To all the Workers
The thunder of revolution is roaring! The revolutionary people of Russia have risen and have surrounded the tsarist government in order to storm it! Red flags are flying, barricades are being erected, the people are taking to arms and are storming government offices.Again the call of the brave is heard; life, which had subsided, is seething again. The ship of the revolution has hoisted sail and is speeding towards freedom. That shipis being steered by the Russian proletariat. What do the proletarians of Russia want? Whither are they steering?
Let us overthrow the tsarist Duma and set up a popular Constituent Assembly—this is what the proletarians of Russia are saying today. The proletariat will not demand petty concessions from the government, it will not call for the repeal of “martial law” and “floggings” in some towns and villages. The proletariat will not stoop to such trifles. Whoever demands concessions from the government does not believe that the government will perish—but the proletariat confidently believes that it will. Whoever expects “favours” from the government has no confidence in the might of the devolution —but the proletariat is inspired with this confidence. No! The proletariat will not dissipate its energy in making senseless demands. It presents only one demand to the tsarist autocracy: Down with it! Death to it! And so, over the vast expanse of Russia the revolutionary cry of the workers rings out more and more boldly: Down with the State Duma! Long live a popular Constituent Assembly! This is the goal towards which the proletariat of Russia is striving today.
The tsar will not grant a popular Constituent Assembly, the tsar will not abolish his own autocracy—that he will not do! The curtailed “constitution” which he is “granting” is a temporary concession, the tsar’s hypocritical promise and nothing more! It goes without saying that we shall take advantage of this concession, we shall not refuse to wrest from the crow a nut with which to smash its head. But the fact remains that the people can place no trust in the tsar’s promises—they must trust only themselves; they must rely only on their own strength: the liberation of the people must be brought about by the people themselves. Only on the bones of the oppressors can the people’s freedom be erected, only with the blood of the oppressors can the soil be fertilised for the sovereignty of the people!
Only when the armed people come out headed by the proletariat and raise the banner of a general uprising can the tsarist government, which rests on bayonets, be overthrown. Not empty phrases, not senseless “selfarming,”
but real arming and an armed uprising— that is what the proletarians of the whole of Russia
are steering towards today. A victorious uprising will lead to the defeat of the government. But vanquished governments have often risen to their feet again. It may rise to its feet again in our country. On the morrow of the uprising,
the dark forces which lay low during the uprising will creep out of their lairs and try to put the government on its feet again. That is how vanquished governments rise from the dead. The people must curb these dark forces without fail, they must make them bite the dust. But to do this the victorious people must, on the very morrow of the uprising, arm to a man, young and old, form themselves into a revolutionary army, and be ever ready to protect their hard-won rights by force of arms.
Only when the victorious people have formed themselves into a revolutionary army will they be able finally to crush the dark forces which go into hiding. Only a revolutionary army can lend force to the actions of a provisional government, only a provisional government can convoke a popular Constituent Assembly which must establish a democratic republic. A revolutionary army and a revolutionary provisional government—this is the goal towards which the proletarians of Russia are striving today.
Such is the path that the Russian revolution has taken. This path leads to the sovereignty of the people, and the proletariat calls upon all the friends of the people to march along this path. The tsarist autocracy is barring the road of the people’s revolution, it wants with the aid of the manifesto it issued yesterday to check this great movement—clearly,
the waves of the revolution will engulf the tsarist autocracy and sweep it away. . . . Contempt and hatred for all those who fail to take the path of the proletariat—they are despicably betraying the revolution! Shame upon those who, having taken this path in fact, say something else in words— they cravenly fear the truth! We do not fear the truth, we do not fear revolution! Let the thunder roar still louder, let the storm rage more fiercely! The hour of victory is near! Let us then enthusiastically proclaim the slogans of the proletariat of Russia:
Down With the State Duma!
Long Live the Armed Uprising!
Long Live the Revolutionary Army!
Long Live the Provisional Revolutionary Government!
Long Live the Popular Constituent Assembly!
Long Live the Democratic Republic!
Long Live the Proletariat!
Reproduced from the manifesto printed on October 19, 1905 at the underground
(Avlabar) printing plant of the Caucasian Union of the R.S.D.L.P.
Signed: Tiflis Committee Translated from the Georgian