V. I.   Lenin

Speech at a Meeting of
The Council of People’s Commissars

November 3 (16), 1917

Delivered: November 3, 1917
Published: First published November 6-7, 1927 in Pravda No. 255, in an article by N. Gorbunov “How the Working Staff of the Council of People’s Commissars Was Created During the October Days”. Printed from the handwritten copy of the minutes.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, 2nd English Edition, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 42, page 35a.
Translated: Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: D. Walters
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2002). 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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Comrade Lenin objects to any agreement whatsoever with Vikzhel,[1] which tomorrow will be overthrown in a revolutionary manner, from below. Moscow must be given creative, organising, revolutionary reinforcements from Petrograd—the sailor element, to be exact. The food problem: we are getting supplies from the north. After winning Moscow and overthrowing Vikzhel from below we shall be getting food supplies from the Volga.


[1] Vikzhel—the All-Russia Executive Committee of the Railwaymen’s Trade Union, which was set up at the First All-Russia Inaugural Congress of the Railwaymen held in Moscow in July-August 1917. The Executive was controlled by the Menshoviks and Socialist- Revolutionaries. After the victory of the armed uprising in Petrograd this Executive Committee became a bulwark of the counter-revolution. Taking refuge behind statements declaring its neutrality and calling for cessation of the civil war, Vikzhel hindered the dispatch of revolutionary troops from Petrograd to Moscow, where fighting was still going on for the establishment of Soviet power, and threatened to stop railway traffic. On October 29 (November 11), 1917, Vikzhel adopted a resolution calling for the establishment of a new, “homogeneous socialist government” to include representatives of all the parties “from the Bolsheviks to the Popular Socialists”. Vikzhel’s counter-revolutionary policy and actions were strongly disapproved by the rank and file. At the All-Russia Emergency Congress of the Railwaymen held in January 1918 Vikzhel was dismissed, and a new governing body of the Railwaymen’s Union, Vikzhedor, was elected in which the Bolsheviks formed the preponderant majority..

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