Vladimir Lenin

Speech At A Meeting In Basmanny District

August 30, 1918[1]

Brief Newspaper Report

Delivered: 30 August, 1918.
First Published: 31 August 1918Pravda No. 185; Published according to the Pravda text
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, Progress Publishers, Moscow, Volume 28, 1965, pages 51-52
Translated (and edited): Jim Riordan
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters
Online Version: V.I.Lenin Internet Archive, 2002

The bourgeoisie made themselves masters of revolutionary Russia for a time, ruling from February to October with the support of the social-compromisers.

With the first steps taken by the Milyukov-Guchkov government, the people began to realise where the bourgeoisie were leading them. But the dirty work of the Russian capitalists and landowners, who were in fact continuing the policy of the tsar the people had overthrown, was covered up by the Mensheviks and the Socialist-Revolutionaries, who pretended to be socialists while actually betraying socialism in the interests of the British and French stock exchanges.

Swept aside by the October uprising, and ousted from the revolution, the compromisers set about their customary work in the Ukraine, the Caucasus, in Siberia and on the Volga. They eventually succeeded in getting the local Soviets overthrown and the Bolshevik members turned over to the tender mercies of the Czech hirelings and the Russian whiteguards.

But what do we find in these places rising out of the ruins of the Soviets? The complete triumph of the capitalists and landowners, and groans and curses from the workers and peasants. The land has been returned to the nobility and the mills and factories to their former owners. The eight-hour day has been abolished, the workers’ and peasants’ organisations suppressed, and the tsarist Zemstvos and the old police regime restored instead.

Let every worker and peasant who is still undecided about his choice of government take a look at the Volga, Siberia, and the Ukraine, and the answer will be clear and unmistakable. (Stormy, prolonged applause.)


[1] The Moscow Committee of the R.C.P.(B.) asked Lenin to speak at a mass rally in Basmanny District of Moscow on the subject “'Two Governments (the Dictat __garbage__ __rjc__ __20020614__