V. I. Lenin

Foreword to the Pamphlet,

How the Socialist Revolutionaries
Cheated The People,

and What the New Bolshevik Government
Has Given the People

Written: 9 November, 1917
First Published: In a pamphlet issued by Selsky Vestnik (Rural Herald) in Petrograd. Published according to the pamphlet text.
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, Progress Publishers, Moscow, Volume 26, 1972, pp. 314-315
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov and George Hanna, Edited by George Hanna
Transcription & HTML Markup: Charles Farrell and David Walters
Online Version: Lenin Internet Archive November, 2000


The peasants of Russia are now faced with the prospect of taking their country’s destiny into their own hands.

The victory of the workers’ revolution in the two leading Cities and in most of the rest of Russia has given the peasants the possibility of taking the land arrangements into their own hands. Not all peasants have as yet realised that their Soviets of Peasants’ Deputies are the true, authentic, supreme state power, but they soon will.

When they do realise it, their alliance with the workers, the alliance of the bulk of the peasants—the poor, working peasants—will be consolidated. This alliance, both in the Soviets and the Constituent Assembly, and not the alliance of the peasants and the capitalists, is the only one really capable of ensuring the working people’s interests.

It will surely very soon be brought home to the peasants that if they are to be rid of the horrors of war and the oppression of the landowners and capitalists, they must ally themselves with the working people of the towns, above all the factory workers, and not with the rich.

If the peasants are to see this soon, they must, among other things, make a closer and more amply documented comparison of the promises and draft laws of the Socialist-Revolutionaries, and the Decree on Land issued by the new, workers’ and peasants’ government.

Such a comparison is made in this pamphlet. It gives the documents, which is the first thing anyone needs if he is going to use his head. The main document relating to the Socialist-Revolutionaries is their Minister Maslov’s draft land law. I take it in full from Dyelo Naroda (Chernov’s newspaper). I am also republishing in full my own article on the subject from Robochy Put.

The Decree on Land issued by the workers’ and peasants’ government is also given in full.

Peasant comrades, seek the truth about the various parties, and you shall find it! Collect and compare the draft land laws proposed by the various parties.

You must read carefully the draft land law put forward by the Socialist-Revolutionary minister, and the Decree on Land issued by the present Bolshevik government, which received its powers from the Second All-Russia Congress of Soviets. We have no doubt at all as to what the peasants’ final conclusion will be.

N. Lenin

November 9, 1917