers. Only the revolutionary workers, if supported by the peasant poor, are capable of smashing the resistance of the capitalists and leading the people in gaining land without compensation, complete liberty, victory over famine and the war, and a just and lasting peace. AFTERWORD This article was written at the end of July, as is apparent from the text. The history of the revolution during August has fully corroborated what is said in this article. Then, at the end of August, the Kornilov revolt 95 caused a new turn in the revolution by clearly demonstrating to the whole people that the Cadets, in alliance with the counter-revolutionary generals, were striving to disband the Soviets and restore the monarchy. The near future will show how strong this new turn of the revolution is, and whether it will succeed in putting an end to the fatal policy of compromise with the bourgeoisie. N. Lenin September 6, 1917 244 KAMENEV’S SPEECH IN THE C.E.C. ON THE STOCKHOLM CONFERENCE 96 The speech made by Comrade Kamenev on August 6 in the Central Executive Committee on the Stockholm Conference cannot but meet with reproof from all Bolsheviks who are faithful to their Party and principles. In the very first sentence of his speech, Comrade Kamenev made a formal statement which gave his whole speech a monstrous ring. He made the reservation that he was speaking on his own behalf, and that “our group has not discussed this issue”. First of all, since when, in an organised party, do individual members speak about important issues “on their own behalf”? Since the group had not discussed the issue, Comrade Kamenev had no right to speak. This is the first conclusion to be drawn from his words. Secondly, what right had Comrade Kamenev to ignore the decision of the Party Central Committee against participating in the Stockholm Conference? As long as this decision has not been rescinded by a congress or by a new decision of the Central Committee, it remains law for the Party. Had it been rescinded, Comrade Kamenev could not have kept quiet, could not have spoken in the present perfect: “We Bolsheviks have so far adopted a negative attitude to the Stockholm Conference.” Again the conclusion is that Kamenev had no right to speak and, moreover, directly violated a Party decision, directly spoke against the Party, and thwarted its will by not saying a word about the Central Committee decision, which is binding on him. Yet the decision was published in Pravda, even with the additional remark that the Party KAMENEV’S SPEECH 245 representative would withdraw from the Zimmerwald Conference should it favour participation in the Stockholm Conference. * Kamenev gave an incorrect account of the reasons for the “former” negative attitude of the Bolsheviks towards participation in the Stockholm Conference. He did not say that social-imperialists were going to attend the conference and that it would be a disgrace for a revolutionary SocialDemocrat to have any truck with them. Sad to admit, Starostin, who has often been very much in the wrong in the past, put the revolutionary SocialDemocratic point of view a thousand times better, more correctly and more fittingly than Kamenev. To confer with social-imperialists, ministers, butcher’s aides in Russia would be shameful treachery. There could then be no talk of internationalism. Kamenev’s arguments, which actually favour a “change” in our view on the Stockholm Conference, are ludicrously feeble. “It became clear to us,” Kamenev said, “that from that [??] moment the Stockholm Conference ceased [ ? ? ] to be a blind instrument of the imperialist countries.” That is not true. There is not a single fact to support it, and Kamenev could advance no serious argument in its favour. If the Anglo-French social-imperialists refuse to attend, while the German do attend, can that be regarded as a change in principle?? Is it a change at all from an internationalist point of view? Can Kamenev really have “forgotten” the decision of our Party conference (April 29) on the perfectly analogous case of the Danish social-imperialist? According to newspaper reports, Kamenev further said, “The broad revolutionary banner under which the forces of the world proletariat are mustering is beginning to wave over Stockholm.” This is a meaningless declamation in the spirit of Chernov and Tsereteli. It is a blatant untruth. In actual fact, it is not the revolutionary banner that is beginning to wave over Stockholm, but the banner of deals, agreements, amnesty for the social-imperialists, and negotiations among bankers for dividing up annexed territory. * See present edition, Vol. 24, p. 388.—Ed. 246 V. I. L E N I N We cannot tolerate a situation where the party of the internationalists, which is responsible to the whole world for revolutionary internationalism, compromises itself by winking at the dirty tricks of the Russian and German social-imperialists, of the ministers of the bourgeois imperialist government of the Chernovs, Skobelevs and Co. We have decided to build a Third International, and we must do so in face of all difficulties. Not a single step backward to deals with the social-imperialists and deserters from socialism! Proletary No. 3 August 2 9 (1 6 ), 1 9 1 7 Signed: N. Lenin Published according to the text in Proletary 247 RUMOURS OF A CONSPIRACY The item published under the above title in Novaya Zhizn No. 103 on August 17 deserves very serious attention. We must dwell on it (again and again), even though what it makes out to be something serious is not serious at all. It says roughly that on August 14 the rumour was put about in Moscow that some Cossack units were moving towards Moscow from the front and that, moreover, “certain military groups enjoying the sympathy of certain circles in Moscow” were organising “decisive counter-revolutionary actions”. It also alleges that the military authorities had notified the Moscow Soviet of Soldiers’ and Workers’ Deputies, and “with the participation of Central Executive Committee members” (i.e., Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries) had taken steps to inform the soldiers of the need to guard the city, etc. “Moscow Bolsheviks,” the item says in conclusion, “were likewise invited to participate in these preparations since they are influential among many army units and were given access to these for the occasion.” This last sentence is deliberately vague and ambiguous, for if the Bolsheviks are influential among many army units (which is indisputable and generally recognised), then who and how could give them “access” to those units? This is obviously absurd. If, however, the Bolsheviks were really “given access” “for the occasion” (By whom? Evidently by the Mensheviks and S.R.s!) to any army units, that means there was a certain bloc, alliance or agreement between the Bolsheviks and the defencists on “defence against the counter-revolution”. 248 V. I. L E N I N It is this circumstance that makes an unserious item serious, and requires a very careful approach to what is reported on the part of all class-conscious workers. The rumour put about by the defencists, i.e., by the Mensheviks and S.R.s, is clearly absurd, and the foul and infamous political calculations which have prompted it are quite evident. It is the Provisional Government which is really counter-revolutionary and which the defencists allegedly want to defend. Cossack troops were recalled from the front to the capitals, specifically to Petrograd on July 3, by none other than the Provisional Government and the “socialist” Ministers, as was formally confirmed by the Cossack General Kaledin at the Moscow counter-revolutionary imperialist meeting. This is a fact. This particular fact, which exposes the Mensheviks and S.R.s, and proves their betrayal of the revolution, their alliance with the counter-revolutionaries, their alliance with the Kaledins—this fact the Mensheviks and S.R.s would like to cover up, to hush up, to make people forget, through “rumours” alleging that the Cossacks are marching on Moscow against the will of Kerensky, Tsereteli, Skobelev and Avksentyev, that the Mensheviks and the S.R.s are “defending the revolution”, and so on. The political scheme of the Menshevik and defencist traitors is as clear as can be: they want to fool the workers, to make themselves out to be revolutionaries, to learn something about the Bolsheviks (so as to pass it on to the counter-intelligence service, of course), to patch up their reputation! A scheme as vile as it is crude! At small expense, having made up a stupid little “rumour”, they hope to gain “access” to the Bolshevik army units and, in general, to strengthen confidence in the Provisional Government by assuring naïve people that it is this government the Cossacks want to overthrow, that it is not in collusion with the Cossacks and is “defending the revolution”, and so on, and so forth. The little scheme is obvious. The rumour, of course, is absurd and clearly fabricated. But confidence in the Provisional Government they hope to get in cold cash, and, further, they hope to draw the Bolsheviks into a “bloc” with them! First page of the manuscript “Rumours of a Conspiracy”, August 1917 Reduced ,”ycaripsnoC a fo sruomuR“ tpircsunam eht fo egap tsriF 7191 tsuguA decudeR RUMOURS OF A CONSPIRACY 251 It is hard to believe that there can be such fools and scoundrels among the Bolsheviks willing to enter into a bloc with the defencists at present. It is hard to believe, first, because there is an explicit resolution of the Sixth Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. 97 which says (see Proletary 98 No. 4) that “the Mensheviks have deserted for good to the camp of the proletariat’s enemies”. You do not conclude agreements or make blocs with people who have deserted for good to the enemy camp. “The prime task of revolutionary Social-Democrats”, the resolution goes on to say, “is to isolate them [the Menshevik defencists] completely from all the more or less revolutionary elements of the working class.” It is obviously against this isolation that the Mensheviks and S.R.s are fighting by spreading absurd rumours. And it is obvious that in Moscow as in Petrograd, the workers are turning away more and more from the Mensheviks and S.R.s, realising more and more clearly the treacherous, counter-revolutionary nature of their policies. And so, to “remedy the situation”, the defencists are compelled to resort to every trick in the book. The Congress resolution being what it is, any Bolshevik who came to terms with the defencists for the purpose of “giving access”, or indirectly expressing confidence in the Provisional Government (which is allegedly being defended against the Cossacks), would, of course, be immediately and deservedly expelled from the Party. There are, however, other reasons why it is hard to believe there can be Bolsheviks, in Moscow or elsewhere, capable of forming a bloc with the defencists, of forming anything like common, even temporary, bodies, of making any kind of deal, etc., with them. Let us imagine a situation most favourable to such rather unlikely Bolsheviks; let us assume that in their naïveté they actually believed in the rumours they hear from the Mensheviks and S.R.s; let us even assume that, to inspire them with confidence, they were given certain, likewise invented, “facts”. It is obvious that even in these circumstances, not a single honest Bolshevik who has not completely lost his head would agree to any bloc with the defencists, would make any deals on “giving access”, etc. Even in these circumstances, a Bolshevik would say: “Our workers and soldiers will fight the counter-revolutionary 252 V. I. L E N I N troops if they start an offensive now against the Provisional Government; they will do so not to defend this government, which called Kaledin and Co. on July 3, but to independently defend the revolution as they pursue their own aim, the aim of securing victory for the workers, for the poor, for the cause of peace, and not for the imperialists, for Kerensky, Avksentyev, Tsereteli, Skobelev and Co.” Even in the exceedingly unlikely situation we have assumed, a Bolshevik would tell the Mensheviks: “We shall fight, of course, but we refuse to enter into any political alliance whatever with you, refuse to express the least confidence in you. We shall fight in the very same way as the SocialDemocrats fought tsarism in February 1917, together with the Cadets, without entering into any alliance with the Cadets or trusting them for one second. The slightest confidence in the Mensheviks would be as much of a betrayal of the revolution now as confidence in the Cadets would have been between 1905 and 1917.” A Bolshevik would tell the workers and soldiers: “Let us fight, but not one iota of trust in the Mensheviks if you don’t want to rob yourselves of the fruits of victory.” It is all too advantageous for the Mensheviks to put about false rumours and allegations to the effect that the government they support is saving the revolution, while in reality it has already formed a bloc with the Kaledins, is already counter-revolutionary, has already taken a great many steps, and is daily taking further steps, to meet the terms of this bloc with the Kaledins. To believe these rumours, to support them directly or indirectly, would mean, on the part of the Bolsheviks, betraying the cause of the revolution. The chief guarantee of its success today is for the people to clearly realise the treachery of the Mensheviks and S.R.s and completely break with them, and for every revolutionary worker to boycott them as completely as they boycotted the Cadets after the experience of 1905. (I request that several copies be made of this article, so that it may be sent to several Party papers and magazines simultaneously for publication, and at the same time be RUMOURS OF A CONSPIRACY 253 put before the Central Committee on my behalf with the following postscript: I request that this article be considered as my report to the Central Committee, with the added proposal that the Central Committee order an official investigation, with Moscow comrades who are not members of the C.C. participating, to establish whether the Bolsheviks had any common institutions with the defencists on this basis, whether there were any blocs or agreements, what they consisted in, etc. The facts and particulars must be investigated officially, and all details ascertained. If the existence of a bloc is confirmed, members of the Central Committee or the Moscow Committee must be relieved of their duties and the question of their formal removal must be submitted, even before the next Congress meets, to the next plenary meeting of the Central Committee. For now, after the Moscow meeting, after the strike, after July 3-5, it is Moscow that is acquiring, or may acquire, the significance of a centre. It may well be that a movement similar to that of July 3-5 will develop in this vast proletarian centre, which is larger than Petrograd. At that time the task in Petrograd was to give the movement a peaceful and organised character. That was a correct slogan. The task facing us in Moscow now is entirely different; the former slogan would be absolutely incorrect. Our task now would be to take power and to proclaim ourselves the government in the name of peace, land for the peasants, and the convocation of the Constituent Assembly at the appointed time by agreement with the peasants in the various localities, etc. It is quite possible that such a movement will break out in Moscow due to unemployment, famine, a railway strike, economic dislocation, and so on. It is highly important to have people “at the helm” in Moscow who will not swerve to the right, who will not form blocs with the Mensheviks, and who in the event of a movement will understand the new tasks, the new slogan of seizing power, the new ways and means of winning it. This is why an “investigation” of the bloc case and censure of the Bolsheviks in the bloc, if any, and their removal are necessary not only for discipline, not only for remedying the blunder already made, but for the vital interests of the future movement. The Moscow strike on August 12 proved that the active 254 V. I. L E N I N workers support the Bolsheviks, even though the Duma elections yielded a majority to the S.R.s. This is very similar to the situation in Petrograd before July 3-5, 1917. But there is a vast difference between the situation then and now, for at that time Petrograd could not even have taken power physically, and had it done so, it could not have retained power politically, for Tsereteli and Co. had not yet sunk as low as to support butchery. This is why at that time, on July 3-5, 1917, in Petrograd, the slogan of taking power would have been incorrect. At that time, even the Bolsheviks were not, and could not have been, consciously determined to treat Tsereteli and Co. as counter-revolutionaries. At that time, neither the soldiers nor the workers could have had the experience brought by the month of July. The situation now is entirely different. Should a spontaneous movement break out in Moscow today, the slogan should be precisely to seize power. It is of the utmost importance, therefore, that the movement in Moscow be led by people fit for the task, who have fully grasped and considered this slogan. This is why we must insist again and again on an investigation and the removal of the guilty.) Written on August 1 8 - 1 9 (August 3 1 -September 1 ), 1 9 1 7 First published in Lenin Miscellany VII, 1 9 2 8 Published according to the manuscript 255 THEY DO NOT SEE THE WOOD FOR THE TREES Speaking at the session of the Central Executive Committee of the Soviets on August 4, L. Martov said (we quote from the Novaya Zhizn report) that “Tsereteli’s criticism is too mild”, that “the government does not repel counterrevolutionary attempts by army officers”, and that “it is not our aim to overthrow the present government or undermine confidence in it....” “The actual balance of forces,” Martov continued, “does not at present warrant the demand for power to be transferred to the Soviets. This could come only in the course of a civil war, which at the moment is impermissible.” “It is not our intention to overthrow the government,” Martov concluded, “but we must call its attention to the fact that there are other forces in the country besides the Cadets and army officers. They are the revolutionary democratic forces, and on them the Provisional Government must rely for support.” These are remarkable arguments from Martov, and they deserve very careful examination. They are remarkable in that they bring out very clearly the most widespread, the most harmful and most dangerous political errors of the petty-bourgeois masses and their most typical prejudices. Of all spokesmen for these masses, Martov, a publicist, is certainly one of the most “Left-wing”, most revolutionary, most politically conscious and most skilful. It is therefore more useful to analyse his arguments than those of a Chernov flaunting an array of empty words or of a stupid Tsereteli and their like. In analysing Martov’s arguments, we shall analyse what is at present most reasonable in the ideas of the petty bourgeoisie. First of all, Martov’s vacillation over the transfer of power to the Soviets is quite typical. Prior to July 4 Martov was against this slogan. After July 4, he was for it. Early in August, he was once more against it, and note his monstrous- 256 V. I. L E N I N ly illogical and amusing, from a Marxist point of view, argumentation. He is against it because, he says, “the actual balance of forces does not at present warrant the demand for power to be transferred to the Soviets. This could come only in the course of a civil war, which at the moment is impermissible”. What a muddle. It implies, first, that before July 4 the transfer of power was possible without civil war (true enough!), but it was just then that Martov was against the transfer. It implies, secondly, that after July 4, when Martov was for the transfer of power to the Soviets, it was possible without civil war—an obvious, glaring distortion of the facts, for it was on the night of July 4-5 that the Bonapartists, supported by the Cadets and attended on by lackeys like Chernov and Tsereteli, brought the counter-revolutionary troops to Petrograd. To take power peacefully under these circumstances would have been absolutely impossible. Thirdly and lastly, Martov implies that a Marxist or even just a revolutionary democrat had the right to reject a slogan correctly expressing the interests of the people and those of the revolution on the grounds that the slogan could be realised “only in the course of a civil war”. But this is an obvious absurdity, an obvious renunciation of the whole class struggle, the whole revolution. For everyone knows that the history of all revolutions the world over reveals an inevitable rather than an accidental transformation of the class struggle into civil war. Everyone knows that it was after July 4 that we in Russia saw the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie starting civil war, the disarming of regiments, executions at the front, and assassination of Bolsheviks. Civil war is “impermissible” for revolutionary democrats, if you please, just when the course of events has inexorably brought about a situation in which the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie have started civil war. Martov has entangled himself in the most unbelievable, amusing, and helpless fashion. In disentangling the confusion created by him, we must say: It was before July 4 that to transfer full power to the then existing Soviets was the only correct slogan. At that time, it could have been done peacefully, without civil war, because there had been no systematic acts of violence against THEY DO NOT SEE THE WOODS FOR THE TREES 257 the masses, against the people, such as began after July 4. At that time, the transfer of power guaranteed the peaceful progress of the whole revolution and, in particular, made it possible to peacefully eliminate the struggle between classes and parties within the Soviets. After July 4, the transfer of power to the Soviets became impossible without civil war, since, on July 4 and 5, power had passed to a military Bonapartist clique backed by the Cadets and the Black Hundreds. Hence, all Marxists, all those on the side of the revolutionary proletariat, all honest revolutionary democrats, must now explain to the workers and peasants the radical change in the situation which necessitates a new path for the transfer of power to the proletarians and semi-proletarians. Martov has advanced no arguments in defence of his “idea” that civil war is impermissible “at the moment”, in defence of his statement that it is not his intention “to overthrow the present government”. Because his opinion is unsubstantiated, and particularly because he voiced it at a meeting of defencists, it inevitably smacks of the defencist argument that civil war is impermissible while the enemy threatens from without. We wonder whether Martov could have brought himself to advance such an argument openly. Among the mass of the petty bourgeoisie, this argument is very popular. And, of course, it is one of the most common place. The bourgeoisie were unafraid of revolution and civil war at times when the enemy threatened from without—either in September 1870 in France or in February 1917 in Russia. The bourgeoisie were unafraid of seizing power at the price of civil war at times when the enemy threatened from without. The revolutionary proletariat will reckon just as little with this “argument” from liars and lackeys of the bourgeoisie. * * * One of the most glaring theoretical mistakes which Martov makes and which is also very typical of the whole range of political ideas of the petty bourgeoisie, is to confound tsarist counter-revolution, and monarchist counter-revolution in general, with bourgeois counter-revolution. It is due to the 258 V. I. L E N I N particular narrow-mindedness, or particular stupidity, of the petty-bourgeois democrat who cannot break free from economic, political and ideological dependence on the bourgeoisie, who cedes them priority, sees them as an “ideal”, and believes their cries about the danger of “counter-revolution from the right”. Martov expressed this range of ideas, or rather this pettybourgeois stupidity, by saying in his speech: “To counterbalance the pressure exerted upon it [the government] from the right, we must create a counter-pressure.” Here is a sample of the philistine credulity and disregard of the class struggle. It implies that the government is something above classes and above parties, the only trouble being that it is under too strong pressure from the right, so that there is need of stronger pressure from the left. What wisdom worthy of Louis Blanc, Chernov, Tsereteli, and all that despicable crew! How infinitely useful this philistine wisdom is for the Bonapartists! How they long to make “the foolish yokels” believe that the present government is fighting both the Right and the Left, the extremes only, as it builds up true statehood and exercises true democracy! Yet, in practice, it is this Bonapartist government that constitutes a government of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie. It is to the advantage of the bourgeoisie (and necessary for the perpetuation of their domination) to deceive the people by making believe that they represent “the revolution in general, while counter-revolution threatens from the right, from the tsar.” It is only through the infinite stupidity of the Dans and Tseretelis, through the infinite conceit of the Chernovs and Avksentyevs, that this idea, nurtured by the conditions of life of the petty bourgeoisie, still survives among “revolutionary democrats” in general. Anyone who has learned anything from history or from Marxism will have to admit that a political analysis must focus on the class issue: what class represents the revolution and what class the counter-revolution? French history shows us that the Bonapartist counterrevolution developed at the end of the eighteenth century (and then, for a second time, from 1848 to 1852) on the basis of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie, and in turn paved THEY DO NOT SEE THE WOODS FOR THE TREES 259 the way for the restoration of a legitimate monarchy. Bonapartism is a form of government which grows out of the counter-revolutionary nature of the bourgeoisie, in the conditions of democratic changes and a democratic revolution. You have to purposely shut your eyes not to see how, before your very eyes, Bonapartism is growing in Russia under very similar conditions. The tsarist counter-revolution is at present negligible; it has no political importance and plays no political role. The bogey of a tsarist counter-revolution is being purposely played up and made a fuss over by charlatans to frighten fools, to treat philistines to a political sensation, to distract the people’s attention from the real and serious counter-revolution. You just cannot help laughing at the arguments of a Zarudny, who endeavours to assess the counter-revolutionary role of a little backyard union called “Holy Russia” but who does “not see” the counter-revolutionary role of the union of the entire bourgeoisie of Russia called the Cadet Party. The Cadet Party is the major political force of the bourgeois counter-revolution in Russia. This force has splendidly rallied around it all Black Hundred elements, both at the elections and (more important still) in the apparatus of military and civil administration and in the press campaign of lies, slander and baiting directed primarily at the Bolsheviks, i.e., the party of the revolutionary proletariat, and then against the Soviets. Gradually but relentlessly, the present government is pursuing the very policy which the Cadet Party has been systematically advocating and preparing for ever since March 1917. It has resumed and is prolonging the imperialist war; it has stopped chattering about peace; it first gave ministers the right to close down newspapers, then to disperse conferences, then to arrest and exile people; it has restored capital punishment and executions at the front; it is disarming the workers and the revolutionary regiments; it has flooded the capital with counter-revolutionary troops; it has begun to arrest and persecute the peasants for unauthorised “seizures”; it is shutting down factories and organising lock-outs. This is a far from complete list of measures which present an excellent picture of the bourgeois counterrevolution of Bonapartism. 260 V. I. L E N I N And what about the postponed convocation of the Constituent Assembly and the crowning of a Bonapartist policy with a Zemsky Sobor in Moscow—a step leading to the postponement of the Constituent Assembly until after the war? Isn’t this a gem of Bonapartist politics? Yet Martov does not see where the general headquarters of the bourgeois counterrevolution is. Really some do not see the wood for the trees. * * * What really dirty lackey’s role the Central Executive Committee of the Soviets, i.e., the S.R.s and Mensheviks who dominate it, played in the matter of postponing the Constituent Assembly! The Cadets set the tone by launching the idea of postponement, starting a press campaign and using the Cossack congress as a pretext to demand postponement. (A Cossack congress! How could the Liebers, Avksentyevs, Chernovs and Tseretelis help behaving like lackeys!) The Mensheviks and S.R.s hopped along after the Cadets, they crawled at their master’s call like dogs threatened with their master’s whip. Instead of giving the people a plain statement of the facts showing how brazenly, how shamelessly the Cadets had been delaying and blocking the convocation of the Constituent Assembly since March, and instead of exposing the false evasions and the assertion that it was impossible to convoke the Constituent Assembly at the appointed time, the Bureau of the Central Executive Committee promptly brushed aside all “doubts” expressed even by Dan (even by Dan!) and sent Bramson and Bronzov, two lackeys of that bureau of lackeys, to the Provisional Government with a report “on the need to postpone elections to the Constituent Assembly until October 28-29”. A splendid prelude to the coronation of the Bonapartists by a Zemsky Sobor in Moscow. Whoever has not stooped to complete infamy must rally to the party of the revolutionary proletariat. Without the victory of the revolutionary proletariat there can be no peace for the people, land for the peasants nor bread for the workers and all working people. Proletary No. 6 September 1 (August 1 9 ), 1 9 1 7 Signed: N. Karpov Published according to the text in Proletary 261 POLITICAL BLACKMAIL Blackmail is the extortion of money under threat of exposing certain facts or invented “stories” which may be disagreeable to the person concerned, or under threat of causing him some other unpleasantness. Political blackmail is the threat of exposing, or the actual exposure, of true, but more often invented, “stories” with the aim of causing an opponent political damage, of slandering him, of depriving him of the possibility of engaging in political activity, or of making it difficult for him. Our republican and—please excuse the term—even democratic bourgeois and petty-bourgeois people proved themselves to be heroes of political blackmail by starting a “campaign” of defamation, lies and slander against the parties and political leaders that do not suit them. Tsarism persecuted crudely, savagely, brutally. The republican bourgeoisie persecute in a dirty way, striving to besmirch the reputation of the hated proletarian revolutionary and internationalist by slander, lies, insinuations, defamation, rumours, etc., etc. The Bolsheviks in particular have had the honour of experiencing these methods of persecution used by the republican imperialists. In general, the Bolshevik might apply to himself the well-known words of the poet: He hears the voice of approbation Not in the dulcet sounds of praise, But in the savage cries of indignation!99 Savage cries of indignation at the Bolsheviks rang out from all bourgeois and nearly all petty-bourgeois papers almost immediately after the beginning of the Russian revolution. And the Bolshevik, the internationalist, the sup- 262 V. I. L E N I N porter of the proletarian revolution, may justly hear the voice of approbation in these savage cries of indignation, for the fierce hatred of the bourgeoisie is often the best proof of faithful and honest service to the cause of the proletariat by the slandered, baited and persecuted. The blackmailing nature of the slanderous methods of the bourgeoisie may be illustrated best of all by an example which does not concern our Party, namely, the “affair” of the Socialist-Revolutionary Chernov. Some members of the Cadet Party, notorious slanderers headed by Milyukov and Hessen, trying to intimidate or expel Chernov, started a campaign, baiting him for his allegedly “defeatist” articles abroad, and for his association with persons supposed to have received money from German imperialist agents. The campaign gathered strength. It was taken up by all bourgeois papers. Afterwards the Cadets and S.R.s “came to terms” on a certain composition of the Cabinet. And lo and behold! The Chernov “affair” is dropped! It was dropped in a few days, without trial or examination, without publishing documents, without questioning witnesses, without presenting the decision of experts. When the Cadets were dissatisfied with Chernov, they began a slanderous “affair”. When the Cadets had come to terms politically with Chernov, at least for a while, the “affair” was dropped. This is a graphic example of political blackmail. Baiting in the newspapers, slander, and insinuations serve as a weapon of political struggle and political revenge in the hands of the bourgeoisie and such scoundrels as the Milyukovs, Hessens, Zaslavskys, Dans, etc. Once the political aim is attained, the “case” against X or Y is dropped, showing the dirty character, base dishonesty, and blackmailing nature of those who started it. For it is obvious that one who does not practise blackmail would not discontinue his revelations—if he were prompted by honest motives—no matter what political changes took place; he would in any circumstances bring his revelations to a conclusion, to a court sentence, to a point where the public was fully informed, where all documents were collected and published, or he would openly and explicitly admit that he had made a mistake or had misinterpreted the facts. POLITICAL BLACKMAIL 263 The case of Chernov, who is not a Bolshevik, clearly demonstrates the true nature of the blackmailing crusade against the Bolsheviks by the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois papers. When the political aim of those knights and hangerson of capital seemed to them to have been reached, when the Bolsheviks had been arrested and their newspapers closed down, the blackmailers fell silent! Having at their disposal every means of revealing the truth—the press, money, aid from the foreign bourgeoisie, the co-operation of “public opinion” of the whole bourgeoisie of Russia, and the friendly support of the state power of one of the largest countries of the world—having all this at their disposal, the heroes of the anti-Bolshevik crusade, the Milyukovs and Hessens, the Zaslavskys and Dans, fell silent! It is becoming clear to every fair-minded person, as it at once became clear to class-conscious workers, whose entire life prepares them for a quick understanding of the methods of the bourgeoisie, that the Milyukovs and Hessens, the Zaslavskys and Dans, etc., etc., are political blackmailers. We must make it perfectly clear, must explain it to the masses, write about it in the papers every day, collect documents about it for a pamphlet, boycott the blackmailers, and so on, and so forth. These are the methods of struggle worthy of the proletariat in combating slander and blackmail! One of the latest to suffer from blackmail was our comrade, Kamenev. He has “withdrawn from public activity” until his case is examined. We think that a mistake. It is exactly what the blackmailers wanted. They do not want to examine his case. Kamenev should merely have countered the scoundrels with the trust of his own party, and let the dogs of Rech, Birzhevka, Dyen, Rabochaya Gazeta and other filthy rags bark. If our Party were to consent to the suspension of public activities by its leaders because they had been slandered by the bourgeoisie, the Party would suffer terribly; it would cause harm to the proletariat and make its enemies happy. For the bourgeoisie have many papers they have even more blackmailing, venal pens (like those of Zaslavsky and Co.), and it would be only too easy for them to “suspend” our Party workers! The bourgeoisie are not interested in examining the case, in getting to the root of the matter. 264 V. I. L E N I N That won’t do, comrades! We must not give in to the clamour of the bourgeois press! We must not please those blackmailing scoundrels, the Milyukovs, Hessens and Zaslavskys. We must rely on the proletarians’ verdict, the verdict of the class-conscious workers in our Party, which numbers 240,000 internationalists. We mustn’t forget that internationalists are persecuted throughout the world by the bourgeoisie allied with the defencists, through lies, slander and blackmail. We must stand firm in branding the blackmailers. We must firmly submit our slightest doubts for the class-conscious workers, for our Party, to judge. We trust our Party. We see in it the intelligence, honour and conscience of our times. We see the only guarantee of success for the emancipation movement of the working class in a world alliance of revolutionary internationalists. No yielding to the “public opinion” of those who sit in one Cabinet with the Cadets, who shake the hands of the Milyukovs, Dans and Zaslavskys! Down with the political blackmailers! Scorn and boycott them! Always expose their infamous names to the workers! We must unswervingly follow our own path, keep our Party in working order, and even protect its leaders from wasting their time on mud-slingers and their filthy slander. Proletary No. 1 0 September 6 (August 2 4 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Proletary text 265 PAPER RESOLUTIONS Mr. Tsereteli is one of the most garrulous of the “socialist” Ministers and petty-bourgeois leaders. You have to force yourself to read his countless speeches right through. These absolutely meaningless, absolutely non-committal, absolutely insignificant, truly “ministerial” speeches are so empty and banal. What makes these eloquent “utterances” (whose very emptiness was bound to make Tsereteli a favourite of the bourgeoisie) so intolerable is the infinite self-conceit of the speaker. It is sometimes hard to decide whether those sleek, smooth and honeyed phrases conceal unusual stupidity or cynical political trickery. The more meaningless Tsereteli’s speeches, the more emphatically we must stress the perfectly incredible and extraordinary thing that happened to him at the plenary session of the Petrograd Soviet on August 18. It is incredible but a fact that Tsereteli accidentally uttered a couple of simple, clear, sensible and true sentences. He uttered two sentences which correctly express a profound and serious political truth, a truth of no fleeting importance, but one that sums up the whole present-day political situation, its essential, radical features and its fundamental characteristics. According to the account published in Rech, Tsereteli (the reader, of course, will remember that Tsereteli was up in arms against the resolution demanding the abolition of the death penalty) said: “None of your resolutions will help. What we need is real action and not paper resolutions....” There is no denying it. Sensible speeches are pleasant to hear. 266 V. I. L E N I N Of course, this truth hits first and hardest of all at Tsereteli himself. For it was he, one of the most prominent leaders of the Soviet, who helped prostitute this institution, reduce its role to that of a wretched liberal assembly, which is bequeathing an archive of exemplarily impotent and pious wishes to the world. Tsereteli—who got the Soviet, emasculated by the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, to pass hundreds of “paper resolutions”—least of all had the right, when it came to adopting a resolution which struck a painful blow at himself, to cry out against “paper resolutions”. He has put himself in the particularly ridiculous position of a parliamentarian who has worked on more “parliamentary” resolutions than anyone else, has extolled their worth to the skies more than anyone else, and has fussed over them more than anyone else, yet, when a resolution is passed against him, cries “sour grapes!” at the top of his voice, saying that the resolution, after all, is only a paper one. Nevertheless, the truth is the truth, even if uttered by a false man in a false tone. The resolution is a paper one not for the reason given by ex-Minister Tsereteli, who holds that defence of the revolution (don’t laugh!) requires the death penalty. The resolution is a paper one because it repeats the stereotyped formula which has been learnt by heart and meaninglessly reiterated ever since March 1917—“The Soviet demands of the Provisional Government.” They are accustomed to “demand”, and they go on doing so by force of habit, not seeing that the situation has changed, that power has left them, and that a “demand” not backed by power is ridiculous. Moreover, this stereotyped “demand” fosters among the people the illusion that the situation has not changed, that the Soviet is a power, that by announcing its “demand” the Soviet has done its business and can sleep the sleep of one who has done his duty as a “revolutionary (if you please) democrat”. A reader may ask: “Do you mean to say that the Bolsheviks, who advocate political clearheadedness and taking account of the forces, and who are opposed to phrasemongering, should not have voted for the resolution?” No. They should have voted for it, if only because one clause of the resolution (the third) contains the excellent PAPER RESOLUTIONS 267 and true idea (the fundamental, main and decisive idea) that the death penalty is a weapon against the masses (the situation would be different if it were a weapon against the landowners and capitalists). They should have voted for the resolution, even though the philistine Socialist-Revolutionaries fouled Martov’s text and instead of the reference to “imperialist aims which are alien to the interests of the people” inserted an absolutely false phrase intended to deceive the people and whitewash a predatory war, namely, “defence of the country and the revolution”. They should have voted for the resolution, at the same time recording their disagreement with certain passages and declaring: “Workers, don’t think the Soviet is now in a position to demand anything of the Provisional Government. Don’t have any illusions. Understand that the Soviet is already unable to demand, and that the present government is under the complete sway of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie. Think seriously about this bitter truth.” Nobody could have prevented the Soviet members from voting in favour after they had made such reservations in one form or another. Then the resolution would have ceased to be a “paper” one. And then we could have got round the treacherous question of Tsereteli who asked the Soviet members whether they wanted to “overthrow” the Provisional Government—in quite the same way, in exactly the same way, as Katkov asked the liberals under Alexander III whether they wanted to “overthrow” the autocracy. We would have answered the ex-Minister: “Dear citizen, you have just passed a criminal law against those who ‘attempt’, or who only intend, to ‘overthrow’ the government (which was formed by agreement between the landowners and capitalists, on the one hand, and the petty-bourgeois traitors to democracy, on the other). We are well aware that all the bourgeoisie would have praised you even more heartily had you ‘brought’ several Bolsheviks under that pleasant (for you) law. But don’t be surprised if we don’t go out of our way to help you and pretexts to apply that ‘pleasant’ law.” * * * 268 V. I. L E N I N The whole political system of Russia was reflected in the incident of August 18 like the sun in a pool of water: the Bonapartist government, the death penalty, the criminal law, the coating of these “pleasant” (for the provocateurs) pills by just the kind of phrases that Louis Napoleon used to give out about equality, fraternity, liberty, the honour and prestige of the country, the traditions of the Great Revolution, the suppression of anarchy. Petty-bourgeois ministers and ex-ministers, cloyingly sweet-tongued, protesting that they have souls, that they are damning their souls by introducing the death penalty and applying it to the people, and that they weep when they do so—an improved edition of the “schoolmaster” of the sixties who followed Pirogov’s advice and thrashed not simply, not in the ordinary old way, but while shedding tears of commiseration over the good citizen’s son who was undergoing a “legitimate” and “just” caning. Peasants, deceived by their petty-bourgeois leaders, continuing to believe that the marriage of the bloc of SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks with the bourgeoisie can bring about the abolition of private ownership of land without compensation. Workers—but we shall say nothing about what the workers think until the “humane” Tsereteli abolishes the new criminal law. Rabochy No. 2 September 8 (August 2 6 ), 1 9 1 7 Published according to the Rabochy text 269 THE STOCKHOLM CONFERENCE Many people are taking an interest again in the Stockholm Conference. The question of its significance has been discussed at length in the newspapers. It is inseparable from an appraisal of the very principles of the whole of present-day socialism, particularly concerning the attitude to the imperialist war. This is why the Stockholm Conference should be dealt with in some detail. From the outset the revolutionary Social-Democrats, i.e., the Bolsheviks, were against participating in the conference, as a matter of principle. Everyone knows that on the attitude to the war socialists in all countries, belligerent and neutral alike, are split into two large, main divisions. Some took the side of their governments, of their bourgeoisie. These we call social-chauvinists, i.e., socialists in words and chauvinists in action. A chauvinist is one who conceals defence of the predatory interests of “his own” ruling classes with the concept “defence of the fatherland”. In the present war, the bourgeoisie of both belligerent coalitions are pursuing predatory aims: the German bourgeoisie are fighting to plunder Belgium, Serbia, etc., the British and French bourgeoisie are fighting to plunder the German colonies, etc., and the Russian bourgeoisie are fighting to plunder Austria (Lvov) and Turkey (Armenia, Constantinople). Hence, those socialists who have come down on the side of their bourgeoisie in the war have ceased to be socialists, have betrayed the working class and have, in effect, deserted to the camp of the bourgeoisie. They have become class enemies of the proletariat. The history of European and American socialism, particularly during the time of the Second international, i.e., from 1889 to 1914, shows us that 270 V. I. L E N I N this desertion of certain socialists, particularly most leaders and members of parliament, to the bourgeoisie is no accident. In all countries, the opportunist wing of socialism provided the main recruits for social-chauvinism. Regarded scientifically, which means not singling out individuals but taking the whole international trend in its process of development, the sum total of its social ties, social-chauvinism is opportunism carried to its logical conclusion. Everywhere the workers are showing, in a more or less clear and sharp form, that they realise the social-chauvinists are betraying socialism, that they hate and despise the more prominent social-chauvinists such as Plekhanov in Russia, Scheidemann in Germany, Guesde, Renaudel and Co. in France, Hyndman and others in Britain, etc., etc. A revolutionary internationalist trend has arisen in all countries during the war, despite the gagging and ruthless persecution by the bourgeoisie. This trend has remained loyal to socialism. It has not yielded to chauvinism, has not allowed chauvinism to be covered up by lying phrases about defence of the fatherland. It has exposed the utterly fraudulent nature of these phrases and the absolutely criminal nature of the war, which the bourgeoisie of both coalitions pursue for purposes of plunder. This trend includes, for example, MacLean in Britain, who has been sentenced to eighteen months’ hard labour for opposing the predatory British bourgeoisie, and Karl Liebknecht in Germany, who has been sentenced to penal servitude by the German imperialist robbers for the “crime” of calling for a revolution in Germany and exposing the predatory character of the war waged by Germany. The Bolsheviks in Russia also belong to this trend and are persecuted by the agents of Russian republican-democratic imperialism for a “crime” similar to the one for which MacLean and Karl Liebknecht are being persecuted. This is the only trend loyal to socialism. It is the only trend that has not failed the solemn declaration of convictions, the solemn pledge made in November 1912 in the Basle Manifesto which was unanimously signed by the socialists of the world, of every country without exception. The Manifesto speaks not of war in general—there are wars and wars—but of the war which everyone in 1912 clearly saw was being prepared, and which broke out in 1914, the war between THE STOCKHOLM CONFERENCE 271 Germany and Britain and their allies for world domination. With this war in the offing, the Basle Manifesto does not say a word about the duty or right of socialists to “defend their fatherland” (i.e., to justify their participation in the war). What it does say, very explicitly, is that this war must lead to the “proletarian revolution”. The betrayal of socialism by the social-chauvinists of all countries is perfectly evident from the cowardly manner in which all of them now avoid, like thieves avoiding the scene of their crime, the passage in the Basle Manifesto which speaks of the connection between this particular war and the proletarian revolution. The impassable gulf that separates the socialists, who remained loyal to the Basle Manifesto and “responded” to the war by advocating and preparing for the proletarian revolution, from the social-chauvinists, who responded to the war by supporting “their” national bourgeoisie, is obvious. It is also obvious how helpless, naive and hypocritical are the attempts to “reconcile” or “unite” the two trends. It is this kind of attempt that is evident in all its wretchedness on the part of the third trend in world socialism, the so-called “Centre” or “Kautskian” trend (named after the most prominent “Centrist”, Karl Kautsky). Throughout the three years of the war this trend has shown its complete lack of principle and its helplessness in all countries. In Germany, for example, events compelled the Kautskyites to break away from the German Plekhanovs and form a separate, so-called Independent Social-Democratic Party. 100 All the same, this party is afraid of drawing the necessary conclusions, it preaches “unity” with the social-chauvinists on an international scale, continues to deceive the mass of workers with the hope of restoring this unity in Germany, and hinders the only correct proletarian tactics of revolutionary struggle against “one’s own” government, a struggle to be waged in war-time as well, a struggle which may and must vary in form but which cannot be put off. This is the state of affairs in international socialism. Without making a clear appraisal of this situation, without having a principled opinion about all the trends in international socialism, it is impossible so much as to approach practical questions like that of the Stockholm Conference. Yet the Bolshevik Party was the only party that gave a 272 V. I. L E N I N principled appraisal of all trends in international socialism in the detailed resolution which it adopted at its conference held between April 24 and 29, 1917, and which was endorsed by our Sixth Party Congress in August. To ignore this principled appraisal and discuss Stockholm without reference to it means taking an entirely unprincipled stand. As an example of the lack of principle prevailing among the petty-bourgeois democrats, the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, we may quote an article from Novaya Zhizn of August 10. The article is worthy of attention because it brings together, in a newspaper belonging to the extreme Left wing of the petty-bourgeois democrats, the most widespread errors, prejudices and lack of principle over Stockholm. “One is free,” we read in the leader of Novaya Zhizn, “to take a dim view of the Stockholm Conference, for one reason or another. One is free, as a matter of principle, to condemn attempts to bring about agreement among the ‘defencist majorities’. But why deny what is strikingly obvious? After all, following the well-known decision of the British workers, which sparked off a political crisis in the country and caused the first deep crack in British ‘national unity’, the conference acquired a new significance.” This argument is a perfect example of lack of principle. Indeed, how is it possible to draw the conclusion, from the indisputable fact that owing to the Stockholm Conference a deep crack has occurred in British “national unity”, that it is our duty to patch up this crack rather than widen it? The fundamental alternative is to break with the defencists (social-chauvinists) or to agree with them. There can be no other choice. The Stockholm Conference was just one of numerous attempts to reach agreement. It failed. Its failure was due to the unwillingness of the Anglo-French imperialists to hold peace negotiations now, while the German imperialists are willing. The British workers have become more aware of being deceived by the British imperialist bourgeoisie. Then what use should be made of this? We revolutionary internationalists say that it should be used for widening the breach between the workers and their social-chauvinists, for making this breach complete, for removing every hindrance to the development of the revolutionary struggle of the masses against their governments, against their bourgeoisie. Acting THE STOCKHOLM CONFERENCE 273 in this way, we, and we alone, can widen the crack and force a complete break. What is actually achieved by those going to Stockholm, or rather, by those preaching to the people that it is necessary to go there, now that reality has “squashed” the idea? All they manage is to patch up the crack, for the Stockholm Conference is admittedly being convened and supported by people who are supporting their own governments, by the ministerialist Chernovs and Tseretelis, the Staunings, Brantings and Troelstras, not to speak of the Scheidemanns. This is what is “strikingly obvious”, this is what the opportunists of Novaya Zhizn forget, or gloss over, when they argue absolutely without any regard for principles, without a general appreciation of social-chauvinism as a trend. The Stockholm Conference is a colloquy of ministers of imperialist governments. Novaya Zhizn cannot evade this fact however hard it tries. To call upon the workers to go to Stockholm, to tell them to wait for Stockholm, to call upon them to place any hopes whatever in Stockholm means saying to them: “You can, you must, expect good to come from an agreement between the petty-bourgeois parties and imperialist government ministers, those who support imperialist governments.” It is this unprincipled and most harmful propaganda that Novaya Zhizn is unwittingly carrying on. Owing to the conflict between the Anglo-French socialchauvinists and their governments, the paper forgets that the Chernovs, Skobelevs, Tseretelis, Avksentyevs, Brantings, Staunings and Scheidemanns are also social-chauvinists supporting their governments. Isn’t this lack of principle? Instead of saying to the workers: see, the Anglo-French imperialists have not even allowed their social-chauvinists to go and talk with the German social-chauvinists; that shows that Britain and France are also waging a predatory war and that there is no salvation except through a complete rupture with all the governments, with all the social-chauvinists, Novaya Zhizn consoles the workers with illusions. “In Stockholm,” it writes, “they are going to reach an agreement on peace and to jointly draw up a general plan of struggle: refusal to vote credits, renunciation of ‘national unity’, recall of ministers from the governments, etc.” 274 V. I. L E N I N The only thing which is supposed to make this thoroughly fraudulent sentence sound convincing is that the word “struggle” is printed in bold type. A wonderful device, I must say! After three years of war, efforts are still being made to feed the workers with the emptiest promises: “In Stockholm they are going” to renounce national unity. Who plans that? The Scheidemanns, Chernovs, Skobelevs, Avksentyevs, Tseretelis, Staunings and Brantings, i.e., the very people (and parties) who for several years and for several months have been pursuing a national unity policy. No matter how sincere Novaya Zhizn’s faith in such a miracle may be, no matter how conscientiously it may hold the conviction that it is possible, we must say, nevertheless, that it is spreading the greatest piece of deception among the workers. Novaya Zhizn is deceiving the workers by inspiring them with confidence in the social-chauvinists. It implies that, although so far the social-chauvinists have been Cabinet members and have pursued a national unity policy, they will soon reach agreement among themselves in Stockholm, they will come to an understanding and cease to act in that way. They will begin to fight for peace, they will refuse to vote credits, etc., etc. All that is nothing but deception, the greatest deception. It is reactionary talk designed to console and reassure the workers, to inspire them with confidence in the social-chauvinists. But the socialists who “fight for peace”—not in words, not to deceive themselves or the workers—started their fight long ago, without waiting for any international conferences. They started their fight by renouncing national unity, precisely in the way it was done by MacLean in Britain, Karl Liebknecht in Germany and the Bolsheviks in Russia. “We quite understand the legitimate and healthy scepticism of the Bolsheviks towards the Renaudels and Scheidemanns,” writes Novaya Zhizn, “but the publicists of Rabochy i Soldat, like doctrinaires, just cannot see the wood for the trees; they do not take into account the changes in the mood of the masses on which Renaudel and Scheidemann have relied.” It is not a matter of scepticism, gentlemen; it is in your midst that intellectual scepticism, which conceals and ex- THE STOCKHOLM CONFERENCE 275 presses lack of principle, is the dominant mood. We are not sceptical of the Renaudels and the Scheidemanns, we are their enemies. There is a world of difference between these two things. We have broken with them, and we call upon the masses to break with them. It is we, and we alone, who “take into account” the change in the mood of the masses, as well as something besides, something far more important and more profound than moods and changes in moods, namely, the fundamental interests of the masses, the fact that these interests cannot be reconciled with the social-chauvinist policy represented by the Renaudels and Scheidemanns. In Stockholm, the Novaya Zhizn people and the ministers of the Russian imperialist government will meet none other than the Scheidemanns and Renaudels (for there is no real difference between Stauning and Troelstra, let alone between Avksentyev and Skobelev, on the one hand, and Renaudel, on the other). But we turn our backs on the Stockholm comedy played between the social-chauvinists, among the socialchauvinists, in order to open the eyes of the masses, so as to express their interests, call them to revolution, and use their change of mood not to pander to a given mood in an unprincipled manner, but to wage a struggle on principle for a complete rupture with social-chauvinism. FROM MARX TO MAO  NOT FOR COMMERCIAL DISTRIBUTION It is not true to say that our attitude to the conference “The Bolsheviks,” writes Novaya Zhizn, “like to taunt the internationalists going to Stockholm with having compromised with the Scheidemanns and Hendersons, ‘without noticing’ that their attitude to the conference puts them in the same category as the Plekhanovs, Guesdes and Hyndmans—for profoundly different reasons, of course.” puts us in the same category as the Plekhanovs! That is obviously absurd. Our position coincides with that of the Plekhanovs in refusing to go to a milk-and-water conference with a group of social-chauvinists. But both in principle and in practice, our attitude towards the conference differs from that of the Plekhanovs. Meanwhile, you who call yourselves internationalists are really going to the conference together with the Scheidemanns, Staunings and Brantings; you are really compromising with them. Isn’t that a fact? You describe as “the great cause of uniting the international proletariat” what is the petty, miserable business—largely an 276 V. I. L E N I N intrigue which is dependent upon the imperialists of one of the coalitions—of uniting the social-chauvinists. That is a fact. You would-be internationalists cannot urge the masses to take part in the Stockholm Conference (it is very probable that things will go no further than urging, for the conference will not take place; but the ideological significance of the urging remains); you cannot urge the masses to participate in the Stockholm Conference without uttering a pile of lies, without sowing illusions, without whitewashing the socialchauvinists, without rousing hopes among the masses that the Staunings and Brantings, the Skobelevs and Avksentyevs are capable of renouncing “national unity” in earnest. Meanwhile, in our propaganda against Stockholm, we Bolsheviks tell the masses the whole truth. We continue to expose the social-chauvinists and the policy of compromise with them, and lead the masses towards a complete rupture with them. Since matters have reached a point where the German imperialists consider the situation appropriate for participation in the Stockholm Conference and are sending their Scheidemann agents to it, while the British imperialists consider the situation inappropriate and do not even want to talk about peace, we expose the British imperialists and take advantage of the conflict between them and the British workers to promote the latter’s class-consciousness, to carry on vigorous propaganda for internationalism, and explain the need for a complete rupture with social-chauvinism. The would-be internationalists of Novaya Zhizn are behaving like intellectual impressionists, i.e., like people who spinelessly yield to the moods of the moment and forget the fundamental principles of internationalism. The Novaya Zhizn people reason as follows: since British imperialism is opposed to the Stockholm Conference, we must be for it; it shows that the conference has acquired a significance it has not had so far. To reason like that actually means abandoning principles, for German imperialism is at present in favour of the Stockholm Conference because of its own selfish and predatory imperialist interests. What is the value of the “internationalism” of “internationalists” who are afraid of openly admitting this indisputable and obvious fact, who have to hide from it? What guarantee have you, gentlemen, that by THE STOCKHOLM CONFERENCE 277 taking part in the Stockholm Conference together with the Scheidemanns, Staunings and Co. you will not virtually become a plaything, a tool in the hands of the secret diplomats of German imperialism? You cannot have any such guarantee. There is none. Even if it does take place, which is very improbable, the Stockholm Conference will be an attempt by the German imperialists to explore the possibilities of such and such an exchange of annexations. That will be the true, the actual significance of the eloquent speeches of the Scheidemanns, Skobelevs and Co. And if the conference does not take place, your preaching to the masses, rousing false hopes in them in regard to the social-chauvinists, hopes for their speedy, possible and probable “reformation”, will acquire real significance. In either case, you may wish to be internationalists but you will actually turn out to be accomplices of the socialchauvinists, now of one coalition, now of both coalitions. We, however, take into account all the ups and downs and all the particulars of politics and remain consistent internationalists advocating the fraternal alliance of the workers, rupture with the social-chauvinists and work for the proletarian revolution. Rabochy No. 2 September 8 (August 2 6 ), 1 9 1 7 Signed: N. K - ov Published according to the Rabochy text 278 FROM A PUBLICIST’S DIARY PEASANTS AND WORKERS Izvestia of the All-Russia Congress of Peasants’ Deputies101 No. 88, of August 19, carries an exceedingly interesting article which should be regarded as basic material for every Party propaganda and agitation worker who has anything to do with the peasants and for every class-conscious worker who is going to the countryside or comes in contact with peasants. The article is entitled “Model Mandate Compiled on the Basis of 242 Mandates Submitted by Local Deputies to the First All-Russia Congress of Peasants’ Deputies Held in Petrograd, 1917”. The best thing would be for the Congress of Peasants’ Deputies to publish as much detailed information as possible about all those mandates (if it is absolutely impossible to print them all in full, which, of course, would be preferable). It is particularly necessary, for instance, to have a full list of the gubernias, uyezds and volosts, showing how many mandates have been received from each locality, when they were compiled or delivered, and to analyse at least the basic demands, so that we can tell whether the various points differ according to areas, whether such questions as abolition of private property rights to all peasant lands, periodic redistribution of land, prohibition of wage-labour, confiscation of the landowners’ implements and livestock, etc., etc., are put differently in, say, areas with homestead and communal land ownership, areas with Russian and non-Russian populations, central and outlying areas, areas that never had serfdom, and so on. No thorough-going study of the extraordinarily valuable material contained in the peasant mandates is possible without such details. And we Marxists FROM A PUBLICIST’S DIARY 279 must exert every effort to make a thorough-going study of the facts underlying our policy. In the absence of better material, and as long as it has not been proved factually incorrect in one respect or another, the summary of the mandates (as we shall call the “Model Mandate”) remains the only material of its kind which, we repeat, is an absolute must for every Party member. The first part of the summary is devoted to general political principles, to demands of political democracy; the second, to the land question. (It is to be hoped that the All-Russia Congress of Peasants’ Deputies or some other body will summarise the peasants’ mandates and resolutions concerning the war.) Without going into detail in the first part, we shall note only two points from it, § 6, demanding the election of all office-holders, and § 11, calling for the abolition of the standing army once the war is over. These points bring the peasants’ political programme closest of all to the Bolshevik Party programme. Basing ourselves on these points, we must stress and prove through all our propaganda and agitation that the Menshevik and Socialist-Revolutionary leaders are traitors not only to socialism, but also to democracy. In Kronstadt, for instance, contrary to the will of the population and to democratic principles, and to please the capitalists, they upheld the office of a commissar subject to approval by the government, that is, an office not purely elective. In the Petrograd district councils and in other local selfgovernment bodies, the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik leaders, contrary to democratic principles, are fighting the Bolshevik demand for the immediate institution of a workers’ militia, to be succeeded by a popular militia. According to the summary, the peasant land demands are primarily abolition of private ownership of all types of land, including the peasants’ lands, without compensation; transfer of lands on which high-standard scientific farming is practised to the state or the communes; confiscation of all livestock and implements on the confiscated lands (peasants with little land are excluded) and their transfer to the state or the communes; a ban on wage-labour; equalised distribution of land among the working people, with periodical redistributions, and so on. In the transition period, pending the convocation of the Constituent Assembly, the 280 V. I. L E N I N peasants demand the immediate enactment of laws prohibiting the purchase and sale of land, abolition of laws concerning separation from the commune, farmsteads, etc., laws protecting forests, fisheries, etc., abolishing long-term and revising short-term leases, and so on. You do not have to give these demands a lot of thought to see that it is absolutely impossible to realise them in alliance with the capitalists, without breaking completely with them, without waging the most determined and ruthless struggle against the capitalist class, without overthrowing its rule. The Socialist-Revolutionaries are deceiving themselves and the peasants precisely by assuming and spreading the idea that these reforms, or similar reforms, are possible without overthrowing capitalist rule, without all state power being transferred to the proletariat, without the peasant poor supporting the most resolute, revolutionary measures of a proletarian state power against the capitalists. The significance of the appearance of a Left wing among the “SocialistRevolutionaries” is that it proves there is a growing awareness of this deception within their party. Indeed, confiscation of all private land means the confiscation of hundreds of millions in capital belonging to the banks to which the greater part of this land is mortgaged. How can any measure like this be taken without the revolutionary class overcoming the capitalists’ resistance by revolutionary methods? Moreover, it is here a question of the most highly centralised capital of all, bank capital, which is connected through billions of threads with all the nerve centres of the capitalist economy of a huge country and which can be defeated only by the no less centralised might of the urban proletariat. Further, take the transfer of highly efficient farms to the state. Obviously, the “state” capable of taking them over and running them really and truly in the interests of the working people, and not in the interests of the officials and the capitalists themselves, must be a proletarian revolutionary state. The confiscation of stud farms, etc., and then of all livestock and implements, is something more than striking one staggering blow after another