V. I.   Lenin

Interview Given to
The Correspondent of Folkets Dagblad Politiken

July 1, 1918[1]

Written: July 2, 1918
Published: First published in Russian in 1962 in the journal Voprosi Istorii KPSS No. 2. Published in Swedish July 4, 1918, in Folkets Dagblad Politiken No. 152. Printed from the translated newspaper text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, 2nd English Edition, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 42, pages 101b-103a.
Translated: Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: D. Walters
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2003). 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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Your correspondent talked today with Lenin concerning the situation in Russia and the general situation in Europe. Lenin emphasised that a revolution is always born in travail. A country making a revolution on its own will always find itself in a serious position. But the situation is difficult everywhere, not only in Russia. There is said to be anarchy in Russia, but that is the fruit of four years of war, and not of the Bolshevik regime. The few remaining weeks until the new harvest will be the most difficult. The harvest promises to be a good one. The counter-revolution is trying its hardest to take advantage of the present situation. The counter-revolution consists of rich peasants and officers, but without foreign support they are powerless. In the towns where the counter-revolutionaries had won, they remained in power only a few days, if not a few hours. The assassination of Volodarsky, organised by the Right Socialist-Revolutionaries, really reveals the weakness of the counter-revolutionaries. The history of the Russian revolution shows that a party always resorts to individual terror when it does not enjoy the support of the masses.

*     *

Opposition within the Bolshevik Party against the peace of Brest has subsided, says Lenin. Bukharin, Radek and the rest are taking part in the work again. Peace is necessary   in order to prevent the Germans from seizing the whole of Russia and strangling the revolution. As regards the measures taken against the anarchists, these are due to the fact that the anarchists had been arming and some of them had been joining up with patently bandit elements. The anarchists who are dedicated to an ideal have already been released and their big daily Anarkhia is coming out as usual.[2]

Amid all these difficulties, industry is being organised. The owners of the enterprises are still sabotaging on a broad scale, but the workers are taking the management of the enterprises into their own hands.

Referring to the Czechoslovak revolt, Lenin expressed confidence that it would be suppressed by the Soviet troops, although it was dragging out.

*     *

The Germans in the Ukraine are in a very difficult plight. They are receiving no grain whatever from the peasants. The peasants are arming and attacking the German soldiers in large groups wherever they are met with. This movement is spreading. Owing to the German occupation Bolshevism in the Ukraine has become a sort of national movement. It is rallying around it people who would not hear of Bolshevism before that. If the Germans occupied Russia, the result would be the same. The Germans need peace. It is significant that in the Ukraine the Germans want peace more than the Ukrainians themselves do. The same applies to Turkey. The Germans have concluded an advantageous agreement with the Ukrainian Rada despite the fact that people in the Ukraine have always criticised the peace of Brest. Now the Germans are helping to fight the Bolsheviks in the Caucasus.

*     *

We in Russia now have to wait for the revolutionary movement to develop in Europe. The war party in Germany today is so strong that it speaks with contempt of the government in Berlin. Resistance to imperialism, however, is growing even in bourgeois circles. Sooner or later things   everywhere will lead to political and social collapse. The present situation is unstable, but a better order of things cannot be created merely with the aid of war and bloodshed.


[1] The interview with Lenin was reported to the newspaper the same day by a special telegram, but for technical reasons it was received late and was not published until July 4, 1918. Following this, a summary of the interview was published on July 6 in Leipziger Volkszeitung No. 155.

Folkets Dagblad Politiken—newspaper of the Swedish Left Social-Democrats, was published in Stockholm from April 1916 (up to November 1917 it was called Politiken). In 1921 it became the organ of the Communist Party of Sweden; after the split in the party in October 1929 the newspaper passed into the hands of the party’s Right wing. Publication ceased in May 1945.

[2] This refers to the disarming of the anarchists by the security forces in Moscow on the night of April 12, 1918. This measure was necessitated by the fact that the various groups of anarchists served as a screen for counter-revolutionary and criminal elements who terrorised the population by their raids and robberies and took refuge in the villas which the anarchists had seized. The anarchists in Petrograd, who failed to comply with the demand for the surrender of firearms, were disarmed on April 23, 1918.

Anarkhia (Anarchy)—an anarchist literary and socio-economic newspaper published in Moscow from September 1917 to July 1918; by order of the Vecheka it was closed down on April 43; publication was resumed on April 21, 1918.

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