When I look for the grandest day of my life,
rummaging in all i 've gone through and seen.
I name without doubt or internal strife
October 25, 1917...
I am writing these lines on the evening of the 24th. The situation is critical in the extreme. In fact it is now absolutely clear that to delay the uprising would be fatal.
With all my might I urge comrades to realise that everything now hangs by a thread; that we are confronted by problems which are not to be solved by conferences or congresses (even congresses of Soviets), but exclusively by peoples, by the masses, by the struggle of the armed people.
The bourgeois onslaught of the Kornilovites and the removal of Verkhovsky show that we must not wait. We must at all costs, this very evening, this very night, arrest the government, having first disarmed the officer cadets (defeating them, if they resist), and so on.
We must not wait! We may lose everything!
The value of the immediate seizure of power will be the defence of the people (not of the congress, but of the people, the army and the peasants in the first place) from the Kornilovite government, which has driven out Verkhovsky and has hatched a second Kornilov plot.
Who must take power?
That is not important at present. Let the Revolutionary Military Committee do it, or "some other institution" which will declare that it will relinquish power only to the true representatives of the interests of the people, the interests of the army (the immediate proposal of peace), the interests of the peasants (the land to be taken immediately and private property abolished), the interests of the starving.
All districts, all regiments, all forces must be mobilised at once and must immediately send their delegations to the Revolutionary Military Committee and to the Central Committee of the Bolsheviks with the insistent demand that under no circumstances should power be left in the hands of Kerensky and Co. until the 25th of October. The matter must be decided without fail this very evening, or this very night.
History will not forgive revolutionaries for procrastinating when they could be victorious today (and they certainly will be victorious today), while they risk losing much tomorrow, in fact, they risk losing everything.
If we seize power today, we seize it not in opposition to the Soviets but on their behalf.
The seizure of power is the business of the uprising; its political purpose will become clear after the seizure.
It would be a disaster, or a sheer formality, to await the wavering vote of October 25. The people have the right and are in duty bound to decide such questions not by a vote, but by force; in critical moments of revolution, the people have the right and are in duty bound to give directions to their representatives, even their best representatives, and not to wait for them.
This is proved by the history of all revolutions; and it would be an infinite crime on the part of the revolutionaries were they to let the chance slip, knowing that the salvation of the revolution,the offer of peace, the salvation of Petrograd, salvation from famine, the transfer of the land to the peasants depend upon them.
The government is tottering. It must be given the death blow at all costs.
To delay action is fatal.
|Map of St. Petersbrug (then Petrograd) in 1917|
|The Petrograd Soviet Assembly meeting in 1917|
This letter written on 24.10 by V.I.Lenin to the Central Committee members was the final call for the uprising. Few hours later, at 01.25am on 25th of October 1917 (7.11 according to Gregorian calendar) Red Guards, sailors and soldiers strormed and conquered the Central Post Office building of St. Petersburg....
..."Today we spin the old globe our way"...
|"They Attempted to Check the Revolution".|
Drawing bby V.Deni, 1935
And from that banner, from every fold
Lenin, alive as ever, cries:
"Workers, prepare for the last assult!
Slaves, unbend your knees and spines!
Proletarian army, rise in force!
Long live the Revolution with speedy victory,
the greatest and justest of all wars
ever fought in history!"
Vladimir Mayakovsky, "Lenin", 1924
One century after, the Great October Socialist Revolution still remains the bright example,
the guide to the struggle of Man for social emancipation and liberation.