Provisional Revolutionary Government

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J. V. Stalin





Part I of this article was published in Proletariatis Brdzola (The Proletarian Struggle), No. 11,
August 15, 1905
Part II is published for the first timeUnsignedTranslated from the Georgian

From J. V. Stalin, Works,
Foreign Languages Publishing House,
Moscow, 1954

Vol. 1, pp. 140-161.

Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, (June 1997)



    The people's revolution is gaining impetus. The proletariat is arming and raising the banner of revolt. The peasantry are straightening their backs and rallying around the proletariat. The time is not far distant when the general uprising will break out, and the hated throne of the hated tsar will be "swept from the face of the earth." The tsarist government will be overthrown. On its ruins will be set up the government of the revolution -- the provisional revolutionary government, which will disarm the dark forces, arm the people and immediately proceed to convoke a Constituent Assembly. Thus, the rule of the tsar will give way to the rule of the people. That is the path which the people's revolution is now taking.

    What must the provisional government do?

    It must disarm the dark forces, curb the enemies of the revolution so that they shall not be able to restore the tsarist autocracy. It must arm the people and help to carry the revolution through to the end. It must introduce freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, and so forth. It must abolish indirect taxes and introduce a progressive profits tax and progressive death duties. It must organise peasant committees which will settle the land question in the countryside. It must also disestablish the church and secularise education. . . .

    In addition to these general demands, the provisional government must also satisfy the class demands of the workers: freedom to strike and freedom of association, the eight-hour day, state insurance for workers, hygienic conditions of labour, establishment of "labour exchanges," and so forth.

    In short, the provisional government must fully carry out our minimum programme[*] and immediately proceed to convene a popular Constituent Assembly which will give "perpetual" legal force to the changes that will have taken place in social life.

    Who should constitute the provisional government?

    The revolution will be brought about by the people, and the people are the proletariat and the peasantry. Clearly, it is they who should undertake the task of carrying the revolution through to the end, of curbing the reaction, of arming the people, and so forth. To achieve all this the proletariat and the peasantry must have champions of their interests in the provisional government. The proletariat and the peasantry will dominate in the streets, they will shed their blood -- clearly therefore, they should dominate in the provisional government too.

    All this is true, we are told; but what is there in common between the proletariat and the peasantry?

    Common between them is their hatred of the survivals of serfdom, the life-and-death struggle they are <"fnp141">

    * For the minimum programme see "Announcement ~bout the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P."

waging against the tsarist government, their desire for a democratic republic.

    This, however, cannot make us forget the truth that the differences between them are much greater.

    What are these differences?

    That the proletariat is the enemy of private property, it hates the bourgeois system, and it needs a democratic republic only in order to muster its forces for the purpose of overthrowing the bourgeois regime, whereas the peasantry are tied to private property, are bound to the bourgeois system, and need, a democratic republic in order to strengthen the foundations of the bourgeois regime.

    Needless to say the peasantry[*] will go against the proletariat only in so far as the proletariat will want to abolish private property. On the other hand, it is also clear that the peasantry will support the proletariat only in so far as the proletariat will want to overthrow the autocracy. The present revolution is a bourgeois revolution, i.e., it does not affect private property, hence, at present the peasantry have no reason for turning their weapons against the proletariat. But the present revolution totally rejects tsarist rule, hence, it is in the peasants' interests resolutely to join the proletariat, the leading force of the revolution. Clearly, also, it is in the proletariat 's interests to support the peasantry and jointly with them attack the common enemy -- the tsarist government. It is not for nothing that the great Engels says that before the victory of the democratic revolution the proletariat must attack the existing system <"fnp">

    * i.e., the petty bourgeoisie.

side by side with the petty bourgeoisie.[*] And if our victory cannot be called a victory until the enemies of the revolution are completely curbed, if it is the duty of the provisional government to curb the enemy and arm the people, if the provisional government must undertake the task of consummating the victory -- then it is self-evident that, in addition to those who champion the interests of the petty bourgeoisie, the provisional government must include representatives of the proletariat to champion its interests. It would be sheer lunacy if the proletariat, acting as the leader of the revolution left it entirely to the petty bourgeoisie to carry the revolution to its end: this would be self-betrayal. It must not be forgotten, however, that the proletariat, as the enemy of private property, must have its own party, and must not turn aside from its path for a single moment.

