LENIN ON THE ORGANISATION OF AN EXTRAORDINARY
COMMISSION TO FIGHT COUNTER-REVOLUTION
[Letter to Dzerzhinskii, December 19, 1917]
In connection with your report today dealing with
the struggle against sabotage and counter-revolution, is it not possible
to issue the following decree:
STRUGGLE AGAINST COUNTER-REVOLUTION
The bourgeoisie, landholders, and all wealthy
classes are making desperate efforts to undermine the revolution which
is aiming to safeguard the interests of the toiling and exploited masses.
The bourgeoisie is having recourse to the vilest crimes, bribing society's
lowest elements and supplying liquor to these outcasts with the purpose
of bringing on pogroms. The partisans of the bourgeoisie, especially the
higher officials, bank clerks, etc., are sabotaging and organising strikes
in order to block the government's efforts to reconstruct the state on
a socialistic basis. Sabotage has spread even to the food-supply organisations
and millions of people are threatened with famine. Special measures must
be taken to fight counter-revolution and sabotage. Taking these factors
into consideration the Soviet of People's Commissars decrees: . . . .
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE EXTRAORDINARY COMMISSION
TO FIGHT COUNTER-REVOLUTION
[Decree of the Sovnarkom, December 20, 1917]
The Commission is to be named the All-Russian
Extraordinary Commission and is to be attached to the Soviet of People's
Commissars. [This commission] is to make war on counter-revolution and
sabotage .... The duties of the Commission will be:
- 1. To persecute and break up all acts of counter-revolution
and sabotage all over Russia, no matter what their origin.
- 2. To bring before the Revolutionary Tribunal
all counter-revolutionaries and saboteurs and to work out a plan for fighting
- 3. To make preliminary investigation only - enough
to break up [the counter-revolutionary act]. The Commission is to be divided
into sections :
- (a) the information [section],
- (b) the organisational section (in charge of
organising the fight against counter-revolution all over Russia) with branches,
- (c) the fighting section.
The Commission will be formed tomorrow..... The
Commission is to watch the press, saboteurs, strikers, and the Right Social-Revolutionaries.
Measures [to be taken against these counter-revolutionaries are] confiscation,
confinement, deprivation of [food] cards, publication of the names of the
enemies of the people, etc.