Soviet Power

The Russian Revolution is the greatest event in human history, because for the first time the working class not only led a revolution, but took power directly into their own hands and proceeded to transform society. The act is slandered as undemocratic, when in reality it involved the most far-reaching and revolutionary democracy the world has ever seen. In this article, Daniel Morley explains how this worked in practice.

On March 21st, 1919, the Hungarian Soviet Republic was proclaimed. On the 1st of August, 133 days later, this heroic chapter in the history of the Hungarian working class was brought to a close with the entry of the White Rumanian army into Budapest. Had the Hungarian proletariat succeeded, the isolation of the Russian Workers' Republic would have been brought to an end.

"Comrades, working people! Remember that now you yourselves are at the helm of state. No one will help you if you yourselves do not unite and take into your hands all affairs of the state."

"Discontent, indignation and wrath are growing in the army, among the peasantry and among the workers. The "coalition" of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks with the bourgeoisie, promising everything and fulfilling nothing, is irritating the masses, is opening their eyes, is pushing them towards insurrection."

"We cannot tolerate a fraud of democracy if we call ourselves “democrats”. We are not democrats but unprincipled people if we tolerate this!!"

"The working class must break up, smash the “ready-made state machinery,” and not confine itself merely to laying hold of it."

"How, then, can anyone oppose the transfer of all power in the state to the Soviets? Such opposition means nothing but renouncing democracy!"

It has not. Dual power still remains. The basic question of every revolution, that of state power, is still in an uncertain, unstable, and obviously transitory state.

"It will be a truly revolutionary government, the only one capable of showing the people that at a time when untold suffering is inflicted upon the masses it will not be awed and deterred by capitalist profits."

Published in Pravda No. 47, May 16 (3), 1917.

In a session of the National Duma held March 3, 1916 M. Miliukov replied as follows to a Criticism from the left: “I do not know for certain whether the government is leading us to defeat – but I do know that a revolution in Russia will unquestionably lead us to a defeat, and our enemies, therefore, have good reason to thirst for it.