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 revolution is marching on. Fired upon in the July days and "buried" at the Moscow Conference, it is rising again, breaking down the old barriers and creating a new power. The first line of counter-revolutionary trenches has been captured. After Kornilov, Kaledin too is retreating. In the fire of battle the almost defunct Soviets are reviving. They are taking their place at the helm again and leading the revolutionary masses.
All power to the Soviets ! — such is the slogan of the new movement.
The Kerensky government is taking up arms against the new movement. At the very start of the Kornilov revolt it threatened to dissolve the revolutionary Committees and qualified the fight against Kornilovism as "usurpation of authority." Since then the fight against the Committees has grown steadily fiercer and has now passed into open war.
The Simferopol Soviet arrests one of the Kornilov conspirators, the not unnotorious Ryabushinsky. And in retaliation, the Kerensky government orders that "measures be taken to release Ryabushinsky and that the persons responsible for his illegal arrest be brought to account" (Rech).
In Tashkent all authority passes to the Soviet and the old authorities are deposed. And, in retaliation, the Ke-rensky government "is adopting a number of measures, which are being kept secret for the present, but which should have a most sobering effect on the presumptuous leaders of the Tashkent Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies" (Russkiye Vedomosti).
The Soviets demand a strict and thorough investigation of the affair of Kornilov and his accomplices. And, in retaliation, the Kerensky government is "narrowing down the investigation to an insignificant circle of individuals, and is ignoring certain very important evidence which would furnish grounds for qualifying Kornilov's crime as betrayal of the country, and not only as a revolt" (Shubnikov's report, Novaya Zhizn).
The Soviets demand a break with the bourgeoisie and primarily with the Cadets. And, in retaliation, the Kerensky government negotiates with the Kishkins and Konovalovs, invites them into the government and proclaims the government's "independence" of the Soviets.
All power to the imperialist bourgeoisie ! — such is the slogan of the Kerensky government.
There is no room for doubt. What we have is two powers: the power of Kerensky and his government, and the power of the Soviets and Committees.
It is a struggle between these two powers which is the characteristic feature of the present moment.
Either the power of the Kerensky government—which means the rule of the landlords and capitalists, war and economic disruption.
Or the power of the Soviets—which will mean the rule of the workers and peasants, peace and an end to the economic disruption.
That is the way, and the only way, that the question is posed by the realities of the situation.
This question was raised by the revolution at each crisis of power. And every time Messieurs the compromisers evaded a straight answer, and, by evading it, surrendered the power to the enemy. By convening a conference instead of a Congress of Soviets, the compromisers wanted again to evade it and surrender the power to the bourgeoisie. But they have miscalculated. A time has come when evasion is no longer possible.
The straight question posed by the realities demands a clear and definite answer.
For the Soviets, or against them?
Let Messieurs the compromisers choose.
Rabochy Put No. 13, September 17, 1917