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 outstanding feature of the present moment is the impassable chasm that lies between the government and the masses, a chasm which did not exist in the early months of the revolution, and which opened as a result of the Kornilov revolt.
After the victory over tsarism, at the very beginning of the revolution, power came into the hands of the imperialist bourgeoisie. It was not the workers and soldiers, but a handful of Cadet imperialists who came to power. How did that happen, and what precisely did the rule of this handful of bourgeois rest on? The fact of the matter was that the workers and, chiefly, the soldiers placed their trust in the bourgeoisie and hoped, in alliance with it, to secure bread and land, peace and freedom. It was on this "unreasoning trust" of the masses in the bourgeoisie that the rule of the bourgeoisie then rested. The coalition with the bourgeoisie was merely the expression of this trust and this rule.
But six months of revolution have not been in vain. What the coalition with the bourgeoisie has given the masses is starvation instead of bread, unemployment instead of higher wages, empty promises instead of land, a fight against the Soviets instead of liberty, war until the exhaustion of Russia and the treachery of the Kornilovites at Tarnopol and Riga instead of peace. The Kornilov revolt merely summed up the six months' experience of coalition by revealing the treachery of the Cadets and the disastrousness of a policy of compromise with them.
All that, of course, has not been in vain. The "unreasoning trust" of the masses in the bourgeoisie has disappeared. Coalition with the Cadets has been succeeded by a break with them. Confidence in the bourgeoisie has been succeeded by hatred for it. The rule of the bourgeoisie no longer has a reliable foundation.
It is true that with the help of the compromise devices of the defencists, with the help of fake and forgery, with the assistance of Buchanan and the Cadet Korni-lovites, and in the face of the manifest distrust of the workers and soldiers, the compromisers have nevertheless succeeded in knocking together a "new" government of the old bourgeois dictatorship by fraudulently restoring the obsolete and dilapidated coalition.
But, in the first place, this coalition is anemic, for, engineered in the Winter Palace, it is meeting with resistance and indignation in the country.
In the second place, this government is unstable, for it has no firm ground under its feet in the shape of the confidence and sympathy of the masses, who feel nothing but hatred for it.
Hence the impassable chasm that lies between the government and the country.
And if this government remains in power nevertheless, if, in obedience to the will of a minority, it intends to rule over an obviously hostile majority, it is clear that it can be relying on one thing only—the use of violence against the masses. Such a government can have no other backing.
It is therefore no chance thing that the first step of the Kerensky-Konovalov government was to disperse the Tashkent Soviet.
Nor is it a chance thing that this government has already set out to suppress the workers' movement in the Donets Basin, and has sent a mysterious "dictator" there.
Nor is it a chance thing either that at its meeting yesterday it declared war on peasant "unrest" by resolving:
"to set up local committees of the Provisional Government, the direct function of which shall be to combat anarchy and to put down disorders" (Birzhovka).
None of these are chance things.
Deprived of the confidence of the masses, but desiring to remain in power nevertheless, the government of bourgeois dictatorship cannot exist without "anarchy" and "disorders," for it is by combating them that it can justify its existence. Its one dream is that the Bolsheviks "organize a revolt," or that the peasants "wreck" landed estates, or that the railwaymen "foist a disastrous strike on the country" which interrupts the supply of food to the front. . . . It "needs" all this in order to incite the peasants against the workers, the front against the rear, thus creating the need for armed intervention and enabling it to strengthen its insecure position for a time.
For it must be understood at last that, lacking the confidence of the country and surrounded by the hatred of the masses, this government can be nothing else than a government for the provocation of "civil war."
It is not for nothing that Rech, the semi-official organ of the Provisional Government, warns the government against "giving the Bolsheviks the opportunity of choosing the moment for declaring civil war," and advises it not to "wait in patience until they (the Bolsheviks) choose a convenient moment for a general offensive" (Rech, Wednesday).
Yes, they are thirsting for the blood of the people. . . .
But their hopes are vain and their efforts ridiculous.
Consciously and in organized fashion, the revolutionary proletariat is marching to victory. Unanimously and confidently the peasants and soldiers are rallying behind it. Ever louder rings the cry: "All power to the Soviets!"
Can the paper coalition in the Winter Palace . . . withstand this pressure?
You want disunited and premature Bolshevik actions? You will wait in vain, Messieurs the Kornilovites.
Rabochy Put No. 23, September 29, 1917