    In other words, the proletariat and the peasantry must by their combined efforts put an end to the tsarist government; by their combined efforts they must curb the enemies of the revolution, and precisely for this reason not only the peasantry, but the proletariat also must have champions of its interests -- Social-Democrats -- in the provisional government.

    This is so clear and obvious that one would think it would be unnecessary to talk about it.

    But out steps the "minority" and, having doubts about this, obstinately reiterates: it is unbecoming for Social-Democracy to be represented in the provisional government, it is contrary to principles. <"fnp143">

    * See Iskra, No. 96. This passage is reproduced in Social-Democrat, No. 5. See "Democracy and Social-Democracy."


    Let us examine this question. What are the arguments of the "minority"? First of all, they refer to the Amsterdam Congress.[42] This congress, in opposition to Jaurèsism, passed a resolution to the effect that Socialists must not seek representation in bourgeois governments; and as the provisional government will be a bourgeois government, it will be improper for us to be represented in it. That is how the "minority" argues, failing to realise that if the decision of the congress is to be interpreted in this schoolboy fashion we should take no part in the revolution either. It works out like this: we are enemies of the bourgeoisie; the present revolution is a bourgeois revolution -- hence, we should take no part in this revolution! This is the path to which the logic of the "minority" is pushing us. Social-Democracy says, however, that we proletarians should not only take part in the presant revolution, but also be at the head of it, guide it, and carry it through to the end. But it will be impossible to carry the revolution through to the end unless we are represented in the provisional government. Obviously, the logic of the "minority" has not a leg to stand on. One of two things: either we, copying the liberals, must reject the idea that the proletariat is the leader of the revolution -- and in that case the question of our going into the provisional government automatically falls away; or we must openly recognise this Social-Democratic idea and thereby recognise the necessity of our going into the provisional government. The "minority," however, do not wish to break with either side; they wish to be both liberal and Social-Democratic! How pitilessly they are outraging innocent logic. . . .

    The Amsterdam Congress, however, had in mind the

permanent government of France and not a provisional revolutionary government. The government of France is a reactionary, conservative government; it protects the old and fights the new -- it goes without saying that no true Social-Democrat will join such a government; but a provisional government is revolutionary and progressive; it fights the old and clears the road for the new, it serves the interests of the revolution -- and it goes without saying that the true Social-Democrat will go into such a government and take an active part in consummating the cause of the revolution. As you see -- these are different things. Consequently, it is useless for the "minority" to clutch at the Amsterdam Congress: that will not save it.

    Evidently, the "minority" realises this itself and, therefore, comes out with another argument: it appeals to the shades of Marx and Engels. Thus, for example, Social-Democrat obstinately reiterates that Marx and Engels "emphatically repudiated" the idea of entering a provisional government. But where and when did they repudiate this?<"p145"> What does Marx say, for example? It appears that Marx says that ". . . the democratic petty bourgeois . . . preach to the proletariat . . . the establishment of a large opposition party which will embrace all shades of opinion in the democratic party. . ." that "such a union would turn out solely to their (the petty bourgeois) advantage and altogether to tho disadvantage of the proletariat,"* etc.[43] In short, lhe proletariat must have a separate class party. But who is oppcscd to this, "learned critic "? Why are you tilling at windmills?

    * See Social-Democrat, No. 5.

    Nevertheless, the "critic " goes on quoting Marx. "In the case of a struggle against a common adversary no special union is required. As soon as such an adversary has to be fought directly, the interests of both parties, for the moment, coincide, and . . . this association, calculated to last only for the moment, will arise of itself. . . . During the struggle and after the struggle, the workers must, at every opportunity, put forward their own needs (it ought to be: demands) alongside of the needs (demands) of the bourgeois democrats. . . . In a word, from the first moment of victory, mistrust must be directed . . . against the workers' previous allies, against the party that wishes to exploit the common victory for itself alone."[*] In other words, the proletariat must pursue its own road and support the petty bourgeoisie only in so far as this does not run counter to its own interests. But who is opposed to this, astonishing "critic"? And why did you have to refer to the words of Marx? Does Marx say anything about a provisional revolutionary government? Not a word! Does Marx say that entering a provisional government during the democratic revolution is opposed to our principles? Not a word! Why then does our author go into such childish raptures? Where did he dig up this "contradiction in principle" between us and Marx? Poor "critic"! He puffs and strains in the effort to find such a contradiction, but to his chagrin nothing comes of it.

