Exactly 99 years ago started its 6th party Congress, which approved the policy of the Bolsheviks in armed rebellion and thus started counting down the days to the October revolution. Meanwhile, a few months before the Congress, Lenin strongly objected to such a scenario. What prompted him to reconsider his view on the future of the country?
From 8 to 16 Aug 1917 in Petrograd illegally passed the 6th party Congress. It was decided that with good reason can be considered a turning point for misevaluating period Feb-Oct. Lenin’s proposal from the agenda was withdrawn by him proclaimed the slogan “All power to the Soviets!”. And in the end, the Congress approved and adopted the policy of the Bolsheviks in armed rebellion.
“Stalin about the possible arrest Lenin said: “the cadets don’t take, will kill on the way”
In previous publications of the series “Questions of the revolution” dedicated to the pre-anniversary year, we looked in detail at the position of Lenin, followed by him to this Congress. So, in April, he argued that only a Republic of Soviets of workers’, agricultural labourers ‘and peasants’ deputies is the only possible form of revolutionary government, the transition should be a natural stage of development after February, this transition will occur in conditions of “maximum legal”, as “Russia is now the freest of all the belligerent country”. What made the leader of the Bolsheviks so radically change their point of view in just three months?
Neprikasaemie of the people’s will
Back in the spring of 1917 between the Petrograd Soviet of workers ‘and soldiers’ deputies and the Provisional government had fierce confrontation on the issue of the ongoing world war. In the Manifesto of the Petrograd Soviet “To the peoples of the world” contained a formula for a peaceful settlement without annexations and indemnities, and the appeal to the peoples of Europe to associate myself with this position of revolutionary Russia strongly in favour of peace. A different opinion was held by the Minister of foreign Affairs of the Provisional government, the Kadet party leader Paul Miliukov – the war to decisive victory and a Russian flag over Constantinople. The publication of the ideas of Milyukov to the press caused a scandal, the Petrograd Soviet demanded from the Provisional government an official explanation of positions of Russia and the Entente allies. But in a diplomatic note to the England and France were still the same “milukova”.
Meanwhile, the mood of the revolutionary masses was on the side of the socialists of the Petrograd Soviet, and in the streets of Petrograd swept thousands of demonstrations demanding the immediate ending of the war and the slogans “Down with the Provisional government!”. In the end, Milyukov and war Minister Alexander Guchkov resigned, and between the Petrograd Soviet and the Provisional government signed an agreement to establish a coalition Cabinet with the participation of representatives of the socialist parties. Six Ministers-socialists and the ten capitalist Ministers – so now look first fully bourgeois Provisional government, which for some time lowered the degree of street protests. But hopes for a “socialist block” were in vain – the Ministers-socialists fell into his own trap.
Back in the time of negotiations on the establishment of the Provisional government the Petrograd Soviet demanded Neprikasaemie the state system and Neprikasaemie of the people’s will before the convening of the Constituent Assembly. Thus, the transmitting power of the bourgeoisie in early March 1917, the socialists defended from attempts to restore the monarchy with her. And now by the socialists as soon as they raised the question of a radical reform (for example, about the socialisation of land), reminded Neprikasaemye.
By June in Petrograd had resumed the strike. To overcome this new crisis did not help even a “vote of confidence” which expressed the government gathered in the capital and is under the predominant influence of the socialist party the First all-Russian Congress of Soviets of workers ‘and soldiers’ deputies. Organized in support of the Interim government on 1 July (18 June, old style) in St. Petersburg, the demonstration right in the course of her “reborn” in the anti-government slogans “All power to the Soviets!”, “Down with the capitalist Ministers!” and “Down with the war!”. Similar demonstrations were held in many cities of the country.
The June offensive at the front, to which the Provisional government made so much effort (he was called “Kerensky Offensive”, and in case of success, military and marine Minister Kerensky, undoubtedly, would receive considerable dividends), was a disaster: the soldiers simply refused to rise to the attack, and the subsequent German counter-attack showed that the army was running from the front, not taking the fight.
Taken in June attempt of the Provisional government to negotiate with the Ukrainian Central Rada by concessions (recognition of the breakaway authorities, the right to self-determination, but with a delay “until the Constituent Assembly”), has created yet another government crisis. Protesting against the “redresentative” from government Ministers – the constitutional Democrats.
