July Days of 1917

From the June Days of the Revolution it became clear that the Bolsheviks had won over a decisive section of workers and soldiers in the Russian capital Petrograd. They also commanded considerable support in Moscow, the provinces and even among soldiers on the front.

Leon Trotsky’s pamphlet What Next? published in Petrograd in September 1917.

"To believe these rumours, to support them directly or indirectly, would mean, on the part of the Bolsheviks, betraying the cause of the revolution."

"A new period is coming in. The victory of the counter revolutionaries is making the people disappointed with the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik parties and is paving the way for the masses to adopt a policy of support for the revolutionary proletariat."

 "Foul slander against political opponents will help the workers to realise all the sooner where the counter-revolution is, and to sweep it away in the name of freedom, peace, bread for the hungry and land for the peasants."

"Two enemies, two hostile camps, and one has made a breach in the front of the other—this is how Prince Lvov sums up Russia’s internal situation. Let us, then, give Prince Lvov our heartfelt thanks for his frankness!"

"The people can get no peace, the peasants no land, the workers no eight-hour day, and the hungry no bread unless the counter-revolution is completely stamped out. Let the Party say so, and every step in the march of events will bear it out."

"After what happened on July 6–8, not a single Russian revolutionary can harbour constitutional illusions any longer. Revolution and counter-revolution are coming to grips in a decisive fashion. We shall continue to fight on the side of the former. We shall continue to aid the proletariat’s revolutionary struggle as far as we can."

"The counter-revolution has become organised and consolidated, and has actually taken state power into its hands."

"There is an urban proletariat in this country, mature enough to go its own way, but not yet able to draw at once the majority of the semi-proletarians to its side. From this fundamental, class fact follows the inevitability of such crises as the three we are now examining, as well as their forms."

"Once again we request all fair-minded citizens not to believe these infamous slanders and sinister rumours."

First published in Listok “Pravdy”, July 19 (6), 1917.

"It is a veritable Dreyfusiad, a campaign of lies and slander stemming from fierce political hatred. How foul the sources must be to substitute slander for the clash of ideas!"

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

 "A new cycle is beginning, one that involves not the old classes, not the old parties, not the old Soviets, but classes, parties and Soviets rejuvenated in the fire of struggle, tempered, schooled and refashioned by the process of the struggle."

"The imperialist war is crushing the people and threatens to crush them completely. The petty-bourgeois democrats can perhaps stave off disaster for a while. But it is only the revolutionary proletariat that can prevent a tragic end."

"They are in the majority. They are in power. They have formed a bloc with one another. And they see that nothing comes of their efforts!! How can they help raging against the Bolsheviks?"

Blood has flowed in the streets of Petrograd. A tragic chapter has been added to the Russian Revolution. Who is to blame? “The Bolsheviks,” says the man in the street, repeating what his newspapers tell him. The sum total of these tragic happenings is exhausted, as far as the bourgeoisie and the time-serving politicians are concerned, in the words: Arrest the ringleaders and disarm the masses. And the object of this action is to establish “revolutionary order”. The Social-Revolutionists

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There have never been so many pacifists as at this moment, when people are slaying each other on all the great highways of our planet. Each epoch has not only its own technology and political forms, but also its own style of hypocrisy. Time was when the nations destroyed each other for the glory of Cist’s teachings and the love of one’s neighbour. Now Cist is invoked only by backward governments. The advanced nations cut each other’s toats under the banners of pacifism a league of

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"We are for unity with them as long as they fight against the counter-revolution. We are against unity with them as long as they ally themselves with the counter-revolution."

"The point is that the petty-bourgeois democrats, who take their cue from the Russian and the Allied imperialists, need to do away with the internationalist socialists once and for all."

That the new coalition government is precisely this sort of alliance between the capitalists and the Narodnik and Menshevik leaders is far from obvious to all. Perhaps it is not obvious even to the Ministers belonging to these parties. Yet it is a fact.