We consider chauvinist-revolutionaries to be those who want victory over Tsarism in order to be victorious over Germany, to pillage other countries, to consolidate the rule of the Russian people over the other Russian territories, etc. The foundation of revolutionary chauvinism is rooted in the position of the petty bourgeoisie. It has always fluctuated between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. See more
Now it fluctuates between chauvinism (which prevents it from being consistently revolutionary, even in the sense of a democratic revolution) and proletarian internationalism. Our slogan is against chauvinists, at least revolutionaries and republicans; against them, and in favor of uniting the proletariat around the world for the socialist revolution.
Now that “socialists” have become members of the cabinet, things will be different, the defencists have been assuring us. It did not take more than a few days to reveal the falsity of these assurances.
What does Mr. Tereshchenko, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, the associate of Skobelev and Tsereteli, have to say on this question? See more
Tereshenko admits that “this question [i.e., the secret treaties] arouses passions”. But what does he do to cool these passions? He simply repeats what Milyukov, who has just been deposed, said before him. "Immediate publication of the treaties would amount to a break with the Allies,” Tereshchenko declared in a statement to the press. And the “socialist” ministers are silent and condone the system of secret diplomacy.
The coalition cabinet has brought no changes. The tsars secret treaties remain sacred to it.
And you, gentlemen, want this not to “arouse passions”? What do you take the class-conscious workers and soldiers for? Or do you really regard them as “rebellious slaves”?
As you left, you told me of the threat of Lenin’s followers. Can it really be that you do not understand, that the worst thing is not Lenin’s followers, but the dreadful profanities which persist in the hearth of every Russian home?
Lenin was always considered a creature of the gutter, and a thinker of the most phillistine ignorance. He is outdoing even this reputation.
Lenin rejects Russia. Not only does he reject the Russian Republic, but he rejects Russia. As for the people, he does not recognise them. Recognising only classes and estates, he calls on all Russians to think only on their narrow class interests and advantages. He does not, and does not want to, see a unified people.
Some say: Leave things as they are, put still greater trust in the Provisional Government. The threat to resign may be a trick calculated to make the Soviet say: We trust you still more. Others propose a coalition cabinet. We propose a third way: A complete change of the Soviets’ policy, no confidence in the capitalists, and the transfer of all power to the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. A change of personalities will give nothing; the whole policy must be changed.
I was more and more burdened by my work in the secretariat. I wanted to go to direct mass work. I also wanted to see Ilyich more often, for whom I was becoming increasingly and greater alarmed for. He was being persecuted more and more. You walk in Petersburg and hear some housewives talking: “And what should we do about this Lenin, who came from Germany? Should be drown him in a well." Of course it was clear where all this talk about bribery and betrayal was coming from, but it was not fun to listen to it. It’s one thing when a bourgeoisie speaks, and it’s another matter when the masses speak.
The All-Russian April conference was held. 151 delegated attended it, a new Central Committee was elected during the conference, important questions were discussed - about the current situation, about the war, about the preparation of the Third International, about the national situation, the agrarian situation, and the party program. I particularly remember Ilyich’s speech about the current situation. See more
In this speech the attitude of Ilyich to the masses was particularly striking, as he carefully looked at how the masses lived, what they were experiencing. Not only among the proletariat, but also among the broad sections of the petty bourgeoisie, one must be able to conduct explanatory work, Ilyich said.
A Marxist should tell the people the truth.
The membership of the Provisional Government is still a conundrum. Born of a popular revolution, it is now made up of people who are as far away from the spirit of revolution and as close to the spirit of a coup d’etat as it as it is possible to imagine. The Minister of War in the Provisional Government, Guchkov, is the former alter ago of Stolypin the “hangman”. The Foreign Minister, Milyukov, is an imperialist who supports continuing the war “to a victorious end”. It is impossible to place one’s trust in any of the generals. See more
There is no support for the revolutionaries either among the regular officers or among the tradesmen. The peasants do not share the idea of internationalism, as the workers do, and are susceptible to the influence of nationalism under the pretext of a defensive war. The internationalists in the army are the worst soldiers. And finally, the Russian internationalist cause has neither a single outstanding leader, nor a single representative in government. Lenin is not sufficiently even-tempered.
