Paul Frölich

In the Camp of Our Enemies

The Social Revolutionaries Protest!

(21 March 1922)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. 2 No. 23, 21 March 1922, p. 176.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2019). 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 Social Revolutionaries protest against the trial of the Central Committee of their Party for robbery, murder, and counter-revolutionary conspiracy. They protest, and in the same breath they admit their guilt. In an exposé which even the Vorwärts only ventures to repeat in a summary they declare that: “The Social Revolutionary Party therefore held themselves at that time to have the right to resist these (the Bolsheviki) with weapons in the hand.” That is an open confession of the crimes of which the Social Revolutionaries are accused: the murder of Volodarsky, the attempted assassination of Lenin, the expropriations, the conspiracies and risings with the Czecho-Slovaks, with Koltchak, etc. It is a full admission, for they do not venture to deny even one of the charges now supported with names and dates. The confession is further confirmed by the signature of the same Tchernoff who does not dare to utter a word in denial of the crimes specially laid to his charge. Or are the Social Revolutionaries of the opinion that precisely ascertained facts are adequately answered by the general designation “lies”? Or that it suffices to rail at the “Tcheka-man” Semenoff, who was one of their acknowledged leaders and a tool of their Central Committee until the moment when he recognised with horror that he was serving the counter-revolution? Do they consider it sufficient to suppress the fact that the “adventurer” Savinkoff was the head of the Social Revolutionary Party? They admit having fought against the Soviet power with weapons in their hands. And these weapons were the revolver, poison, bombs, and the sabre of the Czar’s generals.

The Social Revolutionaries betray their reasons for plunging the Russian empire for years into the disorder and ruin of civil war. It was the Bolsheviks who began the civil war, for “they overthrew a government with a Socialist majority”. Yes, this was the frightful deed committed by the Bolsheviki. And in committing it they were supported by the overwhelming majority of the Soviets of the workers, peasants, and soldiers. The overthrew a government with a “Socialist” majority, a government which threatened to destroy the revolution, which took up the work of the, bourgeoisie, sold the peasants to the landlords, sent Russian workmen and peasants to their death in the service of English and French imperialists, and showered the blessings of democracy and White justice on the revolutionists. The Bolsheviki overthrew the Russian “Socialist” government, and by this act saved the revolution. When the Social Revolutionaries call this the beginning of the civil war, then they openly take sides for the counter-revolutionary civil war. And it is actually the fact that Savinkoff, Tchernoff, Gotz, and the rest of their company, merely continued to carry on the same activity as they had exercised with the aid of governmental power, only now with the aid of revolvers and bombs, conspiracies and riots. By these and all other means they served the enemy of the proletariat, the bourgeoisie. And when they now refer to the civil war as “long since ended”, it is only because they lack two things essential for civil war at the present time – the objective possibility, and the required confidence in themselves. Let there be only the slightest opening, and they are on the spot. This was proved at Kronstadt.

These Social Revolutionary gentlemen seek to hide their present crimes behind the halo of their past, and the Vorwärts identifies them as the heroes of 1905. It is not our present task to set an estimate on their historical role as one-time revolutionary party. In all revolutions there have been Girondists who fought in the army of the revolution in their best days, until they deserted and betrayed the revolution. What laughter would shake the world if the leaders of the German Social Democracy should attempt to justify their present crimes by recalling their past as class fighters: Noske, who wades in the blood of the worker, Hörsing, the agent provocateur; Ebert, who signed the death warrants of revolutionary workmen; Hofmann, who had Leviné murdered!

The Social Revolutionaries are right indeed when they appeal to an International demoralized by the bloodshed of an imperialistic war to help them against the tribunal of the revolution; when they appeal to the German government party, the history of whose courts of justice is written in the blood of the workers, and soiled with the filth of corruption; to the Czech government party, which throws workmen into prison, and persecutes Hungarian fugitives just as its “dear friend” the Austrian Social Democracy; to Henderson and his associates, who do not raise a finger against the atrocities in Egypt, India, and South Africa; to Renaudel and the other “Briands”, who backed them up in all their conspiracies against the Soviet power.

The Social Revolutionaries are right indeed when they protest. Just as the working class protests, and summons to combat against the courts of the bourgeoisie, and against the organized murder in Hungary and Italy, just so may they protest against the justice of the proletariat. The working class protests because the revolution is the victim of the White Justice. The Social Revolutionaries protest because the revolutionary Tribunal attacks the counter-revolution, the associates and tools of the international capitalist class. The justice to which the Social Revolutionaries appeal with their outcry, is the justice that will condemn them in history.

The Mensheviki are also raising a protest. Could they possibly remain behind when anything is going on against the Bolsheviki? Could they stand on one side when the “humanity” of the counter-revolution is being appealed to? They have every reason to exercise solidarity with the Social Revolutionary criminals, for they were united with them under Milioukoff and Kerensky, and furthered their efforts, secretly and openly, in the civil war against the proletariat.

They threaten to destroy the united front. How dreadful. They have been looking long enough for a plausible excuse to sabotage the united front, without any party themselves, without any possibility of initiative, they work as interpreters of the weaknesses of their associates. The party leaders of the internationals 2 and 2½ reject the united front for it signifies resistance against the plundering intentions of the capitalists, a fight for the morsel of bread still in the hands of the workers, class war against the imperialist conspirators against Soviet Russia. They shirk the battle, and therefore they do not want any united front. But who would dare to admit this openly. And because they do not dare to do this, they prefer to sow confusion among the working class by slandering the Communists, the faithful vanguard of the proletariat. Full enlightenment on the counter-revolutionary crimes is thus an imperative necessity. The truth must not be hidden nor intimidated. The truth must out.

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Last updated on 26 December 2019