Category: Communist Party Soviet Union (CPSU)
The Revision of the Great October on the 20th and 22th Congress of the CPSU

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Revision of the Great October on the 20th and 22th Congress of the CPSU

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-revision-of-great-october-on-20th.html
By Gyula Thürmer*.
Source: International Communist Review, Issue 7, 2017.
 
Hundred years have passed since the Great October Socialist Revolution triumphed on the 7th of November 1917. The Hungarian Workers’ Party celebrates the Great October as an outstanding event of the universal history, an event that had a decisive influence on the world, the international workers’ movement, and also on Hungary and the fate of the Hungarian workers and toiling masses.
1917 provides a lot of experience and conclusions for the communist and workers’ movement. The conclusions of the Great October are still valid, they serve as a guide for any political force which is fighting against capitalism, in order to construct socialism.
On the other hand, the rejection and revision of 1917, the re-evaluation of its importance has always been the tool of anti-communist, revisionist forces. The conclusions of the Great October have been revised by the 20th congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), and the 22th congress of the CPSU validated these key points borned under the influence of revisionism in the party’s programme. These decisions had grave consequences for the entire communist and workers’ movement, its effects can still be felt.
Historical lessons of the Great October
  1. The Great October was a socialist revolution.
The contradictions of capitalism cannot be resolved within the framework of  capitalism, capitalism  must be replaced by a socialist society. The path to this is the socialist revolution. The Great October opened the epoch of revolutions.
This great epoch is still not over. There were and there will besuccesses and failures, the times of revolutionary recession and periods of revolutionary upsurgeare followingeach other, but this process ultimately leads  to the victory of socialism on a world scale. Now we witness bigger and bigger wealth concentrating in the hands of fewer and fewer people, growing poverty for more and more people, growing population and more and more deteriorating natural environment, increasingly destructive military technologies concentrating in the hands of fewer and fewer, better and better technical opportunities and weakening democracy – those are contradictions, which cannot be resolved by capitalism.
  1. The Great October was the revolution of the working class.
1917 was not a  coup d’etat of a small revolutionary group, but it was a social revolution. A historical deed of the working class, the only class interested in the consequent fight against capital. It proved the words of the Communist Manifesto:
Of all the classes that stand face to face with the bourgeoisie today, the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class. The other classes decay and finally disappear in the face of Modern Industry; the proletariat is its special and essential product.”[1]
The position of the working class has changed a lot in the recent decades. The internationalization of capital and capitalist competition lend impetus to the concentration and centralization of capital and this development leads to changes in the social structure, while the strengthening of the monopolies sharpens the problems, exerts pressure on and destroys a section of the middle strata. Still the working class in the broad sense of the word – the social class which  owns no capital and must sell its own labour power – today too is the most conscious force in the fight against the capital.
  1. The communists were those who prepared, organised and carried out the first socialist revolution of the world
The Great October proved that among the various currents in the labour movement only the revolutionary, radical line, the communists assume the responsibility and are able to carry out a socialist revolution, only Marxism-Leninism is a reliable ideological weapon.
In the epoch of socialist revolutions the communist and social democratic currents completely and finally broke up. Communists became the carriers of socialist revolutions, while social democracy irrevocably committed themselves to capitalism .
  1. Working masses cannot win and keep the power without a disciplined, organised, built on the principles of democratic centralism Marxist-Leninist party
Against the will of the masses – no matter how organised a small revolutionary group is – no victorious revolutuon is possible. But no matter how much the people wish for a revolutionary change, it’s not possible without an organised and disciplined party.
  1. The prerequisite of the party’s success is the adherence to Marxism-Leninism.
The basis of the communist party’s strength is its ideological purity and the unity of policy and action. While  the basis of the party’s ideological purity is the acceptance and creative application of Marxism-Leninism.
  1. Proletarian internationalism and the international unity of the communist parties are important prerequisites of the success of the revolutionary struggle.
Shortly after the victory of the Great October, in the March of 1918 the 3rd Internationale  started its work, the 3rd Internationale  was so far the biggest institutionalized cooperation in the history of the communist movement.
The importance of proletarian internationalism is not decreasing. Only together communist and workers’ parties can defeat the forces of capitalism.
  1. Socialism should oppose the forces of capitalism with a compelling power. Peaceful co-existence does not mean reconciliation with capitalism but is one of the forms of struggle.
Capital has never forgiven the revolution of 1917. From the first moment it tried to get revenge, to get back its lost positions. We Hungarians rememer well, that in 1919 the Soviet Republic was drown in blood and Miklós Horthy was put into power for more than two decades. In order to eliminate the Soviet Union and communists, the capital unleashed fascism on the world. Without the support and the money of the European big capital there would have never been any Hitler or Mussolini. Capital didn’t care that fascism caused wars and the death of tens of millions. Capital still hasn’t completely lock back the spirit of fascism into the bottle, but takes it out everytime it’s needed. Capital started the cold war (1948-1990) in the name of revenge, and toppled socialist systems in several countries in the 1990’s. In this specific period there was at the same time an opportunist corrosion of the CPs and violations of the laws of socialist construction, which formed conditions for the counterrevolution.  A milestone in this course were the decisions of the 20th Congress of the CPSU.
The historical place of the CPSU’s 20th congress
On 14-25 February, 1956 the 20th congress of the CPSU took place. The congress was a turning point in the history of the Soviet and the international communist movement. It revised the most basic lessons of 1917. Its decisions determined the way of thinking and the political practices of the communist movement for a long time. Instead of 1917, the historical reference point became 1956, the 20th congress. The reference point in evaluating the debates within the Soviet party started to be the attitude to the 20th century, not to 1917. This determined the relationships with the different communist parties too.
The CPSU tried to make the postulates of the Soviet political thinking to be accepted as dogmas in the international movement, and had much success with it. This largely held back creative thinking. It strenghtened the position of petty bourgeois-opportunist forces within the leaderships of socialist countries.
This period concided with the changes in the basis of the Western European communist parties, the increasing influence of intelligentsia, the decreasing  proportions of actually workers. In Europe eurocommunist parties emerged, which rejected the revolutionary effect of the Great October and the experiences of socialist countries, absolutised the peculiarities of Western European countries, revised the basic principles of Marxism. These views still have a damaging influence on the European communist movement, obstruct the fight of the workers. They reached the point of irrationally and unscientifically arguing that socialism could be constructed through bourgeois parliamentary elections and using the tools of capitalism.
The 20th congress of the CPSU also has played a considerable  role in destroying the earlier existing unity of the socialist countries. From the 60’s the relationship between  the Soviet Union and China became hostile. The positions of China were utilized by US and European imperialism against the Soviet Union.
The 21th extraordinary congress of the CPSU took place between January 27-February 5 1959. Its task was to strenghten the changes in the CPSU’s leadership and Nikita Khrushchev’s power position and to make the elaboration of the CPSU’s new programme quicker.
The CPSU’s 22nd congress on October 17-31 1961 accepted the new programme of the CPSU, and thus implemented a revision of the conclusions of 1917 on the level of the party programme.
In the last decades the Marxist re-evaluation of the CPSU’s 20th congress has begun in the communist movement.
The Hungarian Workers’ Party declared on the 90th anniversary of the Great October: „Capitalist counter-revolutions would have been impossible or very hard to carry out, if there hadn’t been internal causes in some of the socialist countries. The decisive internal cause should be looked for in the leaderships of the socialist countries, where a reformist-opportunist wing emerged and gradually gave up its socialist positions. This political line was felt already after the CPSU’s 20th congress, when several values of socialist construction were rejected with the pretext of eliminating the mistakes of the Stalin-era. The justified and correct criticism of Stalin was used to reject the positive elements of his heritage, to deprive the socialist countries’ societies of the reliable historical consciousness. Evaluating of Stalin according to today’s circumstances, correcting the distortions is the duty of our time”.[2]
The Greek Communist Party has come to the following conlusion after thorough analysis of Soviet socialism:
Following World War II and the post-war reconstruction, socialist construction entered a new phase. The Party was faced with new demands and challenges regarding the development of socialism-communism. The 20th Congress of the CPSU (1956) stands out as a turning point, since at that congress a series of opportunist positions were adopted on matters relating to the economy, the strategy of the communist movement and international relations. The correlation of forces in the struggle being waged during the entire preceding period was altered, with a turn in favor of the revisionist-opportunist positions, with the result that the Party gradually began to lose its revolutionary characteristics. In the decade of the 1980s, with perestroika, opportunism fully developed into a traitorous, counter-revolutionary force. The consistent communist forces that reacted during the final phase of the betrayal, at the 28th CPSU Congress, did not manage in a timely manner to expose it and to organize the revolutionary reaction of the working class.”[3]
The revision of the lessons of Great October’s at the CPSU’s 20th congress
Let’s examine closer the most important questions, in which the CPSU’s 20th congress changed the evaluation of the Great October experience!
Peaceful coexistence
Following a certain detente in the middle of the 1950’s and the gradually established military balance between the Soviet Union and the USA the CPSU’s 20th congress thought that the peaceful coexistence of the two systems means a broad cooperation and the aspect of anticapitalist fight can be put aside.
The congress was right to conclude that there was a certain detente.
Thanks to the consistent peaceful foreign policy of the socialist countries the state of international tension, which was fraught with great danger, has been replaced by a certain détent.”[4]
The congress correctly concluded that the existence of the two world systems is a fact, which determines international relations.
The emergence of socialism from within the bounds of a single country and its transformation into a world system is the main feature of our era. Capitalism has proved powerless to prevent this process of world-historic significance. The simultaneous existance of two opposite  world economic systems, the capitalist and the socialist, developing according to different laws and in opposite directions, has become an indisputablle fact.” [5]
The congress didn’t speak about the fact that this relative detente between the two world systems was mostly a result of the military balance formed due to the developments of the 1950’s, the creation of the Soviet atomic and hydrogen bomb, the great successes in rocket research.
The congress overlooked the internal problems of the socialist countries. We shouldn’t forget that in 1956 counter revolutionary processes take place in Poland and Hungary.
 „The socialist system is marching forward triumthantly, without crises or upheavals. It is bringing great benefits to the peoples of the socialist countries, demonstrating its decisive superiority over the capitlist system.” [6]
The programme accepted at the CPSU’s 22th congress in 1961 says:
The CPSU maintains that forces capable of preserving and promoting universal peace have arisen and are growing in the world. Possibilities are arising for essentially new relations between states.”[7]
 „Peaceful coexistence of the socialist and capitalist countries is an objective necessity for the development of human society.”[8]
Lenin was a supporter of the world revolution. For Lenin peaceful coexistence was a temporary compromise: I can’t defeat capitalism now, but I don’t give up the goal. In March 1919  the Communist Internationale was formed, which enjoyed the full support of the Soviet state. In the 1920’s  communist parties were created in almost every country of the world. At the period when Stalin was the general secretary of the party the CPSU supported the Comintern. Though in 1943 they  made a gesture to the capitalist members of the antifascist coalition and dissolved the Comintern,  by then there was already a new, effective force of the world revolution, the triumphantly advancing Red Army.
The CPSU under the leadership of Khrushchev gives up the idea of world revolution, he declares peaceful coexistence as the end goal, stating that relations of capitalism and socialism would be determined by peaceful competition. Brezhnev a bit clumsily, but returns to the idea of world revolution.  Of course, this does not negate the fact that in the period when Brezhnev was the GS of the CPSU the problems of utilizing the tools of capitalism in socialist construction continued and sharpened, with the result that the party lost its revolutionary way with grave consequences.
Gorbatchev’s „new way of thinking” meant giving up the goals of socialism. He gave back the territories gained in WW2, ruined the Soviet armed forces, left socialist countries at the mercy of the forces of capitalism.
This was one of the biggest theoretical misconception of the CPSU’s 20th congress, which explained many political steps that contributed to the weakening and then toppling of the socialist system.
This was the false and incorrect interpretation of the principle of  peaceful coexistence. Socialism will win on a world level if it produces more and better in economy, than capitalism does. But this doesn’t mean that military power can be given up.
Based on the false and incorrect interpretation of the principle of peaceful coexistence, the Soviet Union reduced a significant portion of the land  and naval forces in the beginning of the 60’s. From the end of the 60’s it signed a number of agreements on the limitation and reduction of armaments and disarmament with the USA, that broke  the delicate military balance which was so hard to establish, and more than that – made the Soviet Union vulnerable. This doesn’t mean that disarmament efforts weren’t needed, but it’s a fact that it led to the end of military balance. The mistake was not the disarmament, but the series of one-sided concessions to the US. Without the military power balance the socialist world became vulnerable on all other fields too, as the military balance had the greatest impact on capitalist countries.
The parliamentary road, as a way of creating socialism
The 20th congress of the CPSU declared that in the changed international conditions communist parties can get into power by parliamentary elections and can make socialism win.
… the present situation offers the working class in a number of capitalst countries a real opportunity to unite the overwhelming majority of the people under its leadership and to secure the transfer of the basic means of production into the hands of the people. The Right-wing bourgeois parties and their governments are suffering bankruptcy with increasing frequency. In those circumstances the working class, by rallying around itself the toiling peasantry, the intelligentsia, all patriotic forces, and resolutely repulsing the opportunist elements who are uncapable of giving up the policy of compromise with the capitalists and landlords, is in a  position to defeat the reactionary forces opposed to the popular interest, to capture a stable majority in parliament, and transform the latter from an organ of bourgeois democracy into a genuine instrument of the people’s will. (Applause.) In such an event this institution, traditional in many highly developed capitalist countries, may become an organ of genuine democracy, democracy for the working people.
The winning of a stable parliamentary majority backed by a mass revolutionary movement of the proletariat and of all the working people could create for the working class for a number of capitalist and former colonial countries the conditions needed to secure fundamental social changes.”[9]
The 22nd congress of the CPSU fixed this thesis in the party’s programme:
In the conditions prevaling at present, in some capitalist countries the working class, headed by its forward detachment, has an opportunity to unite the bulk of the nation, win state power without a civil war and achieve the transfer of the basic means of production to the people upon the basis of a working class and popular front and other possible forms of agreement and political cooperation between different parties and democratic organisations. The working class, supported by the majority of the people and firmly repelling opportunist elements incapable of renouncing the policy of compromise with the capitalists and landlords, can defeat the reactionary, anti-popular forces, win a solid majority in parliament, transform it from a tool serving the class interestes of the bourgeoisie into an instrument serving the working people, launch a broad mass struggle outside parliament, smash the resistance of the reactionary forces, and provide the necessary conditions for a peaceful socialist revolution.” [10]
The CPSU’s thesis about the parliamentary way creates serious illusions in the workers’ movement. Many parties completely settle for election work and performance in the parliament. Some of the parties forget that the fight for the interests of workers, working people is a constant task of  communists. Taking part in the parliament is not the goal for a communist party, but only a tool.
The Hungarian Workers’ Party is deeply convinced that socialism will be brought by a new popular socialist revolution. The party’s new programme, which was adopted in 2012, says:
We don’t know which year, which month and which day the new socialist revolution will win. But we know that it will win. It will win when the majority of the people understands through their own experiences that there is only one way to happiness, the new popular socialist revolution, and they will be willing to make an effort for it.[11]
Attitude to social democracy
The CPSU’s 20th congress declared that in order to prevent a world war, the strategic cooperation of communist and social democratic parties is necessary and possible.
Not a few of the misfortunes harussing the world today are due to the fact that in many countries the working class has been split for many years and its different groups do not present a united front, which  only plays into the hands of the reactionary force. Yet, today, in our opinion, the prospect of changing this situation is opening up. Life has put on the agenda many questions which not only demand rapprochement and co-operation between all workers’ parties, but also create real possibilities for the co-operation. The most important of these questions is that of preventing a new war. If the working class come out as a united organised force and acts with firm resolution, there will be no war.”[12]
And the report goes on:
All this places an historic responsibility upon all leaders of the labour movement. The interests of the struggle for peace make it imperetive to find points of contact and on these grounds  to lay the foundations for co-operation, sweeping aside mutual incriminations. Here  co-operatons with those circles of tne socialist movement whose views on the forms of transition to socialism differ from ours is also possible and essential. Among them are not a few people who are honestly mistaken on this question, but this is no obstacle for co-operation.Today many Social-Democrates stand for  active struggle against the war danger and militarism, for rapproachment with the socialist countries, for unity of the labour movement.We sincerely greet these Social-Democrats and are willing to do everything necessary to join our efforts in the struggle for the noble cause of upholding peace and the interests of the working people.”[13]
The programme accepted at the CPSU’s 22nd congress is even more clear:
The Communist parties favor cooperation with the Social-Democratic parties not only in the struggle for peace, for better living conditions of the working people, and for the preservation and extension of their democratic rights and freedoms, but also in the struggle to win power and build a socialist society.”  [14]
Social democracy in the 19th century grew from the working masses of the capitalist countries, the trade union movement. They also dreamt about socialism, like communists, but in a long-long term, and on a daily basis they wanted to end the unfairness of capitalism, to make capitalist order nicer. Revolutionary Marxists never agreed with that, as capitalism, even in its best, most democratic and richest form is built on the exploitation of the working masses. Revolutionary Marxists always aimed for the creation of socialism.
But after the WW2 social democracy has undergone an essential change. There was plenty of money in the course of growth of general european well-being after the war. This made it possible for capitalist social democratic parties to give more to the masses, to create the so called „the welfare state”. In turn, the existence of the socialist world, where masses had the right to work, rest and access to free health care, forced the capitalist parties to do so. The so called „welfare state” in reality meant that a minority of rich peope lived on a very high standarf of living. The middle classes and a part of the working masses got much better conditions than before. The standard of living of large masses of working people, not speaking about the rising number of foreign migrants changed only to a limited degree.
After the economic difficulties of the 80’s they had less money. The socialist world collapsed, the external coercive force disappeared. Capitalist governments gave up the generous policy of the so called „welfare state”, and social democracy in turn declared the concept of the 3rd way. Since the 80’s socialism is not the goal, and they even gave up the previous traditional demands of social democracy and started to carry out neoliberal policies.
Social democracy played a significant role in undermining, weakening the socialist countries.. Under the slogans of the „Ostpolitik”, the „disarmament” and the „European cooperation” they actively took part in the preparation of the counter revolutions of 1989-91.
In the former socialist countries several parties emerged under the name socialist or social democrat. These parties are fundamentally different from Western paries because they have no social democratic past at all, no trade  union background, they are not connected by their traditions to the workers. These parties, including the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), from the first moment have been active participants of the capitalist counter revolutions of 1989-91, and became one of the pillars of the capitalist system. Their task is to mislead and manipulate working masses, to stabilise capitalism.
Experiences of the revolution in 1917 and the 90 years that have passed since clearly show that the goals of communists and social democrats are fundamentally different.
Experiences of Hungarian history prove that Hungarian social democrats betrayed the interests of the workers in 1919 and in 1898-90 as well. They gave up the communists to the gendarmerie of the Horthy-era and even nowadays they do not shy away from legal and governmental attacks on communists.
The 90 years since 1917 clearly show: if communists under conditions of capitalit system  cooperate with social democrats in strategic questions, if they govern together, then this is always the communists who „pull the shorter” and who pay the biggest price.
The way of costruction socialism
The leadership of the CPSU after 1956, seeing the successes of socialism, made a false and in retrospect fatal conclusion: the victory of socialism is final and irreversible. The 22nd congress describes the party’s new strategy, the construction of the communist society.
„The Communist Party of the Soviet Union adopts its Third Program – the program of communist construction.”
The material and technical base of communism will be built up by the end of the second decade (1971-80), ensuring an abundance of material and cultural  values for the whole population, Soviet society will come close to a stage where it can introduce the principle of distribution according to needs, and there will be a gradual transition to one form of ownership – public ownership. Thus, a communist society will in the main be built in the USSR.” [15]
 The programme of the RCWP-CPSU correctly states:
Furthermore, the successful accomplishment of many tasks of socialist development, including the elimination of class antagonisms, led to the emergence in the party and the people of the illusion of consistency of further moving forward. This illusion of possibility to achieve quickly, withoit struggle, the  higher phase of communism was fixed in the third  party Programme, adopted in 1961. That demobilized the party, the working class, the toiling masses.  The programm wronglyproclaimed the rejection of the dictatorship of the proletariat and declared the public nature of such entirely class institutions as  a party and a state, thus creating an ideological cover for their petty-bourgeois metamorphosis. The subjectivist approach was used to explain errors and deviations in the construction of socialism by cult of personality. The task of revival of the essence of the power of the Soviets was not even set, workers, already fragmented organizationally, now were ideologically disarmed at the face of a rising wave of the petty-bourgeois. This disarmament of the party and the workers was based on the official proclamation of the “final” victory of socialism in our country .”[16]
The decision of the CPSU was a strategical mistake which affected the other socialist countries too. After the 20th congress they increasingly underestimated the necessity of class struggle. They disregarded the fact that the representatives of the old ruling classes and their descendants were still alive, the implementation of the elements of a market economy contributed to the revival of the bourgeois forces. Parties were not prepared for actual class struggle.
Later under the flag of Gorbatchev’s perestroika, glasnosty, modernisation, rapprochement with Europe  they introduced multi-party system, allowedand even helped the activity of the parties which were against socialism. With the false slogan of depolitisation they took out the army and the national security organs from under the control of the party and the people. System changes were prepared and carried out almost everywhere by reformist-opportunist forces. These forces deliberately crossed the border, beyond which we are talking not about the reform of socialism, but about the introduction of the capitalist system.
***
The socialist revolution in Russia in 1917 confirmed the correctness of Marxist-Leninist theory on the inevitability of the socialist revolution and the transition of humanity from the capitalist economic system to communism, the first phase of which is socialism. It was in October 1917 in Russia that a great historical epoch of transition of humanity from capitalism to socialism started.
Today, as never before, it is clear: The great October socialist revolution – the main event not only in the 20th century, but in the whole history of mankind, the event that showed the way of progressive development for many decades to come. In the result of the Great October revolution was dispelled the myth of the eternity of capitalism, capitalism ceased to be a world system. Since that time in the world exist two opposite social-economic systems, the struggle between them became the main form of manifestation of the main contradiction of the modern era – the contradiction between labor and capital.
The Great October inseparably interwined with the memory of the 20th century Hungarian socialism too. The successes of socialism proved that the Hungarian workers, the working people can manage being in power, creating a better life for millions, secure the survival and development of the Hungarian nation. Hungarian workers can still be proud of those decades, can draw strength to fight against capital system.  This is the legacy of the Great October.
There was a lot of good in Hungarian socialism, though not everything was good. But undoubtedly there were much more things that could have been called successes, results. And it’s also beyond doubt that despite all its problems and mistakes that socialism was better, more successful and more humane than today’s capitalism.
The Hungarian Workers’ Party is following the footsteps of the Great October. We want socialism. We have learnt from the history of socialism. We are convinced that a new socialist society will give even more and even better.
 President of the Hungarian Workers’ Party.
[1]https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch01.htm#007
[2] http://aszabadsag.hu/Archiv/Dokumentumok/2007_38sz.pdf
[3] http://inter.kke.gr/en/articles/18th-Congress-Resolution-on-Socialism/
[4]Report of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to the 20th Party Congress. Foreign Languages Publishing House. Moscow 1956. Page 7.
[5]ibid, page 8
[6]ibid, page 13
[7]Program of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. International Publishers Co.,Inc., 1963.  Page 62
[8] ibid,  page 65
[9]  Report of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to the 20th Party Congress. Foreign Languages Publishing House. Moscow 1956. Pp.45-46
[10]Program of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. International Publishers Co.,Inc., 1963
[11]http://2010-2015.munkaspart.hu/component/content/article/1169
[12]Report of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to the 20th Party Congress. Foreign Languages Publishing House. Moscow 1956. Page 24
[13]ibid
[14]Program of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. International Publishers Co.,Inc., 1963.  Page 49
[15]Program of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. International Publishers Co.,Inc., 1963.  Page 74
[16]http://rkrp-rpk.ru/content/view/5/47/
“Achievements and successes of the working class in socialism”, presented by the KKE in Athens

