From October to Brest-Litovsk

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Socialist Publication Society, 1919 - Brest-Litovsk Peace Conference - 100 pages

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Page 95 - Yes, we are weak, we cannot fight at present. But we have sufficient revolutionary courage to say that we shall not willingly affix our signature to the treaty which you are writing with the sword on the body of living people.
Page 82 - ... democracy for the cause of the class struggle." "Revolutionary logic" means that revolution of a minority against a majority is required by dialectical logic. In terms of nondialectic logic, a minority cannot come into power in a democratic way. And this is exactly what Trotsky admits in declaring : "The real kernel of the class revolution has come into irreconcilable conflict with its democratic shell."" Even more directly Radek declares : "The Soviet Government is no democracy, it is the form...
Page 81 - ... professorial banality? If, in the final analysis, it is to the advantage of the proletariat to introduce its class struggle and even its dictatorship, through the channels of democratic institutions, it does not at all follow that history always affords it the opportunity of attaining this happy consumation. There is nothing in the Marxian theory to warrant the deduction that history always creates such conditions as are most "favorable...
Page 85 - Allies expressed agreement with our democratic formula of peace without annexations and indemnities, on the basis of self-determination of peoples.
Page 28 - More than once, the Philistines called our attention to the fact that the new dumas and zemstvos elected on the basis of universal suffrage, were incomparably more democratic than the Soviets and were more suited to represent the population. However, this formal democratic criterion is devoid of serious content in a revolutionary epoch."" "Formal" democracy is identical with democracy, since democracy is by its very nature a form of government. Trotsky says : "As Marxists, we have never been idol-worshippers...
Page 81 - Brest-LtiowM (New York, 1919), p. 28. Against Kautsky he says : He tries to prove that for the working class it is always expedient, in the long run, to preserve the essential elements of the democratic order. This is, of course, true as a general rule. But Kautsky has reduced this historical truth to professorial banality? If, in the final analysis, it is to the advantage of the proletariat to introduce its class struggle and even its dictatorship, through the channels of democratic institutions,...
Page 38 - ... now in a majority in the Soviets, was not putting its own battle-cries into practice. On October 28th a secret meeting of the Central Committee of our party took place, at which Lenin was present. On the order of the day was the question of the rising. With only two dissentients it was unanimously decided that the only means of saving the Revolution and the country from complete destruction was an armed rising, which must have for its object the conquest of supreme government authority by the...
Page 95 - ... on the basis of the Russian formula, on February 10, 1918, they broke off negotiations, stating that they could not sign a formal treaty, but that they regarded the state of war to be at an end, and ordered an immediate demobilization. " The peace you are forcing down our throats," they declared, " is a peace of aggression and robbery. We cannot permit you, Messrs. Diplomats, to say to the German workingmen : ' You have characterized our demands as avaricious, as annezationist. But look, under...
Page 84 - ... ears of the diplomats who hear them. We addressed our speeches [wrote Trotsky of the Brest-Litovsk negotiations] to the war-weary workers of all countries. . . . When speaking to Kiihlmann and Czernin, we all the time had in our mind's eye our friends and comrades, Karl Liebknecht and Fritz Adler.
Page 86 - Bolsheviki got the power because of their struggle for peace. The Bolsheviki desire to remain in power and this is possible for them only on condition that peace is concluded. It is true that they bound themselves to a definite democratic program of peace, but why do diplomats exist if not for the purpose of making black look white? We Germans will make it easier for the Bolsheviki by covering our plunders by democratic iormulas.

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