The socialists now favour the Constituent Assembly, while Liebknecht, who spent three years in prison, stands, like Rosa Luxemburg, at the head of Die Rote Fahne. An issue of the newspaper was received in Moscow yesterday. It had a very difficult and eventful journey. In it you will find a number of articles -- all the authors, who are revolutionary leaders, describe how the bourgeoisie are cheating the people. Freedom in Germany was in the hands of the capitalists. They published only their own newspapers, and now Die Rote Fahne says that only the workers have the right to use national wealth. Although the revolution in Germany is only a month old, the country is split into two camps. All the traitor socialists are clamouring for a Constituent Assembly, while the genuine, honest socialists are saying: "We all stand for the power of the workers and the soldiers." They are not saying "and the peasants", because in Germany many peasants also hire labourers, and so they are saying "for the workers and the soldiers". They say instead "for the small peasants". Soviet power there has already become a form of government.
Soviet government is a world-wide government. It is replacing the old bourgeois state. A republic as well as a monarchy is a form of the bourgeoisie's robbery of the people
if the capitalists are left with their property -- the factories, banks and print-shops. The Bolsheviks were right when they said the world revolution was growing. It develops differently in different countries. It takes a long time and is not very easy. Any socialist who thinks the capitalists are going to renounce their rights at once is a bad socialist. No, the world has not seen such kindly capitalists yet. Socialism can only develop through struggle with capitalism. There has not yet been any ruling class which has given way with out a fight. The capitalists know what Bolshevism is. They used to say: "Russian stupidity and Russian backwardness are making some sort of hocus-pocus there, nothing will come of it. They're chasing ghosts over there in Russia." But today these very same capitalist gentlemen realise this revolution is a world conflagration and only the workers' government can triumph. We are now setting up Poor Peasants' Committees. And in Germany most peasants are either farm labourers or small farmers. The big farmers are in most cases the German brand of landowners.
Yesterday the Swiss Government expelled our representative from the country, and we know the reason why. We know the French and British imperialists are scared because our representative has every day sent us telegrams and accounts of rallies in London at which the British workers have declared: "Down with British forces in Russia!" He sent us news about France too. The imperialists have reportedly presented the Russian representatives with an ultimatum. The Soviet government's representatives have been kicked out of Sweden as well and they must return to Russia. But it is still too early for them to rejoice. It is a barren victory. This step won't get them anywhere. No matter how hard the "Allies" try to hide the truth, deceive their people and get rid of representatives of Soviet Russia, the people will learn the whole truth in the end.
We are calling on you to give everything you have to repulse the "Allies" and support the Red Army. When we did not have the Red Army, what happened was understandable. But now we see that the Red Army is growing strong and winning battles. Our army is up against the British forces. And our army has officers who only yesterday came
up from the working class, who only yesterday had completed their military training. From prisoners, we have a lot of evidence that when they read the Constitution of our Republic in English they say to themselves they have been deceived, that Soviet Russia is not what they thought, that the Soviet government is a workers' government. And we say: "Yes, comrades, we are not only fighting for Soviet Russia, we are fighting for the government of workers and working people generally, the world over." As long as we can contain imperialism, the German revolution will strengthen. Revolution will strengthen elsewhere too. That is why, no matter what names they call it in Europe, this world revolution has stood up to its full stature and world imperialism will go under. Our position may be difficult but we have the assurance that we are not alone in fighting for a just cause, we have allies in the workers of every country.
Comrades, after these remarks on our international position, I want to say a few words about other questions. I want to talk about the petty-bourgeois parties. They considered themselves socialists. But they are not. We know full well that the institutions in capitalist society like banks, savings banks, mutual aid societies are called "mutual help" institutions, but in actual fact they are nothing of the sort, this name is a screen for robbery. These parties, which made out they were for the people, at the time when the Russian working class was fighting off Krasnov (he was arrested by our troops and set free, unfortunately, through the magnanimity of the Petrograders), those Menshevik and Right S.R. gentlemen were siding with the bourgeoisie. These parties of the petty bourgeoisie never know where to go -- to the capitalists or to the workers. They are made up of people who live in the hope that one day they will grow rich. They constantly see that around them most small holders live badly -- these are all working people. So these petty-bourgeois parties, who are scattered throughout the world, have begun to waver. This isn't new. It has always been the same, and that is how it is with us too. They all forsook us when the Brest-Litovsk Treaty came along, the hardest time of our revolution, when we had no army and we were forced to conclude a peace treaty, saying to ourselves: we shall not drop our socialist work for one minute. It slipped their
mind that Russia was making her supreme sacrifice for the socialist revolution, and they deserted to the Constituent Assembly advocates. These turned up in Samara and Siberia as well. Now they are being driven away from there and shown the only choice is between the landowners' government and the Bolsheviks' government. There is no middle course. Either the government of the oppressed or of the oppressors. All the poor peasants can only follow us. And they will only come when they see we do not stand on ceremony with the old regime and are doing everything for the good of the people. That is the only government of Soviets that could have had the people's support throughout the year despite the terrible conditions and famine. The workers and peasants realise that no matter how badly the war goes, the workers' and peasants' government will do everything it can against the capitalist exploiters, so that the whole burden of the war falls on these gentlemen's shoulders and not on the workers. And there you are, the workers' and peasants' government has had the people's support for more than a year.