Rabochaya Gazeta gloats and crows over the recent resolution of the Central Committee which has revealed certain disagreements within our Party. The Mensheviks may gloat and crow as much as they like. It does not worry us in the least. The Mensheviks have no organisation. Chkheidze and Tsereteli are one thing—they are ministers without portfolios; the Organising Committee is another thing—they are Social-Democrats without a policy; the “defencists” are a third thing—they support Plekhanov. See more
Martov is a fourth thing—he will not support the loan. Small wonder that people who have neither an organisation nor a party crow and caper light-heartedly at discovering a fault in somebody else’s organisation. We have no reason to fear the truth. Yes, comrade workers, the crisis has revealed certain shortcomings in our organisation. We must set to work to correct them!
There was a large demonstration coming from the opposite bank of the Neva. The working working public greeted it, filling the sidewalks. There was another crowd approaching the workers's demonstration, in bowler hats and fedoras; they were greeted from the sidewalk by bowler hats and fedoras. See more
Closer towards the opposite Neva bank there were mostly workers, closer to the Morskaya, next to Politseiskii bridge, the bowler hats predominated. In this crowd, by word of mouth, they were telling how Lenin, using German gold, bribed the workers, who now all supported him. "We need to smash Lenin!" cried some fashionably dressed girl.
Радеку шлем привет. Сегодня такой горячий день, что написать по поводу конференции и пр. не можем. Все узнаете из «Правды», которую посылаем. Телеграммы не доходят. Вопрос об организации телеграфных сообщений поэтому остается открытым. Надо налаживать сообщения другим путем. Какие известия имеете о Платтене? Вернулся ли он и благополучно ли доехал?
Всяческие приветы. Сейчас пришли сообщения о громадных демонстрациях, стрельбе и пр.
I received two packages for you — those, which were taken out of your bin. How are you? Are you pleased with Moscow? I wish all the best in the work, and in living with children. With pleasure, I see sometimes from Moscow's "Sotsial-Demokrat", as you take different jobs in different regions, but of course you can not see much of the newspapers.
We have so far "all the same" that you have seen here, and there is no end to fatigue... I start to "surrender," to sleep three times more than others, etc.
Up to now we have received nothing, absolutely nothing from you—no letters, no packets, no money. Only two telegrams from Hanecki. We are sending you two files of Pravda: one for you, the other for Karpinsky (Mr. Karpinsky. Bibliothèque russe. 7. rue Hugo de Senger. 7. Genève. (Genf) Suisse), and two sets of cuttings: one for you, the other for Karpinsky. See more
Notify us by postcard (M. T. Yelizarov for V. I. Shirokaya Ul., 48, kv. 24. Petrograd) or by telegram that you have received this letter and the papers.
Steinberg has arrived, and promises to get hold of the packets which were sent. We shall see whether he succeeds.
If you get the newspapers, they will give you an idea of the whole situation.
In case the papers don’t reach you, let me describe it in brief.
The bourgeoisie (+Plekhanov) are furiously attacking us for travelling through Germany. They are trying to incite the soldiers against us. So far it isn’t coming off: there are supporters, and loyal ones, among them. Among the S.R.s and the Social-Democrats there is the most desperate chauvinist excitement, which has taken the form of “revolutionary defencism ” (now, they allege, there is something to defend, namely, the republic against Wilhelm). We are being furiously attacked for opposing “unity”, while the masses are for the unity of all Social-Democrats. We are against.
Chkheidze has sunk completely into “revolutionary defencism”. In a bloc with Potresov. All are for the Liberty Loan. It is opposed only by us+the Nashe Slovo group+ Larin and a handful of Martov’s friends.
We are calling an all-Russia conference of Bolsheviks on April 22, 1917.
Understanding that the supply of our army with the necessities of life demands resources, and not wishing to leave even for a moment our brothers without bread, the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies resolves that all expenditures on the capitalist war should be borne by capitalists, who have profited and continue to profit on this war to the tune of billions of roubles, and finds that all money for the war should be taken from the pockets of the bourgeoisie and aristocracy
The basic question of every revolution is that of state power. Unless this question is understood, there can be no intelligent participation in the revolution, not to speak of guidance of the revolution. The highly remarkable feature of our revolution is that it has brought about a dual power. This fact must be grasped first and foremost: unless it is understood, we cannot advance. We must know how to supplement and amend old “formulas”, for example, those of Bolshevism, for while they have been found to be correct on the whole, their concrete realisation has turned out to bedifferent. Nobody previously thought, or could have thought, of a dual power. See more
What is this dual power? Alongside the Provisional Government, the government of bourgeoisie, another governmenthas arisen, so far weak and incipient, but undoubtedly a government that actually exists and is growing—the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies.
