ABSTRACT

The discussion in the previous chapter says much about why it was decided on December 6 to undertake a strike-insurrection in Moscow. The militant mood of the workers certainly figured in the decision, but the latter was not made because the masses of the city’s workers, almost to a man, wanted it. To the extent that the workers decided the issue, it was those workers represented in the Moscow Soviet and/or connected with the parties in one way or another who did so. Such workers constituted only a part of the city’s industrial and total work forces, and not all of them participated enthusiastically in the making of the decision or even approved of it. Too, it should be kept in mind that without the parties, without the Bolsheviks, Mensheviks, and SR’s, there would have been no decision for a strike-insurrection. The parties, through their agitation and propaganda, had helped greatly to create the militant mood among those workers involved, and the parties orchestrated the whole decision-making process. Moreover, there existed among the local party leaders and professionals a feeling of urgency, of belief that the government was moving to smash the revolution, that something 808had to be done, that the honor of the revolution and of themselves was at stake. This plus their youthful-ness perhaps pushed them to embark on a desperate move and to take their followers with them. The feeling of urgency and belief that something had to be done, as with the militant mood of the workers represented in the soviet and connected with the parties, had been stimulated into existence most immediately by the actions of the government against workers and others in Moscow and elsewhere and against the St. Petersburg Soviet. In addition, however misplaced they turned out to be, those involved in making the decision, leaders as well as rank and file, evidently held beliefs or hopes that support from the troops of the local garrison and from other parts of the country, but particularly from St. Petersburg, would be forthcoming once they (the Muscovites) took to the streets against the government. Finally, there is the possibility that the decision in Moscow was one made by or at the behest of the central leadership of the parties and of the soviet in St. Petersburg. But it is just as possible that the decision was basically a local, spontaneous one which came unexpectedly for those in St. Petersburg as well as for some Muscovites.