It Is Undemocratic, Citizen Kerensky!
|Written||15 June 1917|
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1964, Moscow, Volume 24, pages 568-569
The Petrograd Telegraph Agency reports:
“Kiev, May 30. A telegram from War Minister Kerensky read at the All-Ukraine Peasant Congress stated that for military reasons the convocation of the second Ukrainian army congress was considered untimely. The Congress held the Minister’s order to be an infringement of the Ukrainians’ right of, assembly and sent the following telegram to the Provisional Government and the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies;
“‘We call sour attention to this first case of infringement of the right of assembly on the part of Minister Kerensky in respect of the Ukrainian army congress. We decline all responsibility for the possible consequences of this infringement of democratic principles of the new life in respect of the Ukrainians. We lodge an emphatic protest and await the Provisional Government’s immediate reply to the demands submitted by the delegation of the Ukrainian Central Rada.’”
This report will undoubtedly cause great concern among the socialist workers.
The War Minister deems the congress of Ukrainians “untimely” and uses his power to ban it! Not so long ago citizen Kerensky tried to bring Finland to heel, and now he has decided to bring the Ukrainians to heel. And all this is done in the name of “democracy”!
A. I. Herzen once said that when you look at the antics of Russia’s ruling classes you feel ashamed of being a Russian. This was said at a time when Russia was groaning under the yoke of serfdom, when the land was ruled by the knout and the rod.
Today Russia has overthrown the tsar. Today the Kerenskys and the Lvovs speak in the name of Russia. Russia of the Kerenskys and Lvovs treats her subject nations in such a way that one cannot help recalling these bitter words of Herzen’s.
We say nothing of the fact that by his “dominant-nation” policy Citizen Kerensky is merely augmenting and bolstering the very tendencies towards “separatism” which the Kerenskys and the Lvovs are trying to smother.
We ask: Is such treatment of the oppressed nationalities compatible with plain democracy, let alone socialism? We ask: Is there a limit to the “antics” of Citizen Kerensky and his followers?
We ask the Party of the “Socialist-Revolutionaries” whether it subscribes to this step taken by its honourable member, Citizen Kererensky, in banning the Ukrainian congress.
We are informed that the Executive Committee of the Soviet yesterday decided to invite Citizen Kerensky specially to discuss with him the question of self-determination of nations and the question of national policy in general.
Yet people had been saying that the Contact Commission was dead. Nothing of the sort, gentlemen! Dual power still exists. The only way out of the present situation is to have all power pass to the Soviets.
- A Reference to A. I. Herzen’s article “Plach” (Weeping) published in the journal Kolokol (The Bell) in March 1863.