Pravda No. 39, May 6 (April 23), 1917.
Published according to the text in Pravda.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1964, Moscow, Volume 24, pages 210-212.
Translated: Isaacs Bernard
Transcription\Markup: B. Baggins and D. Walters
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The political crisis that developed between April 19 and 21 must be regarded, at least in its initial stage, as having passed.
The petty-bourgeois mass, angered by the capitalists, first swung away from them towards the workers; but two days later they again followed the Menshevik and Narodnik leaders, who stand for “confidence” in and “compromise” with the capitalists.
These leaders have compromised, completely surrendered all their positions, contenting themselves with the empty and purely verbal reservations of the capitalists.
The causes of the crisis have not been removed, and the recurrence of such crises is unavoidable.
The nature of the crisis is that the petty-bourgeois mass is vacillating between its age-old faith in the capitalists and its resentment against them, a tendency to place its faith in the revolutionary proletariat.
The capitalists are dragging out the war and covering up the fact by phrase-mongering. Only the revolutionary proletariat can put an end to, and is working towards putting an end to the war by means of a world revolution of the workers, a revolution which is obviously mounting in our country, ripening in Germany, and drawing closer in a number of other countries.
The slogan “Down with the Provisional Government!” is an incorrect one at the present moment because, in the absence of a solid (i.e., a class-conscious and organised) majority of the people on the side of the revolutionary proletariat, such a slogan is either an empty phrase, or, objectively, amounts to attempts of an adventurist character.
We shall favour the transfer of power to the proletarians and semi-proletarians only when the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies adopt our policy and are willing to take the power into their own hands.
The organisation of our Party, the consolidation of the proletarian forces, clearly proved inadequate at the time of tile crisis.
The slogans of the moment are: (1) To explain the proletarian line and the proletarian way of ending the war; (2) To criticise the petty-bourgeois policy of placing trust in the government of the capitalists and compromising with it; (3) To carry on propaganda and agitation from group to group in every regiment, in every factory, and, particularly, among the most backward masses, such as domestic servants, unskilled labourers, etc., since it was their backing in the first place that the bourgeoisie tried to gain during the crisis; (4) To organise, organise and once more organise the proletariat, in every factory, in every district and in every city quarter.
The resolution of the Petrograd Soviet of April 21 banning all street meetings and demonstrations for two days must be unconditionally obeyed by every member of our Party. The Central Committee already distributed yesterday morning, and is today publishing in Pravda, a resolution which states that “at such a moment any thought of civil war would be senseless and preposterous”, that all demonstrations must be peaceful ones, and that the responsibility for violence will fall on the Provisional Government and its supporters. Our Party therefore considers that the above mentioned resolution of the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies as a whole (and especially the part banning armed demonstrations and shooting In the air) is entirely correct and must be unconditionally obeyed.
We call upon all the workers and soldiers to consider carefully the results of the crisis of the last two days and to send as delegates to the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies and to the Executive Committee only such comrades as express the will of the majority, in all cases where a delegate does not express the opinion of the majority, new elections should be held in the factories and barracks.
 [PLACEHOLDER.] —Ed.