J. V. Stalin

Who is Torpedoing the Constituent Assembly ?

October 5, 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.

While the compromising windbags pour out speeches about the Pre-parliament, and their fellow travellers are fighting the Bolsheviks and accusing them of torpedoing the Constituent Assembly, the old hands at counterrevolution are already making a preliminary trial of strength with a view to really torpedoing the Constituent Assembly.

Only a week ago the leaders of the "Don Cossacks" proposed that the elections to the Constituent Assembly be postponed on the grounds that "the population is unprepared."

Two days later Dyen, a close collaborator of the Cadet Rech, blurted out that "the wave of agrarian disorders . . . might cause the postponement of the Constituent Assembly elections."

And yesterday the news was wired that the "public men" in Moscow, the same gentry who now direct the Provisional Government, also "consider it impossible" to hold elections to the Constituent Assembly:

"State Duma member N. N. Lvov stated that it would be impossible, for technical and political reasons, to hold elections just now owing to the state of anarchy in the country. And Kuzmin-Karavayev added that the government was not ready for the Constituent Assembly, no bills having yet been drafted."

Evidently the bourgeoisie intend to frustrate the elections to the Constituent Assembly.

Evidently, now that the bourgeoisie has entrenched itself in the Provisional Government and has created for itself a "democratic" camouflage in the shape of the counter-revolutionary Pre-parliament, it considers itself strong enough to "postpone" once again the convocation of a Constituent Assembly.

What have Messieurs the compromisers of Izvestia and Delo Naroda to oppose to this danger?

What have they to oppose to the Provisional Government if it, "heeding the voice of the country" and following in the footsteps of the "public men," postpones the Constituent Assembly elections?

The notorious Pre-parliament perhaps? But, created in accordance with Kornilov's plan and intended for the purpose of concealing the ulcers of the Kerensky government, the Pre-parliament was called into being precisely with the object of serving as a substitute for the Constituent Assembly, should its convocation be postponed. Of what value, then, can this Kornilov abortion be in the fight for a Constituent Assembly?

The decrepit Central Executive Committee, perhaps? But what authority can this institution have, when it is divorced from the masses and lashes out at the railwaymen one day and at the Soviets another?

The "great Russian revolution," perhaps, about which Delo Naroda cants so revoltingly? But the wiseacres of Delo Naroda themselves say that revolution is incompatible with a Constituent Assembly ("either revolution or a Constituent Assembly"!). What force can empty talk about the "might of the revolution" have in the fight for a Constituent Assembly?

Where is the force capable of opposing the counterrevolutionary efforts of the bourgeoisie?

That force is the growing Russian revolution. The compromisers have no faith in it. But that does not prevent it from growing, from spreading to the rural districts and sweeping away the basis of landlord rule.

By fighting the Congress of Soviets 1 and strengthening the Kornilov Pre-parliament, the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries are helping the bourgeoisie to torpedo the Constituent Assembly. But let them know that if they continue in this course they will have to deal with the growing revolution.


Rabochy Put No. 28, October 5, 1917


1. The Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, at which uyezd and gubernia Soviets of Peasants' Deputies were represented, opened in Petrograd on October 25, 1917. It held two sessions in all—on the 25th and the 26th. There were 649 delegates present at the opening. The largest group were the Bolsheviks, with 390 delegates. The Mensheviks, Right-wing Socialist-Revolutionaries and Bundists left the congress soon after it opened, refusing to recognize the socialist revolution.

The Second Congress of Soviets proclaimed the transfer of power to the Soviets and set up the first Soviet Government the Council of People's Commissars. V. I. Lenin was elected Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, and J. V. Stalin People's Commissar for the Affairs of Nationalities.