134 THE WORKERS COUNCIL It was not for that that the revolutionary work ers, the revolutionary peasants; and the revolutionary soldiers sacrificed themselves.
Power of Soviets EStablished For a. period of eight months there was no central power in Russia to carry on the affairs of the government.
It seemed as if anarchy would take the place of organized society, that uprisings, civil war, and unceasing strife would tear the government to shreds.
Then came the power of the Soviets instituting the new proletarian law and the new revolutionary order and the masses followed, and they signified their approval, for it satisfied their demands and their social ideals.
Thus there was again established in Russia an organized governmental power to carry on the affairs of the land.
The Soviet government is one of the most powerful in the world; it is wielding a vast and profound influence on the minds of the masses.
This was possible, of course, only because the Sovrets were born from the deepest needs of the masses. It was possible because the Soviets are now the most constant and direct expression of the daily needs of the people.
Old Bureaucracy is Abolished The Russian revolution has abolished the old bureaucracy which, even in Kerensky regime, occupied so important a place in the governmental machinery.
The administration of all branches of social extstence is now in new hands.
The administrators of the new order have not always had the requisite experience or the most farseeing VlSlOl as to the needs of the government.
But they have never feared to admit errors, and have constantly sought new methods. The whole tone of Russia political and social life has assumed a new character. The old has disappeared. The new may seem untimely and unworkable. But the new is here, and the way back is closed.
Dreams Have Been Realized The Russian revolutiOn has abolished private ownership of the means of production, and for the whole of four years Russia has maintained the new anti capitalist system.
Never before in the annals of a great modern people has such a system been tried.
This is the new, the mighty contribution that the Revolution has given to the social experience of mankind.
That which Socialist theory foretold on the basis of its research has now become a living fact in Russia.
What the dreamers and militant spirits of different lands yearned for and hoped for, and yet them selves hardly dreamt was possible, has been realized by the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.
For four years Russia has been free from private ownership. There has been no profit system, no exploitation, no domination of man over man. NOVEMBER 15, 1921 For four continuous years the law of the land has been that he who does not work shall not eat.
If the Russian revolution has in the last Six months recognized that it must call private initia tive and private undertaking to its aid, it was due not to the collapse of the Dictatorship of the Prole tariat, but rather to the realization that this dictatorship cannot of its own sheer strength rebuild the economic ruin left by six years of war.
The New Economic Policies The new economic policies of the Soviet Government are a concession to the peasant class. The revolution gave to the peasants the soil of the landowners, to the workers control over the factories and workshops. So long as the war against the internal and external foe was on, both classes were united in their defense of the revolution.
The peasant sent his sons to the Red Army to withstand the white generals and landowners who, if victorious, would take back the confiscated properties.
The working class gave all its strength to ensure the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.
When the war was over, however, and the country turned to the work of reconstruction on a peaceful basis, it became clear that the peasant was not yet ready to institute a Socialist system.
It became clear that the peasants are not willing to work for the whole land, but for themselves, and to satisfy their own interests.
Peasants Temporarily Victorious If Russian industry were not so terribly crippled after the long years of war, the workers would be able to satisfy the peasants with manufactured goods and so provide the state with agricultural products. But the factories and workshops were stricken harder than the agricultural districts. The peasantry found itself in an advantageous position and able to dictate its demands to the working class. It demanded that the government surrender its monopoly on agricultural products.
Temporarily the peasants have won. The proletarian government was forced to recognize the right of the peasant to his own labor that is, to recognize the principle of bourgeois exchange in agriculture.
That necessitates giving up government monop olies.
The end of the fourth year of Proletarian Dictatorship finds the peasant once more a small proprietor, the Storekeeper and trader private owners.
Faces Final Dismissal Soon The capitalistic world gloated over the temporary return to capitalism. The bourgeois Socialists gloated even more perhaps than the bourgeors themselves over the failure of the Communist experiment.
The truth is that these gentlemen are glorying over something which they cannot understand.