at private ownership of FROM A PUBLICIST’S DIARY 281 the means of production. It means taking steps towards socialism, for the transfer of livestock and implements “to the exclusive use of the state or a commune” implies largescale, socialist agriculture or at least socialist control over integrated small farms, socialist regulation of their economy. And what about a “ban” on wage-labour? This is a meaningless phrase, helpless, unwittingly naïve wishful thinking on the part of downtrodden petty proprietors, who do not see that capitalist industry as a whole would come to a standstill if there were no reserve army of wage-labour in the countryside, that it is impossible to “ban” wage-labour in the villages while permitting it in the towns, and lastly, that to “ban” wage-labour means nothing but a step towards socialism. Here we come to the fundamental question of the workers’ attitude to the peasants. A mass Social-Democratic workers’ movement has existed in Russia for more than twenty years (if we begin with the great strikes of 1896). Throughout this long span of time, through two great revolutions, through the entire political history of Russia, runs the issue of whether the working class is to lead the peasants forward, to socialism, or whether the liberal bourgeoisie are to drag them back, to conciliation with capitalism. The opportunist wing of the Social-Democrats has always reasoned by the worldly-wise formula: since the SocialistRevolutionaries are petty bourgeois, “we” reject their philistine utopian views on socialism in the name of bourgeois rejection of socialism. Struvism neatly replaces Marxism, and Menshevism slithers down to the role of a Cadet flunkey seeking to “reconcile” the peasants to bourgeois rule. The latest and most striking evidence of that role is that Tsereteli and Skobelev, hand in hand with Chernov and Avksentyev, were busy signing the Cadets’ reactionary landowner decrees in the name of “revolutionary democrats”. The revolutionary Social-Democrats, who have never renounced criticism of the petty-bourgeois illusions of the Socialist-Revolutionaries, and never entered into any bloc with them except against the Cadets, work unremittingly to wrest the peasants away from Cadet influence, and in opposition to the philistine’s utopian view of socialism, 282 V. I. L E N I N put forward the revolutionary proletarian road to socialism instead of liberal conciliation with capitalism. Now that the war has speeded up developments fantastically, aggravated the crisis of capitalism to the utmost, and confronted the peoples with making an immediate choice between destruction and immediate determined strides towards socialism, the full depth of the gulf between semi-liberal Menshevism and revolutionary proletarian Bolshevism is clearly revealed over the practical issue of what action the tens of millions of peasants should take. Accept the rule of capital because “we” are not yet ripe for socialism, the Mensheviks tell the peasants, substituting, incidentally, the abstract question of “socialism” in general for the concrete question of whether it is possible to heal the wounds inflicted by the war without decisive strides towards socialism. Accept capitalism because the Socialist-Revolutionaries are petty-bourgeois utopians, the Mensheviks tell the peasants and rally together with the Socialist-Revolutionaries to support the Cadet government. And the Socialist-Revolutionaries, beating their breast, assure the peasants that they are against any peace with the capitalists, that they have never regarded the Russian revolution as a bourgeois revolution—and therefore enter into a bloc with the opportunist social-Democrats and rally to support a bourgeois government. The Socialist-Revolutionaries sign all peasant programmes, however revolutionary, except that they do so not to carry them out, but to pigeon-hole them and deceive the peasants with the most noncommittal promises, while actually pursuing for months a policy of compromise with the Cadet in the coalition government. This crying, practical, direct, palpable betrayal of the peasants’ interests by the Socialist-Revolutionaries radically alters the situation. We must take this change into account. It is not enough to conduct agitation against the Socialist-Revolutionaries in the old way, the way we did between 1902 and 1903, and 1905 and 1907. It is not enough to expose theoretically the petty-bourgeois illusions of “socialisation of land”, “equalised land tenure”, “a ban on wage-labour”, etc. FROM A PUBLICIST’S DIARY 283 That was on the eve of the bourgeois revolution, or before the bourgeois revolution’s completion, and the task was primarily to carry it through to overthrow the monarchy. Now the monarchy has been overthrown. The bourgeois revolution has been completed in so far as Russia has become a democratic republic with a government of Cadets, Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries. And the war in the past three years has pushed us a good thirty years ahead. It has forced on Europe universal labour service and the compulsory syndication of undertakings, caused hunger and unprecedented ravages in the leading countries, and imposed steps towards socialism. The fundamental premise of our class policy at that time was that only the workers and peasants can overthrow the monarchy. And this premise was correct. February and March 1917 reaffirmed this. The premise of our class policy today is that only the proletariat, leading the poorest peasants (the-semi-proletarians, as our programme puts it), can end the war with a democratic peace, heal the war wounds, and initiate steps towards socialism which have become absolutely necessary and urgent. It follows that the emphasis in our propaganda and agitation against the Socialist-Revolutionaries must be shifted to the fact that they have betrayed the peasants. They represent a minority of well-to-do farmers rather than the mass of the peasant poor. They are leading the peasants to an alliance with the capitalists, i.e., to subordination to them, rather than to an alliance with the workers. They have bartered the interests of the working and exploited people for ministerial posts and a bloc with the Mensheviks and Cadets. History, accelerated by the war, has forged so far ahead that the old formulas have acquired a new meaning. “A ban on wage-labour” was formerly only an empty phrase bandied about by the petty-bourgeois intellectual. In the light of today, it means something different: the millions of peasant poor say in their 242 mandates that they want hired labour abolished but do not know how to do it. We know how. We know that this can be done only in alliance with the workers, under their leadership, against the capitalists, not through a compromise with them. 284 V. I. L E N I N These are the changes that the basic line of our propaganda and agitation against the Socialist-Revolutionaries, the basic line we pursue in addressing the peasants, must now undergo. The Socialist-Revolutionary Party has betrayed you, comrade peasants. It has betrayed the hovels and deserted to the palaces, if not the royal palaces, then those where the Cadets, those bitter enemies of the revolution, and particularly the peasant revolution, sit in the same government as the Chernovs, Peshekhonovs, and Avksentyevs. Only the revolutionary proletariat, only the vanguard that unites it, the Bolshevik Party, can actually carry out the programme of the peasant poor which is put forward in the 242 mandates. For the revolutionary proletariat is really advancing to the abolition of wage-labour along the only correct path, through the overthrow of capital and not by prohibiting the hiring of labourers, not through a “ban” on wage-labour. The revolutionary proletariat is really advancing to confiscation of land, implements, and agricultural technical establishments, to what the peasants want and what the Socialist-Revolutionaries cannot give them. This is how the basic line pursued by the worker in addressing the peasant must now change. We workers can and will give you what the peasant poor want and are searching for without always knowing where and how to find it. We workers are upholding our own interests and at the same time the interests of the vast majority of the peasants against the capitalists, while the Socialist-Revolutionaries, allying themselves with the capitalists, are betraying these interests. * * * Let us recall what Engels said on the peasant question shortly before his death. He stressed that socialists have no intention whatever of expropriating the small peasants, and that the advantages of mechanised socialist agriculture 102 will be made clear to them only by force of example. The war has now confronted Russia in practice with a problem of exactly this order. There is a shortage of implements. They must be confiscated, and the highly efficient farms must not be “divided up”. FROM A PUBLICIST’S DIARY 285 The peasants have begun to realise this. Need has compelled them to do so. The war has compelled them, for there are no implements to be had anywhere. What there is must be thriftily husbanded. And large-scale farming means saving labour through the use of implements as well as many other things. The peasants want to keep their small farms, to set equal standards for all, and to make readjustments on an equalitarian basis from time to time. Fine. No sensible socialist will differ with the peasant poor over this. If the land is confiscated, that means the domination of the banks has been undermined, if the implements are confiscated, that means the domination of capital has been undermined— and in that case, provided the proletariat rules centrally, provided political power is taken over by the proletariat, the rest will come by itself, as a result of “force of example”, prompted by experience. The crux of the matter lies in political power passing into the hands of the proletariat. When this has taken place, everything that is essential, basic, fundamental in the programme set out in the 242 mandates will become feasible. Life will show what modifications it will undergo as it is carried out. This is an issue of secondary importance. We are not doctrinaires. Our theory is a guide to action, not a dogma. We do not claim that Marx knew or Marxists know the road to socialism down to the last detail. It would be nonsense to claim anything of the kind. What we know is the direction of this road, and the class forces that follow it; the specific, practical details will come to light only through the experience of the millions when they take things into their own hands. Trust the workers, comrade peasants, and break with the capitalists! Only in close alliance with the workers can you begin to carry out the programme set out in the 242 mandates. Allied with the capitalists and led by the Socialist-Revolutionaries, you will never live to see a single determined, radical step in the spirit of this programme. But when in alliance with the urban workers, waging a ruthless struggle against capital, you begin to realise the programme of the 242 mandates, the whole world will come 286 V. I. L E N I N to our and your assistance, and then the success of that programme—not as it stands now, but in its essence—will be assured. When that happens, the domination of capital and wage slavery will come to an end. That will be the beginning of the reign of socialism, the reign of peace, the reign of the working people. Rabochy No. 6 September 1 1 (August 2 9 ), 1 9 1 7 Signed: N. Lenin Published according to the Rabochy text 287 SLANDERERS The August 20 issue of Rech, and Russkaya Volya, a newspaper founded with notoriously questionable money and recommending “socialist-minded” voters to vote for Yedinstvo and for the Popular Socialists, have again published slanderous statements against me. The information comes, according to both papers, from the “War Ministry”, and “Rech” even asserts that it is backed by “documentary evidence and numerous testimonies by individuals” . The law on libel in the press has virtually been suspended in Russia. Slanderers, especially those contributing to the bourgeois papers, have been granted complete freedom. They can come out in the papers anonymously, lie and slander as much as they please, and hide behind allegedly official reports not signed by any official—they can get away with anything! Those infamous slanderers, headed by Mr. Milyukov and his like, enjoy the privilege of immunity. The slanderers assert that I had certain relations with the Union for the Liberation of the Ukraine. Milyukov’s newspaper writes: “The German Government instructed Lenin to advocate peace.” “In Berlin,” it says, “there were two socialist meetings in which Lenin and Yoltukhovsky took part.” Russkaya Volya adds to the latter phrase: “Lenin stopped a Yoltukhovsky’s.” Since Mr. Milyukov and other scoundrels like him—knights of the foul slander—are allowed to slander with impunity, all I can do is repeat that it is slander and again confront the knights of blackmail, who refer to witnesses, with a reference to a witness known to the masses. 288 V. I. L E N I N I have known Basok, one of those active in the Union for the Liberation of the Ukraine, since 1906, when he was a Menshevik and attended the Stockholm Congress together with me. In the autumn of 1914, or early 1915, when I was living in Berne, I received a visit at my home from the well-known Caucasian Menshevik Tria, who had come from Constantinople. He told me about Basok’s activity in the Union for the Liberation of the Ukraine, and of the connection between that Union and the German government. He handed me a letter from Basok, who expressed sympathy with me and said he hoped our views would become closer. I was so angry that I wrote an answer to Basok there and then, in the presence of Tria, and gave the letter to Tria asking him to pass it on since he was about to make another trip to Constantinople. In my letter to Basok, I declared that since he was entering into relations with one of the imperialists, our ways parted for good and we had nothing in common. That is all the “relations” I have ever had with the Union for the Liberation of the Ukraine. Rabochy No. 8 September 1 2 (August 3 0 ), 1 9 1 7 Signed: N. Lenin Published according to the Rabochy text 289 TO THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE R.S.D.L.P. It is possible that these lines will come too late, for events are developing with a rapidity that sometimes makes one’s head spin. I am writing this on Wednesday, August 30, and the recipients will read it no earlier than Friday, September 2. Still, on chance, I consider it my duty to write the following. The Kornilov revolt is a most unexpected (unexpected at such a moment and in such a form) and downright unbelievably sharp turn in events. Like every sharp turn, it calls for a revision and change of tactics. And as with every revision, we must be extracautious not to become unprincipled. It is my conviction that those who become unprincipled are people who (like Volodarsky) slide into defencism or (like other Bolsheviks) into a bloc with the S.R.s, into supporting the Provisional Government. Their attitude is absolutely wrong and unprincipled. We shall become defencists only after the transfer of power to the proletariat, after a peace offer, after the secret treaties and ties with the banks have been broken—only afterwards. Neither the capture of Riga nor the capture of Petrograd will make us defencists. (I should very much like Volodarsky to read this.) Until then we stand for a proletarian revolution, we are against the war, and we are no defencists. Even now we must not support Kerensky’s government. This is unprincipled. We may be asked: aren’t we going to fight against Kornilov? Of course we must! But this is not the same thing; there is a dividing line here, which is being stepped over by some Bolsheviks who fall into 290 V. I. L E N I N compromise and allow themselves to be carried away by the course of events. We shall fight, we are fighting against Kornilov, just as Kerensky’s troops do, but we do not support Kerensky. On the contrary, we expose his weakness. There is the difference. It is rather a subtle difference, but it is highly essential and must not be forgotten. What, then, constitutes our change of tactics after the Kornilov revolt? We are changing the form of our struggle against Kerensky. Without in the least relaxing our hostility towards him, without taking back a single word said against him, without renouncing the task of overthrowing him, we say that we must take into account the present situation. We shall not overthrow Kerensky right now. We shall approach the task of fighting against him in a different way, namely, we shall point out to the people (who are fighting against Kornilov) Kerensky’s weakness and vacillation. That has been done in the past as well. Now, however, it has become the all-important thing and this constitutes the change. The change, further, is that the all-important thing now has become the intensification of our campaign for some kind of “partial demands” to be presented to Kerensky: arrest Milyukov, arm the Petrograd workers, summon the Kronstadt, Vyborg and Helsingfors troops to Petrograd, dissolve the Duma, arrest Rodzyanko, legalise the transfer of the landed estates to the peasants, introduce workers’ control over grain and factories, etc., etc. We must present these demands not only to Kerensky, and not so much to Kerensky, as to the workers, soldiers and peasants who have been carried away by the course of the struggle against Kornilov. We must keep up their enthusiasm, encourage them to deal with the generals and officers who have declared for Kornilov, urge them to demand the immediate transfer of land to the peasants, suggest to them that it is necessary to arrest Rodzyanko and Milyukov, dissolve the Duma, close down Rech and other bourgeois papers, and institute investigations against them. The “Left” S.R.s must be especially urged on in this direction. It would be wrong to think that we have moved farther away from the task of the proletariat winning power. No. First page of the letter to the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. August 30 (September 12), 1917 Reduced .P.L.D.S.R eht fo eettimmoC lartneC eht ot rettel eht fo egap tsriF 7191 ,)21 rebmetpeS( 03 tsuguA decudeR TO THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE R.S.D.L.P. 293 We have come very close to it, not directly, but from the side. At the moment we must campaign not so much directly against Kerensky, as indirectly against him, namely, by demanding a more and more active, truly revolutionary war against Kornilov. The development of this war alone can lead us to power, but we must speak of this as little as possible in our propaganda (remembering very well that even tomorrow events may put power into our hands, and then we shall not relinquish it). It seems to me that this should be passed on in a letter (not in the papers) to the propagandists, to groups of agitators and propagandists, and to Party members in general. We must relentlessly fight against phrases about the defence of the country, about a united front of revolutionary democrats, about supporting the Provisional Government, etc., etc., since they are just empty phrases. We must say: now is the time for action; you S.R. and Menshevik gentlemen have long since worn those phrases threadbare. Now is the time for action; the war against Kornilov must be conducted in a revolutionary way, by drawing the masses in, by arousing them, by inflaming them (Kerensky is afraid of the masses, afraid of the people). In the war against the Germans, action is required right now; immediate and unconditional peace must be offered on precise terms. If this is done, either a speedy peace can be attained or the war can be turned into a revolutionary war; if not, all the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries remain lackeys of imperialism. P.S. Having read six issues of Rabochy, 103 after this was written, I must say that our views fully coincide. I heartily welcome the splendid editorials, press review and articles by V. M—n and Vol—y. As to Volodarsky’s speech, I have read his letter to the editors, which likewise “eliminates” my reproaches. Once more, best wishes and greetings! Lenin Written on August 3 0 September 1 2 , 1 9 1 7 First published in Pravda No. 2 5 0 , November 7 , 1 9 2 0 Published according to the manuscript 294 FROM A PUBLICIST’S DIARY 1. THE ROOT OF THE EVIL Everyone will probably agree that the writer N. Sukhanov of Novaya Zhizn is one of the best rather than worst representatives of petty-bourgeois democracy. He sincerely leans towards internationalism, which he has proved in the hardest times, at the height of tsarist reaction and chauvinism. He has knowledge and a desire to work out serious problems independently, which he has proved by his long evolution from Socialist-Revolutionism towards revolutionary Marxism. It is all the more characteristic that even such people are apt, when dealing with the fundamental issues of the revolution in its crucial periods, to treat their readers to arguments as thoughtless as the following: “No matter how many revolutionary gains we have lost in the past few weeks, one, and perhaps the most important of all, is still there: the government and its policies can only be maintained by the grace of the Soviet majority. The revolutionary democrats have of their own accord given up all the influence they commanded; the democratic organs can still regain it very easily and, given proper understanding of the requirements of the moment, can without difficulty direct the Policies of the Provisional Government into the proper channel” (Novaya Zhizn No. 106, August 20). These words contain the most thoughtless, the most monstrous untruth concerning the most important issue of the revolution, an untruth, moreover, which has most often been put about, in vastly differing countries, among the petty-bourgeois democrats and has ruined the greatest number of revolutions. When you think over the sum total of petty-bourgeois illusions contained in the argument quoted above, you cannot help thinking that it is no accident the Novaya Zhizn people sit at the “unity” congress 104 together with Minis- FROM A PUBLICIST’S DIARY 295 ters, with socialists eligible for the cabinet, with the Tseretelis and Skobelevs, with cabinet members who are comrades of Kerensky, Kornilov and Co. No accident at all. They actually have a common ideological foundation, namely, unreasoning philistine gullibility, uncritically borrowed from the petty-bourgeois environment, in good intentions. For this gullibility pervades all of Sukhanov’s argument, as well as all the activities of those defencist Mensheviks who act in good faith. This petty-bourgeois gullibility is the root of the evil in our revolution. Sukhanov would probably hasten to subscribe to what Marxism demands of all serious policy, namely, that it be based on and grounded in facts capable of exact and objective verification. Let us try to approach the assertion which Sukhanov makes in the passage above from the point of view of this demand. What are the facts underlying this assertion? How could Sukhanov prove that the government “can only be maintained by the grace” of the Soviets, that they could “very easily” “regain their influence”, or that they could “without difficulty” change the policies of the Provisional Government? Sukhanov could have referred, first, to his general impression, to the “obvious” strength of the Soviets, to the fact that Kerensky came to the Soviet, to the amiable words of this or that minister, etc. This would certainly have been very poor proof—rather an admission of the complete lack of proof and objective facts. Sukhanov could have referred, secondly, to the objective fact that by far most of the resolutions passed by workers, soldiers and peasants declare emphatically for the Soviets and in favour of supporting them. These resolutions, he might have said, demonstrate the will of the majority of the people. This kind of reasoning is as common among philistines as the first kind. But it is absolutely untenable. In all revolutions, the will of the majority of the workers and peasants, i.e., undoubtedly, the will of the majority of the population, has been for democracy. Nevertheless, the great majority of revolutions have ended with the defeat of democracy. 296 V. I. L E N I N In view of the experience of the majority of revolutions, particularly that of 1848 (which resembles our present revolution most), Marx mercilessly ridiculed the pettybourgeois democrats who wished to win through resolutions and references to the will of the majority of the people. Our own experience proves this even better. In the spring of 1906 most of the resolutions passed by workers and peasants were undoubtedly in favour of the First Duma. The majority of the people undoubtedly stood for it. Nevertheless, the tsar succeeded in dissolving it because the upswing of the revolutionary classes (workers’ strikes and peasant unrest in the spring of 1906) proved too weak for a new revolution. Think over the experience of the present revolution. Both from March to April and from July to August 1917, most resolutions were for the Soviets, the majority of the people were for the Soviets. Yet everyone sees, knows and feels that from March to April the revolution was moving forward, whereas from July to August it was moving backwards. Consequently, reference to the majority of the people decides nothing as far as the specific issues of a revolution are concerned. This reference, made by way of proof, is in itself a specimen of petty-bourgeois illusion. It shows unwillingness to admit that in a revolution the enemy classes must be defeated, the state power that defends them must be overthrown and that the “will of the majority of the people” is insufficient to bring this about. What is needed is the strength of the revolutionary classes that will and can fight, a strength which at the decisive moment and place will crush the enemy’s strength. How often has it happened during revolutions that the small but well-organised, armed and centralised power of the ruling classes, the landowners and the bourgeoisie, has crushed piecemeal the power of the “majority of the people”, who were poorly organised, poorly armed and lacked unity. To make “general” references to the “will of the people” instead of considering specific issues of the class struggle at a time when it has been particularly sharpened by the revolution is worthy only of the most stupid petty bourgeois. Thirdly, in the comment quoted above, Sukhanov advances another “argument” that is likewise fairly common among FROM A PUBLICIST’S DIARY 297 philistines. He says “the revolutionary democrats have of their own accord given up all the influence they commanded”. From this he infers that what was given up “of their own accord” can be taken back easily. An utterly worthless argument. First of all, the return of what was voluntarily ceded presupposes the “voluntary consent” of the beneficiary of the concession. It follows that this voluntary consent is there. Who has received the “concession”? Who has profited from the “influence” given up by the “revolutionary democrats”? It is quite typical that this question, fundamental to all but a headless politician, is completely ignored by Sukhanov. For the crux of the matter is precisely in whose hands is, in practice, that which the “revolutionary [pardon the expression] democrats” have “given up of their own accord”. Sukhanov ignores the crux of the matter, as do all Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, all petty-bourgeois democrats in general. Moreover, it may be that in a child’s “give-and-take” game it is easy to take something back: if Katya freely lets Masha have her ball, it may be “very easy” to take it back. But there are not many, apart from Russian intellectuals, who would venture to extend such conceptions to politics, to the class struggle. In politics, ceding “influence” of one’s own free will proves such impotence on the part of the one who does the ceding, such flabbiness, such lack of character, such meekness, that, generally speaking, the only thing one can infer is that whoever gives up his influence of his own accord “deserves” to be deprived of his right to exist as well as his influence. In other words, the fact of voluntarily giving up one’s influence “proves” in itself only this, that the beneficiary of the voluntarily ceded influence will inevitably deprive the one who has ceded it even of his rights. If the “revolutionary democrats” have voluntarily ceded their influence, they are therefore not revolutionary but vile, philistine, cowardly democrats still bound by servility, democrats whom (after such a surrender) their enemies can either disperse or simply reduce to naught, allowing them to die as much “of their own accord” as they ceded their influence . 298 V. I. L E N I N To regard the actions of political parties as whims means renouncing all study of politics. There must be an explanation for an action like the “giving up of their influence of their own accord” by two huge parties which, according to all available information and reports and to objective election figures, sway the majority of the people. It cannot be accidental. It must be due to a definite economic position of some large class of the people. It must be linked up with the history of the development of those parties. Sukhanov’s argument is highly typical of thousands upon thousands of similar philistine arguments because it is in effect based on the conception of good will (“their own accord”) and ignores the history of the parties under consideration. Sukhanov has simply left their history out of his examination, forgetting that voluntary surrender of influence began, strictly speaking, on February 28, when the Soviet expressed confidence in Kerensky and approved the “agreement” with the Provisional Government. And May 6 was a surrender of influence on a truly gigantic scale. Taken as a whole, it is all as clear as can be: the S.R. and Menshevik parties placed themselves on an inclined plane from the very first, and rolled down faster and faster. After July 3-5, they reached rock bottom. Isn’t it perfectly thoughtless to say now that the surrender was voluntary, that it is “very easy” to make great political parties face about, that they can “without difficulty” be induced to take the opposite direction to the one they have been following for years (and for months during the revolution), and that it is “very easy” to scramble out of the pit and climb up the inclined plane to the top? Fourthly and lastly, Sukhanov could in defence of his opinion have referred to the fact that the workers and soldiers, who express confidence in the Soviet, are armed and therefore could “very easily” regain their influence. But it is on this, perhaps the most important, point that the philistine comment of the writer of Novaya Zhizn is particularly lame. To be as specific as possible, let us compare April 20-21 with July 3-5. On April 20 popular indignation against the government burst out. An armed regiment came on to the streets of Petrograd intending to arrest the government. There was FROM A PUBLICIST’S DIARY 299 no arrest. The government, however, saw clearly that it had nobody to rely on. No troops were for it. Such a government was indeed “very easy” to overthrow, and the government confronted the Soviet with an ultimatum: either you back me, or I go. On July 4, a similar outburst of popular indignation, an outburst which all parties tried to restrain but which broke out in spite of all the restraining. As before, there was an armed anti-government demonstration. But the enormous difference was that the S.R. and Menshevik leaders, who had isolated themselves from the people and were confused, agreed with the bourgeoisie as early as July 3 to call Kaledin’s troops to Petrograd. There is the crux of the matter! With a soldier’s frankness, Kaledin said so at the Moscow meeting: “After all, it was you socialist Ministers who called us to your aid on July 31” Nobody dared refute Kaledin at the Moscow meeting because he spoke the truth. Kaledin mocked the Mensheviks and S.R.s, who were compelled to keep silent. The Cossack general spat in their faces, but they merely wiped it off and said: “Divine dew!” The bourgeois papers reported Kaledin’s words but the Menshevik Rabochaya Gazeta and the S.R. “Dyelo Naroda” concealed that political statement from their readers, the most important statement made at the Moscow meeting. What happened was that for the first time the government resorted expressly to Kaledin’s troops, while the determined, truly revolutionary troops and the workers were disarmed. This is the fundamental fact which Sukhanov has “very easily” evaded and forgotten. It remains a fact nevertheless. It is a decisive fact as far as the present period of the revolution, the first revolution, is concerned. Power in a decisive place at the front, and then in the army, has passed into the hands of the Kaledins. This is a fact. The most active of the troops hostile to them have been disarmed. The fact that the Kaledins do not use their power immediately to establish their complete dictatorship does not at all disprove that they hold power. Wasn’t the tsar in power after December 1905? And didn’t circumstances compel him to use it so prudently that he had two Dumas convened before he took all power, i.e., before he made a coup d’état 105 ? 300 V. I. L E N I N Power should be judged by actions instead of words. The actions of the government since July 5 have shown that power is in the hands of the Kaledins, who are making slow but steady headway, daily securing “concessions”, large and small. Today it is the impunity with which military cadets raid the Pravda offices and kill its staff members, and make arbitrary arrests; then comes a law closing down newspapers, and laws banning meetings and conferences, throwing citizens out of the country without trial, imposing prison sentences for insulting “the ambassadors of friendly countries”, meting out penal servitude for assailing the government, introducing capital punishment at the front, and so on, and so forth. The Kaledins are no fools. Why should they go right through, forcing their way and risking defeat, when they receive the things they need bit by bit, every day? Meanwhile, the foolish Skobelevs and Tseretelis, Chernovs and Avksentyevs, Dans and Liebers shout “Triumph for democracy! Victory!” at every step of the Kaledins forward, seeing as “victory” the fact that the Kaledins, Kornilovs and Kerenskys do not swallow them at once!! The root of the evil is that their very economic position makes the petty-bourgeois masses amazingly credulous and ignorant, and that they are still half asleep and mumble drowsily, “It is ‘very easy’ to take back what we have given up of our own free will!” Try and get the Kaledins and Kornilovs to give back anything of their own free will! The root of the evil is that “democratic” journalism maintains this drowsy, philistine, stupid, slavish illusion, instead of fighting it. If we look at things the way a political historian in general and a Marxist in particular should, i.e., if we consider them as a whole, it is perfectly clear that a decisive turn at present, far from being “easy”, is, on the contrary, absolutely impossible without a new revolution. I do not at all touch here on the question of whether this revolution is desirable. I do not at all examine the question of whether it can take place peacefully and legally (generally speaking, there have been examples of peaceful and legal revolutions in history). I merely state that it is historically impossible to bring about a decisive turn without FROM A PUBLICIST’S DIARY 301 a new revolution. For power is already in other hands. It is no longer held by the “revolutionary democrats”. It has already been seized and consolidated. The conduct of the S.R. and Menshevik parties is no accident; it is a product of the economic status of the petty bourgeoisie, and the result of a long series of political events—from February 28 to May 6, from May 6 to June 9, from June 9 to June 18 and 19 (the offensive), etc. There is a need for changes in the situation of power, in its composition, in the conditions of activity of the major parties, in the “aspirations” of the class which sustains them. These changes are historically unthinkable without a new revolution. Instead of explaining to the people all the main historical conditions of the new revolution, its economic and political prerequisites, its political aims, the interrelation of classes that corresponds to it, etc., Sukhanov and a host of pettybourgeois democrats are lulling the people to sleep by trifling away their time, by asserting self-complacently that “we shall regain everything without difficulty”, “very easily”, that our “most important” revolutionary gain “is still there”, and similar thoughtless, ignorant, downright criminal nonsense. There are signs of a radical social change. They clearly indicate the direction of the work to be done. The influence of the S.R.s and Mensheviks is plainly dwindling among the proletariat, while the influence of the Bolsheviks is plainly growing. Incidentally, even the elections of August 20, compared with the June elections to the district councils 106 of Petrograd, showed an increase in favour of the Bolsheviks, and this despite the bringing of “Kaledin’s troops to Petrograd”! Among the petty-bourgeois democrats, who cannot help wavering between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, the turn is objectively evident from the strengthening, consolidation and development of revolutionary internationalist trends: Martov and others among the Mensheviks, Spiridonova, Kamkov and others among the S.R.s. Needless to say, the approaching famine, economic dislocation and military reverses may very greatly hasten this turn towards the transfer of power to the proletariat supported by the peasant poor. 302 V. I. L E N I N 2. CORVÉE AND SOCIALISM The bitterest enemies of socialism sometimes do it a service by the excessive zeal of their “exposures”. They bear down on the very things that deserve sympathy and emulation. They open the people’s eyes to the infamy of the bourgeoisie by the very nature of their attacks. That is what happened to one of the most infamous bourgeois newspapers, Russkaya Volya, which on August 20 published a report from Yekaterinburg entitled “Corvée”. Here is what it had to say: “The Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies has introduced in our city a service in kind by horse-owners, who must take it in turns to put their horses at the disposal of the Soviet for the daily business trips of its members. “A special schedule has been drawn up and every ‘citizen with a horse’ is punctually notified in writing when and where, and at what precise hour, he must arrive for duty with his horse. “To make things clearer, the ‘order’ adds: ‘In the event of noncompliance with this demand, the Soviet will hire cabmen at your expense to the amount of 25 rubles’.” The defender of the capitalists is indignant, of course. The capitalists watch with perfect equanimity how the vast majority of the people suffer want all their lives—not only those doing “corvée”, but also those doing back-breaking work in a factory, mine, or some other job, often starving because they have no work at all. And the capitalists look on with equanimity. But now that the workers and soldiers have introduced just one little public duty for the capitalists, the exploiters are howling, “Corvée!” Ask any worker or peasant whether it would be bad if the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies were the only power in the state and introduced everywhere some public duty for the rich, such as a compulsory duty with horses, motor vehicles or bicycles, compulsory daily clerical work to keep a record of products or of the needy, and so on, and so forth. Any worker, any peasant, except perhaps the kulaks, will say it would be a good thing. And this is true. It is not socialism as yet—only one of the first steps towards socialism, but it is just what the poor FROM A PUBLICIST’S DIARY 303 need urgently and immediately. Without such measures, the people cannot be saved from famine and ruin. Why, then, does the Yekaterinburg Soviet remain a rare exception? Why have similar measures not been taken all over Russia long ago? Why are they not being developed into a whole system of measures of precisely this kind? Why, after the introduction of a public duty for the rich to lend their horses, is a similar public duty for the rich not introduced to present full accounts of their financial operations, especially by the terms of government contracts, under a similar control of the Soviets, with “punctual notification in writing” as to when and where the accounts should be presented, when and where taxes should be paid, and to what amount? Because by far most of the Soviets are controlled by S.R. (“Socialist-Revolutionary”) and Menshevik leaders who have in fact deserted to the bourgeoisie, have entered the bourgeois cabinet and pledged themselves to support it, betray ing not only socialism but democracy as well. Those leaders are making agreements with the bourgeoisie, who, far from allowing the imposition of a public duty on the rich— as in Petrograd, for example—have for months been holding up much more moderate reforms. Those leaders deceive themselves and the people by saying that “Russia is not yet ripe for the introduction of socialism”. Why must we treat such assertions as deception? Because, through such assertions, the situation is misrepresented to make believe that it is a question of unprecedentedly complicated and difficult changes, such as are bound to break up the normal way of life of millions of people. The situation is misrepresented to make believe that some want to “introduce” socialism in Russia by decree, without considering the existing technical level, the great number of small undertakings, or the habits and wishes of the majority of the population. That is a lie from beginning to end. Nobody has ever proposed anything of the kind. No party or individual has had any intention of “introducing socialism” by decree. It is, and has been, a question solely of measures which, like the public duty imposed on the rich in Yekaterinburg, have 304 V. I. L E N I N the full approval of the mass of the poor, i.e., the majority of the population, measures which are perfectly ripe, technically and culturally, will bring immediate relief to the poor and make it possible to ease the hardships of the war and distribute them more evenly. Almost six months of revolution have passed, but the S.R. and Menshevik leaders still obstruct all these measures, betraying the interests of the people in favour of compromise with the bourgeoisie. Until the workers and peasants realise that those leaders are traitors who must be driven out, must be removed from their posts, they will inevitably remain under the thumb of the bourgeoisie. Rabochy No. 1 0 September 1 4 (1 ), 1 9 1 7 Signed: N. Lenin Published according to the Rabochy text 305 CONCERNING THE PARTY PROGRAMME Comrade Bukharin’s report in Spartak 107 about the “narrow” congress that is to be called to adopt a programme shows how pressing this matter is. It really is an urgent matter. Our Party is ahead of the other internationalist parties; this is a fact now. And it is in duty bound to take the initiative, to come forward with a programme answering questions about imperialism. It will be a scandal and a shame if we do not do this. I propose that the Central Committee resolve that: “Every Party organisation immediately appoint one or several committees to draft the programme; they, along with all theoreticians or writers, etc., should give precedence to this matter, and present either drafts of their own, or changes and amendments to other drafts, not later than within three to seven days.” This is perfectly feasible, given perseverance. It will take a couple of weeks to collect and print the drafts or circulate them to the main organisations in typewritten form. Then we must immediately announce the calling of a narrow congress (one delegate to 4,000 or 5,000 members) in a month from now—for the purpose of adopting the programme. Our Party must come forward with a programme—that is the only way we can promote the cause of the Third International in deeds instead of words. 306 V. I. L E N I N Everything else is empty phrases, empty promises, and postponement to the Greek calends. Once we take the initiative, we shall speed up work on all sides, and only then shall we prepare the programme of the Third International. Written not later than September 3 (1 6 ), 1 9 1 7 First published in Lenin Miscellany VII, 1 9 2 8 Published according to the manuscript 307 ON ZIMMERWALD 108 It is now quite clear that we made a mistake by not withdrawing from it. Everybody is being bamboozled by hopes from Stockholm. Meanwhile the Stockholm Conference is being “postponed” from month to month. And Zimmerwald is “waiting” for Stockholm! The Kautsky men plus the Italians, i.e., the Zimmerwald majority, are “waiting” for Stockholm. And we are joining in this comedy, bearing responsibility for it before the workers. It is a disgrace. We must withdraw from Zimmerwald immediately. By staying there for information only, we lose nothing, but we are not going to be held responsible for the comedy of “waiting” for Stockholm. In leaving rotten Zimmerwald we must decide immediately, at the plenary meeting on September 3, 1917, to call a conference of the Left-wingers, and entrust this to the Stockholm representatives. What has happened is that, after we made a blunder by staying in Zimmerwald, our Party, the world’s only internationalist party with seventeen newspapers, etc., is playing at compromise with the German and Italian Martovs and Tseretelis, just as Martov is compromising with Tsereteli, just as Tsereteli is compromising with the SocialistRevolutionaries and as the Socialist-Revolutionaries are compromising with the bourgeoisie. And this is called “standing for” the Third International!!! Written not later than September 3 (1 6 ), 1 9 1 7 First published in Lenin Miscellany VII, 1 9 2 8 Published according to the manuscript 308 VIOLATIONS OF DEMOCRACY IN MASS ORGANISATIONS We must pass a resolution branding as a fraud * worthy of Nicholas II such practices as those of the Soviet of Soldiers’ Deputies (the soldiers have one representative to every 500 people, while the workers have 1 : 1,000) 109 or the Trade Union Bureau (1 representative to a members in the small unions and 1 to a-b members in the large ones). What sort of democrats are we if we tacitly put up with this fraud? What is wrong with Nicholas II, for that matter, who also “allowed” unequal representation from the peasants and from the landowners?? By tolerating such things, we are prostituting democracy. We must pass a resolution demanding equal suffrage (both in the Soviets and at trade union congresses), branding the slightest departure from equality as a fraud—using exactly this word—as a Nicholas II method. This resolution of the plenary meeting of the Central Committee must be written in a language everybody can understand and spread in leaflet form among the mass of the workers. We cannot tolerate a fraud of democracy if we call ourselves “democrats”. We are not democrats but unprincipled people if we tolerate this!! Written not later than September 3 (1 6 ), 1 9 1 7 First published in Lenin Miscellany VII, 1 9 2 8 Published according to the manuscript * “One representative, everywhere, to an equal number of electors” is the ABC of democracy. Anything else is a fraud. 309 ON COMPROMISES The term compromise in politics implies the surrender of certain demands, the renunciation of part of one’s demands, by agreement with another party. The usual idea the man in the street has about the Bolsheviks, an idea encouraged by a press which slanders them, is that the Bolsheviks will never agree to a compromise with anybody. The idea is flattering to us as the party of the revolutionary proletariat, for it proves that even our enemies are compelled to admit our loyalty to the fundamental principles of socialism and revolution. Nevertheless, we must say that this idea is wrong. Engels was right when, in his criticism of the Manifesto of the Blanquist Communists 110 (1873), he ridiculed their declaration: “No compromises!” 111 This, he said, was an empty phrase, for compromises are often unavoidably forced upon a fighting party by circumstances, and it is absurd to refuse once and for all to accept “payments on account”. 112 The task of a truly revolutionary party is not to declare that it is impossible to renounce all compromises, but to be able, through all compromises, when they are unavoidable, to remain true to its principles, to its class, to its revolutionary purpose, to its task of paving the way for revolution and educating the mass of the people for victory in the revolution. To agree, for instance, to participate in the Third and Fourth Dumas was a compromise, a temporary renunciation of revolutionary demands. But this was a compromise absolutely forced upon us, for the balance of forces made it impossible for us for the time being to conduct a mass revolutionary struggle, and in order to prepare this struggle over a long period we had to be able to work even from inside such a “pigsty”. History has proved that this approach 310 V. I. L E N I N to the question by the Bolsheviks as a party was perfectly correct. Now the question is not of a forced, but of a voluntary compromise. Our Party, like any other political party, is striving after political domination for itself. Our aim is the dictatorship of the revolutionary proletariat. Six months of revolution have proved very clearly, forcefully and convincingly that this demand is correct and inevitable in the interests of this particular revolution, for otherwise the people will never obtain a democratic peace, land for the peasants, or complete freedom (a fully democratic republic). This has been shown and proved by the course of events during the six months of our revolution, by the struggle of the classes and parties and by the development of the crises of April 20-21, June 9-10 and 18-19, July 3-5 and August 27-31. The Russian revolution is experiencing so abrupt and original a turn that we, as a party, may offer a voluntary compromise—true, not to our direct and main class enemy, the bourgeoisie, but to our nearest adversaries, the “ruling” petty-bourgeois-democratic parties, the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks. We may offer a compromise to these parties only by way of exception, and only by virtue of the particular situation, which will obviously last only a very short time. And I think we should do so. The compromise on our part is our return to the pre-July demand of all power to the Soviets and a government of S.R.s and Mensheviks responsible to the Soviets. Now, and only now, perhaps during only a few days or a week or two, such a government could be set up and consolidated in a perfectly peaceful way. In all probability it could secure the peaceful advance of the whole Russian revolution, and provide exceptionally good chances for great strides in the world movement towards peace and the victory of socialism. In my opinion, the Bolsheviks, who are partisans of world revolution and revolutionary methods, may and should consent to this compromise only for the sake of the revolution’s peaceful development—an opportunity that is ex- ON COMPROMISES 311 tremely rare in history and extremely valuable, an opportunity that only occurs once in a while. The compromise would amount to the following: the Bolsheviks, without making any claim to participate in the government (which is impossible for the internationalists unless a dictatorship of the proletariat and the poor peasants has been realised), would refrain from demanding the immediate transfer of power to the proletariat and the poor peasants and from employing revolutionary methods of fighting for this demand. A condition that is selfevident and not new to the S.R.s and Mensheviks would be complete freedom of propaganda and the convocation of the Constituent Assembly without further delays or even at an earlier date. The Mensheviks and S.R.s, being the government bloc, would then agree (assuming that the compromise had been reached) to form a government wholly and exclusively responsible to the Soviets, the latter taking over all power locally as well. This would constitute the “new” condition. I think the Bolsheviks would advance no other conditions, trusting that the revolution would proceed peacefully and party strife in the Soviets would be peacefully overcome thanks to really complete freedom of propaganda and to the immediate establishment of a new democracy in the composition of the Soviets (new elections) and in their functioning. Perhaps this is already impossible? Perhaps. But if there is even one chance in a hundred, the attempt at realising this opportunity is still worth while. What would both “contracting” parties gain by this “compromise”, i.e., the Bolsheviks, on the one hand, and the S.R. and Menshevik bloc, on the other? If neither side gains anything, then the compromise must be recognised as impossible, and nothing more is to be said. No matter how difficult this compromise may be at present (after July and August, two months equivalent to two decades in “peaceful”, somnolent times), I think it stands a small chance of being realised. This chance has been created by the decision of the S.R.s and Mensheviks not to participate in a government together with the Cadets. The Bolsheviks would gain the opportunity of quite freely advocating their views and of trying to win influence 312 V. I. L E N I N in the Soviets under a really complete democracy. In words, “everybody” now concedes the Bolsheviks this freedom. In reality, this freedom is impossible under a bourgeois government or a government in which the bourgeoisie participate, or under any government, in fact, other than the Soviets. Under a Soviet government, such freedom would be possible (we do not say it would be a certainty, but still it would be possible). For the sake of such a possibility at such a difficult time, it would be worth compromising with the present majority in the Soviets. We have nothing to fear from real democracy, for reality is on our side, and even the course of development of trends within the S.R. and Menshevik parties, which are hostile to us, proves us right. The Mensheviks and S.R.s would gain in that they would at once obtain every opportunity to carry out their bloc’s programme with the support of the obviously overwhelming majority of the people and in that they would secure for themselves the “peaceful” use of their majority in the Soviets. Of course, there would probably be two voices heard from this bloc, which is heterogeneous both because it is a bloc and because petty-bourgeois democracy is always less homogeneous than the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. One voice would say: we cannot follow the same road as the Bolsheviks and the revolutionary proletariat. It will demand too much anyway and will entice the peasant poor by demagogy. It will demand peace and a break with the Allies. That is impossible. We are better off and safer with the bourgeoisie; after all, we have not parted ways with them but only had a temporary quarrel, and only over the Kornilov incident. We have quarrelled, but we shall make it up. Moreover, the Bolsheviks are not “ceding” us anything, for their attempts at insurrection are as doomed to defeat as was the Commune of 1871. The other voice would say: the allusion to the Commune is very superficial and even foolish. For, in the first place, the Bolsheviks have learnt something since 1871; they would not fail to seize the banks, and would not refuse to advance on Versailles. Under such conditions even the Commune might have been victorious. Furthermore, the Commune could not immediately offer the people what the ON COMPROMISES 313 Bolsheviks will be able to offer if they come to power, namely, land to the peasants, an immediate offer of peace, real control over production, an honest peace with the Ukrainians, Finns, etc. The Bolsheviks, to put it bluntly, hold ten times more “trumps” than the Commune did. In the second place, the Commune, after all, means a strenuous civil war, a set-back to peaceful cultural development for a long time to come, an opportunity for all sorts of MacMahons and Kornilovs to operate and plot with greater ease—and such operations are a menace to our whole bourgeois society. Is it wise to risk a Commune? Now a Commune is inevitable in Russia if we do not take power into our own hands, if things remain in as grave a state as they were between May 6 and August 31. Every revolutionary worker and soldier will inevitably think about the Commune and believe in it; he will inevitably attempt to bring it about, for he will argue: “The people are perishing; war, famine and ruin are spreading. Only the Commune can save us. So let us all perish, let us die, but let us set up the Commune.” Such thoughts are inevitable with the workers, and it will not be as easy to crush the Commune now as it was in 1871. The Russian Commune will have allies throughout the world, allies a hundred times stronger than those the Commune had in 1871. . . . Is it wise for us to risk a Commune? I cannot agree, either, that the Bolsheviks virtually cede us nothing by their compromise. For, in all civilised countries, civilised ministers value highly every agreement with the proletariat in war-time, however small. They value it very, very highly. And these are men of action, real ministers. The Bolsheviks are rapidly becoming stronger, in spite of repression, and the weakness of their press. . . . Is it wise for us to risk a Commune? We have a safe majority; the peasant poor will not wake up for some time to come; we are safe for our lifetime. I do not believe that in a peasant country the majority will follow the extremists. And against an obvious majority, no insurrection is possible in a really democratic republic. This is what the second voice would say. There may also be a third voice coming from among the supporters of Martov or Spiridonova, which would say: 314 V. I. L E N I N I am indignant, “comrades”, that both of you, speaking about the Commune and its likelihood, unhesitatingly side with its opponents. In one form or another, both of you side with those who suppressed the Commune. I will not undertake to campaign for the Commune and I cannot promise beforehand to fight in its ranks as every Bolshevik will do, but I must say that if the Commune does start in spite of my efforts, I shall rather help its defenders than its opponents. The medley of voices in the “bloc” is great and inevitable, for a host of shades is represented among the petty-bourgeois democrats—from the complete bourgeois, perfectly eligible for a post in the government, down to the semi-pauper who is not yet capable of taking up the proletarian position. Nobody knows what will be the result of this medley of voices at any given moment. * * * The above lines were written on Friday, September 1, but due to unforeseen circumstances (under Kerensky, as history will tell, not all Bolsheviks were free to choose their domicile) they did not reach the editorial office that day. After reading Saturday’s and today’s (Sunday’s) papers, I say to myself: perhaps it is already too late to offer a compromise. Perhaps the few days in which a peaceful development was still possible have passed too. Yes, to all appearances, they have already passed. 113 In one way or another, Kerensky will abandon both the S.R. Party and the S.R.s themselves, and will consolidate his position with the aid of the bourgeoisie without the S.R.s, and thanks to their inaction.... Yes, to all appearances, the days when by chance the path of peaceful development became possible have already passed. All that remains is to send these notes to the editor with the request to have them entitled: “Belated Thoughts”. Perhaps even belated thoughts are sometimes not without interest. Written on September 1 - 3 (1 4 - 1 6 ), 1 9 1 7 Published in Rabochy Put No. 3, September 1 9 (6 ), 1 9 1 7 Signed: N. Lenin Published according to the newspaper text 315 DRAFT RESOLUTION ON THE PRESENT POLITICAL SITUATION 114 The Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P., on the basis of the resolution on the political situation adopted by the Sixth Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. (Bolsheviks), and applying that resolution to the present situation, at its plenary meeting states: 1. In the two months from July 3 to September 3, due to the unparalleled speed of the revolution, the course of the class struggle and the development of political events have carried the whole country as far forward as it would have been impossible for the country to advance over many years in peace-time, without revolution and war. 2. It becomes more and more apparent that the events of July 3-5 were the turning-point of the whole revolution. Without a correct estimate of these events, it is impossible to correctly estimate either the proletariat’s tasks, or the speed of development of revolutionary events, which is beyond our control. 3. The slander against the Bolsheviks, which the bourgeoisie spread with tremendous zeal and which they put about very widely among the people with the aid of the millions invested in capitalist papers and publishing houses, is being exposed more and more rapidly and widely. First it was the workers in the capital and in the large cities, and then the peasants, who realised more and more that the slander against the Bolsheviks is one of the main weapons used by the landowners and capitalists in the struggle against the defenders of the interests of the workers and poor peasants, i.e., against the Bolsheviks. 316 V. I. L E N I N 4. An outright attempt was made to camouflage the Kornilov revolt, i.e., a revolt of generals and officers behind whom stand the landowners and the capitalists headed by the Cadet Party (the “people’s freedom” party), by bringing up again the old slander against the Bolsheviks. It was this that helped finally to open the eyes of the broadest sections of the people to the true meaning of the bourgeois slander against the Bolshevik workers’ party, the party of the true defenders of the poor. 5. Had our Party refused to support the July 3-4 mass movement, which burst out spontaneously despite our attempts to prevent it, we should have actually and completely betrayed the proletariat, since the people were moved to action by their well-founded and just anger at the protraction of the imperialist war, which is a predatory war conducted in the interests of the capitalists, and at the inaction of the government and the Soviets in regard to the bourgeoisie, who are intensifying and aggravating economic disruption and famine. 6. In spite of all the efforts of the bourgeoisie and the government, in spite of the arrest of hundreds of Bolsheviks, the seizure of their papers and documents, the search of their editorial offices, etc.—in spite of all this nobody has succeeded, and nobody will ever succeed, in proving the slander that our Party’s aim in the July 3-4 movement was anything other than a “peaceful and organised” demonstration with the slogan of transfer of all state power to the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies. 7. It would have been wrong if the Bolsheviks had aimed to seize power on July 3-4, since neither the majority of the people nor even the majority of the workers at that time had yet actually experienced the counter-revolutionary policies of generals in the army, of the landowners in the countryside, and of the capitalists in the town. These policies were only revealed to the masses after July 5, and stemmed from a compromise between the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, on the one hand, and the bourgeoisie, on the other. None of our Party organisations, either central or local, advocated, either in writing or by word of mouth, the slogan of seizing power on July 3-4; none of them even discussed this question. DRAFT RESOLUTION ON PRESENT POLITICAL SITUATION 317 8. The real mistake of our Party on July 3-4, as events now reveal, was merely that the Party considered the general situation in the country less revolutionary than it proved to be, that the Party still considered a peaceful development of political changes possible through an alteration in the Soviets’ policies, whereas in reality the Mensheviks and S.R.s had become so much entangled and bound by compromising with the bourgeoisie, and the bourgeoisie had become so counter-revolutionary, that peaceful development was no longer possible. This erroneous view, however, which was sustained only by the hope that events would not develop too fast, our Party could not have got over other than by participating in the popular movement of July 3-4 with the slogan “All power to the Soviets” and with the aim of making the movement peaceful and organised. 9. The historic significance of the Kornilov revolt is that with extraordinary force, it opened the people’s eyes to a fact which the S.R.s and Mensheviks had concealed and still are concealing under conciliatory phrases. The fact is that the landowners and the bourgeoisie, headed by the Cadet Party, and the generals and officers who are on their side, have organised themselves; they are ready to commit, or are committing, the most outrageous crimes, such as surrendering Riga (followed by Petrograd) to the Germans, laying the war front open, putting the Bolshevik regiments under fire, starting a mutiny, leading troops against the capital with the “Savage Division” 115 at their head, etc. The purpose of all this is to seize power completely and put it in the hands of the bourgeoisie, to consolidate the power of the landowners in the countryside, and to drench the country in the blood of workers and peasants. The Kornilov revolt has proved for Russia what has been proved throughout history for all countries, namely, that the bourgeoisie will betray their country and commit any crime to retain both their power over the people and their profits. 10. The workers and peasants of Russia have no other alternative than the most determined struggle against, and victory over, the landowners and the bourgeoisie, over the Cadet Party and the generals and officers sympathising with it. Only the urban working class can lead the people, i.e., all working people, into such a struggle and to such a 318 V. I. L E N I N victory, provided all state power passes into its hands and provided it is supported by the peasant poor. 11. Events in the Russian revolution, particularly since May 6, and even more so since July 3, have been developing with such incredible, storm- or hurricane-like velocity, that it can by no means be the task of the Party to speed them up. All efforts, in fact, must be directed towards keeping up with events and doing on time our work of explaining to the workers, and to the working people in general, as much as we can, the changes in the situation and in the course of the class struggle. This is still the main task of our Party; we must explain to the people that the situation is extremely critical, that every action may end in an explosion, and that therefore a premature uprising may cause the greatest harm. At the same time, the critical situation is inevitably leading the working class—perhaps with catastrophic speed—to a situation in which, due to a change in events beyond its control, it will find itself compelled to wage a determined battle with the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie and to gain power. 12. The Kornilov revolt fully revealed that the entire army hates the General Staff. This had to be admitted even by those Mensheviks and S.R.s who through months of effort had proved their hatred for the Bolsheviks and their defence of the policy of agreement between the workers and peasants, on the one hand, and the landowners and the bourgeoisie, on the other. The hatred of the army for the General Staff will not die down but will become stronger now that Kerensky’s government has confined itself to substituting Alexeyev for Kornilov, leaving Klembovsky and other Kornilov generals, and has done absolutely nothing substantial to democratise the armed forces and remove the counter-revolutionary commanders. Soviets, which tolerate and support this weak, wavering, unprincipled policy of Kerensky and missed another opportunity to take all power peacefully when the Kornilov revolt was being liquidated, become guilty not only of conciliation but even of criminal conciliation. The army, which hates the General Staff and does not want to fight a war it now knows to be a war of conquest, is inevitably doomed to new catastrophes. FROM MARX TO MAO  NOT FOR COMMERCIAL DISTRIBUTION DRAFT RESOLUTION ON PRESENT POLITICAL SITUATION 319 13. Only the working class, when it has gained power, will be able to pursue a peace policy, not merely in words, like the Mensheviks and S.R.s, who in practice support the bourgeoisie and their secret treaties, but in deeds. Specifically, the working class will immediately offer all peoples open, precise, clear and just peace terms. This will be done irrespective of the military situation, even if Kornilov’s generals follow up the surrender of Riga by that of Petrograd. The working class can do this in the name of the entire people, since the overwhelming majority of Russia’s workers and peasants oppose the present war of annexation and support a peace on just terms, without annexations and indemnities. The S.R.s and Mensheviks are deceiving themselves and the people when they spend months talking about this peace. The working class, on gaining power, will offer this peace to all without losing a single day. The capitalists of all countries have so much difficulty in stemming the workers’ revolution against war—a revolution which is growing everywhere—that if the Russian revolution were to pass from impotent and pitiful yearning for peace to a forthright peace offer coupled with the publication and annulment of secret treaties, etc., there are ninety-nine chances in a hundred that peace would quickly follow, that the capitalists would be unable to stand in the way of peace. If, however, the highly improbable were to happen and the capitalists were to reject the peace terms of the Russian workers’ government, against the will of their peoples, a revolution in Europe would come a hundred times nearer, and our workers’ and peasants’ army would elect for itself not hated but respected commanders and military leaders. The army would see the justice of the war once peace had been offered, the secret treaties torn up, the alliance with the landowners and the bourgeoisie severed, and all land given to the peasants. Only then would the war become a just war for Russia, only this war would the workers and peasants fight of their own free will, without being bludgeoned into fighting; and this war would bring even nearer the inevitable workers’ revolution in the advanced countries. 