Presented: 22 October, 1918.
First Published Izvestia No. 231 October 23, 1918; Published according to the manuscript
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, Progress Publishers, Moscow, Volume 28, 1974, pages 127-129
Translated (and edited): Jim Riordan
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters
Online Version: V.I.Lenin Internet Archive, 2002
The proletarian and peasant revolutionary movement against the imperialist war has recently had tremendous successes in all countries, especially in the Balkans, Austria and Germany. These successes, however, have particularly embittered the international bourgeoisie, now headed by the Anglo-American and French bourgeoisie, and have forced them to make hasty efforts to organise themselves as a counter-revolutionary force for crushing the revolution and, above all for crushing Soviet power in Russia, which is the chief hotbed of revolution at present.
The German bourgeoisie and the German Government, defeated in the war and threatened by a mighty revolutionary movement from within, are threshing about in their search for salvation. One trend in the ruling circles of Germany still hopes by delays to gain time before the winter and to prepare for the country’s military defence on a new line of fortifications. Another trend is feverishly seeking agreement with the Anglo-French bourgeoisie against the revolutionary proletariat and the Bolsheviks. Since this trend is running up against the flat refusal of the victors, the Anglo-French imperialists, to strike a bargain, it is trying to frighten them with the Bolshevik danger and bribe them by offering its services against the Bolsheviks, against the proletarian revolution.
The bourgeoisie of the countries subordinated to Germany or occupied by her are still more eagerly seeking agreement with the Entente, especially in those cases—as, for example, in Finland, the Ukraine, etc.—where they are aware that it is completely impossible for them to maintain power over the exploited working people without the aid of foreign bayonets.
Owing to these circumstances, Soviet power finds itself in the following peculiar situation: on the one hand, we have never been so close to an international proletarian revolution as we are now; on the other hand, we have never been in such a perilous position as we are now. There are no longer two approximately equal groups of imperialist plunderers, devouring and weakening each other. There remains a single group of victors, the Anglo-French imperialists, which intends to divide the whole world among the capitalists. It intends to overthrow Soviet power in Russia at all costs and replace it by bourgeois power. It is preparing now to attack Russia from the South, through the Dardanelles and the Black Sea, for example, or through Bulgaria and Rumania. Moreover, at least a part of the Anglo-French imperialists evidently hope that the German Government, by a direct or tacit agreement with them, will withdraw its troops from the Ukraine only as the latter becomes occupied by Anglo-French troops, so as not to allow the otherwise inevitable victory of the Ukrainian workers and peasants and their establishment of a Ukrainian workers’ and peasants’ government.
Behind the back of the Krasnov and whiteguard counter-revolutionaries, preparations are being made for an attack against us by a much more dangerous force, the force of the international counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie, with the Anglo-American and French bourgeoisie in first place. This is a fact that is not realised everywhere and the awareness of which has not penetrated deep down among the broad mass of the workers and peasants. We must therefore tirelessly imbue this awareness in the people. The most assiduous attention must be devoted to strengthening the Southern Front and establishing and arming an incomparably mightier Red Army than we have now. Every workers’ organisation, every union of poor peasants, every Soviet institution must again and again give priority to the question of strengthening the army, and repeatedly re-examine whether we have done enough, and what new measures we could and should undertake.
A marked change has taken place in the mood of our workers and peasants. The people have overcome their extreme war-weariness. An army is being created and has been created. A new, communist discipline, a class-conscious discipline of the working people, has developed. And this fact gives us every reason to confidently expect that we can and will defend our socialist homeland and secure the victory of the international proletarian revolution.