In early July in Petrograd began anti-government protests. Despite the claims of some authors that the riots were specially planned and prepared by the Bolsheviks to seize power, it is clear that they originated from natural disturbances soldiers of the 1st machine-Gun regiment. This regiment was under the strong influence of anarchists, and opposed the decision to send the main mouth to the front. The anarchists had their own scores to the Provisional government, shortly before their power expelled from samozahvachennymi giving Durnovo, and they vowed not to forgive the Cabinet of this blatant fact. However, to promote the regiment on armed insurrection, the anarchists started a few days before.
The demonstration, many participants of which were holding weapons grew, they were joined by the Petrograd workers, the Kronstadt sailors, the Petrograd military garrison. The soldiers entered prudent and sent delegates to the factories and military units with the announcement of his speech. Again sounded the slogans “All power to the Soviets!” and “Down with the Provisional government!”. 17 (4, old style) of July on the corner of Liteyny prospect and Panteleymonovskaya street parties to performances unknown opened machine-gun fire. During the day of the shootings occurred in different parts of the city. Accurate data about who was firing, not, however, in the memoirs of contemporaries can be found mention of the “right” who have decided to fight back anti-government demonstrations. So passion strained to the limit. And only after the decision of the command of the Petrograd district to use artillery crowd gathered near the Tauride Palace, managed to disperse.
In the organization of the July days was charged by the Bolsheviks, whose role in the events was indeed ambiguous: even on the 16th they tried to convince the soldiers and sailors to disperse, and the 17th made the decision to join the demonstrations and even lead to order. This can be interpreted (and still interpret) as a tricky game. But from the standpoint of modern knowledge unequivocally say that the RSDLP (b) in July 1917, tried to take power into their own hands, would be ill-advised. Yes, the Kshesinskaya mansion, which became after the revolution the headquarters of the Leninist party, served as a point of attraction of the demonstrators. But here, the Bolsheviks had to turn the column to the Tauride Palace, the seat of Councils, and the participants of the show and demanded in front of the Tauride Palace of power to the Soviets, not the Bolsheviks (the Soviets, the Leninists were still in the minority).
However, we must note that many of the figures in the Councils and the Interim government really took it all happened as an almost successful attempt of the Bolshevik revolution.
“In one piece or dismantled?”
“On interrogation he revealed that officers of the German General staff recognized him as the same work in Russia and other lead agents, including Lenin and other Bolsheviks”
18 (5) July the Bolshevik party caused the information impact was published the article “Lenin, hanecki and To spy!”, the real author of which was Minister of justice in the Provisional government Pavel Pereverzev. For the first time accusations of working for the German General staff for the German money.
From the point of view of modern journalism, the material looks extremely naive. Some kind of ensign Ermolenko, recruited by the Kaiser’s secret service “for campaigning in favour of an early conclusion of a separate peace with Germany” and sent back to Russia, in the interrogation revealed that officers of the German General staff recognized him as the same work in Russia and other lead agents, including Lenin and other Bolsheviks. Them, quote, “committed to seeking to lead all the forces to podorvanniy confidence of the Russian people to the Provisional government”.
The accusations against the Bolsheviks was immediately printed in the form of leaflets and posted up all over Petrograd. And 19 (6) of July the Provisional government was established a special Commission of inquiry to investigate the treason of the Bolsheviks and signed an order for the arrest of the leaders of the party. All were arrested some 800 members of the RSDLP (b), including Leon Trotsky, who in the party at that time, technically was not.
Amid rising anti-Bolshevik hysteria cadets had defeated the newspaper “Pravda”, the party headquarters at the Kshesinskaya mansion, the local district headquarters. Interestingly, the requirements of the Interim government to Kronstadt Council on the results of the Bolsheviks met with a categorical refusal. Kerensky had to threaten to blockade Kronstadt and even artillery strikes.
Lenin fled to Finland, in the village of Razliv. His quest continued. To gain a deeper understanding of prevailing if in the mood, here is a quote from General Polovtsev: “the Officer going to Terioki with the hopes of catching Lenin asked me if I would be willing to receive that gentleman whole or dismantled?” Stalin about a possible arrest of Lenin said: “the cadets don’t take, will kill along the way.”