320 V. I. L E N I N 14. Only the working class, when it has gained power, will be able to guarantee the immediate transfer of all landed estates to the peasants without compensation. This must not be put off. The Constituent Assembly will legalise the transfer, but it is not the peasants’ fault that the Constituent Assembly is being delayed. The peasants daily become more convinced that it is impossible to get the land by agreement with the landowners and the capitalists. The land can only be obtained through a very close, brotherly alliance of the poor peasants and the workers. Chernov’s resignation from the government after he had for months tried to uphold the interests of the peasants through concessions, big and small, to the Cadet landowners, and after all these attempts had failed, revealed with particular clarity the hopelessness of the policy of conciliation. The peasants see, know and feel that since July 5 the landowners have become arrogant in the villages and that it is necessary to curb them and render them harmless. 15. Only the working class, when it has gained power, will be able to put an end to economic disruption and the impending famine. Since May 6 the government has kept on promising control, but it has done and could do nothing because the capitalists and landowners obstructed all work. Unemployment is growing, famine is approaching, currency is losing value. Peshekhonov’s resignation after the fixed prices have doubled will aggravate the crisis, and it again shows the utter feebleness and impotence of the government. Only workers’ control over production and distribution can save the situation. Only a workers’ government will curb the capitalists, will bring heroic support from all working people for the efforts of state power, and will establish order and a fair exchange of grain for manufactured goods. 16. The confidence of the peasant poor in the urban working class, temporarily undermined by the slander of the bourgeoisie and by hopes put in the policy of conciliation, has been returning, particularly after the arrests in the countryside and the various kinds of persecution of working people after July 5 and then the Kornilov revolt opened the people’s eyes. One of the signs that the people are losing faith in conciliation with the capitalists is that among the S.R.s. and Mensheviks, the two main parties responsible for DRAFT RESOLUTION ON PRESENT POLITICAL SITUATION 321 introducing this policy of conciliation and bringing it to a culmination, there have been growing, especially since July 5, a discontent within these parties and a struggle against conciliation. This opposition at the last SocialistRevolutionary “Council” and at the Menshevik congress involved about two-fifths (40 per cent) of the members. 17. The whole course of events, all economic and political conditions, everything that is happening in the armed forces, are increasingly paving the way for the successful winning of power by the working class, which will bring peace, bread and freedom and will hasten the victory of the proletarian revolution in other countries. Written not later than September 3 1 6 ), 1 9 1 7 First published in 1 9 2 5 in Lenin Miscellany IV Published according to the manuscript THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT Published at the end of October 1 9 1 7 in pamphlet form by Priboi Publishers Published according to the manuscript EHPORTSATAC GNIDNEPMI EHT TI TABMOC OT WOH DNA ot gnidrocca dehsilbuP tpircsunam eht dne eht ta dehsilbuP telhpmap ni 7 1 9 1 rebotcO fo srehsilbuP iobirP yb mrof First page of the manuscript The Impending Catastrophe and How to Combat It, September 10-14 (23-27), 1917 Reduced tpircsunam eht fo egap tsriF ,t I t a b m o C o t w o H d n a e h p o r t s a t a C g n i d n e p m I e h T 7191 ,)72 -32( 41 - 01 rebmetpeS decudeR 327 FAMINE IS APPROACHING Unavoidable catastrophe is threatening Russia. The railways are incredibly disorganised and the disorganisation is progressing. The railways will come to a standstill. The delivery of raw materials and coal to the factories will cease. The delivery of grain will cease. The capitalists are deliberately and unremittingly sabotaging (damaging, stopping, disrupting, hampering) production, hoping that an unparalleled catastrophe will mean the collapse of the republic and democracy, and of the Soviets and proletarian and peasant associations generally, thus facilitating the return to a monarchy and the restoration of the unlimited power of the bourgeoisie and the landowners. The danger of a great catastrophe and of famine is imminent. All the newspapers have written about this time and again. A tremendous number of resolutions have been adopted by the parties and by the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies—resolutions which admit that a catastrophe is unavoidable, that it is very close, that extreme measures are necessary to combat it, that “heroic efforts” by the people are necessary to avert ruin, and so on. Everybody says this. Everybody admits it. Everybody has decided it is so. Yet nothing is being done. Six months of revolution have elapsed. The catastrophe is even closer. Unemployment has assumed a mass scale. To think that there is a shortage of goods in the country, the country is perishing from a shortage of food and labour, although there is a sufficient quantity of grain and raw materials, and yet in such a country, at so critical a moment, there is mass unnemployment! What better evidence is 328 V. I. L E N I N needed to show that after six months of revolution (which some call a great revolution, but which so far it would perhaps be fairer to call a rotten revolution), in a democratic republic, with an abundance of unions, organs and institutions which proudly call themselves “revolutionarydemocratic”, absolutely nothing of any importance has actually been done to avert catastrophe, to avert famine? We are nearing ruin with increasing speed. The war will not wait and is causing increasing dislocation in every sphere of national life. Yet the slightest attention and thought will suffice to satisfy anyone that the ways of combating catastrophe and famine are available, that the measures required to combat them are quite clear, simple, perfectly feasible, and fully within reach of the people’s forces, and that these measures are not being adopted only because, exclusively because, their realisation would affect the fabulous profits of a handful of landowners and capitalists. And, indeed, it is safe to say that every single speech, every single article in a newspaper of any trend, every single resolution passed by any meeting or institution quite clearly and explicitly recognises the chief and principal measure of combating, of averting, catastrophe and famine. This measure is control, supervision, accounting, regulation by the state, introduction of a proper distribution of labourpower in the production and distribution of goods, husbanding of the people’s forces, the elimination of all wasteful effort, economy of effort. Control, supervision and accounting are the prime requisites for combating catastrophe and famine. This is indisputable and universally recognised. And it is just what is not being done from fear of encroaching on the supremacy of the landowners and capitalists, on their immense, fantastic and scandalous profits, profits derived from high prices and war contracts (and, directly or indirectly, nearly everybody is now “working” for the war), profits about which everybody knows and which everybody sees, and over which everybody is sighing and groaning. And absolutely nothing is being done to introduce such control, accounting and supervision by the state as would be in the least effective. THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 329 COMPLETE GOVERNMENT INACTIVITY There is a universal, systematic and persistent sabotage of every kind of control, supervision and accounting and of all state attempts to institute them. And one must be incredibly naïve not to understand, one must be an utter hypocrite to pretend not to understand, where this sabotage comes from and by what means it is being carried on. For this sabotage by the bankers and capitalists, their frustration of every kind of control, supervision and accounting, is being adapted to the state forms of a democratic republic, to the existence of “revolutionary-democratic” institutions. The capitalist gentlemen have learnt very well a fact which all supporters of scientific socialism profess to recognise but which the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries tried to forget as soon as their friends had secured cushy jobs as ministers, deputy ministers, etc. That fact is that the economic substance of capitalist exploitation is in no wise affected by the substitution of republican-democratic forms of government for monarchist forms, and that, consequently, the reverse is also true—only the form of the struggle for the inviolability and sanctity of capitalist profits need be changed in order to uphold them under a democratic republic as effectively as under an absolute monarchy. The present, modern republican-democratic sabotage of every kind of control, accounting and supervision consists in the capitalists “eagerly” accepting in words the “principle” of control and the necessity for control (as, of course, do all Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries), insisting only that this control be introduced “gradually”, methodically and in a “state-regulated” way. In practice, however, these specious catchwords serve to conceal the frustration of control, its nullification, its reduction to a fiction, the mere playing at control, the delay of all business-like and practically effective measures, the creation of extraordinarily complicated, cumbersome and bureaucratically lifeless institutions of control which are hopelessly dependent on the capitalists, and which do absolutely nothing and cannot do anything. So as not to trot out bald statements, let us cite witnesses from among the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolu- 330 V. I. L E N I N tionaries, i.e., the very people who had the majority in the Soviets during the first six months of revolution, who took part in the “coalition government” and who are therefore politically responsible to the Russian workers and peasants for winking at the capitalists and allowing them to frustrate all control. Izvestia TsIK (i.e., the newspaper of the Central Executive Committee of the All-Russia Congress of Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies), the official organ of the highest of the so-called “fully authorised” (no joke!) bodies of “revolutionary” democracy, in issue No. 164, of September 7, 1917, printed a resolution by a special control organisation created and run by these very Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries. This special institution is the Economic Department of the Central Executive Committee. Its resolution officially records as a fact “the complete inactivity of the central bodies set up under the government for the regulation of economic life”. Now, how could one imagine any more eloquent testimony to the collapse of the Menshevik and Socialist-Revolutionary policy than this statement signed by the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries themselves? The need for the regulation of economic life was already recognised under tsarism, and certain institutions were set up for the purpose. But under tsarism economic chaos steadily grew and reached monstrous proportions. It was at once recognised that it was the task of the republican, revolutionary government to adopt effective and resolute measures to put an end to the economic chaos. When the “coalition” government was formed with the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries participating, it promised and undertook, in its most solemn public declaration of May 6, to introduce state control and regulation. The Tseretelis and Chernovs, like all the Menshevik and Socialist-Revolutionary leaders, vowed and swore that not only were they responsible for the government, but that the “authorised bodies of revolutionary democracy” under their control actually kept an eye on the work of the government and verified its activities. Four months have passed since May 6, four long months, in which Russia has sacrificed the lives of hundreds of THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 331 thousands of soldiers for the sake of the absurd imperialist “offensive”, in which chaos and disaster have been advancing in seven-league strides, in which the summer season afforded an exceptional opportunity to do a great deal in the matter of water transport, agriculture, prospecting for minerals, and so on and so forth—and after four months the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries have been obliged officially to admit the “complete inactivity” of the control institutions set up under the government!! And these Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, with the serious mien of statesmen, now prate (I am writing this on the very eve of the Democratic Conference of September 12 116 ) that matters can be furthered by replacing the coalition with the Cadets by a coalition with commercial and industrial Kit Kityches, 117 the Ryabushinskys, Bublikovs, Tereshchenkos and Co. How, one may ask, are we to explain this astonishing blindness of the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries? Are we to regard them as political babes in the wood who in their extreme foolishness and naïveté do not realise what they are doing and err in good faith? Or does the abundance of posts they occupy as ministers, deputy ministers, governors-general, commissars and the like have the property of engendering a special kind of “political” blindness? CONTROL MEASURES ARE KNOWN TO ALL AND EASY TO TAKE One may ask: aren’t methods and measures of control extremely complex, difficult, untried and even unknown? Isn’t the delay due to the fact that although the statesmen of the Cadet Party, the merchant and industrial class, and the Menshevik and Socialist-Revolutionary parties have for six months been toiling in the sweat of their brow, investigating, studying and discovering measures and methods of control, still the problem is incredibly difficult and has not yet been solved? Unfortunately, this is how they are trying to present matters to hoodwink the ignorant, illiterate and downtrodden muzhiks and the Simple Simons who believe everything and never look into things. In reality, however, even tsarism, 332 V. I. L E N I N even the “old regime”, when it set up the War Industries Committees 118 knew the principal measure, the chief method and way to introduce control, namely, by uniting the population according to profession, purpose of work, branch of labour, etc. But tsarism feared the union of the population and therefore did its best to restrict and artificially hinder this generally known, very easy and quite practical method and way of control. All the belligerent countries, suffering as they are from the extreme burdens and hardships of the war, suffering— in one degree or another—from economic chaos and famine, have long ago outlined, determined, applied and tested a whole series of control measures, which consist almost invariably in uniting the population and in setting up or encouraging unions of various kinds, in which state representatives participate, which are under the supervision of the state, etc. All these measures of control are known to all, much has been said and written about them, and the laws passed by the advanced belligerent powers relating to control have been translated into Russian or expounded in detail in the Russian press. If our state really wanted to exercise control in a businesslike and earnest fashion, if its institutions had not condemned themselves to “complete inactivity” by their servility to the capitalists, all the state would have to do would be to draw freely on the rich store of control measures which are already known and have been used in the past. The only obstacle to this—an obstacle concealed from the eyes of the people by the Cadets, Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks—was, and still is, that control would bring to light the fabulous profits of the capitalists and would cut the ground from under these profits. To explain this most important question more clearly (a question which is essentially equivalent to that of the programme of any truly revolutionary government that would wish to save Russia from war and famine), let us enumerate these principal measures of control and examine each of them. We shall see that all a government would have had to do, if its name of revolutionary-democratic government were not merely a joke, would have been to decree, in the THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 333 very first week of its existence, the adoption of the principal measures of control, to provide for strict and severe punishment to be meted out to capitalists who fraudulently evaded control, and to call upon the population itself to exercise supervision over the capitalists and see to it that they scrupulously observed the regulations on control—and control would have been introduced in Russia long ago. These principal measures are: (1) Amalgamation of all banks into a single bank, and state control over its operations, or nationalisation of the banks. (2) Nationalisation of the syndicates, i.e., the largest, monopolistic capitalist associations (sugar, oil, coal, iron and steel, and other syndicates). (3) Abolition of commercial secrecy. (4) Compulsory syndication (i.e., compulsory amalgamation into associations) of industrialists, merchants and employers generally. (5) Compulsory organisation of the population into consumers’ societies, or encouragement of such organisation, and the exercise of control over it. Let us see what the significance of each of these measures would be if carried out in a revolutionary-democratic way. NATIONALISATION OF THE BANKS The banks, as we know, are centres of modern economic life, the principal nerve centres of the whole capitalist economic system. To talk about “regulating economic life” and yet evade the question of the nationalisation of the banks means either betraying the most profound ignorance or deceiving the “common people” by florid words and grandiloquent promises with the deliberate intention of not fulfilling these promises. It is absurd to control and regulate deliveries of grain, or the production and distribution of goods generally, without controlling and regulating bank operations. It is like trying to snatch at odd kopeks and closing one’s eyes to millions of rubles. Banks nowadays are so closely and intimately bound up with trade (in grain and everything else) and with industry that without “laying hands” on the 334 V. I. L E N I N banks nothing of any value, nothing “revolutionary-democratic”, can be accomplished. But perhaps for the state to “lay hands” on the banks is a very difficult and complicated operation? They usually try to scare philistines with this very idea—that is, the capitalists and their defenders try it, because it is to their advantage to do so. In reality, however, nationalisation of the banks, which would not deprive any “owner” of a single kopek, presents absolutely no technical or cultural difficulties, and is being delayed exclusively because of the vile greed of an insignificant handful of rich people. If nationalisation of the banks is so often confused with the confiscation of private property, it is the bourgeois press, which has an interest in deceiving the public, that is to blame for this widespread confusion. The ownership of the capital wielded by and concentrated in the banks is certified by printed and written certificates called shares, bonds, bills, receipts, etc. Not a single one of these certificates would be invalidated or altered if the banks were nationalised, i.e., if all the banks were amalgamated into a single state bank. Whoever owned fifteen rubles on a savings account would continue to be the owner of fifteen rubles after the nationalisation of the banks; and whoever had fifteen million rubles would continue after the nationalisation of the banks to have fifteen million rubles in the form of shares, bonds, bills, commercial certificates and so on. What, then, is the significance of nationalisation of the banks? It is that no effective control of any kind over the individual banks and their operations is possible (even if commercial secrecy, etc., were abolished) because it is impossible to keep track of the extremely complex, involved and wily tricks that are used in drawing up balance sheets, founding fictitious enterprises and subsidiaries, enlisting the services of figureheads, and so on, and so forth. Only the amalgamation of all banks into one, which in itself would imply no change whatever in respect of ownership, and which, we repeat, would not deprive any owner of a single kopek, would make it possible to exercise real con- THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 335 trol—provided, of course, all the other measures indicated above were carried out. Only by nationalising the banks can the state put itself in a position to know where and how, whence and when, millions and billions of rubles flow. And only control over the banks, over the centre, over the pivot and chief mechanism of capitalist circulation, would make it possible to organise real and not fictitious control over all economic life, over the production and distribution of staple goods, and organise that “regulation of economic life” which otherwise is inevitably doomed to remain a ministerial phrase designed to fool the common people. Only control over banking operations, provided they were concentrated in a single state bank, would make it possible, if certain other easily-practicable measures were adopted, to organise the effective collection of income tax in such a way as to prevent the concealment of property and incomes; for at present the income tax is very largely a fiction. Nationalisation of the banks has only to be decreed and it would be carried out by the directors and employees themselves. No special machinery, no special preparatory steps on the part of the state would be required, for this is a measure that can be effected by a single decree, “at a single stroke”. It was made economically feasible by capitalism itself once it had developed to the stage of bills, shares, bonds and so on. All that is required is to unify accountancy. And if the revolutionary-democratic government were to decide that immediately, by telegraph, meetings of managers and employees should be called in every city, and conferences in every region and in the country as a whole, for the immediate amalgamation of all banks into a single state bank, this reform would be carried out in a few weeks. Of course, it would be the managers and the higher bank officials who would offer resistance, who would try to deceive the state, delay matters, and so on, for these gentlemen would lose their highly remunerative posts and the opportunity of performing highly profitable fraudulent operations. That is the heart of the matter. But there is not the slightest technical difficulty in the way of the amalgamation of the banks; and if the state power were revolutionary not only in word (i.e., if it did not fear to do away with inertia and routine), if it were 336 V. I. L E N I N democratic not only in word (i.e., if it acted in the interests of the majority of the people and not of a handful of rich men), it would be enough to decree confiscation of property and imprisonment as the penalty for managers, board members and big shareholders for the slightest delay or for attempting to conceal documents and accounts. It would be enough, for example, to organise the poorer employees separately and to reward them for detecting fraud and delay on the part of the rich for nationalisation of the banks to be effected as smoothly and rapidly as can be. The advantages accruing to the whole people from nationalisation of the banks—not to the workers especially (for the workers have little to do with banks) but to the mass of peasants and small industrialists—would be enormous. The saving in labour would be gigantic, and, assuming that the state would retain the former number of bank employees, nationalisation would be a highly important step towards making the use of the banks universal, towards increasing the number of their branches, putting their operations within easier reach, etc., etc. The availability of credit on easy terms for the small owners, for the peasants, would increase immensely. As to the state, it would for the first time be in a position first to review all the chief monetary operations, which would be unconcealed, then to control them, then to regulate economic life, and finally to obtain millions and billions for major state transactions, without paying the capitalist gentlemen sky-high “commissions” for their “services”. That is the reason—and the only reason—why all the capitalists, all the bourgeois professors, all the bourgeoisie, and all the Plekhanovs, Potresovs and Co., who serve them, are prepared to fight tooth and nail against nationalisation of the banks and invent thousands of excuses to prevent the adoption of this very easy and very pressing measure, although even from the standpoint of the “defence” of the country, i.e., from the military standpoint, this measure would provide a gigantic advantage and would tremendously enhance the “ military might” of the country. The following objection might be raised: why do such advanced states as Germany and the U.S.A. “regulate THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 337 economic life” so magnificently without even thinking of nationalising the banks? Because, we reply, both these states are not merely capitalist, but also imperialist states, although one of them is a monarchy and the other a republic. As such, they carry out the reforms they need by reactionary-bureaucratic methods, whereas we are speaking here of revolutionarydemocratic methods. This “little difference” is of major importance. In most cases it is “not the custom” to think of it. The term “revolutionary democracy” has become with us (especially among the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks) almost a conventional phrase, like the expression “thank God”, which is also used by people who are not so ignorant as to believe in God; or like the expression “honourable citizen”, which is sometimes used even in addressing staff members of Dyen or Yedinstvo, although nearly everybody guesses that these newspapers have been founded and are maintained by the capitalists in the interests of the capitalists, and that there is therefore very little “honourable” about the pseudo-socialists contributing to these newspapers. If we do not employ the phrase “revolutionary democracy” as a stereotyped ceremonial phrase, as a conventional epithet, but reflect on its meaning, we find that to be a democrat means reckoning in reality with the interests of the majority of the people and not the minority, and that to be a revolutionary means destroying everything harmful and obsolete in the most resolute and ruthless manner. Neither in America nor in Germany, as far as we know, is any claim laid by either the government or the ruling classes to the name “revolutionary democrats”, to which our Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks lay claim (and which they prostitute). In Germany there are only four very large private banks of national importance. In America there are only two. It is easier, more convenient, more profitable for the financial magnates of those banks to unite privately, surreptitiously, in a reactionary and not a revolutionary way, in a bureaucratic and not a democratic way, bribing government officials (this is the general rule both in America and 338 V. I. L E N I N in Germany), and preserving the private character of the banks in order to preserve secrecy of operations, to milk the state of millions upon millions in “super-profits”, and to make financial frauds possible. Both America and Germany “regulate economic life” in such a way as to create conditions of war-time penal servitude for the workers (and partly for the peasants) and a paradise for the bankers and capitalists. Their regulation consists in “squeezing” the workers to the point of starvation, while the capitalists are guaranteed (surreptitiously, in a reactionary-bureaucratic fashion) profits higher than before the war. Such a course is quite possible in republican-imperialist Russia too. Indeed, it is the course being followed not only by the Milyukovs and Shingaryovs, but also by Kerensky in partnership with Tereshchenko, Nekrasov, Bernatsky, Prokopovich and Co., who also uphold, in a reactionarybureaucratic manner, the “inviolability” of the banks and their sacred right to fabulous profits. So let us better tell the truth, namely, that in republican Russia they want to regulate economic life in a reactionary-bureaucratic manner, but “often” find it difficult to do so owing to the existence of the “Soviets”, which Kornilov No. 1 did not manage to disband, but which Kornilov No. 2 will try to disband. That would be the truth. And this simple if bitter truth is more useful for the enlightenment of the people than the honeyed lies about “our”, “great”, “revolutionary” democracy. * * * Nationalisation of the banks would greatly facilitate the simultaneous nationalisation of the insurance business, i.e., the amalgamation of all the insurance companies into one, the centralisation of their operations, and state control over them. Here, too, congresses of insurance company employees could carry out this amalgamation immediately and without any great effort, provided a revolutionarydemocratic government decreed this and ordered directors and big shareholders to effect the amalgamation without the slightest delay and held every one of them strictly accountable for it. The capitalists have invested hundreds THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 339 of millions of rubles in the insurance business; the work is all done by the employees. The amalgamation of this business would lead to lower insurance premiums, would provide a host of facilities and conveniences for the insured and would make it possible to increase their number without increasing expenditure of effort and funds. Absolutely nothing but the inertia, routine and self-interest of a handful of holders of remunerative jobs are delaying this reform, which, among other things, would enhance the country’s defence potential by economising national labour and creating a number of highly important opportunities to “regulate economic life” not in word, but in deed. NATIONALISATION OF THE SYNDICATES Capitalism differs from the old, pre-capitalistic systems of economy in having created the closest interconnection and interdependence of the various branches of the economy. Were this not so, incidentally, no steps towards socialism would be technically feasible. Modern capitalism, under which the banks dominate production, has carried this interdependence of the various branches of the economy to the utmost. The banks and the more important branches of industry and commerce have become inseparably merged. This means, on the one hand, that it is impossible to nationalise the banks alone, without proceeding to create a state monopoly of commercial and industrial syndicates (sugar, coal, iron, oil, etc.), and without nationalising them. It means, on the other hand, that if carried out in earnest, the regulation of economic activity would demand the simultaneous nationalisation of the banks and the syndicates. Let us take the sugar syndicate as an example. It came into being under tsarism, and at that time developed into a huge capitalist combine of splendidly equipped refineries. And, of course, this combine, thoroughly imbued with the most reactionary and bureaucratic spirit, secured scandalously high profits for the capitalists and reduced its employees to the status of humiliated and downtrodden slaves lacking any rights. Even at that time the state controlled and regulated production—in the interests of the rich, the magnates. 340 V. I. L E N I N All that remains to be done here is to transform reactionary-bureaucratic regulation into revolutionary-democratic regulation by simple decrees providing for the summoning of a congress of employees, engineers, directors and shareholders, for the introduction of uniform accountancy, for control by the workers’ unions, etc. This is an exceedingly simple thing, yet it has not been done! Under what is a democratic republic, the regulation of the sugar industry actually remains reactionary-bureaucratic; everything remains as of old—the dissipation of national labour, routine and stagnation, and the enrichment of the Bobrinskys and Tereshchenkos. Democrats and not bureaucrats, the workers and other employees and not the “sugar barons”, should be called upon to exercise independent initiative— and this could and should be done in a few days, at a single stroke, if only the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks did not befog the minds of the people by plans for “association” with these very sugar barons, for the very association with the wealthy from which the “complete inaction” of the government in the matter of regulating economic life follows with absolute inevitability, and of which it is a consequence. * Take the oil business. It was to a vast extent “socialised” by the earlier development of capitalism. Just a couple of oil barons wield millions and hundreds of millions of rubles, clipping coupons and raking in fabulous profits from a “business” which is already actually, technically and socially organised on a national scale and is already being conducted by hundreds and thousands of employees, engineers, etc. Nationalisation of the oil industry could be effected at once by, and is imperative for, a revolutionarydemocratic state, especially when the latter suffers from an acute crisis and when it is essential to economies national labour and to increase the output of fuel at all costs. It is clear that here bureaucratic control can achieve nothing, can change nothing, for the “oil barons” can cope with the * These lines had been written when I learnt from the newspapers that the Kerensky government is introducing a sugar monopoly, and, of course, is introducing it in a reactionary-bureaucratic way, without congresses of workers and other employees, without publicity, and without curbing the capitalists! THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 341 Tereshchenkos, the Kerenskys, the Avksentyevs and the Skobelevs as easily as they coped with the tsar’s ministers— by means of delays, excuses and promises, and by bribing the bourgeois press directly or indirectly (this is called “public opinion”, and the Kerenskys and Avksentyevs “reckon” with it), by bribing officials (left by the Kerenskys and Avksentyevs in their old jobs in the old state machinery which remains intact). If anything real is to be done bureaucracy must be abandoned for democracy, and in a truly revolutionary way, i.e., war must be declared on the oil barons and shareholders, the confiscation of their property and punishment by imprisonment must be decreed for delaying nationalisation of the oil business, for concealing incomes or accounts, for sabotaging production, and for failing to take steps to increase production. The initiative of the workers and other employees must be drawn on; they must be immediately summoned to conferences and congresses; a certain proportion of the profits must be assigned to them, provided they institute overall control and increase production. Had these revolutionary-democratic steps been taken at once, immediately, in April 1917, Russia, which is one of the richest countries in the world in deposits of liquid fuel, could, using water transport, have done a very great deal during this summer to supply the people with the necessary quantities of fuel. Neither the bourgeois nor the coalition Socialist-Revolutionary-Menshevik-Cadet government has done anything at all. Both have confined themselves to a bureaucratic playing at reforms. They have not dared to take a single revolutionary-democratic step. Everything has remained as it was under the tsars—the oil barons, the stagnation, the hatred of the workers and other employees for their exploiters, the resulting chaos, and the dissipation of national labour—only the letterheads on the incoming and outgoing papers in the “republican” offices have been changed! Take the coal industry. It is technically and culturally no less “ripe” for nationalisation, and is being no less shamelessly managed by the robbers of the people, the coal barons, and there are a number of most striking facts of direct sabotage, direct damage to and stoppage of production 342 V. I. L E N I N by the industrialists. Even the ministerial Rabochaya Gazeta of the Mensheviks has admitted these facts. And what do we find? Absolutely nothing has been done, except to call the old, reactionary-bureaucratic meetings “on a half-and-half basis”—an equal number of workers and bandits from the coal syndicate! Not a single revolutionarydemocratic step has been taken, not a shadow of an attempt has been made to establish the only control which is real— control from below, through the employees’ union, through the workers, and by using terror against the coal industrialists who are ruining the country and bringing production to a standstill! How can this be done when we are “all” in favour of the “coalition”—if not with the Cadets, then with commercial and industrial circles. And coalition means leaving power in the hands of the capitalists, letting them go unpunished, allowing them to hamper affairs, to blame everything on the workers, to intensify the chaos and thus pave the way for a new Kornilov revolt! ABOLITION OF COMMERCIAL SECRECY Unless commercial secrecy is abolished, either control over production and distribution will remain an empty promise, only needed by the Cadets to fool the SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks, and by the SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks to fool the working classes, or control can be exercised only by reactionary-bureaucratic methods and means. Although this is obvious to every unprejudiced person, and although Pravda persistently demanded the abolition of commercial secrecy * (and was suppressed largely for this reason by the Kerensky government which is subservient to capital), neither our republican government nor the “authorised bodies of revolutionary democracy” have even thought of this first step to real control. This is the very key to all control. Here we have the most sensitive spot of capital, which is robbing the people and sabotaging production. And this is exactly why the * See present edition, Vol. 24, pp. 521-22, and this volume, pp. 140-41.—Ed. THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 343 Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks are afraid to do anything about it. The usual argument of the capitalists, one reiterated by the petty bourgeoisie without reflection, is that in a capitalist economy the abolition of commercial secrecy is in general absolutely impossible, for private ownership of the means of production, and the dependence of the individual undertakings on the market render essential the “sanctity” of commercial books and commercial operations, including, of course, banking operations. Those who in one form or another repeat this or similar arguments allow themselves to be deceived and themselves deceive the people by shutting their eyes to two fundamental, highly important and generally known facts of modern economic activity. The first fact is the existence of largescale capitalism, i.e., the peculiar features of the economic system of banks, syndicates, large factories, etc. The second fact is the war. It is modern large-scale capitalism, which is everywhere becoming monopoly capitalism, that deprives commercial secrecy of every shadow of reasonableness, turns it into hypocrisy and into an instrument exclusively for concealing financial swindles and the fantastically high profits of big capital. Large-scale capitalist economy, by its very technical nature, is socialised economy, that is, it both operates for millions of people and, directly or indirectly, unites by its operations hundreds, thousands and tens of thousands of families. It is not like the economy of the small handicraftsman or the middle peasant who keep no commercial books at all and who would therefore not be affected by the abolition of commercial secrecy! As it is, the operations conducted in large-scale business are known to hundreds or more persons. Here the law protecting commercial secrecy does not serve the interests of production or exchange, but those of speculation and profitseeking in their crudest form, and of direct fraud, which, as we know, in the case of joint-stock companies is particularly widespread and very skilfully concealed by reports and balance-sheets, so compiled as to deceive the public. While commercial secrecy is unavoidable in small commodity production, i.e., among the small peasants and 344 V. I. L E N I N handicraftsmen, where production itself is not socialised but scattered and disunited, in large-scale capitalist production, the protection of commercial secrecy means protection of the privileges and profits of literally a handful of people against the interest of the whole people. This has already been recognised by the law, inasmuch as provision is made for the publication of the accounts of joint-stock companies. But this control, which has already been introduced in all advanced countries, as well as in Russia, is a reactionary-bureaucratic control which does not open the eyes of the people and which does not allow the whole truth about the operations of joint-stock companies to become known. To act in a revolutionary-democratic way, it would be necessary to immediately pass another law abolishing commercial secrecy, compelling the big undertakings and the wealthy to render the fullest possible accounts, and investing every group of citizens of substantial democratic numerical strength (1,000 or 10,000 voters, let us say) with the right to examine all the records of any large undertaking. Such a measure could be fully and easily effected by a simple decree. It alone would allow full scope for popular initiative in control, through the office employees’ unions, the workers’ unions and all the political parties, and it alone would make control effective and democratic. Add to this the war. The vast majority of commercial and industrial establishments are now working not for the “free market”, but for the government, for the war. This is why I have already stated in Pravda that people who counter us with the argument that socialism cannot be introduced are liars, and barefaced liars at that, because it is not a question of introducing socialism now, directly. overnight, but of exposing plunder of the state.* Capitalist “war” economy (i.e., economy directly or indirectly connected with war contracts) is systematic and legalised plunder, and the Cadet gentry, who, together with the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, are opposing the abolition of commercial secrecy, are nothing but aiders and abettors of plunder. * See pp. 68-69 of this volume.—Ed. THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 345 The war is now costing Russia fifty million rubles a day. These fifty million go mostly to army contractors. Of these fifty, at least five million daily, and probably ten million or more, constitute the “honest income” of the capitalists, and of the officials who are in one way or another in collusion with them. The very large firms and banks which lend money for war contracts transactions thereby make fantastic profits, and do so by plundering the state, for no other epithet can be applied to this defrauding and plundering of the people “on the occasion of” the hardships of war, “on the occasion of” the deaths of hundreds of thousands and millions of people. “Everybody” knows about these scandalous profits made on war contracts, about the “letters of guarantee” which are concealed by the banks, about who benefits by the rising cost of living. They are smiled on in “society”. Quite a number of precise references are made to them even in the bourgeois press, which as a general rule keeps silent about “unpleasant” facts and avoids “ticklish” questions. Everybody knows about them, yet everybody keeps silent, everybody tolerates them, everybody puts up with the government, which prates eloquently about “control” and “regulation”!! The revolutionary democrats, were they real revolutionaries and democrats, would immediately pass a law abolishing commercial secrecy, compelling contractors and merchants to render accounts public, forbidding them to abandon their field of activity without the permission of the authorities, imposing the penalty of confiscation of property and shooting * for concealment and for deceiving the people, organising verification and control from below, democratically, by the people themselves, by unions of workers and other employees, consumers, etc. Our Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks fully deserve to be called scared democrats, for on this question * I have already had occasion to point out in the Bolshevik press that it is right to argue against the death penalty only when it is applied by the exploiters against the mass of the working people with the purpose of maintaining exploitation. (See pp. 265-68 of this volume.—Ed.) It is hardly likely that any revolutionary government whatever could do without applying the death penalty to the exploiters (i.e., the landowners and capitalists). 346 V. I. L E N I N they repeat what is said by all the scared philistines, namely, that the capitalists will “run away” if “too severe” measures are adopted, that “we” shall be unable to get along without the capitalists, that the British and French millionaires, who are, of course, “supporting” us, will most likely be “offended” in their turn, and so on. It might be thought that the Bolsheviks were proposing something unknown to history, something that has never been tried before, something “utopian”, while, as a matter of fact, even 125 years ago, in France, people who were real “revolutionary democrats”, who were really convinced of the just and defensive character of the war they were waging, who really had popular support and were sincerely convinced of this, were able to establish revolutionary control over the rich and to achieve results which earned the admiration of the world. And in the century and a quarter that have since elapsed, the development of capitalism, which resulted in the creation of banks, syndicates, railways and so forth, has greatly facilitated and simplified the adoption of measures of really democratic control by the workers and peasants over the exploiters, the landowners and capitalists. In point of fact, the whole question of control boils down to who controls whom, i.e., which class is in control and which is being controlled. In our country, in republican Russia, with the help of the “authorised bodies” of supposedly revolutionary democracy, it is the landowners and capitalists who are still recognised to be, and still are, the controllers. The inevitable result is the capitalist robbery that arouses universal indignation among the people, and the economic chaos that is being artificially kept up by the capitalists. We must resolutely and irrevocably, not fearing to break with the old, not fearing boldly to build the new, pass to control over the landowners and capitalists by the workers and peasants. And this is what our SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks fear worse than the plague. COMPULSORY ASSOCIATION Compulsory syndication, i.e., compulsory association, of the industrialists, for example, is already being practised in Germany. Nor is there anything new in it. Here, too. THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 347 through the fault of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, we see the utter stagnation of republican Russia, whom these none-too-respectable parties “entertain” by dancing a quadrille with the Cadets, or with the Bublikovs, or with Tereshchenko and Kerensky. Compulsory syndication is, on the one hand, a means whereby the state, as it were, expedites capitalist development, which everywhere leads to the organisation of the class struggle and to a growth in the number, variety and importance of unions. On the other hand, compulsory “unionisation” is an indispensable precondition for any kind of effective control and for all economy of national labour. The German law, for instance, binds the leather manufacturers of a given locality or of the whole country to form an association, on the board of which there is a representative of the state for the purpose of control. A law of this kind does not directly, i.e., in itself, affect property relations in any way; it does not deprive any owner of a single kopek and does not predetermine whether the control is to be exercised in a reactionary-bureaucratic or a revolutionary-democratic form, direction or spirit. Such laws can and should be passed in our country immediately, without wasting a single week of precious time; is should be left to social conditions themselves to determine the more specific forms of enforcing the law, the speed with which it is to be enforced, the methods of supervision over its enforcement, etc. In this case, the state requires no special machinery, no special investigation, nor preliminary enquiries for the passing of such a law. All that is required is the determination to break with certain private interests of the capitalists, who are “not accustomed” to such interference and have no desire to forfeit the super-profits which are ensured by the old methods of management and the absence of control. No machinery and no “statistics” (which Chernov wanted to substitute for the revolutionary initiative of the peasants) are required to pass such a law, inasmuch as its implementation must be made the duty of the manufacturers or industrialists themselves, of the available public forces, under the control of the available public (i.e., non-govern- 348 V. I. L E N I N ment, non-bureaucratic) forces too, which, however, must consist by all means of the so-called “lower estates”, i.e., of the oppressed and exploited classes, which in history have always proved to be immensely superior to the exploiters in their capacity for heroism, self-sacrifice and comradely discipline. Let us assume that we have a really revolutionary-democratic government and that it decides that the manufacturers and industrialists in every branch of production who employ, let us say, not less than two workers shall immediately amalgamate into uyezd and gubernia associations. Responsibility for the strict observance of the law is laid in the first place on the manufacturers, directors, board members, and big shareholders (for they are the real leaders of modern industry, its real masters). They shall be regarded as deserters from military service, and punished as such, if they do not work for the immediate implementation of the law, and shall bear mutual responsibility, one answering for all, and all for one, with the whole of their property. Responsibility shall next be laid on all office employees, who shall also form one union, and on all workers and their trade union. The purpose of “unionisation” is to institute the fullest, strictest and most detailed accountancy, but chiefly to combine operations in the purchase of raw materials, the sale of products, and the economy of national funds and forces. When the separate establishments are amalgamated into a single syndicate, this economy can attain tremendous proportions, as economic science teaches us and as is shown by the example of all syndicates, cartels and trusts. And it must be repeated that this unionisation will not in itself alter property relations one iota and will not deprive any owner of a single kopek. This circumstance must be strongly stressed, for the bourgeois press constantly “frightens” small and medium proprietors by asserting that socialists in general, and the Bolsheviks in particular, want to “expropriate” them—a deliberately false assertion, as socialists do not intend to, cannot and will not expropriate the small peasant even if there is a fully socialist revolution. All the time we are speaking only of the immediate and urgent measures, which have already been introduced in Western Europe and which a democracy THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 349 that is at all consistent ought to introduce immediately in our country to combat the impending and inevitable catastrophe. Serious difficulties, both technical and cultural, would be encountered in amalgamating the small and very small proprietors into associations, owing to the extremely small proportions and technical primitiveness of their enterprises and the illiteracy or lack of education of the owners.. But precisely such enterprises could be exempted from the law (as was pointed out above in our hypothetical example). Their non-amalgamation, let alone their belated amalgamation, could create no serious obstacle, for the part played by the huge number of small enterprises in the sum total of production and their importance to the economy as a whole are negligible, and, moreover, they are often in one way or another dependent on the big enterprises. Only the big enterprises are of decisive importance; and here the technical and cultural means and forces for “unionisation” do exist; what is lacking is the firm, determined initiative of a revolutionary government which should be ruthlessly severe towards the exploiters to set these forces and means in motion. The poorer a country is in technically trained forces, and in intellectual forces generally, the more urgent it is to decree compulsory association as early and as resolutely as possible and to begin with the bigger and biggest enterprises when putting the decree into effect, for it is association that will economise intellectual forces and make it possible to use them to the full and to distribute them more correctly. If, after 1905, even the Russian peasants in their out-of-the-way districts, under the tsarist government, in face of the thousands of obstacles raised by that government, were able to make a tremendous forward stride in the creation of all kinds of associations, it is clear that the amalgamation of large- and medium-scale industry and trade could be effected in several months, if not earlier, provided compulsion to this end were exercised by a really revolutionary-democratic government relying on the support, participation, interest and advantage of the “lower ranks”, the democracy, the workers and other employees, and calling upon them to exercise control. 350 V. I. L E N I N REGULATION OF CONSUMPTION The war has compelled all the belligerent and many of the neutral countries to resort to the regulation of consumption. Bread cards have been issued and have become customary, and this has led to the appearance of other ration cards. Russia is no exception and has also introduced bread cards. Using this as an example, we can draw, perhaps, the most striking comparison of all between reactionary-bureaucratic methods of combating a catastrophe, which are confined to minimum reforms, and revolutionary-democratic methods, which, to justify their name, must directly aim at a violent rupture with the old, obsolete system and at the achievement of the speediest possible progress. The bread card—this typical example of how consumption is regulated in modern capitalist countries—aims at, and achieves (at best), one thing only, namely, distributing available supplies of grain to give everybody his share. A maximum limit to consumption is established, not for all foodstuffs by far, but only for principal foodstuffs, those of “popular” consumption. And that is all. There is no intention of doing anything else. Available supplies of grain are calculated in a bureaucratic way, then divided on a per capita basis, a ration is fixed and introduced, and there the matter ends. Luxury articles are not affected, for they are “anyway” scarce and “anyway” so dear as to be beyond the reach of the “people”. And so, in all the belligerent countries without exception, even in Germany, which evidently, without fear of contradiction, may be said to be a model of the most careful, pedantic and strict regulation of consumption—even in Germany we find that the rich constantly get around all “rationing”. This, too, “everybody” knows and “everybody” talks about with a smile; and in the German socialist papers, and sometimes even in the bourgeois papers, despite the fierce military stringency of the German censorship, we constantly find items and reports about the “menus” of the rich, saying how the wealthy can obtain white bread in any quantity at a certain health resort (visited, on the plea of illness, by everybody who has plenty of money), and how the wealthy substitute choice THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 351 and rare articles of luxury for articles of popular consumption. A reactionary capitalist state which fears to undermine the pillars of capitalism, of wage slavery, of the economic supremacy of the rich, which fears to encourage the initiative of the workers and the working people generally, which fears to provoke them to a more exacting attitude— such a state will be quite content with bread cards. Such a state does not for a moment, in any measure it adopts, lose sight of the reactionary aim of strengthening capitalism, preventing its being undermined, and confining the “regulation of economic life” in general, and the regulation of consumption in particular, to such measures as are absolutely essential to feed the people, and makes no attempt whatsoever at real regulation of consumption by exercising control over the rich and laying the greater part of the burden in war-time on those who are better off, who are privileged, well fed and overfed in peace-time. The reactionary-bureaucratic solution to the problem with which the war has confronted the peoples confines itself to bread cards, to the equal distribution of “popular” foodstuffs, of those absolutely essential to feed the people, without retreating one little bit from bureaucratic and reactionary ideas, that is, from the aim of not encouraging the initiative of the poor, the proletariat, the mass of the people (“demos”), of not allowing them to exercise control over the rich, and of leaving as many loopholes as possible for the rich to compensate themselves with articles of luxury. And a great number of loopholes are left in all countries, we repeat, even in Germany—not to speak of Russia; the “common people” starve while the rich visit health resorts, supplement the meagre official ration by all sorts of “extras” obtained on the side, and do not allow themselves to be controlled. In Russia, which has only just made a revolution against the tsarist regime in the name of liberty and equality, in Russia, which, as far as its actual political institutions are concerned, has at once become a democratic republic, what particularly strikes the people, what particularly arouses popular discontent, irritation, anger and indignation is that everybody sees the easy way in which the wealthy get 352 V. I. L E N I N around the bread cards. They do it very easily indeed. “From under the counter”, and for a very high price, especially if one has “pull” (which only the rich have), one can obtain anything, and in large quantities, too. It is the people who are starving. The regulation of consumption is confined within the narrowest bureaucratic-reactionary limits. The government has not the slightest intention of putting regulation on a really revolutionary-democratic footing, is not in the least concerned about doing so. “Everybody” is suffering from the queues but—but the rich send their servants to stand in the queues, and even engage special servants for the purpose! And that is “democracy ” ! At a time when the country is suffering untold calamities, a revolutionary-democratic policy would not confine itself to bread cards to combat the impending catastrophe but would add, firstly, the compulsory organisation of the whole population in consumers’ societies, for otherwise control over consumption cannot be fully exercised; secondly, labour service for the rich, making them perform without pay secretarial and similar duties for these consumers’ societies; thirdly, the equal distribution among the population of absolutely all consumer goods, so as really to distribute the burdens of the war equitably; fourthly, the organisation of control in such a way as to have the poorer classes of the population exercise control over the consumption of the rich. The establishment of real democracy in this sphere and the display of a real revolutionary spirit in the organisation of control by the most needy classes of the people would be a very great stimulus to the employment of all available intellectual forces and to the development of the truly revolutionary energies of the entire people. Yet now the ministers of republican and revolutionary-democratic Russia, exactly like their colleagues in all other imperialist countries, make pompous speeches about “working in common for the good of the people” and about “exerting every effort”, but the people see, feel and sense the hypocrisy of this talk. The result is that no progress is being made, chaos is spreading irresistibly, and a catastrophe is approaching, for our government cannot introduce war-time penal servi- THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 353 tude for the workers in the Kornilov, Hindenburg, general imperialist way—the traditions, memories, vestiges, habits and institutions of the revolution are still too much alive among the people; our government does not want to take any really serious steps in a revolutionary-democratic direction, for it is thoroughly infected and thoroughly enmeshed by its dependence on the bourgeoisie, its “coalition” with the bourgeoisie, and its fear to encroach on their real privileges. GOVERNMENT DISRUPTION OF THE WORK OF THE DEMOCRATIC ORGANISATIONS We have examined various ways and means of combating catastrophe and famine. We have seen everywhere that the contradictions between the democrats, on the one hand, and the government and the bloc of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks which is supporting it, on the other, are irreconcilable. To prove that these contradictions exist in reality, and not merely in our exposition, and that their irreconcilability is actually borne out by conflicts affecting the people as a whole, we have only to recall two very typical “results” and lessons of the six months’ history of our revolution. The history of the “reign” of Palchinsky is one lesson. The history of the “reign” and fall of Peshekhonov is the other. The measures to combat catastrophe and hunger described above boil down to the all-round encouragement (even to the extent of compulsion) of “unionisation” of the population, and primarily the democrats, i.e., the majority of the population, or, above all, the oppressed classes, the workers and peasants, especially the poor peasants. And this is the path which the population itself spontaneously began to adopt in order to cope with the unparalleled difficulties, burdens and hardships of the war. Tsarism did everything to hamper the free and independent “unionisation” of the population. But after the fall of the tsarist monarchy, democratic organisations began to spring up and grow rapidly all over Russia. The struggle against the catastrophe began to be waged by spontaneously 354 V. I. L E N I N arising democratic organisations—by all sorts of committees of supply, food committees, fuel councils, and so on and so forth. And the most remarkable thing in the whole six months’ history of our revolution, as far as the question we are examining is concerned, is that a government which calls itself republican and revolutionary, and which is supported by the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries in the name of the “authorised bodies of revolutionary democracy”, fought the democratic organisations and defeated them!! By this fight, Palchinsky earned extremely wide and very sad notoriety all over Russia. He acted behind the government’s back, without coming out publicly (just as the Cadets generally preferred to act, willingly pushing forward Tsereteli “for the people”, while they themselves arranged all the important business on the quiet). Palchinsky hampered and thwarted every serious measure taken by the spontaneously created democratic organisations, for no serious measure could be taken without “injuring” the excessive profits and wilfulness of the Kit Kityches. And Palchinsky was in fact a loyal defender and servant of the Kit Kityches. Palchinsky went so far—and this fact was reported in the newspapers—as simply to annul the orders, of the spontaneously created democratic organisations! The whole history of Palchinsky’s “reign”—and he “reigned” for many months, and just when Tsereteli, Skobelev and Chernov were “ministers”—was a monstrous scandal from beginning to end; the will of the people and the decisions of the democrats were frustrated to please the capitalists and meet their filthy greed. Of course, only a negligible part of Palchinsky’s “feats” could find its way into the press, and a full investigation of the manner in which he hindered the struggle against famine can be made only by a truly democratic government of the proletariat when it gains power and submits all the actions of Palchinsky and his like, without concealing anything, to the judgement of the people. It will perhaps be argued that Palchinsky was an exception, and that after all he was removed. But the fact is that Palchinsky was not the exception but the rule, that the situation has in no way improved with his removal, that THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 355 his place has been taken by the same kind of Palchinskys with different names, and that all the “influence” of the capitalists, and the entire policy of frustrating the struggle against hunger to please the capitalists, has remained intact. For Kerensky and Co. are only a screen for defence of the interests of the capitalists. The most striking proof of this is the resignation of Peshekhonov, the Food Minister. As we know, Peshekhonov is a very, very moderate Narodnik. But in the organisation of food supply he wanted to work honestly, in contact with and supported by the democratic organisations. The experience of Peshekhonov’s work and his resignation are all the more interesting because this extremely moderate Narodnik, this member of the Popular Socialist Party, who was ready to accept any compromise with the bourgeoisie, was nevertheless compelled to resign! For the Kerensky government, to please the capitalists, landowners and kulaks, had raised the fixed prices of grain! This is how M. Smith describes this “step” and its significance in the newspaper Svobodnaya Zhizn 119 No. 1, of September 2: “Several days before the government decided to raise the fixed prices, the following scene was enacted in the national Food Committee: Rolovich, a Right-winger, a stubborn defender of the interests of private trade and a ruthless opponent of the grain monopoly and state interference in economic affairs, publicly announced with a smug smile that he understood the fixed grain prices would shortly be raised. “The representative of the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies replied by declaring that he knew nothing of the kind, that as long as the revolution in Russia lasted such an act could not take place, and that at any rate the government could not take such a step without first consulting the authorised democratic bodies—the Economic Council and the national Food Committee. This statement was supported by the representative of the Soviet of Peasants’ Deputies. “But, alas, reality introduced a very harsh amendment to this counter-version! It was the representative of the wealthy elements and not the representatives of the democrats who turned out to be right. He proved to be excellently informed of the preparations for an attack on democratic rights, although the democratic representatives indignantly denied the very possibility of such an attack.” And so, both the representative of the workers and the representative of the peasants explicitly state their opinion in the name of the vast majority of the people, yet the 356 V. I. L E N I N Kerensky government acts contrary to that opinion, in the interests of the capitalists! Rolovich, a representative of the capitalists, turned out to be excellently informed behind the backs of the democrats—just as we have always observed, and now observe, that the bourgeois newspapers, Rech and Birzhevka, are best informed of the doings in the Kerensky government. What does this possession of excellent information show? Obviously, that the capitalists have their “channels” and virtually hold power in their own hands. Kerensky is a figurehead which they use as and when they find necessary. The interests of tens of millions of workers and peasants turn out to have been sacrificed to the profits of a handful of the rich. And how do our Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks react to this outrage to the people? Did they address an appeal to the workers and peasants, saying that after this, prison was the only place for Kerensky and his colleagues? God forbid! The Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, through their Economic Department, confined themselves to adopting the impressive resolution to which we have already referred! In this resolution they declare that the raising of grain prices by the Kerensky government is “a ruinous measure which deals a severe blow both at the food supply and at the whole economic life of the country”, and that these ruinous measures have been taken in direct “violation” of the law!! Such are the results of the policy of compromise, of flirting with Kerensky and desiring to “spare” him! The government violates the law by adopting, in the interests, of the rich, the landowners and capitalists, a measure which ruins the whole business of control, food supply and the stabilisation of the extremely shaky finances, yet the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks continue to talk about an understanding with commercial and industrial circles, continue to attend conferences with Tereshchenko and to spare Kerensky, and confine themselves to a paper resolution of protest, which the government very calmly pigeonholes!! THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 357 This reveals with great clarity the fact that the SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks have betrayed the people and the revolution, and that the Bolsheviks are becoming the real leaders of the masses, even of the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik masses. For only the winning of power by the proletariat, headed by the Bolshevik Party, can put an end to the outrageous actions of Kerensky and Co. and restore the work of democratic food distribution, supply and other organisations, which Kerensky and his government are frustrating. The Bolsheviks are acting—and this can be very clearly seen from the above example—as the representatives of the interests of the whole people, which are to ensure food distribution and supply and meet the most urgent needs of the workers and peasants, despite the vacillating, irresolute and truly treacherous policy of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, a policy which has brought the country to an act as shameful as this raising of grain prices! FINANCIAL COLLAPSE AND MEASURES TO COMBAT IT There is another side to the problem of raising the fixed grain prices. This raising of prices involves a new chaotic increase in the issuing of paper money, a further increase in the cost of living, increased financial disorganisation and the approach of financial collapse. Everybody admits that the issuing of paper money constitutes the worst form of compulsory loan, that it most of all affects the conditions of the workers, of the poorest section of the population, and that it is the chief evil engendered by financial disorder. And it is to this measure that the Kerensky government, supported by the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, is resorting! There is no way of effectively combating financial disorganisation and inevitable financial collapse except that of revolutionary rupture with the interests of capital and that of the organisation of really democratic control, i.e., control from “below”, control by the workers and the poor peasants over the capitalists, a way to which we referred throughout the earlier part of this exposition. 