|V. I. Lenin
THE CALL TO POWER (1917)
On November 6 (October 24 by the old-style calendar then in use in Russia), Lenin urged immediate action, as the following document reveals.
... 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 Kornilov irks [followers of General Kornilov, who tried to establish a military dictatorship] show that we must not wait. We must at all costs, this very evening, this very night, attest the government, having first disarmed the officer cadets (defeating them, if they resist), and so on.
We must not wait! We may lose everything!
Who must take power?
That is not important at present. Let the Revolutionary Military Committee [Bolshevik organization working within the army and navy] 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 [governing organization of the Bolshevik party] with the insistent demand that under no circumstances should
power he left in the hands of Kerensky and Co. nor under any circumstances; the matter must he 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 to-day), while they risk losing much tomorrow, in fact, they risk losing everything.
If we seize power today, we seize it nor 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 he an infinite crime on die 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 costs. To delay action is fatal.