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J.STALIN 



WORKS 



. 



WORKERS OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE! 



From Marx to Mao 



© Digital Reprints 
2006 



Russian Edition 

Published by Decision 

of the Central Committee 

of the Communist Party 

of the Soviet Union 

(Bolsheviks) 



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H.B. CTA JI H H 



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M o c k e a • 19 4 8 



J. Y STALIN 



WORKS 

VOLUME 



1926 

JANUARY -i NOVEMBER 



FOREIGN LANGUAGES PUBLISHING HOUSE 
Moscow • 1954 



CONTENTS 






Page 
Preface XIII 

THE FIGHT AGAINST RIGHT AND "ULTRA-LEFT" 
DEVIATIONS. Two Speeches Delivered at a Meeting of 
the Presidium of the E.C.C.I., January 22, 1926 ... 1 

I ^^^. r. 1 

II 5 

PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION OF THE COLLEC- 
TION QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 11 

CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM .... 13 

I. The Definition of Leninism 13 

II. The Main Thing in Leninism 16 

III. The Question of "Permanent" Revolution . . 19 

IV. The Proletarian Revolution and the Dictator- 
ship of the Proletariat 22 

V. The Party and the Working Class in the System 

of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat ... 33 

VI. The Question of the Victory of Socialism in One 

Country 64 

VII. The Fight for the Victory of Socialist Construc- 
tion 80 

THE PEASANTRY AS AN ALLY OF THE WORKING 
CLASS. Reply to Comrades P. F. Boltnev, V. I. Efremov 
and V. I. Ivlev 97 

THE POSSIBILITY OF BUILDING SOCIALISM IN OUR 

COUNTRY. Reply to Comrade Pokoyev .... 101 



VIII CONTENTS 



COMRADE KOTOVSKY 105 

SPEECH DELIVERED IN THE FRENCH COMMISSION 
OF THE SIXTH ENLARGED PLENUM OF THE 
E.C.C.L, March 6, 1926 106 

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNIST WOMEN'S DAY. . 114 

SPEECH DELIVERED IN THE GERMAN COMMISSION 
OF THE SIXTH ENLARGED PLENUM OF THE 
E.C.C.L, March 8, 1926 115 

THE ECONOMIC SITUATION OF THE SOVIET UNION 
AND THE POLICY OF THE PARTY. Report to the 
Active of the Leningrad Party Organisation on the Work 
of the Plenum of the C.C., C.PS.U.(B), April 13, 1926 123 

I. Two Periods of NEP 124 

II. The Course Towards Industrialisation .... 126 

III. Questions of Socialist Accumulation 129 

IV. The Proper Use of Accumulations. The Regime 

of Economy 136 

V. We Must Create Cadres of Builders of Industry 145 

VI. We Must Raise the Activity of the Working 

Class 147 

VII. We Must Strengthen the Alliance of the Work- 
ers and Peasants 148 

VIII. We Must Put Inner-Party Democracy into Ef- 
fect 151 

IX. We Must Protect the Unity of the Party . . . 153 

X. Conclusions 154 

TO COMRADE KAGANOVICH AND THE OTHER MEM- 
BERS OF THE POLITICAL BUREAU OF THE 
CENTRAL COMMITTEE, UKRAINIAN C.P.(B.) . . 157 

THE BRITISH STRIKE AND THE EVENTS IN POLAND. 
Report Delivered at a Meeting of Workers of the Chief 
Railway Workshops in Tiflis, June 8, 1926 .... 164 

What Caused the Strike in Britain? 164 



CONTENTS IX 



Why Did the British General Strike Fail? 169 

Lessons of the General Strike 173 

Some Conclusions 175 

The Recent Events in Poland 177 

REPLY TO THE GREETINGS OF THE WORKERS OF 
THE CHIEF RAILWAY WORKSHOPS IN TIFLIS, 
June 8, 1926 182 

THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN UNITY COMMITTEE. Speech Deliv- 
ered at a Joint Plenum of the Central Committee and 
the Central Control Commission, C.P.S.U.(B.), July 
15, 1926 185 

F. DZERZHINSKY (In Memory of F. Dzerzhinsky) ... 203 

THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN COMMITTEE. Speech Delivered 
at a Meeting of the Presidium of the E.C.CJ., August 7, 
1926 205 

TO THE EDITORIAL BOARD OF THE DAILY WORK- 
ER, CENTRAL ORGAN OF THE WORKERS 
PARTY OF AMERICA 215 

LETTER TO SLEPKOV 217 

MEASURES FOR MITIGATING THE INNER-PARTY 
STRUGGLE. Speech Delivered at a Meeting of the Po- 
litical Bureau of the C.C, C.P.S.UfB.), October 11, 
1926 220 

THE OPPOSITION BLOC IN THE C.PSU.fB.). Theses 
for the Fifteenth All-Union Conference of the CPS.UfB.), 
Adopted by the Conference and Endorsed by the C.C, 
CPS.UfB.) 225 

I. The Passing over of the "New Opposition" to 
Trotskyism on the Basic Question of the Charac- 
ter and Prospects of Our Revolution . . . 227 

II. The Practical Platform of the Opposition Bloc 232 



X CONTENTS 



III. The "Revolutionary" Words and Opportunist 
Deeds of the Opposition Bloc 239 

IV. Conclusions 243 

THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PAR- 
TY. Report Delivered at the Fifteenth Ail-Union Confer- 
ence of the C.P.S.UfB.), November 1, 1926. ... 245 

I. The Stages of Development of the Opposition 

Bloc 245 

1. The First Stage 246 

2. The Second Stage 247 

3. The Third Stage 249 

4. The Fourth Stage 250 

5. Lenin and the Question of Blocs in the Party. . . 252 

6. The Process of Decomposition of the Opposition Bloc 254 

7. What Is the Opposition Bloc Counting on? . . . . 256 

II. The Principal Error of the Opposition Bloc . . 258 

1. Preliminary Remarks 259 

2. Leninism or Trotskyism? 264 

3. The Resolution of the Fourteenth Conference on the 
R.C.P.(B.) 278 

4. The Passing over of the "New Opposition" to Trots- 
kyism 282 

5. Trotsky's Evasion. Smilga. Radek 287 

6. The Decisive Importance of the Question of the Pros- 
pects of Our Constructive Work 292 

7. The Political Prospects of the Opposition Bloc . . . 295 

III. The Political and Organisational Errors of the 

Opposition Bloc 299 

IV Some Conclusions 306 

REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION ON THE REPORT ON 
"THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR 

PARTY," November 3, 1926 311 

I. Some General Questions 311 

1. Marxism Is Not a Dogma, but a Guide to Action 311 



CONTENTS XI 



2. Some Remarks of Lenin on the Dictatorship of the 
Proletariat 321 

3. The Unevenness of Development of the Capitalist 
Countries 326 

II. Kamenev Clears the Way for Trotsky . . . 330 

III. An Incredible Muddle, or Zinoviev on Revo- 
lutionary Spirit and Internationalism .... 339 

IV. Trotsky Falsifies Leninism 347 

1. Trotsky's conjuring Tricks, or the Question of "Perma- 
nent Revolution" 347 

2. Juggling with Quotations, or Trotsky Falsifies Lenin- 
ism 357 

3. "Trifles" and Curiosities 363 

V. The Practical Platform of the Opposition. The 
Demands of the Party 366 

VI. Conclusion 370 

THE PROSPECTS OF THE REVOLUTION IN CHINA. 
Speech Delivered in the Chinese Commission of the E.C.C.I., 

November 30, 1926 373 

I. Character of the Revolution in China . . . 373 

II. Imperialism and Imperialist Intervention in 

China 375 

III. The Revolutionary Army in China .... 378 

IV. Character of the Future Government in China 381 
V. The Peasant Question in China 384 

VI. The Proletariat and the Hegemony of the Pro- 
letariat in China 388 

VII. The Question of the Youth in China ... 390 
VIII. Some Conclusions 391 

Notes 393 

Biographical Chronicle (January-November 1926) . . . 409 



PREFACE 



The Eighth Volume of J. V. Stalin's Works contains 
writings and speeches of the period January-Novem- 
ber 1926. 

The year 1926 was the first year of the all-out effort 
of the Bolshevik Party to put into effect the general 
line of the Communist Party and the Soviet Government 
for the socialist industrialisation of the country. 

In his works Concerning Questions of Leninism and 
The Economic Situation of the Soviet Union and the Policy 
of the Party, J. V. Stalin exposes the malicious distor- 
tions of the principles of Leninism by the Zinoviev- 
Kamenev group, upholds the decisions of the Fourteenth 
Congress of the C.PS.U.(B.), and discloses the attempts 
of the "New Opposition" to infect the Party with dis- 
belief in the victory of socialism in the U.S.S.R. 

In his report to the Fifteenth Conference of the 
C.P.S.U.(B.) The Social-Democratic Deviation in Our 
Party and in his reply to the discussion on the report, 
J. V. Stalin upholds the ideological and organisational 
unity of the Bolshevik Party and exposes the capitula- 
tionist ideology and the disruptive, splitting activities 
of the Trotsky-Zinoviev bloc. 



XIV PREFACE 



In these works J. V. Stalin develops Lenin's teaching 
on the possibility of the victory of socialism in individ- 
ual countries, and demonstrates the possibility, neces- 
sity and international significance of the building of 
a socialist society in the U.S.S.R. in the conditions of 
capitalist encirclement, outlines the practical tasks 
of the Party in the field of socialist construction, and 
defines the concrete ways and means of putting into 
effect the Party's general line for the socialist industri- 
alisation of the country. 

In "The British Strike and the Events in Poland," 
"The Anglo-Russian Unity Committee," "The Fight 
against Right and 'Ultra-Left' Deviations," the "Speech 
Delivered in the German Commission of the Sixth 
Enlarged Plenum of the E. C.C.I." and other works, 
J. V. Stalin stresses the necessity for a persistent and 
consistent struggle for working-class unity, against 
imperialist reaction, and against the danger of new 
imperialist wars. He exposes Trotsky's adventurist 
theory of skipping-over movements which have not yet 
outlived their day, and indicates the lines and methods 
of the ideological and organisational struggle against 
opportunism in the Communist Parties abroad. 

In the speech on "The Prospects of the Revolution 
in China," J. V. Stalin analyses the distinguishing 
features, character and trend of the Chinese revolution. 

This volume includes the following documents pub- 
lished for the first time: "The Peasantry as an Ally 
of the Working Class," "The Possibility of Building 
Socialism in Our Country," "Speech Delivered in the 
French Commission of the Sixth Enlarged Plenum of 
the E.C.C.I.," speech on "The Anglo-Russian Commit- 



PREFACE XV 



tee," "Letter to Slepkov," "Measures for Mitigating 
the Inner-Party Struggle," and Stalin's letter "To the 
Editorial Board of the Daily Worker, Central Organ 
of the Workers Party of America." J. V. Stalin's letter 
"To Comrade Kaganovich and the Other Members of 
the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, Ukrain- 
ian C.P.(B.)" is given here for the first time in full. 



Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute 
of the C.C., C.RS.U.(B.) 



1926 

JANUARY" NOVEMBER 



THE FIGHT AGAINST RIGHT 
AND "ULTRA-LEFT" DEVIATIONS 

Two Speeches Delivered at a Meeting 

of the Presidium of the E. C.C.I. 

January 22, 1926 



I 

I think that the attitude of Hansen and Ruth Fischer 
is wrong. They demand that the fight against the Rights 
and "ultra-Lefts" should be waged always and every- 
where, under all conditions, with equal intensity, on the 
principle, so to speak, of equity. This idea of equity, of 
striking at the Rights and "ultra-Lefts" with equal 
intensity under all conditions and circumstances, is 
childish. It is one that no politician can entertain. The 
question of the fight against the Rights and "ultra- 
Lefts" must be regarded not from the standpoint of 
equity, but from the standpoint of the demands of the 
political situation, of the political requirements of 
the Party at any given moment. Why, in the French 
Party, is the fight against the Rights the immediate 
urgent task at the present moment, while in the German 
Communist Party the immediate task is the fight against 
the "ultra-Lefts"? Because the situations in the French 
and the German Communist Parties are not identical. 
Because the political requirements of these two Parties 
at the present time are different. 

Germany has only recently emerged from a profound 
revolutionary crisis, 1 when the Party was conducting 
its fight by the method of direct assault. Now the 



J. V. STALIN 



German Communist Party is going through a period of 
mustering forces and preparing the masses for the deci- 
sive battles to come. In this new situation, the method 
of direct assault will no longer do for the attainment 
of the old objectives. What the German Communist Party 
must now do is to pass to the method of flank move- 
ments, with the aim of winning over the majority of the 
working class in Germany. It is natural under these 
circumstances that we should find in Germany a group 
of "ultra-Lefts" which keeps repeating the old slogans in a 
schoolboy fashion and is unable or unwilling to adapt 
itself to the new conditions of the struggle, which 
demand new methods of work. Hence we have the "ultra- 
Lefts," who by their policy are hindering the Party 
from adapting itself to the new conditions of the struggle 
and from finding its way to the broad masses of the 
German proletariat. Either the German Communist 
Party breaks the resistance of the "ultra-Lefts," and then 
it will be on the high road to winning over the majority 
of the working class; or it does not, and then it will make 
the present crisis chronic and disastrous for the Party. 
Hence the fighting against the "ultra-Lefts" in the 
German Communist Party is the latter 's immediate task. 
In France we have a different situation. In that 
country there has been no profound revolutionary crisis 
so far. The struggle there has proceeded within the 
bounds of legality, and the methods of struggle have 
been exclusively, or almost exclusively, of a legal char- 
acter. But now a crisis has begun to develop in France. 
I have in mind the Moroccan and Syrian wars and 
France's financial difficulties. 2 How deep that crisis 
is, it is difficult to say at present, but it is a crisis 



THE FIGHT AGAINST RIGHT AND "ULTRA-LEFT" DEVIATIONS 3 

nevertheless, and one which demands of the Party a com- 
bination of legal and illegal forms of struggle, and the 
maximum Bolshevisation of the Party. It is natural 
under these circumstances that we should find in the 
French Party a group — I am referring to the Rights — 
which is unable or unwilling to adapt itself to the new 
conditions of the struggle, and which continues from 
inertia to insist on the old methods of struggle as the 
only correct ones. This circumstance, of course, cannot 
but hinder the Bolshevisation of the French Communist 
Party. Hence the Right danger in the French Communist 
Party is the immediate danger. Hence the task of fighting 
against the Right danger is the urgent task of the French 
Communist Party. 

A few illustrations from the history of the 
C.P.S.U.(B.). After the 1905 Revolution there arose 
in our Party, too, an "ultra-Left" group, known as the 
"Otzovists," which was unable or unwilling to adapt 
itself to the new conditions of the struggle and refused 
to recognise the method of utilising legal opportunities 
(the Duma, workers' clubs, insurance funds, etc.). 
As you know, Lenin resolutely fought that group, and 
it was after the Party had succeeded in overcoming 
that group that it was able to take the right road. We 
had the same thing after the 1917 Revolution, when an 
"ultra-Left" group 3 opposed the Brest Peace. As you 
know, our Party, under Lenin's leadership, smashed 
this group too. 

What do these facts show? They show that the ques- 
tion of the fight against the Rights and "ultra-Lefts" 
must be put not abstractly, but concretely, depending 
on the political situation. 



J. V. STALIN 



Is it accidental that the French have come to the 
Presidium of the Executive Committee of the Communist 
International with a resolution against the Right ele- 
ments in their Party, and the Germans with a resolution 
against the "ultra-Lefts"? Of course not. The tongue 
ever turns to the aching tooth. 

Hence, the idea of equity, of striking at the Rights 
and "ultra-Lefts" with equal intensity, is untenable. 

For that very reason, I would suggest deleting from 
the draft resolution on the "ultra-Lefts" in Germany 
the phrase which says that in the German Communist 
Party it is necessary to concentrate to an equal degree 
on the struggle against the Rights and the "ultra-Lefts." 
I propose that this phrase be deleted for the same reason 
that the phrase about concentrating on the struggle 
against the "ultra-Lefts" was deleted from the reso- 
lution on the Rights in the French Communist Party. 
That the Rights and "ultra-Lefts" must be fought al- 
ways and everywhere is perfectly true. But that is not 
the point just now; the point is what to concentrate 
on at the present moment in France, on the one hand, 
and in Germany, on the other. I think that in the French 
Communist Party it is necessary to concentrate on the 
fight against the Rights, for that is demanded by political 
necessity at the present moment, while in the German 
Communist Party it is necessary to concentrate on the 
fight against the "ultra-Lefts," since that is demanded 
by the political requirements of the German Communist 
Party at the present moment. 

What is the position of the intermediate group in 
the German Communist Party — the Ruth Fischer-Mas- 
low group — looking at the question from the point of 



THE FIGHT AGAINST RIGHT AND "ULTRA-LEFT" DEVIATIONS 5 

view just expounded? This group, in my opinion, is 
diplomatically screening Scholem's "ultra-Left" group. 
The Ruth Fischer-Maslow group is not siding with the 
Scholem group openly, but it is doing everything in 
its power to weaken the force of the Party's blow against 
the Scholem group. The Ruth Fischer-Maslow group 
is thus hampering the efforts of the Central Committee 
of the German Communist Party to overcome and elim- 
inate the "ultra-Left" prejudices of the German Com- 
munist Party. The German Communist Party must 
therefore wage a determined fight against this group, 
the Ruth Fischer-Maslow group. Either the Ruth Fi- 
scher-Maslow group is smashed, and then the Party 
will be in a position to overcome the present crisis in 
the fight against the Scholem group; or the German 
Communist Party is taken in by the diplomatic wiles 
of the Ruth Fischer-Maslow group, and then the fight 
will be lost, to the benefit of Scholem. 



II 

It seems to me that in the matter of the inner-party 
ideological struggle, Hansen is preaching a sort of par- 
son's morality, one entirely unbefitting a Communist 
Party. Apparently, he is not opposed to an ideological 
struggle. But he would like to conduct it in such a way 
as not to discredit any of the opposition leaders. I must 
say that no such struggle ever happens. I must say that 
one who is prepared to tolerate a struggle only provided 
that none of the leaders is in any way compromised, 
virtually denies the possibility of waging any kind of 
ideological struggle within the Party. Ought we to 



J. V. STALIN 



disclose mistakes committed by party leaders? Ought we 
to bring those mistakes to light, so as to educate the 
party masses on the basis of the mistakes of the leaders? 
I think that we ought to do so. I think that there is no 
other way of correcting mistakes. I think that the method 
of slurring over mistakes is not our method. But it fol- 
lows from this that there can be no inner-party struggle 
and correction of mistakes without some leader or other 
being in some way compromised. That may be sad, 
but nothing can be done about it, because we are power- 
less against the inevitable. 

Ought we to fight against both "ultra-Lefts" and 
Rights? Hansen asks. Of course, we ought to. We settled 
that question long ago. The dispute is not about that. 
The dispute is about which danger we should concen- 
trate on in the fight at this moment in the two different 
Parties, the French and the German, the situations of 
which are at present dissimilar. Is it accidental that 
the French have come to the Presidium of the E. C.C.I. 
with a resolution against the Rights, and the Germans 
with a resolution against the "ultra-Lefts"? Perhaps 
the French are mistaken in concentrating on the fight 
against the Rights? Why, in that case, did Hansen 
not attempt to come to the Presidium with a coun- 
ter-resolution regarding the fight against the 
"ultra-Lefts" in France? Perhaps the Germans are mis- 
taken in concentrating on the fight against the "ultra- 
Lefts"? Why, in that case, did Hansen and Ruth Fischer 
not attempt to come to the Presidium with a coun- 
ter-resolution concentrating on the fight against the 
Rights? What is the point here? The point is that we 
are faced not with the abstract question of combating 



THE FIGHT AGAINST RIGHT AND "ULTRA-LEFT" DEVIATIONS 7 

Rights and "ultra-Lefts" in general, but with the con- 
crete question of the immediate tasks of the German 
Party at the present moment. And the immediate task 
of the German Communist Party is to overcome the 
"ultra-Left" danger, just as the immediate task of the 
French Communist Party is to overcome the Right 
danger. 

How, for instance, are we to explain the generally 
known fact that the Communist Parties of Britain, 
France and Czechoslovakia have already obtained im- 
portant footholds in the trade-union movements of 
their countries, have found their way to the broad 
masses of the working class, and are beginning to win the 
confidence, if not of the majority, at least of a consid- 
erable section of the working class, whereas in Germany 
the position in this respect is still weak? It is to be 
explained above all by the fact that the "ultra-Lefts" 
are still strong in the German Communist Party, and 
that they still look sceptically on the trade unions, on 
the slogan of a united front, on the slogan of winning 
over the trade unions. Everyone knows that until re- 
cently the "ultra-Lefts" upheld the slogan "Get out of 
the trade unions." Everyone knows that survivals of 
this anti-proletarian slogan have not yet been com- 
pletely eradicated among the "ultra-Lefts." One thing or 
the other: either the German Communist Party succeeds 
in speedily and decisively ridding itself of the preju- 
dices of the "ultra-Lefts" regarding methods of work 
among the masses, after having utterly smashed — 
ideologically smashed — the Scholem group; or it does 
not succeed, in which case the crisis in the German 
Communist Party may take a most dangerous turn. 



J. V. STALIN 



It is said that there are honest revolutionary work- 
ers among the "ultra-Lefts," and that we must not 
repel them. That is quite true, and we are not suggesting 
that they should be repelled. For that reason we are 
not introducing into our draft resolution any proposal 
that any of the "ultra-Lefts," and least of all workers, 
should be repelled or expelled from the Party. But how 
are those workers to be raised to the level of political 
understanding of a Leninist party? How are they to be 
-rescued from the misconceptions they are now labouring 
under owing to the errors and prejudices of their "ultra- 
Left" leaders? There is only one method of achieving 
this, and that is the method of politically repudiating 
the "ultra-Left" leaders, the method of exposing the 
"ultra-Left" errors which are misleading honest revo- 
lutionary workers and hindering them from setting 
foot on the broad highway. Can we tolerate putrid diplo- 
macy, the slurring over of errors, in questions of the 
ideological struggle in the Party and the political edu- 
cation of the masses? No, we cannot. We should be de- 
ceiving the workers if we did. What, then, is the solu- 
tion? There is only one solution, and that is to expose 
the errors of the "ultra-Left" leaders, and in this way 
help honest revolutionary workers to take the right 
road. 

It is said that a blow at the "ultra-Lefts" may lead 
to the accusation that the German Communist Party 
has swung to the Right. That is nonsense, comrades. 
At the All-Russian Party Conference in 1908, 4 when 
Lenin fought the Russian "ultra-Lefts" and utterly 
routed them, in our midst, too, there were people who 
accused Lenin of Rightism, of having swung to the 



THE FIGHT AGAINST RIGHT AND "ULTRA-LEFT" DEVIATIONS 9 

Right. But all the world now knows that Lenin's posi- 
tion at that time was correct, that his standpoint was the 
only revolutionary one, and that the Russian "ultra- 
Lefts," who were then making a show of "revolutionary" 
phrases, were in reality opportunists. 

It should not be forgotten that Rights and "ultra- 
Lefts" are actually twins, that consequently both take 
an opportunist stand, the difference between them being 
that whereas the Rights do not always conceal their 
opportunism, the Lefts invariably camouflage their 
opportunism with "revolutionary" phrases. We cannot 
allow our policy to be determined by what scandal- 
mongers and philistines may say about us. We must 
go our way firmly and confidently, paying no heed to 
the tales idle minds may invent about us. The Russians 
have an apt saying: "the dogs bark, the caravan passes." 
We should bear this saying in mind; it may stand us in 
good stead on more than one occasion. 

Ruth Fischer says that later on the Right danger 
may come to be the immediate question for the German 
Communist Party. That is quite possible and even prob- 
able. But what follows from this? Ruth Fischer draws 
the strange conclusion that the blow against the "ultra- 
Lefts" in Germany, who already at this moment con- 
stitute a real danger, should be weakened, and the blow 
against the Rights, who may become a serious danger 
in the future, should be strengthened immediately. It 
will be easily seen that this is a rather ludicrous and 
fundamentally incorrect way of putting the question. 
Only a betwixt-and-between diplomatic group like the 
Ruth Fischer-Maslow group could land itself in 
such a ludicrous position in its effort to weaken the 



10 J. V. S TALI N 



Party's struggle against the "ultra-Lefts," and thus 
save the Scholem group, withdrawing it from the blow. 
For that is the whole purpose of Ruth Fischer's pro- 
posal. I think that there must be a similar inter- 
mediate diplomatic group in France, one that is trying 
with honeyed speeches to shield the Right elements 
in the French Communist Party. It is therefore an im- 
mediate task of the day to fight the intermediate diplo- 
matic groups both in the German and in the French 
Parties. 

Ruth Fischer asserts that if a resolution against 
the "ultra-Lefts" in Germany is adopted, it would only 
aggravate the situation in the Party. It seems to me 
that Ruth Fischer is anxious to prolong the crisis in 
the German Communist Party, to make it a protracted 
and chronic one. We cannot therefore follow the path 
of Ruth Fischer, for all her diplomacy and honeyed 
talk about peace in the Party. 

I think, comrades, that important Marxist elements 
have already crystallised in the German Party. I think 
that the present working-class core of the German Com- 
munist Party constitutes that Marxist core which the 
German Communist Party needs. The task of the Pre- 
sidium of the E. C.C.I, is to support that core and assist 
it in its struggle against all deviations, above all against 
the "ultra-Left" deviation. We must therefore adopt 
a resolution directed against the "ultra-Lefts" in Ger- 
many. 



Pravda, No. 40, 
February 18, 1926 



PREFACE 

TO THE FIRST EDITION OF THE COLLECTION 

QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 5 



The pamphlet The Foundations of Leninism 6 must 
be regarded as one of the basic components of the present 
collection. This pamphlet was first published nearly 
two years ago, in May 1924. It now appears in a second 
edition in the present collection. In these two years 
much water has flowed under the bridge: the Party 
has passed through two discussions, a number of pam- 
phlets and manuals on Leninism have been published, 
new practical questions of socialist construction have 
come to the fore. Naturally, the new questions that have 
arisen during these two years, as well as the results 
of the discussions which have taken place since the pam- 
phlet appeared, could not be taken into account in this 
pamphlet. Naturally, too, the concrete questions of 
our constructive work (NEP, state capitalism, the ques- 
tion of the middle peasantry, etc.) could not be fully 
treated in a small pamphlet which constitutes a "con- 
cise synopsis of the foundations of Leninism." These 
and similar questions could be treated by the author 
only in subsequent pamphlets (The October Revolution 
and the Tactics of the Russian Communists, 1 The Results of 
the Work of the Fourteenth Conference of the R.C.P.(B.), g 
Questions and Answers, 9 etc.), which have been included 



12 J. V. S TALI N 



in the present collection and which are organically 
linked with the basic theses expounded in the original 
pamphlet The Foundations of Leninism. This circum- 
stance fully justifies the publication of the present col- 
lection, which thus constitutes a single and integral 
work on questions of Leninism. 

The latest discussion, at the Fourteenth Party Con- 
gress, summed up the Party's ideological and construc- 
tive activities in the recent period, from the Thirteenth 
to the Fourteenth Congress. It also served in a way as 
a test of the views advanced by the "New Opposition." 
It is permissible to ask: What has this test shown? 

J. V. Stalin, Concerning Questions of Leninism, 
Moscow and Leningrad, 1926 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS 
OF LENINISM 



DEDICATED TO THE LENINGRAD 
ORGANISATION OF THE C.P.S.U.(B.) 

J. STALIN 
I 

THE DEFINITION OF LENINISM 

The pamphlet The Foundations of Leninism con- 
tains a definition of Leninism which seems to have 
received general recognition. It runs as follows: 

"Leninism is Marxism of the era of imperialism and the 
proletarian revolution. To be more exact, Leninism is the theory 
and tactics of the proletarian revolution in general, the theory 
and tactics of the dictatorship of the proletariat in particular." 10 

Is this definition correct? 

I think it is correct. It is correct, firstly, because 
it correctly indicates the historical roots of Leninism, 
characterising it as Marxism of the era of imperialism, 
as against certain critics of Lenin who wrongly think 
that Leninism originated after the imperialist war. 
It is correct, secondly, because it correctly notes the 
international character of Leninism, as against Social- 
Democracy, which considers that Leninism is applicable 
only to Russian national conditions. It is correct, thirdly, 
because it correctly notes the organic connection between 



14 J. V. S TALI N 



Leninism and the teachings of Marx, characterising 
Leninism as Marxism of the era of imperialism, as 
against certain critics of Leninism who consider it not 
a further development of Marxism, but merely the 
restoration of Marxism and its application to Russian 
conditions. 

All that, one would think, needs no special comment. 

Nevertheless, it appears that there are people in 
our Party who consider it necessary to define Leninism 
somewhat differently. Zinoviev, for example, thinks 
that: 

"Leninism is Marxism of the era of imperialist wars and 
of the world revolution which began directly in a country where the 
peasantry predominates ." 

What can be the meaning of the words underlined by 
Zinoviev? What does introducing the backwardness of 
Russia, its peasant character, into the definition of 
Leninism mean? 

It means transforming Leninism from an interna- 
tional proletarian doctrine into a product of specifi- 
cally Russian conditions. 

It means playing into the hands of Bauer and Kaut- 
sky, who deny that Leninism is suitable for other 
countries, for countries in which capitalism is more de- 
veloped. 

It goes without saying that the peasant question 
is of very great importance for Russia, that our country 
is a peasant country. But what significance can this 
fact have in characterising the foundations of Lenin- 
ism? Was Leninism elaborated only on Russian soil, 
for Russia alone, and not on the soil of imperialism, 
and for the imperialist countries generally? Do such 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 15 

works of Lenin as Imperialism, the Highest Stage of 
Capitalism 11 The State and Revolution, 12 The Proletarian 
Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky, 12, "Left- Wing" 
Communism, an Infantile Disorder, 14 etc., apply only 
to Russia, and not to all imperialist countries in gener- 
al? Is not Leninism the generalisation of the experience 
of the revolutionary movement of all countries? Are not 
the fundamentals of the theory and tactics of Leninism 
suitable, are they not obligatory, for the proletarian 

parties of all countries? Was not Lenin right when he 
said that "Bolshevism can serve as a model of tactics 
for air? (See Vol. XXIII, p. 386.)* Was not Lenin right 
when he spoke about the "international significance** of 
Soviet power and of the fundamentals of Bolshevik 
theory and tactics"? (See Vol. XXV, pp. 171-72.) Are 
not, for example, the following words of Lenin correct? 

"In Russia, the dictatorship of the proletariat must inevi- 
tably differ in certain specific features from that in the advanced 
countries, owing to the very great backwardness and petty-bour- 
geois character of our country. But the basic forces — and the bas- 
ic forms of social economy — are the same in Russia as in any 
capitalist country, so that these specific features can relate only 
to what is not most important"** (see Vol. XXIV, p. 508). 

But if all that is true, does it not follow that Zi- 
noviev's definition of Leninism cannot be regarded as 
correct? 

How can this nationally restricted definition of 
Leninism be reconciled with internationalism? 



* References in Roman numerals to Lenin's works here and 
elsewhere are to the 3rd Russian edition of the Works. — Tr. 
** My italics.— J. St. 



16 J. V. S TALI N 



II 

THE MAIN THING IN LENINISM 

In the pamphlet The Foundations of Leninism, it 
is stated: 

"Some think that the fundamental thing in Leninism is the 
peasant question, that the point of departure of Leninism is the 
question of the peasantry, of its role, its relative importance. 
This is absolutely wrong. The fundamental question of Leninism, 
its point of departure, is not the peasant question, but the question 
of the dictatorship of the proletariat, of the conditions under 
which it can be achieved, of the conditions under which it can 
be consolidated. The peasant question, as the question of the 
ally of the proletariat in its struggle for power, is a derivative 
question." 15 

Is this thesis correct? 

I think it is correct. This thesis follows entirely 
from the definition of Leninism. Indeed, if Leninism 
is the theory and tactics of the proletarian revolution, 
and the basic content of the proletarian revolution is 
the dictatorship of the proletariat, then it is clear that 
the main thing in Leninism is the question of the dicta- 
torship of the proletariat, the elaboration of this question, 
the substantiation and concretisation of this question. 

Nevertheless, Zinoviev evidently does not agree 
with this thesis. In his article "In Memory of Lenin, " 
he says: 

"As I have already said, the question of the role of the peas- 
antry is the fundamental question* of Bolshevism, of Leninism." 



My italics. — J. St. 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 17 

As you see, Zinoviev's thesis follows entirely from 
his wrong definition of Leninism. It is therefore as 
wrong as his definition of Leninism is wrong. 

Is Lenin's thesis that the dictatorship of the pro- 
letariat is the "root content of the proletarian revo- 
lution" correct? (See Vol. XXIII, p. 337.) It is unques- 
tionably correct. Is the thesis that Leninism is the 
theory and tactics of the proletarian revolution cor- 
rect? I think it is correct. But what follows from this? 
From this it follows that the fundamental question of 
Leninism, its point of departure, its foundation, is the 
question of the dictatorship of the proletariat. 

Is it not true that the question of imperialism, the 
question of the spasmodic character of the development 
of imperialism, the question of the victory of socialism 
in one country, the question of the proletarian state, 
the question of the Soviet form of this state, the question 
of the role of the Party in the system of the dicta- 
torship of the proletariat, the question of the paths 
of building socialism — that all these questions were 
elaborated precisely by Lenin? Is it not true that it is 
precisely these questions that constitute the basis, the 
foundation of the idea of the dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat? Is it not true that without the elaboration of 
these fundamental questions, the elaboration of the 
peasant question from the standpoint of the dictator- 
ship of the proletariat would be inconceivable? 

It goes without saying that Lenin was an expert on 
the peasant question. It goes without saying that the 
peasant question as the question of the ally of the prole- 
tariat is of the greatest significance for the proletariat 
and forms a constituent part of the fundamental question 



18 J. V. S TALI N 



of the dictatorship of the proletariat. But is it not clear 
that if Leninism had not been faced with the fundamen- 
tal question of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the 
derivative question of the ally of the proletariat, the 
question of the peasantry, would not have arisen either? 
Is it not clear that if Leninism had not been faced with 
the practical question of the conquest of power by the 
proletariat, the question of an alliance with the peas- 
antry would not have arisen either? 

Lenin would not have been the great ideological 
leader of the proletariat that he unquestionably is — 
he would have been a simple "peasant philosopher," 
as foreign literary philistines often depict him — had he 
elaborated the peasant question, not on the basis of 
the theory and tactics of the dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat, but independently of this basis, apart from this 
basis. 

One or the other: 

Either the peasant question is the main thing in 
Leninism, and in that case Leninism is not suitable, 
not obligatory, for capitalistically developed countries, 
for those which are not peasant countries. 

Or the main thing in Leninism is the dictatorship 
of the proletariat, and in that case Leninism is the 
international doctrine of the proletarians of all lands, 
suitable and obligatory for all countries without excep- 
tion, including the capitalistically developed countries. 

Here one must choose. 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 19 



III 

THE QUESTION OF "PERMANENT" 
REVOLUTION 

In the pamphlet The Foundations of Leninism, the 
"theory of permanent revolution" is appraised as a 
"theory" which under-estimates the role of the peasantry. 
There it is stated: 

"Consequently, Lenin fought the adherents of 'permanent' 
revolution, not over the question of uninterruptedness, for Lenin 
himself maintained the point of view of uninterrupted revolution, 
but because they under-estimated the role of the peasantry, which 
is an enormous reserve of the proletariat." 16 

This characterisation of the Russian "permanent- 
ists" was considered as generally accepted until re- 
cently. Nevertheless, although in general correct, it 
cannot be regarded as exhaustive. The discussion of 
1924, on the one hand, and a careful analysis of the 
works of Lenin, on the other hand, have shown that the 
mistake of the Russian "permanentists" lay not only 
in their under-estimation of the role of the peasantry, 
but also in their under-estimation of the strength of the 
proletariat and its capacity to lead the peasantry, in 
their disbelief in the idea of the hegemony of the pro- 
letariat. 

That is why, in my pamphlet The October Revolution 
and the Tactics of the Russian Communists (December 
1924), I broadened this characterisation and replaced 
it by another, more complete one. Here is what is stated 
in that pamphlet: 



20 J. V. S TALI N 



"Hitherto only one aspect of the theory of 'permanent revo- 
lution' has usually been noted — lack of faith in the revolutionary 
potentialities of the peasant movement. Now, in fairness, this 
must be supplemented by another aspect — lack of faith in the 
strength and capacity of the proletariat in Russia." 17 

This does not mean, of course, that Leninism has 
been or is opposed to the idea of permanent revolution, 
without quotation marks, which was proclaimed by Marx 
in the forties of the last century. 18 On the contrary, Lenin 
was the only Marxist who correctly understood and 
developed the idea of permanent revolution. What 
distinguishes Lenin from the "permanentists" on this 
question is that the "permanentists" distorted Marx's 
idea of permanent revolution and transformed it into 
lifeless, bookish wisdom, whereas Lenin took it in its 
pure form and made it one of the foundations of his 
own theory of revolution. It should be borne in mind 
that the idea of the growing over of the bourgeois- 
democratic revolution into the socialist revolution, pro- 
pounded by Lenin as long ago as 1905, is one of the 
forms of the embodiment of Marx's theory of permanent 
revolution. Here is what Lenin wrote about this as far 
back as 1905: 

"From the democratic revolution we shall at once, and just 
to the extent of our strength, the strength of the class-conscious 
and organised proletariat, begin to pass to the socialist revolution. 
We stand for uninterrupted revolution.* We shall not stop half- 
way. . . . 

"Without succumbing to adventurism or going against our 
scientific conscience, without striving for cheap popularity, we 



My italics. — J. St. 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 21 

can and do say only one thing: we shall put every effort into as- 
sisting the entire peasantry to carry out the democratic rev- 
olution in order thereby to make it easier for us, the party 
of the proletariat, to pass on, as quickly as possible, to the 
new and higher task — the socialist revolution" (see Vol. VIII, 
pp. 186-87). 

And here is what Lenin wrote on this subject sixteen 
years later, after the conquest of power by the prole- 
tariat: 

"The Kautskys, Hilferdings, Martovs, Chernovs, Hillquits, 
Longuets, MacDonalds, Turatis, and other heroes of 'Two-and-a- 
Half Marxism were incapable of understanding . . . the relation 
between the bourgeois-democratic and the proletarian-socialist 
revolutions. The first grows over into the second* The second, in 
passing, solves the questions of the first. The second consoli- 
dates the work of the first. Struggle, and struggle alone, decides 
how far the second succeeds in outgrowing the first" (see 
Vol. XXVII, p. 26). 

I draw special attention to the first of the above 
quotations, taken from Lenin's article entitled "The 
Attitude of Social-Democracy Towards the Peasant 
Movement," published on September 1, 1905. I empha- 
sise this for the information of those who still continue 
to assert that Lenin arrived at the idea of the growing 
over of the bourgeois-democratic revolution into the 
socialist revolution, that is to say, the idea of perma- 
nent revolution, after the imperialist war. This quota- 
tion leaves no doubt that these people are profoundly 
mistaken. 



My italics. — J St. 



22 J. V. S TALI N 



IV 

THE PROLETARIAN 

REVOLUTION AND THE DICTATORSHIP 

OF THE PROLETARIAT 

What are the characteristic features of the prole- 
tarian revolution as distinct from the bourgeois revo- 
lution? 

The distinction between the proletarian revolution 
and the bourgeois revolution may be reduced to five 
main points. 

1) The bourgeois revolution usually begins when 
there already exist more or less ready-made forms be- 
longing to the capitalist order, forms which have grown 
and matured within the womb of feudal society prior 
to the open revolution, whereas the proletarian revo- 
lution begins when ready-made forms belonging to the 
socialist order are either absent, or almost absent. 

2) The main task of the bourgeois revolution con- 
sists in seizing power and making it conform to the 
already existing bourgeois economy, whereas the main 
task of the proletarian revolution consists, after seizing 
power, in building a new, socialist economy. 

3) The bourgeois revolution is usually consummated 
with the seizure of power, whereas in the proletarian 
revolution the seizure of power is only the beginning, 
and power is used as a lever for transforming the old 
economy and organising the new one. 

4) The bourgeois revolution limits itself to replacing 
one group of exploiters in power by another group of ex- 
ploiters, in view of which it need not smash the old state 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 23 

machine; whereas the proletarian revolution removes all 
exploiting groups from power and places in power the 
leader of all the toilers and exploited, the class of prole- 
tarians, in view of which it cannot manage without 
smashing the old state machine and substituting a new 
one for it. 

5) The bourgeois revolution cannot rally the mil- 
lions of the toiling and exploited masses around the 
bourgeoisie for any length of time, for the very reason 
that they are toilers and exploited; whereas the prole- 
tarian revolution can and must link them, precisely as 
toilers and exploited, in a durable alliance with the 
proletariat, if it wishes to carry out its main task of 
consolidating the power of the proletariat and building 
a new, socialist economy. 

Here are some of Lenin's main theses on this subject: 

"One of the fundamental differences between bourgeois rev- 
olution and socialist revolution," says Lenin, "is that for the 
bourgeois revolution, which arises out of feudalism, the new eco- 
nomic organisations are gradually created in the womb of the 
old order, gradually changing all the aspects of feudal society. 
Bourgeois revolution was confronted by only one task — to sweep 
away, to cast aside, to destroy all the fetters of the preceding 
society. By fulfilling this task every bourgeois revolution fulfils 
all that is required of it: it accelerates the growth of capitalism. 

"The socialist revolution is in an altogether different posi- 
tion. The more backward the country which, owing to the zigzags 
of history, has proved to be the one to start the socialist revolu- 
tion, the more difficult it is for it to pass from the old capitalist 
relations to socialist relations. To the tasks of destruction are 
added new tasks of unprecedented difficulty — organisational 
tasks" (see Vol. XXII, p. 315). 

"Had not the popular creative spirit of the Russian rev- 
olution," continues Lenin, "which had gone through the great 



24 J. V. S TALI N 



experience of the year 1905, given rise to the Soviets as early as 
February 1917, they could not under any circumstances have seized 
power in October, because success depended entirely upon the exist- 
ence of ready-made organisational forms of a movement embrac- 
ing millions. These ready-made forms were the Soviets, and that 
is why in the political sphere there awaited us those brilliant 
successes, the continuous triumphant march, that we experienced; 
for the new form of political power was ready to hand, and all 
we had to do was, by passing a few decrees, to transform the power 
of the Soviets from the embryonic state in which it existed in 
the first months of the revolution into a legally recognised form 
which has become established in the Russian state — i.e., into the 
Russian Soviet Republic" (see Vol. XXII, p. 315). 

"But two problems of enormous difficulty still remained," 
says Lenin, "the solution of which could not possibly be the tri- 
umphant march which our revolution experienced in the first 
months. . ." (ibid.). 

"Firstly, there were the problems of internal organisation, 
which confront every socialist revolution. The difference between 
socialist revolution and bourgeois revolution lies precisely in the 
fact that the latter finds ready-made forms of capitalist relation- 
ships, while Soviet power — proletarian power — does not inherit 
such ready-made relationships, if we leave out of account 
the most developed forms of capitalism, which, strictly speak- 
ing, extended to but a small top layer of industry and hardly 
touched agriculture. The organisation of accounting, the control 
of large enterprises, the transformation of the whole of the state 
economic mechanism into a single huge machine, into an economic 
organism that works in such a way that hundreds of millions of 
people are guided by a single plan — such was the enormous organ- 
isational problem that rested on our shoulders. Under the pres- 
ent conditions of labour this problem could not possibly be solved 
by the 'hurrah' methods by which we were able to solve the prob- 
lems of the Civil War" (ibid., p. 316). 

"The second enormous difficulty . . . was the international 
question. The reason why we were able to cope so easily with 
Kerensky's gangs, why we so easily established our power and 
without the slightest difficulty passed the decrees on the social- 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 25 

isation of the land and on workers' control, the reason why we 
achieved all this so easily was only that a fortunate combination 
of circumstances protected us for a short time from international 
imperialism. International imperialism, with the entire might 
of its capital, with its highly organised military technique, which 
is a real force, a real fortress of international capital, could in no 
case, under no circumstances, live side by side with the Soviet 
Republic, both because of its objective position and because of 
the economic interests of the capitalist class which is embodied in 
it — it could not do so because of commercial connections, of in- 
ternational financial relations. In this sphere a conflict is inevi- 
table. Therein lies the greatest difficulty of the Russian revolu- 
tion, its greatest historical problem: the necessity of solving the 
international tasks, the necessity of calling forth an international 
revolution" (see Vol. XXII, p. 317). 

Such is the intrinsic character and the basic meaning 
of the proletarian revolution. 

Can such a radical transformation of the old bour- 
geois order be achieved without a violent revolution, 
without the dictatorship of the proletariat? 

Obviously not. To think that such a revolution can 
be carried out peacefully, within the framework of 
bourgeois democracy, which is adapted to the rule of 
the bourgeoisie, means that one has either gone out of 
one's mind and lost normal human understanding, 
or has grossly and openly repudiated the proletarian 
revolution. 

This thesis must be emphasised all the more strongly 
and categorically for the reason that we are dealing 
with the proletarian revolution which for the time being 
has triumphed only in one country, a country which 
is surrounded by hostile capitalist countries and the 
bourgeoisie of which cannot fail to receive the support 
of international capital. 



26 J. V. S TALI N 



That is why Lenin says that: 

"The emancipation of the oppressed class is impossible not 
only without a violent revolution, but also without 
the destruction of the apparatus of state power which 
was created by the ruling class" (see Vol. XXI, p. 373). 

"First let the majority of the population, while private prop- 
erty still exists, i.e., while the rule and yoke of capital still 
exists, express themselves in favour of the party of the proletariat 
and only then can and should the party take power — so say the 
petty-bourgeois democrats who call themselves "Socialists' but who 
are in reality the servitors of the bourgeoisie"* (see Vol. XXIV 
p. 647) 

"We say:* Let the revolutionary proletariat first overthrow 
the bourgeoisie, break the yoke of capital, and smash the bourgeois 
state apparatus, then the victorious proletariat will be able rap- 
idly to gain the sympathy and support of the majority of the toil- 
ing non-proletarian masses by satisfying their needs at the ex- 
pense of the exploiters" {ibid.). 

"In order to win the majority of the population to its side," 
Lenin says further, "the proletariat must, in the first place, over- 
throw the bourgeoisie and seize state power; secondly, it must 
introduce Soviet power and smash the old state apparatus to bits, 
whereby it immediately undermines the rule, prestige and in- 
fluence of the bourgeoisie and petty-bourgeois compromisers over 
the non-proletarian toiling masses. Thirdly, it must entirely de- 
stroy the influence of the bourgeoisie and petty-bourgeois compro- 
misers over the majority of the non-proletarian toiling masses by 
satisfying their economic needs in a revolutionary way at the 
expense of the e x p I o i t e r s" (ibid., p. 641). 

Such are the characteristic features of the proletar- 
ian revolution. 

What, in this connection, are the main features of 
the dictatorship of the proletariat, once it is admitted 



My italics. — J. St. 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 27 

that the dictatorship of the proletariat is the basic con- 
tent of the proletarian revolution? 

Here is the most general definition of the dictator- 
ship of the proletariat given by Lenin: 

"The dictatorship of the proletariat is not the end of the 
class struggle, but its continuation in new forms. The dictatorship 
of the proletariat is the class struggle of the proletariat, which 
has won victory and has seized political power, against the bour- 
geoisie, which although vanquished has not been annihilated, 
has not disappeared, has not ceased its resistance, has increased 
its resistance" (see Vol. XXIV, p. 311). 

Arguing against confusing the dictatorship of the 
proletariat with "popular" government, "elected by 
all," with "non-class" government, Lenin says: 

"The class which took political power into its hands did so 
knowing that it took power alone* That is a part of the concept 
dictatorship of the proletariat. This concept has meaning only 
when this one class knows that it alone is taking political power 
in its hands, and does not deceive itself or others with talk about 
'popular' government, 'elected by all, sanctified by the whole 
people'" (see Vol. XXVI, p. 286). 

This does not mean, however, that the power of one 
class, the class of the proletarians, which does not and 
cannot share power with other classes, does not need 
aid from, and an alliance with, the labouring and exploit- 
ed masses of other classes for the achievement of its 
aims. On the contrary. This power, the power of one 
class, can be firmly established and exercised to the 
full only by means of a special form of alliance between 
the class of proletarians and the labouring masses of 



My italics. — J. St. 



28 J. V. S TALI N 



the petty-bourgeois classes, primarily the labouring 
masses of the peasantry. 

What is this special form of alliance? What does 
it consist in? Does not this alliance with the labouring 
masses of other, non-proletarian, classes wholly con- 
tradict the idea of the dictatorship of one class? 

This special form of alliance consists in that the 
guiding force of this alliance is the proletariat. This 
special form of alliance consists in that the leader of 
the state, the leader in the system of the dictatorship 
of the proletariat is one party, the party of the prole- 
tariat, the Party of the Communists, which does not 
and cannot share leadership with other parties. 

As you see, the contradiction is only an apparent, 
a seeming one. 

"The dictatorship of the proletariat," says Lenin, "is a spe- 
cial form of class alliance* between the proletariat, the vanguard 
of the working people, and the numerous non-proletarian strata 
of working people (the petty bourgeoisie, the small proprietors, 
the peasantry, the intelligentsia, etc.), or the majority of these; 
it is an alliance against capital, an alliance aiming at the complete 
overthrow of capital, at the complete suppression of the resist- 
ance of the bourgeoisie and of any attempt on its part at restora- 
tion, an alliance aiming at the final establishment and consolida- 
tion of socialism. It is a special type of alliance, which is being 
built up in special circumstances, namely, in the circumstances of 
fierce civil war; it is an alliance of the firm supporters of socialism 
with the latter's wavering allies and sometimes with 'neutrals' 
(then instead of an agreement for struggle, the alliance becomes 
an agreement for neutrality), an alliance between classes which 
differ economically, politically, socially and ideologically''''* (see 
Vol. XXIV, p. 311). 



My italics. — J. St. 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 29 

In one of his instructional reports, Kamenev, dis- 
puting this conception of the dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat, states: 

"The dictatorship is not* an alliance of one class with 
another." 

I believe that Kamenev here has in view, primarily, 
a passage in my pamphlet The October Revolution and 
the Tactics of the Russian Communists, where it is stated: 

"The dictatorship of the proletariat is not simply a govern- 
mental top stratum 'skilfully' 'selected' by the careful hand of 
an 'experienced strategist,' and 'judiciously relying' on the sup- 
port of one section or another of the population. The dictatorship 
of the proletariat is the class alliance between the proletariat 
and the labouring masses of the peasantry for the purpose of over- 
throwing capital, for achieving the final victory of socialism, on 
the condition that the guiding force of this alliance is the pro- 
letariat." 19 

I wholly endorse this formulation of the dictator- 
ship of the proletariat, for I think that it fully and 
entirely coincides with Lenin's formulation, just quoted. 

I assert that Kamenev's statement that "the dicta- 
torship is not an alliance of one class with another," 
in the categorical form in which it is made, has nothing 
in common with Lenin's theory of the dictatorship of 
the proletariat. 

I assert that such statements can be made only by 
people who have failed to understand the meaning of 
the idea of the bond, the idea of the alliance of the pro- 
letariat and peasantry, the idea of the hegemony of the 
proletariat within this alliance. 



My italics. — J. St. 



30 J. V. S TALI N 



Such statements can be made only by people who 
have failed to understand Lenin's thesis: 

"Only an agreement with the peasantry* can save the socialist 
revolution in Russia as long as the revolution in other countries 
has not taken place" (see Vol. XXVI, p. 238). 

Such statements can be made only by people who 
have failed to understand Lenin's thesis: 

"The supreme principle of the dictatorship* is the main- 
tenance of the alliance of the proletariat and peasantry in order 
that the proletariat may retain its leading role and state power" 
(ibid., p. 460). 

Pointing out one of the most important aims of the 
dictatorship, the aim of suppressing the exploiters, 
Lenin says: 

"The scientific concept of dictatorship means nothing more 
nor less than completely unrestricted power, absolutely unimpeded 
by laws or regulations and resting directly on the use of force" 
(see Vol. XXV, p. 441). 

"Dictatorship means — note this once and for all, Messrs. 
Cadets — unrestricted power, based on force and not on law. In time 
of civil war any victorious power can be only a dictatorship" 
(see Vol. XXV, p. 436). 

But of course, the dictatorship of the proletariat 
does not mean only the use of force, although there is 
no dictatorship without the use of force. 

"Dictatorship," says Lenin, "does not mean only the use of 
force, although it is impossible without the use of force; it also 



My italics. — J. St. 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 31 



means the organisation of labour on a higher level than the pre- 
vious organisation" (see Vol. XXIV, p. 305). 

"The dictatorship of the proletariat ... is not only the use 
of force against the exploiters, and not even mainly the use of 
force. The economic foundation of this revolutionary use of force, 
the guarantee of its effectiveness and success is the fact that 
the proletariat represents and creates a higher type of social or- 
ganisation of labour compared with capitalism. This is the essence. 
This is the source of the strength and the guarantee of the inevi- 
table complete triumph of communism" (see Vol. XXIV, 
pp. 335-36). 

"Its quintessence (i.e., of the dictatorship — /. St.) is the 
organisation and discipline of the advanced detachment of the work- 
ing people, of its vanguard, its sole leader, the proletariat, 
whose object is to build socialism, to abolish the division of so- 
ciety into classes, to make all members of society working people, 
to remove the basis for any exploitation of man by man. This 
object cannot be achieved at one stroke. It requires a fairly long 
period of transition from capitalism to socialism, because the 
reorganisation of production is a difficult matter, because radical 
changes in all spheres of life need time, and because the enormous 
force of habit of petty-bourgeois and bourgeois conduct of economy 
can be overcome only by a long and stubborn struggle. That is 
why Marx spoke of an entire period of the dictatorship of the pro- 
letariat, as the period of transition from capitalism to socialism" 
(ibid., p. 314). 

Such are the characteristic features of the dictator- 
ship of the proletariat. 

Hence the three main aspects of the dictatorship of 
the proletariat. 

1) The utilisation of the rule of the proletariat for 
the suppression of the exploiters, for the defence of the 
country, for the consolidation of the ties with the pro- 
letarians of other lands, and for the development and 
victory of the revolution in all countries. 



32 J. V. S TALI N 



2) The utilisation of the rule of the proletariat in 
older to detach the labouring and exploited masses once 
and for all from the bourgeoisie, to consolidate the al- 
liance of the proletariat with these masses, to draw 
these masses into the work of socialist construction, and 
to ensure the state leadership of these masses by the 
proletariat. 

3) The utilisation of the rule of the proletariat for 
the organisation of socialism, for the abolition of classes, 
for the transition to a society without classes, to a so- 
cialist society. 

The proletarian dictatorship is a combination of 
all these three aspects. No single one of these aspects 
can be advanced as the sole characteristic feature of the 
dictatorship of the proletariat. On the other hand, in 
the circumstances of capitalist encirclement, the absence 
of even one of these features is sufficient for the dic- 
tatorship of the proletariat to cease being a dictator- 
ship. Therefore, not one of these three aspects can be 
omitted without running the risk of distorting the con- 
cept of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Only all 
these three aspects taken together give us the complete 
and finished concept of the dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat. 

The dictatorship of the proletariat has its periods, 
its special forms, diverse methods of work. During the 
period of civil war, it is the forcible aspect of the dicta- 
torship that is most conspicuous. But it by no means 
follows from this that no constructive work is carried on 
during the period of civil war. Without constructive 
work it is impossible to wage civil war. During the pe- 
riod of socialist construction, on the other hand, it is 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 33 

the peaceful, organisational and cultural work of the 
dictatorship, revolutionary law, etc., that are most con- 
spicuous. But, again, it by no means follows from this 
that the forcible aspect of the dictatorship has ceased to 
exist or can cease to exist in the period of construction. 
The organs of suppression, the army and other organisa- 
tions, are as necessary now, at the time of construc- 
tion, as they were during the period of civil war. With- 
out these organs, constructive work by the dictatorship 
with any degree of security would be impossible. It 
should not be forgotten that for the time being the revo- 
lution has been victorious in only one country. It should 
not be forgotten that as long as capitalist encirclement 
exists the danger of intervention, with all the conse- 
quences resulting from this danger, will also exist. 



THE PARTY AND THE WORKING CLASS 

IN THE SYSTEM OF THE DICTATORSHIP 

OF THE PROLETARIAT 

I have dealt above with the dictatorship of the pro- 
letariat from the point of view of its historical inevita- 
bility, from the point of view of its class content, 
from the point of view of its state nature, and, finally, 
from the point of view of the destructive and creative 
tasks which it performs throughout the entire historical 
period that is termed the period of transition from capi- 
talism to socialism. 

Now we must say something about the dictatorship of 
the proletariat from the point of view of its structure, 



34 J. V. S TALI N 



from the point of view of its "mechanism," from the 
point of view of the role and significance of the "trans- 
mission belts," the "levers," and the "directing force" 
which in their totality constitute "the system of the 
dictatorship of the proletariat" (Lenin), and with the 
help of which the daily work of the dictatorship of the 
proletariat is accomplished. 

What are these "transmission belts" or "levers" in 
the system of the dictatorship of the proletariat? What 
is this "directing force"? Why are they needed? 

The levers or transmission belts are those very mass 
organisations of the proletariat without the aid of which 
the dictatorship cannot be realised. 

The directing force is the advanced detachment of the 
proletariat, its vanguard, which is the main guiding force 
of the dictatorship of the proletariat. 

The proletariat needs these transmission belts, these 
levers, and this directing force, because without them, 
in its struggle for victory, it would be a weaponless 
army in face of organised and armed capital. The 
proletariat needs these organisations because without 
them it would suffer inevitable defeat in its fight for 
the overthrow of the bourgeoisie, in its fight for the 
consolidation of its rule, in its fight for the building 
of socialism. The systematic help of these organisations 
and the directing force of the vanguard are needed be- 
cause in the absence of these conditions it is impossible 
for the dictatorship of the proletariat to be at all durable 
and firm. 

What are these organisations? 

Firstly, there are the workers' trade unions, with 
their central and local ramifications in the shape of 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 35 

whole series of organisations concerned with production, 
culture, education, etc. These unite the workers of all 
trades. They are non-Party organisations. The trade 
unions may be termed the all-embracing organisation of 
the working class, which is in power in our country. 
They are a school of communism. They promote the best 
people from their midst for the work of leadership in all 
branches of administration. They form the link between 
the advanced and the backward elements in the ranks of 
the working class. They connect the masses of the workers 
with the vanguard of the working class. 

Secondly, there are the Soviets, with their numerous 
central and local ramifications in the shape of adminis- 
trative, economic, military, cultural and other state 
organisations, plus the innumerable mass associations 
of the working people which have sprung up of their own 
accord and which encompass these organisations and con- 
nect them with the population. The Soviets are a mass or- 
ganisation of all the working people of town and country. 
They are a non-Party organisation. The Soviets are the 
direct expression of the dictatorship of the proletariat. 
It is through the Soviets that all measures for strength- 
ening the dictatorship and for building socialism are 
carried out. It is through the Soviets that the state 
leadership of the peasantry by the proletariat is exer- 
cised. The Soviets connect the vast masses of the work- 
ing people with the vanguard of the proletariat. 

Thirdly, there are the co-operatives of all kinds, 
with all their ramifications. These are a mass organisa- 
tion of the working people, a non-Party organisation, 
which unites the working people primarily as consumers, 
and also, in the course of time, as producers (agricultural 



36 J. V. S TALI N 



co-operatives). The co-operatives acquire special signifi- 
cance after the consolidation of the dictatorship of the 
proletariat, during the period of extensive construction. 
They facilitate contact between the vanguard of the pro- 
letariat and the mass of the peasantry and make it 
possible to draw the latter into the channel of socialist 
construction. 

Fourthly, there is the Youth League. This is a mass 
organisation of young workers and peasants; it is a non- 
party organisation, but is linked with the Party. Its 
task is to help the Party to educate the young genera- 
tion in the spirit of socialism. It provides young re- 
serves for all the other mass organisations of the prole- 
tariat in all branches of administration. The Youth 
League has acquired special significance since the con- 
solidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat, in 
the period of extensive cultural and educational work 
carried on by the proletariat. 

Lastly, there is the Party of the proletariat, its 
vanguard. Its strength lies in the fact that it draws 
into its ranks all the best elements of the proletariat 
from all the mass organisations of the latter. Its func- 
tion is to combine the work of all the mass organisations 
of the proletariat without exception and to direct their 
activities towards a single goal, the goal of the eman- 
cipation of the proletariat. And it is absolutely neces- 
sary to combine and direct them towards a single goal, for 
otherwise unity in the struggle of the proletariat is im- 
possible, for otherwise the guidance of the proletarian 
masses in their struggle for power, in their struggle for 
building socialism, is impossible. But only the vanguard 
of the proletariat, its Party, is capable of combining and 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 37 

directing the work of the mass organisations of the pro- 
letariat. Only the Party of the proletariat, only the Com- 
munist Party, is capable of fulfilling this role of main 
leader in the system of the dictatorship of the proletariat. 
Why? 

". . . because, in the first place, it is the rallying centre of 
the finest elements in the working class, who have direct connec- 
tions with the non-Party organisations of the proletariat and 
very frequently lead them; because, secondly, the Party, as the 
rallying centre of the finest members of the working class, is the 
best school for training leaders of the working class, capable of 
directing every form of organisation of their class; because, third- 
ly, the Party, as the best school for training leaders of the work- 
ing class, is, by reason of its experience and prestige, the only 
organisation capable of centralising the leadership of the struggle 
of the proletariat, thus transforming each and every non-Party 
organisation of the working class into an auxiliary body and trans- 
mission belt linking the Party with the class" (see The Foundations 
of Leninism 2 ®). 

The Party is the main guiding force in the system 
of the dictatorship of the proletariat. 

"The Party is the highest form of class organisation 
of the proletariat" {Lenin). 

To sum up: the trade unions, as the mass organisation 
of the proletariat, linking the Party with the class pri- 
marily in the sphere of production; the Soviets, as the 
mass organisation of the working people, linking the Party 
with the latter primarily in the sphere of state adminis- 
tration; the co-operatives, as the mass organisation mainly 
of the peasantry, linking the Party with the peasant 
masses primarily in the economic sphere, in the sphere of 
drawing the peasantry into the work of socialist construc- 
tion; the Youth League, as the mass organisation of young 



38 J. V. S TALI N 



workers and peasants, whose mission it is to help the van- 
guard of the proletariat in the socialist education of the 
new generation and in training young reserves; and, 
finally, the Party, as the main directing force in the 
system of the dictatorship of the proletariat, whose 
mission it is to lead all these mass organisations — such, 
in general, is the picture of the "mechanism" of the 
dictatorship, the picture of "the system of the dictator- 
ship of the proletariat." 

Without the Party as the main guiding force, it is 
impossible for the dictatorship of the proletariat to be 
at all durable and firm. 

Thus, in the words of Lenin, "taken as a whole, we 
have a formally non-communist, flexible and relatively 
wide, and very powerful proletarian apparatus, by means 
of which the Party is closely linked with the class and 
with the masses, and by means of which, under the lead- 
ership of the Party, the dictatorship of the class is exer- 
cised" (see Vol. XXV, p. 192). 

Of course, this must not be understood in the sense 
that the Party can or should take the place of the trade 
unions, the Soviets, and the other mass organisations. 
The Party exercises the dictatorship of the proletariat. 
However, it exercises it not directly, but with the help 
of the trade unions, and through the Soviets and their 
ramifications. Without these "transmission belts, "it 
would be impossible for the dictatorship to be at all 
firm. 

"It is impossible to exercise the dictatorship," says Lenin 
"without having a number of 'transmission belts' from the van- 
guard to the mass of the advanced class, and from the latter to 
the mass of the working people" (see Vol. XXVI, p. 65). 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 39 



"The Party, so to speak, draws into its ranks the vanguard of 
the proletariat, and this vanguard exercises the dictatorship of 
the proletariat. Without a foundation like the trade unions the 
dictatorship cannot be exercised, state functions cannot be ful- 
filled. And these functions have to be exercised through* a number 
of special institutions also of a new type, namely, through* the 
Soviet apparatus" (see Vol. XXVI, p. 64). 

The highest expression of the leading role of the 
Party, here, in the Soviet Union, in the land of the dic- 
tatorship of the proletariat, for example, is the fact 
that not a single important political or organisational 
question is decided by our Soviet and other mass organi- 
sations without guiding directives from the Party. In 
this sense it could be said that the dictatorship of the pro- 
letariat is, in essence, the "dictatorship" of its vanguard, 
the "dictatorship" of its Party, as the main guiding 
force of the proletariat. Here is what Lenin said on 
this subject at the Second Congress of the Comintern 21 : 

"Tanner says that he stands for the dictatorship of the pro- 
letariat, but the dictatorship of the proletariat is not conceived 
quite in the same way as we conceive it. He says that by the 
dictatorship of the proletariat we mean, in essence * the dicta- 
torship of its organised and class-conscious minority. 

"And, as a matter of fact, in the era of capitalism, when 
the masses of the workers are continuously subjected to exploi- 
tation and cannot develop their human potentialities, the most 
characteristic feature of working-class political parties is that 
they can embrace only a minority of their class. A political party 
can comprise only a minority of the class, in the same way as the 
really class-conscious workers in every capitalist society constitute 
only a minority of all the workers. That is why we must admit 



My italics. — J. St. 



40 J. V. S T A L I N 



that only this class-conscious minority can guide the broad masses 
of the workers and lead them. And if Comrade Tanner says that 
he is opposed to parties, but at the same time is in favour of the 
minority consisting of the best organised and most revolutionary 
workers showing the way to the whole of the proletariat, then I 
say that there is really no difference between us" (see Vol. XXV, 
p. 347). 

But this, however, must not be understood in the 
sense that a sign of equality can be put between the dic- 
tatorship of the proletariat and the leading role of the 
Party (the "dictatorship" of the Party), that the former 
can be identified with the latter, that the latter can 
be substituted for the former. Sorin, for example, says 
that "the dictatorship of the proletariat is the dictator- 
ship of our Party.'''' This thesis, as you see, identifies 
the "dictatorship of the Party" with the dictatorship of 
the proletariat. Can we regard this identification as cor- 
rect and yet remain on the ground of Leninism? No, we 
cannot. And for the following reasons: 

Firstly. In the passage from his speech at the Sec- 
ond Congress of the Comintern quoted above, Lenin does 
not by any means identify the leading role of the Party 
with the dictatorship of the proletariat. He merely says 
that "only this class-conscious minority (i.e., the Party — 
J. St.) can guide the broad masses of the workers and 
lead them," that it is precisely in this sense that "by the 
dictatorship of the proletariat we mean, in essence,* 
the dictatorship of its organised and class-conscious 
minority." 

To say "in essence" does not mean "wholly." We 
often say that the national question is, in essence, a 



My italics. — /. St. 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 41 

peasant question. And this is quite true. But this does 
not mean that the national question is covered by the 
peasant question, that the peasant question is equal in 
scope to the national question, that the peasant question 
and the national question are identical. There is no need to 
prove that the national question is wider and richer in 
its scope than the peasant question. The same must be 
said by analogy as regards the leading role of the Party 
and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Although the 
Party carries out the dictatorship of the proletariat, 
and in this sense the dictatorship of the proletariat is, 
in essence, the "dictatorship" of its Party, this does not 
mean that the "dictatorship of the Party" (its leading 
role) is identical with the dictatorship of the proletariat, 
that the former is equal in scope to the latter. There is 
no need to prove that the dictatorship of the proletariat 
is wider and richer in its scope than the leading role of 
the Party. The Party carries out the dictatorship of the 
proletariat, but it carries out the dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat, and not any other kind of dictatorship. Whoever 
identifies the leading role of the Party with the dicta- 
torship of the proletariat substitutes "dictatorship" of 
the Party for the dictatorship of the proletariat. 

Secondly. Not a single important decision is arrived 
at by the mass organisations of the proletariat without 
guiding directives from the Party. That is perfectly 
true. But does that mean that the dictatorship of the 
proletariat consists entirely of the guiding directives given 
by the Party? Does that mean that, in view of this, the 
guiding directives of the Party can be identified with 
the dictatorship of the proletariat? Of course not. The 
dictatorship of the proletariat consists of the guiding 



42 J. V. S T A L I N 



directives of the Party plus the carrying out of these 
directives by the mass organisations of the proletariat, 
plus their fulfilment by the population. Here, as you see, 
we have to deal with a whole series of transitions and 
intermediary steps which are by no means unimportant 
elements of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Hence, 
between the guiding directives of the Party and their ful- 
filment lie the will and actions of those who are led, 
the will and actions of the class, its willingness (or un- 
willingness) to support such directives, its ability (or 
inability) to carry out these directives, its ability (or 
inability) to carry them out in strict accordance with the 
demands of the situation. It scarcely needs proof that the 
Party, having taken the leadership into its hands, 
cannot but reckon with the will, the condition, the level 
of political consciousness of those who are led, cannot 
leave out of account the will, the condition, and level 
of political consciousness of its class. Therefore, whoever 
identifies the leading role of the Party with the dictator- 
ship of the proletariat substitutes the directives given by 
the Party for the will and actions of the class. 

Thirdly. "The dictatorship of the proletariat," says 
Lenin, "is the class struggle of the proletariat, which 
has won victory and has seized political power" 
(see Vol. XXIV, p. 311). How can this class struggle 
find expression? It may find expression in a series of 
armed actions by the proletariat against the sorties of the 
overthrown bourgeoisie, or against the intervention of the 
foreign bourgeoisie. It may find expression in civil war, 
if the power of the proletariat has not yet been consoli- 
dated. It may find expression, after power has already 
been consolidated, in the extensive organisational and 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 43 

constructive work of the proletariat, with the enlistment 
of the broad masses in this work. In all these cases, the 
acting force is the proletariat as a class. It has never 
happened that the Party, the Party alone, has undertak- 
en all these actions with only its own forces, without the 
support of the class. Usually it only directs these ac- 
tions, and it can direct them only to the extent that it 
has the support of the class. For the Party cannot cover, 
cannot replace the class. For, despite all its important 
leading role, the Party still remains a part of the class. 
Therefore, whoever identifies the leading role of the 
Party with the dictatorship of the proletariat substi- 
tutes the Party for the class. 

Fourthly. The Party exercises the dictatorship of the 
proletariat. "The Party is the direct governing vanguard 
of the proletariat; it is the leader" {Lenin). 22 In this 
sense the Party takes power, the Party governs the coun- 
try. But this must not be understood in the sense that 
the Party exercises the dictatorship of the proletariat 
separately from the state power, without the state power; 
that the Party governs the country separately from the 
Soviets, not through the Soviets. This does not mean 
that the Party can be identified with the Soviets, with 
the state power. The Party is the core of this power, but 
it is not and cannot be identified with the state power. 

"As the ruling Party," says Lenin, "we could not 
but merge the Soviet 'top leadership' with the Party 'top 
leadership' — in our country they are merged and will 
remain so" (see Vol. XXVI, p. 208). This is quite true. 
But by this Lenin by no means wants to imply that our 
Soviet institutions as a whole, for instance our army, our 
transport, our economic institutions, etc., are Party 



44 J. V. S T A L I N 



institutions, that the Party can replace the Soviets and 
their ramifications, that the Party can be identified with 
the state power. Lenin repeatedly said that "the system 
of Soviets is the dictatorship of the proletariat," and that 
"the Soviet power is the dictatorship of the proletariat" 
(see Vol. XXIV, pp. 15, 14); but he never said that the 
Party is the state power, that the Soviets and the Party 
are one and the same thing. The Party, with a membership 
of several hundred thousand, guides the Soviets and their 
central and local ramifications, which embrace tens of 
millions of people, both Party and non-Party, but it 
cannot and should not supplant them. That is why Lenin 
says that "the dictatorship is exercised by the proletariat 
organised in the Soviets, the proletariat led by the Com- 
munist Party of Bolsheviks"; that "all the work of the 
Party is carried on through* the Soviets, which embrace 
the labouring masses irrespective of occupation" (see 
Vol. XXV, pp. 192, 193); and that the dictatorship "has 
to be exercised . . . through* the Soviet apparatus" 
(see Vol. XXVI, p. 64). Therefore, whoever identifies 
the leading role of the Party with the dictatorship of the 
proletariat substitutes the Party for the Soviets, i.e., 
for the state power. 

Fifthly. The concept of dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat is a state concept. The dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat necessarily includes the concept of force. There is no 
dictatorship without the use of force, if dictatorship is to 
be understood in the strict sense of the word. Lenin de- 
fines the dictatorship of the proletariat as "power based 
directly on the use of force" (see Vol. XIX, p . 315). Hence, 



My italics. — J. St. 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 45 

to talk about dictatorship of the Party in relation to the 
proletarian class, and to identify it with the dictatorship 
of the proletariat, is tantamount to saying that in rela- 
tion to its class the Party must be not only a guide, 
not only a leader and teacher, but also a sort of dictator 
employing force against it, which, of course, is quite 
incorrect. Therefore, whoever identifies "dictatorship 
of the Party" with the dictatorship of the proletariat 
tacitly proceeds from the assumption that the prestige of 
the Party can be built up on force employed against the 
working class, which is absurd and quite incompatible 
with Leninism. The prestige of the Party is sustained by 
the confidence of the working class. And the confidence 
of the working class is gained not by force — force only 
kills it — but by the Party's correct theory, by the Party's 
correct policy, by the Party's devotion to the working 
class, by its connection with the masses of the working 
class, by its readiness and ability to convince the masses 
of the correctness of its slogans. 

What, then, follows from all this? 

From this it follows that: 

1) Lenin uses the word dictatorship of the Party not 
in the strict sense of the word ("power based on the use 
of force"), but in the figurative sense, in the sense of its 
undivided leadership. 

2) Whoever identifies the leadership of the Party 
with the dictatorship of the proletariat distorts Lenin, 
wrongly attributing to the Party the function of employ- 
ing force against the working class as a whole. 