358 V. I. L E N I N Large issues of paper money encourage profiteering, enable the capitalists to make millions of rubles, and place tremendous difficulties in the way of a very necessary expansion of production, for the already high cost of materials, machinery, etc., is rising further by leaps and bounds. What can be done about it when the wealth acquired by the rich through profiteering is being concealed? An income tax with progressive and very high rates for larger and very large incomes might be introduced. Our government has introduced one, following the example of other imperialist governments. But it is largely a fiction, a dead letter, for, firstly, the value of money is falling faster and faster, and, secondly, the more incomes are derived from profiteering and the more securely commercial secrecy is maintained, the greater their concealment. Real and not nominal control is required to make the tax real and not fictitious. But control over the capitalists is impossible if it remains bureaucratic, for the bureaucracy is itself bound to and interwoven with the bourgeoisie by thousands of threads. That is why in the West-European imperialist states, monarchies and republics alike, financial order is obtained solely by the introduction of “labour service”, which creates war-time penal servitude or war-time slavery for the workers. Reactionary-bureaucratic control is the only method known to imperialist states—not excluding the democratic republics of France and America—of foisting the burdens of the war on to the proletariat and the working people. The basic contradiction in the policy of our government is that, in order not to quarrel with the bourgeoisie, not to destroy the “coalition” with them, the government has to introduce reactionary-bureaucratic control, which it calls “revolutionary-democratic” control, deceiving the people at every step and irritating and angering the masses who have just overthrown tsarism. Yet only revolutionary-democratic measures, only the organisation of the oppressed classes, the workers and peasants, the masses, into unions would make it possible to establish a most effective control over the rich and wage a most successful fight against the concealment of incomes. An attempt is being made to encourage the use of cheques THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 359 as a means of avoiding excessive issue of paper money. This measure is of no significance as far as the poor are concerned, for anyway they live from hand to mouth, complete their “economic cycle” in one week and return to the capitalists the few meagre coppers they manage to earn. The use of cheques might have great significance as far as the rich are concerned. It would enable the state, especially in conjunction with such measures as nationalisation of the banks and abolition of commercial secrecy, really to control the incomes of the capitalists, really to impose taxation on them, and really to “democratise” (and at the same time bring order into) the financial system. But this is hampered by the fear of infringing the privileges of the bourgeoisie and destroying the “coalition” with them. For unless truly revolutionary measures are adopted and compulsion is very seriously resorted to, the capitalists will not submit to any control, will not make known their budgets, and will not surrender their stocks of paper money for the democratic state to “keep account” of. The workers and peasants, organised in unions, by nationalising the banks, making the use of cheques legally compulsory for all rich persons, abolishing commercial secrecy, imposing confiscation of property as a penalty for concealment of incomes, etc., might with extreme ease make control both effective and universal—control, that is, over the rich, and such control as would secure the return of paper money from those who have it, from those who conceal it, to the treasury, which issues it. This requires a revolutionary dictatorship of the democracy, headed by the revolutionary proletariat; that is, it requires that the democracy should become revolutionary in fact. That is the crux of the matter. But that is just what is not wanted by our Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, who are deceiving the people by displaying the flag of “revolutionary democracy” while they are in fact supporting the reactionary-bureaucratic policy of the bourgeoisie, who, as always, are guided by the rule: “Après nous le déluge”—after us the deluge! We usually do not even notice how thoroughly we are permeated by anti-democratic habits and prejudices regarding the “sanctity” of bourgeois property. When an 360 V. I. L E N I N engineer or banker publishes the income and expenditure of a worker, information about his wages and the productivity of his labour, this is regarded as absolutely legitimate and fair. Nobody thinks of seeing it as an intrusion into the “private life” of the worker, as “spying or informing” on the part of the engineer. Bourgeois society regards the labour and earnings of a wage-worker as its open book, any bourgeois being entitled to peer into it at any moment, and at any moment to expose the “luxurious living” of the worker, his supposed “laziness”, etc. Well, and what about reverse control? What if the unions of employees, clerks and domestic servants were invited by a democratic state to verify the income and expenditure of capitalists, to publish information on the subject and to assist the government in combating concealment of incomes? What a furious howl against “spying” and “informing” would be raised by the bourgeoisie! When “masters” control servants, or when capitalists control workers, this is considered to be in the nature of things; the private life of the working and exploited people is not considered inviolable. The bourgeoisie are entitled to call to account any “wage slave” and at any time to make public his income and expenditure. But if the oppressed attempt to control the oppressor, to show up his income and expenditure, to expose his luxurious living even in war-time, when his luxurious living is directly responsible for armies at the front starving and perishing—oh, no, the bourgeoisie will not tolerate “spying” and “informing”! It all boils down to the same thing: the rule of the bourgeoisie is irreconcilable with truly-revolutionary true democracy. We cannot be revolutionary democrats in the twentieth century and in a capitalist country if we fear to advance towards socialism. CAN WE GO FORWARD IF WE FEAR TO ADVANCE TOWARDS SOCIALISM? What has been said so far may easily arouse the following objection on the part of a reader who has been brought up on the current opportunist ideas of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks. Most measures described here, THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 361 he may say, are already in effect socialist and not democratic measures! This current objection, one that is usually raised (in one form or another) in the bourgeois, Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik press, is a reactionary defence of backward capitalism, a defence decked out in a Struvean garb. It seems to say that we are not ripe for socialism, that it is too early to “introduce” socialism, that our revolution is a bourgeois revolution and therefore we must be the menials of the bourgeoisie (although the great bourgeois revolutionaries in France 125 years ago made their revolution a great revolution by exercising terror against all oppressors, landowners and capitalists alike!). The pseudo-Marxist lackeys of the bourgeoisie, who have been joined by the Socialist-Revolutionaries and who argue in this way, do not understand (as an examination of the theoretical basis of their opinion shows) what imperialism is, what capitalist monopoly is, what the state is, and what revolutionary democracy is. For anyone who understands this is bound to admit that there can be no advance except towards socialism. Everybody talks about imperialism. But imperialism is merely monopoly capitalism. That capitalism in Russia has also become monopoly capitalism is sufficiently attested by the examples of the Produgol, the Prodamet, the Sugar Syndicate, etc. This Sugar Syndicate is an object-lesson in the way monopoly capitalism develops into state-monopoly capitalism. And what is the state? It is an organisation of the ruling class—in Germany, for instance, of the Junkers and capitalists. And therefore what the German Plekhanovs (Scheidemann, Lensch, and others) call “war-time socialism” is in fact war-time state-monopoly capitalism, or, to put it more simply and clearly, war-time penal servitude for the workers and war-time protection for capitalist profits. Now try to substitute for the Junker-capitalist state, for the landowner-capitalist state, a revolutionary-democratic state, i.e., a state which in a revolutionary way abolishes all privileges and does not fear to introduce the fullest democracy in a revolutionary way. You will find that, given a really revolutionary-democratic state, state- 362 V. I. L E N I N monopoly capitalism inevitably and unavoidably implies a step, and more than one step, towards socialism! For if a huge capitalist undertaking becomes a monopoly, it means that it serves the whole nation. If it has become a state monopoly, it means that the state (i.e., the armed organisation of the population, the workers and peasants above all, provided there is revolutionary democracy) directs the whole undertaking. In whose interest? Either in the interest of the landowners and capitalists, in which case we have not a revolutionary-democratic, but a reactionary-bureaucratic state, an imperialist republic. Or in the interest of revolutionary democracy—and then it is a step towards socialism. For socialism is merely the next step forward from statecapitalist monopoly. Or, in other words, socialism is merely state-capitalist monopoly which is made to serve the interests of the whole people and has to that extent ceased to be capitalist monopoly. There is no middle course here. The objective process of development is such that it is impossible to advance from monopolies (and the war has magnified their number, role and importance tenfold) without advancing towards socialism. Either we have to be revolutionary democrats in fact, in which case we must not fear to take steps towards socialism. Or we fear to take steps towards socialism, condemn them in the Plekhanov, Dan or Chernov way, by arguing that our revolution is a bourgeois revolution, that socialism cannot be “introduced”, etc., in which case we inevitably sink to the level of Kerensky, Milyukov and Kornilov, i.e., we in a reactionary-bureaucratic way suppress the “revolutionarydemocratic” aspirations of the workers and peasants. There is no middle course. And therein lies the fundamental contradiction of our revolution. It is impossible to stand still in history in general, and in war-time in particular. We must either advance or retreat. It is impossible in twentieth-century Russia, which has won a republic and democracy in a revolutionary way, to go forward without advancing towards socialism, without taking steps towards it (steps conditioned and determined THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 363 by the level of technology and culture: large-scale machine production cannot be “introduced” in peasant agriculture nor abolished in the sugar industry). But to fear to advance means retreating—which the Kerenskys, to the delight of the Milyukovs and Plekhanovs, and with the foolish assistance of the Tseretelis and Chernovs, are actually doing. The dialectics of history is such that the war, by extraordinarily expediting the transformation of monopoly capitalism into state-monopoly capitalism, has thereby extraordinarily advanced mankind towards socialism. Imperialist war is the eve of socialist revolution. And this not only because the horrors of the war give rise to proletarian revolt—no revolt can bring about socialism unless the economic conditions for socialism are ripe— but because state-monopoly capitalism is a complete material preparation for socialism, the threshold of socialism, a rung on the ladder of history between which and the rung called socialism there are no intermediate rungs. * * * Our Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks approach the question of socialism in a doctrinaire way, from the standpoint of a doctrine learnt by heart but poorly understood. They picture socialism as some remote, unknown and dim future. But socialism is now gazing at us from all the windows of modern capitalism; socialism is outlined directly, practically, by every important measure that constitutes a forward step on the basis of this modern capitalism. What is universal labour conscription? It is a step forward on the basis of modern monopoly capitalism, a step towards the regulation of economic life as a whole, in accordance with a certain general plan, a step towards the economy of national labour and towards the prevention of its senseless wastage by capitalism. In Germany it is the Junkers (landowners) and capitalists who are introducing universal labour conscription, and therefore it inevitably becomes war-time penal servitude for the workers. 364 V. I. L E N I N But take the same institution and think over its significance in a revolutionary-democratic state. Universal labour conscription, introduced, regulated and directed by the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies, will still not be socialism, but it will no longer be capitalism. It will be a tremendous step towards socialism, a step from which, if complete democracy is preserved, there can no longer be any retreat back to capitalism, without unparalleled violence being committed against the masses. THE STRUGGLE AGAINST ECONOMIC CHAOS—AND THE WAR A consideration of the measures to avert the impending catastrophe brings us to another supremely important question, namely, the connection between home and foreign policy, or, in other words, the relation between a war of conquest, an imperialist war, and a revolutionary, proletarian war, between a criminal predatory war and a just democratic war. All the measures to avert catastrophe we have described would, as we have already stated, greatly enhance the defence potential, or, in other words, the military might of the country. That, on the one hand. On the other hand, these measures cannot be put into effect without turning the war of conquest into a just war, turning the war waged by the capitalists in the interests of the capitalists into a war waged by the proletariat in the interests of all the working and exploited people. And, indeed, nationalisation of the banks and syndicates, taken in conjunction with the abolition of commercial secrecy and the establishment of workers’ control over the capitalists, would not only imply a tremendous saving of national labour, the possibility of economising forces and means, but would also imply an improvement in the conditions of the working masses, of the majority of the population. As everybody knows, economic organisation is of decisive importance in modern warfare. Russia has enough grain, coal, oil and iron; in this respect, we are in a better position than any of the belligerent European countries. And given a struggle against economic chaos THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 365 by the measures indicated above, enlisting popular initiative in this struggle, improving the people’s conditions, and nationalising the banks and syndicates, Russia could use her revolution and her democracy to raise the whole country to an incomparably higher level of economic organisation. If instead of the “coalition” with the bourgeoisie, which is hampering every measure of control and sabotaging production, the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks had in April effected the transfer of power to the Soviets and had directed their efforts not to playing at “ministerial leapfrog”, not to bureaucratically occupying, side by side with the Cadets, ministerial, deputy-ministerial and similar posts, but to guiding the workers and peasants in their control over the capitalists, in their war against the capitalists, Russia would now be a country completely transformed economically, with the land in the hands of the peasants, and with the banks nationalised, i.e., would to that extent (and these are extremely important economic bases of modern life) be superior to all other capitalist countries. The defence potential, the military might, of a country whose banks have been nationalised is superior to that of a country whose banks remain in private hands. The military might of a peasant country whose land is in the hands of peasant committees is superior to that of a country whose land is in the hands of landowners. Reference is constantly being made to the heroic patriotism and the miracles of military valour performed by the French in 1792-93. But the material, historical economic conditions which alone made such miracles possible are forgotten. The suppression of obsolete feudalism in a really revolutionary way, and the introduction throughout the country of a superior mode of production and free peasant land tenure, effected, moreover, with truly revolutionarydemocratic speed, determination, energy and devotion— such were the material, economic conditions which with “miraculous” speed saved France by regenerating and renovating her economic foundation. The example of France shows one thing, and one thing only, namely, that to render Russia capable of self-defence, to obtain in Russia, too, “miracles” of mass heroism, FROM MARX TO MAO  NOT FOR COMMERCIAL DISTRIBUTION 366 V. I. L E N I N all that is obsolete must be swept away with “Jacobin” ruthlessness and Russia renovated and regenerated economically. And in the twentieth century this cannot be done merely by sweeping tsarism away (France did not confine herself to this 125 years ago). It cannot be done even by the mere revolutionary abolition of the landed estates (we have not even done that, for the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks have betrayed the peasants), by the mere transfer of the land to the peasants. For we are living in the twentieth century, and mastery over the land without mastery over the banks cannot regenerate and renovate the life of the people. The material, industrial renovation of France at the end of the eighteenth century was associated with a political and spiritual renovation, with the dictatorship of revolutionary democrats and the revolutionary proletariat (from which the democrats had not dissociated themselves and with which they were still almost fused), and with a ruthless war declared on everything reactionary. The whole people, and especially the masses, i.e., the oppressed classes, were swept up by boundless revolutionary enthusiasm; everybody considered the war a just war of defence, as it actually was. Revolutionary France was defending herself against reactionary monarchist Europe. It was not in 1792-93, but many years later, after the victory of reaction within the country, that the counter-revolutionary dictatorship of Napoleon turned France’s wars from defensive wars into wars of conquest. And what about Russia? We continue to wage an imperialist war in the interests of the capitalists, in alliance with the imperialists and in accordance with the secret treaties the tsar concluded with the capitalists of Britain and other countries, promising the Russian capitalists in these treaties the spoliation of foreign lands, of Constantinople, Lvov, Armenia, etc. The war will remain an unjust, reactionary and predatory war on Russia’s part as long as she does not propose a just peace and does not break with imperialism. The social character of the war, its true meaning, is not determined by the position of the enemy troops (as the SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks think, stooping to the vul- THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 367 garity of an ignorant yokel). What determines this character is the policy of which the war is a continuation (“war is the continuation of politics”), the class that is waging the war, and the aims for which it is waging this war. You cannot lead the people into a predatory war in accordance with secret treaties and expect them to be enthusiastic. The foremost class in revolutionary Russia, the proletariat, is becoming increasingly aware of the criminal character of the war, and not only have the bourgeoisie been unable to shatter this popular conviction, but, on the contrary, awareness of the criminal character of the war is growing. The proletariat of both metropolitan cities of Russia has definitely become internationalist! How, then, can you expect mass enthusiasm for the war! One is inseparable from the other—home policy is inseparable from foreign policy. The country cannot be made capable of self-defence without the supreme heroism of the people in boldly and resolutely carrying out great economic transformations. And it is impossible to arouse popular heroism without breaking with imperialism, without proposing a democratic peace to all nations, and without thus turning the war from a criminal war of conquest and plunder into a just, revolutionary war of defence. Only a thorough and consistent break with the capitalists in both home and foreign policy can save our revolution and our country, which is gripped in the iron vice of imperialism. THE REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRATS AND THE REVOLUTIONARY PROLETARIAT To be really revolutionary, the democrats of Russia today must march in very close alliance with the proletariat, supporting it in its struggle as the only thoroughly revolutionary class. Such is the conclusion prompted by an analysis of the means of combating an impending catastrophe of unparalleled dimensions. The war has created such an immense crisis, has so strained the material and moral forces of the people, has dealt such blows at the entire modern social organisation that humanity must now choose between perishing or entrusting 368 V. I. L E N I N its fate to the most revolutionary class for the swiftest and most radical transition to a superior mode of production. Owing to a number of historical causes—the greater backwardness of Russia, the unusual hardships brought upon her by the war, the utter rottenness of tsarism and the extreme tenacity of the traditions of 1905—the revolution broke out in Russia earlier than in other countries. The revolution has resulted in Russia catching up with the advanced countries in a few months, as far as her political system is concerned. But that is not enough. The war is inexorable; it puts the alternative with ruthless severity: either perish or overtake and outstrip the advanced countries economically as well. That is possible, for we have before us the experience of a large number of advanced countries, the fruits of their technology and culture. We are receiving moral support from the war protest that is growing in Europe, from the atmosphere of the mounting world-wide workers’ revolution. We are being inspired and encouraged by a revolutionarydemocratic freedom which is extremely rare in time of imperialist war. Perish or forge full steam ahead. That is the alternative put by history. And the attitude of the proletariat to the peasants in such a situation confirms the old Bolshevik concept, correspondingly modifying it, that the peasants must be wrested from the influence of the bourgeoisie. That is the sole guarantee of salvation for the revolution. And the peasants are the most numerous section of the entire petty-bourgeois mass. Our Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks have assumed the reactionary function of keeping the peasants under the influence of the bourgeoisie and leading them to a coalition with the bourgeoisie, and not with the proletariat. The masses are learning rapidly from the experience of the revolution. And the reactionary policy of the SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks is meeting with failure: they have been beaten in the Soviets of both Petrograd and Moscow. 120 A “Left” opposition is growing in both petty- THE IMPENDING CATASTROPHE AND HOW TO COMBAT IT 369 bourgeois-democratic parties. On September 10, 1917, a city conference of the Socialist-Revolutionaries held in Petrograd gave a two-thirds majority to the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, who incline towards an alliance with the proletariat and reject an alliance (coalition) with the bourgeoisie. The Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks repeat a favourite bourgeois comparison—bourgeoisie and democracy. But, in essence, such a comparison is as meaningless as comparing pounds with yards. There is such a thing as a democratic bourgeoisie, and there is such a thing as bourgeois democracy; one would have to be completely ignorant of both history and political economy to deny this. The Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks needed a false comparison to conceal the indisputable fact that between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat stand the petty bourgeoisie. By virtue of their economic class status, the latter inevitably vacillate between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks are trying to draw the petty bourgeoisie into an alliance with the bourgeoisie. That is the whole meaning of their “coalition”, of the coalition cabinet, and of the whole policy of Kerensky, a typical semi-Cadet. In the six months of the revolution this policy has suffered a complete fiasco. The Cadets are full of malicious glee. The revolution, they say, has suffered a fiasco; the revolution has been unable to cope either with the war or with economic dislocation. That is not true. It is the Cadets, and the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks who have suffered a fiasco, for this alliance has ruled Russia for six months, only to increase economic dislocation and confuse and aggravate the military situation. The more complete the fiasco of the alliance of the bourgeoisie and the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, the sooner the people will learn their lesson and the more easily they will find the correct way out, namely, the alliance of the peasant poor, i.e., the majority of the peasants, and the proletariat. September 10-1 4 , 1917 370 ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS OF THE REVOLUTION The key question of every revolution is undoubtedly the question of state power. Which class holds power decides everything. When Dyelo Naroda, the paper of the chief governing party in Russia, recently complained (No. 147) that, owing to the controversies over power, both the question of the Constituent Assembly and that of bread are being forgotten, the Socialist-Revolutionaries should have been answered, “Blame yourselves. For it is the wavering and indecision of your party that are mostly to blame for ‘ministerial leapfrog’, the interminable postponements of the Constituent Assembly, and the undermining by the capitalists of the planned and agreed measures of a grain monopoly and of providing the country with bread.” The question of power cannot be evaded or brushed aside, because it is the key question determining everything in a revolution’s development, and in its foreign and domestic policies. It is an undisputed fact that our revolution has “wasted” six months in wavering over the system of power; it is a fact resulting from the wavering policy of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks. In the long run, these parties’ wavering policy was determined by the class position of the petty bourgeoisie, by their economic instability in the struggle between capital and labour. The whole issue at present is whether the petty-bourgeois democrats have learned anything during these great, exceptionally eventful six months. If not, then the revolution is lost, and only a victorious uprising of the proletariat can save it. If they have learned something, the establishment of a stable, unwavering power must be begun immediately. ONE OF FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS OF REVOLUTION 371 Only if power is based, obviously and unconditionally, on a majority of the population can it be stable during a popular revolution, i.e., a revolution which rouses the people, the majority of the workers and peasants, to action. Up to now state power in Russia has virtually remained in the hands of the bourgeoisie, who are compelled to make only particular concessions (only to begin withdrawing them the following day), to hand out promises (only to fail to carry them out), to search for all sorts of excuses to cover their domination (only to fool the people by a show of “honest coalition”), etc., etc. In words it claims to be a popular, democratic, revolutionary government, but in deeds it is an anti-popular, undemocratic, counter-revolutionary, bourgeois government. This is the contradiction which has existed so far and which has been a source of the complete instability and inconsistency of power, of that “ministerial leapfrog” in which the S.R.s and Mensheviks have been engaged with such unfortunate (for the people) enthusiasm. In early June 1917 I told the All-Russia Congress of Soviets * that either the Soviets would be dispersed and die an inglorious death, or all power must be transferred to them. The events of July and August very convincingly bore out these words. No matter what lies the lackeys of the bourgeoisie—Potresov, Plekhanov and others, who designate as “broadening the base” of power its virtual transfer to a tiny minority of the people, to the bourgeoisie, the exploiters—may resort to, only the power of the Soviets can be stable, obviously based on a majority of the people. Only Soviet power could be stable and not be overthrown even in the stormiest moments of the stormiest revolution. Only this power could assure a continuous and broad development of the revolution, a peaceful struggle of parties within the Soviets. Until this power is created, there will inevitably be indecision, instability, vacillation, endless “crises of power”, a constant farce of ministerial leapfrog, outbreaks on the Right and on the Left. The slogan, “Power to the Soviets”, however, is very often, if not in most cases, taken quite incorrectly to mean * See pp. 17-19 of this volume.—Ed. 372 V. I. L E N I N a “Cabinet of the parties of the Soviet majority”. We would like to go into more detail on this very false notion. A “Cabinet of the parties of the Soviet majority” means a change of individual ministers, with the entire old government apparatus left intact—a thoroughly bureaucratic and thoroughly undemocratic apparatus incapable of carrying-out serious reforms, such as are contained even in the S.R. and Menshevik programmes. “Power to the Soviets” means radically reshaping the entire old state apparatus, that bureaucratic apparatus which hampers everything democratic. It means removing this apparatus and substituting for it a new, popular one, i.e., a truly democratic apparatus of Soviets, i.e., the organised and armed majority of the people—the workers, soldiers and peasants. It means allowing the majority of the people initiative and independence not only in the election of deputies, but also in state administration, in effecting reforms and various other changes. To make this difference clearer and more comprehensible, it is worth recalling a valuable admission made some time ago by the paper of the governing party of the S.R.s, Dyelo Naroda. It wrote that even in those ministries which were in the hands of socialist Ministers (this was written during the notorious coalition with the Cadets, when some Mensheviks and S.R.s were ministers), the entire administrative apparatus had remained unchanged, and hampered work. This is quite understandable. The entire history of the bourgeois-parliamentary, and also, to a considerable extent, of the bourgeois-constitutional, countries shows that a change of ministers means very little, for the real work of administration is in the hands of an enormous army of officials. This army, however, is undemocratic through and through, it is connected by thousands and millions of threads with the landowners and the bourgeoisie and is completely dependent on them. This army is surrounded by an atmosphere of bourgeois relations, and breathes nothing but this atmosphere. It is set in its ways, petrified, stagnant, and is powerless to break free of this atmosphere. It can only think, feel, or act in the old way. This army is bound by servility to rank, by certain privileges of “Civil” ONE OF FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS OF REVOLUTION 373 Service; the upper ranks of this army are, through the medium of shares and banks, entirely enslaved by finance capital, being to a certain extent its agent and a vehicle of its interests and influence. It is the greatest delusion, the greatest self-deception, and a deception of the people, to attempt, by means of this state apparatus, to carry out such reforms as the abolition of landed estates without compensation, or the grain monopoly, etc. This apparatus can serve a republican bourgeoisie, creating a republic in the shape of a “monarchy without a monarch”, like the French Third Republic, but it is absolutely incapable of carrying out reforms which would even seriously curtail or limit the rights of capital, the rights of “sacred private property”, much less abolish those rights. That is why it always happens, under all sorts of “coalition” Cabinets that include “socialists”, that these socialists, even when individuals among them are perfectly honest, in reality turn out to be either a useless ornament of or a screen for the bourgeois government, a sort of lightning conductor to divert the people’s indignation from the government, a tool for the government to deceive the people. This was the case with Louis Blanc in 1848, and dozens of times in Britain and France, when socialists participated in Cabinets. This is also the case with the Chernovs and Tseretelis in 1917. So it has been and so it will be as long as the bourgeois system exists and as long as the old bourgeois, bureaucratic state apparatus remains intact. The Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies are particularly valuable because they represent a new type of state apparatus, which is immeasurably higher, incomparably more democratic. The S.R.s and Mensheviks have done everything, the possible and the impossible, to turn the Soviets (particularly the Petrograd Soviet and the AllRussia Soviet, i.e., the Central Executive Committee) into useless talking shops which, under the guise of “control”, merely adopted useless resolutions and suggestions which the government shelved with the most polite and kindly smile. The “fresh breeze” of the Kornilov affair, however, which promised a real storm, was enough for all that was musty in the Soviet to blow away for a while, and for the initiative of the revolutionary people to begin 374 V. I. L E N I N expressing itself as something majestic, powerful and invincible. Let all sceptics learn from this example from history. Let those who say: “We have no apparatus to replace the old one, which inevitably gravitates towards the defence of the bourgeoisie,” be ashamed of themselves. For this apparatus exists. It is the Soviets. Don’t be afraid of the people’s initiative and independence. Put your faith in their revolutionary organisations, and you will see in all realms of state affairs the same strength, majesty and invincibility of the workers and peasants as were displayed in their unity and their fury against Kornilov. Lack of faith in the people, fear of their initiative and independence, trepidation before their revolutionary energy instead of all-round and unqualified support for it—this is where the S.R. and Menshevik leaders have sinned most of all. This is where we find one of the deepest roots of their indecision, their vacillation, their infinite and infinitely fruitless attempts to pour new wine into the old bottles of the old, bureaucratic state apparatus. Take the history of the democratisation of the army in the 1917 Russian revolution, the history of the Chernov Ministry, of Palchinsky’s “reign”, and of Peshekhonov’s resignation—you will find what we have said above strikingly borne out at every step. Because there was no full confidence in the elected soldiers’ organisations and no absolute observance of the principle of soldiers electing their commanding officers, the Kornilovs, Kaledins and counter-revolutionary officers came to be at the head of the army. This is a fact. Without deliberately closing one’s eyes, one cannot fail to see that after the Kornilov affair Kerensky’s government is leaving everything as before, that in fact it is bringing back the Kornilov affair. The appointment of Alexeyev, the “peace” with the Klembovskys, Gagarins, Bagrations and other Kornilov men, and leniency in the treatment of Kornilov and Kaledin all very clearly prove that Kerensky is in fact bringing back the Kornilov affair. There is no middle course. This has been shown by experience. Either all power goes to the Soviets and the army is made fully democratic, or another Kornilov affair occurs. ONE OF FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS OF REVOLUTION 375 And what about the history of the Chernov Ministry? Didn’t it prove that every more or less serious step towards actually satisfying the peasants’ needs, every step showing confidence in the peasants and in their mass organisations and actions, evoked very great enthusiasm among them? Chernov, however, had to spend almost four months “haggling” with the Cadets and bureaucrats, who by endless delays and intrigues finally forced him to resign without having accomplished anything. For and during these four months the landowners and capitalists “won the game”— they saved the landed estates, delayed the convocation of the Constituent Assembly, and even started a number of repressions against the land committees. There is no middle course. This has been shown by experience. Either all power goes to the Soviets both centrally and locally, and all land is given to the peasants immediately, pending the Constituent Assembly’s decision, or the landowners and capitalists obstruct every step, restore the landowners’ power, drive the peasants into a rage and carry things to an exceedingly violent peasant revolt. The same thing happened when the capitalists (with the aid of Palchinsky) crushed every more or less serious attempt to supervise production, when the merchants thwarted the grain monopoly and broke up the regulated democratic distribution of grain and other foodstuffs just begun by Peshekhonov. What is now necessary in Russia is not to invent “new reforms”, not to make “plans” for “comprehensive” changes. Nothing of the kind. This is how the situation is depicted— deliberately depicted in a false light—by the capitalists, the Potresovs, the Plekhanovs, who shout against “introducing socialism” and against the “dictatorship of the proletariat”. The situation in Russia in fact is such that the unprecedented burdens and hardships of the war, the unparalleled and very real danger of economic dislocation and famine have of themselves suggested the way out, have of themselves not only pointed out, but advanced reforms and other changes as absolutely necessary. These changes must be the grain monopoly, control over production and distribution, restriction of the issue of paper money, a fair exchange of grain for manufactured goods, etc. 376 V. I. L E N I N Everyone recognises measures of this kind and in this direction as inevitable, and in many places they have already been launched from the most diverse sides. They have already been launched, but they have been and are being obstructed everywhere by the resistance of the landowners and the capitalists, which is being put up through the Kerensky government (an utterly bourgeois and Bonapartist government in reality), through the old bureaucratic state apparatus, and through the direct and indirect pressure of Russian and “Allied” finance capital. Not so long ago I. Prilezhayev, lamenting the resignation of Peshekhonov and the collapse of the fixed prices and the grain monopoly, wrote in Dyelo Naroda (No. 147): “Courage and resolve are what our governments of all compositions have lacked. . . . The revolutionary democrats must not wait; they must themselves show initiative, and intervene in the economic chaos in a planned way. . . . If anywhere, it is here that a firm course and a determined government are necessary.” That goes without saying. Words of gold. The only trouble is that the author forgot that the question of the firm course to take, of courage and resolve, is not a personal matter, but a question of which class is capable of manifesting courage and resolve. The only class capable of this is the proletariat. A courageous and resolute government steering a firm course is nothing but the dictatorship of the proletariat and the poor peasants. I. Prilezhayev unwittingly longs for this dictatorship. What would such a dictatorship mean in practice? It would mean nothing but the fact that the resistance of the Kornilov men would be broken and the democratisation of the army restored and completed. Two days after its creation ninety-nine per cent of the army would be enthusiastic supporters of this dictatorship. This dictatorship would give land to the peasants and full power to the local peasant committees. How can anyone in his right senses doubt that the peasants would support this dictatorship? What Peshekhonov only promised (“the resistance of the capitalists has been broken” was what Peshekhonov actually said in his famous speech before the Congress of Soviets), this dictatorship would put into effect, would translate into reality. At the same time the democratic organisations of ONE OF FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS OF REVOLUTION 377 food supply, control, etc., that have already begun to form would in no way be eliminated. They would, on the contrary, be supported and developed, and all obstacles in the way of their work would be removed. Only the dictatorship of the proletariat and the poor peasants is capable of smashing the resistance of the capitalists, of displaying truly supreme courage and determination in the exercise of power, and of securing the enthusiastic, selfless and truly heroic support of the masses both in the army and among the peasants. Power to the Soviets—this is the only way to make further progress gradual, peaceful and smooth, keeping perfect pace with the political awareness and resolve of the majority of the people and with their own experience. Power to the Soviets means the complete transfer of the country’s administration and economic control into the hands of the workers and peasants, to whom nobody would dare offer resistance and who, through practice, through their own experience, would soon learn how to distribute the land, products and grain properly. Rabochy Put No. 1 0 , September 2 7 (1 4 ), 1 9 1 7 Signed: N. Lenin Published according to the text in Rabochy Put 378 HOW TO GUARANTEE THE SUCCESS OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY ON FREEDOM OF THE PRESS In early April, setting out the Bolsheviks’ attitude to the question of whether the Constituent Assembly should be convened, I wrote: “Yes, and as soon as possible. But there is only one way to assure its convocation and success, and that is by increasing the number and strength of the Soviets and organising and arming the working-class masses. This is the only guarantee” (Political Parties in Russia and the Tasks of the Proletariat, Cheap Library of Zhizn i Znaniye, Book III, pp. 9 and 29). * Five months have passed since then and these words have been proved correct by several delays in and postponements of the convocation through the fault of the Cadets. And they have been well borne out by the Kornilov affair. Now, in connection with the calling of the Democratic Conference on September 12, I should like to dwell on another aspect of the matter. Both the Menshevik Rabochaya Gazeta and Dyelo Naroda have deplored the fact that very little is being done for campaigning among the peasants to enlighten this real mass of the Russian people, their real majority. Everyone realises and admits that the success of the Constituent Assembly depends on the enlightenment of the peasants, but ridiculously little is being done about it. The peasants are being deceived, fooled and intimidated by the utterly deceitful * See present edition, Vol. 24, p. 99.—Ed. HOW TO GUARANTEE SUCCESS OF CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY 379 and counter-revolutionary bourgeois and “yellow” press, in comparison with which the press of the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries (not to speak of the Bolsheviks) is very, very weak. Why is that so? Because the ruling S.R. and Menshevik parties are weak, hesitant and inactive, because, disagreeing that all power should be taken over by the Soviets, they leave the peasants in ignorance and solitude, a prey to the capitalists, to their press and their propaganda. While boastfully calling our revolution great and shouting to the right and left high-sounding, bombastic phrases about “revolutionary democracy”, the Mensheviks and S.R.s in effect leave Russia in the conditions of a most ordinary, most petty-bourgeois revolution which, having overthrown the tsar, leaves everything else unchanged and does nothing, absolutely nothing, effective to enlighten the peasants politically and to end the peasants’ ignorance, that last (and strongest) bulwark, the bulwark of the exploiters and oppressors of the people. This is the time to recall that. It is now, with the Democratic Conference before us, two months ahead of the “appointed” convocation of the Constituent Assembly (to be further postponed), that we must show how easily matters could be put right, how much could be done for the political education of the peasants, if only—if only our “revolutionary democrats” in inverted commas were really revolutionary, i.e., capable of acting in a revolutionary way, and really democratic, i.e., reckoning with the will and interests of the majority of the people, and not of the capitalist minority, which continues to hold power (the Kerensky government) and with which, either directly or indirectly, in a new or old form, the S.R.s and Mensheviks are still eager to compromise. The capitalists (followed, either from stupidity or from inertia, by many S.R.s and Mensheviks) call “freedom of the press” a situation in which censorship has been abolished and all parties freely publish all kinds of papers. In reality it is not freedom of the press, but freedom for the rich, for the bourgeoisie, to deceive the oppressed and exploited mass of the people. 380 V. I. L E N I N Indeed, take, say, the Petrograd and Moscow newspapers. You will see at once that it is the bourgeois papers—Rech, Birzhevka, Novoye Vremya, Russkoye Slovo 121 , and so on, and so forth (for there are a great many papers of this sort)— that have by far the largest circulation. What makes for this prevalence? Not at all the will of the majority, for the elections have shown that in both capitals the majority (a gigantic majority, too) favours the democrats, i.e., the S.R.s, Mensheviks and Bolsheviks. These three parties command from three-quarters to four-fifths of the votes, while the circulation of the newspapers they publish is certainly less than a quarter, or even less than one-fifth, that of the whole bourgeois press (which, as we know and see now, supported the Kornilov affair directly and indirectly). Why is that so? Everyone knows very well why. Because the publication of a newspaper is a big and profitable capitalist undertaking in which the rich invest millions upon millions of rubles. “Freedom of the press” in bourgeois society means freedom for the rich systematically, unremittingly, daily, in millions of copies, to deceive, corrupt and fool the exploited and oppressed mass of the people, the poor. This is the simple, generally known, obvious truth which everyone sees and realises but which “almost everyone” “bashfully” passes over in silence, timidly evades. The question is whether and how this crying evil can be fought. First of all, there is a very simple, good and lawful means which I pointed out in Pravda long ago, which it is particularly opportune to recall now, before September 12, and which workers should always bear in mind, for they will hardly be able to do without it when they have won political power. * That means is a state monopoly on private press advertising. Look at Russkoye Slovo, Novoye Vremya, Birzhevka, Rech, etc.—you will see a multitude of private advertisements, which yield a tremendous income, in fact the prin- * See pp. 97-98 of this volume.—Ed. HOW TO GUARANTEE SUCCESS OF CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY 381 cipal income, to their capitalist publishers. This is how bourgeois papers hold sway, how they get rich, and how they deal in poison for the people all over the world. In Europe there are newspapers which have a circulation as large as one-third the number of inhabitants of the town (for instance, 12,000 copies in a town with a population of 40,000) and are delivered free to every home, and yet yield their owners a sizable income. These papers live by advertisements paid by private people, while the free delivery of the paper to every home ensures the best circulation of the advertisements. Then why cannot democrats who call themselves revolutionary carry out a measure like declaring private press advertising a state monopoly, or banning advertisements anywhere outside the newspapers published by the Soviets in the provincial towns and cities and by the central Soviet in Petrograd for the whole of Russia? Why must “revolutionary” democrats tolerate such a thing as the enrichment, through private advertising, of rich men, Kornilov backers, and spreaders of lies and slander against the Soviets? Such a measure would be absolutely just. It would greatly benefit both those who published private advertisements and the whole people, particularly the most oppressed and ignorant class, the peasants, who would be able to have Soviet papers, with supplements for the peasants, at a very low price or even free of charge. Why not do that? Only because private property and hereditary rights (to profits from advertising) are sacred to the capitalist gentlemen. But how can anyone calling himself a revolutionary democrat in the twentieth century, in the second Russian revolution, recognise such rights as “sacred”?! Some may say it would mean infringing freedom of the press. That is not true. It would mean extending and restoring freedom of the press, for freedom of the press means that all opinions of all citizens may be freely published. What do we have now? Now, the rich alone have this monopoly, and also the big parties. Yet if large Soviet newspapers were to be published, with all advertisements, 382 V. I. L E N I N it would be perfectly feasible to guarantee the expression of their opinion to a much greater number of citizens—say, to every group having collected a certain number of signatures. Freedom of the press would in practice become much more democratic, would become incomparably more complete as a result. But some may ask: where would we get printing presses and newsprint? There we have it!!! The issue is not “freedom of the press” but the exploiters’ sacrosanct ownership of the printing presses and stocks of newsprint they have seized! Just why should we workers and peasants recognise that sacred right? How is that “right” to publish false information better than the “right” to own serfs? Why is it that in war-time all sorts of requisitioning—of houses, flats, vehicles, horses, grain and metals—are allowed and practised everywhere, while the requisitioning of printing presses and newsprint is impermissible? The workers and peasants may in fact be deceived for a while if such measures are made out to be unjust or hard to realise, but the truth will win through in the end. State power in the shape of the Soviets takes all the printing presses and all the newsprint and distributes them equitably: the state should come first—in the interests of the majority of the people, the majority of the poor, particularly the majority of the peasants, who for centuries have been tormented, crushed and stultified by the landowners and capitalists. The big parties should come second—say, those that have polled one or two hundred thousand votes in both capitals. The smaller parties should come third, and then any group of citizens which has a certain number of members or has collected a certain number of signatures. This is the distribution of newsprint and printing presses that would be just and, with the Soviets in power, could be effected easily enough. Then, two months before the Constituent Assembly, we could really help the peasants by ensuring the delivery to every village of half a dozen pamphlets (or newspaper issues, or special supplements) in millions of copies from every big party. HOW TO GUARANTEE SUCCESS OF CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY 383 That would truly be a “revolutionary-democratic” preparation for the elections to the Constituent Assembly; it would be aid to the countryside on the part of the advanced workers and soldiers. It would be state aid to the people’s enlightenment, and not to their stultification and deception; it would be real freedom of the press for all, and not for the rich. It would be a break with that accursed, slavish past which compels us to suffer the usurpation by the rich of the great cause of informing and teaching the peasants. Rabochy Put No. 1 1 , September 2 8 (1 5 ), 1 9 1 7 Signed: N. Lenin Published according to the text in Rabochy Put THE STATE AND REVOLUTION THE MARXIST THEORY OF THE STATE AND THE TASKS OF THE PROLETARIAT IN THE REVOLUTION 122 Written in August-September 1 9 1 7 Published as a pamphlet in 1 9 1 8 by Zhizn i Znaniye Publishers Printed according to the pamphlet text published by Kommunist Publishers in 1 9 1 9 and verified with the manuscript and the 1 9 1 8 edition NOITULOVER DNA ETATS EHT ETATS EHT FO YROEHT TSIXRAM EHT TAIRATELORP EHT FO SKSAT EHT DNA 221 N O I T U L O V E R E H T N I ot gnidrocca detnirP txet telhpmap eht tsinummoK yb dehsilbup 9 1 9 1 ni srehsilbuP tpircsunam eht htiw deifirev dna noitide 8 1 9 1 eht dna 7 1 9 1 rebmetpeS-tsuguA ni nettirW 8 1 9 1 ni telhpmap a sa dehsilbuP srehsilbuP eyinanZ i nzihZ yb First page of the manuscript The State and Revolution August-September 1917 Reduced noituloveR dna etatS ehT tpircsunam eht fo egap tsriF 7191 rebmetpeS-tsuguA decudeR 387 PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION The question of the state is now acquiring particular importance both in theory and in practical politics. The imperialist war has immensely accelerated and intensified the process of transformation of monopoly capitalism into state-monopoly capitalism. The monstrous oppression of the working people by the state, which is merging more and more with the all-powerful capitalist associations, is becoming increasingly monstrous. The advanced countries— we mean their hinterland—are becoming military convict prisons for the workers. The unprecedented horrors and miseries of the protracted was are making the people’s position unbearable and increasing their anger. The world proletarian revolution is clearly maturing. The question of its relation to the state is acquiring practical importance. The elements of opportunism that accumulated over the decades of comparatively peaceful development have given rise to the trend of social-chauvinism which dominates the official socialist parties throughout the world. This trend—socialism in words and chauvinism in deeds (Plekhanov, Potresov, Breshkovskaya, Rubanovich, and, in a slightly veiled form, Tsereteli, Chernov and Co. in Russia; Scheidemann, Legien, David and others in Germany; Renaudel, Guesde and Vandervelde in France and Belgium; Hyndman and the Fabians 123 in England, etc., etc.)—is conspicuous for the base, servile adaptation of the “leaders of socialism” to the interests not only of “their” national 388 V. I. L E N I N bourgeoisie, but of “their” state, for the majority of the socalled Great Powers have long been exploiting and enslaving a whole number of small and weak nations. And the imperialist war is a war for the division and redivision of this kind of booty. The struggle to free the working people from the influence of the bourgeoisie in general, and of the imperialist bourgeoisie in particular, is impossible without a struggle against opportunist prejudices concerning the “state”. First of all we examine the theory of Marx and Engels of the state, and dwell in particular detail on those aspects of this theory which are ignored or have been distorted by the opportunists. Then we deal specially with the one who is chiefly responsible for these distortions, Karl Kautsky, the best-known leader of the Second International (1889-1914), which has met with such miserable bankruptcy in the present war. Lastly, we sum up the main results of the experience of the Russian revolutions of 1905 and particularly of 1917. Apparently, the latter is now (early August 1917) completing the first stage of its development; but this revolution as a whole can only be understood as a link in a chain of socialist proletarian revolutions being caused by the imperialist war. The question of the relation of the socialist proletarian revolution to the state, therefore, is acquiring not only practical political importance, but also the significance of a most urgent problem of the day, the problem of explaining to the masses what they will have to do before long to free themselves from capitalist tyranny. The Author August 1917 389 THE STATE AND REVOLUTION PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION The present, second edition is published virtually unaltered, except that section 3 had been added to Chapter II. The Author Moscow December 17, 1918 390 V. I. L E N I N C H A P T E R I CLASS SOCIETY AND THE STATE 1. THE STATE—A PRODUCT OF THE IRRECONCILABILITY OF CLASS ANTAGONISMS What is now happening to Marx’s theory has, in the course of history, happened repeatedly to the theories of revolutionary thinkers and leaders of oppressed classes fighting for emancipation. During the lifetime of great revolutionaries, the oppressing classes constantly hounded them, received their theories with the most savage malice, the most furious hatred and the most unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander. After their death, attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonise them, so to say, and to hallow their names to a certain extent for the “consolation” of the oppressed classes and with the object of duping the latter, while at the same time robbing the revolutionary theory of its substance, blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarising it. Today, the bourgeoisie and the opportunists within the labour movement concur in this doctoring of Marxism. They omit, obscure, or distort the revolutionary side of this theory, its revolutionary soul. They push to the foreground and extol what is or seems acceptable to the bourgeoisie. All the social-chauvinists are now “Marxists” (don’t laugh!). And more and more frequently German bourgeois scholars, only yesterday specialists in the annihilation of Marxism, are speaking of the “national-German” Marx, who, they claim, educated the labour unions which are so splendidly organised for the purpose of waging a predatory war! THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 391 In these circumstances, in view of the unprecedentedly wide-spread distortion of Marxism, our prime task is to re-establish what Marx really taught on the subject of the state. This will necessitate a number of long quotations from the works of Marx and Engels themselves. Of course, long quotations will render the text cumbersome and not help at all to make it popular reading, but we cannot possibly dispense with them. All, or at any rate all they most essential passages in the works of Marx and Engels on the subject of the state must by all means be quoted as fully as possible so that the reader may form an independent opinion of the totality of the views of the founders of scientific socialism, and of the evolution of those views, and so that their distortion by the “Kautskyism” now prevailing may be documentarily proved and clearly demonstrated. Let us being with the most popular of Engels’s works, The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, the sixth edition of which was published in Stuttgart as far back as 1894. We have to translate the quotations from the German originals, as the Russian translations, while very numerous, are for the most part either incomplete or very unsatisfactory. Summing up his historical analysis, Engels says: “The state is, therefore, by no means a power forced on society from without; just as little is it ‘the reality of the ethical idea’, ‘the image and reality of reason ’ , as Hegel maintains. Rather, it is a product of society at a certain stage of development; it is the admission that this society has become entangled in an insoluble contradiction with itself, that it has split into irreconcilable antagonisms which it is powerless to dispel. But in order that these antagonisms, these classes with conflicting economic interests, might not consume themselves and society in fruitless struggle, it became necessary to have a power, seemingly standing above society, that would alleviate the conflict and keep it within the bounds of ‘order’; and this power, arisen out of society but placing itself above it, and alienating itself more and more from it, is the state.” (Pp. 177-78, sixth German edition.) 124 392 V. I. L E N I N This expresses with perfect clarity the basic idea of Marxism with regard to the historical role and the meaning of the state. The state is a product and a manifestation of the irreconcilability of class antagonisms. The state arises where, when and insofar as class antagonism objectively cannot be reconciled. And, conversely, the existence of the state proves that the class antagonisms are irreconcilable. It is on this most important and fundamental point that the distortion of Marxism, proceeding along two main lines, begins. On the one hand, the bourgeois, and particularly the petty-bourgeois, ideologists, compelled under the weigh of indisputable historical facts to admit that the state only exists where there are class antagonisms and a class struggle, “correct” Marx in such a way as to make it appear that the gate is an organ for the reconciliation of classes. According to Marx, the state could neither have arisen nor maintained itself had it been possible to reconcile classes. From what the petty-bourgeois and philistine professors and publicists say, with quite frequent and benevolent references to Marx, it appears that the state does reconcile classes. According to Marx, the state is an organ of class rule, an organ for the oppression of one class by another; it is the creation of “order”, which legalises and perpetuates this oppression by moderating the conflict between the classes. In the opinion of the petty-bourgeois politicians, however, order means the reconciliation of classes, and not the oppression of one class by another; to alleviate the conflict means reconciling classes and not depriving the oppressed classes of definite means and methods of struggle to overthrow the oppressors. For instance, when, in the revolution of 1917, the question of the significance and role of the state arose in all its magnitude as a practical question demanding immediate action, and, moreover, action on a mass scale, all the Social-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks descended at once to the petty-bourgeois theory that the “state” “reconciles” classes. Innumerable resolutions and articles by politicians of both these parties are thoroughly saturated with this petty-bourgeois and philistine “reconciliation” theory. THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 393 That the state is an organ of the rule of a definite class which cannot be reconciled with its antipode (the class opposite to it) is something the petty-bourgeois democrats will never be able to understand. Their attitude to the state is one of the most striking manifestations of the fact that our SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks are not socialists at all (a point that we Bolsheviks have always maintained), but petty-bourgeois democrats using near-socialist phraseology. On the other hand, the “Kautskyite” distortion of Marxism is far more subtle. “Theoretically”, it is not denied that the state is an organ of class rule, or that class antagonisms are irreconcilable. But what is overlooked or glossed over is this: if the state is the product of the irreconcilability of class antagonisms, if it is a power standing above society and “alienating itself more and more from it”, it is clear that the liberation of the oppressed class is impossible not only without a violent revolution, but also without the destruction of the apparatus of state power which was created by the ruling class and which is the embodiment of this “alienation”. As we shall see later, Marx very explicitly drew this theoretically self-evident conclusion on the strength of a concrete historical analysis of the tasks of the revolution. And—as we shall show in detail further on—it is this conclusion which Kautsky has “forgotten” and distorted. 