Recorded: End of March 1919;
First Published: Published according to the gramophone records; Organization of these speeches was accomplished by Tsentropechat the central agency of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee for the Supply and Distribution of Periodicals between 1919 and 1921. 13 of Lenin’s speeches were recorded.
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972 Volume 29, pages 250-251
Translated: George Hanna
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters & Robert Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marx.org) 2002; Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.
The enemies of the working people, the landowners and capitalists say that the workers and peasants cannot live without them. "If it were not for us," they say, "there would be nobody to maintain order, to give out work, and to compel people to work. If it were not for us everything would collapse, and the state would fall to pieces. We have been driven away, but chaos will bring us back again." But this sort of talk by the landowners and capitalists will not confuse, intimidate, or deceive the workers and peasants. An army needs the strictest discipline; nevertheless the class-conscious workers succeeded in uniting the peasants, succeeded in taking the old tsarist officers into their service, succeeded in building a victorious army.
The Red Army established unprecedentedly firm discipline-not by means of the lash, but based on the intelligence, loyalty and devotion of the workers and peasants themselves.
And so, to save the working people from the yoke of the landowners and capitalists for ever, to save them from the restoration of their power, it is necessary to build up a great Red Army of Labour. That army will be invincible if it is cemented by labour discipline. The workers and peasants must and will prove that they can properly distribute labour, establish devoted discipline and ensure loyalty in working for the common good, and can do it themselves, without the landowners and in spite of them, without the capitalists and in spite of them.
Labour discipline, enthusiasm for work, readiness for self-sacrifice, close alliance between the peasants and the workers-this is what will save the working people from the oppression of the landowners and capitalists for ever.