is to halt the triumphant march of the proletarian revolution—and the proletarian revolution shall not be halted!'
It is a smooth "steam-roller" that the Bolsheviki have set in motion. In Russian political meetings all the real work is done outside
the hall, in the caucuses of the different
"fractions." The Bolsheviki are in the majority. They cannot check the voice of the
minority; there are no rules by which debate
can be closed. But they have resolved upon
an insurrection of the masses of the people;
they know that the Petrograd masses are behind them; they believe that all Russia is
behind them ; and they drive ahead, ruthless
It is after midnight. Lenine, in a calm,
monotonous voice, is reading his appeal to the
peoples of all the belligerent nations for armistice and peace. The audience listened intensely, and the sweat stands out on their
foreheads as they listen, so terribly do they
He ceases. Protests come, a few met with
ugly growls and shouts of "Enough! Shut
up!" A vote. Even the "moderates"—the
Left Socialist Revolutionaries and the Novaia
Zhizn group—are in favor. There is only one
objector. A storm of rage and laughter compels him to lower his hand.
Simultaneously, with one thought, without
a word, we are on our feet, all of us, singing
the Internationale. It bursts up through the
cloudy air, penetrates the walls, the windows,
and goes soaring out into the world at war.
Men embrace each other; tears run down
rough, bearded faces; a deep exaltation shakes
us. Peace! Peace and a people's world to all
mankind. The beginning of the general revolutions, the end of unhappiness, the birth of
"And let us not forget those who have died
for this night!" cries a voice, when the last
notes have died away.
Then we sing the Funeral Song of the Martyrs, that solemnly joyous hymn that means
so much to every Russian. A profound conviction seizes us that this is not merely an
emotional demonstration, but the sublimation
of real political power. Do we feel that the
people have won? Hear Lenin: "The Revolution is only just begun. Now we have conquered Petrograd. Tomorrow we shall conquer Kerensky. The day after tomorrow we shall
break the resistance of the bourgeoisie. And
then, comrades, we shall begin the Revolu-
tion. . . .
Hear Trotzky: "And now, to work, comrades. Everything must be done—everything.
There is a new world to build. It has taken
untold centuries to build this one. We must
build ours in a few days."
The new Government is proclaimed, a
"Government based on the Soviets of Workers', Peasants' and Soldiers' Soviets." The
Council of People's Commissars is named
from the tribune, each name being greeted
with applause appropriate to its revolutionary
associations; Trotzky's calls forth sharp, tumultuous cheering—the response to Lenine's
is thunderous and steady. But the proclamation of the new Government, which in the
West would be the climax of Revolution, is
here received in a matter-of-fact way. Here
the crowd is ruler. Men do not matter; only
the Revolution matters. Were Lenine and
Trotzky for one moment to fail to interpret
the will of the crowd, they would be swept
into oblivion, as Kerensky was, as, for example, Riazonov was to be. . . .
It is after five o'clock in the morning when
we leave. In the more southern lands dawn
would be paling the eastern sky; here for
four hours yet it will be black night. Snow
has not yet fallen, but the black mud of the
streets has frozen rigid. At the corners squat
little groups of Red Guards around brightly-
flaming bonfires. They call to us, "Da stras'vuyet
swob&dni Rossi!", their eyes shine, and their
voices are full of inexhaustible excitement.
Street-cars are waiting to take us downtown. Long ago, at eleven in the evening, the
car-service in the streets of Petrograd has
stopped; but the Street-Railwaymen's Union
sends cars which shall wait at Smolny until
the Soviet breaks up, manned by volunteers.
We pile in, still gesticulating, discussing . . .
From afar comes the sound of a few casual
shots. Behind us as we go great Smolny, all
ablaze with lights, hums like a hive. . .