Proclamation Declaring the Cadet Party an Enemy of the People

Written: November 28/December 11, 1917
First Published: lzvestiia, No. 239, December 12, 1917, p. 1.
Source: James Bunyan and H.H. Fisher, The Bolshevik revolution, 1917-1918: Documents and materials, Stanford University Press; London: H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1934, pp. 357-359.
Translated: Emanuel Aronsberg
Transcription/Markup: Zdravko Saveski
Online Version: 2017

To All Toilers and Exploited!

The bourgeoisie led by the Cadet Party prepared all its forces to bring about a counter-revolutionary coup d'etat at the time of the Constituent Assembly. Kornilov, Kaledin, and Dutov .... have unfurled the flag of civil war against the Soviets of Peasants' and Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. Bogaevsky, Kaledin's aide, has openly declared that the revolt was started at the insistence of the Cadet Party which has long since formed an alliance with the counter-revolutionary faction of the Cossacks.

On the Urals the Cadets support the counter-revolution with money and supplies. . . . . It is clear that the civil war was initiated and is led by the Cadets. The Central Committee of this party is at the present moment the headquarters of all counter-revolutionary forces in the country.

This plot, threatening as it does the cause of peace and the conquests of the revolution, is carried on under the cloak of the Constituent Assembly. The Cadet Central Electoral Commission hid from the Soviets, kept to itself the data about the elections so as not to expose the defeat of the Cadets [at the polls] before the plot of Miliukov, Kornilov, Kaledin, and Dutov had time to succeed.[1] The Soviet of People's Commissars has decided to open the Constituent Assembly just as soon as half of its members, namely 400 out of 800, are present. This decision gives the lie to those who say that the Sovnarkom .... is opposed to the Constituent Assembly. And that is why the bourgeoisie would not wait until the people's assembly is opened in a legal way. On the evening of December 11 a group of people calling themselves deputies, broke into the Taurida Palace without showing their certificates. They were accompanied by armed White Guards, cadets, and thousands of bourgeoisie and officials on strike.

The aim of the Cadet Party was to stage a "legal" cover for the Cadet-Kaledin counter-revolutionary uprising.. They hoped to make the voices of a few bourgeois deputies sound like the voice of the Constituent Assembly.

The Sovnarkom calls this plot to the attention of the people. All the conquests of the revolution including an early peace are at stake. On the south we have Kaledin, in the east Dutov, in the center and in Petrograd the plot of the Central Committee of the Cadet Party, which directs a constant flow of Kornilov officers to Kaledin. The least hesitancy or weakness . . . . may put an end to the Soviets, peace and land reform, and bring back the mighty landlords and capitalists.

Recognizing the full responsibility that now rests on the Soviet Government for the fate of the nation and the revolution, the Soviet of People's Commissars Declares the Cadet Party (as an organization of counter-revolutionary conspirators) an Enemy of the People.

The Sovnarkom is determined not to lay down its arms in its fight against the Cadet Party and its Kaledin forces.

The political leaders of the counter-revolutionary war will be arrested; the conspiracy of the bourgeoisie will be crushed, come what may!

In this fight the Sovnarkom counts on the support and loyalty of all workers, soldiers, peasants, sailors, Cossacks, and all other honest citizens.

Down with the bourgeoisie! There is no place in the Constituent Assembly for enemies of the people, capitalists, and landowners! The country can be saved only by the Constituent Assembly made up of representatives of the toiling and exploited classes. Long live the Revolution! Long live the Soviets! Long live peace!



[1] The Commission had many Cadets among its members. Dmitriev (Socialist), representing the Northern front at the Electoral Commission, comments on the above statement in an open letter to the soldiers and workers as follows: "Is not the accusation really ridiculous? Uritsky was getting all information directly [from the provinces], while the Commission, because of the delay of the elections in many provinces, knew very little of their progress." (Nash Vek, No. 10, December 23, 1917, p. 2.