All Power to the Meaningless

V. I. Lenin, chairman of the Council of Workers' and Peasants' Defence.           1919.

“All power to the Workers Councils,” proclaimed the Bolsheviks as they built support for an insurrection against the Kerensky Provisional Government in Russia.  “All power to the Soviets,” it ran.  The Soviets were the workers’ councils that sprang up in cities and factories all over Russia in 1917.  The Bolshevik Party used this slogan in an attempt to unite the various revolutionary forces under the Party’s banner.  Unfortunately for the workers involved in said councils, it was a hollow slogan.  After the Bolsheviks took over and consolidated political power under the Party, they proceeded to take all the power away from these soviets, thus making the slogan, at that time, rather meaningless. 

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