J. V. Stalin

Forging Chains

September 24, 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 machinery of compromise has been set in motion. That political house of assignation, the Winter Palace, is full of clients. Whom do we not find there! Just take a look at them, the honoured guests—Moscow Korni-lovites and Petrograd Savinkovites; Nabokov the Kor-nilovite "Minister" and Tsereteli the champion disarmer; Kishkin the sworn enemy of the Soviets and Konovalov the notorious lockout expert; representatives of the party of political deserters (the Cadets!) and coopera-tor bigwigs of the Berkenheim breed; representatives of the punitive expedition party (the Socialist-Revolutionaries!) and Right-wing Zemstvoists of the Dushechkin type; political pimps of the Directory and well-known plutocrats of the "public man" category.

Cadets and industrialists, on the one hand.

Defencists and cooperators, on the other.

On the one side, the industrialists as the prop, and the Cadets as the army.

On the other, the cooperators as the prop, and the defencists as the army; for after the defencists lost the Soviets they had to retire to their old positions, to the cooperators.

"Cast off the Bolsheviks," and "the bourgeoisie and the democracy will then have a common front," says Kishkin to the defencists.

"Glad to be of service," replies Avksentyev, "but let us first establish a 'statesmanlike approach.'"

"The bourgeoisie no less than the democracy should reckon with the growth of Bolshevism and endeavour to form a coalition government," Berkenheim admonishes Avksentyev.

"Glad to be of service," Avksentyev replies.

Do you hear: a coalition government is needed, it appears, for the purpose of fighting Bolshevism, that is, the Soviets, that is, the workers and soldiers!

"The Pre-parliament must be an 'advisory body,' and the government must be 'independent' of it," says Nabokov.

"Glad to be of service," replies Tsereteli, because he agrees that "the Provisional Government should not be formally . . . responsible to the Pre-parliament" (Rech).

It is not the Pre-parliament that must set up the government but, on the contrary, the government must set up the Pre-parliament and "announce its composition, terms of reference and standing orders," says the Cadet declaration.

"Agreed," replies Tsereteli, "the government must sanction this institution" (Novaya Zhizn) and determine "its structure" (Rech).

And that honest broker from the Winter Palace, Mr. Kerensky, authoritatively proclaims:

1) "The right to form the government and appoint its members now belongs solely to the Provisional Government."

2) "This conference (the Pre-parliament) cannot have the functions and rights of a parliament."

3) "The Provisional Government cannot be responsible to this conference" (Rech).,

In short, Kerensky "fully agrees" with the Cadets, and the defencists are glad to be of service. What more do you want?

It was not for nothing that Prokopovich said on leaving the Winter Palace: "It may be taken that agreement has been reached."

It is true that only yesterday the conference declared against coalition with the Cadets. But what do the inveterate compromisers care about that? Seeing that they had decided to counterfeit the will of the revolutionary democracy by convening a conference instead of a Congress of Soviets, why should they not counterfeit the will of the conference itself? It is only the first step that's hard.

It is true that only yesterday the conference passed a resolution to the effect that the Pre-parliament was to "set up" the government and that the latter was to be "responsible" to it. But what do the inveterate compromisers care about that, as long as coalition flourishes—and as for the decisions of the conference, of what use are they when they militate against coalition?

Poor "Democratic Conference"!

Poor naive and trusting delegates!

Could they have anticipated that their leaders would go to the length of downright treachery?

Our Party was right when it asserted that the petty-bourgeois Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, who derive their strength not from the revolutionary movement of the masses but from compromise arrangements of bourgeois politicians, are incapable of pursuing an independent policy.

Our Party was right when it said that a policy of compromise must lead to betrayal of the interests of the revolution.

Everyone now realizes that those political bankrupts, the defencists, are forging chains for the peoples of Russia with their own hands, to the glee of the enemies of the revolution.

It is not for nothing that the Cadets feel satisfied and are rubbing their hands in anticipation of victory.

It is not for nothing that Messieurs the compromisers are slouching around "like whipped curs" with a guilty look on their faces.

It is not for nothing that a note of victory is to be heard in Kerensky's declarations.

Yes, they are jubilating.

But insecure is their "victory" and transient their jubilation, for they are reckoning without their host, the people.

For the hour is near when the deceived workers and soldiers will at last utter their weighty word and upset their spurious "victory" like a house of cards.

And then Messieurs the compromisers will have only themselves to blame if with the rest of the coalition junk, their own defencist lumber is sent flying.


Rabochy Put No. 19, September 24, 1917