democratic control over our workplaces and the other institutions that shape our communities is the key to ending exploitation.
That’s the socialist vision: abolishing private ownership of the things we all need and use—factories, banks, offices, natural resources, utilities, communication and transportation infrastructure—and replacing it with social ownership, thereby undercutting the power of elites to hoard wealth and power. And that’s also the ethical appeal of socialism: a world where people don’t try to control others for personal gain, but instead cooperate so that everyone can flourish.
Now transformed into a small minority, the Right srs and Mensheviks attacked the Bolshevik action. Even Martov denounced the “coup d’état,” but also put forth a resolution calling for an interim all-Soviet government and plans for a constituent assembly. Many Bolsheviks supported the motion and it carried unanimously. Martov’s plan would have created the broad socialist government that many had sought in September— only now, in a more radical context, it would be pressured into taking principled positions on the war and land reform
But as in September, the Right SRs and the Menshevik majority refused to go along. They walked out of the Congress, ceding the revolution’s future to the Bolsheviks. Martov still wanted a compromise — negotiations for the creation of a coalition socialist government. But now, just two hours later, with the moderates no longer in the hall, the Bolshevik mood hardened. “The rising of the masses of the people requires no justification,” Trotsky lectured his former comrade bitingly from the floor. “No, here no compromise is possible. To those who have left and to those who tell us to do this we must say: you are miserable bankrupts, your role is played out. Go where you ought to go: into the dustbin of history!”