V. I. Lenin

“Liberty Loan”{1}


Written: Written on April 11 (24), 1917
Published: Published on April 13, 1917 in Pravda No. 31. Printed from the Pravda text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, pages 399.3-400.1.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) © 2004 Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.
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Resolution of the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies Concerning the 4th “Liberty Loan”

In virtue of the fact that the present war is a predatory imperialist war, that its character has not changed at all since power in Russia passed to the capitalist Provisional Government, and that the secret treaties of the allied powers, which determine the true aims of the war, remain in force—the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies protests most vigorously against the so-called “liberty loan” and refuses to support the Provisional Government in its intentions to drag out the war, which benefits no one but the imperialist bourgeoisie.

If the workers of all countries of the world vote for the loans issued by their bourgeois governments to wage the imperialist war, it will be impossible to find a way out of the horrors of the war, and all talk about the fraternal   solidarity of the proletariat of the world, about internationalism, etc., will come to nothing but hypocrisy.

The coupling of votes for the loan with wishes, statements, declarations, etc., in favour of peace without annexations is especially clear evidence of the disastrous discrepancy between word and deed, which has destroyed the Second International.

Until political and economic power has passed into the hands of the proletariat and the poor sections of the peasantry, and while the aim of the war is determined by the interests of capital, the workers reject any new loans aimed not for but against Russia’s revolutionary freedom.

Recognising at the same time that the supply of the army with all necessities calls for resources, and not wishing to leave their brothers without bread for a single hour, the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies believes that the cost of the capitalist war should be borne by the capitalists who have reaped and continue to reap billions of rubles in profits on this war, and insists that the necessary money should come exclusively from the pockets of the bourgeoisie and the landowners.


{1} The Bolshevik group of the Soviet discussed the attitude to the “liberty loan” for two days, April 10 and 11 (23 and 24), 1917. The draft resolution for the Plenary Meeting of the Soviet was worked out with Lenin’s active participation. A resolution refusing support for the loan was motioned by the committee headed by A. M. Kollontai, after which Lenin and Zinoviev proposed a second resolution supplementing the first. The two resolutions were consolidated and were adopted unanimously on April 11 (24). The report of the group’s sitting was published in Pravda No. 31 of April 13 (26).

In his report on the present situation at the April Conference, Lenin said that the question of war “actually united us when we came out against the loan” (present edition, Vol. 24, p. 232).

At the Soviet’s Plenary Meeting, 2,000 deputies voted for the loan and 123 against. p. 399

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