Written: 11 May, 1919
First Published: 1949; in the journal Bolshevik No. 4; Published according to the manuscript
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972 Volume 29, pages 383-384
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
Proletarians throughout the world are showing increasing sympathy for Soviet power and there is a growing conviction that only Soviet power, the power of the working people, and not bourgeois parliament arism, even in the most democratic republic, is capable of emancipating labour from the yoke of capital, the nations from enmity and wars, and manki nd from the lawlessness of savage imperialism.
This conviction will break a road for itself, cost what it may. In all countries the workers are becoming convinced that they cannot save themselves from imperialism and wars unless they break with the bourgeoisie, unless they defeat them and overthrow their power, unless they ruthlessly suppress the resistance of the exploiters. A beginning can be made only in one’s own country. The Russian Soviet system has met with the sympathy of the working masses throughout the world, and everyone except the exploiters and their lackeys now sees that Soviet power is the one hope of deliverance; this is because we Russian workers and peasants have earned their confidence by having broken with the bourgeoisie, overthrown them and suppressed their resistance, because we have driven out of the ranks of the working people those leaders of traitor-socialism who, like the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries, entered into a direct and indirect alliance with the imperialist bourgeoisie, with Kerensky, etc.
As long as the German workers tolerate a government of such traitors to socialism, scoundrels and bourgeois lackeys as the Scheidemnanns and all their party there will be no question of saving the German people; the German people will remain the actual slaves of the bourgeoisie and will be accomplices in their crimes—all the “socialist platitudes” and all the “democratic” and “republican” rhetoric notwith-standing— in the same way as the “saialists” of the Entente who are at present members of the Borne yellow International and who answer the atrocities of the Entente with hypocritical well-wishing, kindly empty phrases or compliments paid to Wilson, etc., still remain traitors to socialism, scoundrels and accomplices in the atrocities and crimes of the French, British and American bourgeoisie.
It is inevitable that the German workers will break with the traitors to socialism, the Scheidemanns and their party. It is inevitable that they will break with the senility, hesitancy, lack of ideology and character of the so-called Independents who were dependent on the Scheidemanns yesterday and who today depend on their fear of going over resolutely to the side of Soviet power. The bourgeoisie may slaughter hundreds of leaders and thousands of workers but they are powerless to prevent this break-away.