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Two Worlds

V. I. Lenin

Capitalist newspapers like Rech and Novoye Vremya[1] have published articles attacking our passage through Germany and insinuating that the new arrivals were aiding the German imperialists.{*}

Izvestia of the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies[2] reprints in full the report published in yesterday's Pravda{**}[3] which was presented to the Executive Committee of the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies on the very first day after our arrival. In addition to the report, Izvestia publishes the resolution of the Executive Committee, which it gives in the following words:

    "Having heard the report of Comrades Zurabov and Zinoviev, the Executive Committee decided to take the matter up immediately with the Provisional Government and to take steps towards securing the immediate return to Russia of all emigrants, irrespective of their political views and their attitude towards the war. The results of the negotiations with the government will be published in the near future.—Editors."
Here you have a small—a very small, but very characteristic—picture of two worlds. One, the world of the capitalists, Rech, Russkaya Volya, Novoye Vremya, dark hints, vile insinuations against the socialists; the other, the world of the revolutionary democrats, of the workers' and soldiers' deputies, who in a calm, consistent, and dignified manner have decided to "take steps". Steps leading to what? Steps leading to what was not done by the Provisional Government!

Is this not tantamount to a censure of the Provisional Government?

And is not this censure warranted?

Mind you, the Executive Committee, in passing this resolution, was fully aware of the political dissensions that existed between it and the Bolsheviks. For capitalists this would be a pretext for insinuations. Human dignity is something one need not look for in the world of capitalists.


{*} The famous—notoriously famous—Russkaya Volya in its article against us provides "incriminating" material quite in the vein of Rech. Won't Milyukov and Co. be ashamed of such a neighbour?—Lenin

{**} Will Rech dare to publish it?—Lenin

[1] Novoye Vremya (New Times)—a daily newspaper of the reactionary nobility and bureaucracy, published in St. Petersburg from 1868. In 1905 it became an organ of the Black Hundreds. Lenin called it a model of the venal press. After the February revolution Novoye Vremya fully supported the counter-revolutionary policy of the bourgeois Provisional Government and conducted a vicious hounding campaign against the Bolsheviks. The paper was closed down by the Revolutionary Military Committee of the Petrograd Soviet on October 26 (November 8), 1917.

[2] Izvestia (News) of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies—a daily, began to appear on February 28 (March 13), 1917. After the First All-Russia Congress of Soviets at which the Central Executive Committee of the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies was elected, the newspaper became the organ of the C.E.C., and from August 1 (14), 1917 (beginning with No. 132) it appeared under the name of Izvestia of the Central Executive Committee and the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. Throughout this time the newspaper was controlled by the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries and waged a fierce struggle against the Bolshevik Party. Beginning with October 27 (November 9), 1917, after the Second All-Russia Congress of Soviets, Izvestia became the official organ of the Soviet government. With the transfer to Moscow of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars, the newspaper was published in Moscow.

[3] Pravda (Truth)—a legal Bolshevik daily, published in St. Petersburg. Founded in April 1912 on the initiative of the St. Petersburg workers.

Pravda was a mass working-class newspaper published with money collected by the workers themselves. A wide circle of worker correspondents and worker writers formed round the paper. In a single year it published over 11,000 items from worker correspondents. Pravda had an average daily circulation of 40,000 rising in some months to as high a figure as 60,000.

Lenin directed the newspaper while living abroad. He wrote for it almost every day, gave instructions and advice to its editors, and gathered around the paper the Party’s best literary forces.

Pravda was subjected to constant police persecutions. During its first year of publication it was confiscated forty-one times, its editors were prosecuted thirty-six times and were sentenced to terms of imprisonment totalling 47½ months. During two years and three months Pravda was closed down by the tsarist government eight times, but reappeared under other names (Rabochaya Pravda, Severnaya Pravda, Pravda Truda, Za Pravdu, Proletarskaya Pravda, Put Pravdy, Rabochy, Trudovaya Pravda). The paper was closed down on July 8 (21), 1914, on the eve of the First World War, and did not resume publication until after the February revolution. Beginning with March 5 (18), 1917 it came out as the Central Organ of the R.S.D.L.P. On April 5 (18), on his return from abroad, Lenin joined the Editorial Board of Pravda and became its Editor-in-Chief. On July 5(18), 1917 the newspaper offices were wrecked by the officer cadets and Cossacks. Between July and October 1917 Pravda was persecuted by the Provisional Government and repeatedly changed its name, coming out as Listok Pravdy, Proletary, Rabochy, Rabochy Put. Beginning with October 27 (November 9) the paper came out under its old name of Pravda.

Published: Pravda No. 25, April 6, 1917
Published according to the text in Pravda
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1964, Moscow, Volume 24, pages 30-31.
Translated: Isaacs Bernard

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