    What does Engels say according to the Mensheviks? It appears that in a letter to Turati he says that the impending revolution in Italy will be a petty bourgeois and not a socialist revolution; that before its victory the <"fnp146">

    * See Social-Democrat, No. 5.

proletariat must come out against the existillg regime jointly with the petty bourgeoisie, but must, without fail, have its own party; that it would be extremely dangerous for the Socialists to enter the new government after the victory of the revolution. If they did that they would repeat the blunder made by Louis Blanc and other French Socialists in 1848, etc.[*] In other words, in so far as the Italian revolution will be a democratic and not a socialist revolution it would be a great mistake to dream of the rule of the proletariat and remain in the government after the victory; only before the victory can the proletariat come out jointly with the petty bourgeoisie against the common enemy. But who is arguing against this? Who says that we must confuse the democratic revolution with the socialist revolution? What was the purpose of referring to Turati, a follower of Bernstein? Or why was it necessary to recall Louis Blanc? Louis Blanc was a petty-bourgeois "Socialist"; we are discussing Social-Democrats. There was no Social-Democratic Party in Louis Blanc's time, but here we are discussing precisely such a party. The French Socialists had in view the conquest of political power; what interests us here is the question of entering a provisional government. . . . Did Engels say that entering a provisional government during a democratic revolution is opposed to our principles? He said nothing of the kind! Then what is all this talk about, Mr. Menshevik? How is it you fail to understand that to confuse questions is not <"fnp147">to solve them? And why did you have to trouble the shades of Marx and Engels for nothing? <"fnp147">

    * See Social-Democrat, No. 5. Social-Democrat gives these words in quotation marks. One would think that these words of Engels are quoted literally, but this is not the case. The author merely gives in his own words the gist of Engels's letter.


    Evidently, the "minority" realises that the names of Marx and Engels will not save it, and so now it clutches at a third "argument." You want to put a double curb on the enemies of the revolution, the "minority" tells us. You want the "pressure of the proletariat upon the revolution to come not only from 'below,' not only from the streets, but also from above, from the chambers of the provisional government."[*] But this is opposed to principle, the "minority" tells us reproachfully.

    Thus, the "minority" asserts that we must influence the course of the revolution "only from below." The "majority," however, is of the opinion that we must supplement action from "below" with action from "above" in order that the pressure should come from all sides.

    Who, then, is opposing the principle of Social Democracy, the "majority" or the "minority"?

    Let us turn to Engels. In the seventies an uprising broke out in Spain. The question of a provisional revolutionary government came up. At that time the Bakuninists (Anarchists) were active there. They repudiated all action from above, and this gave rise to a controversy between them and Engels. The Bakuninists preached the very thing that the "minority" are saying today. "The Bakuninists," says Engels, "for years had been propagating the idea that all revolutionary action from above downward was pernicious, and that everything must be organised and carried out from below <"fnp148">

    * See Iskra, No. 93.

upward."[*] In their opinion, "every organisation of a political, so-called provisional or revolutionary power, could only be a new fraud and would be as dangerous to the proletariat as all now existing governments."[**] Engels ridicules this view and says that life has ruthlessly refuted this doctrine of the Bakuninists. The Bakuninists were obliged to yield to the demands of life and they . . . "wholly against their anarchist principles, had to form a revolutionary government."[***] Thus, they "trampled upon the dogma which they had only just proclaimed: that the establishment of the revolutionary government was only a deception and a new betrayal of the working class."[***]

    This is what Engels says.

    It turns out, therefore, that the principle of the "minority" -- action only from "below" -- is an anarchist principle, which does, indeed, fundamentally contradict Social-Democratic tactics. The view of the "minority" that participation in a provisional government in any way would be fatal to the workers is an anarchist phrase, which Engels ridiculed in his day. It also turns out that life will refute the views of the "minority" and will easily smash them as it did in the case of the Bakuninists.

