The Crisis Has Matured


What, then, is to be done? We must aussprechen was ist, "state the facts", admit the truth that there is a tendency, or an opinion, in our Central Committee and among the leaders of our Party which favours waiting for the Congress of Soviets, and is opposed to taking power immediately, is opposed to an immediate insurrection. That tendency, or opinion, must be overcome.[5]

Otherwise, the Bolsheviks will cover themselves with eternal shame and destroy themselves as a party.

For to miss such a moment and to "wait" for the Congress of Soviets would be utter idiocy, or sheer treachery.

It would be sheer treachery to the German workers. Surely we should not wait until their revolution begins. In that case even the Lieberdans would be in favour of "supporting" it. But it cannot begin as long as Kerensky, Kishkin and Co. are in power.

It would be sheer treachery to the peasants. To allow the peasant revolt to be suppressed when we control the Soviets of both capitals would be to lose, and justly lose, every ounce of the peasants' confidence. In the eyes of the peasants we would be putting ourselves on a level with the Lieberdans and other scoundrels.

To "wait" for the Congress of Soviets would be utter idiocy, for it would mean losing weeks at a time when weeks and even days decide everything. It would mean faint-heartedly renouncing power, for on November 1-2 it will have become impossible to take power (both politically and technically, since the Cossacks would be mobilised for the day of the insurrection so foolishly "appointed"[6]).

To "wait" for the Congress of Soviets is idiocy, for the Congress will give nothing, and can give nothing!

"Moral" importance? Strange indeed, to talk of the "importance" of resolutions and conversations with the Lieberdans when we know that the Soviets support the peasants and that the peasant revolt is being suppressed ! We would be reducing the Soviets to the status of wretched debating parlours. First defeat Kerensky, then call the Congress.

The Bolsheviks are now guaranteed the success of the insurrection: (1) we can[7] (if we do not "wait" for the Soviet Congress) launch a surprise attack from three points—from Petrograd, from Moscow and from the Baltic fleet; (2) we have slogans that guarantee us support—down with the government that is suppressing the revolt of the peasants against the landowners! (3) we have a majority in the country ; (4) the disorganisation among the Mensheviks and the Socialist-Revolutionaries is complete; (5) we are technically in a position to take power in Moscow (where the start might even be made, so as to catch the enemy unawares); (6) we have thousands of armed workers and soldiers in Petrograd who could at once seize the Winter Palace, the General Staff building, the telephone exchange and the large printing presses. Nothing will be able to drive us out, while agitational work in the army will be such as to make it impossible to combat this government of peace, of land for the peasants, and so forth.

If we were to attack at once, suddenly, from three points, Petrograd, Moscow and the Baltic fleet, the chances are a hundred to one that we would succeed with smaller sacrifices than on July 3-5, because the troops will not advance against a government of peace. Even though Kerensky already has "loyal" cavalry, etc., in Petrograd, if we were to attack from two sides, he would be compelled to surrender since we enjoy the sympathy of the army. If with such chances as we have at present we do not take power, then all talk of transferring the power to the Soviets becomes a lie.

To refrain from taking power now, to "wait", to indulge in talk in the Central Executive Committee, to confine ourselves to "fighting for the organ" (of the Soviet), "fighting for the Congress", is to doom the revolution to failure.

In view of the fact that the Central Committee has even left unanswered the persistent demands I have been making for such a policy ever since the beginning of the Democratic Conference, in view of the fact that the Central Organ is deleting from my articles all references to such glaring errors on the part of the Bolsheviks as the shameful decision to participate in the Pre-parliament, the admission of Mensheviks to the Presidium of the Soviet, etc., etc.—I am compelled to regard this as a "subtle" hint at the unwillingness of the Central Committee even to consider this question, a subtle hint that I should keep my mouth shut, and as a proposal for me to retire.

I am compelled to tender my resignation from the Central Committee, which I hereby do, reserving for myself freedom to campaign among the rank and file of the Party and at the Party Congress.

For it is my profound conviction that if we "wait" for the Congress of Soviets and let the present moment pass, we shall ruin the revolution.

N. Lenin

September 29.

P.S. There are a number of facts which serve to prove that even the Cossack troops will not go against a government of peace! And how many are there? Where are they? And will not the entire army dispatch units for our support?