Monday, July 17, 2017

“Achievements and successes of the working class in socialism”, presented by the KKE in Athens

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/achievements-and-successes-of-working.html
Τhe work “Achievements and successes of the working class in socialism”, published by “Synchroni Epochi”, was presented by the KKE’s Central Committee, on July 12th in Egaleo, Athens.
Our future isn’t capitalism. It is the new world, socialism”! This slogan was shouted by hundreds of members and friends of the KKE and KNE at “Alexis Minotis” municipal theatre of Egaleo, where the publication was presented. Working people from various sectors, who live the intensive capitalist exploitation, listened with interest the significant information that the new publication contains and which proves the superiority of the socialist system. The publication- a result of a collective effort by the Central Committee’s department for Labor and Trade Union work- consists part of the KKE’s greater multiform activity for the 100th anniversary of the October Socialist Revolution .
Major speakers at the event were Yannis Protoulis, member of the Political Bureau of the CC of the KKE, Stefanos Loukas and Vivi Dagka, members of the CC of the Party. The cultural programme of the event included recitation of Bertolt Brecht’s poems, from Greek poet Kostas Varnalis’ work “What I saw in Soviets’ Russia”, revolutionary soviet songs and the hymn of Comintern.
KKE politburo member Yannis Protoulis refered to the reasons which led to the counterrevolution:
 
