are opposed to the war, for they realise that they cannot win such a war, and that it is being run by Polish adventurers, by the Socialist-Revolutionaries, the Polish Socialist Party, people marked most by features characterising the Socialist-Revolutionaries, namely, revolutionary talk, boastfulness, patriotism, chauvinism, buffoonery and sheer claptrap. We are familiar with such people. When, after they have bitten off more than they can chew in this war, they begin to reshuffle their Cabinet and to say that they propose peace talks to us, we say: "Just as you please, gentlemen, have a try. We, however, are counting only on the Polish workers and peasants. We shall also talk peace, only not with you, the Polish landowners and bourgeois, but with the Polish workers and peasants, and we shall see what will come of such negotiations."
Comrades, despite the successes we are gaining on the Polish front, the position at present demands every effort of us. The most dangerous thing in a war that breaks out in conditions like those in the present war with Poland is to underrate the enemy and to reassure ourselves with the thought that we are the stronger. That is a most dangerous thing, which may lead to defeat in the war; it is the worst feature in the Russian character, which expresses itself in enervation and flabbiness. It is important, not only to begin but to carry on and hold out; that is what we Russians are not good at. Only by long training, through a proletarian disciplined struggle against all wavering and vacillation, only through such endurance can the Russian
working masses be brought to rid themselves of this bad habit.
We have given Kolchak, Denikin and Yudenich a sound thrashing, but we have not yet finished the job. Wrangel is still in the Crimea. We said to ourselves: "Well, now we are the stronger" -- and that has led to instance after instance of slackness and slovenliness. Meanwhile, Wrangel is receiving aid from Great Britain. This is done through traders, but it cannot be proved. Only the other day he landed troops and captured Melitopol. True, according to the latest reports we have re-captured it; but in this case, too, we had let it slip from our hands most shamefully just because we were strong. Just because Yudenich, Kolchak and Denikin have been smashed, the Russian begins to reveal his nature and take things easy, with the result that we let things slide. His slovenliness leads to tens of thousands of his comrades losing their lives. Here is a fundamental Russian trait: when not a single job has been carried through to the end he is apt to let things slide unless he is prodded. This trait must be ruthlessly combated, for it leads to tens of thousands of the finest Red Army men and peasants losing their lives, and the continued sufferings of famine. And so, though we are stronger than the Poles, our slogan in the war that has been imposed on us must be -- an end to all slackness! Since war has proved inevitable, everything must be devoted to the war effort; the least slackness or lack of drive must be punished by wartime laws. War means war, and let nobody in the rear or in any peaceful occupation dare shirk this duty!
The slogan must be -- everything for the war effort! Otherwise we shall be unable to cope with the Polish nobles and bourgeoisie. To finish with this war, we must teach a conclusive lesson to the last of the neighbouring powers that still dares to play at this game. We must give them so severe a lesson that they will warn their children, their grandchildren and their great-grandchildren to refrain from such things. (Applause.) And so, comrades, at every meeting, assembly and business conference, in all groups at all party institutions and on all executive bodies, it is the prime duty of those who are working in the country-
side, of propagandists and agitators, and all the comrades engaged in any field of peaceful labour to give top priority and full effect to the slogan: "Everything for the war effort!"
Until complete victory is won in this war, we must guarantee ourselves against the errors and follies we have been committing for years. I do not know how many mistakes a Russian has to make before he learns his lesson. We have already had an instance of our thinking that the war was over before we had crushed the enemy, and we left Wrangel in the Crimea. I repeat, the slogan, "Everything for the war effort!" must be the chief item on the agenda at every conference, at every meeting, on every executive body.
We must ask ourselves: have we bent every effort, have we made every sacrifice to bring the war to an end? This is a question of saving the lives of tens of thousands of our finest comrades, who are perishing at the front, in the foremost ranks. It is a matter of saving ourselves from the famine which is imminent just because we are not fighting the war to a finish, when we can and must do that and quickly, too. For this, discipline and subordination must be enforced at all costs and with the utmost severity. The least condonement, the least slackness displayed here, in the rear, in any peaceful pursuit, will mean the loss of thousands of lives, and starvation in the rear.
