Nikolai Bukharin

The Red Army and The Counter-Revolution

Source: The Communist, November 8th, 1919
Transcribed by: Sally Ryan
HTML Markup: Mathias Bismo

THE war correspondent of a large English newspaper, "The Time", wrote: "At the time when all the armies of the world are decomposing and falling apart, only one army exists which continues to grow and develop. This is--the Red Army of the Soviet Government;"

The bourgeois press is diligently threatening the civilians of the world with the danger of the Red Army. In order to antagonize the mass of property holders against the revolutionary proletariat, they continually exaggerate the strength and size of our army. But, nevertheless, the war correspondent of "The Times" was quite near the truth. Where is the wonderful army of Wilhelm? It has disintegrated, disappeared. Where are the Czarists "good" regiments? Already forgotten. Where is the famous Hungarian cavalry? It has perished. Where are the first class artillery divisions of Austria? They also have disappeared.

And this is not all. Even the victorious Allies feel that the revolutionary germ has infected imperialist discipline crushing the spirit of obedience and slavery. Already the French and English armies are beginning to pass through an experience similar to that of the armies of the Czar, of Kerensky, Wilhelm and Karl. And just at the time when the armies of the world pillagers are falling to pieces, the Red Army springs into being, first as volunteers, growing little by little, and then expanding by way of compulsory training of workmen and peasants.

And now it is clear to everyone that international imperialism did not crush us, just because with their first blows, our army began to grow--our army of workers and peasants. The world counter-revolution tried to choke the Russian workers with the hands of that Czecho-Slovaks; in this they did not succeed. The counter-revolution organized excellently in the Don--but now that grey murderer, the hangman Krasnow, is already shedding tears on the grave dug for him. The fugitive bourgeois, generals, archdukes, ministers, landowners, with the aid of German and Allied imperialists, will build a strong fortress of reaction in the Ukraine.

But the Red Army did its work here too, unsaddling the enemies of the working class. The international reaction could not draw us into its greedy jaws neither from the DON, nor from the Ukraine, nor from the Baltic Sea, nor from the Urals.

We owe this victory to the Red Army which grew by the strength of tens of thousands of the best comrades--workers, who gave and are giving their revolutionary spirit, their energy and their lives for the organization of the Red Army.

World imperialism did not expect such a reception. The Bolsheviki were famed all over as destroyers who could burn, ruin, overthrow, but who could build or organize nothing. And the capitalist pillagers thought their attack upon us would be but an easy and jolly excursion; they thought they could take the Russian proletariat with their bare hands, but they only succeeded in burning their fingers. Their policy shifted: on the one hand they sought to defend themselves against the Red Army,--on the other hand even the maddest imperialists changed the subject from cannon to a consideration of diplomatic notes.

Of course, we are not so naive as to believe in the kindness of the world-gendarmes. We know they will do all in their power to find the opportune moment to crush the revolution.

The Russian revolution has long since become an international revolution, and the Red Army is a division--the largest, the best organized and the strongest, of the world revolution. So the German, the Austrian, the Hungarian and, the English Communists consider it.

But there is a closer tie between the movement abroad and our Red Army.

When the Soviet Power organized workers' regiments, not only Russians, but Lettish, German, Hungarian and even Chinese workers joined. The Chauvinists and the bourgeois patriots, beginning with the cadets and ending with the "left" social-revolutionaries, condemned us at every point. But just that fact, that many foreign comrades passed the military-revolutionary school in our country, gave to the world a new type of supervisor-fighter. And if we look at the movement in the West we shall see that its leaders are our comrades, our former "war-prisoners", who became Red Guards, and thereby received military revolutionary experience and a revolutionary ardor in the ranks of our Red Army.

The war correspondent of "The Times" was right. The capitalist army is decomposing and perishing. From its mass of ruins the power of the workers is growing the world over. And the stronger, the better organized the working class, the more powerful will its class army be, the sooner will it crush capitalism, and drive into its grave the present pillaging regime.