(abstracts from his speech)
“This is a publication that takes its place next to the Declaration of the CC, next to the many publications of the Party that have been issued and those that will follow in the battle for knowledge, so that the truth will shine against slander, mud and distortion and, at the same time, for the invigoration of the fruitful debate for today’s way out from the system of capitalist exploitation, of crises and imperialist wars.
We are addressing a special call. A call to give a great battle to conquer and spread the knowledge, the truth for socialism that mankind met. A fight which is inextricably connected with the pioneering struggle which is developed by the members, friends and collaborators of the KKE on all the acute problems faced by the working class, the youth.”
“The socialist construction in the 20th century, which began with the Red October, proved that the labor movement can create revolutions and prevail, can win in only one country or a group of countries. It proved that this is not a utopia, it was constructed for decades.
An important aspect is that the workers’ achievements in socialist states, for many decades, had been a point of reference and contributed to the conquest of achievements by the labor-popular movement of capitalist societies”.
“The KKE was and remains unwavering in defending the USSR socialist course’s offer, in general the socialist construction during the 20th century, in the struggle for social progress, for the abolition of exploitation of man by man.
We highlight the contradictions, the mistakes and the deviations under the pressur of the international correlation of forces, without leading ourselves to nihilism.
Since the early 1990s, we have characterized the 1989-1991 devenopments as a victory of the counterrevolution, as an overthrow. We reject the term “collapse”, because it downgrades the counter-revolutionary activity, the social base in which it can be developed and dominate, due to weaknesses and deviations of the subjective factor during the socialist construction, as it happened.
Life showed that the problems which were presented had not been properly interpreted and hadn’t been dealt on the basis of strengthening and expanding the communist relations, the central planning, the socialization, the workers-social control.
Thus, insteading of seeking a solution onwards, to the expansion and strengthening of the communist relations of production and distribution, it was sought backwards, in the widening of the market, in “socialism with market”, that is the utilization of tools and production relations of capitalism.”
Protoulis also referenced to the 20th Congress of the CPSU in 1956 as a “turning point” where various opportunist perceptions were adopted, as well as to the “Kosygin reforms” and the consequent weaking of the central planning. 
Among other things, Yannis Protoulis mentioned:
“The bourgeois propaganda of the “sovietologists” continues today, turning white into black. It projects the concepts of “democracy” and “freedom” through the bourgeois criteria, not the ones of the workers of course, but for the capitalists. Freedom to exploit, to have people in their work, to be the bosses, to live and enrich from the hard labor of the others and, as a democracy they mean the one which stops at the gates of their enterprises.
The real content of freedom and democracy in capitalism is the economic coercion of wage slavery and the dictatorship of the capital in society in general and especially within capitalist enterprises.
The greatest achievement which made possible the realization of all the rest after the October Revolution was the revolutionary workers’ power, the dictatorship of the proletariat as a state which expressed the interersts of social majority of the exploited ones and not the social minority of the exploiters. It emerged as a superior form of democracy.”
Source: Rizospastis / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
KKE politburo member G.Marinos in Venezuela: “We must walk in the steps of the October Revolution”

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

KKE politburo member G.Marinos in Venezuela: “We must walk in the steps of the October Revolution”

In the 15th Congress of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) which took place between 22 and 25th of June in Caracas, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) was represented by its Political Bureau member Giorgos Marinos and Dimitris Karagiannis, member of the international relations section of the CC and journalist in ‘Rizospastis’. 

 
On June 21st, the PCV organised the 2nd International Ideological Seminar with the subject being “The timeliness of Lenin in the 100 years of the Great Socialist Revolution”, in which 18 Communist and Workers Parties participated.
 
What follows is the speech by Giorgos Marinos, reproduced from inter.kke.gr:
We honour the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, of the world-historic event of international significance, which demonstrated that capitalism is not invincible. The working class, the leading class of society with its allies have the strength to overthrow capitalism and construct the socialist society.
Whatever the supporters and apologists of capitalism do, they cannot erase the fact that this system has already entered a course of degeneration and decay, is becoming more reactionary and dangerous, is identified with the poverty of millions, with unemployment and capitalist crises.
Whatever the apologists of the system do, they cannot conceal the fact that two world imperialist wars were created by capitalism, as well as hundreds of local and regional wars and today we see the danger of a generalized military conflict.
The persecutions against communists and militant workers cannot stop the forward march of history. Social development does not stop, it is an objective process where the new social relations and the leading classes that express them in the class struggle, the motor force of history, overthrow the old social relations.
However painful the consequences of the counterrevolution are, the Leninist position is still of great importance: “We have made the start. When, at what date and time, and the proletarians of which nation will complete this process is not important. The important thing is that the ice has been broken; the road is open, the way has been shown.”
We struggle in the conditions of monopoly capitalism, imperialism, with its basic characteristic being the dominance of the monopolies, which are the product of the concentration and centralization of capital.
At the end of the 19th century, Marx and Engels had already noted in Capital that the “centralization of the means of production and socialization of labour at last reach a point where they become incompatible with their capitalist integument. Thus integument is burst asunder. The knell of capitalist private property sounds. The expropriators are expropriated.”
This is the great necessity. The abolition of private capitalist ownership that negates the potential for all the workers to live in conditions that correspond to their increasing human needs, with work, free time, housing, high level exclusively public and free education, health, welfare, culture, sports.
The necessity of socialism flows from the sharpening of the basic contradiction of system, the contradiction between the social character of production and labour and the capitalist appropriation of the results. Our era is the era of transition from capitalism to socialism and this has historical and international dimensions.
However, as the experience from the class struggle teaches us, despite the fact that the material conditions for the new society mature under capitalism, for there to be a change of system there must be a socialist revolution.
This revolution requires the creation of a revolutionary situation that is defined according to Lenin by the following factors:
  • Those “above” (the ruling class of the capitalists) cannot govern and run the administration as they did in the past.
  • Those “below” (the working class and the popular strata) do not want to live as they did in the past.
  • An extraordinary rise in the activity of masses is observed.
The appearance of such a favourable situation has an objective character, but each revolutionary situation must be combined with the revolutionary uprising of the working class, led by the CP, its conscious vanguard, which must be equipped with the Marxist-Leninist worldview and be capable of leading the socialist revolution.
Despite the fact that it cannot be predicted when and how the revolutionary situation will manifest itself, historical experience highlighted the manifestation of a deep and synchronized capitalist crisis, combined with the outbreak of an imperialist war as being important factors.
The course of the Bolsheviks to the victorious October revolution passed through the “fire” of the harsh persecutions of the Tsarist absolutist state, of the strike and other tough conflicts connected to the revolution of 1905, which despite its defeat was a trial that contributed to the preparation of the oppressed for the victory of the revolution.
The Soviets were born in the revolution of 1905, the seeds of workers’ power.
In this period, Lenin assessed that the revolution should establish a temporary revolutionary government, the “democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry”, for the convening of the constituent assembly, universal voting rights, agricultural reforms etc. This power would eradicate the vestiges of Tsarism and would spark the proletarian revolution in the advanced capitalist Western Europe.
The entrance of Russia in the 1st World War sharpened the social contradictions. The defeats of the Russian army at the front, the loss of territories caused significant discontent, not only amongst the workers and peasants who were suffering due to the destruction of war, but also amongst the bourgeois class of Russia.
The plans of the bourgeoisie to overthrow the Tsar were combined with major popular mobilizations and strikes, which were carried out in February 1917, as a result of the rapid intensification of the social problems. The formation of a revolutionary situation, the mass political activity of the workers and peasants organized in the Soviets, the disintegration of the army, led in the end to the revolutionary overthrow of the Tsar.
The Provisional Democratic Government was established by representatives of the bourgeois liberal parties of Russia and constituted an organ of bourgeois power. At the same time,however, the mass political struggle of the workers and peasants brought to the surface the organization of the armed masses that participated in the overthrow of the Tsar via the Soviets.
The Mensheviks and the SRs dominated the Soviets in this period and supported the Provisional Democratic Government. This situation was characterized by Lenin as being “dual power”.
Lenin studied the February revolution, assessed that power had passed into the hands of the bourgeois class and that the bourgeois-democratic revolution had been completed and with the “April Theses” he adjusted the strategy of the Bolsheviks for the overthrow of bourgeois power and the socialist revolution.
The adaptation of the tactics, the slogans to the needs of strategy and of the revolutionary struggle led Lenin to withdraw the slogan “All power to the Soviets” in July 1917, when the repression of the Provisional Government had escalated and brought it back in September when the Bolsheviks had won the majority in the Soviets of Moscow and Petrograd, giving it new content, as a slogan for the overthrow of the Provisional Government and the revolutionary uprising.
The decisiveness of Lenin and those from the leadership of the Bolsheviks who supported his positions led in the end to the victorious socialist revolution on October 25 (November 7, according to the new calendar) 1917.
We must underline the decisive importance of the important events and political choices, such as:
  • The separation of the Bolsheviks from the Mensheviks at the 2nd Congress (1903), the formation of a separate party (1912), the intense constant struggle against opportunism.
  • The systematic theoretical efforts for the development of the strategic view of the Bolshevik party for the socialist revolution that matured in the difficult conditions of the 1905-1917 period.
  • The tireless efforts for the preparation of the subjective factor, the party, the working class and its allies.
  • The consistent communist stance against imperialist war and the tireless struggle against the bourgeois class in all conditions.
  • The prediction of the changes in the correlation of forces and the correct decisions gave the Bolsheviks the initiative.
A decisive contribution for the formation of the strategy of the socialist revolution was provided by the study of capitalism in Tsarist Russia, of the characteristics of monopoly capitalism-imperialism (in the work “Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism”), of the stance towards the bourgeois state and the character of workers’ power, i.e. the dictatorship of the proletariat (“State and Revolution”) and other valuable works.
These elaborations highlighted the potential for the socialization of the concentrated means of production in the era of monopoly capitalism and also the potential created by uneven economic-political development and the sharpening of the inter-imperialist contradictions in order for the weakest link in the imperialist chain to break and for the efforts for socialist construction in one country or in a group of countries to begin.
Soviet power paved the way for the abolition of capitalist relations of production and this was what dealt with the intense problems of the workers (land, bread, peace) and not bourgeois power or some form of “intermediate” power, which in reality cannot exist.
Giorgos Marinos (Archive Photo).
The October Revolution confirmed the leading role of the revolutionary communist party, the need to rally the working class against the power of capital, the need to draw the poor peasantry and the other middle strata to the revolution, and to render other sections neutral. The historically outdated and reactionary character of the bourgeois class, the necessity of not participating or supporting a government in the framework of capitalism, the non-existence of transitional forms of power between capitalism and socialism, the need to smash the bourgeois state.
The October Revolution led to the building of another superior society, with as its basic characteristic the abolition of the exploitation of man by man.
The right to work and the eradication of unemployment were secured in the USSR. The foundations were laid for the abolition of discrimination against women. Science developed very rapidly. Free education at all levels, free high-quality health-care for all the people, and universal access to culture and sports were ensured. Institutions were created that would safeguard the substantial participation of the workers in building the new society.
This was a historically significant leap in conditions of the backwardness of pre-revolutionary Russia in comparison to the powerful capitalist states, in conditions of imperialist encirclement and pressure, with the grave consequences from the 1st and 2nd World Wars, in the latter the USSR made the decisive contribution to the defeat of fascism, with 20 million dead and enormous material destruction.
Socialist construction in the USSR was not free of problems. Until the Second World War, in the USSR the struggle for the development of the communist relations of production, the abolition of wage labour and the dominance of the socialized sector of production on the basis of Central Planning was generally successful.
After the Second World War, socialist construction faced new challenges and demands that were interpreted as inevitable weaknesses existing in the nature of central planning and not as a result of the contradictions of the survival of the old, as a result of the mistakes of the non-scientifically elaborated plan.
Thus, instead of seeking a solution towards the invigoration and expansion of the communist relations of production and distribution, it was sought backwards, i.e. in the exploitation of tools and production relations of capitalism. The solution was sought in the expansion of the market, in “market socialism”.
The 20th CPSU Congress (1956) stands out as a turning point because in that, with the vehicle being the so-called “personality cult”, a series of opportunist positions were adopted on the issues of the communist movement strategy, while the central management of the economy was weakened.
A few years later, beginning with the so-called “Kosygin reforms” (1965), the bourgeois category of “business profit” of each individual production unit was adopted and the wages of managers and workers were linked to it.
The individual interest was strengthened at the expense of the social interest and the communist consciousness was damaged. The so-called “shadow capital” emerged that sought its legal function as capital in production, the restoration of capitalism. Its (the capital’s) owners constituted the driving force of the counter-revolution.
In about the same period, the Marxist-Leninist perception about the workers’ state was also revised. The 22nd Congress of the CPSU (1961) described the USSR state as an “all-people’s” state and the CPSU as an “all-people’s party”.These positions led to the mutation of the revolutionary characteristics and social composition of the party. The transformation of the CPSU’s opportunist degeneration into an open counter-revolutionary force was manifested by the policy of “Perestroika” and “Glasnost”.
The KKE tried all these years to study the contemporary developments, to draw conclusions from the historical experience of the class struggle in Greece and internationally and, at the same time, to deepen and expand its militant ties with the working class and the popular strata. It tries not to detach the daily struggle from the main revolutionary political task of overthrowing the power of capital
he KKE has charted a modern revolutionary strategy increases its ability to organize leading sites of resistance and counterattack in every sector of the economy, every large workplace, in every region of the country,with an anti-capitalist/anti-monopoly line of struggle, to prepare the working class and people in the instance of an imperialist war.
The ideological-political and organizational strengthening of the KKE, which was an important issue at the recent 20th Congress of the Party, constitutes a prerequisite for the promotion of its revolutionary policy.
An integral part of the KKE’s contemporary strategy is its programmatic perception on the socialist character of the revolution. Socialist construction begins with the revolutionary conquest of power by the working class. The workers’ state, the dictatorship of the proletariat, is an instrument of the working class in the class struggle which continues in socialism with other forms and means. It is utilized for the planned development of the new social relations, which presupposes the suppression of the counter-revolutionary efforts, but also the development of the communist consciousness of the working class. The qualitatively new feature of workers’ power is the transformation of the workplace into the core of society’s organization.
The Programme of the KKE states:
The concentrated means of production are socialized, but initially there remain forms of individual and group ownership that constitute the basis for the existence of commodity-money relation. Forms of productive cooperatives are formed, where the level of the forces of production still does not allow the socialization of the means of production. The forms of group ownership consist a transitional form of ownership, between the private and the social one, and not an immature form of communist relations.
On the basis of social ownership of the centralized means of production, the central planning of the economy develops as a communist relation that connects all the producers.
At the same time, the KKE struggles for the regroupment of the international communist movement, according to the principles of proletarian internationalism, the internationalist solidarity of the people against capitalism and imperialist war, which is expressed in the slogan “Workers of all countries unite!”.Its supports the efforts for the creation of a distinct pole based on the principles of Marxism-Leninism , through the “International Communist Review” and the European Communist Initiative.
The study of the experience of the October Revolution and the events that will be held will be effective to the extent that the communist movement stands up and fights against the negative correlation of forces, examining in a strict way and changing the line of intermediate stages and the so-called leftwing governments. This step will contribute decisively to the adaptation of the strategy of the CPs to the character of our era, the era of the transition from capitalism to socialism, which also determines the socialist character of the revolution.
The struggle for the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism, for the socialist revolution must leave its imprint on the everyday activity, political line of every CP so that they play the leading role in organizing the working class, to preparing it to meet the challenges of the class struggle.
This year, 100 years after the Great October Revolution, we must intensify our efforts to strengthen the struggle for the revolutionary regroupment of the international communist movement.
The October Revolution, the construction of socialism in the USSR and the painful experience from the counterrevolution highlights the need for a revolutionary strategy and the strict observance of the laws of socialist construction, for workers’ power, the socialization of the means of production, central planning and workers’-social control. This is the basis for the abolition of the exploitation of man by man, in opposition to the caricatures and arbitrary fantasies about “21st Century Socialism” and “Market Socialism” which are features of the counterrevolution and function within the the framework of capitalism.
The communist movement has a great history and has made a significant contribution to the abolition of exploitation and today must learn from history, must be guided by our worldview and what Marx and Engels wrote in 1848 remains very relevant:
“The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of All Countries, Unite!”
 
