Pagc Four isting bureaucracy of the Czar. including the military, which they claimed to put into die service of the revolution.
The social patriots co operated in this policy. They were bound to assist, because otherwise they had to break the coalition. an act they did not want; here again was shown: Socialists co operating in a bourgeois government are forced to assist in and take responsibility for a bourgeois policy. Whoever does not want Socialist pdlicy, must accept bourgeois policy, which under present conditions always means imperialistic policy. But it was not even a forced solidarity with their colleagues only; when they persistently told the people that war against Germany was necessary as a war of defense of the revolution against the strongest, most reactionary state power, this was largely demagogy, but in which they themselves as social patriots also believed.
In this they did not take a stand different from the social patriots in England and France, who also claimed to carry on the war as champions of democracy and freedom against German militarism and German autocracy. Plechanov al ready had given them an argument by claiming that the German workers could only be brought to revolt through a war against Germany. And this warpolicy included, in addition to the illusion and promise to win over the Entente Govemments for the revolutionary peace terms.
no annexations, etc. at the same time the reality of coperating in an imperialistic war of conquest directed by secret diplomacy in the service of French English capital.
The result has shown how perfectly right was die conception of the Bolshe viki and revolutionary Socialism in general: the class struggle is paramount. Each war, no matter for what splendid cause, waged together with the bourgeoisie against another country, is to forsake the class struggle and therefore is class treason, is a crime against the cause of the prole tariat. From this clear viewpoint Lenine and his group carried on the struggle for peace and attacked the social patriots.
But although strong in theory, it was most difficult to win the masses for this conception under the existing conditions. For peace was not a matter of one or two peoples, the international war could only end by an international peace, and a revolutionary proletariat that stood for peace in one country could not end the war. Lenine knew perfectly well that a separate peace of revolutionary Russia with autocratic Germany was psychologically as well as politically an impossibility. As long as the German workers refused to re volt against their government, the policy of the Bolsheviki, therefore, was no doubt, logical and possible, but it could not ex pect to win the masses easily. The Russian revolutionary fire had to spread over Europe or to smother in its own insuffici ency.
The participation of Socialists as repre sentatives of the Council of Workers and Soldiers in the coalition Government, produced the same results as elsewhere. The Menshiviki Socialists participated in and supported bourgeois policy. which it is true did not interefere in the direct economic struggle, but in broad lines followed a policy in the interest of Capital.
They sanctioned this policy by their influence with the masses. And as they were bound to their bourgeois colleagues.
so was the organization that delegated them. The Council could not denounce its delegates; to show its confidence in these leaders it had to proclaim its confidence in the Government. The Council became a governmental organ; the Council became a tool, which made it accept the deeds of the bourgeois ministers without protest.
In May and June the Council in Petrograd was the scene of a persistent struggle; by means of a powerful propaganda the Bolshevik tried to convince the delegates that their ministers and through them the Council played into the hands of the bourgeoisie by these tactics. The majority of the peasant soldiers allowed themselves, however, to be carried away by the fine phrases of Kerensky and Tseretelli, who always talked revolution and democracy, fatherland and freedom. And also the Congress of Councils from all parts of the country, which met in the latter part of June and where against I50 internationalists (Bolsheviki, Trotzky, Martov) stood a block of 600 social patriots who supported the Government.
And this support became essentially a sruggle against the Left Wing. The or gans of the bourgeosie had for a long time recognized the Bolsheviki as their most dangerous foes and they demanded strong action against these anarchists.
The struggle of the Bolsheviki, which ey carried on as spokesmen for the proletariat against the government, gradually was considered as treason towards the fatherland, treason towards the revolution; and now the Council, as guardian of the Government. proceeded stronger against its minority. When on June 23rd a demonstration was contemplated to show the dissatisfaction of the workers with the Government policy, it was Tseretelli who accused the Bolsheviki in the Council of planning an armed overthrow of the Government; in order to avoid an open conflict the Government had troops in readiness the demonstration was not held. By its organized contact with the small bourgeoik agrarian elements the proletariat had lost its freedom of action. Never in l905, wrote Trotzky, was proletariat so isolated as now. In De cember I905 the workers had to try a definite struggle before the reserve forces of the agricultural classes had been mobilized: but then there was no friendship of these awakening masses against the proletariat. This has been achieved now. This was indeed the meaning and the result of the participation of social democrats in a coalition cabinet: small bourgeois and peasants were tied to the bourgeosie and the proletariat was isolated. The change in government on May 2nd, this victory of the revolution was in fact the beginning of the road downwards.
When in the end of June this became more and more evident the counter revolutionary forces appeared. Rodzianko called the members of the Duma to Mos cow to be ready when required: this reactionary crowd sensed some future possi bilities. The Don Cossacks called a congress and recommended themselves in their well known capacity as reliable tools of order. Kerensky delivered enthusiastic talks at the front to get the soldiers warmed up for a new beginning of the war and those who opposed or voiced their mistrust in the capitalist government were arrested. When at the Rumanian front four regiments refused to go to the trenches, they were surrounded at the or ders of a general aand forced to submit.
The dream of freedom and peace had to end: the offensive was prepared.
The offensive was the way out of the untenable situation of the provisional government. To them the financial condition was worst of all, and as they were not willing to follow the line of the Bolshekiki confiscation of banks, high taxes on capital being a capitalist government, there was no way out than begging the Entente. Rightly the Pravda correspondence claims that by accepting the Bolsheviki suggestions, and so becoming financially independent, the Government could have threatened with repudiation of national debts and forced the Entente governments by the revolt of the French small bourgeoisie to start serious peace negotiations. By its policy the provisional government became the slave of the Entente Imperialism and England and America demanded: blood for gold. No new loan.
unless the offensive was launched. In sex cret conferences the plan was schemed with the generals of the English and American rulers; with great energy Kerensky organized the campaign started on July lst.