2. SPECIAL BODIES OF ARMED MEN, PRISONS, ETC. Engels continues: “As distinct from the old gentile [tribal or clan] order, 125 the state, first, divides its subjects according to territory....” This division seems “natural” to us, but it costs a prolonged struggle against the old organisation according to generations or tribes. “The second distinguishing feature is the establishment of a public power which no longer directly coincides with the population organising itself as an armed force. This special, public power is necessary because a self-acting armed organisation of the population has become impossible since the split into classes. . . . This 394 V. I. L E N I N public power exists in every state; it consists not merely of armed men but also of material adjuncts, prisons, and institutions of coercion of all kinds, of which gentile [clan] society knew nothing....” Engels elucidates the concept of the “power” which is called the state, a power which arose from society but places itself above it and alienates itself more and more from it. What does this power mainly consist of? It consists of special bodies of armed men having prisons, etc., at their command. We are justified in speaking of special bodies of armed men, because the public power which is an attribute of every state “does not directly coincide” with the armed population, with its “self-acting armed organisation”. Like all great revolutionary thinkers, Engels tries to draw the attention of the class-conscious workers to what prevailing philistinism regards as least worthy of attention, as the most habitual thing, hallowed by prejudices that are not only deep-rooted but, one might say, petrified. A standing army and police are the chief instruments of state power. But how can it be otherwise? From the viewpoint of the vast majority of Europeans of the end of the nineteenth century, whom Engels was addressing, and who had not gone through or closely observed a single great revolution, it could not have been otherwise. They could not understand at all what a “selfacting armed organisation of the population” was. When asked why it became necessary to have special bodies of armed men placed above society and alienating themselves from it (police and a standing army), the West-European and Russian philistines are inclined to utter a few phrases borrowed from Spencer of Mikhailovsky, to refer to the growing complexity of social life, the differentiation of functions, and so on. Such a reference seems “scientific”, and effectively lulls the ordinary person to sleep by obscuring the important and basic fact, namely, the split of society into irreconcilably antagonistic classes. Were it not for this split, the “self-acting armed organisation of the population” would differ from the primitive THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 395 organisation of a stick-wielding herd of monkeys, or of primitive men, or of men united in clans, by its complexity, its high technical level, and so on. But such an organisation would still be possible. It is impossible because civilised society is split into antagonistic, and, moreover, irreconcilably antagonistic classes, whose “self-acting” arming would lead to an armed struggle between them. A state arises, a special power is created, special bodies of armed men, and every revolution, by destroying the state apparatus, shows us the naked class struggle, clearly shows us how the ruling class strives to restore the special bodies of armed men which serve it, and how the oppressed class strives to create a new organisation of this kind, capable of serving the exploited instead of the exploiters. In the above argument, Engels raises theoretically the very same question which every great revolution raises before us in practice, palpably and, what is more, on a scale of mass action, namely, the question of the relationship between “special” bodies of armed men and the “self-acting armed organisation of the population”. We shall see how this question is specifically illustrated by the experience of the European and Russian revolutions. But to return to Engels’s exposition. He points out that sometimes—in certain parts of North America, for example—this public power is weak (he has in mind a rare exception in capitalist society, and those parts of North America in its pre-imperialist days where the free colonists predominated), but that, generally speaking, it grows stronger: “It [the public power] grows stronger, however, in proportion as class antagonisms within the state become more acute, and as adjacent states become larger and more populous. We have only to look at our presentday Europe, where class struggle and rivalry in conquest have tuned up the public power to such a pitch that it threatens to swallow the whole of society and even the state.” This was written not later than the early nineties of the last century, Engels’s last preface being dated June 16, 396 V. I. L E N I N 1891. The turn towards imperialism—meaning the complete domination of the trusts, the omnipotence of the big banks, a grand-scale colonial policy, and so forth—was only just beginning in France, and was even weaker in North America and in Germany. Since then “rivalry in conquest” has taken a gigantic stride, all the more because by the beginning of the second decade of the twentieth century the world had been completely divided up among these “rivals in conquest”, i.e., among the predatory Great Powers. Since then, military and naval armaments have grown fantastically and the predatory war of 1914-17 for the domination of the world by Britain or Germany, for the division of the spoils, has brought the “swallowing” of all the forces of society by the rapacious state power close to complete catastrophe. Engels could, as early as 1891, point to “rivalry in conquest” as one of the most important distinguishing features of the foreign policy of the Great Powers, while the socialchauvinist scoundrels have ever since 1914, when this rivalry, many time intensified, gave rise to an imperialist war, been covering up the defence of the predatory interests of “their own” bourgeoisie with phrases about “defence of the fatherland”, “defence of the republic and the revolution”, etc.! 3. THE STATE—AN INSTRUMENT FOR THE EXPLOITATION OF THE OPPRESSED CLASS The maintenance of the special public power standing above society requires taxes and state loans. “Having pubic power and the right to levy taxes,” Engels writes, “the officials now stand, as organs of society, above society. The free, voluntary respect that was accorded to the organs of the gentile [clan] constitution does not satisfy them, even if they could gain it....” Special laws are enacted proclaiming the sanctity and immunity of the officials. “The shabbiest police servant” has more “authority” than the representative of the clan, but even the head of the military power of a civilised state may well envy the elder of a clan the “unrestrained respect” of society. THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 397 The question of the privileged position of the officials as organs of state power is raised here. The main point indicated is: what is it that places them above society? We shall see how this theoretical question was answered in practice by the Paris Commune in 1871 and how it was obscured from a reactionary standpoint by Kautsky in 1912. “Because the state arose from the need to hold class antagonisms in check, but because it arose, at the same time, in the midst of the conflict of these classes, it is, as a rule, the state of the most powerful, economically dominant class, which, through the medium of the state, becomes also the politically dominant class, and thus acquires new means of holding down and exploiting the oppressed class....” The ancient and feudal states were organs for the exploitation of the slaves and serfs; likewise, “the modern representative state is an instrument of exploitation of wage-labour by capital. By way of exception, however, periods occur in which the warring classes balance each other so nearly that the state power as ostensible mediator acquires, for the moment, a certain degree of independence of both....” Such were the absolute monarchies of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Bonapartism of the First and Second Empires in France, and the Bismarck regime in Germany. Such, we may add, is the Kerensky government in republican Russia since it began to persecute the revolutionary proletariat, at a moment when, owing to the leadership of the petty-bourgeois democrats, the Soviets have already become impotent, while the bourgeoisie are not yet strong enough simply to disperse them. In a democratic republic, Engels continues, “wealth exercises its power indirectly, but all the more surely”, first, by means of the “direct corruption of officials” (America); secondly, by means of an “alliance of the government and the Stock Exchange” (France and America). At present, imperialism and the domination of the banks have “developed” into an exceptional art both these 398 V. I. L E N I N methods of upholding and giving effect to the omnipotence of wealth in democratic republics of all descriptions. Since, for instance, in the very first months of the Russian democratic republic, one might say during the honeymoon of the “socialist” S.R.s and Mensheviks joined in wedlock to the bourgeoisie, in the coalition government. Mr. Palchinsky obstructed every measure intended for curbing the capitalists and their marauding practices, their plundering of the state by means of war contracts; and since later on Mr. Palchinsky, upon resigning from the Cabinet (and being, of course, replaced by another quite similar Palchinsky), was “rewarded” by the capitalists with a lucrative job with a salary of 120,000 rubles per annum—what would you call that? Direct or indirect bribery? An alliance of the government and the syndicates, or “merely” friendly relations? What role do the Chernovs, Tseretelis, Avksentyevs and Skobelevs play? Are they the “direct” or only the indirect allies of the millionaire treasury-looters? Another reason why the omnipotence of “wealth” is more certain in a democratic republic is that it does not depend on individual defects in the political machinery or on the faulty political shell of capitalism. A democratic republic is the best possible political shell for capitalism, and, therefore, once capital has gained possession of this very best shell (through the Palchinskys, Chernovs, Tseretelis and Co.), it establishes its power so securely, so firmly, that no change of persons, institutions or parties in the bourgeois-democratic republic can shake it. We must also note that Engels is most explicit in calling universal suffrage as well an instrument of bourgeois rule. Universal suffrage, he says, obviously taking account of the long experience of German Social-Democracy, is “the gauge of the maturity of the working class. It cannot and never will be anything more in the presentday state.” The petty-bourgeois democrats, such as our SocialistRevolutionaries and Mensheviks, and also their twin brothers, all the social-chauvinists and opportunists of Western Europe, expect just this “more” from universal suffrage. They themselves share, and instil into the minds of the THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 399 people, the false notion that universal suffrage “in the present-day state” is really capable of revealing the will of the majority of the working people and of securing its realisation. Here, we can only indicate this false notion, only point out that Engels’s perfectly clear, precise and concrete statement is distorted at every step in the propaganda and agitation of the “official” (i.e., opportunist) socialist parties. A detailed exposure of the utter falsity of this notion which Engels brushes aside here is given in our further account of the views of Marx and Engels on the “present-day” state. Engels gives a general summary of his views in the most popular of his works in the following words: “The state, then, has not existed from all eternity. There have been societies that did without it, that had no idea of the state and state power. At a certain stage of economic development, which was necessarily bound up with the split of society into classes, the state became a necessity owing to this split. We are now rapidly approaching a stage in the development of production at which the existence of these classes not only will have ceased to be a necessity, but will become a positive hindrance to production. They will fall as inevitably as they arose at an earlier stage. Along with them the state will inevitably fall. Society, which will reorganise production on the basis of a free and equal association of the producers, will put the whole machinery of state where it will then belong: into a museum of antiquities, by the side of the spinning-wheel and the bronze axe.” We do not often come across this passage in the propaganda and agitation literature of the present-day Social-Democrats. Even when we do come across it, it is mostly quoted in the same manner as one bows before an icon, i.e., it is done to show official respect for Engels, and no attempt is made to gauge the breadth and depth of the revolution that this relegating of “the whole machinery of state to a museum of antiquities” implies. In most cases we do not even find an understanding of what Engels calls the state machine. 400 V. I. L E N I N 4. THE “WITHERING AWAY” OF THE STATE, AND VIOLENT REVOLUTION Engels’s words regarding the “withering away” of the state are so widely known, they are often quoted, and so clearly reveal the essence of the customary adaptation of Marxism to opportunism that we must deal with them in detail. We shall quote the whole argument from which they are taken. “The proletariat seizes state power and turns the means of production into state property to begin with. But thereby it abolishes itself as the proletariat, abolishes all class distinctions and class antagonisms, and abolishes also the state as state. Society thus far, operating amid class antagonisms, needed the state, that is, an organisation of the particular exploiting class, for the maintenance of its external conditions of production, and, therefore, especially, for the purpose of forcibly keeping the exploited class in the conditions of oppression determined by the given mode of production (slavery, serfdom or bondage, wage-labour). The state was the official representative of society as a whole, its concentration in a visible corporation. But it was this only insofar as it was the state of that class which itself represented, for its own time, society as a whole: in ancient times, the state of slave-owning citizens; in the Middle Ages, of the feudal nobility; in our own time, of the bourgeoisie. When at last it becomes the real representative of the whole of society, it renders itself unnecessary. As soon as there is no longer any social class to be held in subjection, as soon as class rule, and the individual struggle for existence based upon the present anarchy in production, with the collisions and excesses arising from this struggle, are removed, nothing more remains to be held in subjection—nothing necessitating a special coercive force, a state. The first act by which the state really comes forward as the representative of the whole of society—the taking possession of the means of production in the name of society—is also its last independent act as a state. State interference in social relations THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 401 becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, and then dies down of itself. The government of persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of processes of production. The state is not ‘abolished’. It withers away. This gives the measure of the value of the phrase ‘a free people’s state’, both as to its justifiable use for a long time from an agitational point of view, and as to its ultimate scientific insufficiency; and also of the so-called anarchists’ demand that the state be abolished overnight.” (Herr Eugen Dühring’s Revolution in Science [Anti-Dühring], pp. 301-03, third German edition.) 126 It is safe to say that of this argument of Engels’s, which is so remarkably rich in ideas, only one point has become an integral part of socialist thought among modern socialist parties, namely, that according to Marx that state “withers away”—as distinct from the anarchist doctrine of the “abolition” of the state. To prune Marxism to such an extent means reducing it to opportunism, for this “interpretation” only leaves a vague notion of a slow, even, gradual change, of absence of leaps and storms, of absence of revolution. The current, widespread, popular, if one may say so, conception of the “withering away” of the state undoubtedly means obscuring, if not repudiating, revolution. Such an “interpretation”, however, is the crudest distortion of Marxism, advantageous only to the bourgeoisie. In point of theory, it is based on disregard for the most important circumstances and considerations indicated in, say, Engels’s “summary” argument we have just quoted in full. In the first place, at the very outset of his argument, Engels says that, in seizing state power, the proletariat thereby “abolishes the state as state”. It is not done to ponder over the meaning of this. Generally, it is either ignored altogether, or is considered to be something in the nature of “Hegelian weakness” on Engels’s part. As a matter of fact, however, these words briefly express the experience of one of the greatest proletarian revolutions, the Paris Commune of 1871, of which we shall speak in greater detail in its proper place. As a matter of fact, En- 402 V. I. L E N I N gels speaks here of the proletariat revolution “abolishing” the bourgeois state, while the words about the state withering away refer to the remnants of the proletarian state after the socialist revolution. According to Engels, the bourgeois state does not “wither away”, but is “abolished” by the proletariat in the course of the revolution. What withers away after this revolution is the proletarian state or semi-state. Secondly, the state is a “special coercive force”. Engels gives this splendid and extremely profound definition here with the utmost lucidity. And from it follows that the “special coercive force” for the suppression of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie, of millions of working people by handfuls of the rich, must be replaced by a “special coercive force” for the suppression of the bourgeoisie by the proletariat (the dictatorship of the proletariat). This is precisely what is meant by “abolition of the state as state”. This is precisely the “act” of taking possession of the means of production in the name of society. And it is self-evident that such a replacement of one (bourgeois) “special force” by another (proletarian) “special force” cannot possibly take place in the form of “withering away”. Thirdly, in speaking of the state “withering away”, and the even more graphic and colorful “dying down of itself”, Engels refers quite clearly and definitely to the period after “the state has taken possession of the means of production in the name of the whole of society”, that is, after the socialist revolution. We all know that the political form of the “state” at that time is the most complete democracy. But it never enters the head of any of the opportunists, who shamelessly distort Marxism, that Engels is consequently speaking here of democracy “dying down of itself”, or “withering away”. This seems very strange at first sight. But it is “incomprehensible” only to those who have not thought about democracy also being a state and, consequently, also disappearing when the state disappears. Revolution alone can “abolish” the bourgeois state. The state in general, i.e., the most complete democracy, can only “wither away”. Fourthly, after formulating his famous proposition that “the state withers away”, Engels at once explains specifically that this proposition is directed against both the opportu- THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 403 nists and the anarchists. In doing this, Engels puts in the forefront that conclusion, drawn from the proposition that “the state withers away”, which is directed against the opportunists. One can wager that out of every 10,000 persons who have read or heard about the “withering away” of the state, 9,990 are completely unaware, or do not remember, that Engels directed his conclusions from that proposition not against anarchists alone. And of the remaining ten, probably nine do not know the meaning of a “free people’s state” or why an attack on this slogan means an attack on opportunists. This is how history is written! This is how a great revolutionary teaching is imperceptibly falsified and adapted to prevailing philistinism. The conclusion directed against the anarchists has been repeated thousands of times; it has been vulgarised, and rammed into people’s heads in the shallowest form, and has acquired the strength of a prejudice, whereas the conclusion directed against the opportunists has been obscured and “forgotten”! The “free people’s state” was a programme demand and a catchword current among the German Social-Democrats in the seventies. This catchword is devoid of all political content except that it describes the concept of democracy in a pompous philistine fashion. Insofar as it hinted in a legally permissible manner at a democratic republic, Engels was prepared to “justify” its use “for a time” from an agitational point of view. But it was an opportunist catchword, for it amounted to something more than prettifying bourgeois democracy, and was also failure to understand the socialist criticism of the state in general. We are in favour of a democratic republic as the best form of state for the proletariat under capitalism. But we have no right to forget that wage slavery is the lot of the people even in the most democratic bourgeois republic. Furthermore, every state is a “special force” for the suppression of the oppressed class. Consequently, every state is not “free and not a “people’s state”. Marx and Engels explained this repeatedly to their party comrades in the seventies. Fifthly, the same work of Engels’s, whose arguments about the withering away of the state everyone remembers, also contains an argument of the significance of violent revolu- 404 V. I. L E N I N tion. Engels’s historical analysis of its role becomes a veritable panegyric on violent revolution. This, “no one remembers”. It is not done in modern socialist parties to talk or even think about the significance of this idea, and it plays no part whatever in their daily propaganda and agitation among the people. And yet it is inseparably bound up with the “withering away” of the state into one harmonious whole. Here is Engels’s argument: “. . . That force, however, plays yet another role [other than that of a diabolical power] in history, a revolutionary role; that, in the words of Marx, it is the midwife of every old society which is pregnant with a new one, that it is the instrument with which social movement forces its way through and shatters the dead, fossilised political forms—of this there is not a word in Herr Dühring. It is only with sighs and groans that he admits the possibility that force will perhaps be necessary for the overthrow of an economy based on exploitation—unfortunately, because all use of force demoralises, he says, the person who uses it. And this in spite of the immense moral and spiritual impetus which has been given by every victorious revolution! And this in Germany, where a violent collision—which may, after all, be forced on the people—would at least have the advantage of wiping out the servility which has penetrated the nation’s mentality following the humiliation of the Thirty Years’ War. 127 And this person’s mode of thought—dull, insipid, and impotent—presumes to impose itself on the most revolutionary party that history has ever known!” (P. 193, third German edition, Part II, end of Chap. IV) FROM MARX TO MAO  NOT FOR COMMERCIAL DISTRIBUTION How can this panegyric on violent revolution, which Engels insistently brought to the attention of the German Social-Democrats between 1878 and 1894, i.e., right up to the time of his death, be combined with the theory of the “withering away” of the state to form a single theory? Usually the two are combined by means of eclecticism, by an unprincipled or sophistic selection made arbitrarily (or to please the powers that be) of first one, then another THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 405 argument, and in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, if not more, it is the idea of the “withering away” that is placed in the forefront. Dialectics are replaced by eclecticism— this is the most usual, the most wide-spread practice to be met with in present-day official Social-Democratic literature in relation to Marxism. This sort of substitution is, of course, nothing new; it was observed even in the history of classical Greek philosophy. In falsifying Marxism in opportunist fashion, the substitution of eclecticism for dialectics is the easiest way of deceiving the people. It gives an illusory satisfaction; it seems to take into account all sides of the process, all trends of development, all the conflicting influences, and so forth, whereas in reality it provides no integral and revolutionary conception of the process of social development at all. We have already said above, and shall show more fully later, that the theory of Marx and Engels of the inevitability of a violent revolution refers to the bourgeois state. The latter cannot be superseded by the proletarian state (the dictatorship of the proletariat) through the process of ‘withering away”, but, as a general rule, only through a violent revolution. The panegyric Engels sang in its honour, and which fully corresponds to Marx’s repeated statements (see the concluding passages of The Poverty of Philosophy128 and the Communist Manifesto 129 , with their proud and open proclamation of the inevitability of a violent revolution; see what Marx wrote nearly thirty years later, in criticising the Gotha Programme of 1875, when he mercilessly castigated the opportunist character of that programme 130)— this panegyric is by no means a mere “impulse”, a mere declamation or a polemical sally. The necessity of systematically imbuing the masses with this and precisely this view of violent revolution lies at the root of the entire theory of Marx and Engels. The betrayal of their theory by the now prevailing social-chauvinist and Kautskyite trends expresses itself strikingly in both these trends ignoring such propaganda and agitation. The supersession of the bourgeois state by the proletarian state is impossible without a violent revolution. The abolition of the proletarian state, i.e., of the state in general, is impossible except through the process of “withering away”. 406 V. I. L E N I N A detailed and concrete elaboration of these views was given by Marx and Engels when they studied each particular revolutionary situation, when they analysed the lessons of the experience of each particular revolution. We shall now pass to this, undoubtedly the most important, part of their theory. C H A P T E R II THE STATE AND REVOLUTION. THE EXPERIENCE OF 1848-51 1. THE EVE OF THE REVOLUTION The first works of mature Marxism—The Poverty of Philosophy and the Communist Manifesto—appeared just on the eve of the revolution of 1848. For this reason, in addition to presenting the general principles of Marxism, they reflect to a certain degree the concrete revolutionary situation of the time. It will, therefore, be more expedient, perhaps, to examine what the authors of these works said about the state immediately before they drew conclusions from the experience of the years 1848-51. In The Poverty of Philosophy, Marx wrote: “The working class, in the course of development, will substitute for the old bourgeois society an association which will preclude classes and their antagonism, and there will be no more political power groups, since the political power is precisely the official expression of class antagonism in bourgeois society.” (P. 182, German edition, 1885.) 131 It is instructive to compare this general exposition of the idea of the state disappearing after the abolition of classes with the exposition contained in the Communist Manifesto, written by Marx and Engels a few months later—in November 1847, to be exact: “... In depicting the most general phases of the development of the proletariat, we traced the more or less veiled civil war, raging within existing society up to the point where that war breaks out into open revolu- THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 407 tion, and where the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat.... “... We have seen above that the first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of the ruling class to win the battle of democracy. “The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the state, i.e., of the proletariat organised as the ruling class; and to increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible.” (Pp. 31 and 37, seventh German edition, 1906.) 132 Here we have a formulation of one of the most remarkable and most important ideas of Marxism on the subject of the state, namely, the idea of the “dictatorship of the proletariat” (as Marx and Engels began to call it after the Paris Commune); and, also, a highly interesting definition of the state, which is also one of the “forgotten words” of Marxism: “the state, i.e., the proletariat organised as the ruling class”. This definition of the state has never been explained in the prevailing propaganda and agitation literature of the official Social-Democratic parties. More than that, it has been deliberately ignored, for it is absolutely irreconcilable with reformism, and is a slap in the face for the common opportunist prejudices and philistine illusions about the “peaceful development of democracy”. The proletariat needs the state—this is repeated by all the opportunists, social-chauvinists and Kautskyites, who assure us that this is what Marx taught. But they “forget” to add that, in the first place, according to Marx, the proletariat needs only a state which is withering away, i.e., a state so constituted that it begins to wither away immediately, and cannot but wither away. And, secondly, the working people need a “state, i.e., the proletariat organised as the ruling class”. The state is a special organisation of force: it is an organisation of violence for the suppression of some class. What class must the proletariat suppress? Naturally, only the 408 V. I. L E N I N exploiting class, i.e., the bourgeoisie. The working people need the state only to suppress the resistance of the exploiters, and only the proletariat can direct this suppression, can carry it out. For the proletariat is the only class that is consistently revolutionary, the only class that can unite all the working and exploited people in the struggle against the bourgeoisie, in completely removing it. The exploiting classes need political rule to maintain exploitation, i.e., in the selfish interests of an insignificant minority against the vast majority of all people. The exploited classes need political rule in order to completely abolish all exploitation, i.e., in the interests of the vast majority of the people, and against the insignificant minority consisting of the modern slave-owners—the landowners and capitalists. The petty-bourgeois democrats, those sham socialists who replaced the class struggle by dreams of class harmony, even pictured the socialist transformation in a dreamy fashion—not as the overthrow of the rule of the exploiting class, but as the peaceful submission of the minority to the majority which has become aware of its aims. This petty-bourgeois utopia, which is inseparable from the idea of the state being above classes, led in practice to the betrayal of the interests of the working classes, as was shown, for example, by the history of the French revolutions of 1848 and 1871, and by the experience of “socialist” participation in bourgeois Cabinets in Britain, France, Italy and other countries at the turn of the century. All his life Marx fought against this petty-bourgeois socialism, now revived in Russia by the SocialistRevolutionary and Menshevik parties. He developed his theory of the class struggle consistently, down to the theory of political power, of the state. The overthrow of bourgeois rule can be accomplished only by the proletariat, the particular class whose economic conditions of existence prepare it for this task and provide it with the possibility and the power to perform it. While the bourgeoisie break up and disintegrate the peasantry and all the petty-bourgeois groups, they weld together, unite and organise the proletariat. Only the proletariat— by virtue of the economic role it plays in large-scale produc- THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 409 tion—is capable of being the leader of all the working and exploited people, whom the bourgeoisie exploit, oppress and crush, often not less but more than they do the proletarians, but who are incapable of waging an independent struggle for their emancipation. The theory of class struggle, applied by Marx to the question of the state and the socialist revolution, leads as a matter of course to the recognition of the political rule of the proletariat, of its dictatorship, i.e., of undivided power directly backed by the armed force of the people. The overthrow of the bourgeoisie can be achieved only by the proletariat becoming the ruling class, capable of crushing the inevitable and desperate resistance of the bourgeoisie, and of organising all the working and exploited people for the new economic system. The proletariat needs state power, a centralised organisation of force, an organisation of violence, both to crush the resistance of the exploiters and to lead the enormous mass of the population—the peasants, the petty bourgeoisie, and semi-proletarians—in the work of organising a socialist economy. By educating the workers’ party, Marxism educates the vanguard of the proletariat, capable of assuming power and leading the whole people to socialism, of directing and organising the new system, of being the teacher, the guide, the leader of all the working and exploited people in organising their social life without the bourgeoisie and against the bourgeoisie. By contrast, the opportunism now prevailing trains the members of the workers’ party to be the representatives of the better-paid workers, who lose touch with the masses, “get along” fairly well under capitalism, and sell their birthright for a mass of pottage, i.e., renounce their role as revolutionary leaders of the people against the bourgeoisie. Marx’s theory of “the state, i.e., the proletariat organised as the ruling class”, is inseparably bound up with the whole of his doctrine of the revolutionary role of the proletariat in history. The culmination of this rule is the proletarian dictatorship, the political rule of the proletariat. But since the proletariat needs the state as a special form of organisation of violence against the bourgeoisie, the fol- 410 V. I. L E N I N lowing conclusion suggests itself: is it conceivable that such an organisation can be created without first abolishing, destroying the state machine created by the bourgeoisie for themselves? The Communist Manifesto leads straight to this conclusion, and it is of this conclusion that Marx speaks when summing up the experience of the revolution of 1848-51. 2. THE REVOLUTION SUMMED UP Marx sums up his conclusions from the revolution of 1848-51, on the subject of the state we are concerned with, in the following argument contained in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte: “But the revolution is thoroughgoing. It is still journeying through purgatory. It does its work methodically. By December 2, 1851 [the day of Louis Bonaparte’s coup d’état], it had completed one half of its preparatory work. It is now completing the other half. First it perfected the parliamentary power, in order to be able to overthrow it. Now that it has attained this, it is perfecting the executive power, reducing it to its purest expression, isolating it, setting it up against itself as the sole object, in order to concentrate all its forces of destruction against it [italics ours]. And when it has done this second half of its preliminary work, Europe will leap from its seat and exultantly exclaim: well grubbed, old mole! “This executive power with its enormous bureaucratic and military organisation, with its vast and ingenious state machinery, with a host of officials numbering half a million, besides an army of another half million, this appalling parasitic body, which enmeshes the body of French society and chokes all its pores, sprang up in the days of the absolute monarchy, with the decay of the feudal system, which it helped to hasten.” The first French Revolution developed centralisation, “but at the same time” it increased “the extent, the attributes and the number of agents of governmental power. Napoleon completed this state machinery”. The legitimate monarchy and the THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 411 July monarchy “added nothing but a greater division of labour”. “... Finally, in its struggle against the revolution, the parliamentary republic found itself compelled to strengthen, along with repressive measures, the resources and centralisation of governmental power. All revolutions perfected this machine instead of smashing it [italics ours]. The parties that contended in turn for domination regarded the possession of this huge state edifice as the principal spoils of the victor.” (The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, pp. 98-99, fourth edition, Hamburg, 1907.) 133 In this remarkable argument, Marxism takes a tremendous step forward compared with the Communist Manifesto. In the latter, the question of the state is still treated in an extremely abstract manner, in the most general terms and expressions. In the above-quoted passage, the question is treated in a concrete manner, and the conclusion is extremely precise, definite, practical and palpable: all previous revolutions perfected the state machine, whereas it must be broken, smashed. This conclusion is the chief and fundamental point in the Marxist theory of the state. And it is precisely this fundamental point which has been completely ignored by the dominant official Social-Democratic parties and, indeed, distorted (as we shall see later) by the foremost theoretician of the Second International, Karl Kautsky. The Communist Manifesto gives a general summary of history, which compels us to regard the state as the organ of class rule and leads us to the inevitable conclusion that the proletariat cannot overthrow the bourgeoisie without first winning political power, without attaining political supremacy, without transforming the state into the “proletariat organised as the ruling class”; and that this proletarian state will begin to wither away immediately after its victory because the state is unnecessary and cannot exist in a society in which there are no class antagonisms. The question as to how, from the point of view of historical development, the replacement of the bourgeois by the proletarian state is to take place is not raised here. 412 V. I. L E N I N This is the question Marx raises and answers in 1852. True to his philosophy of dialectical materialism, Marx takes as his basis the historical experience of the great years of revolution, 1848 to 1851. Here, as everywhere else, his theory is a summing up of experience, illuminated by a profound philosophical conception of the world and a rich knowledge of history. The problem of the state is put specifically: How did the bourgeois state, the state machine necessary for the rule of the bourgeoisie, come into being historically? What changes did it undergo, what evolution did it perform in the course of bourgeois revolutions and in the face of the independent actions of the oppressed classes? What are the tasks of the proletariat in relation to this state machine? The centralised state power that is peculiar to bourgeois society came into being in the period of the fall of absolutism. Two institutions most characteristic of this state machine are the bureaucracy and the standing army. In their works, Marx and Engels repeatedly show that the bourgeoisie are connected with these institutions by thousands of threads. Every worker’s experience illustrates this connection in an extremely graphic and impressive manner. From its own bitter experience, the working class learns to recognise this connection. That is why it so easily grasps and so firmly learns the doctrine which shows the inevitability of this connection, a doctrine which the petty-bourgeois democrats either ignorantly and flippantly deny, or still more flippantly admit “in general”, while forgetting to draw appropriate practical conclusions. The bureaucracy and the standing army are a “parasite” on the body of bourgeois society—a parasite created by the internal antagonisms which rend that society, but a parasite which “chokes” all its vital pores. The Kautskyite opportunism now prevailing in official Social-Democracy considers the view that the state is a parasitic organism to be the peculiar and exclusive attribute of anarchism. It goes without saying that this distortion of Marxism is of vast advantage to those philistines who have reduced socialism to the unheard-of disgrace of justifying and prettifying the imperialist war by applying to it the concept of THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 413 “defence of the fatherland”; but it is unquestionably a distortion, nevertheless. The development, perfection, and strengthening of the bureaucratic and military apparatus proceeded during all the numerous bourgeois revolutions which Europe has witnessed since the fall of feudalism. In particular, it is the petty bourgeois who are attracted to the side of the big bourgeoisie and are largely subordinated to them through this apparatus, which provides the upper sections of the peasants, small artisans, tradesmen, and the like with comparatively comfortable, quiet, and respectable jobs raising the holders above the people. Consider what happened in Russia during the six months following February 27, 1917. The official posts which formerly were given by preference to the Black Hundreds have now become the spoils of the Cadets, Mensheviks, and Social-Revolutionaries. Nobody has really thought of introducing any serious reforms. Every effort has been made to put them off “until the Constituent Assembly meets”, and to steadily put off its convocation until after the war! But there has been no delay, no waiting for the Constituent Assembly, in the matter of dividing the spoils of getting the lucrative jobs of ministers, deputy ministers, governors-general, etc., etc.! The game of combinations that has been played in forming the government has been, in essence, only an expression of this division and redivision of the “spoils”, which has been going on above and below, throughout the country, in every department of central and local government. The six months between February 27 and August 27, 1917, can be summed up, objectively summed up beyond all dispute, as follows: reforms shelved, distribution of official jobs accomplished and “mistakes” in the distribution corrected by a few redistributions. But the more the bureaucratic apparatus is “redistributed” among the various bourgeois and petty-bourgeois parties (among the Cadets, Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks in the case of Russia), the more keenly aware the oppressed classes, and the proletariat at their head, become of their irreconcilable hostility to the whole of bourgeois society. Hence the need for all bourgeois parties, even for the most democratic and “revolutionary-democratic” 414 V. I. L E N I N among them, to intensify repressive measures against the revolutionary proletariat, to strengthen the apparatus of coercion, i.e., the state machine. This course of events compels the revolution “to concentrate all its forces of destruction” against the state power, and to set itself the aim, not of improving the state machine, but of smashing and destroying it. It was not logical reasoning, but actual developments, the actual experience of 1848-51, that led to the matter being presented in this way. The extent to which Marx held strictly to the solid ground of historical experience can be seen from the fact that, in 1852, he did not yet specifically raise the question of what was to take the place of the state machine to be destroyed. Experience had not yet provided material for dealing with this question, which history placed on the agenda later on, in 1871. In 1852, all that could be established with the accuracy of scientific observation was that the proletarian revolution had approached the task of “concentrating all its forces of destruction” against the state power, of “smashing” the state machine. Here the question may arise: is it correct to generalise the experience, observations and conclusions of Marx, to apply them to a field that is wider than the history of France during the three years 1848-51? Before proceeding to deal with this question, let us recall a remark made by Engels and then examine the facts. In his introduction to the third edition of The Eighteenth Brumaire, Engels wrote: “France is the country where, more than anywhere else, the historical class struggles were each time fought out to a finish, and where, consequently, the changing political forms within which they move and in which their results are summarised have been stamped in the sharpest outlines. The centre of feudalism in the Middle Ages, the model country, since the Renaissance, of a unified monarchy based on social estates, France demolished feudalism in the Great Revolution and established the rule of the bourgeoisie in a classical purity unequalled by any other European land. And the struggle of the upward-striving prole- THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 415 tariat against the ruling bourgeoisie appeared here in an acute form unknown elsewhere.” (P. 4, 1907 edition). The last remark is out of date inasmuch as since 1871 there has been a lull in the revolutionary struggle of the French proletariat, although, long as this lull may be, it does not at all preclude the possibility that in the coming proletarian revolution France may show herself to be the classic country of the class struggle to a finish. Let us, however, cast a general glance over the history of the advanced countries at the turn of the century. We shall see that the same process went on more slowly, in more varied forms, in a much wider field: on the one hand, the development of “parliamentary power” both in the republican countries (France, America, Switzerland), and in the monarchies (Britain, Germany to a certain extent, Italy, the Scandinavia countries, etc.); on the other hand, a struggle for power among the various bourgeois and pettybourgeois parties which distributed and redistributed the “spoils” of office, with the foundations of bourgeois society unchanged; and, lastly, the perfection and consolidation of the “executive power”, of its bureaucratic and military apparatus. There is not the slightest doubt that these features are common to the whole of the modern evolution of all capitalist states in general. In the last three years 1848-51 France displayed, in a swift, sharp, concentrated form, the very same processes of development which are peculiar to the whole capitalist world. Imperialism—the era of bank capital, the era of gigantic capitalist monopolies, of the development of monopoly capitalism into state-monopoly capitalism—has clearly shown an extraordinary strengthening of the “state machine” and an unprecedented growth in its bureaucratic and military apparatus in connection with the intensification of repressive measures against the proletariat both in the monarchical and in the freest, republican countries. World history is now undoubtedly leading, on an incomparably larger scale than in 1852, to the “concentration of all the forces” of the proletarian revolution on the “destruction” of the state machine. 416 V. I. L E N I N What the proletariat will put in its place is suggested by the highly instructive material furnished by the Paris Commune. 3. THE PRESENTATION OF THE QUESTION BY MARX IN 1852 * In 1907, Mehring, in the magazine Neue Zeit 134 (Vol. XXV, 2, p. 164), published extracts from Marx’s letter to Weydemeyer dated March 5, 1852. This letter, among other things, contains the following remarkable observation: “And now as to myself, no credit is due to me for discovering the existence of classes in modern society or the struggle between them. Long before me bourgeois historians had described the historical development of this class struggle and bourgeois economists, the economic anatomy of classes. What I did that was new was to prove: (1) that the existence of classes is only bound up with the particular, historical phases in the development of production (historische Entwicklungsphasen der Produktion), (2) that the class struggle necessarily leads to the dictatorship of the proletariat, (3) that this dictatorship itself only constitutes the transition to the abolition of all classes and to a classless society.” 135 In these words, Marx succeeded in expressing with striking clarity, first, the chief and radical difference between his theory and that of the foremost and most profound thinkers of the bourgeoisie; and, secondly, the essence of his theory of the state. It is often said and written that the main point in Marx’s theory is the class struggle. But this is wrong. And this wrong notion very often results in an opportunist distortion of Marxism and its falsification in a spirit acceptable to the bourgeoisie. For the theory of the class struggle was created not by Marx, but by the bourgeoisie before Marx, and, generally speaking, it is acceptable to the bourgeoisie. Those who recognize only the class struggle are not yet Marxists; * Added in the second edition. THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 417 they may be found to be still within the bounds of bourgeois thinking and bourgeois politics. To confine Marxism to the theory of the class struggle means curtailing Marxism, distorting it, reducing it to something acceptable to the bourgeoisie. Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. That is what constitutes the most profound distinction between the Marxist and the ordinary petty (as well as big) bourgeois. This is the touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism should be tested. And it is not surprising that when the history of Europe brought the working class face to face with this question as a practical issue, not only all the opportunists and reformists, but all the Kautskyites (people who vacillate between reformism and Marxism) proved to be miserable philistines and petty-bourgeois democrats repudiating the dictatorship of the proletariat. Kautsky’s pamphlet, The Dictatorship of the Proletariat, published in August 1918, i.e., long after the first edition of the present book, is a perfect example of petty-bourgeois distortion of Marxism and base renunciation of it in deeds, while hypocritically recognising it in words (see my pamphlet, The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky, Petrograd and Moscow, 1918). Opportunism today, as represented by its principal spokesman, the ex-Marxist Karl Kautsky, fits in completely with Marx’s characterisation of the bourgeois position quoted above, for this opportunism limits recognition of the class struggle to the sphere of bourgeois relations. (Within this sphere, within its framework, not a single educated liberal will refuse to recognise the class struggle “in principle”!) Opportunism does not extend recognition of the class struggle to the cardinal point, to the period of transition from capitalism to communism, of the overthrow and the complete abolition of the bourgeoisie. In reality, this period inevitably is a period of an unprecedentedly violent class struggle in unprecedentedly acute forms, and, consequently, during this period the state must inevitably be a state that is democratic in a new way (for the proletariat and the propertyless in general) and dictatorial in a new way (against the bourgeoisie). 418 V. I. L E N I N Further. The essence of Marx’s theory of the state has been mastered only by those who realise that the dictatorship of a single class is necessary not only for every class society in general, not only for the proletariat which has overthrown the bourgeoisie, but also for the entire historical period which separates capitalism from “classless society”, from communism. Bourgeois states are most varied in form, but their essence is the same: all these states, whatever their form, in the final analysis are inevitably the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. The transition from capitalism to communism is certainly bound to yield a tremendous abundance and variety of political forms, but the essence will inevitably be the same: the dictatorship of the proletariat. C H A P T E R III THE STATE AND REVOLUTION. EXPERIENCE OF THE PARIS COMMUNE OF 1871 MARX’S ANALYSIS 1. WHAT MADE THE COMMUNARDS’ ATTEMPT HEROIC ? It is well known that in the autumn of 1870, a few months before the Commune, Marx warned the Paris workers that any attempt to overthrow the government would be the folly of despair. But when, in March 1871, a decisive battle was forced upon the workers and they accepted it, when the uprising had become a fact, Marx greeted the proletarian revolution with the greatest enthusiasm, in spite of unfavorable auguries. Marx did not persist in the pedantic attitude of condemning an “untimely” movement as did the ill-famed Russian renegade from Marxism, Plekhanov, who in November 1905 wrote encouragingly about the workers’ and peasants’ struggle, but after December 1905 cried, liberal fashion: “They should not have taken up arms.” Marx, however, was not only enthusiastic about the heroism of the Communards, who, as he expressed it, “stormed heaven”. Although the mass revolutionary movement did not achieve its aim, he regarded it as a historic experience of enormous importance, as a certain advance of the world THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 419 proletarian revolution, as a practical step that was more important than hundreds of programmes and arguments. Marx endeavored to analyse this experiment, to draw tactical lessons from it and re-examine his theory in the light of it. The only “correction” Marx thought it necessary to make to the Communist Manifesto he made on the basis of the revolutionary experience of the Paris Communards. The last preface to the new German edition of the Communist Manifesto, signed by both its authors, is dated June 24, 1872. In this preface the authors, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, say that the programme of the Communist Manifesto “has in some details become out-of-date”, and the go on to say: “...One thing especially was proved by the Commune, viz., that ‘the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery and wield it for its own purposes’....”136 The authors took the words that are in single quotation marks in this passage from Marx’s book, The Civil War in France. Thus, Marx and Engels regarded one principal and fundamental lesson of the Paris Commune as being of such enormous importance that they introduced it as an important correction into the Communist Manifesto. Most characteristically, it is this important correction that has been distorted by the opportunists, and its meaning probably is not known to nine-tenths, if not ninety-ninehundredths, of the readers of the Communist Manifesto. We shall deal with this distortion more fully farther on, in a chapter devoted specially to distortions. Here it will be sufficient to note that the current, vulgar “interpretation” of Marx’s famous statement just quoted is that Marx here allegedly emphasises the idea of slow development in contradistinction to the seizure of power, and so on. As a matter of fact, the exact opposite is the case. Marx’s idea is that the working class must break up, smash the “ready-made state machinery”, and not confine itself merely to laying hold of it. On April 12, 1871, i.e., just at the time of the Commune, Marx wrote to Kugelmann: 420 V. I. L E N I N “If you look up the last chapter of my Eighteenth Brumaire, you will find that I declare that the next attempt of the French Revolution will be no longer, as before, to transfer the bureaucratic-military machine from one hand to another, but to smash it [Marx’s italics—the original is zerbrechen], and this is the precondition for every real people’s revolution on the Continent. And this is what our heroic Party comrades in Paris are attempting.” (Neue Zeit, Vol. XX, 1, 1901-02, p. 709.) 137 (The letters of Marx to Kugelmann have appeared in Russian in no less than two editions, one of which I edited and supplied with a preface.) * The words, “to smash the bureaucratic-military machine”, briefly express the principal lesson of Marxism regarding the tasks of the proletariat during a revolution in relation to the state. And this is the lesson that has been not only completely ignored, but positively distorted by the prevailing, Kautskyite, “interpretation” of Marxism! As for Marx’s reference to The Eighteenth Brumaire, we have quoted the relevant passage in full above. It is interesting to note, in particular, two points in the above-quoted argument of Marx. First, he restricts his conclusion to the Continent. This was understandable in 1871, when Britain was still the model of a purely capitalist country, but without a militarist clique and, to a considerable degree, without a bureaucracy. Marx therefore excluded Britain, where a revolution, even a people’s revolution, then seemed possible, and indeed was possible, without the precondition of destroying “ready-made state machinery”. Today, in 1917, at the time of the first great imperialist war, this restriction made by Marx is no longer valid. Both Britain and America, the biggest and the last representatives—in the whole world—of Anglo-Saxon “liberty”, in the sense that they had no militarist cliques and bureaucracy, have completely sunk into the all-European filthy, bloody morass of bureaucratic-military institutions which * See present edition, Vol. 12, pp. 104-12.—Ed. THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 421 subordinate everything to themselves, and suppress everything. Today, in Britain and America, too, “the precondition for every real people’s revolution” is the smashing, the destruction of the “ready-made state machinery” (made and brought up to the “European”, general imperialist, perfection in those countries in the years 1914-17). Secondly, particular attention should be paid to Marx’s extremely profound remark that the destruction of the bureaucratic-military state machine is “the precondition for every real people’s revolution”. This idea of a “people’s” revolution seems strange coming from Marx, so that the Russian Plekhanovites and Mensheviks, those followers of Struve who wish to be regarded as Marxists, might possibly declare such an expression to be a “slip of the pen” on Marx’s part. They have reduced Marxism to such a state of wretchedly liberal distortion that nothing exists for them beyond the antithesis between bourgeois revolution and proletarian revolution, and even this antithesis they interpret in an utterly lifeless way. If we take the revolutions of the 20 twentieth century as examples we shall, of course, have to admit that the Portuguese and the Turkish revolutions are both bourgeois revolutions. Neither of them, however, is a “people’s” revolution, since in neither does the mass of the people, their vast majority, come out actively, independently, with their own economic and political demands to any noticeable degree. By contrast, although the Russian bourgeois revolution of 1905-07 displayed no such “brilliant” successes as at time fell to the Portuguese and Turkish revolutions, it was undoubtedly a “real people’s” revolution, since the mass of the people, their majority, the very lowest social groups, crushed by oppression and exploitation, rose independently and stamped on the entire course of the revolution the imprint of their own demands, their attempt to build in their own way a new society in place of the old society that was being destroyed. In Europe, in 1871, the proletariat did not constitute the majority of the people in any country on the Continent. A “people’s” revolution, one actually sweeping the majority into its stream, could be such only if it embraced both the proletariat and the peasants. These two classes 422 V. I. L E N I N then constituted the “people”. These two classes are united by the fact that the “bureaucratic-military state machine” oppresses, crushes, exploits them. To smash this machine, to break it up, is truly in the interest of the “people”, of their majority, of the workers and most of the peasants, is “the precondition” for a free alliance of the poor peasant and the proletarians, whereas without such an alliance democracy is unstable and socialist transformation is impossible. As is well known, the Paris Commune was actually working its way toward such an alliance, although it did notreach its goal owing to a number of circumstances, internal and external. Consequently, in speaking of a “real people’s revolution”, Marx, without in the least discounting the special features of the petty bourgeois (he spoke a great deal about them and often), took strict account of the actual balance of class forces in most of the continental countries of Europe in 1871. On the other hand, he stated that the “smashing” of the state machine was required by the interests of both the workers and the peasants, that it united them, that it placed before them the common task of removing the “parasite” and of replacing by something new. By what exactly? 2. WHAT IS TO REPLACE THE SMASHED STATE MACHINE? In 1847, in the Communist Manifesto, Marx’s answer to this question was as yet a purely abstract one; to be exact, it was an answer that indicated he tasks, but not the ways of accomplishing them. The answer given in the Communist Manifesto was that this machine was to be replaced by “the proletariat organised as the ruling class”, by the “winning of the battle of democracy”. Marx did not indulge in utopias; he expected the experience of the mass movement to provide the reply to the question as to the specific forms this organisation of the proletariat as the ruling class would assume and as to the exact manner in which this organisation would be combined with the most complete, most consistent “winning of the battle of democracy”. THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 423 Marx subjected the experience of the Commune, meagre as it was, to the most careful analysis in The Civil War in France. Let us quote the most important passages of this work. Originating from the Middle Ages, there developed in the 19th century “the centralised state power, with its ubiquitous organs of standing army, police, bureaucracy, clergy, and judicature”. With the development of class antagonisms between capital and labour, “state power assumed more and more the character of a public force organised for the suppression of the working class, of a machine of class rule. After every revolution, which marks an advance in the class struggle, the purely coercive character of the state power stands out in bolder and bolder relief”. After the revolution of 1848-49, state power became “the national war instruments of capital against labour”. The Second Empire consolidated this. “The direct antithesis to the empire was the Commune.” It was the “specific form” of “a republic that was not only to remove the monarchical form of class rule, but class rule itself....” What was this “specific” form of the proletarian, socialist republic? What was the state it began to create? “... The first decree of the Commune ... was the suppression of the standing army, and its replacement by the armed people....” This demand now figures in the programme of every party calling itself socialist. The real worth of their programme, however, is best shown by the behavior of our SocialistRevolutionists and Mensheviks, who, right after the revolution of February 27, refused to carry out this demand! “The Commune was formed of the municipal councillors, chosen by universal suffrage in the various wards of the town, responsible and revocable at any time. The 424 V. I. L E N I N majority of its members were naturally working men, or acknowledged representatives of the working class. . . . The police, which until then had been the instrument of the Government, was at once stripped of its political attributes, and turned into the responsible, and at all times revocable, agent of the Commune. So were the officials of all other branches of the administration. From the members of the Commune downwards, the public service had to be done at workmen’s wages. The privileges and the representation allowances of the high dignitaries of state disappeared along with the high dignitaries themselves.... Having once got rid of the standing army and the police, the instruments of physical force of the old government, the Commune proceeded at once to break the instrument of spiritual suppression, the power of the priests.... The judicial functionaries lost that sham independence ... they were thenceforward to be elective, responsible, and revocable....”138 The Commune, therefore, appears to have replaced the smashed state machine “only” by fuller democracy: abolition of the standing army; all officials to be elected and subject to recall. But as a matter of fact this “only” signifies a gigantic replacement of certain institutions by other institutions of a fundamentally different type. This is exactly a case of “quantity being transformed into quality”: democracy, introduced as fully and consistently as is at all conceivable, is transformed from bourgeois into proletarian democracy; from the state ( = a special force for the suppression of a particular class) into something which is no longer the state proper. It is still necessary to suppress the bourgeoisie and crush their resistance. This was particularly necessary for the Commune; and one of the reasons for its defeat was that it did not do this with sufficient determination. The organ of suppression, however, is here the majority of the population, and not a minority, as was always the case under slavery, serfdom, and wage slavery. And since the majority of people itself suppresses its oppressors, a ‘special force” for suppression is no longer necessary! In this sense, the state begins to wither away. Instead of the special institutions of a THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 425 privileged minority (privileged officialdom, the chiefs of the standing army), the majority itself can directly fulfil all these functions, and the more the functions of state power are performed by the people as a whole, the less need there is for the existence of this power. In this connection, the following measures of the Commune, emphasised by Marx, are particularly noteworthy: the abolition of all representation allowances, and of all monetary privileges to officials, the reduction of the remuneration of all servants of the state to the level of “workmen’s wages”. This shows more clearly than anything else the turn from bourgeois to proletarian democracy, from the democracy of the oppressors to that of the oppressed classes, from the state as a “special force” for the suppression of a particular class to the suppression of the oppressors by the general force of the majority of the people—the workers and the peasants. And it is on this particularly striking point, perhaps the most important as far as the problem of the state is concerned, that the ideas of Marx have been most completely ignored! In popular commentaries, the number of which is legion, this is not mentioned. The thing done is to keep silent about it as if it were a piece of old-fashioned “naïveté”, just as Christians, after their religion had been given the status of state religion, “forgot” the “naïveté” of primitive Christianity with its democratic revolutionary spirit. The reduction of the remuneration of high state officials seem “simply” a demand of naive, primitive democracy. One of the “founders” of modern opportunism, the ex-Social-Democrat Eduard Bernstein, has more than once repeated the vulgar bourgeois jeers at “primitive” democracy. Like all opportunists, and like the present Kautskyites, he did not understand at all that, first of all, the transition from capitalism to socialism is impossible without a certain “reversion” to “primitive” democracy (for how else can the majority, and then the whole population without exception, proceed to discharge state functions?); and that, secondly, “primitive democracy” based on capitalism and capitalist culture is not the same as primitive democracy in prehistoric or pre-capitalist times. Capitalist culture has created largescale production, factories, railways, the postal service, 426 V. I. L E N I N telephones, etc., and on this basis the great majority of the functions of the old “state power” have become so simplified and can be reduced to such exceedingly simple operations of registration, filing, and checking that they can be easily performed by every literate person, can quite easily be performed for ordinary “workmen’s wages”, and that these functions can (and must) be stripped of every shadow of privilege, of every semblance of “official grandeur”. All officials, without exception, elected and subject to recall at any time, their salaries reduced to the level of ordinary “workmen’s wages”—these simple and “self-evident” democratic measures, while completely uniting the interests of the workers and the majority of the peasants, at the same time serve as a bridge leading from capitalism to socialism. These measures concern the reorganisation of the state, the purely political reorganisation of society; but, of course, they acquire their full meaning and significance only in connection with the “expropriation of the expropriators” either bring accomplished or in preparation, i.e., with the transformation of capitalist private ownership of the means of production into social ownership. “The Commune,” Marx wrote, “made the catchword of all bourgeois revolutions, cheap government, a reality, by abolishing the two greatest sources of expenditure—the army and the officialdom.” From the peasants, as from other sections of the petty bourgeoisie, only an insignificant few “rise to the top”, “get on in the world” in the bourgeois sense, i.e., become either well-to-do, bourgeois, or officials in secure and privileged positions. In every capitalist country where there are peasants (as there are in most capitalist countries), the vast majority of them are oppressed by the government and long for its overthrow, long for “cheap” government. This can be achieved only by the proletariat; and by achieving it, the proletariat at the same time takes a step towards the socialist reorganisation of the state. THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 427 3. ABOLITION OF PARLIAMENTARISM “The Commune,” Marx wrote, “was to be a working, not a parliamentary, body, executive and legislative at the same time.... “Instead of deciding once in three or six years which member of the ruling class was to represent and repress [ver- and zertreten] the people in parliament, universal suffrage was to serve the people constituted in communes, as individual suffrage serves every other employer in the search for workers, foremen and accountants for his business.” Owing to the prevalence of social-chauvinism and opportunism, this remarkable criticism of parliamentarism, made in 1871, also belongs now to the “forgotten words” of Marxism. The professional Cabinet Ministers and parliamentarians, the traitors to the proletariat and the “practical” socialists of our day, have left all criticism of parliamentarism to the anarchists, and, on this wonderfully reasonable ground, they denounce all criticism of parliamentarism as “anarchism”!! It is not surprising that the proletariat of the “advanced” parliamentary countries, disgusted with such “socialists” as the Scheidemanns, Davids, Legiens, Sembats, Renaudels, Hendersons, Vanderveldes, Staunings, Brantings, Bissolatis, and Co., has been with increasing frequency giving its sympathies to anarcho-syndicalism, in spite of the fact that the latter is merely the twin brother of opportunism. For Marx, however, revolutionary dialectics was never the empty fashionable phrase, the toy rattle, which Plekhanov, Kautsky and others have made of it. Marx knew how to break with anarchism ruthlessly for its inability to make use even of the “pigsty” of bourgeois parliamentarism, especially when the situation was obviously not revolutionary; but at the same time he knew how to subject parliamentarism to genuinely revolutionary proletarian criticism. To decide once every few years which members of the ruling class is to repress and crush the people through parliament—this is the real essence of bourgeois parliamen- 428 V. I. L E N I N tarism, not only in parliamentary-constitutional monarchies, but also in the most democratic republics. But if we deal with the question of the state, and if we consider parliamentarism as one of the institutions of the state, from the point of view of the tasks of the proletariat in this field, what is the way out of parliamentarism? How can it be dispensed with? Once again, we must say: the lessons of Marx, based on the study of the Commune, have been so completely forgotten that the present-day “Social-Democrat” (i.e., present-day traitor to socialism) really cannot understand any criticism of parliamentarism other than anarchist or reactionary criticism. The way out of parliamentarism is not, of course, the abolition of representative institutions and the elective principle, but the conversion of the representative institutions from talking shops into “working” bodies. “The Commune was to be a working, not a parliamentary, body, executive and legislative at the same time.” “A working, not a parliamentary body”—this is a blow straight from the shoulder at the present-day parliamentarians and parliamentary “lap-dogs” of Social-Democracy! Take any parliamentary country, from America to Switzerland, from France to Britain, Norway and so forth—in these countries the real business of “state” is performed behind the scenes and is carried on by the departments, chancelleries, and General Staffs. Parliament is given up to talk for the special purpose of fooling the “common people”. This is so true that even in the Russian republic, a bourgeoisdemocratic republic, all these sins of parliamentarism came out at once, even before it managed to set up a real parliament. The heroes of rotten philistinism, such as the Skobelevs and Tseretelis, the Chernovs and Avksentyevs, have even succeeded in polluting the Soviets after the fashion of the most disgusting bourgeois parliamentarism, in converting them into mere talking shops. In the Soviets, the “socialist” Ministers are fooling the credulous rustics with phrasemongering and resolutions. In the government itself a sort of permanent shuffle is going on in order that, on the one hand, as many Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks as possible may in turn get near the “pie”, the THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 429 lucrative and honourable posts, and that, on the other hand, the “attention” of the people may be “engaged”. Meanwhile the chancelleries and army staffs “do” the business of “state”. Dyelo Naroda, the organ of the ruling Socialist-Revolutionary Party, recently admitted in a leading article— with the matchless frankness of people of “good society”, in which “all” are engaged in political prostitution—that even in the ministries headed by the “socialists” (save the mark!), the whole bureaucratic apparatus is in fact unchanged, is working in the old way and quite “freely” sabotaging revolutionary measures! Even without this admission, does not the actual history of the participation of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks in the government prove this? It is noteworthy, however, that in the ministerial company of the Cadets, the Chernovs, Rusanovs, Zenzinovs and other editors of Dyelo Naroda have so completely lost all sense of shame as to brazenly assert, as if it were a mere bagetelle, that in “their” ministries everything is unchanged!! Revolutionary-democratic phrases to gull the rural Simple Simons, and bureaucracy and red tape to “gladden the hearts” of the capitalists—that is the essence of the “honest” coalition. The Commune substitutes for the venal and rotten parliamentarism of bourgeois society institutions in which freedom of opinion and discussion does not degenerate into deception, for the parliamentarians themselves have to work, have to execute their own laws, have themselves to test the results achieved in reality, and to account directly to their constituents. Representative institutions remain, but there is no parliamentarism here as a special system, as the division of labour between the legislative and the executive, as a privileged position for the deputies. We cannot imagine democracy, even proletarian democracy, without representative institutions, but we can and must imagine democracy without parliamentarism, if criticism of bourgeois society is not mere words for us, if the desire to overthrow the rule of the bourgeoisie is our earnest and sincere desire, and not a mere “election” cry for catching workers’ votes, as it is with the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, and also the Scheidemanns and Legiens, the Semblats and Vanderveldes. 