    The "minority," however, persists in its obstinacy -- we shall not go against our principles, it says. These people have a queer idea of what Social-Democratic principlcs are. Let us take, for example, their principles as regards the provisional revolutionary government and <"fnp149">

    * See Proletary, No. 3, in which these words of Engels are quoted.[44]
    ** Ibid.
    *** Ibid.
    **** Ibid.

the State Duma. The "minority" is against entering a provisional government brought into being in the interests of the revolution -- this is opposed to principle it says. But it is in favour of entering the State Duma, which was brought into being in the interests of the autocracy -- that, it appears, is not opposed to principles! The "minority" is against entering a provisional government which the revolutionary people will set up, and to which the people will give legal sanction -- that is op posed to principles, it says. But it is in favour of entering the State Duma which is convoked by the autocratic tsar and to which the tsar gives legal sanction -- that, it appears, is not opposed to principles! The "minority" is against entering a provisiona] government whose mission it will be to bury the autocracy -- that is opposed to principles. But it is in favour of entering the State Duma, whose mission it is to bolster up the autocracy -- that, it appears, is not opposed to principles. . . . What principles are you talking about, most esteemed gentlemen? The principles of the liberals or of the Social-Democrats? You would do very well if you gave a straight answer to this question. We have our doubts.

    But let us leave these questions.

    The point is that in its quest for principles the "minority" has slipped onto the path of the Anarchists.

    That has now become clear.



    Our Mensheviks did not like the resolutions that were adopted by the Third Party Congress. Their genuinely revolutionary meaning stirred up the Menshevik

"marsh" and stimulated in it an appetite for "criticism." Evidently, it was the resolution on the provisional revotionary government that mainly disturbed their opportunist minds, and they set out to "destroy" it. But as they were unable to find anything in it to clutch at and criticise, they resorted to their customary and, it must be said, cheap weapon -- demagogy! This resolution was drawn up as a bait for the workers, to deceive and dazzle them -- write these "critics." And, evidently, they are very pleased with the fuss they are making. They imagine that they have struck their opponent dead, that they are victor-critics, and they exclaim: "And they (the authors of the resolution) want to lead the proletariat!" You look at these "critics" and before your eyes rises the hero in Gogol's story who, in a state of mental aberration, imagined that he was the King of Spain. Such is the fate of all megalomaniacs!

    Let us examine the actual "criticism" which we find in Social-Democrat, No. 5. As you know already, our Mensheviks cannot think of the bloody spectre of a provisional revolutionary government without fear and trembling, and so they call upon their saints, the Martynovs and Akimovs, to rid them of this monster and to replace it by the Zemsky Sobor -- now by the State Duma. With this object they laud the "Zemsky Sobor" to the skies and try to palm off this rotten offspring of rotten tsarism as good coin of the realm: "We know that the Great French Revolution established a republic without having a provisional government," they write. Is that all? Don't you know any more than that, "esteemed gentlemen"? It is very little! You really ought to know a little more! You ought to know, for example, that the Great French Revolution triumphed as a bourgeois revolutionary movement, whereas the Russian "revolutionary movement will triumph as the movement of the workers or will not triumph at all," as G. Plekhanov quile rightly says. In France, the bourgeoisie was at the head of the revolution; in Russia, it is the prolelariat. There, the former guided the destiny of the revolulion; here it is the latter. And is it not clear that willl such a realignment of the leading revolutionary forces the results cannot be identical for the respective classes? If, in France, the bourgooisie, being at the head of the revolution, reaped its fruits, must it also reap them in Russia, notwithstanding the fact that the proletariat stands at the head of the revolulion? Yes, say our Mensheviks; what took place there, in France, must also take place here, in Russia. These gentlemen, like undertakers, take the measure of one long dead and apply it to the living. Moreover, in doing so they resorted to a rather big fraud: they cut off the head of the subject that interests us and shifted the point of the controversy to its tail. We, like all revolutionary Social-Democrats, are talking about establishing a democratic republic. They, however, hid the word "democratic" and began to talk large about a "republic." "We know that the Great French Revolution established a republic," they preach. Yes, it established a republic, but what kind of republic -- a truly democratic one? The kind that the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party is demanding? Did that republic grant the people the right of universal suffrage? Were the elections at that time really direct? Was a progressive income tax introduced? Was anything said there about improving conditions of labour, shortening the working day, higher

page 153

wages and so forth? . . . No. There was nothing of the kind there, nor could there have been, for at that time the workers lacked Social-Democratic education. That is why their interests were forgotten and ignored by the bourgeoisie in the French republic of that time. And is it before such a republic that you bow your "highly respected" heads, gentlemen? Is this your ideal? You are welcome to it! But remember, esteemed gentlemen, that worshipping such a republic has nothing in common with Social-Democracy and its programme -- it is democratism of the worst sort. And you are smuggling all this in under the label of Social-Democracy.