For in fact capitalism comes back to Russia not like a ruler, or a conqueror, but like a discharged worker who is called back to finish a certain task before final dismissal.
The administration Of the government remains NOVEMBER 15, 1921 THE WORKERS COUNCIL 135 in Russia and abroad.
realm of economic reconstruction.
The FOurth Anniversary and the World Battle HE series of measures introduced in April, May and June, forming in their totality the new economic policy of the Soviets, has aroused an enormous volume of discussion both It is very significant to note that those who saw in them a renunciation of all the basic ideas of the Soviet system and an unconditional surrender to capitalism, were the sharpest opponents of the Soviet system, who had criticized it for forcing communism on. Russra, which, in their opinion, was not ripe for experiments of this nature. One would have been inclined to think that the new set of measures would meet the approval of all these Indeed, within the ranks of the active Russian workers, who were fully alive to the demands of the moment, there was no marked consternation over the inaugurated concesIt may be well to quote an excerpt from an address delivered by Lenin at the Communist Conference in Moscow. With the sober vision and practical good sense that characterize all his utterances, he admitted that the new policy was a concession to the spirit of small ownership within Russia; he did not, however, consider the principles of the Revolution abandoned. The fight, in his Opinion, was transferred from the political field into the Russia, he said, is now attraCting the attention of the workers of all countries, with out exception. This is no exaggeration. This is one positive result of the revolution. The capitalists will not be able to pass it by in silence. Therefore, they try to ponit at its economic errors and weakness. Here is where the fight now rages on a world wide scale. IF WE SOLVE THIS PROBLEM OF ECONOMIC RECONSTRUCTION, WE SHALL HAVE WON WORLD BATTLE, DECISIVELY AND COMPLETELY.
This is why the problems of economic reconstruction acquire an exceptional significance for us. We must win the fight on this front by slow and gradual but inflexible rise and as before in the hands of the peasant and working class.
The Dictatorship of the Proletariat is not broken.
Both the peasant and the worker are opposed to capitalism, even though their motives may not be the same. Neither of these ruling classes, the worker or the peasant, has any desire to institute in Russia the rule of capital.
Both classes will watch each step, every move of the capitalist groups, and will not permit them to become the rulers of the country.
Capitalism Is Merely Tool Capitalism in its present form is no more than a tool in the hands of the workers and peasants, whereas in all other lands the workers and peasants are mere tools in the hands of capitalism.
Therein is the fundamental difference between the Soviet republic and the capitalistic govern ments.
How long the temporary stay of the recalled capitalism will endure will depend on the speed of Russia economic reconstruction.
When the factories are running again, when the railroads are improved, it will be possible to ask capitalism again to leave the social field, and it will not have power enough to oppose the request.
Even if Russian capitalism were to become a 51gnificant factor in Russian life, its power is undermined, its backbone broken.
It will never again have the might and the audacity which characterizes capitalism in other countries.
The four years of Communist administration without capital and without private ownership cannot be wiped from the face of the earth.
Even if the Russian merchant and banker should once more revel in prosperity, Russia has nevertheless given capitalism its greatest blow. On the one side the government, on the other side the trade unions will stand guard over the workers interests and will not allow the profit makers to become lords over life. Now they are servants in the employ of the Proletarian Dictatorship, not rulers.
Building the New World The Russian revolution has begun to build a new world. It has called into existence unknown powers; it has spread a flood Of thought among the vast masses, has opened up a world of education and knowledge to the workers and peasants of Russia.
It has created the foundation for a new masscultiire, for a new literature, for a new art.
And so, tho the country writhe in pain on the present anniversary, and tho milions suffer inhuman woe, and tho hunger death stares millions in the face, and tho they of narrow vision all over the world see only misery and suffering in the revolution, nevertheless, in the light of history, on the broad path of historic development, the Russian revolution is a momentous step forward.
It is a beneficent storm which at the same time has uprooted a whole world, but raised it to a higher stage of development and growth.