Crisis Is Approaching, Dislocation Is Increasing
|Written||13 July 1917|
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 25, pages 142-144
We are compelled to sound the alarm daily. All kinds of foolish people have accused us of being “too much in a hurry” to transfer all state power to the Soviets of Soldiers’, Workers and Peasants’ Deputies. They think it would be more “moderate and proper” to “wait” with dignity for a dignified Constituent Assembly.
Today, even the most foolish of those petty-bourgeois fools can see that reality will not wait and that it is not we but economic dislocation that is “in a hurry”.
Petty-bourgeois cowardice, as typified by the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties, has resolved: let us for the time being leave all affairs in the bands of the capitalists. Perhaps dislocation will “wait” until the Constituent Assembly meets!
Day by day facts prove that dislocation will probably not wait until the Constituent Assembly meets and that the crash will come earlier.
Take, for example, facts published today. The Economic Department of the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet of Soldiers’ and Workers’ Deputies has resolved “to inform the Provisional Government” that “the metal industry of the Moscow area (fifteen gubernias) is in an extremely critical state”, that “the Goujon works management is clearly disorganising production, deliberately trying to bring the works to a standstill”, and that for this reason “state power [left by the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks in the hands of the party of the Goujons, the party of the counter revolutionary capitalists who resort to lock-outs] must take over the management of the works ... and provide operating funds”.
Operating funds to the tune of up to five million rubles are required urgently.
The meeting (of the Economic Department and a delegation from the Department of Supplies, of the Moscow Soviet of Workers’ Deputies) “calls the attention of the Provisional Government [poor, innocent, childishly-uninformed Provisional Government! It knew nothing about it! It is blame less! It will learn; the Dans and Cherevanins, the Avksentyevs and Chernovs will exhort and persuade it!] to the fact that the Moscow Factory Meeting and the Provisional Bureau of the Committee of Supplies of the Moscow Region have already had to intervene in order to prevent the stoppage of the Kolomna locomotive works, as well as the Sormovo works and the Bryansk works in Bezhetsk. All the same, the Sormovo works is now at a standstill owing to a strike, and the other works may stop at any moment....”
Catastrophe will not wait. It is advancing with terrific speed. Writing about the Donets area, A. Sandomirsky, who no doubt knows the facts very well, says in today’s Novaya Zhizn:
“The vicious circle—lack of coal, lack of metal, lack of engines and rolling stock, suspension of production—is growing wider. And while coal is being burned and metal piles up at the works, it cannot be obtained where it is needed.”
The government, supported by the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, simply obstructs the struggle against economic dislocation. Sandomirsky reports it as a fact that Palchinsky, Deputy Minister of Commerce and virtual colleague of the Tseretelis and Chernovs, has responded to the complaint of the manufacturers by prohibiting (!!) “self appointed” (I!) control commissions from acting on the inquiry instituted by the Donets committee to determine the quantity of metal available.
Just think what a madhouse this is: the country is on the rocks, the people are on the verge of famine and disaster, there is a shortage of coal and iron although they can be mined, the Donets committee is conducting an inquiry through the Soviets of Soldiers’ and Workers’ Deputies concerning the quantity of metal, i.e., is looking for iron for the people. On the other hand, a servant of the manufacturers, of the capitalists, Minister Palchinsky, in league with the Tseretelis and Chernovs, prohibits the inquiry. Mean while the crisis is mounting and catastrophe is drawing even nearer.
Where and how does one get the money? It is easy enough to “demand” five million for one factory, but surely one must realise that much more is needed for all the factories.
Isn’t it obvious that no money can be obtained unless the measure we have been demanding and advocating since early April is adopted, unless all the banks are consolidated into one bank and brought under control, and unless commercial secrecy is abolished?
The Goujons and the other capitalists, with the co-operation of the Palchinskys, are “deliberately” (this word was used by the Economic Department) trying to bring production to a standstill. The government is on their side. The Tseretelis and Chernovs are mere ornaments or just pawns.
Isn’t it high time you gentlemen realised that the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks as parties will have to answer to the people for the catastrophe?
- Moderate and proper”—the philistine virtues of Molchalin, a character in Griboyedov’s Wit Works Woe.