430 V. I. L E N I N It is extremely instructive to note that, in speaking of the function of those officials who are necessary for the Commune and for proletarian democracy, Marx compares them to the workers of “every other employer”, that is, of the ordinary capitalist enterprise, with its “workers, foremen, and accountants”. There is no trace of utopianism in Marx, in the sense that he made up or invented a “new” society. No, he studied the birth of the new society out of the old, and the forms of transition from the latter to the former, as a naturalhistorical process. He examined the actual experience of a mass proletarian movement and tried to draw practical lessons from it. He “Learned” from the Commune, just as all the great revolutionary thinkers learned unhesitatingly from the experience of great movements of the oppressed classes, and never addressed them with pedantic “homilies” (such as Plekhanov’s: “They should not have taken up arms” or Tsereteli’s: “A class must limit itself”). Abolishing the bureaucracy at once, everywhere and completely, is out of the question. It is a utopia. But to smash the old bureaucratic machine at once and to begin immediately to construct a new one that will make possible the gradual abolition of all bureaucracy—this is not a utopia, it is the experience of the Commune, the direct and immediate task of the revolutionary proletariat. Capitalism simplifies the functions of “state” administration; it makes it possible to cast “bossing” aside and to confine the whole matter to the organisation of the proletarians (as the ruling class), which will hire “workers, foremen and accountants” in the name of the whole of society. We are not utopians, we do not “dream” of dispensing at once with all administration, with all subordination. These anarchist dreams, based upon incomprehension of the tasks of the proletarian dictatorship, are totally alien to Marxism, and, as a matter of fact, serve only to postpone the socialist revolution until people are different. No, we want the socialist revolution with people as they are now, with people who cannot dispense with subordination, control, and “foremen and accountants”. The subordination, however, must be to the armed vanguard of all the exploited and working people, i.e., to THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 431 the proletariat. A beginning can and must be made at once, overnight, to replace the specific “bossing” of state officials by the simple functions of “foremen and accountants”, functions which are already fully within the ability of the average town dweller and can well be performed for “workmen’s wages”. We, the workers, shall organise large-scale production on the basis of what capitalism has already created, relying on our own experience as workers, establishing strict, iron discipline backed up by the state power of the armed workers. We shall reduce the role of state officials to that of simply carrying out our instructions as responsible, revocable, modestly paid “foremen and accountants” (of course, with the aid of technicians of all sorts, types and degrees). This is our proletarian task, this is what we can and must start with in accomplishing the proletarian revolution. Such a beginning, on the basis of large-scale production, will of itself lead to the gradual “withering away” of all bureaucracy, to the gradual creation of an order—an order without inverted commas, an order bearing no similarity to wage slavery—an order under which the functions of control and accounting, becoming more and more simple, will be performed by each in turn, will then become a habit and will finally die out as the special functions of a special section of the population. A witty German Social-Democrat of the seventies of the last century called the postal service an example of the socialist economic system. This is very true. At the present the postal service is a business organised on the lines of a state-capitalist monopoly. Imperialism is gradually transforming all trusts into organisations of a similar type, in which, standing over the “common” people, who are overworked and starved, one has the same bourgeois bureaucracy. But the mechanism of social management is here already to hand. Once we have overthrown the capitalists, crushed the resistance of these exploiters with the iron hand of the armed workers, and smashed the bureaucratic machinery of the modern state, we shall have a splendidly-equipped mechanism, freed from the “parasite”, a mechanism which can very well be set going by the united workers themselves, who will hire technicians, foremen and accountants, and pay them 432 V. I. L E N I N all, as indeed all “state” officials in general, workmen’s wages. Here is a concrete, practical task which can immediately be fulfilled in relation to all trusts, a task whose fulfilment will rid the working people of exploitation, a task which takes account of what the Commune had already begun to practice (particularly in building up the state). To organise the whole economy on the lines of the postal service so that the technicians, foremen and accountants, as well as all officials, shall receive salaries no higher than “a workman’s wage”, all under the control and leadership of the armed proletariat—that is our immediate aim. This is the state and this is the economic foundation we need. This is what will bring about the abolition of parliamentarism and the preservation of representative institutions. This is what will rid the labouring classes of the bourgeoisie’s prostitution of these institutions. 4. ORGANISATION OF NATIONAL UNITY “In a brief sketch of national organisation which the Commune had no time to develop, it states explicitly that the Commune was to be the political form of even the smallest village....” The communes were to elect the “National Delegation” in Paris. “. . . The few but important functions which would still remain for a central government were not to be suppressed, as had been deliberately mis-stated, but were to be transferred to communal, i.e., strictly responsible, officials. “. . . National unity was not to be broken, but, on the contrary, organised by the communal constitution; it was to become a reality by the destruction of state power which posed as the embodiment of that unity yet wanted to be independent of, and superior to, the nation, on whose body it was but a parasitic excrescence. While the merely repressive organs of the old governmental power were to be amputated, its legitimate functions were to be wrested from an authority claiming the right to stand above society, and restored to the responsible servants of society.” THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 433 The extent to which the opportunists of present-day Social-Democracy have failed—perhaps it would be more true to say, have refused—to understand these observations of Marx is best shown by that book of Herostratean fame of the renegade Bernstein, The Premises of Socialism and the Tasks of the Social-Democrats. It is in connection with the above passage from Marx that Bernstein wrote that “as far as its political content is concerned”, this programme “displays, in all its essential features, the greatest similarity to the federalism of Proudhon.... In spite of all the other points of difference between Marx and the ‘petty-bourgeois’ Proudhon [Bernstein places the word “petty-bourgeois” in inverted commas, to make it sound ironical] on these points, their lines of reasoning run as close as could be.” Of course, Bernstein continues, the importance of the municipalities is growing, but “it seems doubtful to me whether the first job of democracy would be such a dissolution [Auflösung] of the modern states and such a complete transformation [Umwandlung] of their organisation as is visualised by Marx and Proudhon (the formation of a National Assembly from delegates of the provincial of district assemblies, which, in their turn, would consist of delegates from the communes), so that consequently the previous mode of national representation would disappear.” (Bernstein, Premises, German edition, 1899, pp. 134 and 136.) To confuse Marx’s view on the “destruction of state power, a parasitic excrescence”, with Proudhon’s federalism is positively monstrous! But it is no accident, for it never occurs to the opportunist that Marx does not speak here at all about federalism as opposed to centralism, but about smashing the old, bourgeois state machine which exists in all bourgeois countries. The only thing that does occur to the opportunist is what he sees around him, in an environment of petty-bourgeois philistinism and “reformists” stagnation, namely, only “municipalities”! The opportunist has even grown out of the habit of thinking about proletarian revolution. It is ridiculous. But the remarkable thing is that nobody argued with Bernstein on this point. Bernstein has been refuted by many, especially by Plekhanov in Russian literature and by Kautsky in European literature, but neith- 434 V. I. L E N I N er of them has said anything about this distortion of Marx by Bernstein. The opportunist has so much forgotten how to think in a revolutionary way and to dwell on revolution that he attributes “federalism” to Marx, whom he confuses with the founder of anarchism, Proudhon. As for Kautsky and Plekhanov, who claim to be orthodox Marxists and defenders of the theory of revolutionary Marxism, they are silent on this point! Here is one of the roots of the extreme vulgarisation of the views on the difference between Marxism and anarchism, which is characteristic of both the Kautskyites and the opportunists, and which we shall discuss again later. There is not a trace of federalism in Marx’s above-quoted observation on the experience of the Commune. Marx agreed with Proudhon on the very point that the opportunist Bernstein did not see. Marx disagreed with Proudhon on the very point on which Bernstein found a similarity between them. Marx agreed with Proudhon in that they both stood for the “smashing” of the modern state machine. Neither the opportunists nor the Kautskyites wish to see the similarity of views on this point between Marxism and anarchism (both Proudhon and Bakunin) because this is where they have departed from Marxism. Marx disagreed both with Proudhon and Bakunin precisely on the question of federalism (not to mention the dictatorship of the proletariat). Federalism as a principle follows logically from the petty-bourgeois views of anarchism. Marx was a centralist. There is no departure whatever from centralism in his observations just quoted. Only those who are imbued with the philistine “superstitious belief” in the state can mistake the destruction of the bourgeois state machine for the destruction of centralism! Now if the proletariat and the poor peasants take state power into their own hands, organise themselves quite freely in communes, and unite the action of all the communes in striking at capital, in crushing the resistance of the capitalists, and in transferring the privately-owned railways, factories, land and so on to the entire nation, to the whole of society, won’t that be centralism? Won’t that be the most THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 435 consistent democratic centralism and, moreover, proletarian centralism? Bernstein simply cannot conceive of the possibility of voluntary centralism, of the voluntary fusion amalgamation of the proletarian communes, for the sole purpose of destroying bourgeois rule and the bourgeois state machine. Like all philistines, Bernstein pictures centralism as something which can be imposed and maintained solely from above, and solely by the bureaucracy and military clique. As though foreseeing that his views might be distorted, Marx expressly emphasised that the charge that the Commune had wanted to destroy national unity, to abolish the central authority, was a deliberate fraud. Marx purposely used the words: “National unity was ... to be organised”, so as to oppose conscious, democratic, proletarian centralism to bourgeois, military, bureaucratic centralism. But there are none so deaf as those who will not hear. And the very thing the opportunists of present-day SocialDemocracy do not want to hear about it the destruction of state power, the amputation of the parasitic excrescence. 5. ABOLITION OF THE PARASITE STATE We have already quoted Marx’s words on the subject, and we must now supplement them. “It is generally the fate of new historical creations,” he wrote, “to be mistaken for the counterpart of older and even defunct forms of social life, to which they may bear a certain likeness. Thus, this new Commune, which breaks [bricht, smashes] the modern state power, has been regarded as a revival of the medieval communes ... as a federation of small states (as Montesquieu and the Girondins 139 visualised it) ... as an exaggerated form of the old struggle against over-centralisation. . . . “. . . The Communal Constitution would have restored to the social body all the forces hitherto absorbed by that parasitic excrescence, the ‘state’, feeding upon and hampering the free movement of society. By this one act it would have initiated the regeneration of France.... 436 V. I. L E N I N “. . . The Communal Constitution would have brought the rural producers under the intellectual lead of the central towns of their districts, and there secured to them, in the town working men, the natural trustees of their interests. The very existence of the Commune involved, as a matter of course, local self-government, but no longer as a counterpoise to state power, now become superfluous.” “Breaking state power”, which as a “parasitic excrescence”; its “amputation”, its “smashing”; “state power, now become superfluous”—these are the expressions Marx used in regard to the state when appraising and analysing the experience of the Commune. All this was written a little less than half a century ago; and now one has to engage in excavations, as it were, in order to bring undistorted Marxism to the knowledge of the mass of the people. The conclusions drawn from the observation of the last great revolution which Marx lived through were forgotten just when the time for the next great proletarian revolution has arrived. “. . . The multiplicity of interpretations to which the Commune has been subjected, and the multiplicity of interests which expressed themselves in it show that it was a thoroughly flexible political form, while all previous forms of government had been essentially repressive. Its true secret was this: it was essentially a working-class government, the result of the struggle of the producing against the appropriating class, the political form at last discovered under which the economic emancipation of labour could be accomplished.... “Except on this last condition, the Communal Constitution would have been an impossibility and a delusion....” The utopians busied themselves with “discovering” political forms under which the socialist transformation of society was to take place. The anarchists dismissed the question of political forms altogether. The opportunists of present-day Social-Democracy accepted the bourgeois THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 437 political forms of the parliamentary democratic state as the limit which should not be overstepped; they battered their foreheads praying before this “model”, and denounced as anarchism every desire to break these forms. Marx deduced from the whole history of socialism and the political struggle that the state was bound to disappear, and that the transitional form of its disappearance (the transition from state to non-state) would be the “proletariat organised as the ruling class”. Marx, however, did not set out to discover the political forms of this future stage. He limited himself to carefully observing French history, to analysing it, and to drawing the conclusion to which the year 1851 had led, namely, that matters were moving towards destruction of the bourgeois state machine. And when the mass revolutionary movement of the proletariat burst forth, Marx, in spite of its failure, in spite of its short life and patent weakness, began to study the forms it had discovered. The Commune is the form “at last discovered” by the proletarian revolution, under which the economic emancipation of labour can take place. The Commune is the first attempt by a proletarian revolution to smash the bourgeois state machine; and it is the political form “at last discovered”, by which the smashed state machine can and must be replaced. We shall see further on that the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917, in different circumstances and under different conditions, continue the work of the Commune and confirm Marx’s brilliant historical analysis. C H A P T E R IV CONTINUATION. SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATIONS BY ENGELS Marx gave the fundamentals concerning the significance of the experience of the Commune. Engels returned to the same subject time and again, and explained Marx’s analysis and conclusions, sometimes elucidating other aspects of the question with such power and vividness that it is necessary to deal with his explanations specially. 438 V. I. L E N I N 1. THE HOUSING QUESTION In his work, The Housing Question (1872), Engels already took into account the experience of the Commune, and dealt several times with the tasks of the revolution in relation to the state. It is interesting to note that the treatment of this specific subject clearly revealed, on the one hand, points of similarity between the proletarian state and the present state—points that warrant speaking of the state in both cases—and, on the other hand, points of difference between them, or the transition to the destruction of the state. “How is the housing question to be settled then? In present-day society, it is settled just as any other social question: by the gradual economic levelling of demand and supply, a settlement which reproduces the question itself again and again and therefore is no settlement. How a social revolution would settle this question not only depends on the circumstances in each particular case, but is also connected with much more far-reaching questions, one of the most fundamental of which is the abolition of the antithesis between town and country. As it is not our task to create utopian systems for the organisation of the future society, it would be more than idle to go into the question here. But one thing is certain: there is already a sufficient quantity of houses in the big cities to remedy immediately all real ‘housing shortage’, provided they are used judiciously. This can naturally only occur through the expropriation of the present owners and by quartering in their houses homeless workers or workers overcrowded in their present homes. As soon as the proletariat has won political power, such a measure prompted by concern for the common good will be just as easy to carry out as are other expropriations and billetings by the present-day state.” (German edition, 1887, p. 22.)140 The change in the form of state power is not examined here, but only the content of its activity. Expropriations and billetings take place by order even of the present state. From the formal point of view, the proletarian state will THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 439 also “order” the occupation of dwellings and expropriation of houses. But it is clear that the old executive apparatus, the bureaucracy, which is connected with the bourgeoisie, would simply be unfit to carry out the orders of the proletarian state. “. . . It must be pointed out that the ‘actual seizure’ of all the instruments of labour, the taking possession of industry as a whole by the working people, is the exact opposite of the Proudhonist ‘redemption’. In the latter case the individual worker becomes the owner of the dwelling, the peasant farm, the instruments of labour; in the former case, the ‘working people’ remain the collective owners of the houses, factories and instruments of labour, and will hardly permit their use, at least during a transitional period, by individuals or associations without compensation for the cost. In the same way, the abolition of property in land is not the abolition of ground rent but its transfer, if in a modified form, to society. The actual seizure of all the instruments of labour by the working people, therefore, does not at all preclude the retention of rent relations.” (P. 68.) We shall examine the question touched upon in this passage, namely, the economic basis for the withering away of the state, in the next chapter. Engels expresses himself most cautiously, saying that the proletarian state would “hardly” permit the use of houses without payment, “at least during a transitional period”. The letting of houses owed by the whole people to individual families presupposes the collection of rent, a certain amount of control, and the employment of some standard in allotting the housing. All this calls for a certain form of state, but it does not at all call for a special military bureaucratic apparatus, with officials occupying especially privileged positions. The transition to a situation in which it will be possible to supply dwellings rent-free depends on the complete “withering away” of the state. Speaking of the Blanquists’ adoption of the fundamental position of Marxism after the Commune and under the 440 V. I. L E N I N influence of its experience, Engels, in passing, formulates this position as follows: “. . . Necessity of political action by the proletariat and of its dictatorship as the transition to the abolition of classes and, with them, of the state....” (P. 55.) Addicts of hair-splitting criticism, or bourgeois “exterminators of Marxism”, will perhaps see a contradiction between this recognition of the “abolition of the state” and repudiation of this formula as an anarchist one in the above passage from Anti-Dühring. It would not be surprising if the opportunists classed Engels, too, as an “anarchist”, for it is becoming increasingly common with the social-chauvinists to accuse the internationalists of anarchism. Marxism has always taught that with the abolition of classes the state will also be abolished. The well-known passage on the “withering away of the state in AntiDühring accuses the anarchists not simply of favouring the abolition of the state, but of preaching that the state can be abolished “overnight”. As the now prevailing “Social-Democratic” doctrine completely distorts the relation of Marxism to anarchism on the question of the abolition of the state, it will be particularly useful to recall a certain controversy in which Marx and Engels came out against the anarchists. 2. CONTROVERSY WITH THE ANARCHISTS This controversy took place in 1873. Marx and Engels contributed articles against the Proudhonists, “autonomists” or “anti-authoritarians”, to an Italian socialist annual, and it was not until 1913 that these articles appeared in German in Neue Zeit. 141 “If the political struggle of the working class assumes revolutionary form,” wrote Marx, ridiculing the anarchists for their repudiation of politics, “and if the workers set up their revolutionary dictatorship in place of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, they commit the terrible crime of violating principles, for in order to satisfy their wretched, vulgar everyday needs and to crush the resistance of the bourgeoisie, they give the THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 441 state a revolutionary and transient form, instead of laying down their arms and abolishing the state.” (Neue Zeit, Vol. XXXII, 1, 1913-14, p. 40.) It was solely against this kind of “abolition” of the state that Marx fought in refuting the anarchists! He did not at all oppose the view that the state would disappear when classes disappeared, or that it would be abolished when classes were abolished. What he did oppose was the proposition that the workers should renounce the use of arms, organised violence, that is, the state, which is to serve to “crush the resistance of the bourgeoisie”. To prevent the true meaning of his struggle against anarchism from being distorted, Marx expressly emphasised the “revolutionary and transient form” of the state which the proletariat needs. The proletariat needs the state only temporarily. We do not after all differ with the anarchists on the question of the abolition of the state as the aim. We maintain that, to achieve this aim, we must temporarily make use of the instruments, resources, and methods of state power against the exploiters, just as the temporary dictatorship of the oppressed class is necessary for the abolition of classes. Marx chooses the sharpest and clearest way of stating his case against the anarchists: After overthrowing the yoke of the capitalists, should the workers “lay down their arms”, or use them against the capitalists in order to crush their resistance? But what is the systematic use of arms by one class against another if not a “transient form” of state? Let every Social-Democrat ask himself: Is that how he has been posing the question of the state in controversy with the anarchists? Is that how it has been posed by the vast majority of the official socialist parties of the Second International? Engels expounds the same ideas in much greater detail and still more popularly. First of all he ridicules the muddled ideas of the Proudhonists, who call themselves “antiauthoritarians”, i.e., repudiated all authority, all subordination, all power. Take a factory, a railway, a ship on the high seas, said Engels: is it not clear that not one of these complex technical establishments, based on the use of machinery and the systematic co-operation of many people, 442 V. I. L E N I N could function without a certain amount of subordination and, consequently, without a certain amount of authority or power? “. . . When I counter the most rabid anti-authoritarians with these arguments, they only answer they can give me is the following: Oh, that’s true, except that here it is not a question of authority with which we vest our delegates, but of a commission! These people imagine they can change a thing by changing its name. . . . ” Having thus shown that authority and autonomy are relative terms, that the sphere of their application varies with the various phases of social development, that it is absurd to take them as absolutes, and adding that the sphere of application of machinery and large-scale production is steadily expanding, Engels passes from the general discussion of authority to the question of the state. “Had the autonomists,” he wrote, “contented themselves with saying that the social organisation of the future would allow authority only within the bounds which the conditions of production make inevitable, one could have come to terms with them. But they are blind to all facts that make authority necessary and they passionately fight the word. “Why do the anti-authoritarians not confine themselves to crying out against political authority, the state? All socialists are agreed that the state, and with it political authority, will disappear as a result of the coming social revolution, that is, that public functions will lose their political character and become mere administrative functions of watching over social interests. But the anti-authoritarians demand that the political state be abolished at one stroke, even before the social relations that gave both to it have been destroyed. They demand that the first act of the social revolution shall be the abolition of authority. “Have these gentlemen ever seen a revolution? A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is an act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 443 bayonets and cannon, all of which are highly authoritarian means. And the victorious party must maintain its rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionaries. Would the Paris Commune have lasted more than a day if it had not used the authority of the armed people against the bourgeoisie? Cannot we, on the contrary, blame it for having made too little use of that authority? Therefore, one of two things: either that anti-authoritarians don’t know what they are talking about, in which case they are creating nothing but confusion. Or they do know, and in that case they are betraying the cause of the proletariat. In either case they serve only reaction.” (P. 39.) FROM MARX This argument touches questions which should be TOupon MAO examined in connection with the relationship between pol-  itics and economics during the withering away of the state (the next chapter is devoted to this). These questions are: the transformation of public functions from political into simple functions of administration, and the “political state”. This last term, one particularly liable to misunderstanding, indicates the process of the withering away of the state: at a certain stage of this process, the state which is withering away may be called a non-political state. Against, the most remarkable thing in this argument of Engels’s is the way he states his case against the anarchists. Social-Democrats, claiming to be disciples of Engels, have argued on this subject against the anarchists millions of times since 1873, but they have not argued as Marxists could and should. The anarchist idea of abolition of the state is muddled and non-revolutionary—that is how Engels put it. It is precisely the revolution in its rise and development, with its specific tasks in relation to violence, authority, power, the state, that the anarchists refuse to see. The usual criticism of anarchism by present-day SocialDemocrats has boiled down to the purest philistine banality: “We recognise the state, whereas the anarchists do not!” Naturally, such banality cannot but repel workers who are at all capable of thinking and revolutionary-minded. What Engels says is different. He stresses that all socialists recognise that the state will disappear as a result of the socialist NOT FOR COMMERCIAL DISTRIBUTION 444 V. I. L E N I N revolution. He then deals specifically with the question of the revolution—the very question which, as a rule, the SocialDemocrats evade out of opportunism, leaving it, so to speak, exclusively for the anarchists “to work out”. And when dealing with this question, Engels takes the bull by the horns; he asks: should not the Commune have made more use of the revolutionary power of the state, that is, of the proletariat armed and organised as the ruling class? Prevailing official Social-Democracy usually dismissed the question of the concrete tasks of the proletariat in the revolution either with a philistine sneer, or, at best, with the sophistic evasion: “The future will show”. And the anarchists were justified in saying about such Social-Democrats that they were failing in their task of giving the workers a revolutionary education. Engels draws upon the experience of the last proletarian revolution precisely for the purpose of making a most concrete study of what should be done by the proletariat, and in what manner, in relation to both the banks and the state. 3. LETTER TO BEBEL One of the most, if not the most, remarkable observation on the state in the works of Marx and Engels is contained in the following passage in Engels’s letter to Bebel dated March 18-28, 1875. This letter, we may observe in parenthesis, was, as far as we know, first published by Bebel in the second volume of his memoirs (Aus meinem Leben), which appeared in 1911, i.e., thirty-six years after the letter had been written and sent. Engels wrote to Bebel criticising the same draft of the Gotha Programme which Marx criticised in his famous letter to Bracke. Referring specially to the question of the state, Engels said: “The free people’s state has been transferred into the free state. Taken in its grammatical sense, a free state is one where the state is free in relation to its citizens, hence a state with a despotic government. The whole talk about the state should be dropped, especially since the Commune, which was no longer a state in the proper sense of the word. The ‘people’s state’ has been thrown THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 445 in our faces by the anarchists to the point of disgust, although already Marx’s book against Proudhon and later the Communist Manifesto say plainly that with the introduction of the socialist order of society the state dissolves of itself [sich auflöst] and disappears. As the state is only a transitional institution which is used in the struggle, in the revolution, to hold down one’s adversaries by force, it is sheer nonsense to talk of a ‘free people’s state’; so long as the proletariat still needs the state, it does not need it in the interests of freedom but in order to hold down its adversaries, and as soon as it becomes possible to speak of freedom the state as such ceases to exist. We would therefore propose replacing the state everywhere by Gemeinwesen, a good old German word which can very well take the place of the French word commune.” (Pp. 321-22 of the German original.) 142 It should be borne in mind that this letter refers to the party programme which Marx criticised in a letter dated only a few weeks later than the above (Marx’s letter is dated May 5, 1875), and that at the time Engels was living with Marx in London. Consequently, when he says “we” in the last sentence, Engels undoubtedly, in his own as well as in Marx’s name, suggests to the leader of the German workers’ party that the word “state” be struck out of the programme and replaced by the word “community”. What a howl about “anarchism” would be raised by the leading lights of present-day “Marxism”, which has been falsified for the convenience of the opportunists, if such an amendment of the programme were suggested to them! Let them howl. This will earn them the praises of the bourgeoisie. And we shall go on with our work. In revising the programme of our Party, we must by all means take the advice of Engels and Marx into consideration in order to come nearer the truth, to restore Marxism by ridding it of distortions, to guide the struggle of the working class for its emancipation more correctly. Certainly no one opposed to the advice of Engels and Marx will be found among the Bolsheviks. The only difficulty that may perhaps arise will be in regard to 446 V. I. L E N I N the term. In German there are two words meaning “community”, of which Engels used the one which does not denote a single community, but their totality, a system of communities. In Russian there is no such word, and we may have to choose the French word “commune”, although this also has its drawbacks. “The Commune was no longer a state in the proper sense of the word”—this is the most theoretically important statement Engels makes. After what has been said above, this statement is perfectly clear. The Commune was ceasing to be a state since it had to suppress, not the majority of the population, but a minority (the exploiters). It had smashed the bourgeois state machine. In place of a special coercive force the population itself came on the scene. All this was a departure from the state in the proper sense of the word. And had the Commune become firmly established, all traces of the state in it would have “withered away” of themselves; it would not have had to “abolish” the institutions of the state—they would have ceased to function as they ceased to have anything to do. “The ‘people’s state’ has been thrown in our faces by the anarchists”. In saying this, Engels above all has in mind Bakunin and his attacks on the German Social-Democrats. Engels admits that these attacks were justified insofar as the “people’s state” was as much an absurdity and as much a departure from socialism as the “free people’s state”. Engels tried to put the struggle of the German Social-Democrats against the anarchists on the right lines, to make this struggle correct in principle, to ride it of opportunist prejudices concerning the “state”. Unfortunately, Engels’s letter was pigeon-holed for thirty-six years. We shall see farther on that, even after this letter was published, Kautsky persisted in virtually the same mistakes against which Engels had warned. Bebel replied to Engels in a letter dated September 21, 1875, in which he wrote, among other things, that he “fully agreed” with Engels’s opinion of the draft programme, and that he had reproached Liebknecht with readiness to make concessions (p. 334 of the German edition of Bebel’s memoirs, Vol. II). But if we take Bebel’s pamphlet, Our Aims, we find there views on the state that are absolutely wrong. THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 447 “The state must . . . be transformed from one based on class rule into a people’s state.” (Unsere Ziele, German edition, 1886, p. 14.) This was printed in the ninth (ninth!) edition of Bebel’s pamphlet! It is not surprising that opportunist views on the state, so persistently repeated, were absorbed by the German Social-Democrats, especially as Engels’s revolutionary interpretations had been safely pigeon-holed, and all the conditions of life were such as to “wean” them from revolution for a long time. 4. CRITICISM OF THE DRAFT OF THE ERFURT PROGRAMME In analysing Marxist teachings on the state, the criticism of the draft of the Erfurt Programme, 143 sent by Engels to Kautsky on June 29, 1891, and published only ten years later in Neue Zeit, cannot be ignored; for it is with the opportunist views of the Social-Democrats on questions of state organisation that this criticism is mainly concerned. We shall note in passing that Engels also makes an exceedingly valuable observation on economic questions, which shows how attentively and thoughtfully he watched the various changes occurring in modern capitalism, and how for this reason he was able to foresee to a certain extent the tasks of our present, the imperialist, epoch. Here is that observation: referring to the word “planlessness” (Planlosigkeit), used in the draft programme, as characteristic of capitalism, Engels wrote: “When we pass from joint-stock companies to trusts which assume control over, and monopolise, whole industries, it is not only private production that ceases, but also planlessness.” (Neue Zeit, Vol. XX, 1, 1901-02, p. 8.) Here was have what is most essential in the theoretical appraisal of the latest phase of capitalism, i.e., imperialism, namely, that capitalism becomes monopoly capitalism. The latter must be emphasised because the erroneous bourgeois reformist assertion that monopoly capitalism or statemonopoly capitalism is no longer capitalism, but can now 448 V. I. L E N I N be called “state socialism” and so on, is very common. The trusts, of course, never provided, do not now provide, and cannot provide complete planning. But however much they do plan, however much the capitalist magnates calculate in advance the volume of production on a national and even on an international scale, and however much they systematically regulate it, we still remain under capitalism— at its new stage, it is true, but still capitalism, without a doubt. The “proximity” of such capitalism to socialism should serve genuine representatives of the proletariat as an argument proving the proximity, facility, feasibility, and urgency of the socialist revolution, and not at all as an argument for tolerating the repudiation of such a revolution and the efforts to make capitalism look more attractive, something which all reformists are trying to do. But to return to the question of the state. In his letter Engels makes three particularly valuable suggestions: first, in regard to the republic; second, in regard to the connection between the national question and state organisation; and, third, in regard to local self-government. In regard to the republic, Engels made this the focal point of this criticism of the draft of the Erfurt Programme. And when we recall the importance which the Erfurt Programme acquired for all the Social- Democrats of the world, and that it became the model for the whole Second International, we may say without exaggeration that Engels thereby criticises the opportunism of the whole Second International. “The political demands of the draft,” Engels wrote, “have one great fault. It lacks [Engels’s italics] precisely what should have been said.” And, later on, he makes it clear that the German Constitution is, strictly speaking, a copy of the extremely reactionary Constitution of 1850, that the Reichstag is only, as Wilhelm Liebknecht put it, “the fig leaf of absolutism” and that to wish “to transform all the instruments of labour into common property” on the basis of a constitution which legalises the existence of petty states and the federation of petty German states is an “obvious absurdity”. THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 449 “To touch on that is dangerous, however,” Engels added, knowing only too well that it was impossible legally to include in the programme the demand for a republic in Germany. But he refused to merely accept this obvious consideration which satisfied “everybody”. He continued: “Nevertheless, somehow or other, the thing has to be attacked. How necessary this is is shown precisely at the present time by opportunism, which is gaining ground [einreissende] in a large section of the Social-Democrat press. Fearing a renewal of the AntiSocialist Law, 144 or recalling all manner of overhasty pronouncements made during the reign of that law, they now want the Party to find the present legal order in Germany adequate for putting through all Party demands by peaceful means....” Engels particularly stressed the fundamental fact that the German Social-Democrats were prompted by fear of a renewal of the Anti- Socialist Law, and explicitly described it as opportunism; he declared that precisely because there was no republic and no freedom in Germany, the dreams of a “peaceful” path were perfectly absurd. Engels was careful not to tie his hands. He admitted that in republican or very free countries “one can conceive” (only “conceive”!) of a peaceful development towards socialism, but in Germany, he repeated, “. . . in Germany, where the government is almost omnipotent and the Reichstag and all other representative bodies have no real power, to advocate such a thing in Germany, where, moreover, there is no need to do so, means removing the fig leaf from absolutism and becoming oneself a screen for its nakedness.” The great majority of the official leaders of the German Social- Democratic Party, which pigeon-holed this advice, have really proved to be a screen for absolutism. “... In the long run such a policy can only lead one’s own party astray. They push general, abstract political questions into the foreground, thereby concealing the immediate concrete questions, which at the moment of the first great events, the first political crisis, automat- 450 V. I. L E N I N ically pose themselves. What can result from this except that at the decisive moment the party suddenly proves helpless and that uncertainty and discord on the most decisive issues reign in it because these issues have never been discussed?... “This forgetting of the great, the principal considerations for the momentary interests of the day, this struggling and striving for the success of the moment regardless of later consequences, this sacrifice of the future of the movement for its present may be ‘honestly’ meant, but it is and remains opportunism, and ‘honest’ opportunism is perhaps the most dangerous of all.... “If one thing is certain it is that our party and the working class can only come to power in the form of the democratic republic. This is even the specific form for the dictatorship of the proletariat, as the Great French Revolution has already shown....” Engels realised here in a particularly striking form the fundamental idea which runs through all of Marx’s works, namely, that the democratic republic is the nearest approach to the dictatorship of the proletariat. For such a republic, without in the least abolishing the rule of capital, and, therefore, the oppression of the masses and the class struggle, inevitably leads to such an extension, development, unfolding, and intensification of this struggle that, as soon as it becomes possible to meet the fundamental interests of the oppressed masses, this possibility is realised inevitably and solely through the dictatorship of the proletariat, through the leadership of those masses by the proletariat. These, too, are “forgotten words” of Marxism for the whole of the Second International, and the fact that they have been forgotten was demonstrated with particular vividness by the history of the Menshevik Party during the first six months of the Russian revolution of 1917. On the subject of a federal republic, in connection with the national composition of the population, Engels wrote: “What should take the place of the present-day Germany [with its reactionary monarchical Constitution and its equally reactionary division into petty states, a division which perpetuates all the specific features of THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 451 “Prussianism” instead of dissolving them in Germany as a whole]? In my view, the proletariat can only use the form of the one and indivisible republic. In the gigantic territory of the United States, a federal republic is still, on the whole, a necessity, although in the Eastern states it is already becoming a hindrance. It would be a step forward in Britain where the two islands are peopled by four nations and in spite of a single Parliament three different systems of legislation already exist side by side. In little Switzerland, it has long been a hindrance, tolerable only because Switzerland is content to be a purely passive member of the European state system. For Germany, federalisation on the Swiss model would be an enormous step backward. Two points distinguish a union state from a completely unified state: first, that each member state, each canton, has its own civil and criminal legislative and judicial system, and, second, that alongside a popular chamber there is also a federal chamber in which each canton, whether large or small, votes as such.” In Germany, the union state is the transition to the completely unified state, and the “revolution from above” of 1866 and 1870 must not be reversed but supplemented by a “movement from below”. Far from being indifferent to the forms of state, Engels, on the contrary, tried to analyse the transitional forms with the utmost thoroughness in order to establish, in accordance with the concrete historical peculiarities of each particular case, from what and to what the given transitional form is passing. Approaching the matter from the standpoint of the proletariat and the proletarian revolution, Engels, like Marx, upheld democratic centralism, the republic—one and indivisible. He regarded the federal republic either as an exception and a hindrance to development, or as a transition from a monarchy to a centralised republic, as a “step forward” under certain special conditions. And among these special conditions, he puts the national question to the fore. Although mercilessly criticising the reactionary nature of small states, and the screening of this by the national question in certain concrete cases, Engels, like Marx, never 452 V. I. L E N I N betrayed the slightest desire to brush aside the national question—a desire of which the Dutch and Polish Marxists, who proceed from their perfectly justified opposition to the narrow philistine nationalism of “their” little states, are often guilty. Even in regard to Britain, where geographical conditions, a common language and the history of many centuries would seem to have “put an end” to the national question in the various small divisions of the country—even in regard to that country, Engels reckoned with the plain fact that the national question was not yet a thing of the past, and recognised in consequence that the establishment of a federal republic would be a “step forward”. Of course, there is not the slightest hint here of Engels abandoning the criticism of the shortcomings of a federal republic or renouncing the most determined advocacy of, and struggle for, a unified and centralised democratic republic. But Engels did not at all men democratic centralism in the bureaucratic sense in which the term is used by bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ideologists, the anarchists among the latter. His idea of centralism did not in the least preclude such broad local self-government as would combine the voluntary defence of the unity of the state by the “communes” and districts, and the complete elimination of all bureaucratic practices and all “ordering” from above. Carrying forward the programme views of Marxism on the state, Engels wrote: “So, then, a unified republic—but not in the sense of the present French Republic, which is nothing but the Empire established in 1798 without the Emperor. From 1792 to 1798 each French department, each commune [Gemeinde], enjoyed complete self-government on the American model, and this is what we too must have. How self-government is to be organised and how we can manage, without a bureaucracy has been shown to us by America and the first French Republic, and is being shown even today by Australia, Canada and the other English colonies. And a provincial [regional] and communal self-government of this type is far freer than, for instance, Swiss federalism, under which, it is THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 453 true, the canton is very independent in relation to the Bund [i.e., the federated state as a whole], but is also independent in relation to the district [Bezirk] and the commune. The cantonal governments appoint the district governors [Bezirksstatthalter] and prefects—which is unknown in English-speaking countries and which we want to abolish here as resolutely in the future as the Prussian Landräte and Regierungsräte” (commissioners, district police chiefs, governors, and in general all officials appointed from above). Accordingly, Engels proposes the following words for the self-government clause in the programme: “Complete self-government for the provinces [gubernias or regions], districts and communes through officials elected by universal suffrage. The abolition of all local and provincial authorities appointed by the state.” I have already had occasion to point out—in Pravda (No. 68, May 28, 1917), * which was suppressed by the government of Kerensky and other “socialist” Ministers—how on this point (of course, not on this point alone by any means) our pseudo-socialist representatives of pseudo-revolutionary pseudo-democracy have made glaring departures from democracy. Naturally, people who have bound themselves by a “coalition” to the imperialist bourgeoisie have remained deaf to this criticism. It is extremely important to note that Engels, armed with facts, disproved by a most precise example the prejudice which is very widespread, particularly among pettybourgeois democrats, that a federal republic necessarily means a greater amount of freedom than a centralised republic. This is wrong. It is disproved by the facts cited by Engels regarding the centralised French Republic of 1792-98 and the federal Swiss Republic. The really democratic centralised republic gave more freedom that the federal republic. In other words, the greatest amount of local, regional, and other freedom known in history was accorded by a centralised and not a federal republic. * See present edition, Vol. 24, pp. 536-38.—Ed. 454 V. I. L E N I N Insufficient attention has been and is being paid in our Party propaganda and agitation to this fact, as, indeed, to the whole question of the federal and the centralised republic and local self-government. 5. THE 1891 PREFACE TO MARX’S THE CIVIL WAR IN FRANCE In his preface to the third edition of The Civil War in France (this preface is dated March 18, 1891, and was originally published in Neue Zeit), Engels, in addition to some interesting incidental remarks on questions concerning the attitude towards the state, gave a remarkably vivid summary of the lessons of the Commune. 145 This summary, made more profound by the entire experience of the twenty years that separated the author from the Commune, and directed expressly against the “superstitious belief in the state” so widespread in Germany, may justly be called the last word of Marxism on the question under consideration. In France, Engels observed, the workers emerged with arms from every revolution: “therefore the disarming of the workers was the first commandment for the bourgeois, who were at the helm of the state. Hence, after every revolution won by the workers, a new struggle, ending with the defeat of the workers.” This summary of the experience of bourgeois revolutions is as concise as it is expressive. The essence of the matter— among other things, on the question of the state (has the oppressed class arms?)—is here remarkably well-grasped. It is precisely this essence that is most often evaded both by professors influenced by bourgeois ideology, and by pettybourgeois democrats. In the Russian revolution of 1917, the honour (Cavaignac honour) of blabbing this secret of bourgeois revolutions fell to the Menshevik, would-be Marxist, Tsereteli. In his “historic” speech of June 11, Tsereteli blurted out that the bourgeoisie were determined to disarm the Petrograd workers—presenting, of course, this decision as his own, and as a necessity for the “state” in general! THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 455 Tsereteli’s historical speech of June 11 will, of course, serve every historian of the revolution of 1917 as a graphic illustration of how the Social-Revolutionary and Menshevik bloc, led by Mr. Tsereteli, deserted to the bourgeoisie against the revolutionary proletariat. Another incidental remark of Engels’s, also connected with the question of the state, deals with religion. It is well known that the German Social-Democrats, as they degenerated and became increasingly opportunist, slipped more and more frequently into the philistine misinterpretation of the celebrated formula: “Religion is to be declared a private matter.” That is, the formula was twisted to mean that religion was a private matter even for the party of the revolutionary proletariat!! It was against this complete betrayal of the revolutionary programme of the proletariat that Engels vigorously protested. In 1891 he saw only the very feeble beginnings of opportunism in his party, and, therefore, he expressed himself with extreme caution: “As almost only workers, or recognised representatives of the workers, sat in the Commune, its decisions bore a decidedly proletarian character. Either they decreed reforms which the republican bourgeoisie had failed to pass solely out of cowardice, but which provided a necessary basis for the free activity of the working class—such as the realisation of the principle that in relation to the state religion is a purely private matter—or the Commune promulgated decrees which were in the direct interest of the working class and in part cut deeply into the old order of society.” Engels deliberately emphasised the words “in relation to the state” as a straight thrust at German opportunism, which had declared religion to be a private matter in relation to the party, thus degrading the party of the revolutionary proletariat to the level of the most vulgar “free- thinking” philistinism, which is prepared to allow a non-denominational status, but which renounces the party struggle against the opium of religion which stupefies the people. The future historian of the German Social-Democrats, in tracing the roots of their shameful bankruptcy in 1914, will find a fair amount of interesting material on this question, 456 V. I. L E N I N beginning with the evasive declarations in the articles of the party’s ideological leader, Kautsky, which throw the door wide open to opportunism, and ending with the attitude of the party towards the “Los-von-Kirche-Bewegung” 146 (the “Leave-the-Church” movement) in 1913. But let us see how, twenty years after the Commune, Engels summed up its lessons for the fighting proletariat. Here are the lessons to which Engels attached prime importance: “... It was precisely the oppressing power of the former centralised government, army, political parties, bureaucracy, which Napoleon had created in 1798 and which every new government had since then taken over as a welcome instrument and used against its opponents— it was this power which was to fall everywhere, just as it had fallen in Paris. “From the very outset the Commune had to recognise that the working class, once in power, could not go on managing with the old state machine; that in order not to lose again its only just-gained supremacy, this working class must, on the one hand, do away with all the old machinery of oppression previously used against it itself, and, on the other, safeguard itself against its own deputies and officials, by declaring them all, without exception, subject to recall at any time....” Engels emphasised once again that not only under a monarchy, but also in a democratic republic the state remains a state, i.e., it retains its fundamental distinguishing feature of transforming the officials, the ‘servants of society”, its organs, into the masters of society. “Against this transformation of the state and the organs of the state from servants of society into masters of society—an inevitable transformation in all previous states—the Commune used two infallible means. In the first place, it filled all posts—administrative, judicial, and educational—by election on the basis of universal suffrage of all concerned, subject to recall at any time by the electors. And, in the second place, it paid all officials, high or low, only the wages received THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 457 by other workers. The highest salary paid by the Commune to anyone was 6,000 francs. * In this way a dependable barrier to place-hunting and careerism was set up, even apart from the binding mandates to delegates to representative bodies, which were added besides....” Engels here approached the interesting boundary line at which consistent democracy, on the one hand, is transformed into socialism and, on the other, demands socialism. For, in order to abolish the state, it is necessary to convert the functions of the civil service into the simple operations of control and accounting that are within the scope and ability of the vast majority of the population, and, subsequently, of every single individual. And if careerism is to be abolished completely, it must be made impossible for “honourable” though profitless posts in the Civil Service to be used as a springboard to highly lucrative posts in banks or jointstock companies, as constantly happens in all the freest capitalist countries. Engels, however, did not make the mistake some Marxists make in dealing, for example, with the question of the right of nations to self- determination, when they argue that is impossible under capitalism and will be superfluous under socialism. This seemingly clever but actually incorrect statement might be made in regard to any democratic institution, including moderate salaries for officials, because fully consistent democracy is impossible under capitalism, and under socialism all democracy will wither away. This is a sophism like the old joke about a man becoming bald by losing one more hair. To develop democracy to the utmost, to find the forms for this development, to test them by practice, and so forth— all this is one of the component tasks of the struggle for the social revolution. Taken separately, no kind of democracy will bring socialism. But in actual life democracy will never be “taken separately”; it will be “taken together” with other * Nominally about 2,400 rubles or, according to the present rate of exchange, about 6,000 rubles. The action of those Bolsheviks who propose that a salary of 9,000 rubles be paid to members of municipal councils, for instance, instead of a maximum salary of 6,000 rubles— quite an adequate sum—throughout the state, is inexcusable. 458 V. I. L E N I N things, it will exert its influence on economic life as well, will stimulate its transformation; and in its turn it will be influenced by economic development, and so on. This is the dialectics of living history. Engels continued: “. . . This shattering [Sprengung] of the former state power and its replacement by a new and truly democratic one is described in detail in the third section of The Civil War. But it was necessary to touch briefly here once more on some of its features, because in Germany particularly the superstitious belief in the state has passed from philosophy into the general consciousness of the bourgeoisie and even of many workers. According to the philosophical conception, the state is the ‘realisation of the idea’, or the Kingdom of God on earth, translated into philosophical terms, the sphere in which eternal truth and justice are, or should be, realised. And from this follows a superstitious reverence for the state and everything connected with it, which takes root the more readily since people are accustomed from childhood to imagine that the affairs and interests common to the whole of society could not be looked after other than as they have been looked after in the past, that is, through the state and its lucratively positioned officials. And people think they have taken quite an extraordinary bold step forward when they have rid themselves of belief in hereditary monarchy and swear by the democratic republic. In reality, however, the state is nothing but a machine for the oppression of one class by another, and indeed in the democratic republic no less than in the monarchy. And at best it is an evil inherited by the proletariat after its victorious struggle for class supremacy, whose worst sides the victorious proletariat will have to lop off as speedily as possible, just as the Commune had to, until a generation reared in new, free social conditions is able to discard the entire lumber of the state.” Engels warned the Germans not to forget the principles of socialism with regard to the state in general in connec- THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 459 tion with the substitution of a republic for the monarchy. His warnings now read like a veritable lesson to the Tseretelis and Chernovs, who in their “coalition” practice have revealed a superstitious belief in, and a superstitious reverence for, the state! Two more remarks. 1. Engels’s statement that in a democratic republic, “no less” than in a monarchy, the state remains a “machine for the oppression of one class by another” by no means signifies that the form of oppression makes no difference to the proletariat, as some anarchists “teach”. A wider, freer and more open form of the class struggle and of class oppression vastly assists the proletariat in its struggle for the abolition of classes in general. 2. Why will only a new generation be able to discard the entire lumber of the state? This question is bound up with that of overcoming democracy, with which we shall deal now. 6. ENGELS ON THE OVERCOMING OF DEMOCRACY Engels came to express his views on this subject when establishing that the term “Social-Democrat” was scientifically wrong. In a preface to an edition of his articles of the seventies on various subjects, mostly on “international” questions (Internationales aus dem Volkstaat * ), dated January 3, 1894, i.e., written a year and a half before his death, Engels wrote that in all his articles he used the word “Communist”, and not “Social-Democrat”, because at that time the Proudhonists in France and the Lassalleans 147 in Germany called themselves Social-Democrats. “... For Marx and myself,” continued Engels, “it was therefore absolutely impossible to use such a loose term to characterise our special point of view. Today things are different, and the word [“Social-Democrat”] may perhaps pass muster [mag passieren], inexact [unpassend, unsuitable] though it still is for a party whose economic programme is not merely socialist in general, but downright communist, and whose ultimate political aim is to overcome the whole state and, consequent- * On International Topics from “The People’s State”.—Ed. 460 V. I. L E N I N ly, democracy as well. The names of real [Engels’s italics] political parties, however, are never wholly appropriate; the party develops while the name stays.”148 The dialectician Engels remained true to dialectics to the end of his days. Marx and I, he said, had a splendid, scientifically exact name for the party, but there was no real party, i.e., no mass proletarian party. Now (at the end of the nineteenth century) there was a real party, but its name was scientifically wrong. Never mind, it would “pass muster”, so long as the party developed, so long as the scientific in accuracy of the name was not hidden from it and did not hinder its development on the right direction! Perhaps some wit would console us Bolsheviks in the manner of Engels: we have a real party, it is developing splendidly; even such a meaningless and ugly term as “Bolshevik” will “pass muster”, although it expresses nothing whatever but the purely accidental fact that at the Brussels-London Congress of 1903 we were in the majority. * Perhaps now that the persecution of our Party by republicans and “revolutionary” petty-bourgeois democrats in July and August has earned the name “Bolshevik” such universal respect, now that, in addition, this persecution marks the tremendous historical progress our Party has made in its real development—perhaps now even I might hesitate to insist on the suggestion I made in April to change the name of our Party. Perhaps I would propose a “compromise” to my comrades, namely, to call ourselves the Communist Party, but to retain the word “Bolshevik” in brackets. But the question of the name of the Party is incomparably less important than the question of the attitude of the revolutionary proletariat to the state. In the usual argument about the state, the mistake is constantly made against which Engels warned and which we have in passing indicated above, namely, it is constantly forgotten that the abolition of the state means also the abolition of democracy: that the withering away of the state means the withering away of democracy. * “Majority” Tr. in Russian is bolshinstvo; hence the name Bolshevik.— THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 461 At first sight this assertion seems exceedingly strange and incomprehensible; indeed, someone may even suspect us of expecting the advent of a system of society in which the principle of subordination of the minority to the majority will not be observed—for democracy means the recognition of this very principle. No, democracy is not identical with the subordination of the minority to the majority. Democracy is a state which recognises the subordination of the minority to the majority, i.e., an organisation for the systematic use of force by one class against another, by one section of the population against another. We set ourselves the ultimate aim of abolishing the state, i.e., all organised and systematic violence, all use of violence against people in general. We do not expect the advent of a system of society in which the principle of subordination of the minority to the majority will not be observed. In striving for socialism, however, we are convinced that it will develop into communism and, therefore, that the need for violence against people in general, for the subordination of one man to another, and of one section of the population to another, will vanish altogether since people will become accustomed to observing the elementary conditions of social life without violence and without subordination. In order to emphasise this element of habit, Engels speaks of a new generation, “reared in new, free social conditions”, which will “be able to discard the entire lumber of the state”— of any state, including the democratic-republican state. In order to explain this, it is necessary to analyse the economic basis of the withering away of the state. C H A P T E R V THE ECONOMIC BASIS OF THE WITHERING AWAY OF THE STATE Marx explains this question most thoroughly in his Critique of the Gotha Programme (letter to Bracke, May 5, 1875, which was not published until 1891 when it was printed in Neue Zeit, Vol. IX, 1, and which has appeared in Rus- 462 V. I. L E N I N sian in a special edition). The polemical part of this remarkable work, which contains a criticism of Lassalleanism, has, so to speak, overshadowed its positive part, namely, the analysis of the connection between the development of communism and the withering away of the state. 