“The Landowners Have Hit It Off With the Cadets”
|Written||20 October 1917|
Published: First published on October 24 (November 8), 1917 in the newspaper Derevenskaya Byednota No. 11. Printed from the Derevenskaya Byednota text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, pages 448.2-450.1.
That is not our expression. It was used by the newspaper Dyelo Naroda No. 170 of October 3, quoting the words of “a provincial worker” who described what had happened in Russia in the summer and autumn of 1917. Dyelo Naroda is known to be the chief official organ of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party. Former Minister Chernov is on its Editorial Board.
The admission of such a paper is especially valuable. Here it is:
“The landowners have hit it off with the Cadets, according to a provincial worker. In plainer language, this means that the landowners have found sympathy and support among some elements of the government in the centre and in the localities, that they have recovered from the first shock and have started to organise.... Attacks on the land committees have started and have been growing from day to day, first in the form of a cornucopia of complaints and wails about ‘robberies’, ‘arbitrary acts’, and ‘pogroms’.... The complaints were followed by restrictive circulars from above and judicial prosecution of the land committees, and in the localities close to the front, also by interference from the military authorities in the form of orders issued by General Kornilov. Even here, in Petrograd, the Ministry of Justice has also threatened to institute criminal proceedings against the Chief Land Committee.
“The cancellation of pre-revolutionary leasehold contracts is the most frequent pretext for the commission for trial and the filing of civil suits. The landowners and all those who are with them have been saying in one voice: the law on contracts has not been rescinded, which means that all the contracts are still valid, and ‘no committees or private persons’ have the right to cancel them.... So the ‘unwary’ committees are being massively struck down by the old justice for cancelling the contracts and reducing the leasehold prices. The fact is, however, that such reductions are absolutely inevitable and hardly any contract has remained intact anywhere.”
(The paper goes on to give the evidence of a “most moderate Professor Kablukov” who says that the short-term peasant tenant is sometimes “worse off than the serf...”)
“In these circumstances, cancellation of the shackling leasehold contracts, concluded before the revolution, far from being a crime, was a direct duty of the organs of power.... The effort to keep a section of the peasant tenants ‘worse off than the serfs’ at any price was a downright provocation to riot, a provocation which was the more criminal in that it was carried out exclusively in the interests of the class of feudal-minded landowners, and at a time when the republic and the whole people are suffering the greatest calamities.... It is no accident, after all, that pogroms have broken out and the ‘nests’ of the gentry are in flames precisely in Tambov Gubernia, where the number of committees put on trial is great
That is what is said in the newspaper Dyelo Naroda, the official organ of the ministerial party of S.R.s.
These lines should be reprinted everywhere, issued as leaflets, and circulated in millions of copies among the peasants, because they contain proof, given by the S.R.s (Socialist-Revolutionaries) themselves and quoted by V. Chernov’s own paper, proof that the S.R.s have betrayed the peasants to the landowners, that the S.R. Party has betrayed the peasantry, and that if it has not also “hit it off” with the landowners, it has at any rate surrendered to them.
The people must be given the chance to read and reread these lines. Every class-conscious peasant, soldier and worker must give thought to the meaning of these admissions.
Seven months of the revolution have passed. Countless times the people have expressed their confidence in the S.R.s, have given them majorities at elections, and said to the S.R. Party: lead on, we entrust you with the leadership! Since March 1917, the S.R. Party in the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies has been operating in a bloc (alliance) with the Mensheviks, and has had a majority for months and months! Since May 6, members of the Party of S.R.s and Mensheviks have been and still are ministers and deputy ministers together with the “despicable Cadets”, alongside the “despicable Cadets”, in alliance with the “despicable Cadets”!!
Dyelo Naroda has itself admitted the results of this coalition (alliance, agreement) with the despicable Cadets and the landowners.
Seven months of the revolution, seven months of the democratic republic, seven months of S.R. and Menshevik domination in the Soviets have resulted in a “vast” number of members of the land committees put on trial—trial under the old justice, by the old courts, by the tsarist-landowner courts; they have resulted in peasant revolts in Tambov and other gubernias!
That is the result of the peasants’ trusting the S.R. Party. Meanwhile, the new draft land bill of the S.R. Minister S. L. Maslov shows again and again how the S.R.s have betrayed the peasants (see article by this author: “Socialist-Revolutionary Party Cheats the Peasants Once Again” ).
- Dyelo Naroda (The People’s Cause)—a daily, the organ of the S.R. Party, published in Petrograd from March 1917 to July 1918, repeatedly under different names. It took a defencist and conciliatory stand, and supported the bourgeois Provisional Government. Its publication was resumed in Samara in October 1918 (four issues) and in Moscow in March 1919 (ten issues). The paper was closed down for its counter-revolutionary activity. p. 448
- See present edition, Vol. 26, pp. 228–33.—Ed.