Written April 21 (May 4), 1917.
“We have been strongly opposed to the civil warmongering by Lenin’s followers. But now the signal for civil war no longer comes from Lenin’s followers but from the Provisional Government, which has published a statement that makes a mockery of democratic aspirations. This is truly a mad step, and immediate determined action by the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies is needed if we are to avert the dire consequences of this madness.”
What can be more absurd and ridiculous than this fairy-tale about “civil warmongering” on our part, when we have declared in the clearest, most formal and unequivocal manner that all our work should be focused on patiently explaining the proletarian policy as opposed to the petty-bourgeois defencist craze with its faith in the capitalists?
Does Rabochaya Gazeta really fail to understand that these outcries about civil war are now raised by the capitalists in order to break the will of the majority of the people?
Is there a grain of Marxism in proclaiming the conduct of the capitalists “madness”, when, caught in the vise of Russian and Anglo-French imperialist capital, they cannot act otherwise?
Mr. Plekhanov, in today’s Yedinstvo, is more forthright in expressing the policy of the entire petty-bourgeois-defencist bloc when he calls upon the Soviet to come “to an agreement” with the Provisional Government. An amusing appeal, this. It is like serving mustard after dinner.
Don’t we all know that an agreement was concluded long ago? That it has been in existence since the beginning of the revolution? The whole thing is that the present crisis is due to the fact that the agreement has proved to be a scrap of paper, an empty promise! To answer the “accursed questions” with which the failure of the existing agreement has now squarely confronted the people by calling for an “agreement” in general, without saying a word about its terms or about real guarantees for it, to answer by sighing and crying “0 ye Madmen!”—is this not a tragicomedy of the petty-bourgeois Louis Hianes? (Louis Blanc was a labour leader only in words, in reality he was the tail of the bourgeoisie.)
“Immediate determined action is needed,” Rabochaya Gazeta importantly declares. ’What kind of “action”, my dear fellow-citizens? You cannot say what, you do not know what yourselves. All you do know is to declaim, because, like Louis Blanc[See also: Blancism], you have forgotten about the class struggle, you have side-tracked the class struggle under cover of petty-bourgeois phraseology and declamation.
Source: Marxist International Archive