Lenin, 1917, “Workers’ Control”

Lenin writes: “Such measures as the nationalization of the land and of the banks and syndicates of capitalists, or at least the immediate establishment of the control of the Soviets of Workers’ Deputies over them (measures which do not in any way imply the ‘introduction of socialism’) must be absolutely insisted on and whenever possible introduced by revolutionary means”. Such measures were “entirely feasible economically” and without them it would be “impossible to heal the wounds of the war and prevent the impending collapse”.

To Lenin’s basic ideas of workers’ control as a “curb on the capitalists” and “a means of preventing collapse”, a third was soon to be added with recurs in much of Lenin’s writing of this period. It is the concept of workers’ control as a “prelude to nationalization”. For instance: “We must at once prepare the Soviets of Workers’ Deputies, the Soviet of Deputies of Bank Employees, etc., to proceed to the adoption of feasible and practicable measures for the merging of all the banks into one single national bank, to be followed by the establishment of the control of the Soviets of Workers’ Deputies over the banks and syndicates and then by their nationalization”.

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