J. V. Stalin

Victory of the Counter-revolution1

July 23, 1917

Source : Works, Vol. 3, March - October, 1917
Publisher : Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1954
Transcription/Markup : Salil Sen for MIA, 2008
Public Domain : Marxists Internet Archive (2008). 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.

The counter-revolution has organized. It is spreading and attacking all along the line. Its leaders, the Cadet gentry, who only yesterday were boycotting the government, are today prepared to return to office in order to act as the masters in the country.

The "ruling" parties, the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks, and their government of the "salvation of the revolution" are retreating in utter disarray. They are ready to make any concession, to consent to everything—only give the order.

Hand over the Bolsheviks and their followers?

"Certainly, Messieurs the Cadets, you can have the Bolsheviks."

Hand over the Baltic delegation and the Kronstadt Bolsheviks?

"At your service, Messieurs the 'Intelligence Service,' you can have the delegation."

Suppress the Bolshevik newspapers, the workers' and soldiers' newspapers, which are not to the liking of the Cadets?

"Glad to oblige, Messieurs the Cadets; we'll suppress them."

Disarm the revolution—the workers and soldiers?

"With the greatest of pleasure, Messieurs the Landlords and Capitalists. We'll disarm not only the Petrograd workers, but the Sestroretsk workers as well, although they had no part in the events of July 3 and 4."

Restrict freedom of speech and assembly, inviolability of person and domicile, and introduce a censorship and a secret police?

"It shall be done, Messieurs the Blacks. Everything without fail."

Restore the death penalty at the front?

"With pleasure, Messieurs the Insatiables." . . .

Dissolve the Finnish Diet, which supports the platform of the Soviet?

"Right away, Messieurs the Landlords and Capitalists."

Revise the government's program?

"Willingly, Messieurs the Cadets."

The Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries are prepared to go farther still along the road of concession, so long as they can strike a bargain with the Cadets, any sort of bargain. . . .

But the counter-revolutionaries are growing increasingly brazen and are demanding more and more sacrifices, driving the Provisional Government and the Executive Committee to ignominious depths of self-abdication. In deference to the Cadets it is proposed to convene an "Extraordinary Assembly" in Moscow, consisting of members of the already abolished State Duma and of other representatives of the propertied classes, a coterie in which the Central Executive Committee will be a wretched minority. The Ministers have lost their heads and are piling their portfolios at Kerensky's feet. At the dictation of the Cadets a list of members of the government is being drawn up.

The liberty purchased with blood is being stifled with the aid of the tsarist Duma and the traitor Cadets— such are the depths of shame to which we are being reduced by our present helmsmen of state. . . .

But the war goes on, adding to the calamities at the front. And they think that by reintroducing the death penalty at the front they can improve the situation. Blind fools! They do not realize that an offensive can count on mass support only when the aims of the war are clearly understood and shared by the army, when the army knows that it is shedding its blood in a cause that is vitally its own. They do not realize that without this knowledge a mass offensive is inconceivable in a democratic Russia where the soldiers are free to hold meetings and assemblies.

And the economic disruption grows more profound, threatening famine, unemployment and general ruin. They think they can end the economic crisis by resorting to police measures against the revolution. Such is the will of the counter-revolutionaries. Blind fools! They do not realize that the country cannot be saved from collapse unless revolutionary measures are taken against the bourgeoisie.

Workers are being hounded, organizations wrecked, the peasants cheated, soldiers and sailors arrested, leaders of the proletarian party slandered and libelled, and at the same time the counter-revolutionaries have grown insolent and are jubilating and calumniating—and all this under the guise of "saving" the revolution. Such is the pass we have been brought to by the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties.

Yet there are people (see Novaya Zhizn) who after all this propose that we unite with these gentry who are "saving" the revolution by strangling it.

What do they take us for?

No, sirs, we can have no truck with people who are betraying the revolution.

The workers will never forget that in the grim ordeal of the July days, when the infuriated counter-revolutionaries opened fire on the revolution, the Bolsheviks were the only party that did not desert the working class districts.

The workers will never forget that at that grim moment the "ruling" parties, the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, were in one camp with those who were crushing and disarming the workers, soldiers and sailors.

All this the workers will remember and they will draw the proper conclusions.


Rabochy i Soldat, No. 1, July 23, 1917


1. The article "Victory of the Counter-revolution" had been originally printed in the Kronstadt Proletarskoye Delo (Proletarian Cause), No. 5, July 19, 1917, under the title "Triumph of the Counter-revolution."