We thank the CP of Venezuela and we wish it every success in its Congress. The KKE has always stood unwaveringly at the side of the CP of Venezuela and continues on this path. Our party denounces the imperialist interventions and expresses its internationalist solidarity with the working class, the people of Venezuela and the other countries of Latin America. The interests of the working class lie in strengthening its struggle against the bourgeois class and the capitalist shackles, in fighting for worker’s power and to become the owners of the wealth they produce, in constructing socialism-communism.
Joseph V. Stalin- Concerning Questions of Leninism

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Joseph V. Stalin- Concerning Questions of Leninism

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/05/joseph-v-stalin-concerning-questions-of.html

Concerning Questions of Leninism.

By Joseph V. Stalin.
 January 25, 1926.
Source: Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1954 via Marxists Internet Archive.
 
Dedicated to the Leningrad Organisation of the C.P.S.U (B).
 
I. THE DEFINITION OF LENINISM
 
The pamphlet The Foundations of Leninism contains 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.”1
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 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 international proletarian doctrine into a product of specifically Russian conditions.
 
It means playing into the hands of Bauer and Kautsky, who deny that Leninism is suitable for other countries, for countries in which capitalism is more developed.
 
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 Leninism? 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 works of Lenin as Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism,2 The State and Revolution,3 The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky,4 “Left-Wing” Communism, an Infantile Disorder,5 etc., apply only to Russia, and not to all imperialist countries in general? 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 all”? (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 inevitably differ in certain specific features from that in the advanced countries, owing to the very great backwardness and petty-bourgeois character of our country. But the basic forces—and the basic 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 Zinoviev’s definition of Leninism cannot be regarded as correct?
 
How can this nationally restricted definition of Leninism be reconciled with internationalism?
II. THE MAIN THING IN LENINISM.
 
In the pamphlet The Foundations of Leninism, it 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.”9
 
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 dictatorship 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 peasantry is the fundamental question** of Bolshevism, of Leninism.”
 
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 proletariat is the “root content of the proletarian revolution” correct? (See Vol. XXIII, p. 337.) It is unquestionably correct. Is the thesis that Leninism is the theory and tactics of the proletarian revolution correct? 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 dictatorship 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 proletariat? Is it not true that without the elaboration of these fundamental questions, the elaboration of the peasant question from the standpoint of the dictatorship 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 proletariat is of the greatest significance for the proletariat and forms a constituent part of the fundamental question of the dictatorship of the proletariat. But is it not clear that if Leninism had not been faced with the fundamental 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 peasantry 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 proletariat, 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 exception, including the capitalistically developed countries.
 
Here one must choose.
 
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.”7
 
This characterisation of the Russian “permanentists” was considered as generally accepted until recently. 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 proletariat.
 
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:
 
“Hitherto only one aspect of the theory of ‘permanent revolution’ 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.”8
 
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.9 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, propounded 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 halfway. . . .
 
“Without succumbing to adventurism or going against our scientific conscience, without striving for cheap popularity, we can and do say only one thing: we shall put every effort into assisting the entire peasantry to carry out the democratic revolution 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 proletariat:
 
“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 consolidates 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 emphasise 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 permanent revolution, after the imperialist war. This quotation leaves no doubt that these people are profoundly mistaken.
 
IV. THE PROLETARIAN REVOLUTION AND THE DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT.
 
What are the characteristic features of the proletarian revolution as distinct from the bourgeois revolution?
 
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 belonging to the capitalist order, forms which have grown and matured within the womb of feudal society prior to the open revolution, whereas the proletarian revolution begins when ready-made forms belonging to the socialist order are either absent, or almost absent.
 
2) The main task of the bourgeois revolution consists 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 exploiters, in view of which it need not smash the old state 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 proletarians, in view of which it cannot manage without smashing the old state machine and substituting a now one for it.
 
5) The bourgeois revolution cannot rally the millions 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 proletarian 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 revolution and socialist revolution,” says Lenin, “is that for the bourgeois revolution, which arises out of feudalism, the new economic 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 position. The more backward the country which, owing to the zigzags of history, has proved to be the one to start the socialist revolution, 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 revolution,” continues Lenin, “which had gone through the great 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 existence of ready-made organisational forms of a movement embracing 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 triumphant 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 relationships, 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 speaking, 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 organisational problem that rested on our shoulders. Under the present conditions of labour this problem could not possibly be solved by the ‘hurrah’ methods by which we were able to solve the problems of the Civil War” (ibid., p. 318).
 
“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 socialisation 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 international financial relations. In this sphere a conflict is inevitable. Therein lies the greatest difficulty of the Russian revolution, 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 bourgeois 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.
 
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 property 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 rapidly to gain the sympathy and support of the majority of the toiling non-proletarian masses by satisfying their needs at the expense 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, overthrow 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 influence of the bourgeoisie and petty-bourgeois compromisers over the non-proletarian toiling masses. Thirdly, it must entirely destory the influence of the bourgeoisie and petty-bourgeois compromisers over the majority of the non-proletarian toiling masses by satisfying their economic needs in a revolutionary way at the expense of the exploiters” (ibid., p. 641).
 
Such are the characteristic features of the proletarian revolution.
 
What, in this connection, are the main features of the dictatorship of the proletariat, once it is admitted that the dictatorship of the proletariat is the basic content of the proletarian revolution?
 
Here is the most general definition of the dictatorship 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 bourgeoisie, 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 exploited 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 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 contradict 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 proletariat, 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 special 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 resistance of the bourgeoisie and of any attempt on its part at restoration, an alliance aiming at the final establishment and consolidation 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).
 
In one of his instructional reports, Kamenev, disputing this conception of the dictatorship of the proletariat, 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 governmental top stratum ‘skilfully’ ‘selected’ by the careful hand of an ‘experienced strategist,’ and ‘judiciously relying’ on the support 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 overthrowing capital, for achieving the final victory of socialism, on the condition that the guiding force of this alliance is the proletariat.”10
 
I wholly endorse this formulation of the dictatorship 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 dictatorship 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 proletariat and peasantry, the idea of the hegemony of the proletariat within this alliance.
 
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 maintenance 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 means the organisation of labour on a higher level than the previous 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 organisation of labour compared with capitalism. This is the essence. This is the source of the strength and the guarantee of the inevitable complete triumph of communism” (see Vol. XXIV, pp. 335-36).
 
“Its quintessence (i.e., of the dictatorship—J. St.) is the organisation and discipline of the advanced detachment of the working people, of its vanguard, its sole leader, the proletariat, whose object is to build socialism, to abolish the division of society 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 proletariat, as the period of transition from capitalism to socialism” (ibid., p. 314).
 
Such are the characteristic features of the dictatorship 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 proletarians of other lands, and for the development and victory of the revolution in all countries.
 
2) The utilisation of the rule of the proletariat in order to detach the labouring and exploited masses once and for all from the bourgeoisie, to consolidate the alliance 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 socialist 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 dictatorship of the proletariat to cease being a dictatorship. Therefore, not one of these three aspects can be omitted without running the risk of distorting the concept 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 proletariat.
 
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 dictatorship 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 period of socialist construction, on the other hand, it is the peaceful, organisational and cultural work of the dictatorship, revolutionary law, etc., that are most conspicuous. 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 organisations, are as necessary now, at the time of construction, as they were during the period of civil war. Without 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 revolution 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 consequences resulting from this danger, will also exist.
V. THE PARTY AND THE WORKING CLASS IN THE SYSTEM OF THE DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT.
 
I have dealt above with the dictatorship of the proletariat from the point of view of its historical inevitability, 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 capitalism to socialism.
 
Now we must say something about the dictatorship of the proletariat from the point of view of its structure, from the point of view of its “mechanism,” from the point of view of the role and significance of the “transmission 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 because 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 a 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 administrative, 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 connect them with the population. The Soviets are a mass organisation 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 strengthening 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 exercised. The Soviets connect the vast masses of the working people with the vanguard of the proletariat.
 
Thirdly, there are the co-operatives of all kinds, with all their ramifications. These are a mass organisation 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 co-operatives). The co-operatives acquire special significance after the consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat, during the period of extensive construction. They facilitate contact between the vanguard of the proletariat 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 generation in the spirit of socialism. It provides young reserves for all the other mass organisations of the proletariat in all branches of administration. The Youth League has acquired special significance since the consolidation 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 function 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 emancipation of the proletariat. And it is absolutely necessary to combine and direct them towards a single goal, for otherwise unity in the struggle of the proletariat is impossible, 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 directing the work of the mass organisations of the proletariat. Only the Party of the proletariat, only the Communist 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 connections 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, thirdly, the Party, as the best school for training leaders of the working 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 transmission belt linking the Party with the class” (see The Foundations of Leninism11).
 
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 primarily 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 administration; 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 construction; the Youth League, as the mass organisation of young workers and peasants, whose mission it is to help the vanguard 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 dictatorship 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 leadership of the Party, the dictatorship of the class is exercised” (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 vanguard to the mass of the advanced class, and from the latter to the mass of the working people” (see Vol. XXVI, p. 65).
 
“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 fulfilled. 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 dictatorship 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 organisations without guiding directives from the Party. In this sense it could be said that the dictatorship of the proletariat 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 Comintern12:
 
“Tanner says that he stands for the dictatorship of the proletariat, 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 dictatorship 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 exploitation 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 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 dictatorship 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 dictatorship 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 correct 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 Second 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 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 proletariat, and not any other kind of dictatorship. Whoever identifies the leading role of the Party with the dictatorship 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 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 fulfilment lie the will and actions of those who are led, the will and actions of the class, its willingness (or unwillingness) 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 dictatorship 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 consolidated. It may find expression, after power has already been consolidated, in the extensive organisational and 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 undertaken all these actions with only its own forces, without the support of the class. Usually it only directs these actions, 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 substitutes 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).13 In this sense the Party takes power, the Party governs the country. 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 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 Communist 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. XXV1, 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 proletariat is a state concept. The dictatorship of the proletariat 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 defines the dictatorship of the proletariat as “power based directly on the use of force” (see Vol. XIX, p. 315). Hence, 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 relation 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 employing 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 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, between Party and non-Party members of the working class.
 
Lenin defines these mutual relations as “mutual confidence** 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 attention 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 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 peaceful, 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 proletariat maintained? How is it tested? How is it reinforced? Firstly, 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 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 establish 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 revolutionary 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 exploited 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 leadership 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 aristocracy corrupted by capitalism, and of the old trade-union and cooperative leaders, etc.—only then will it be able to display its full strength, which, owing to the very economic structure of capitalist society, is immeasurably greater than the proportion of the population it Constitutes” (see Vol. XXV, p. 315).
 
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 dictatorship of the proletariat are built up not on fear or on “unrestricted” rights of the Party, but on the confidence 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 confidence 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”) 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 dictatorship 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, “‘dictatorship of the Party or dictatorship of the class? dictatorship (Party) of the leaders or dictatorship (Party) of the masses?’ testifies 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 political parties, as a general rule, are directed by more or less stable groups composed of the most authoritative, influential and experienced 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 statement proceeds from the premise that, correct mutual relations 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 confidence” between the Party and the class are upset?
 
