Supplement to Soldatskya Pravda No. 13, May 3 (16), 1917.
Published according to the text in the Supplement.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1964, Moscow, Volume 24, pages 314-317.
Translated: Isaacs Bernard
Transcription\Markup: B. Baggins and D. Walters
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive 1999 (2005). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
The All-Russia Conference of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, united by its Central Committee and known simply as the Bolshevik Party, is over.
The Conference has adopted very important resolutions on all the fundamental issues of the revolution and the full text of them is published below.
The revolution is passing through a crisis. This could be seen in the streets of Petrograd and Moscow between April 19 and April 21. This has been admitted by the Provisional Government. It has been admitted by the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. Still further confirmation of it has been given, as I pen these lines, by the resignation of Guchkov.
This crisis of state power, this crisis of the revolution, is no accident. The Provisional Government is a government of landowners and capitalists who are tied up with Russian and Anglo-French capital and compelled to continue the imperialist war. But the soldiers are worn out by the war, they are becoming more and more aware that the war is being fought in the interests of the capitalists; the soldiers do not want war. Furthermore, the grim spectre of an appalling debacle, of famine and complete economic ruin is advancing upon Russia and other countries.
The Petrograd Soviet has also got into a blind alley by entering into an agreement with the Provisional Government, by supporting it, by supporting the loan, and, consequently, supporting the war. The Soviet is responsible for the Provisional Government, and, seeing no way out of the situation, has also got itself into a muddle through this agreement with the capitalist government.
At this great historic moment, when the future of the revolution is at stake, when the capitalists are torn between despair and the thought of shooting down workers, our Party appeals to the people, saying in its Conference resolutions:
We must understand which classes are the motive force of the revolution. Their various aspirations must be soberly assessed. The capitalist cannot travel the same road as the worker. Petty proprietors can neither fully trust the capitalists nor all immediately agree on a close fraternal alliance with the workers. Only when we understand the difference between these classes shall we be able to find the correct road for the revolution.
The decisions of our Conference on all the basic issues of the people’s life draw a clear line between the interests of the different classes and show that it is absolutely impossible to find a way out of the deadlock unless the policy of trust in and support of the capitalist government is abandoned.
The situation is one of unparalleled difficulty. There is one way out and only one—the transfer of all state power to the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’, Peasants’, and other Deputies throughout Russia, from the bottom up. Only if state power passes to the working class supported by most of the peasantry, will it be possible to count on speedily regaining the confidence of the workers of other countries, to count on a mighty European revolution that will throw off the yoke of Capital and put an end to the criminal blood shed in which the peoples are embroiled. Only if the power passes to the working class supported by most of the peasants shall we be able to cherish the firm hope that the working people will show complete confidence in that power and all, without exception, work selflessly to bring about a transformation of the entire way of life of the people in the interests of those who labour and not in the interests of the capitalists and landowners. Without such selfless work, with out a gigantic effort on the part of each and every individual, without firmness and the determination to rebuild life in a new way, without the strict organisation and comradely discipline of all workers and all poor peasants—without all this there is no way out.
The war has brought all mankind to the brink of destruction. The capitalists have become deeply involved in the war and are unable to extricate themselves. The whole world faces disaster.
Workers, comrades! The time is drawing near when events will demand new and still greater heroism—the heroism of millions and tens of millions—than you displayed in the glorious days of the revolution of February and March. Prepare yourselves.
Prepare yourselves and remember that if, together with the capitalists, you were able to achieve victory in a few days by a simple outburst of popular wrath, you will need more than that for victory against the capitalists, for victory over the capitalists. To achieve such a victory, to have the workers and poor peasants take the power, keep that power and make proper use of it, you will need organisation, organisation, and organisation.
Our Party is helping you as much as it can, primarily by bringing home to you the different positions of the different classes and their different strength. The decisions of our Conference are devoted to this, and unless you realise this clearly, organisation does not mean anything. And without organisation action by the millions is impossible, success is impossible.
Don’t put your trust in words. Don’t be misled by promises. Don’t overestimate your strength. Organise at every factory, in every regiment and every company, in every residential block. Work at your organising every day, every hour; do that work yourselves, for this is something you cannot entrust to anybody else. Work to steadily, soundly and indestructibly build up full confidence in the advanced workers on the part of the masses. Such is the main content of all the decisions of our Conference. Such is the main lesson taught by the entire development of the revolution. Such is the one guarantee of success.
Workers, comrades! We call upon you to carry out the hard, serious, untiring work of consolidating the class-conscious, revolutionary proletariat of all countries. This is the one and only way out, the only way to save mankind from the horrors of war and the yoke of Capital.