    Furthermore, the Mensheviks ought to know that the Russian bourgeoisie with their Zemsky Sobor will not even grant us a republic such as was introduced in France -- it has no intention whatever of abolishing the monarchy. Knowing how "insolent" the workers are where there is no monarchy, it is striving to keep this fortress intact and to convert it into its own weapon against its uncompromising foe -- the proletariat. This is its object in negotiating in the name of the "people" with the butcher-tsar and advising him to convoke a Zemsky Sobor in the interests of the "country" and the throne, and in order to avert "anarchy." Are you Mensheviks really unaware of all this?

    We need a republic not like the one introduced by the French bourgeoisie in the eighteenth century, but like the one the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party is demanding in the twentieth century. And such a republic can be created only by a victorious popular uprising, headed by the proletariat, and by the provisional revolutionary government which it sets up. Only such a provisional government can provisionally carry out our minimum programme and submit changes of this nature for endorsement to the Constituent Assembly which it convokes.

    Our "critics" do not believe that a Constituent Assembly convoked in conformity with our programme could express the will of the people (and how can they imagine this when they go no further than the Great French Revolution which occurred 115 or 116 years ago). "Rich and influential persons," continue the "critics," "possess so many means of wangling the elections in their favour that all talk about the actual will of the people is absolutely bcside the point. To prevent poor voters from becoming instruments for expressing the will of the rich a tremendous struggle must be waged and a long period of Party discipline" (which the Mensheviks do not recognise?) "is needed." "All this has not been achieved even in Europe (?) in spite of its long period of political training. And yet our Bolsheviks think that this talisman lies in the hands of a provisional government!"

    This is khvostism indeed! Here you have a life-size picture of "their late majesties" the "tactics-process" and the "organisation-process." It is impossible to demand in Russia what has not yet been achieved in Europe, the "critics" tell us for our edification! But we know that our minimum programme has not been fully achieved in "Europe," or even in America; consequently, in the opinion of the Mensheviks, whoever accepts it and fights for its achievement in Russia after the fall of the autocracy is an incorrigible dreamer, a miserable Don Quixote! In short, our minimum programme is false and utopian,

and has nothing in common with real "life"! Isn't that so, Messieurs "Critics"? That is what it appears to be according to you. But in that case, show more courage and say so openly, without equivocation! We shall then know whom we are dealing with, and you will rid yourselves of the programme formalities which you so heartily detest! As it is, you talk so timidly and furtively about the programme being of little importance that many people, except, of course, the Bolsheviks, still think that you recognise the Russian Social-Democratic programme that was adopted at the Second Party Congress. What's the use of this hypocritical conduct?

    This brings us right down to the roots of our disagreements. You do not believe in our programme and you challenge its correctness; we, however, always take it as our starting point and co-ordinate all our activities with it!

    We believe that "rich and influential persons" will not be able to bribe and fool all the people if there is freedom for election propaganda; for we shall counter their influence and their gold with the words of Social-Democratic truth (and we, unlike you, do not doubt this truth in the least) and thereby we shall reduce the effect of the fraudulent tricks of the bourgeoisie. You, however, do not believe this, and are, therefore, trying to pull the revolution in the direction of reformism.

