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.
It was the soldiers and workers who overthrew the tsar in February. But having vanquished the tsar, they had no desire to take power themselves. Led by bad shepherds, the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, the workers and soldiers voluntarily turned over the power to representatives of the landlords and capitalists—the Milyukovs and Lvovs, the Guchkovs and Konovalovs.
That was a fatal mistake on the part of the victors. And for this mistake the soldiers at the front and the workers and peasants in the rear are now paying dearly.
When they overthrew the tsar the workers thought they would receive bread and work. But what they have "received" is high prices and starvation, lockouts and unemployment.
Because the government consists of appointees of the capitalists and profiteers, who want to starve the workers into submission.
When they overthrew the tsar the peasants thought they would receive land. But what they have "received" is arrests of their deputies and punitive expeditions.
Because the government consists of representatives of the landlords, who will never cede the land to the peasants.
When they overthrew the tsar the soldiers thought they would receive peace. But what they have "received" is a protracted war, which it is intended to prolong until next autumn.
Because the government consists of representatives of the British and French bankers, for whom a "speedy" cessation of the war is unprofitable, for whom the war is a source of ill-gotten wealth.
When they overthrew the tsar the people thought that a Constituent Assembly would be convened within two or three months. But the convocation of the Constituent Assembly has already been postponed once, and it is now obvious that the enemies are preparing to torpedo it altogether.
Because the government consists of enemies of the people, who would only lose by the prompt convocation of a Constituent Assembly.
After the victory of the February revolution, power remained in the hands of the landlords and capitalists, the bankers and speculators, the profiteers and marauders. Therein lay the fatal mistake of the workers and soldiers; that is the cause of the present disasters in the rear and at the front.
This mistake must be rectified at once. The time has come when further procrastination is fraught with disaster for the whole cause of the revolution.
The present government of landlords and capitalists must be replaced by a new government, a government of workers and peasants.
The present impostor government, which was not elected by the people and which is not accountable to the people, must be replaced by a government recognized by the people, elected by the representatives of the workers, soldiers and peasants, and accountable to these representatives.
The Kishkin-Konovalov government must be replaced by a government of the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies.
That which was not done in February must be done now.
Thus, and thus alone, can peace, bread, land and liberty be won.
Workers, soldiers, peasants, Cossacks and all working people!
Do you want the present government of landlords and capitalists to be replaced by a new government, a government of workers and peasants?
Do you want the new government of Russia to proclaim, in conformity with the demands of the peasants, the abolition of landlordism and to transfer all the landed estates to the Peasant Committees without compensation?
Do you want the new government of Russia to publish the tsar's secret treaties, to declare them invalid, and to propose a just peace to all the belligerent nations?
Do you want the new government of Russia to put a thorough curb on the organizers of lockouts and the profiteers who are deliberately fomenting famine and unemployment, economic disruption and high prices?
If you want this, muster all your forces, rise as one man, organize meetings and elect your delegations and, through them, lay your demands before the Congress of Soviets which opens tomorrow in the Smolny.
If you all act solidly and staunchly no one will dare to resist the will of the people. The stronger and the more organized and powerful your action, the more peacefully will the old government make way for the new. And then the whole country will boldly and firmly march forward to the conquest of peace for the peoples, land for the peasants, and bread and work for the starving.
The power must pass into the hands of the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies.
A new government must come into power, a government elected by the Soviets, recallable by the Soviets and accountable to the Soviets.
Only such a government can ensure the timely convocation of the Constituent Assembly.
Rabochy Put, No. 44, October 24, 1917