1. PRESENTATION OF THE QUESTION BY MARX From a superficial comparison of Marx’s letter to Bracke of May 5, 1875, with Engels’s letter to Bebel of March 28, 1875, which we examined above, it might appear that Marx was much more of a “champion of the state” than Engels, and that the difference of opinion between the two writers on the question of the state was very considerable. Engels suggested to Bebel that all chatter about the state be dropped altogether, that the word “state” be eliminated from the programme altogether and the word “community” substituted for it. Engels even declared that the Commune was long a state in the proper sense of the word. Yet Marx even spoke of the “future state in communist society”, i.e., he would seem to recognise the need for the state even under communism. But such a view would be fundamentally wrong. A closer examination shows that Marx’s and Engels’s views on the state and its withering away were completely identical, and that Marx’s expression quoted above refers to the state in the process of withering away. Clearly, there can be no question of specifying the moment of the future “withering away”, the more so since it will obviously be a lengthy process. The apparent difference between Marx and Engels is due to the fact that they dealt with different subject and pursued different aims. Engels set out to show Bebel graphically, sharply, and in broad outline the utter absurdity of the current prejudices concerning the state (shared to no small degree by Lassalle). Marx only touched upon this question in passing, being interested in another subject, namely, the development of communist society. The whole theory of Marx is the application of the theory of development—in its most consistent, complete, consid- THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 463 ered and pithy form—to modern capitalism. Naturally, Marx was faced with the problem of applying this theory both to the forthcoming collapse of capitalism and to the future development of future communism. On the basis of what facts, then, can the question of the future development of future communism be dealt with? On the basis of the fact that it has its origin in capitalism, that it develops historically from capitalism, that it is the result of the action of a social force to which capitalism gave birth. There is no trace of an attempt on Marx’s part to make up a utopia, to indulge in idle guess-work about what cannot be known. Marx treated the question of communism in the same way as a naturalist would treat the question of the development of, say, a new biological variety, once he knew that it had originated in such and such a way and was changing in such and such a definite direction. To begin with, Marx brushed aside the confusion the Gotha Programme brought into the question of the relationship between state and society. He wrote: “‘Present-day society’ is capitalist society, which exists in all civilised countries, being more or less free from medieval admixture, more or less modified by the particular historical development of each country, more or less developed. On the other hand, the ‘present-day state’ changes with a country’s frontier. It is different in the Prusso-German Empire from what it is in Switzerland, and different in England from what it is in the United States. ‘The present-day state’ is, therefore, a fiction. “Nevertheless, the different states of the different civilised countries, in spite of their motley diversity of form, all have this in common, that they are based on modern bourgeois society, only one more or less capitalistically developed. The have, therefore, also certain essential characteristics in common. In this sense it is possible to speak of the ‘present-day state’, in contrast with the future, in which its present root, bourgeois society, will have died off. “The question then arise: what transformation will the state undergo in communist society? In other words, 464 V. I. L E N I N what social functions will remain in existence there that are analogous to present state functions? This question can only be answered scientifically, and one does not get a flea-hop nearer to the problem by a thousandfold combination of the word people with the word state.” 149 After thus ridiculing all talk about a “people’s state”, Marx formulated the question and gave warning, as it were, that those seeking a scientific answer to it should use only firmly-established scientific data. The first fact that has been established most accurately by the whole theory of development, by science as a whole— a fact tat was ignored by the utopians, and is ignored by the present-day opportunists, who are afraid of the socialist revolution—is that, historically, there must undoubtedly be a special stage, or a special phase, of transition from capitalism to communism. 2. THE TRANSITION FROM CAPITALISM TO COMMUNISM Marx continued: “Between capitalist and communist society lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.” Marx bases this conclusion on an analysis of the role played by the proletariat in modern capitalist society, on the data concerning the development of this society, and on the irreconcilability of the antagonistic interests of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. Previously the question was put as follows: to achieve its emancipation, the proletariat must overthrow the bourgeoisie, win political power and establish its revolutionary dictatorship. Now the question is put somewhat differently: the transition from capitalist society—which is developing towards communism—to communist society is impossible without a “political transition period”, and the state in this period THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 465 can only be the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat. What, then, is the relation of this dictatorship to democracy? We have seen that the Communist Manifesto simply places side by side the two concepts: “to raise the proletariat to the position of the ruling class” and “to win the battle of democracy”. On the basis of all that has been said above, it is possible to determine more precisely how democracy changes in the transition from capitalism to communism. In capitalist society, providing it develops under the most favourable conditions, we have a more or less complete democracy in the democratic republic. But this democracy is always hemmed in by the narrow limits set by capitalist exploitation, and consequently always remains, in effect, a democracy for the minority, only for the propertied classes, only for the rich. Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in the ancient Greek republics: freedom for the slave-owners. Owing to the conditions of capitalist exploitation, the modern wage slaves are so crushed by want and poverty that “they cannot be bothered with democracy”, “cannot be bothered with politics”; in the ordinary, peaceful course of events, the majority of the population is debarred from participation in public and political life. The correctness of this statement is perhaps mot clearly confirmed by Germany, because constitutional legality steadily endured there for a remarkably long time—nearly half a century (1871-1914)—and during this period the SocialDemocrats were able to achieve far more than in other countries in the way of “utilising legality”, and organised a larger proportion of the workers into a political party than anywhere else in the world. What is this largest proportion of politically conscious and active wage slaves that has so far been recorded in capitalist society? One million members of the Social-Democratic Party—out of fifteen million wage-workers! Three million organised in trade unions—out of fifteen million! Democracy for an insignificant minority, democracy for the rich—that is the democracy of capitalist society. If we look more closely into the machinery of capitalist democracy, 466 V. I. L E N I N we see everywhere, in the “petty”—supposedly petty—details of the suffrage (residential qualifications, exclusion of women, etc.), in the technique of the representative institutions, in the actual obstacles to the right of assembly (public buildings are not for “paupers”!), in the purely capitalist organisation of the daily press, etc., etc.,—we see restriction after restriction upon democracy. These restrictions, exceptions, exclusions, obstacles for the poor seem slight, especially in the eyes of one who has never known want himself and has never been inclose contact with the oppressed classes in their mass life (and nine out of 10 ten, if not 99 ninety-nine out of 100 a hundred, bourgeois publicists and politicians come under this category); but in their sum total these restrictions exclude and squeeze out the poor from politics, from active participation in democracy. Marx grasped this essence of capitalist democracy splendidly when, in analysing the experience of the Commune, he said that the oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class shall represent and repress them in parliament! But from this capitalist democracy—that is inevitably narrow and stealthily pushes aside the poor, and is therefore hypocritical and false through and through—forward development does not proceed simply, directly and smoothly, towards “greater and greater democracy”, as the liberal professors and petty-bourgeois opportunists would have us believe. No, forward development, i.e., development towards communism, proceeds through the dictatorship of the proletariat, and cannot do otherwise, for the resistance of the capitalist exploiters cannot be broken by anyone else or in any other way. And the dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e., the organisation of the vanguard of the oppressed as the ruling class for the purpose of suppressing the oppressors, cannot result merely in an expansion of democracy. Simultaneously with an immense expansion of democracy, which for the first time becomes democracy for the poor, democracy for the people, and not democracy for the money-bags, the dictatorship of the proletariat imposes a series of restrictions on the freedom of the oppressors, the exploiters, the capitalists. We must suppress them in order to free humanity from wage slavery, THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 467 their resistance must be crushed by force; it is clear that there is no freedom and no democracy where there is suppression and where there is violence. Engels expressed this splendidly in his letter to Bebel when he said, as the reader will remember, that “the proletariat needs the state, not in the interests of freedom but in order to hold down its adversaries, and as soon as it becomes possible to speak of freedom the state as such ceases to exist”. Democracy for the vast majority of the people, and suppression by force, i.e., exclusion from democracy, of the exploiters and oppressors of the people—this is the change democracy undergoes during the transition from capitalism to communism. Only in communist society, when the resistance of the capitalists has been completely crushed, when the capitalists have disappeared, when there are no classes (i.e., when there is no distinction between the members of society as regards their relation to the social means of production), only then “the state ... ceases to exist”, and “it becomes possible to speak of freedom”. Only then will a truly complete democracy become possible and be realised, a democracy without any exceptions whatever. And only then will democracy begin to wither away, owing to the simple fact that, freed from capitalist slavery, from the untold horrors, savagery, absurdities, and infamies of capitalist exploitation, people will gradually become accustomed to observing the elementary rules of social intercourse that have been known for centuries and repeated for thousands of years in all copybook maxims. They will become accustomed to observing them without force, without coercion, without subordination, without the special apparatus for coercion called the state. The expression “the state withers away” is very well-chosen, for it indicates both the gradual and the spontaneous nature of the process. Only habit can, and undoubtedly will, have such an effect; for we see around us on millions of occasions how readily people become accustomed to observing the necessary rules of social intercourse when there is no exploitation, when there is nothing that arouses indignation, evokes protest and revolt, and creates the need for suppression. 468 V. I. L E N I N And so in capitalist society we have a democracy that is curtailed, wretched, false, a democracy only for the rich, for the minority. The dictatorship of the proletariat, the period of transition to communism, will for the first time create democracy for the people, for the majority, along with the necessary suppression of the exploiters, of the minority. communism alone is capable of providing really complete democracy, and the more complete it is, the sooner it will become unnecessary and wither away of its own accord. In other words, under capitalism we have the state in the proper sense of the word, that is, a special machine for the suppression of one class by another, and, what is more, of the majority by the minority. Naturally, to be successful, such an undertaking as the systematic suppression of the exploited majority by the exploiting minority calls for the utmost ferocity and savagery in the matter of suppressing, it calls for seas of blood, through which mankind is actually wading its way in slavery, serfdom and wage labour. Furthermore, during the transition from capitalism to communism suppression is still necessary, but it is now the suppression of the exploiting minority by the exploited majority. A special apparatus, a special machine for suppression, the “state”, is still necessary, but this is now a transitional state. It is no longer a state in the proper sense of the word; for the suppression of the minority of exploiters by the majority of the wage slaves of yesterday is comparatively so easy, simple and natural a task that it will entail far less bloodshed than the suppression of the risings of slaves, serfs or wagelabourers, and it will cost mankind far less. And it is compatible with the extension of democracy to such an overwhelming majority of the population that the need for a special machine of suppression will begin to disappear. Naturally, the exploiters are unable to suppress the people without a highly complex machine for performing this task, but the people can suppress the exploiters even with a very simple “machine”, almost without a “machine”, without a special apparatus, by the simple organisation of the armed people (such as the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, we would remark, running ahead). THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 469 Lastly, only communism makes the state absolutely unnecessary, for there is nobody to be suppressed—“nobody” in the sense of a class, of a systematic struggle against a definite section of the population. We are not utopians, and do not in the least deny the possibility and inevitability of excesses on the part of individual persons, or the need to stop such excesses. In the first place, however, no special machine, no special apparatus of suppression, is needed for this: this will be done by the armed people themselves, as simply and as readily as any crowd of civilised people, even in modern society, interferes to put a stop to a scuffle or to prevent a woman from being assaulted. And, secondly, we know that the fundamental social cause of excesses, which consist in the violation of the rules of social intercourse, is the exploitation of the people, their want and their poverty. With the removal of this chief cause, excesses will inevitably begin to “wither away”. We do not know how quickly and in what succession, but we do know they will wither away. With their withering away the state will also wither away. Without building utopias, Marx defined more fully what can be defined now regarding this future, namely, the differences between the lower and higher phases (levels, stages) of communist society. 3. THE FIRST DRAFT PHASE OF COMMUNIST SOCIETY In the Critique of the Gotha Programme, Marx goes into detail to disprove Lassalle’s idea that under socialism the worker will receive the “undiminished” or “full product of his labour”. Marx shows that from the whole of the social labour of society there must be deducted a reserve fund, a fund for the expansion of production, a fund for the replacement of the “wear and tear” of machinery, and so on. Then, from the means of consumption must be deducted a fund for administrative expenses, for schools, hospitals, old people’s homes, and so on. Instead of Lassalle’s hazy, obscure, general phrase (“the full product of his labour to the worker”), Marx makes a sober estimate of exactly how socialist society will have to manage its affairs. Marx proceeds to make a concrete anal- 470 V. I. L E N I N ysis of the conditions of life of a society in which there will be no capitalism, and says: “What we have to deal with here [in analysing the programme of the workers’ party] is a communist society, not as it has developed on its own foundations, but, on the contrary, just as it emerges from capitalist society; which is thus in every respect, economically, morally, and intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it comes.” It is this communist society, which has just emerged into the light of day out of the womb of capitalism and which is in every respect stamped with the birthmarks of the old society, that Marx terms the “first”, or lower, phase of communist society. The means of production are no longer the private property of individuals. The means of production belong to the whole of society. Every member of society, performing a certain part of the socially-necessary work, receives a certificate from society to the effect that he has done a certain amount of work. And with this certificate he receives from the public store of consumer goods a corresponding quantity of products. After a deduction is made of the amount of labour which goes to the public fund, every worker, therefore, receives from society as much as he has given to it. “Equality” apparently reigns supreme. But when Lassalle, having in view such a social order (usually called socialism, but termed by Marx the first phase of communism), says that this is “equitable distribution”, that this is “the equal right of all to an equal product of labour”, Lassalle is mistaken and Marx exposes the mistake. “Hence, the equal right,” says Marx, in this case still certainly conforms to “bourgeois law”, which, like all law, implies inequality. All law is an application of an equal measure to different people who in fact are not alike, are not equal to one another. That is why the “equal right” is a violation of equality and an injustice. In fact, everyone, having performed as much social labour as another, receives an equal share of the social product (after the above-mentioned deductions). THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 471 But people are not alike: one is strong, another is weak; one is married, another is not; one has more children, another has less, and so on. And the conclusion Marx draws is: “. . . With an equal performance of labour, and hence an equal share in the social consumption fund, one will in fact receive more than another, one will be richer than another, and so on. To avoid all these defects, the right instead of being equal would have to be unequal.” The first phase of communism, therefore, cannot yet provide justice and equality; differences, and unjust differences, in wealth will still persist, but the exploitation of man by man will have become impossible because it will be impossible to seize the means of production—the factories, machines, land, etc.—and make them private property. In smashing Lassalle’s petty-bourgeois, vague phrases about “equality” and “justice” in general, Marx shows the course of development of communist society, which is compelled to abolish at first only the “injustice” of the means of production seized by individuals, and which is unable at once to eliminate the other injustice, which consists in the distribution of consumer goods “according to the amount of labour performed” (and not according to needs). The vulgar economists, including the bourgeois professors and “our” Tugan, constantly reproach the socialists with forgetting the inequality of people and with “dreaming” of eliminating this inequality. Such a reproach, as we see, only proves the extreme ignorance of the bourgeois ideologists. Marx not only most scrupulously takes account of the inevitable inequality of men, but he also takes into account the fact that the mere conversion of the means of production into the common property of the whole society (commonly called “socialism”) does not remove the defects of distribution and the inequality of “bourgeois laws” which continues to prevail so long as products are divided “according to the amount of labour performed”. Continuing, Marx says: “But these defects are inevitable in the first phase of communist society as it is when it has just emerged, after prolonged birth pangs, from capitalist society. 472 V. I. L E N I N Law can never be higher than the economic structure of society and its cultural development conditioned thereby.” And so, in the first phase of communist society (usually called socialism) “bourgeois law” is not abolished in its entirety, but only in part, only in proportion to the economic revolution so far attained, i.e., only in respect of the means of production. “Bourgeois law” recognises them as the private property of individuals. Socialism converts them into common property. To that extent—and to that extent alone— “bourgeois law” disappears. However, it persists as far as its other part is concerned; it persists in the capacity of regulator (determining factor) in the distribution of products and the allotment of labour among the members of society. The socialist principle, “He who does not work shall not eat”, is already realised; the other socialist principle, “An equal amount of products for an equal amount of labour”, is also already realised. But this is not yet communism, and it does not yet abolish “bourgeois law”, which gives unequal individuals, in return for unequal (really unequal) amounts of labour, equal amounts of products. This is a “defect”, says Marx, but it is unavoidable in the first phase of communism; for if we are not to indulge in utopianism, we must not think that having overthrown capitalism people will at once learn to work for society without any rules of law. Besides, the abolition of capitalism does not immediately create the economic prerequisites for such a change. Now, there are no other rules than those of “bourgeois law”. To this extent, therefore, there still remains the need for a state, which, while safeguarding the common ownership of the means of production, would safeguard equality in labour and in the distribution of products. The state withers away insofar as there are no longer any capitalists, any classes, and, consequently, no class can be suppressed. But the state has not yet completely withered away, since thee still remains the safeguarding of “bourgeois law”, which sanctifies actual inequality. For the state to wither away completely, complete communism is necessary. THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 473 4. THE HIGHER PHASE OF COMMUNIST SOCIETY Marx continues: “In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labour, and with it also the antithesis between mental and physical labour, has vanished, after labour has become not only a livelihood but life’s prime want, after the productive forces have increased with the allround development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly—only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois law be left behind in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!” Only now can we fully appreciate the correctness of Engels’s remarks mercilessly ridiculing the absurdity of combining the words “freedom” and “state”. So long as the state exists there is no freedom. When there is freedom, there will be no state. The economic basis for the complete withering away of the state is such a high state of development of communism at which the antithesis between mental and physical labour disappears, at which there consequently disappears one of the principal sources of modern social inequality—a source, moreover, which cannot on any account be removed immediately by the mere conversion of the means of production into public property, by the mere exploitation of the capitalists. This expropriation will make it possible for the productive forces to develop to a tremendous extent. And when we see how incredibly capitalism is already retarding this development, when we see how much progress could be achieved on the basis of the level of technique already attained, we are entitled to say with the fullest confidence that the expropriation of the capitalists will inevitably result in an enormous development of the productive forces of human society. But how rapidly this development will proceed, how soon it will reach the point of breaking away from the division of labour, of doing away with the antithesis between mental and phys- 474 V. I. L E N I N ical labour, of transforming labour into “life’s prime want”—we do not and cannot know. That is why we are entitled to speak only of the inevitable withering away of the state, emphasising the protracted nature of this process and its dependence upon the rapidity of development of the higher phase of communism, and leaving the question of the time required for, or the concrete forms of, the withering away quite open, because there is no material for answering these questions. The state will be able to wither away completely when society adopts the rule: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”, i.e., when people have become so accustomed to observing the fundamental rules of social intercourse and when their labour has become so productive that they will voluntarily work according to their ability. “The narrow horizon of bourgeois law”, which compels one to calculate with the heartlessness of a Shylock whether one has not worked half an hour more than somebody else, whether one is not getting less pay than somebody else—this narrow horizon will then be left behind. There will then be no need for society, in distributing the products, to regulate the quantity to be received by each; each will take freely “according to his needs”. From the bourgeois point of view, it is easy to declare that such a social order is “sheer utopia” and to sneer at the socialists for promising everyone the right to receive from society, without any control over the labour of the individual citizen, any quantity of truffles, cars, pianos, etc. Even to this day, most bourgeois “savants” confine themselves to sneering in this way, thereby betraying both their ignorance and their selfish defence of capitalism. Ignorance—for it has never entered the head of any socialist to “promise” that the higher phase of the development of communism will arrive; as for the greatest socialists’ forecast that it will arrive, it presupposes not the present productivity of labour and not the present ordinary run of people, who, like the seminary students in Pomyalovsky’s stories, 150 are capable of damaging the stocks of public wealth “just for fun”, and of demanding the impossible. Until the “higher” phase of communism arrives, the socialists demand the strictest control by society and by the state THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 475 over the measure of labour and the measure of consumption; but this control must start with the expropriation of the capitalists, with the establishment of workers’ control over the capitalists, and must be exercised not by a state of bureaucrats, but by a state of armed workers. The selfish defence of capitalism by the bourgeois ideologists (and their hangers-on, like the Tseretelis, Chernovs, and Co.) consists in that they substitute arguing and talk about the distant future for the vital and burning question of present-day politics, namely, the expropriation of the capitalists, the conversion of all citizens into workers and other employees of one huge “syndicate”—the whole state—and the complete subordination of the entire work of this syndicate to a genuinely democratic state, the state of the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. In fact, when a learned professor, followed by the philistine, followed in turn by the Tseretelis and Chernovs, talks of wild utopias, of the demagogic promises of the Bolsheviks, of the impossibility of “introducing” socialism, it is the higher stage, or phase, of communism he has in mind, which no one has ever promised or even thought to “introduce”, because, generally speaking, it cannot be “introduced”. And this brings us to the question of the scientific distinction between socialism and communism which Engels touched on in his above-quoted argument about the incorrectness of the name “Social-Democrat”. Politically, the distinction between the first, or lower, and the higher phase of communism will in time, probably, be tremendous. But it would be ridiculous to recognise this distinction now, under capitalism, and only individual anarchists, perhaps, could invest it with primary importance (if there still are people among the anarchists who have learned nothing from the “Plekhanov” conversion of the Kropotkins, of Grave, Cornelissen, and other “stars” of anarchism into social-chauvinists or “anarcho-trenchists”, as Ghe, one of the few anarchists who have still preserved a sense of humor and a conscience, has put it). But the scientific distinction between socialism and communism is clear. What is usually called socialism was termed by Marx the “first”, or lower, phase of communist society. 476 V. I. L E N I N Insofar as the means of production becomes common property, the word “communism” is also applicable here, providing we do not forget that this is not complete communism. The great significance of Marx’s explanations is that here, too, he consistently applies materialist dialectics, the theory of development, and regards communism as something which develops out of capitalism. Instead of scholastically invented, “concocted” definitions and fruitless disputes over words (What is socialism? What is communism?), Marx gives an analysis of what might be called the stages of the economic maturity of communism. In its first phase, or first stage, communism cannot as yet be fully mature economically and entirely free from traditions or vestiges of capitalism. Hence the interesting phenomenon that communism in its first phase retains “the narrow horizon of bourgeois law”. Of course, bourgeois law in regard to the distribution of consumer goods inevitably presupposes the existence of the bourgeois state, for law is nothing without an apparatus capable of enforcing the observance of the rules of law. It follows that under communism there remains for a time not only bourgeois law, but even the bourgeois state, without the bourgeoisie! This may sound like a paradox or simply a dialectical conundrum of which Marxism is often accused by people who have not taken the slightest trouble to study its extraordinarily profound content. But in fact, remnants of the old, surviving in the new, confront us in life at every step, both in nature and in society. And Marx did not arbitrarily insert a scrap of “bourgeois” law into communism, but indicated what is economically and politically inevitable in a society emerging out of the womb of capitalism. Democracy is of enormous importance to the working class in its struggle against the capitalists for its emancipation. But democracy is by no means a boundary not to be overstepped; it is only one of the stages on the road from feudalism to capitalism, and from capitalism to communism. Democracy means equality. The great significance of the proletariat’s struggle for equality and of equality as a slogan THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 477 will be clear if we correctly interpret it as meaning the abolition of classes. But democracy means only formal equality. And as soon as equality is achieved for all members of society in relation to ownership of the means of production, that is, equality of labour and wages, humanity will inevitably be confronted with the question of advancing father, from formal equality to actual equality, i.e., to the operation of the rule “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”. By what stages, by means of what practical measures humanity will proceed to this supreme aim we do not and cannot know. But it is important to realise how infinitely mendacious is the ordinary bourgeois conception of socialism as something lifeless, rigid, fixed once and for all, whereas in reality only socialism will be the beginning of a rapid, genuine, truly mass forward movement, embracing first the majority and then the whole of the population, in all spheres of public and private life. Democracy is a form of the state, one of its varieties. Consequently, like every state, it represents, on the one hand, the organised, systematic use of force against persons; but, on the other hand, it signifies the formal recognition of equality of citizens, the equal right of all to determine the structure of, and to administer, the state. This, in turn, results in the fact that, at a certain stage in the development of democracy, it first welds together the class that wages a revolutionary struggle against capitalism—the proletariat, and enables it to crush, smash to atoms, wipe off the face of the earth the bourgeois, even the republicanbourgeois, state machine, the standing army, the police and the bureaucracy and to substitute for them a more democratic state machine, but a state machine nevertheless, in the shape of armed workers who proceed to form a militia involving the entire population. Here “quantity turns into quality”: such a degree of democracy implies overstepping the boundaries of bourgeois society and beginning its socialist reorganisation. If really all take part in the administration of the state, capitalism cannot retain its hold. The development of capitalism, in turn, creates the preconditions that enable really “all” to take part in the administration of the state. Some of these preconditions are: universal literacy, which has already been achieved in 478 V. I. L E N I N a number of the most advanced capitalist countries, then the “training and disciplining” of millions of workers by the huge, complex, socialised apparatus of the postal service, railways, big factories, large-scale commerce, banking, etc., etc. Given these economic preconditions, it is quite possible, after the overthrow of the capitalists and the bureaucrats, to proceed immediately, overnight, to replace them in the control over production and distribution, in the work of keeping account of labour and products, by the armed workers, by the whole of the armed population. (The question of control and accounting should not be confused with the question of the scientifically trained staff of engineers, agronomists, and so on. These gentlemen are working today in obedience to the wishes of the capitalists and will work even better tomorrow in obedience to the wishes of the armed workers.) Accounting and control—that is mainly what is needed for the “smooth working”, for the proper functioning, of the first phase of communist society. All citizens are transformed into hired employees of the state, which consists of the armed workers. All citizens becomes employees and workers of a single country-wide state “syndicate”. All that is required is that they should work equally, do their proper share of work, and get equal pay. The accounting and control necessary for this have been simplified by capitalism to the utmost and reduced to the extraordinarily simple operations— which any literate person can perform—of supervising and recording, knowledge of the four rules of arithmetic, and issuing appropriate receipts. * When the majority of the people begin independently and everywhere to keep such accounts and exercise such control over the capitalists (now converted into employees) and over the intellectual gentry who preserve their capitalist habits, this control will really become universal, general, * When the more important functions of the state are reduced to such accounting and control by the workers themselves, it will cease to be a “political state” and “public functions will lose their political character and become mere administrative functions” (cf. above, Chapter IV, 2, Engels’s controversy with the anarchists). THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 479 and popular; and there will be no getting away from it, there will be “nowhere to go”. The whole of society will have become a single office and a single factory, with equality of labour and pay. But this “factory” discipline, which the proletariat, after defeating the capitalists, after overthrowing the exploiters, will extend to the whole of society, is by no means our ideal, or our ultimate goal. It is only a necessary step for thoroughly cleansing society of all the infamies and abominations of capitalist exploitation, and for further progress. From the moment all members of society, or at least the vast majority, have learned to administer the state themselves, have taken this work into their own hands, have organised control over the insignificant capitalist minority, over the gentry who wish to preserve their capitalist habits and over the workers who have been thoroughly corrupted by capitalism—from this moment the need for government of any kind begins to disappear altogether. The more complete the democracy, the nearer the moment when it becomes unnecessary. The more democratic the “state” which consists of the armed workers, and which is “no longer a state in the proper sense of the word”, the more rapidly every form of state begins to wither away. For when all have learned to administer and actually do independently administer social production, independently keep accounts and exercise control over the parasites, the sons of the wealthy, the swindlers and other “guardians of capitalist traditions”, the escape from this popular accounting and control will inevitably become so incredibly difficult, such a rare exception, and will probably be accompanied by such swift and severe punishment (for the armed workers are practical men and not sentimental intellectuals, and they scarcely allow anyone to trifle with them), that the necessity of observing the simple, fundamental rules of the community will very soon become a habit. Then the door will be thrown wide open for the transition from the first phase of communist society to its higher phase, and with it to the complete withering away of the state. 480 V. I. L E N I N C H A P T E R VI THE VULGARISATION OF MARXISM BY THE OPPORTUNISTS The question of the relation of the state to the social revolution, and of the social revolution to the state, like the question of revolution generally, was given very little attention by the leading theoreticians and publicists of the Second International (1889-1914). But the most characteristic thing about the process of the gradual growth of opportunism that led to the collapse of the Second International in 1914 is the fact that even when these people were squarely faced with this question they tried to evade it or ignored it. In general, it may be said that evasiveness over the question of the relation of the proletarian revolution to the state— an evasiveness which benefited and fostered opportunism— resulted in the distortion of Marxism and in its complete vulgarisation. To characterise this lamentable process, if only briefly, we shall take the most prominent theoreticians of Marxism: Plekhanov and Kautsky. FROM MARX TO MAO  NOT FOR COMMERCIAL Plekhanov wrote a special pamphlet on the relation of anarchism to socialism, entitled Anarchism and Socialism, which was published in German in 1894. DISTRIBUTION In treating this subject, Plekhanov contrived completely 1. PLEKHANOV’ S CONTROVERSY WITH THE ANARCHISTS to evade the most urgent, burning, and most politically essential issue in the struggle against anarchism, namely, the relation of the revolution to the state, and the question of the state in general! His pamphlet falls into two distinct parts: one of them is historical and literary, and contains valuable material on the history of the ideas of Stirner, Proudhon, and others; the other is philistine, and contains a clumsy dissertation on the theme that an anarchist cannot be distinguished from a bandit. It is a most amusing combination of subjects and most characteristic of Plekhanov’s whole activity on the eve of the THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 481 revolution and during the revolutionary period in Russia. In fact, in the years 1905 to 1917, Plekhanov revealed himself as a semi-doctrinaire and semi-philistine who, in politics, trailed in the wake of the bourgeoisie. We have now seen how, in their controversy with the anarchists, Marx and Engels with the utmost thoroughness explained their views on the relation of revolution to the state. In 1891, in his foreword to Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Programme, Engels wrote that “we”—that is, Engels and Marx— “ were at that time, hardly two years after the Hague Congress of the [First] International, 151 engaged in the most violent struggle against Bakunin and his anarchists.” The anarchists had tried to claim the Paris Commune as their “own”, so to say, as a collaboration of their doctrine; and they completely misunderstood its lessons and Marx’s analysis of these lessons. Anarchism has given nothing even approximating true answers to the concrete political questions: Must the old state machine be smashed? And what should be put in its place? But to speak of “anarchism and socialism” while completely evading the question of the state, and disregarding the whole development of Marxism before and after the Commune, meant inevitably slipping into opportunism. For what opportunism needs most of all is that the two questions just mentioned should not be raised at all. That in itself is a victory for opportunism. 2. KAUTSKY’ S CONTROVERSY WITH THE OPPORTUNISTS Undoubtedly, an immeasurably larger number of Kautsky’s works have been translated into Russian than into any other language. It is not without reason that some German Social-Democrats say in jest that Kautsky is read more in Russia than in Germany (let us say, in parenthesis, that this jest has a far deeper historical meaning than those who first made it suspect. The Russian workers, by making in 1905 an unusually great and unprecedented demand for the best works of the best Social-Democratic literature in the world, and by receiving translations and editions of these works in 482 V. I. L E N I N quantities unheard of in other countries, rapidly transplanted, so to speak, the enormous experience of a neighbouring, more advanced country to the young soil of our proletarian movement). Besides his popularisation of Marxism, Kautsky is particularly known in our country for his controversy with the opportunists, with Bernstein at their head. One fact, however, is almost unknown, one which cannot be ignored if we set out to investigate how Kautsky drifted into the morass of unbelievably disgraceful confusion and defence of socialchauvinism during the supreme crisis of 1914-15. This fact is as follows: shortly before he came out against the most prominent representatives of opportunism in France (Millerand and Jaurès) and in Germany (Bernstein), Kautsky betrayed very considerable vacillation. The Marxist Zarya, 152 which was published in Stuttgart in 1901-02, and advocated revolutionary proletarian views, was forced to enter into controversy with Kautsky and describe as “elastic” the halfhearted, evasive resolution, conciliatory towards the opportunists, that he proposed at the International Socialist Congress in Paris in 1900. 153 Kautsky’s letters published in Germany reveal no less hesitancy on his part before he took the field against Bernstein. Of immeasurably greater significance, however, is the fact that, in his very controversy with the opportunists, in his formulation of the question and his manner of treating it, we can new see, as we study the history of Kautsky’s latest betrayal of Marxism, his systematic deviation towards opportunism precisely on the question of the state. Let us take Kautsky’s first important work against opportunism, Bernstein and the Social-Democratic Programme. Kautsky refutes Bernstein in detail, but here is a characteristic thing: Bernstein, in his Premises of Socialism, of Herostratean fame, accuses Marxism of “Blanquism” (an accusation since repeated thousands of times by the opportunists and liberal bourgeoisie in Russia against the revolutionary Marxists, the Bolsheviks). In this connection Bernstein dwells particularly on Marx’s The Civil War in France, and tries, quite unsuccessfully, as we have seen, to identify Marx’s views on the lessons of the Commune with those of Proudhon. THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 483 Bernstein pays particular attention to the conclusion which Marx emphasised in his 1872 preface to the Communist Manifesto, namely, that “the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery and wield it for its own purposes”. This statement “pleased” Bernstein so much that he used it no less than three times in his book, interpreting it in the most distorted, opportunist way. As we have seen, Marx meant that the working-class must smash, break, shatter (Sprengung, explosion—the expression used by Engels) the whole state machine. But according to Bernstein it would appear as though Marx in these words warned the working class against excessive revolutionary zeal when seizing power. A cruder and more hideous distortion of Marx’s idea cannot be imagined. How, then, did Kautsky proceed in his most detailed refutation of Bernsteinism? He refrained from analysing the utter distortion of Marxism by opportunism on this point. He cited the above-quoted passage from Engels’s preface to Marx’s Civil War and said that according to Marx the working class cannot simply take over the ready-made state machinery, but that, generally speaking, it can take it over—and that was all. Kautsky did not say a word about the fact that Bernstein attributed to Marx the very opposite of Marx’s real idea, that since 1852 Marx had formulated the task of the proletarian revolution as being to “smash” the state machine. The result was that the most essential distinction between Marxism and opportunism on the subject of the tasks of the proletarian revolution was slurred over by Kautsky! “We can quite safely leave the solution of the problems of the proletarian dictatorship of the future,” said Kautsky, writing “against” Bernstein. (P. 172, German edition.) This is not a polemic against Bernstein, but, in essence, a concession to him, a surrender to opportunism; for at present the opportunists ask nothing better than to “quite safely leave to the future” all fundamental questions of the tasks of the proletarian revolution. 484 V. I. L E N I N From 1852 to 1891, or for forty years, Marx and Engels taught the proletariat that it must smash the state machine. Yet, in 1899, Kautsky, confronted with the complete betrayal of Marxism by the opportunists on this point, fraudulently substituted for the question whether it is necessary to smash this machine the question for the concrete forms in which it is to be smashed, and then sough refuge behind the “indisputable” (and barren) philistine truth that concrete forms cannot be known in advance!! A gulf separates Marx and Kautsky over their attitude towards the proletarian party’s task of training the working class for revolution. Let us take the next, more mature, work by Kautsky, which was also largely devoted to a refutation of opportunist errors. It is his pamphlet, The Social Revolution. In this pamphlet, the author chose as his special theme the question of “the proletarian revolution” and “the proletarian regime”. He gave much that was exceedingly valuable, but he avoided the question of the state. Throughout the pamphlet the author speaks of the winning of state power—and no more; that is, he has chosen a formula which makes a concession to the opportunists, inasmuch as it admits the possibility of seizing power without destroying the state machine. The very thing which Marx in 1872 declared to be “obsolete” in the programme of the Communist Manifesto, is revived by Kautsky in 1902. A special section in the pamphlet is devoted to the “forms and weapons of the social revolution”. Here Kautsky speaks of the mass political strike, of civil war, and of the “instruments of the might of the modern large state, its bureaucracy and the army”; but he does not say a word about what the Commune has already taught the workers. Evidently, it was not without reason that Engels issued a warning, particularly to the German socialists, against “superstitious reverence” for the state. Kautsky treats the matter as follows: the victorious proletariat “will carry out the democratic programme”, and he goes on to formulate its clauses. But he does not say a word about the new material provided in 1871 on the subject of the replacement of bourgeois democracy by proletarian democracy. Kautsky disposes of the question by using such “impressive-sounding” banalities as: THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 485 “Still, it goes without saying that we shall not achieve supremacy under the present conditions. Revolution itself presupposes long and deep-going struggles, which, in themselves, will change our present political and social structure.” Undoubtedly, this “goes without saying”, just as the fact that horses eat oats of the Volga flows into the Caspian. Only it is a pity that an empty and bombastic phrase about “deep-going” struggles is used to avoid a question of vital importance to the revolutionary proletariat, namely, what makes its revolution “deep-going” in relation to the state, to democracy, as distinct from previous, non-proletarian revolutions. By avoiding this question, Kautsky in practice makes a concession to opportunism on this most essential point, although in words he declares stern war against it and stresses the importance of the “idea of revolution” (how much is this “idea” worth when one is afraid to teach the workers the concrete lessons of revolution?), or says, “revolutionary idealism before everything else”, or announces that the English workers are now “hardly more than petty bourgeois”. “The most varied form of enterprises—bureaucratic [ ? ? ] , trade unionist, co-operative, private . . . can exist side by side in socialist society,” Kautsky writes. “. . . There are, for example, enterprises which cannot do without a bureaucratic [ ? ? ] organisation, such as the railways. Here the democratic organisation may take the following shape: the workers elect delegates who form a sort of parliament, which establishes the working regulations and supervises the management of the bureaucratic apparatus. The management of other enterprises may be transferred to the trade unions, and still others may become co-operative enterprises.” This argument is erroneous; it is a step backward compared with the explanations Marx and Engels gave in the seventies, using the lessons of the Commune as an example. As far as the supposedly necessary “bureaucratic” organisation is concerned, there is no difference whatever between a railway and any other enterprise in large-scale machine industry, any factory, large shop, or large-scale capitalist agricultural enterprise. The technique of all these enterprises makes absolutely imperative the strictest discipline, the utmost precision on the part of everyone in carrying out his allotted task, for otherwise the whole enterprise may 486 V. I. L E N I N come to a stop, or machinery or the finished product may be damaged. In all these enterprises the workers will, of course, “elect delegates who will form a sort of parliament”. The whole point, however, is that this “sort of parliament” will not be a parliament in the sense of a bourgeois parliamentary institution. The whole point is that this “sort of parliament” will not merely “establish the working regulations and supervise the management of the bureaucratic apparatus”, as Kautsky, whose thinking does not go beyond the bounds of bourgeois parliamentarism, imagines. In socialist society, the “sort of parliament” consisting of workers’ deputies will, of course, “establish the working regulations and supervise the management” of the “apparatus”, but this apparatus will not be “bureaucratic”. The workers, after winning political power, will smash the old bureaucratic apparatus, shatter it to its very foundations, and raze it to the ground; they will replace it by a new one, consisting of the very same workers and other employees, against whose transformation into bureaucrats the measures will at once be taken which were specified in detail by Marx and Engels: (1) not only election, but also recall at any time; (2) pay not to exceed that of a workman; (3) immediate introduction of control and supervision by all, so that all may become “bureaucrats” for a time and that, therefore, nobody may be able to become a “bureaucrat”. Kautsky has not reflected at all on Marx’s words: “The Commune was a working, not parliamentary, body, executive and legislative at the same time.” Kautsky has not understood at all the difference between bourgeois parliamentarism, which combines democracy (not for the people) with bureaucracy (against the people), and proletarian democracy, which will take immediate steps to cut bureaucracy down to the roots, and which will be able to carry these measures through to the end, to the complete abolition of bureaucracy, to the introduction of complete democracy for the people. Kautsky here displays the same old “superstitious reverence” for the state, and “superstitious belief” in bureaucracy. Let us now pass to the last and best of Kautsky’s works against the opportunists, his pamphlet The Road to Power THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 487 (which, I believe, has not been published in Russian, for it appeared in 1909, when reaction was at its height in our country). This pamphlet is a big step forward, since it does not deal with the revolutionary programme in general, as the pamphlet of 1899 against Bernstein, or with the tasks of the social revolution irrespective of the time of its occurrence, as the 1902 pamphlet, The Social Revolution; it deals with the concrete conditions which compels us to recognise that the “era of revolutions” is setting in. The author explicitly points to the aggravation of class antagonisms in general and to imperialism, which plays a particularly important part in this respect. After the “revolutionary period of 1789-1871” in Western Europe, he says, a similar period began in the East in 1905. A world war is approaching with menacing rapidity. “It [the proletariat] can no longer talk of premature revolution.” “We have entered a revolutionary period.” The “revolutionary era is beginning”. These statements are perfectly clear. This pamphlet of Kautsky’s should serve as a measure of comparison of what the German Social-Democrats promised to be before the imperialist war and the depth of degradation to which they, including Kautsky himself, sank when the war broke out. “The present situation,” Kautsky wrote in the pamphlet under survey, “is fraught with the danger that we [i.e., the German Social-Democrats] may easily appear to be more ‘moderate’ than we really are.” It turned out that in reality the German Social-Democratic Party was much more moderate and opportunist than it appeared to be! It is all the more characteristic, therefore, that although Kautsky so explicitly declared that the era of revolution had already begun, in the pamphlet which he himself said was devoted to an analysis of the “political revolution”, he again completely avoided the question of the state. These evasions of the question, these omissions and equivocations, inevitably added up to that complete swingover to opportunism with which we shall now have to deal. Kautsky, the German Social-Democrats’ spokesman, seems to have declared: I abide by revolutionary views (1899), 488 V. I. L E N I N I recognise, above all, the inevitability of the social revolution of the proletariat (1902), I recognise the advent of a new era of revolutions (1909). Still, I am going back on what Marx said as early as 1852, since the question of the tasks of the proletarian revolution in relation to the state is being raised (1912). It was in this point-blank form that the question was put in Kautsky’s controversy with Pannekoek. 3. KAUTSKY’ S CONTROVERSY WITH PANNEKOEK In opposing Kautsky, Pannekoek came out as one of the representatives of the “Left radical” trend which included Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Radek, and others. Advocating revolutionary tactics, they were united in the conviction that Kautsky was going over to the “Centre”, which wavered in an unprincipled manner between Marxism and opportunism. This view was proved perfectly correct by the war, when this “Centrist” (wrongly called Marxist) trend, or Kautskyism, revealed itself in all its repulsive wretchedness. In an article touching on the question of the state, entitled “Mass Action and Revolution” (Neue Zeit, 1912, Vol. XXX, 2), Pannekoek described Kautsky’s attitude as one of “passive radicalism”, as “a theory of inactive expectancy”. “Kautsky refuses to see the process of revolution,” wrote Pannekoek (p. 616). In presenting the matter in this way, Pannekoek approached the subject which interests us, namely, the tasks of the proletarian revolution in relation to the state. “The struggle of the proletariat,” he wrote, “is not merely a struggle against the bourgeoisie for state power, but a struggle against state power.... The content of this [the proletarian] revolution is the destruction and dissolution [Auflösung] of the instruments of power of the state with the aid of the instruments of power of the proletariat. (P. 544.) “The struggle will cease only when, as the result of it, the state organisation is completely destroyed. The organisation of the majority will then have demonstrated its superiority by destroying the organisation of the ruling minority.” (P. 548.) The formulation in which Pannekoek presented his ideas suffers from serious defects. But its meaning is clear nonetheless, and it is interesting to note how Kautsky combated it. THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 489 “Up to now,” he wrote, “the antithesis between the Social-Democrats and the anarchists has been that the former wished to win the state power while the latter wished to destroy it. Pannekoek wants to do both.” (P. 724.) Although Pannekoek’s exposition lacks precision and concreteness—not to speak of other shortcomings of his article which have no bearing on the present subject—Kautsky seized precisely on the point of principle raised by Pannekoek; and on this fundamental point of principle Kautsky completely abandoned the Marxist position and went over wholly to opportunism. His definition of the distinction between the Social-Democrats and the anarchists is absolutely wrong; he completely vulgarises and distorts Marxism. The distinction between Marxists and the anarchists is this: (1) The former, while aiming at the complete abolition of the state, recognise that this aim can only be achieved after classes have been abolished by the socialist revolution, as the result of the establishment of socialism, which leads to the withering away of the state. The latter want to abolish he state completely overnight, not understanding the conditions under which the state can be abolished. (2) The former recognise that after the proletariat has won political power it must completely destroy the old state machine and replace it by a new one consisting of an organisation of the armed workers, after the type of the Commune. The latter, while insisting on the destruction of the state machine, have a very vague idea of what the proletariat will put in its place and how it will use its revolutionary power. The anarchists even deny that the revolutionary proletariat should use the state power, they reject its revolutionary dictatorship. (3) The former demand that the proletariat be trained for revolution by utilising the present state. The anarchists reject this. In this controversy, it is not Kautsky but Pannekoek who represents Marxism, for it was Marx who taught that the proletariat cannot simply win state power in the sense that the old state apparatus passes into new hands, but must smash this apparatus, must break it and replace it by a new one. Kautsky abandons Marxism for the opportunist camp, for this destruction of the state machine, which is utterly unac- 490 V. I. L E N I N ceptable to the opportunists, completely disappears from his argument, and he leaves a loophole for them in that “conquest” may be interpreted as the simple acquisition of a majority. To cover up his distortion of Marxism, Kautsky behaves like a doctrinaire: he puts forward a “quotation” from Marx himself. In 1850, Marx wrote that a “resolute centralisation of power in the hands of the state authority” was necessary, and Kautsky triumphantly asks: does Pannekoek want to destroy “Centralism”? This is simply a trick, like Bernstein’s identification of the views of Marxism and Proudhonism on the subject of federalism as against centralism. Kautsky’s “quotation” is neither here nor there. Centralism is possible with both the old and the new state machine. If the workers voluntarily unite their armed forces, this will be centralism, but it will be based on the “complete destruction” of the centralised state apparatus—the standing army, the police, and the bureaucracy. Kautsky acts like an outright swindler by evading the perfectly well-known arguments of Marx and Engels on the Commune and plucking out a quotation which has nothing to do with the point at issue. “Perhaps he [Pannekoek],” Kautsky continues, “wants to abolish the state functions of the officials? But we cannot do without officials even in the party and the trade unions, let alone in the state administration. And our programme does not demand the abolition of state officials, but that they be elected by the people. . . . We are discussing here not the form the administrative apparatus of the ‘future state’ will assume, but whether our political struggle abolishes [literally dissolves—auflöst] the state power before we have captured it. [Kautsky’s italics] Which ministry with its officials could be abolished?” Then follows an enumeration of the ministries of education, justice, finance and war. “No, not one of the present ministries will be removed by our political struggle against the government. . . . I repeat, in order to prevent misunderstanding: we are not discussing here the form the ‘future state’ will be given by the victorious Social-Democrats, but how the present state is changed by our opposition.” (P. 725.) This is an obvious trick. Pannekoek raised the question of revolution. Both the title of his article and the passages quoted above clearly indicate this. By skipping to the question of “opposition”, Kautsky substitutes the opportunist THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 491 for the revolutionary point of view. What he says means: at present we are an opposition; what we shall be after we have captured power, that we shall see. Revolution has vanished! And that is exactly what the opportunists wanted. The point at issue is neither opposition nor political struggle in general, but revolution. Revolution consists in the proletariat destroying the “administrative apparatus” and the whole state machine, replacing it by a new one, made up of the armed workers. Kautsky displays a “superstitious reverence” for “ministries”; but why can they not be replaced, say, by committees of specialists working under sovereign, all-powerful Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies? The point is not at all whether the “ministries” will remain, or whether “committees of specialists” or some other bodies will be set up; that is quite immaterial. The point is whether the old state machine (bound by thousands of threads to the bourgeoisie and permeated through and through with routine and inertia) shall remain, or be destroyed and replaced by a new one. Revolution consists not in the new class commanding, governing with the aid of the old state machine, but in this class smashing this machine and commanding, governing with the aid of a new machine. Kautsky slurs over this basic idea of Marxism, or he does not understand it at all. His question about officials clearly shows that he does not understand the lessons of the Commune or the teachings of Marx. “We cannot do without officials even in the party and the trade unions....” We cannot do without officials under capitalism, under the rule of the bourgeoisie. The proletariat is oppressed, the working people are enslaved by capitalism. Under capitalism, democracy is restricted, cramped, curtailed, mutilated by all the conditions of wage slavery, and the poverty and misery of the people. This and this alone is the reason why the functionaries of our political organisations and trade unions are corrupted—or rather tend to be corrupted—by the conditions of capitalism and betray a tendency to become bureaucrats, i.e., privileged persons divorced from the people and standing above the people. 492 V. I. L E N I N That is the essence of bureaucracy; and until the capitalists have been expropriated and the bourgeoisie overthrown, even proletarian functionaries will inevitably be “bureaucratised” to a certain extent. According to Kautsky, since elected functionaries will remain under socialism, so will officials, so will the bureaucracy! This is exactly where he is wrong. Marx, referring to the example of the Commune, showed that under socialism functionaries will cease to be “bureaucrats”, to be “officials”, they will cease to be so in proportion as—in addition to the principle of election of officials—the principle of recall at any time is also introduced, as salaries are reduced to the level of the wages of the average workman, and as parliamentary institutions are replaced by “working bodies, executive and legislative at the same time”. As a matter of fact, the whole of Kautsky’s argument against Pannekoek, and particularly the former’s wonderful point that we cannot do without officials even in our party and trade union organisations, is merely a repetition of Bernstein’s old “arguments” against Marxism in general. In his renegade book, The Premises of Socialism, Bernstein combats the ideas of “primitive” democracy, combats what he calls “doctrinaire democracy”: binding mandates, unpaid officials, impotent central representative bodies, etc. to prove that this “primitive” democracy is unsound, Bernstein refers to the experience of the British trade unions, as interpreted by the Webbs. 154 Seventy years of development “in absolute freedom”, he says (p. 137, German edition), convinced the trade unions that primitive democracy was useless, and they replaced it by ordinary democracy, i.e., parliamentarism combined with bureaucracy. In reality, the trade unions did not develop “in absolute freedom” but in absolute capitalist slavery, under which, it goes without saying, a number of concessions to the prevailing evil, violence, falsehood, exclusion of the poor from the affairs of “higher” administration, “cannot be done without”. Under socialism much of “primitive” democracy will inevitably be revived, since, for the first time in the history of civilised society the mass of population will rise to taking an independent part, not only in voting and elections, but THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 493 also in the everyday administration of the state. Under socialism all will govern in turn and will soon become accustomed to no one governing. Marx’s critico-analytical genius saw in the practical measures of the Commune the turning-point which the opportunists fear and do not want to recognise because of their cowardice, because they do not want to break irrevocably with the bourgeoisie, and which the anarchists do not want to see, either because they are in a hurry or because they do not understand at all the conditions of great social changes. “We must not even think of destroying the old state machine; how can we do without ministries and officials>” argues the opportunist, who is completely saturated with philistinism and who, at bottom, not only does not believe in revolution, in the creative power of revolution, but lives in mortal dread of it (like our Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries). “We must think only of destroying the old state machine; it is no use probing into the concrete lessons of earlier proletarian revolutions and analyzing what to put in the place of what has been destroyed, and how,” argues the anarchist (the best of the anarchist, of course, and not those who, following the Kropotkins and Co., trail behind the bourgeoisie). Consequently, the tactics of the anarchist become the tactics of despair instead of a ruthlessly bold revolutionary effort to solve concrete problems while taking into account the practical conditions of the mass movement. Marx teaches us to avoid both errors; he teaches us to act with supreme boldness in destroying the entire old state machine, and at the same time he teaches us to put the question concretely: the Commune was able in the space of a few weeks to start building a new, proletarian state machine by introducing such-and-such measures to provide wider democracy and to uproot bureaucracy. Let us learn revolutionary boldness from the Communards; let us see in their practical measures the outline of really urgent and immediately possible measures, and then, following this road, we shall achieve the complete destruction of bureaucracy. The possibility of this destruction is guaranteed by the fact that socialism will shorten the working day, will raise 494 V. I. L E N I N the people to a new life, will create such conditions for the majority of the population as will enable everybody, without exception, to perform “state functions”, and this will lead to the complete withering away of every form of state in general. “Its object [the object of the mass strike],” Kautsky continues, “cannot be to destroy the state power; its only object can be to make the government compliant on some specific question, or to replace a government hostile to the proletariat by one willing to meet it halfway [entgegenkommende] . . . . But never, under no circumstances can it [that is, the proletarian victory over a hostile government] lead to the destruction of the state power; it can lead only to a certain shifting [Verschiebung] of the balance of forces within the state power. . . . The aim of our political struggle remains, as in the past, the conquest of state power by winning a majority in parliament and by raising parliament to the ranks of master of the government.” (Pp. 726, 727, 732.) This is nothing but the purest and most vulgar opportunism: repudiating revolution in deeds, while accepting it in words. Kautsky’s thoughts go no further than a “government . . . willing to meet the proletariat half-way”—a step backward to philistinism compared with 1847, when the Communist Manifesto proclaimed “the organisation of the proletariat as the ruling class”. Kautsky will have to achieve his beloved “unity” with the Scheidemanns, Plekhanovs and Vanderveldes, all of whom agree to fight for a government “willing to meet the proletariat half-way.” We, however, shall break with these traitors to socialism, and we shall fight for the complete destruction of the old state machine, in order that the armed proletariat itself may become the government. These are two vastly different things. Kautsky will have to enjoy the pleasant company of the Legiens and Davids, Plekhanovs, Potresovs, Tseretelis and Chernovs, who are quite willing to work for the “shifting of the balance of forces within the state power”, for “winning a majority in parliament”, and “raising parliament to the ranks of master of the government”. A most worthy object, which is wholly acceptable to the opportunists and which keeps everything within the bounds of the bourgeois parliamentary republic. THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 495 We, however, shall break with the opportunists; and the entire class-conscious proletariat will be with us in the fight—not to “shift the balance of forces”, but to overthrow the bourgeoisie, to destroy bourgeois parliamentarism, for a democratic republic after the type of the Commune, or a republic of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, for the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat. * * * To the right of Kautsky in international socialism there are trends such as Socialist Monthly155 in Germany (Legien, David, Kolb, and many others, including the Scandinavian Stauning and Branting), Jaurès’s followers and Vandervelde in France and Belgium; Turati, Treves, and other Rightwingers of the Italian Party; the Fabians and “Independents” (the Independent labour Party, which, in fact, has always been dependent on the Liberals) in Britain; and the like. All these gentry, who play a tremendous, very often a predominant role in the parliamentary work and the press of their parties, repudiate outright the dictatorship of the proletariat and pursue a policy of undisguised opportunism. In the eyes of these gentry, the “dictatorship” of the proletariat “contradicts” democracy!! There is really no essential distinction between them and the petty-bourgeois democrats. Taking this circumstance into consideration, we are justified in drawing the conclusion that the Second International, that is, the overwhelming majority of its official representatives, has completely sunk into opportunism. The experience of the Commune has been not only ignored but distorted. Far from inculcating in the workers’ minds the idea that the time is nearing when they must act to smash the old state machine, replace it by a new one, and in this way make their political rule the foundation for the socialist reorganisation of society, they have actually preached to the masses the very opposite and have depicted the “conquest of power” in a way that has left thousands of loopholes for opportunism. The distortion and hushing up of the question of the relation of the proletarian revolution to the state could not 496 V. I. L E N I N but play an immense role at a time when states, which possess a military apparatus expanded as a consequence of imperialist rivalry, have become military monsters which are exterminating millions of people in order to settle the issue as to whether Britain or Germany—this or that finance capital—is to rule the world. * * The MS. continues as follows: C h a p t e r VII THE EXPERIENCE OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTIONS OF 1905 AND 1917 The subject indicated in the title of this chapter is so vast that volumes could and should be written about it. In the present pamphlet we shall have to confine ourselves, naturally, to the most important lessons provided by experience, those touching directly upon the tasks of the proletariat in the revolution in relation to state power. (Here the manuscript breaks off.