    "In 1848," continue the "critics," "the provisional government in France (again France!) in which there were also workers, convoked a Constituent Assembly to which not a single representative of the Paris proletariat was elected." This is another example of utter failure to understand Social-Democratic theory and of the stereotyped conception of history! What is the use of flinging phrases about? Although there were workers in the provisional government in France, nothing came of it; therefore, Social-Democracy in Russia must refrain from entering a provisional government because here, too, nothing will come of it, argue the "critics." But is it a matter of workers entering the provisional government? Do we say that any kind of workers, no matter of what trend, should go into the provisional revolutionary government? No. So far we have not become your followers and do not supply every worker with a Social-Democratic certificate. It never entered our heads to call the workers who were in the French provisional government members of the Social-Democratic Party! What is the use of this misplaced analogy? What comparison can there be between the political consciousness of the French proletariat in 1848 and the political consciousness of the Russian proletariat at the present time? Did the French proletariat of that time come out even once in a political demonstration against the existing system? Did it ever celebrate the First of May under the slogan of fighting against the bourgeois system? Was it organised in a Social-Democratic Labour Party? Did it have the programme of Social-Democracy? We know that it did not.The French proletariat had not even an inkling of all this. The question is, therefore, could the French proletariat at that time reap the fruits of the revolution to the same extent that the Russian proletariat can, a proletariat that has long been organised in a Social-Democratic Party, has a very definite Social-Democratic programme, and is consciously laying the road towards its goal? Anyone who is in the least capable of under- standing realities will answer this question in the negative. Only those who are capable of learning historical facts by rote, but are incapable of explaining their causes in conformity with place and time can identify these two different magnitudes.

    "We need," the "critics" preach to us again and again, "violence on the part of the people, uninterrupted revolution, and we must not be satisfied with elections and then disperse to our homes." Again slander! Who told you, esteemed gentlemen, that we shall be satisfied with elections and then disperse to our homes? Mention his name!

    Our "critics" are also upset by our demand that the provisional revolutionary government should carry out our minimum programme, and they exclaim: "This reveals complete ignorance of the subject; the point is that the political and economic demands in our programme can be achieved only by means of legislation, but a provisional government is not a legislative body. " Reading this prosecutor's speech against "infringement of the law" one begins to wonder whether this article was not contributed to the Social-Democrat by some liberal bourgeois who stands in awe before the law.* How else can one explain the bourgeois sophistry it expresses to the effect

    * This idea seems to be all the more justified for the reason that of all the bourgeoisie of Titlis, the Mensheviks, in No. 5 of Social-Democrat, proclaimed only about a dozen merchants as traitors to the "common cause." Evidently, all the rest are their supporters and have a "common cause" with the Mensheviks. It would not be surprising if one of these supporters of the "common cause" sent to the organ of his colleagues a "critical" article against the uncompromising "majority."

that a provisional revolutionary government has no right to abolish old and introduce new laws? Does not this argument smack of vulgar liberalism? And is it not strange to hear it coming from the mouth of a revolutionary? It reminds us of the man who was condemned to be beheaded and who begged that care should be taken not to touch the pimple on his neck. However, everything can be forgiven the "critics " who cannot distinguish between a provisional revolutionary government and an ordinary cabinet (and besides, they are not to blame, their teachers, the Martynovs and Akimovs, reduced them to this state). What is a cabinet? The result of the existence of a permanent government. What is a provisional revolutionary government? The result of the destruction of a permanent government. The former puts existing laws into operation with the aid of a standing army. The latter abolishes the existing laws and in place of them gives legal sanction to the will of the revolution with the assistance of the insurgent people. What is there in common between the two?

    Let us assume that the revolution has triumphed and that the victorious people have set up a provisional revolutionary government. The question arises: What is this government to do if it has no right to abolish and introduce laws? Wait for the Constituent Assembly? But the convocation of this Assembly also demands the introduction of new laws such as: universal, direct, etc., suffrage, freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, and so forth. And all this is contained in our minimum programme. If the provisional revolutionary government is unable to put it into practice, what will it be guided by in convening the Constituent Assembly?<"p159">

Not by a programme drawn up by Bulygin[45] and sanctioned by Nicholas II, surely?

    Let us assume also that, after suffering heavy losses owing to lack of arms, the victorious people calls upon the provisional revolutionary government to abolish the standing army and to arm the people in order to combat counter-revolution. At that moment the Mensheviks come out and say: it is not the function of this department (the provisional revolutionary government) but of another -- the Constituent Assembly -- to abolish the standing army and to arm the people. Appeal to that other department. Don't demand action that infringes the law, etc. Fine counsellors, indeed!