Today, with the beginning of the German revolution, the Mensheviks and S.R.s are starting to change round. The best of them strove for socialism. But they thought the Bolsheviks were chasing ghosts, hoping for a miracle. Now they are convinced that whatever the Bolsheviks expected was not daydreams but real life. They see that the world revolution has begun and is growing throughout the world. And the best people among the Mensheviks and S.R.s are beginning to repent for their mistakes and realise that the Soviet government is not only Russian but a world-wide government of workers, and that no Constituent Assembly will help matters.
Britain, France and America know that today, now that the world revolution has flared up, they have no external enemies. The enemy comes from inside every country. A new breakthrough has arrived, when the Mensheviks and Right S.R.s are starting to waver and the best of them follow the Bolsheviks and see that though they swear by the Constituent Assembly they cannot help being on the side of the Whites. All over the world the question now is: either Soviet power or the power of the plunderers who have had ten million
people murdered in the war, twenty million maimed, and are now continuing to plunder other countries.
There you have, comrades, the question which causes the petty-bourgeois democrats to waver. We know these parties always have wavered and always will. Most of the people get their convictions straight from their own experience and have no trust in books and words. We tell the middle peasant he is not our enemy and we have no cause to oppress him. And if a local Soviet somewhere or other hits the middle peasant hard and it hurts, that Soviet must be taken away because it does not know how to act properly. The middle, petty-bourgeois democrats will always waver. And if they swing our way, like a pendulum, we must give them support. We tell them that if they are going to spoil our work, we don't want them. But if they are prepared to help us, we shall accept them. There are different groups among the Mensheviks, there is the group of "activists" which includes all those who have said: "It's about time we stopped criticising only and helped by action." We have said we shall fight the Czechs and whoever helps them will be dealt with ruthlessly. But when there are people who have seen their mistake, we must accept them and treat them with leniency. The person who stands in the middle between the worker and the capitalist will always waver. He thought the Soviet government would not last long. But he thought wrong. European imperialism cannot bring down our government. Revolution is now spreading all over the world. And we invite those who wavered and now see and understand their error, to come over to us. We won't turn them away. We must above all see to it that all these people, no matter what they were before, whether they wavered or not, as long as they are sincere, come over to us. We are now strong enough not to be afraid of anyone. We can stomach them all. But they cannot stomach us. Just remember that these parties are bound to waver. Today the pendulum swings one way, tomorrow the other. We must remain the proletarian party of workers and oppressed. But we are now in charge of the whole of Russia and our only enemy is the person who lives by another's labour. The others are not our enemies. They are only waverers. But waverers are not yet enemies.
Now, one more question. Food. As you all know, the food situation, which had improved somewhat in the autumn, is again on the decline. People are starving once more and things will be worse by the spring. Our rail transport is now very much in a mess. On top of everything, it is over-burdened with prisoners of war coming home. Two million men are on their way home from Germany. These two million are utterly worn out. They have starved terribly. They are not people, but shadows, skeletons of people. Our transport suffered more from the fighting at home. There are no steam engines, and no carriages. And the food situation is getting really bad. In view of the seriousness of the situation, the Council of People's Commissars said to itself: We now have an army and discipline established by Party cells which exist in each regiment. The majority of officers are now from the workers and not sons of the rich. If these officers now appreciate that the working class must find people to run the country, and Red officers too, then the socialist army will really be socialist with officer personnel renovated by the presence of Red officers. We know the breakthrough has now arrived. We have an army. It has a new discipline. The discipline is maintained by the Party cells, workers and commissars who went to the front in their hundreds of thousands explaining to the workers and peasants what the war was all about. That is why the breakthrough started in our army. That is why it has had such a great effect. The British papers are saying they are now running up against a serious foe in Russia.
We are very well aware of the poor apparatus we have for procuring and distributing food supplies. Certain groups of people have wormed their way in who are swindling and robbing. We know, too, that among the railway workers all those who are shouldering the whole burden of the work are on the side of the Soviet government. But up top they back the old regime, are either causing sabotage or not working with a will. Comrades, you know this war is revolutionary. Every force in the country must be summoned for this war. The whole country must be turned into a revolutionary camp. Everyone must help. By help we do not only mean that everyone should go to the front, but that the class of our state which is leading everyone to freedom, and which is the
Soviet government's support, should run the country because it alone has the right to do so. We appreciate the difficulties resulting from the working class having been kept away both from administration and education for so long. We appreciate the difficulties of the workers in learning everything at once. Nevertheless, in military matters, the most difficult and dangerous of all, it was the working class which effected the breakthrough. The politically-conscious working class must help us to make the same sort of breakthrough with food supplies and the railways. Every railwayman and every food worker should regard himself as a soldier performing his duty. He should remember that he is fighting a war on hunger. He must throw off his former bureaucratic habits. The other day we passed a decree on forming a workers' food inspection. We told ourselves that we need the workers' participation to bring about a breakthrough in the railway apparatus, to make a type of Red Army out of it. Call on your people. Rig up courses, teach them, make them commissars. Only they, if they give us their staff, can turn the army of old civil servants into some sort of Red Socialist Army responsible for provisions, an army led by workers and working not under the lash but of their own free will, just like the Red officers are fighting and dying at the front, in the knowledge that they die for a socialist republic.