V. I.   Lenin

The Democratism and Socialist Nature of Soviet Power

Written: Written in the first half of 1918
Published: First published April 22, 1957 in Pravda No. 112. Printed from the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, 2nd English Edition, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 42, pages 100b-101a.
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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The democratism of Soviet power and its socialist nature are expressed in the fact

that the supreme state authority is vested in the Soviets, which are made up of representatives of the working people (workers, soldiers and peasants), freely elected and removable at any time by the masses hitherto oppressed by capital;

that the local Soviets freely amalgamate on a basis of democratic centralism into a single federal union as represented by the Soviet state power of the Russian Soviet Republic;

that the Soviets concentrate in their hands not only the legislative power and supervision of law enforcement, but direct enforcement of the laws through all the members of the Soviets with a view to a gradual transition to the performance of legislative functions and state administration by the whole working population.

Taking, further, into consideration,

that any direct or indirect legalisation of the rights of ownership of the workers of any given factory or any given trade on their particular production, or of their right to weaken or impede the orders of the state authority, is   a flagrant distortion of the basic principles of Soviet power and a complete rejection of socialism....[1]


[1] Here the manuscript breaks off—Ed.

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