    Let us now see on what grounds the Mensheviks deprive the provisional revolutionary government of "legal capacity." Firstly, on the ground that it is not a legislative body, and secondly, that if it passes laws, the Constituent Assembly will have nothing to do. Such is the disgraceful result of the arguments of these political infants! It appears that they do not even know that, pending the setting up of a permanent government, the triumphant revolution, and the provisional revolutionary government which expresses its will, are the masters of the situation and, consequently, can abolish old and introduce new laws! If this were not the case, if the provisional revolutionary government lacked these powers, there would be no reason for its existence, and the insurgent people would not set up such a body. Strange that the Mensheviks have forgotten the ABC of revolution. The Mensheviks ask: What will the Constituent Assembly do if our minimum programme is carried out by the provisional revolutionary government? Are you afraid that it will suffer from unemployment, esteemed gentlemen? Don't be afraid. It will have plenty of work to do. It will sanction the changes brought about by the provisional revolutionary government with the assist ance of the insurgent people and will draft a constitution for the country, and our minimum programme will be only a part of it. That is what we shall demand from the Constituent Assembly!

    "They (the Bolsheviks) cannot conceive of a split between the petty bourgeoisie and the workers, a split that will also affect the elections, and, consequently, the provisional government will want to oppress the working-class voters for the benefit of its own class," write the "critics." Who can understand this wisdom? What is the meaning of: "the provisional government will want to oppress the working-class voters for the benefit of its own class"!!? What provisional government are they talking about? What windmills are these Don Quixotes tilting at? Has anybody said that if the petty bourgeoisie is in sole control of the provisional revolutionary government it will protect the interests of the workers? Why ascribe one's own nonsense to others? We say that under certain circumstances it is permissible for our Social-Democratic delegates to enter a provisional revolutionary government together with the representatives of the democracy. That being the case, if we are discussing a provisional revolutionary government which includes Social-Democrats, how is it possible to call it petty-bourgeois in composition? We base our arguments in favour of entering a provisional revolutionary government on the fact that, in the main, the carrying out of our minimum programme does not run counter to the interests of the democracy -- the peasantry and the urban petty bourgeoisie (whom you Mensheviks invite into your party) -- and, therefore, we deem it possible to carry it out in conjunction with the democracy. If, however, the democracy hinders the carrying out of some of its points, our delegates, backed by their voters, the proletariat, in the street, will try to carry this programme out by force, if that force is available (if it is not, we shall not enter the provisional government, in fact we shall not be elected). As you see, Social-Democracy must enter the provisional revolutionary government precisely in order to champion Social-Democratic views in it, i.e., to prevent the other classes from encroaching upon the interests of the proletariat.

    The representatives of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party in the provisional revolutionary government will proclaim war not upon the proletariat, as the Mensheviks imagine in their folly, but, jointly with the proletariat, upon the enemies of the proletariat. But what do you, Mensheviks, care about all this? What do you care about the revolution and its provisional government? Your place is in the "Stlate Duma "]. . . .[*]

    * Here the manuscript breaks off. --Ed. <"NOTES">


  <"en41">[41] Only the first part of J. V. Stalin's article "The Provisional Revolutionary Government and Social-Democracy" was published in No. 11 of Proletariatis Brdzola. Judging from the manuscript notes of the plan for Nos. 12, 13 and 14 of Proletariatis Brdzola, drawn up by J. V. Stalin and preserved in the archives, it was intended to publish the second part of this article in No. 13 of that newspaper. Owing to the fact that Proletariatis Brdzola ceased publication with No. 12, the second part of the article was not published. Only the manuscript of the Russian translation of this part of the article was preserved in the files of the gendarmerie. The Georgian text of the manuscript has not been found.    [p.140]

  <"en42">[42] The Amsterdam Congress of the Second International was held in August 1904.    [p.144]

  <"en43">[43] Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, "Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League " (see Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Works, Vol. I, Moscow 1951, p. 102).    [p.145]

  <"en44">[44] This refers to V. I. Lenin's work "On a Provisional Revolutionary Government" in which he quotes from F. Engels's article "The Bakuninists at Work" (see V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 8, pp. 443, 444 and 446).    [p.149]

  <"en45">[45] This refers to a bill to set up a State Duma with only advisory powers and to regulations governing the elections to the Duma drawn up by a commission under the chairmanship of the Minister of the Interior, Bulygin. The bill and the regulations were published together with the tsar's manifesto on August 6 (19), 1905. The Bolsheviks proclaimed an active boycott of the Bulygin Duma. That Duma was swept away by the force of the revolution before it could assemble.    [p.159]