Catch Lenin, as we know, failed, but at the end of the July days and the decisive actions of the Provisional government, the credibility of the authorities has been strengthened. A government crisis that began with the withdrawal of Ministers of the cadets, ended with the resignation of the head of the government of Prince Lvov and the formation of the second coalition government headed by Alexander Kerensky.
The socialist Petrograd Soviet and the Central Executive Committee of Soviets of workers ‘and soldiers’ deputies during the July days was in a very awkward position – the arms demanded to take power, which they categorically did not want to do from March 1917, based on their extremely ideologically Marxist understanding of the revolution. Given the continuing crises and demonstrations of opponents of the Interim government, the situation could repeat. To avoid this, the Petrograd Soviet called the new Cabinet “a government of salvation of the revolution” and of the Central Executive Committee of Soviets recognized him unlimited powers.
“The point is that the government cannot now peacefully take. You can get it”
So, the Provisional government took July as a coup and attacked the Bolsheviks. Quite different took it all happened the Bolsheviks themselves. Lenin in Razliv has written numerous articles with analysis of the situation. And in August in Petrograd at the 6th party Congress, in which he is the leader of the proletariat, for obvious reasons, was absent, these texts were regarded as the official position of leader of the party.
For example, in the article “Political situation,” Lenin wrote about the “well-informed and conducted in the life” as we would say today – “the long con”. First, the cadets (the party of constitutional Democrats) as its exit from the government brought down the Cabinet. Then the military circles after Kerensky took power on the wave of restoring order at the front after the failed June offensive and the suppression of the July days. And now they have moved “to the execution of the revolutionary parts of the troops at the front (this refers to the restoration of Kerensky at the front of the death penalty – approx. OPINION), to disarm the revolutionary troops and workers in St. Petersburg and in Moscow (this practice was introduced after the July days – approx. OPINION), to the arrests of the Bolsheviks and closure of their Newspapers, not only without trial, but without government regulation. “In fact, the main state power in Russia now has a military dictatorship,” says Lenin.
In “on slogans” the leader of the Bolsheviks again turned to this topic: “the fundamental question of revolution is the question of power, we said… In March and April 1917, it was unknown whether the real power in government hands or in the hands of the Council. Now it is especially important to class-conscious workers looked soberly on the fundamental question of the revolution: in whose hands at the moment, the power of the state… Now it is Juncker, the reactionary Cossacks, specially brought in Peter…”. “We need to tell the people the truth – continues Lenin – power in the hands of a military clique of Cavenago (Kerensky, certain generals, officers, etc.), which supports the bourgeoisie as a class, with a party of cadets at its head and with all monarchists”.
The conclusions of the leader of the Bolsheviks formed the basis of the decisions of the 6th Congress of the party. Here they are:
“The leaders of the Soviets and of the party of socialists-revolutionaries and Mensheviks… finally betrayed the revolution, giving it into the hands of counter-revolutionaries and by turning themselves and their party and the Soviets in the Fig leaf of the counter-revolution”.
“The slogan of the transfer of all power to the Soviets was a slogan for peaceful development of the revolution, possible in April, may, June, before July 5-9, i.e. before the actual transition of power in the hands of a military dictatorship. Now this slogan is wrong, because it is not considered a transition… and with a complete change of the social revolutionaries and Mensheviks the revolution, in fact.”
“The point is that the government cannot now peacefully take. It is possible to… to Gather forces to preorganizing them and steadfastly to prepare for an armed uprising, if the course of the crisis will allow to use it in a really mass, national scale.”
Lenin really believed that it was a reaction that came to power the military dictatorship, the revolution betrayed, and betrayed including socialists, constituted the Soviet majority.
Very soon history will give him another surprise, Lenin cooperate with Kerensky, and flirted with the generals, Kerensky willingly again arming of the workers-the Bolsheviks. Together they would fight against the possibility of establishing a real military dictatorship. But for now, following its assessment of the events, Lenin refuses to support reborn Tips and proclaims the policy of rebellion.Related posts: