Bolshevism by John Spargo

By John Spargo

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The consequence has been that the working-men of St . Petersburg are unable now, apart from the working-men of the entire country, to realize the decree of the Council. The Council of Workmen's Deputies, therefore, deems it necessary to stop temporarily the immediate and general establishment of an eight-hour workday by force . The Councils inaugurated general strike after general strike . At first these strikes were successful from a revolutionary point of view. Soon, however, it became apparent that the general strike is a weapon which can only be used effectively on rare occasions .

Many more inaulged themselves in purposeless rioting . The organization of the various councils of delegates representing factory-workers and peasants, inevitable as it seemed to be, had one disastrous effect, the seriousness of which cannot be overstated . As we have seen, the cruel, blundering policy of the government had united all classes against it in a revolutionary movement of unexampled magnitude . Given the conditions prevailing in Russia, and especially the lack of industrial development and the corresponding numerical weakness of the industrial proletariat, it was evident that the only chance of success in the Revolution lay in the united effort of all classes against the old regime .

All who were able to do so turned and fled, among them Father Gapon . Bloody Sunday, as the day is known in Russian annals, is generally regarded as the beginning of the First Revolution . Immediately people began to talk of armed resistance . On the evening of the day of the tragedy there was a meeting of more than seven hundred Intellectuals at which the means for carrying on revolution was the topic discussed . This was the first of many similar gatherings which took place all over Russia . Soon the Intellectuals began to organize unions, ostensibly for the protection of their professional interests, but in reality for political purposes .

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