The question was addressed to Lenin, as the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, at a meeting of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee on November 4 (17), 1917, in connection with the issue of several decrees by the Council of People's Commissars without the sanction of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee. Having heard Lenin's explanations, the Left Socialist-Revolutionary group declared them to be unsatisfactory. Uritsky tabled a resolution on behalf of the Bolshevik group expressing full confidence in the Government. Before the vote on the resolution, the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries declared that the People's Commissars, being parties in interest, should not take part in the voting. A majority of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee passed a resolution approving the Government's activity.
A reference to order No. 1 of November 1 (14), 1917, issued by the officer in command of the troops defending Petrograd, Muravyov, calling on the soldiers, sailors and Red Guardsmen to deal ruth-
lessly with any criminal elements. Because his wording could lead to undesirable consequences the All-Russia Central Executive Committee on November 2 (15) asked the People's Commissariat of the Interior to rescind it.
Lenin is referring to a speech by the Left Socialist-Revolutionary G. D. Zaks in defence of the Right-wing opportunist attitude of Nogin, Rykov, Milyutin and others on the issue of setting up a "uniform socialist government". He said he feared the socialist revolution in Russia would be left in isolation because Western Europe was disgracefully silent.
See note 71.
[Note 71 (p. 545): Spartacus Group (International ) -- a revolutionary organisation of German Left-wing Social-Democrats formed at the beginning of the First World War by Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg, Franz Mehring, Clara Zetkin, Julian Marchlewski, Leo Joguiches (Tyszka) and Wilhelm Pieck.
The Theses on the Tasks of International Social-Democracy were written by Rosa Luxemburg, with the participation of Karl Liebknecht, Franz Mehring and Clara Zetkin, and were adopted by the all-Germany Conference of Left-wing Social-Democrats in January 1916, where the group set up a formal organisation and adopted the name of International.
From 1916, the International group, apart from political leaflets published in 1915, began the illegal publication and circulation of Political Letters, which were signed "Spartacus" (they were issued regularly until October 1918). In view of this the International group, too, assumed the name of Spartacus. They carried on revolutionary propaganda in the masses, organised massive anti-war manifestations, directed strikes, and exposed the imperialist character of the world war and the treachery of the opportunist leaders of Social-Democracy. But the Spartacus group made some grave errors on important questions of theory and policy: they denied the possibility of national-liberation wars in the epoch of
imperialism, they were inconsistent on the slogan of turning the imperialist war into a civil war; they underrated the role of the proletarian party as the vanguard of the working class, and were afraid of breaking with the opportunists. Lenin repeatedly criticised their mistakes and helped them to take a correct attitude (see The Junius Pamphlet, The Military Programme of the Proletarian Revolution, etc., in Vols. 22 and 23 of the present edition).
In April 1917, the Spartacus group were affiliated to the Centrist Independent Social-Democratic Party of Germany, but remained organisationally independent. During the November 1918 revolution in Germany they broke with the Independents and formed the Spartacusbund, issuing their own programme on December 14, 1918. At their Constituent Congress, December 30, 1918-January 1, 1919, they set up the Communist Party of Germany.]