—Ed.) THE STATE AND REVOLUTION 497 POSTSCRIPT TO THE FIRST EDITION This pamphlet was written in August and September 1917. I had already drawn up the plan for the next, the seventh chapter, “The Experience of the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917”. Apart from the title, however, I had no time to write a single line of the chapter; I was “interrupted” by a political crisis—the eve of the October revolution of 1917. Such an “interruption” can only be welcomed; but the writing of the second part of this pamphlet (“The Experience of the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917”) will probably have to be put off for a long time. It is more pleasant and useful to go through the “experience of revolution” than to write about it. The Author Petrograd November 30, 1917 NOTES 501 1 The First All-Russia Congress of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies sat in Petrograd from June 3 to 24 (June 16 to July 7), 1917. It was attended by more than a thousand delegates. The Bolsheviks, then a minority in the Soviets, were represented by 105 delegates. The majority was made up of Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks. Among the items on the Congress agenda were: the attitude to the Provisional Government, the war, and preparations for the Constituent Assembly. Lenin spoke on the attitude to the Provisional Government and on the war. The Bolsheviks tabled their own motions on all the major issues. They exposed the imperialist character of the war, stressed the disastrous consequences that compromise with the bourgeoisie was bound to have, and insisted that all power be transferred to the Soviets. The Congress resolutions declared in favour of the Provisional Government and its preparations for an offensive at the front, and took a stand against the transfer of power to the Soviets. p. 15 2 The first coalition government was formed on May 5 (18), 1917, and its composition announced in the press the following day. Along with representatives of the bourgeoisie, it included the Socialist-Revolutionaries Kerensky and Chernov, Pereverzev, who was close to the S.R.s, the Mensheviks Skobelev and Tsereteli; and the Popular Socialist Peshekhonov. p. 18 3 The Provisional Government was formed on March 2 (15), 1917, by agreement between the Duma’s Provisional Committee and the S.R. and Menshevik leaders of the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. It was composed of Prince G. Y. Lvov (Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Minister of the Interior), P. N. Milyukov, the Cadet leader (Minister for Foreign Affairs), A. I. Guchkov, the Octobrist leader (War, and ad interim Naval, Minister), and other members of the big bourgeoisie and landed proprietors, as well as the Trudovik A. F. Kerensky (Minister of Justice). p. 19 4 Rabochaya Gazeta (Workers’ Gazette)—a daily newspaper published by the Mensheviks in Petrograd from March 7 (20) to November 30 502 NOTES (December 13), 1917. On August 30 (September 12) it became a mouthpiece of the Menshevik Central Committee. It supported the bourgeois Provisional Government and fought against the Bolshevik Party and its leader, Lenin. Its reaction to the October Revolution and the establishment of Soviet rule was hostile. p. 19 5 K. Marx and F. Engels, Selected Correspondence, Moscow, 1965, p. 395. p. 19 6 Lenin is referring to the resolutions of the Seventh (April) AllRussia Conference of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.), held in Petrograd from April 24 to 29 (May 7-12), 1917 (see The C.P.S.U. in Resolutions and Decisions of Congresses, Conferences and Plenary Meetings of the C.C., 7th ed., Part I, 1954, pp. 332-53 [in Russian]). p. 20 7 Lyakhov—a colonel of the tsarist army, led the Russian troops which put down the bourgeois revolution of 1908 in Persia. By “Lyakhov’s policy” Lenin means the suppression of the revolutionary and national liberation movements by the tsarist government. p. 22 8 Cadets—members of the Constitutional-Democratic Party, the leading party of the liberal monarchist bourgeoisie in Russia. The party, founded in October 1905, grouped members of the bourgeoisie, Zemstvo officials from among the landowners, and bourgeois intellectuals. Among its leaders were P. N. Milyukov, S. A. Muromtsev, V. A. Maklakov, A. I. Shingaryov, P. B. Struve and F. I. Rodichev. Subsequently the Cadets became a party of the imperialist bourgeoisie. During the First World War they fully supported the tsarist government’s aggressive foreign policy. During the February bourgeois-democratic revolution of 1917, they did their best to rescue the monarchy. Following the victory of the October Socialist Revolution they took an uncompromising stand against the Soviet state and shared in all the armed counterrevolutionary actions and campaigns of the interventionists. After the foreign invaders and the whiteguards had been defeated, the Cadets fled from the country and continued their anti-Soviet, counter-revolutionary activity as émigrés. p. 22 9 Izvestia Petrogradskogo Soveta Rabochikh i Soldatskikh Deputatov (Bulletin of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies)—a daily newspaper founded on February 28 (March 13), 1917. After the First All-Russia Congress of Soviets had formed the Central Executive Committee of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, Izvestia became the organ of the C.E.C., and from August 1 (14) on, that is, beginning with its issue No. 132, appeared under the title of Izvestia Tsentralnogo Ispolnitelnogo Komiteta i Petrogradskogo Soveta Rabochikh i Soldatskikh Deputatov (Bulletin of the Central Executive Committee and the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies). On September 29 (October 12), its issue No. 184 appeared under the new title Izvestia Tsentralnogo NOTES 503 Ispolnitelnogo Komiteta Sovetov Rabochikh i Soldatskikh Deputatov (Bulletin of the Central Executive Committee of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies). Throughout that period the paper was controlled by the Mensheviks and S.R.s, and waged a bitter struggle against the Bolshevik Party. After the Second All-Russia Congress of Soviets the Izvestia editorial board was changed and the paper became the official organ of Soviet power. It published the first important documents of the Soviet Government, and articles and speeches by Lenin. In March 1918 its publication was transferred to Moscow. In December 1922, with the formation of the U.S.S.R., Izvestia became the organ of the C.E.C. U.S.S.R. and the All-Russia C.E.C. The paper was reorganised by decision of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. dated January 24, 1938, and ever since January 26, 1938, has been published under the title of Izvestia Sovetov Deputatov Trudyashchikhsya (Bulletin of the Soviets of Working People’s Deputies). p. 22 10 The First All-Russia Congress of Peasant Deputies was held in Petrograd from May 4 to 28 (May 17 to June 10), 1917. It was attended by 1,115 delegates from the gubernias and army units. The Bolsheviks, who took an active part in its deliberations, exposed the imperialist policies of the bourgeois Provisional Government and the Menshevik and S.R. policy of compromise. Lenin spoke on the agrarian question. He insisted on immediate confiscation of the landed estates, to be transferred to peasant committees, and on nationalisation of all the lands in Russia. S.R. domination at the Congress left its imprint on the resolutions adopted. The Congress approved the Provisional Government’s policy and the entry of “socialists” into the government. It declared for war “to a victorious conclusion” and for an offensive at the front, then in preparation. It pronounced itself against the immediate transfer of the landed estates to the peasants, and put off decision on the land question pending convocation of the Constituent Assembly. p. 22 11 Novaya Zhizn (New Life)—a daily newspaper of a Menshevik trend published by a group of Social-Democrats who called themselves internationalists ” . The group comprised the Mensheviks who supported Martov, and certain intellectuals with semi-Menshevik leanings. It vacillated continuously between the conciliators and the Bolsheviks. Novaya Zhizn appeared in Petrograd from April 1917. After the October Revolution it adopted a hostile attitude to the Soviet state. It was closed down in July 1918. p. 24 12 Lenin has in mind the British Government issuing a passport to Ramsay MacDonald, the British Independent Labour Party leader, who was invited to Russia by the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. The trip was frustrated by the British Seamen’s Union, which refused to man the ship in which MacDonald was to sail to Russia. p. 24 504 NOTES 13 The Manifesto of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies “To the Peoples of the World” was adopted by the Soviet on March 14 (27), 1917, and was published in the capital the next day. The S.R. and Menshevik leaders were compelled to vote for it under pressure from the revolutionary people, who insisted on ending the war. The Manifesto called on the working people of the belligerent countries to take action in favour of peace. However, it did not expose the predatory nature of the war, nor did it propose any practical measures for peace. It virtually justified the continuation of the imperialist war by the bourgeois Provisional Government. p. 25 14 In June 1917 Italy overran Albania and proclaimed her independence under Italy’s virtual protectorate. In Greece, a coup d’état was carried out under the pressure of Britain and France. By launching an economic blockade that caused a terrible famine, and by occupying a number of Greek provinces, the Allies forced King Constantine to abdicate, and put Venizelos, their adherent, in power. Greece was dragged into the war on the side of the Entente, contrary to the will of the vast majority of her people. During the First World War Persia (Iran) was occupied by British and Russian troops. By early 1917 Persia, having lost all independence, was occupied by the Russians in the north and the British in the south. Provisional Government diplomats backed all these acts of imperialist tyranny. p. 26 15 Reference is to the declaration which the bureau of the Bolshevik group and the bureau of the united internationalist Social-Democrats made at the First All-Russia Congress of Soviets. They demanded that the Congress first of all discuss the offensive at the front for which the Provisional Government was preparing. The declaration pointed out that the offensive was being imposed by the magnates of the imperialist Allies and that the Russian counterrevolutionaries expected thereby to concentrate power in the hands of the military-diplomatic and capitalist groups, and to deliver a blow to the revolutionary fight for peace and to the positions gained by the Russian democrats. The declaration warned the working class, the armed forces and the peasants of the danger threatening the country, and called on the Congress to immediately repel the counter-revolutionaries’ onslaught. The Congress rejected the proposal made by the bureau of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.) group. p. 26 16 Dyelo Naroda (People’s Cause)—an S.R. daily published in Petrograd between March 1917 and June 1918. It changed its title several times. It adopted a defencist and conciliatory stand and supported the bourgeois Provisional Government. Its publication was resumed in Samara in October 1918 (three issues were brought out) and in NOTES 505 Moscow in March 1919 (ten issues). The paper was closed down the same year for its counter-revolutionary trend. p. 26 17 Lenin described as Narodniks three petty-bourgeois parties of a Narodnik type: the Trudoviks, Socialist-Revolutionaries and Popular Socialists. p. 29 18 Basle Manifesto of 1912—a manifesto on the war, adopted by the Extraordinary International Socialist Congress which sat in Basle on November 24 and 25, 1912. It warned the nations against the imminent threat of a world imperialist war, revealed the aggressive aims of the war and called on the workers of the world to fight for peace and “to pit against the might of capitalist imperialism the international solidarity of the working class”. The Manifesto included a clause, formulated by Lenin, from a resolution of the Stuttgart Congress (1907), to the effect that in the event of an imperialist war the socialists should take advantage of the economic and political crisis that would result from the war to hasten the downfall of capitalist class rule and fight for socialist revolution. p. 35 19 Allusion is to the prohibition of the All-Ukraine Army Congress by Kerensky, the Provisional Government’s War Minister. Despite the ban, the Congress sat from June 5-12 (18-25), 1917, in Kiev. It was attended by some 2,000 delegates. It passed the “Universal Act” on the autonomy of the Ukraine, published by the Ukrainian Central Rada. The counter-revolutionary policies of the Provisional Government and the Menshevik and S.R. parties towards the Ukraine were denounced by Lenin in the articles “The Ukraine” and “The Ukraine and the Defeat of the Ruling Parties of Russia” (see pp. 91-92 and 99-102 of this volume). p. 37 20 Reference is to the tsar’s Manifesto of October 17, 1905, promising “civil liberties” and a “legislative” Duma. The Manifesto was a concession wrested from the tsarist regime by the revolution. The autocracy wanted to gain time, split the revolutionary forces, foil the All-Russia Strike and crush the revolution. The Bolsheviks exposed this political manoeuvre. On October 18 (31), 1905, the C.C. R.S.D.L.P. issued the appeal “To the Russian People” revealing the spurious character of the tsar’s Manifesto and calling on the working people to continue their revolutionary struggle. p. 40 21 The Russian revolution of 1905-07 gave rise to revolutionary movements among the peoples of the East. In 1908 a bourgeois revolution broke out in Turkey. In 1906 there was a bourgeois revolution in Persia, resulting in the overthrow of the shah in 1909. The year 1910 saw the rise of a revolutionary movement in China against the feudal lords and foreign imperialists. The movement led to a revolution, and to the establishment of a bourgeois republic in December 1911. p. 40 506 NOTES 22 Sotsial-Demokrat (The Social-Democrat)—a daily newspaper of the Moscow Regional Bureau, the Moscow Committee, and subsequently the Moscow District Committee of the Bolshevik Party. It was published from March 1917 to March 1918, and was merged with Pravda when the Party’s Central Committee had moved to Moscow. p. 42 23 Pravda (The Truth)—a Bolshevik daily newspaper published legally. Its first issue appeared in St. Petersburg on April 22 (May 5), 1912. Lenin, who guided Pravda ideologically, contributed to the paper almost daily. He gave recommendations to its editors with a view to making it a militant revolutionary paper. A substantial part of the Party’s organising work was done through Pravda. Conferences with representatives of local Party cells were held in its offices, which also received information on Party work in factories and passed on directives of the Party’s Central and Petrograd Committees. Pravda was doggedly persecuted by the police and was closed down on July 8 (21), 1914. It did not resume publication until after the February bourgeoisdemocratic revolution of 1917. From March 5 (18), 1917, onwards it was brought out as a paper of the Central and Petrograd Committees of the R.S.D.L.P. Upon his arrival in Petrograd Lenin joined the editorial board, and Pravda launched a campaign for his plan to bring about the development of the bourgeois-democratic revolution into a socialist revolution. From July to October 1917 the paper, being persecuted by the counter-revolutionary Provisional Government, had to change its title more than once. It appeared as Listok “Pravdy”, Proletary, Rabochy and Rabochy Put. Since the victory of the October Socialist Revolution it has been published—beginning with October 27 (November 9), 1917—under its original title, Pravda. Pravda holds a prominent place in the history of the Bolshevik press. The generation of advanced workers it educated played an outstanding part in the October Revolution and in socialist construction. Pravda was the first mass paper of the working class to be published legally. It marked a new stage in the development of the press of Russia’s working class and the world proletariat. The day when the first issue of Pravda appeared has been celebrated as the workers’ Press Day ever since 1914. p. 42 24 The factory committees, which came into being in March 1917, immediately after the victory of the February Revolution, were class organisations of the workers. The factory elders’ councils and other elected bodies formed from provisional strike committees in the periods of revolutionary upsurge are considered the forerunners of the factory committees. The factory committees became very active as soon as they were set up. They formulated the workers’ economic demands and NOTES 507 presented them to the factory owners, introduced an eight-hour day by their own decision, exercised control over the employment and discharge of labour power, formed workers’ militia units, combated sabotage on the part of the employers, secured raw materials and fuel for the factories concerned to prevent stoppages, and so on. They took an active part in the October Revolution. In 1918 they were merged with the trade unions and became primary units of the latter. The First Petrograd Conference of Factory Committees was held from May 30 to June 3 (June 12-16), 1917. The 568 delegates attending it represented the factory committees, trade union bureaus, and other workers’ organisations of Petrograd and vicinity. The conference discussed the state of industry and the problem of controlling and regulating production in Petrograd, the tasks of the factory committees, their role in the trade union movement, etc. The Conference became a scene of bitter struggle between the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks over the role and tasks of the factory committees and over workers’ control. The Mensheviks tried to nullify the political and economic role of the factory committees and to substitute state control involving bourgeois parties for workers’ control. The conference carried the Bolshevik motion. The conference was very important in that it enabled the factory committees to exchange experience and join forces in the campaign for workers’ control. To this end it elected a standing Central Council of Factory Committees of 25. Lenin took part in the conference. He drafted the “Resolution on Measures to Cope with Economic Dislocation”, which was carried by a vast majority, and analysed the conference resolutions in his articles “The Petty-Bourgeois Stand on Economic Dislocation” and “Economic Dislocation and the Proletariat’s Struggle Against It”, criticising the Menshevik stand at the conference and upholding the Bolsheviks’ tactics on workers’ control over production. p. 43 25 Rech (Speech)—Central Organ of the Cadet Party published daily in St. Petersburg from February 1906. It was closed down by the Military Revolutionary Committee under the Petrograd Soviet. On October 26 (November 8), 1917. It continued publication under different titles till August 1918. p. 44 26 Yedinstvo (Unity)—mouthpiece of the Right wing of the defencist Mensheviks headed by G. V. Plekhanov; it was published in Petrograd. Four issues appeared in May and June 1914. From March to November 1917 the paper was published daily. In December 1917 and January 1918 it appeared under the title Nashe Yedinstvo (Our Unity). Supporting the Provisional Government and advocating coalition with the bourgeoisie and firm power, Yedinstvo waged a fierce struggle against the Bolsheviks, very often resorting to the gutter press methods. Its reaction to the October Revolution and the establishment of Soviet rule was hostile. p. 44 508 NOTES 27 Struvism—a liberal-bourgeois distortion of Marxism, so named after P. B. Struve, the chief exponent of “legal Marxism” in Russia. p. 45 28 Vorwärts (Forward)—Central Organ of the German Social-Democratic Party published daily in Berlin from 1891 to 1933. Engels used the columns of Vorwärts to fight against all manifestations of opportunism. In the second half of the nineties, after Engels’s death, the paper found itself in the hands of the party’s Right wing, and continuously published opportunist articles. It carried biased reports on the struggle against opportunism and revisionism in the R.S.D.L.P. It backed the Economists and then, after the split in the Party, the Mensheviks. In the years of reaction it published slanderous articles by Trotsky, while denying Lenin and other Bolsheviks the opportunity to refute the slander and present an objective picture of the situation in the Party. During the First World War Vorwärts took a social-chauvinist stand. After the October Socialist Revolution it conducted antiSoviet propaganda. p. 46 29 In Russian political writing, the term diehards was applied to the extreme Right wing of the reactionary landowners. p. 48 30 The term “gentlemen of June 3” applies to the bourgeois and landowner parties (Right-wing, Octobrist and Cadet) which won a vast superiority in the Third and Fourth Dumas under the counterrevolutionary electoral law passed by the tsarist government on June 3 (16), 1907. The law curtailed the already limited suffrage of the workers and peasants. The June 3 parties periodically held so-called private meetings of Deputies to the Fourth Duma. One of these meetings took place on June 3 (16), 1917, that is, the day the All-Russia Congress of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies was convened. This was not mere coincidence, for the counter-revolutionary parties of the Russian bourgeoisie and landowners were trying to exert political pressure on the petty-bourgeois conciliators, the Mensheviks and S.R.s, who commanded a majority at the Congress. Among the items, the meeting discussed foreign policy matters. It was addressed by V. A. Maklakov, P. N. Milyukov, V. V. Shulgin and other Octobrist and Cadet leaders. They insisted on the vigorous fulfilment of commitments in respect of the Allies and on putting an end to the revolution. The resolution adopted by the meeting said as much. p. 48 31 Volya Naroda (People’s Will)—a daily newspaper published by the Right wing of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party in Petrograd in 1917. It was closed down in November 1917. Afterwards it reappeared under other titles, and was suppressed altogether in February 1918. p. 54 32 Novoye Vremya (New Times)—a daily newspaper published in St. Petersburg from 1868 to 1917. It was owned by different publish- NOTES 509 ers, and repeatedly changed its political trend. In 1905 it became a Black Hundred paper. After the February bourgeois-democratic revolution of 1917 it adopted a counter-revolutionary platform and carried on a fierce anti-Bolshevik campaign. It was closed down by the Military Revolutionary Committee under the Petrograd Soviet on October 26 (November 8), 1917. Lenin described Novoye Vremya as a typically venal organ. p. 59 33 Socialist-Revolutionaries (S.R.s)—a petty-bourgeois party founded in Russia in late 1901 and early 1902 as a result of the amalgamation of various Narodnik groups and circles. Their views were an eclectic hodgepodge of Narodnik and revisionist ideas. During the First World War most of the S.R.s advocated social-chauvinist views. After the February bourgeois-democratic revolution of 1917 the S.R.s and Mensheviks were the mainstay of the counter-revolutionary, bourgeois-landowner Provisional Government, and S.R. leaders (Kerensky, Avksentyev, Chernov) were members of the cabinet. The S.R. Party refused to support the peasants’ demand for the abolition of the landed estates, and advocated their preservation. The S.R. members of the Provisional Government sent punitive expeditions against peasants who had seized landed estates. At the end of November 1917 the Left S.R.s formed an independent party. To retain their influence on the peasants, they nominally recognised Soviet power and reached agreement with the Bolsheviks. But shortly afterwards they began to fight against Soviet rule. During the foreign military intervention and the Civil War the S.R.s engaged in counter-revolutionary subversion, actively supported the invaders and whiteguards, took part in counter-revolutionary conspiracies, and organised acts of terrorism against Soviet statesmen and Communist Party leaders. After the Civil War they continued their hostile activity inside the country and abroad, where they joined the White émigrés. p. 61 34 Reference is to the speech which the Menshevik Skobelev, Labour Minister of the Provisional Government, made at the meeting of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies on May 13 (26), 1917, saying that taxation of the propertied classes should be increased “to 100 per cent of their profits”. p. 65 35 Lenin is referring to the First All-Russia Congress of Soviets banning the demonstration fixed by the Bolshevik Central Committee for June 10 (23), 1917. Early in June tension in Petrograd grew. The prolongation of the war by the Provisional Government, preparations for an offensive at the front, and food shortages, all caused resentment and indignation among the workers and soldiers. The government’s order to troops to take over the Durnovo country-house and evict the workers’ organisations of the Vyborgskaya Storona district from it gave rise to a strike. On June 7 (20) four factories went on 510 NOTES strike, and next day, twenty-eight. The masses were eager to hold a street demonstration. To ward off provocation and unnecessary loss of life, a joint meeting of the Central and Petrograd Committees, the Military Organisation, and district delegates from the workers and delegates from troop units, held on June 8 (21), carried Lenin’s motion to hold a peaceful organised demonstration. The action was set for June 10 (23). The Bolshevik Central Committee’s decision to hold a demonstration brought a ready response from the masses and alarmed the government, as well as the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, who resolved to foil the demonstration. On the evening of June 9 (22) the First All-Russia Congress of Soviets, led by them, passed a resolution banning all street demonstrations for three days. On a motion by Lenin, the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party, not wishing to go against the Congress decision, resolved on the night of June 9-10 to call off the demonstration. Members of the Central and Petrograd Committees and other prominent members of the Party were sent to factories and barracks to dissuade the workers and soldiers from demonstrating. As a result of their explanatory work, the workers and soldiers agreed that it would be-unwise to hold a demonstration just then. This indicated the Party’s growing influence, its ability to keep in touch with the people, and the flexibility of the Bolshevik leadership. Two days later the S.R. and Menshevik leadership of the Congress of Soviets decided to hold a demonstration on June 18 (July 1)—the day when the Russian troops were to take the offensive—as proof of the people’s “confidence” in the Provisional Government. Under Lenin’s personal leadership, the Central and Petrograd Committees did a great deal to ensure that the demonstration reflected the true sentiment of the people and win that important peaceful battle against the Mensheviks and S.R.s for influence among the people. Lenin took part in preparations for the demonstration by formulating watchwords, checking the preparation of streamers and banners, giving directions to correspondents, writing telegrams to be sent to local Bolshevik organisations, taking steps to guarantee that there would be an adequate number of Bolshevik speakers, putting his own name on the list of speakers, and attending the Marsovo Polye meeting. On June 18 (July 1) the demonstration brought some 500,000 Petrograd workers and soldiers out into the streets. By far most of the demonstrators carried Bolshevik revolutionary slogans. Only small groups carried the conciliating parties’ slogans expressing confidence in the Provisional Government. The demonstration revealed the heightened revolutionary spirit of the people and the vastly increased influence and prestige of the Bolshevik Party. It also revealed the complete failure of the petty-bourgeois conciliating parties backing the Provisional Government. Lenin dealt with the June demonstration in “The Eighteenth of June”, “Three Crises” (see pp. 110-12 and 171-75 of this volume) and other articles. p. 70 NOTES 511 36 After the victory of the February revolution the workers’ organisations of the Vyborgskaya Storona district (the bakers’ union, the district branch of the people’s militia, etc.), joined by the anarchists, took over the vacant country-house of tsarist ex-Minister Durnovo and the adjoining garden (20 dessiatines in area), which the workers of the district subsequently used as recreation grounds. On June 7 (20) the Provisional Government, backed by the S.R. and Menshevik majority on the Petrograd Soviet and then by the First All-Russia Congress of Soviets, ordered the country-house to be vacated. The order brought protests from the Petrograd workers, particularly those of Vyborgskaya Storona. Several factories struck. The government yielded but on the night of June 18-19 (July 1-2) it sent a contingent of Cossacks and soldiers which took the country-house by assault, killing two anarchists and arresting 59 people. As the overwhelming majority of the arrested had nothing to do with the anarchists, they had to be released shortly after. The raid deeply angered the workers. For several weeks the bourgeois press was busy playing up the “horrors” which it alleged to have taken place at the country-house, and used this particular incident to the hilt to campaign against the revolutionary-minded masses and the Bolsheviks. p. 70 37 Catiline (Lucius Sergius Catilina)—Roman politician and soldier. In 63 B.C. he engineered a conspiracy to effect a coup d’état, abolish the republic and establish a military dictatorship. p. 73 38 The basic provisions of the draft were incorporated in the declaration of the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.) and the Bureau of the Bolshevik group at the First All-Russia Congress of Soviets concerning the Congress ban on the peaceful demonstration fixed by the Bolshevik Party for June 10 (23). p. 77 39 Black Hundreds—monarchist bands formed by the tsarist police to fight the revolutionary movement. They assassinated revolutionaries, attacked progressive intellectuals and carried out antiJewish pogroms. p. 79 40 Reference is to the speech made by the Menshevik Tsereteli, member of the Provisional Government, on June 11 (24), 1917, at the joint meeting of the Steering Committee of the First All-Russia Congress of Soviets, the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, the Executive Committee of the Congress of Peasants’ Deputies, and the bureaus of all Congress parties. The meeting was arranged by the S.R. and Menshevik leaders to strike a blow at the Bolshevik Party, taking advantage of the majority they commanded. In his speech, which he held in a hysterical key, Tsereteli said the demonstration which the Bolsheviks had scheduled for June 10 (23) was “a Bolshevik conspiracy to overthrow the government and seize power”. The speech was slanderous and counter-revolutionary throughout. The Bolsheviks left the meeting in protest against the slanders spread by 512 NOTES Tsereteli and other S.R. and Menshevik leaders. Lenin, who had been against the meeting from the outset, did not attend. p. 79 41 Cavaignac, Louis Eugène—French general who after the February revolution of 1848 became War Minister of the Provisional Government. In June 1848 he led the suppression of the Paris workers’ uprising. p. 83 42 Reference is to the statement which the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.) and the Bureau of the Bolshevik group at the First All-Russia Congress of Soviets made regarding the ban on the peaceful demonstration appointed by the Bolshevik Party for June 10 (23), 1917. The statement exposed the provocative conduct of the Menshevik and S.R. leaders of the Congress of Soviets, who banned the demonstration, and the counter-revolutionary policies of the Provisional Government. It warned that the revolution was in danger, and called on the working class to be staunch and vigilant. The statement was read at the joint meeting of the Congress Steering Committee, the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet, the Executive Committee of the Congress of Peasants’ Deputies, and the bureaus of all Congress parties on June 11 (24). The Bolsheviks had wanted the statement to be read at the Congress sitting on June 12 (25), but the chairman of the meeting denied the Bolsheviks the floor. The statement was therefore handed to the Congress Steering Committee. The same sitting passed a resolution condemning the Bolshevik Party despite the fact that the Bolsheviks had called off the demonstration. p. 88 43 The Ukrainian Central Rada (Council) was a counter-revolutionary bourgeois nationalist organisation founded in April 1917 at the All-Ukraine National Congress in Kiev by a bloc of Ukrainian bourgeois and petty-bourgeois nationalist parties and groups. M. S. Grushevsky, an ideologue of the Ukrainian bourgeoisie, was its chairman and V. K. Vinnichenko its vice-chairman. Among its members were Petlyura, Yefremov, Antonovich and other nationalists. Socially, the Rada relied for support on the urban and rural bourgeoisie, the kulaks, and the petty-bourgeois nationalist intellectuals. It tried to consolidate the power of the Ukrainian bourgeoisie and landowners and to establish a Ukrainian bourgeois state, taking advantage of the national liberation movement in the Ukraine. Under the guise of fighting for national independence, it strove to win the support of the Ukrainian people, divert them from the all-Russia revolutionary movement, bring them under the sway of the Ukrainian bourgeoisie, and prevent the victory of the socialist revolution in the Ukraine. The Rada supported the Provisional Government despite differences over the issue of granting autonomy to the Ukraine. Following the victory of the October Socialist Revolution the Rada declared itself the supreme organ of the “Ukrainian People’s Republic” and campaigned openly against Soviet rule. NOTES 513 It was one of the principal centres of the counter-revolutionaries of the whole of Russia. p. 91 44 Malenkaya Gazeta (The Little Newspaper)—a yellow reactionary newspaper published in Petrograd from September 1914 to July 1917 by A. A. Suvorin, Jr. From May 1917 on, it appeared under the subtitle of “An Extra-Party Socialist Newspaper”, speculating on the people’s sympathy for socialism. After the February bourgeois-democratic revolution of 1917 it opposed the Bolshevik Party and conducted a vicious slander campaign against Lenin. p. 98 45 Russkaya Volya (Russia’s Will)—a bourgeois daily newspaper founded by A. D. Protopopov, the tsarist Minister of the Interior, and financed by the big banks. It was published in Petrograd from December 1916. After the February revolution it carried on a smear campaign against the Bolsheviks. It was closed down by the Military Revolutionary Committee on October 25 (November 7), 1917. p. 98 46 Derzhimorda—a policeman in Gogol’s Inspector-General, a boorish, insolent oppressor, a petty tyrant. p. 100 47 Wild Landowner—a character in M. Saltykov-Shchedrin’s fairy-tale of the same name. p. 100 48 The Council of State—one of the supreme organs of state power in tsarist Russia; was established in 1810, according to M. M. Speransky’s plan, as a legislative-advisory body whose members were appointed and confirmed by the tsar. A reactionary institution, it voted down even moderate Bills approved by the Duma. p. 100 49 Junkovsky, tsarist Deputy Minister of the Interior, was informed in 1914 that Malinovsky, Deputy to the Fourth Duma, was an agent provocateur. He conveyed the information to Rodzyanko, Chairman of the Fourth Duma, who pledged his “honour” that he would not divulge the secret. The two decided to remove Malinovsky from the Duma, doing it, however, in such a way as “not to expose either the Duma or the Ministers to scandal”. Malinovsky resigned as Deputy and left Russia with the aid of the police. He was exposed in 1917, on the strength of evidence derived from the Police Department archives. In 1918 he was tried by decision of the Soviet Government and was shot under the sentence of the Revolutionary Tribunal. p. 103 50 Dyen (The Day)—a liberal bourgeois daily newspaper published in St. Petersburg from 1912. Among its contributors were Menshevik liquidators, who took it over completely after the February revolution. Dyen was closed down by the Military Revolutionary Committee under the Petrograd Soviet on October 26 (November 8), 1917. p. 104 514 NOTES 51 On June 16 (29), 1917, Dyen, Novaya Zhizn and Birzheviye Vedomosti published the findings of the extraordinary committee of inquiry appointed by the Provisional Government to investigate the crimes of the tsarist regime. The committee published evidence against the agent provocateur Malinovsky. p. 104 52 Birzhevka, short for Birzheviye Vedomosti (Stock-Exchange Recorder)—a bourgeois newspaper founded in 1880. It was published in St. Petersburg, first three and then four times a week, and in the end daily. From 1902 onwards it was brought out twice a day. Time-serving, venality and lack of principle made its title a byword. After the February revolution the paper conducted riot-raising propaganda against the Bolshevik Party and Lenin. It was closed down by the Military Revolutionary Committee under the Petrograd Soviet at the end of October 1917. p. 104 53 Reference is to the treachery of Azef, member of the S.R. Party’s Central Committee, who for a number of years was a secret police agent. In 1908 he was exposed, and fled from the country. p. 104 54 This refers to the offensive launched by the Provisional Government in June 1917, at the instance of the Russian and Anglo-French imperialists. Kerensky, the War Minister, ordered the offensive on June 16 (29). On June 18 (July 1) the Russian troops took the offensive on the South-Western Front. The operation was successful at first and the Russians made headway, taking several thousand prisoners. Later on fatigue, the troops’ incomprehension of the purpose of the offensive, and inadequate technical preparation resulted in the German troops effecting a break-through and forcing the Russian troops into a disorderly retreat. The Russian Army sustained a crushing defeat, losing about 60,000 men and officers in ten days. The miscarriage of the offensive defeated the entire policy of the Provisional Government and the S.R. and Menshevik defencist bloc backing it. The defeat at the front made for an increase in Bolshevik influence on the workers and soldiers, who satisfied themselves more and more that the Bolsheviks were right. The news of the enormous casualties which the offensive had involved angered the working people and hastened a new political crisis in the country. p. 113 55 The Zimmerwaldists were members of the group formed at the first conference of internationalists held in Zimmerwald from September 5 to 8, 1915. During the conference a struggle developed between the revolutionary internationalists led by Lenin and the Kautskyite majority. Lenin formed of the Left internationalists the Zimmerwald Left group in which the Bolshevik Party was the only one to take a correct and consistently internationalist stand against the war. The conference adopted a manifesto describing the world war as an imperialist war. It condemned the conduct of those “socialists” NOTES 515 who voted for war credits and were members of bourgeois cabinets. It called on the workers of Europe to begin fighting against the war, for peace without annexations and indemnities. The conference also passed a resolution expressing sympathy with the war victims, and elected the International Socialist Committee. p. 113 56 Young Turks—European name of the members of Unity and Progress, a Turkish bourgeois and landowner nationalist party founded in Istanbul in 1889. They strove to restrict the sultan’s absolute power, transform the feudal empire into a bourgeois constitutional monarchy and thereby enhance the role of the Turkish bourgeoisie in the country’s economic and political life. In July 1908 they took power as a result of a revolution accomplished by the top section of the bourgeoisie, with support from the armed forces. The government they formed preserved the monarchy and pursued a reactionary policy. After Turkey had been defeated in the First World War (autumn 1918) the Young Turk Party dissolved itself. p. 122 57 The All-Russia Trade Union Conference was held in Petrograd between June 21 and 28 (July 4-11), 1917. It was attended by 211 delegates, 73 of them being Bolsheviks, and the rest Mensheviks, S.R.s, Bundists and non-party people. Among the items on the agenda were the trade union movement and development and the economic struggle. The Bolsheviks moved resolutions or amendments on all the major issues. The conference carried by a slight majority of 10 or 12 the motions tabled by the defencist Mensheviks. It elected a provisional Central Council of Trade Unions. p. 123 58 The Octobrists were members of the Octobrist Party (or Union of October 17), founded in Russia upon the publication of the tsar’s manifesto of October 17 (30), 1905. The Party was counter-revolutionary and defended the interests of the big bourgeoisie and of the landed proprietors farming on capitalist lines. It was led by A. I. Guchkov, a noted industrialist and house-owner in Moscow, and M. V. Rodzyanko, a big landowner. The Octobrists fully supported the tsarist government’s home and foreign policies. During the First World War the Octobrists, who saw that the tsarist regime was unable to win the war, formed the “progressive bloc”, an opposition group which demanded that a responsible Ministry be set up, that is, a government enjoying the confidence of the bourgeoisie and landed proprietors. After the February revolution the Octobrists became a ruling party and fought against the approaching socialist revolution. Guchkov was War Minister in the first Provisional Government. After the October Revolution the Octobrists fought against Soviet rule. p. 129 59 Reference is to the Third Congress of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party, held in Moscow between late May and early June 1917. The Congress revealed sharp differences between the party’s Right 516 NOTES and Left wings over certain issues, including that of the attitude to the war, the Left S.R.s opposing the Provisional Government’s policy of prolonging the war. The Central Committee was elected on June 2 (15). In publishing the results of the vote it was stated that many delegates had voted against electing A. F. Kerensky to the Central Committee because he was overburdened with work in the War and Naval ministries, that is, for practical and not political reasons. When Y. Breshko-Breshkovskaya (“Grandmother of the Russian Revolution”), one of the founders and veteran members of the S.R. Party, heard that Kerensky had not been elected, she construed that as an intrigue and resigned from the S.R. Party’s Central Committee in protest, making a relevant statement for the press. p. 129 60 Zemlya i Volya (Land and Freedom)—a Socialist-Revolutionary newspaper published in Moscow from March 1917 to May 1918. p. 129 61 The expression “His Majesty’s Opposition” was used by P. N. Milyukov, the Cadet leader. Speaking at a luncheon given by the Lord Mayor of London on June 19 (July 2), 1909, Milyukov said: “So long as Russia has a legislative chamber controlling the budget, the Russian opposition will remain an opposition of, and not to, His Majesty.” p. 132 62 Zemstvos—rural self-government bodies set up in the central gubernias of tsarist Russia in 1864. They were dominated by the nobility, and their jurisdiction was limited to purely local economic and welfare matters—hospital and road building, statistics, insurance etc. They functioned under the control of the governors of the gubernias and the Minister of the Interior, who could block any decisions the government found undesirable. p. 132 63 Nozdrev—a blustering liar in Gogol’s Dead Souls. 64 Vestnik Finansov, Promyshlennosti i Torgovli (Finance, and Trade Messenger)—a weekly journal published by the of Finance in St. Petersburg from November 1883 to published government decisions, economic articles, and 65 “Moderate and proper”—the philistine virtues a character in Griboyedov’s Wit Works Woe. 66 On July 2 (15), hearing of the miscarriage of the June offensive, the Cadet Ministers Shingaryov, Manuilov and Shakhovskoi resigned from the coalition Provisional Government on the pretext that they disagreed with the government’s stand on the Ukrainian question. In a declaration to the Ukrainian Central Rada, the Provisional Government had promised to appoint by mutual agreement a General Secretariat to administer the Ukraine, while p. 135 of Industry Ministry 1917. It surveys. p. 140 Molchalin, p. 142 NOTES 517 the Cadets insisted that the Ukrainian question be settled solely by the Constituent Assembly. The true reason for the Cadets’ resignation was their desire to provoke a government crisis with an eye to bringing pressure to bear on the “socialist” Ministers and securing their consent to a Cadet counter-revolutionary programme: the disarming of the Red Guards, withdrawal of the revolutionary troops from Petrograd, and prohibition of the Bolshevik Party. p. 153 67 Lenin is referring to the massive demonstrations that took place in Petrograd on July 3 and 4 (16 and 17), 1917. The soldiers, sailors and workers took to the streets, being angered by the Provisional Government sending troops into an offensive that ended in defeat, as might have been expected. The movement began on July 3 (16) in the Vyborg district with the action of the First Machine-Gun Regiment. It threatened to develop into an insurrection against the Provisional Government. Just then the Bolshevik Party was against all armed action, for it considered that there was no revolutionary crisis in the country as yet. The Central Committee meeting held at 4 p.m., on July 3 (16), resolved to refrain from action. A similar resolution was adopted by the Bolsheviks’ Second Petrograd City Conference, which took place at the same time. Conference delegates went to the city’s factories and districts to restrain the masses from action. But action had already begun and there was no stopping it. In view of the mood of the masses, the Central Committee meeting in a joint session with the Petrograd Committee and the Military Organisation, resolved late on the evening of July 3 (16) to join in the demonstration in order to lend it a peaceful and organised character. Lenin was not in Petrograd at the time—being ill as a result of sustained overwork, he had gone to the country for a few day’s rest. Getting word of the events, he returned to Petrograd on the morning of July 4 (17) and assumed political leadership. During the day of July 4 (17) he addressed the Kronstadt sailors from the balcony of Kshesinskaya’s Palace (see this volume, p. 213). His speech played an important part; it called on the sailors to exercise restraint and be staunch and vigilant. Over 500,000 people took part in the July 4 (17) demonstration. They carried Bolshevik slogans—“All Power to the Soviets!”, etc. They insisted that the Central Executive Committee of the Soviets take power into its hands. But the S.R. and Menshevik leaders refused to take power. With the knowledge and consent of the Menshevik and S.R. Central Executive Committee, the Provisional Government sent military cadets and Cossacks against the peaceful demonstration. The troops opened fire. In addition to them the Provisional Government called in counter-revolutionary units from the front line to smash the demonstration. A meeting of the Central and Petrograd Committees held on the night of July 4-5 under Lenin’s leadership resolved to discontinue the demonstration in an organised fashion. It was a judicious 518 NOTES measure by the Party, which knew how to retreat in time and stave off the defeat of the main revolutionary forces. The Mensheviks and S.R.s virtually took part in and abetted the counter-revolutionary butchery. They joined the bourgeoisie in bearing down on the Bolshevik Party. Pravda, Soldatskaya Pravda and other Bolshevik papers were closed down by the Provisional Government, and the printing plant of Trud, acquired with money collected by the workers, was wrecked. The workers were disarmed, and arrests, house searches and riots took place. The revolutionaryminded units in the Petrograd garrison were sent off to the front line. After the July events power in the country was fully taken over by the counter-revolutionary Provisional Government. The Soviets became a mere appendage to it. Dual power was at an end. So was the peaceful period of the revolution. The Bolsheviks were faced with the task of preparing for an armed uprising to overthrow the Provisional Government. p. 157 68 Lenin is referring to the following fact: Upon his return from abroad in April 1917 G. A. Alexinsky, a slanderer and plotter, began to contribute to the bourgeois Russkaya Volya (all socialist newspapers having refused to have anything to do with him) and proffered his services to the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. The Executive Committee adopted the following decision: “In view of the facts regarding G. A. Alexinsky’s activity that have become known, the Executive Committee does not see its way to admitting him into its institutions. Should he wish to rehabilitate himself, the Executive Committee will not be disagreeable to taking part in an investigation.” p. 157 69 Zhivoye Slovo (The Living Word)—a yellow daily newspaper with Black Hundred leanings published in Petrograd from 1916. In 1917 it campaigned rabidly against the Bolsheviks. The October Revolution put an end to its publication. p. 158 70 The Union for the Liberation of the Ukraine was founded by a group of Ukrainian bourgeois nationalists in 1914, shortly after the beginning of the First World War. Expecting tsarist Russia to lose the war, the Union sought the Ukraine’s secession from Russia and the establishment of a bourgeois and landowner Ukrainian monarchy under German protectorate. p. 159 71 Dreyfus case—the trial of the Jew Dreyfus, a French General Staff officer, whom the reactionary monarchists among the French military, bent on provocation, falsely charged in 1894 with espionage and high treason. The French reactionaries took advantage of the framed-up indictment of Dreyfus, who was sentenced to life imprisonment, to foment anti-Semitism and attack the republican regime and democratic liberties. When, in 1898, the socialists and progressive spokesmen of bourgeois democracy, including Emile NOTES 519 Zola, Jean Jaurès and Anatole France, started a campaign for a re-examination of the Dreyfus case, the latter assumed a markedly political character. The country split into two camps over it, with the republicans and democrats on one side and the bloc of monarchists, clericals, anti-Semites and nationalists on the other. In 1899, under pressure from public opinion, Dreyfus was pardoned and released. In 1906, he was acquitted by the Court of Cassation and was reinstated in the Army. p. 166 72 See Note 23. 73 Sotsial-Demokrat—illegal Central Organ of the R.S.D.L.P. published from February 1908 to January 1917. Beginning with issue No. 2, it was brought out abroad, the issues 2 to 32 (February 1909 to December 1913) being published in Paris and 33 to 58 (November 1914 to January 1917) in Geneva. Altogether 58 issues appeared, five of them with supplements. From December 1911 the paper was edited by Lenin, who contributed over eighty articles and other items. During the First World War Sotsial-Demokrat played a prominent role in the struggle against international opportunism, nationalism and chauvinism, in the propaganda of Bolshevik watchwords, and in the matter of arousing the working class and working people generally to fight against the imperialist war and its inspirers. It published Lenin’s article “On the Slogan for a United States of Europe”, which for the first time formulated the conclusion of the possibility of socialism triumphing first in one country. The dissemination of the paper in Russia and the reprinting of its more important items by local Bolshevik papers contributed to the political enlightenment and internationalist education of Russia’s proletariat and to the training of the working people for the coming revolution. Sotsial-Demokrat did much to unify the internationalist elements of the world Social-Democratic movement. It made its way into many countries in the face of war-time obstacles. Lenin, who had a high opinion of Sotsial-Demokrat’s role during the First World War, wrote afterwards that “no class-conscious worker who wishes to understand the development of the ideas of the international socialist revolution and of its first victory on October 25, 1917, can manage without” studying articles published in Sotsial-Demokrat (see present edition, Vol. 27, p. 221). p. 169 74 The Swedish Left Socialists (or the Party of the Young) constituted the Left trend among the Swedish Social-Democrats. During the First World War they adhered to an internationalist position and formed part of the Zimmerwald Left. In May 1917 they founded the Left Social-Democratic Party of Sweden. The congress which this party held in 1919 resolved to join the Communist International. In 1921 the party’s revolutionary wing became the Communist Party of Sweden. p. 169 p. 169 520 NOTES 75 The offices of Pravda having been wrecked on July 5 (18), 1917, by the Provisional Government, the article “Three Crises” appeared in Rabotnitsa No. 7 on July 19 (August 1). The editors of the journal wanted that particular issue to be circulated as widely as possible and therefore published on the cover an appeal to all workers, trade unions, factory committees, and R.S.D.L.P.(B.) cells and district organisations earnestly asking them to take energetic steps for the widest possible dissemination of the issue. Rabotnitsa (Woman Worker)—a legal periodical published by the C.C. R.S.D.L.P.(B.) on Lenin’s initiative in St. Petersburg, with money collected by women workers. It appeared from February 23 (March 8) to June 1914. Seven issues were brought out, of which the police confiscated three. Among the members of its editorial board were I. F. Armand, A. I. Yelizarova, N. K. Krupskaya, P. F. Kudelli, L. R. Menzhinskaya, Y. F. Rozmirovich, K. N. Samoilova and L. N. Stal. The periodical resumed publication on May 10 (23), 1917, and continued till January 1918. Rabotnitsa played an important part in the political education of women workers during the Bolshevik Party’s preparations for the socialist revolution in Russia. p. 171 76 Reference is to the summons for Lenin to appear before the court of the bourgeois Provisional Government to answer the slanderous charge of espionage in favour of Germany. The Bolsheviks, who were fighting to transform the imperialist war into a civil war and advocating the tsarist government’s defeat in the war, were first charged with high treason in favour of Germany by the tsar’s secret police in the early days of the war. After the February bourgeois-democratic revolution of 1917, when the Party set course for a socialist revolution in Russia, the bourgeois, Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik press carried slanderous reports in view of the passage through Germany of a Bolshevik group led by Lenin. The Seventh (April) Conference exposed that lie in its resolution “On the War”. p. 176 77 The article “The Political Situation” was first published in the Kronstadt Bolshevik paper Proletarskoye Dyelo No. 6 on August 2 (July 20), 1917, under the heading “Political Mood”. To safeguard the newspaper against suppression by the Provisional Government, the editors substituted “a resolute fight” for “an armed uprising”. In this volume, the article appears according to the manuscript. p. 178 78 Byulleten “Pravdy” (The “Pravda” Bulletin) was published in German in Stockholm from June to November 1917 under the title of Russische Korrespondenz “Prawda”. Its publisher was a C.C. R.S.D.L.P.(B.) group abroad, and it carried articles on major issues of the Russian revolution, documents, reviews, and news items on the life of the Party and the country. There was also a French edition. p. 182 NOTES 521 79 After the reactionary Zhivoye Slovo had published the infamous calumny against Lenin, the Menshevik and S.R. Central Executive Committee of the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies on July 5 (18), 1917, appointed a commission of inquiry at the instance of the Bolshevik group to investigate the slanderous charges against Lenin and other Bolsheviks. But as soon as the Provisional Government had decided to refer the case “of the organised armed action in the city of Petrograd on July 3-5, 1917, against state power” to the Petrograd Court, the C.E.C. commission of inquiry resigned and on July 9 (22) published in Izvestia the statement that it was “discontinuing its activity and putting the evidence collected by it at the disposal of a government committee”. At a joint meeting held by the C.E.C. of the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies and the Executive Committee of the All-Russia Congress of Peasants’ Deputies on July 13 (26), the Mensheviks and SocialistRevolutionaries put through a resolution stating that they considered Lenin’s refusal to appear in court absolutely impermissible. The resolution said that all persons against whom charges had been proferred by the judicial authorities were removed from work in the Soviets. p. 182 80 Beilis case—the trial of the Jew Beilis, staged for provocative purposes by the tsar’s government in 1913 in Kiev. Beilis was falsely accused of the ritual murder of Yushchinsky, a Christian boy (the murder was actually committed by the Black Hundreds). The government’s aim was to stir up anti-Semitism and take advantage of anti-Jewish pogroms to divert the people’s attention from the revolutionary movement growing throughout the country. The trial aroused public indignation. In a number of towns, workers held protest demonstrations. Beilis was acquitted. p. 183 81 See Frederick Engels, The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Works, in three volumes, Vol. 3, Moscow, 1973, p. 327). p. 189 82 The article “Constitutional Illusions” was first published in Rabochy i Soldat in 1917 and then appeared in pamphlet form under the title of “The Current Situation”. To prevent the suppression of the newspaper and ensure the secrecy of the Bolshevik Party’s preparations for an armed uprising, the editors substituted “including its drastic forms” for “including armed struggle”. p. 196 83 Lenin is referring to the Frankfurt Parliament, a national assembly convened in Germany in May 1848, after the March revolution. The majority in it was held by the liberal bourgeoisie, which engaged in fruitless talk on a draft constitution, while leaving power in the king’s hands. p. 200 84 Reference is to Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Works, Vol. 1, Moscow, 1973, pp. 394-487). p. 201 522 NOTES 85 See Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Works, Vol. 1, Moscow, 1973, p. 480). p. 202 86 See Frederick Engels, The Peasant War in Germany, Moscow, 1965. p. 203 87 Reference is to the State Conference planned by the Provisional Government. It was called in Moscow on August 12 (25), 1917. Most of the delegates were landowners, members of the bourgeoisie, generals, officers and Cossack leaders. The Soviet delegation was composed of Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries. The conference was expected to rally the counter-revolutionary forces of the bourgeoisie and landowners to defeat the revolution. Kornilov, Alexeyev, Kaledin and others put forward a programme for crushing the revolution. Kerensky threatened in his speech to put down the revolutionary movement and prevent seizures of the landed estates by the peasants. The Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party called on the working class to join in a protest action against the conference. On the opening day of the conference the Bolsheviks organised a one-day general strike in Moscow involving over 400,000 people. Protest meetings and strikes took place in several other cities. p. 209 88 The Bell (Die Glocke) a periodical published in Munich and then in Berlin from 1915 to 1925 by the social-chauvinist Parvus (Helfand), member of the German Social-Democratic Party and an agent of German imperialism. p. 220 89 Lenin means the coalition Provisional Government formed on July 24 (August 6), 1917. It included A. F. Kerensky, Premier and War and Naval Minister (S.R.), N. V. Nekrasov, Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance (Cadet), and N. D. Avksentyev, Minister of the Interior (S.R.). The cabinet was composed of Cadets, Socialist-Revolutionaries, Mensheviks, Popular Socialists, and nonparty people who were close to the Cadets. In this composition, it found itself in Cadet hands. At a joint meeting of the Central Executive Committee of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies and the Executive Committee of the Congress of Peasants’ Deputies, held on July 25 (August 7), the Mensheviks and S.R.s adopted a resolution urging the most active support for the new coalition government. p. 223 90 That is, the declaration issued by the Provisional Government on July 8 (21), 1917. It contained a number of demagogic promises which the Provisional Government hoped would reassure the people after the July events. The government promised to hold elections to the Constituent Assembly on the appointed date, September 17 (30), guarantee the early introduction of local—urban and Zemstvo (rural)—self-government, abolish the social estates, take steps to remedy economic dislocation, and draft legislation on an eight- NOTES 523 hour day, labour safety and social insurance, as well as a land reform, to be considered by the Constituent Assembly. Not one of these promises was kept. p. 223 91 On July 12 (25) the Provisional Government introduced capital punishment at the front. The divisional “military revolutionary tribunals” that were set up passed sentences which became effective immediately and were executed without delay. p. 229 92 The Trudoviks (Trudovik group) were a Duma group of pettybourgeois democrats--peasants and intellectuals with Narodnik leanings. The group was formed by the peasant Deputies to the First Duma in April 1906. In the Duma it wavered between the Cadets and the revolutionary Social-Democrats. During the First World War most of the Trudoviks adhered to a social-chauvinist position. After the February revolution the Trudoviks, expressing the interests of the kulaks, actively supported the Provisional Government. Their reaction to the October Revolution was hostile and they took part in the counter-revolutionary activities of the bourgeoisie. p. 234 93 The Contact Commission was formed by decision of the compromising Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet on March 8 (21) to “influence” and “exercise control over” the activity of the Provisional Government. Its members were M. I. Skobelev, Y. M. Steklov, N. N. Sukhanov, V. N. Filippovsky and N. S. Chkheidze (subsequently V. M. Chernov and I. G. Tsereteli were included). The Commission helped the Provisional Government take advantage of the prestige of the Petrograd Soviet to disguise its counterrevolutionary policies. The Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries hoped with its aid to keep the people from revolutionary action aimed at effecting the transfer of power to the Soviets. The Commission was abolished in the middle of April 1917, its functions being handed over to the Executive Committee’s Bureau. p. 235 94 On May 17 (30), 1917, in view of a conflict between the Kronstadt Soviet and Pepelayev, the Provisional Government Commissar, the non-affiliated section of the Soviet passed a resolution abolishing the office of government commissar and investing the Kronstadt Soviet with full powers. The resolution, supported by the Bolsheviks, said that the only authority in Kronstadt was the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, which should enter into direct contact with the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies on all matters affecting the state. The bourgeois, S.R. and Menshevik press launched a slander campaign against the people of Kronstadt and the Bolsheviks, alleging that Russia had begun to disintegrate, that a state of anarchy was in, that Kronstadt had seceded, and so on. First the Petrograd Soviet and then the Provisional Government sent delegations (Chkheidze, Gotz and others in the former 524 NOTES case and the Ministers Skobelev and Tsereteli in the latter) to deal with the Kronstadt incident. In the Kronstadt Soviet the two Ministers succeeded in putting through a compromise decision stipulating that the commissar be elected by the Soviet and his election confirmed by the Provisional Government. A political resolution was also passed, saying that the Kronstadt Soviet recognised the authority of the Provisional Government but adding that this “recognition certainly does not rule out criticism and the desire that the revolutionary democrats should form a new central authority and transfer all power to the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies”. The resolution expressed the hope that the Bolsheviks would achieve this by exerting ideological influence. It ended with an emphatic protest against attempts to attribute to the Kronstadt Bolsheviks “the intention of severing Kronstadt from the rest of Russia”. p. 238 95 The Kornilov revolt against the revolution was organised by the bourgeoisie and landowners in August 1917. It was led by the tsarist general Kornilov, then Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Army. The conspirators aimed at capturing Petrograd, smashing the Bolshevik Party, disbanding the Soviets, establishing a military dictatorship, and paving the way for the restoration of the monarchy. A. F. Kerensky, head of the Provisional Government, joined in the conspiracy. However, when the revolt began, he dissociated himself from Kornilov, fearing that he might be swept away with Kornilov, and declared Kornilov to be a rebel against the Provisional Government. The revolt began on August 25 (September 7). Kornilov marched the Third Cavalry Corps against Petrograd. In Petrograd itself, the counter-revolutionary organisations of Kornilov’s backers were getting ready for action. The Bolshevik Party led the people against Kornilov as it continued, in accordance with Lenin’s recommendation, to expose the Provisional Government and its S.R. and Menshevik hangerson. In response to the call of the Bolshevik Party’s Central Committee, the workers of Petrograd and the revolutionary soldiers and sailors rose to fight the rebels. The Petrograd workers promptly formed Red Guard units. Revolutionary committees were set up in several localities. The advance of the Kornilov troops was checked and Bolshevik propaganda began to demoralise them. The Kornilov revolt was put down by the workers and peasants under the leadership of the Bolshevik Party. Under pressure from the people, the Provisional Government had to order the arrest and trial of Kornilov and his accomplices. p. 243 96 The question of convening an international socialist conference in Stockholm arose in April 1917. Borgbjerg, a Danish socialchauvinist, arrived in Petrograd and, on behalf of the joint committee of the workers’ parties of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, invited the socialist parties of Russia to attend the “Stockholm socialist peace conference”. The matter was discussed at a meeting of the