J. V. Stalin

They Will Not Swerve From Their Path

September 6, 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.

Marx attributed the weakness of the 1848 revolution in Germany among other things to the fact that there was no strong counter-revolution to spur on the revolution and to steel it in the fire of struggle.

We, Russians, have no reason to complain in this respect, for we have a counter-revolution, and quite a substantial one. And the latest actions of the counter-revolutionary bourgeois and generals, and the answering tide of the revolutionary movement demonstrated very graphically that the revolution is growing and gaining strength precisely in battles with counter-revolution.

In the heat of these battles the almost defunct Soviets and Committees, which were broken by the machinations of the bourgeoisie in July and August, have revived and are developing.

It was on the shoulders of these organizations that the revolution was lifted to victory over the counter-revolution.

Now that Kornilovism is retreating in disorder and Kerensky is unceremoniously appropriating the laurels of others, it has become particularly clear that had it not been for these organizations—the railwaymen's, soldiers', sailors', peasants', workers', post and telegraph and other "unauthorized" Committees—that had it not been for their revolutionary initiative and independent militant action, the revolution would have been swept away.

All the more reason is there, therefore, for treating these organizations with respect. All the more reason is there, therefore, for energetically carrying on our work of strengthening and expanding these organizations. Let these "unauthorized" Committees live and develop; let them be strong and victorious!—such should be the slogan of the friends of the revolution.

Only enemies, only sworn enemies of the Russian people can raise their hand against the integrity of these organizations.

Yet from the very outbreak of the counter-revolution the Kerensky government treated the "unauthorized" Committees as suspect. Unable and unwilling to fight Kornilovism, fearing the masses and the mass movement more than counter-revolution, from the very outbreak of the Kornilov revolt it put obstacles in the way of the Petrograd People's Committee for Combating Counterrevolution. And it continued to sabotage the struggle against Kornilovism all along.

But it has not stopped there. On September 4, the Kerensky government issued a special order declaring open war upon the revolutionary Committees and outlawing them. Qualifying the activities of these Committees as "usurpation of authority," it says that :

"unauthorized actions can no longer be tolerated, and the Provisional Government will combat them as usurpation of authority detrimental to the republic."

Kerensky has evidently forgotten that the "Directory" has not yet been replaced by a "Consulate," and that he is not First Consul of the Republic of Russia.

Kerensky evidently does not know that between the "Directory" and the "Consulate" there was a coup d'etat, which had to be effected before orders like these could be issued.

Kerensky does not realize that to combat the "usurpatory" Committees in the rear and at the front he would have to rely upon the backing of the Kaledins and Kornilovs, and upon them alone. At all events, he would do well to remember their fate. . . .

We are confident that the revolutionary Committees will worthily parry this attempt of Kerensky's to stab them in the back.

We are firmly convinced that the revolutionary Committees will not swerve from their path.

And if the paths of the "Directory" and of the revolutionary Committees have definitely diverged, so much the worse for the "Directory."

The counter-revolutionary danger is not yet over. Long live the revolutionary Committees!


Rabochy Put , No. 3, September 6, 1917