Nothing characterizes the nature of this offensive better than the fact that it was kept secret for the Russian people.
If the preparations had been publicly known, the warnings of Lenine and his friends that the offensive was bound to fail, on account of the lack of fighting spirit of the soldiers, and that the power of the generals would greatly increase the reaction, might have exercised a strong influence upon the public opinion of the Council. For this reason the offensive had to be a surprise. In London and Paris the papers announced the offensive days in advance; in Petrograd it was only announced after it had started and the Germans were repulsed. And the provisional government rightly figured that this success would break the opposition that might have prevented the plan in advance. After long discussions the Council passed a motion to approve the offensive against a strong majority of 27 votes many more than the number of Bolsheviki. The great change in charao ter of the Council from a revolutionary into a governmental organ also was demonstrated by the fact that now, instead of planning peace with the revolutionists of all countries, they prepared for a peace conference with social patriots. On the same day on which the offensive started.
the delegates of the Council shook hands with Scheidemann in Stockholm.
The Council did not realize that by this action they committed suicide. For an offensive, not as a small trick, but in deadly earnest, and under these circum stances, demands a well disciplined army.
demands discipline in the military sense of the word, demands ending whatever control the soldiers had, demands therefore ultimately the abolishment of the Council itself. With the offensive the Government of Kerensky and Tseretelli openly and willingly entered the road of the counter revolution. And all elements that put their hope in counter revolution. the bourgeosie and its politicians, applauded the offensive as the beginning of sound conditions. And in their way they were right. The authority of the generals over the troops was increasingly recovered.
and dais was the basis for the recovering of the bourgeois order. And at the same time that the proletarians and revolutionary soldiers prepared a sharper opposition against this policy, they were more strongly attacked by the social patriots blind pioneers and tools of the reaction and accused of being agents of Germany and traitors to the revolution. clash could not be avoided. The Bolshevik leaders tried again and again to prevent and to postpone this until conditions would clearly show the government to be a failure. But the conflict could not be avoided. On July 15th the Gov ernment ordered the Petrograd machine gun regiment to the front; it refused ar guing that it was not willing to fight in favor of English French Imperialism. and would only submit if the Government published the secret treaties in accordance with its promise. It also refused to give up its arms; two other regiments joined.
When at the same time a crisis broke out in the Government, the Cadets refusing to grant the moderate autonomy demanded by the Ukraine and resigning as ministersflthe workers in the factories also became active; in great masses the workers and soldiers moved through the streets on the evening of July 16th. Korensky narrowly escaped when they tried to arrest him. The Government now took its measures; although the Cossacks were defeated in some of the streets, the Governor of Petrograd ordered more and The New International, February, l9l8 more reliable troops to cover systemati cally all the important strategic points and so gradually succeeded in mastering the situation. The history of these days (July 16th l9th) is not yet known. in details, because of the immediate closing of the frontiers by the Government. But the causes of the defeat of the proletariat of Petrograd are easily understood after what has been stated above. The workers alone were too weak against the peasants and bourgeoisie organized into an army.
The policy of the Bolsheviki was based on creating a mutual interest between workers and peasants, but actual condi tions made this difficult to attain immediately. Conditions caused the peasants soldiers (small owners) to follow the so cial patriotic leaders, who in fear of a revolutionary Socialist policy accepted a bourgeois imperialistic policy. Because in these July days the Council unreservedly took sides with the Government and strongly denounced the demand of the revolutionary workers to take power into its own hands as the representative of democracy, and because they declared the demonstrators foes of the fatherland, the soldiers did not immediately see any other way but to obey the orders of their generals and to suppress the revolutionary demonstration by force.
In a certain respect, the struggle of July 16th l9th can be compared with the events of June IB4B in Paris. The defeat of the proletariat by the coalition of middle class (peasants) and bourgeoisie gives a deciding tum towards reaction. From now on everything is gradually broken down, that which the revolution had gained in democratic achievements. As a matter of course. the victors started by taking revenge on their enemies, who had been so long attacking them and who now were disarmed. After a campaign of weeks and months in the bourgeois press denouncing the Bolsheviki as adulterers, thieves, scoundrels, paid agents of foreign powers, to prepare the right feelings, they now were arrested Lenine himself succeeded in escaping accused of high treason, revolt against the government, bribed by German gold.
The Bolshevik newspapers were suppressed; a posse formed by the former black hundred who now again ventured into the open destroyed the editorial office of the Pravda which fact the government cabled to Western Europe as a proof of the hatred of the people against the anarchists. The workers in Petrograd were disarmed. Martial law and capital punishment, which were reintroduced, demonstrated the brand of Socialism of the social patriots. And at the same time the offensive at the front collapsed, in accordance with the predictions of the Bolsheviki, because large units refused to fight, and the Russian armies were driven from Galicia. The terrorTo; order reigned in Petrograd.
force ofnflii:t rififliodn 31:5 2; dradd 331 for the time being and conse C3 0WD. quently the government tactics shifted greatly to the right. The government felt compelled to concentrate all patriotic forces to save the fatherland; a conference was called (in Moscow. where together with the Councils of Workmen and Soldiers as a matter of course excluding the crimmal Lemnites and delegates of the peasants. different organs of the bour geoisie were united to work out new tac tics. Even now they did not feel strong enough simply to push aside the socialpatriots; the leaders of the Cadets. Na bokof, Rodischef, Milyukof, refused to participate in a ministry: to them circumstances were not yet ripe. First the Council of Soldiers and Workers, the organ of democracy, had to be removed. The Council originally the Center between right and left, now became the utmost left and its leaders discovered with alarm how uncertain its position had become.
They suddenly realized what they re