Pravda No. 146, October 18, 1912.
Published according to the Pravda text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, , Moscow, Volume 18, pages 353-354.
Translated: Stepan Apresyan
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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The resolution adopted by the St. Petersburg City Council on October 10 has attracted public attention.
The resolution concerns the Balkan war, the most important event in world politics, and it comes from an influential public body—influential among the bourgeoisie. It was adopted unanimously by avowed reactionaries and by liberals.
Falbork, a liberal, and all but a “democrat” (!?) and Cadet, urged the necessity of that kind of resolution in an “ardent speech”; he was a member of the drafting commission, and voted for the resolution.
This resolution is a specimen of bourgeois chauvinism, of the bourgeoisie’s abject servility to “the powers that be”, of bourgeois support for a policy which turns the peoples into cannon fodder.
“St. Petersburg,” says the resolution, which is addressed to the capitals of the belligerent Balkan powers, “shares your hope of a bright future of independent liberty for the oppressed peoples, a liberty in whose name you are shedding your blood.”
This is the sort of phrases that chauvinism hides behind! Never and nowhere has “liberty” been won by the oppressed peoples through one people waging war against another. Wars between peoples merely increase the enslavement of peoples. Real liberty for the Slav peasant in the Balkans, as well as for the Turkish peasant, can be ensured only by complete liberty inside every country and by a federation of completely and thoroughly democratic states.
The Slav and the Turkish peasants in the Balkans are brothers who are equally “oppressed” by their landlords and their governments.
That is where real oppression lies, and the real obstacle to “independence” and “liberty”.
The reactionary and liberal chauvinists, who are openly making common cause in the St. Petersburg City Council (just as they are covertly making common cause in the press, for the arguments of Rech and Novoye Vremya on this point are at bottom identical, differing only in tone and detail)—these chauvinists advocate turning the peoples into can non fodder!