3) Whoever attributes to the Party the function, which 
it does not possess, of employing force against the working 
class as a whole, violates the elementary requirements 



46 J. V. S T A L I N 



of correct mutual relations between the vanguard and 
the class, between the Party and the proletariat. 

Thus, we have come right up to the question of the 
mutual relations between the Party and the class, be- 
tween Party and non-Party members of the working class. 

Lenin defines these mutual relations as "mutual confi- 
dence* between the vanguard of the working class and the 
mass of the workers" (see Vol. XXVI, p. 235). 

What does this mean? 

It means, firstly, that the Party must closely heed 
the voice of the masses; that it must pay careful atten- 
tion to the revolutionary instinct of the masses; that it 
must study the practice of the struggle of the masses and 
on this basis test the correctness of its own policy; that, 
consequently, it must not only teach the masses, but 
also learn from them. 

It means, secondly, that the Party must day by day 
win the confidence of the proletarian masses; that it 
must by its policy and work secure the support of the 
masses; that it must not command but primarily convince 
the masses, helping them to realise through their own 
experience the correctness of the policy of the Party; that, 
consequently, it must be the guide, the leader and teacher 
of its class. 

To violate these conditions means to upset the correct 
mutual relations between the vanguard and the class, to 
undermine "mutual confidence," to shatter both class 
and Party discipline. 

"Certainly," says Lenin, "almost everyone now realises that 
the Bolsheviks could not have maintained themselves in power 



My italics. — J. St. 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 47 



for two-and-a-half months, let alone two-and-a-half years, without 
the strictest, truly iron discipline in our Party, and without the 
fullest and unreserved support of the latter by the whole mass of the 
working class * that is, by all its thinking, honest, self-sacrificing 
and influential elements, capable of leading or of carrying with 
them the backward strata" (see Vol. XXV, p. 173). 

"The dictatorship of the proletariat," says Lenin further, 
"is a stubborn struggle — bloody and bloodless, violent and peace- 
ful, military and economic, educational and administrative 
— against the forces and traditions of the old society. The force of 
habit of millions and tens of millions is a most terrible force. 
Without an iron party tempered in the struggle, without a party 
enjoying the confidence of all that is honest in the given class * without 
a party capable of watching and influencing the mood of the 
masses, it is impossible to conduct such a struggle successfully" 
(see Vol. XXV, p. 190). 

But how does the Party acquire this confidence and 
support of the class? How is the iron discipline necessary 
for the dictatorship of the proletariat built up within 
the working class; on what soil does it grow up? 

Here is what Lenin says on this subject: 

"How is the discipline of the revolutionary party of the pro- 
letariat maintained? How is it tested? How is it reinforced? First- 
ly, by the class consciousness of the proletarian vanguard 
and by its devotion to the revolution, by its stamina, self-sacrifice 
and heroism. Secondly, by its ability to link itself with, to keep in 
close touch with, and to a certain extent, if you like, to merge with 
the broadest masses of the working people* — primarily with the 
proletarian, but also with the non-proletarian, labouring masses. 
Thirdly, by the correctness of the political leadership exercised 
by this vanguard, by the correctness of its political strategy and 
tactics, provided that the broadest masses have been convinced 
through their own experience of this correctness. Without these 



My italics. — J. St. 



48 J. V. S T A L I N 



conditions, discipline in a revolutionary party that is really 
capable of being the party of the advanced class, whose mission it 
is to overthrow the bourgeoisie and transform the whole of society, 
cannot be achieved. Without these conditions, attempts to estab- 
lish discipline inevitably become a cipher, an empty phrase, mere 
affectation. On the other hand, these conditions cannot arise all at 
once. They are created only by prolonged effort and hard-won 
experience. Their creation is facilitated only by correct revolu- 
tionary theory, which, in its turn, is not a dogma, but assumes 
final shape only in close connection with the practical activity 
of a truly mass and truly revolutionary movement" (see 
Vol. XXV, p. 174). 

And further: 

"Victory over capitalism requires the correct correlation 
between the leading, Communist, Party, the revolutionary class — 
the proletariat — and the masses, i.e., the working people and ex- 
ploited as a whole. Only the Communist Party, if it is really the 
vanguard of the revolutionary class, if it contains all the best 
representatives of that class, if it consists of fully class-conscious 
and devoted Communists who have been educated and steeled 
by the experience of stubborn revolutionary struggle, if this 
Party has succeeded in linking itself inseparably with the whole 
life of its class and, through it, with the whole mass of exploited, 
and if it has succeeded in inspiring the complete confidence of this 
class and this mass* — only such a party is capable of leading the 
proletariat in the most ruthless, resolute and final struggle against 
all the forces of capitalism. On the other hand, only under the lead- 
ership of such a party can the proletariat develop the full might 
of its revolutionary onslaught and nullify the inevitable apathy 
and, partly, resistance of the small minority of the labour aristoc- 
racy corrupted by capitalism, and of the old trade-union and co- 
operative leaders, etc. — only then will it be able to display its 
full strength, which, owing to the very economic structure of cap- 
italist society, is immeasurably greater than the proportion of 
the population it constitutes" (see Vol. XXV, p. 315). 



My italics. — J. St. 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 49 

From these quotations it follows that: 

1) The prestige of the Party and the iron discipline 
within the working class that are necessary for the dic- 
tatorship of the proletariat are built up not on fear or 
on "unrestricted" rights of the Party, but on the confi- 
dence of the working class in the Party, on the support 
which the Party receives from the working class. 

2) The confidence of the working class in the Party 
is not acquired at one stroke, and not by means of force 
against the working class, but by the Party's prolonged 
work among the masses, by the correct policy of the 
Party, by the ability of the Party to convince the masses 
through their own experience of the correctness of its 
policy, by the ability of the Party to secure the support 
of the working class and to take the lead of the masses 
of the working class. 

3) Without a correct Party policy, reinforced by the 
experience of the struggle of the masses, and without the 
confidence of the working class, there is not and cannot 
be real leadership by the Party. 

4) The Party and its leadership, if the Party enjoys 
the confidence of the class, and if this leadership is real 
leadership, cannot be counterposed to the dictatorship of 
the proletariat, because without the leadership of the 
Party (the "dictatorship" of the Party), enjoying the con- 
fidence of the working class, it is impossible for the 
dictatorship of the proletariat to be at all firm. 

Without these conditions, the prestige of the Party 
and iron discipline within the working class are either 
empty phrases or boastfulness and adventurism. 

It is impossible to counterpose the dictatorship of 
the proletariat to the leadership (the "dictatorship") 



50 J. V. S T A L I N 



of the Party. It is impossible because the leadership of 
the Party is the principal thing in the dictatorship 
of the proletariat, if we have in mind a dictatorship that 
is at all firm and complete, and not one like the Paris 
Commune, for instance, which was neither a complete nor 
a firm dictatorship. It is impossible because the dicta- 
torship of the proletariat and the leadership of the Party 
lie, as it were, on the same line of activity, operate in 
the same direction. 

"The mere presentation of the question," says Lenin, "'dic- 
tatorship of the Party or dictatorship of the class? dictatorship 
(Party) of the leaders or dictatorship (Party) of the masses?' tes- 
tifies to the most incredible and hopeless confusion of thought. . . . 
Everyone knows that the masses are divided into classes. . . ; 
that usually, and in the majority of cases, at least in modern 
civilised countries, classes are led by political parties; that polit- 
ical parties, as a general rule, are directed by more or less stable 
groups composed of the most authoritative, influential and ex- 
perienced members, who are elected to the most responsible 
positions and are called leaders. ... To go so far ... as to 
counterpose, in general, dictatorship of the masses to dictatorship 
of the leaders is ridiculously absurd and stupid" (see Vol. XXV, 
pp. 187, 188). 

That is absolutely correct. But that correct state- 
ment proceeds from the premise that correct mutual rela- 
tions exist between the vanguard and the masses of the 
workers, between the Party and the class. It proceeds 
from the assumption that the mutual relations between 
the vanguard and the class remain, so to say, normal, 
remain within the bounds of "mutual confidence." 

But what if the correct mutual relations between the 
vanguard and the class, the relations of "mutual confi- 
dence" between the Party and the class are upset? 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 51 

What if the Party itself begins, in some way or other, 
to counterpose itself to the class, thus upsetting the 
foundations of its correct mutual relations with the class, 
thus upsetting the foundations of "mutual confidence"? 

Are such cases at all possible? 

Yes, they are. 

They are possible: 

1) if the Party begins to build its prestige among 
the masses, not on its work and on the confidence of the 
masses, but on its "unrestricted" rights; 

2) if the Party's policy is obviously wrong and the 
Party is unwilling to reconsider and rectify its mistake; 

3) if the Party's policy is correct on the whole but 
the masses are not yet ready to make it their own, and 
the Party is either unwilling or unable to bide its time 
so as to give the masses an opportunity to become con- 
vinced through their own experience that the Party's pol- 
icy is correct, and seeks to impose it on the masses. 

The history of our Party provides a number of such 
cases. Various groups and factions in our Party have 
come to grief and disappeared because they violated one 
of these three conditions, and sometimes all these condi- 
tions taken together. 

But it follows from this that counterposing the dic- 
tatorship of the proletariat to the "dictatorship" (leader- 
ship) of the Party can be regarded as incorrect only: 

1) if by dictatorship of the Party in relation to the 
working class we mean not a dictatorship in the prop- 
er sense of the word ("power based on the use of force"), 
but the leadership of the Party, which precludes the use 
of force against the working class as a whole, against its 
majority, precisely as Lenin meant it; 



52 J. V. S T A L I N 



2) if the Party has the qualifications to be the real 
leader of the class, i.e., if the Party's policy is correct, 
if this policy accords with the interests of the class; 

3) (/"the class, if the majority of the class, accepts 
that policy, makes that policy its own, becomes con- 
vinced, as a result of the work of the Party, that that 
policy is correct, has confidence in the Party and sup- 
ports it. 

The violation of these conditions inevitably gives 
rise to a conflict between the Party and the class, to a 
split between them, to their being counterposed to each 
other. 

Can the Party's leadership be imposed on the class 
by force? No, it cannot. At all events, such a leader- 
ship cannot be at all durable. If the Party wants to remain 
the Party of the proletariat it must know that it is, 
primarily and principally, the guide, the leader, the 
teacher of the working class. We must not forget what 
Lenin said on this subject in his pamphlet The State and 
Revolution: 

"By educating the workers' party, Marxism educates the 
vanguard of the proletariat, which is capable of taking power 
and of leading the whole people to socialism, of directing and or- 
ganising the new order, of being the teacher, the guide, the leader* 
of all the toilers and exploited in building up their social life 
without the bourgeoisie and against the bourgeoisie" (see 
Vol. XXI, p. 386). 

Can one consider the Party as the real leader of the 
class if its policy is wrong, if its policy comes into col- 
lision with the interests of the class? Of course not. In 



My italics. — J. St. 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 53 

such cases the Party, if it wants to remain the leader, 
must reconsider its policy, must correct its policy, must 
acknowledge its mistake and correct it. In confirmation 
of this thesis one could cite, for example, such a fact 
from the history of our Party as the period of the aboli- 
tion of the surplus-appropriation system, when the masses 
of workers and peasants were obviously discontented 
with our policy and when the Party openly and honestly 
decided to reconsider this policy. Here is what Lenin said 
at the time, at the Tenth Party Congress, on the question 
of abolishing the surplus-appropriation system and in- 
troducing the New Economic Policy: 

"We must not try to conceal anything, but must say straight- 
forwardly that the peasantry is not satisfied with the form of re- 
lations that has been established with it, that it does not want 
this form of relations and will not go on living in this way. That 
is indisputable. It has definitely expressed this will. This is the 
will of the vast mass of the labouring population. We must reckon 
with this; and we are sufficiently sober politicians to say straight- 
forwardly: Let us reconsider our policy towards the peasantry"* 
(see Vol. XXVI, p. 238). 

Can one consider that the Party should take the ini- 
tiative and leadership in organising decisive actions by 
the masses merely on the ground that its policy is correct 
on the whole, //"that policy does not yet meet the confi- 
dence and support of the class because, say, of the latter's 
political backwardness; //"the Party has not yet succeed- 
ed in convincing the class of the correctness of its policy 
because, say, events have not yet matured? No, one can- 
not. In such cases the Party, if it wants to be a real lead- 
er, must know how to bide its time, must convince the 



My italics. — J. St. 



54 J. V. S T A L I N 



masses that its policy is correct, must help the masses to 
become convinced through their own experience that this 
policy is correct. 

"If the revolutionary party," says Lenin, "has not a major- 
ity in the advanced detachments of the revolutionary classes 
and in the country, an uprising is out of the question" (see 
Vol. XXI, p. 282). 

"Revolution is impossible without a change in the views of 
the majority of the working class, and this change is brought about 
by the political experience of the masses" (see Vol. XXV, p. 221) 

"The proletarian vanguard has been won over ideologically. 
That is the main thing. Without this not even the first step to- 
wards victory can be made. But it is still a fairly long way from 
victory. Victory cannot be won with the vanguard alone. To 
throw the vanguard alone into the decisive battle, before the 
whole class, before the broad masses have taken up a position either 
of direct support of the vanguard, or at least of benevolent neu- 
trality towards it, and one in which they cannot possibly support 
the enemy, would be not merely folly but a crime. And in order 
that actually the whole class, that actually the broad masses of 
the working people and those oppressed by capital may take up 
such a position, propaganda and agitation alone are not enough. 
For this the masses must have their own political experience" 
(ibid., p. 228). 

We know that this is precisely how our Party acted 
during the period from Lenin's April Theses to the 
October uprising of 1917. And it was precisely because 
it acted according to these directives of Lenin's that it 
was successful in the uprising. 

Such, basically, are the conditions for correct mu- 
tual relations between the vanguard and the class. 

What does leadership mean when the policy of the 
Party is correct and the correct relations between the 
vanguard and the class are not upset? 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 55 

Leadership under these circumstances means the 
ability to convince the masses of the correctness of the 
Party's policy; the ability to put forward and to carry 
out such slogans as bring the masses to the Party's 
positions and help them to realise through their own 
experience the correctness of the Party's policy; the 
ability to raise the masses to the Party's level of politi- 
cal consciousness, and thus secure the support of the 
masses and their readiness for the decisive struggle. 

Therefore, the method of persuasion is the princi- 
pal method of the Party's leadership of the working 
class. 

"If we, in Russia today," says Lenin, "after two-and-a-half 
years of unprecedented victories over the bourgeoisie of Russia 
and the Entente, were to make 'recognition of the dictatorship' 
a condition of trade-union membership, we should be committing 
a folly, we should be damaging our influence over the masses, we 
should be helping the Mensheviks. For the whole task of the Com- 
munists is to be able to convince the backward elements, to be 
able to work amomg them, and not to fence themselves off from 
them by artificial and childishly 'Left' slogans" (see Vol. XXV, 
p. 197). 

This, of course, must not be understood in the sense 
that the Party must convince all the workers, down 
to the last man, and that only after this is it possible to 
proceed to action, that only after this is it possible 
to start operations. Not at all! It only means that 
before entering upon decisive political actions the 
Party must, by means of prolonged revolutionary work, 
secure for itself the support of the majority of the masses 
of the workers, or at least the benevolent neutrality of 
the majority of the class. Otherwise Lenin's thesis, that 
a necessary condition for victorious revolution is that 



56 J. V. S TALI N 



the Party should win over the majority of the working 
class, would be devoid of all meaning. 

Well, and what is to be done with the minority, if 
it does not wish, if it does not agree voluntarily to submit 
to the will of the majority? Can the Party, must the 
Party, enjoying the confidence of the majority, compel 
the minority to submit to the will of the majority? Yes, 
it can and it must. Leadership is ensured by the method 
of persuading the masses, as the principal method by 
which the Party influences the masses. This, however, 
does not preclude, but presupposes, the use of coercion, 
if such coercion is based on confidence in the Party and 
support for it on the part of the majority of the working 
class, if it is applied to the minority after the Party has 
convinced the majority. 

It would be well to recall the controversies around 
this subject that took place in our Party during the dis- 
cussion on the trade-union question. What was the mis- 
take of the opposition, the mistake of the Tsektran, 23 at 
that time? Was it that the opposition then considered it 
possible to resort to coercion? No! It was not that. The 
mistake of the opposition at that time was that, being 
unable to convince the majority of the correctness of its 
position, having lost the confidence of the majority, 
it nevertheless began to apply coercion, began to insist 
on "shaking up" those who enjoyed the confidence of 
the majority. 

Here is what Lenin said at that time, at the Tenth 
Congress of the Party, in his speech on the trade unions: 

"In order to establish mutual relations and mutual confi- 
dence between the vanguard of the working class and the masses 
of the workers, it was necessary, if the Tsektran had made a mis- 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 57 

take ... to correct this mistake. But when people begin to defend 
this mistake, it becomes a source of political danger. Had not 
the utmost possible been done in the way of democracy in heed- 
ing the moods expressed here by Kutuzov, we would have met 
with political bankruptcy. First we must convince, and then 
coerce. We must at all costs first convince, and then coerce .* We were 
not able to convince the broad masses, and we upset the correct 
relations between the vanguard and the masses" (see Vol. XXVI, 
p. 235). 

Lenin says the same thing in his pamphlet On the 
Trade Unions 24 : 

"We applied coercion correctly and successfully only when 
we were able to create beforehand a basis of conviction for it" 
(ibid., p. 74). 

And that is quite true, for without those conditions 
no leadership is possible. For only in that way can we 
ensure unity of action in the Party, if we are speaking 
of the Party, or unity of action of the class, if we are 
speaking of the class as a whole. Without this there is 
splitting, confusion and demoralisation in the ranks of 
the working class. 

Such in general are the fundamentals of correct 
leadership of the working class by the Party. 

Any other conception of leadership is syndicalism, 
anarchism, bureaucracy — anything you please, but not 
Bolshevism, not Leninism. 

The dictatorship of the proletariat cannot be counter- 
posed to the leadership ("dictatorship") of the Party 
if correct mutual relations exist between the Party and 
the working class, between the vanguard and the masses 



My italics. — J. St. 



58 J. V. S T A L I N 



of the workers. But from this it follows that it is all 
the more impermissible to identify the Party with the 
working class, the leadership ("dictatorship") of the 
Party with the dictatorship of the working class. On the 
ground that the "dictatorship" of the Party cannot be 
counterposed to the dictatorship of the proletariat, 
Sorin arrived at the wrong conclusion that "the dicta- 
torship of the proletariat is the dictatorship of our 
Party." 

But Lenin not only speaks of the impermissibility 
of such counterposition, he also speaks of the impermis- 
sibility of counterposing "the dictatorship of the masses 
to the dictatorship of the leaders." Would you, on this 
ground, have us identify the dictatorship of leaders 
with the dictatorship of the proletariat? If we took 
that line, we would have to say that "the dictatorship 
of the proletariat is the dictatorship of our leaders.'" But 
it is precisely to this absurdity that we are led, prop- 
erly speaking, by the policy of identifying the "dic- 
tatorship" of the Party with the dictatorship of the pro- 
letariat. . . . 

Where does Zinoviev stand on this subject? 

In essence, Zinoviev shares Sorin's point of view of 
identifying the "dictatorship" of the Party with the 
dictatorship of the proletariat — with the difference, 
however, that Sorin expresses himself more openly and 
clearly, whereas Zinoviev "wriggles." One need only 
take, for instance, the following passage in Zinoviev's 
book Leninism to be convinced of this: 

"What," says Zinoviev, "is the system existing in the U.S.S.R. 
from the standpoint of its class content? It is the dictatorship 
of the proletariat. What is the direct mainspring of power 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 59 

in the U.S.S.R.? Who exercises the power of the working class? 
The Communist Party! In this sense, we have* the dictatorship 
of the Party. What is the juridical form of power in the U.S.S.R.? 
What is the new type of state system that was created by the Oc- 
tober Revolution? The Soviet system. The one does not in the 
least contradict the other." 

That the one does not contradict the other is, of 
course, correct if by the dictatorship of the Party in 
relation to the working class as a whole we mean the 
leadership of the Party. But how is it possible, on this 
ground, to place a sign of equality between the dictator- 
ship of the proletariat and the "dictatorship" of the 
Party, between the Soviet system and the "dictatorship" 
of the Party? Lenin identified the system of Soviets with 
the dictatorship of the proletariat, and he was right, 
for the Soviets, our Soviets, are organisations which 
rally the labouring masses around the proletariat under 
the leadership of the Party. But when, where, and in 
which of his writings did Lenin place a sign of equality 
between the "dictatorship" of the Party and the dictator- 
ship of the proletariat, between the "dictatorship" of the 
Party and the system of Soviets, as Zinoviev does now? 
Neither the leadership ("dictatorship") of the Party 
nor the leadership ("dictatorship") of the leaders con- 
tradicts the dictatorship of the proletariat. Would you, 
on this ground, have us proclaim that our country is the 
country of the dictatorship of the proletariat, that is 
to say, the country of the dictatorship of the Party, 
that is to say, the country of the dictatorship of the 
leaders? And yet the "principle" of identifying the 



My italics. — J. St. 



60 J. V. S T A L I N 



"dictatorship" of the Party with the dictatorship of 
the proletariat, which Zinoviev enunciates surrepti- 
tiously and uncourageously, leads precisely to this 
absurdity. 

In Lenin's numerous works I have been able to note 
only five cases in which he touches, in passing, on the 
question of the dictatorship of the Party. 

The first case is in his controversy with the Social- 
ist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks, where he says: 

"When we are reproached with the dictatorship of one party 
and when, as you have heard, a proposal is made to establish a 
united socialist front, we reply: 'Yes, the dictatorship of one 
party! We stand by it, and cannot depart from it, for it is that 
Party which, in the course of decades, has won the position of 
vanguard of the whole factory and industrial proletariat'" (see 
Vol. XXIV, p. 423). 

The second case is in his "Letter to the Workers 
and Peasants in Connection with the Victory over Kol- 
chak," in which he says: 

"Some people (especially the Mensheviks and the Socialist- 
Revolutionaries — all of them, even the 'Lefts' among them) are 
trying to scare the peasants with the bogey of the 'dictatorship 
of one party,' the Party of Bolsheviks, Communists. 

"The peasants have learned from the instance of Kolchak 
not to be afraid of this bogey. 

"Either the dictatorship (i.e., iron rule) of the landlords 
and capitalists, or the dictatorship of the working class" (see 
Vol. XXIV, p. 436). 

The third case is Lenin's speech at the Second Con- 
gress of the Comintern in his controversy with Tanner. 
I have quoted it above.* 



See this volume, pp. 39-40. — Ed. 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 61 

The fourth case is a few lines in the pamphlet "Left- 
Wing" Communism, an Infantile Disorder. The passages 
in question have already been quoted above.* 

And the fifth case is in his draft outline of the dic- 
tatorship of the proletariat, published in the Lenin 
Miscellany, Volume III, where there is a sub-heading 
"Dictatorship of One Party" (see Lenin Miscellany, 
Vol. Ill, p. 497). 

It should be noted that in two out of the five cases, 
the last and the second, Lenin puts the words "dicta- 
torship of one party" in quotation marks, thus clearly 
emphasising the inexact, figurative sense of this for- 
mula. 

It should also be noted that in every one of 
these cases, by the "dictatorship of the Party" Lenin 
meant dictatorship ("iron rule") over the "landlords 
and capitalists," and not over the working class, 
contrary to the slanderous fabrications of Kautsky 
and Co. 

It is characteristic that in none of his works, major 
or secondary, in which Lenin discusses or merely alludes 
to the dictatorship of the proletariat and the role of the 
Party in the system of the dictatorship of the proletar- 
iat, is there any hint whatever that "the dictatorship 
of the proletariat is the dictatorship of our Party." 
On the contrary, every page, every line of these works 
cries out against such a formula (see The State and 
Revolution, The Proletarian Revolution and the Rene- 
gade Kautsky, "Left -Wing" Communism, an Infantile 
Disorder, etc.). 



See this volume, pp. 46-47, 47-48, 50, 54, 55.— Ed. 



62 J. V. S T A L I N 



Even more characteristic is the fact that in the 
theses of the Second Congress of the Comintern 25 on the 
role of a political party, which were drawn up under the 
direct guidance of Lenin, and to which Lenin repeatedly 
referred in his speeches as a model of the correct formu- 
lation of the role and tasks of the Party, we find not 
one word, literally not one word, about dictatorship of the 
Party. 

What does all this indicate? 

It indicates that: 

a) Lenin did not regard the formula "dictatorship of 
the Party" as irreproachable and exact, for which reason 
it is very rarely used in Lenin's works, and is sometimes 
put in quotation marks; 

b) on the few occasions that Lenin was obliged, in 
controversy with opponents, to speak of the dicta- 
torship of the Party, he usually referred to the "dicta- 
torship of one party," i.e., to the fact that our Party 
holds power alone, that it does not share power with 
other parties. Moreover, he always made it clear that 
the dictatorship of the Party in relation to the work- 
ing class meant the leadership of the Party, its lead- 
ing role; 

c) in all those cases in which Lenin thought it neces- 
sary to give a scientific definition of the role of the 
Party in the system of the dictatorship of the proletariat, 
he spoke exclusively of the leading role of the Party in 
relation to the working class (and there are thousands 
of such cases); 

d) that is why it never "occurred" to Lenin to in- 
clude the formula "dictatorship of the Party" in the 
fundamental resolution on the role of the Party — I have 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 63 

in mind the resolution adopted at the Second Congress of 
the Comintern; 

e) the comrades who identify, or try to identify, 
the "dictatorship" of the Party and, therefore, the "dic- 
tatorship of the leaders" with the dictatorship of the 
proletariat are wrong from the point of view of Leninism, 
and are politically short-sighted, for they thereby violate 
the conditions for correct mutual relations between the 
vanguard and the class. 

This is apart from the fact that the formula "dic- 
tatorship of the Party," when taken without the above- 
mentioned reservations, can give rise to quite a number 
of dangers and political set-backs in our practical work. 
This formula, taken without reservations, says, as it 
were: 

a) to the non-Party masses: don't dare to contradict, 
don't dare to argue, for the Party can do everything, 
for we have the dictatorship of the Party; 

b) to the Party cadres: act more boldly, tighten 
the screw, there is no need to heed what the non- 
Party masses say, we have the dictatorship of the 
Party; 

c) to the top leadership of the Party: you may indulge 
in the luxury of a certain amount of complacency, you 
may even become conceited, for we have the dictator- 
ship of the Party, and, "consequently," the dictatorship 
of the leaders. 

It is opportune to call attention to these dangers 
precisely at the present moment, in a period when the 
political activity of the masses is rising, when the readi- 
ness of the Party to heed the voice of the masses is of 
particular value to us, when attention to the requirements 



64 J. V. S T A L I N 



of the masses is a fundamental precept of our Party, 
when it is incumbent upon the Party to display par- 
ticular caution and particular flexibility in its policy, 
when the danger of becoming conceited is one of the most 
serious dangers confronting the Party in its task of cor- 
rectly leading the masses. 

One cannot but recall Lenin's golden words at the 
Eleventh Congress of our Party: 

"Among the mass of the people we (the Communists — J. St.) 
are after all but a drop in the ocean, and we can administer only 
when we properly express what the people are conscious of. Unless 
we do this the Communist Party will not lead the proletariat, the 
proletariat will not lead the masses, and the whole machine will 
collapse" (see Vol. XXVII, p. 256). 

"Properly express what the people are conscious of 
— this is precisely the necessary condition that ensures 
for the Party the honourable role of the principal guid- 
ing force in the system of the dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat. 



VI 

THE QUESTION OF THE VICTORY 
OF SOCIALISM IN ONE COUNTRY 

The pamphlet The Foundations of Leninism (May 1924, 
first edition) contains two formulations on the question 
of the victory of socialism in one country. The first 
of these says: 

"Formerly, the victory of the revolution in one country was- 
considered impossible, on the assumption that it would require 
the combined action of the proletarians of all or at least of a ma- 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 65 



jority of the advanced countries to achieve victory over the bour- 
geoisie. Now this point of view no longer fits in with the facts. 
Now we must proceed from the possibility of such a victory, for 
the uneven and spasmodic character of the development of the 
various capitalist countries under the conditions of imperialism, 
the development within imperialism of catastrophic contradictions 
leading to inevitable wars, the growth of the revolutionary move- 
ment in all countries of the world — all this leads, not only to the 
possibility, but also to the necessity of the victory of the prole- 
tariat in individual countries" (see The Foundations of Lenin- 
ism 16 ) 

This thesis is quite correct and needs no comment. 
It is directed against the theory of the Social-Demo- 
crats, who regard the seizure of power by the proletariat 
in one country, without the simultaneous victory of the 
revolution in other countries, as Utopian. 

But the pamphlet The Foundations of Leninism con- 
tains a second formulation, which says: 

"But the overthrow of the power of the bourgeoisie and estab- 
lishment of the power of the proletariat in one country does not 
yet mean that the complete victory of socialism has been ensured. 
The principal task of socialism — the organisation of socialist 
production — has still to be fulfilled. Can this task be fulfilled, can 
the final victory of socialism be achieved in one country, without 
the joint efforts of the proletarians in several advanced countries? 
No, it cannot. To overthrow the bourgeoisie the efforts of one 
country are sufficient; this is proved by the history of our revolu- 
tion. For the final victory of socialism, for the organisation of 
socialist production, the efforts of one country, particularly of 
a peasant country like Russia, are insufficient; for that, the efforts 
of the proletarians of several advanced countries are required" 
(see The Foundations of Leninism, first edition 27 ). 

This second formulation was directed against the 
assertions of the critics of Leninism, against the 



66 J. V. S T A L I N 



Trotskyists, who declared that the dictatorship of the 
proletariat in one country, in the absence of victory 
in other countries, could not "hold out in the face of 
a conservative Europe." 

To that extent — but only to that extent — this for- 
mulation was then (May 1924) adequate, and undoubted- 
ly it was of some service. 

Subsequently, however, when the criticism of Lenin- 
ism in this sphere had already been overcome in the 
Party, when a new question had come to the fore — the 
question of the possibility of building a complete social- 
ist society by the efforts of our country, without help 
from abroad — the second formulation became obviously 
inadequate, and therefore incorrect. 

What is the defect in this formulation? 

Its defect is that it joins two different questions 
into one: it joins the question of the possibility of build- 
ing socialism by the efforts of one country — which must 
be answered in the affirmative — with the question 
whether a country in which the dictatorship of the 
proletariat exists can consider itself fully guaranteed 
against intervention, and consequently against the res- 
toration of the old order, without a victorious revolu- 
tion in a number of other countries — which must be an- 
swered in the negative. This is apart from the fact that 
this formulation may give occasion for thinking 
that the organisation of a socialist society by the 
efforts of one country is impossible — which, of course, 
is incorrect. 

On this ground I modified and corrected this formu- 
lation in my pamphlet The October Revolution and the 
Tactics of the Russian Communists (December 1924); I 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 67 

divided the question into two — into the question of a 
full guarantee against the restoration of the bourgeois order, 
and the question of the possibility of building a complete 
socialist society in one country. This was effected, in 
the first place, by treating the "complete victory of 
socialism" as a "full guarantee against the restoration of 
the old order," which is possible only through "the joint 
efforts of the proletarians of several countries"; and, 
secondly, by proclaiming, on the basis of Lenin's pam- 
phlet On Co-operation, 28 the indisputable truth that we 
have all that is necessary for building a complete so- 
cialist society (see The October Revolution and the Tactics 
of the Russian Communists).* 

It was this new formulation of the question that 
formed the basis for the well-known resolution of the 
Fourteenth Party Conference "The Tasks of the Comin- 
tern and the R.C.P.(B.)," 29 which examines the ques- 
tion of the victory of socialism in one country in con- 
nection with the stabilisation of capitalism (April 1925), 
and considers that the building of socialism by the efforts 
of our country is possible and necessary. 

This new formulation also served as the basis for 
my pamphlet The Results of the Work of the Fourteenth 
Conference of the R.C.PfB.) published in May 1925, 
immediately after the Fourteenth Party Conference. 

With regard to the presentation of the question of 
the victory of socialism in one country, this pamphlet 
states: 



* This new formulation of the question was substituted for 
the old one in subsequent editions of the pamphlet The Founda- 
tions of Leninism. 



68 J. V. S T A L I N 



"Our country exhibits two groups of contradictions. One group 
consists of the internal contradictions that exist between the prole- 
tariat and the peasantry (this refers to the building of socialism 
in one country — J. St.). The other group consists of the external 
contradictions that exist between our country, as the land of so- 
cialism, and all the other countries, as lands of capitalism (this 
refers to the final victory of socialism — J. St.)." . . . "Anyone who 
confuses the first group of contradictions, which can be overcome 
entirely by the efforts of one country, with the second group of 
contradictions, the solution of which requires the efforts of the 
proletarians of several countries, commits a gross error against 
Leninism. He is either a muddle-head or an incorrigible oppor- 
tunist" (see The Results of the Work of the Fourteenth Conference 
oftheR.C.R(B.p°). 

On the question of the victory of socialism in our 
country, the pamphlet states: 

"We can build socialism, and we will build it together with 
the peasantry under the leadership of the working class" . . . 
for "under the dictatorship of the proletariat we possess ... all 
that is needed to build a complete socialist society, overcoming 
all internal difficulties, for we can and must overcome them by 
our own efforts" (ibid. 31 ). 

On the question of the final victory of socialism, 
it states: 

"The final victory of socialism is the full guarantee against 
attempts at intervention, and hence against restoration, for any 
serious attempt at restoration can take place only with serious sup- 
port from outside, only with the support of international capital. 
Therefore, the support of our revolution by the workers of all 
countries, and still more the victory of the workers in at least 
several countries, is a necessary condition for fully guaranteeing 
the first victorious country against attempts at intervention and 
restoration, a necessary condition for the final victory of social- 
ism" (ibid. 31 ). 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 69 

Clear, one would think. 

It is well known that this question was treated in 
the same spirit in my pamphlet Questions and Answers 
(June 1925) and in the political report of the Central 
Committee to the Fourteenth Congress of the 
C.P.S.U.(B.) 33 (December 1925). 

Such are the facts. 

These facts, I think, are known to all the comrades, 
including Zinoviev. 

If now, nearly two years after the ideological strug- 
gle in the Party and after the resolution that was adopt- 
ed at the Fourteenth Party Conference (April 1925), 
Zinoviev finds it possible in his reply to the discus- 
sion at the Fourteenth Party Congress (December 1925) to 
dig up the old and quite inadequate formula contained 
in Stalin's pamphlet written in April 1924, and to make 
it the basis for deciding the already decided question 
of the victory of socialism in one country — then this 
peculiar trick of his only goes to show that he has got 
completely muddled on this question. To drag the Party 
back after it has moved forward, to evade the resolution 
of the Fourteenth Party Conference after it has been con- 
firmed by a Plenum of the Central Committee, 34 means to 
become hopelessly entangled in contradictions, to have 
no faith in the cause of building socialism, to abandon the 
path of Lenin, and to acknowledge one's own defeat. 

What is meant by the possibility of the victory of 
socialism in one country? 

It means the possibility of solving the contradic- 
tions between the proletariat and the peasantry by means 
of the internal forces of our country, the possibility of 
the proletariat seizing power and using that power to 



70 J. V. S T A L I N 



build a complete socialist society in our country, with 
the sympathy and the support of the proletarians of other 
countries, but without the preliminary victory of the 
proletarian revolution in other countries. 

Without such a possibility, building socialism is 
building without prospects, building without being sure 
that socialism will be completely built. It is no use 
engaging in building socialism without being sure that 
we can build it completely, without being sure that the 
technical backwardness of our country is not an insuper- 
able obstacle to the building of a complete socialist 
society. To deny such a possibility means disbelief in 
the cause of building socialism, departure from Leninism. 

What is meant by the impossibility of the complete, 
final victory of socialism in one country without the vic- 
tory of the revolution in other countries? 

It means the impossibility of having a full guarantee 
against intervention, and consequently against the res- 
toration of the bourgeois order, without the victory of the 
revolution in at least a number of countries. To deny 
this indisputable thesis means departure from interna- 
tionalism, departure from Leninism. 

"We are living," says Lenin, "not merely in a state, but in 
a system of states, and the existence of the Soviet Republic side by 
side with imperialist states for a long time is unthinkable. One or 
the other must triumph in the end. And before that end comes, 
a series of frightful collisions between the Soviet Republic and 
the bourgeois states will be inevitable. That means that if the 
ruling class, the proletariat, wants to, and will hold sway, it must 
prove this by its military organisation also" (see Vol. XXIV, 
p. 122). 

"We have before us," says Lenin in another passage, "a cer- 
tain equilibrium, which is in the highest degree unstable, but an 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 71 

unquestionable, an indisputable equilibrium nevertheless. Will 
it last long? I do not know and, I think, it is impossible to know. 
And therefore we must exercise very great caution. And the first 
precept of our policy, the first lesson to be learned from our gov- 
ernmental activities during the past year, the lesson which all 
the workers and peasants must learn, is that we must be on the 
alert, we must remember that we are surrounded by people, classes 
and governments who openly express their intense hatred for us. 
We must remember that we are at all times but a hair's breadth 
from every manner of invasion" (see Vol. XXVII, p. 117). 

Clear, one would think. 

Where does Zinoviev stand as regards the question of 
the victory of socialism in one country? 
Listen: 

"By the final victory of socialism is meant, at least: 1) the 
abolition of classes, and therefore 2) the abolition of the dictator- 
ship of one class, in this case the dictatorship of the proletariat." . . . 
"In order to get a clearer idea of how the question stands 
here, in the U.S.S.R., in the year 1925," says Zinoviev further, 
"we must distinguish between two things: 1) the assured possibil- 
ity of engaging in building socialism — such a possibility, it stands 
to reason, is quite conceivable within the limits of one country; 
and 2) the final construction and consolidation of socialism, i.e., 
the achievement of a socialist system, of a socialist society." 

What can all this signify? 

It signifies that by the final victory of socialism 
in one country Zinoviev understands, not a guarantee 
against intervention and restoration, but the possibility 
of completely building socialist society. And by the 
victory of socialism in one country Zinoviev understands 
the kind of building socialism which cannot and should 
not lead to completely building socialism. Building at 



72 J. V. S T A L I N 



haphazard, without prospects, building socialism al- 
though completely building a socialist society is 
impossible — such is Zinoviev's position. 

To engage in building socialism without the possi- 
bility of completely building it, knowing that it cannot 
be completely built — such are the absurdities in which 
Zinoviev has involved himself. 

But this is a mockery of the question, not a solu- 
tion of it! 

Here is another extract from Zinoviev's reply to the 
discussion at the Fourteenth Party Congress: 

"Take a look, for instance, at what Comrade Yakovlev went 
so far as to say at the last Kursk Gubernia Party Conference. He 
asks: 'Is it possible for us, surrounded as we are on all sides by 
capitalist enemies, to completely build socialism in one country 
under such conditions?' And he answers: 'On the basis of all that 
has been said we have the right to say not only that we are build- 
ing socialism, but that in spite of the fact that for the time being 
we are alone, that for the time being we are the only Soviet coun- 
try, the only Soviet state in the world, we shall completely build 
socialism' (Kurskaya Pravda, No. 279, December 8, 1925). Is this 
the Leninist method of presenting the question," Zinoviev asks, 
"does not this smack of national narrow-mindedness?"* 

Thus, according to Zinoviev, to recognise the possi- 
bility of completely building socialism in one country 
means adopting the point of view of national narrow- 
mindedness, while to deny such a possibility means 
adopting the point of view of internationalism. 

But if that is true, is it at all worth while fighting 
for victory over the capitalist elements in our economy? 



My italics. — J. St. 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 73 

Does it not follow from this that such a victory is impos- 
sible? 

Capitulation to the capitalist elements in our economy 
— that is what the inherent logic of Zinoviev's line of 
argument leads us to. 

And this absurdity, which has nothing in common 
with Leninism, is presented to us by Zinoviev as "inter- 
nationalism," as "100 per cent Leninism"! 

I assert that on this most important question of build- 
ing socialism Zinoviev is deserting Leninism and slip- 
ping to the standpoint of the Menshevik Sukhanov. 

Let us turn to Lenin. Here is what he said about the 
victory of socialism in one country even before the Octo- 
ber Revolution, in August 1915: 

"Uneven economic and political development is an absolute 
law of capitalism. Hence, the victory of socialism is possible first 
in several or even in one capitalist country taken separately. The 
victorious proletariat of that country, having expropriated the 
capitalists and organised socialist production,* would stand up 
against the rest of the world, the capitalist world, attracting to 
its cause the oppressed classes of other countries, raising revolts 
in those countries against the capitalists, and in the event of 
necessity coming out even with armed force against the exploiting 
classes and their states" (see Vol. XVIII, pp. 232-33). 

What is meant by Lenin's phrase "having . . . organ- 
ised socialist production" which I have stressed? It means 
that the proletariat of the victorious country, having 
seized power, can and must organise socialist produc- 
tion. And what does to "organise socialist production" 
mean? It means completely building a socialist society. 
It scarcely needs proof that this clear and definite 



My italics. — J. St. 



74 J. V. S T A L I N 



statement of Lenin's requires no further comment. Other- 
wise Lenin's call for the seizure of power by the proletar- 
iat in October 1917 would be incomprehensible. 

You see that this clear thesis of Lenin's, in com- 
parison with Zinoviev's muddled and anti-Leninist "the- 
sis" that we can engage in building socialism "within the 
limits of one country," although it is impossible to build 
it completely, is as different from the latter as the heav- 
ens from the earth. 

The statement quoted above was made by Lenin in 
1915, before the proletariat had taken power. But per- 
haps he modified his views after the experience of tak- 
ing power, after 1917? Let us turn to Lenin's pamphlet 
On Co-operation, written in 1923. 

"As a matter of fact," says Lenin, "state power over all large- 
scale means of production, state power in the hands of the pro- 
letariat, the alliance of this proletariat with the many millions of 
small and very small peasants, the assured leadership of the peas- 
antry by the proletariat, etc. — is not this all that is necessary 
for building a complete socialist society from the co-operatives, 
from the co-operatives alone, which we formerly looked down upon 
as huckstering and which from a certain aspect we have the right 
to look down upon as such now, under NEP? Is this not all that 
is necessary for building a complete socialist society?* This is not yet 
the building of socialist society, but it is all that is necessary and 
sufficient for this building"* (see Vol. XXVII, p. 392). 

In other words, we can and must build a complete 
socialist society, for we have at our disposal all that 
is necessary and sufficient for this building. 

I think it would be difficult to express oneself more 
clearly. 



My italics. — J. St. 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 75 

Compare this classical thesis of Lenin's with the 
anti-Leninist rebuke Zinoviev administered to Yakovlev, 
and you will realise that Yakovlev was only repeating 
Lenin's words about the possibility of completely build- 
ing socialism in one country, whereas Zinoviev, by attack- 
ing this thesis and castigating Yakovlev, deserted Lenin 
and adopted the point of view of the Menshevik Sukha- 
nov, the point of view that it is impossible to build so- 
cialism completely in our country owing to its technical 
backwardness. 

One can only wonder why we took power in October 
1917 if we did not count on completely building social- 
ism. 

We should not have taken power in October 191 7 — this 
is the conclusion to which the inherent logic of Zino- 
viev's line of argument leads us. 

I assert further that in the highly important question 
of the victory of socialism Zinoviev has gone counter to 
the definite decisions of our Party, as registered in the 
well-known resolution of the Fourteenth Party Conference 
"The Tasks of the Comintern and the R.C.P.(B.) in 
Connection with the Enlarged Plenum of the E. C.C.I." 

Let us turn to this resolution. Here is what it says 
about the victory of socialism in one country: 

"The existence of two directly opposite social systems gives 
rise to the constant menace of capitalist blockade, of other 
forms of economic pressure, of armed intervention, of restoration. 
Consequently, the only guarantee of the final victory of socialism, 
i.e., the guarantee against restoration * is a victorious socialist 
revolution in a number of countries. . . ." "Leninism teaches that 



My italics. — J. St. 



76 J. V. S T A L I N 



the final victory of socialism, in the sense of a full guarantee against 
the restoration* of bourgeois relationships, is possible only on 
an international scale. . . ." "But it does not follow* from this 
that it is impossible to build a complete socialist society* in a back- 
ward country like Russia, without the 'state aid' (Trotsky) of 
countries more developed technically and economically" (see 
the resolution 35 ). 

As you see, the resolution interprets the final victory 
of socialism as a guarantee against intervention and res- 
toration, in complete contrast to Zinoviev's interpretation 
in his book Leninism. 

As you see, the resolution recognises the possibility 
of building a complete socialist society in a backward 
country like Russia without the "state aid" of countries 
more developed technically and economically, in 
complete contrast to what Zinoviev said when he rebuked 
Yakovlev in his reply to the discussion at the Fourteenth 
Party Congress. 

How else can this be described if not as a struggle 
on Zinoviev's part against the resolution of the Four- 
teenth Party Conference? 

Of course, Party resolutions are sometimes not free 
from error. Sometimes they contain mistakes. Speaking 
generally, one may assume that the resolution of the 
Fourteenth Party Conference also contains certain errors. 
Perhaps Zinoviev thinks that this resolution is erroneous. 
But then he should say so clearly and openly, as befits 
a Bolshevik. For some reason or other, however, Zino- 
viev does not do so. He preferred to choose another path, 
that of attacking the resolution of the Fourteenth Party 



My italics. — J. St. 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 77 

Conference from the rear, while keeping silent about this 
resolution and refraining from any open criticism of the 
resolution. Zinoviev evidently thinks that this will be 
the best way of achieving his purpose. And he has but 
one purpose, namely — to "improve" the resolution, and 
to amend Lenin "just a little bit." It scarcely needs 
proof that Zinoviev has made a mistake in his calcula- 
tions. 

What is Zinoviev's mistake due to? What is the root 
of this mistake? 

The root of this mistake, in my opinion, lies in 
Zinoviev's conviction that the technical backwardness 
of our country is an insuperable obstacle to the building 
of a complete socialist society; that the proletariat cannot 
completely build socialism owing to the technical back- 
wardness of our country. Zinoviev and Kamenev once 
tried to raise this argument at a meeting of the Central 
Committee of the Party prior to the April Party Confer- 
ence. 36 But they received a rebuff and were compelled 
to retreat, and formally they submitted to the opposite 
point of view, the point of view of the majority of the 
Central Committee. But although he formally submitted 
to it, Zinoviev has continued to wage a struggle against 
it all the time. Here is what the Moscow Committee of 
our Party says about this "incident" in the Central Com- 
mittee of the R.C.P.(B.) in its "Reply" to the letter of 
the Leningrad Gubernia Party Conference 37 : 

"Recently, in the Political Bureau, Kamenev and Zinoviev 
advocated the point of view that we cannot cope with the inter- 
nal difficulties due to our technical and economic backwardness 
unless an international revolution comes to our rescue. We, how- 
ever, with the majority of the members of the Central Committee, 



78 J. V. S T A L I N 



think that we can build socialism, are building it, and will com- 
pletely build it, notwithstanding our technical backwardness and 
in spite of it. We think that the work of building will proceed far 
more slowly, of course, than in the conditions of a world victory; 
nevertheless, we are making progress and will continue to do so. 
We also believe that the view held by Kamenev and Zinoviev 
expresses disbelief in the internal forces of our working class and 
of the peasant masses who follow its lead. We believe that it is a 
departure from the Leninist position" (see "Reply"). 

This document appeared in the press during the first 
sittings of the Fourteenth Party Congress. Zinoviev, of 
course, had the opportunity of attacking this document 
at the congress. It is characteristic that Zinoviev and 
Kamenev found no arguments against this grave accusa- 
tion directed against them by the Moscow Committee of 
our Party. Was this accidental? I think not. The accusa- 
tion, apparently, hit the mark. Zinoviev and Kamenev 
"replied" to this accusation by silence, because they had 
no "card to beat it." 

The "New Opposition" is offended because Zinoviev 
is accused of disbelief in the victory of socialist con- 
struction in our country. But if after a whole year of 
discussion on the question of the victory of socialism 
in one country; after Zinoviev's view-point has been re- 
jected by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee 
(April 1925); after the Party has arrived at a definite 
opinion on this question, recorded in the well-known reso- 
lution of the Fourteenth Party Conference (April 1925) — 
if, after all this, Zinoviev ventures to oppose the point 
of view of the Party in his book Leninism (September 
1925), if he then repeats this opposition at the Fourteenth 
Party Congress — how can all this, this stubbornness, 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 79 

this persistence in his error, be explained if not by the 
fact that Zinoviev is infected, hopelessly infected, with 
disbelief in the victory of socialist construction in our 
country? 

It pleases Zinoviev to regard this disbelief of his as 
internationalism. But since when have we come to re- 
gard departure from Leninism on a cardinal question 
of Leninism as internationalism? 

Will it not be more correct to say that it is not the 
Party but Zinoviev who is sinning against interna- 
tionalism and the international revolution? For what 
is our country, the country "that is building socialism," 
if not the base of the world revolution? But can it be 
a real base of the world revolution if it is incapable 
of completely building a socialist society? Can it re- 
main the mighty centre of attraction for the workers of 
all countries that it undoubtedly is now, if it is in- 
capable of achieving victory at home over the capitalist 
elements in our economy, the victory of socialist con- 
struction? I think not. But does it not follow from this 
that disbelief in the victory of socialist construction, 
the dissemination of such disbelief, will lead to our coun- 
try being discredited as the base of the world revolution? 
And if our country is discredited the world revolutionary 
movement will be weakened. How did Messrs. the Social- 
Democrats try to scare the workers away from us? By 
preaching that "the Russians will not get anywhere." 
What are we beating the Social-Democrats with now, 
when we are attracting a whole series of workers' delega- 
tions to our country and thereby strengthening the posi- 
tion of communism all over the world? By our successes in 
building socialism. Is it not obvious, then, that whoever 



80 J. V. S T A L I N 



disseminates disbelief in our successes in building 
socialism thereby indirectly helps the Social-Democrats, 
reduces the sweep of the international revolutionary move- 
ment, and inevitably departs from internationalism? . . . 

You see that Zinoviev is in no better position in 
regard to his "internationalism" than in regard to his 
"100 per cent Leninism" on the question of building so- 
cialism in one country. 

That is why the Fourteenth Party Congress rightly 
defined the views of the "New Opposition" as "disbelief 
in the cause of socialist construction," as "a distortion of 
Leninism." 38 

VII 

THE FIGHT FOR THE VICTORY 
OF SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 

I think that disbelief in the victory of socialist 
construction is the principal error of the "New Opposi- 
tion." In my opinion, it is the principal error because 
from it spring all the other errors of the "New Opposi- 
tion." The errors of the "New Opposition" on the ques- 
tions of NEP, state capitalism, the nature of our social- 
ist industry, the role of the co-operatives under the dic- 
tatorship of the proletariat, the methods of fighting the 
kulaks, the role and importance of the middle peasantry — 
all these errors are to be traced to the principal error of 
the opposition, to disbelief in the possibility of complete- 
ly building a socialist society by the efforts of our 
country. 

What is disbelief in the victory of socialist con- 
struction in our country? 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 81 

It is, first of all, lack of confidence that, owing 
to certain conditions of development in our country, the 
main mass of the peasantry can be drawn into the work of 
socialist construction. 

It is, secondly, lack of confidence that the prole- 
tariat of our country, which holds the key positions in our 
national economy, is capable of drawing the main mass 
of the peasantry into the work of socialist construction. 

It is from these theses that the opposition tacitly 
proceeds in its arguments about the paths of our devel- 
opment — no matter whether it does so consciously or 
unconsciously. 

Can the main mass of the Soviet peasantry be drawn 
into the work of socialist construction? 

In the pamphlet The Foundations of Leninism there 
are two main theses on this subject: 

1) "The peasantry in the Soviet Union must not be confused 
with the peasantry in the West. A peasantry that has been schooled 
in three revolutions, that fought against the tsar and the pow- 
er of the bourgeoisie side by side with the proletariat and under 
the leadership of the proletariat, a peasantry that has received 
land and peace at the hands of the proletarian revolution and by 
reason of this has become the reserve of the proletariat — such a 
peasantry cannot but be different from a peasantry which during 
the bourgeois revolution fought under the leadership of the liberal 
bourgeoisie, which received land at the hands of that bourgeoisie, 
and in view of this became the reserve of the bourgeoisie. It scarce- 
ly needs proof that the Soviet peasantry, which has learnt to 
appreciate its political friendship and political collaboration with 
the proletariat and which owes its freedom to this friendship 
and collaboration, cannot but represent exceptionally favourable 
material for economic collaboration with the proletariat." 

2) "Agriculture in Russia must not be confused with agriculture 
in the West. There, agriculture is developing along the ordinary 



82 J. V. S T A L I N 



lines of capitalism, under conditions of profound differentiation 
among the peasantry, with large landed estates and private 
capitalist latifundia at one extreme and pauperism, destitution 
and wage slavery at the other. Owing to this, disintegration and 
decay are quite natural there. Not so in Russia. Here agriculture 
cannot develop along such a path, if for no other reason than that 
the existence of Soviet power and the nationalisation of the 
principal instruments and means of production preclude such a 
development. In Russia the development of agriculture must 
proceed along a different path, along the path of organising mil- 
lions of small and middle peasants in co-operatives, along the path 
of developing in the countryside a mass co-operative movement 
supported by the state by means of preferential credits. Lenin 
rightly pointed out in his articles on co-operation that the devel- 
opment of agriculture in our country must proceed along a new 
path, along the path of drawing the majority of the peasants into 
socialist construction through the co-operatives, along the path of 
gradually introducing into agriculture the principles of collec- 
tivism, first in the sphere of marketing and later in the sphere of 
production of agricultural products. . . . 

"It scarcely needs proof that the vast majority of the peas- 
antry will eagerly take this new path of development, rejecting 
the path of private capitalist latifundia and wage slavery, the 
path of destitution and ruin." 39 

Are these theses correct? 

I think that both theses are correct and incontro- 
vertible for the whole of our construction period under 
the conditions of NEP. 

They are merely the expression of Lenin's well-known 
theses on the bond between the proletariat and the peas- 
antry, on the inclusion of the peasant farms in the system 
of socialist development of our country; of his theses 
that the proletariat must march towards socialism togeth- 
er with the main mass of the peasantry, that the organisa- 
tion of the vast masses of the peasantry in co-operatives 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 83 

is the high road of socialist construction in the coun- 
tryside, that with the growth of our socialist industry, 
"for us, the mere growth of co-operation is identical 
. . . with the growth of socialism" (see Vol. XXVII, 
p. 396). 

Indeed, along what path can and must the develop- 
ment of peasant economy in our country proceed? 

Peasant economy is not capitalist economy. Peasant 
economy, if you take the overwhelming majority of the 
peasant farms, is small commodity economy. And what is 
peasant small commodity economy? It is economy stand- 
ing at the cross-roads between capitalism and socialism. 
It may develop in the direction of capitalism, as it is 
now doing in capitalist countries, or in the direction of 
socialism, as it must do here, in our country, under the 
dictatorship of the proletariat. 

Whence this instability, this lack of independence 
of peasant economy? How is it to be explained? 

It is to be explained by the scattered character of the 
peasant farms, their lack of organisation, their depend- 
ence on the towns, on industry, on the credit system, 
on the character of the state power in the country, and, 
lastly, by the well-known fact that the countryside 
follows, and necessarily must follow, the town both in 
material and in cultural matters. 

The capitalist path of development of peasant econ- 
omy means development through profound differentiation 
among the peasantry, with large latifundia at one ex- 
treme and mass impoverishment at the other. Such a path 
of development is inevitable in capitalist countries, be- 
cause the countryside, peasant economy, is dependent 
on the towns, on industry, on credit concentrated in the 



84 J. V. S T A L I N 



towns, on the character of the state power — and in the 
towns it is the bourgeoisie, capitalist industry, the capi- 
talist credit system and the capitalist state power that 
hold sway. 

Is this path of development of peasant farms obliga- 
tory for our country, where the towns have quite a differ- 
ent aspect, where industry is in the hands of the prole- 
tariat, where transport, the credit system, the state 
power, etc., are concentrated in the hands of the prole- 
tariat, where the nationalisation of the land is a universal 
law of the country? Of course not. On the contrary. Pre- 
cisely because the towns do lead the countryside, while we 
have in the towns the rule of the proletariat, which holds 
all the key positions of national economy — precisely for 
this reason the peasant farms in their development 
must proceed along a different path, the path of socialist 
construction. 

What is this path? 

It is the path of the mass organisation of millions 
of peasant farms into co-operatives in all spheres of 
co-operation, the path of uniting the scattered peasant 
farms around socialist industry, the path of implant- 
ing the elements of collectivism among the peasantry at 
first in the sphere of marketing agricultural produce 
and supplying the peasant farms with the products of 
urban industry and later in the sphere of agricultural 
production. 

And the further we advance the more this path be- 
comes inevitable under the conditions of the dictatorship 
of the proletariat, because co-operative marketing, 
co-operative supplying, and, finally, co-operative 
credit and production (agricultural co-operatives) are 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 85 

the only way to promote the welfare of the countryside, 
the only way to save the broad masses of the peasantry 
from poverty and ruin. 

It is said that our peasantry, by its position, is not 
socialist, and, therefore, incapable of socialist develop- 
ment. It is true, of course, that the peasantry, by its 
position, is not socialist. But this is no argument against 
the development of the peasant farms along the path of 
socialism, once it has been proved that the countryside 
follows the town, and in the towns it is socialist industry 
that holds sway. The peasantry, by its position, was 
not socialist at the time of the October Revolution either, 
and it did not by any means want to establish socialism 
in our country. At that time it strove mainly for the abo- 
lition of the power of the landlords and for the ending 
of the war, for the establishment of peace. Nevertheless, 
it followed the lead of the socialist proletariat. Why? 
Because the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and the seizure 
of power by the socialist proletariat was at that time 
the only way of getting out of the imperialist war, the 
only way of establishing peace. Because there was no other 
way at that time, nor could there be any. Because our 
Party was able to hit upon that degree of the combina- 
tion of the specific interests of the peasantry (the over- 
throw of the landlords, peace) with, and their subordina- 
tion to, the general interests of the country (the dicta- 
torship of the proletariat) which proved acceptable and 
advantageous to the peasantry. And so the peasantry, in 
spite of its non-socialist character, at that time followed 
the lead of the socialist proletariat. 

The same must be said about socialist construction 
in our country, about drawing the peasantry into the 



86 J. V. S T A L I N 



channel of this construction. The peasantry is non- 
socialist by its position. But it must, and certainly 
will, take the path of socialist development, for there 
is not, and cannot be, any other way of saving the peas- 
antry from poverty and ruin except the bond with the 
proletariat, except the bond with socialist industry, 
except the inclusion of peasant economy in the common 
channel of socialist development by the mass organisation 
of the peasantry in co-operatives. 

But why precisely by the mass organisation of the 
peasantry in co-operatives? 

Because in the mass organisation in co-operatives 
"we have found that degree of the combination of private 
interest, private trading interest, with state supervi- 
sion and control of this interest, that degree of its sub- 
ordination to the general interests" (Lenin) 40 which 
is acceptable and advantageous to the peasantry and 
which ensures the proletariat the possibility of drawing 
the main mass of the peasantry into the work of socialist 
construction. It is precisely because it is advantageous to 
the peasantry to organise the sale of its products and the 
purchase of machines for its farms through co-operatives, 
it is precisely for that reason that it should and will 
proceed along the path of mass organisation in co-opera- 
tives. 

What does the mass organisation of peasant farms in 
co-operatives mean when we have the supremacy of so- 
cialist industry? 

It means that peasant small commodity economy 
abandons the old capitalist path, which is fraught with 
mass ruin for the peasantry, and goes over to the new path 
of development, the path of socialist construction. 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 87 

This is why the fight for the new path of development 
of peasant economy, the fight to draw the main mass of the 
peasantry into the work of socialist construction, is the 
immediate task facing our Party. 

The Fourteenth Congress of the C.P.S.U.(B.), there- 
fore, was right in declaring: 

"The main path of building socialism in the countryside con- 
sists in using the growing economic leadership of socialist state 
industry, of the state credit institutions, and of the other key 
positions in the hands of the proletariat to draw the main mass of 
the peasantry into co-operative organisation and to ensure for this 
organisation a socialist development, while utilising, overcoming 
and ousting its capitalist elements" (see Resolution of the Con- 
gress on the Report of the Central Committee 41 ) 

The profound mistake of the "New Opposition" lies 
in the fact that it does not believe in this new path of 
development of the peasantry, that it does not see, or 
does not understand, the absolute inevitability of this 
path under the conditions of the dictatorship of the 
proletariat. And it does not understand this because it 
does not believe in the victory of socialist construc- 
tion in our country, it does not believe in the capacity 
of our proletariat to lead the peasantry along the path 
to socialism. 

Hence the failure to understand the dual character 
of NEP, the exaggeration of the negative aspects of 
NEP and the treatment of NEP as being mainly a retreat. 

Hence the exaggeration of the role of the capitalist 
elements in our economy, and the belittling of the role 
of the levers of our socialist development (socialist 
industry, the credit system, the co-operatives, the rule 
of the proletariat, etc.). 



88 J. V. S T A L I N 



Hence the failure to understand the socialist na- 
ture of our state industry, and the doubts concerning 
the correctness of Lenin's co-operative plan. 

Hence the inflated accounts of differentiation in 
the countryside, the panic in face of the kulak, the 
belittling of the role of the middle peasant, the attempts 
to thwart the Party's policy of securing a firm alliance 
with the middle peasant, and, in general, the wobbling 
from one side to another on the question of the Party's 
policy in the countryside. 

Hence the failure to understand the tremendous work 
of the Party in drawing the vast masses of the workers 
and peasants into building up industry and agriculture, 
revitalising the co-operatives and the Soviets, adminis- 
tering the country, combating bureaucracy, improving 
and remodelling our state apparatus — work which marks 
a new stage of development and without which no so- 
cialist construction is conceivable. 

Hence the hopelessness and consternation in face 
of the difficulties of our work of construction, the doubts 
about the possibility of industrialising our country, 
the pessimistic chatter about degeneration of the 
Party, etc. 

Over there, among the bourgeoisie, all is going on 
fairly well, but here, among the proletarians, things 
are fairly bad; unless the revolution in the West takes 
place pretty soon, our cause is lost — such is the general 
tone of the "New Opposition" which, in my opinion, 
is a liquidationist tone, but which, for some reason or 
other (probably in jest), the opposition tries to pass 
off as "internationalism." 

NEP is capitalism, says the opposition. NEP is 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 89 

mainly a retreat, says Zinoviev. All this, of course, 
is untrue. In actual fact, NEP is the Party's policy, 
permitting a struggle between the socialist and the 
capitalist elements and aimed at the victory of the 
socialist elements over the capitalist elements. In actual 
fact, NEP only began as a retreat, but it aimed at regroup- 
ing our forces during the retreat and launching an 
offensive. In actual fact, we have been on the offensive 
for several years now, and are attacking successfully, 
developing our industry, developing Soviet trade, and 
ousting private capital. 

But what is the meaning of the thesis that NEP 
is capitalism, that NEP is mainly a retreat? What does 
this thesis proceed from? 

It proceeds from the wrong assumption that what is 
now taking place in our country is simply the restora- 
tion of capitalism, simply a "return" to capitalism. This 
assumption alone can explain the doubts of the opposition 
regarding the socialist nature of our industry. This assump- 
tion alone can explain the panic of the opposition in face 
of the kulak. This assumption alone can explain the 
haste with which the opposition seized upon the inaccu- 
rate statistics on differentiation in the peasantry. This 
assumption alone can explain the opposition's special 
forgetfulness of the fact that the middle peasant is the 
central figure in our agriculture. This assumption alone 
can explain the under-estimation of the importance of the 
middle peasant and the doubts concerning Lenin's co- 
operative plan. This assumption alone can serve to "sub- 
stantiate" the "New Opposition's" disbelief in the new 
path of development of the countryside, the path of 
drawing it into the work of socialist construction. 



90 J. V. S T A L I N 



As a matter of fact, what is taking place in our coun- 
try now is not a one-sided process of restoration of capi- 
talism, but a double process of development of capi- 
talism and development of socialism — a contradictory 
process of struggle between the socialist and the capitalist 
elements, a process in which the socialist elements are 
overcoming the capitalist elements. This is equally 
incontestable as regards the towns, where state in- 
dustry is the basis of socialism, and as regards the coun- 
tryside, where the main foothold for socialist develop- 
ment is mass co-operation linked up with socialist 
industry. 

The simple restoration of capitalism is impossible, 
if only for the reason that the proletariat is in power, 
that large-scale industry is in the hands of the prole- 
tariat, and that transport and credit are in the posses- 
sion of the proletarian state. 

Differentiation in the countryside cannot assume 
its former dimensions, the middle peasants still consti- 
tute the main mass of the peasantry, and the kulak cannot 
regain his former strength, if only for the reason that the 
land has been nationalised, that it has been withdrawn 
from circulation, while our trade, credit, tax and co- 
operative policy is directed towards restricting the ku- 
laks' exploiting proclivities, towards promoting the 
welfare of the broad mass of the peasantry and levelling 
out the extremes in the countryside. That is quite apart 
from the fact that the fight against the kulaks is now 
proceeding not only along the old line of organising the 
poor peasants against the kulaks, but also along the new 
line of strengthening the alliance of the proletariat and 
the poor peasants with the mass of the middle peasants 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 91 

against the kulaks. The fact that the opposition does 
not understand the meaning and significance of the 
fight against the kulaks along this second line once more 
confirms that the opposition is straying towards the 
old path of development in the countryside — the path 
of capitalist development, when the kulaks and the poor 
peasants constituted the main forces in the countryside, 
while the middle peasants were "melting away." 

Co-operation is a variety of state capitalism, says 
the opposition, citing in this connection Lenin's pam- 
phlet The Tax in Kind 42 ; and, consequently, it does not 
believe it possible to utilise the co-operatives as the 
main foothold for socialist development. Here, too, the 
opposition commits a gross error. Such an interpretation of 
co-operation was adequate and satisfactory in 1921, when 
The Tax in Kind was written, when we had no developed 
socialist industry, when Lenin conceived of state capi- 
talism as the possible basic form of conducting our econ- 
omy, and when he considered co-operation in conjunction 
with state capitalism. But this interpretation has now 
become inadequate and has been rendered obsolete by his- 
tory, for times have changed since then: our socialist 
industry has developed, state capitalism never took hold 
to the degree expected, whereas the co-operatives, which 
now have over ten million members, have begun to link 
up with socialist industry. 

How else are we to explain the fact that already in 
1923, two years after The Tax in Kind was written, Lenin 
began to regard co-operation in a different light, and 
considered that "co-operation, under our conditions, very 
often entirely coincides with socialism" (see Vol. XXVII, 
p. 396). 



92 J. V. S T A L I N 



How else can this be explained except by the fact 
that during those two years socialist industry had grown, 
whereas state capitalism had failed to take hold to the 
required extent, in view of which Lenin began to consider 
co-operation, not in conjunction with state capitalism, 
but in conjunction with socialist industry? 

The conditions of development of co-operation had 
changed. And so the approach to the question of co-opera- 
tion had to be changed also. 

Here, for instance, is a remarkable passage from 
Lenin's pamphlet On Co-operation (1923), which throws 
light on this matter: 

"Under state capitalism,* co-operative enterprises differ 
from state capitalist enterprises, firstly, in that they are private 
enterprises and, secondly, in that they are collective enterprises. 
Under our present system * co-operative enterprises differ from 
private capitalist enterprises because they are collective enter- 
prises, but they do not differ* from socialist enterprises if the land 
on which they are situated and the means of production belong 
to the state, i.e., the working class" (see Vol. XXVII, p. 396). 

In this short passage two big questions are solved. 
Firstly, that "our present system" is not state capi- 
talism. Secondly, that co-operative enterprises taken 
in conjunction with "our system" "do not differ" from 
socialist enterprises. 

I think it would be difficult to express oneself more 
clearly. 

Here is another passage from the same pamphlet of 
Lenin's: 



My italics. — J. St. 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 93 

". . . for us, the mere growth of co-operation (with the 'slight' 
exception mentioned above) is identical with the growth of so- 
cialism, and at the same time we must admit that a radical change 
has taken place in our whole outlook on socialism" (ibid,). 

Obviously, the pamphlet On Co-operation gives a new 
appraisal of the co-operatives, a thing which the "New 
Opposition" does not want to admit, and which it is care- 
fully hushing up, in defiance of the facts, in defiance 
of the obvious truth, in defiance of Leninism. 

Co-operation taken in conjunction with state capital- 
ism is one thing, and co-operation taken in conjunction 
with socialist industry is another. 

From this, however, it must not be concluded that 
a gulf lies between The Tax in Kind and On Co-operation. 
That would, of course, be wrong. It is sufficient, for 
instance, to refer to the following passage in The Tax 
in Kind to discern immediately the inseparable connection 
between The Tax in Kind and the pamphlet On Co-opera- 
tion as regards appraisal of the co-operatives. Here it is: 

"The transition from concessions to socialism is a transition 
from one form of large-scale production to another form of large- 
scale production. The transition from small-proprietor co-opera- 
tives to socialism is a transition from small production to large- 
scale production, i.e., it is a more complicated transition, but, 
if successful, is capable of embracing wider masses of the popu- 
lation, is capable of pulling up the deeper and more tenacious 
roots of the old, pre-socialist* and even pre-capitalist relations, 
which most stubbornly resist all 'innovations'" (see Vol. XXVI, 
p. 337). 

From this quotation it is evident that even during 
the time of The Tax in Kind, when we had as yet no 



My italics. — J. St. 



94 J. V. S T A L I N 



developed socialist industry, Lenin was of the opinion 
that, if successful, co-operation could be transformed 
into a powerful weapon in the struggle against "pre- 
socialist," and, hence, against capitalist relations. I think 
it was precisely this idea that subsequently served as 
the point of departure for his pamphlet On Co-operation. 

But what follows from all this? 

From all this it follows that the "New Opposition" 
approaches the question of co-operation, not in a Marxist 
way, but metaphysically. It regards co-operation 
not as a historical phenomenon taken in conjunction with 
other phenomena, in conjunction, say, with state capital- 
ism (in 1921) or with socialist industry (in 1923), but as 
something constant and immutable, as a "thing in it- 
self." 

Hence the mistakes of the opposition on the question 
of co-operation, hence its disbelief in the development 
of the countryside towards socialism through co-opera- 
tion, hence its turning back to the old path, the path 
of capitalist development in the countryside. 

Such, in general, is the position of the "New Oppo- 
sition" on the practical questions of socialist construc- 
tion. 

There is only one conclusion: the line of the oppo- 
sition, so far as it has a line, its wavering and vacil- 
lation, its disbelief in our cause and its consternation in 
face of difficulties, lead to capitulation to the capitalist 
elements of our economy. 

For, if NEP is mainly a retreat, if the socialist 
nature of state industry is doubted, if the kulak is al- 
most omnipotent, if little hope can be placed in the 
co-operatives, if the role of the middle peasant is pro- 



CONCERNING QUESTIONS OF LENINISM 95 

gressively declining, if the new path of development in 
the countryside is open to doubt, if the Party is almost 
degenerating, while the revolution in the West is not 
very near — then what is there left in the arsenal of the 
opposition, what can it count on in the struggle against 
the capitalist elements in our economy? You cannot 
go into battle armed only with "The Philosophy of the 
Epoch." 43 

It is clear that the arsenal of the "New Opposition," 
if it can be termed an arsenal at all, is an unenviable 
one. It is not an arsenal for battle. Still less is it one for 
victory, 

It is clear that the Party would be doomed "in no 
time" if it entered the fight equipped with such an 
arsenal; it would simply have to capitulate to the capi- 
talist elements in our economy. 

That is why the Fourteenth Congress of the Party 
was absolutely right in deciding that "the fight for the 
victory of socialist construction in the U.S.S.R. is the 
main task of our Party"; that one of the necessary con- 
ditions for the fulfilment of this task is "to combat 
disbelief in the cause of building socialism in our 
country and the attempts to represent our enterprises, 
which are of a 'consistently socialist type' (Lenin), as 
state capitalist enterprises"; that "such ideological 
trends, which prevent the masses from adopting a con- 
scious attitude towards the building of socialism in 
general and of a socialist industry in particular, can 
only serve to hinder the growth of the socialist elements 
in our economy and to facilitate the struggle of private 
capital against them"; that "the congress therefore 
considers that wide-spread educational work must be 



96 J. V. S T A L I N 



carried on for the purpose of overcoming these distor- 
tions of Leninism" (see Resolution on the Report of 
the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B.) 44 ) 

The historical significance of the Fourteenth Con- 
gress of the C.P.S.U.(B.) lies in the fact that it was 
able radically to expose the mistakes of the "New Oppo- 
sition," that it rejected their disbelief and whining, 
that it clearly and precisely indicated the path of the 
further struggle for socialism, opened before the Party 
the prospect of victory, and thus armed the proletariat 
with an invincible faith in the victory of socialist con- 
struction. 

January 25, 1926 

J. V. Stalin, Concerning Questions of Leninism, 
Moscow and Leningrad, 1926 



THE PEASANTRY AS AN ALLY 
OF THE WORKING CLASS 

Reply to Comrades P. F. Boltnev, V. I. Efremov 
and V. I. Ivlev 



I apologise for not having been able to reply to 
you sooner. 

I did not say anywhere in my speech 45 that the work- 
ing class needs the peasantry as an ally only at the 
present time. 

I did not say in that speech that after the victory 
of the revolution in one of the European countries the 
alliance of the working class and the peasantry would 
be superfluous in Russia. It seems to me that you have 
not read my speech at the Moscow Conference very care- 
fully. 

What is stated there is only that "the peasantry is 
the only ally that can be of direct assistance to our 
revolution at this very moment." Does it follow from this 
that after a victorious revolution in Europe the peas- 
antry may become superfluous for the working class 
of our country? Of course not. 

You ask: "What will happen when the world revo- 
lution takes place, when the fourth ally — the peasant- 
ry — is no longer needed? How will it be looked upon 
then?" 

