The politically active workers of Moscow and many Party and Soviet workers were invited to a meeting of the All-Russia C.E.C. on April 29, 1918.
N. K. Krupskaya wrote of Lenin's speech at this meeting, "To enable the workers' active of Moscow to hear Ilyich's report on the immediate tasks of the Soviet government, the meeting was held at the Polytechnical Museum. Ilyich was greeted with a tumultuous ovation and listened to with rapt attention. Obviously, the question was one of keen interest to everybody. Ilyich spoke there with extraordinary fervour" (see N. K. Krupskaya, Reminiscences of Lenin, Moscow, 1959, p. 462).
The reference is to the Second Congress of the Left Socialist-Revolutionary Party, which was held from April 17 to 25, 1918 in Moscow. Two trends emerged during the discussion of the party's tasks in the current situation. One section of the delegates led by B. D. Kamkov defended the activities of the Central Committee directed against the conclusion of the Brest peace and approved the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries' refusal to work in the central organs of the Soviet Government because the treaty had been ratified by the Extraordinary Fourth Congress of Soviets. Another section, led by M. A. Spiridonova, criticised the Central Committee, accused it of extreme "Leftism" and insisted that the Left
Socialist-Revolutionaries should participate in the Soviet Government in order to get their agrarian programme adopted. After a heated debate the Congress passed an ambivalent decision. While approving the position of the Central Committee on the question of the Brest peace and the withdrawal of the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries from the Council of People's Commissars, it advocated participation in the central and local administrative bodies with the aim of "straightening out the general line of Soviet policy".
Znamya Truda (Banner of Labour) -- daily newspaper of the Petrograd Committee of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party. It first appeared on August 23 (September 5), 1917. After the First All-Russia Congress of the Left Socialist-Revolutionary Party, as from No. 105, which appeared on December 28, 1917 (January 10, 1918), the newspaper became the central organ of the Left Socialist-Revolutionary Party. It was banned in July 1918 during the Left Socialist-Revolutionary revolt.
This refers to the third point in the theses passed at the proposal of the Menshevik I. A. Isuv by the plenum of the Moscow Regional Committee of Social-Democrats (Mensheviks), held in April 1918. In his article "'Left-Wing' Childishness and the Petty-Bourgeois Mentality" Lenin compared this thesis (a "perfect example of bourgeois provocatory speech-making") with the economic propositions put forward by the "Left Communists", showing that they were the same and that the position the "Left Communists" had taken up meant their complete renunciation of communism in practice and complete desertion to the camp of the petty bourgeoisie" (see this volume, p. 348).
Theses on the Present Situation put forward by the "Left Communists" were discussed at a joint meeting of members of the Party Central Committee and the "Left Communist" group on April 4, 1918. Lenin examined and criticised these theses in detail in his article "'Left-Wing' Childishness and the Petty-Bourgeois Mentality" (see this volume, pp. 323-54).
The reference is to the voting on the ratification of the peace treaty at the Extraordinary Seventh Congress of the R.C.P.(B). Distorting the facts, the "Left Communists" quoted the number who voted for the peace treaty according to the results of the preliminary voting on the two resolutions -- Lenin's and that of the "Left Communists" (the former, Lenin's resolution, gained 28 votes, the latter only 9, and was immediately turned down). But when speaking of how many votes were cast against conclusion of the peace treaty the "Left Communists" quoted the results of the final voting on Lenin's resolution alone (30 votes in favour, 12 against, and 4 abstentions).
The Second All-Ukraine Congress of Soviets was held in Ekaterinoslav (now Dniepropetrovsk) March 17-19, 1918. The Congress
was attended by 964 delegates: 428 Bolsheviks, 414 Left Socialist- Revolutionaries, 82 non-Party, and 40 other delegates. The Bolsheviks had to fight not only the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries and the bourgeois nationalists but also the "Left Communists", who tried to use the Congress to promote their adventuristic policy and put forward a disruptive motion of censure against the Soviet Government's conclusion of the Brest Treaty. The Bolshevik group, however led by Y. B. Gamarnik, A. V. Ivanov, F. A. Sergeyev (Artyom) and N. A. Skrypnik, staunchly defended Lenin's position over the matter of peace and got the Congress to approve the decision of the Fourth All-Russia Congress of Soviets on the ratification of the peace treaty with Germany.
In its Resolution on the Political Situation, which expressed the will of the Ukrainian people, the Congress stated that the mass of the working people of the Ukraine together with the workers and peasants of Russia and the other republics would fight resolutely for Soviet power. In view of the situation that had arisen in connection with the Brest peace, the Congress declared the Ukraine an independent Soviet republic and called on the working people of the Ukraine to wage a ruthless struggle against the Austro-German invaders and the Central Rada. At the same time the Congress stressed that the terms of the peace treaty insisted on by imperialist Germany were unjust, that the Ukraine's federative connection with Russia was only formally broken, and that essentially her relations with the R.S.F.S.R. remained unchanged.
Lenin is referring to the state-capitalist combines set up in the leather, textile and sugar industries. At the beginning of 1918 the Tanners' Union came to an agreement with the All-Russia Society of Manufacturers and Factory-owners of the Leather Industry, under which the tanneries were to work on a subsidised basis for the Soviet Government and place all their output at the disposal of the state. The industry was administered by the Central Leather Board (Glavkozha), on which two-thirds of the seats were held by workers and one-third by private manufacturers and bourgeois technical experts. Analogous agreements were concluded in textiles, sugar and some other branches of the light and food industries. The state retained the right to confiscate any enterprises that were part of a state-capitalist combine.
Lenin approved the "proletariat's attempts to make contracts with the manufacturers' associations" under conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and stated that agreements of this kind could ensure the workers' control over whole branches of industry".
Levi Kommunist (Left Communist) was how Lenin ironically dubbed the magazine Kommunist, the mouthpiece of the anti-Party group of "Left Communists".
Lenin is referring to the issue of money and banknotes by the Soviet Government to make good its insufficient revenues from the usual sources (industry, transport, regular taxes and so on). Thanks to Party and Government measures to improve the country's financial position, this emission was reduced in the middle of 1918.
The reference is to Lenin's book The State and Revolution, which was reviewed on April 20, 1918 in the "Left Communist" magazine Kommunist No. 1.
The Left Zimmerwald -- a group of Left Internationalists founded on Lenin's initiative at the International Socialist Conference in Zimmerwald, September 1915.
Speaking on Lenin's report at a meeting of the All-Russia C.E.C., the anarchist A. Y. Ghe stated that "hope of assistance from the German proletariat is a utopia". According to Ghe, the German proletariat, like the whole West-European proletariat was "unclean" and "hypnotised by its depraving orthodox Social Democratic education".
Karl Marx spoke of the possibility of a peaceful transition to socialism under certain specific conditions in a speech at a meeting in Amsterdam on September 8, 1872 (Marx/Engels, Werke, Band 18, S. 160, Dietz Verlag, Berlin). Marx regarded purchasing the means of production from the capitalists as one of the specific ways of bringing about such a transition. Engels wrote: "We are certainly not of the opinion that buying up is inadmissible under any circumstances; Marx has stated his opinion to me -- and how often! -- that the cheapest thing for us would be if we could buy off the whole gang of them" (Marx/Engels, Werke, Band 22, S. 504).