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 convinced through their own experience that the Party’s policy 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 conditions taken together.
 
But it follows from this that counterposing the dictatorship of the proletariat to the “dictatorship” (leadership) 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 proper 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;
 
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) if the class, if the majority of the class, accepts that policy, makes that policy its own, becomes convinced, as a result of the work of the Party, that that policy is correct, has confidence in the Party and supports 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 leadership 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 organising the new order, of being the teacher, the guide, the leader39 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 collision with the interests of the class? Of course not. In 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 abolition 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 introducing the New Economic Policy:
 
“We must not try to conceal anything, but must say straightforwardly that the peasantry is not satisfied with the form of relations 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 straightforwardly: Let us reconsider our policy towards the peasantry”** (see Vol. XXVI, p. 238).
 
Can one consider that the Party should take the initiative and leadership in organising decisive actions by the masses merely on the ground that its policy is correct on the whole, if that policy does not yet meet the confidence and support of the class because, say, of the latter’s political backwardness; if the Party has not yet succeeded in convincing the class of the correctness of its policy because, say, events have not yet matured? No, one cannot. In such cases the Party, if it, wants to be a real leader, must know how to bide its time, must convince the 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 majority 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 towards 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 neutrality 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 mutual 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?
 
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 political consciousness, and thus secure the support of the masses and their readiness for the decisive struggle.
 
Therefore, the method of persuasion is the principal 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 Communists is to be able to convince the backward elements, to be able to work among 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 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 discussion on the trade-union question. What was the mistake of the opposition, the mistake of the Tsektran,14 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 confidence between the vanguard of the working class and the masses of the workers, it was necessary, if the Tsektran had made a mistake . . . 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 heeding 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 Unions15:
 
“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 counterposed 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 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 dictatorship 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 impermissibility 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, properly speaking, by the policy of identifying the “dictatorship” of the Party with the dictatorship of the proletariat. . . .
 
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 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 October 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 dictatorship 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 rally 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 dictatorship 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 contradicts 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 “dictatorship” of the Party with the dictatorship of the proletariat, which Zinoviev enunciates surreptitiously 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 Socialist-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 Kolchak,” in which he says:
 
“Some people (especially the Mensheviks and the SocialistRevolutionaries—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 Congress of the Comintern in his controversy with Tanner. I have quoted it above.*
 
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 dictatorship of the proletariat, published in the Lenin Miscellany, Volume III, where there is a sub-heading “Dictatorship of One Party” (see Lenin Miscellany, Vol. III, p. 497).
 
It should be noted that in two out of the five cases, the last and the second, Lenin puts the words “dictatorship of one party” in quotation marks, thus clearly emphasising the inexact, figurative sense of this formula.
 
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 proletariat, 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 Renegade Kautsky, “Left-Wing” Communism, an Infantile Disorder, etc.).
 
Even more characteristic is the fact that in the theses of the Second Congress of the Comintern16 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 formulation 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 dictatorship of the Party, he usually referred to the “dictatorship 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 working class meant the leadership of the Party, its leading role;
 
c) in all those cases in which Lenin thought it necessary 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 include the formula “dictatorship of the Party” in the fundamental resolution on the role of the Party—I have 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 “dictatorship 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 “dictatorship 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 dictatorship 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 readiness of the Party to heed the voice of the masses is of particular value to us, when attention to the requirements of the masses is a fundamental precept of our Party, when it is incumbent upon the Party to display particular 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 correctly 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 guiding force in the system of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
 
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 majority of the advanced countries to achieve victory over the bourgeoisie. 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 movement in all countries of the world—all this leads, not only to the possibility, but also to the necessity of the victory of the proletariat in individual countries” (see The Foundations of Leninism17).
 
This thesis is quite correct and needs no comment. It is directed against the theory of the Social-Democrats, 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 contains a second formulation, which says:
 
“But the overthrow of the power of the bourgeoisie and establishment 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 revolution. 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 edition18).
 
This second formulation was directed against the assertions of the critics of Leninism, against the 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 formulation was then (May 1924) adequate, and undoubtedly it was of some service.
 
Subsequently, however, when the criticism of Leninism 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 socialist 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 building 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 restoration of the old order, without a victorious revolution in a number of other countries—which must be answered 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 formulation in my pamphlet The October Revolution and the Tactics of the Russian Communists (December 1924); I 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 pamphlet On Co-operation,19 the indisputable truth that we have all that is necessary for building a complete socialist 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 Comintern and the R.C.P.(B.),”20 which examines the question of the victory of socialism in one country in connection 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.P.(B.) 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:
 
“Our country exhibits two groups of contradictions. One group consists of the internal contradictions that exist between the proletariat 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 socialism, 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 opportunist” (see The Results of the Work of the Fourteenth Conference of the R.C.P.(B.). 21)
 
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. 22).
 
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 support 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 socialism” (ibid.23).
 
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.)24 (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 struggle in the Party and after the resolution that was adopted at the Fourteenth Party Conference (April 1925), Zinoviev finds it possible in his reply to the discussion 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 confirmed by a Plenum of the Central Committee,25 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 contradictions 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 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 insuperable 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 victory of the revolution in other countries?
 
It means the impossibility of having a full guarantee against intervention, and consequently against the restoration 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 internationalism, 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 certain equilibrium, which is in the highest degree unstable, but an 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 governmental 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 dictatorship 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 possibility 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 haphazard, without prospects, building socialism although completely building a socialist society is impossible—such is Zinoviev’s position.
 
To engage in building socialism without the possibility 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 solution 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 building 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 country, 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 possibility 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?
 
Does it not follow from this that such a victory is impossible?
 
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 “internationalism,” as “100 per cent Leninism”!
 
I assert that on this most important question of building socialism Zinoviev is deserting Leninism and slipping 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 October 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 . . . organised socialist production” which I have stressed? It means that the proletariat of the victorious country, having seized power, can and must organise socialist production. And what does to “organise socialist production” mean? It means completely building a socialist society. It scarcely needs proof that this clear and definite statement of Lenin’s requires no further comment. Otherwise Lenin’s call for the seizure of power by the proletariat in October 1917 would be incomprehensible.
 
You see that this clear thesis of Lenin’s, in comparison with Zinoviev’s muddled and anti-Leninist “thesis” 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 heavens from the earth.
 
The statement quoted above was made by Lenin in 1915, before the proletariat had taken power. But perhaps he modified his views after the experience of taking 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 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 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.
 
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 building socialism in one country, whereas Zinoviev, by attacking this thesis and castigating Yakovlev, deserted Lenin and adopted the point of view of the Menshevik Sukhanov, the point of view that it is impossible to build socialism 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 socialism.
 
We should not have taken power in October 1917—this is the conclusion to which the inherent logic of Zinoviev’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 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 backward country like Russia, without the ‘state aid’ (Trotsky) of countries more developed technically and economically” (see the resolution26).
 
As you see, the resolution interprets the final victory of socialism as a guarantee against intervention and restoration, 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 Fourteenth 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, Zinoviev does not do so. He preferred to choose another path, that of attacking the resolution of the Fourteenth Party 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 calculations.
 
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 backwardness 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 Conference.27 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 Committee of the R.C.P:(B.) in its “Reply” to the letter of the Leningrad Gubernia Party Conference28:
 
“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 completely 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 accusation directed against them by the Moscow Committee of our Party. Was this accidental? I think not. The accusation, 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 construction 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 rejected 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 resolution 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, 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 regard 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 internationalism 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 remain the mighty centre of attraction for the workers of all countries that it undoubtedly is now, if it is incapable of achieving victory at home over the capitalist elements in our economy, the victory of socialist construction? 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 country 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’ delegations to our country and thereby strengthening the position of communism all over the world? By our successes in building socialism. Is it not obvious, then, that whoever disseminates disbelief in our successes in building socialism thereby indirectly helps the Social-Democrats, reduces the sweep of the international revolutionary movement, 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 socialism 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.”29
 
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 Opposition.” In my opinion, it is the principal error because from it spring all the other errors of the “New Opposition.” The errors of the “New Opposition” on the questions of NEP, state capitalism, the nature of our socialist industry, the role of the co-operatives under the dictatorship 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 completely building a socialist society by the efforts of our country.
 
What is disbelief in the victory of socialist construction in our country?
 
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 proletariat 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 development—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 power 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 scarcely 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 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 millions 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 development 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 collectivism, 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 peasantry will eagerly take this new path of development, rejecting the path of private capitalist latifundia and wage slavery, the path of destitution and ruin.”30
 
Are these theses correct?
 
I think that both theses are correct and incontrovertible 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 peasantry, 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 together with the main mass of the peasantry, that the organisation of the vast masses of the peasantry in co-operatives is the high road of socialist construction in the countryside, that with the growth of our socialist industry, “for us, the more growth of co-operation is identical . . . with the growth of socialism” (see Vol. XXVII, p. 396).
 
Indeed, along what path can and must the development 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 standing 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 dependence 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 economy means development through profound differentiation among the peasantry, with large latifundia at one extreme and mass impoverishment at the other. Such a path of development is inevitable in capitalist countries, because the countryside, peasant economy, is dependent on the towns, on industry, on credit concentrated in the towns, on the character of the state power—and in the towns it is the bourgeoisie, capitalist industry, the capitalist credit system and the capitalist state power that hold sway.
 
Is this path of development of peasant farms obligatory for our country, where the towns have quite a different aspect, where industry is in the hands of the proletariat, where transport, the credit system, the state power, etc., are concentrated in the hands of the proletariat, where the nationalisation of the land is a universal law of the country? Of course not. On the contrary. Precisely 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 implanting 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 becomes 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 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 development. 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 abolition 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 combination of the specific interests of the peasantry (the overthrow of the landlords, peace) with, and their subordination to, the general interests of the country (the dictatorship 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 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 peasantry 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 supervision and control of this interest, that degree of its subordination to the general interests” (Lenin)31 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-operatives.
 
What does the mass organisation of peasant farms in co-operatives mean when we have the supremacy of socialist 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.
 
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.), therefore, was right in declaring:
 
“The main path of building socialism in the countryside consists 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 Congress on the Report of the Central Committee32).
 
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 construction 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.).
 
Hence the failure to understand the socialist nature 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, administering the country, combating bureaucracy, improving and remodelling our state apparatus—work which marks a new stage of development and without which no socialist 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 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 regrouping 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 restoration 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 assumption 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 inaccurate 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 cooperative plan. This assumption alone can serve to “substantiate” 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.
 
As a matter of fact, what is taking place in our country now is not a one-sided process of restoration of capitalism, but a double process of development of capitalism 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 industry is the basis of socialism, and as regards the countryside, here the main foothold for socialist development 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 proletariat, and that transport and credit are in the possession of the proletarian state.
 
Differentiation in the countryside cannot assume its former dimensions, the middle peasants still constitute 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 cooperative policy is directed towards restricting the kulaks’ 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 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 pamphlet The Tax in Kind33; 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 capitalism as the possible basic form of conducting our economy, and when he considered co-operation in conjunction with state capitalism. But this interpretation has now become inadequate and has been rendered obsolete by history, 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).
 
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-operation 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 enterprises, 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 capitalism. 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:
 
“. . . for us, the mere growth of co-operation (with the ‘slight’ exception mentioned above) is identical with the growth of socialism, 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 carefully hushing up, in defiance of the facts, in defiance of the obvious truth, in defiance of Leninism. Co-operation taken in conjunction with state capitalism 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-operation 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-operatives 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 population, 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 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 capitalism (in 1921) or with socialist industry (in 1923), but as something constant and immutable, as a “thing in itself.”
 
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-operation, 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 Opposition” on the practical questions of socialist construction.
 
There is only one conclusion: the line of the opposition, so far as it has a line, its wavering and vacillation, 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 almost omnipotent, if little hope can be placed in the co-operatives, if the role of the middle peasant is progressively 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.”34
 
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 capitalist 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 conditions 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 conscious 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 carried on for the purpose of overcoming these distortions of Leninism” (see Resolution on the Report of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B.)35).
 
The historical significance of the Fourteenth Congress of the C.P.S.U.(B.) lies in the fact that it was able radically to expose the mistakes of the “New Opposition,” 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 construction.
 
January 25, 1926.
Notes
 
1 See J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 6, pp. 71-196.
 
2 See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 22, pp. 173-290.
 
3 See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 25, pp. 353-462.
 
4 See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 28, pp. 207-302.
 
5 See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 31, pp. 1-97.
 
* 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.
 
** My italics.—J. St.
 
6 See J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 6, p. 126.
 
** My italics.—J. St.
 
7 See J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 6, p. 107.
 
8 See J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 6, pp. 395-96.
 
9 See Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The First Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League (Selected Works, Vol. I, Moscow 1951, pp. 99-108).
 
** My italics.—J. St.
 
** My italics.—J. St.
 
** My italics.—J. St.
 
** My italics.—J. St.
 
** My italics.—J. St.
 
** My italics.—J. St.
 
** My italics.—J. St.
 
** My italics.—J. St.
 
10 See J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 6, pp. 379-80.
Alternative Communist party proposes punishment for ‘revolution deniers’

https://www.rt.com/politics/374332-alternative-communist-party-proposes-to/

Alternative Communist party proposes punishment for ‘revolution deniers’
Communists of Russia, a minor left-wing party, has proposed fining those who deny or distort the official history of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, saying such misrepresentations could sow societal discord and undermine the country’s stability.

