Wednesday, August 22, 2018

On The 100th Anniversary -The Bolsheviks: A Party Ready to Take Power (Quote of the Week)

On The 100th Anniversary -The Bolsheviks: A Party Ready to Take Power (Quote of the Week)

Workers Vanguard No. 1114
30 June 2017


The Bolsheviks: A Party Ready to Take Power
(Quote of the Week)
The Provisional Government that emerged after the 1917 February Revolution in Russia, which overthrew tsarist rule, was capitalist and committed to launching a new military offensive in the interimperialist First World War. Speaking at the First All-Russia Congress of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, V. I. Lenin denounced Menshevik leaders like Irakli Tsereteli, who served in the Provisional Government as the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs. In counterposition, Lenin called for a soviet government based on workers and soldiers councils and asserted the willingness of the Bolsheviks to take power. The Bolsheviks were a minority at the Congress, while the Mensheviks and petty-bourgeois Socialist-Revolutionaries were the majority. By the time of the Second Congress four months later, the Bolsheviks had become the majority. Lenin’s struggle paved the way for the victory of soviet power in the October Revolution.
According to the previous speaker, the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs...there was no political party in Russia expressing its readiness to assume full power. I reply: “Yes, there is. No party can refuse this, and our Party certainly doesn’t. It is ready to take over full power at any moment.”...
Side by side with a government in which the landowners and capitalists now have a majority, the Soviets arose, a representative institution unparalleled and unprecedented anywhere in the world in strength, an institution which you are killing by taking part in a coalition Ministry of the bourgeoisie. In reality, the Russian revolution has made the revolutionary struggle from below against the capitalist governments welcome everywhere, in all countries, with three times as much sympathy as before. The question is one of advance or retreat. No one can stand still during a revolution. That is why the offensive is a turn in the Russian revolution, in the political and economic rather than the strategic sense. An offensive now means the continuation of the imperialist slaughter and the death of more hundreds of thousands, of millions of people—objectively, irrespective of the will or awareness of this or that Minister, with the aim of strangling Persia and other weak nations. Power transferred to the revolutionary proletariat, supported by the poor peasants, means a transition to revolutionary struggle for peace in the surest and most painless forms ever known to mankind, a transition to a state of affairs under which the power and victory of the revolutionary workers will be ensured in Russia and throughout the world. (Applause from part of the audience.)
—V. I. Lenin, “Speech on the Attitude Towards the Provisional Government” (June 1917)

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