V. I. Lenin

Reply To Questions From Peasants[1]

Written: 5 November, 1917
First Published: Izvestia No. 219, 8 November 1917; Published according to the manuscript.
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, Progress Publishers, Moscow, Volume 26, 1972, pp. 300-301
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov and George Hanna, Edited by George Hanna
Transcription & HTML Markup: Charles Farrell and David Walters
Online Version: Lenin Internet Archive December, 2000


In reply to numerous questions from peasants, be it known that all power in the country henceforth belongs wholly to the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies. The workers’ revolution has won in Petrograd and Moscow and is winning everywhere else in Russia. The Workers’ and Peasants’ Government ensures the alliance of the mass of the peasants, the poor peasants, the majority of the peasants, with the workers against the landowners, against the capitalists.

Hence the Soviets of Peasants’ Deputies, primarily the uyezd and then the gubernia Soviets, are from now on, pending the convocation of the Constituent Assembly, vested with full governmental authority in their localities. Landed proprietorship has been abolished by the Second All-Russia Congress of Soviets. A decree on land has already been issued by the present Provisional Workers’ and Peasants’ Government. In conformity with this decree aU landed estates pass over wholly to the Soviets of Peasants’ Deputies.

The volost land committees must at once take over the administration of all landed estates, instituting the strictest accounting, maintaining perfect order and safeguarding with utmost strictness the former property of the landowners, which henceforth is the property of the whole people and which the people themselves must therefore protect.

All rulings of the volost land committees issued with the approval of the uyezd Soviets of peasants’ Deputies have the force of law and must be carried out unconditionally and without delay.

The Workers’ and Peasants’ Government appointed by the Second All-Russia. Congress of Soviets has been named the Council of People’s Commissars.

The Council of People’s Commissars calls upon the peasants to take all power into their own hands in their respective localities. The workers give their full, undivided, all-round support to the peasants, are getting the production of machines and implements started, and ask the peasants to help by delivering grain.

V. Ulyanov (Lenin),
Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars

Petrograd. November 5, 1917.


[1] Written in connection with numerous questions submitted by peasant messengers to the Council of People's Commissars. Each messenger got a typewritten answer bearing Lenin's personal signature. It was published in the newspapers Derevenskaya Bednota, Izvestia and others, and was issued as a leaflet under the title, 'Instruction to Peasants". The answer was an important document regulating the revolutionary abolition of landed estates.