In the first place, to say that "after the world rev- 
olution" the peasantry will no longer be needed is 



98 J. V. S T A L I N 



untrue. It is untrue, because "after the world revolution" 
our economic constructive work should proceed with 
giant strides, and socialism cannot be built without the 
peasantry, any more than the peasantry can extricate 
itself from its poverty without the proletariat. Conse- 
quently, far from weakening after a victorious revolution 
in the West, the alliance of the workers and peasants 
should grow stronger. 

Secondly, "after the world revolution," when our 
constructive work is intensified a hundredfold, the 
trend will be for the workers and peasants to disappear 
as two entirely different economic groups, to be converted 
into working people of the land and of the factories, that 
is, to become equal in economic status. And what does 
that mean? It means that the alliance of the workers 
and peasants will gradually be converted into a fusion, 
a complete union, into a single socialist society of for- 
mer workers and former peasants, and later simply of 
working people of a socialist society. 

That is our view as regards the peasantry "after 
the victory of the world revolution." 

The matter at issue in my speech was not how our 
Party would look upon the peasantry in the future, 
but which of the four allies of the working class is its 
most direct ally and immediate assistant at the present 
moment, at the present juncture, when the capitalists 
in the West are to some extent beginning to recuperate. 

Why did I present the question in my speech pre- 
cisely in this light? Because there are people in our 
Party who, out of stupidity and folly, believe that the 
peasantry is not our ally. Whether it is a good or a bad 
thing that there are such people in our Party is another 



THE PEASANTRY AS AN ALLY OF THE WORKING CLASS 99 

matter, but the fact remains that there are. It was against 
such people that my speech was levelled, and I there- 
fore pointed out that at the present juncture the peasant- 
ry is the most direct ally of the working class, and 
that those who sow distrust towards the peasantry may, 
without themselves realising it, wreck the cause of our 
revolution, that is to say, they may wreck both the 
cause of the workers and the cause of the peasants. 

That is what I was talking about. 

It seems to me that you are somewhat offended at 
my calling the peasantry a not very firm ally, an ally 
not as reliable as the proletariat of the capitalistically 
developed countries. I see that you have taken offence 
at this. But am I not right? Must I not tell the truth 
bluntly? Is it not true that at the time of the Kolchak 
and Denikin invasions the peasantry quite often vacil- 
lated, siding now with the workers, now with the gen- 
erals? And were there not plenty of peasant volunteers 
in Denikin's and Kolchak's armies? 

I am not blaming the peasants, because their vacil- 
lations are due to their inadequate political understand- 
ing. But, since I am a Communist, I must tell the truth 
bluntly. That is what Lenin taught us. And the truth 
is that at a difficult moment, when the workers were 
being hard pressed by Kolchak and Denikin, the peas- 
antry did not always display sufficient staunchness and 
firmness as an ally of the working class. 

Does this mean that we may wash our hands of the 
peasantry, as certain unwise comrades are doing now, 
who do not consider it an ally of the proletariat at all? 
No. To wash our hands of the peasantry would be to 
commit a crime against both the workers and the peasants. 



100 J. V. STALIN 



We shall do everything in our power to raise the polit- 
ical understanding of the peasants, to enlighten them, 
to bring them closer to the working class, the leader 
of our revolution — and we shall see to it that the 
peasantry becomes the ever firmer and ever more reli- 
able ally of the proletariat in our country. 

And when the revolution breaks out in the West, 
the peasantry will become thoroughly firm and one of 
the most loyal allies of the working class in our country. 

That is how the attitude of the Communists towards 
the peasantry as an ally of the working class should 
be understood. 

With comradely greetings, 



/. Stalin 



February 9, 1926 

Published for the first time 



THE POSSIBILITY OF BUILDING 
SOCIALISM IN OUR COUNTRY 

Reply to Comrades Pokoyev 



Comrade Pokoyev, 

I am late in replying, for which I apologise to you 
and your comrades. 

Unfortunately, you have not understood our dis- 
agreements at the Fourteenth Congress. The point was 
not at all that the opposition asserted that we had not 
yet arrived at socialism, while the congress held that 
we had already arrived at socialism. That is not true. 
You will not find a single member in our Party who 
would say that we have already achieved socialism. 

That was not at all the subject of the dispute at 
the congress. The subject of the dispute was this. The 
congress held that the working class, in alliance with 
the labouring peasantry, can deal the finishing blow to 
the capitalists of our country and build a socialist so- 
ciety, even if there is no victorious revolution in the 
West to come to its aid. The opposition, on the contrary, 
held that we cannot deal the finishing blow to our capi- 
talists and build a socialist society until the workers 
are victorious in the West. Well, as the victory of the 
revolution in the West is rather late in coming, nothing 
remains for us to do, apparently, but to loaf around. 
The congress held, and said so in its resolution on the 



102 J. V. STALIN 



report of the Central Committee, 46 that these views of 
the opposition implied disbelief in victory over our 
capitalists. 

That was the point at issue, dear comrades. 

This, of course, does not mean that we do not need 
the help of the West-European workers. Suppose that 
the West-European workers did not sympathise with us 
and did not render us moral support. Suppose that the 
West-European workers did not prevent their capitalists 
from launching an attack upon our Republic. What 
would be the outcome? The outcome would be that the 
capitalists would march against us and radically dis- 
rupt our constructive work, if not destroy us altogether. 
If the capitalists are not attempting this, it is because 
they are afraid that if they were to attack our Republic, 
the workers would strike at them from the rear. That 
is what we mean when we say that the West-European 
workers are supporting our revolution. 

But from the support of the workers of the West to 
the victory of the revolution in the West is a long, long 
way. Without the support of the workers of the West 
we could scarcely have held out against the enemies 
surrounding us. If this support should later develop into 
a victorious revolution in the West, well and good. 
Then the victory of socialism in our country will be fi- 
nal. But what if this support does not develop into a 
victory of the revolution in the West? If there is no 
such victory in the West, can we build a socialist 
society and complete the building of it? The congress 
answered that we can. Otherwise, there would have 
been no point in our taking power in October 1917. 
If we had not counted on giving the finishing blow to, 



THE POSSIBILITY OF BUILDING SOCIALISM IN OUR COUNTRY 103 

our capitalists, everyone will say that we had no busi- 
ness to take power in October 1917. The opposition, 
however, affirms that we cannot finish off our capital- 
ists by our own efforts. 

That is the difference between us. 

There was also talk at the congress of the final vic- 
tory of socialism. What does that mean? It means a 
full guarantee against the intervention of foreign cap- 
italists and the restoration of the old order in our coun- 
try as the result of an armed struggle by those capital- 
ists against our country. Can we, by our own efforts, 
ensure this guarantee, that is, render armed intervention 
on the part of international capital impossible? No, we 
cannot. That is something to be done jointly by our- 
selves and the proletarians of the entire West. Interna- 
tional capital can be finally curbed only by the efforts 
of the working class of all countries, or at least of the 
major European countries. For that the victory of the 
revolution in several European countries is indispensa- 
ble — without it the final victory of socialism is impos- 
sible. 

What follows then in conclusion? 

It follows that we are capable of completely build- 
ing a socialist society by our own efforts and without 
the victory of the revolution in the West, but that, by 
itself alone, our country cannot guarantee itself against 
encroachments by international capital — for that the 
victory of the revolution in several Western countries 
is needed. The possibility of completely building social- 
ism in our country is one thing, the possibility of guaran- 
teeing our country against encroachments by internation- 
al capital is another. 



104 J. V. STALIN 



In my opinion, your mistake and that of your 
comrades is that you have not yet found your way 
in this matter and have confused these two questions. 

With comradely greetings, 

/. Stalin 

P. S. You should get hold of the Bolshevik 41 (of 
Moscow), No. 3, and read my article in it. It would 
make matters easier for you. 

/. Stalin 



February 10, 1926 

Published for the first time 



COMRADE KOTOVSKY 



I knew Comrade Kotovsky as an exemplary Party 
member, an experienced military organiser and a skil- 
ful commander. 

I have a particularly vivid memory of him on the 
Polish front in 1920, when Comrade Budyonny was dash- 
ing to Zhitomir in the rear of the Polish army, and 
Kotovsky was leading his cavalry brigade in dare-devil 
raids on the Poles' Kiev army. He was a terror to the 
Polish Whites, for no one was as capable as he of "mak- 
ing mincemeat" of them, as our Red Army men used 
to say. 

It is as the bravest among our modest commanders, 
and as the most modest among the brave that I remember 
Comrade Kotovsky. 

Eternal glory to his memory! 

/. Stalin 



Kommunist (Kharkov), 

No. 43 (1928), February 23, 1926 



SPEECH DELIVERED 

IN THE FRENCH COMMISSION 

OF THE SFXTH ENLARGED PLENUM 

OF THE E.C.C.1. 8 

March 6, 1926 



Comrades, I am unfortunately not very well acquaint- 
ed with French affairs. Hence I cannot deal with this 
subject as exhaustively as is required here. Neverthe- 
less I have formed a definite opinion of French affairs 
from the speeches I have heard here at this plenary ses- 
sion of the E.C.C.I., and on these grounds I consider it 
my duty to make a few remarks in this commission. 

We have several questions before us. 

The first question concerns the political situation 
in France. I am somewhat disquieted by the compla- 
cency to be detected in the speeches of comrades concern- 
ing the present political situation in France. One gets 
the impression that in France the position is more or 
less balanced — that, in general, things are getting along 
so-so; there are certain difficulties, it is true, but they 
will most likely not lead to any crisis, and so forth. 
That is wrong, comrades. I would not say that France 
is on the eve of her 1923 49 crisis. All the same, I believe 
that she is moving towards a crisis. In this respect, I 
regard as correct both the commission's theses and the 
remarks of certain of the comrades. 

This is a special kind of crisis, because in France 
there is no unemployment. The crisis is alleviated by 



SPEECH IN THE FRENCH COMMISSION 107 

the fact that France is just now being nourished with 
gold from Germany. But these are temporary phenomena — 
firstly, because German gold will not suffice to cover 
France's internal deficiencies and to meet her debts to 
Britain and America; and, secondly, because unemploy- 
ment in France is inevitable. So long as there is infla- 
tion, which stimulates exports, perhaps there will be 
no unemployment; but later, when the currency finds its 
level and international debt settlements make their effect 
felt, concentration of industry and unemployment will 
be unavoidable in France. The surest symptom that 
France is moving towards a crisis is the consternation 
prevailing in French ruling circles, the ministerial re- 
shuffles which are taking place there. 

The development of a crisis should never be repre- 
sented as an ascending line of increasing collapses. Such 
crises do not occur. A revolutionary crisis as a rule devel- 
ops in the form of zigzags: first a small collapse, then an 
improvement, then a more serious collapse, then a cer- 
tain rise, and so on. The existence of zigzags should not 
lead to the belief that the affairs of the bourgeoisie are 
improving. 

In this matter, therefore, complacency is dangerous. 
It is dangerous, because the crisis may advance more 
swiftly than is anticipated, and then the French com- 
rades may be caught unawares. And a party that is caught 
unawares cannot direct developments. Accordingly, I 
consider that the French Communist Party should steer 
its course in anticipation of a gradually mounting revo- 
lutionary crisis. And the French Party must conduct 
its agitation and propaganda in such a way as to prepare 
the minds and hearts of the workers for this crisis. 



108 J. V. STALIN 



The second question is the growing danger from the 
Right within the Party. I believe that both around and 
within the French Communist Party there is an already 
fairly solid militant group of Rights, headed by individ- 
uals expelled or not expelled from the Party, a group 
which all the time will be sapping the Party's strength. 
I have just been talking to Cremet. He told me something 
new: he said that not only in the Party, but also in the 
trade unions there are groups of Rights who are working 
surreptitiously, and here and there are conducting an 
outright attack on the revolutionary wing of the Commu- 
nist Party. Even Engler's statement today is symptom- 
atic in this respect, and the serious attention of the 
comrades must be drawn to this fact. 

The Rights always raise their head in a period of 
growing crisis. That is a general law of revolutionary 
crises. The Rights raise their head because they are 
afraid of a revolutionary crisis and are therefore ready to 
do everything in their power to drag the Party back and 
not allow the growing crisis to develop. Hence I think 
that, since the French Communist Party has to mould 
new revolutionary cadres and prepare the masses for 
the crisis, its immediate task is to rebuff the Rights and 
to isolate them. 

Is the French Communist Party prepared to admin- 
ister such a rebuff? 

I pass to the third question — the state of affairs in 
the leading group of the French Communist Party. 
Voices are to be heard saying that, if the Rights are to 
be isolated, the leading group of the French Communist 
Party must be rid of two comrades who have fought 
the Rights, but who have committed serious errors. I 



SPEECH IN THE FRENCH COMMISSION 109 

am referring to Treint and Suzanne Girault. I shall speak 
frankly, for the best thing is to call a spade a spade. 

I do not know how advisable it would be to open 
the attack on the Rights by removing from the leading 
group those who are fighting the Rights. I thought, on 
the contrary, that a different proposal would be made, 
something like this, for instance: since the Rights have 
grown insolent, since they, when they closed down their 
organ Bulletin Communiste, 50 published a declaration 
which was a slap in the face to the Party, would it not 
be possible to consider exposing some of the Rights 
politically, if not expelling them from the Party alto- 
gether? I thought that that was how the question would 
be put in view of the Right danger. I thought that 
I would hear just that sort of statement here. Instead, 
we are asked to begin isolating the Rights by isolating 
two non-Rights. I do not see the logic of that, com- 
rades! 

But interwoven with this question of the struggle 
against the Rights is another question, namely, the ab- 
sence of a closely-welded majority group in the Political 
Bureau of the French Communist Party. It is perfectly 
true that the Party cannot wage a struggle either against 
the Right group or against the "ultra-Left" group unless 
there is a compact majority in the Party's leading group 
capable of concentrating fire on one point. That is 
perfectly correct. I consider that such a group is bound 
to take shape, and I believe that it has already taken 
shape, or will take shape in the near future, around 
such comrades as Semard, Cremet, Thorez and Monmous- 
seau. To set up such a group, or to establish teamwork, 
so to speak, between these comrades, in a single leading 



110 J. V. STALIN 



body, would mean a concentration of forces in the fight 
against the Rights. You cannot defeat the Rights — 
because the Rights are multiplying, and they apparently 
have certain roots in the French working class — you 
cannot, I say, defeat the Rights unless you unite all 
the revolutionary Communists within the leading group 
which is prepared to fight the Rights to a finish. To 
start the fight against the Rights by dividing your 
forces is irrational, unwise. If there is no concentration 
of forces, you may both weaken yourselves and lose the 
fight against the Rights. 

Of course, it is possible that the French comrades 
do not consider feasible a concentration of all forces, 
including in it both Treint and Suzanne Girault; it is 
possible that they consider this out of the question. In 
that case, let the French comrades, at a plenum of their 
Central Committee or at their congress, make the appro- 
priate changes in the composition of their Political 
Bureau. Let them do this themselves, without the E. C.C.I. 
They have the right to do so. 

Quite recently, at the Fourteenth Congress of the 
Party, we Russian comrades passed a resolution to the 
effect that the sections should be given greater opportu- 
nity to govern themselves. The way we understand it 
is that the E. C.C.I, should refrain as far as possible 
from directly interfering in the affairs of the sections, 
in particular in the formation of the leading groups of 
our Comintern sections. Don't compel us, comrades, to 
infringe a decision we have only just adopted at our 
Party congress. Of course, there are cases when repres- 
sive measures against individual comrades are neces- 
sary, but I see no such necessity at the present moment. 



SPEECH IN THE FRENCH COMMISSION 111 

I think, therefore, that what is required of our com- 
mission is the following: 

Firstly, to draft a clear-cut political resolution on 
the French question, calling for a determined struggle 
against the Rights, and pointing out the mistakes of 
those comrades who have committed mistakes. 

Secondly, to advise the French comrades to rally 
the leading group within the Central Committee of the 
French Communist Party around this resolution, spear- 
headed against the Rights, that is, to bind the members 
of that group to carry out this resolution conscientiously 
by their joint efforts. 

Thirdly, to advise the French comrades that in their 
practical work there should be no infatuation for the 
method of amputation, the method of repressive measures. 

The fourth question is that of the workers' trade un- 
ions in France. I have gained the impression that some 
French comrades take this matter too lightly. I admit 
that errors have been committed by representatives of 
the trade-union Confederation, but I admit also that 
errors have been committed by the Central Committee 
of the French Communist Party in regard to the Confed- 
eration. It is quite natural that Comrade Monmousseau 
would like the Party to exercise less tutelage. That is 
in the nature of things, since there are two parallel organ- 
isations — the Party and the trade-union Confederation 
— and at times there is bound to be a certain amount of 
friction between them. This also happens with us, the 
Russians, and in all Communist Parties — it is unavoid- 
able. But the less the Central Committee of the French 
Communist Party intrudes in every detail of trade-union 
affairs, the less friction will there be. The trade unions 



112 J. V. STALIN 



should be led by Communists who work permanently in 
the trade unions, and not independently of them. There 
have been instances of hypertrophy in the leadership of 
the trade unions in our Party, the Russian Party. You 
can find in the records of our Party quite a number of 
resolutions adopted by our Party congresses laying down 
that the Party should not exercise tutelage over the trade 
unions — that it should guide them, not exercise tutelage 
over them. I am afraid that the French Party — I trust 
the comrades will forgive me for saying so — has also 
sinned somewhat against the trade unions in this re- 
spect. I consider the Party the highest form of organ- 
isation of the working class, and precisely for this rea- 
son more must be demanded of it. Consequently, the 
errors of the Central Committee must be eliminated in 
the first place, so that relations with the trade unions 
may be improved and strengthened, and so that Comrade 
Monmousseau and the other trade-union leaders may be 
in a position to work along the lines required from the 
point of view of the Communist Party. 

The Party cannot develop further, especially in the 
conditions existing in the West, the Party cannot grow 
stronger, if it does not have a very important bulwark 
in the shape of the trade unions and their leaders. Only 
a party that knows how to maintain extensive connec- 
tions with the trade unions and their leaders, and which 
knows how to establish genuine proletarian contact with 
them — only such a party can win over the majority of 
the working class in the West. You know yourselves 
that without winning over the majority of the working 
class, it is impossible to count on victory. 

Well then, what do we find? 



SPEECH IN THE FRENCH COMMISSION 113 

We find that: 

a) France is moving towards a crisis; 

b) sensing this crisis and fearing it, the Right-wing 
elements are raising their head and trying to drag the 
Party back; 

c) the immediate task of the Party is to eliminate 
the Right danger, to isolate the Rights; 

d) in order to isolate the Rights, a concentration is 
needed of all the genuinely communist leaders within 
the leadership of the Party who are capable of waging 
a fight against the Rights to a finish; 

e) in order that the concentration of forces may yield 
the desired results in the fight against the Rights and in 
preparing the workers for the revolutionary crisis, it 
is necessary that the leading group should have the back- 
ing of the trade unions and should be able to maintain 
proletarian contact with the trade unions and their of- 
ficials; 

f) there should be no infatuation in practical work 
for the method of amputation, the method of repressive 
measures against individual comrades, but that use must 
be made chiefly of the method of persuasion. 

Published for the first time 



INTERNATIONAL COMMUNIST 
WOMEN'S DAY 



Ardent greetings to working women and women toil- 
ers throughout the world who are uniting in one common 
family of labour around the socialist proletariat. 

I wish them every success: 

1) in strengthening the international ties of the 
workers of all countries and achieving the victory of 
the proletarian revolution; 

2) in emancipating the backward sections of women 
toilers from intellectual and economic bondage to the 
bourgeoisie; 

3) in uniting the peasant women around the proletar- 
iat — the leader of the revolution and of socialist construc- 
tion; 

4) in making the two sections of the oppressed masses, 
which are still unequal in status, a single army of fight- 
ers for the abolition of all inequality and of all oppres- 
sion, for the victory of the proletariat, and for the build- 
ing of a new, socialist society in our country. 

Long live International Communist Women's Day! 



/. Stalin 



Pravda, No. 55, 
March 7, 1926 



SPEECH DELIVERED 

IN THE GERMAN COMMISSION 

OF THE SIXTH ENLARGED PLENUM 

OF THE E.C.C.L 

March 8, 1926 



Comrades, I have only a few remarks to make. 

1. Some comrades are of the opinion that, if the 
interests of the U.S.S.R. were to demand it, it would 
be the duty of the Communist Parties of the West to 
adopt a Right-wing policy. I do not agree, comrades. I 
must say that this assumption is absolutely incompatible 
with the principles by which we Russian comrades are 
guided in our work. I cannot imagine a situation ever 
arising in which the interests of our Soviet Republic 
would require deviations to the Right on the part of our 
brother parties. For what does pursuing a Right-wing 
policy mean? It means betraying the interests of the work- 
ing class in one way or another. I cannot imagine that 
the interests of the U.S.S.R. could require our brother 
parties to betray the interests of the working class, even 
for a single moment. I cannot imagine that the interests 
of our Republic, which is the base of the world-wide 
revolutionary proletarian movement, could require not 
the maximum revolutionary spirit and political activity 
of the workers of the West, but a diminution of their 
activity, a blunting of their revolutionary spirit. Such 
an assumption is insulting to us, to the Russian com- 
rades. I therefore consider it my duty to dissociate 



116 J. V. STALIN 



myself wholly and completely from such an absurd and 
absolutely unacceptable assumption. 

2. About the Central Committee of the German Com- 
munist Party. We hear the voices of certain intellectuals 
asserting that the Central Committee of the German 
Communist Party is weak, that its leadership is feeble, 
that the work is adversely affected by the absence of in- 
tellectual forces in the Central Committee, that the 
Central Committee does not exist, and so forth. That is 
all untrue, comrades. I consider such talk as the antics 
of intellectuals, unworthy of Communists. The present 
Central Committee of the German Communist Party did 
not take shape accidentally. It was born in the struggle 
against Right-wing errors. It gained strength in the 
struggle against "ultra-Left" errors. It is therefore 
neither Right, nor "ultra-Left." It is a Leninist Central 
Committee. It is precisely that leading working-class 
group which the German Communist Party needs just 
now. 

It is said that theoretical knowledge is not a strong 
point with the present Central Committee. What of it? — 
if the policy is correct, theoretical knowledge will come 
in due course. Knowledge is something acquirable; if 
you haven't got it today, you may get it tomorrow. But 
a correct policy, such as the Central Committee of the 
German Communist Party is now pursuing, is not so 
easily mastered by certain conceited intellectuals. The 
strength of the present Central Committee lies in the 
fact that it is pursuing a correct Leninist policy, and 
that is something which the puny intellectuals who pride 
themselves on their "knowledge" refuse to recognise. In 
the opinion of certain comrades, it is enough for an in- 



SPEECH IN THE GERMAN COMMISSION 117 

tellectual to have read some two or three books, or to 
have written a couple of pamphlets, for him to lay 
claim to the right of leading the Party. That is wrong, 
comrades. It is ridiculously wrong. You may have writ- 
ten whole tomes on philosophy, but if you have not mas- 
tered the correct policy of the Central Committee of 
the German Communist Party, you cannot be allowed 
at the helm of the Party. 

Comrade Thalmann, use the services of these intellec- 
tuals if they really want to serve the cause of the working 
class, or send them to the devil if they are determined 
to command at all costs. . . . The fact that workers pre- 
dominate in the present Central Committee is a big 
asset for the German Communist Party. 

What is the task of the German Communist Party? 

It is to find a path to the masses of workers with 
a Social-Democratic outlook who have gone astray in 
the wilderness of Social-Democratic confusion, and thus 
win over the majority of the working class to the side 
of the Communist Party. Its task is to help its brothers 
who have gone astray to find the right road and link 
up with the Communist Party. There are two possible 
methods of approach to the working-class masses. One, 
which is characteristic of the intellectuals, is the method 
of lashing out at the workers, of "winning over" the work- 
ers whip in hand, so to speak. It does not need proof 
that this method has nothing in common with the com- 
munist method, because it only repels the workers in- 
stead of attracting them. The other method lies in find- 
ing a common language with our brothers who have 
gone astray and who have landed in the camp of the 
Social-Democrats, helping them to extricate themselves 



118 J. V. STALIN 



from the Social-Democratic wilderness, and making it 
easier for them to come over to the side of communism. 
This method of work is the only communist one. That 
the present Central Committee is of proletarian composi- 
tion is a fact which greatly facilitates the application 
of this latter method in Germany. It is to this that must 
be attributed those successes in forming a united front 
which the present Central Committee of the German 
Communist Party undoubtedly has to its credit. 

3. About Meyer. I listened attentively to Meyer's 
sensible speech. But I must say that there was one point 
in it with which I cannot agree. It follows from what 
Meyer says that it was not he that came over to the Cen- 
tral Committee of the German Communist Party but, 
on the contrary, it was the Central Committee that came 
over to him. That is not true, comrades. He did not say 
so explicitly, but that idea was implicit in his whole 
speech. It is not true, it is a profound mistake. The pres- 
ent Central Committee was born in the struggle against 
the Rights, in whose ranks Meyer was active until re- 
cently. The Central Committee cannot become Right- 
wing, if it does not want to go against its very nature, 
if it does not want to turn back the wheel of the history 
of the German Communist Party. If, nevertheless, Meyer 
has begun to come closer to this Central Committee, it 
follows from this that he has begun to move to the Left, 
has begun to realise the errors of the Rights, has begun 
to turn away from the Rights. Consequently, it is not 
the Central Committee that is moving towards Meyer, 
but, on the contrary, it is Meyer that is moving towards 
the Central Committee. He is moving towards the Cen- 
tral Committee, but he has not reached it yet. He has 



SPEECH IN THE GERMAN COMMISSION 119 

still to take another two or three steps away from the 
Rights towards the Central Committee fully to arrive 
at the position of the present leadership of the German 
Communist Party. I am far from regarding Meyer as a 
leper, I am not recommending that he should be kept at 
a distance; all I am saying is that he has to take another 
two or three steps forward if he wants to identify him- 
self completely with the position of the present Central 
Committee of the German Communist Party. 

4. About Scholem. I shall not dwell at length on 
the German "ultra-Lefts" and on Scholem's policy. 
Quite enough has been said about that here. I only want 
to focus attention on one passage in his speech and to 
examine it critically. Scholem is now in favour of inner- 
party democracy. He therefore proposes that a general 
discussion should be started — that Brandler and Radek 
and everybody, from the Rights to the "ultra-Lefts," 
should be invited, a general amnesty declared and a 
general discussion opened. That would be wrong, com- 
rades. We don't want that. Previously, Scholem was 
opposed to inner-party democracy. Now he is running 
to the other extreme and declaring in favour of unlimit- 
ed and absolutely unrestrained democracy. Heaven save 
us from such democracy! The Russians have an apt say- 
ing: "Tell a fool to kneel and pray, and he will split 
his forehead bowing." (Laughter.) No, we don't want 
that sort of democracy. The German Communist Party 
has already recovered from the disease of Rightism. There 
would be no sense now in infecting it with the disease 
artificially. What the German Communist Party is now 
suffering from is the disease of "ultra-Leftism." There 
would be no sense in intensifying this disease — it has 



120 J. V. STALIN 



to be eradicated, not intensified. It is not just any kind 
of discussion or any kind of democracy that we need, 
but such discussion and such democracy as will be of 
benefit to the communist movement in Germany. I am 
therefore opposed to Scholem's general amnesty. 

5. About the Ruth Fischer group. So much has been 
said about this group here that it remains for me to say 
only a few words. I consider that of all the undesirable 
and objectionable groups in the German Communist 
Party, this group is the most undesirable and the most 
objectionable. One "ultra-Left" proletarian observed here 
that the workers are losing faith in the leaders. If that 
is true, it is very sad. For where there is no faith in the 
leaders there can be no real party. But who is to blame 
for that? The Ruth Fischer group is to blame, with its 
double-dealing in politics, its habit of saying one thing 
and doing another, and the eternal divergence between 
words and deeds that characterises the practice of this 
diplomatic group. The workers can have no faith in the 
leaders when the leaders have grown rotten from playing 
a diplomatic game, when their words are not backed by 
their deeds, when they say one thing and do another. 

Why did the Russian workers have such unbounded 
faith in Lenin? Was it only because his policy was cor- 
rect? No, it was not only because of that. They had faith 
in Lenin also because they knew that his words and his 
deeds were never at variance, that Lenin "will not let 
you down." That, among other things, was the basis on 
which Lenin's prestige was built. That was the method 
by which Lenin educated the workers, that was how he 
implanted in them faith in their leaders. The method of 
the Ruth Fischer group, the method of rotten diplomacy, 



SPEECH IN THE GERMAN COMMISSION 121 

is the direct opposite of Lenin's method. I can respect 
and believe Bordiga, although I do not consider him a 
Leninist or a Marxist; I can believe him because he says 
what he thinks. I can even believe Scholem, who does 
not always say what he thinks {laughter), but who some- 
times says more than he means to. {Laughter.) But with 
the best will in the world I cannot for a single moment 
believe Ruth Fischer, for she never says what she thinks. 
That is why I consider the Ruth Fischer group the most 
objectionable of all the objectionable groups in the 
German Communist Party. 

6. About Urbahns. I have a great respect for Urbahns 
as a revolutionary. I am prepared to pay him homage 
for having conducted himself so well at the trial. But 
I must say that with these virtues of Urbahns's alone 
one cannot get very far. Revolutionary spirit is a good 
thing. Staunchness is even better. But if these virtues 
are all you have to your credit, it is very little — dread- 
fully little, comrades. Such assets may last you a month 
or two, but then they will fail, will most certainly fail, 
if they are not reinforced by a correct policy. An impla- 
cable struggle is now being waged in the German Commu- 
nist Party between the Central Committee and the Katz 
gang. Where does Urbahns stand? With the Katz gang 
or with the Central Committee? With the petty-bourgeois 
philosopher Korsch or with the Central Committee? He 
has got to choose. He cannot stick half-way between these 
contending forces. Urbahns must have the courage to 
say frankly and honestly where he stands: with the Cen- 
tral Committee or with its rabid opponents. Here the 
utmost definiteness is required. Urbahns's misfortune 
is that he, apparently, still lacks this definiteness, that 



122 J. V. STALIN 



he suffers from political short-sightedness. Political 
short-sightedness may be forgiven once, it may be for- 
given twice; but if short-sightedness becomes a policy, 
it borders on the criminal. That is why I consider that 
Urbahns must define his position frankly and honestly, 
if he does not want to forfeit the last vestiges of his 
influence in the Party. The working-class masses cannot 
live by remembering how well Urbahns conducted him- 
self at the trial. The working-class masses need a correct 
policy. If Urbahns proves to have no clear and definite 
policy, then one does not have to be a prophet to foretell 
that of his prestige not even the memory will remain. 

The magazine Kommunistichesky Internatsional, 
No. 3 (52), March 1926 



THE ECONOMIC SITUATION 

OF THE SOVIET UNION 

AND THE POLICY OF THE PARTY 

Report to the Active of the Leningrad Party Organisation 

on the Work of the Plenum of the C.C., C.PS.U.(B.) 5X 

April 13, 1926 



Comrades, permit me to begin my report. 

There were four items on the agenda of the April 
plenum of the Central Committee of our Party. 

The first item was the economic situation of our 
country and the economic policy of our Party. 

The second item was the reorganisation of our grain 
procurement agencies with a view to making them sim- 
pler and cheaper. 

The third item was the plan of work of the Political 
Bureau of our Central Committee and of the plenum of 
the Central Committee for 1926, from the view-point of 
working out the principal key questions of our economic 
construction. 

The fourth item was the replacement of Yevdokimov 
as Secretary of the Central Committee by another can- 
didate — Comrade Shvernik. 

Leaving aside the last item — the replacement of one 
secretary by another — it may be said that all the others, 
which formed the main axis around which the discus- 
sion at the plenum of the Central Committee turned, 
could be reduced to a single basic question — the economic 



124 J. V. STALIN 



situation of our country and the policy of the Party. In 
my report, therefore, I shall deal with this one basic 
question — the economic situation of our country. 

I 
TWO PERIODS OF NEP 

The major factor determining our policy is that our 
country in the course of its economic development has 
entered a new period of NEP, a new period of the New 
Economic Policy, a period of direct industrialisation. 

It is now five years since the New Economic Policy 
was proclaimed by Vladimir Ilyich. The principal task 
which faced us, the Party, at that time was to lay a 
socialist foundation for our national economy under the 
conditions of the New Economic Policy, under the con- 
ditions of expanded trade. Today, too, this strategic 
task confronts us as our principal task. At that time, 
in the first period of NEP, beginning with 1921, we ap- 
proached this principal task from the view-point of 
the development primarily of agriculture. Comrade 
Lenin said that our task was to lay a socialist foundation 
for the national economy, but that in order to lay such 
a foundation it was necessary to have a developed in- 
dustry, because industry is the basis, the alpha and omega 
of socialism, of socialist construction, and in order to 
develop industry, it was necessary to begin with agri- 
culture. 

Why? 

Because in order to expand industry under the con- 
ditions of economic disruption which we were then ex- 



ECONOMIC SITUATION AND THE POLICY OF THE PARTY 125 

periencing, it was necessary first of all to create certain 
prerequisites for industry in the way of markets, raw ma- 
terials and food. Industry cannot be developed out of 
nothing at all; industry cannot be developed if there are 
no raw materials in the country, if there is no food for 
the workers, and if agriculture, which represents the chief 
market for our industry, is not developed to at least 
some extent. Consequently, in order to develop industry, 
at least three prerequisites were necessary: firstly, a 
home market — and our home market so far is predomi- 
nantly a peasant market; secondly, it was necessary to 
have a more or less developed output of agricultural raw 
materials (sugar beet, flax, cotton, etc.); thirdly, it 
was necessary that the countryside should be able to pro- 
vide a certain minimum of agricultural produce for sup- 
plying industry, for supplying the workers. That is why 
Lenin said that for laying a socialist foundation for our 
economy, for building industry, we should have to begin 
with agriculture. 

There were many at that time who did not believe 
this. Objections on this score were raised especially by 
the so-called "Workers' Opposition." How can that be? 
it said: our Party calls itself a workers' party, yet 
it is beginning the development of the economy with 
agriculture. How, it said, is that to be understood? 
Objections were also raised at that time by other opposi- 
tionists, who believed that industry can be built in any 
conditions, even if starting with nothing, and without 
taking the real possibilities into account. But the his- 
tory of the economic development of our country in that 
period has clearly shown that the Party was right, that 
in order to lay a socialist foundation for our economy, 



126 J. V. STALIN 



in order to develop industry, it was necessary to begin 
with agriculture. 

That was the first period of the New Economic Pol- 
icy. 

Now we have entered the second period of NEP. 
The most important and most characteristic feature of 
our economy today is that the centre of gravity has shift- 
ed to industry. Whereas at that time, in the first pe- 
riod of the New Economic Policy, we had to begin with 
agriculture, because on it depended the development 
of the whole national economy, now, in order to contin- 
ue laying the socialist foundation of our economy, in 
order to promote our economy as a whole, it is on indus- 
try that we must focus attention. Agriculture itself 
can now make no progress if it is not promptly supplied 
with agricultural machines, tractors, manufactured 
goods, etc. Consequently, whereas at that time, in the 
first period of the New Economic Policy, the development 
of the national economy as a whole depended on agricul- 
ture, now it depends, and has already depended, on the 
direct expansion of industry. 

II 
THE COURSE TOWARDS INDUSTRIALISATION 

That is the essence and basic significance of the 
slogan, of the course towards industrialising the coun- 
try, which was proclaimed at the Fourteenth Party Con- 
gress, and which is now being put into effect. It was 
this basic slogan that the plenum of the Central Com- 
mittee in April of this year took as the starting point 
of its work. Consequently, the immediate and funda- 



ECONOMIC SITUATION AND THE POLICY OF THE PARTY 127 

mental task now is to hasten the tempo of development 
of our industry, to promote our industry to the utmost 
by utilising the resources at our disposal, and thereby 
to accelerate the development of the economy as a 
whole. 

This task has become particularly urgent just now, 
at the present juncture, among other reasons because a 
certain discrepancy has arisen, owing to the way our 
economy has developed, between the demand for manu- 
factured goods in town and country and the supply of 
those goods by industry, because the demand for indus- 
trial products is growing faster than industry itself, 
because the goods shortage we are now experiencing, 
with all its attendant consequences, is a reflection and 
outcome of this discrepancy. It scarcely needs proof 
that the swift development of our industry is the surest 
way to eliminate this discrepancy and to put an end 
to the goods shortage. 

Some comrades think that industrialisation implies 
the development of any kind of industry. There are even 
some queer fellows who believe that Ivan the Terrible 
was an industrialist, because in his day he created cer- 
tain embryonic industries. If we follow this line of argu- 
ment, then Peter the Great should be styled the first 
industrialist. That, of course, is untrue. Not every kind 
of industrial development is industrialisation. The centre 
of industrialisation, the basis for it, is the development 
of heavy industry (fuel, metal, etc.), the development, 
in the last analysis, of the production of the means of 
production, the development of our own machine-build- 
ing industry. Industrialisation has the task not only 
of increasing the share of manufacturing industry in 



128 J. V. STALIN 



our national economy as a whole; it has also the task, 
within this development, of ensuring economic inde- 
pendence for our country, surrounded as it is by capi- 
talist states, of safeguarding it from being converted into 
an appendage of world capitalism. Encircled as it is 
by capitalism, the land of the dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat cannot remain economically independent if it 
does not itself produce instruments and means of produc- 
tion in its own country, if it remains stuck at a level of 
development where it has to keep its national economy 
tethered to the capitalistically developed countries, which 
produce and export instruments and means of production. 
To get stuck at that level would be to put ourselves in 
subjection to world capital. 

Take India. India, as everyone knows, is a colony. 
Has India an industry? It undoubtedly has. Is it devel- 
oping? Yes, it is. But the kind of industry developing 
there is not one which produces instruments and means 
of production. India imports its instruments of production 
from Britain. Because of this (although, of course, not 
only because of this), India's industry is completely 
subordinated to British industry. That is a specific 
method of imperialism — to develop industry in the colo- 
nies in such a way as to keep it tethered to the metro- 
politan country, to imperialism. 

But it follows from this that the industrialisation 
of our country cannot consist merely in the development 
of any kind of industry, of light industry, say, although 
light industry and its development are absolutely essen- 
tial for us. It follows from this that industrialisation 
is to be understood above all as the development of heavy 
industry in our country, and especially of our own ma- 



ECONOMIC SITUATION AND THE POLICY OF THE PARTY 129 

chine-building industry, which is the principal nerve of 
industry in general. Without this, there can be no question 
of ensuring the economic independence of our country. 

Ill 
QUESTIONS OF SOCIALIST ACCUMULATION 

But, comrades, in order that industrialisation may 
go forward, our old factory equipment must be renovated 
and new factories built. The distinguishing feature of 
the present period of development of our industry is 
that the mills and factories bequeathed to us by the cap- 
italists of the tsarist period are already being operated 
to capacity, to the full, and in order to make further 
progress now the technical equipment must be improved, 
the old factories must be re-equipped and new ones built. 
Unless this is done, it will be impossible now to go for- 
ward. 

But, comrades, in order to renovate our industry on 
the basis of new technical equipment, we need consider- 
able, very considerable, amounts of capital. And we are 
very short of capital, as you all know. This year we shall 
be able to assign something over 800 millions for the 
fundamental cause of capital investment in industry. 
That, of course, is not much. But it is something. It 
will be our first substantial investment in our industry. 
I say it is not much, because our industry could quite 
comfortably absorb several times that sum. We have 
to advance our industry. We have to expand our industry 
as swiftly as possible, to double or treble the number 
of workers. We have to convert our country from an 



130 J. V. STALIN 



agrarian into an industrial country — and the sooner 
the better. But all this requires considerable capital. 

Consequently, the question of accumulation for the 
development of industry, the question of socialist accu- 
mulation, has now become one of first-rate importance 
for us. 

Are we able, are we in a position, left to our own 
devices, without foreign loans, on the basis of the in- 
ternal resources of our country, to ensure for our indus- 
try such accumulation and such reserves as are essen- 
tial for pursuing the course towards industrialisation, for 
the victory of socialist construction in our country? 

That is a serious question, to which special atten- 
tion should be devoted. 

Various methods of industrialisation are known to 
history. 

Britain was industrialised owing to the fact that 
it plundered colonies for decades and centuries, gathered 
"surplus" capital there, which it invested in its own 
industry, and thus accelerated its own industrialisation. 
That is one method of industrialisation. 

Germany hastened its industrialisation as a result of 
its victorious war with France in the seventies of the last 
century, when it levied an indemnity of 5,000 million 
francs on the French and poured these funds into its own 
industry. That is a second method of industrialisation. 

Both these methods are barred to us, for we are a 
land of Soviets, for colonial plunder, and armed con- 
quest with the aim of plunder, are incompatible with 
the nature of the Soviet power. 

Russia, the old Russia, leased out concessions and 
received loans on enslaving terms, endeavouring in this 



ECONOMIC SITUATION AND THE POLICY OF THE PARTY 131 

way gradually to get on to the road to industrialisation. 
That is a third method. But it was the road to bondage, 
or semi-bondage, to the conversion of Russia into a 
semi-colony. That road, too, is barred to us, for we 
did not wage civil war for three years and repel inter- 
ventionists of every type only in order, after victory 
over the interventionists, to enter voluntarily into bond- 
age to the imperialists. 

There remains a fourth road to industrialisation. That 
is to find funds for industry out of our own savings, the 
way of socialist accumulation, to which Comrade 
Lenin repeatedly drew attention as the only way of in- 
dustrialising our country. 

Well, then, is the industrialisation of our country 
possible on the basis of socialist accumulation? 

Have we the sources for such accumulation, suffi- 
cient to ensure industrialisation? 

Yes, it is possible. Yes, we do have the sources. 

I might refer to such a fact as the expropriation of 
the landlords and capitalists in our country as a result 
of the October Revolution, the abolition of private owner- 
ship of the land, mills, factories, etc., and their con- 
version into public property. It scarcely needs proof 
that this fact represents a fairly substantial source of 
accumulation. 

I might refer, further, to such a fact as the annul- 
ment of the tsarist debts, which removed a burden of 
thousands of millions of rubles of indebtedness from 
our national economy. It should not be forgotten that 
if these debts had remained, we should have had to pay 
annually several hundreds of millions in interest alone, 
to the detriment of our industry and our entire national 



132 J. V. STALIN 



economy. There is no question that this circumstance 
has greatly facilitated the matter of accumulation. 

I might point to our nationalised industry, which 
has been restored and is developing, and which yields 
a certain amount of profit necessary for the further devel- 
opment of industry. That is also a source of accumula- 
tion. 

I might point to our nationalised foreign trade, 
which yields a certain amount of profit and which, con- 
sequently, also represents a certain source of accumula- 
tion. 

One might also refer to our more or less organised 
state home trade, which likewise yields some profit and 
hence also represents a certain source of accumulation. 

One might point to such a lever for accumulation 
as our nationalised banking system, which yields some 
profit and within the measure of its capacity supplies 
funds for our industry. 

Lastly, we have such a weapon as the state power, 
which is in control of the state budget and which sets 
aside a certain sum of money for the further development 
of our economy in general, and of our industry in partic- 
ular. 

Those, in the main, are our chief sources of inter- 
nal accumulation. 

They are of interest because they provide us with 
the possibility of creating those necessary reserves with- 
out which the industrialisation of our country is im- 
possible. 

But possibility, comrades, is not yet actuality. As 
a result of incompetent management a pretty wide gap 
may develop between the possibility of accumulation 



ECONOMIC SITUATION AND THE POLICY OF THE PARTY 133 

and actual accumulation. We cannot, therefore, rest 
content with possibilities alone. We must convert the 
possibility of socialist accumulation into actual accumu- 
lation, if we are really thinking of creating the neces- 
sary reserves for our industry. 

The question therefore arises: how are we to conduct 
the business of accumulation so that our industry will 
feel its benefits; what key points of our economic life 
must we concentrate on first of all in order that the 
possibility of accumulation may be converted into 
actual socialist accumulation? 

There exists a number of channels of accumulation, 
and the chief of them, at least, should be mentioned. 

Firstly. It is necessary that the surpluses from ac- 
cumulation in the country should not be dissipated, but 
should be gathered together in our credit institutions — 
co-operative and state — and also by means of domestic 
loans, in order that they may be utilised primarily for 
the needs of industry. Naturally, the depositors should 
be paid a certain rate of interest. It cannot be said that 
in this field matters have been at all satisfactory. But 
the problem of improving our credit network, of enhanc- 
ing the prestige of our credit institutions in the eyes of 
the public, and of floating internal loans is certainly one 
of the immediate problems confronting us, and we must 
solve it at all costs. 

Secondly. We must carefully plug up all those channels 
and orifices through which part of the surpluses from 
accumulation in the country flow into the pockets of 
private capitalists to the detriment of socialist accumu- 
lation. This makes it necessary to pursue a policy in 
regard to prices which will not create a gulf between 



134 J. V. STALIN 



wholesale and retail prices. All measures must be taken 
to reduce retail prices of manufactured goods and agri- 
cultural produce, so as to stop, or at least to reduce to 
a minimum, the seepage of surpluses from accumulation 
into the pocket of the private capitalist. That is one of 
the cardinal questions of our economic policy. It is a 
source of serious danger both to the work of our accu- 
mulation and to the chervonets. 

Thirdly. Within industry itself and every one of its 
branches, certain reserves must be set aside for the amor- 
tisation of enterprises and for their expansion and further 
development. That is a matter which is absolutely neces- 
sary and essential, and we must go ahead with it at all 
costs. 

Fourthly. The state must accumulate certain reserves 
needed to insure the country against all kinds of 
contingencies (crop failure), to keep industry supplied, 
to support agriculture, to promote culture, etc. We can- 
not live and function nowadays without reserves. Even 
the peasant, with his small farm, cannot manage nowa- 
days without certain reserves. Still less can the state in 
a big country manage without reserves. 

We must above all have a foreign trade reserve. Our 
exports and imports must be so arranged that a certain 
reserve, a certain favourable balance of trade, remains 
in the hands of the state. That is absolutely necessary 
not only to insure ourselves against surprises in the for- 
eign markets, but also as a means of supporting our 
chervonets, which so far is stable, but which may begin 
to fluctuate if we do not secure a favourable balance of 
trade. The task is to increase our exports and to adapt 
our imports to our export possibilities. 



ECONOMIC SITUATION AND THE POLICY OF THE PARTY 135 

We cannot say, as used to be said in the old days: 
"We shall export even if we go short of food ourselves." 
We cannot say that, because our workers and peasants 
want a human standard of eating, and we fully support 
them in that. We could, nevertheless, without detriment 
to home consumption, adopt every measure so as to in- 
crease our exports, and so that a certain reserve of foreign 
currency remains in the hands of the state. If, in 1923, 
we were able to abandon the Soviet paper money 
for a firm currency, one of the reasons was that we then 
had a certain reserve of foreign currency, thanks to a 
favourable balance of trade. If we want to keep our cher- 
vonets firm, we must continue to manage our foreign 
trade in such a way as to leave us with a foreign currency 
reserve as one of the bases for our chervonets. 

Further, we need certain reserves in the sphere of 
home trade. What I have chiefly in mind is the accu- 
mulation of grain reserves in the hands of the state so 
as to enable it to intervene in the grain market and com- 
bat the kulaks and other grain speculators who are 
inordinately forcing up prices of agricultural produce. 
That is essential if only to avert the danger of the cost 
of living being artificially forced up in the industrial 
centres and the wages of the workers being undermined 

Lastly, we need a taxation policy which will shift 
the burden of taxation on to the shoulders of the well- 
to-do strata, and at the same time create a certain reserve 
at the disposal of the state in the sphere of the state 
budget. The course of execution of our 4,000 million 
ruble state budget indicates that our revenue may exceed 
our expenditure by about one hundred million rubles or 
more. To some comrades this figure seems enormous. 



136 J. V. STALIN 



But these comrades, apparently, have poor eyesight, 
otherwise they would have observed that for a country 
like ours a reserve of one hundred million rubles is a 
drop in the ocean. There are some who think that we do 
not need this reserve at all. But what if there should be 
a crop failure or some other calamity in our country this 
year? What funds are we to have recourse to? Nobody, 
surely, is going to give us help for nothing. Consequently, 
we must have something laid by of our own. And if noth- 
ing untoward happens this year, we shall use this re- 
serve for the national economy, for industry in the first 
place. Rest assured, these reserves will not be wasted. 
Such in the main, comrades, are the key points of 
our economic life which we must concentrate on first of 
all in order that the possibility of internal accumula- 
tion for the industrialisation of our country may be 
converted into actual socialist accumulation. 



IV 

THE PROPER USE OF ACCUMULATIONS. 
THE REGIME OF ECONOMY 

But accumulation is not by any means the whole of 
the problem, nor can it be. We must also know how to 
spend the accumulated reserves wisely and thriftily, so 
that not a single kopek of the people's wealth is wasted 
and so that the accumulated funds are used for the main 
purpose of satisfying the vital requirements of the in- 
dustrialisation of our country. Unless these conditions 
are observed, we shall run the risk of our accumulated 
funds being misappropriated or dissipated on all sorts 



ECONOMIC SITUATION AND THE POLICY OF THE PARTY 137 

of minor and major expenditures which have nothing 
to do either with the development of industry or with 
the advancement of our national economy as a whole. 
The ability to expend funds wisely and thriftily is a most 
valuable art, and one which is not acquired all at once. 
It cannot be said that we, our Soviet and co-operative 
bodies, are marked by great ability in this respect. On 
the contrary, all the evidence goes to show that things 
are far from satisfactory in this field. It is hard to have 
to admit it, comrades, but it is a fact which no resolu- 
tions can cover up. There are times when our adminis- 
trative bodies resemble the peasant who saved up a 
little money and, instead of using it to re-equip his 
farm and acquire new implements, bought a great big 
gramophone and — came to grief. I say nothing of the 
cases of downright misappropriation of accumulated re- 
serves, of the extravagance of a number of agencies of 
our state apparatus, of embezzlement, etc. 

A series of effective measures must therefore be 
taken to save our accumulations from being dissipated, 
misappropriated, dispersed into unnecessary channels, or 
otherwise diverted from the main line of building up 
our industry. 

It is necessary, in the first place, that our indus- 
trial plans should not be the product of bureaucratic 
fancy, but that they should be closely co-ordinated with 
the state of the national economy, taking into account 
our country's resources and reserves. The planning of 
industrial construction must not lag behind the develop- 
ment of industry. But neither must it run too far ahead, 
losing touch with agriculture and disregarding the rate 
of accumulation in our country. 



138 J. V. STALIN 



The demand of our home market and the extent of 
our resources — these are the foundation for the expan- 
sion of our industry. Our industry is based on the home 
market. In this respect the economic development of 
our country resembles that of the United States, whose 
industry grew up on the basis of the home market, in 
contrast to Britain, whose industry is primarily based 
on foreign markets. There are a number of branches of 
industry in Britain forty or fifty per cent of whose out- 
put is for foreign markets. America, on the contrary, 
still relies on its home market, exporting to foreign mar- 
kets not more than ten or twelve per cent of her output. 
The industry of our country will rely upon the home 
market — primarily the peasant market — to an even great- 
er extent than American industry does. That is the 
basis of the bond between industry and peasant economy. 

The same must be said of our rate of accumulation, 
of the reserves available for the development of our in- 
dustry. Among us there is sometimes a fondness for 
drawing up fantastic industrial plans, without taking 
our actual resources into account. People sometimes for- 
get that you can build neither industrial plans nor any 
"broad" and "all-embracing" enterprises without a 
certain minimum of funds, a certain minimum of re- 
serves. They forget this and run too far ahead. And what 
does running too far ahead in the matter of industrial 
planning mean? It means building beyond your resources. 
It means noisily proclaiming ambitious plans, draw- 
ing thousands and tens of thousands of additional workers 
into production, raising a great hullabaloo and later, 
when it is discovered that funds are inadequate, discharg- 
ing workers, paying them off, incurring immense losses, 



ECONOMIC SITUATION AND THE POLICY OF THE PARTY 139 

sowing disillusionment in our constructive efforts, 
and causing a political scandal. Do we need that? No, 
comrades, we do not. We must neither lag behind the 
actual development of industry, nor run ahead of it. 
We must keep abreast of the development of our indus- 
try and impel it forward, without however cutting it 
off from its base. 

Our industry is the leading element in the entire 
system of the national economy; it draws with it and 
leads forward our national economy, including agricul- 
ture. It reshapes our entire national economy in its own 
image and likeness; it leads agriculture along with it, 
drawing the peasantry, through the co-operative move- 
ment, into the channel of socialist construction. But 
our industry can fulfil this leading and transforming 
role with honour only if it does not get out of touch 
with agriculture, only if it does not disregard our rate 
of accumulation, the resources and reserves at our dis- 
posal. An army command which gets out of touch with 
its army and loses contact with it is not a command. 
Similarly, industry that gets out of touch with the na- 
tional economy as a whole and loses contact with it, 
cannot be the leading element in the national economy. 

That is why correct and intelligent industrial plan- 
ning is an indispensable condition for the expedient use 
of accumulations. 

It is necessary, in the second place, to reduce and 
simplify our state and co-operative apparatus, our budg- 
et-maintained and self-maintained institutions, from 
top to bottom, to put them on sounder lines and make 
them cheaper. The inflated establishments and unparal- 
leled extravagance of our administrative agencies have 



140 J. V. STALIN 



become a by-word. It was not without reason that Lenin 
asserted scores and hundreds of times that the unwield- 
iness and costliness of our state apparatus were too great 
a burden on the workers and peasants, and that it had 
to be reduced and made cheaper at all costs and by every 
available means. It is high time to set about this in 
earnest, in a Bolshevik way, and to introduce a regime 
of the strictest economy. {Applause.) It is high time 
to set about this, if we do not want to go on allowing 
our accumulations to be dissipated, to the detriment 
of industry. 

Here is a vivid example. It is said that our grain 
exports are unprofitable, do not pay. And why are they 
unprofitable? Because our procurement agencies spend 
more on procuring grain than they should. It has been 
established by all our planning bodies that the procure- 
ment of one pood of grain should cost not more than 
8 kopeks. But it turns out that instead of 8 kopeks, 
they have been spending 13 kopeks per pood, an excess 
of 5 kopeks. And how has this happened? It has hap- 
pened because every more or less independent procure- 
ment agent — whether Communist or non-Party — be- 
fore proceeding to procure grain considers it necessary 
to inflate his staff of assistants, to provide himself with 
an army of stenographers and typists, and, of course, 
to provide himself with a car, and he incurs a heap 
of unproductive expenditure — so that later, when the 
accounts are made up, it is found that our exports do 
not pay. Bearing in mind that we procure hundreds 
of millions of poods of grain, and that on each pood we 
pay an excess of 5 kopeks, the result is tens of mil- 
lions of rubles wasted. That is where the funds we ac- 



ECONOMIC SITUATION AND THE POLICY OF THE PARTY 141 

cumulate are going and will continue to go if we do not 
adopt the strictest measures to stop the extravagance of 
our state apparatus. 

I have given only one solitary example. But who 
does not know that we have hundreds and thousands of 
such examples. 

The plenum of the Central Committee of our Party 
decided to simplify our procurement apparatus and make 
it cheaper. You have probably read the resolution of 
the plenum 52 on this point — it was published in the press. 
We shall put that resolution into force with the utmost 
rigour. But that is not enough, comrades. That is only 
one tiny section of the inefficiency and shortcomings 
of our state apparatus. We must go further and adopt 
measures to reduce the size and cost of our entire state 
apparatus, both budget-maintained and self-maintained, 
of the whole co-operative apparatus and of the whole 
goods distribution network, from top to bottom. 

It is necessary, in the third place, for us to wage a de- 
termined struggle against every species of extravagance 
in our administrative bodies and in everyday life, against 
that criminal attitude towards the people's wealth 
and state reserves which has been noticeable among us 
of late. We see prevailing among us now a regular riot, 
an orgy, of all kinds of fetes, celebration meetings, 
jubilees, unveilings of monuments and the like. Scores 
and hundreds of thousands of rubles are squandered on 
these "affairs." There is such a multitude of celebrities 
of all kinds to be feted and of lovers of celebrations, 
so staggering is the readiness to celebrate every 
kind of anniversary — semi-annual, annual, biennial 
and so on — that truly tens of millions of rubles are 



142 J. V. STALIN 



needed to satisfy the demand. Comrades, we must put 
a stop to this profligacy, which is unworthy of Com- 
munists. It is high time to understand that, with the 
needs of industry to provide for, and faced by such 
facts as the mass of unemployed and of homeless chil- 
dren, we cannot tolerate and have no right to tolerate 
this profligacy and this orgy of squandering. 

Most noteworthy of all is the fact that a more 
thrifty attitude towards state funds is sometimes to be 
observed among non-Party people than among Party 
people. A Communist engages in this sort of thing 
with greater boldness and readiness. It means nothing 
to him to distribute money allowances to a batch of his 
employees and call these gifts bonuses, although there 
is nothing in the nature of a bonus about it. It means 
nothing to him to over-step, or evade, or violate the 
law. Non-Party people are more cautious and restrained 
in this respect. The reason presumably is that some Com- 
munists are inclined to regard the law, the state and 
such things as a family matter. {Laughter.) This ex- 
plains why some Communists do not scruple sometimes 
to intrude like pigs (pardon the expression, comrades) 
into the state's vegetable garden and snatch what they 
can or display their generosity at the expense of the 
state. {Laughter.) This scandalous state of affairs must 
be stopped, comrades. We must launch a determined 
struggle against profligacy and squandering in our 
administrative bodies and in everyday life, if we are 
sincerely desirous of husbanding our accumulations for 
the needs of industry. 

It is necessary, in the fourth place, to conduct a 
systematic struggle against theft, against what is known 



ECONOMIC SITUATION AND THE POLICY OF THE PARTY 143 

as "carefree" theft, in our state bodies, in the co-opera- 
tives, in the trade unions, etc. There is shamefaced 
and surreptitious theft, and there is bold-faced, or "care- 
free" theft, as the press calls it. I recently read an item 
by Okunev in Komsomolskaya Pravda about "carefree" 
theft. There was, it appears, a foppish young fellow 
with a moustache, who carried on his "carefree" theft 
in one of our institutions. He stole systematically and 
incessantly, and always without mishap. The note- 
worthy thing is not so much the thief himself, as the 
fact that the people around him, who knew that he was 
a thief, not only did nothing to stop him but, on the 
contrary, were more inclined to clap him on the back 
and praise him for his dexterity, so that the thief be- 
came something of a hero in the eyes of the public. That 
is what deserves attention, comrades, and is the most 
dangerous thing of all. When a spy or a traitor is caught, 
there are no bounds to the indignation of the public, 
which demands that he be shot. But when a thief oper- 
ates in the sight of all and steals state property, the 
people around him just smile good-naturedly and pat 
him on the back. Yet it is obvious that a thief who 
steals the people's wealth and undermines the interests 
of the national economy is no better, if not worse, than 
a spy or a traitor. Finally, of course, this fellow, the 
fop with the moustache, was arrested. But what does 
the arrest of one "carefree" thief signify? There are 
hundreds and thousands of them. You cannot get rid 
of them all with the help of the G.P.U. Another measure, 
a more important and effective one, is needed here. 
It consists in creating around such petty thieves an 
atmosphere of moral ostracism and public detestation. 



144 J. V. STALIN 



It consists in launching such a campaign and creating 
such a moral atmosphere among the workers and peasants 
as to prevent the possibility of thieving and to make 
life difficult and impossible for thieves and pilferers of 
the people's wealth — whether "carefree" or not. The 
task is to combat theft — as one of the means of protect- 
ing our accumulations from misappropriation. 

It is necessary, lastly, to conduct a campaign to put 
a stop to absenteeism at the mills and factories, to 
raise the productivity of labour and to strengthen labour 
discipline in our enterprises. Tens and hundreds of 
thousands of man-days are lost to industry owing to 
absenteeism. Hundreds of thousands and millions of 
rubles are lost as a result, to the detriment of our 
industry. We shall not be able to advance our in- 
dustry, we shall not be able to raise wages, if absentee- 
ism is not stopped, if productivity of labour remains 
stationary. It must be explained to the workers, and 
especially to those who have only recently entered the 
mills and factories, that by absenteeism and by not 
helping to raise labour productivity, they are acting 
to the detriment of the common cause, to the detriment 
of the entire working class, and to the detriment of our 
industry. The task is to combat absenteeism and to 
fight for enhanced productivity of labour in the interests 
of our industry, in the interests of the working class 
as a whole. 

Such are the ways and means that must be adopted 
to protect our accumulations and reserves from be- 
ing dissipated and misappropriated, and to ensure 
that they are used for the industrialisation of our 
country. 



ECONOMIC SITUATION AND THE POLICY OF THE PARTY 145 



WE MUST CREATE 
CADRES OF BUILDERS OF INDUSTRY 

I have spoken of the course towards industrialisa- 
tion. I have spoken of the ways of accumulating re- 
serves for the development of industrialisation. I have 
spoken, lastly, of how the accumulations should be ration- 
ally used for the needs of industry. But all that, com- 
rades, is not enough. If the Party's directive concern- 
ing the industrialisation of our country is to be carried 
out, it is necessary, over and above all that, to create 
cadres of new people, cadres of new builders of industry. 

No task, and especially so great a task as the in- 
dustrialisation of our country, can be accomplished 
without human beings, without new people, without 
cadres of new builders. Formerly, at the time of the 
Civil War, we were especially in need of commanding 
cadres for building the army and waging war — regi- 
mental, brigade, divisional and corps commanders. 
Without those new commanding cadres, who had come 
from the rank and file and had risen owing to their abil- 
ity, we could not have built up an army and could not 
have defeated our numerous enemies. It was they, the 
new commanding cadres, who saved our army and our 
country in those days — with the general support, of 
course, of the workers and peasants. But we are now in 
the period of the building of industry. We have passed 
now from the fronts of the Civil War to the front of 
industry. Accordingly, we now need new commanding 
cadres for industry — capable directors of mills and fac- 
tories, competent executives of trusts, efficient trade 



146 J. V. STALIN 



managers, intelligent planners of industrial develop- 
ment. We now have to create new regimental, brigade, 
divisional and corps commanders for economy, for in- 
dustry. Without such people, we shall not be able to 
advance one step. 

The task therefore is to create numerous cadres of 
builders of industry from the ranks of the workers and the 
Soviet intelligentsia — that Soviet intelligentsia which 
has thrown in its lot with the working class and which, 
together with us, is laying the socialist foundation of 
our economy. 

The task is to create such cadres and to bring them 
to the fore, giving them every assistance. 

It has become customary of late to castigate business 
executives on the charge of moral corruption, and there 
is often a disposition to extend what are individual 
faults to business executives in general. Anyone who 
takes the fancy can come along and give a kick to a busi- 
ness executive and accuse him of all the mortal sins. 
That, comrades, is a bad habit, and must be dropped 
once and for all. It must be realised that there is a black 
sheep in every family. It must be realised that the in- 
dustrialisation of our country and the promotion of new 
cadres of builders of industry is a task that requires not 
scourging our business executives, but rendering them 
every support in building our industry. Our business 
executives must be surrounded with an atmosphere of 
confidence and support, they must be assisted in the 
work of moulding new people — builders of industry, 
and the post of builder of industry must be made a post 
of honour in socialist construction. Those are the lines 
along which our Party organisations must now work. 



ECONOMIC SITUATION AND THE POLICY OF THE PARTY 147 



VI 

WE MUST RAISE 
THE ACTIVITY OF THE WORKING CLASS 

Such are the immediate tasks confronting us in con- 
nection with the course towards the industrialisation 
of our country. 

Can these tasks be accomplished without the direct 
assistance and support of the working class? No, they 
cannot. Advancing our industry, raising its productivity, 
creating new cadres of builders of industry, correctly 
conducting socialist accumulation, sensibly using ac- 
cumulations for the needs of industry, establishing a 
regime of the strictest economy, tightening up the state 
apparatus, making it operate cheaply and honestly, purg- 
ing it of the dross and filth which have adhered to it 
during the period of our work of construction, waging 
a systematic struggle against stealers and squanderers 
of state property — all these are tasks which no party 
can cope with without the direct and systematic support 
of the vast masses of the working class. Hence the task 
is to draw the vast masses of non-Party workers into 
all our constructive work. Every worker, every honest 
peasant must assist the Party and the Government in put- 
ting into effect a regime of economy, in combating the 
misappropriation and dissipation of state reserves, in 
getting rid of thieves and swindlers, no matter what dis- 
guise they assume, and in making our state apparatus 
healthier and cheaper. Inestimable service in this re- 
spect could be rendered by production conferences. There 
was a time when production conferences were very 



148 J. V. STALIN 



much in vogue. Now, somehow, we don't hear about 
them. That is a great mistake, comrades. The produc- 
tion conferences must be revived at all costs. It is not 
only minor questions, for instance of hygiene, that 
must be put before them. Their programme must be 
made broader and more comprehensive. The principal 
questions of the building of industry must be placed 
before them. Only in that way is it possible to raise the 
activity of the vast masses of the working class and 
to make them conscious participants in the building 
of industry. 

VII 

WE MUST STRENGTHEN THE ALLIANCE 
OF THE WORKERS AND PEASANTS 

But when speaking about raising the activity of 
the working class, we must not forget the peasantry. 
Lenin taught us that the alliance of the working class 
and peasantry is the basic principle of the dictatorship 
of the proletariat. That we must not forget. The devel- 
opment of industry, socialist accumulation, the regime 
of economy — all these are problems that must be solved 
if we are to gain the upper hand over private capital 
and put an end to our economic difficulties. But none 
of these problems could be solved in the absence of 
Soviet power, in the absence of the dictatorship of the 
proletariat. And the dictatorship of the proletariat 
rests upon an alliance of the working class and peasant- 
ry. Consequently, all our problems may remain un- 
solved if we undermine or weaken the alliance of the 
working class and peasantry. 



ECONOMIC SITUATION AND THE POLICY OF THE PARTY 149 

There are people in the Party who look upon the 
labouring mass of the peasantry as a foreign body, 
as an object of exploitation for industry, as something 
in the nature of a colony for our industry. These are dan- 
gerous people, comrades. For the working class, the 
peasantry can be neither an object of exploitation nor 
a colony. Peasant economy is a market for industry, 
just as industry is a market for peasant economy. But 
the peasantry is not only our market. It is also an ally 
of the working class. For that very reason, improve- 
ment of peasant economy, mass organisation of the peas- 
antry into co-operatives, and the raising of their stand- 
ard of life, are prerequisites without which no serious 
development of our industry can be achieved. And, 
conversely, the development of industry, the production 
of agricultural machinery and tractors, and a plentiful 
supply of manufactured goods for the peasants are pre- 
requisites without which there can be no advancement 
of agriculture. That is one of the most important bases 
of the alliance of the working class and peasantry. Hence 
we cannot agree with those comrades who every now 
and then urge that greater pressure should be exerted 
on the peasantry in the shape of excessive increases of 
taxation, higher prices of manufactured goods, and so 
on. We cannot agree with them because, without them- 
selves being aware of it, they undermine the alliance 
of the working class and peasantry and shake the foun- 
dations of the dictatorship of the proletariat. And what 
we want is to strengthen, not undermine, the alliance of 
the working class and peasantry. 

But it is not just any sort of alliance of the working 
class and peasantry that we advocate. We stand for 



150 J. V. STALIN 



an alliance in which the leading role belongs to the 
working class. Why? Because unless the working class 
plays the leading role in the system of the alliance of 
the workers and peasants, the toiling and exploited 
masses cannot defeat the landlords and capitalists. I 
know that certain comrades do not agree with this. 
They say: yes, the alliance is a good thing, but why 
also leadership by the working class? Those comrades 
are profoundly mistaken. They are mistaken because 
they do not realise that only an alliance of the workers 
and peasants that is led by the most experienced and 
revolutionary class, the working class, can be victo- 
rious. 

Why did the peasant revolts of the time of Pugachov 
or Stepan Razin come to grief? Why did the peasants 
in those days fail to get rid of the landlords? Because 
they did not then have, and could not have had, such 
a revolutionary leader as the working class. Why did 
the French revolution end in a victory for the bourgeoi- 
sie and the return of the previously expelled landlords? 
Because the French peasants did not then have, and 
could not have had, such a revolutionary leader as the 
working class; at that time the peasants were led by 
bourgeois liberals. Ours is the only country in the world 
where an alliance of the workers and peasants has tri- 
umphed over the landlords and capitalists. How is this 
to be explained? By the fact that at the head of the 
revolutionary movement in our country there stood, 
and continues to stand, the battle-steeled class of the 
workers. The idea of leadership by the working class 
has only to be discredited, and the alliance of the work- 
ers and peasants in our country will be utterly destroyed, 



ECONOMIC SITUATION AND THE POLICY OF THE PARTY 151 

and the capitalists and landlords will return to their 
old nests. 

That is why we must preserve and strengthen the 
alliance of the working class and peasantry in our 
country. 

That is why we must preserve and strengthen the 
leadership of the working class in the system of that 
alliance. 

VIII 

WE MUST PUT 
INNER-PARTY DEMOCRACY INTO EFFECT 

I have spoken of raising the activity of the work- 
ing class, of the task of drawing the vast masses of the 
working class into the work of building our economy, 
into the work of building our industry. But raising the 
activity of the working class is a big and serious matter. 
In order to raise the activity of the working class, it 
is necessary first of all to raise the activity of the Party 
itself. The Party itself must firmly and resolutely adopt 
the course of inner-Party democracy; our organisations 
must draw the broad mass of the Party membership, 
which determines the fate of our Party, into discussing 
the questions of our constructive work. Without this, 
there can be no question of raising the activity of the 
working class. 

I lay particular stress on this because our Lenin- 
grad organisation recently passed through a period 
when some of its leaders would not speak of inner-Party 
democracy except in sarcasm. I have in mind the pe- 
riod prior to, during and immediately after the Party 



152 J. V. STALIN 



congress, when the Party units in Leningrad were not 
allowed to assemble, when some of their organisers 
behaved — pardon my bluntness — like policemen towards 
their Party units and forbade them to meet. It was 
by this, in fact, that the so-called "New Opposition," 
headed by Zinoviev, worked its own undoing. 

If members of our Central Committee, with the help 
of the active in Leningrad, succeeded in the space of a 
fortnight in repelling and isolating the opposition, 
which was waging a struggle there against the decisions 
of the Fourteenth Congress, it was because the explana- 
tory campaign on the decisions of the congress coincid- 
ed with the urge for democracy that existed, that was 
seeking an outlet, and at last broke through in the Lenin- 
grad organisation. I should like you, comrades, to bear 
this recent lesson in mind. Bearing it in mind, I should 
like you to put inner-Party democracy into effect sin- 
cerely and resolutely, raise the activity of the Party 
masses, draw them into the discussion of the funda- 
mental questions of socialist construction, and con- 
vince them of the correctness of the decisions adopted 
by the April plenum of the Central Committee of our 
Party. It is precisely to convince the Party masses 
that I should like you to do, because the method of persua- 
sion is the basic method of our work in the ranks of 
the working class. 



ECONOMIC SITUATION AND THE POLICY OF THE PARTY 153 

IX 

WE MUST PROTECT 
THE UNITY OF THE PARTY 

Some comrades think that inner-Party democracy im- 
plies freedom of factional groups. Well, comrades, in 
this respect I beg to differ. That is not the way we un- 
derstand inner-Party democracy. Between inner-Party 
democracy and freedom of factional groups there is ab- 
solutely nothing in common, nor can there be. 

What does inner-Party democracy mean? Inner-Party 
democracy means raising the activity of the Party masses 
and strengthening the unity of the Party, strengthening 
conscious proletarian discipline in the Party. 

What does freedom of factional groups mean? Free- 
dom of factional groups means disintegrating the 
Party ranks, splitting the Party into separate centres, 
weakening the Party, weakening the dictatorship of 
the proletariat. 

What can there be in common between the two? 

There are people in our Party whose one dream is to 
have a general Party discussion. There are people among 
us who cannot conceive of the Party not being engaged 
in discussion, people who covet the title of professional 
debaters. Heaven protect us from those professional 
debaters! What we need now is not an artificial discus- 
sion, nor the conversion of our Party into a debating 
society, but the intensification of our constructive work 
in general, and of industrial construction in particular, 
the strengthening of a militant, solid, united and in- 
divisible party that can firmly and confidently direct 
our constructive work. Anyone who strives for endless 



154 J. V. STALIN 



discussions, anyone who strives for freedom of factional 
groups, undermines the unity and saps the strength of 
our Party. 

Wherein lay our strength in the past, and wherein 
lies our strength today? In the correctness of our policy 
and the unity of our ranks. The Fourteenth Congress of 
our Party gave us a correct policy. The task now is to 
ensure that our ranks are united, that our Party is unit- 
ed and ready to carry out the decisions of the Party 
congress, come what may. 

Such is the basic idea of the decisions of the ple- 
num of the Central Committee of our Party. 

X 
CONCLUSIONS 

Permit me now to pass to the conclusions. 

Firstly, we must promote the industry of our coun- 
try, as the foundation of socialism and the guiding force 
which leads forward the whole of our national economy. 

Secondly, we must create new cadres of builders 
of industry, as the direct and immediate operators of 
the course towards industrialisation. 

Thirdly, we must accelerate the pace of our social- 
ist accumulation and accumulate reserves for the needs 
of our industry. 

Fourthly, we must arrange for correct use of the 
accumulated reserves and establish a regime of the 
strictest economy. 

Fifthly, we must raise the activity of the working 
class and draw the vast masses of the workers into the 
work of building socialism. 



ECONOMIC SITUATION AND THE POLICY OF THE PARTY 155 

Sixthly, we must strengthen the alliance of the 
working class and peasantry and the leadership of the 
working class within this alliance. 

Seventhly, we must raise the activity of the Party 
masses and put inner-Party democracy into effect. 

Eighthly, we must protect and strengthen the unity 
of our Party, the solidarity of our ranks. 

