V. I.   Lenin

The Laugh Is On You!

Published: Pravda No. 72, June 16 (3), 1917. Published according to the text in Pravda.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1964, Moscow, Volume 24, pages 573-574.
Translated: Isaacs Bernard
Transcription\Markup: B. Baggins and D. Walters
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive 1999 (2005). 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.
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King Constantine [of Greece] signed the act of abdication under pressure from Allied diplomacy.” writes the newspaper of Mr. Milyukov, ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Provisional “revolutionary” Government.

The Allied diplomats have completed the subjugation of Greece by first sparking off the Venizelos movement (Venizelos is a former minister of Constantine’s who entered the service of the British capitalists), causing a split in the army, seizing part of Greek territory, and finally using “pressure” to force the abdication of the “lawful” monarch, i.e.. to force a revolution from above. What kind of “pressure” that was and is everybody knows. It was pressure by starvation. Greece was blockaded by the warships of the Anglo-French and Russian imperialists and left without bread. The “pressure” on Greece was of the same order as that recently applied in Russia by the ignorant peasants of some out-of-the-way village, who, if we are to believe the newspapers. condemned a citizen to death by starvation for having allegedly insulted the Christian religion.

The ignorant peasants in some godforsaken hole in Russia starved a “criminal” to death. The “civilised” imperialists of Britain, France, Russia, etc., starved a whole country, a whole nation, to force it, by “pressure”, to change its policy.

There we have the reality of the imperialist war. There we have the real state of international relations at the present time. The S.R. gentlemen laugh at this. It is really funny, very funny....

Dyelo Naroda, the ministerial paper of Kerensky, Chernov and Co., publishes a laughing editorial entitled: “‘Self-determination’ for Greece”. The S.R.s’ sarcasm of Greek “self determination” would have been admirable had it been sincere.

Sincerity in politics does not mean that Kerensky, Chernov and Co. have to prove their personal sincerity—we readily take that for granted. That is not the point. Sincerity in politics, that is, in that sphere of human relations which involves, not individuals, but the millions, is a correspondence between word and deed that lends itself to verification.

The editorial in Dyelo Naroda is insincere because it is precisely the Socialist-Revolutionary Party, precisely the Kerenskys and the Chernovs, as its leaders, who support the Ministry of subjugation ... I beg your pardon, the Ministry of Greek “self-determination”, together with citizens Tsereteli and Skobelev.

It is clear to everyone,” writes Dyelo Naroda, “that there is no essential difference between imperialist Germany’s robber attack on Belgium, Austria’s attack on Serbia, and the present advance into the interior of Greece’ on the part of the Allied governments.”

Yes, this is clear, and this is not at all a question of “ethics”, as the S.R.s believe, but a matter of pure politics. A robber attack—that. is what you are participating in, citizens S.R.s, citizens Mensheviks, as members of the government. The robber attack is an established fact, and “pressure from Allied diplomacy”—from all the Allies, including Russia—was apparently applied also after Chernov, Tsereteli and Co. joined the cabinet.

And what about the platforms of “peace without annexations”? What about the “demands” of “revolutionary democracy” from the new government? What about the declarations? Surely it is clear by this time that all these platforms, declarations, promises, statements, pledges, vows, etc., etc., are a sheer mockery of the people.

The laugh is on you, gentlemen of the S.R. and Menshevik fold! You are laughing at your own policy of trust in the capitalists and the government of the capitalists! You arc laughing at your own role of eloquent and bombastic servants of capitalism and imperialism, servants in the rank of ministers!


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