Letter to the city council of Warsaw - Władysław Kowalski

Translation of this letter of resignation to the Warsaw city council in 1918 arguing for the supremacy of workers' councils.

Introduction

Here is a translation by Dyjbas of a 1918 letter sent by Władysław Kowalski to the City Council of Warsaw, of which he was previously a member but left with the rise of workers’ councils (soviets) in Poland. At the time Kowalski was a member of the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania (SDKPiL) and soon to be one of the leaders of the left-wing of the Communist Workers’ Party of Poland (KPRP). He ceased political activity around 1923, when it became clear that world revolution was no longer on the horizon. Around 1937 he was murdered by the Stalinists.

Letter

As a representative of the revolutionary proletariat of Warsaw, I joined the City Council so that through its tribune I could explain to the working class the causes of disasters that beset it, and call it to the revolutionary struggle for socialism.

After my first speeches, in which I denounced the policy of the propertied classes and their organs, the politics of exploitation, starvation and persecution of the proletariat, the politics of abject submission to the occupant authorities, and showed the need for a social revolution, I was detached from public life and sent to a POW camp spending two-years in captivity.

Today, the slogans which I raised on behalf of the SDKPiL, slogans of overthrowing capitalism and imperialism and of determined struggle of the working masses for socialism, are being brought to life. They imbue the consciousness of the working masses all over the world and have today become the banner of the working masses of Poland.

Today, when the network of councils of the proletariat of towns and villages covers the whole country, while at the head of the working masses of Warsaw stands the Council of Workers' Delegates of the city of Warsaw, today the bourgeois City Council is a dead body, and can save a semblance of life only through the raging reaction of the bourgeoisie and the anti-revolutionary efforts of the so-called People's Government.

The highest and the only authority of the Warsaw proletariat must be the Council of Workers' Delegates.

Under these conditions, my continued stay in the City Council becomes pointless, I place my mandate in the hands of my voters and I urge them to join the intensified struggle for liberation from the shackles of capitalism, the struggle for socialism.

WŁADYSŁAW KOWALSKI