Shall we be able to accomplish these tasks? Yes, 
we shall, if we want to do so. And we do want to — every- 
one can see that. We shall, because we are Bolsheviks, 
because we are not afraid of difficulties, because diffi- 
culties exist in order to be contended with and over- 
come. We shall, because our policy is correct and we know 
where we are going. And we shall march forward firmly 
and confidently towards our goal, towards the victory 
of socialist construction. 

Comrades, we were a tiny group in Leningrad in 
February 1917, nine years ago. Veteran Party members 
will remember that at that time we Bolsheviks con- 
stituted an inconsiderable minority of the Leningrad 
Soviet. Veteran Bolsheviks will remember how we were 
scoffed at by the numerous enemies of Bolshevism. But 
we marched forward and captured one position after 
another, because our policy was correct and we waged the 
fight with united ranks. Then that tiny force grew into 
a mighty force. We routed the bourgeoisie and overthrew 
Kerensky. We established the power of the Soviets. We 
routed Kolchak and Denikin. We drove the Anglo-French 
and American marauders out of our country. We overcame 
economic disruption. Lastly, we restored our industry 
and agriculture. Now we are confronted with a new task — 
the task of industrialising our country. The most serious 



156 J. V. STALIN 



difficulties are behind us. Can it be doubted that we 
shall cope also with this new task, the industrialisation 
of our country? Of course, not. On the contrary, we now 
have all the requisites for overcoming the difficulties 
and accomplishing the new tasks set us by the Four- 
teenth Congress of our Party. 

That is why I think, comrades, that on the new 
front, the front of industry, we are certain to win. (Stormy 
applause.) 



Leningradskaya Pravda, No. 
April 18, 1926 



TO COMRADE KAGANOVICH AND THE OTHER 

MEMBERS OF THE POLITICAL BUREAU 

OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE, 

UKRAINE C.P.(B.) 53 



I have had a talk with Shumsky. It was a long talk, 
lasting over two hours. As you know, he is dissatis- 
fied with the situation in the Ukraine. The reasons 
for his dissatisfaction may be reduced to two main 
points. 

1. He considers that Ukrainisation is progressing far 
too slowly, that it is looked upon as an imposed obliga- 
tion and is being carried out reluctantly and very halt- 
ingly. He considers that Ukrainian culture and the 
Ukrainian intelligentsia are growing at a rapid pace, 
and that if we do not assume control of this movement it 
may by-pass us. He considers that the movement should 
be headed by people who believe in Ukrainian culture, 
who are or want to be acquainted with it, who support 
and are capable of supporting the growing movement for 
Ukrainian culture. He is particularly dissatisfied with the 
conduct of the top leadership of the Party and trade unions 
in the Ukraine, which, in his opinion, is hindering 
Ukrainisation. He thinks that one of the principal 



158 J. V. STALIN 



faults of the top leadership of the Party and trade unions 
is that it does not draw Communists who are directly 
linked with Ukrainian culture into the direction of Party 
and trade-union work. He thinks that Ukrainisation 
should be carried out first of all within the ranks of the 
Party and among the proletariat. 

2. He thinks that if these shortcomings are to be 
corrected, it is necessary in the first place to alter the 
composition of the Party and Soviet top leadership 
with a view to its Ukrainisation, and that only on this 
condition can a change of sentiment in favour of Ukrain- 
isation be brought about among the cadres of our function- 
aries in the Ukraine. He proposes that Grinko should be 
appointed to the post of Chairman of the Council of Peo- 
ple's Commissars and Chubar to the post of Political 
Secretary of the C.C., Ukr.C.P.(B.), that the composition 
of the Secretariat and the Political Bureau should be 
improved, and so forth. He thinks that unless these and 
similar changes are made, it will be impossible for him, 
Shumsky, to work in the Ukraine. He says that should 
the Central Committee insist, he is prepared to return 
to the Ukraine even if the present conditions of work 
are left unchanged, but he is convinced that nothing 
would come of it. He is particularly dissatisfied with 
the work of Kaganovich. He thinks that Kaganovich 
has succeeded in putting Party organisation work on 
proper lines, but he considers that the predominance 
of the organisational element in Comrade Kaganovich's 
methods renders normal work impossible. He is con- 
vinced that the effects of the organisational pressure ex- 
erted by Comrade Kaganovich in his work, of his meth- 
od of relegating higher Soviet institutions and their 



TO COMRADE KAGANOVICH 159 

leaders to the background, will make themselves 
felt within the very near future, and he cannot guarantee 
that these effects will not take the form of a serious 
conflict. 

Here is my opinion. 

1. As regards the first point, there is some truth 
in what Shumsky says. It is true that a broad movement 
in favour of Ukrainian culture and Ukrainian public life 
has begun and is spreading in the Ukraine. It is true that 
we must under no circumstances allow that movement to 
fall into the hands of elements hostile to us. It is true 
that a number of Communists in the Ukraine do not 
realise the meaning and importance of that movement 
and are therefore taking no steps to gain control of it. 
It is true that a change of sentiment must be brought about 
among our Party and Soviet cadres, who are still imbued 
with an ironical and sceptical attitude towards Ukrain- 
ian culture and Ukrainian public life. It is true that 
we must painstakingly select and build up cadres capable 
of gaining control of the new movement in the Ukraine 
All that is true. Nevertheless, Shumsky commits at least 
two serious errors. 

Firstly. He confuses Ukrainisation of the apparatus 
of our Party and other bodies with Ukrainisation of 
the proletariat. The apparatus of our Party, state and 
other bodies serving the population can and should be 
Ukrainised, a due tempo in this matter being observed. 
But it is impossible to Ukrainise the proletariat from 
above. It is impossible to compel the mass of the Russian 
workers to give up the Russian language and Russian cul- 
ture and accept the Ukrainian culture and language as 
their own. That would be contrary to the principle of 



160 J. V. STALIN 



the free development of nationalities. It would not be 
national freedom, but a peculiar form of national oppres- 
sion. There can be no doubt that with the industrial 
development of the Ukraine and the influx into industry 
of Ukrainian workers from the surrounding countryside, 
the composition of the Ukrainian proletariat will change. 
There can be no doubt that the composition of the Ukrain- 
ian proletariat will become Ukrainised, just as the com- 
position of the proletariat in Latvia or Hungary, say, 
which was at one time German in character, subsequently 
became Latvianised or Magyarised. But this is a lengthy, 
spontaneous and natural process. To attempt to replace 
this spontaneous process by the forcible Ukrainisation 
of the proletariat from above would be a Utopian and 
harmful policy, one capable of stirring up anti-Ukrain- 
ian chauvinism among the non-Ukrainian sections of 
the proletariat in the Ukraine. It seems to me that Shum- 
sky has a wrong idea of Ukrainisation and does not take 
this latter danger into account. 

Secondly. While quite rightly stressing the posi- 
tive character of the new movement in the Ukraine in 
favour of Ukrainian culture and Ukrainian public life, 
Shumsky fails to see its seamy side. Shumsky fails to 
see that, in view of the weakness of the indigenous com- 
munist cadres in the Ukraine, this movement, which 
is very frequently led by non-communist intellectuals, 
may here and there assume the character of a struggle 
to alienate Ukrainian culture and public life from gen- 
eral Soviet culture and public life, the character of a 
struggle against "Moscow" in general, against the Rus- 
sians in general, against Russian culture and its highest 
achievement — Leninism. I shall not stop to prove that 



TO COMRADE KAGANOVICH 161 

this is becoming an increasingly real danger in the 
Ukraine. I only want to say that even certain Ukrainian 
Communists are not free from such defects. I have in mind 
such a generally known fact as the article of the Commu- 
nist Khvilevoy in the Ukrainian press. Khvilevoy's 
demand for the "immediate de-Russification of the prole- 
tariat" in the Ukraine, his opinion that "Ukrainian 
poetry must get away from Russian literature and its 
style as fast as possible," his statement that "the ideas 
of the proletariat are known to us without Moscow art," 
his infatuation with the idea that the "young" Ukrainian 
intelligentsia has some kind of Messianic role to play, 
his ludicrous and non-Marxist attempt to divorce cul- 
ture from politics — all this and much else like it sounds 
(cannot but sound!) more than strange nowadays coming 
from the mouth of a Ukrainian Communist. At a time 
when the proletarians of Western Europe and their 
Communist Parties are in sympathy with "Moscow," 
this citadel of the international revolutionary movement 
and of Leninism, at a time when the proletarians of 
Western Europe look with admiration at the flag that 
flies over Moscow, the Ukrainian Communist Khvile- 
voy has nothing better to say in favour of "Moscow" 
than to call on the Ukrainian leaders to get away from 
"Moscow" "as fast as possible." And that is called inter- 
nationalism! What is to be said of other Ukrainian 
intellectuals, those of the non-communist camp, if Com- 
munists begin to talk, and not only to talk but even to 
write in our Soviet press, in the language of Khvilevoy? 
Shumsky does not realise that we can gain control 
of the new movement in the Ukraine in favour of 
Ukrainian culture only by combating extremes like 



162 J. V. STALIN 



Khvilevoy's in the communist ranks. Shumsky does not 
realise that only by combating such extremes can the 
rising Ukrainian culture and public life be converted 
into a Soviet culture and public life. 

2. Shumsky is right when he asserts that the top 
leadership (Party and other) in the Ukraine should be 
Ukrainian. But he is mistaken about the tempo. And that 
is the main thing just now. He forgets that there are 
not enough purely Ukrainian Marxist cadres for this as 
yet. He forgets that such cadres cannot be created arti- 
ficially. He forgets that such cadres can be reared only 
in the process of work, and that this requires time. . . . 
What would be the effect of appointing Grinko to the 
post of Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars 
at this moment? How might such a step be assessed by 
the Party in general and the Party cadres in particular? 
Will they not take it to imply that our line is to depre- 
ciate the weight and prestige of the Council of People's 
Commissars? For it cannot be concealed from the Party 
that Grinko's Party and revolutionary standing is con- 
siderably lower than Chubar's. Can we take such a step 
now, in the present period of the revitalisation of the 
Soviets and of increasing weight and prestige of the So- 
viet bodies? Would it not be better, both in the interest 
of our work and in the interest of Grinko himself, to 
forego such plans for the time being? I am in favour of 
the Secretariat and Political Bureau of the C.C., 
Ukr.C.P.(B.), as well as the top Soviet bodies, being 
reinforced with Ukrainian elements. But it is wrong to 
represent matters as if there were no Ukrainians in the 
leading organs of the Party and Soviets. What about 
Skrypnik and Zatonsky, Chubar and Petrovsky, Grinko 



TO COMRADE KAGANOVICH 163 

and Shumsky — are they not Ukrainians? Shumsky's mis- 
take is that, while his perspective is correct, he dis- 
regards the question of tempo. And tempo is now the 
main thing. 

With communist greetings, 

/. Stalin 

26. IV. 1926 

Published in full for the first time 



THE BRITISH STRIKE 
AND THE EVENTS IN POLAND 

Report Delivered at a Meeting of Workers of the 

Chief Railway Workshop in Tiflis 

June 8, 1926 



Comrades, with your permission, I shall proceed to 
make a statement on affairs in Britain in connection 
with the strike 54 and on the recent events in 
Poland, 55 a statement which your chairman, Comrade 
Chkheidze, has been good enough to call a report, but 
which can only be called a statement because of its 
brevity. 

WHAT CAUSED THE STRIKE IN BRITAIN? 

The first question is that of the causes of the strike 
in Britain. How could it happen that Britain, that land 
of capitalist might and unparalleled compromises, has 
of late become an arena of gigantic social conflicts? 
How could it happen that "great Britain," "mistress of 
the seas," became the country of a general strike? 

I should like to point out a number of circumstances 
which made the general strike in Britain inevitable. The 
time has not yet come to give an exhaustive reply to 
this question. But we can, and should, point out certain 



THE BRITISH STRIKE AND THE EVENTS IN POLAND 165 

decisive events which made the strike inevitable. Of 
these circumstances, four may be noted as the most im- 
portant. 

Firstly. Britain formerly occupied a monopoly posi- 
tion among the capitalist states. Owning a number of 
huge colonies, and having what for those days was an 
exemplary industry, it was able to parade as the "work- 
shop of the world" and to rake in vast super-profits. 
That was the period of "peace and prosperity" in Brit- 
ain. Capital raked in super-profits, crumbs from those 
super-profits fell to the share of the top section of the 
British labour movement, the leaders of the British 
labour movement were gradually tamed by capital, and 
conflicts between labour and capital were usually settled 
by compromise. 

But the further development of world capitalism, 
especially the development of Germany, America and, 
in part, of Japan, which entered the world market as 
competitors of Britain, radically undermined Britain's 
former monopoly position. The war and the post-war 
crisis dealt a further decisive blow to Britain's monopoly 
position. There were fewer super-profits, the crumbs 
which fell to the share of the British labour leaders began 
to dwindle away. Voices began to be raised more and more 
frequently about the reduction in the standard of living 
of the British working class. The period of "peace and 
prosperity" was succeeded by a period of conflicts, lock- 
outs and strikes. The British worker began to swing to 
the Left, to resort more and more frequently to the meth- 
od of direct struggle against capital. 

That being the state of affairs, it will be easily un- 
derstood why the bullying tone of the British mine 



166 J. V. STALIN 



owners in threatening a lock-out could not remain unan- 
swered by the miners. 

Secondly. The second circumstance is the restora- 
tion of international market connections, and the conse- 
quent intensification of the struggle for markets among 
the capitalist groups. It is characteristic of the post-war 
crisis that it severed practically all the connections 
between the international market and the capitalist 
countries, replacing those connections by a certain chaos 
in relations. Now, with the temporary stabilisation of 
capitalism, this chaos is receding into the background, 
and the old connections of the international market 
are gradually being restored. Whereas a few years ago 
the problem was to restore the mills and factories and 
to recruit workers to work for the capitalists, the prob- 
lem now is to secure markets and raw materials for 
the restored mills and factories. As a result the struggle 
for markets has assumed new intensity, and victory in 
this struggle is going to that group of capitalists and 
that capitalist state whose goods are cheaper and whose 
level of technique is higher. And new forces are now 
entering the market: America, France, Japan, Germany, 
and Britain's dominions and colonies, which managed 
to develop their industry during the war and have now 
joined in the fight for markets. It is natural in view of 
all this that the easy extraction of profits from foreign 
markets, so long resorted to by Britain, has now become 
impossible. The old colonial method of monopolistic 
plundering of markets and sources of raw material has 
had to give way to the new method of capturing the mar- 
ket with the help of cheap goods. Hence the endeavour 
of British capital to restrict production, or at any rate 



THE BRITISH STRIKE AND THE EVENTS IN POLAND 167 



not to expand it indiscriminately. Hence the vast army 
of unemployed in Britain as a permanent feature of 
recent years. Hence the threat of unemployment, which 
is exasperating the British workers and rousing their 
fighting spirit. Hence the lightning reaction which the 
threat of a lock-out evoked among the workers in gen- 
eral and the miners in particular. 

Thirdly. The third circumstance is the endeavour 
of British capital to secure reduced costs of production 
in British industry and a cheapening of commodities 
at the expense of the interests of the British working 
class. The fact that the miners were the target of the 
main blow in this case cannot be called an accident. 
British capital attacked the miners not only because 
the mining industry is badly equipped technically and 
is in need of "rationalisation," but primarily because 
the miners have always been, and still remain, the ad- 
vanced detachment of the British proletariat. It was 
the strategy of British capital to curb this advanced 
detachment, to lower their wages and lengthen their 
working day, in order then, having settled accounts 
with this main detachment, to make the other detach- 
ments of the working class also toe the line. Hence the 
heroism with which the British miners are conducting 
their strike. Hence the unparalleled eagerness displayed 
by the British workers in supporting the miners by 
means of a general strike. 

Fourthly. The fourth circumstance is that Britain 
is governed by the Conservative Party, the most bitter 
enemy of the working class. It goes without saying 
that any other bourgeois government would, in the 
main, have acted in the same way as the Conservative 



168 J. V. STALIN 



government to crush the working class. But there is 
also no doubt that only such sworn enemies of the work- 
ing class as the Conservatives could have so lightly 
and cynically thrown down such an unparalleled chal- 
lenge to the whole British working class as the Conserv- 
atives did when they threatened a lock-out. It can 
now be considered fully proven that the British Con- 
servative Party not only wanted a lock-out and a strike, 
but that it had been preparing for them for nearly a 
year. Last July it postponed the attack on the miners 
because it considered the moment "inopportune." But 
it made preparations during the whole period since 
then, accumulating stocks of coal, organising strike- 
breakers and suitably working up public opinion, so 
as to launch an attack on the miners in April of this 
year. Only the Conservative Party could have taken 
such a perfidious step. 

The Conservative Party wormed its way into power 
with the help of forged documents and provocations. 
It had no sooner come into office than it attacked Egypt, 
using every means of provocation. For a year now it 
has been waging direct war on the Chinese people, re- 
sorting to the tried and tested colonial methods of plun- 
der and oppression. It is not sparing of means to make 
impossible the development of closer relations between 
the peoples of the Soviet Union and the peoples of Great 
Britain, steadily building up the elements of an even- 
tual intervention. It is now attacking the working class 
of its own country, having for a whole year prepared 
for this attack with a zeal worthy of a better cause. 
The Conservative Party cannot exist without con- 
flicts inside and outside Britain. After this, can one 



THE BRITISH STRIKE AND THE EVENTS IN POLAND 169 

be surprised that the British workers returned blow for 
blow? 

Those, in the main, are the circumstances which 
made the strike in Britain inevitable. 



WHY DID THE BRITISH GENERAL 
STRIKE FAIL? 

The British general strike failed owing to a number 
of circumstances, of which the following, at least, should 
be mentioned: 

Firstly. The British capitalists and the Conserva- 
tive Party, as the course of the strike has shown, proved 
in general to be more experienced, more organised and 
more resolute, and therefore stronger, than the British 
workers and their leaders, as represented by the Gener- 
al Council and the so-called Labour Party. The leaders 
of the working class proved unequal to coping with the 
tasks of the working class. 

Secondly. The British capitalists and the Conserva- 
tive Party entered this gigantic social conflict fully 
armed and thoroughly prepared, whereas the leaders 
of the British labour movement were caught unawares 
by the mine-owners' lock-out, having done nothing or 
practically nothing in the way of preparatory work. 
It should be mentioned in this connection that only a 
week before the conflict the leaders of the working class 
were expressing their conviction that there would be 
no conflict. 

Thirdly. The capitalists' general staff, the Conserv- 
ative Party, waged the fight as a united and organised 



170 J. V. STALIN 



body, striking blows at the decisive points of the 
struggle, whereas the general staff of the labour move- 
ment — the T.U.C. General Council and its "political 
committee," the Labour Party — proved to be internally 
demoralised and corrupted. As we know, the heads of 
this general staff proved to be either downright traitors 
to the miners and the British working class in general 
(Thomas, Henderson, MacDonald and Co.), or spineless 
fellow-travellers of these traitors who feared a struggle 
and still more a victory of the working class (Purcell, 
Hicks and others). 

How could it happen, it may be asked, that the 
powerful British proletariat, which fought with un- 
exampled heroism, proved to have leaders who were 
either venal or cowardly, or simply spineless? That 
is a very important question. Such leaders did not spring 
up all at once. They grew out of the labour movement; 
they received a definite schooling as labour leaders in 
Britain, the schooling of that period when British capi- 
tal was raking in super-profits and could shower favours 
on the labour leaders and use them for compromises 
with the British working class; whereby these leaders 
of the working class, becoming ever more closely iden- 
tified with the bourgeoisie in their manner of life and 
station, became divorced from the mass of the workers, 
turned their backs on them and ceased to understand 
them. They are the kind of working-class leaders who 
are dazzled by the glamour of capitalism, who are over- 
whelmed by the might of capital, and who dream of 
"getting on in the world" and associating with "men 
of substance." There is no doubt that these leaders — if 
I may call them that — are an echo of the past and do 



THE BRITISH STRIKE AND THE EVENTS IN POLAND 171 

not suit the new situation. There is no doubt that in 
time they will be compelled to give way to new leaders 
who do correspond to the militant spirit and heroism 
of the British proletariat. Engels was right when he 
called such leaders bourgeoisified leaders of the work- 
ing class. 56 

Fourthly. The general staff of British capitalism, 
the Conservative Party, realised that the gigantic strike 
of the British workers was a fact of tremendous polit- 
ical importance, that such a strike could be seriously 
fought only by measures of a political character, that 
the authority of the king, of the House of Commons 
and of the constitution would have to be invoked to 
crush the strike, and that it could not be brought to 
an end without mobilising the troops and proclaiming 
a state of emergency. The general staff of the British 
labour movement, the General Council, on the other 
hand, did not, or would not, realise this simple thing, 
or was afraid to admit it, and assured all and sundry 
that the general strike was a measure of an exclusively 
economic character, that it did not desire or intend 
to turn the struggle into a political struggle, that it 
was not thinking of striking at the general staff of 
British capital, the Conservative Party, and that it — the 
General Council — had no intention of raising the ques- 
tion of power. 

Thereby the General Council doomed the strike to 
inevitable failure. For, as history has shown, a general 
strike which is not turned into a political struggle must 
inevitably fail. 

Fifthly. The general staff of the British capitalists 
understood that international support of the British 



172 J. V. STALIN 



strike would be a mortal danger to the bourgeoisie. 
The General Council, on the other hand, did not under- 
stand, or pretended not to understand, that the strike 
of the British workers could only be won by means of 
international proletarian solidarity. Hence the refusal of 
the General Council to accept financial assistance from 
the workers of the Soviet Union 57 and other countries. 

Such a gigantic strike as the general strike in Britain 
could have yielded tangible results if, at least, two 
fundamental conditions had been observed, namely, 
if it had been turned into a political struggle, and if it 
had been made an action in the struggle of the pro- 
letarians of all the advanced countries against capital. 
But, in its own peculiar "wisdom," the British General 
Council rejected both these two conditions, thereby 
predetermining the failure of the general strike. 

Sixthly. There is no doubt that a role of no little 
importance was played by the more than equivocal 
behaviour of the Second International and the Amster- 
dam Federation of Trade Unions in the matter of aiding 
the British general strike. In point of fact, the platonic 
resolutions of these organisations of Social-Democrats 
on aiding the strike were actually tantamount to a re- 
fusal of any financial aid. For in no other way than by 
the equivocal conduct of the Social-Democratic Inter- 
national is it possible to explain the fact that all the 
trade unions of Europe and America together donated 
not more than one-eighth of the amount of financial 
aid which the trade unions of the Soviet Union found 
it possible to afford their British brothers. I say nothing 
of aid of another kind, in the form of stopping the trans- 
port of coal, a matter in which the Amsterdam Federa- 



THE BRITISH STRIKE AND THE EVENTS IN POLAND 173 

tion of Trade Unions is literally acting as a strike- 
breaker. 

Seventhly. There is likewise no doubt that the weak- 
ness of the British Communist Party played a role of 
no little importance in contributing to the failure of 
the general strike. It should be said that the British 
Communist Party is one of the best sections of the Com- 
munist International. It should be mentioned that 
throughout the general strike in Britain its attitude 
was absolutely correct. But it must also be admitted 
that its prestige among the British workers is still small. 
And this circumstance could not but play a fatal part 
in the course of the general strike. 

Such are the circumstances, at any rate the chief 
ones, which we have been able to ascertain at the pres- 
ent time and which determined the undesirable outcome 
of the general strike in Britain. 

LESSONS OF THE GENERAL STRIKE 

What are the lessons of the general strike in Britain — 
at least, the most important of them? They are the fol- 
lowing. 

Firstly. The crisis in the British coal industry and 
the general strike connected with it bluntly raise the 
question of socialising the instruments and means of 
production in the coal industry, with the establishment 
of workers' control. That is a question of winning so- 
cialism. It scarcely needs proof that there are not and 
cannot be any other ways of radically solving the 
crisis in the coal industry other than the way proposed 
by the British Communist Party. The crisis in the coal 



174 J. V. STALIN 



industry and the general strike bring the British work- 
ing class squarely up against the question of the prac- 
tical realisation of socialism. 

Secondly. The British working class could not but 
learn from its experience at first hand that the chief 
obstacle in the way to its goal is the political power 
of the capitalists, in this case, the Conservative Party 
and its government. Whereas the T.U.C. General Coun- 
cil feared like the plague to admit the inseparable con- 
nection between the economic struggle and the political 
struggle, the British workers cannot now fail to under- 
stand that, in their difficult struggle against organised 
capital, the basic question now is that of power, and 
that until it is settled, it is impossible to solve either 
the crisis in the coal industry or the crisis in the whole 
of British industry in general. 

Thirdly. The course and outcome of the general 
strike cannot but convince the British working class 
that Parliament, the constitution, the king and the 
other attributes of bourgeois rule are nothing but a 
shield of the capitalist class against the proletariat. 
The strike tore the camouflage of a fetish and inviolable 
shrine both from Parliament and from the constitution. 
The workers will realise that the present constitution 
is a weapon of the bourgeoisie against the workers. The 
workers are bound to understand that they, too, need 
their own workers' constitution, as a weapon against 
the bourgeoisie. I think that the learning of this truth 
will be a most important achievement of the British 
working class. 

Fourthly. The course and outcome of the strike can- 
not but convince the British working masses of the un- 



THE BRITISH STRIKE AND THE EVENTS IN POLAND 175 

suitability of the old leaders, of the unsuitability of 
the old functionaries, who grew up in the school of the 
old British policy of compromise. They cannot but 
realise that the old leaders must be replaced by new, 
revolutionary leaders. 

Fifthly. The British workers cannot but realise 
now that the miners of Britain are the advanced detach- 
ment of the British working class, and that it is there- 
fore the concern of the entire British working class to 
support the miners' strike and ensure its victory. The 
whole course of the strike brings home to the British 
working class the absolutely unassailable truth of this 
lesson. 

Sixthly. The British workers could not but be con- 
vinced in the difficult moment of the general strike, 
when the platforms and programmes of the various 
parties were being tested in action, that the only 
party capable of boldly and resolutely upholding the in- 
terests of the working class to the end is the Communist 
Party. 

Such, in general, are the principal lessons of the 
general strike in Britain. 

SOME CONCLUSIONS 

I pass on to a few conclusions of practical im- 
portance. 

The first question is that of the stabilisation of 
capitalism. The strike in Britain has shown that the 
resolution of the Communist International on the tem- 
porary and insecure character of stabilisation is abso- 
lutely correct. 58 The attack of British capital on the 



176 J. V. STALIN 



British miners was an attempt to transform the tempo- 
rary, insecure stabilisation into a firm and perma- 
nent one. That attempt did not succeed, and could not 
have succeeded. The British workers, who replied to 
that attempt by a gigantic strike, have shown the whole 
capitalist world that the firm stabilisation of capi- 
talism in the conditions of the post-war period is impos- 
sible, that experiments like the British one are fraught 
with the danger of the destruction of the foundations 
of capitalism. But if it is wrong to assume that the 
stabilisation of capitalism is firm, it is equally wrong 
to assume the contrary, namely, that stabilisation 
has come to an end, that it has been done away with, 
and that we have now entered a period when revolu- 
tionary storms will reach their climax. The stabilisa- 
tion of capitalism is temporary and insecure, but it is 
stabilisation nevertheless, and so far still remains. 

Further, precisely because the present temporary 
and insecure stabilisation still remains, for that very 
reason capital will persist in attempts to attack the 
working class. Of course, the British strike should have 
taught the entire capitalist world how risky experiments 
like the one made by the Conservative Party in Britain 
are for the life and existence of capitalism. That the 
experiment will not be without its cost for the Conserv- 
ative Party, that is scarcely open to doubt. Neither 
can it be doubted that this lesson will be taken into 
account by the capitalists of all countries. All the same, 
capital will attempt fresh attacks on the working class, 
because it senses its insecurity and cannot but feel the 
need to establish itself more securely. The task of the 
working class and of the Communist Parties is to pre- 



THE BRITISH STRIKE AND THE EVENTS IN POLAND 177 

pare their forces to repel such attacks on the working 
class. The task of the Communist Parties is, while con- 
tinuing the organisation of the united working-class 
front, to bend all their efforts to convert the attacks of 
the capitalists into a counter-attack of the working 
class, into a revolutionary offensive of the working 
class, into a struggle of the working class for the estab- 
lishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat and for 
the abolition of capitalism. 

Lastly, if the working class of Britain is to accom- 
plish these immediate tasks, the first thing it must do 
is to get rid of its present leaders. You cannot go to 
war against the capitalists if you have such leaders as 
the Thomases and MacDonalds. You cannot hope for 
victory if you have traitors like Henderson and Clynes 
in your rear. The British working class must learn to 
replace such leaders by better ones. For one thing or 
the other: either the British working class will learn to 
dismiss the Thomases and MacDonalds from their posts, 
or it will no more see victory than it can see its 
own ears. 

Those, comrades, are a few conclusions which sug- 
gest themselves. 

Now permit me to turn to the events in Poland. 

THE RECENT EVENTS IN POLAND 

An opinion exists that the movement headed by 
Pilsudski is a revolutionary movement. It is said that 
Pilsudski is fighting for a revolutionary cause in Poland 
— for the peasants against the landlords, for the workers 
against the capitalists, for the freedom of the oppressed 
nationalities in Poland against Polish chauvinism and 



178 J. V. STALIN 



fascism. Because of this, it is said, Pilsudski deserves 
to have the support of the Communists. 

That is absolutely wrong, comrades! 

Actually, what is going on in Poland at present is a 
struggle between two groups of the bourgeoisie: the big 
bourgeois group, headed by the Poznaners, and the 
petty-bourgeois group, headed by Pilsudski. The pur- 
pose of the struggle is not to defend the interests of the 
workers and peasants or the interests of the oppressed na- 
tionalities, but to consolidate and stabilise the bourgeois 
state. The struggle arises from a difference concerning 
the methods of consolidating the bourgeois state. 

The fact of the matter is that the Polish state has 
entered a phase of complete disintegration. Its finances 
are going to pieces. The zloty is falling. Industry is in 
a state of paralysis. The non-Polish nationalities are 
oppressed. And up above, in the circles close to the 
ruling elements, there is a regular orgy of theft, as is 
admitted quite freely by spokesmen of all the various 
groups in the Sejm. 59 The bourgeois classes are therefore 
faced with the dilemma: either the disintegration of the 
state goes so far that it opens the eyes of the workers 
and peasants and brings home to them the necessity of 
transforming the regime by a revolution against the 
landlords and capitalists; or the bourgeoisie must hurry 
up and stop the process of decay, put an end to the orgy 
of theft, and thus avert the probable outbreak of a rev- 
olutionary movement of the workers and peasants before 
it is too late. 

Which of the bourgeois groups, the Pilsudski or 
the Poznan, is to undertake the stabilising of the Pol- 
ish state? — that is the point at issue. 



THE BRITISH STRIKE AND THE EVENTS IN POLAND 179 

Undoubtedly, the workers and peasants link their 
aspirations for a radical improvement of their lot with 
Pilsudski's struggle. Undoubtedly, for this very reason 
the top section of the working class and the peasantry 
in one way or another support Pilsudski, as being 
the representative of strata of the petty bourgeoisie and 
petty nobility, in his struggle against the Poznaners, 
who represent the big capitalists and landlords. But 
undoubtedly also, at the present time the aspirations 
of certain sections of Poland's labouring classes are 
being utilised not for a revolution, but to consolidate 
the bourgeois state and the bourgeois order. 

Of course, certain external factors are also playing 
their part here. Poland is a small country. It is linked 
financially with certain Entente circles. In the present 
deplorable state of its finances, bourgeois Poland can- 
not, of course, do without foreign loans. But the so- 
called Great Powers cannot finance a country in which 
the ruling circles unanimously admit that there is an 
orgy of theft in all branches of state administration. 
In order to obtain loans, the state administration must 
first be "improved," the orgy of theft must be stopped, 
some kind of guarantee must be provided that the inter- 
est on the loans will be paid, and so on. Hence the 
necessity for the "rationalisation" of the Polish state. 

Such, in the main, are the internal and external 
factors which have determined the present struggle 
between the two principal bourgeois groups in Poland. 

There are in Poland today a number of fundamental 
contradictions which, when they develop further, are 
bound to create a direct revolutionary situation in the 
country. These contradictions occur in three basic spheres: 



180 J. V. STALIN 



that of the working-class question, that of the peas- 
ant question, and that of the national question. All 
these contradictions may at once become evident and 
cause an explosion if Poland embarks on a war adven- 
ture, if it is incapable of establishing good-neighbourly 
relations with the surrounding states. Can Pilsudski, 
can the motley Pilsudski group, resolve these contra- 
dictions? Can this petty-bourgeois group solve the work- 
ing-class question? No, it cannot, for to do so it would 
have to come into fundamental conflict with the capi- 
talist class, which it cannot and will not do under 
any circumstances if it does not want to forfeit the 
financial support of the Great Powers. Can this group 
solve the peasant question — for example, along the 
lines of confiscating the landlords' land? No, it cannot; 
and it will not do so if it does not want to bring about 
the complete disintegration of the commanding per- 
sonnel of Pilsudski's army, which consists mostly of 
small and middle landlords. Can this group solve the 
national question in Poland along the lines of granting 
freedom of national self-determination to the oppressed 
nations: the Ukrainians, the Lithuanians, the Byelo- 
russians, etc.? No, it cannot; and it will not do so if 
it does not want to forfeit all confidence in the eyes of 
those "Greater Poland" chauvinists and fascists who 
constitute the chief source from which Pilsudski's 
group derives its moral support. 

What, then, remains for it to do? 

Only one thing: after defeating the big bourgeois 
group militarily, to submit to the same group politi- 
cally and drag at its tail — unless, of course, the Polish 
working class and the revolutionary section of the 



THE BRITISH STRIKE AND THE EVENTS IN POLAND 181 

Polish peasantry in the near future set about the revo- 
lutionary transformation of the Polish state and drive 
out both groups of the Polish bourgeoisie, the Pilsudski 
group and the Poznan group. 

That raises the question of the Polish Communist 
Party. How could it happen that the revolutionary 
discontent of a considerable section of the workers and 
peasants in Poland brought grist to the mill of Pilsudski, 
and not of the Polish Communist Party? Among other 
reasons, because the Polish Communist Party is weak, 
weak in the extreme, and because in the present struggle 
it has weakened itself still further by its incorrect atti- 
tude to Pilsudski's army, in consequence of which it 
has been unable to assume the lead of the revolutionary- 
minded masses. 

Recently I read in our Soviet press an article on 
Polish affairs by Comrade Thalmann, 60 member of the 
Central Committee of the German Communist Party. 
In that article Comrade Thalmann touches on the atti- 
tude of the Polish Communists in calling for support 
of Pilsudski's army, and criticises it as unrevolution- 
ary. I have to admit, unfortunately, that Comrade 
Thalmann's criticism is absolutely correct. I have to 
admit that our Polish comrades committed a gross error 
in this instance. 

That, comrades, is all I wanted to tell you about 
affairs in Britain in connection with the general strike 
and about the recent events in Poland. (Stormy applause.) 

Zarya Vostoka (Tiflis) 
No. 1197, June 10, 1926 



REPLY TO THE GREETINGS 

OF THE WORKERS OF THE CHIEF 

RAILWAY WORKSHOPS IN TIFLIS 

June 8, 1926 



Comrades, permit me first of all to tender my com- 
radely thanks for the greetings conveyed to me here by 
the representatives of the workers. 

I must say in all conscience, comrades, that I do 
not deserve a good half of the flattering things that 
have been said here about me. I am, it appears, a hero 
of the October Revolution, the leader of the Communist 
Party of the Soviet Union, the leader of the Communist 
International, a legendary warrior-knight and all the 
rest of it. That is absurd, comrades, and quite unneces- 
sary exaggeration. It is the sort of thing that is usually 
said at the graveside of a departed revolutionary. But 
I have no intention of dying yet. 

I must therefore give a true picture of what I was 
formerly, and to whom I owe my present position in 
our Party. 

Comrade Arakel* said here that in the old days he 
regarded himself as one of my teachers, and myself as 
his pupil. That is perfectly true, comrades. I really 
was, and still am, one of the pupils of the advanced 
workers of the Tiflis railway workshops. 



A. Okuashvili. 



REPLY TO GREETINGS 183 



Let me turn back to the past. 

I recall the year 1898, when I was first put in charge 
of a study circle of workers from the railway workshops. 
That was some twenty-eight years ago. I recall the days 
when in the home of Comrade Sturua, and in the pres- 
ence of Djibladze (he was also one of my teachers at 
that time), Chodrishvili, Chkheidze, Bochorishvili, Ni- 
nua and other advanced workers of Tiflis, I received 
my first lessons in practical work. Compared with these 
comrades, I was then quite a young man. I may have 
been a little better-read than many of them were, 
but as a practical worker I was unquestionably a nov- 
ice in those days. It was here, among these comrades, 
that I received my first baptism in the revolutionary 
struggle. It was here, among these comrades, that I be- 
came an apprentice in the art of revolution. As you 
see, my first teachers were Tiflis workers. 

Permit me to tender them my sincere comradely 
thanks. (Applause.) 

I recall, further, the years 1907-09, when, by the 
will of the Party, I was transferred to work in Baku. 
Three years of revolutionary activity among the work- 
ers in the oil industry steeled me as a practical fighter- 
and as one of the local practical leaders. Association 
with such advanced workers in Baku as Vatsek, Sa- 
ratovets, Fioletov and others, on the one hand, and the 
storm of acute conflicts between the workers and the 
oil owners, on the other, first taught me what it means 
to lead large masses of workers. It was there, in Baku, 
that I thus received my second baptism in the revolu- 
tionary struggle. There I became a journeyman in the 
art of revolution. 



184 J. V. STALIN 



Permit me to tender my sincere comradely thanks 
to my Baku teachers. {Applause.) 

Lastly, I recall the year 1917, when, by the will 
of the Party, after my wanderings from one prison and 
place of exile to another, I was transferred to Leningrad. 
There, in the society of Russian workers, and in direct 
contact with Comrade Lenin, the great teacher of the 
proletarians of all countries, in the storm of mighty 
clashes between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, 
in the conditions of the imperialist war, I first learnt 
what it means to be one of the leaders of the great Party 
of the working class. There, in the society of Russian 
workers — the liberators of oppressed peoples and the 
pioneers of the proletarian struggle of all countries and 
all peoples — I received my third baptism in the revo- 
lutionary struggle. There, in Russia, under Lenin's 
guidance, I became a master workman in the art of 
revolution. 

Permit me to tender my sincere comradely thanks 
to my Russian teachers and to bow my head in homage 
to the memory of my great teacher — Lenin. {Applause.) 

From the rank of apprentice (Tiflis), to the rank 
of journeyman (Baku), and then to the rank of a master 
workman of our revolution (Leningrad) — such, com- 
rades, was the school in which I passed my revolutionary 
apprenticeship. 

Such, comrades, is the true picture of what I was 
and what I have become, if one is to speak without exag- 
geration and in all conscience. {Applause rising to a 
stormy ovation.) 



Zarya Vostoka (Tiflis), 
No. 1197, June 10, 1926 



THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN UNITY 
COMMITTEE* 61 

Speech Delivered at a Joint Plenum 

of the Central Committee and the Central Control 

Commission, C.P.S. U. (B.) 62 

July 15, 1926 



Comrades, we are passing through a period of the 
accumulation of forces, a period of winning over the 
masses and of preparing the proletariat for new battles. 
But the masses are in the trade unions. And in the West 
the trade unions, the majority of them, are now more 
or less reactionary. What, then, should be our attitude 
towards the trade unions? Should we, can we, as Com- 
munists, work in the reactionary trade unions? It is 
essentially this question that Trotsky put to us in his 
letter recently published in Pravda. There is nothing 
new, of course, in this question. It was raised before 
Trotsky by the "ultra-Lefts" in Germany, some five 
years ago. But Trotsky has seen fit to raise it again. 
How does he answer it? Permit me to quote a passage 
from Trotsky's letter. 

"The entire present 'superstructure' of the British working 
class, in all its shades and groupings without exception, is an 
apparatus for putting a brake on the revolution. This presages for 
a long time to come the pressure of the spontaneous and semi- 
spontaneous movement on the framework of the old organisations 
and the formation of new, revolutionary organisations as the result 
of this pressure" (see Pravda, No. 119, May 26, 1926). 



*The speech is given here in abbreviated form. 



186 J. V. STALIN 



It follows from this that we ought not to work in 
the "old" organisations, if we do not want to "retard" 
the revolution. Either what is meant here is that we 
are already in the period of a direct revolutionary sit- 
uation and ought at once to set up self-authorised 
organisations of the proletariat in place of the "old" 
ones, in place of the trade unions — which, of course, 
is incorrect and foolish. Or what is meant here is that 
"for a long time to come" we ought to work to replace 
the old trade unions by "new, revolutionary organi- 
sations." 

This is a signal to organise, in place of the existing 
trade unions, that same "Revolutionary Workers' 
Union" which the "ultra-Left" Communists in Germany 
advocated some five years ago, and which Comrade 
Lenin vigorously opposed in his pamphlet "Left- 
Wing''' Communism, an Infantile Disorder. It is in point 
of fact a signal to replace the present trade unions 
by "new," supposedly "revolutionary" organisations, a 
signal, consequently, to withdraw from the trade 
unions. 

Is that policy correct? It is fundamentally incorrect. 
It is fundamentally incorrect because it runs counter 
to the Leninist method of leading the masses. It is 
incorrect because, for all their reactionary character, 
the trade unions of the West are the most elementary 
organisations of the proletariat, those best understood 
by the most backward workers, and therefore the most 
comprehensive organisations of the proletariat. We 
cannot find our way to the masses, we cannot win them 
over if we by-pass these trade unions. To adopt Trotsky's 
standpoint would mean that the road to the vast masses 



THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN UNITY COMMITTEE 187 

would be barred to the Communists, that the working- 
class masses would be handed over to the tender mercies 
of Amsterdam, 63 to the tender mercies of the Sassen- 
bachs and the Oudegeests. 64 

The oppositionists here have quoted Comrade Lenin. 
Allow me, too, to quote what Lenin said. 

"We cannot but regard also as ridiculous and childish 
nonsense the pompous, very learned, and frightfully revolutionary 
talk of the German Lefts to the effect that Communists cannot 
and should not work in reactionary trade unions, that it is permis- 
sible to turn down such work, that it is necessary to leave the 
trade unions and to create without fail a brand-new, immaculate 
'Workers' Union' invented by very nice (and, probably, for the 
most part very youthful) Communists" (see Vol. XXV, pp. 193-94). 

And further: 

"We wage the struggle against the 'labour aristocracy' in 
the name of the masses of the workers and in order to win them 
to our side; we wage the struggle against the opportunist and so- 
cial-chauvinist leaders in order to win the working class to our 
side. To forget this most elementary and most self-evident truth 
would be stupid. And it is precisely this stupidity that the Ger- 
man 'Left' Communists are guilty of when, because of the reac- 
tionary and counter-revolutionary character of the trade-union top 
leadership, they jump to the conclusion that — we must leave the 
trade unions!! that we must refuse to work in them!! that we must 
create new, artificial forms of labour organisation!! This is such 
unpardonable stupidity that it is equivalent to the greatest serv- 
ice the Communists could render the bourgeoisie" (ibid., p. 196). 

I think, comrades, that comment is superfluous. 

This raises the question of skipping over the reac- 
tionary character of the trade unions in the West, 
which has not yet been outlived. This question was 



188 J. V. STALIN 



brought forward at the rostrum here by Zinoviev. He 
quoted Martov and assured us that the point of view 
opposed to skipping over, the point of view that it is 
not permissible for Marxists to skip over and ignore 
the backwardness of the masses, the backwardness and 
reactionariness of their leaders, is a Menshevik point 
of view. 

I affirm, comrades, that this unscrupulous manoeuvre 
of Zinoviev's in citing Martov is evidence of one thing 
only — Zinoviev's complete departure from the Leninist 
line. 

I shall endeavour to prove this in what follows. 

Can we, as Leninists, as Marxists, at all skip over 
and ignore a movement that has not outlived its day, 
can we skip over and ignore the backwardness of the 
masses, can we turn our back on them and pass them 
by; or ought we to get rid of such features by carrying 
on an unrelaxing fight against them among the masses? 
That is one of the fundamental questions of communist 
policy, one of the fundamental questions of Leninist 
leadership of the masses. The oppositionists spoke here 
of Leninism. Let us turn to the prime source, to Lenin. 

It was in April 1917. Lenin was in controversy 
with Kamenev. Lenin did not agree with Kamenev, 
who over-estimated the role of petty-bourgeois democ- 
racy. But Lenin was not in agreement with Trotsky 
either, who under-estimated the role of the peasant 
movement and "skipped over" the peasant movement 
in Russia. Here are Lenin's words. 

"Trotskyism says: 'No tsar, but a workers' government.' 
That is incorrect. The petty bourgeoisie exists, and it cannot be 
left out of account. But it consists of two sections. The poorer 



THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN UNITY COMMITTEE 189 



section follows the working class" (see Lenin's speech in the min- 
utes of the Petrograd Conference of April 1917, p. 17 65 ). 

"Now, if we were to say, 'no tsar, but a dictatorship of the 
proletariat,' that would be skipping over* the petty bourgeoisie" 
(see Lenin's speech in the minutes of the All-Russian Conference 
of April 1917, p. 76 66 ). 

And further: 

"But are we not incurring the danger of succumbing to sub- 
jectivism, of desiring to 'skip over' the uncompleted bourgeois- 
democratic revolution — which has not yet outlived the 
peasant movement — to a socialist revolution? I should be 
incurring that danger if I had said: 'no tsar, but a work- 
ers' government.' But I did not say that; I said something else. . . . 
I absolutely insured myself in my theses against any skipping 
over the peasant movement, or the petty-bourgeois movement general- 
ly, which has not yet outlived its day, against any playing at the 
'seizure of power' by a workers' government, against Blanquist 
adventurism in any shape or form, for I pointed directly to the ex- 
perience of the Paris Commune"* (see Vol. XX, p. 104). 

That is clear, one would think. The theory of skip- 
ping over a movement which has not outlived its day 
is a Trotskyist theory. Lenin does not agree with this 
theory. He considers it an adventurist one. 

And here are a few more quotations, this time from 
other writings — from those of a "very prominent" Bol- 
shevik whose name I do not want to mention for the 
present, but who also takes up arms against the skip- 
ping-over theory. 

"In the question of the peasantry, which Trotsky is always 
trying to 'skip over,' we would have committed the most 



My italics. — J. St. 



190 J. V. STALIN 



egregious blunders. Instead of the beginnings of a bond with 
the peasants, there would now be thoroughgoing estrangement 
from them." 

Further. 

"Such is the 'theoretical' foundation of Parvusism and Trots- 
kyism. This 'theoretical' foundation was later minted into politi- 
cal slogans, such as: 'no tsar, but a workers' government.' This 
slogan sounds very plausible now that after a lapse of fifteen years 
we have achieved Soviet power in alliance with the peasantry. No 
tsar — that's fine! A workers' government — better still! But if 
it be recalled that this slogan was put forward in 1905, every Bol- 
shevik will agree that at that time it meant 'skipping over' the 
peasantry altogether." 

Further. 

"But in 1905 the 'permanentists' wanted to foist on us the 
slogan: 'Down with the tsar and up with a workers' government!' 
But what about the peasantry? Does it not stare one in the face, 
this complete non-comprehension and ignoring of the peasantry 
in a country like Russia? If this is not 'skipping over' the peas- 
antry, then what is it?" 

Further. 

"Failing to understand the role of the peasantry in Russia, 
'skipping over' the peasantry in a peasant country, Trotskyism 
was all the more incapable of understanding the role of the peas- 
antry in the international revolution." 

Who, you will ask, is the author of these formidable 
passages against Trotskyism and the Trotskyist skip- 
ping-over theory? The author of these formidable pas- 
sages is none other than Zinoviev. They are taken from 
his book Leninism, and from his article "Bolshevism 
or Trotskyism?" 

How could it happen that a year ago Zinoviev real- 
ised the anti-Leninist character of the skipping-over 



THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN UNITY COMMITTEE 191 

theory, but has ceased to realise it now, a year later? 
The reason is that he was then, so to speak, a Leninist, 
but has now got himself hopelessly bogged, with one 
leg in Trotskyism and the other in Shlyapnikovism, in 
the "Workers' Opposition." 67 And here he is, floun- 
dering between these two oppositions, and com- 
pelled now to speak here from this rostrum, quoting 
Martov. Against whom is he speaking? Against 
Lenin. And for whom is he speaking? For the Trots- 
kyists. 

To such depths has Zinoviev fallen. 

It may be said that all this concerns the question 
of the peasantry, but has no bearing on the British 
trade unions. But that is not so, comrades. What has 
been said about the unsuitability in politics of the skip- 
ping-over theory has a direct bearing on the trade unions 
in Britain, and in Europe generally; it has a direct 
bearing on the question of leadership of the masses, 
on the question of the ways and means of emancipating 
them from the influence of reactionary, reformist lead- 
ers. Pursuing their skipping-over theory, Trotsky 
and Zinoviev are trying to skip over the backwardness, 
the reactionariness of the British trade unions, trying 
to get us to overthrow the General Council from Moscow 
without the British trade-union masses. But we affirm 
that such a policy is stupidity, adventurism; that the 
reactionary leaders of the British trade-union movement 
must be overthrown by the British trade-union masses 
themselves, with our help; that we must not skip over 
the reactionary character of the trade-union leaders, 
but must help the British trade-union masses to get 
rid of it. 



192 J. V. STALIN 



between policy in general and policy towards the trade- 
union masses. 

Has Lenin anything on this point? 

Listen to this: 

"The trade unions were a tremendous step forward for the 
working class in the early days of capitalist development, as mark- 
ing the transition from the disunity and helplessness of the work- 
ers to the rudiments of class organisation. When the highest form 
of proletarian class association began to develop, viz., the revolu- 
tionary Party of the proletariat (which will not deserve the name 
until it learns to bind the leaders with the class and the masses 
into one single indissoluble whole), the trade unions inevitably 
began to reveal certain reactionary features, a certain craft narrow- 
ness, a certain tendency to be non-political, a certain inertness, 
etc. But the development of the proletariat did not, and could 
not, proceed anywhere in the world otherwise than through the 
trade unions, through interaction between them and the Party 
of the working class" (see Vol. XXV, p. 194). 

And further: 

"To fear this 'reactionariness,' to try to avoid it, to skip 
over* it, is the height of folly, for it means fearing that role of 
the proletarian vanguard which consists in training, educating, en- 
lightening and drawing into the new life the most backward strata 
and masses of the working class and peasantry" {ibid., p. 195). 

That is how matters stand with the skipping-over 
theory as applied to the trade-union movement. 

Zinoviev would have done better not to come for- 
ward here quoting Martov. He would have done better 
to say nothing about the skipping-over theory. That 



My italics. — J. St. 



THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN UNITY COMMITTEE 193 

would have been much better for his own sake. There 
was no need for Zinoviev to swear by Trotsky: we know 
as it is that he has deserted Leninism for Trotskyism. 

That is how matters stand, comrades, with the Trots- 
kyist theory of skipping over the backwardness of the 
trade unions, the backwardness of the trade-union move- 
ment, and the backwardness of the mass movement in 
general. 

Leninism is one thing, Trotskyism is another. 

This brings us to the question of the Anglo-Russian 
Committee. It has been said here that the Anglo-Rus- 
sian Committee is an agreement, a bloc between the 
trade unions of our country and the British trade unions. 
That is perfectly true. The Anglo-Russian Committee 
is the expression of a bloc, of an agreement between 
our unions and the British unions, and this bloc is not 
without its political character. 

This bloc sets itself two tasks. The first is to estab- 
lish contact between our trade unions and the British 
trade unions, to organise a united movement against 
the capitalist offensive, to widen the fissure between 
Amsterdam and the British trade-union movement, 
a fissure which exists and which we shall widen in every 
way, and, lastly, to bring about the conditions essen- 
tial for ousting the reformists from the trade unions and 
for winning over the trade unions of the capitalist 
countries to the side of communism. 

The second task of the bloc is to organise a broad 
movement of the working class against new imperialist 
wars in general, and against intervention in our country 
by (especially) the most powerful of the European im- 
perialist powers, by Britain in particular. 



194 J. V. STALIN 



The first task was discussed here at adequate length, 
and, therefore, I shall not dwell upon it. I should like 
to say a few words here about the second task, especially 
as regards intervention in our country by the British 
imperialists. Some of the oppositionists say that this 
second task of the bloc between our trade unions and 
the British is not worth talking about, that it is of no 
importance. Why, one asks? Why is it not worth talking 
about? Is not the task of safeguarding the security 
of the first Soviet Republic in the world, which is more- 
over the bulwark and base of the international revolu- 
tion, a revolutionary task? Are our trade unions inde- 
pendent of the Party? Is our view that of the independ- 
ence of our trade unions — that the state is one thing, 
and the trade unions another? No, as Leninists, we do 
not and cannot hold that view. It should be the concern 
of every worker, of every worker organised in a trade 
union, to protect the first Soviet Republic in the world 
from intervention. And if in this the trade unions of 
our country have the support of the British trade unions, 
although they are reformist unions, is that not obviously 
something to be welcomed? 

Those who think that our unions cannot deal with 
state matters go over to the standpoint of Menshevism. 
That is the standpoint of Sotsialistichesky Vestnik. 6S 
It is not one we can accept. And if the reactionary trade 
unions of Britain are prepared to join with the revolu- 
tionary trade unions of our country in a bloc against 
the counter-revolutionary imperialists of their country, 
why should we not welcome such a bloc? I stress this 
aspect of the matter in order that our opposition may 
at last understand that in trying to torpedo the Anglo- 



THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN UNITY COMMITTEE 195 

Russian Committee it is playing into the hands of the 
interventionists. 

Hence, the Anglo-Russian Committee is a bloc of 
our trade unions with the reactionary trade unions of 
Britain, the object of which is, firstly, to strengthen 
the connections between our trade unions and the 
trade-union movement of the West and to revolutionise 
the latter, and, secondly, to wage a struggle against 
imperialist wars in general, and intervention in par- 
ticular. 

But — and this is a question of principle — are polit- 
ical blocs with reactionary trade unions possible at all? 
Are such blocs permissible at all for Communists? 

This question faces us squarely, and we have to 
answer it here. There are some people — our opposition- 
ists — who consider such blocs impossible. The Central 
Committee of our Party, however, considers them per- 
missible. 

The oppositionists have invoked here the name of 
Lenin. Let us turn to Lenin. 

"Capitalism would not be capitalism if the 'pure' proletariat 
were not surrounded by a mass of exceedingly motley intermediate 
types between the proletarian and the semi-proletarian (who earns 
his livelihood in part by the sale of his labour power), between 
the semi-proletarian and the small peasant (and the petty arti- 
san, handicraft worker and small proprietor in general), between 
the small peasant and the middle peasant, and so on, and if the 
proletariat itself were not divided into more developed and less 
developed strata, if it were not divided according to place of birth, 
trade, sometimes according to religion, and so on. And from all 
this follows the necessity, the absolute necessity for the vanguard 
of the proletariat, for its class-conscious section, for the 
Communist Party, to resort to manoeuvres, arrangements and 



196 J. V. STALIN 



compromises with the various groups of proletarians, with the va- 
rious parties of the workers and small proprietors. The whole 
point lies in knowing how to apply these tactics in order to raise, 
and not lower, the general level of proletarian political conscious- 
ness, revolutionary spirit, and ability to fight and win" (see 
Vol. XXV, p. 213). 

And further: 

"That the Hendersons, Clyneses, MacDonalds and Snowdens 
are hopelessly reactionary is true. It is equally true that they want 
to take power into their own hands (though, incidentally, they 
prefer a coalition with the bourgeoisie), that they want to 'rule' 
on the old bourgeois lines, and that when they do get into power 
they will unfailingly behave like the Scheidemanns and Noskes. 
All that is true. But it by no means follows that to support them 
is treachery to the revolution, but rather that in the interests of 
the revolution the working-class revolutionaries should give these 
gentlemen a certain amount of parliamentary support" {ibid., 
pp. 218-19). 

Hence, it follows from what Lenin says that polit- 
ical agreements, political blocs between the Commu- 
nists and reactionary leaders of the working class are 
quite possible and permissible. 

Let Trotsky and Zinoviev bear this in mind. 

But why are such agreements necessary at all? 

In order to gain access to the working-class masses, 
in order to enlighten them as to the reactionary charac- 
ter of their political and trade-union leaders, in order 
to sever from the reactionary leaders the sections 
of the working class that are moving to the Left and 
becoming revolutionised, in order, consequently, to 
enhance the fighting ability of the working class as a 
whole. 



THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN UNITY COMMITTEE 197 

Accordingly, such blocs may be formed only on 
two basic conditions, viz., that we are ensured freedom 
to criticise the reformist leaders, and that the necessary 
conditions for severing the masses from the reactionary 
leaders are ensured. 

Here is what Lenin says on this score: 

"The Communist Party should propose a 'compromise' to 
the Hendersons and Snowdens, an election agreement: let us 
together fight the alliance of Lloyd George and the Conservatives, 
let us divide the parliamentary seats in proportion to the number 
of votes cast by the workers for the Labour Party or for the 
Communists (not at the elections, but in a special vote), and 
let us retain complete liberty of agitation, propaganda and po- 
litical activity. Without this last condition, of course, we cannot 
agree to a bloc, for it would be treachery; the British Communists 
must absolutely insist on and secure complete liberty to expose 
the Hendersons and the Snowdens in the same way as (for fifteen 
years, 1903-17) the Russian Bolsheviks insisted on and secured 
it in relation to the Russian Hendersons and Snowdens, i.e., 
the Mensheviks" (see Vol. XXV, p. 223). 

And further: 

"The petty-bourgeois democrats (including the Mensheviks) 
inevitably vacillate between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, 
between bourgeois democracy and the Soviet system, between 
reformism and revolutionism, between love for the workers and 
fear of the proletarian dictatorship, etc. The correct tactics for 
the Communists must be to utilise these vacillations, not to ignore 
them; and to utilise them calls for concessions to those elements 
which turn towards the proletariat — whenever and to the extent 
that they turn towards the proletariat — in addition to fighting 
those who turn towards the bourgeoisie. The result of the appli- 
cation of correct tactics is that Menshevism has disintegrated, 
and is increasingly disintegrating in our country, that the stubbornly 



198 J. V. STALIN 



opportunist leaders are being isolated, and that the best of the workers 
and the best elements among the petty-bourgeois democrats are being 
brought into our camp"* (see Vol. XXV, pp. 213-14). 

There you have the conditions without which no 
blocs or agreements with reactionary trade-union lead- 
ers are permissible. 

Let the opposition bear that also in mind. 

The question arises, is the policy of our trade 
unions in conformity with the conditions Comrade 
Lenin speaks of? 

I think that it is in full conformity. In the first 
place, we have completely reserved for ourselves full 
freedom to criticise the reformist leaders of the British 
working class and have availed ourselves of that freedom 
to a degree unequalled by any other Communist Party 
in the world. In the second place, we have gained access 
to the British working-class masses and strengthened 
our ties with them. And in the third place, we are ef- 
fectively severing, and have already severed, whole 
sections of the British working class from the reactionary 
leaders. I have in mind the rupture of the miners with 
the leaders of the General Council. 

Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev have studiously 
avoided saying anything here about the conference 
of Russian and British miners in Berlin and about their 
declaration. 69 Yet, surely, that is a highly important 
fact of the recent period. Richardson, Cook, Smith, 
Richards — what are they? Opportunists, reformists. 
Some of them are called Lefts, others Rights. All right! 
Which of them are more to the Left is something history 



My italics. — J. St. 



THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN UNITY COMMITTEE 199 

will decide. It is very difficult for us to make this out 
just now — the waters are dark and the clouds thick. 
But one thing is clear, and that is that we have severed 
these vacillating reformist leaders, who have the fol- 
lowing of one million two hundred thousand striking 
miners, from the General Council and linked them with 
our trade unions. Is that not a fact? Why does the oppo- 
sition say nothing about it? Can it be that it does not 
rejoice at the success of our policy? And when Citrine 
now writes that the General Council and he are agreed to 
the Anglo-Russian Committee being convened, is that 
not a result of the fact that Schwartz and Akulov have 
succeeded in winning over Cook and Richardson, and 
that the General Council, being afraid of an open strug- 
gle with the miners, was therefore forced to agree to 
a meeting of the Anglo-Russian Committee? Who can 
deny that all these facts are evidence of the success of 
our policy, that all this is evidence of the utter bank- 
ruptcy of the policy of the opposition? 

Hence, blocs with reactionary trade-union leaders 
are permissible. They are necessary, on certain condi- 
tions. Freedom of criticism is the first of them. Our 
Party is observing this condition. Severance of the 
working-class masses from the reactionary leaders 
is another condition. Our Party is observing this 
condition too. Our Party is right. The opposition is 
wrong. 

The question arises, what more do Zinoviev and 
Trotsky want of us? 

What they want is that our Soviet trade unions 
should either break with the Anglo-Russian Committee, 
or that they, acting from here, from Moscow, should 



200 J. V. STALIN 



overthrow the General Council. But that is stupid, 
comrades. To demand that we, acting from Moscow, 
and by-passing the British workers' trade unions, by- 
passing the British trade-union masses, by-passing 
the British trade-union officials, skipping over them, 
that we, acting from here, from Moscow, should over- 
throw the General Council — is not that stupid, comrades? 

They demand a demonstrative rupture. Is it diffi- 
cult to understand that if we did that, the only result 
would be our own discomfiture? Is it difficult to under- 
stand that in the event of a rupture we lose contact with 
the British trade-union movement, we throw the Brit- 
ish trade unions into the embraces of the Sassenbachs 
and Oudegeests, we shake the foundations of the united 
front tactics, and we delight the hearts of the Churchills 
and Thomases, without getting anything in return ex- 
cept discomfiture? 

Trotsky takes as the starting point of his policy 
of theatrical gestures, not concrete human beings, not 
the concrete workers of flesh and blood who are living 
and struggling in Britain, but some sort of ideal and 
ethereal beings who are revolutionary from head to foot. 
Is it difficult, however, to understand that only persons 
devoid of common sense take ideal, ethereal beings as 
the starting point of their policy? 

That is why we think that the policy of theatrical 
gestures, the policy of overthrowing the General Coun- 
cil from Moscow, by the efforts of Moscow alone, is 
a ridiculous and adventurist policy. 

The policy of gestures has been the characteristic 
feature of Trotsky's whole policy ever since he joined 
our Party. We had a first application of this policy at 



THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN UNITY COMMITTEE 201 

the time of the Brest Peace, when Trotsky refused to 
sign the German-Russian peace agreement and coun- 
tered it with a theatrical gesture, believing that a 
gesture was enough to rouse the proletarians of all coun- 
tries against imperialism. That was a policy of gestures. 
And, comrades, you know very well how dear that ges- 
ture cost us. Into whose hands did that theatrical ges- 
ture play? Into the hands of the imperialists, the Men- 
sheviks, the Socialist-Revolutionaries and all who were 
then trying to strangle the Soviet power, which at that 
time was not firmly established. 

Now we are asked to adopt the same policy of theat- 
rical gestures towards the Anglo-Russian Committee. 
They demand a demonstrative and theatrical rupture. 
But who would benefit from that theatrical gesture? 
Churchill and Chamberlain, Sassenbach and Oudegeest. 
That is what they want. That is what they are waiting 
for. They, the Sassenbachs and Oudegeests, want us to 
make a demonstrative break with the British labour 
movement and thus render things easier for Amsterdam. 
They, the Churchills and Chamberlains, want the break 
in order to make it easier for them to launch inter- 
vention, to provide them with a moral argument in 
favour of the interventionists. 

These are the people into whose hands our opposi- 
tionists are playing. 

No, comrades, we cannot adopt this adventurist 
course. 

But such is the fate of "ultra-Left" phrasemongers. 
Their phrases are Leftist, but in practice it turns out 
that they are aiding the enemies of the working class. 
You go in on the Left and come out on the Right. 



202 J. V. STALIN 



No, comrades, we shall not adopt this policy of 
theatrical gestures — we shall no more adopt it today 
than we did at the time of the Brest Peace. We shall 
not adopt it because we do not want our Party to become 
a plaything in the hands of our enemies. 



First published in the book: 
J. Stalin, On the Opposition. 
Articles and Speeches, 1921-27, 
Moscow and Leningrad, 1928 



F. DZERZHINSKY 

(In Memory of F. Dzerzhinsky) 



First Frunze, now Dzerzhinsky. 

The old Leninist Guard has lost another of its finest 
leaders and fighters. The Party has sustained another 
irreparable loss. 

Standing now at Comrade Dzerzhinsky's bier and 
looking back at his whole life's path — prison, penal 
servitude and exile, the Extraordinary Commission for 
Combating Counter-Revolution, the restoration of the 
ruined transport system, the building of our young so- 
cialist industry — one feels that the characteristic of his 
seething life was a FIERY ARDOUR. 

The October Revolution allotted him in an exacting 
post, that of head of the Extraordinary Commission 
for Combating Counter-Revolution. No name was more 
hated by the bourgeoisie than that of Dzerzhinsky, who 
repelled the blows of the enemies of the proletarian rev- 
olution with a hand of steel. "The terror of the bourgeoi- 
sie" was the name given in those days to Comrade Felix 
Dzerzhinsky. 

When the "period of peace" began, Comrade Dzer- 
zhinsky continued his seething activities. He applied 
his burning energy to putting in order the dislocated 
transport system, and then, as Chairman of the Supreme 



204 J. V. STALIN 



Council of National Economy, he worked with equal 
ardour to build up our industry. Never resting, never 
shunning the roughest work, gallantly contending with 
difficulties and overcoming them, and dedicating all 
his strength and energy to the task entrusted to him by 
the Party, he burnt out his life, working in the interests 
of the proletariat, and for the victory of communism. 

Farewell, hero of October! Farewell, loyal son of 
the Party! 

Farewell, builder of the unity and might of our Party! 

/. Stalin 

July 22, 1926 

Pravda, No. 166, 
July 22, 1926 



THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN COMMITTEE 

Speech Delivered 

at a Meeting of the Presidium of the E. C.C.I. 

August 7, 1926 



Comrades, even before Murphy's speech, the C.C., 
C.P.S.U.(B.) had received a letter from the Central 
Committee of the British Communist Party protesting 
against the declaration of the Ail-Union Central Council 
of Trade Unions 70 on the general strike in Britain. It 
seems to me that Murphy is repeating here the arguments 
of that letter. He put forward here chiefly formal con- 
siderations, one of them being that the disputed issues 
had not been the subject of joint discussion with the 
British Communist Party beforehand. I admit that this 
last point of Murphy's has some justification. The Comin- 
tern has indeed at times had to take decisions without 
preliminary agreement with the Central Committee of 
the British Communist Party. But there were extenuat- 
ing circumstances: the urgency of some of the questions, 
the impossibility of getting in touch speedily with the 
C.C. of the British Communist Party, etc. 

As to Murphy's other considerations and arguments 
relating to the A.U.C.C.T.U. and its declaration, it 
must be said that they are quite incorrect. 

It is incorrect to assert that the A.U.C.C.T.U. com- 
mitted a formal error in issuing the declaration, on 
the grounds that in doing so it was taking upon itself 



206 J. V. STALIN 



what was allegedly a function of the Profintern or the 
Comintern. The A.U.C.C.T.U. has as much right to issue 
a declaration of its own as any trade-union or other 
association. How can the A.U.C.C.T.U. be denied this 
elementary right? 

Still more incorrect is the assertion that by its dec- 
laration the A.U.C.C.T.U. infringed the rights of the 
Profintern or the Comintern, that the Profintern and 
the Comintern are injured parties whose interests suf- 
fered damage. I must inform you that the A.U.C.C.T.U. 
issued its declaration with the knowledge and approval 
of the Profintern and the Comintern. That, indeed, ex- 
plains why neither the Profintern nor the Comintern 
has any idea of accusing the A.U.C.C.T.U. of having 
infringed its rights. Therefore, when Murphy attacks the 
A.U.C.C.T.U. on this point, he is as a matter of fact 
attacking the E. C.C.I, and the Profintern. 

Lastly, it must be regarded as absolutely impermis- 
sible on Murphy's part to assert as he did that the 
A.U.C.C.T.U. 's criticism of the General Council, and its 
declaration generally, constitute "interference'''' in the 
internal affairs of the British Communist Party; that 
the A.U.C.C.T.U., being a "national organisation," has 
no warrant for such "interference." It is most deplorable 
to hear Murphy repeating the "arguments" put forward 
by Pugh and Purcell at the Paris meeting of the Anglo- 
Russian Committee. These are precisely the "arguments" 
that Pugh, Purcell and Citrine advanced the other day 
against the A.U.C.C.T.U. delegation. That alone is an 
indication that Murphy is in the wrong. The sub- 
stance, the essence of the matter must not be disregarded 
because of formal considerations. A Communist cannot 



THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN COMMITTEE 207 

behave in that way. The affairs of the British miners 
would be in much better shape and the incorrect actions 
of the General Council would have been exposed if, side 
by side with the A.U.C.C.T.U., the "national" trade- 
union federations of other countries, those of France, 
Germany, etc., say, had also come forward with a criti- 
cism of the General Council. It is not as an error on the 
part of the A.U.C.C.T.U., but rather as a service to the 
British workers that the publication of its declaration 
criticising the General Council should be regarded. 

That is all I wanted to say in connection with Mur- 
phy's report, taking into account mainly the formal 
aspect of the matter. 

I might have confined myself to that, in so far as 
the issue concerns the formal aspect of the matter. But 
the fact is that Murphy did not confine himself to the 
formal aspect of the matter. He needed this formal aspect 
in order to secure certain substantial results of a non- 
formal character. Murphy's tactics consist in using for- 
mal grounds as a camouflage, and taking advantage of 
certain formal shortcomings in the activities of the 
E.C.C.I., in order to secure definite decisions here 
on matters of substance. It is therefore necessary to 
say a few words about the substance of Murphy's argu- 
ments. 

What is Murphy really out for? 

To put it crudely, what he is out for is to compel 
the A.U.C.C.T.U. to stop criticising the General Council 
publicly, to compel the A.U.C.C.T.U. to keep silent and 
"not to interfere" in the "affairs of the General Council." 

Can the A.U.C.C.T.U., or our Party, or the Comin- 
tern agree to that? 



208 J. V. STALIN 



No, it cannot. For what would compelling the 
A.U.C.C.T.U. to keep silent mean, how would its silence 
be understood, at a time when the General Council is 
working to isolate the British miners now on strike and 
is paving the way for their defeat? To keep silent under 
such circumstances would mean keeping silent about 
the sins of the General Council, keeping silent about its 
treachery. And to keep silent about the General Council's 
treachery, when it and the A.U.C.C.T.U. have joined 
in a bloc in the shape of the Anglo-Russian Committee, 
would be tacitly to approve its treachery, and, con- 
sequently, to share with the General Council the responsi- 
bility for the latter's treachery in the eyes of the labour 
movement of the whole world. Does it need further proof 
that the A.U.C.C.T.U. would be committing political 
and moral suicide if it were to take this course, if it 
were even for a moment to renounce public criticism of 
the General Council's treachery? 

Judge for yourselves. In May, the General Council 
called off the general strike, betraying the British work- 
ing class in general, and the British miners in partic- 
ular. Throughout June and July, the General Council 
did not lift a finger to help the striking miners. More, 
it did everything in its power to pave the way for the 
miners' defeat, and thus punish the "recalcitrant" Brit- 
ish Miners' Federation. In August, at the Paris meeting 
of the Anglo-Russian Committee, the General Council 
leaders refused to discuss the proposal of the A.U.C.C.T.U. 
representatives on assistance to the British miners, de- 
spite the fact that the General Council had raised no 
objection to the agenda proposed for the meeting by the 
A.U.C.C.T.U. We thus have a whole chain of betrayals 



THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN COMMITTEE 209 

on the part of the General Council, which has got in- 
volved in rotten diplomacy. But Murphy demands that 
the A.U.C.C.T.U. should close its eyes to all these 
outrages and put a seal on its lips! No, comrades, the 
A.U.C.C.T.U. cannot adopt this course, for it does not 
want to commit suicide. 

Murphy thinks that it would have been more fitting 
if the declaration against the General Council had been 
issued by the Profintern, as an international organisa- 
tion, and if the A.U.C.C.T.U., as a "national" organisa- 
tion, had passed a brief resolution associating itself 
with the Profintern's declaration. Looked at from the 
purely formal angle, there is a certain architectural 
harmony of a departmental kind in Murphy's plan. 
Looked at from that angle, it has a certain justification. 
But looked at from the political angle, Murphy's plan 
will not stand criticism. There is no need to prove that it 
would not have had one-hundredth part of the political 
effect that the A.U.C.C.T.U. 's declaration has undoubt- 
edly had, in the sense of exposing the General Council 
and politically educating the masses of the British work- 
ers. The point is that the Profintern is less known to the 
British working class than is the A.U.C.C.T.U., it is 
less popular than the latter, and, consequently, carries 
far less weight. But it follows from this that the criti- 
cism of the General Council should have come precisely 
from the A.U.C.C.T.U., as the body enjoying greater 
prestige in the eyes of the British working class. No 
other course was possible, for it was necessary to hit the 
mark in exposing the treachery of the General Council. 
Judging by the howl raised by the reformist leaders of 
the British labour movement over the A.U.C.C.T.U. 's 



210 J. V. STALIN 



declaration, it may be said with confidence that the 
A.U.C.C.T.U. did hit the mark. 

Murphy thinks that public criticism of the General 
Council by the A.U.C.C.T.U. may result in a rupture of 
the bloc with the General Council, in the break-up of 
the Anglo-Russian Committee. I think Murphy is mistak- 
en. In view of the very active assistance the A.U.C.C.T.U. 
is rendering the miners, a break-up of the Anglo-Russian 
Committee may be considered out of the question, or al- 
most out of the question. This, in fact, explains why 
nobody fears a break-up of the Anglo-Russian Committee 
more than the representatives of the General Council ma- 
jority, Purcell and Hicks. Both Purcell and Hicks, of 
course, will try to blackmail us with the danger of a 
rupture. But you must be capable of distinguishing be- 
tween blackmail and the real danger of a rupture. 