In a letter to State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, Maksim Suraikin, the head of the party, wrote that a number of Russian politicians, mostly representatives of liberal and rightist forces, as well as promoters of “Western values,” have started making “empty statements that events such as the assault on the Winter Palace and the historical cannon shot of the Aurora cruiser never took place,” while calling the October Revolution a coup d’etat. The communist leader wrote that such notions bring dissent and chaos into Russian society, contradict proven facts, and disorient the younger generation.

He then went on to propose that the State Duma pass a bill making “denial of historical facts or distortion of events that relate to the 1917 October Revolution in public speeches and in mass media” a civil offense with a punishment ranging from a 5,000-ruble fine (about $85) to obligatory community service. Suraikin also proposed holding repeat offenders criminally responsible.

Approving this bill would allow Russia to celebrate the centennial of the revolution in a business-like and solemn atmosphere and also nip the destructive attempts of forces seeking to undermine the stability of Russian society in the bud,” he noted, saying his party was ready to send lawyers to parliament to help develop the bill.

The Communists of Russia party was founded in 2012 as an alternative to the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, which it accuses of being opportunistic and giving up the struggle for the revolution. The official heir of the Soviet Communist Party still commands huge public support and has substantial parliamentary representation, however, and the original communists have shrugged off the accusations of their younger competitors, describing their party as a spoiler project. Communists of Russia took part in the 2016 parliamentary elections, but failed to win any parliamentary seats.

Friday’s letter echoes a warning given by the head of the Upper House Committee for Defense and Security, Viktor Ozerov, who said earlier this month that he expected the fringe opposition to use the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution as a propaganda tool to split society.

In December of 2016, President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Regions, and the Russian Historical Society to form a committee to prepare and hold events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. He also recommended that regional and municipal authorities, various public movements, and NGOs assisted in executing this plan.

USSR 1991 – History did not end with the counterrevolution; Socialism is timely and necessary

Friday, December 23, 2016

USSR 1991 – History did not end with the counterrevolution; Socialism is timely and necessary

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2016/12/ussr-1991-history-did-not-end-with.html
By Nikos Mottas*.
 
It was December 26, 1991 – 25 years ago- when the red flag with the sickle and hammer was lowered from the Moscow Kremlin. It was then, during the cold days of December, when the first socialist state of the world, the homeland of the world’s proletariat, bent under the weight of the counterrevolution. Four days before, on December 22nd, the leaderships of three of the largest Soviet republics had decided the dissolution of the USSR, while the Communist Party of the Soviet Union had been outlawed on summer of the same year.
 
The events of December 1991 sealed the victory of the counterrevolution, as the result of a process which officially began in 1985 with the Perestroika and reached its peak in 1989 with the overthrow of Socialism. Of course, the roots of the counterrevolution can be traced back in a series of revisionist-opportunist decisions taken at the CPSU’s 20th Congress back in 1956.
In 1991, the homeland of the heroic bolsheviks, the homeland of Lenin and Stalin, the homeland of General Zhukov, of Yuri Gagarin and Dmitri Shostakovich, the homeland of the Soviet people became loot in the hands of the Russian bourgeoisie, of the oligarchs who emerged from the leadership of Perestroika. Even the opinion of the Soviet people (in the referendum of March 17, 1991, 76% of the voters supported the existence of the USSR) had been ignored by the perpetrators of the counterrevolution.
 
The Soviet red flag is no longer waving in the domes of the Kremlin. Its lowering sealed with a dramatic and symbolical way the end of the 74-year old course of the first socialist state in the world. For a moment the clocks indicators remained motionless, marking the critical moment. The hearts of many million workers in all over thr world stopped beating, weighting the magnitude of the loses”. 
 
– Rizospastis daily (KKE newspaper), 28 December 1991.
 
The immense social achievements of the USSR were succeeded by illusory promises by the new capitalist Russian government for- supposedly- more democracy, for more social freedoms and for a free-market economy which would improve the people’s lives. The so-called “shock therapy”, which included several policies of economic liberalisation during the 90s, had multiple negative effects in people’s lives: rapid increase of social inequalities, destruction of the socialist welfare state, extreme increase of poverty for the working class, decrease of the life extectancy rate, resurgence of nationalist claims between former soviet republics and the emergence of economic oligarchs as actual rulers of the new capitalist Russian state.
 
Yeltsin and Gorbachev: Permanently in the darkest pages of History.
Twenty-five years after the counterrevolution in the USSR, the majority of the Russian people- especially the older generations- think that life under Socialism was better. The restoration of Capitalism brought an unprecedented barbarity in almost every sector of public life; a barbarity which benefited the few and aggravated the situation for the majority. On March 2016, a survey conducted by the All-Russia Public Opinion Center (VTsIOM) showed that more than half of Russians (64%) would vote to maintain the Soviet Union if a referendum were held today. This figure increases from 47% among those 18-24 to 76% among respondents age 60 and more. 
 
During the same period (March 2016), a similar survey by the Levada Center Survey in Russia showed that nore than half (56%) of the Russians regret the collapse of the USSR and 58% of the survey’s participants would welcome the revival of the socialist system. Back in 2013, a survey by the Russia’s Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) , showed that 60% of Russians think that the life in the Soviet Union had more positive than negative aspects. 
 
The same kind of nostalgia for the USSR exists also in other former Soviet republics, like Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan etc, where the policies of monopoly capitalism have swept away any social privileges achieved by the working class people during Socialism.
 
HISTORY DID NOT END.
 
The various apologists of capitalism, who advocated the concept of the “end of History” in the beginning of the 90s, have already been refuted. Despite the fact that the counterrevolutionary events in the USSR and Eastern Europe significantly deteriorated the correlation of forces internationally, it becomes clear that Socialism is timely and necessary. The impasses of rotten capitalism, which creates crises, poverty, unemployment, misery and wars, consist a solid proof that nothing has ended. 
 
The people, the working class in all over the world must organize their counter-attack, to strengthen the bastions of resistance against capitalist exploitation and imperialist barbarity and create the preconditions for the ultimate victory of Socialism. The red flag, with sickle and hammer, will rise again.
 
*Nikos Mottas is the Editor-in-Chief of In Defense of Communism, a PhD candidate in Political Science, International Relations and Political History.
KKE’s perception on socialism: Assessments and conclusions on socialist construction during the 20th century, focusing on the USSR

Friday, December 23, 2016

KKE’s perception on socialism: Assessments and conclusions on socialist construction during the 20th century, focusing on the USSR

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2016/12/kkes-perception-on-socialism.html
 
The following is the Resolution of the 18th Congress of the KKE (held on February 2009), containing assessments and conclusions on socialist construction during the 20th century, focusing on the USSR.

The 18th Congress of KKE, fulfilling the task set forward by the 17th Congress four years ago, dwelled deeper into the causes of the victory of the counterrevolution and of capitalist restoration. This has been an imperative and timely obligation for our Party, as it is for every Communist Party. It was thus that we faced this task during all the years that have elapsed since the 14th Congress and the National Conference of 1995. It is a task interlinked with the revival of consciousness and of faith in socialism.
 
For more than a century now, bourgeois polemics against the communist movement, often assuming the form of an intellectual elitism, concentrate their fire on the revolutionary core of the workers’ movement; they struggle, in general, against the necessity of revolution and its political offspring, the dictatorship of the proletariat that is the revolutionary working class power. In particular, they fight against the outcome of the first victorious revolution, of the October Revolution in Russia, fiercely opposing every phase where the Revolution exposed and repelled counterrevolutionary activities and opportunist barriers, which, in the final analysis, were weakening, directly or indirectly, the Revolution at a social and political level.
For more than a century now, every current negating, retreating or resigning from the necessity of revolutionary struggle is being promoted as “democratic socialism”, in opposition to the so-called “totalitarian”, “dictatorial”, “putchist” communism. We are well aware of these polemics and calumnies against scientific communism, against the class struggle. They pertain not only to the conditions under capitalism, but, under different forms and conditions, also to the process of formation of the new social relations, as well as their expansion and maturation into communist relations.
 
Today, international opportunism has regrouped itself through the “Party of the European Left”, which has stepped up the tone of the “democratic socialism” rhetoric, under the conditions of a synchronous manifestation of the capitalist economic crisis.
 
It is for this reason that in the discussion on “socialist democracy” different weights and measures are being used to judge events taking place during one or the other period, with the explicit aim of erasing the contribution of socialist construction. In some instances they negate the entire 70-year history of the USSR, in others they specifically aim at the period during which its socialist foundation was erected. Whatever the case, they always support those political practices that constituted deviations from the socialist course.
 
KKE remains steadfast in the defense of the contribution of socialist construction in the USSR, in general of socialist construction during the 20th century, to the struggle for social progress, for the abolition of exploitation of man by man.
 
Today our Party is ideologically more steeled and politically experienced to rebut the ideological interventions of the bourgeois centers propagated through their periodicals and books or via the educational process. We are dealing here with interventions that may exert a certain influence in the immediate vicinity of the Party or even within the Party itself.
 
We are studying the ruthless course of the class struggle during the transition to the new society, for its foundation and development, for the expansion and deepening of the new relations of production and distribution, of all social relations and for the molding of the new man. We bring forward the contradictions, the mistakes and deviations under the pressure of the international correlation of forces, without resorting to blanket nihilism.
 
We examine things in a critical and self-critical manner so as to make KKE, as part of the international communist movement, stronger in the struggle for the overthrow of capitalism, for the construction of socialism. We are studying and judging the course of socialist construction in a self-critical manner, that is with full consciousness that our weaknesses, theoretical shortcomings and mistaken evaluations also constituted part of the problem.
 
We are forging ahead to additional assessments and conclusions, to the enrichment of our programmatic conception of socialism armed with a collective spirit, with a self-consciousness regarding the difficulties and deficiencies and with revolutionary determination. We are well aware that future historical studies, carried out by our Party and by the communist movement internationally, will undoubtedly illuminate further the issues regarding the experience of the USSR and of the other socialist countries. It is beyond any doubt that new issues requiring an improvement and deepening of certain of our assessments will come to the fore. The development of the theory of socialism-communism is a necessity, a living process, a challenge for our Party and for the international communist movement, today and in the future.
 
KKE has the experience to guarantee the continuation, the enrichment of knowledge and of a unitary perception, as it has done since its 14th Congress.
 
The pre-congress procedures have revealed the responsibility and maturity of Party members and cadre, in their ability to voice their opinions in the direction, with the criteria and along the main axes of the Theses of the C.C, which have been overwhelmingly approved.
 
The new C.C is being assigned the task of organizing further research on the specific subjects being pinpointed, of seeking the cooperation of other communist forces, particularly from the countries that were engaging in socialist construction in the past, of choosing the ways of participation of Party members in the final formulation of the conclusions that will be the end result of these specialized studies.
 
With the present decision of the 18th Congress, KKE enriches its programmatic conception of socialism.
 
Our Party is emerging more powerful and united, capable of inspiring and uniting new working class and popular forces, particularly of a younger age, in the struggle for socialism.
 
The 18th Congress expresses its revolutionary optimism that in the course of the years to come a regroupment of the international communist movement (of which KKE is a part) will become apparent, a regroupment on the basis of the development of its communist ideological and strategic unity.