That is why faults like these must be treated with ruthless severity. That is the first and principal lesson to be drawn from the civil war in Soviet Russia. It is the first and principal lesson which every Party worker must bear in mind under all circumstances, especially if his job is one of agitation and propaganda; he must know that he will be a worthless Communist and a traitor to the Soviet state if he does not, in respect to every shortcoming, however slight, implement this slogan with inflexible firmness and with ruthless determination. If this condition is observed, an early victory will be assured, and we shall be fully guaranteed against famine.
We receive reports about the situation in the outlying regions, from comrades arriving from remote parts of the country. I have seen comrades from Siberia, and also Comrades Lunacharsky and Rykov, who have returned from
the Ukraine and the North Caucasus. They speak with boundless amazement of the wealth of these regions. In the Ukraine pigs are being fed on wheat; in the Northern Caucasus the peasant women, when selling milk, rinse their cans with milk. Trainloads of wool, leather and other wealth are on their way from Siberia; tens of thousands of poods of salt are lying in Siberia. In our parts, on the other hand, the peasants have been worn down, and refuse to give grain in exchange for paper money, which, as they see it, cannot restore their farms. Here, in Moscow, we may find starving workers carrying on at their machines. The continuation of the war is the chief obstacle to our keeping the workers better fed and restoring their shattered health. Just because we have slipped up on the Crimea, tens of thousands will go short of food for another six months. This is all due to poor organisation and discipline on our part. People here are dying, while in the Ukraine, in the North Caucasus and in Siberia we have wealth untold, with which we could feed the hungry workers and restore industry. To restore our economic life, we need discipline. The proletarian dictatorship should display itself primarily in the advanced, the most class-conscious and most disciplined of the urban and industrial workers -- the greatest sufferers from hunger who have made great sacrifices during these two years -- educating, training and disciplining all the other proletarians, who are often not class-conscious, and all working people and the peasantry. All sentimentality, all claptrap about democracy must be scrapped. Let us leave the claptrap to the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks; they have spoken enough about democracy to Kolchak, Denikin and Yudenich. Let them clear out and go over to Wrangel. He will complete their schooling. But that schooling must be given to those who have not yet learnt the lesson.
We maintain that the workers who have assumed the burdens and have ensured the tranquility and strength of the Soviets through their untold sacrifices, should regard themselves as a vanguard that will raise up the rest of the working masses by education and discipline. We know that the working man, as we have inherited him from capitalism, is in a state of utter benightedness and ignorance, and
does not realise that work can be done, not only under the lash of capital, but also under the guidance of the organised worker. He is, however, capable of believing all that if we demonstrate it in practice. The working man cannot learn that from books but he can learn it if we demonstrate it to him in practice: he will have either to work under the guidance of the class-conscious industrial worker, or submit to the yoke of Kolchak, Wrangel and the rest. And so, we must, at any cost, have the strictest discipline, and conscious performance of what the vanguard of the proletariat prescribes, of what it has learnt from its hard experience. If all steps are taken for the achievement of our aim, that will fully guarantee our emergence from the economic chaos and disruption caused by the imperialist war. Grain collections yielded 30,000,000 poods in the season following August 1, 1917, and 110,000,000 poods in the season following August 1918. That shows that we have begun to emerge from our difficulties. Since August 1,1919, over 150,000,000 poods have been brought in to date. That shows that we are making it. But we have not yet properly seen to the Ukraine, the North Caucasus and Siberia. If that is done we shall really be able to provide the worker with a good two pounds of bread a day.