Besides, it should be borne in mind that for us the 
Anglo-Russian Committee is not an end in itself. We did 
not join, and shall not remain, in the Anglo-Russian 
Committee unconditionally; we joined it on definite 
conditions, included among them being the right of the 
A.U.C.C.T.U. freely to criticise the General Council, 
equally with the right of the General Council freely to 
criticise the A.U.C.C.T.U. We cannot renounce freedom 
of criticism for the sake of respectability and main- 
taining the bloc at all costs. 

What is the underlying purpose of the bloc? It is 
to organise joint action of the members of the bloc against 
capital in the interests of the working class, and joint 
action of the members of the bloc against imperialist war 
and for peace among the peoples. But what if one of the 
parties to the bloc, or certain leaders of one of the parties, 



THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN COMMITTEE 211 

violate and betray the interests of the working class, and 
thus render joint action impossible? Surely, we are not 
expected to praise them for such errors? Consequently, 
what is necessary is mutual criticism, the elimination 
of errors by means of criticism, so as to restore the pos- 
sibility of joint action in the interests of the working 
class. Hence, the Anglo-Russian Committee has meaning 
only if freedom of criticism is guaranteed. 

It is said that criticism may result in discrediting 
certain reactionary trade-union leaders. Well, what of 
it? I see nothing bad in that. The working class stands 
only to gain by the old leaders who are betraying its 
interests being discredited and replaced by new leaders 
loyal to the cause of the working class. And the sooner 
such reactionary and unreliable leaders are removed from 
their posts and replaced by new and better leaders who 
are free from the reactionary ways of the old leaders, 
the better it will be. 

This, however, does not mean that the power of the 
reactionary leaders can be broken at one stroke, that 
they can be isolated and replaced by new, revolutionary 
leaders at short notice. 

Certain pseudo-Marxists think that one "revolution- 
ary" gesture, one vociferous attack, is enough to break 
the power of reactionary leaders. Real Marxists do 
not, and cannot, have anything in common with such 
people. 

Others think that it is enough for Communists 
to work out a correct line, and the broad masses of 
the workers will instantaneously turn away from the 
reactionaries and reformists and instantaneously rally 
around the Communist Party. That is quite wrong. Only 



212 J. V. STALIN 



non-Marxists can think that. In point of fact, a correct 
Party line and the understanding and acceptance of 
that line as correct by the masses are two things 
that are very far apart. For the Party to win the follow- 
ing of vast masses, a correct line is not enough; for that it 
is necessary, in addition, that the masses should become 
convinced through their own experience of the correct- 
ness of the line, that the masses should accept the Par- 
ty's policy and slogans as their own policy and slogans, 
and that they should begin to put them into effect. 
Only on this condition can a party with a correct policy 
really become the guiding force of the class. 

Was the policy of the British Communist Party cor- 
rect during the general strike in Britain? Yes, it was. 
Why, then, did it not win the following of the millions 
of workers on strike? Because those masses were not yet 
convinced of the correctness of the Communist Party's 
policy. And it is not possible to convince the masses 
of the correctness of the Party's policy in a short time. 
Still less is it possible with the help of "revolution- 
ary" gestures. It requires time and unremitting ener- 
getic work in exposing the reactionary leaders, in po- 
litically educating the backward masses of the working 
class, in promoting new cadres from the working class 
to leading posts. 

From this it is easy to understand why the power 
of the reactionary leaders of the working class cannot 
be destroyed all at once, why this requires time and 
unremitting work in educating the vast masses of the 
working class. 

But still less does it follow from this that the work 
of exposing the reactionary leaders must be dragged 



THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN COMMITTEE 213 

out over decades, or that the exposure can come of it- 
self, of its own accord, without causing any offence to 
the reactionary leaders and without violating the "sa- 
cred rules" of respectability. No, comrades, nothing ever 
comes "of itself." The exposure of reactionary leaders 
and the political education of the masses must be done 
by you yourselves, the Communists, and by other polit- 
ical Left-wing leaders, through unremitting work for 
the political enlightenment of the masses. Only in that 
way can the work of revolutionising the broad masses 
of the workers be accelerated. 

Lastly, one further remark in connection with Mur- 
phy's report. Murphy insistently harped on the specif- 
ic features of the labour movement in Britain, on 
the role and significance of tradition in Britain, and, 
as it seems to me, he hinted that because of these specif- 
ic features the ordinary Marxist methods of leader- 
ship may prove unsuitable in Britain. I think that Mur- 
phy is on a slippery path. Of course, the British labour 
movement has its specific features, and they must 
certainly be taken into account. But to elevate these 
specific features to a principle and make them the basis of 
activity is to adopt the standpoint of those people who 
proclaim that Marxism is inapplicable to British condi- 
tions. I do not think that Murphy has anything in com- 
mon with such people. But I do want to say that he is 
near the fringe where the specifically British features 
begin to be elevated to a principle. 

A word or two about Humboldt's speech. Humboldt, 
in raising an objection, says that criticism must not be 
empty and pointless. That is true. But what has that 
to do with the A.U.C.C.T.U. and the E.C.C.I., whose 



214 J. V. STALIN 



criticism is absolutely concrete? Was the criticism of 
the heroes of "Black Friday" 71 empty criticism? Of course 
not, because now, when "Black Friday" has already be- 
come a matter of history, this criticism is being repeated 
by all and sundry. Why, then, should the criticism of the 
treachery of the General Council leaders during the gen- 
eral strike and later, when the miners are continuing 
their strike, be called empty criticism? Where is the logic 
in that? Was the treachery at the time of the general 
strike less fatal than the treachery on "Black Friday"? 
I am opposed to the method of criticism of individ- 
uals suggested by Humboldt if it is recommended as the 
basic method. I think that we should criticise reaction- 
ary leaders from the angle of their general line of leader- 
ship, and not of the individual peculiarities of the leaders 
themselves. I am not opposed to criticism of individuals 
as a subsidiary, auxiliary means. But I hold that the 
underlying basis of our criticism should be principles. 
Otherwise, instead of criticism from the standpoint of 
principle, we may just get squabbling and personal re- 
crimination, which is bound to lower the level of our 
criticism to the detriment of our work. 

Published for the first time 



TO THE EDITORIAL 

BOARD OF THE DAILY WORKER, 

CENTRAL ORGAN OF THE WORKERS 

PARTY OF AMERICA 72 



Dear Comrade Editor, 

Please insert the following statement in your news- 
paper. 

On August 14 the New York quasi-socialist weekly 
The New Leader 73 printed, without indicating the source, 
falsified concluding remarks from an alleged speech of 
mine, also falsified, at a plenum of the C.C., C.PS.U.(B.). 

I have neither the possibility nor the desire to read 
all the inventions of the bourgeois and semi-bourgeois 
newspapers concerning Soviet public men, and would 
not have paid attention to this latest falsehood of the 
press of the capitalists and their underlings. 

However, a month after printing these falsified re- 
marks The New Leader sent me a telegram in which it 
requested me to "confirm all July severe criticism of 
Zinoviev attributed to you in American newspaper re- 
ports of proceedings of Central Committee Russian Com- 
munist Party." 

Not considering it possible to enter into correspond- 
ence with an organ which itself fraudulently falsified 
"remarks" from my speech, and now has the audacity to 
ask me, with an air of innocence, about the genuineness 



216 J. V. STALIN 



of these "remarks," I ask you to allow me to state 
through your newspaper that the report on the "remarks 
of Stalin," published in The New Leader of August 14, 
1926, has absolutely nothing in common with my speech 
at the plenum of the Central Committee, C.P.S.U.(B.), 
whether in content, form or tone, and that this report 
is thus a complete and ignorant falsification. 

With communist greetings, 

/. Stalin 

21. IX. 26 

Published in Russian for the first time 
A translation was printed in 
the Daily Worker (Chicago, U.S.A.), 
No. 220, September 30, 1926 



LETTER TO SLEPKOV 



I have read today your article in Pravda (No. 232, 
October 8, 1926). It is a good article, in my opinion. 
But there is one passage in it that is wrong and spoils 
the whole picture. 

You write that only a year ago Trotsky "was stress- 
ing that the proletariat need have no doubt whatever 
that in our technically backward country we can build 
socialism, that we can with our own internal forces en- 
sure the victorious advance of the socialist elements of our 
economy along the lines of NEP." Further, you counter- 
pose this statement to Smilga's thesis that "in our tech- 
nically backward country it is impossible to completely 
build socialism," and you assert that Smilga and Trots- 
ky contradict each other on this point. 

That, of course, is not true, since there is no contra- 
diction here. 

In the first place, Trotsky has so far never said — 
neither in his pamphlet Towards Socialism or Capitalism? 
nor in his subsequent writings — that in our technically 
backward country we can completely build socialism. 
Building socialism and completely building socialism are 
two different things. Neither Zinoviev nor Kamenev deny, 
or ever have denied, that we can begin to build socialism 



218 J. V. STALIN 



in our country, for it would be sheer idiocy to deny the 
obvious fact that socialism is being built in our coun- 
try. But they emphatically repudiate the thesis that we 
can completely build socialism. On this point Zinoviev, 
Kamenev, Trotsky, Smilga and the rest are united by 
their denial of Lenin's thesis that we can completely 
build socialism, that we have "all that is necessary 
for building a complete socialist society." 74 They are united 
by their belief that "building a complete socialist so- 
ciety" would be possible only in the event of the victory 
of the socialist revolution in the major countries of 
Europe. Hence, it is quite incorrect to counterpose Trots- 
ky to Smilga as regards the question of completely build- 
ing socialism in our country. 

In the second place, accuracy requires it to be said 
that Trotsky has never stated that "in our technically 
backward country . . . we can with our own internal 
forces ensure the victorious advance of the socialist ele- 
ments of our economy along the lines of NEP." Trots- 
ky's phrase about the "historical music of growing 
socialism" is an empty diplomatic evasion of an affirma- 
tive answer to the question about victoriously building 
socialism in our country. Trotsky is here evading the 
question, and you take his evasion at its face value. 
That other phrase of Trotsky's — that "there can be no 
grounds for fearing any surprises in so far as the inter- 
nal factors of our economy are concerned" — is no answer 
to the question but slurs over it in a cowardly way. 
Trotsky may say that we are moving towards socialism. 
But he has never said, and will not say so long as he 
adheres to his present position, that we "can with our 
own internal forces ensure the victorious advance of the 



LETTER TO SLEPKOV 219 



socialist elements of our economy along the lines of 
NEP," that we can, consequently, arrive at socialism 
without the preliminary victory of socialism in the fore- 
most European countries. On the other hand, Trotsky 
has repeatedly said the opposite of what you ascribe to 
him. Recall, for instance, his speech at the April plenum 
of the Central Committee (1926), where he denied the 
possibility in our country of that economic advance 
which is essential for the victorious building of social- 
ism. 

It follows, therefore, that you have inadvertently 
whitewashed Trotsky; you have, so to speak, libelled 
him. 

/. Stalin 

October 8, 1926 

Published for the first time 



MEASURES FOR MITIGATING 
THE INNER-PARTY STRUGGLE 

Speech Delivered at a Meeting of the Political Bureau 

of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.) 

October 11, 1926 



If we set aside minor issues, we can come straight 
to the crux of the matter. 

What is the dispute about? It is about the results 
of the inner-Party struggle, in which the opposition has 
suffered defeat. It is not we, the Central Committee, but 
the opposition that started the struggle. The C.C. tried 
several times to dissuade the opposition from a discus- 
sion. At the April plenum and at the July plenum, 
the C.C. tried to dissuade it from starting an all-Union 
discussion, because such a discussion would sharpen the 
struggle, involve the danger of a split and cause our 
Party and government bodies to relax their constructive 
work for a couple of months at least. 

In short, we have to sum up the results of the strug- 
gle started by the opposition, and to draw the appro- 
priate conclusions. 

It is beyond doubt that the opposition has suffered 
a severe defeat. It is also clear that in the ranks of the 
Party resentment against the opposition is growing. 
The question now is, can we allow the opposition leaders 
to remain members of the Central Committee, or not? 
That is now the chief question. It is hard to agree that 



MEASURES FOR MITIGATING THE INNER-PARTY STRUGGLE 221 

people who support Shlyapnikov and Medvedyev should 
be in our Central Committee. It is hard to agree that 
people who support the struggle of Ruth Fischer, Ur- 
bahns and such people against the Comintern and against 
our Party should remain in the Central Committee. 

Do we want the opposition leaders to remain in the 
Central Committee? I think we do. But if they are to 
remain, they must dissolve their faction, admit their 
errors and dissociate themselves from the brazen oppor- 
tunists inside and outside our Party. The opposition 
must consent to these conditions if it desires peace in 
the Party. 

What are our conditions? 

The first point is that it must publicly declare that 
it will unreservedly obey the decisions of our Party 
bodies. Apparently, this point meets with no particular 
objection on the part of the opposition. In the old days 
it used to be customary among us Bolsheviks that if one 
section of the Party found itself in the minority, it not 
only obeyed the decisions of the majority and not only 
carried them out, but even made public speeches in de- 
fence of the Party's decisions. We are not demanding 
this of you just now, we are not demanding that you 
make speeches in support of a position which you do 
not agree with in principle. We are not demanding 
it, because we want to make things easier for you in 
your difficult position. 

The second point is that the opposition must openly 
admit that its factional activity was erroneous and 
harmful to the Party. For is that not true? Why are 
the oppositionists renouncing factional activity, if it 
is not harmful? They offer to dissolve their faction, 



222 J. V. STALIN 



they renounce factional activity, they promise to order 
their supporters and followers, the members of their 
factions, to lay down their arms. Why? Obviously, be- 
cause they tacitly admit that factional activity is erro- 
neous and impermissible. Then why not say so openly? 
That is why we demand that the opposition openly admit 
that the factional activity it carried on during the recent 
period was impermissible and erroneous. 

The third point is that it must dissociate itself from 
the Ossovskys, Medvedyevs and their like. This demand, 
in my opinion, is absolutely essential. Personally, I 
cannot now imagine members of the Central Committee 
carrying on a bloc with Ossovsky, against whose ex- 
pulsion the opposition voted, or with Medvedyev, or 
Shlyapnikov. We want the opposition to dissociate itself 
from them. This will only facilitate the cause of peace in 
our Party. 

The fourth point is that it must dissociate itself 
from Korsch, Maslow, Ruth Fischer, Urbahns, Weber 
and the rest. Why? Firstly, because these people are 
carrying on hooligan agitation against the Comintern and 
the C.P.S.U.(B.), and against our Soviet state. Secondly, 
because the leaders of this so-called "ultra-Left," but 
actually opportunist, faction — Maslow and Ruth Fi- 
scher — have been expelled from the Party and the Com- 
intern. Thirdly, because they all cling to the opposition 
in the C.P.S.U.(B.) and proclaim their solidarity with it. 
The sooner the opposition dissociates itself from such 
riff-raff, the better it will be both for the opposition 
and for the Comintern. 

The last point is that it must not support the factional 
fight against the Comintern line which is being waged 



MEASURES FOR MITIGATING THE INNER-PARTY STRUGGLE 223 

by various opportunist groups within the sections of the 
Comintern. 

Such are the conditions of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.). 

Now about the conditions put forward by the opposi- 
tion. 

The opposition demands that the C.C. should carry 
out four points. 

First point. "Propaganda in support of the resolu- 
tions of the Fourteenth Congress and subsequent decisions 
of the Party should be conducted in positive form, with- 
out those who think differently being accused of Menshe- 
vism, etc." How is this point to be understood? If the 
opposition is suggesting that the Central Committee shall 
damp down its propaganda against the opposition in 
such a way that it refrains from making clear — at the 
forthcoming Fifteenth Conference of the C.P.S.U.(B.) 
for instance — its line, based on principle, directed against 
the errors of the opposition, then that is something we 
cannot agree to. But if it is a matter of the tone of the 
criticism, that, of course, can be more or less softened. 
As regards criticism of the opposition's errors of princi- 
ple, that must certainly continue in full force, because 
the opposition refuses to repudiate its errors of principle. 

The second point is about the right to uphold their 
views in their Party units. This demand is unnecessary, 
because that always was a right of Party members, and 
remains so. One may and should uphold one's views in 
the Party unit, but it must be done in such a way as not 
to convert business-like criticism into an all-Union dis- 
cussion. 

The third point is that the cases of those ex- 
pelled from the Party should be reviewed. The Central 



224 J. V. STALIN 



Committee has no desire to expel people from the Party. 
Expulsion is resorted to when there is no alternative. Take 
Smirnov, who was expelled — he was cautioned several 
times, and only then was he expelled. If he were to say 
that he recognises his errors, if he were to conduct him- 
self loyally, the decision of the Central Control Commis- 
sion might be commuted. But far from acting loyally, 
far from acknowledging his errors, he has flung mud at 
the Party in his statement. Obviously, Smirnov's case 
cannot be reconsidered when he behaves in this way. 

In general, the Party cannot review the decisions 
taken in regard to persons who have been expelled but 
who do not acknowledge their errors. 

The fourth point is that "before the congress the 
opposition must be given the opportunity to lay its views 
before the Party." The opposition has this right as a 
matter of course. The opposition cannot fail to know that 
the Rules make it incumbent on the Central Committee 
to issue a discussion sheet before a Party congress. This 
demand of the opposition, therefore, cannot be called 
a demand, since the Central Committee does not deny 
the necessity of issuing a discussion sheet before the 
Party congress. 

Published for the first time 



THE OPPOSITION BLOC 
IN THE C.P.S.U.(B.) 

Theses for the Fifteenth Ail-Union Conference 

of the C.P.S.U.(B.), Adopted by the Conference and 

Endorsed by the C.C., C.RS.U.(B.) 75 



The characteristic feature of the present period is 
the intensification of the struggle between the capital- 
ist countries and our country, on the one hand, and be- 
tween the socialist elements and the capitalist elements 
within our country, on the other. 

While the attempts of world capital to encircle our 
country economically, to isolate it politically, to es- 
tablish a masked blockade, and, lastly, to exact outright 
vengeance for the help given by the workers of the 
U.S.S.R. to the workers engaged in struggle in the West 
and to the oppressed peoples in the East, are creating 
difficulties of an external order, the fact that our country 
has passed from the period of restoration to a period 
of the reconstruction of industry on a new technical 
basis, and the consequent intensification of the struggle 
between the capitalist and socialist elements in our 
economy, are creating difficulties of an internal order. 

The Party is aware of these difficulties and is in 
a position to overcome them. It is already overcoming 
them with the aid of the vast masses of the proletariat, 
and is confidently leading the country along the road to 
socialism. But not all sections of our Party believe 
in the possibility of further progress. There are sections 



226 J. V. STALIN 



in our Party — numerically small, it is true — which, 
being scared by the difficulties, are a prey to weariness 
and wavering, fall into despair and cultivate a spirit 
of pessimism, are infected by disbelief in the creative 
powers of the proletariat, and are coming to have a ca- 
pitulatory mentality. 

In this sense, the present period of radical change 
is to some extent reminiscent of the period of radical 
change of October 1917. Just as then, in October 1917, 
the complicated situation and the difficulties of the 
transition from a bourgeois to a proletarian revolution 
engendered in one section of the Party vacillation, de- 
featism and disbelief in the possibility of the prole- 
tariat taking power and retaining it (Kamenev, Zino- 
viev), so now, in the present period of radical change, 
the difficulties of the transition to the new phase of social- 
ist construction are engendering in certain circles of 
our Party vacillation, disbelief in the possibility of 
the socialist elements in our country being victorious 
over the capitalist elements, disbelief in the possibility 
of victoriously building socialism in the U.S.S.R. 

The opposition bloc is an expression of this spirit 
of pessimism and defeatism in the ranks of one section of 
our Party. 

The Party is aware of the difficulties and is in a 
position to overcome them. But to fight these difficul- 
ties successfully requires, above all, that the pessimistic 
spirit and defeatist mentality in the ranks of one section 
of the Party shall be overcome. 

In its statement of October 16, 1926, the opposi- 
tion bloc renounces factionalism and dissociates itself 
from openly Menshevik groups inside and outside the 



THE OPPOSITION BLOC IN THE C.P.S.U.(B.) 227 

C.P.S.U.(B.); but at the same time it declares that in 
principle it maintains its former stand, that it does not 
renounce its errors in matters of principle, and that it 
will defend these erroneous views within the limits per- 
mitted by the Party Rules. 

It follows from this that the opposition bloc in- 
tends to go on cultivating a spirit of pessimism and 
capitulation in the Party, intends to go on propagating 
its erroneous views in the Party. 

Hence, the immediate task of the Party is to expose 
the untenability in principle of the basic views of the 
opposition bloc, to make it clear that they are incom- 
patible with the principles of Leninism, and to wage a 
determined ideological struggle against the opposition 
bloc's errors in matters of principle with a view to over- 
coming them completely. 

I 

THE PASSING OVER 

OF THE "NEW OPPOSITION" TO TROTSKYISM 

ON THE BASIC QUESTION OF THE CHARACTER 

AND PROSPECTS OF OUR REVOLUTION 

The Party holds that our revolution is a socialist 
revolution, that the October Revolution is not merely 
a signal, an impulse, a point of departure for the social- 
ist revolution in the West, but that at the same time 
it is, firstly, a base for the further development of the 
world revolutionary movement, and, secondly, it ushers 
in a period of transition from capitalism to socialism 
in the U.S.S.R. (dictatorship of the proletariat), during 
which the proletariat? if it pursues a correct policy 



228 J. V. STALIN 



towards the peasantry, can and will successfully build 
a complete socialist society, provided, of course, the 
power of the international revolutionary movement, on 
the one hand, and the power of the proletariat of the 
U.S.S.R., on the other, are great enough to protect the 
U.S.S.R. from armed imperialist intervention. 

Trotskyism holds an entirely different view of the 
character and prospects of our revolution. In spite of 
the fact that in October 1917 the Trotskyists marched 
together with the Party, they held, and still hold, that 
in itself, and by its very nature, our revolution is not 
a socialist one; that the October Revolution is merely 
a signal, an impulse, a point of departure for the socialist 
revolution in the West; that if the world revolution is 
delayed and a victorious socialist revolution in the West 
does not come about in the very near future, proletarian 
power in Russia is bound to fall or to degenerate (which 
is one and the same thing) under the impact of inevitable 
clashes between the proletariat and the peasantry. 

Whereas the Party, in organising the October Revo- 
lution, held that "the victory of socialism is possible 
first in several or even in one capitalist country taken 
separately," and that "the victorious proletariat of 
that country, having expropriated the capitalists and 
organised socialist production," can and should stand 
up "against the rest of the world, the capitalist world, 
attracting to its cause the oppressed classes of other 
countries, raising revolts in those countries against 
the capitalists, and in the event of necessity coming 
out even with armed force against the exploiting classes 
and their states" (Lenin, Vol. XVIII, pp. 232-33)— 
the Trotskyists, on the other hand, although they co- 



THE OPPOSITION BLOC IN THE C.P.S.U.(B.) 229 

operated with the Bolsheviks in the October period, held 
that "it would be hopeless to think . . . that, for exam- 
ple, a revolutionary Russia could hold out in the face of 
a conservative Europe" (Trotsky, Vol. Ill, Part 1, p. 90, 
Peace Programme, first published in August 1917). 

Whereas our Party holds that the Soviet Union pos- 
sesses "all that is necessary and sufficient" "for the 
building of a complete socialist society" (Lenin, On 
Co-operation), the Trotskyists, on the contrary, hold 
that "real progress of a socialist economy in Russia will 
become possible only after the victory of the proletariat 
in the major European countries" (Trotsky, Vol. Ill, 
Part 1, p. 93, "Postscript" to Peace Programme, written 
in 1922). 

Whereas our Party holds that "ten or twenty years 
of correct relations with the peasantry, and victory on a 
world scale is assured" (Lenin, plan of the pamphlet The 
Tax in Kind), 16 the Trotskyists, on the contrary, hold 
that the proletariat cannot have correct relations with 
the peasantry until the victory of the world revolution; 
that, having taken power, the proletariat "would come 
into hostile collision not only with all the bourgeois 
groupings which supported the proletariat during the 
first stages of its revolutionary struggle, but also with 
the broad masses of the peasantry with whose assistance 
it came into power," and that "the contradictions in 
the position of a workers' government in a backward 
country with an overwhelmingly peasant population 
can be solved only on an international scale, in the 
arena of the world proletarian revolution" (Trotsky, 
in the "Preface," written in 1922, to his book The 
Year 1905). 



230 J. V. STALIN 



The conference notes that these views of Trotsky and 
his followers on the basic question of the character and 
prospects of our revolution are totally at variance with 
the views of our Party, with Leninism. 

The conference considers that these views — minimis- 
ing the historical role and the importance of our revolu- 
tion as a base for the further development of the world 
revolutionary movement, and tending to weaken the 
determination of the Soviet proletariat to go on building 
socialism, and therefore to hinder the unleashing of the 
forces of international revolution — thereby run counter 
to the principles of genuine internationalism and to the 
fundamental line of the Communist International. 

The conference considers that these views of Trotsky 
and his followers directly approximate to the views of 
Social-Democracy, as represented by its present leader, 
Otto Bauer, who asserts that "in Russia, where the prole- 
tariat is only a small minority of the nation, it can main- 
tain its rule only temporarily," that "it must inevitably 
lose it again as soon as the peasant masses of the nation 
are culturally mature enough to take power into their own 
hands," that "the temporary rule of industrial socialism 
in agrarian Russia is only a beacon summoning the pro- 
letariat of the industrial West to battle," and that "only 
with the conquest of political power by the proletariat 
of the industrial West can the rule of industrial social- 
ism be durably established" in Russia (see O. Bauer, 
Bolshevism or Social-Democracy? , in German). 

The conference therefore qualifies these views of 
Trotsky and his followers as a Social-Democratic devia- 
tion in our Party on the basic question of the character 
and prospects of our revolution, 



THE OPPOSITION BLOC IN THE C.P.S.U.(B.) 231 

The principal fact in the development of inner-Party 
relations in the C.P.S.U.(B.) since the Fourteenth Con- 
gress (which condemned the basic views of the "New 
Opposition") is that the "New Opposition" (Zinoviev, 
Kamenev), which formerly contended against Trotskyism, 
against the Social-Democratic deviation in our Party, 
has now gone over to the ideological standpoint of 
Trotskyism, that it has wholly and completely sur- 
rendered to Trotskyism the positions, common to the 
Party, to which it formerly adhered, and is now coming 
out with as much ardour for Trotskyism, as it formerly 
came out against it. 

The "New Opposition's" passing over to Trotskyism 
was determined by two main circumstances: 

a) the weariness, vacillation, and spirit of pessi- 
mism and defeatism, alien to the proletariat, among the 
adherents of the "New Opposition" in face of the new 
difficulties of the present period of radical change; fur- 
thermore, Kamenev's and Zinoviev's present vacillation 
and defeatism arose not by accident, but as a repetition, 
a recurrence of the vacillation and pessimism which they 
displayed nine years ago, in October 1917, in face of the 
difficulties of that period of radical change; 

b) the complete defeat of the "New Opposition" at 
the Fourteenth Congress, and the resulting endeavour 
to unite at all costs with the Trotskyists, in order, by 
combining the two groups — the Trotskyists and the "New 
Opposition" — to compensate for the weakness of these 
groups and their isolation from the proletarian masses, 
all the more because the ideological views of Trotskyism 
fully harmonised with the present spirit of pessimism 
of the "New Opposition," 



232 J. V. STALIN 



To this, too, must be attributed the fact that the 
opposition bloc has become a rallying centre for all the 
miscellaneous bankrupt trends inside and outside the 
C.P.S.U.(B.) which have been condemned by the Party 
and the Comintern — from the "Democratic Centralists" 77 
and the "Workers' Opposition" in the C.P.S.U.(B.) to 
the "ultra-Left" opportunists in Germany and the Liq- 
uidators of the Souvarine variety 78 in France. 

Hence the unscrupulousness in choice of means and 
unprincipledness in policy which form the basis of the 
bloc of the Trotskyists and the "New Opposition," and 
without which they could not have brought together these 
diverse anti-Party trends. 

Thus, the Trotskyists, on the one hand, and the "New 
Opposition," on the other, quite naturally joined forces 
on the common platform of a Social-Democratic 
deviation and an unprincipled union of diverse anti- 
Party elements in the fight against the Party, thereby 
forming an opposition bloc which represents something 
like a recurrence — in a new form — of the August Bloc 
(1912-14). 

II 

THE PRACTICAL PLATFORM 
OF THE OPPOSITION BLOC 

The practical platform of the opposition bloc is a 
direct sequel to the basic error of this bloc on the char- 
acter and prospects of our revolution. 

The major features of the opposition bloc's practical 
platform may be summed up in the following principal 
points: 



THE OPPOSITION BLOC IN THE C.P.S.U.(B.) 233 

a) Questions of the international movement. The Party 
holds that the advanced capitalist countries are, on the 
whole, in a state of partial, temporary stabilisation; 
that the present period is an inter-revolutionary one, 
making it incumbent on the Communist Parties to pre- 
pare the proletariat for the coming revolution; that the 
offensive launched by capital in a vain effort to consol- 
idate the stabilisation cannot but evoke an answering 
struggle on the part of the working class and the uniting 
of its forces against capital; that the Communist Parties 
must intervene in this intensifying class struggle and 
turn the attacks of capital into counter-attacks of the 
proletariat, with a view to establishing the dictatorship 
of the proletariat; that in order to achieve these aims 
the Communist Parties must win over the vast masses of 
the working class which still adhere to the reformist trade 
unions and the Second International; that, consequently, 
united front tactics are necessary and obligatory for 
the Communist Parties. 

The opposition bloc starts out from entirely differ- 
ent premises. Having no faith in the internal forces 
of our revolution, and falling into despair owing to 
the delay of the world revolution, the opposition 
bloc slips away from the basis of a Marxist analysis 
of the class forces of the revolution to one consisting of 
"ultra-Left" self-deception and "revolutionary" adven- 
turism; it denies the existence of a partial stabilisation 
of capitalism and, consequently, inclines towards put- 
schism. 

Hence the opposition's demand for a revision of the 
united front tactics and the break-up of the Anglo-Russian 
Committee, its failure to understand the role of the 



234 J. V. STALIN 



trade unions and its call to replace the latter by new, 
"revolutionary" proletarian organisations of its own 
invention. 

Hence the opposition bloc's support of the 
"ultra-Left" ranters and opportunists in the Com- 
munist International (in the German Party, for ex- 
ample). 

The conference considers that the policy of the op- 
position bloc in the international sphere is not in 
conformity with the interests of the international revo- 
lutionary movement. 

b) The proletariat and the peasantry in the U.S.S.R. 
The Party holds that "the supreme principle of the 
dictatorship is the maintenance of the alliance of the 
proletariat and peasantry in order that the prole- 
tariat may retain its leading role and state power" 
(Lenin, Vol. XXVI, p. 460); that the proletariat can and 
should be the leader of the main mass of the peasantry 
in the economic sphere, in the sphere of socialist con- 
struction, just as in October 1917 it was the leader of 
the peasantry in the political sphere, in overthrowing 
the power of the bourgeoisie and establishing the dic- 
tatorship of the proletariat; that industrialisation of 
the country can be carried out only if it is based upon a 
steady improvement of the material conditions of the 
majority of the peasantry (the poor and middle peasants), 
who constitute the principal market for our industry, 
and that, therefore, our economic policy (price policy, 
tax policy, etc.) must be such as strengthens the bond 
between industry and peasant economy and maintains 
the alliance between the working class and the main mass 
of the peasantry. 



THE OPPOSITION BLOC IN THE C.P.S.U.(B.) 235 

The opposition bloc starts out from entirely differ- 
ent premises. Abandoning the fundamental line of 
Leninism in the peasant question, not believing that the 
proletariat can be the leader of the peasantry in the work 
of socialist construction, and regarding the peasantry 
in the main as a hostile environment, the opposition 
bloc proposes economic and financial measures capable 
only of disrupting the bond between town and country, 
of shattering the alliance between the working class and 
the peasantry, and thus undermining all possibility of 
real industrialisation. Such, for example, are: a) the op- 
position's proposal to raise the wholesale prices of manu- 
factured goods, which would be bound to lead to an in- 
crease of retail prices, to the impoverishment of the poor 
peasants and a considerable section of the middle 
peasants, to a contraction of the home market, to discord 
between the proletariat and the peasantry, to a fall in the 
exchange rate of the chervonets and, in the final analysis, 
to a decline in real wages; b) the opposition's proposal 
that the peasantry should be taxed to the maximum, 
which would be bound to result in a rift in the alliance 
between the workers and the peasants. 

The conference considers that the policy of the op- 
position bloc towards the peasantry is not in conformity 
with the interests of the country's industrialisation and 
of the dictatorship of the proletariat. 

c) A fight against the Party apparatus under the guise 
of fighting bureaucracy in the Party. The Party takes 
as its starting point that the Party apparatus and the mass 
of the Party members constitute an integral whole, that 
the Party apparatus (Central Committee, Central Control 
Commission, oblast Party committees, gubernia commit- 



236 J. V. STALIN 



tees, okrug committees, uyezd committees, bureaus of 
Party units, etc.) embodies the leading element of the 
Party as a whole, that the Party apparatus comprises the 
finest members of the proletariat, who may be and 
should be criticised for errors, who may be and should be 
"freshened up," but who cannot be vilified without the 
risk of disrupting the Party and leaving it defenceless. 

The opposition bloc, on the other hand, starts out 
by counterposing the mass of the Party members to the 
Party apparatus, tries to minimise the leading role of 
the Party apparatus, reducing its functions to registra- 
tion and propaganda, incites the mass of the Party mem- 
bers against the Party apparatus, and thus discredits the 
latter, weakening its position in regard to leading the 
state. 

The conference considers that this policy of the op- 
position bloc, a policy which has nothing in common with 
Leninism, can only result in the Party being disarmed 
in its fight against bureaucracy in the state apparatus, 
for a real transformation of this apparatus, and hence 
for strengthening the dictatorship of the proletariat. 

d) A fight against the "regime" in the Party under 
the guise of fighting for inner-Party democracy. The Party 
takes as its starting point that "whoever weakens in the 
least the iron discipline of the Party of the proletariat 
(especially during the time of its dictatorship), actual- 
ly aids the bourgeoisie against the proletariat" (Lenin, 
Vol. XXV, p. 190); that inner-Party democracy is nec- 
essary not in order to weaken and shatter proletarian 
discipline in the Party, but in order to strengthen and 
consolidate it, and that without iron discipline in the 
Party, without a firm regime in the Party, backed by 



THE OPPOSITION BLOC IN THE C.P.S.U.(B.) 237 

the sympathy and support of the vast masses of the 
proletariat, the dictatorship of the proletariat is im- 
possible. 

The opposition bloc, on the other hand, starts out 
by counterposing inner-Party democracy to Party dis- 
cipline, confuses freedom of groups and factions with 
inner-Party democracy, and tries to make use of such 
democracy to shatter Party discipline and undermine the 
unity of the Party. It is natural that the opposition bloc's 
call for a fight against the "regime" in the Party, which 
leads in practice to advocacy of freedom of groups and 
factions in the Party, should be a call that is taken up 
with fervour by the anti-proletarian elements in our 
country as a means of salvation from the regime of the 
dictatorship of the proletariat. 

The conference considers that the fight of the opposi- 
tion bloc against the "regime" in the Party, a fight which 
has nothing in common with the organisational princi- 
ples of Leninism, can only result in undermining the unity 
of the Party, weakening the dictatorship of the proletariat 
and unleashing the anti-proletarian forces in the country 
that are striving to undermine and shatter the dictator- 
ship. 

One of the means chosen by the opposition bloc for 
disrupting Party discipline and aggravating the strug- 
gle within the Party is the method of an all-Union 
discussion, such as it tried to force upon the 
Party in October of this year. While considering it nec- 
essary that questions of disagreement should be freely 
discussed in the theoretical journals of our Party, and 
while recognising the right of every Party member freely 
to criticise shortcomings in our Party work, the 



238 J. V. STALIN 



conference at the same time calls attention to the words of 
Lenin, who said that our Party is not a debating society 
but the fighting organisation of the proletariat. The con- 
ference considers that an ail-Union discussion may be 
recognised as necessary only on condition: a) that such 
necessity is recognised by at least several local Party 
organisations of a gubernia or oblast level; b) that there 
is not a sufficiently firm majority in the Central Commit- 
tee on major questions of Party policy; c) that, although 
there may be a firm majority holding a definite opinion 
in the C.C., the latter nevertheless considers it necessary 
to test the correctness of its policy through a general Party 
discussion. Moreover, in all such cases an ail-Union dis- 
cussion may be begun and carried through only after a 
decision of the C.C. to that effect. 

The conference notes that not one of these conditions 
existed when the opposition bloc demanded the opening 
of an all-Union discussion. 

The conference therefore considers that the Central 
Committee of the Party acted quite rightly in deciding 
that a discussion was inexpedient and in condemning the 
opposition bloc for its attempt to force upon the Party 
an all-Union discussion on issues which had already been 
decided by the Party. 

Summing up its analysis of the practical platform 
of the opposition bloc, the conference finds that this 
platform marks the opposition bloc's departure from the 
class line of the proletarian revolution on cardinal issues 
of international and home policy. 



THE OPPOSITION BLOC IN THE C.P.S.U.(B.) 239 

III 

THE "REVOLUTIONARY" WORDS 
AND OPPORTUNIST DEEDS 
OF THE OPPOSITION BLOC 

It is a characteristic feature of the opposition bloc 
that, being in fact the expression of a Social-Democratic 
deviation in our Party, and advocating what is in fact 
an opportunist policy, it tries, nevertheless, to clothe 
its pronouncements in revolutionary phraseology, to crit- 
icise the Party "from the Left" and to disguise itself 
in a "Left" garb. The reason for this is that the com- 
munist proletarians, to whom the opposition bloc is chief- 
ly trying to appeal, are the most revolutionary proletar- 
ians in the world, and that, having been brought up 
in the spirit of revolutionary traditions, they would 
simply not listen to critics who are avowed Rights; and 
so, in order to palm off its opportunist wares, the op- 
position bloc is compelled to clap a revolutionary label 
on them, being well aware that only by such a ruse can 
it attract the attention of the revolutionary proletar- 
ians. 

But since, nevertheless, the opposition bloc is the 
vehicle of a Social-Democratic deviation, since in fact 
it advocates an opportunist policy, its words and its 
deeds must inevitably conflict. Hence the inherently 
contradictory nature of the activities of the opposition 
bloc. Hence the divergence between its words and its 
deeds, between its revolutionary phrases and its oppor- 
tunist actions. 

The opposition noisily criticises the Party and the 
Comintern "from the Left," and at the same time it calls 



240 J. V. STALIN 



for a revision of the united front tactics, the break- 
up of the Anglo-Russian Committee, withdrawal from 
the trade unions and their replacement by new, "rev- 
olutionary" organisations, thinking that all this will 
advance the revolution, whereas in fact the result 
would be to aid Thomas and Oudegeest, sever the Com- 
munist Parties from the trade unions, weaken the posi- 
tion of world communism and, consequently, retard 
the revolutionary movement. In words — "revolution- 
aries," but in deeds — abettors of the Thomases and 
Oudegeests. 

The opposition with much clamour "dresses down" 
the Party "from the Left," and at the same time it de- 
mands the raising of wholesale prices of manufactured 
goods, thinking thereby to accelerate industrialisation, 
whereas in fact the result would be to disorganise the 
home market, shatter the bond between industry and 
peasant economy, cause a fall in the exchange rate of 
the chervonets and in real wages, and, consequently, 
wreck all possibility of industrialisation. In words — 
industrialisers, but in deeds — abettors of the opponents 
of industrialisation. 

The opposition accuses the Party of being unwilling 
to fight against bureaucracy in the state apparatus, and 
at the same time it proposes that wholesale prices should 
be raised, evidently thinking that raising wholesale 
prices has no bearing on the question of bureaucracy in 
the state apparatus, whereas in fact it turns out that the 
result must be completely to bureaucratise the state eco- 
nomic apparatus, since high wholesale prices are the sur- 
est means for causing industry to wilt, for converting it 
into a hothouse plant and for bureaucratising the eco- 



THE OPPOSITION BLOC IN THE C.P.S.U.(B.) 241 

nomic apparatus. In words — opponents of bureaucracy, 
but in deeds — advocates and promoters of bureaucratising 
the state apparatus. 

The opposition raises a hue and cry against private 
capital, and at the same time it proposes that state cap- 
ital should be withdrawn from the sphere of circulation, 
for the benefit of industry, thinking thereby to under- 
mine private capital, whereas in fact the result would be 
to strengthen private capital in every way, since the with- 
drawal of state capital from circulation, which is private 
capital's principal sphere of operation, cannot fail to 
put trade completely under the control of private capi- 
tal. In words — a fight against private capital, but in 
deeds — aid for private capital. 

The opposition raises a cry about degeneration of the 
Party apparatus, but in fact it turns out that when the 
Central Committee raises the question of the expulsion 
of one of the Communists who have really degenerated, 
Mr. Ossovsky, the opposition displays maximum loyalty 
to this gentleman and votes against his expulsion. In 
words — opponents of degeneration, but in deeds — abettors 
and defenders of degeneration. 

The opposition raised a cry about inner-Party democ- 
racy, and at the same time it demanded an all-Union 
discussion, thinking thereby to put inner-Party democra- 
cy into effect, whereas in fact it turned out that, by forc- 
ing a discussion upon the overwhelming majority of the 
Party on behalf of a tiny minority, the opposition was 
guilty of an act of gross violation of all democracy. 
In words — for inner-Party democracy, but in deeds — the 
violation of the fundamental principles of all democ- 
racy. 



242 J. V. STALIN 



In the present period of acute class struggle, there 
can be only one of two possible policies in the working- 
class movement: either the policy of Menshevism, or 
the policy of Leninism. The attempts of the opposition 
bloc to occupy a middle position between these two 
opposite lines, under cover of "Left," "revolutionary" 
phraseology and while intensifying criticism of the 
C.P.S.U.(B.), were bound to lead, and have actually 
led, to the opposition bloc slithering into the camp 
of the opponents of Leninism, into the camp of Men- 
shevism. 

The enemies of the C.P.S.U.(B.) and of the Comintern 
know just what value is to be attached to the "revolution- 
ary" phraseology of the opposition bloc. Paying no atten- 
tion to it, therefore, as being of no significance, they unan- 
imously praise the opposition bloc for its unrevolu- 
tionary deeds, and take up the opposition's slogan of a 
fight against the main line of the C.P.S.U.(B.) and the 
Comintern as their own slogan. It cannot be considered 
accidental that the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the 
Cadets, the Russian Mensheviks and the German "Left" 
Social-Democrats have all found it possible to express 
openly their sympathy with the fight of the opposition 
bloc against our Party, since they calculate that this 
fight will lead to a split, and that a split will unleash the 
anti-proletarian forces in our country, to the glee of 
the enemies of the revolution. 

The conference considers that the Party must pay 
special attention to tearing off the "revolutionary" 
mask from the opposition bloc and showing up the lat- 
ter 's opportunist nature 

The conference considers that the Party must pro- 



THE OPPOSITION BLOC IN THE C.P.S.U.(B.) 243 

tect the unity of its ranks like the apple of its eye, 
considering that the unity of our Party is the chief anti- 
dote to all counter-revolutionary attempts on the part of 
the enemies of the revolution. 

IV 
CONCLUSIONS 

Summing up the stage of the inner-Party struggle 
that has been passed through, the Fifteenth Conference 
of the C.P.S.U.(B.) notes that in this struggle the 
Party has shown its immense ideological growth, it has 
unhesitatingly rejected the basic views of the opposi- 
tion and has scored a swift and decisive victory over 
the opposition bloc, compelling the latter publicly 
to renounce factionalism and to dissociate itself from 
the openly opportunist groups inside and outside the 
C.P.S.U.(B.). 

The conference notes that the attempts of the opposi- 
tion bloc to force a discussion upon the Party and under- 
mine its unity have resulted in the Party masses rallying 
still more solidly around the Central Committee, thus 
isolating the opposition and ensuring real unity in the 
ranks of our Party. 

The conference considers that only with the active 
support of the broad mass of the Party members was the 
Central Committee able to achieve these successes, that 
the activity and political understanding displayed by 
the Party masses in the struggle against the disruptive 
work of the opposition bloc are the best proofs that the 
Party is functioning and developing on the basis of 
genuine inner-Party democracy. 



244 J. V. STALIN 



Fully approving the policy of the Central Committee 
in its struggle to ensure unity, the conference considers 
that the next tasks of the Party should be: 

1) To see to it that the minimum conditions arrived 
at as necessary for the unity of the Party shall be actually 
observed. 

2) To wage a determined ideological struggle against 
the Social-Democratic deviation in our Party, explain- 
ing to the masses the erroneousness of the basic views of 
the opposition bloc and bringing to light the opportunist 
content of these views, whatever the "revolutionary" 
phrases under which they are disguised. 

3) To work to ensure that the opposition bloc ac- 
knowledges the erroneousness of its views. 

4) To safeguard the unity of the Party in every way, 
checking all attempts to revive factionalism and to 
violate discipline. 

Pravda, No. 247, 
October 26, 1926 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION 
IN OUR PARTY 

Report Delivered at the Fifteenth Ail-Union 

Conference of the C.P.S.U.(B.) 79 

November 1, 1926 



I 

THE STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT 
OF THE OPPOSITION BLOC 

Comrades, the first question that has to be dealt 
with in the report concerns the formation of the opposi- 
tion bloc, the stages of its development, and, lastly, 
its collapse, which has already begun. This theme, in 
my opinion, is essential as an introduction to the sub- 
stance of the theses on the opposition bloc. 

Already at the Fourteenth Party Congress Zinoviev 
gave the signal for rallying all the opposition trends 
and for uniting them into a single force. You, comrades, 
who are delegates at this conference probably remember 
that speech of Zinoviev's. There cannot be any doubt 
that such a call was bound to meet with a response 
among the Trotskyists, who from the very first held 
the opinion that groups should be more or less unre- 
stricted, and that they should more or less unite for the 
purpose of carrying on a fight against the basic line of 



246 J. V. STALIN 



the Party, with which Trotsky had long been dissatis- 
fied. 

That was the preparatory work, so to speak, for the 
formation of the bloc. 



1. THE FIRST STAGE 

The opposition took the first serious step towards 
forming a bloc at the time of the April plenum of the 
Central Committee, 80 in connection with Rykov's the- 
ses on the economic situation. Full understanding be- 
tween the "New Opposition" and the Trotskyists had not 
yet been reached at that time, but that in the main 
the bloc was already formed — of that there could be no 
doubt. Comrades who have read the verbatim report 
of the April plenum will know that that is quite true. 
In the main, the two groups had already managed to 
come to an understanding, but there were reservations, 
owing to which they were obliged to submit two paral- 
lel series of amendments to Rykov's theses, instead of 
common amendments of the whole opposition. One 
series of amendments came from the "New Opposition," 
headed by Kamenev, and the other series from the Trots- 
kyist group. But that in the main they were hitting 
at the same mark, and that the plenum was already say- 
ing that they were reviving the August Bloc in a new 
form, is an undoubted fact. 

What were the reservations made at that time? 

Here is what Trotsky said then: 

"I consider the defect of Comrade Kamenev's amendments 
that they, as it were, treat differentiation in the countryside 
to a certain extent independently of industrialisation. Yet the 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 247 

significance and social importance of peasant differentiation and 
its tempo are determined by the progress and tempo of industri- 
alisation in relation to the countryside as a whole." 

A reservation of no little importance. 
In reply to this, Kamenev in his turn made a reser- 
vation in regard to the Trotskyists: 

"I am not able," he said, "to associate myself with that part 
of them (i.e., Trotsky's amendments to Rykov's draft resolution) 
which assesses the past economic policy of the Party, which I 
supported one hundred per cent." 

The "New Opposition" was not pleased at Trotsky 
criticising the economic policy which Kamenev had di- 
rected during the preceding period. And Trotsky, for 
his part, was not pleased at the "New Opposition" sep- 
arating the question of peasant differentiation from 
the question of industrialisation. 



2. THE SECOND STAGE 

The second stage was the July plenum of the Central 
Committee. 81 At that plenum we already had a formally 
established bloc, a bloc without reservations. Trotsky's 
reservations had been withdrawn and shelved; so had 
Kamenev's. Now they already had a joint "declaration," 
which is well known to you all, comrades, as an anti- 
Party document. Such were the characteristic features of 
the second stage in the development of the opposition bloc. 

The bloc was constructed and given shape in that 
period not only on the basis of a mutual withdrawal of 
amendments, but also on the basis of a mutual "amnes- 
ty." We had at that time Zinoviev's interesting statement 



248 J. V. STALIN 



to the effect that the opposition, its main core in 
1923 — in other words, the Trotskyists — was right re- 
garding the degeneration of the Party, that is, the main 
plank of the practical platform of Trotskyism, which 
follows from its fundamental line. On the other hand, 
we had the no less interesting statement of Trotsky's 
to the effect that his Lessons of October — which had 
been levelled specifically against Kamenev and Zinov- 
iev as the Party's "Right wing" that was now repeat- 
ing the October errors — had been a mistake, that the be- 
ginning of the Right deviation in the Party and of the 
degeneration had to be ascribed not to Kamenev and 
Zinoviev, but to, let us say, Stalin. 

Here is what Zinoviev said in July of this year: 

"We say that there can now be no doubt whatever that, as 
the evolution of the directing line of the faction (i.e., the majority 
of the Central Committee) has shown, the main core of the 1923 
opposition correctly warned against the danger of a shift from the 
proletarian line, and against the ominous growth of the appara- 
tus regime." 

In other words, Zinoviev's recent assertions, and 
the resolution of the Thirteenth Congress, 82 stating 
that Trotsky was revising Leninism, and that Trotskyism 
was a petty-bourgeois deviation, were all a mistake, a 
misunderstanding, and that the danger lay not in Trots- 
kyism, but in the Central Committee. 

That is a most unprincipled "amnesty" of Trotskyism. 

On the other hand, Trotsky declared in July: 

"There is no doubt that in the Lessons of October I associated 
the opportunist shifts in policy with the names of Zinoviev and 
Kamenev. As experience of the ideological struggle in the Central 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 249 

Committee testifies, that was a gross mistake. This mistake is 
to be explained by the fact that I had had no opportunity of fol- 
lowing the ideological struggle among the seven and of ascertaining 
in time that the opportunist shifts proceeded from the group head- 
ed by Comrade Stalin, in opposition to Comrades Zinoviev and 
Kamenev." 

This means that Trotsky was publicly repudiating 
his much-talked-of Lessons of October, thereby issuing 
an "amnesty" to Zinoviev and Kamenev in return for 
the "amnesty" he had received from them. 

A direct and unconcealed unprincipled deal! 

Hence, a withdrawal of the April reservations and 
a mutual "amnesty" at the expense of the principles of 
the Party — these were the factors which determined the 
full shaping of the bloc, as an anti-Party bloc. 

3. THE THIRD STAGE 

The third stage in the development of the bloc was 
the opposition's open attacks on the Party at the end 
of September and in the beginning of October of this 
year in Moscow and Leningrad, the period when the lead- 
ers of the bloc, having had their holidays in the South 
and gained fresh vigour, returned to the centre and 
launched a direct attack on the Party. Before passing 
from underground forms to open forms of struggle against 
the Party, they, it appears, declared here in the Polit- 
ical Bureau (I myself was away from Moscow at the 
time): "We'll show you. We are going to address workers' 
meetings; let the workers decide who's right. We'll 
show you!" And they began to make the rounds of the 
Party units. But, as you know, the outcome of this move 
was deplorable for the opposition. You know that they 



250 J. V. STALIN 



suffered defeat. You know from the press that both in 
Leningrad and Moscow, both in the industrial and in 
the non-industrial areas of the Soviet Union, the op- 
position bloc met with a determined rebuff from the 
mass of the Party members. How many votes it received 
and how many were cast for the Central Committee, 
I shall not repeat here; you know that from the press. 
One thing is clear: that the expectations of the opposi- 
tion bloc were not fulfilled. From that moment the op- 
position made a turn in favour of peace in the Party. 
The opposition's defeat, evidently, did not fail to have 
its effect. That was on October 4, when the opposition 
submitted to the Central Committee its statement 
about peace, and when for the first time, after the abuse 
and assaults, we heard words from the opposition 
resembling the words of Party people — it was time to 
stop "inner-Party strife" and to organise "joint work." 

Thus the opposition was compelled by its defeat 
to face the question that the Central Committee had re- 
peatedly called upon it to face — the question of peace 
in the Party. 

Naturally, the Central Committee, true to the direc- 
tives of the Fourteenth Congress on the need for unity, 
readily agreed to the opposition's proposal, although it 
knew that the proposal was not altogether sincere. 

4. THE FOURTH STAGE 

The fourth stage was the period when the opposition 
leaders drew up their "statement" of October 16 of 
this year. It is usually described as a capitulation. I 
shall not describe it in sharp terms, but it is clear that 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 251 

the statement is evidence not of any victories of the 
opposition bloc, but of its defeat. I shall not recount 
the history of our negotiations, comrades. A verbatim 
record of the negotiations was made, and you can learn 
all about them from it. I should like to dwell on one 
incident alone. The opposition bloc wanted to declare 
in the first paragraph of its "statement" that it still ad- 
hered to its views, and not simply that, but that it 
adhered to its old opinions "in their entirety." We 
tried to persuade the opposition bloc not to insist on 
this. Why? For two reasons. 

Firstly, for the reason that if the opposition, having 
renounced factionalism and with it the theory and prac- 
tice of freedom of factions, had dissociated itself from 
Ossovsky, the "Workers' Opposition," and the Madow- 
Urbahns group, that meant that it had renounced not 
only factional methods of struggle, but also some of its 
political opinions. Could the opposition bloc say after 
this that it still adhered to its erroneous views, to its 
ideological opinions, "in their entirety"? Of course not. 

Secondly, we told the opposition that it was not in 
its own interest to shout that they, the oppositionists, 
adhered to their old opinions, and "in their entirety" 
at that, since the workers would have every justification 
for saying: "So the oppositionists want to go on scrap- 
ping! That means they haven't been whacked enough 
yet and will have to be given some more." {Laughter, 
cries: "Quite right!") However, they did not agree with 
us and only accepted the proposal to delete the words 
"in their entirety," retaining the phrase about adhering 
to their old opinions. Well, they have made their bed 
and will have to lie in it. {Voices: "Quite right!") 



252 J. V. STALIN 



5. LENIN AND THE QUESTION OF BLOCS 
IN THE PARTY 

Zinoviev said recently that the Central Committee's 
condemnation of their bloc was unwarranted, since sup- 
posedly Ilyich had approved in general of blocs in the 
Party. I must say, comrades, that Zinoviev's statement 
is totally at variance with Lenin's position. Lenin never 
approved of blocs in the Party indiscriminately. Lenin 
was in favour only of revolutionary blocs, based on prin- 
ciple, against the Mensheviks, Liquidators and Otzo- 
vists. Lenin always fought against unprincipled and 
anti-Party blocs in the Party. Does not everyone know 
that for three years Lenin fought against Trotsky's Au- 
gust Bloc, as being an anti-Party and unprincipled bloc, 
until complete victory over it was achieved. Ilyich 
was never in favour of blocs indiscriminately. He was 
in favour only of such blocs in the Party as were based 
on principle, in the first place, and, in the second place, 
had the purpose of strengthening the Party against the 
Liquidators, against the Mensheviks, against vacillat- 
ing elements. The history of our Party knows of one 
such bloc, the bloc of the Leninists and the Plekhanov- 
ists (this was in 1910-12) against the bloc of the Liqui- 
dators when the anti-Party August Bloc was formed, which 
included Potresov and other Liquidators, Alexinsky and 
other Otzovists, and which was headed by Trotsky. There 
was one bloc, an anti-Party bloc, the unprincipled and 
adventurist August Bloc; and there was another bloc, 
the bloc of the Leninists with the Plekhanovists, that 
is, the revolutionary Mensheviks (at that time Plekhanov 
was a revolutionary Menshevik). That is the kind of 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 253 

bloc that Lenin recognised. And we all recognise such 
blocs. 

If a bloc within the Party enhances the fighting ca- 
pacity of the Party and helps it to advance, we are for 
such a bloc. But your bloc, worthy oppositionists — 
can it be said that this bloc of yours enhances the fight- 
ing capacity of our Party? Can it be said that this bloc 
of yours is based on principle? What principles unite 
you with the Medvedyev group, let us say? What princi- 
ples unite you with, let us say, the Souvarine group in 
France or the Maslow group in Germany? What princi- 
ples unite you, the "New Opposition," who only re- 
cently regarded Trotskyism as a variety of Menshevism, 
with the Trotskyists, who only recently regarded the 
leaders of the "New Opposition" as opportunists? 

And then, can it be said that your bloc works in the 
interest and for the good of the Party, and not against 
the Party? Can it be said that it has enhanced the fight- 
ing capacity and revolutionary spirit of our Party even 
one iota? Why, all the world now knows that during 
the six or eight months your bloc has existed you have 
been trying to drag the Party back, back to "revolu- 
tionary" phrasemongering and unprincipledness, that you 
have been trying to disintegrate the Party and reduce 
it to a state of paralysis, to split it. 

No, comrades, there is nothing in common between 
the opposition bloc and the bloc which Lenin concluded 
with the Plekhanovists in 1910 against the opportunists' 
August Bloc. On the contrary, the present opposition 
bloc is in the main reminiscent of Trotsky's August 
Bloc both by its unprincipledness and by its opportu- 
nist basis. 



254 J. V. STALIN 



Thus, in forming such a bloc, the oppositionists 
have departed from the basic line which Lenin strove 
to pursue. Lenin always told us that the most correct 
policy is a policy based on principle. The opposition, 
on the contrary, when it banded itself together in one 
group, decided that the most correct policy is an unprin- 
cipled policy. 

For that reason the opposition bloc cannot exist for 
long; it is inevitably bound to disintegrate and fall to 
pieces. 

Such are the stages of development of the opposi- 
tion bloc. 

6. THE PROCESS OF DECOMPOSITION OF 
THE OPPOSITION BLOC 

What is the state of the opposition bloc today? It 
may be described as a state of gradual disintegration, 
as a state of the gradual falling away of its component 
elements, as a state of decomposition. That is the only 
way the present state of the opposition bloc can be de- 
scribed. And that was only to be expected, because an un- 
principled bloc, an opportunist bloc, cannot exist for 
long within the ranks of our Party. We already know 
that the Maslow-Urbahns group is falling away from the 
opposition bloc. Yesterday we heard that Medvedyev and 
Shlyapnikov have recanted their errors and are leaving 
the bloc. We know, further, that there is also a rift within 
the bloc, that is, between the "new" opposition and the 
"old," and it should make itself felt at this conference. 

It turns out, therefore, that they formed a bloc, and 
formed it with great pomp, but the result has been the 
opposite of what they expected from it. Arithmetically, 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 255 

of course, they should have obtained an increase, for 
adding forces together should yield an increase; but the 
Oppositionists forgot that, besides arithmetic, there is 
also algebra, and that in algebra adding forces together 
does not always result in an increase {laughter), because 
the result depends not only on adding forces together, 
but on the signs that stand in front of the items. {Pro- 
longed applause.) It turns out that they are good at 
arithmetic but bad at algebra, with the result that by 
adding their forces together, far from having increased 
their army, they have reduced it to a minimum, to a 
state of collapse. 

Wherein lay the strength of the Zinoviev group? 

In the fact that it waged a determined fight against 
the fundamentals of Trotskyism. But as soon as the 
Zinoviev group gave up its fight against Trotskyism, 
it, so to speak, emasculated itself, rendered itself pow- 
erless. 

Wherein lay the strength of the Trotsky group? 

In the fact that it waged a determined fight against 
the errors of Zinoviev and Kamenev in October 1917 
and against the repetition of those errors today. But 
as soon as the Trotsky group gave up its fight against 
the Zinoviev-Kamenev deviation, it emasculated itself, 
rendered itself powerless. 

The result is the adding together of emasculated 
forces. {Laughter, prolonged applause.) 

Obviously, nothing was to be got from this but 
discomfiture. Obviously, the more honest elements of 
Zinoviev's group were bound after this to part ways 
with Zinoviev, just as the better elements among the 
Trotskyists were bound to desert Trotsky. 



256 J. V. STALIN 



7. WHAT IS THE OPPOSITION BLOC 
COUNTING ON? 

What are the prospects of the opposition? What are 
they counting on? I think that they are counting on a 
deterioration of the situation in the country and in the 
Party. Just now they are winding up their factional activ- 
ity, because the times are "hard" for them. But if they 
do not renounce their fundamental views, if they have 
decided to adhere to their old opinions, it means that 
they will temporise, wait for "better times," when they 
have accumulated strength and are again in a position 
to come out against the Party. Of that there can be no 
doubt whatever. 

Recently, one of the oppositionists who had come 
over to the side of the Party, a worker named Andreyev, 
gave us some interesting information about the oppo- 
sition's plans which it is necessary, in my opinion, to 
mention at this conference. Here is what Comrade Yaro- 
slavsky told us in his report at the October plenum 
of the Central Committee and the Central Control Com- 
mission: 

"Andreyev, who had been active in the opposition for a fairly 
long time, in the end arrived at the conviction that he could 
not work with it any longer. What chiefly decided him was two 
things he had heard the opposition say: the first was that it had 
found itself up against a 'reactionary' mood of the working class, 
and the second was that the economic situation had proved not 
so bad as it had thought." 

I think that Andreyev, formerly an oppositionist 
and now pro-Party, has disclosed what the opposition 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 257 

believes at heart but does not venture to say aloud. It 
evidently senses that the economic situation is now 
better than it anticipated, and that the mood of the work- 
ers is not as bad as it would have liked it to be. Hence 
their policy of temporarily winding up their "work." 
It is clear that if later on the economic situation be- 
comes somewhat more tense — as the oppositionists are 
convinced it will — and the mood of the workers deterio- 
rates as a result — as they are also convinced it will — 
they will lose no time in resuming their "work," in re- 
suming their old ideological opinions, which they have 
not abandoned, and in launching an open fight against 
the Party. 

Such, comrades, are the prospects of the opposition 
bloc, which is disintegrating, but which has not yet 
disintegrated completely, and perhaps will not do 
so soon unless there is a determined and ruthless fight 
by the Party. 

But since they are preparing for a struggle, and 
are only waiting for "better times" to resume their 
open fight against the Party, the Party must not be 
caught napping. Hence the tasks of the Party are: to 
wage a determined ideological struggle against the er- 
roneous views of the opposition, to which it still ad- 
heres; to expose the opportunist nature of these ideas no 
matter what "revolutionary" phraseology is used to 
disguise them; and to work in such a way that the oppo- 
sition is compelled to renounce its errors for fear of 
being routed utterly and completely. 



258 J. V. STALIN 



II 

THE PRINCIPAL 
ERROR OF THE OPPOSITION BLOC 

I pass to the second question, comrades, that of the 
principal error of the opposition bloc on the basic ques- 
tion of the character and prospects of our revolution. 

The basic question on which the Party and the op- 
position bloc are divided is that of the possibility of 
the victory of socialism in our country, or, what is the 
same thing, that of the character and prospects of our 
revolution. 

That is not a new question: it was more or less thor- 
oughly discussed, by the way, at the conference of 
April 1925, the Fourteenth Conference. Now, in a 
new situation, it has sprung up again and we shall have 
to consider it closely. And since at the recent joint 
meeting of the plenums of the Central Committee and 
the Central Control Commission, Trotsky and Kamenev 
levelled the charge that the theses on the opposition 
bloc set forth their views incorrectly, I am compelled 
in my report to adduce a number of documents and quo- 
tations confirming the basic propositions of the theses 
on the opposition bloc. I apologise in advance, comrades, 
but I am compelled to do this. 

We are faced with three questions: 

1) Is the victory of socialism possible in our coun- 
try, bearing in mind that it is so far the only country 
of the dictatorship of the proletariat, that the prole- 
tarian revolution has not yet been victorious in other 
countries, and that the tempo of the world revolution 
has slowed down? 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 259 

2) If this victory is possible, can it be called a com- 
plete victory, a final victory? 

3) If such a victory cannot be called final, then what 
conditions are necessary in order that it may become 
final? 

Such are the three questions which are combined 
in the general question of the possibility of the vic- 
tory of socialism in one country, that is to say, in our 
country. 

1. PRELIMINARY REMARKS 

How did the Marxists answer this question formerly, 
in the forties, say, or in the fifties and sixties of the 
last century, in the period in general when monopoly 
capitalism did not yet exist, when the law of uneven 
development of capitalism had not yet been discovered 
and could not have been discovered, and when, conse- 
quently, the question of the victory of socialism in indi- 
vidual countries was not yet presented from the angle 
from which it was presented subsequently? At that time 
all of us, Marxists, beginning with Marx and Engels, 
were of the opinion that the victory of socialism in one 
country taken separately was impossible, that for so- 
cialism to be victorious, a simultaneous revolution was 
necessary in a number of countries, at least in a num- 
ber of the most developed, civilised countries. And at 
the time that was correct. In illustration of this view, I 
should like to quote a characteristic passage from Engels 's 
outline "The Principles of Communism," where the 
question is put in the sharpest possible form. This 
outline subsequently served as the basis for the 



260 J. V. STALIN 



Communist Manifesto. It was written in 1847. Here is 
what Engels says in this outline, which was published 
only a few years ago: 

"Can this revolution (i.e., the proletarian revolution — 
J. St.) take place in one country alone? 

"Answer: No. Large-scale industry has, by the very fact 
that it has created a world market, bound all the nations of the 
earth, and notably the civilised nations, so closely together, that 
each depends on what is happening in the others. Further, in all 
the civilised countries it has evened up social development to such 
an extent that in all of them the bourgeoisie and the proletariat 
have become the two decisive classes of society, and the struggle 
between them the major struggle of our times. Therefore, the com- 
munist revolution will not be simply a national revolution, but will 
take place simultaneously in all the civilised countries, that is, at 
least in England, America, France and Germany. In each of these 
countries it will develop faster or more slowly depending on 
which has the more developed industry, the bigger accumula- 
tion of wealth, or the greater productive forces. It will therefore 
be slowest and hardest to accomplish in Germany, and fastest 
and easiest in England. It will also have a big influence on the 
other countries of the world, and will completely change and 
greatly accelerate their previous course of development. It is a uni- 
versal revolution, and therefore will have a universal terrain"* 
(F. Engels, "The Principles of Communism." See Kommunisti- 
chesky Manifest, State Publishing House, 1923, p. 317). 

That was written in the forties of the last century, 
when monopoly capitalism did not yet exist. It is charac- 
teristic that there is not even a mention here of Russia; 
Russia is left out altogether. And that is quite under- 
standable, since at that time Russia with its revolu- 
tionary proletariat, Russia as a revolutionary force, 
did not yet exist and could not have existed. 



My italics. — J. St. 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 261 

Was what is said here, in this quotation, correct in 
the conditions of pre-monopoly capitalism, in the pe- 
riod when Engels wrote it? Yes, it was correct. 

Is this opinion correct now, in the new conditions, 
the conditions of monopoly capitalism and proletarian 
revolution? No, it is no longer correct. 

In the old period, the period of pre-monopoly capi- 
talism, the pre-imperialist period, when the globe had 
not yet been divided up among financial groups, when 
the forcible redivision of an already divided world was 
not yet a matter of life or death for capitalism, when un- 
evenness of economic development was not, and could not 
be, as sharply marked as it became later, when the con- 
tradictions of capitalism had not yet reached that degree 
of development at which they convert flourishing capi- 
talism into moribund capitalism thus opening up the 
possibility of the victory of socialism in individual 
countries — in that old period the formula of Engels was 
undeniably correct. In the new period, the period of 
the development of imperialism, when the unevenness of 
development of the capitalist countries has become the 
decisive factor in imperialist development, when ine- 
vitable conflicts and wars among the imperialists weaken 
the imperialist front and make it possible for it to be 
breached in individual countries, when the law of uneven 
development discovered by Lenin has become the start- 
ing point for the theory of the victory of socialism in 
individual countries — in these conditions the old for- 
mula of Engels becomes incorrect and must inevitably 
be replaced by another formula, one that affirms the 
possibility of the victory of socialism in one country. 

Lenin's greatness as the continuer of the work of 



262 J. V. STALIN 



Marx and Engels consists precisely in the fact that he 
was never a slave to the letter of Marxism. In his inves- 
tigations he followed the precept repeatedly uttered by 
Marx that Marxism is not a dogma, but a guide to action. 
Lenin knew this and, drawing a strict distinction be- 
tween the letter and the essence of Marxism, he never 
regarded Marxism as a dogma but endeavoured to apply 
Marxism, as a fundamental method, in the new circum- 
stances of capitalist development. Lenin's greatness 
consists precisely in the fact that he openly and honestly, 
without any hesitation, raised the question of the neces- 
sity for a new formula about the possibility of the victo- 
ry of the proletarian revolution in individual countries, 
undeterred by the fact that the opportunists of all coun- 
tries would cling to the old formula and try to use the 
names of Marx and Engels as a screen for their oppor- 
tunist activity. 

On the other hand, it would be strange to expect of 
Marx and Engels, geniuses though they were, that they, 
fifty or sixty years prior to developed monopoly capital- 
ism, should have been able to foresee accurately all 
the potentialities of the class struggle of the proletar- 
iat which have shown themselves in the period of mo- 
nopoly, imperialist capitalism. 

And this was not the first instance where Lenin, 
basing himself on the method of Marx, continued the 
work of Marx and Engels without clinging to the letter 
of Marxism. I have in mind another and similar instance 
— namely, the question of the dictatorship of the pro- 
letariat. We know that on this question Marx expressed 
the opinion that the dictatorship of the proletariat — as 
the smashing of the old state apparatus, and the creation 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 263 

of a new one, of a new, proletarian state — is an essential 
stage in the advance towards socialism in the conti- 
nental countries making an exception in the case of Eng- 
land and America, since in those countries, Marx said, 
militarism and bureaucracy were weakly developed, or 
not developed at all, and, consequently, some other, 
"peaceful" path of transition to socialism was possible. 
That was quite correct in the seventies. (Ryazanov: 
"It was not correct even then.") I think that in the seven- 
ties, when militarism was not so developed in England 
and America as it became subsequently, that proposition 
was absolutely correct. You may convince yourselves of 
that from the chapter in Comrade Lenin's pamphlet 
The Tax in Kind* 3 where he says that in the seventies 
in England it was not excluded that socialism might 
develop by way of an agreement between the proletariat 
and the bourgeoisie of that country, where the proletar- 
iat constituted the majority and where the bourgeoisie 
was accustomed to making compromises, where milita- 
rism was weak, and where bureaucracy was weak. But 
while that proposition was correct in the seventies of 
the last century, it became incorrect after the nineteenth 
century, in the period of imperialism, when England be- 
came no less bureaucratic and no less, if not more, mili- 
taristic than any of the countries of the continent. Com- 
rade Lenin therefore says in his pamphlet The State 
and Revolution that Marx's reservation as regards the 
continent is now invalid, 84 since new conditions have 
arisen which render superfluous the exception made in 
the case of England. 

Lenin's, greatness consists precisely in the fact that 
he did not allow himself to he held prisoner by the 



264 J. V. STALIN 



letter of Marxism, that he was able to grasp the essence 
of Marxism and use it as a starting point for develop- 
ing further the teachings of Marx and Engels. 

That, comrades, is how the question of the vic- 
tory of the socialist revolution in individual countries 
stood in the pre-imperialist, pre-monopoly period of 
capitalism. 

2. LENINISM OR TROTSKYISM? 

Lenin was the first Marxist who made a really Marx- 
ist analysis of imperialism, as a new and last phase of 
capitalism, who presented the question of the possibil- 
ity of the victory of socialism in individual capitalist 
countries in a new way and answered it in the affirma- 
tive. I have in mind Lenin's pamphlet Imperialism, 
the Highest Stage of Capitalism. I have in mind also his 
article "The United States of Europe Slogan," which 
appeared in 1915. I have in mind the controversy between 
Trotsky and Lenin over the slogan of a United States of 
Europe, or of the whole world, in which Lenin first ad- 
vanced the thesis that the victory of socialism in one 
country is possible. 

Here is what Lenin wrote in that article: 

"As a separate slogan, however, the slogan of a United States 
of the World would hardly be a correct one, firstly, because it 
merges with socialism; secondly, because it may give rise to a 
wrong interpretation in the sense of the impossibility of the vic- 
tory of socialism in a single country and about the relation of 
such a country to the rest. Uneven economic and political develop- 
ment is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence, the victory of so- 
cialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country 
taken separately. The victorious proletariat of that country 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 265 

having expropriated the capitalists and organised social- 
ist production, would stand up against the rest of the world, 
the capitalist world, attracting to its cause the oppressed classes 
of other countries, raising revolts in those countries against the 
capitalists, and in the event of necessity coming out even with 
armed force against the exploiting classes and their states." 
. . . For "the free union of nations in socialism is impossible 
without a more or less prolonged and stubborn struggle of the so- 
cialist republics against the backward states" (see Vol. XVIII, 
pp. 232-33). 

That is what Lenin wrote in 1915. 

What is this law of uneven development of capitalism 
whose operation under the conditions of imperialism 
leads to the possibility of the victory of socialism in 
one country? 

Speaking of this law, Lenin held that the old, pre- 
monopoly capitalism has already passed into imperial- 
ism; that world economy is developing in the condi- 
tions of a frenzied struggle between the leading impe- 
rialist groups for territory, markets, raw materials, 
etc.; that the division of the world into spheres of in- 
fluence of imperialist groups is already completed; that 
the development of the capitalist countries does not 
proceed evenly, not in such a way that one country fol- 
lows after another or advances parallel with it, but spas- 
modically, through some countries which had previously 
outstripped the others being pushed back and new 
countries advancing to the forefront; that this manner 
of development of the capitalist countries inevitably en- 
genders conflicts and wars between the capitalist powers 
for a fresh redivision of an already divided world; that 
these conflicts and wars lead to the weakening of impe- 
rialism; that owing to this the world imperialist front 



266 J. V. STALIN 



becomes easily liable to be breached in individual coun- 
tries; and that, because of this, the victory of socialism 
in individual countries becomes possible. 