A. The Contribution of the Socialist System.

1. The development of capitalism and the class struggle inevitably brought communism to the historical limelight during the middle of the 19th century. The first scientific communist programme is the “Communist Manifesto” written by K. Marx and Fr. Engels 160 years ago in 1848. The first proletarian revolution was the Paris Commune in 1871. With the 20thcentury came the success of the October Socialist Revolution in Russia in 1917, which was a starting point for one of the greatest achievements of civilization in the History of humankind, the abolition of exploitation of man by man. Subsequently, after World War II, state power was conquered in a series of countries in Europe, Asia, as well as in the American continent, in Cuba, with the goal of socialist construction.
Despite the various problems of socialist countries, the socialist system of the 20th century proved the superiority of socialism over capitalism and the huge advantages that it provides for peoples’ lives and working conditions.
The Soviet Union and the world socialist system constituted the only real counterweight to imperialist aggression. The role of the Soviet Union in the Anti-fascist People’s victory, during World War II, was decisive. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) crushed the German and allied forces’ military machine who had invaded Soviet territory. It liberated a series of countries in Europe from the German occupation forces. More than 20 million Soviet citizens gave their lives for the socialist homeland, while 10 million were disabled or wounded. The extent of material devastation to Soviet territory was enormous.
The victories of the Red Army significantly propelled the development of national liberation and anti-fascist movements, which were led by Communist Parties. In many countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the anti-fascist struggle, with the decisive contribution of the USSR, was linked to the overthrow of bourgeois rule.
The socialist state provided historic examples of internationalist solidarity to peoples who were fighting against exploitation, foreign occupation and imperialist intervention. They contributed in a decisive manner to the dissolution of the colonial system and to the limitation of military confrontations and conflicts.
The achievements of workers in the socialist states were a point of reference for many decades and contributed to the gains won by the working class and the popular movement in capitalist societies. The international balance of forces that was formed after World War II forced capitalist states, to a certain degree, to back down and to manoeuvre in order to restrain the revolutionary line of struggle and to create conditions in which they could assimilate the working class movement.
The abolition of capitalist relations of production freed mankind from the bonds of wage slavery and opened the road for the production and development of the sciences with the goal of satisfying people’s needs. In this way, everyone had guaranteed work, public free health care and education, the provision of cheap services from the state, housing, and access to intellectual and cultural creativity. The complete eradication of the terrible legacy of illiteracy, in combination with the increase in the general level of education and specialization and the abolition of unemployment, constitute unique achievements of socialism. In the Soviet Union, according to the 1970 census, more than 3/4 of the working population of the cities and 50% of workers in the rural areas had completed mid-level or higher education. [1]
The USSR, during its 24-year course prior to the Nazi assault, had made great leaps in its economic and social development, reducing the unevenness that it had inherited. The cultural revolution, as an inseparable element of socialist construction, gave working people the possibility of knowing and experiencing the achievements of human culture.
In the Soviet Union in 1975 it was guaranteed by law that the hours of work could not surpass 41 per week [2], among the lowest in the world. All workers were guaranteed days for rest and relaxation and annual paid holidays. Non-working time was extended and its content was changed. It was transformed into time for the development of the cultural and educational level of the workers, for the enhancement of their participation in workers’ power and in the control of the administration of productive units.
Social Security for working people was of outmost priority for the socialist state. A comprehensive system of retirement benefits, with the important achievement of low age limits for retirement (55 years for women, 60 for men), was created. Funding for the state retirement fund was guaranteed through the state budget fiscal appropriations and the insurance contributions of enterprises and institutions. Similar conditions prevailed in the rest of the European socialist states.
Socialist power laid the foundation for the abolition of inequality of women, overcoming the great difficulties that objectively existed. Socialism ensured in practice the social character of motherhood and socialized childcare. It instituted equal rights for women and men in the economic, political and cultural realm, although not all forms of unequal relations between the two genders, which had become entrenched over a long period of time, had been successfully eradicated.
The dictatorship of the proletariat, the revolutionary workers’ power, as a state that expressed the interests of the social majority of exploited people, and not of the minority of exploiters, proved itself a superior form of democracy. For the first time in History the unit of production could become the nucleus of democracy, with the representative participation of working people in power and administration, the possibility to elect and recall representatives amongst themselves to participate in the higher levels of power. Workers’ power de-marginalized the masses and a vast number of mass organizations were developed: trade union, cultural, educational, women’s, youth, where the majority of the population was organized.
Bourgeois and opportunist propaganda, speaking of lack of freedom and anti-democratic regimes, projects the concepts of “democracy” and “freedom” in their bourgeois content, identifying democracy with bourgeois parliamentarism and freedom with bourgeois individualism and private capitalist ownership. The real essence of freedom and democracy under capitalism is the economic coercion of wage slavery and the dictatorship of capital, in society in general and especially inside capitalist enterprises. Our critical approach regarding workers’ and people’s control and participation has no relation whatsoever to the bourgeois and opportunist polemics regarding democracy and “rights” in the USSR.
The October Revolution launched a process of equality between nations and nationalities within the framework of a giant multinational state and provided the direction for the resolution of the national problem by abolishing national oppression in all its forms and manifestations. This process was undermined however, during the course of the erosion of socialist relations and was finally stopped with the counter-revolutionary developments in the 1980s.
The socialist states made serious efforts to develop forms of cooperation and economic relations based on the principle of proletarian internationalism. With the founding in 1949 of the Council of Mutual Assistance (CMA) an effort was made to form a new, unprecedented type of international relations that was based on principles of equality, of mutual interest and mutual aid between states that were building socialism. The level of development of socialism in each revolutionary worker’s state was not the same. It depended to a large extent on the level of capitalist development that existed when power was conquered – an issue that must be taken under consideration when assessments and comparisons are made.
The gains that were undoubtedly achieved in the socialist states, in comparison to their starting point as well as in comparison to the living standard of working people in the capitalist world, prove that socialism holds an intrinsic potential for a dramatic and continual elevation of social prosperity and for the wholesale development of men and women.
What was historically new, was that this development concerned the masses as a whole, in contrast to capitalist development which is intertwined with exploitation and social injustice, with great devastation such as that which occurred with the native populations in the American continent, in Australia, with the massive slavery system in the USA in the previous centuries, with colonial exploitation, with the anarchy of production and the ensuing destruction of the great economic crises, with imperialist wars, child labour and so much more.
The contribution and the superiority of socialist construction in the USSR should be judged in correlation with the imperialist strategy of encirclement that caused great destruction, continuous obstacles and threats.

B. Theoretical positions on Socialism as the first, lower stage of Communism

2. Socialism is the first stage of the communist socio-economic formation; it is not an independent socio-economic formation. It is an immatureundeveloped communism.
The complete establishment of communist relations requires the overcoming of the elements of immaturity that characterize its lower stage, socialism.
Immature communism signifies that communist relations in production and distribution have not yet fully prevailed. The basic law of the communist mode of production is valid: “Proportional production for the extended satisfaction of social needs.
The concentrated means of production are socialized, but in the beginning there still remain forms of individual and group ownership that constitute the base for the existence of commodity-money relations. Forms of production cooperatives are set up, in those sectors where the level of the productive forces does not yet allow the socialization of the means of production. The forms of group property constitute a transitional form of ownership between private and social ownership, and not an immature form of communist relations.
Part of the social needs is covered in a universal, free fashion. However, a still significant part of the social product for individual consumption is distributed based on the principle, “to each according to his labour, while each one works according to his abilities.” Under conditions of developed communism the distribution of the social product is based on the principle: “to each according to his needs”.
Under socialism, on the basis of its economic immaturity, there still continue to exist social inequalities, social stratification, significant differences or even contradictions, such as those between city and country, between intellectual workers and manual labourers, between specialized and unskilled workers. All of these inequalities must be completely eradicated, gradually and in a planned way.
During the construction of socialism, the working class acquires progressively, not in a uniform fashion, the ability to have an integral knowledge of the different parts of the productive process, of supervisory work, a substantive role in the organization of labour. As a result of the difficulties in this process, it is still possible that workers with a managerial role in production, workers engaged in intellectual labour and possessing a high scientific specialization, would tend to isolate the individual interest and the interest of the production unit from the social interest, or would tend to lay claim to a larger share of the total social product, since the “communist attitude” towards labour has not yet prevailed.
The leap that takes place during the period of socialist construction, that is during the revolutionary period of the transition from capitalism to developed communism, is qualitatively superior from any previous one, since communist relations, which are not of an exploitative nature, are not shaped within the framework of capitalism. A struggle of the “seeds” of the new against the “vestiges” of the old system takes place in all spheres of social life. It is a struggle for the radical change of all economic relations and, by extension, of all social relations, into communist relations.
The social revolution cannot be restricted only to the conquest of power and the formation of the economic base for socialist development, but is extended during the entire socialist course; it includes the development of socialism for the attainment of the higher communist stage. During this long-term transition from the capitalist to the developed communist society, the policies of the revolutionary workers’ power, with the Communist Party as the leading force, acquire priority in the formation, extension and deepening of the new social relations, in their full and irreversible supremacy, not in a subjectivist manner, but based on the laws of the communist mode of production.
It is thus that the class struggle of the working class continues – under new conditions, with other forms and means- not only during the period when the foundations of socialism are being laid, but also during the development of socialism. It is an ongoing battle for the abolition of every form of group and individual ownership over the means and products of production, and of the petit-bourgeois consciousness that has deep historical roots. It is a struggle for the formation of an analogous social consciousness and attitude corresponding to the directly social character of labour. Consequently, the dictatorship of the proletariat, as an instrument of class domination and class struggle, is necessary, not only during the “transition period”, for the consolidation of the new power, the realization of the measures for the development of the new economic relations and the abolition of the capitalist relations, but also during the development of socialism until its maturation into the higher, communist stage.
 3. Socialist construction is an uninterrupted process, which starts with the conquest of power by the working class. In the beginning, the new mode of production is formed, essentiallyprevailing following the complete abolition of capitalist relations, of the relation of capital to wage labour. Subsequently, the new relations are extended and deepened, communist relations and the new type of man develop to a higher level that guarantees their irreversible supremacy, provided that capitalist relations have been abolished on a worldwide scale or at least in the developed and influential countries of the imperialist system.
The socialist course contains the possibility of a reversal and a retreat backwards to capitalism. Such a retreat is not a new phenomenon in social development and in any case it constitutes a temporary phenomenon in its history. It is an irrefutable fact that no socio-economic system has ever been immediately consolidated in the history of humankind. The transition from a lower phase of development to a higher one is not a straightforward ascending process. This is shown by the very history of the prevalence of capitalism.
4. The approach arguing for the existence of “transitional societies”, with distinct characteristics both in relation to capitalism, as well as in relation to socialism, is an incorrect one. Starting from this viewpoint the development of capitalist relations in China and Vietnam is mistakenly interpreted as representing transitional “multi-sectoral societies”.
We do not overlook the special characteristics of the period which in the Marxist bibliography is known as the “transitional period”, during which the socialist revolution is seeking victory, a possible civil war develops and the sharp struggle of the immature communist (socialist) relations that are just beginning to develop against capitalist exploitative relations, which have still not been abolished, is being waged. Historical experience has shown that this period cannot last for a long time. In the USSR this period was completed by the middle of the 1930s. The struggle with capitalist relations, the difficulties in the construction of a socialist base were sharpened due to the feudal and patriarchal inheritance in the former colonies of Tsarist Russia. Lenin, in his time, noted that the extent, the duration and the nature of the transitional measures would depend on the level of development of the productive forces that socialism inherits from capitalism. [3] He also stressed that for countries where industry is more developed, the transitional measures towards socialism become reduced or, in some cases, even completely unnecessary.
The transitional period is not independent from the process of socialist construction, since it is during its course that the basis is established for the development of a communist society in its first phase.
 It is also a mistake to restrict exclusively to the transitional period social phenomena and contradictions that continue, up to a certain extent, to exist also during the immature (socialist) phase of communism (forms of individual and cooperative production, the existence of commodity-money relations, the difference between town and country). Such an approach perceives socialism as a classless society with the persistence of the contradiction between manual and intellectual labour being the only characteristic differentiating it from developed communism. Thus, according to this approach, it is during the socialist phase that the withering-away of the state is effected, that the dictatorship of the proletariat ceases to exist. This view distances itself from the class approach to the issue of the state and of the class struggle under socialism. It underestimates the role of the subjective factor in socialist development. In certain cases it leans towards a spontaneous decay of forms of individual – cooperative property, of commodity-money relations. It downplays the character of social ownership, on the basis of actual problems in the “mediation” between producers.
5. The formation of the communist mode of production begins with the socialization of the concentrated means of production, with Central Planning, with the allocation of the labour force in the different branches of the economy, with the planned distribution of the social product, with the formation of institutions of workers’ control. On the basis of these new economic relations, the productive forces, man and the means of production, develop with rapid rates; production and the entire society become organized. Socialist accumulation is achieved, as well as a new level of social prosperity.
This new level makes possible the gradual extension of new relations in the area of productive forces that previously were not mature enough to be included in the directly social production. The material prerequisites for the abolition of any differentiation in the distribution of the social product among the workers in the directly social production, in the social services, as well as for the continuous reduction of the necessary labour time are being continually expanded.
It is a mistake to argue that true socialization presupposes the complete abolition of the distinction between managerial and executive labour. The same holds true of the thesis that the “nationalisation” (transformation into state property) of the means of production on behalf of the dictatorship of the proletariat is something distinct from their “socialization”. These arguments tend to question the role of the dictatorship of the proletariat as an instrument of the class struggle of the proletariat, which does not restrict itself to the duties of crushing the counter-revolutionary activities of the bourgeoisie, but also has the fundamental duty of constructing the new relations, of eradicating all social differences and inequalities.
Socialization under socialism, as well as the entire organization of the economy and the society, is effected through the state of the working class, under the guidance of the Communist Party, which depends on the mobilization of the working masses, on workers’ control.
The complete supremacy of communist relations, the transition to the higher phase of the new socio-economic formation presupposes the complete abolition of classes. It requires the abolition, not only of capitalist ownership, but also of every form of private and group ownership over the means of production and the social product, the complete eradication of the difference between town and country, between manual and intellectual labour, one of the most profound roots of social inequality, the complete extinction of national contradictions. [4]
In accordance with the universal social law of the correspondence of the relations of production with the level of development of the productive forces, each historically new level of development of productive forces that is initially achieved by socialist construction, demands a further “revolutionisation” of relations of production and of all economic relations, in the direction of their complete transformation into communist relations, by means of revolutionary policies. As was shown in practice, any delay or, even more importantly, any retreat in the development of socialist relations leads to a sharpening of the contradiction between productive forces and relations of productions. On this basis, social contradictions and differentiations may develop into social antagonisms and lead to a sharpening of the class struggleUnder socialism there exists an objective basis that contains the possibility for social forces to act, under certain conditions, as potential bearers of exploitative relations, as was witnessed in the USSR in the 1980s.
6. The development of the communist mode of production in its first stage, socialism, is a process through which the distribution of the social product in monetary form becomes abolished. Communist production – even in its immature stage – is directly social production: the division of labour does not take place for exchange, it is not effected through the market, and the products of labour that are individually consumed are not commodities.
The division of labour in the socialized means of production is based on the plan that organizes production and determines its proportions, with the aim of satisfying the expanded social needs, and the distribution of products (use values). In other words, it is a centrally planned division of social labour and directly integrates – not via the market – individual labour, as part of the total social labour. Central Planning distributes the total societal working time, so that the different functions of labour are in correct proportions in order to satisfy different social needs.
Central Planning expresses the conscious mapping of the objective proportions of production and distribution, as well as the effort for the all-round development of the productive forces. It is for this reason that it should not be understood as a techno-economic instrument, but as a communist relation of production and distribution that links workers to the means of production, to socialist bodies. It includes a consciously planned choice of motives and goals for production, and it aims at the extended satisfaction of social needs (basic economic law of the communist mode of production). The guiding laws of Central Planning cannot be identified with the plan existing at any specific moment, which should reflect in a scientific way these objective proportions.
Among the problems of Central Planning is included the complex issue of the determination of ‘social needs’, especially under international conditions, where capitalism shapes a rather warped conception of what social needs really are. Social needs are determined based on the level of development of the productive forces that have been achieved in the given historical period. These needs must be understood in their historical context, changing in relationship to the development of the productive forces. Likewise, the way in which the basic law of communism is realized must develop, with the goal of overcoming the inadequacies and differentiations that exist in the coverage of social needs.
7. A characteristic of the first stage of communist relations is the distribution of one part of the products “according to labour”. A theoretical and political debate has arisen regarding the “measure” of labour. The distribution of part of socialist production “according to labour” (which in terms of form resembles commodity exchange [5]) is a vestige of capitalism. The new mode of production has not managed to discard it yet, because it has not developed all of the necessary human productive power and all the means of production in the necessary dimensions, through the broad use of new technology. Labour productivity does not yet allow a decisively large reduction of labour time, the abolition of heavy and one-sided labour, so that the social need for compulsory labour can be abolished.
The planned distribution of labour power and of the means of production entails the planned distribution of the social product. The distribution of the social product cannot be effected through the market, based on the laws and categories of commodity exchange. According to Marx, the mode of distribution will change when the particular mode of the social productive organism and the corresponding historical level of development of the productive forces change [6] (e.g. these were at a certain level in the USSR in the 1930s, yet at a different level in the USSR in the 1950s and 1960s).
Marxism clearly defines labour time as the measure of the individual participation of the producer to common labour. Consequently, the labour time of the producer is also defined as a measure of the share he deserves from the product that is destined for individual consumption and that is distributed based on labour. [7]  Another part (education, health, medicines, heating, etc.) is already distributed based on needs. “Labour time” [8] under socialism is not the “socially necessary labour time” that constitutes the measure of value for the exchange of commodities in commodity production. “Labour time” is the measure of the individual contribution to social labour for the production of the total product. It is noted characteristically in “Capital”: “In socialized production money capital gets out of the picture. Society distributes labour power and the means of production to different branches of production. The producers would, if you so wish, receive paper vouchers with which they can take from the stock of consumption products of the society an amount analogous to the time they worked. These vouchers are not money. They do not circulate.” [9]
Access to that part of the social product that is distributed “according to labour” is determined by the individual labour contribution of each person in the totality of social labour, without distinguishing between complex and simple, manual labour or otherwise. The measure of individual contribution is the labour time, which the plan determines based on the total needs of social production; the material conditions of the production process in which “individual” labour is included; the special needs of social production for the concentration of labour force in certain areas, branches, etc.; special social needs, such as motherhood, individuals with special needs, etc.; the personal stance of each individual vis-a-vis the organization and the execution of the productive process. In other words, labour time must be linked to goals, such as the conservation of materials, the implementation of more productive technologies, a more rational organization of labour, workers’ control of administration-management.
The planned development of the productive forces in the communist mode of production should increasingly free up more time from work, which should then be used to raise the educational-cultural level of working people; to allow for workers’ participation in the carrying out of their duties regarding workers’ power and administration of production, etc. The all-round development of man as the productive force in the building of the new type of society and of communist relations (including the communist attitude towards directly social labour) is a two-way relationship. Depending on the historical phase, either one or the other side will take precedence.
The development of Central Planning and the extension of social ownership in all areas make money gradually superfluous, removing its content as the form of value.
8. The product of individual and cooperative production, the greater part of which is derived from agriculture, is exchanged with the socialist product by means of commodity-money relations. Cooperative production is subordinated to some extent to Central Planning, which determines the part of the production that is allocated to the state and sets the state prices, as well as the maximum prices for that part of production that is allocated through the cooperative market.
The direction by which to resolve the differences between town and country, between industrial and agricultural production, consists of: the merging of the peasant-producers in the joint use of large tracts of land for the production of social product with the use of modern mechanization and other means of scientific-technological progress, provided by the socialist state and belonging to it and for the enhancement of labour productivity; the creation of a strong infrastructure for the preservation of the product from unforeseen weather hazards; the subjection of the directly social labour for the production of agricultural raw materials and their industrial processing to unified socialist organizations. This direction serves to transform the entire agricultural production into a part of the directly social production.

