By Georg von Rauch
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_ In judging the actual political situation, Lenin was skeptical. As late as 1917 he said, in a speech before Swiss workers, that the old generation would not live to see the decisive battles of the coming revolution in Russia; the next generation, however, he hoped, would carry the revolution of the proletariat to victory. Six weeks later the Czarist regime collapsed. C H A P T E R 1 THE REVOLUTION Czarist Russia and the War Russia's strategic plans collapsed quickly during the First World War.
For this they needed a majority in the Soviets. But until that time they would have to win the masses for themselves. A n d now Lenin hammered his program of action into the ears of his audiences: liquidation of the standing army and the police, liquidation of the bureaucracy, socialization of the banks, control by the workers of production and distribution of goods, division of the land among the peasants. The effect of his first speech was tremendous. No one had expected such a degree of radicalism.
Miliukov, paid as scanty attention to these questions as to the social wants of the peasants and workers. Russian liberalism was twice guilty here and we cannot hold the Russian national character responsible but, instead, the generation which happened to be at the helm. As matters stood, the monarchy was ripe for its fall. With its frivolous entry into World War I it dug its own grave. The Russian Socialists and the War In the early days of the war Lenin was arrested by the Austrian authorities.