We know that quite recently Britain was ahead of 
all the other imperialist states. We also know that Ger- 
many then began to overtake Britain, and demanded a 
"place in the sun" at the expense of other countries and, 
in the first place, at the expense of Britain. We know 
that it was precisely as a result of this circumstance 
that the imperialist war (1914-18) arose. Now, after 
the imperialist war, America has spurted far ahead and 
outdistanced both Britain and the other European pow- 
ers. It can scarcely be doubted that this contains the 
seeds of new great conflicts and wars. 

The fact that in consequence of the imperialist war 
the imperialist front was breached in Russia is evidence 
that, in the present-day conditions of capitalist develop- 
ment, the chain of the imperialist front will not necessa- 
rily break in the country where industry is most devel- 
oped, but where the chain is weakest, where the prole- 
tariat has an important ally — such as the peasantry, 
for instance — in the fight against imperialist rule, as 
was the case in Russia. 

It is quite possible that in the future the chain of 
the imperialist front will break in one of the countries — 
India, say — where the proletariat has an important al- 
ly in the shape of a powerful revolutionary liberation 
movement. 

In affirming the possibility of the victory of social- 
ism in one country, Lenin, as we know, was in con- 
troversy with Trotsky, in the first place, and also with 
the Social-Democrats. 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 267 

How did Trotsky react to Lenin's article and to his 
thesis that the victory of socialism is possible in one 
country? 

Here is what Trotsky wrote then (in 1915) in reply 
to Lenin's article: 

"The only more or less concrete historical argument," says 
Trotsky, "advanced against the slogan of a United States of 
Europe was formulated in the Swiss Sotsial-Demokrat (at that 
time the central organ of the Bolsheviks, where Lenin's above-men- 
tioned article was printed — J. St.) in the following sentence. 
'Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of 
capitalism.' From this the Sotsial-Demokrat draws the conclu- 
sion that the victory of socialism is possible in one country, and 
that therefore there is no reason to make the dictatorship of the 
proletariat in each separate country contingent upon the establish- 
ment of a United States of Europe. That capitalist development 
in different countries is uneven is an absolutely incontrovertible 
argument. But this unevenness is itself extremely uneven. The 
capitalist level of Britain, Austria, Germany or France is not 
identical. But in comparison with Africa and Asia all these coun- 
tries represent capitalist 'Europe,' which has grown ripe for the 
social revolution. That no country in its struggle must 'wait' 
for others, is an elementary thought which it is useful and neces- 
sary to reiterate in order that the idea of concurrent international 
action may not be replaced by the idea of temporising international 
inaction. Without waiting for the others, we begin and continue 
the struggle nationally, in the full confidence that our initiative 
will give an impetus to the struggle in other countries; but if 
this should not occur, it would be hopeless to think — as historical 
experience and theoretical considerations testify — that, for exam- 
ple, a revolutionary Russia could hold out in the face of a conserva- 
tive Europe, or that a socialist Germany could exist in isolation 
in a capitalist world"* (see Trotsky's Works, Vol. Ill, Part 1, 
pp. 89-90). 



My italics. — J. St. 



268 J. V. STALIN 



That is what Trotsky wrote in 1915 in the Paris news- 
paper Nashe Slovo, 86 the article being subsequently 
reprinted in Russia in a collection of Trotsky's articles 
entitled Peace Programme, first published in August 
1917. 

You see that in these two passages, Lenin's and 
Trotsky's, two entirely different theses stand contrasted. 
Whereas Lenin considers that the victory of socialism 
in one country is possible, that the proletariat when it 
has seized power can not only retain it, but can even 
go further, having expropriated the capitalists and or- 
ganised a socialist economy, so as to render effective sup- 
port to the proletarians of capitalist countries, Trotsky, 
on the contrary, considers that if a victorious revolution 
in one country does not very soon call forth a victorious 
revolution in other countries, the proletariat of the vic- 
torious country will not be able even to retain power 
(let alone organise a socialist economy); for, Trotsky 
says, it is hopeless to think that a revolutionary govern- 
ment in Russia can hold out in the face of a conservative 
Europe. 

These are two entirely different points of view, two 
entirely different lines. With Lenin, a proletariat which 
has taken power represents a most active force displaying 
the highest initiative, which organises a socialist econ- 
omy and goes further and supports the proletarians of 
other countries. With Trotsky, on the contrary, a prole- 
tariat which has taken power becomes a semi-passive 
force which requires immediate assistance in the shape 
of an immediate victory of socialism in other countries, 
and which feels itself, as it were, in a temporary encamp- 
ment and in peril of immediately losing power. But if 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 269 

the victory of the revolution in other countries should 
not ensue immediately — what then? Then, chuck up the 
job. (A voice from the audience: "And run to cover.") Yes, 
and run to cover. That is perfectly correct. {Laughter.) 

It may be said that this divergence between Lenin 
and Trotsky is a thing of the past, that later, in the 
course of the work, it might have been reduced to a mini- 
mum and even wiped out altogether. Yes, it might have 
been reduced to a minimum and even wiped out. But, 
unfortunately, neither of these things happened. On the 
contrary, this divergence remained in full force right 
down to Comrade Lenin's death. It exists even now, as 
you can see for yourselves. I affirm that, on the contrary, 
this divergence between Lenin and Trotsky, and the 
controversy it gave rise to, continued all the time; 
articles on the subject by Lenin and Trotsky appeared 
one after another, and the concealed controversy contin- 
ued, it is true without mention of names. 

Here are some facts on this score. 

In 1921, when we introduced NEP, Lenin again 
raised the question of the possibility of the victory of 
socialism, this time in the more concrete form of the 
possibility of laying a socialist foundation for our econ- 
omy along the lines of NEP. You will recall that when 
NEP was introduced in 1921, Lenin was accused by a 
section of our Party, especially by the "Workers' Oppo- 
sition," that, by introducing NEP, he was swerving 
from the path of socialism. It was evidently in reply 
to this that Lenin repeatedly declared in his speeches 
and articles of that time that we were introducing NEP 
not as a departure from our course, but as a continuation 
of it under the new conditions, with a view to laying 



270 J. V. STALIN 



"a socialist foundation for our economy," "together 
with the peasantry," and "under the leadership of the 
working class" (see Lenin's The Tax in Kind and other 
articles on the subject of NEP). 

As though in reply to this, Trotsky, in January 1922, 
published a "Preface" to his book The Year 1905, 
where he declared that in our country building social- 
ism together with the peasantry was unfeasible, because 
the life of our country would be a series of hostile 
collisions between the working class and the peasantry 
until the proletariat was victorious in the West. 

Here is what Trotsky said in his "Preface": 

"Having assumed power, the proletariat would come into 
hostile collision* not only with all the bourgeois groupings which 
supported the proletariat during the first stages of its revolution- 
ary struggle, but also with the broad masses of the peasantry with 
whose assistance it came into power. The contradictions in the 
position of a workers' government in a backward country with 
an overwhelmingly peasant population can be solved only on an 
international scale, in the arena of the world proletarian revolu- 
tion" (Trotsky, in the "Preface," written in 1922, to his book The 
Year 1905). 

Here, too, as you see, two different theses stand 
contrasted. Whereas Lenin grants the possibility of lay- 
ing a socialist foundation for our economy together 
with the peasantry and under the leadership of the work- 
ing class, Trotsky, on the contrary, holds that it is im- 
possible for the proletariat to lead the peasantry and 
for them to work together in laying a socialist founda- 
tion, since the political life of the country will be a 
series of hostile collisions between the workers' govern- 



My italics. — J. St. 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 271 

ment and the peasant majority, and that these collisions 
can only be solved in the arena of the world revolution. 
Further, we have Lenin's speech at the plenary meet- 
ing of the Moscow Soviet a year later, in 1922, where he 
again reverts to the question of building socialism in 
our country. He says: 

"Socialism is no longer a matter of the distant future, or an 
abstract picture, or an icon. We still retain our old bad opinion 
of icons. We have dragged socialism into everyday life, and here 
we must find our way. This is the task of our day, the task of our 
epoch. Permit me to conclude by expressing the conviction that, 
difficult as this tack may be, new as it may be compared with our 
previous task, and no matter how many difficulties it may entail, 
we shall all — not in one day, but in the course of several years — 
all of us together fulfil it whatever happens so that NEP Russia 
will become socialist Russia" (see Vol. XXVII, p. 366). 

As though in answer to this, or perhaps in explana- 
tion of what he had said in the passage from him quoted 
above, Trotsky published in 1922 a "Postscript" to 
his pamphlet Peace Programme, where he says: 

"The assertion reiterated several times in the Peace Pro- 
gramme that a proletarian revolution cannot culminate victoriously 
within national bounds may perhaps seem to some readers to have 
been refuted by the nearly five years' experience of our Soviet 
Republic. But such a conclusion would be unwarranted. The fact 
that the workers' state has held out against the whole world in 
one country, and a backward country at that, testifies to the 
colossal might of the proletariat, which in other, more advanced, 
more civilised countries will be truly capable of performing 
miracles. But while we have held our ground as a state political- 
ly and militarily, we have not arrived, or even begun to arrive, 
at the creation of a socialist society. ... As long as the bourgeoi- 
sie remains in power in the other European countries we shall be 
compelled, in our struggle against economic isolation, to strive 



272 J. V. STALIN 



for agreement with the capitalist world; at the same time it may 
be said with certainty that these agreements may at best help us 
to mitigate some of our economic ills, to take one or another step 
forward, but real progress of a socialist economy in Russia will 
become possible only after the victory* of the proletariat in the 
major European countries" (see Trotsky's Works, Vol. Ill, Part 1, 
pp. 92-93). 

Here, too, as you see, two antithetical theses, Lenin's 
and Trotsky's, stand contrasted. Whereas Lenin consid- 
ers that we have already dragged socialism into every- 
day life and that, in spite of the difficulties, we are fully 
in a position to turn NEP Russia into socialist Russia, 
Trotsky, on the contrary, believes that not only are we 
unable to turn present Russia into socialist Russia, but 
that we cannot even achieve real progress of socialist 
economy until the proletariat is victorious in other coun- 
tries. 

Lastly, we have Comrade Lenin's notes in the shape 
of the articles "On Co-operation" and "Our Revolu- 
tion" (directed against Sukhanov) which he wrote be- 
fore his death, and which have been left to us as his polit- 
ical testament. These notes are remarkable for the fact 
that in them Lenin again raises the question of the pos- 
sibility of the victory of socialism in our country, and 
gives us formulations which leave no room for any doubt 
whatever. Here is what he says in his notes "Our Rev- 
olution": 

". . . Infinitely hackneyed is the argument that they (the 
heroes of the Second International — J. St.) learned by rote during 
the development of West-European Social-Democracy, namely, 
that we are not yet ripe for socialism, that, as certain 'learned' 



* My italics.— J. St. 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 273 



gentlemen among them express it, the objective economic pre- 
requisites for socialism do not exist in our country. And to none 
of them does it occur to ask himself: But what about a people 
that found itself in a revolutionary situation such as that created 
during the first imperialist war? Might it not, under the influ- 
ence of the hopelessness of its situation, fling itself into a struggle 
that offered it some chance, at least, of securing conditions, not 
quite ordinary, for the further development of its civilisation. . . . 

"If a definite level of culture is required for the building of 
socialism (although nobody can say just what that definite 'level 
of culture' is), why cannot we begin by first achieving the prereq- 
uisites for the definite level of culture in a revolutionary way, 
and then, on the basis of the workers' and peasants' government 
and the Soviet system, proceed to overtake the other nations? . . . 

"You say that civilisation is necessary for the creation of so- 
cialism. Very good. But why could we not first create such prereq- 
uisites of civilisation in our country as the expulsion of the land- 
lords and the Russian capitalists, and then start moving 
towards socialism? In what books have you read that such varia- 
tions of the customary historical procedure are impermissible or 
impossible?" (see Lenin, Vol. XXVII, pp. 399-401). 

And here is what Lenin says in the articles "On 
Co-operation": 

"As a matter of fact, state power over all large-scale means 
of production, state power in the hands of the proletariat, the 
alliance of this proletariat with the many millions of small and 
very small peasants, the assured leadership of the peasantry by 
the proletariat, etc. — is not this all that is necessary for building 
a complete socialist society from the co-operatives, from the co- 
operatives alone, which we formerly looked down upon as huck- 
stering and which from a certain aspect we have the right to look 
down upon as such now, under NEP. Is this not all that is neces- 
Sary for building a complete socialist society? This is not yet the 
building of socialist society, but it is all that is necessary and 
sufficient for this building"* (see Lenin, Vol. XXVII, p. 392). 



My italics. — J. St. 



274 J. V. STALIN 



And so, we have in this way two lines on the basic 
question of the possibility of victoriously building so- 
cialism in our country, of the possibility of the victory 
of the socialist elements in our economy over the capi- 
talist elements — for, comrades, the possibility of the 
victory of socialism in our country means nothing more 
nor less than the possibility of the victory of the socialist 
elements in our economy over the capitalist elements — 
we have the line of Lenin and Leninism, in the first 
place, and the line of Trotsky and Trotskyism, in the 
second place. Leninism answers this question in the affir- 
mative. Trotskyism, on the contrary, denies the possi- 
bility of the victory of socialism in our country through 
the internal forces of our revolution. While the first 
line is the line of our Party, the second line is an approx- 
imation to the views of Social-Democracy. 

That is why it is said in the draft theses on the oppo- 
sition bloc that Trotskyism is a Social-Democratic de- 
viation in our Party. 

But from this it follows incontestably that our revo- 
lution is a socialist revolution, that it represents not 
only a signal, an impulse, a starting point for the world 
revolution, but also a base, a necessary and sufficient 
base, for the building of a complete socialist society in 
our country. 

And so, we can and must defeat the capitalist ele- 
ments in our economy, we can and must build a socialist 
society in our country. But can that victory be termed 
complete, final? No, it cannot. We can defeat our capi- 
talists, we are in a position to build and complete the 
building of socialism, but that does not mean that we 
are in a position by doing so to guarantee the land of 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 275 

the dictatorship of the proletariat against dangers from 
outside, against the danger of intervention, and, conse- 
quently, of restoration, re-establishment of the old or- 
der. We are not living on an island. We are living within 
a capitalist encirclement. The fact that we are building 
socialism, and thereby revolutionising the workers of 
the capitalist countries, cannot but evoke the hatred and 
enmity of the whole capitalist world. To think that the 
capitalist world can look on indifferently at our successes 
on the economic front, successes which are revolu- 
tionising the working class of the whole world, is to 
harbour an illusion. Therefore, so long as we remain 
within a capitalist encirclement, so long as the proletar- 
iat is not victorious in a number of countries at least, 
we cannot regard our victory as final; consequently, no 
matter what successes we may achieve in our constructive 
work, we cannot consider the land of the dictatorship 
of the proletariat guaranteed against dangers from 
outside. Therefore, to achieve final victory we must 
ensure that the present capitalist encirclement is re- 
placed by a socialist encirclement, that the proletariat is 
victorious at least in several other countries. Only then 
can our victory be regarded as final. 

That is why we regard the victory of socialism in 
our country not as an end in itself, not as something self- 
sufficient, but as an aid, a means, a path towards the 
victory of the proletarian revolution in other countries. 

Here is what Comrade Lenin wrote on this score: 

"We are living," Lenin says, "not merely in a state, but 
in a system of states, and the existence of the Soviet Republic 
side by side with imperialist states for a long time is unthinkable. 
One or the other must triumph in the end. And before that end 



276 J. V. STALIN 



comes, a series of frightful collisions between the Soviet Republic 
and the bourgeois states will be inevitable. That means that if 
the ruling class, the proletariat, wants to, and will hold sway, 
it must prove this by its military organisation also" (see 
Vol. XXIV, p. 122). 

It follows from this that the danger of armed inter- 
vention exists, and will continue to exist for a long 
time to come. 

Whether the capitalists are just now in a position to 
undertake serious intervention against the Soviet Repub- 
lic is another question. That remains to be seen. Here 
much depends on the behaviour of the workers of the 
capitalist countries, on their sympathy for the land of the 
proletarian dictatorship, on how far they are devoted 
to the cause of socialism. That at the present time the 
workers of the capitalist countries cannot support our 
revolution with a revolution against their own capitalists 
is so far a fact. But that the capitalists are not in a 
position to rouse "their" workers for a war against our 
republic is also a fact. And to make war on the land 
of the dictatorship of the proletariat without the workers 
is something which capitalism cannot do nowadays with- 
out incurring mortal risk. That is evident from the nu- 
merous workers' delegations which come to our country 
to verify our work in building socialism. It is evident 
from the profound sympathy which the working class 
of the whole world cherishes for the Soviet Republic. 
It is on this sympathy that the international position of 
our republic now rests. Without it we should be having 
now a number of fresh attempts at intervention, our 
constructive work would be interrupted, and we should 
not be having a period of "respite," 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 277 

But if the capitalist world is not in a position to 
undertake armed intervention against our country just 
now, that does not mean that it will never be in a po- 
sition to do so. At any rate, the capitalists are not asleep; 
they are doing their utmost to weaken the international 
position of our republic and to prepare the way for inter- 
vention. Therefore, neither attempts at intervention, nor 
the consequent possibility of the restoration of the old 
order in our country, can be regarded as excluded. 

Hence Lenin is right in saying: 

"As long as our Soviet Republic remains an isolated border- 
land of the entire capitalist world, just so long will it be quite 
ludicrously fantastic and Utopian to hope . . . for the disappearance 
of all danger. Of course, as long as such fundamental opposites 
remain, dangers will remain too, and we cannot escape them" 
(see Vol. XXVI, p. 29). 

That is why Lenin says: 

"Final victory can be achieved only on a world scale, and 
only by the joint efforts of the workers of all countries" (see 
Vol. XXIII, p. 9). 

And so, what is the victory of socialism in our coun- 
try? 

It means achieving the dictatorship of the proletar- 
iat and completely building socialism, thus overcoming 
the capitalist elements in our economy through the in- 
ternal forces of our revolution. 

And what is the final victory of socialism in our 
country? 

It means the creation of a full guarantee against 
intervention and attempts at restoration, by means of 



278 J. V. STALIN 



a victorious socialist revolution in several countries at 
least. 

While the possibility of the victory of socialism in 
one country means the possibility of resolving internal 
contradictions, which can be completely overcome by 
one country (meaning by that, of course, our country), 
the possibility of the final victory of socialism implies 
the possibility of resolving the external contradictions 
between the country of socialism and the capitalist 
countries, contradictions which can be overcome only 
as the result of a proletarian revolution in several coun- 
tries. 

Anyone who confuses these two categories of contra- 
dictions is either a hopeless muddle-head or an incorri- 
gible opportunist. 

Such is the basic line of our Party. 

3. THE RESOLUTION OF THE FOURTEENTH 
CONFERENCE OF THE R.C.P.(B.) 

This line of our Party was first officially formulated 
in the resolution of the Fourteenth Conference on the 
international situation, the stabilisation of capitalism, 
and the building of socialism in one country. I consider 
that resolution one of the most important documents 
in the history of our Party, not only because it represents 
a grand demonstration in support of the Leninist line 
on the question of building socialism in our country, 
but also because it is at the same time a direct con- 
demnation of Trotskyism. I think that it would not 
be superfluous to mention the most important points 
of this resolution, which, strangely enough, was 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 279 

adopted on the report of Zinoviev. (Commotion in the 
hall.) 

Here is what the resolution says about the victory 
of socialism in one country: 

"Generally, the victory of socialism in one country {not in 
the sense of final victory) is unquestionably possible."*^ 6 

On the question of the final victory of socialism, 
the resolution says: 

". . . The existence of two directly opposite social systems 
gives rise to the constant menace of capitalist blockade, of other 
forms of economic pressure, of armed intervention, of restoration. 
Consequently, the only guarantee of the final victory of socialism, 
i.e., the guarantee against restoration, is a victorious socialist 
revolution in a number of countries." 87 

And here is what the resolution says about building 
a complete socialist society, and about Trotskyism: 

"It by no means follows from this that it is impossible to 
build a complete socialist society in a backward country like 
Russia without the 'state aid' (Trotsky) of countries more devel- 
oped technically and economically. An integral part of Trotsky's 
theory of permanent revolution is the assertion that 'real progress 
of a socialist economy in Russia will become possible only after 
the victory of the proletariat in the major European countries' 
(Trotsky, 1922) — an assertion which in the present period condemns 
the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. to fatalistic passivity. In opposi- 
lion to such 'theories,' Comrade Lenin wrote: 'Infinitely hack- 
neyed is the argument that they learned by rote during the de- 
velopment of West-European Social-Democracy, namely, that we 
are not yet ripe for socialism, that, as certain "learned" gentlemen 



My italics. — J. St. 



280 J. V. STALIN 



among them express it, the objective economic prerequisites for so- 
cialism do not exist in our country'" (Notes on Sukhanov). (Resolu- 
tion of the Fourteenth Conference of the R.C.P.(B.) on "The Tasks 
of the Comintern and the R.C.P.(B.) in Connection with the 
Enlarged Plenum of the E. C.C.I." 88 ) 

I think that these basic points of the Fourteenth 
Conference resolution need no explanation. It could not 
have been put more clearly and definitely. Particularly 
deserving of attention is the passage in the resolution 
which places Trotskyism on a par with Sukhanovism. 
And what is Sukhanovism? We know from Lenin's 
articles against Sukhanov that Sukhanovism is a variety 
of Social-Democracy, of Menshevism. This needs to be 
especially stressed in order that it may be understood 
why Zinoviev, who defended this resolution at the Four- 
teenth Conference, later departed from it and adhered 
to the standpoint of Trotsky, with whom he has now 
formed a bloc. 

Further, in connection with the international situa- 
tion the resolution notes two deviations from the basic 
line of the Party which might be a source of danger 
to the latter. 

Here is what the resolution says about these dan- 
gers: 

"In connection with the existing situation in the international 
arena, two dangers may threaten our Party in the present period: 
1) a deviation towards passivity, arising from too broad an in- 
terpretation of the stabilisation of capitalism to be observed here 
and there, and from the slowing down of the tempo of the inter- 
national revolution — the absence of a sufficient impulse to ener- 
getic and systematic work in building a socialist society in the 
U.S.S.R. despite the slowing down of the tempo of the internation- 
al revolution, and 2) a deviation towards national narrow-minded- 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 281 

ness, forgetfulness of the duties of international proletarian revolu- 
tionaries, an unconscious disregard for the intimate dependence of 
the fate of the U.S.S.R. on the international proletarian revolu- 
tion, which is developing, although slowly, a failure to understand 
that not only does the international movement need the existence, 
consolidation and strengthening of the first proletarian state in 
the world, but also that the dictatorship of the proletariat in the 
U.S.S.R. needs the aid of the international proletariat." (Reso- 
lution of the Fourteenth Conference of the R.C.P.(B.) on "The 
Tasks of the Comintern and the R.C.P.(B.) in Connection with 
the Enlarged Plenum of the E.C.C.I.") 

It is clear from this quotation that in speaking of 
the first deviation the Fourteenth Conference had in 
mind the deviation towards disbelief in the victory of 
socialist construction in our country, a deviation preva- 
lent among the Trotskyists. Speaking of the second 
deviation, the conference had in mind the deviation 
towards forgetfulness of the international prospects 
of our revolution which to a certain extent prevails 
among some of our officials in the field of foreign pol- 
icy, who sometimes tend to go over to the standpoint 
of establishing "spheres of influence" in dependent 
countries. 

By stigmatising both these deviations, the Party 
as a whole and its Central Committee declared war on 
the dangers arising from them. 

Such are the facts. 

How could it happen that Zinoviev, who put the 
case for the Fourteenth Conference resolution in a spe- 
cial report, subsequently departed from the line of this 
resolution, which is at the same time the line of Lenin- 
ism? How could it happen that, on departing from 
Leninism, he hurled at the Party the ludicrous charge of 



282 J. V. STALIN 



national narrow-mindedness, using it as a screen to cover 
up his departure from Leninism? — a trick which I shall 
endeavour to explain to you now, comrades. 

4. THE PASSING OVER 
OF THE "NEW OPPOSITION" TO TROTSKYISM 

The divergence between the present leaders of the 
"New Opposition," Kamenev and Zinoviev, and the 
Central Committee of our Party over the question of 
building socialism in our country first assumed open 
form on the eve of the Fourteenth Conference. I am re- 
ferring to one of the meetings of the Political Bureau 
of the Central Committee on the eve of the conference, 
where Kamenev and Zinoviev attempted to advocate a 
peculiar point of view on this question, one that has 
nothing in common with the line of the Party and in 
all fundamentals coincides with the position of Sukha- 
nov. 

Here is what the Moscow Committee of the R.C.P.(B.) 
wrote in this connection in reply to the statement of 
the former Leningrad top leadership in December 1925, 
that is, seven months later: 

"Recently, in the Political Bureau, Kamenev and Zinoviev 
advocated the point of view that we cannot cope with the internal 
difficulties due to our technical and economic backwardness unless 
an international revolution comes to our rescue. We, however, 
with the majority of the members of the Central Committee 
think that we can build socialism, are building it, and will com- 
pletely build it, notwithstanding our technical backwardness 
and in spite of it. We think that the work of building will proceed 
far more slowly, of course, than in the conditions of a world vic- 
tory; nevertheless, we are making progress and will continue to 
do so. We also believe that the view held by Kamenev and Zino- 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 283 

viev expresses disbelief in the internal forces of our work- 
ing class and of the peasant masses who follow its lead. We 
believe that it is a departure from the Leninist position" (see 
"Reply"). 

I must observe, comrades, that Kamenev and Zino- 
viev did not even attempt to refute the Moscow Com- 
mittee's statement, which was printed in Pravda 
during the early sittings of the Fourteenth Congress, 
thereby tacitly admitting that the charges the Moscow 
Committee levelled against them correspond to the 
facts. 

At the Fourteenth Conference itself, Kamenev and 
Zinoviev formally acknowledged the correctness of the 
Party's line as regards building socialism in our country. 
They were evidently compelled to do so because their 
standpoint had found no sympathy among the members 
of the Central Committee. More than that, as I have al- 
ready said, Zinoviev even put the case for the Four- 
teenth Conference resolution — which, as you have had the 
opportunity to convince yourselves, expresses the line 
of our Party — in a special report at the Fourteenth Con- 
ference. But subsequent events showed that Zinoviev 
and Kamenev had supported the Party line at the Four- 
teenth Conference only formally, outwardly, while ac- 
tually continuing to adhere to their own opinion. In this 
respect, the appearance in September 1925 of Zinoviev's 
book Leninism constituted an "event" which drew a 
dividing line between the Zinoviev who put the case 
for the Party line at the Fourteenth Conference and the 
Zinoviev who has departed from the Party line, from 
Leninism, for the ideological position of Trotskyism. 

Here is what Zinoviev writes in his book: 



284 J. V. STALIN 



"By the final victory of socialism is meant, at least: 1) the 
abolition of classes, and therefore 2) the abolition of the dictator- 
ship of one class, in this case the dictatorship of the proletar- 
iat." . . . "In order to get a clearer idea of how the question stands 
here, in the U.S.S.R., in the year 1925," says Zinoviev further, 
"we must distinguish between two things: 1) the assured possi- 
bility of engaging in building socialism — such a possibility, it 
stands to reason, is quite conceivable within the limits of one 
country; and 2) the final construction and consolidation of social- 
ism, i.e., the achievement of a socialist system, of a socialist 
society" (see Zinoviev's Leninism, pp. 291 and 293). 

Here, as you see, everything is muddled up and 
turned upside down. According to Zinoviev, what is 
meant by victory — that is, the victory of socialism in 
one country — is having the possibility of building social- 
ism, but not the possibility of completely building it. 
To engage in building, but with the certainty that we 
shall not be able to complete what we are building. 
That, it appears, is what Zinoviev means by the victory 
of socialism in one country. {Laughter .) As to the question 
of completely building a socialist society, he confuses 
it with the question of final victory, thus demonstrating 
his complete lack of understanding of the whole question 
of the victory of socialism in our country. To engage in 
building a socialist economy, knowing that it cannot 
be completely built — that is the depth to which Zino- 
viev has sunk. 

It need hardly be said that this attitude is totally 
at variance with the fundamental line of Leninism on 
the question of building socialism. It need hardly be 
said that such an attitude, which tends to weaken the 
proletariat's will to build socialism in our country, and 
therefore to retard the outbreak of the revolution in 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 285 

other countries, turns upside down the very principles 
of internationalism. It is an attitude which directly 
approaches, and extends a hand to, the ideological posi- 
tion of Trotskyism. 

The same must be said of Zinoviev's statements at 
the Fourteenth Congress in December 1925. Here is what 
he said there, criticising Yakovlev: 

"Take a look, for instance, at what Comrade Yakovlev went 
so far as to say at the last Kursk Gubernia Party Conference. He 
asks: 'Is it possible for us, surrounded as we are on all sides by 
capitalist enemies, to completely build socialism in one country 
under such conditions?' And he answers: 'On the basis of all that 
has been said we have the right to say not only that we are build- 
ing socialism, but that in spite of the fact that for the time being 
we are alone, that for the time being we are the only Soviet coun- 
try, the only Soviet state in the world, we shall completely build 
socialism' (Kurskaya Pravda, No. 279, December 8, 1925). Is 
this the Leninist method of presenting the question,'" Zinoviev asks, 
"does not this smack of national narrow-mindedness?"* (Zinoviev, 
Reply to the discussion at the Fourteenth Party Congress.) 

It follows that, because Yakovlev in the main up- 
held the line of the Party and of Leninism, he has earned 
the charge of national narrow-mindedness. It follows 
that to uphold the Party line, as formulated in the Four- 
teenth Conference resolution, is to be guilty of national 
narrow-mindedness. People would say of that: what a 
depth to sink to! Therein lies the whole trick that Zi- 
noviev is playing, which consists in levelling the ludi- 
crous charge of national narrow-mindedness at the 
Leninists in an endeavour to cover up his own departure 
from Leninism. 



My italics. — J. St. 



286 J. V. STALIN 



The theses on the opposition bloc are therefore tell- 
ing the exact truth when they assert that the "New Op- 
position" has passed over to Trotskyism on the basic 
question of the possibility of the victory of socialism 
in our country, or-on — what is the same thing — the ques- 
tion of the character and prospects of our revolution; 

It should be observed here that, formally, Kamenev 
holds a somewhat special position on this question. It 
is a fact that both at the Fourteenth Party Conference 
and at the Fourteenth Party Congress, Kamenev, unlike 
Zinoviev, publicly proclaimed his solidarity with the 
Party line on the question of building socialism in our 
country. Nevertheless, the Fourteenth Party Congress 
did not take Kamenev's statement seriously, did not 
take his word for it, and in its resolution on the Central 
Committee's report it included him in the group of 
people who had departed from Leninism. Why? Because 
Kamenev refused, saw no need, to back his statement of 
solidarity with the Party line with action. And what 
does backing his statement with action mean? It means 
breaking with those who are waging a fight against the 
Party line. The Party knows plenty of cases where people 
who declared in words their solidarity with the Party 
at the same time continued to maintain political friend- 
ship with elements who were waging a fight against 
the Party. Lenin used to say in cases like this that such 
"supporters" of the Party line are worse than opponents. 
We know, for example, that in the period of the impe- 
rialist war Trotsky repeatedly professed his solidarity 
with, and loyalty to, the principles of internationalism. 
But Lenin called him at that time an "abettor of the 
social-chauvinists." Why? Because, while professing 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 287 

internationalism, Trotsky at the same time refused to 
break with Kautsky and Martov, Potresov and Chkheid- 
ze. And Lenin, of course, was right. Do you want your 
statement to be taken seriously? — then back it with 
action, and give up political friendship with people who 
are waging a fight against the Party line. 

That is why I think that Kamenev's statements 
about his solidarity with the Party line on the question 
of building socialism cannot be taken seriously, seeing 
that he declines to back his word with action and con- 
tinues to remain in a bloc with the Trotskyists. 

5. TROTSKY'S EVASION. SMILGA. RADEK 

All this, it may be said, is good and correct, but 
are there no grounds or documents showing that the 
leaders of the opposition bloc would not be unwilling 
to turn away from the Social-Democratic deviation and 
return to Leninism? Take, for example, Trotsky's book 
Towards Socialism or Capitalism? Is not this book a 
sign that Trotsky is not unwilling to renounce his errors 
of principle? Some even think that Trotsky in this book 
really has renounced, or is trying to renounce, his errors 
of principle. I, sinner that I am, suffer from a certain 
scepticism on this point (laughter), and I must say that, 
unfortunately, such assumptions are absolutely unwar- 
ranted by the facts. 

Here, for instance, is the most salient passage in 
Trotsky's Towards Socialism or Capitalism? 

"The State Planning Commission (Gosplan) has published a 
tabulated summary of the 'control' figures for the national econo- 
my of the U.S.S.R. in the year 1925/26. All this sounds very 



288 J. V. STALIN 



dry and, so to speak, bureaucratic. But in these dry statistical 
columns and the almost equally dry and terse explanations to 
them, we hear the splendid historical music of growing socialism" 
(L. Trotsky, Towards Socialism or Capitalism? , Piano voye Kho- 
zyaistvo Publishing House, 1925, p. 1). 

What is this "splendid historical music of growing 
socialism"? What is the meaning of this "splendid" phrase, 
if it has any meaning at all? Does it give an answer, 
or even a hint of an answer, to the question whether 
the victory of socialism is possible in our country? 
One might have spoken of the historical music of growing 
socialism both in 1917, when we overthrew the bourgeoi- 
sie, and in 1920, when we ejected the interventionists 
from our country. For it really was the splendid histori- 
cal music of growing socialism when we overthrew the 
bourgeoisie in 1917 and drove out the interventionists 
and thereby furnished the whole world with splendid 
evidence of the strength and might of growing socialism 
in our country. But has it, can it have, any bearing at 
all on the question of the possibility of victoriously 
building socialism in our country? We can, Trotsky says, 
move towards socialism. But can we arrive at socialism? — 
that is the question. To move towards socialism knowing 
that you cannot arrive there — is that not folly? No, 
comrades, Trotsky's "splendid" phrase about the music 
and the rest of it is not an answer to the question, but 
a lawyer's subterfuge and a "musical" evasion of the 
question. {Voices from the audience: "Quite right!") 

I think that this splendid and musical evasion of 
Trotsky's may be put on a par with the evasion he re- 
sorted to in his pamphlet The New Course, when defining 
Leninism. Please listen to this: 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 289 



"Leninism, as a system of revolutionary action, presumes a 
revolutionary instinct trained by reflection and experience which, 
in the social sphere, is equivalent to muscular sensation in physical 
labour" (L. Trotsky, The New Course, Krasnaya Nov Publishing 
House, 1924, p. 47). 

Leninism as "muscular sensation in physical labour." 
New and original and very profound, is it not? Can you 
make head or tail of it? {Laughter .) All that is very colour- 
ful and musical, and, if you like, even splendid. Only 
one "trifle" is lacking: a simple and understandable 
definition of Leninism. 

It was just such instances of Trotsky's special fond- 
ness for musical phrases that Lenin had in mind when 
he wrote, for example, the following bitter but truth- 
ful words about him: 

"All that glitters is not gold. There is much glitter and 
sound in Trotsky's phrases, but they are meaningless" (see 
Vol. XVII, p. 383). 

So much for Trotsky's Towards Socialism or Capi- 
talism?, which was published in 1925. 

As to more recent times, 1926, for instance, we have 
a document signed by Trotsky of September 1926 which 
leaves no doubt whatever that he continues to adhere to 
his view, which has been repudiated by the Party. I 
have in mind Trotsky's letter to the oppositionists. 

Here is what this document says: 

"The Leningrad opposition promptly raised the alarm at 
the slurring over of differentiation in the countryside, at the in- 
crease of the kulaks and the growth of their influence not only 
on the elemental economic processes, but also on the policy of the 
Soviet Government; at the fact that in the ranks of our own Party 



290 J. V. STALIN 



there has arisen, under Bukharin's patronage, a school of theory 
which clearly reflects the pressure of the elemental forces of the 
petty bourgeoisie in our economy; the Leningrad opposition vig- 
orously opposed the theory of socialism in one country, as being 
a theoretical justification of national narrow-mindedness. . . ."* 
(From the appendices to the verbatim report of the sittings of the 
Political Bureau of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.), October 8 and 11, 
1926, on the question of the inner-Party situation.) 

Here, in this document signed by Trotsky, everything 
is admitted: the fact that the leaders of the "New Op- 
position" have deserted Leninism for Trotskyism, and 
the fact that Trotsky continues to adhere fully and un- 
reservedly to his old position, which is a Social-Demo- 
cratic deviation in our Party. 

Well, and what about the other leaders of the oppo- 
sition bloc — Smilga or Radek, for example? These 
people, I think, are also leaders of the opposition 
bloc. Smilga and Radek — don't they rank as leaders? 
How do they appraise the position of the Party, the po- 
sition of Leninism, on the question of building socialism 
in our country? 

Here is what Smilga, for instance, said in September 
1926 in the Communist Academy: 

"/ affirm," he said, "that he (Bukharin — /. St.) is completely 
under the sway of the rehabilitation ideology, that he takes it 
as proven that the economic backwardness of our country cannot be 
an obstacle to completely building a socialist system in Russia. . . . 
I consider that, inasmuch as we are engaged in socialist construc- 
tion, we are certainly building socialism. But, the question 
arises: does the rehabilitation period furnish any basis for testing 
and revising the cardinal tenet of Marxism and Leninism, which 

* My italics.— J. St. 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 291 



is that socialism cannot be completely built in one, technically back- 
ward country!"* (Smilga's speech in the Communist Academy on 
the control figures, September 26, 1926). 

That, as you see, is also a "position" which fully 
coincides with Mr. Sukhanov's on the basic question of 
the character and prospects of our revolution. Is it not 
true that Smilga's position fully corresponds with Trots- 
ky's, which I have called, and rightly called, the po- 
sition of a Social-Democratic deviation? (Voices: "Quite 
right!") 

Can the opposition bloc be held answerable for such 
pronouncements of Smilga's? It can, and must. Has 
the opposition bloc ever attempted to repudiate Smilga? 
No, it has not. On the contrary, it has given him every 
encouragement in his pronouncements in the Commu- 
nist Academy. 

Then there is the other leader, Radek, who, along 
with Smilga, delivered a speech in the Communist Acad- 
emy and reduced us to "dust and ashes." (Laughter.) 
We have a document which shows that Radek scoffed 
and jeered at the theory that socialism can be built in 
our country, called it a theory of building socialism "in 
one uyezd," or even "in one street." And when comrades 
in the audience interjected that this theory is "Lenin's 
idea," Radek retorted: 

"You haven't read Lenin very carefully. If Vladimir Ilyich 
were alive today he would say that it is a Shchedrin idea. In 
Shchedrin's The Pompadours there is a unique pompadour who 
had the idea of building liberalism in one uyezd" (Radek's speech 
in the Communist Academy). 



My italics. — J. St. 



292 J. V. STALIN 



Can Radek's vulgar liberalistic scoffing at the idea 
of building socialism in one country be regarded as 
anything but a complete rupture with Leninism? Is the 
opposition bloc answerable for this vulgar sally of 
Radek's? It certainly is. Why, then, does it not repudiate 
it? Because the opposition bloc has no intention of aban- 
doning its position of departure from Leninism. 



6. THE DECISIVE 

IMPORTANCE OF THE QUESTION OF THE PROSPECTS 

OF OUR CONSTRUCTIVE WORK 

It may be asked: why all these disputes over the 
character and prospects of our revolution? Why these dis- 
putes over what will or may happen in the future? Would 
it not be better to cast all these disputes aside and get 
down to practical work? 

I consider, comrades, that such a formulation of the 
question is fundamentally wrong. 

We cannot move forward without knowing where we 
are to move to, without knowing the aim of our move- 
ment. We cannot build without prospects, without the 
certainty that having begun to build a socialist economy 
we can complete it. Without clear prospects, without 
clear aims, the Party cannot direct the work of construc- 
tion. We cannot live according to Bernstein's prescrip- 
tion: "The movement is everything, the aim is nothing." 
On the contrary, as revolutionaries, we must subordi- 
nate our forward movement, our practical work, to the 
basic class aim of the proletariat's constructive work. 
If not, we shall certainly and inevitably land in the 
quagmire of opportunism. 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 293 

Further, if the prospects of our constructive work 
are not clear, if there is no certainty that the building 
of socialism can be completed, the working masses cannot 
consciously participate in this constructive work, and 
cannot consciously lead the peasantry. If there is no 
certainty that the building of socialism can be complet- 
ed, there can be no will to build socialism. Who wants 
to build knowing that he cannot complete what he is 
building? Hence, the absence of socialist prospects for 
our constructive work certainly and inevitably leads to 
the proletariat's will to build being weakened. 

Further, if the proletariat's will to build socialism 
is weakened, that is bound to have the effect of strength- 
ening the capitalist elements in our economy. For 
what does building socialism mean, if not overcoming 
the capitalist elements in our economy? Pessimistic and 
defeatist sentiments in the working class are bound to 
fire the capitalist elements' hopes of restoring the old 
order. Whoever fails to appreciate the decisive import- 
ance of the socialist prospects of our constructive work 
assists the capitalist elements in our economy, fosters 
a spirit of capitulation. 

Lastly, if the proletariat's will to victory over the 
capitalist elements in our economy is weakened, thus 
hindering our socialist constructive work, that is bound 
to delay the outbreak of the international revolution in 
all countries. It should not be forgotten that the world 
proletariat is watching our work of economic construction 
and our achievements on this front with the hope that 
we shall emerge victorious from this struggle, that we 
shall succeed in completely building socialism. The in- 
numerable workers' delegations that come to our country 



294 J. V. STALIN 



from the West and probe every corner of our constructive 
work indicate that our struggle on the front of construc- 
tive work is of tremendous international significance 
from the point of view of revolutionising the proletarians 
of all countries. Whoever attempts to do away with the 
socialist prospects of our constructive work is attempting 
to extinguish in the international proletariat the hope 
that we shall be victorious, and whoever extinguishes 
that hope is violating the elementary demands of prole- 
tarian internationalism. Lenin was a thousand times 
right when he said: 

"At the present time we are exercising our main influence 
on the international revolution by our economic policy. All eyes 
are turned on the Soviet Russian Republic, the eyes of all toilers 
in all countries of the world without exception and without 
exaggeration. . . . That is the field to which the struggle has been 
transferred on a world-wide scale. If we solve this problem, we 
shall have won on an international scale surely and finally. That 
is why questions of economic construction assume absolutely 
exceptional significance for us. On this front we must win victory 
by slow, gradual — it cannot be fast — but steady progress upward 
and forward"* (see Vol. XXVI, pp. 410-11). 

That is why I think that our disputes over the pos- 
sibility of the victory of socialism in our country are 
of cardinal importance, because in these disputes we are 
hammering out and deciding the answer to the question 
of the prospects of our work, of its class aims, of its 
basic line in the period immediately ahead. 

That is why I think that the question of the social- 
ist prospects of our constructive work is of prime im- 
portance for us. 



My italics. — J. St. 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 295 



7. THE POLITICAL PROSPECTS 
OF THE OPPOSITION BLOC 

The political prospects of the opposition bloc spring 
from its basic error regarding the character and prospects 
of our revolution. 

Since the international revolution is delayed, and 
the opposition has no faith in the internal forces of 
our revolution, it has two alternative prospects before it: 

Either the degeneration of the Party and the state 
apparatus, the actual retirement of the "finest elements" 
of communism (i.e., the opposition) from the government 
and the formation from these elements of a new, "purely 
proletarian" party standing in opposition to the of- 
ficial, not "purely" proletarian Party (Ossovsky's pro- 
spect); 

Or attempts to pass off its own impatience as reality, 
denial of the partial stabilisation of capitalism, and 
"super-human," "heroic" leaps and incursions both 
into the sphere of domestic policy (super-industrialisa- 
tion), and into the sphere of foreign policy ("ultra- 
Left" phrases and gestures). 

I think that of all the oppositionists, Ossovsky is 
the boldest and most courageous. If the opposition bloc 
was courageous and consistent, it ought to take the line 
of Ossovsky. But since it lacks both consistency and 
courage, it tends to take the path of the second prospect, 
the path of "super-human" leaps and "heroic" incur- 
sions into the objective course of events. 

Hence the denial of the partial stabilisation of cap- 
italism, the call to keep aloof from or even to with- 
draw from the trade unions in the West, the demand that 



296 J. V. STALIN 



the Anglo-Russian Committee should be wrecked, the 
demand that-our country should be industrialised in 
a mere six months, and so on. 

Hence the adventurist policy of the opposition bloc. 

Of particular importance in this connection is the 
opposition bloc's theory (it is also the theory of Trots- 
kyism) of skipping over the peasantry here, in our coun- 
try, in the matter of industrialising our country, and 
of skipping over the reactionary character of the trade 
unions there, in the West, especially in connection with 
the strike in Britain. 

The opposition bloc thinks that a party has only to 
work out a correct line, and it will become a mass party 
immediately and instantaneously, will be able immedi- 
ately and instantaneously to lead the masses into deci- 
sive battles. The opposition bloc fails to understand that 
such an attitude towards leading the masses has noth- 
ing in common with the views of Leninism. 

Were Lenin's April Theses on the Soviet revolution, 
issued in the spring of 1917, correct? 89 Yes, they were. 
Why, then, did Lenin not call at that time for the imme- 
diate overthrow of the Kerensky Government? Why did 
he combat the "ultra-Left" groups in our Party that put 
forward the slogan of immediate overthrow of the Pro- 
visional Government? Because Lenin knew that for 
carrying out a revolution it is not enough to have a correct 
Party line. Because Lenin knew that for carrying out a 
revolution a further circumstance is required, namely, 
that the masses, the broad mass of the workers, shall 
have been convinced through their own experience that 
the Party's line is correct. And this, in its turn, requires 
time, and indefatigable work by the Party among the 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 297 

masses, indefatigable work to convince them that the 
Party's line is correct. For this very reason, at the same 
time as he issued his revolutionary April Theses, Lenin 
issued the slogan for "patient" propaganda among the 
masses to convince them of the correctness of those the- 
ses. Eight months were spent on that patient work. 
But they were revolutionary months, which are equal 
at least to years of ordinary, "constitutional" times. 
We won the October Revolution because we were able 
to distinguish between a correct Party line and recogni- 
tion of the correctness of the line by the masses. That 
the oppositionist heroes of "super-human" leaps cannot 
and will not understand. 

Was the position of the British Communist Party 
during the strike in Britain a correct one? Yes, in the 
main it was. Why, then, did not the Party succeed at 
once in securing the following of the vast masses of the 
British working class? Because it did not succeed, and 
could not have succeeded, in convincing the masses in 
so short a time of the correctness of its line. Because be- 
tween the time when a party works out a correct line and 
the time when it succeeds in winning the following of 
the vast masses, there lies a more or less prolonged in- 
terval, during which the party has to work indefatigably 
to convince the masses of the correctness of its policy. 
That interval cannot be skipped over. It is foolish to 
think that it can be skipped over. It can only be out- 
lived and overcome by means of patient work for the 
political education of the masses. 

These elementary truths of the Leninist leadership of 
the masses the opposition bloc does not understand, 
and that is one of the sources of its political errors. 



298 J. V. STALIN 



Here is one of numerous specimens of Trotsky's pol- 
icy of "super-human" leaps and desperate gestures: 

"Should the Russian proletariat find itself in power," Trots- 
ky once said, "if only as the result of a temporary conjuncture 
of circumstances in our bourgeois revolution, it will encounter 
the organised hostility of world reaction and a readiness for organ- 
ised support on the part of the world proletariat. Left to its 
own resources, the working class of Russia will inevitably be 
crushed by counter-revolution the moment the peasantry turns 
its back on it. It will have no alternative but to link the fate of 
its political rule, and, hence, the fate of the whole Russian revo- 
lution, with the fate of the socialist revolution in Europe. That 
colossal state-political power given it by a temporary conjuncture 
of circumstances in the Russian bourgeois revolution it will cast 
into the scales of the class struggle of the entire capitalist world. 
With state power in its hands, with counter-revolution behind it 
and European reaction in front of it, it will issue to its confreres 
the world over the old battle-cry, which this time will be a call for 
the last attack: 'Workers of all countries, unite!'"* (Trotsky, Results 
and Prospects, p. 80.) 

How do you like that? The proletariat, it appears, 
must take power in Russia; but having taken power, 
it is bound to fall foul of the peasantry, and having 
fallen foul of the peasantry, it will have to hurl itself 
into a desperate clash with the world bourgeoisie, having 
"counter-revolution behind it" and "European reaction" 
in front of it. 

That in this "scheme" of Trotsky's there is plenty 
of the "musical," the "super-human" and the "desper- 
ately splendid," we can well agree. But that there is 
nothing Marxist or revolutionary about it, that what 



My italics. — J. St. 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 299 

we have here is just empty playing at revolution and 
sheer political adventurism — of that there can be no 
doubt either. 

Yet it is undeniable that this "scheme" of Trotsky's 
is a direct expression of the present political prospects 
of the opposition bloc, the outcome and fruit of Trotsky's 
theory of "skipping over" forms of the movement which 
have not yet outlived their day. 

Ill 

THE POLITICAL AND ORGANISATIONAL 
ERRORS OF THE OPPOSITION BLOC 

The political and organisational errors of the oppo- 
sition bloc are a direct sequel to its main error in the 
basic question of the character and prospects of our 
revolution. 

When I speak of the political and organisational 
errors of the opposition, I have in mind such questions 
as that of the hegemony of the proletariat in the work 
of economic construction, the question of industrialisa- 
tion, the question of the Party apparatus and the "re- 
gime" in the Party, etc. 

The Party holds that, in its policy in general, and 
in its economic policy in particular, it is impossible to 
divorce industry from agriculture, that the development 
of these two basic branches of economy must be along 
the line of combining, uniting them in a socialist econ- 
omy. 

Hence our method, the socialist method of industri- 
alising the country through the steady improvement 
of the living standards of the labouring masses, 



300 J. V. STALIN 



including the main mass of the peasantry, as being the 
principal base for the development of industrialisation. 
I speak of the socialist method of industrialisation, in 
contrast to the capitalist method of industrialisation, 
which is effected through the impoverishment of the vast 
masses of the labouring sections of the population. 

What is the principal demerit of the capitalist meth- 
od of industrialisation? It is that it leads to the inter- 
ests of industrialisation being set at variance with the 
interests of the labouring masses, to an aggravation 
of the internal contradictions in the country, to the im- 
poverishment of the vast masses of the workers and peas- 
ants, and to the utilisation of profits not for the improve- 
ment of the living and cultural standards of the broad 
masses of the people at home, but for export of capital 
and extension of the base of capitalist exploitation both 
at home and abroad. 

What is the principal merit of the socialist method 
of industrialisation? It is that it leads to unity between 
the interests of industrialisation and the interests of 
the main mass of the labouring sections of the popula- 
tion, that it leads not to the impoverishment of the vast 
masses, but to an improvement of their living standards, 
not to an aggravation of the internal contradictions, but 
to the latter being evened out and overcome, and that it 
steadily enlarges the home market and increases its ab- 
sorbing capacity, thus creating a solid domestic base for 
the development of industrialisation. 

Hence, the main mass of the peasantry is directly 
interested in the socialist way of industrialisation. 

Hence the possibility and necessity of achieving the 
hegemony of the proletariat in relation to the peasantry 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 301 

in the work of socialist construction in general, and of 
industrialising the country in particular. 

Hence the idea of a bond between socialist industry 
and peasant economy, primarily through the mass organ- 
isation of the peasantry in co-operatives, and the 
idea of the leading role of industry in relation to agri- 
culture. 

Hence our taxation policy and the policy of lowering 
prices of manufactured goods, etc., which take into 
account the need to maintain economic co-operation 
between the proletariat and the peasantry, the need to 
strengthen the alliance between the workers and the 
peasants. 

The opposition bloc, on the contrary, starts out by 
counterposing industry to agriculture, and tends to take 
the path of divorcing industry from agriculture. It fails 
to realise and refuses to recognise that industry cannot 
be advanced if the interests of agriculture are ignored 
or violated. It fails to understand that while industry 
is the leading element in the national economy, agricul- 
ture in its turn is the base on which our industry can 
develop. 

Hence its view of peasant economy as a "colony," 
as something which has to be "exploited" by the prole- 
tarian state (Preobrazhensky). 

Hence its fear of a good harvest (Trotsky), as 
a factor supposedly capable of disorganising our econ- 
omy. 

Hence the peculiar policy of the opposition bloc, 
a policy which tends towards sharpening the internal 
contradictions between industry and agriculture, and 
towards capitalist methods of industrialising the country. 



302 J. V. STALIN 



Would you like to hear Preobrazhensky, for instance, 
who is one of the leaders of the opposition bloc? Here is 
what he says in one of his articles: 



"The more a country that is passing to a socialist organisa- 
tion of production is economically backward, petty-bourgeois, 
and of a peasant character . . . the more it has to rely for social- 
ist accumulation on the exploitation of pre-socialist forms of econ- 
omy. . . . On the other hand, the more a country where the so- 
cialist revolution has triumphed is economically and industrially 
developed . . . and the more the proletariat of that country finds 
it necessary to minimise unequivalent exchange of its products 
for the products of the colonies, i.e., to minimise exploitation of 
the latter, the more will it rely for socialist accumulation on the 
productive basis of the socialist forms, i.e., on the surplus prod- 
uct of its own industry and its own agriculture" (E. Preobra- 
zhensky's article, "The Fundamental Law of Socialist Accumu- 
lation" in Vestnik Komakademii, 1924, No. 8). 

It scarcely needs proof that Preobrazhensky tends 
towards regarding the interests of our industry and the 
interests of the peasant economy of our country as being 
in irreconcilable contradiction, and hence towards cap- 
italist methods of industrialisation. 

I consider that, in likening peasant economy to a 
"colony" and trying to make the relations between the 
proletariat and the peasantry take the form of relations 
of exploitation, Preobrazhensky, without himself realis- 
ing it, is undermining or trying to undermine, all pos- 
sibility of socialist industrialisation. 

I affirm that this policy is totally at variance with 
the policy of the Party, which bases industrialisation 
on economic co-operation between the proletariat and 
the peasantry. 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 303 

The same thing, or very much the same thing, must 
be said of Trotsky, who is afraid of a "good harvest" 
and apparently thinks that it would be a danger to the 
economic development of our country. Here, for instance, 
is what he said at the April plenum: 

"In these conditions (Trotsky is referring to the conditions 
of the present disproportion — /. St.), a good harvest, i.e., a poten- 
tial increase of agricultural commodity surpluses, may become a 
factor which, far from accelerating the rate of economic development 
towards socialism, would disorganise the economy by worsening mutual 
relations between town and country, and, within the town itself, 
between the consumer and the state. Practically speaking, a good 
harvest — with manufactured goods in short supply — may lead to 
increased distillation of grain into illicit liquor and longer queues 
in the towns. Politically, it would mean a struggle of the peasant 
against the foreign trade monopoly, i.e., against socialist industry.'"* 
(Verbatim report of the sittings of the April plenum of the Cen- 
tral Committee, Trotsky's amendments to Rykov's draft resolution, 
p. 164.) 

One has only to contrast this more than strange state- 
ment of Trotsky's with Comrade Lenin's statement, 
during the period when the goods famine was at its 
worst, that a good harvest would be the "salvation of 
the state," 90 to realise how wholly incorrect Trotsky's 
statement is. 

Trotsky, apparently, does not accept the thesis 
that in our country industrialisation can develop only 
through the gradual improvement of the living standards 
of the labouring masses in the countryside. 

Trotsky, apparently, holds that industrialisation 
in our country must take place through some kind of, 
so to speak, "bad harvest. " 



My italics. — J. St. 



304 J. V. STALIN 



Hence the practical proposals of the opposition bloc — 
that wholesale prices should be raised, that the peas- 
antry should be more heavily taxed, etc. — proposals 
which, instead of strengthening economic co-operation 
between the proletariat and the peasantry, would dis- 
rupt it; which, instead of preparing the conditions 
for the hegemony of the proletariat in economic con- 
structive work, would undermine them; which, instead 
of furthering the bond between industry and peas- 
ant economy, would create estrangement between 
them. 

A few words on differentiation of the peasantry. 
Everyone knows the outcry and panic raised by the oppo- 
sition about a growth of differentiation. Everyone knows 
that no one raised a greater panic over the growth of 
small private capital in the countryside than the opposi- 
tion. But what is really happening? What is happening 
is this: 

In the first place, the facts show that in our country 
differentiation among the peasantry is proceeding in 
very peculiar forms — not through the "melting away" of 
the middle peasant, but, on the contrary, through an in- 
crease in his numbers, while the extreme poles are consid- 
erably diminishing. Moreover, such factors as the na- 
tionalisation of the land, the mass organisation of the 
peasantry in co-operatives, our taxation policy, etc., 
cannot but set definite limits and bounds to the differ- 
entiation itself. 

In the second place — and this is the chief thing — 
the growth of small private capital in the countryside 
is counter-balanced, and more than counter-balanced, 
by so decisive a factor as the development of our industry, 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 305 

which strengthens the position of the proletariat and of 
the socialist forms of economy, and which constitutes 
the principal antidote to private capital in every shape 
and form. 

All these circumstances have apparently escaped 
the notice of the "New Opposition," and it continues 
from force of habit to cry out and raise panic over pri- 
vate capital in the countryside. 

It will not be superfluous, perhaps, to remind the 
opposition of Lenin's words on this subject. Here is what 
Comrade Lenin says about it: 

"Every improvement in the position of large-scale produc- 
tion, the possibility of starting a few big factories, strengthens 
the position of the proletariat to such an extent that there are no 
grounds whatever for fearing the elemental forces of the petty 
bourgeoisie, even if its numbers grow. It is not the growth of the 
petty bourgeoisie and of small capital that is to be feared. What 
is to be feared is the too long continuance of the state of extreme 
hunger, want and shortage of produce, which is resulting in com- 
pletely sapping the strength of the proletariat and making it impos- 
sible for it to withstand the elemental forces of petty-bourgeois 
vacillation and despair. That is more terrible. If the quan- 
tity of produce increases, no development of the petty bour- 
geoisie will be much of a disadvantage, inasmuch as it promotes 
the development of large-scale industry . . ." (see Vol. XXVI, 
p. 256). 

Will the oppositionists ever realise that their panic 
over differentiation and private capital in the country- 
side is the reverse side of their disbelief in the pos- 
sibility of the victorious building of socialism in our 
country? 

A few words about the opposition's fight against 
the Party apparatus and the "regime" in the Party. 



306 J. V. STALIN 



What does the opposition's fight against the Party 
apparatus — which is the directing core of our Party — 
actually amount to? It scarcely needs proof that in the 
final analysis it amounts to an attempt to disorganise 
the Party leadership and to disarm the Party in its 
fight for improving the state apparatus, for ridding the 
latter of bureaucracy and for its leadership of the state 
apparatus. 

What does the opposition's fight against the "re- 
gime" in the Party lead to? It leads to undermining that 
iron discipline in the Party without which the dictator- 
ship of the proletariat is unthinkable, and, in the final 
analysis, to shaking the foundations of the dictatorship 
of the proletariat. 

The Party is therefore right when it affirms that the 
opposition's political and organisational errors are a 
reflection of the pressure exerted by the non-proletarian 
elements on our Party and on the dictatorship of the 
proletariat. 

Such, comrades, are the political and organisational 
errors of the opposition bloc. 

IV 
SOME CONCLUSIONS 

At the recent plenum of the Central Committee and 
the Central Control Commission, 91 Trotsky declared that 
if the conference adopted the theses on the opposition 
bloc the inevitable outcome would be the expulsion 
of the opposition leaders from the Party. I must declare, 
comrades, that this statement of Trotsky's is devoid of 
all foundation, that it is false. I must declare that the 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 307 

adoption of the theses on the opposition bloc can have 
only one purpose: the waging of a determined struggle 
against the opposition's errors of principle with a view 
to eliminating them completely. 

Everyone knows that the Tenth Congress of our 
Party adopted a resolution on the anarcho-syndicalist 
deviation. 92 And what is the anarcho-syndicalist devia- 
tion? No one will say that the anarcho-syndicalist de- 
viation is "better" than the Social-Democratic deviation. 
But from the fact that a resolution on the anarcho-syn- 
dicalist deviation was adopted, nobody has yet drawn 
the conclusion that the members of the "Workers' Op- 
position" must necessarily be expelled from the Party. 

Trotsky cannot but know that the Thirteenth Con- 
gress of our Party proclaimed Trotskyism a "downright 
petty-bourgeois deviation." But nobody has so far held 
that the adoption of that resolution must necessarily 
lead to the expulsion of the leaders of the Trotskyist 
opposition from the Party. 

Here is the relevant passage from the Thirteenth 
Congress resolution: 

"In the present 'opposition' we have not only an attempt 
to revise Bolshevism, not only a direct departure from Leninism, 
but also a downright petty-bourgeois deviation* There can be no 
doubt whatever that this 'opposition' objectively reflects the pres- 
sure exerted by the petty bourgeoisie on the position of the pro- 
letarian Party and on its policy." (From the resolution of the 
Thirteenth Congress.) 

Let Trotsky tell us in what way a petty-bourgeois 
deviation is better than a Social-Democratic deviation. 



My italics. — J. St. 



308 J. V. STALIN 



Is it so hard to grasp that a Social-Democratic deviation 
is a variety of petty-bourgeois deviation? Is it so hard 
to grasp that when we speak of a Social-Democratic 
deviation, we are only putting more precisely what was 
said in our Thirteenth Congress resolution? We by no 
means declare that the leaders of the opposition bloc 
are Social-Democrats. We only say that a Social-Demo- 
cratic deviation is to be observed in the opposi- 
tion bloc, and we give it notice that it is still not too 
late to abandon this deviation, and we call on it 
to do so. 

And here is what the resolution of the C.C. and C.C.C. 
of January 1925 says about Trotskyism 93 : 

"In point of fact, present-day Trotskyism is a falsification 
of communism in the nature of an approximation to the 'Euro- 
pean' types of pseudo-Marxism, that is, in the final analysis, 
in the nature of 'European' Social-Democracy." (From the res- 
olution of the plenum of the C.C. and C.C.C, January 17, 1925.) 

I must say that both these resolutions were in the 
main drafted by Zinoviev. Yet neither the Party as a 
whole, nor even Zinoviev in particular, drew the conclu- 
sion that the leaders of the Trotskyist opposition must 
be expelled from the Party. 

Perhaps it will not be superfluous to mention what 
Kamenev said about Trotskyism, which he bracketed 
with Menshevism? Listen to this: 

"Trotskyism has always been the most plausible and most 
carefully camouflaged form of Menshevism, one most adapted 
to deceiving precisely the revolutionary-minded section of the 
workers." (L. Kamenev's article, "The Party and Trotskyism," 
in the symposium For lenj'nwm, p. 51.) 



THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION IN OUR PARTY 309 

All these facts are as well known to Trotsky as to 
any of us. Yet nobody has suggested expelling Trotsky 
and his followers on the basis of the resolutions, say, of 
the Thirteenth Congress. 

That is why I think that Trotsky's statement at the 
plenum of the C.C. and C.C.C. was insincere and false. 

When the October plenum of the C.C. and C.C.C. 
basically approved the theses on the opposition bloc, 
what it had in mind was not repressive measures but 
the necessity of waging an ideological struggle against 
the opposition's errors of principle, which the opposition 
has not renounced to this day, and in defence of which 
it intends, as it tells us in its "statement" of October 16, 
to go on fighting within the framework of the Party 
Rules. In acting in this way, the plenum of the C.C. 
and C.C.C. took as its starting point that a struggle 
against the opposition's errors of principle is the only 
way of eliminating these errors, and that their elimina- 
tion is the only path towards real unity in the Party. 
By routing the opposition bloc and compelling it to 
renounce factionalism, the Party secured that necessary 
minimum without which unity in the Party is impos- 
sible. That, of course, is quite a lot. But it is not enough. 
In order to secure full unity, it is necessary to go one 
step further and get the opposition bloc to renounce its 
errors of principle, and thus protect the Party and 
Leninism from assaults and attempts at revision. 

That is the first conclusion. 

By repudiating the fundamental position of the oppo- 
sition bloc and rebuffing its attempts to start a new dis- 
cussion, the mass of the Party members said: "This is 
not the moment for talk; the time has come to get down 



310 J. V. STALIN 



squarely to the work of socialist construction." Hence 
the conclusion: less talk, more creative and positive 
work, forward to socialist construction! 

That is the second conclusion. 

And a third conclusion is that in the course of the 
inner-Party struggle and of repelling the opposition's 
assaults on the Party, the Party has become more firmly 
united than ever, on the basis of the socialist prospects 
of our constructive work. 

That is the third conclusion. 

A party united on the basis of the socialist prospects 
of our constructive work is the very lever we need at 
the present time in order to advance the building of 
socialism in our country. 

This lever we have fashioned in the course of the strug- 
gle against the opposition bloc. 

The struggle has united our Party around its Central 
Committee on the basis of the socialist prospects of our 
constructive work. The conference must seal this unity 
by unanimously adopting, as I hope it will, the theses 
submitted to it by the Central Committee. 

I have no doubt that the conference will perform this 
task with credit. (Stormy and prolonged applause. All the 
delegates rise. An ovation.) 

Pravda, Nos. 256 and 257 
November 5 and 6, 1926 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 

ON THE REPORT ON 

"THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC DEVIATION 

IN OUR PARTY" 

November 3, 1926 



I 
SOME GENERAL QUESTIONS 

1. MARXISM IS NOT A DOGMA, BUT A GUIDE 
TO ACTION 

Comrades, I said in my report that Marxism is not a 
dogma, but a guide to action, that Engels's well-known 
formula of the forties of the last century was correct in its 
time, but has become inadequate today. I said that, in 
view of this, it must be replaced by Lenin's formula, which 
says that in the new conditions of the development of 
capitalism and of the class struggle of the proletariat, 
the victory of socialism in individual countries is quite 
possible and probable. 

That statement of mine was challenged during the 
discussion. Zinoviev was particularly assiduous in this 
respect. I am therefore compelled to revert to this ques- 
tion and deal with it in greater detail. 

I think that Zinoviev has not read Engels's "The 
Principles of Communism," or if he has, he has not under- 
stood them. Otherwise, he would not have raised objec- 
tions; he would have realised that Social-Democracy is 
now clutching at Engels's old formula in its fight against 



312 J. V. STALIN 



Leninism; he would have understood that, in following 
in the footsteps of the Social-Democrats, he might be 
laying himself open to a certain danger of "degenera- 
tion." 

Here is what Engels says in "The Principles of Com- 
munism," 94 which is an exposition of individual proposi- 
tions in the form of questions and answers. 

"Question: Will it be possible to abolish private property 
at one stroke? 

"Answer: No, just as little as it will be possible at one stroke 
to multiply the existing productive forces to the extent required 
for the establishment of communal production. Consequently 
the proletarian revolution * which in all probability is coming 
will only gradually remodel present society, and only after that 
can it abolish private property, when the necessary quantity of 
means of production has been created. 

"Question: What will be the course of development of this 
revolution? 

"Answer: First of all it will establish a democratic system 
and thereby, directly or indirectly, the political rule of the pro- 
letariat." 

What is evidently meant here is the overthrow of 
the bourgeoisie and the establishment of the dictatorship 
of the proletariat. You know, comrades, that this point 
has already been carried out in our country, and pretty 
thoroughly. {Voices: "True!" "Quite right!") 

Further: 

"Democracy would be quite useless to the proletariat if it 
were not used forthwith as a means of carrying out further meas- 
ures for launching a direct assault on private property and safe- 



My italics. — J. St. 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 313 

guarding the existence of the proletariat. The chief of these 
measures, which already necessarily follow from the existing 
conditions, are: 

"1) Restriction of private property by means of a progressive 
tax, a heavy inheritance tax, abolition of inheritance by collat- 
eral lines (brothers, nephews, etc.), compulsory loans, etc." 

You know that these measures have been, or are be- 
ing, carried out in our country pretty thoroughly. 
Further: 

"2) Gradual expropriation of the owners of land, factories, 
railways and shipping, partly through competition on the part 
of state industry, partly directly with compensation paid in as- 
signats." 

You know that these measures too were carried out 
by us in the early years of our revolution. 
Further: 

"3) Confiscation of the property of all emigres and of rebels 
against the majority of the people." 

As you know, we have confiscated and confiscated — 
so much so that there is nothing more to be done. {Laugh- 
ter.) 

Further: 

"4) Organisation of labour or the providing of employment 
to proletarians on national estates and in national factories and 
workshops, so that competition among the workers will be abol- 
ished, and the factory-owners, as far as any of them are left, will 
be compelled to pay just as high wages as the state." 

As you know, we are following this course and we are 
achieving a number of victories by it, and in the main 
we are carrying out this point quite successfully. 



314 J. V. STALIN 



Further: 

5) Equal obligation to labour for all members of society 
until private property is completely abolished. Formation of 
industrial armies, especially for agriculture." 

You know that we tried this course in the period of 
War Communism, in the form of organising labour 
armies. But we did not achieve great results by it. We 
then proceeded to attain the same object by roundabout 
ways, and there is no reason to doubt that we shall 
achieve decisive successes in this field. 

Further: 

"6) Centralisation of the credit system and the money mar- 
ket in the hands of the state through a National Bank with state 
capital, and the suppression of all private banks and bankers." 

This too, comrades, we have already carried out in 
the main, as you very well know. 
Further: 

"7) Multiplication of national factories, workshops, railways 
and shipping, cultivation of all untilled land and improved cul- 
tivation of already tilled land, as the capital and labour power 
at the disposal of the nation multiply." 

You know that this also is being carried out and 
that we are making good progress, which is being sub- 
stantially furthered by the fact that we have nationalised 
the land and the main branches of industry. 

Further: 

"8) Education of all children, from the moment they can 
dispense with their mothers' care, in national institutions and 
at the cost of the nation." 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 315 

This we are accomplishing, but are still very far 
from having accomplished, since, owing to the ruinous 
effects of war and intervention, we are not yet in a posi- 
tion to place the education of all the children in the 
country under the care of the state. 

Further: 

"9) Erection of great palaces on the national estates to serve 
as common homes for communes of citizens, which engage both 
in industry and in agriculture, and which combine the advantages 
of both urban and rural life, without the one-sidedness and disad- 
vantages of either." 

This evidently refers to a large-scale solution of 
the housing problem. You know that we are going ahead 
with this work, and if it has not yet been carried out in 
the main, and probably will not be speedily carried out, 
it is because, owing to the ruined state of industry we 
inherited, we have not yet succeeded, and could not pos- 
sibly have succeeded, in accumulating sufficient funds 
for extensive housing construction. 

Further: 

"10) Demolition of all insanitary and badly built houses 
and city areas." 

This point is an integral part of the previous one, 
and therefore what was said of the latter also applies 
to it. 

Further: 

"11) Equal inheritance rights for children whether born in 
or out of wedlock." 

I think it may be said that we are carrying out this 
point satisfactorily. 



316 J. V. STALIN 



And, the last point: 

"12) Concentration of all means of transport in the hands 
of the nation." 

You know that this point we have already carried out 
in full. 

That, comrades, is the programme of proletarian rev- 
olution set forth by Engels in his "The Principles of 
Communism." 

You will see, comrades, that nine-tenths of this pro- 
gramme has already been accomplished by our rev- 
olution. 

Further: 

"Question: Can this revolution (i.e., the revolution men- 
tioned above — J. St.) take place in one country alone? 

"Answer: No. Large-scale industry has, by the very fact that 
it has created a world market, bound all the nations of the earth, 
and notably the civilised nations, so closely together, that each 
depends on what is happening in the others. Further, in all the 
civilised countries it has evened up social development to such 
an extent that in all of them the bourgeoisie and the proletariat 
have become the two decisive classes of society, and the struggle 
between them the major struggle of our times. Therefore , the com- 
munist revolution will not be simply a national revolution, but will 
take place simultaneously in all the civilised countries, that is, at 
least in England, America, France and Germany" ... * (see 
F. Engels, "The Principles of Communism"). 

That is how the matter stands, comrades. 

Engels said that a proletarian revolution with the 
programme set forth above could not take place in one 
separate country. But the fact is that, in the new condi- 



My italics throughout. — /. St. 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 317 

tions of the class struggle of the proletariat, the condi- 
tions of imperialism, we have in the main already accom- 
plished such a revolution in one separate country, in 
our country, having carried out nine-tenths of its pro- 
gramme. 

Zinoviev may say that we made a mistake in carrying 
out this programme, in carrying out these points. {Laugh- 
ter.) It may well be that in carrying out these points, 
we have been guilty of a certain "national narrow-mind- 
edness." {Laughter.) That may very well be. But one 
thing is nevertheless clear, namely, that what Engels 
in the forties of the last century, in the conditions 
of pre-monopoly capitalism, considered impracticable 
and impossible for one country, became practicable 
and possible in our country in the conditions of im- 
perialism. 

Of course, if Engels were alive, he would not cling 
to the old formula. On the contrary, he would heartily 
welcome our revolution, and would say: "To the devil 
with all old formulas! Long live the victorious revolu- 
tion in the U.S.S.R.!" {Applause.) 

But that is not the way the gentry of the Social-Demo- 
cratic camp see it. They cling to Engels's old formula 
in order to use it as a screen and facilitate their fight 
against our revolution, against the Bolsheviks. That is 
their affair, of course. Only the sad thing is that Zi- 
noviev is trying to ape these gentry, and in the present 
case is taking the Social-Democratic path. 

