Soso pushed his way through the crowded room, Kamenev and Muranov followed him. They pushed towards the middle of the back. The room wasn’t exceptionally large, but it came complete with a large box that the speakers would stand on to speak. And it was now Lenin’s turn to speak. It was to be the first time he would address the Bolsheviks as a whole in Petrograd in over a decade.
He stepped onto the platform and began speaking, Soso couldn’t help but smile his painfully slow pace necessitated by the less educated in their midst. “We need out of this war! It’s threatening to bankrupt the entire country, and just who are we to expropriate if the expropriators themselves have no money?” There were loud cheers, this was a good rallying point, nearly all Russians wanted out of the war. “Comrades, most of you are like myself-just returning from years of exile. But we need not be discouraged, indeed, we need not even worry ourselves with politics at the moment. Our call is for brothers! If we are to be successful we must convert the masses not participate in politics! The Bolsheviks must be the majority (Bolshinstvo) again!” There were cries of approval, but Soso couldn’t tell from whom. The majority of the audience stood in shocked silence, including Soso. Soso looked over at Kamenev and both of them smiled. They knew Lenin would have a plan.
“Comrades, the revolution is unfinished. It lacks heart. It lacks strength. It lacks unity. It lacks-the Proletariat!” His voice was growing more and more animated. “Ergo, we cannot support this farcical Provisional Government! We must oppose it in whatever way we can! Every wrong step they take, every wrong thing they say we need to publish, we need to hand out, we need to delineate! Were the Soviets consulted when the Duma came to power? And who’s to say now that they won’t try to take back power? Who’s to say the Duma won’t just give it back to the expropriators? And what about the peasants? Revolution has meant nothing to them. How is the Provisional Government supposed to gain their support? The answer is they cannot! But we, comrades, we can! And we will! We must build a coalition of the Proletariat and Peasantry!” Soso frowned, that was new. Marx didn’t call for a shared revolution, and besides the revolution had already happened. Why was there a need for more violence? Stalin and Kamenev exchanged doubtful looks.
“Comrades, I know some of you may wonder why we need the peasants. But Marx speaks of a transitional state where special conditions must exist under the budding rule of the Proletariat.” He paused as he knew few understood what this meant. “If we are to boil a frog, we must do so slowly, otherwise he will jump out! In order to do this, I say we must take the land from the remaining aristocracy and kulaks, a total nationalization of the land!” Stalin shrugged at this. He figured Lenin wanted to somehow play to the peasants’ ideals, since they made up a large part of the army, but he couldn’t see how the peasants would like nationalization of the land, especially the kulaks.
Soso lost in his thoughts, hardly noticed as Lenin concluded and stepped down. A man standing in the front yelled out: “All power to the soviets!” The room rang out together with the new cheer. Leaving Soso to muse over what he had just seen and heard. Lenin was right; the winds of change were coming to Russia again, and perhaps, this lack of power could work in their favor. Perhaps being a minority during this unruly reign was a good thing. It freed them up to organize for when the winds did finally change.