Having assembled not far from the Tavrichesky Palace, we are walking, to be there at the scheduled time of twelve o’clock, with the main group of about two hundred people. The square in front of the palace is cluttered with some cannons, machine guns, and “ammunition”—for an attack or for a siege? Only the side, narrow entrance is open: they let people in one by one there, after checking the tickets, and some are asked whether they have weapons on them.
It has to be stated with bitterness: they waited. They waited for what everyone had predicted, everyone who had come into contact with the village and had understood them. We waited for the beginning of large-scale agrarian unrest.
In the Tsay-ee-kah three factions immediately appeared. The Bolsheviki demanded that the All-Russian Congress of Soviets be summoned, and that they take over the power. The “centre” Socialist Revolutionaries, led by Tchernov, joined with the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, led by Kamkov and Spiridonova, the Mensheviki Internationalists under Martov, and the “centre” Mensheviki, represented by Bogdanov and Skobeliev, in demanding a purely Socialist Government. Tseretelli, Dan and Lieber, at the head of the right wing Mensheviki, and the right Socialist Revolutionaries under Avksentiev and Gotz, insisted that the propertied classes must be represented in the new Government. See more
Almost immediately the Bolsheviki won a majority in the Petrograd Soviet, and the Soviets of Moscow, Kiev, Odessa and other cities followed suit.
Alarmed, the Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries in control of the Tsay-ee-kah decided that after all they feared the danger of Kornilov less than the danger of Lenin. They revised the plan of representation in the Democratic Conference, admitting more delegates from the Cooperative Societies and other conservative bodies. Even this packed assembly at first voted for a Coalition Government without the Cadets. Only Kerensky’s open threat of resignation, and the alarming cries of the “moderate” Socialists that “the Republic is in danger” persuaded the Conference, by a small majority, to declare in favour of the principle of coalition with the bourgeoisie, and to sanction the establishment of a sort of consultative Parliament, without any legislative power, called the Provisional Council of the Russian Republic.
Those who consider the establishment of a socialist government to mean the establishment of socialism are gravely mistaken. Even if the government will consist exclusively of socialists, it should anyway be based on a definitive programme, worked out by the Democratic Conference; there can be no socialism until the gathering of the Constituent Assembly. See more
Russia’s current task must be the establishment of the new revolutionary order and revolutionary organs of government. Only by simultaneously creating a new liberty and reforming the army can life in Russia be got back on the right track.
Our villages thirst for the rule of law. The peasantry instinctively wants reliability, stability, and order for all. In the villages, there is a famine of legislation. We have given them no laws, so an entirely separate legal system is beginning to form. See more
The land committees have long held back the peasants from taking their own extralegal measures. The longer this continues, the more difficult the situation becomes.
The Germans are already in Kiev and in Pskov. I suspect that they will take Petrograd. Instead of acting and giving all the power to Kerensky and KornilovCommander in Chief of the Petrograd command - from 18 March 1917, they are exhausting their energy in conversations, while evil strengthens. See more
As long ago as April it was established that the war was costing the state 54 million roubles every day, and that the deficit would reach 40 billion dollars by the end of the fiscal year. At the same time, we all knew that the system for levying direct taxes has long been in a state of complete paralysis, and that the country has, without prior arrangement, been practicing a silent conspiracy of non-payment of taxes and duties. See more
Where, then, can the money be found with which to wage war? The ever-faithful printing press has been the sole “mechanism” capable of increasing the monetary assets of the state treasury without sabotaging its duties.
“Either the revolution will swallow up the war, or the war will swallow up the revolution”. I fear that this really is the way in which history has posed the question. See more
In the first path, the Russian Revolution will spread its influence to other countries. It will be the vanguard for a Europe-wide perturbation, which will accelerate the liquidation of the war, and created for this purpose new motivations and forces. The alternative is that the Russian Revolution will not engender a response on “the other side” of the divide, in which case the revolution risks being miscarried, strangled at birth by narrow national interests. After all, even a fool understands, that war and military dictatorship go hand in hand.