J. V. Stalin
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 Russian revolution is not something isolated. It is vitally bound up with the revolutionary movement in the West. More, it is a part of that great movement of the proletarians of all countries whose mission it is to shatter the very foundations of world capitalism. It is quite natural that every step of our revolution should inevitably call forth an answering tide in the West, that every one of its victories should call forth animation and growth in the world revolutionary movement and stimulate the workers of all countries to fight capital.
This the West-European imperialist sharks cannot but know. They have therefore decided to declare war to the death on the Russian revolution.
The British and French capitalists launched a campaign against our revolution at its very inception. Already at that time their organs, The Times 1 and Le Matin, 2 reviled the revolutionary Soviets and Committees and demanded their dispersal.
Two months later, at a secret conference in Switzerland, the imperialists again discussed measures of combating the "spread of revolution" and directed their blows first and foremost against the revolution in Russia.
They are now passing to an open attack, using the defeat at Riga as a pretext. Putting the whole blame on the soldiers, they call for the further intensification of counter-revolution in Russia.
Listen to the reports in Birzheviye Vedomosti.
Here is a dispatch from Paris:
"The retreat, or rather the flight, of the Second Army without giving battle and the fall of Riga have called forth here a spasm of pain, indignation and disgust.
"The Matin asserts that the Russian pacifists, who are to blame for this disaster, have proved just as incompetent as the bad advisers of the former emperor, and even more harmful.
"The paper declares that it cannot understand the obstinacy of the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies in continuing in spite of these tragic object lessons, to defend such absurd institutions as the army committees."
So writes the organ of the French capitalists. And here is a dispatch from London:
"The Daily Chronicle says that the first thing necessary is to restore discipline in the army. The Germans owe their swift and highly important victory to the same causes that enabled them to occupy Galicia and Bukovina, namely, disobedience to orders and treachery among the Russian troops."
So say the British imperialists.
"Flight without giving battle," "absurd army committees," "restoration of discipline" (the death penalty is not enough for them!), "treachery among the Russian troops."
Such are the compliments these plutocrats shower on the Russian soldiers who are shedding their lifeblood!
And that after the general admission of eyewitnesses that "although retreating, the army is offering staunch resistance to the enemy" and that "the troops in the area of the breach are carrying out unquestioningly and honourably the tasks assigned them"!!!
But the point, of course, is not merely the abuse and vile calumnies showered on the soldiers.
The point is that in slandering the soldiers, the British and French capitalists are seeking to take advantage of the reverses at the front to get the revolutionary organizations in Russia completely suppressed and to secure the complete triumph of the dictatorship of imperialism.
That is the crux of the matter.
When Purishkevich and Milyukov shed crocodile tears over the fall of Riga and slander the soldiers, and at the same time revile the Soviets and the Committees, it means that they are glad of the opportunity to demand further repressive measures, so as to bring about the complete triumph of the landlords and capitalists.
When the Western imperialists talk about a "spasm of pain" over the fall of Riga and put the whole blame on the soldiers, and at the same time abuse the "absurd army committees," it means that they are glad of the opportunity to smash the last remnants of the revolutionary organizations in Russia.
That, and that alone, is the political import of the joint campaign of lies and calumny against the Russian soldiers who are laying down their lives on the Northern Front.
An alliance of native and European imperialists who are slandering the soldiers for the purpose of exploiting the military defeat at Riga against the Russian revolution which is shedding its lifeblood—that is the situation we have now.
Let the workers and soldiers remember this!
Let them know that only in alliance with the workers of the West, only by shaking the foundations of capitalism in the West, can they count on the triumph of the revolution in Russia!
Let them know this, and let them bend every effort to confront the yellow alliance of the imperialists with the Red alliance of the revolutionary workers and soldiers of all countries.
Rabochy , No. 1, August 25, 1917
1.The Times—a London daily, founded in 1788, influential organ of the British big bourgeoisie.
2. Le Matin—a bourgeois daily, founded in Paris in 1884.