I should also like to dwell, comrades, on a question of importance to you, rural Party workers, with whom I am in some measure acquainted from Party documents. I want to tell you that instruction, Party activities, agitation and propaganda will be your principal work. One of the main shortcomings in this work is that we do not know how to run state affairs, and that with our comrades, even with those who are in charge of work here, the habits of the old underground conditions are still too strong, i.e., habits of the time when we used to gather in small circles here or abroad, and did not have the slightest idea or inkling of how the work of the state has to be carried on. That, however, is something we have got to know, for we must remember that we have to govern millions. Any person in authority who goes to the rural districts, as delegate or representative of the Central Committee, must remember that we have a tremendous machinery of state which is still functioning poorly because we do not know how to run it properly.
In the rural districts there are hundreds of thousands of teachers who are browbeaten and intimidated by the kulaks, or who have been frightened out of their wits by the old tsarist officials, and cannot understand, are not in a position to understand, the principles of Soviet government. We have a huge military apparatus. Without the military commissars we would not have had a Red Army.
We also have the apparatus of the Vsevobuch, which, together with its military functions, should be carrying on cultural work, should be educating the peasants. This state machinery functions very poorly; it contains no really devoted and convinced people, no real Communists. And you, who are going to the rural districts as Communists, must work not in isolation from this apparatus, but, on the contrary, in close conjunction with it. Every Party agitator who goes to a rural district must at the same time be an inspector of schools: not an inspector in the old sense of the word, not in the sense of meddling in educational affairs -- that must not be permitted -- but in the sense of co-ordinating his work with that of the People's Commissariat of Education, with the work of the Vsevobuch, with the work of the military commissars; he must regard himself as representative of the state, as representative of a party that is governing Russia. When he comes to a rural district he must not only act as propagandist and teacher; he must at the same time see to it that the school-teachers, who have never heard a living word, and those scores and hundreds of military commissars, all play a part in the Party agitator's work. Every school-teacher should have agitational pamphlets, and should not only have them, but read them to the peasants. He should know that he will lose his job unless he does that. The same applies to the military commissars; they should have these pamphlets and read them out to the peasants.
The Soviet government employs hundreds of thousands of office workers, who are either bourgeois or semi-bourgeois, or else have been so downtrodden that they have absolutely no confidence in our Soviet government, or feel so far removed from that government that they think it is
somewhere far-off, over there in Moscow, while next to them are the kulaks, who have grain, but hold on to it and will not let them have any, so that they are starving. Here the Party worker has a double job. He must remember that he is not only a propagandist, that he must not only come to the assistance of the most downtrodden strata of the population -- that is his principal job, not to do which means that he is no Party worker and has no right to call himself a Communist -- but that, in addition, he must act as a representative of the Soviet government, he must establish contacts with the teachers, and co-ordinate his work with that of the People's Commissariat of Education. He must not be an inspector in the sense of exercising control and supervision; he must act as a representative of the governing Party, which is now administering all Russia through part of the proletariat; in this capacity he must remember that his job is one of instruction, and that he must enlist and educate all the teachers and military commissars to do the same work as his. They are not familiar with this work; you must teach it to them. They are at present defenceless against the well-fed peasant. You must help them to shake off this dependence. You must firmly remember that you are not only propagandists and agitators, but also representatives of the state; you must not destroy the existing apparatus, or interfere with it and muddle its organisation, but must organise your work so that, as efficient instructors, propagandists and agitators, even after a brief period of work in the rural districts, you will leave your mark, not only in the papers of the peasant Communists you have educated, but also in the minds of the people whose work you inspect and guide, and to whom you give assignments, demanding that every teacher and military commissar should work in the Soviet spirit under all circumstances, that he should know that this is his duty, that he must remember that if he does not perform that duty, he will lose his job; they should all sense and see in every agitator a fully empowered representative of the Soviet government.
If this is done, and if you employ your forces properly, you will multiply them, with the result that every body of agitators will leave a mark behind them in the shape of an
apparatus of organisation, which already exists, but as yet functions imperfectly and unsatisfactorily.
In this sphere too, as in all others, I wish you success. (Prolonged applause.)