J. V. Stalin
Source : Works, Vol.
3, March - October, 1917
Publisher : Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1954
Transcription/Markup : Salil Sen for MIA, 2008
Public Domain : Marxists Internet Archive (2008). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit "Marxists Internet Archive" as your source.
The elections to the Petrograd City Duma take place today. The outcome will depend on you, comrade workers, and on you, comrade soldiers. The elections are universal and equal. The vote of every soldier, of every working man and every working woman will be equal to the vote of any capitalist, houseowner, professor or government official. You, and you alone, comrades, will be to blame if you do not make full use of this right.
You were capable of battling against the tsarist police in the streets—be capable now of battling for your interests by voting for our Party!
You were capable of defending your rights against the counter-revolutionaries—be capable now of denying them your confidence in today's elections!
You were capable of tearing the mask from the betrayers of the revolution—be capable now of crying to them:
You have before you, first of all, Milyukov's party, the Party of Popular Freedom. That party champions the interests of the landlords and capitalists. It is opposed to the workers, peasants and soldiers, for it is against workers' control of industry, against the transfer of the landed estates to the peasants, and in favour of the death penalty for soldiers at the front. It was that party, the Cadet Party, that already in the beginning of June demanded an immediate offensive at the front, which has cost the country hundreds of thousands of lives. It was that party, the Cadet Party, that worked for and at last achieved a triumph for the counter-revolution and the wreaking of reprisals on the workers, soldiers and sailors. To vote for Milyukov's party would be to betray yourselves, your wives and children, and your brothers in the rear and at the front.
Comrades, not a single vote for the Party of Popular Freedom!
You have before you, next, the defencists, the Menshevik and Socialist-Revolutionary parties. These parties champion the interests of the well-to-do small proprietors of town and country. That is why every time the class struggle assumes a decisive character they are to be found in the same camp as the landlords and capitalists against the workers, peasants and soldiers. So it was in the July days, when the Menshevik and Socialist-Revolutionary parties, in alliance with the bourgeoisie, disarmed and struck at the workers and soldiers. So it was at the time of the Moscow Conference, when these parties, in alliance with the bourgeoisie, endorsed repressive measures and the death penalty against the workers and the soldiers at the front.
One of the reasons for the victory of the counter-revolutionaries is that the Socialist-Revolutionary and Men-shevik parties helped them to curb the revolution by concluding an agreement with the landlords and capitalists.
One of the reasons why the counter-revolutionaries are now consolidating their positions is that the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties are shielding them from the wrath of the people and, under the guise of revolution, are carrying out their commands.
To vote for these parties would be to vote for an alliance with the counter-revolutionaries against the workers and the poor peasants.
To vote for these parties would be to vote in favour of endorsing the arrests in the rear and the death penalty at the front.
Comrades, not a single vote for the defencists, the Men-sheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries!
You have before you, lastly, the Novaya Zhizn group, List No. 12. This group expresses the sentiments of the intellectuals whose heads are in the clouds and who are divorced from realities and the movement. That is why it is eternally wavering between revolution and counter-revolution, between war and peace, between the workers and the capitalists, between the landlords and the peasants.
On the one hand it is for the workers, on the other it does not want to break with the capitalists—and that is why it so shamefully repudiates the July demonstration of the workers and soldiers.
On the one hand it is for the peasants, on the other it declines to break with the landlords—and that is why it is opposed to the immediate transfer of the landed estates to the peasants and suggests waiting for the Constituent Assembly, the convocation of which has been postponed, perhaps forever.
In words, the Novaya Zhizn group is for peace; in deeds, it is against peace, for it calls for support of the "Liberty Loan," which is intended for the purpose of continuing the imperialist war.
But whoever supports the "Liberty Loan" helps to prolong the war, helps imperialism, and in fact fights internationalism.
In words, the Novaya Zhizn group is against repressions and jailings; in deeds, it is in favour of repressions and jailings, for it has entered into an alliance with the defencists, who support both repressions and jailings.
But whoever enters into an alliance with the defenc-ists helps the counter-revolution, and in fact fights the revolution!
Comrades, learn to judge people by their deeds, not by their words!
Learn to appraise parties and groups by their actions, not by their promises!
If the Novaya Zhizn group proposes a fight for peace and at the same time appeals for support of the "Liberty Loan," then you can be certain that it is bringing grist to the mill of the imperialists.
If the Novaya Zhizn group sometimes flirts with the Bolsheviks and at the same time supports the defencists, then you can be certain that it is bringing grist to the mill of the counter-revolutionaries.
To vote for this double-faced group, to vote for List No. 12, would be to enter the service of the defencists, who in their turn are serving the counter-revolutionaries.
Comrades, not a single vote for the Novaya Zhizn group!
Our Party is the party of the urban and rural workers, the party of the poor peasants, the party of the oppressed and exploited.
All the bourgeois parties, all the bourgeois newspapers, all the vacillating, lukewarm groups detest and vituperate our Party.
Our Party is the only one that stands for a revolutionary struggle against the landlords and capitalists;
Our Party is the only one that stands for the immediate transfer of the landed estates to the Peasant Committees;
Our Party is the only one that stands for workers' control of industry in opposition to all the capitalists;
Our Party is the only one that stands for a democratic organization of commodity exchange between town and country in opposition to the profiteers and marauders;
Our Party is the only one that stands for the complete liquidation of counter-revolution in the rear and at the front;
Our Party is the only one that staunchly protects the revolutionary organizations of the workers, peasants and soldiers;
Our Party is the only one that wages a resolute and revolutionary fight for peace and brotherhood among nations;
Our Party is the only one that fights determinedly and steadfastly for the conquest of power by the workers and poor peasants;
Our Party, and our Party alone, is free from the stigma of having supported the death penalty at the front.
That is why the bourgeois and landlords detest our Party so heartily.
That is why you must vote today for our Party. Workers, soldiers, working women, Vote for Our Party, for List No. 6 !
Proletary, No. 7, August 20, 1917