J. V. Stalin

American Billions

August 19, 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.

What the outcome of the Moscow Conference was is now becoming apparent.

Russkiye Vedomosti 1 (August 17, evening edition) reports:

"At a meeting of the Central Committee of the Popular Freedom Party yesterday, Milyukov presented a report and invited the members of the Committee to express their opinions on the results of the Moscow Conference. The speakers unanimously approved the principle of coalition. The majority of the members present agreed that the Moscow Conference had yielded the maximum that could have been expected of it."

And so, Mr. Milyukov's party is satisfied. It is for a coalition.

"The Moscow Conference," write the defencists, "was a victory for the democracy (for the defencists, that is?) which has succeeded in these tragic times in coming forward as a genuine state force around which has rallied all(!) that is virile in Russia" (Izvestia, No. 146).

Evidently, the defencist party is also satisfied. At all events, it pretends to be satisfied, since it, too, is for a coalition.

Well, and what about the government? How does it appraise the Moscow Conference?

According to Izvestia (No. 146), "the general impression of the members of the Provisional Government" is that

"the conference was a council of state in the true sense of the word. In general, the government's foreign and home policies were approved. Its economic program encountered no objection. Nor, essentially speaking, were there any attacks on the government's land policy."

In a word, the government is also satisfied with the conference, since it, too, it appears, is for a coalition.

Everything is quite clear. A coalition is being arranged, a coalition of three forces: the government, the Cadets, and the defencists.

An "honest coalition" under the trade mark of Ke-rensky, Milyukov and Tsereteli can at present be regarded as assured.

Such is the first outcome of the Moscow Conference.

Under capitalism, not a single enterprise can get along without capital. The coalition now formed with the government at its head is the biggest enterprise in Russia. It will not be able to exist a single hour, a single minute, without the necessary capital. Especially now, in time of war, which requires incalculable resources. The question arises:

What capital does this new (brand new!) coalition intend to live on?

Listen to Birzhovka (August 17, evening edition):

"The most immediate outcome of the Moscow Conference, and especially of the sympathy the Americans displayed for it, it is reported, is the possibility of floating a 5,000 million ruble government loan abroad. The loan will be floated in the American market. This loan will ensure the carrying out of the Provisional Government's minimum financial program."

The answer is clear. The coalition will live on American billions, which the Russian workers and peasants will afterwards have to sweat for.

A coalition of the Russian imperialist bourgeoisie (Milyukov!), the military (Kerensky!) and the upper strata of the petty bourgeoisie that are obsequiously serving the "virile forces" of Russia (Tsereteli!), financed by the American imperialist bourgeoisie—that is the present picture.

The "sympathy" of American capital for the Moscow Conference backed by a 5,000 million ruble loan—was it not this that the gentry who convened the conference were after?

It used to be said in Russia that the light of socialism came from the West. And this was true; for it was there, in the West, that we learned revolution and socialism.

With the beginning of the revolutionary movement in Russia the situation somewhat changed.

In 1906, when the revolution in Russia was only developing, the West helped the tsarist reactionaries to recover by lending them 2,000 million rubles. And tsardom did indeed recover, at the cost of the further financial subjection of Russia to the West.

Apropos of this, it was remarked at the time that the West was exporting not only socialism to Russia, but also reaction, in the shape of thousands of millions in money.

Now a more eloquent picture is unfolding. At a moment when the Russian revolution is exerting every effort to uphold its gains, and when imperialism is striving to crush it, American capital is supplying thousands of millions to a Kerensky-Milyukov-Tsereteli coalition for the purpose of completely curbing the Russian revolution and thus undermining the mounting revolutionary movement in the West. Such is the fact.

It is not socialism and emancipation that the West is exporting to Russia so much as subjection and counter-revolution. Is that not so?

But a coalition is an alliance. Against whom is the Kerensky-Milyukov-Tsereteli alliance directed?

Evidently, against those who did not attend the Moscow Conference, who boycotted it, who fought it — namely, the revolutionary workers of Russia.

An "honest coalition" of Kerensky, Milyukov and Tsereteli, financed by the American capitalists, against the revolutionary workers of Russia — is that not so, Messieurs the defencists?

Very good, we make note of it.


Proletary, No. 6, August 19, 1917


1. Russkiye Vedomosti (Russian News) — a newspaper representing the interests of the liberal landlords and bourgeois, founded in Moscow in 1863. It was suppressed, together with other counter-revolutionary papers, in 1918.