J. V. Stalin

A Study in Brazenness

October 15, 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.

Driven to the wall by the onslaught of the revolution, the government of bourgeois timeservers is striving to wriggle out of it by handing out false assurances that it had no intention of fleeing from Petrograd and was not thinking of surrendering the capital.

Only yesterday it was being publicly stated (Izvestia!) that the government was "removing" to Moscow, as it considered the position of the capital "precarious." Only yesterday there was open talk ("Defence Committee"! 1) of "surrendering" Petrograd, and the government was demanding the removal of the guns from the approaches to the capital. Only yesterday landlord Rodzyanko, the confederate of Kerensky and Kornilov in the plot against the revolution, was welcoming the government's "surrender" decision, for he wanted to see Petrograd, the navy and the Soviets perish. Only yesterday "London" was associating itself with this decision, for it wanted the government speedily to rid itself of Petrograd and the navy. All that was so only yesterday. . . . But today the panic-stricken timeservers in the government are retreating in disarray in face of the resolute determination of the navy and garrison to defend the capital and, stammering and contradicting one another, they are cravenly trying to cover up the truth and to vindicate themselves in the eyes of the revolution, which only yesterday they were preparing, so clumsily and ineffectively, to betray.

But Kerensky's "categorical" statement that the "removal" has been postponed until the spring is refuted by Kishkin's equally categorical statement that some of the government offices "might be transferred to Moscow now." And B. Bogdanov, spokesman of the "Defence Committee" (who is anything but a Bolshevik!), declares just as categorically that "the government evinced a desire to leave Petrograd, and wide sections of the democracy perceived in the fact that the government was going the possibility that Petrograd would be surrendered" (Izvestia). This apart from the fact that according to the reports in the evening papers "the supporters of the Provisional Government's removal to Moscow had . . . a preponderance of votes" (Russkiye Vedomosti).

These miserable pigmies of the Provisional Government! They have been deceiving the people all the time. What else could they fall back on except deceiving the masses again in their attempt to cover up their disorderly retreat?

But timeservers would not be timeservers if they confined themselves to deceit. Kerensky is retreating and resorting to deception to cover up his retreat; but at the same time he hurls accusations, plainly hinting at our Party, and rants about "recrudescence of rioting," "dangerous enemies of the revolution," "blackmail," "perversion of the masses," "hands stained with the blood of innocent victims" and so on.

Kerensky denouncing "enemies of the revolution!"— Kerensky, who with Kornilov and Savinkov plotted against the revolution and the Soviets and by fraudulent means got the Third Cavalry Corps to march on the capital.

Kerensky denouncing "recrudescence of rioting"! — Kerensky, who by raising the price of bread drove the rural population to rioting and incendiarism. Read the defencist Socialist-Revolutionary Vlast Naroda and judge for yourselves:

"Some of our correspondents claim that the present disorders are due to the raising of the fixed prices. The new prices immediately caused a general rise in the cost of living. This is evoking discontent, resentment and excessive irritation, which make the mob more prone than before to start rioting" (No. 140).

Kerensky denouncing "perversion of the masses"!— Kerensky, who defiled the revolution and perverted its morals by reviving the secret police and political detective services with vermin like Vonlyarlyarsky and Shchukin at their head. . . .

Kerensky denouncing "blackmail"!—Kerensky, whose whole regime is one long tale of blackmailing the democracy, and who openly blackmailed the "Democratic Conference" with the false story of a military landing on the Finnish coast, in which he successfully competed with General Khabalov. . . .

Kerensky denouncing "hands stained with the blood of innocent victims"!—Kerensky, whose own hands are really stained with the innocent blood of tens of thousands of soldiers, the victims of the adventurist offensive launched at the front in June. . . .

There is a limit to everything, they say. But obviously there is no limit to the brazenness of the bourgeois timeservers. . . .

Izvestia reports that in the "Council of the Republic" Kerensky was greeted with "loud and prolonged applause from all benches." We expected nothing else from the servile Pre-parliament, that abortion of Kornilovism and godchild of Kerensky.

But be it known to these gentry, to all of them, both those who are secretly plotting reprisals against the "Lefts" and those who are applauding these reprisals in advance, that when the decisive hour strikes they will all equally be called to account by the revolution which they are seeking to betray, but which they will not succeed in hoodwinking.


Rabochy Put, No. 37, October 15, 1917


1. The Defence Committee, or Executive Committee for National Defence, had been set up at a conference on defence convened by the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik Central Executive Committee of the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers'Deputies on August 7, 1917. The Defence Committee supportedthe military measures adopted by the Provisional Government in the interests of the bourgeois and landlord counter-revolution (withdrawal of the revolutionary troops fromPetrograd, etc.).