In quoting Engels's formula and examining it in 
detail I had three considerations in mind: 

firstly, to make the question as clear as possible by 
contrasting Lenin's formula on the possibility of the 



318 J. V. STALIN 



victory of socialism in one country to Engels's formula, 
which was the most extreme and sharp expression of 
the view held by the Marxists of the old period; 

secondly, to expose the reformism and anti-revolu- 
tionary character of Social-Democracy, which tries to 
hide its opportunism by referring to Engels's old for- 
mula; 

thirdly, to show that Lenin was the first to settle 
the question of the victory of socialism in one country. 

It has to be admitted, comrades, that it was Lenin, 
and no one else, who discovered the truth that the vic- 
tory of socialism in one country is possible. Lenin must 
not be robbed of what belongs to him by right. One must 
not fear the truth, one must have the courage to tell the 
truth, one must have the courage to say frankly that 
Lenin was the first of the Marxists to present the question 
of the victory of socialism in one country in a new way, 
and to answer it in the affirmative. 

By this I do not mean that Lenin, as a thinker, was 
superior to Marx or Engels. By this I mean only two 
things: 

firstly, that it cannot be expected of Engels or Marx, 
however great their genius as thinkers, that they should 
have foreseen in the period of pre-monopoly capitalism 
all the potentialities of the class struggle of the prole- 
tariat and the proletarian revolution that were revealed 
more than half a century later, in the period of devel- 
oped monopoly capitalism; 

secondly, that there is nothing surprising in the 
fact that Lenin, as a brilliant disciple of Engels and 
Marx, was able to note the new potentialities of 
the proletarian revolution in the new conditions of cap- 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 319 

italist development, and thus discovered the truth that 
the victory of socialism in one country is possible. 

One must know how to distinguish between the letter 
and the essence of Marxism, between its various proposi- 
tions and its method. Lenin succeeded in discovering the 
truth that the victory of socialism is possible in one 
country because he did not regard Marxism as a dogma, 
but as a guide to action, because he was not a slave of 
the letter and was able to grasp what was primary and 
basic in Marxism. 

Here is what Lenin said on this score in his pamphlet 
"Left-Wing" Communism, an Infantile Disorder: 

"Our theory is not a dogma, but a guide to action, said Marx 
and Engels; and it is the greatest mistake, the greatest crime on 
the part of such 'patented' Marxists as Karl Kautsky, Otto Bauer, 
etc., that they have not understood this, have been unable to ap- 
ply it at crucial moments of the proletarian revolution" (see 
Vol. XXV, p. 211). 

That is the path, the path of Marx, Engels and 
Lenin, which we are following, and which we must con- 
tinue to follow if we want to remain revolutionaries to 
the end. 

It is because Leninism has kept to this path, and- 
continues to do so, that it has held its own as the Marx- 
ism of the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution. 
To depart from this path means to land in the quagmire 
of opportunism. To deviate from this path means to 
drag at the tail of Social-Democracy — which is exactly 
what has happened in this instance to Zinoviev. 

Zinoviev declared here that Marx and Engels subse- 
quently toned down Engels's old formula and granted 



320 J. V. STALIN 



the possibility of the proletarian revolution beginning in 
individual countries. He quoted the words of Engels 
that "the Frenchman will begin it and the German will 
finish it." 95 All that is true. That is something which now- 
adays every Soviet-Party School student knows. But 
it is not the point at issue just now. It is one thing to 
say: Begin the revolution, for in the very near future you 
will be supported by a victorious revolution in other 
countries, and in the event of such a victory in other 
countries, you may count on victory. That is one thing. 
It is another thing to say: Begin the revolution and go 
ahead with it in the knowledge that even if a victory of 
the revolution in other countries does not come to your 
aid in the near future, the conditions of the struggle now, 
in the period of developed imperialism, are such that you 
can be victorious all the same, and so later start the fire 
of revolution in other countries. That is another thing. 
And if I quoted Engels 's old formula, it was not in 
order to evade the fact that Engels and Marx subsequently 
toned down this sharp and extreme formula, but in order: 

a) to make the question clear by contrasting the 
two opposite formulas; 

b) to reveal the opportunism of Social-Democracy, 
which tries to hide behind Engels 's old formula; 

c) to show that Lenin was the first to present the 
question of the victory of socialism in one country in a 
new way and to answer it in the affirmative. 

So you see, comrades, that I was right when I said 
that Zinoviev had not read "The Principles of Commu- 
nism" or that, if he had, he had not understood them, 
since he interpreted Engels 's old formula in the Social- 
Democratic manner, and had thus slid into opportunism. 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 321 

2. SOME REMARKS OF LENIN ON THE DICTATORSHIP 
OF THE PROLETARIAT 

Further, I said in my report that we have a more or 
less similar instance in connection with the question of 
the dictatorship of the proletariat in the conditions of 
developed imperialism. I said that as regards the dic- 
tatorship of the proletariat, understood as the smashing 
of the old bourgeois state apparatus and the building of 
a new, proletarian one, Marx in his day (the seventies 
of the nineteenth century) made an exception in the case 
of Britain, and probably also of America, where militar- 
ism and bureaucracy were little developed at that time, 
and where at that time there was a possibility of achieving 
the political rule of the proletariat by other means, 
"peaceful" means. I said that this exception, or reser- 
vation, made by Marx in the case of Britain and Ameri- 
ca was correct at the time, but, in Lenin's opinion, has 
become incorrect and superfluous in the present condi- 
tions of developed imperialism, when militarism and 
bureaucracy are flourishing in Britain and America in 
the same way as in other countries. 

Permit me, comrades, to turn to Marx. Here is what 
he wrote in his letter to Kugelmann in April 1871: 

". . . If you look at the last chapter of my Eighteenth Bru- 
maire, you will find that I say that the next attempt of the French 
revolution will be no longer, as before, to transfer the bureauc- 
ratic-military machine from one hand to another, but t o 
smash it ... , and this is the preliminary condition for every 
real people's revolution on the continent* And this is what our he- 
roic party comrades in Paris are attempting." (I quote from 
Lenin's The State and Revolution, Vol. XXI, p. 394.) 



My italics. — J. St. 



322 J. V. STALIN 



That is what Marx wrote in 1871. 

As we know, this passage was pounced upon by So- 
cial-Democrats of every brand, and by Kautsky in the 
first place, who asserted that a forcible revolution of the 
proletariat was not necessarily the method of advance 
towards socialism, that the dictatorship of the proletar- 
iat must not necessarily be understood as meaning the 
smashing of the old bourgeois state apparatus and the 
building of a new, proletarian one, and that therefore 
what the proletariat had to strive for was a peaceful 
path of transition from capitalism to socialism. 

How did Comrade Lenin react to this? Here is what 
he wrote on this score in his book The State and Rev- 
olution: 

"It is interesting to note, in particular, two points in the 
above quoted argument of Marx. First, he confines his conclusion 
to the continent. This was understandable in 1871, when England 
was still the model of a purely capitalist country, but without 
militarism and, to a considerable degree, without a bureaucracy. 
Hence, Marx excluded England, where a revolution, even a peo- 
ple's revolution, then seemed possible, and indeed was possible, 
without the preliminary condition of destroying the 'ready-made 
state machinery.' 

"Today * in 1917, in the epoch of the first great imperialist war, 
this qualification made by Marx is no longer valid* Both Britain 
and America, the biggest and the last representatives — in the 
whole world — of Anglo-Saxon 'liberty' in the sense that they had 
no militarism and bureaucracy, have completely sunk into the 
all-European filthy, bloody morass of bureaucratic-military in- 
stitutions which subordinate everything to themselves and tram- 
pis everything underfoot. Today, in Britain and in America, too, 
'the preliminary condition for every real people's revolution' 
is the smashing, the destruction of the 'ready-made 



My italics. — J. St. 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 323 

state machinery' (perfected in those countries, between 1914 and 
1917, up to the 'European' general imperialist standard)" 
(see Vol. XXI, p. 395). 

As you see, we have here an instance which is more 
or less similar to the one I spoke of in my report in con- 
nection with Engels's old formula about the victory of 
socialism. 

The reservation, or exception, made by Marx in the 
case of England and America was justified so long as there 
was no developed militarism and no developed bureauc- 
racy in those countries. This reservation, in Lenin's 
opinion, became invalid in the new conditions of monop- 
oly capitalism, when militarism and bureaucracy had 
developed in Britain and America to at least as great a 
degree as in the countries of the European Continent. 

Hence, a forcible revolution of the proletariat, the 
dictatorship of the proletariat, is an inevitable and in- 
dispensable condition for the advance towards socialism 
in all imperialist countries without exception. 

Hence, when the opportunists of all countries cling 
to this reservation made by Marx conditionally and cam- 
paign against the dictatorship of the proletariat, it is 
not Marxism they are advocating, but their own opportu- 
nist cause. 

Lenin arrived at this conclusion because he knew 
how to distinguish between the letter and the essence 
of Marxism, because he regarded Marxism not as a dog- 
ma, but as a guide to action. 

It would be strange to expect that Marx should have 
foreseen several decades in advance all the diverse po- 
tentialities of the future development of capitalism and 
the class struggle. But it would be stranger still to 



324 J. V. STALIN 



wonder at the fact that Lenin observed and drew general 
conclusions about those potentialities in the new condi- 
tions of the development of capitalism, when those poten- 
tialities had appeared and developed to a more than 
sufficient degree. 

An interjection was made here by somebody, in 
the audience, I think it was Ryazanov, to the effect 
that the reservation made by Marx in the case of 
England and America is not only incorrect in the 
present conditions of the class struggle, but was incor- 
rect even in the conditions prevailing at the time Marx 
made it. I do not agree with Ryazanov. I think that 
Ryazanov is mistaken. At all events, Lenin is of a 
different opinion, and declares quite positively that 
Marx was right in making this reservation in the case of 
England and America in the seventies. 

Here is what Lenin writes about this in his pam- 
phlet The Tax in Kind: 

"In our controversy with Bukharin in the Central Execu- 
tive Committee, he remarked, among other things, that on the 
question of high salaries for specialists 'we' are 'more to the Right 
than Lenin,' for we see here no deviation from principle, bear- 
ing in mind the words of Marx that under certain conditions 
it would be more expedient for the working class to 'buy off this 
gang' (that is, the gang of capitalists, i.e., to buy out from the 
bourgeoisie the land, factories, mills and other means of produc- 
tion). This is an extremely interesting remark." ". . . Consider 
Marx's idea carefully. Marx was discussing England of the seven- 
ties of the last century, of the culminating period in the develop- 
ment of pre-monopoly capitalism, he was discussing a country 
in which there was less militarism and bureaucracy than in any 
other, a country in which there was then the greatest possibility 
of a 'peaceful' victory for socialism in the sense of the workers 
'buying off the bourgeoisie. And Marx said: Under certain con- 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 325 



ditions the workers will certainly not refuse to buy off the bour- 
geoisie. Marx did not commit himself — or the future leaders of 
the socialist revolution — as regards the forms, methods and ways 
of bringing about the revolution; for he understood perfectly well 
what a vast number of new problems would arise, how the whole 
situation would change in the course of the revolution, and how 
often and considerably it would change in the course of the revolu- 
tion. Well, and in Soviet Russia after power has been seized by the 
proletariat, after the armed resistance and sabotage of the exploit- 
ers have been crushed — is it not obvious that certain conditions 
have arisen that are similar to those which might have arisen in 
Britain half a century ago had it then begun a peaceful transition 
to socialism? The submission of the capitalists to the workers 
in Britain could have been assured then owing to the following 
circumstances: 1) the absolute preponderance of workers, prole- 
tarians, among the population owing to the absence of a peasantry 
(in Britain in the seventies there were signs which allowed one 
to hope for an extremely rapid spread of socialism among the 
agricultural labourers); 2) the excellent organisation of the pro- 
letariat in trade unions (Britain was at that time the leading 
country in the world in this respect); 3) the comparatively high 
level of culture of the proletariat, which had been trained by cen- 
turies of development of political liberty; 4) the old habit of the 
splendidly organised British capitalists of settling political and 
economic questions by compromise — at that time the British 
capitalists were better organised than the capitalists of any coun- 
try in the world (this superiority has now passed to Germany). 
Those were the circumstances at that time in which the idea 
could arise that the peaceful submission* of the British capitalists 
to the workers was possible. . . . Marx was profoundly right when 
he taught the workers that it was important to preserve the or- 
ganisation of large-scale production precisely for the purpose 
of facilitating the transition to socialism, and that the idea of 
paying the capitalists well, of buying them off, was quite permis- 
sible if (by way of an exception, and Britain then was an ex- 
ception) circumstances should so develop as to compel* the 



My italics. — /. St. 



326 J. V. STALIN 



capitalists to submit peacefully and to come over to socialism 
in a cultured and organised fashion, on condition that they 
were paid compensation" (see Vol. XXVI, pp. 327-29). 

Obviously, it is Lenin that is right here, and not 
Ryazanov. 

3. THE UNEVENNESS OF DEVELOPMENT 
OF THE CAPITALIST COUNTRIES 

I said in my report that Lenin discovered and dem- 
onstrated the law of the unevenness of economic and 
political development of the capitalist countries, and 
that on the basis of this law, and of the fact that the un- 
evenness was developing and becoming more pronounced, 
Lenin arrived at the idea that the victory of socialism 
in one country is possible. This thesis of Lenin's was 
contested by Trotsky and Zinoviev. Trotsky said that it 
is incorrect theoretically. And Zinoviev, together with 
Trotsky, asserted that formerly, in the period of pre- 
monopoly capitalism, the unevenness of development 
was greater than it is now, in the period of monopoly 
capitalism, and that therefore the idea of the possibility 
of the victory of socialism in one country cannot be linked 
with the law of the unevenness of capitalist development. 

That Trotsky objects to Lenin's theoretical thesis 
concerning the law of uneven development is not at all 
surprising, for it is well known that this law refutes 
Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution. 

Furthermore, Trotsky is obviously tending to a phi- 
listine point of view here. He confuses the economic in- 
equality of the various countries in the past — an in- 
equality which did not always, and could not, lead to 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 327 

their spasmodic development — with the unevenness of eco- 
nomic and political development in the period of imperial- 
ism, when the economic inequality of countries is less 
than it was in the past, but the unevenness of economic 
and political development is incomparably greater than 
before and manifests itself more sharply than before; 
moreover it necessarily and inevitably leads to spas- 
modic development, to a situation in which countries 
which were industrially backward in a more or less short 
period overtake countries which had gone ahead, and 
this cannot but create the pre-conditions for gigantic 
imperialist wars and the possibility of the victory of so- 
cialism in one country. 

It scarcely needs proof that this muddling of two 
different concepts does not, and cannot, testify to a high 
level of "theoretical" knowledge on Trotsky's part. 

But I cannot understand Zinoviev, who after all was 
a Bolshevik and had some inkling of Bolshevism. How 
can it be asserted that the unevenness of development 
was formerly greater than it is now, in the conditions 
of monopoly capitalism, without running the risk of 
landing in the quagmire of ultra-imperialism and Kaut- 
skyism? How can it be asserted that the idea of the vic- 
tory of socialism in one country is not linked with the 
law of uneven development? Is it not known that it 
was precisely from the law of uneven development that 
Lenin deduced this idea? What, for example, do the fol- 
lowing words of Lenin indicate? 

"Uneven economic and political development is an absolute 
law of capitalism. Hence,* the victory of socialism is possible 



My italics. — J. St. 



328 J. V. STALIN 



first in several or even in one capitalist country taken separately" 
(see Vol. XVIII, p. 232). 

What does the law of uneven development proceed 
from? 

It proceeds from the fact that: 

1) the old, pre-monopoly capitalism has grown into 
and developed into monopoly capitalism, into imperial- 
ism; 

2) the division of the world into spheres of influence 
of imperialist groups and states is already completed; 

3) world economic development is proceeding in the 
midst of a desperate, a mortal struggle of the imperialist 
groups for markets, raw materials, and the expansion of 
old spheres of influence; 

4) this development is not even, but spasmodic; 
states that have run on ahead being ousted from the 
markets, and new states coming to the fore; 

5) this manner of development results from some 
imperialist groups being able rapidly to develop tech- 
nique, lower the cost of commodities and seize markets 
to the detriment of other imperialist groups; 

6) periodical redivisions of the already divided world 
thus become an absolute necessity; 

7) such redivisions may therefore be effected only 
by forcible means, by the testing of the strength of this 
or that imperialist group by force; 

8) this cannot but lead to sharp conflicts and gigan- 
tic wars between the imperialist groups; 

9) this state of affairs inevitably leads to the mutual 
weakening of the imperialists and creates the possi- 
bility of the imperialist front being breached in indi- 
vidual countries; 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 329 

10) the possibility of the imperialist front being 
breached in individual countries cannot but create fa- 
vourable conditions for the victory of socialism in one 
country. 

What is it that accentuates the unevenness and lends 
decisive significance to the uneven development in the 
conditions of imperialism? 

Two main circumstances: 

Firstly, that the division of the world among the 
imperialist groups is completed, that such a thing as 
"vacant" territory no longer exists anywhere, and that 
redivision of the already divided world through imperial- 
ist wars is an absolute necessity for the achievement of 
economic "equilibrium." 

Secondly, that the colossal and hitherto unparalleled 
development of technique, in the broad meaning of the 
word, makes it easier for certain imperialist groups to 
overtake and outstrip others in the struggle for markets, 
for seizing sources of raw material, etc. 

But these circumstances developed and reached their 
climax only in the period of developed imperialism. 
And it could not be otherwise, because only in the period 
of imperialism could the division of the world be com- 
pleted, and only in the period of developed imperial- 
ism did the colossal technical possibilities show them- 
selves. 

It is to this that must be attributed the fact that, 
whereas formerly Britain was able to keep ahead of all 
other countries industrially and to leave them lagging 
behind for more than a hundred years, later, in the pe- 
riod of monopoly capitalism, Germany required only 
about a couple of decades to begin to outstrip Britain, 



330 J. V. STALIN 



while America required even less to overtake the Euro- 
pean countries. 

How, after this, can it be asserted that the uneven- 
ness of development was formerly greater than it is now, 
and that the idea of the possibility of the victory of 
socialism in one country is not linked with the law of 
uneven development of capitalism in the period of im- 
perialism? 

Is it not clear that only philistines in matters of 
theory can confuse the economic inequality of the indus- 
trial countries in the past with the law of uneven eco- 
nomic and political development, which assumed partic- 
ular force and acuteness only in the period of devel- 
oped monopoly capitalism? 

Is it not clear that only complete ignorance in the 
field of Leninism could have prompted Zinoviev and his 
friends to put forward their more than strange objec- 
tions to Lenin's propositions connected with the law of 
uneven economic and political development of the capi- 
talist countries? 

II 

KAMENEV CLEARS THE WAY 
FOR TROTSKY 

What was the basic intention of Kamenev's speech 
at this conference? Disregarding certain minor points 
and Kamenev's usual diplomacy, it will be seen that its 
intention was to help Trotsky to defend his position, 
to help him in his fight against Leninism on the basic 
question of the possibility of the victory of socialism in 
one country. 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 331 

With this aim in view, Kamenev took upon himself 
the "job" of proving that the principal article (1915) in 
which Lenin dealt with the possibility of the victory of 
socialism in one country had no reference to Russia; 
that when Lenin spoke of such a possibility, it was not 
Russia he had in mind but other capitalist countries. 
Kamenev took upon himself this dubious "job" in order 
thereby to clear the way for Trotsky, whose "scheme" is, 
and cannot but be, shot to pieces by Lenin's article writ- 
ten in 1915. 

To put it crudely, Kamenev assumed the role of 
Trotsky's yardman (laughter), sweeping the way clear 
for him. It is sad, of course, to see the director of the 
Lenin Institute in the role of Trotsky's yardman — not 
because there is anything demeaning in the work of a 
yardman, but because Kamenev, who is undoubtedly 
a skilled man, might, I think, have taken upon himself 
a more highly skilled job. {Laughter.) But he assumed 
this role voluntarily; and, of course, he had every right 
to do so, so there is nothing to be done about it. 

Let us now see how Kamenev performed this more 
than strange job. 

Kamenev asserted in his speech that Lenin's basic 
proposition in his article of 1915, affirming the possibil- 
ity of the victory of socialism in one country, a propo- 
sition which defined the whole line of our revolution 
and of our constructive work, did not and could not 
relate to Russia; that when Lenin spoke of the possibil- 
ity of the victory of socialism in one country, it was not 
Russia he had in mind but only other capitalist countries. 
That is incredible and monstrous. It sounds very much 
like downright slander of Comrade Lenin. But Kamenev, 



332 J. V. STALIN 



apparently, cares very little what the Party may think 
of this falsification of Lenin. His one concern is to clear 
the way for Trotsky at any price. 

How does he try to substantiate this strange asser- 
tion? 

He says that Comrade Lenin, two weeks after this 
article of his, issued his well-known theses 96 on the char- 
acter of the impending revolution in Russia, in which 
he said that the task of the Marxists was confined to 
securing the victory of the bourgeois-democratic revolu- 
tion in Russia; and that Lenin said this because he sup- 
posedly held the view that the revolution in Russia was 
bound to stop short at its bourgeois phase and not grow 
over into a socialist revolution. Well, and since Lenin's 
article on the possibility of the victory of socialism in 
one country dealt not with the bourgeois, but with the 
socialist revolution, it is obvious that Lenin could not 
have had Russia in mind in that article. 

Hence, according to Kamenev it follows that Lenin 
understood the scope of the Russian revolution in the 
way that a Left bourgeois revolutionary does, or a reform- 
ist of the Social-Democratic type, who hold the opinion 
that the bourgeois revolution should not grow over into 
a socialist revolution, and that between the bourgeois 
revolution and the socialist revolution there should be 
a long historical gap, a long interruption, an interval, 
lasting several decades at least, during which capitalism 
will flourish and the proletariat languish in misery. 

It follows that when Lenin wrote his article in 
1915, he was not thinking of, did not desire, and was 
not striving for an immediate transition from the victory 
of the bourgeois revolution to a socialist revolution. 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 333 

You will say that this is incredible and monstrous. 
Yes, Kamenev's assertion really is incredible and mon- 
strous. But Kamenev is not to be put out by that. 

Allow me to quote a few documents which show that 
Kamenev is grossly falsifying Comrade Lenin in regard 
to this question. 

Here is what Comrade Lenin wrote of the character 
of the Russian revolution as early as 1905, when its scope 
was not, and could not be, so powerful as it became later, 
as a result of the imperialist war, by February 1917: 

"From the democratic revolution we shall at once* and just 
to the extent of our strength, the strength of the class-conscious 
and organised proletariat, begin to pass to the socialist revolu- 
tion" (see Vol. VIII, p. 186). 

This passage is quoted from an article of Lenin's 
which appeared in September 1905. 

Does Kamenev know of the existence of this article? 
I consider that the director of the Lenin Institute ought 
to know of its existence. 

It therefore follows that Lenin conceived the vic- 
tory of the bourgeois-democratic revolution not as the 
end of the proletariat's struggle and of the revolution 
in general, but as the first stage and a transitional step 
to the socialist revolution. 

But perhaps Lenin subsequently changed his opinion 
of the character and scope of the Russian revolution? 
Let us take another document. I am referring to an ar- 
ticle of Lenin's which appeared in 1915, in November, 
three months after the publication of his basic article 



My italics. — /. St. 



334 J. V. STALIN 



on the possibility of the victory of socialism in one 
country. This is what he says there: 

"The proletariat is fighting, and will fight valiantly, 
to capture power, for a republic, for the confiscation of the 
land, that is, for the enlistment of the peasantry and the utili- 
sation to the utmost of its revolutionary forces, for the participa- 
tion of the '«o«-proletarian masses of the people' in liberating 
bourgeois Russia from military-feudal 'imperialism' (=tsarism). And 
the proletariat will immediately* take advantage of this liberation 
of bourgeois Russia from tsarism, from the agrarian power of the 
landlords, not to aid the rich peasants in their struggle against 
the rural worker, but to bring about the socialist revolution* in 
alliance with the proletarians of Europe" (see Vol. XVIII, p. 318). 

You see that here, as in the previous quotation, in 
1905 and in 1915 alike, Lenin held that the bourgeois 
revolution in Russia must grow over into a socialist 
revolution, that the victory of the bourgeois-democratic 
revolution in Russia would be the first stage of the Rus- 
sian revolution, necessary in order to pass immediately 
to its second stage, the socialist revolution. 

Well, and what about Lenin's theses of 1915, to which 
Kamenev referred in his speech, and which speak of the 
tasks of the bourgeois-democratic revolution in Russia? 
Do not these theses contradict the idea of the growing 
over of the bourgeois revolution into a socialist revolu- 
tion? Of course not. On the contrary, the underlying 
idea of these theses is precisely the growing over of 
the bourgeois revolution into a socialist revolution, the 
passing of the first stage of the Russian revolution into 
the second stage. In the first place, Lenin did not say 



My italics. — J. St. 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 335 

in these theses that the scope of the Russian revolution 
and the tasks of the Marxists in Russia were confined to 
overthrowing the tsar and the landlords, that is, to 
the tasks of a bourgeois-democratic revolution. In the 
second place, Lenin limited himself in these theses to 
describing the tasks of the bourgeois-democratic revolu- 
tion because he regarded that revolution as the first 
stage and the immediate task of the Russian Marxists. 
In the third place, Lenin held that the Russian Marxists 
should begin the accomplishment of their tasks not with 
the second stage (as Trotsky proposed with his scheme of 
"no tsar, but a workers' government"), but with the 
first stage, the bourgeois-democratic stage of the revo- 
lution. 

Is there any contradiction here, even the shadow 
of a contradiction, with the idea of the growing over of 
the bourgeois revolution into a socialist revolution? 
Obviously, not. 

It follows, then, that Kamenev has flagrantly mis- 
represented Lenin's position. 

But we have witnesses against Kamenev not only in 
the shape of documents of Lenin's. We also have wit- 
nesses in the shape of living persons, such as Trotsky, 
for instance, or the Fourteenth Conference of our Party, 
or, lastly, strange as it may seem, Kamenev and Zinov- 
iev themselves. 

We know that Lenin's article on the possibility of 
the victory of socialism in one country was published in 
1915. We know that Trotsky, who at that time carried on 
a controversy with Comrade Lenin on the question of the 
victory of socialism in one country, immediately, that 
is, in the same year 1915, replied to this article with a 



336 J. V. STALIN 



special critical article. What did Trotsky say then, in 
1915, in his critical article? How did he assess Comrade 
Lenin's article? Did he understand it to mean that when 
speaking of the victory of socialism in one country, 
Lenin did not have Russia in mind, or did he understand 
it differently, in the way, say, that all of us understand 
it now? Here is a passage from Trotsky's article: 

"The only more or less concrete historical argument advanced 
against the slogan of a United States of Europe was formu- 
lated in the Swiss Sotsial-Demokrat (at that time the central or- 
gan of the Bolsheviks, where Lenin's above-mentioned article was 
printed — J. St.) in the following sentence. 'Uneven economic 
and political development is an absolute law of capitalism.' 
From this the Sotsial-Demokrat draws the conclusion that the vic- 
tory of socialism is possible in one country, and that therefore 
there is no reason to make the dictatorship of the proletariat in 
each separate country contingent upon the establishment of a 
United States of Europe. . . . That no country in its struggle 
must 'wait' for others, is an elementary thought which it is use- 
ful and necessary to reiterate in order that the idea of concurrent 
international action may not be replaced by the idea of temporis- 
ing international inaction. Without waiting for the others, we 
begin and continue the struggle nationally, in the full confidence 
that our initiative will give an impetus to the struggle in other 
countries; but if this should not occur, it would be hopeless to 
think — as historical experience and theoretical considerations 
testify — that, for example, a revolutionary Russia could hold out 
in the face of a conservative Europe* or that a socialist Germany 
could exist in isolation in a capitalist world" (see Trotsky 's Works, 
Vol III, Part 1, pp 89-90). 

It follows that Trotsky at that time understood 
Lenin's article not in the way that Kamenev is now 
trying to "understand" it, but as Lenin understood it, 



My italics. — J. St. 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 337 

as the Party understands it, and as we all understand it, 
otherwise Trotsky would not have fortified himself in 
his controversy with Lenin by an argument based on 
Russia. 

It follows that Trotsky is here, in this passage, 
testifying against his present ally, Kamenev. 

Why, then, did he not speak against Kamenev at 
this conference? Why did Trotsky not declare here pub- 
licly and honestly that Kamenev was flagrantly dis- 
torting Lenin? Does Trotsky think that his silence in 
this matter can be described as a model of honest contro- 
versy? The reason why Trotsky did not speak here against 
Kamenev is that he evidently did not want to get him- 
self involved in the dubious "business" of directly slan- 
dering Lenin — he preferred to leave this sordid work to 
Kamenev. 

And how does the Party, as represented, for instance, 
by its Fourteenth Conference, regard the matter? Here 
is what is said in the Fourteenth Conference resolution 
dealing with the possibility of the victory of socialism 
in one country: 

"From the 'unevenness of economic and political development, 
which is an absolute law of capitalism,' Comrade Lenin rightly 
deduced two things: a) the possibility of 'the victory of social- 
ism first in a few or even in one capitalist country taken sepa- 
rately,' and b) the possibility that these few countries, or even 
one country, will not necessarily be the countries of the most 
developed capitalism (see, in particular, the notes on Sukhanov). 
The experience of the Russian revolution has demonstrated* that 
not only is such a first victory in one country possible, but, given 
a number of favourable circumstances, this first country where 



My italics. — J. St. 



338 J. V. STALIN 



the proletarian revolution is victorious may (if it receives a cer- 
tain amount of support from the international proletariat) main- 
tain itself and consolidate its position for a long time, even if 
this support should not assume the form of direct proletarian rev- 
olutions in other countries." (From the resolution of the Four- 
teenth Party Conference on "The Tasks of the Comintern and the 
R.C.P.(B.) in Connection with the Enlarged Plenum of the 
E. C.C.I." 97 ) 

It follows that the Party as a whole, as represented 
by its Fourteenth Conference, testifies against Kamenev, 
against his assertion that Lenin, in his article on the 
victory of socialism in one country, did not have Russia 
in mind. Otherwise, the conference would not have said 
that "the experience of the Russian revolution has dem- 
onstrated" the correctness of Lenin's article on the 
victory of socialism in one country. 

It follows that the Fourteenth Conference understood 
Comrade Lenin's article as he himself understood it, as 
Trotsky understood it, and as we all understand it. 

And what was the attitude of Kamenev and Zinov- 
iev to this resolution of the Fourteenth Conference? 
Is it not a fact that the resolution was drafted and ap- 
proved unanimously by a commission which included 
Zinoviev and Kamenev? Is it not a fact that Kamenev 
was the chairman at the Fourteenth Conference, which 
adopted this resolution unanimously, and that it was 
Zinoviev who made the report on the resolution? How 
is it to be explained that Kamenev and Zinoviev voted 
for this resolution, for all its clauses? Is it not obvious 
that at that time Kamenev understood Lenin's article, 
a quotation from which was directly included in the 
Fourteenth Conference resolution, differently from the 
way he is trying to "understand" it now? Which Kamenev 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 339 

are we to believe, the one who was chairman at the Four- 
teenth Conference and voted for the Fourteenth Confer- 
ence resolution, or the one who comes forward here, at 
the Fifteenth Conference, as Trotsky's yardman? 

It follows that the Kamenev of the period of the 
Fourteenth Conference testifies against the Kamenev of 
the period of the Fifteenth Conference. 

And why does Zinoviev keep silent and make no 
attempt to correct Kamenev who flagrantly misrepresents 
both Lenin's article of 1915 and the resolution of the 
Fourteenth Conference? Is it not a fact that none other 
than Zinoviev put the case for the Fourteenth Conference 
resolution on the victory of socialism in one country? 

It follows that Zinoviev's hands are not quite clean. 
(Voices: "Quite unclean!") Can this be called honest 
controversy? 

It follows that Kamenev and Zinoviev are now 
beyond honest controversy. 

And the conclusion? The conclusion is that Kamenev 
has failed in the role of Trotsky's yardman. He has 
not justified Trotsky's hopes. 

Ill 

AN INCREDIBLE MUDDLE, 

OR ZINOVIEV ON REVOLUTIONARY SPIRIT 

AND INTERNATIONALISM 

I pass now to Zinoviev. If Kamenev's whole speech 
was an attempt to clear the way for Trotsky, Zinoviev 
made it his task to prove that the opposition leaders are 
the only revolutionaries and the only internationalists 
in the whole world. 



340 J. V. STALIN 



Let us analyse his "arguments." 

He takes Bukharin's statement that when examining 
questions of an internal order (the building of social- 
ism) one must abstract oneself methodologically from 
questions of an external order, compares this proposition 
of Bukharin's with what the theses on the opposition bloc 
say about the possibility of the victory of socialism in 
our country, and arrives at the conclusion that Bukharin 
and the Central Committee, which in the main approved 
the theses, are forgetting the international tasks of our 
revolution, the interests of the international revolution. 

Is all that true? It is all nonsense, comrades. The 
secret is that methodology is one of Zinoviev's weak 
points; he gets muddled over the simplest things, and 
makes out his own muddle to be the real state of affairs. 
Bukharin says that the question of building socialism 
must not be confused with the question of creating a 
guarantee as regards intervention against our country, 
that internal questions must not be confused with ex- 
ternal questions. Bukharin does not say that internal 
questions are not connected with external, international 
questions. All he says is that the former must not be 
confused with the latter. That is a primary and elemen- 
tary requirement of methodology. Who is to blame, if 
Zinoviev does not understand elementary questions of 
methodology? 

We hold that our country exhibits two categories 
of contradictions: contradictions of an internal order 
and contradictions of an external order. The internal 
contradictions consist primarily of the struggle between 
the socialist and the capitalist elements. We say that 
we can overcome these contradictions by our own efforts, 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 341 

that we can defeat the capitalist elements in our econ- 
omy, draw the main mass of the peasantry into the work 
of socialist construction, and completely build a social- 
ist society. 

The external contradictions consist of the struggle 
between the land of socialism and its capitalist encir- 
clement. We say that we cannot resolve these contra- 
dictions by our own efforts alone, that in order to re- 
solve them the victory of socialism is necessary in sev- 
eral countries at least. It is precisely for this reason 
that we say that the victory of socialism in one country 
is not an end in itself, but an aid, a means and an in- 
strument for the victory of the proletarian revolution 
in all countries. 

Is all that true? Let Zinoviev prove that it is not. 

Zinoviev's trouble is that he does not see the dif- 
ference between these two categories of contradictions, 
that he muddles the two preposterously and makes out 
his own muddle to be "genuine" internationalism, believ- 
ing that whoever abstracts himself methodologically 
from questions of an external order when examining 
questions of an internal order is forgetting the interests 
of the international revolution. 

That is very funny, but he really ought to under- 
stand that it is unconvincing. 

As to the theses, which allegedly ignore the inter- 
national element in our revolution, one has only to read 
them to realise that Zinoviev has again got into a muddle. 
Here is what is said in the theses: 

"The Party holds that our revolution is a socialist revolu- 
tion, that the October Revolution is not merely a signal, an im- 
pulse, a point of departure for the socialist revolution in tee West, 



342 J. V. STALIN 



but that at the same time it is, firstly, a base for the further de- 
velopment of the world revolutionary movement, and, secondly, 
it ushers in a period of transition from capitalism to socialism 
in the U.S.S.R. (dictatorship of the proletariat), during which 
the proletariat, if it pursues a correct policy towards the peasant- 
ry, can, and will, successfully build a complete socialist society, 
provided, of course, the power of the international revolutionary 
movement, on the one hand, and the power of the proletariat of the 
U.S.S.R. on the other, are great enough to protect the U.S.S.R. 
from armed imperialist intervention."* 

As you see, the international element has been fully 
and completely taken into account in the theses. 

Further, Zinoviev, and Trotsky as well, quote pas- 
sages from the works of Lenin to the effect that "the 
complete victory of the socialist revolution in one coun- 
try is inconceivable, and requires the most active co- 
operation of several advanced countries at least," and 
in some strange way they arrive at the conclusion that 
it is beyond the power of our proletariat to completely 
build socialism in one country. But that is a sheer mud- 
dle, comrades! Has the Party ever said that the complete 
victory, the final victory of socialism is possible in our 
country, that it is within the power of the proletariat of 
one country? Let them tell us where and when it has 
said so. Does not the Party say, has it not always said, 
together with Lenin, that the complete and final victory 
of socialism is possible only if socialism is victorious 
in several countries? Has not the Party explained scores 
and hundreds of times that the victory of socialism in 
one country must not be confused with the complete and 
final victory of socialism? 



See pp. 227-28 in this volume. — Ed. 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 343 

The Party has always held that the victory of so- 
cialism in one country signifies the possibility of com- 
pletely building socialism in that country, and that this 
task can be accomplished by the efforts of one country 
alone, whereas the complete victory of socialism sig- 
nifies a guarantee against intervention and restoration, 
and that this task can be accomplished only in the event 
of the victory of the revolution in several countries. How 
is it possible then to confuse the two tasks so preposterous- 
ly? Who is to blame if Zinoviev, and Trotsky as well, so 
preposterously confuse the victory of socialism in one 
country with the complete and final victory of social- 
ism? Why, they have only to read the resolution of 
the Fourteenth Conference, where this question is ex- 
plained with an exactitude that could satisfy even a 
Soviet-Party School student. 

Zinoviev, and Trotsky as well, put forward a number 
of quotations from Lenin's works of the period of the 
Brest Peace, where it is said that our revolution may be 
crushed by external enemies. But is it so hard to under- 
stand that these quotations have no bearing on the ques- 
tion of the possibility of building socialism in our coun- 
try? Comrade Lenin says that we are not guaranteed 
against the possibility of intervention, and that is quite 
right. But has the Party ever said that we can guarantee 
our country against the danger of intervention by our 
own efforts alone? Has not our Party always affirmed, 
and does it not continue to affirm, that a guarantee 
against intervention can be provided only by the victory 
of the proletarian revolution in several countries? How 
is it possible on these grounds to assert that it is beyond 
the power of our proletariat to completely build 



344 J. V. STALIN 



socialism in our country? Is it not time to stop this delib- 
erate muddling of the external questions, questions of 
the direct struggle against the world bourgeoisie, with 
the question of building socialism in our country, with 
the question of victory over our capitalist elements at 
home? 

Further, Zinoviev puts forward a quotation from the 
Communist Manifesto: "United action, of the leading 
civilised countries at least, is one of the first conditions 
for the emancipation of the proletariat" — compares this 
quotation with a quotation from one of Comrade Lenin's 
manuscripts where it is said that "the victory of socialism 
requires the joint efforts of the workers in several ad- 
vanced countries" — and arrives at the conclusion that our 
Party has gone counter to these generally accepted and 
incontrovertible propositions, and has forgotten the 
international conditions for the victory of the proletar- 
ian revolution. Well, is not that ludicrous, comrades? 
Where and when did our Party ever under-estimate 
the decisive importance of the international efforts of 
the working class, and of the international conditions 
for the victory of the revolution in our country? And 
what is the Comintern, if not an expression of the uniting 
of the efforts of the proletarians not only of the advanced 
countries, but of all the countries of the world, both for 
the world revolution and for the development of our 
revolution? And who took the initiative in founding the 
Comintern, and who constitutes its advanced detachment, 
if not our Party? And what is the trade-union united 
front policy, if not the uniting of the efforts of the workers 
not only of the advanced countries, but of all countries 
in general? Who can deny the prime role of our Party 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 345 

in promoting the trade-union united front policy through- 
out the world? Is it not a fact that our revolution has 
always supported, and continues to support, the develop- 
ment of the revolution in all countries? Is it not a fact 
that the workers of all countries have supported, and con- 
tinue to support, our revolution by their sympathy for it 
and by their struggle against attempts at intervention? 
What is that, if not a uniting of the efforts of the workers 
of all countries for the sake of the victory of our revolu- 
tion? And what about the struggle of the British workers 
against Curzon in connection with his notorious Note 98 ? 
And what about the support the workers of the U.S.S.R. 
rendered the British coal miners? I could put forward 
a number of other well-known facts of a similar nature 
if it were necessary, comrades. 

Where, then, in all this is there any forgetfulness 
of the international tasks of our revolution? 

What then is the secret here? The secret is that Zi- 
noviev is trying to substitute the question of joint 
efforts by the proletarians of all countries to achieve 
the victory of socialism in our country for the cardinal 
question of the possibility of completely building so- 
cialism in our country without the state support of the 
European proletariat, the cardinal question whether, 
under present-day international conditions, proletarian 
rule in Russia can hold out in the face of a conservative 
Europe. 

Trotsky, Zinoviev's present teacher, says: 

"It would be hopeless to think . . . that, for example, a revo- 
lutionary Russia could hold out in the face of a conservative Eu- 
rope" (Trotsky, Vol. Ill, Part 1, p. 90). 



346 J. V. STALIN 



Trotsky, Zinoviev's present teacher, says: 

"Without direct state support from the European proletar- 
iat, the working class of Russia will not be able to maintain it- 
self in power and to transform its temporary rule into a lasting 
socialist dictatorship. This we cannot doubt for an instant" (see 
Our Revolution, p. 278). 

Consequently, Zinoviev substitutes the question of 
joint efforts by the workers of Europe and Russia for 
the question of the victory of socialism in our country, 
given the victory of the proletariat in Europe ("state 
support from the European proletariat"). 

That is the point, and that is what our dispute is 
about. 

Zinoviev, by putting forward quotations from Lenin's 
works and from the Communist Manifesto, is trying to 
substitute one question for another. 

That is the secret of Zinoviev's exercises on the 
theme of our Party's "forgetfulness" of the international 
tasks of our revolution. 

That is the secret of Zinoviev's tricks, confusion 
and muddle. 

And this incredible confusion, this mish-mash and 
muddle in his own mind, Zinoviev has the "modesty" 
to palm off as the "genuine" revolutionary spirit and "gen- 
uine" internationalism of the opposition bloc. 

Ludicrous, is it not, comrades? 

No, to be an international revolutionary nowadays, 
when one is in the ranks of our Party, it is necessary 
in every possible way to strengthen and support our Par- 
ty, which is also the advanced detachment of the Comin- 
tern. But the oppositionists are trying to disrupt and 
discredit our Party. 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 347 

To be an internationalist nowadays, it is necessary 
in every possible way to strengthen and support the 
Communist International. But the oppositionists are try- 
ing to disintegrate and disrupt it, by supporting and 
instructing all kinds of Maslows and Souvarines. 

It is time to realise that one cannot be a revolutionary 
and internationalist if one is at war with our Party, 
which is the advanced detachment of the Communist 
International. {Applause.) 

It is time to realise that, in making war on the Com- 
intern, the oppositionists have ceased to be revolu- 
tionaries and internationalists. {Applause.) 

It is time to realise that the oppositionists are not 
revolutionaries and internationalists, but chatterers 
about revolution and internationalism. {Applause.) 

It is time to realise that they are not revolutionaries 
in deed, but revolutionary phrasemongers and posers 
for the cinema screen. {Laughter, applause.) 

It is time to realise that they are not revolution- 
aries in deed, but cinema revolutionaries. {Laughter, 
applause.) 

IV 
TROTSKY FALSIFIES LENINISM 

1. TROTSKY'S CONJURING TRICKS, OR THE QUESTION 
OF "PERMANENT REVOLUTION" 

I pass now to Trotsky's speech. 

Trotsky declared that the theory of permanent rev- 
olution has no bearing on the question under discus- 
sion — the character and prospects of our revolution. 

That is very strange, to say the least of it. How does 



348 J. V. STALIN 



it come about? Is not the theory of permanent revo- 
lution a theory of the motive forces of the revolution? 
Is it not true that the theory of permanent revolution 
deals primarily with the motive forces of our revolu- 
tion? Well, and what is the question of the character 
and prospects of our revolution, if not a question of its 
motive forces? How can it be said that the theory of 
permanent revolution has no bearing on the question un- 
der discussion? That is not true, comrades. It is sleight- 
of-hand, a conjuring trick. It is an attempt to cover 
up one's tracks, to dodge the issue. Vain effort! It is no 
use your trying to dodge the issue — you won't succeed! 

In another part of his speech Trotsky tried to "hint" 
that he had long ceased to attach any serious importance 
to the theory of permanent revolution. And Kamenev, 
in his speech, "gave it to be understood" that Trotsky 
is perhaps not averse to abandon the theory of permanent 
revolution, if he has not abandoned it already. 

A miracle — nothing less! 

Let us examine the matter. Is it true that the theo- 
ry of permanent revolution has no bearing on the ques- 
tion under discussion, and if it is not true, can Kamenev 
be believed when he says that Trotsky attaches no impor- 
tance to the theory of permanent revolution, and has al- 
most repudiated it? 

Let us turn to the documents. I have in mind, first 
of all, Trotsky's letter to Comrade Olminsky in Decem- 
ber 1921, which was published in the press in 1925 — a 
letter which Trotsky has never attempted to repudiate 
and has not repudiated to this day, either directly or 
indirectly, and which therefore remains in full force. 
What does this letter say about permanent revolution? 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 349 



Listen: 

"/ by no means consider that in my disagreements with the Bol- 
sheviks I was wrong on all points. I was wrong — and fundamen- 
tally wrong — in my assessment of the Menshevik faction, inasmuch 
as I overrated its revolutionary potentialities and hoped that it 
would be possible to isolate and eliminate its Right wing. However, 
this fundamental error arose from the fact that / approached both 
factions, the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks, from the standpoint of 
the idea of permanent revolution and the dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat, whereas both the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks at that 
time adhered to the view-point of a bourgeois revolution and a 
democratic republic. I considered that in principle the disagree- 
ments between the two factions were not so very profound, and 
I hoped (and I expressed this hope repeatedly in letters and 
speeches) that the very course of the revolution would lead the two 
factions to the position of permanent revolution and conquest 
of power by the working class, as in fact partially happened in 
1905. (Comrade Lenin's preface to Kautsky's article on the mo- 
tive forces of the Russian revolution, and the whole line of the 
newspaper Nachalo.) 

"I consider that my assessment of the motive forces of the 
revolution was absolutely right, but that the inferences I drew 
from it in regard to the two factions were certainly wrong. Bol- 
shevism alone, thanks to the irreconcilable line it took, concen- 
trated in its ranks the really revolutionary elements both of the 
old intelligentsia and of the advanced section of the working 
class. Only thanks to the fact that Bolshevism succeeded in creat- 
ing this revolutionarily-welded organisation was such a rapid 
turn from the revolutionary-democratic to the revolutionary- 
socialist position possible. 

"Even now I could without any difficulty divide my polem- 
ical articles against the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks into 
two categories: those devoted to an analysis of the internal 
forces of the revolution and its prospects (in Rosa Luxemburg's 
Polish theoretical organ, Neue Zeit), and those devoted to an as- 
sessment of the factions among the Russian Social-Democrats, 
their conflict, etc. The articles of the first category I could re- 
publish even now without amendment, since they fully and 



350 J. V. STALIN 



completely coincide with the position of our Party beginning 
with 1917. The articles of the second category are obviously mis- 
taken, and are not worth republishing" (see Lenin on Trotsky, 
1925, with a foreword by Comrade Olminsky). 

What do we get from this? 

It turns out that Trotsky was mistaken on ques- 
tions of organisation, but that on the questions of 
the assessment of our revolution and on the question of 
permanent revolution he was right and has remained 
right. 

True, Trotsky cannot but know that Lenin fought 
against the theory of permanent revolution to the end 
of his life. But that does not worry Trotsky. 

It turns out, further, that both factions, the Men- 
sheviks and the Bolsheviks, ought to have arrived at 
the theory of permanent revolution, but actually only 
the Bolsheviks did so, because they had a compact revo- 
lutionarily-welded organisation of workers and members 
of the old intelligentsia; and they arrived at it not at 
once, but "beginning with 1917." 

It turns out, lastly, that the theory of permanent 
revolution "fully and completely coincided with the po- 
sition of our Party, beginning with 1917." 

Now judge for yourselves, does that look as if Trots- 
ky does not attach much importance to the theory of 
permanent revolution? No, it does not. On the contrary, 
if the theory of permanent revolution really did coin- 
cide, "beginning with 1917," with the position of the 
Party, then only one inference can be drawn from this, 
namely, that Trotsky considered this theory, and con- 
tinues to consider it, of decisive importance for our whole 
Party. 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 351 

But what is meant by the word "coincided"? How 
could Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution have co- 
incided with the position of our Party, when it is known 
that our Party, in the person of Lenin, combated this 
theory all the time? 

One thing or the other: either our Party did not 
have a theory of its own, and was later compelled by the 
course of events to accept Trotsky's theory of permanent 
revolution; or it did have a theory of its own, but that 
theory was imperceptibly ousted by Trotsky's theory 
of permanent revolution, "beginning with 1917." 

This "enigma" was later explained for us by Trotsky 
in his "Preface," written in 1922, to his book The Year 
1905. Having expounded the substance of the theory of 
permanent revolution and given an analysis of his assess- 
ment of our revolution from the standpoint of this theory, 
Trotsky arrived at the following conclusion: 

"Although after a lapse of twelve years, this assessment was 
wholly confirmed" (Trotsky, The Year 1905, "Preface"). 

In other words, the theory of permanent revolution, 
"constructed" by Trotsky in 1905, was "wholly con- 
firmed" in 1917, twelve years later. 

But how could it be confirmed? And the Bolsheviks 
— where did they vanish to? Did they really go in for 
revolution without having any theory of their own? 
Were they really capable only of welding together the 
revolutionary intelligentsia and the revolutionary work- 
ers? And then, on what foundation, on the basis of what 
principles did they weld the workers together? Surely, 
the Bolsheviks had some theory, some estimate of the 
revolution, some estimate of its motive forces? Did our 



352 J. V. STALIN 



Party really have no other theory than the theory of 
permanent revolution? 

Judge for yourselves. We, the Bolsheviks, existed 
and developed without any perspective and without any 
revolutionary theory; we existed in that way from 1903 
to 1917; and then, "beginning with 1917," we impercep- 
tibly swallowed the theory of permanent revolution and 
rose to our feet. Undoubtedly, that is a very interesting 
fairy-tale. But how could it have happened impercep- 
tibly, without a struggle, without an upheaval in the 
Party? How could it have occurred so simply, for no 
apparent reason? Surely, everybody knows that Lenin 
and his Party fought the theory of permanent revolution 
from its first appearance. 

Incidentally, this "enigma" is explained for us 
by Trotsky in another document. I have in mind the 
"Note," written in 1922, to Trotsky's article "Our Dif- 
ferences." 

Here is the relevant passage from this article of 
Trotsky's: 

"Whereas the Mensheviks, proceeding from the abstraction: 
l our revolution is a bourgeois one,'' arrive at the idea of adapting 
the whole tactics of the proletariat to the behaviour of the liber- 
al bourgeoisie, right down to permitting the latter to conquer 
state power, the Bolsheviks, proceeding from an equally empty 
abstraction — 'a democratic, not a socialist dictator ship, , arrive at 
the idea of the bourgeois-democratic self-limitation of the prole- 
tariat when it is in possession of state power. True, the difference 
between them in this matter is very considerable: whereas the 
anti-revolutionary aspects of Menshevism are fully apparent al- 
ready, the anti-revolutionary features of Bolshevism threaten tre- 
mendous danger only in the event of a revolutionary victory" 
(Trotsky, The Year 1905, p. 285). 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 353 

It follows that not only Menshevism had its anti- 
revolutionary aspects; Bolshevism also was not free 
from "anti-revolutionary features," which threatened 
"tremendous danger only in the event of a revolutionary 
victory." 

Did the Bolsheviks later emancipate themselves from 
the "anti-revolutionary features" of Bolshevism? And if 
so, how? 

This "enigma" is explained for us by Trotsky in his 
"Note" to the article "Our Differences." 

Listen: 

"This, as we know, did not occur, because, under the guid- 
ance of Comrade Lenin, Bolshevism rearmed itself ideologically 
(not without an internal struggle) on this cardinal issue in the 
spring of 1917, that is, prior to the conquest of power" (Trotsky, 
The Year 1905, p. 285). 

And so, the Bolsheviks "rearmed" themselves, "be- 
ginning with 1917," on the basis of the theory of per- 
manent revolution; as a result of which the Bolsheviks 
saved themselves from the "anti-revolutionary features 
of Bolshevism"; and, lastly, the theory of permanent 
revolution was thus "wholly confirmed." Such is Trots- 
ky's conclusion. 

But what happened to Leninism, to the theory of 
Bolshevism, to the Bolshevik estimate of our revolution 
and its motive forces, etc.? Either they were not "wholly 
confirmed," or they were not "confirmed" at all, or else 
they vanished into thin air, making way for the theory 
of permanent revolution to "rearm" the Party. 

And so, once upon a time there were people known as 
the Bolsheviks who somehow managed, "beginning" with 



354 J. V. STALIN 



1903, to "weld" together a party, but who had no revolu- 
tionary theory. So they drifted and drifted, "beginning" 
with 1903, until somehow they managed to reach the 
year 1917. Then, having espied Trotsky with his theory 
of permanent revolution, they decided to "rearm them- 
selves," and, "having rearmed themselves," they lost 
the last remnants of Leninism, of Lenin's theory of rev- 
olution, thus bringing about the "full coincidence" 
of the theory of permanent revolution with the "posi- 
tion" of our Party. 

That is a very interesting fairy-tale, comrades. It, if 
you like, is one of the splendid conjuring tricks you may 
see at the circus. But this is not a circus; it is a con- 
ference of our Party. Nor, after all, have we hired 
Trotsky as a circus artist. Then why these conjuring 
tricks? 

What was Comrade Lenin's opinion of Trotsky's 
theory of permanent revolution? Here is what he wrote 
about it in one of his articles, where he ridiculed it as an 
"original" and "fine" theory: 

"To elucidate the correlation of classes in the impending 
revolution is a major problem of the revolutionary party. . . . 
Trotsky solves this problem incorrectly in Nashe Slovo, where 
he reiterates his 'original' theory of the year 1905 and refuses to 
reflect on the reasons why for ten whole years actual developments 
have ignored this fine theory. 

"This original theory of Trotsky's borrows from the Bolshe- 
viks their call for a resolute revolutionary struggle by the pro- 
letariat and for the conquest of political power by the latter, and 
from the Mensheviks the denial of the role of the peasantry." . . . 
Thereby "Trotsky is in fact helping the liberal labour politi- 
cians in Russia who understand 'denial' of the role of the peasant- 
ry to mean refusal to rouse the peasants to revolution!" (See 
Vol. XVIII, pp. 317-18.) 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 355 

It follows that in Lenin's opinion the theory of 
permanent revolution is a semi-Menshevik theory which 
ignores the revolutionary role of the peasantry in the 
Russian revolution. 

The incomprehensible thing is how this semi-Men- 
shevik theory could "fully and completely coincide" 
with the position of our Party, even if "beginning with 
1917." 

And what is our Party's estimate of the theory of 
permanent revolution? Here is what the resolution of the 
Fourteenth Party Conference says of it: 

"An integral part of Trotsky's theory of permanent revolu- 
tion is the assertion that 'real progress of a socialist economy in 
Russia will become possible only after the victory of the proletar- 
iat in the major European countries' (Trotsky, 1922) — an asser- 
tion which in the present period would condemn the proletariat 
of the U.S.S.R. to fatalistic passivity. In opposition to such 'the- 
ories, Comrade Lenin wrote: 'Infinitely hackneyed is the argu- 
ment that they learned by rote during the development of west- 
European Social-Democracy, namely, that we are not yet ripe 
for socialism, that, as certain "learned" gentlemen among them 
express it, the objective economic prerequisites for socialism do 
not exist in our country'" (Notes on Sukhanov). (Resolution of 
the Fourteenth Party Conference. 99 ) 

It follows that the theory of permanent revolution 
is the same as the Sukhanovism which Comrade Lenin 
in his notes "Our Revolution" brands as Social-De- 
mocracy. 

The incomprehensible thing is how such a theory 
could "rearm" our Bolshevik Party. 

Kamenev, in his speech, "gave it to be understood" 
that Trotsky is abandoning his theory of permanent 
revolution, and in confirmation of this he quoted the 



356 J. V. STALIN 



following more than ambiguous passage from Trots- 
ky's latest letter, of September 1926, to the opposi- 
tionists: 

"We hold that, as experience has incontrovertibly proved 
that, whenever any of us differed with Lenin on any question of 
principle, Vladimir Ilyich was unquestionably in the right." 

But Kamenev refrained from mentioning that after 
this, in the same letter, Trotsky made the following 
statement, which nullifies the preceding one: 

"The Leningrad opposition vigorously opposed the theory 
of socialism in one country, as being a theoretical justification of 
national narrow-mindedness" (see Trotsky's letter of September 
1926, appended to the verbatim report of the sittings of the Po- 
litical Bureau of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.), October 8 and 11, 1926). 

What value can Trotsky s first, ambiguous and non- 
committal statement have in face of his second state- 
ment, which nullifies the first? 

What is the theory of permanent revolution? It 
is a denial of Lenin's "theory of socialism in one coun- 
try." 

What is Lenin's "theory of socialism in one coun- 
try"? It is a denial of Trotsky's theory of permanent 
revolution. 

Is it not obvious that when Kamenev quoted the 
first passage from Trotsky's letter and kept silent about 
the second, he was trying to mislead and deceive our 
Party? 

But it is not so easy to deceive our Party. 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 357 

2. JUGGLING WITH QUOTATIONS, 
OR TROTSKY FALSIFIES LENINISM 

Did you notice, comrades, that Trotsky's whole speech 
was plentifully larded with the most diverse quotations 
from Lenin's works? One reads these quotations torn 
from various articles of Lenin, and one fails to understand 
what Trotsky's main object is: whether to fortify his 
own position by means of them, or to "catch out" Com- 
rade Lenin as "contradicting" himself. He cited one 
batch of quotations from Lenin's works which say that 
the danger of intervention can be overcome only by the 
victory of the revolution in several countries, evidently 
thinking thereby to "expose" the Party. But he does 
not realise, or will not realise, that these quotations 
testify not against the Party's position, but for it and 
against his own position, because the Party's estimate 
of the relative importance of the danger from abroad 
fully agrees with Lenin's line. Trotsky cited another 
batch of quotations which say that the complete victory 
of socialism is impossible without the victory of the 
revolution in several countries, and he tried to juggle 
with these quotations in every possible way. But he does 
not realise, or will not realise, that the complete victory 
of socialism (guarantee against intervention) must not 
be confused with the victory of socialism in general 
(the complete building of a socialist society); he does 
not realise, or will not realise, that these quotations 
from the works of Lenin testify not against the Party, 
but for it and against his own position. 

But while citing a heap of all kinds of irrelevant 
quotations, Trotsky refused to deal with Lenin's basic 
article on the possibility of the victory of socialism 



358 J. V. STALIN 



in one country (1915), evidently assuming that Kame- 
nev's speech had satisfactorily disposed of this article 
for him. But it can now be taken as definitely proved 
that Kamenev failed in the role, and that Comrade 
Lenin's article retains all its validity. 

Trotsky, further, quoted a passage from Comrade 
Lenin's article which says that there was no dis- 
agreement between them over the peasant question as far 
as current policy was concerned. He forgot to say, how- 
ever, that this article of Lenin's not only does not 
resolve, but does not even touch upon the disagreements 
between Trotsky and Lenin over the peasant question 
in connection with the possibility of building a complete 
socialist society in our country. 

That, indeed, explains why Trotsky's operations 
with the quotations became empty jugglery. 

Trotsky tried to prove the "coincidence" of his view 
with that of Lenin's on the question of the possibility 
of completely building a socialist society in our country 
through the internal forces of our revolution. But how 
can you prove the unprovable? 

How can Lenin's thesis that "the victory of social- 
ism is possible first in several or even in one capital- 
ist country taken separately" 100 be reconciled with Trots- 
ky's thesis that "it would be hopeless to think 
that, for example, a revolutionary Russia could hold 
out in the face of a conservative Europe"? 

How, further, can Lenin's thesis that "the victo- 
rious proletariat of that country (that is, of one coun- 
try — J. St.), having expropriated the capitalists and 
organised socialist production, would stand up against 
the rest of the world, the capitalist world" 101 be recon- 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 359 

ciled with Trotsky's thesis that "without direct state* 
support from the European proletariat, the working 
class of Russia will not be able to maintain itself in 
power and to transform its temporary rule into a lasting 
socialist dictatorship"? 

How, lastly, can Lenin's thesis that "only an agree- 
ment with the peasantry can save the socialist revolution 
in Russia as long as the revolution in other countries has 
not taken place" 102 be reconciled with Trotsky's thesis that 
"the contradictions in the position of a workers' govern- 
ment in a backward country with an overwhelmingly 
peasant population can be solved only on an interna- 
tional scale, in the arena of the world proletarian rev- 
olution"? 

Furthermore, in what way actually does Trotsky's 
attitude to the question of the victory of socialism in 
our country differ from that of the Menshevik O. Bauer, 
who says that: 

"In Russia, where the proletariat is only a small 
minority of the nation, it can maintain its rule only 
temporarily," that "it must inevitably lose it again as 
soon as the peasant masses of the nation are cultur- 
ally mature enough to take power into their own 
hands," and that "only with the conquest of political 
power by the proletariat of the industrial West can the 
rule of industrial socialism be durably established" in 
Russia? 

Is it not clear that Trotsky is closer to Bauer than 
to Lenin? And is it not true that Trotsky's attitude is 
that of a Social-Democratic deviation, that Trotsky, 



My italics. — J. St. 



360 J. V. STALIN 



in point of fact, denies the socialist character of our 
revolution? 

Trotsky tried to vindicate his thesis — that it would 
be impossible for a proletarian regime to hold out in the 
face of a conservative Europe — by arguing that present- 
day Europe is not conservative but more or less liberal, 
and that if Europe were really conservative, it would 
be impossible for the proletariat of our country to retain 
power. But is it difficult to realise that Trotsky has 
got himself entangled here wholly and utterly? What 
shall we call, for example, present-day Italy, or Brit- 
ain, or France — conservative or liberal? What is the 
present-day United States of America — is it a conservative 
or a liberal country? And what significance can this 
"subtle" and ludicrous stressing of the difference be- 
tween a conservative and a "liberal" Europe have for 
the integrity and safety of our republic? Were not re- 
publican France and democratic America as active in 
intervening in our country at the time of Kolchak and 
Denikin as monarchist and conservative Britain? 

Trotsky devoted quite a considerable part of his 
speech to the question of the middle peasant. He quoted 
a passage from Lenin's writings of the 1906 period, 
where Lenin predicted that after the victory of the 
bourgeois revolution a section of the middle peasantry 
might go over to the side of the counter-revolution, 
apparently trying to prove in this way that this 
quotation "coincides" with his own attitude to- 
wards the question of the peasantry after the victory 
of the socialist revolution. It is not difficult to realise 
that Trotsky here is comparing things that are incom- 
parable. Trotsky is inclined to regard the middle peas- 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 361 

antry as a "thing-in-itself," as something permanent 
and unalterable. But that was never the way the Bol- 
sheviks looked on the middle peasantry. 

Trotsky has apparently forgotten that the Bolshe- 
viks had three plans in relation to the main mass of 
the peasantry: one for the period of the bourgeois revo- 
lution, the second for the period of the proletarian revo- 
lution, and the third for the period following the con- 
solidation of Soviet power. 

In the first period the Bolsheviks said: together 
with all the peasantry, against the tsar and the land- 
lords, while neutralising the liberal bourgeoisie, for 
a bourgeois-democratic revolution. 

In the second period the Bolsheviks said: together 
with the poor peasantry, against the bourgeoisie and 
the kulaks, while neutralising the middle peasantry, 
for a socialist revolution. And what does neutralising 
the middle peasantry mean? It means keeping it under 
the political surveillance of the proletariat, not trusting 
it, and taking every measure to prevent it from getting 
out of hand. 

In the third period, the period we are in now, the 
Bolsheviks say: together with the poor peasantry, in 
firm alliance with the middle peasantry, and against 
the capitalist elements of our economy in town and 
countryside, for the victory of socialist construction. 

Whoever confuses these three plans, these three 
different lines, which reflect three different periods 
in our revolution, understands nothing of Bolshevism. 

Lenin was absolutely right when he said that after 
the victory of the bourgeois revolution part of the middle 
peasantry would go over to the counter-revolution. 



362 J. V. STALIN 



That is exactly what happened in the period, for in- 
stance, of the "Ufa Government," 103 when part of the 
Volga middle peasants went over to the counter-revo- 
lution, to the kulaks, while the greater part vacillated 
between the revolution and the counter-revolution. 
And it could not have been otherwise. It is in the very 
nature of the middle peasant, just because he is a middle 
peasant, to temporise and vacillate and say: "Who 
knows who will get the upper hand; better wait and 
see." Only after the first substantial victories over the 
internal counter-revolution, and especially after the 
consolidation of the Soviet regime, did the middle peas- 
ant definitely begin to swing to the side of the So- 
viet regime, evidently deciding that there had to 
be some sort of authority, that the Bolshevik regime 
was strong, and that the only way out was to work 
with it. It was precisely in that period that Comrade 
Lenin uttered the prophetic words: "We have entered 
a phase of socialist construction in which we must draw 
up concrete and detailed basic rules and instructions 
which have been tested by the experience of our work 
in the countryside, and by which we must be guided 
in order to achieve a stable alliance with the middle peas- 
antry" (speech at the Eighth Congress of the Party, 
Vol. XXIV, p. 114). 

That is how matters stand with the question of the 
middle peasants. 

Trotsky's mistake is that he approaches the question 
of the middle peasantry metaphysically, that he regards 
the middle peasantry as a "thing-in-itself," and there- 
fore muddles the question and distorts and falsifies 
Leninism. 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 363 

Lastly, the point is not at all that there still may 
be, and will be, contradictions and conflicts between 
the proletariat and a certain section of the middle peas- 
ants. The disagreement between the Party and the 
opposition is not at all over this. The disagreement 
lies in the fact that, whereas the Party considers that 
these contradictions and possible conflicts can be fully 
overcome by the forces of our revolution alone, Trotsky 
and the opposition consider that these contradictions 
and conflicts can be overcome "only on an international 
scale, in the arena of the world proletarian revolution." 

Trotsky juggles with quotations in an effort to put 
these disagreements out of sight. But I have already 
said that he will not succeed in deceiving our Party. 

And the conclusion? The conclusion is that one 
must be a dialectician, not a conjuror. You would do 
well, worthy oppositionists, to take a lesson in dia- 
lectics from Comrade Lenin, to read his works — it would 
be of benefit to you. {Applause, laughter.) 

3. "TRIFLES" AND CURIOSITIES 

Trotsky rebuked me, as the author of the theses, 
because they speak of the revolution as "in itself a 
socialist revolution. Trotsky considers that such an 
attitude towards the revolution is metaphysical. I can 
by no means agree with that. 

Why do the theses speak of the revolution as "in 
itself" a socialist revolution? Because this stresses 
the utter difference between the views of our Party 
and the views of the opposition in appraising our revo- 
lution. 



364 J. V. STALIN 



In what does this difference consist? In the fact that 
our Party regards our revolution as a socialist revolu- 
tion, as a revolution representing a certain independent 
force that is capable of waging a struggle against the 
capitalist world, whereas the opposition regards our rev- 
olution as a gratuitous supplement to the future prole- 
tarian revolution which has not yet won victory in the 
West, as an "appendage" to the future revolution in the 
West, as something which has no independent strength of 
its own. One has only to compare Lenin's estimate of 
the proletarian dictatorship in our country with that 
given by the opposition bloc to see the vast gulf between 
them. Whereas Lenin regards the proletarian dictator- 
ship as a force capable of the utmost initiative which, 
after organising a socialist economy, should then come 
forward in direct support of the world proletariat and 
for the struggle against the capitalist world, the oppo- 
sition, on the contrary, regards the proletarian dicta- 
torship in our country as a passive force, which lives 
in fear of immediately losing power "in the face of a 
conservative Europe." 

Is it not obvious that the word "metaphysics" was 
brought into play in order to cover up the deficiency 
of the opposition's Social-Democratic estimate of our 
revolution? 

Trotsky further said that I had replaced the inexact 
and incorrect formulation of the question of the victory 
of socialism in one country given in 1924 in my book 
The Foundations of Leninism, by another, more exact and 
correct formulation. Trotsky, apparently, is displeased 
with that — but why, on what grounds, he did not say. 
What can be wrong with my correcting an inexact for- 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 365 

mulation and replacing it by an exact one? I by no means 
regard myself as infallible. I think the Party only stands 
to gain if a comrade who has made a mistake later rec- 
ognises it and corrects it. What is Trotsky really after 
in stressing this point? Perhaps he is anxious to follow 
a good example and to set about, at long last, correcting 
his own numerous errors? {Applause, laughter.) Very 
well, I am prepared to help him in that, if my help 
is needed; I am prepared to spur him on and assist him. 
{Applause, laughter.) But it is evidently some other 
aim that Trotsky is pursuing. If that is so, I must say 
that his attempt is futile. 

Trotsky assured us in his speech that he is not such 
a bad Communist as spokesmen of the Party majority 
make him out to be. He quoted a number of passages 
from his articles indicating that he, Trotsky, recognised 
and continues to recognise the "socialist character" 
of our work, that he does not deny the "socialist char- 
acter" of our state industry, and so on and so forth. 
What do you think of that for news! Trotsky would 
not dare to go so far as to deny the socialist character 
of our work, of our state industry, and so on. The fact 
of that is now admitted by everybody, even by the 
New York stock exchange, even by our Nepmen, to say 
nothing of O. Bauer. Everyone, enemies and friends 
alike, now sees that we are building industry not in the 
way the capitalists build it, that we are introducing 
certain new elements into the development of our 
economic and political life which have nothing in 
common with capitalism. 

No, that is not the point now, worthy opposition- 
ists. 



366 J. V. STALIN 



Matters now are more serious than the opposition 
bloc may think them. 

The point now is not the socialist character of our 
industry, but the complete building of a socialist econ- 
omy as a whole, despite the capitalist encirclement, 
despite the fact that we have enemies, internal and 
external, who are waiting for the collapse of the prole- 
tarian dictatorship. The point is to achieve the com- 
plete triumph of Leninism in our Party. 

It is not a matter now of trifles and curiosities. You 
cannot now fob the Party off with trifles and curiosi- 
ties. The Party now demands something more of the 
Opposition. 

Either you display the courage and ability openly 
and sincerely to renounce your errors of principle; 
or you do not, and then the Party will qualify your 
position as it deserves — as a Social-Democratic de- 
viation. 

One or the other. 

It is for the oppositionists to make their choice. 
(Voices: "Quite right!" Applause.) 

V 

THE PRACTICAL PLATFORM 

OF THE OPPOSITION. THE DEMANDS 

OF THE PARTY 

From juggling with quotations the opposition lead- 
ers tried to pass to disagreements of a practical char- 
acter. Trotsky and Kamenev, as well as Zinoviev, 
attempted to formulate these disagreements, and 
they asserted that it was not the theoretical, but 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 367 

the practical disagreements that were important. I 
must say, however, that not one of the formulations 
of our disagreements given by the opposition at 
this conference is marked by objectivity or complete- 
ness. 

You want to know what our practical disagreements 
are? You want to know what the Party demands of 
you? 

Listen: 

1) The Party cannot and will not tolerate any 
longer that every time you find yourselves in the minor- 
ity you go out into the street, proclaim a crisis in the 
Party, and set up a commotion in it. That the Party 
will not tolerate any longer. (Voices: "Quite right!" 
Applause.) 

2) The Party cannot and will not tolerate that you, 
having lost hope of securing a majority in our Party, 
rake together and assemble all kinds of disgruntled 
elements as material for a new party. That the Party 
cannot and will not tolerate. (Applause.) 

3) The Party cannot and will not tolerate that, 
while defaming the Party's directing apparatus and 
breaking the regime in the Party, breaking its iron 
discipline, you unite all the trends condemned by the 
Party and form them into a new party, on the plea of 
freedom of factions. That the Party will not tolerate. 
(Applause.) 

4) We know that we have great difficulties to con- 
tend with in the building of socialism. We see these 
difficulties, and are able to overcome them. We would 
welcome any assistance from the opposition in over- 
coming these difficulties. But the Party cannot and 



368 J. V. STALIN 



will not tolerate that you make attempts to exploit 
these difficulties for undermining our position, for 
attacks and assaults on the Party. (Applause.) 

5) The Party realises better than all the oppositions 
put together that industrialisation can be promoted and 
socialism completely built only if there is a continuous 
improvement in the material and cultural standards of the 
working class. The Party is adopting, and will continue 
to adopt, all possible measures to ensure that the ma- 
terial and cultural standards of the working class con- 
tinuously improve. But the Party cannot and will not 
tolerate that the opposition comes out into the street 
with demagogic statements calling for an immediate 
30-40 per cent increase in wages, since it knows for a 
fact that industry cannot stand such an increase at the 
present moment, since it knows for a fact that the pur- 
pose of these demagogic pronouncements is not to im- 
prove the condition of the working class, but to foment 
discontent among the backward sections of the working 
people and to organise discontent against the Party, 
against the vanguard of the working class. That the 
Party cannot and will not tolerate. (Voices: "Quite 
right!" Applause.) 

6) The Party cannot and will not tolerate that the 
opposition continues to undermine the foundations of 
the bond between the workers and peasants, the founda- 
tions of the alliance between the workers and peasants, 
carrying on propaganda for an increase of wholesale 
prices and heavier taxation of the peasantry, and en- 
deavouring to "construct" the relations between the 
proletariat and peasantry not as relations of economic 
co-operation, but as relations of exploitation of the 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 369 

peasantry by the proletarian state. That the Party can- 
not and will not tolerate. {Applause.) 

7) The Party cannot and will not tolerate that the 
oppositionists continue to spread ideological confusion 
in the Party, to exaggerate our difficulties, to foster 
a defeatist spirit, to preach the impossibility of com- 
pletely building socialism in our country, and thereby 
to undermine the foundations of Leninism. That the 
Party cannot and will not tolerate. {Voices: "Quite 
right!" Applause.) 

8) The Party cannot and will not tolerate — although 
this is a matter not only for it, but for all the sections 
of the Comintern — that you continue to stir up trouble 
in the Comintern, to corrupt its sections and to discred- 
it its leadership. That the Party cannot and will not 
tolerate. {Applause.) 

