VI Lenin on

Speech At

A Rally In Lenin’s Honour

November 20, 1918[1]

Brief Newspaper Report

Written: 20 November, 1918
First Published: 21 November 1918, Pravda No. 252
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, Progress Publishers, Moscow, Volume 28, 1974, pages 185-194
Translated (and edited): Jim Riordan
Transcription/HTML Markup: robert Cymbala & David Walters
Online Version: V.I.Lenin Internet Archive, 2002

Pravda No. 253, November 22, 1918; Published according to the Pravda text (Comrade Lenin is greeted with stormy applause passing into ovation.) Comrades, I should like to say a few words about a letter in today’s Pravda. The letter is written by Pitirim Sorokin, a prominent member of the Constituent Assembly and Right Socialist-Revolutionary Party. Soro-kin informs his constituents that he is relinquishing his seat in the Constituent Assembly and withdrawing com-pletely from politics. Apart from being an extremely inter-esting “human document", the letter has a great deal of political significance.

As is fairly well known, Pitirim Sorokin was the main force on the staff of the Right-wing S. B. Volga Naroda which connived with the Cadets. To admit this in the press is quite a volte-/ace, a big change, which is taking place among people who had been violently hostile to the Soviet government up till now. In saying that in many cases the policy of certain statesmen is socially harmful, Pilirim Sorokin shows that he is publicly and honestly admitting at last that the whole policy of the Right-wing S.R.s was socially harmful.

Through recent events, many members of this party are beginning to realise that the time has come when the Bolshevik stand is being proved right and all the blunders and errors of its inveterate enemies are being exposed.

Sorokin’s letter goes to show that at the given moment we can count on at least a neutral attitude to the Soviet government from a whole number of groups now antagonistic. The monstrous Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty turned many away from us, many did not believe in revolution, many piously trusted the pure intentions of the Allies; and now all this has been exposed and everyone can see that the notorious Allies, having dictated even more monstrous peace terms to Germany than those at Brest-Litovsk, are just as rapacious as the German imperialists.

As we all know, the Allies are supporters of the monarchy in Russia: in Archangel, for instance, they are actively hacking the monarchists. The British are attacking Russia to take the place of the vanquished German imperialists. All this has opened the eyes of even the most inveterate and uninformed enemies of the revolution.

Many people had been blind supporters of the Constituent Assembly up till now, although we had always said it was just a slogan of the landowners, the monarchists and the entire bourgeoisie with Milyukov at their head, who is selling Russia left, right and centre to the highest bidder.

The “Republic” of America is oppressing the working class. Now everyone knows what a democratic republic actually is. Now it is apparent to everyone that either victorious imperialism or Soviet power can exist-there’s no middle way. (Lenin’s speech is repeatedly interrupted by stormy ovations.)


[1] The rally was called by the Moscow Committee of the R.C.P. (B.) and the Presnya District Party Committee at the cinema Ars. The two reports made at the rally were entitled “V. I. Lenin as Leader of the Russian Communist Party” and “V. I. Lenin as Fighter for the Third International". After Lenin’s speech a film was shown, called October Festivities in Moscow.