J. V. Stalin

Speech at the Meeting of the Central Comittee of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.) on the Question of Peace with the Germans

January 11, 1918 (Summary Record in the Minutes)

Source : Works, Vol. 4, November, 1917 - 1920
Publisher : Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1953
Transcription/Markup : Salil Sen for MIA, 2009
Public Domain : Marxists Internet Archive (2009). 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.

Comrade Stalin considers that if we accept the slogan of a revolutionary war we shall be playing into the hands of imperialism. Trotsky's position cannot be called a position at all. There is no revolutionary movement in the West, there is no evidence of a revolutionary movement. It exists only in potential, and in our practical activities we cannot rely merely on potentials. If the Germans begin to advance, it will strengthen the hand of counter-revolution here at home. Germany can advance, because she has her own Kornilov troops—her "Guards." In October, we talked of a sacred war against imperialism because we were told that the mere word "peace" would be enough to start a revolution in the West. But that has not proved correct. Our socialist reforms are stirring up the West, but we need time to carry them out. If we accept Trotsky's policy we shall create the worst possible conditions for a revolutionary movement in the West. Comrade Stalin therefore recommends the adoption of Comrade Lenin's proposal for the conclusion of peace with the Germans.