That is what our practical disagreements are. 

That is the essence of the political and practical 
platform of the opposition bloc, and that is what our 
Party is now combating. 

Trotsky, while expounding certain points of this 
platform in his speech and carefully concealing the 
others, asked: what is there Social-Democratic in 
this? A strange question! And I ask: what is there of a 
communist character in this platform of the oppo- 
sition bloc? What is there in it which is not Social- 
Democratic? Is it not obvious that the practical plat- 
form of the opposition bloc follows the line of depar- 
ture from Leninism, of approach to Social-Democracy? 

You wanted, worthy oppositionists, to know what 
the Party demands of you? Now you know what it de- 
mands of you. 



370 J. V. STALIN 



Either you observe these conditions, which are at 
the same time the conditions for the complete unity 
of our Party; or you do not — and then the Party, which 
gave you a beating yesterday, will proceed to finish 
you off tomorrow. (Applause.) 



VI 
CONCLUSION 

What are the conclusions, the results, of our inner- 
Party struggle? 

I have here the document of September 1926 signed 
by Trotsky. This document is remarkable for the fact 
that there is in it something in the nature of an attempt 
to anticipate the results of the inner-Party struggle, 
something in the nature of an attempt to prophesy, to 
outline, the prospects of our inner-Party struggle. This 
document states: 

"The united opposition demonstrated in April and July, 
and will demonstrate in October, that the unity of its views only 
grows stronger under the influence of the gross and disloyal per- 
secution to which it is being subjected, and the Party will come 
to realise that only on the basis of the views of the united opposi- 
tion is there a way out of the present severe crisis" (see Trotsky's 
letter to the oppositionists, September 1926, appended to the ver- 
batim report of the sittings of the Political Bureau, October 8 
and 11, 1926). 

As you see, this is almost a prediction. (A voice: 
"Yes, almost!") It is almost a prophecy of the true 
Marxist type, a forecast for two whole months ahead. 
(Laughter .) 



REPLY TO THE DISCUSSION 371 

Of course, there is a slight exaggeration in it. {Laugh- 
ter.) It speaks, for instance, of the present severe 
crisis in our Party. But we, thank God, are alive and 
flourishing and haven't even noticed any crisis. There 
is, of course, something in the nature of a crisis — only 
not in the Party, but in a certain faction known as 
the opposition bloc. But, after all, a crisis in a tiny 
faction cannot be represented as a crisis in a party a 
million strong. 

Trotsky's document says further that the opposi- 
tion bloc is growing stronger, and will grow still stronger 
in the future. I think that there is a slight exaggera- 
tion here too. {Laughter.) The fact cannot be denied 
that the opposition bloc is disintegrating, that its 
best elements are breaking away from it, that it is 
suffocating in its internal contradictions. Is it not a 
fact that Comrade Krupskaya, for instance, is leaving 
the opposition bloc? {Stormy applause.) Is that acci- 
dental? 

Trotsky's document says, lastly, that only on the 
basis of the views of the united opposition is there a way 
out of the present crisis. I think that here also Trotsky 
is slightly exaggerating. {Laughter.) The opposition- 
ists cannot but know that the Party has become united 
and firmly welded not on the basis of the views of the 
opposition bloc, but in a fight against those views, on 
the basis of the socialist prospects of our construc- 
tive work. The exaggeration in Trotsky's document is 
glaring. 

But if we leave aside all the exaggerations in Trots- 
ky's document, it does look, comrades, as if nothing 
remains of his prophecy. {General laughter.) 



372 J. V. STALIN 



As you see, the conclusion proves to be the opposite 
of the conclusion that Trotsky outlined in his prophecy. 

I am concluding, comrades. 

Zinoviev once boasted that he knew how to put his 
ear to the ground (laughter), and that when he put his 
ear to the ground he could hear the footsteps of history. 
It may very well be that this is actually so. But one 
thing has to be admitted, and that is that Zinoviev, 
while able to put his ear to the ground and hear the 
footsteps of history, sometimes fails to hear certain 
"trifles." It may be that the opposition is actually 
able to put its ear to the ground and hear such won- 
derful things as the footsteps of history. But one has to 
admit that, while able to hear such wonderful things, 
it has failed to hear such a "trifle" as that the Party 
has long ago turned its back on it, and that the opposi- 
tion is on the rocks. That they have failed to hear. 
(Voices: "Quite right!") 

What follows from this? It follows that something 
is obviously wrong with the opposition's ears. (Laughter.) 

Hence my advice: Worthy oppositionists, get your 
ears attended to! (Stormy and prolonged applause. 
The delegates rise from their seats, applauding as Com- 
rade Stalin leaves the rostrum.) 

Pravda, No. 262, 
November 12, 1926 



THE PROSPECTS OF THE REVOLUTION 

IN CHINA 

Speech Delivered 

in the Chinese Commission of the E. C.C.I. 

November 30, 1926 



Comrades, before passing to the subject under dis- 
cussion, I think it necessary to say that I am not in 
possession of the exhaustive material on the Chinese 
question necessary for giving a full picture of the revo- 
lution in China. Hence I am compelled to confine myself 
to some general remarks of a fundamental character 
that have a direct bearing on the basic trend of the 
Chinese revolution. 

I have the theses of Petrov, the theses of Mif, 
two reports by Tang Ping-shan and the observations of 
Rafes on the Chinese question. In my opinion, all these 
documents, in spite of their merits, suffer from the 
grave defect that they ignore a number of cardinal ques- 
tions of the revolution in China. I think it is necessary 
above all to draw attention to these shortcomings. For 
this reason my remarks will at the same time be of a crit- 
ical nature. 

I 

CHARACTER OF THE REVOLUTION 

IN CHINA 

Lenin said that the Chinese would soon be having 
their 1905. Some comrades understood this to mean 
that there would have to be a repetition among the 



374 J. V. STALIN 



Chinese of exactly the same thing that took place here 
in Russia in 1905. That is not true, comrades. Lenin 
by no means said that the Chinese revolution would 
be a replica of the 1905 Revolution in Russia. All he 
said was that the Chinese would have their 1905. This 
means that, besides the general features of the 1905 
Revolution, the Chinese revolution would have its own 
specific features, which would be bound to lay its spe- 
cial impress on the revolution in China. 

What are these specific features? 

The first specific feature is that, while the Chinese 
revolution is a bourgeois-democratic revolution, it is 
at the same time a revolution of national liberation 
spearheaded against the domination of foreign impe- 
rialism in China. It is in this, above all, that it differs 
from the 1905 Revolution in Russia. The point is that 
the rule of imperialism in China is manifested not only 
in its military might, but primarily in the fact that 
the main threads of industry in China, the railways, 
mills and factories, mines, banks, etc., are owned or 
controlled by foreign imperialists. But it follows from 
this that the questions of the fight against foreign impe- 
rialism and its Chinese agents cannot but play an 
important role in the Chinese revolution. This fact 
directly links the Chinese revolution with the revolu- 
tions of the proletarians of all countries against im- 
perialism. 

The second specific feature of the Chinese revolu- 
tion is that the national big bourgeoisie in China is 
weak in the extreme, incomparably weaker than the 
Russian bourgeoisie was in the period of 1905. That 
is understandable. Since the main threads of industry 



THE PROSPECTS OF THE REVOLUTION IN CHINA 375 

are concentrated in the hands of foreign imperialists, 
the national big bourgeoisie in China cannot but be 
weak and backward. In this respect Mif is quite right 
in his remark about the weakness of the national bour- 
geoisie in China as one of the characteristic facts of 
the Chinese revolution. But it follows from this that 
the role of initiator and guide of the Chinese rev- 
olution, the role of leader of the Chinese peasantry, 
must inevitably fall to the Chinese proletariat and its 
party. 

Nor should a third specific feature of the Chinese 
revolution be overlooked, namely, that side by side 
with China the Soviet Union exists and is developing, 
and its revolutionary experience and aid cannot but 
facilitate the struggle of the Chinese proletariat against 
imperialism and against medieval and feudal survivals 
in China. 

Such are the principal specific features of the Chi- 
nese revolution, which determine its character and 
trend. 



II 



IMPERIALISM AND IMPERIALIST 
INTERVENTION IN CHINA 

The first defect of the theses submitted is that they 
ignore or under-estimate the question of imperialist 
intervention in China. A study of the theses might 
lead one to think that at the present moment 
there is, properly speaking, no imperialist intervention 
in China, that there is only a struggle between Northern- 
ers and Southerners, or between one group of generals 



376 J. V. STALIN 



and another group of generals. Furthermore, there is 
a tendency to understand by intervention a state of 
affairs marked by the incursion of foreign troops into 
Chinese territory, and that if that is not the case, then 
there is no intervention. 

That is a profound mistake, comrades. Intervention 
is by no means confined to the incursion of troops, and 
the incursion of troops by no means constitutes the 
principal feature of intervention. In the present-day 
conditions of the revolutionary movement in the capi- 
talist countries, when the direct incursion of foreign 
troops may give rise to protests and conflicts, inter- 
vention assumes more flexible and more camouflaged 
forms. In the conditions prevailing today, imperialism 
prefers to intervene in a dependent country by organis- 
ing civil war there, by financing counter-revolution- 
ary forces against the revolution, by giving moral and 
financial support to its Chinese agents against the revo- 
lution. The imperialists were inclined to depict the 
struggle of Denikin and Kolchak, Yudenich and Wran- 
gel against the revolution in Russia as an exclusively 
internal struggle. But we all knew — and not only we, 
but the whole world — that behind these counter-revo- 
lutionary Russian generals stood the imperialists of 
Britain and America, France and Japan, without whose 
support a serious civil war in Russia would have been 
quite impossible. The same must be said of China. The 
struggle of Wu Pei-fu, Sun Chuan-fang, Chang Tso- 
lin and Chang Tsung-chang against the revolution in 
China would be simply impossible if these counter- 
revolutionary generals were not instigated by the 
imperialists of all countries, if the latter did not 



THE PROSPECTS OF THE REVOLUTION IN CHINA 377 

supply them with money, arms, instructors, "advis- 
ers," etc. 

Wherein lies the strength of the Canton troops? 
In the fact that they are inspired by an ideal, by enthu- 
siasm, in the struggle for liberation from imperialism; 
in the fact that they are bringing China liberation. 

Wherein lies the strength of the counter-revolutionary 
generals in China? In the fact that they are backed by 
the imperialists of all countries, by the owners of all 
the railways, concessions, mills and factories, banks 
and commercial houses in China. 

Hence, it is not only, or even not so much, a mat- 
ter of the incursion of foreign troops, as of the support 
which the imperialists of all countries are rendering 
the counter-revolutionaries in China. Intervention 
through the hands of others — that is where the root of 
imperialist intervention now lies. 

Therefore, imperialist intervention in China is an 
indubitable fact, and it is against this that the Chinese 
revolution is spearheaded. 

Therefore, whoever ignores or under-estimates the 
fact of imperialist intervention in China, ignores or 
under-estimates the chief and most fundamental thing 
in China. 

It is said that the Japanese imperialists are showing 
certain symptoms of "good will" towards the Cantonese 
and the Chinese revolution in general. It is said that 
the American imperialists are not lagging behind the 
Japanese in this respect. That is self-deception, com- 
rades. One must know how to distinguish between the 
essence of the policy of the imperialists, including that 
of the Japanese and American imperialists, and its 



378 J. V. STALIN 



disguises. Lenin often said that it is hard to impose upon 
revolutionaries with the club or the fist, but that it is 
sometimes very easy to take them in with blandishments. 
That truth of Lenin's should never be forgotten, com- 
rades. At all events, it is clear that the Japanese and 
American imperialists have pretty well realised its 
value. It is therefore necessary to draw a strict distinc- 
tion between blandishments and praise bestowed on the 
Cantonese and the fact that the imperialists who are 
most generous with blandishments are those who cling 
most tightly to "their" concessions and railways in 
China, and that they will not consent to relinquish 
them at any price. 

Ill 
THE REVOLUTIONARY ARMY IN CHINA 

My second remark in connection with the theses 
submitted concerns the question of the revolutionary 
army in China. The fact of the matter is that the question 
of the army is ignored or under-estimated in the theses. 
(A voice from the audience: "Quite right!") That is their 
second defect. The northward advance of the Cantonese 
is usually regarded not as an expansion of the Chinese 
revolution, but as a struggle of the Canton generals 
against Wu Pei-fu and Sun Chuan-fang, as a struggle 
for supremacy of some generals against others. That 
is a profound mistake, comrades. The revolutionary 
armies in China are a most important factor in the 
struggle of the Chinese workers and peasants for their 
emancipation. Is it accidental that until May or June 
of this year the situation in China was regarded as the 



THE PROSPECTS OF THE REVOLUTION IN CHINA 379 

rule of reaction, which set in after the defeat of Fen Yu- 
hsiang's armies, but that later on, in the summer of 
this year, the victorious Canton troops had only to 
advance northward and occupy Hupeh for the whole 
picture to change radically in favour of the revolution? 
No, it is not accidental. For the advance of the Canto- 
nese means a blow at imperialism, a blow at its agents 
in China; it means freedom of assembly, freedom to strike, 
freedom of the press, and freedom to organise for all 
the revolutionary elements in China in general, and 
for the workers in particular. That is what constitutes 
the specific feature and supreme importance of the rev- 
olutionary army in China. 

Formerly, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centu- 
ries, revolutions usually began with an uprising of the 
people for the most part unarmed or poorly armed, who 
came into collision with the army of the old regime, 
which they tried to demoralise or at least to win in 
part to their own side. That was the typical form of the 
revolutionary outbreaks in the past. That is what hap- 
pened here in Russia in 1905. In China things have 
taken a different course. In China, the troops of the 
old government are confronted not by an unarmed people, 
but by an armed people, in the shape of its revolution- 
ary army. In China the armed revolution is fighting 
the armed counter-revolution. That is one of the spe- 
cific features and one of the advantages of the Chinese 
revolution. And therein lies the special significance 
of the revolutionary army in China. 

That is why it is an impermissible shortcoming of 
the theses submitted that they under-estimate the revo- 
lutionary army. 



380 J. V. STALIN 



But it follows from this that the Communists 
in China must devote special attention to work in the 
army. 

In the first place, the Communists in China must 
in every way intensify political work in the army, and 
ensure that the army becomes a real and exemplary 
vehicle of the ideas of the Chinese revolution. That 
is particularly necessary because all kinds of generals 
who have nothing in common with the Kuomintang 
are now attaching themselves to the Cantonese, as a 
force which is routing the enemies of the Chinese people; 
and in attaching themselves to the Cantonese they are 
introducing demoralisation into the army. The only 
way to neutralise such "allies" or to make them genuine 
Kuomintangists is to intensify political work and to 
establish revolutionary control over them. Unless this 
is done, the army may find itself in a very difficult 
situation. 

In the second place, the Chinese revolutionaries, 
including the Communists, must undertake a thorough 
study of the art of war. They must not regard it as some- 
thing secondary, because nowadays it is a cardinal 
factor in the Chinese revolution. The Chinese revolu- 
tionaries, and hence the Communists also, must study 
the art of war, in order gradually to come to the fore 
and occupy various leading posts in the revolutionary 
army. That is the guarantee that the revolutionary army 
in China will advance along the right road, straight to 
its goal. Unless this is done, wavering and vacillation 
may become inevitable in the army. 



THE PROSPECTS OF THE REVOLUTION IN CHINA 381 

IV 

CHARACTER OF THE FUTURE 
GOVERNMENT IN CHINA 

My third remark concerns the fact that the theses 
say nothing, or do not say enough, about the character 
of the future revolutionary government in China. Mif, 
in his theses, comes close to the subject, and that is to 
his credit. But having come close to it, he for some 
reason became frightened and did not venture to bring 
matters to a conclusion. Mif thinks that the future rev- 
olutionary government in China will be a government 
of the revolutionary petty bourgeoisie, under the leader- 
ship of the proletariat. What does that mean? At the 
time of the February revolution in 1917, the Menshe- 
viks and Socialist-Revolutionaries were also petty- 
bourgeois parties and to a certain extent revolutionary. 
Does this mean that the future revolutionary govern- 
ment in China will be a Socialist-Revolutionary-Menshe- 
vik government? No, it does not. Why? Because the 
Socialist-Revolutionary-Menshevik government was in 
actual fact an imperialist government, while the future 
revolutionary government in China cannot but be an 
anti-imperialist government. The difference here is 
fundamental. 

The MacDonald government was even a "labour" 
government, but it was an imperialist government all 
the same, because it based itself on the preservation of 
British imperialist rule, in India and Egypt, for ex- 
ample. As compared with the MacDonald government, 
the future revolutionary government in China will have 
the advantage of being an anti-imperialist government. 



382 J. V. STALIN 



The point lies not only in the bourgeois-democratic 
character of the Canton government, which is the em- 
bryo of the future all-China revolutionary government; 
the point is above all that this government is, and can- 
not but be, an anti-imperialist government, that every 
advance it makes is a blow at world imperialism — and, 
consequently, a blow which benefits the world revo- 
lutionary movement. 

Lenin was right when he said that, whereas for- 
merly, before the advent of the era of world revolu- 
tion, the national-liberation movement was part of 
the general democratic movement, now, after the victory 
of the Soviet revolution in Russia and the advent 
of the era of world revolution, the national-liberation 
movement is part of the world proletarian revolu- 
tion. 

This specific feature Mif did not take into 
account. 

I think that the future revolutionary government in 
China will in general resemble in character the govern- 
ment we used to talk about in our country in 1905, that 
is, something in the nature of a democratic dictatorship 
of the proletariat and the peasantry, with the differ- 
ence, however, that it will be first and foremost an 
anti-imperialist government. 

It will be a government transitional to a non-capi- 
talist, or, more exactly, a socialist development of 
China. 

That is the direction that the revolution in China 
should take. 

This course of development of the revolution is 
facilitated by three circumstances: 



THE PROSPECTS OF THE REVOLUTION IN CHINA 383 

firstly, by the fact that the revolution in China, 
being a revolution of national liberation, will be spear- 
headed against imperialism and its agents in China; 

secondly, by the fact that the national big bour- 
geoisie in China is weak, weaker than the national bour- 
geoisie was in Russia in the period of 1905, which fa- 
cilitates the hegemony of the proletariat and the lead- 
ership of the Chinese peasantry by the proletarian 
party; 

thirdly, by the fact that the revolution in China 
will develop in circumstances that will make it pos- 
sible to draw upon the experience and assistance of the 
victorious revolution in the Soviet Union. 

Whether this course will end in absolute and cer- 
tain victory will depend upon many circumstances. 
But one thing at any rate is clear, and that is that the 
struggle for precisely this course of the Chinese revolu- 
tion is the basic task of the Chinese Communists. 

From this follows the task of the Chinese Commu- 
nists as regards their attitude to the Kuomintang and 
to the future revolutionary government in China. It 
is said that the Chinese Communists should withdraw 
from the Kuomintang. That would be wrong, comrades. 
The withdrawal of the Chinese Communists from the 
Kuomintang at the present time would be a profound 
mistake. The whole course, character and prospects of 
the Chinese revolution undoubtedly testify in favour 
of the Chinese Communists remaining in the Kuomin- 
tang and intensifying their work in it. 

But can the Chinese Communist Party participate 
in the future revolutionary government? It not only 
can, but must do so. The course, character and prospects 



384 J. V. STALIN 



of the revolution in China are eloquent testimony in 
favour of the Chinese Communist Party taking part in 
the future revolutionary government of China. 

Therein lies one of the essential guarantees of the 
establishment in fact of the hegemony of the Chinese 
proletariat. 

V 
THE PEASANT QUESTION IN CHINA 

My fourth remark concerns the question of the peas- 
antry in China. Mif thinks that the slogan for forming 
Soviets — namely, peasant Soviets in the Chinese coun- 
tryside — should be issued immediately. In my opinion, 
that would be a mistake. Mif is running too far ahead. 
One cannot build Soviets in the countryside and avoid 
the industrial centres of China. But the establishment 
of Soviets in the industrial centres of China is not at 
present on the order of the day. Moreover, it must be 
borne in mind that Soviets cannot be considered out of 
connection with the surrounding situation. Soviets — in 
this case peasant Soviets — could only be organised if 
China were at the peak period of a peasant movement 
which was smashing the old order of things and build- 
ing a new power, on the calculation that the industrial 
centres of China had already burst the dam and had 
entered the phase of establishing the power of the So- 
viets. Can it be said that the Chinese peasantry and 
the Chinese revolution in general have already entered 
this phase? No, it cannot. Consequently, to speak of 
Soviets now would be running too far ahead. Conse- 
quently, the question that should be raised now is not 



THE PROSPECTS OF THE REVOLUTION IN CHINA 385 

that of Soviets, but of the formation of peasant com- 
mittees. I have in mind peasant committees elected 
by the peasants, committees capable of formulating 
the basic demands of the peasantry and which would take 
all measures to secure the realisation of these demands 
in a revolutionary way. These peasant committees should 
serve as the axis around which the revolution in the 
countryside develops. 

I know that there are Kuomintangists and even 
Chinese Communists who do not consider it possible 
to unleash revolution in the countryside, since they 
fear that if the peasantry were drawn into the revo- 
lution it would disrupt the united anti-imperialist 
front. That is a profound error, comrades. The more 
quickly and thoroughly the Chinese peasantry is drawn 
into the revolution, the stronger and more powerful 
the anti-imperialist front in China will be. The authors 
of the theses, especially Tang Ping-shan and Rafes, are 
quite right in maintaining that the immediate satis- 
faction of a number of the most urgent demands of the 
peasants is an essential condition for the victory of the 
Chinese revolution. I think it is high time to break 
down that inertness and that "neutrality" towards the 
peasantry which are to be observed in the actions of 
certain Kuomintang elements. I think that both the 
Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang, and 
hence the Canton government, should pass from words 
to deeds without delay and raise the question of satis- 
fying at once the most vital demands of the peasantry. 

What the perspectives should be in this regard, and 
how far it is possible and necessary to go, depends on 
the course of the revolution. I think that in the long 



386 J. V. STALIN 



run matters should go as far as the nationalisation 
of the land. At all events, we cannot repudiate such 
a slogan as that of nationalisation of the land. 

What are the ways and means that the Chinese rev- 
olutionaries must adopt to rouse the vast peasant 
masses of China to revolution? 

I think that in the given conditions one can only 
speak of three ways. 

The first way is by the formation of peasant com- 
mittees and by the Chinese revolutionaries entering 
these committees in order to influence the peasantry. 
(A voice from the audience: "What about the peasant as- 
sociations?") I think that the peasant associations will 
group themselves around the peasant committees, or will 
be converted into peasant committees, vested with the 
necessary measure of authority for the realisation of 
the peasants' demands. I have already spoken about 
this way. But this way is not enough. It would be ri- 
diculous to think that there are sufficient revolution- 
aries in China for this task. China has roughly 400 mil- 
lion inhabitants. Of them, about 350 million are Chi- 
nese. And of them, more than nine-tenths are peasants. 
Anyone who thinks that some tens of thousands of Chi- 
nese revolutionaries can cover this ocean of peasants 
is making a mistake. Consequently, additional ways 
are needed. 

The second way is by influencing the peasantry 
through the apparatus of the new people's revolutionary 
government. There is no doubt that in the newly liber- 
ated provinces a new government will be set up of the 
type of the Canton government. There is no doubt that 
this authority and its apparatus will have to set about 



THE PROSPECTS OF THE REVOLUTION IN CHINA 387 

satisfying the most urgent demands of the peasantry 
if it really wants to advance the revolution. Well then, 
the task of the Communists and of the Chinese revolu- 
tionaries in general is to penetrate the apparatus of the 
new government, to bring this apparatus closer to the 
peasant masses, and by means of it to help the peasant 
masses to secure the satisfaction of their urgent de- 
mands, either by expropriating the landlords' land, 
or by reducing taxation and rents — according to cir- 
cumstances. 

The third way is by influencing the peasantry 
through the revolutionary army. I have already spoken 
of the great importance of the revolutionary army in 
the Chinese revolution. The revolutionary army of 
China is the force which first penetrates new provinces, 
which first passes through densely populated peasant 
areas, and by which above all the peasant forms his 
judgment of the new government, of its good or bad 
qualities. It depends primarily on the behaviour of the 
revolutionary army, on its attitude towards the peas- 
antry and towards the landlords, on its readiness to aid 
the peasants, what the attitude of the peasantry will 
be towards the new government, the Kuomintang and 
the Chinese revolution generally. If it is borne in mind 
that quite a number of dubious elements have attached 
themselves to the revolutionary army of China, and 
that they may change the complexion of the army for 
the worse, it will be understood how great is the im- 
portance of the political complexion of the army and 
its, so to speak, peasant policy in the eyes of the peas- 
antry. The Chinese Communists and the Chinese revo- 
lutionaries generally must therefore take every measure 



388 J. V. STALIN 



to neutralise the anti-peasant elements in the army, 
to preserve the army's revolutionary spirit, and to en- 
sure that the army assists the peasants and rouses them 
to revolution. 

We are told that the revolutionary army is welcomed 
in China with open arms, but that later, when it instals 
itself, a certain disillusionment sets in. The same thing 
happened here in the Soviet Union during the Civil 
War. The explanation is that when the army liberates 
new provinces and instals itself in them, it has in some 
way or other to feed itself at the expense of the local 
population. We, Soviet revolutionaries, usually succeed- 
ed in counter-balancing these disadvantages by endeav- 
ouring through the army to assist the peasants against 
the landlord elements. The Chinese revolutionaries 
must also learn how to counter-balance these disad- 
vantages by conducting a correct peasant policy through 
the army. 

VI 

THE PROLETARIAT AND THE HEGEMONY 
OF THE PROLETARIAT IN CHINA 

My fifth remark concerns the question of the Chinese 
proletariat. In my opinion, the theses do not sufficiently 
stress the role and significance of the working class 
in China. Rafes asks, on whom should the Chinese Com- 
munists orientate themselves — on the Lefts or the Kuo- 
mintang centre? That is a strange question. I think 
that the Chinese Communists should orientate them- 
selves first and foremost on the proletariat, and should 
orientate the leaders of the Chinese liberation movement 



THE PROSPECTS OF THE REVOLUTION IN CHINA 389 

on the revolution. That is the only correct way to put 
the question. I know that among the Chinese Commu- 
nists there are comrades who do not approve of workers 
going on strike for an improvement of their material 
conditions and legal status, and who try to dissuade 
the workers from striking. (A voice: "That happened in 
Canton and Shanghai.") That is a great mistake, com- 
rades. It is a very serious under-estimation of the role 
and importance of the Chinese proletariat. This fact 
should be noted in the theses as something decidedly 
objectionable. It would be a great mistake if the Chinese 
Communists failed to take advantage of the present 
favourable situation to assist the workers to improve 
their material conditions and legal status, even through 
strikes. Otherwise, what purpose does the revolution 
in China serve? The proletariat cannot be a leading 
force if during strikes its sons are flogged and tortured 
by agents of imperialism. These medieval outrages must 
be stopped at all costs, in order to heighten the sense 
of power and dignity among the Chinese proletarians, 
and to make them capable of leading the revolutionary 
movement. Without this, the victory of the revolution 
in China is inconceivable. Therefore, a due place must 
be given in the theses to the economic and legal demands 
of the Chinese working class aimed at substantially 
improving its conditions. (Mif: "It is mentioned in 
the theses.") Yes, it is mentioned in the theses, but, 
unfortunately, these demands are not given sufficient 
prominence. 



390 J. V. STALIN 



VII 

THE QUESTION OF THE YOUTH 
IN CHINA 

My sixth remark concerns the question of the youth 
in China. It is strange that this question has not been 
taken into account in the theses. Yet it is now of the 
utmost importance in China. Tang Ping-shan's reports 
touch upon this question, but, unfortunately, do not 
give it sufficient prominence. The question of the youth 
is one of primary importance in China today. The 
student youth (the revolutionary students), the work- 
ing-class youth, the peasant youth — all this consti- 
tutes a force that could advance the revolution with 
giant strides, if it was subordinated to the ideological 
and political influence of the Kuomintang.* It should 
be borne in mind that no one suffers from imperialist 
oppression so deeply and keenly, or is so acutely and 
painfully aware of the necessity to fight against it, as 
the Chinese youth. The Chinese Communist 'Party and 
the Chinese revolutionaries should take this circum- 
stance fully into account and intensify their work among 
the youth to the utmost. The youth must be given its 
place in the theses on the Chinese question. 



* Note. Such a policy was correct in the conditions prevailing 
at the time, since the Kuomintang then represented a bloc of 
the Communists and more or less Left-wing Kuomintangists, which 
conducted an anti-imperialist revolutionary policy. Later on 
this policy was abandoned as no longer in conformity with the 
interests of the Chinese revolution, since the Kuomintang had de- 
serted the revolution and later became the centre of the struggle 
against it, while the Communists withdrew from the Kuomintang 
and broke off relations with it. 



THE PROSPECTS OF THE REVOLUTION IN CHINA 391 

VIII 
SOME CONCLUSIONS 

I should like to mention certain conclusions — with 
regard to the struggle against imperialism in China, 
and with regard to the peasant question. 

There is no doubt that the Chinese Communist 
Party cannot now confine itself to demanding the abo- 
lition of the unequal treaties. That is a demand which 
is upheld now by even such a counter-revolutionary as 
Chang Hsueh-liang. Obviously, the Chinese Commu- 
nist Party must go farther than that. 

It is necessary, further, to consider — as a perspec- 
tive — the nationalisation of the railways. This is neces- 
sary, and should be worked for. 

It is necessary, further, to have in mind the per- 
spective of nationalising the most important mills and 
factories. In this connection, the question arises first 
of all of nationalising those enterprises the owners of 
which display particular hostility and particular aggres- 
siveness towards the Chinese people. It is necessary 
also to give prominence to the peasant question, linking 
it with the prospects of the revolution in China. I think 
that what has to be worked for in the long run is the 
confiscation of the landlords' land for the benefit of the 
peasants and the nationalisation of the land. 

The rest is self-evident. 

Those, comrades, are all the remarks that I desired 
to make. 



The magazine Kommunistichesky International, 
No. 13 (71), 
December 10, 1926 



NOTES 



The reference is to the profound economic and political crisis 
in Germany in the autumn of 1923. The country was swept 
by a powerful revolutionary movement and the workers began 
to desert the Social-Democratic Party en masse for the Com- 
munist Party. Workers' governments were formed in Saxony 
and Thuringia; the immediate establishment of proletarian 
Soviets and the seizure of power by the Communists came on 
the order of the day. An armed uprising of the workers took 
place in Hamburg. The revolutionary movement in Germany 
suffered defeat, following which bourgeois reaction in the 
country increased. p. 1 

This refers to the wars of national liberation against French 
imperialism in Morocco and Syria (1925-26). These wars cost 
France over a thousand million francs. p. 2 

The reference is to a group of "Left Communists" hostile 
to the Bolshevik Party. (On the "Left Communists," see 
History of the C.P.S.U.(B.) , Short Course, Moscow 1952, 
pp. 333-38 and V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 27, 
pp. 46-53, 57-62, 65-101, 291-319.) p. 3 

The All-Russian Party Conference of 1908 — the Fifth Con- 
ference of the R.S.D.L.P. — was held in Paris, January 
3-9, 1909 (December 21-27, 1908, old style). At the confer- 
ence, Lenin and the Bolsheviks waged a fight on two fronts: 



2 



3 



394 



NOTES 



against the Menshevik Liquidators and against the Otzovists — 
the "Left Liquidators." On Lenin's motion, the conference 
emphatically condemned the liquidationism of the Mensheviks 
and Otzovists and laid down the tactical line of the Bolshe- 
viks in the period of reaction (see Resolutions and Deci- 
sions of C.P.S.U. Congresses, Conferences and Central Com- 
mittee Plenums, Part I, 1953, pp. 195-205, and History 
of the C.P.S.U. (B.), Short Course, Moscow 1952, pp. 210-12). 

p. 8 

This "Preface" formed the introductory part to the work 
Concerning Questions of Leninism, written by J. V. Stalin 
in January 1926 in lieu of a preface to the collection Ques- 
tions of Leninism, which was published in February 1926. p. 11 



10 



11 



12 



13 



14 



p- 


11 


p- 


11 


p- 


11 


p- 


11 


p- 


13 



See J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 6, pp. 71-196. 
See J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 6, pp. 374-420. 
See J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 7, pp. 90-134. 
See J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 7, pp. 158-214. 
See J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 6, p. 73. 



See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 22, pp. 173-290. 

p. 15 

See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 25, pp. 353-462. 

p. 15 

See V I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 28, pp. 207-302. 

p. 15 

See V I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 31, pp. 1-97. p. 75 



15 



See J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 6, p. 126. 



p. 16 



NOTES 395 



16 

17 



19 

20 
21 

22 
23 



24 



25 



See J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 6, p. 107. p. 19 

See J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 6, pp. 395-96. p. 20 

See Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The First Address of the 
Central Committee to the Communist League {Selected Works, 
Vol. I, Moscow 1951, pp. 98-108). p. 20 

See J. V Stalin, Works, Vol. 6, pp. 379-80. p. 29 

See J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 6, pp. 185-86. p. 37 

The Second Congress of the Communist International was 
held July 19-August 7, 1920. J. V. Stalin is here quoting from 
Lenin's speech on "The Role of the Communist Party." p. 39 

See V I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 32, p. 76. p. 43 

Tsektran — the Central Committee of the Joint Union of Rail 
and Water Transport Workers — was formed in September 
1920. In 1920 and in the beginning of 1921, the leadership 
of the Tsektran was in the hands of Trotskyists, who used 
methods of sheer compulsion and dictation in conducting 
trade-union activities. In March 1921 the First All-Russian 
Joint Congress of Rail and Water Transport Workers expelled 
the Trotskyists from the leadership of the Tsektran, elected 
a new Central Committee and outlined new methods of trade- 
union work. p. 56 

See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 32, pp. 1-22. 

p. 57 

The theses of the Second Congress of the Comintern on "The 
Role of the Communist Party in the Proletarian Revolution" 
were adopted as a resolution of the congress (for the resolu- 
tion, see V. I. Lenin, Works, 3rd Russ. ed., Vol. XX, 
pp. 560-66). p. 62 



396 NOTES 



26 See J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 6, p. 109. p. 65 

27 

See J. V. Stalin's pamphlet, Lenin and Leninism, 1924, p. 60. 

p. 65 

28 See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 33, pp. 427-35. 

p. 67 

29 

For the resolution of the Fourteenth Party Conference 

"The Tasks of the Comintern and the R.C.P.(B.) in Connec- 
tion with the Enlarged Plenum of the E.C.C.I.," see Resolu- 
tions and Decisions of C.P.S.U. Congresses, Conferences 
and Central Committee Plenums, Part. II, 1953, pp. 43-52. 

p. 67 



30 
31 

32 
33 
34 



35 



See J. V Stalin, Works, Vol. 7, pp. Ill, 120-21. p. 68 

See J. V Stalin, Works, Vol. 7, pp. Ill, 117-18. p. 68 

See J. V Stalin, Works, Vol. 7, p. 120. p. 68 

See J. V Stalin, Works, Vol. 7, pp. 267-403. p. 69 

This refers to the plenum of the Central Committee of the 
R.C.P.(B.) which was held April 23-30, 1925. The plenum 
endorsed the resolutions adopted by the Fourteenth Confer- 
ence of the R.C.P.(B.), including the resolution on "The 
Tasks of the Comintern and the R.C.P.(B.) in Connection 
with the Enlarged Plenum of the E. C.C.I." that defined the 
Party's position on the question of the victory of social- 
ism in the U.S.S.R. (See Resolutions and Decisions of 
C.P.S.U. Congresses, Conferences and Central Committee 
Plenums, Part II, 1953, pp. 43-52.) p. 69 

Resolutions and Decisions of C.P.S.U. Congresses, 
Conferences and Central Committee Plenums, Part II, 1953, 
pp. 49 and 46.) p. 76 



NOTES 397 



36 



37 



39 
40 
41 

42 
43 

44 

45 



This refers to the Fourteenth Conference of the R.C.P.(B.), 
held April 27-29, 1925. p. 77 

The reply of the Moscow Committee of the R.C.P.(B.) to the 
letter of the Twenty-Second Leningrad Gubernia Party Con- 
ference, a letter that was a factional attack by the followers 
of Zinoviev and Kamenev, was published in Pravda, No. 291, 
December 20, 1925. p. 77 

See Resolutions and Decisions of C.P.S.U. Congresses , 
Conferences and Central Committee Plenums, Part II, 1953, 
p. 77. p. 80 

See J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 6, pp. 137-38, 140, 141. p. 82 

See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 33, p. 428. p. 86 

See Resolutions and Decisions of C.P.S.U. Congresses, 
Conferences and Central Committee Plenums, Part II, 1953, 
p. 78. p. 87 

See V I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 32, pp. 308-43. 

p. 91 

"The Philosophy of the Epoch" was the title of an anti-Party 
article written by Zinoviev in 1925. For a criticism of this 
article, see J. V Stalin, Works, Vol. 7, pp. 385-88. p. 95 

See Resolutions and Decisions of C.P.S.U. Congresses , 
Conferences and Central Committee Plenums, Part II, 1953, 

pp. 75, 77. p. 96 

This refers to J. V Stalin's speech "Concerning the Question 
of the Proletariat and the Peasantry," delivered on January 27, 
1925, at the Thirteenth Gubernia Conference of the Moscow 
organisation of the R.C.P.(B.), during the discussion of work 
in the countryside (see J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 7, 
pp. 25-33). p. 97 



398 NOTES 



46 



47 



48 



49 



50 



51 



See Resolutions and Decisions of C.P.S.U. Congresses, 
Conferences and Central Committee Plenums, Part II, 1953 
pp. 73-82. p. 102 

The magazine Bolshevik, No. 3, dated February 15, 1926, con- 
tained J. V. Stalin's work Concerning Questions of Lenin- 
ism (see the present volume, pp. 13-96). 

Bolshevik — theoretical and political magazine, organ of the 
Central Committee, C.P.S.U.(B.), which began publication 
in April 1924. Since November 1952 it is published under 
the title Kommunist. p. 104 

The Sixth Enlarged Plenum of the Executive Committee of 
the Comintern was held in Moscow, February 17 to March 15, 
1926. It discussed reports on the work of the E. C.C.I, and 
the Communist Party of Great Britain, reports on the imme- 
diate tasks of Communists in the trade-union movement, and 
on the results of the Second Organisational Conference, and 
reports of the twelve commissions which were working at the 
plenum. The plenum devoted special attention to the tasks of 
Communists in the fight for the revolutionary unity of the 
international trade-union movement on the basis of united 
front tactics. J. V. Stalin was elected a member of the Presid- 
ium, a member of the Political, Eastern and French Commis- 
sions of the plenum, and chairman of the German Commission. 

p. 106 

The reference is to the profound revolutionary crisis in Ger- 
many in the autumn of 1923. p. 106 

Bulletin Communiste — a fortnightly newspaper, the organ 
of the Right wing of the French Communist Party, published 
in Paris. The first issue appeared in October 1925, and the 
newspaper ceased publication after the fifteenth issue, in Jan- 
uary 1926. The last issue carried an anti-Party declaration 
of the Right wing of the French Communist Party. p. 109 

The plenum of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.) was held April 6-9, 
1926. At the morning sitting of the plenum on April 9, 



NOTES 399 



J. V. Stalin spoke in the discussion of the report on "The Eco- 
nomic Situation and Economic Policy," and at the evening 
sitting he delivered a report on the plan of work of the Polit- 
ical Bureau and plenum of the Central Committee, C.P.S.U.(B.) 
for 1926. (For the decisions of the plenum, see Resolutions and 
Decisions of C.P.S.U. Congresses, Conferences and Central 
Committee Plenums, Part II, 1953, pp. 138-47.) p. 123 

52 

This refers to the resolution on "Organisation of the Grain 
Procurement Apparatus in the 1926/27 Campaign" adopted 
at a plenum of the C.C., C.P.S.U. (B.), April 9, 1926. 

p. 141 

53 

This letter was published in part in the collection: J. V. Stalin, 

Marxism and the National and Colonial Question, Moscow 1934, 

pp. 172-73. p. 157 

The general strike in Britain took place on May 3-12, 1926. 
More than five million organised workers in all the major 
branches of industry and transport took part in the strike. 

p. 164 

This refers to Pilsudski's armed coup of May 12-13, 1926, 
by which he and his clique established a dictatorial regime 
in Poland and gradually carried out the fascisation of the 
country. p. 164 

See Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, On Britain, Moscow 1953, 
p. 492. p. 7 77 

57 

On receipt of the news of the general strike in Britain, the 

Presidium of the Ail-Union Central Council of Trade Unions, 
at a meeting on May 5, 1926, with the participation of repre- 
sentatives of the Central Committees of the trade unions re- 
solved to call upon all members of trade unions in the U.S.S.R. 
to contribute one-quarter of a day's earnings in support of 
the British workers on strike, and that same day it remitted 



400 NOTES 



250,000 rubles to the British T.U.C. General Council 
May 7 the A.U.C.C.T.U. sent to the General Council a further 
two million rubles collected by workers of the U.S.S.R. On 
May 9 the General Council informed the A.U.C.C.T.U. of its 
refusal to accept this money or any other support from the 
workers of the U.S.S.R. p. 172 



58 



59 



60 



61 



62 



This refers to the theses on "Immediate Problems of the Inter- 
national Communist Movement" adopted on March 15, 1926, 
by the Sixth Enlarged Plenum of the E. C.C.I. (See Sixth En- 
larged Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Comintern. 
Theses and Resolutions, Giz, 1926, pp. 4-39.) p. 175 

The groups in the Sejm were groups in the lower house of the 
Polish bourgeois parliament. In 1926 the deputies in the Sejm 
were divided into more than thirty groups, representing the 
interests of the various classes and intermediate sections of 
Polish society. p. 178 

This refers to Ernst Thalmann's article, "The Tactics of the 
Polish Communist Party," printed in Pravda, No. 123, May 30, 
1926. p. 181 

The Anglo-Russian Unity Committee was set up on the ini- 
tiative of the A.U.C.C.T.U. at an Anglo-Soviet trade-union 
conference in London, April 6-8, 1925. It consisted of the 
chairmen and secretaries of the A.U.C.C.T.U. and the T.U.C. 
General Council and another three members from each of these 
organisations. The committee ceased to exist in the autumn 
of 1927 owing to the treacherous policy of the reactionary 
leaders of the British trade unions. p. 185 

The joint plenum of the Central Committee and Central Control 
Commission, C.P.S.U.(B.) was held July 14-23, 1926. It dis- 
cussed a communication of the Political Bureau on its decisions 
in connection with the British general strike and the events 
in Poland and China, and reports on the results of the 



NOTES 401 



elections to the Soviets, on the case of Lashevich and others, 
and on Party unity, housing development, and the grain pro- 
curement campaign. At the plenum J. V. Stalin spoke on the 
Political Bureau's communication concerning the decisions 
taken by it in connection with the events in Britain, Poland 
and China, on the report of the Presidium of the C.C.C., 
C.P.S.U.(B.) on the case of Lashevich and others, on Party 
unity and on other questions. The plenum approved the activ- 
ities of the Political Bureau of the C.C. and of the C.PS.U.(B.) 
delegation in the E.C.C.I. on the international question, and 
adopted a number of decisions on important questions of state 
and economic affairs, inner-Party life and the conditions of 
the workers. The plenum expelled Zinoviev from the Political 
Bureau of the C.C. (For the resolutions of the plenum, see 
Resolutions and Decisions of C.P.S.U. Congresses, Con- 
ferences and Central Committee Plenums , Part II, 1953, 
pp. 148-69.) p. 185 



63 



64 



65 



This refers to the Amsterdam Trade Union International, 
founded in July 1919 at an international congress in Amster- 
dam. It included the reformist trade unions of the majority 
of the West-European countries and the American Federation 
of Labour. The Amsterdam International pursued a reformist 
policy, openly collaborated with the bourgeoisie in the Inter- 
national Labour Office and various commissions of the League 
of Nations, opposed a united front in the labour movement, 
and adopted a hostile attitude towards the Soviet Union, as 
a result of which its influence in the labour movement grad- 
ually declined. During the Second World War the Amster- 
dam International practically ceased to function , and, in De- 
cember 1945, in connection with the foundation of the World 
Federation of Trade Unions, it was liquidated. p. 187 

Sassenbach and Oudegeest were secretaries of the reformist 
Amsterdam Trade Union International and leaders of its 
Right wing. p. 187 

See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 24, p. 123. p. 189 



402 NOTES 



66 



67 



68 



69 



70 



See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 24, p. 216. 

p. 189 

The "Workers' Opposition" — an anti-Party anarcho-syndical- 
ist group in the R.C.P.(B.), headed by Shlyapnikov, Med- 
vedyev and others. It was formed in the latter half of 1920 and 
fought the Leninist line of the Party. The Tenth Congress of 
the R.C.P.(B.) condemned the "Workers' Opposition" and 
decided that propaganda of the ideas of the anarcho-syndical- 
ist deviation was incompatible with membership of the Com- 
munist Party. The remnants of the defeated "Workers' Opposi- 
tion" subsequently joined the counter-revolutionary Trotskyists. 

p. 191 

Sotsialistichesky Vestnik {Socialist Courier) — a magazine, organ 
of the Menshevik whiteguard emigres, founded by Martov 
in February 1921. Until March 1933 it was published in 
Berlin, and from May of that year until June 1940 in Paris. 
It is now published in America and is the mouthpiece of the 
most reactionary imperialist circles. p. 194 

The conference of representatives of the Miners' Federation 
of Great Britain and the Miners' Union of the U.S.S.R. was 
held in Berlin on July 7, 1926. It discussed continuation of 
the campaign in aid of the locked-out British miners. It adopt- 
ed a declaration "To the Workers of the World," appealing 
for energetic support of the British miners and it expressed 
the need for an early meeting of the Anglo-Russian Unity 
Committee. The conference decided on the expediency of set- 
ting up an Anglo-Soviet Miners' Committee for maintaining 
mutual contact and for achieving united revolutionary action 
of the Miners' Union of the U.S.S.R. and the International 
Miners' Federation. p. 198 

The declaration of the A.U.C.C.T.U. — the appeal "To the 
International Proletariat" — issued in connection with the 
betrayal of the British general strike by the reformist leaders 
of the Labour Party and of the T.U.C. General Council, 



NOTES 403 



was adopted by the Fourth Plenum of the A.U.C.C.T.U. on 
June 7, 1926. It was published in Pravda, No. 130, June 8, 
1926. p. 205 



71 



72 



73 

74 

75 



76 



The heroes of "Black Friday" — the reactionary British trade- 
union leaders — Thomas (railwaymen), Hodges (miners) and 
Williams (transport workers) — who called off the strike of 
railwaymen and transport workers in support of the striking 
miners which had been fixed for April 15. 1921, a day which, 
in consequence, came to be known among the British workers 
as "Black Friday." p. 214 

The Daily Worker — central organ of the Workers (Commu- 
nist) Party of America, published in Chicago from January 
1922 to January 1927, and since then in New York; at first 
under the title of The Worker, and from January 1924 the 
Daily Worker. p. 215 

The New Leader — a weekly newspaper, the organ of the so-called 
Socialist Party of America, founded in January 1924. p. 215 

See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 33, p. 428. p. 218 

The theses on "The Opposition Bloc in the C.P.S.U.(B.)" 
were written by J. V. Stalin, at the request of the Political 
Bureau of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.), between October 21 and 25, 
1926. They were approved by the Political Bureau and on 
October 26 were discussed and adopted by a joint plenum of the 
C.C. and C.C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.). On November 3 the theses 
were unanimously adopted by the Fifteenth All-Union Party 
Conference as a decision of the conference, and on the same day 
were endorsed by a joint plenum of the C.C. and C.C.C., 
C.P.S.U.(B.) (see Resolutions and Decisions of C.P.S.U. 
Congresses, Conferences and Central Committee Plenums, Part II 
1953, pp. 209-20). p. 225 

For Lenin's "Plan of the Pamphlet The Tax in Kind," see 
Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 32, pp. 299-307. p. 229 



404 NOTES 



77 



78 



79 



SO 



"Democratic Centralists" — an anti-Party group, headed by 
Supronov and Ossinsky, which existed in the R.C.P.(B.). 
It arose in the period of War Communism. The group denied 
the leading role of the Party in the Soviets, opposed one-man 
management and personal responsibility of factory directors, 
opposed Lenin's line on organisational questions, and demand- 
ed freedom for groups in the Party. The Ninth and Tenth 
Party Congresses condemned the "Democratic Centralists" 
as an anti-Party group. Together with active members of the 
Trotskyist opposition, the group was expelled from the Party 
by the Fifteenth Congress of the C.P.S.U.(B.) in 1927. p. 232 

"Liquidators of the Souvarine variety" — followers of the 
Trotskyist Boris Souvarine, a former member of the C.C. of 
the French Communist Party. At the Seventh Enlarged Plenum 
of the E.C.C.I., in 1926, he was expelled from the Communist 
International for counter-revolutionary propaganda against 
the Soviet Union and the Comintern. p. 232 

The Fifteenth Conference of the C.P.S.U.(B.), held October 26- 
November 3, 1926, discussed the following questions: the 
international situation; the economic position of the country 
and the tasks of the Party; the results of the work and the 
current tasks of the trade unions; the opposition and the inner- 
Party situation. The conference approved the policy of the 
Central Committee and unanimously adopted the theses of 
J. V. Stalin's report on "The Opposition Bloc in the 
C.P.S.U.(B.)," which characterised the Trotsky-Zinoviev oppo- 
sition bloc as a Social-Democratic deviation in the ranks of 
the Bolshevik Party and as an auxiliary detachment of the 
Second International in the international labour movement. 
The conference gave shape to and completed the arming of 
the Party with the idea of the victory of socialist construction 
in the U.S.S.R. and called for a determined struggle for the 
unity of the Party and the exposure of the Trotsky-Zinoviev 
bloc. p. 245 

This refers to the plenum of the C.C, C.P.S.U.(B.), held 
April 6-9, 1926. p. 246 



NOTES 405 



SI 



82 



83 



K5 



87 



90 
91 



This refers to the joint plenum of the C.C. and C.C.C., 
C.P.S.U. (B.), held July 14-23, 1926. p. 247 

This refers to the resolution on "Results of the Discussion and 
the Petty-Bourgeois Deviation in the Party," adopted by the 
Thirteenth Conference of the R.C.P.(B.) and endorsed by the 
Thirteenth Congress of the R.C.P.(B.) as a resolution of the 
congress (see Resolutions and Decisions of C.P.S.U. Con- 
gresses, Conferences and Central Committee Plenums, Part I, 
1953, pp. 778-86). p. 248 

The chapter of Lenin's The Tax in Kind is entitled "The Con- 
temporary Economy of Russia" (see V. I. Lenin, Works, 
4th Russ. ed., Vol. 32, pp. 308-19). p. 263 

See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 25, p. 387. p. 263 

Nashe Slovo (Our Word) — a Menshevik-Trotskyist newspaper 
published in Paris from January 1915 to September 1916. 

p. 268 

See Resolutions and Decisions of C.P.S.U. Congresses, 
Conferences and Central Committee Plenums, Part II, 1953, 
p. 48. p. 279 

See Resolutions and Decisions of C.P.S.U. Congresses , 
Conferences and Central Committee Plenums, Part II, 1953, 
p. 49. p. 279 

See Resolutions and Decisions of C.P.S.U. Congresses, 
Conferences and Central Committee Plenums, Part II, 1953, 
p. 49. p. 280 

See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 24, pp. 1-7. p. 296 

See V I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 32, p. 204. p. 303 

The reference is to the joint plenum of the C.C. and C.C.C., 
C.P.S.U. (B.), held October 23 and 26, 1926. The plenum 



406 NOTES 



discussed filling the vacancy in the C.C. caused by the death 
of F. E. Dzerzhinsky, questions to be submitted for discussion 
at the Fifteenth All-Union Party Conference, a communica- 
tion of the C.C. Political Bureau and the C.C.C. in connection 
with the Political Bureau's resolution of October 4 on the 
factional activity of the Trotsky-Zinoviev opposition bloc 
since the July joint plenum of the C.C. and C.C.C, C.P.S.U.(B.), 
and J. V. Stalin's theses on "The Opposition Bloc in the 
C.P.S.U.(B.)." On October 26, J. V. Stalin delivered a speech 
at the plenum in support of the theses. p. 306 



92 



93 



94 



95 



96 



See Resolutions and Decisions of C.P.S.U. Congresses, 
Conferences and Central Committee Plenums, Part I, 1953, 
pp. 530-33. p. 307 

This refers to the resolution adopted at a joint sitting of the 
plenums of the C.C. and C.C.C, R.CP.(B.) on January 17, 
1925, following a communication made by J. V. Stalin on 
resolutions of local Party organisations in connection with 
Trotsky's action (see Resolutions and Decisions of C.P.S.U. 
Congresses, Conferences and Central Committee Plenums, Part I, 
1953, pp. 913-21, and J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol 7, pp. 6-10). 

p. 308 

F. Engels, "Grundsatze des Kommunismus." See Marx-Engels, 
Gesamtausgabe, Abt. I, Bd. 6, S. 503-22. p. 312 

Lenin's words are quoted from his report on "The Activities 
of the Council of People's Commissars" made at the Third 
All-Russian Congress of Soviets (see V.I. Lenin, Works, 4th 
Russ. ed., Vol. 26, p. 429). See also Engels's letter to Paul 
Lafargue of June 2, 1894 (Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, 
Works, Russ. ed., Vol. XXIX, p. 311). p. 320 

This refers to V I. Lenin's article "A Few Theses" (see Works, 
4th Russ. ed., Vol. 21, pp. 366-68). p. 332 



NOTES 407 



97 



99 

100 
101 

102 



See Resolutions and Decisions of C.P.S.U. Congresses, 
Conferences and Central Committee Plenums, Part II, 1953, 
p. 46. p. 338 

This refers to the Note of the British Foreign Secretary, Lord 
Curzon, of May 8, 1923, which contained the threat of a new 
intervention against the U.S.S.R. p. 345 

See Resolutions and Decisions of C.P.S.U. Congresses, 
Conferences and Central Committee Plenums, Part II, 1953, 
p. 49. p. 355 

See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 21, p. 311. p. 358 

See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 21, p. 311. p. 358 

See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 32, p. 192. p. 359 



103 

The "Ufa Government" was a counter-revolutionary organi- 
sation which called itself the "All-Russian Provisional Govern- 
ment" (Directory). It was formed in Ufa on September 23, 
1918, at a conference of representatives of whiteguard "gov- 
ernments," Mensheviks, Socialist-Revolutionaries and inter- 
vening foreign powers. It existed until November 18, 1918. 

p. 362 



BIOGRAPHICAL CHRONICLE 

{January-November 1926) 



January 1 J. V. Stalin directs the work of the plenum of 

the Central Committee, C.P.S.U.(B.), where he 
speaks on organisational questions. 

J. V. Stalin is elected by the plenum to the 
Political Bureau, Organising Bureau and 
Secretariat of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.), and ap- 
pointed General Secretary of the Party. 

The plenum decided to prolong J. V. Stalin's 
credentials as a delegate of the C.P.S.U.(B.) 
to the Executive Committee of the Communist 
International (E.C.C.I.). 

January 5 J. V. Stalin informs V. M. Molotov, N. M. Shver- 

nik, S. M. Kirov and others in Leningrad 
of the resolution passed on January 5, 1926, 
by the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.), exposing the fac- 
tional activity of the Leningrad Gubernia 
Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B.). 

January 8 J. V. Stalin directs a meeting of the C.P.S.U.(B.) 

delegation to the E. C.C.I. 

January 16 J. V. Stalin has a talk with representatives of 

the American Communist Party delegation to 
the Sixth Enlarged Plenum of the E. C.C.I. 

January 19 J. V. Stalin has a talk with students of the 

Institute of Red Professors. 



410 BIOGRAPHICAL CHRONICLE 



January 22 J. V. Stalin delivers speeches at a meeting of 

the Presidium of the E. C.C.I, on "The Fight 
against Right and 'Ultra-Left' Deviations." 



January 25 J. V. Stalin completes his work Concerning 

Questions of Leninism, which was published 
as a separate pamphlet on February 6, and 
printed in the magazine Bolshevik, No. 3, 
February 15, 1926. 



February 5 J. V. Stalin has a talk with members 

of the Chinese Communist Party delegation 
to the Sixth Enlarged Plenum of the E. C.C.I. 



February 6-8 J. V. Stalin is elected by special Party con- 
ferences of the Volodarsky, Moskovsko-Narv- 
sky and other districts of Leningrad as their 
first delegate to the Twenty-Third Special 
Leningrad Gubernia Conference of the 
C.P.S.U.(B.). 

February 9 J. V. Stalin replies to a letter from P. F. Bolt- 

nev, V. I. Efremov and V. I. Ivlev on "The 
Peasantry as an Ally of the Working Class." 

February 10 Leningradskaya Pravda, No. 33, publishes the 

sixth chapter — "The Question of the Vic- 
tory of Socialism in One Country" — of 
J. V. Stalin's work Concerning Questions of 
Leninism. 



J. V. Stalin replies to a letter of T. M. Poko- 
yev, chairman of the Poor Peasants' Committee, 
Bobrinets District, Ukr.S.S.R. on "The Pos- 
sibility of Building Socialism in Our Country." 



BIOGRAPHICAL CHRONICLE 411 



February 12 J. V. Stalin is elected by the Twenty-Third 

Special Leningrad Gubernia Conference of the 
C.P.S.U.(B.) as a member of the Leningrad 
Gubernia Party Committee. 

February 17- J. V. Stalin takes part in the work of the Sixth 
March 15 Enlarged Plenum of the E. C.C.I. 

February 17 At the first sitting of the Sixth Enlarged Ple- 

num of the E.C.C.L, J. V. Stalin is elected to 
the Presidium of the E.C.C.L plenum and to 
the Political, Eastern, and French Commis- 
sions of the plenum. 

February 19 J. V. Stalin writes a letter to the members 

of the delegation of the C.P.S.U.(B.) in the 
E.C.C.L in which he exposes Zinoviev who 
distorted the decisions of the Fourteenth Con- 
gress of the C.P.S.U.(B.) when making the 
opening speech at the Sixth Enlarged Plenum 
of the E.C.C.L 

J. V. Stalin has a talk with representatives of the 
German and French Communist Party delegations 
to the Sixth Enlarged Plenum of the E.C.C.L 

February 20 The Sixth Enlarged Plenum of the E.C.C.L 

elects J. V. Stalin chairman of its German 
Commission. 

February 21 At a meeting of the Bureau of the C.P.S.U.(B.) 

delegation to the Sixth Enlarged Plenum of 
the E.C.C.L, J. V. Stalin reports that the Ger- 
man delegation is dissatisfied with Zinoviev's 
speech at the plenum. 

February 23 The newspaper Kommunist, No. 43, organ of 

the Central Committee and Kharkov Okrug 
Committee of the Ukrainian Communist Party 



412 



BIOGRAPHICAL CHRONICLE 



February 27 
March 3 



March 6 



March 7 



March 8 



(Bolsheviks), prints a statement in memory 
of G. I. Kotovsky, written by J. V. Stalin. 

J. V. Stalin attends a ceremonial meeting in 
the Bolshoi Theatre in honour of the Eighth 
Anniversary of the Red Army. 

Publication of J. V. Stalin's collection of 
writings entitled Questions of Leninism. 

J. V. Stalin speaks at a meeting of the Bureau 
of the C.P.S.U.(B.) delegation to the Sixth 
Enlarged Plenum of the E. C.C.I, on the ideo- 
logical struggle against the "ultra-Lefts" in 
the German Communist Party. 

J. V. Stalin speaks in the French Commission 
of the Sixth Enlarged Plenum of the E. C.C.I, 
on the situation in the French Communist 
Party. 

At a meeting of the Bureau of the C.P.S.U.(B.) 
delegation to the Sixth Enlarged Plenum of the 
E.C.C.I., J. V. Stalin opposes a proposal by 
Zinoviev that adherents of the "New Opposi- 
tion" should be drawn into the work of the 
E. C.C.I. 

Pravda, No. 55, publishes greetings from 
J. V. Stalin to working women and women 
toilers throughout the world in connection 
with the sixteenth celebration of International 
Communist Women's Day. 

At a meeting of the German Commission of the 
Sixth Enlarged Plenum of the E.C.C.I., 
J. V. Stalin delivers a speech on the fight 
against the "ultra-Lefts" in the German Com- 
munist Party. 



BIOGRAPHICAL CHRONICLE 



413 



March 15 At a meeting of the Organising Bureau of 

the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.), J. V. Stalin delivers 
speeches on the plan of work of the Organising 
Bureau for March-August 1926 and on the elec- 
tions to the Soviets. 

March 16 J. V. Stalin has a talk with represent- 

atives of the German and French Communist 
Party delegations to the Sixth Enlarged Ple- 
num of the E. C.C.I. 

March 17 The E. C.C.I, elects J. V. Stalin a member of 

its Presidium. 

J. V. Stalin has a talk with representatives of 
the German Communist Party delegation to 
the Sixth Enlarged Plenum of the E. C.C.I. 

March 23 The newspapers Pravda and Komsomolskaya 

Pravda, Nos. 66, print a message of greetings 
by J. V. Stalin to the Seventh Congress of the 
Ail-Union Leninist Young Communist League. 



April 3 



The Political Bureau of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.) 
appoints J. V. Stalin a member of the Commis- 
sion of the Political Bureau for drafting the 
theses on "The Economic Situation and Eco- 
nomic Policy" to be submitted for discussion 
at the April plenum of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.). 



April 5 



At a meeting of the Commission of the Politi- 
cal Bureau of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.), 
J. V. Stalin speaks in support of the theses on 
"The Economic Situation and Economic Policy." 



April 6-9 J. V. Stalin directs the work of the plenum of 

theC.G, C.P.S.U.(B.). 



414 BIOGRAPHICAL CHRONICLE 



April 9 At the morning sitting of the plenum of the 

C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.), J. V. Stalin delivers a 
report on "The Economic Situation and Econom- 
ic Policy." 

At the evening sitting, J. V. Stalin delivers a 
report on "The Plan of Work of the Political 
Bureau and the C.C. Plenum for 1926." 

April 12 J. V. Stalin delivers a report on the results 

of the work of the April plenum of the C.C, 
C.P.S.U.(B.) at a plenum of the Leningrad 
Gubernia Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B.). 

April 13 J. V. Stalin delivers a report on "The Econom- 

ic Situation of the Soviet Union and the Pol- 
icy of the Party" at a meeting of the active of 
the Leningrad organisation of the C.P.S.U.(B.). 

April 20 J. V. Stalin has a talk with a delegation 

from the Stalin Factory (Bolshevo, Moscow 
Gubernia), which has come to invite him to 
their May Day celebration. 

April 21 J. V. Stalin replies to a letter of Klara Zetkin 

on the organisation Workers' International 
Relief (WIR). 

Publication of J. V. Stalin's pamphlet The 
Economic Situation of the Soviet Union. 

April 25 Pravda, No. 95, publishes an appeal signed by 

J. V. Stalin, Secretary of the C.C, CP.S.U.(B.) 
and V. V. Kuibyshev, Chairman of the C.C.C., 
CP.S.U.(B.), addressed to all Party organisa- 
tions and Party control commissions and to 
Party members engaged in economic, co-oper- 
ative, trade, banking and other institutions, 
on the fight for a regime of economy. 



BIOGRAPHICAL CHRONICLE 415 



April 26 J. V. Stalin writes a letter to L. M. Kagano- 

vich and the other members of the Political 
Bureau of the C.C., Ukrainian Communist 
Party (Bolsheviks). 

April 30 J. V. Stalin writes a letter to the members of 

the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.) in which he exposes 
Zinoviev's factional activity. 

May 1 J. V. Stalin is present at the military parade 

of the Moscow Garrison and demonstration of the 
working people of Moscow in the Red Square. 

May 5 J. V. Stalin has an interview with members of 

the press. 

May 7 At a meeting of the Bureau of the C.PS.U.(B.) 

delegation to the E.C.C.I., J. V. Stalin speaks 
on D. Z. Manuilsky's article "Menshevism 
Inside-Out and Social-Fascism," which was 
printed in the magazine Kommunistichesky Inter- 
natsional {Communist International), No. 4 (53), 

May 8 April 1926. 

J. V. Stalin writes a letter to the members of 
the C.P.S.U.(B.) delegation to the E. C.C.I, 
exposing Zinoviev's factional activity in the 
May 11 Comintern. 

May 15 J. V. Stalin informs the representatives of the 

A.U.C.C.T.U. in Paris and Berlin of the Brit- 
ish T.U.C. General Council's refusal to ac- 
cept financial aid from the workers of the 
U.S.S.R. for the British miners on strike. 

J. V. Stalin writes a second letter to the members 
of the C.P.S.U.(B.) delegation to the E. C.C.I, 
exposing Zinoviev's factional activity in the 
Comintern. 



416 BIOGRAPHICAL CHRONICLE 



May 16 J. V. Stalin and V. M. Molotov have an inter- 

view with members of the press at the headquar- 
ters of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.). 

J. V. Stalin has a talk with leading offi- 
cials of the Central Committee of the All- 
Union Leninist Young Communist League and 
of the Young Communist International (Y.C.I.). 

June 1 J. V. Stalin arrives in Tiflis. 

June 2 J. V. Stalin inspects the Zemo-Avchaly hydro- 

electric power station and afterwards writes in 
the visitors' book in Georgian: "Long live 
our work of construction and the workers, 
technicians and engineers engaged in it!" This 
message was published in the newspapers Zarya 
Vostoka, No. 1191, June 3 and Pravda, 
No. 133, June 12, 1926. 

June 3 J. V. Stalin writes a letter to V. M. Molotov 

exposing the splitting, capitulatory policy of 
Trotsky and Zinoviev, and defining the basic 
line of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.) in foreign policy. 

J. V. Stalin attends a performance in the Tiflis 
State Opera House. During the interval he had 
a talk with M. Balanchivadze, the composer, 
about his opera "Tamar Tsbieri" and about 
Georgian opera music, and points to the influ- 
ence of Russian composers, notably Chaikov- 
sky, on Georgian composers. 

June 8 At a meeting of the workers of the chief railway 

workshops in Tiflis, J. V. Stalin delivers a 
report on "The British Strike and the Events in 
Poland," and replies to the greetings of the work- 
ers of the railway workshops. The report and 
the reply were published in the newspapers 



BIOGRAPHICAL CHRONICLE 417 



Zarya Vostoka, No. 1197, June 10, and Pravda, 
No. 136, June 16, 1926. 

June 13 Bakinsky Rabochy {Baku Worker), No. 135, 

publishes J. V. Stalin's reply to an invitation 
from the workers of Baku to visit their city. 

June J- V. Stalin is elected a member of the Com- 

munist Academy. 

July 4 J- V. Stalin leaves the Caucasus for Moscow. 

July 8 On the occasion of the appearance of its 1,000th 

issue, J. V. Stalin sends a message of congrat- 
ulation to the newspaper Rabochaya Pravda 
(Workers' Truth), organ of the Central Com- 
mittee and Tiflis Committee of the Georgian 
Communist Party (Bolsheviks), the Georgian 
Trade Union Council, and the Tiflis Soviet 
of Workers', Peasants', and Red Army Depu- 
ties, the message being printed in that issue of 
the newspaper. 

July 14-23 J- V. Stalin directs the work of the joint plenum 

of the C.C. and C.C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.). 

July 14 At the joint plenum of the C.C. and C.C.C., 

C.P.S.U.(B.), J. V. Stalin speaks on the ques- 
tion of wages. 

July 15 J. V. Stalin delivers a speech at the joint ple- 

num of the C.C. and C.C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.) on 
a communication made by the Political Bureau 
on the decisions adopted by it in connection 
with the events in Britain, Poland and China. 

July 22 J- V. Stalin stands in the guard of honour at 

1 a.m. the bier of F. E. Dzerzhinsky in the House of 

Trade Unions. 



418 



BIOGRAPHICAL CHRONICLE 



Pravda, No. 166, publishes a statement by 
J. V. Stalin in memory of F. E. Dzerzhinsky. 

At the morning sitting of the joint plenum of 
the C.C. and C.C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.), J. V. Stalin 
delivers a speech on the report of the Presidium 
of the C.C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.) on the case of 
Lashevich and others and on Party unity. 

5.30 p.m. J. V. Stalin takes part as pall bearer in carry- 

ing the coffin with the body of F. E. Dzerzhin- 
sky out of the House of Trade Unions. 

July 24 J. V. Stalin has a talk with officials of 

the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission — 
the Joint State Political Administration, in 
connection with the death of F. E. Dzerzhinsky. 

July 27 J. V. Stalin has a talk with representa- 

tives of the Polish Communist Party. 

July 28 J. V. Stalin has a talk with a represent- 

ative of the British Labour Party visiting 

theU.S.S.R. 
V/VylTllTlJ_/l\.V^'li V. I j 

J. V. Stalin has a talk with a represent- 
ative of the Finnish Communist Party. 

August 6 J. V. Stalin replies to a letter from a represent- 

ative of the Communist Party of India. 

August 7 At a meeting of the Presidium of the E.C.C.I., 

J. V. Stalin delivers a speech on "The Anglo- 
Russian Committee." 



August 13 J. V. Stalin writes a letter to the members of 

the C.C. and C.C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.) in which he 
exposes the anti-Party conduct of Trotsky and 



BIOGRAPHICAL CHRONICLE 



419 



September 21 



October 8 



October 11 



October 19 



Between 
October 
21 and 25 



October 22 



October 23 



October 25 



Zinoviev at the July joint plenum of the C.C. 
andC.C.C, C.P.S.U.(B.). 

J. V. Stalin sends a cable to the editorial 
board of the Daily Worker, central organ of 
the Workers Party of America. 

J. V. Stalin writes a letter to Slepkov in con- 
nection with the latter's article printed in 
Pravda of October 8, 1926. 

J. V. Stalin delivers a speech at a meeting of 
the Political Bureau of the C.C, C.P.S.U.(B.) 
on "Measures for Mitigating the Inner-Party 
Struggle." 

An enlarged plenum of the Leningrad Guber- 
nia Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B.) elects 
J. V. Stalin a delegate to the Fifteenth All- 
Union Conference of the C.P.S.U.(B.). 

At the request of the Political Bureau of the 
C.C, CP.S.U.(B.), J. V. Stalin writes the 
theses on "The Opposition Bloc in the 
CPS.U.(B.)." 

The Presidium of the E.C.C.I. appoints 
J. V. Stalin to report on the Russian question 
at the Seventh Enlarged Plenum of the E.C.C.I. 

A joint plenum of the C.C. and C.C.C., 
CP.S.U.(B.) appoints J. V. Stalin to make 
a report at the Fifteenth Ail-Union Confe- 
rence of the CP.S.U.(B.) on "The Opposition 
and the inner-Party Situation." 

The Political Bureau of the C.C, CP.S.U.(B.) 
approves J. V. Stalin's theses on "The Opposi- 
tion Bloc in the CP.S.U.(B.)" for submission 



420 



BIOGRAPHICAL CHRONICLE 



to the October joint plenum of the C.C. and 
C.C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.). 

October 26 The newspapers Pravda and Izvestia, Nos. 247, 

publish J. V. Stalin's theses on "The Opposi- 
tion Bloc in the C.P.S.U.(B.)." 

At the joint plenum of the C.C. and C.C.C. 
C.P.S.U.(B.), J. V. Stalin delivers a speech in 
support of the theses on "The Opposition Bloc 
in the C.P.S.U.(B.)." The plenum endorses 
the theses for submission to the Fifteenth 
Ail-Union Conference of the C.PS.U.(B.). 

October 26- J. V. Stalin directs the work of the Fifteenth 

November 3 All-Union Conference of the C.P.S.U.(B.). 

November 1 At the Fifteenth All-Union Conference of the 

C.P.S.U. (B.), J. V. Stalin delivers a report 
on "The Opposition and the Inner-Party Sit- 
uation." The report was published in Pravda 

and Izvestia, Nos. 206, 257, November 5 and 6, 
1926. 

November 3 At the Fifteenth All-Union Conference of the 

C.P.S.U.(B.), J. V. Stalin replies to the dis- 
cussion on his report on "The Opposition and 
the Inner-Party Situation." The reply to the 
discussion was published in Pravda and Izves- 
tia, Nos. 262, November 12, 1926. 



November 6 J. V. Stalin writes a reply to the editorial board 

of Leningradskaya Pravda declining to give 
his consent to the publication of his conversa- 
tion with Professor Jerome Davis of Yale 
University, a report of which was published 
in garbled form in the newspaper The New 
York American. 



BIOGRAPHICAL CHRONICLE 



421 



November 7 J. V. Stalin attends the military parade of 

the Moscow Garrison and demonstration of the 
working people of Moscow in the Red Square. 

November 15 J. V. Stalin's report and reply to the discussion 
at the Fifteenth Ail-Union Conference of the 
C.P.S.U.(B.) are published in pamphlet form 
under the title The Social-Democratic Devia- 
tion in Our Party. 

November 20 At a meeting of the Presidium of the Executive 
Committee of the Comintern, J. V. Stalin com- 
municates the plan of his report on "The Inter- 
nal Situation in the C.P.S.U.(B.)" for the Sev- 
enth Enlarged Plenum of the E. C.C.I. 

November 22- J. V. Stalin takes part in the work of the Sev- 
December 16 enth Enlarged Plenum of the E. C.C.I. 

November 22 At its first sitting, the Seventh Enlarged 
Plenum of the E. C.C.I, elects J. V. Stalin a 
member of its Presidium and of its Political 
Commission. 



November 
29-30 



November 30 



J. V. Stalin directs the work of a meeting of 
the Bureau of the C.P.S.U.(B.) delegation to 
the Seventh Enlarged Plenum of the E. C.C.I. 

J. V. Stalin delivers a speech in the Chinese 
Commission of the Seventh Enlarged Plenum 
of the E. C.C.I, on "The Prospects of the Rev- 
olution in China." 



Printed in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics