If I am to be bumped off, I ask you to publish my notebook “Marxism and the State” (which got left behind in Stockholm). It is bound and with a blue cover.
It was a moment of hesitation for Ilich. He laid out the arguments for the necessity of going to court. “Grigory and I have decided to go to court. Go and let Kamenev know”, Ilich said to me. At this moment Kamenev was in a nearby flat. I was hurrying out the door when Vladimir Ilich stopped me: “Let us say our farewells; it may be that we will not see each other again”. See more
We embraced. I went to Kamenev and gave him Vladimir Ilich’s instructions. In the evening comrade Stalin and others persuaded Ilich not to go to court and by so doing saved his life. In the evening our flat we were searched, but only in our room. The search was performed by some kind of colonel and another military type in an overcoat with a white inner lining. They took a few notes from the the desk, together with some of my documents. They asked whether I knew where Ilich was, from which I concluded that he had not presented himself to the authorities.
A new wave of slander has arisen against Lenin, and this time it is unimaginably dirty. Comrade Lenin is known to all revolutionaries of all shades, and has been already for several years. No one has ever dared to speak about the political dishonesty of comrade Lenin. It is not easy. It is painful. Only the man who is ready to sacrifice everything for a just cause can walk his own path through the system of bribes, slander, all the baseness of which the bourgeoisie is capable. Lenin is such a man.
What stands out in my mind, is a small, fleeting meeting in a choir gallery of the Tavrichesky Palace (by the cafeteria): Vladimir Ilyich, Trotsky, and the one who is writing these lines. “Shouldn’t we try now,” laughing, said Lenin, but immediately added, “no, we cannot take power now, because those on the front are not yet with us. Now, a soldier, deceived by liberals would come and slaughter Petersburg workers.”
The workers’ and soldiers’ battalions marching in step. About half a million protestors, united by their comradely purpose, united around slogans, among which by far the most dominant were: “All Power to the Soviets”, “Out with the 10 Capitalist Ministers”, “No to a separate peace with the Germans, no to secrets treats with the Anglo-French capitalists” e.t.c. See more
No one who saw the demonstration could fail to believe in the victory of these slogans among the organised avant-garde of the workers’ and soldiers’ masses of Russia.
On Sunday the manifestation of the whole revolution will take place. Our slogans are: down with the counter-revolution, the Duma, the imperialists. All power to the Soviets. Long live the control of workers over production. Arming the people. See more
No separate peace with Wilhelm, no secret treaties with the British and French governments. Immediate publication of truly fair peace conditions by the Soviets. Against the policy of offensives. Bread, peace, freedom.
The Provisional Government is under a deep illusion. They thought that the “import” of Lenin and Co by the Germans would in itself completely discredit them in the eyes of the public and prevent anyone from successfully preaching them. And indeed, at different rallis, the subject of the “sealed car” always had great success. See more
But this did not prevent their development through “Truth”, and number of other anarchic leaflets of the most aggressive and destructive propaganda. The Provisional Government is bound by its declarations on the freedom of speech, by its entire ideology.
A riddle: “What’s the difference between an ordinary bourgeois government and a government which is extraordinary, revolutionary, and doesn’t regard itself as bourgeois?” The difference, they say, is the following: See more
An ordinary bourgeois government can ban demonstrations only on constitutional grounds, and not before declaring martial law. An extraordinary and near-socialist government can ban demonstrations on no grounds at all, and on the strength of “facts” known to it alone.
As I was passing through Petrograd, I casually stopped at the palace of Kshesinskaya. It was interesting, after all, to visit the apartments of the Tsar’s former mistress, which are now occupied by the Bolsheviks, who send panic throughout all of Petrograd. And frankly, I wanted to meet Lenin himself. See more
The Palace’s exterior is magnificent, and beckons the weary traveler. I humbly went into the building. I must admit that building’s insides disappointed me a little: It was obvious, the revolution had only occurred a few days ago, and the furniture was all out of place, as if from the commotion. We had already established order in the Navy for a while now, and, we have been studying for a long time how to maintain cleanliness and discipline. No wonder our Navy is considered the first in comfort and orderliness. Of course, this is a different situation: people arrived from abroad, tired, and there was a revolution, and work flies above your head. It’s famous for where there’s order to the nth degree.
The Congress of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies recently adjourned at the Cadets’ College has only deepened my pessimism. The meeting began with a discussion of the Dacha Durnovo. Pereverzev, Liber, Kamenev, Tsereteli with his histrionics, and Lunacharsky, all made speeches, the latter receiving reproaches from the Asiatic Chkheidze for addressing the congress without the reverence apparently accorded it. See more
They all spoke very coherently, “convinced and convincing”, with calm and even business-like temper. Yet, essentially, despite the great superfluity of fine words, I left the assembly without having formed the slightest impression. Lord knows, an audience is correct in greeting every speech with an identically rousing storm of ovation, even if this speech stands in stark contradiction to its predecessor, and even if this predecessor was met by the very same ovation. The mood, I should note, in the hall was decidedly moderate and calm. I can see now that there is an audience capable of standing through one of Lenin’s speeches.
Unfortunately, far from all of the speeches currently being made at the All-Russia Conference of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies can be called intelligent. Lenin and his associates seem to have lost all their capacity for reason. Our well-known founder of a new religion, Father Anatoly Lunacharsky, has suffered the same loss. See more
Truth to tell, however, one ought to have long since given up on all these people. A dry well pumps no water, as the proverb goes. The attacks on the Provisional Government by our so-called extreme leftists serve as ample demonstration that this proverb contains a completely undeniable truth.
I have been working hard at the Congress. On the third day there was a large, captivating meeting. Tsereteli spoke about general politics with dignity and intelligence, and he defended his impossible position as powerfully and systematically as could be imagined possible. Lenin spoke after him. See more
He spoke passionately, with great revolutionary fire, but too quickly, and he made an error that all his detractors later clung to: he said that “the first and most important measure of a genuinely revolutionary government would be the arrest of its country's 50 wealthiest factory owners.”
There are two Internationals: 1) the International of the Plekhanovs, j. 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 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.
Ilyich addresses the First All-Russia Congress of the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. In the hall, full of people, the Bolsheviks were sitting in the back, in a small group. Only the Bolsheviks applauded during Ilyich’s speech, but it was apparent that it created a strong impression. Someone said afterwards that Kerensky, after this address, was unconscious for three hours. I don’t know how close this was to the truth.