What is the class composition of this other government? It consists of the proletariat and the peasants (in soldiers’ uniforms). What is the political nature of this government? It is a revolutionary dictatorship, i.e., a power directly based on revolutionary seizure, on the direct initiative of the people from below, and not on a law enacted by a centralised state power. It is an entirely different kind of power from the one that generally exists in the parliamentary bourgeois-democratic republics of the usual type still prevailing in the advanced countries of Europe and America. This circumstance often over looked, often not given enough thought, yet it is the crux of the matter. This power is of the same type as the Paris Commune of 1871.
Lenin's theses were printed in Pravda. This was followed the next day by an article in Pravda by Kamenev "Our Disagreements," in which he dissociated himself from these theses. Kamenev's article stated that they were the expression of Lenin's private views, which neither Pravda nor the Bureau of the Central Committee shared. It was not these theses of Lenin's that the Bolshevik delegates had accepted, but those of the Central Committee Bureau, Kamenev alleged. Pravda stood on its former positions, he declared. See more
The bourgeois and Oborontsi newspapers have started a furious hounding campaign against Lenin and the Bolsheviks. Kamenev's opinion meant nothing – everyone knew that Lenin's point of view would win the backing of the Bolshevik organization. The campaign against Lenin was the most effective way of popularizing his theses. Lenin had called the war an imperialist war of plunder, and everyone saw that he stood for peace in real earnest. This stirred the sailors and soldiers, stirred all those for whom the war was a life-and-death issue.
Capitalist newspapers like Rech and Novoye Vremya have published articles attacking our passage through Germany and insinuating that the new arrivals were aiding the German imperialists.
Izvestia of the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies reprints in full the report published in yesterday’s Pravda which was presented to the Executive Committee of the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies on the very first day after our arrival. See more
In addition to the report, Izvestia publishes the resolution of the Executive Committee, which it gives in the following words: "Having heard the report of Comrades Zurabov and Zinoviev, the Executive Committee decided to take the matter up immediately with the Provisional Government and to take steps towards securing the immediate return to Russia of all emigrants, irrespective of their political views and their attitude towards the war. The results of the negotiations with the government will be published in the near future.—Editors.”
Here you have a small—a very small, but very characteristic—picture of two worlds. One, the world of the capitalists, Rech, Russkaya Volya, Novoye Vremya, dark hints, vile insinuations against the socialists; the other, the world of the revolutionary democrats, of the workers’ and soldiers’ deputies, who in a calm, consistent, and dignified manner have decided to “take steps”. Steps leading to what? Steps leading to what was not done by the Provisional Government!
Is this not tantamount to a censure of the Provisional Government?
And is not this censure warranted?
Mind you, the Executive Committee, in passing this resolution, was fully aware of the political dissensions that existed between it and the Bolsheviks. For capitalists this would be a pretext for insinuations. Human dignity is something one need not look for in the world of capitalists.
Here is Lenin... The meeting was pompous, with projectors. But...he came through Germany. The Germans collected a whole bunch of these mischievous Trishkas, gave them a whole train, sealed it (so that the spirit did not drift to German soil) and sent to us: here, collect. See more
Immediately that evening, Lenin started acting: announced that he was renouncing socialist-democracy (even Bolshevism) and now called himself a "socialist-communist."
Ilich had barely woken when his comrades came to take him to a meeting of the Bolshevik members of the All-Russian Conference of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. The conference was being held in the Tauride Palace, somewhere in the upper floors. Lenin has summarized his views on what needs to be done in ten theses. In these theses he has assessed the current situation and given a clear and precise summary of the aims we should be reaching for and the paths we should take to achieve them. The other party members fell rapidly into confusion. See more
To many it seemed that Ilich’s conclusions were too extreme, and that it was premature to speak of a socialist revolution.