Lenin

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  • Chapter IV

    The October 1917 revolution ended the phase of the revolu­tion which had started earlier that year in February, replacing Russia's short-lived provisional parliamentary government with government by soviets; and the establishment of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, the world's first constitutionally socialist state, with Lenin as Chairman of the Soviet Government.

    Lenin worked quickly to consolidate power and revolutionise the state, implementing socialist reforms, transferring to workers' soviets, land and estates held hitherto by the imperial regime, reor­ganizing into the Russian Communist Party, the various factions in the party.

    Anyone who knew anything about Lenin was aware that one of his strong points was the ability in every instance to distinguish the essence of the matter from the form. But it might be worthwhile to stress that he also attached importance to the form, realizing how much the formal side of things dominates people's mind; in this way he was able to invest formality with substance. From the moment of the deposition of the Provisional Government, Lenin systematically, in small things as well as in great, acted as a government should. We had not yet any governmental apparatus; our contact with the

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