C. Socialism in the USSR – Causes of the victory of the counter-revolution.

9. We focus on the experience of the USSR, because it constituted the vanguard of socialist construction. The further study of the course of socialism in the rest of the European states, as well as of the course of socialist power in the Asian countries (China, Vietnam, DPR Korea) and in Cuba is necessary.
The socialist character of the USSR is grounded on the following: the abolition of capitalist relations of production, the existence of socialist ownership to which (despite various contradictions) cooperative ownership is subjugated, Central Planning, workers’ power and the unprecedented gains benefiting all working people.
These cannot be negated by the fact that, following a certain period, the Party gradually lost its revolutionary guiding character and, as a result, counter-revolutionary forces were able to dominate the Party and the government in the 1980s.
We characterize the developments of 1989-1991 as a victory of the counter-revolution. They constituted the last act of the process that led to the strengthening of social inequalities and differences and of the forces of counterrevolution and social regression. It is not accidental that these developments were supported by international reaction, that socialist construction, especially during the period of the abolition of capitalist relations and of the founding of socialism, up until the Second World War, concentrates the ideological and political wrath of international imperialism. We reject the term “collapse”, because it underestimates the extent of counter-revolutionary activity, the social base on which it can develop and predominate, due to the weaknesses and deviations of the subjective factor during socialist construction.
The victory of counter-revolution in 1989-1991 does not prove a lack of the basic level of development of the material prerequisites necessary to begin socialist construction in Russia.
Marx noted that mankind does not set itself but the problems that it can solve, because the problem itself arises only when the material conditions for its solution have been born. From the moment that the working class, the main productive force, struggles to carry out its historic mission, even more from the onset of the revolution, the productive forces have developed to the level of conflict with the relations of production, with the capitalist mode of production. In other words, the material prerequisites for socialism, upon which revolutionary conditions have been created, already exist.
Lenin and the Bolsheviks considered that problems of a relative backwardness in the development of the productive forces (“cultural level”) would not be solved by any intermediate power between the bourgeois and proletarian powers, but by the dictatorship of the proletariat. [10]
Based on the statistical data of that period, capitalist relations of production at the monopoly stage of their development predominated in Russia. It was on this material basis that revolutionary power depended for the socialization of the concentrated means of production. [11] The working class of Russia, especially its industrial segment, founded the soviets as organizational nuclei of revolutionary action, under the guidance of the CP (b), in the struggle to conquer state power. The Bolshevik Party, under the leadership of Lenin, was theoretically prepared for the socialist revolution: analysis of the Russian society, the theory of the weak link in the imperialist chain, evaluation of the revolutionary situation, the theory for the dictatorship of the proletariat. It exhibited a characteristic ability to serve its strategy with the corresponding – at each stage of the development of the class struggle – tactics: alliances, slogans, manoeuvring, etc.
However, socialism faced additional specific difficulties, due to the fact that socialist construction began in a country with a lower level of development of the productive forces (medium-weak, as V. I. Lenin characterized it) compared to the advanced capitalist countries [12] and with a large degree of unevenness in its development, due to the extensive survival of pre-capitalist relations, particularly in the asiatic ex-colonies of the tsarist empire. Socialist construction began following the enormous destruction of WW I and in the midst of the civil war. Subsequently, it faced the immense destruction of WW II, while capitalist powers, like the USA, never experienced war within their borders. In contrast, they used war to overcome the big economic crisis of the 1930s.
The gigantic economic and social development that was accomplished under these conditions proves the superiority of the communist relations of production, even at their initial stage of development. The developments do not confirm the assessments of several opportunist and petit bourgeois currents. Social democratic viewpoints regarding the immaturity of the socialist revolution in Russia have not been confirmed. Neither have Trotskyite positions claiming that it was impossible to construct socialism in the USSR. The viewpoint that the society that emerged after the October Revolution was not socialist in character or that it quickly degenerated after the first years of its existence, and therefore that the interruption of the 70-year course of the history of the USSR was inevitable, is subjective and cannot be backed up by the facts.
We reject the theories that claim that these societies were some sort of “a new exploitative system” or a form of “state capitalism”, as various opportunist currents claim.
Furthermore, the developments do not validate the overall stance of the “Maoist” current vis-a-vis the construction of socialism in the USSR, the characterization of the USSR as social-imperialist, the rapprochement of China with the USA, as well as the inconsistencies in matters of socialist construction in China (e.g. the recognition of the national bourgeoisie as an ally in socialist construction, etc.).
Our own critical assessment considers as given the defence of the construction of socialism in the USSR and in the other countries.
10. The counter-revolution in the USSR did not result from an imperialist military intervention, but rather from within and from the top, as a result of the opportunist mutation of the C.P and the corresponding political direction of Soviet power. We assign priority to the internal factors, to the socio-economic conditions that reproduce opportunism on the basis of socialist construction, without of course underestimating the long-term effect and the multi-faceted interference of imperialism in the development of opportunism and its evolution into a counterrevolutionary force.
Based on the theory of scientific communism we formulated a study along the following lines:
  • The economy, that is, the developments in the relations of production and distribution during the foundation of the basis of socialism and its subsequent development, as the basis for the emergence and the resolution of social contradictions and differentiations.
  • The operation of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the role of the CP under socialism, the lower stage of communism.
  • The strategy of and the developments in the international communist movement.
11. The course of building a new society in the Soviet Union was determined by the ability of the Bolshevik C.P to fulfill its revolutionary, guiding role. First and foremost, to process and formulate the requisite revolutionary strategy at each step; to confront opportunism and to provide a decisive response to the new, emerging demands and challenges of developing socialism-communism.
Up until World War II, the bases for the development of the new society were created. The class struggle which led to the abolition of capitalist relations and the supremacy of the socialized sector of production, on the basis of Central Planning, was being carried out with success. Impressive results were achieved concerning the growth of social prosperity.
Following World War II and the post-war reconstruction, socialist construction entered a new phase. The Party was faced with new demands and challenges regarding the development of socialism-communism. The 20th Congress of the CPSU (1956) stands out as a turning point, since at that congress a series of opportunist positions were adopted on matters relating to the economy, the strategy of the communist movement and international relations. The correlation of forces in the struggle being waged during the entire preceding period was altered, with a turn in favor of the revisionist-opportunist positions, with the result that the Party gradually began to lose its revolutionary characteristics. In the decade of the 1980s, with perestroika, opportunism fully developed into a traitorous, counter-revolutionary force. The consistent communist forces that reacted during the final phase of the betrayal, at the 28th CPSU Congress, did not manage in a timely manner to expose it and to organize the revolutionary reaction of the working class.

Assessments on the economy during the course of socialist construction in the USSR.

12. With the formulation of the first Plan of Central Planning, the following issues regarding the economy already came to the center of the theoretical debate and of political struggle: Is socialist production commodity production? What is the role of the law of value, of commodity-money relations under socialist construction?
It is incorrect to argue theoretically that the law of value is a law of motion of the communist mode of production in its first (socialist) stage. This approach became dominant since the decade of the 1950s in the USSR and in the majority of C.Ps. This position was strengthened due to the retention of commodity-money relations, during the planned transition from individual to cooperative production. This material base exacerbated theoretical shortcomings and political weaknesses in the formulation and implementation of Central Planning. During the subsequent decades opportunist policies further weakened Central Planning, eroded social ownership and strengthened counter-revolutionary forces.
13. The first period of socialist construction up until World War II faced the basic, primary problem of abolishing capitalist ownership and of handling in a planned fashion the social and economic problems that had been inherited from capitalism and had been exacerbated by the imperialist encirclement and intervention. It was during this period that Soviet power reduced dramatically the deep unevenness that the revolution had inherited from the tsarist empire.
During the 1917-1940 period the Soviet power noted, for the most part, successes. It carried out the electrification and industrialization of production, the expansion of transport means, and the mechanization of a large part of agricultural production. It initiated planned production and achieved impressive rates in the development of socialist industrial production. It successfully developed domestic productive capacities in all the industrial branches. Production cooperatives (kolkhozes) and state farms (sovkhozes) were created, and in this way the basis for the expansion and supremacy of socialist relations in agricultural production was established. The “cultural revolution” was realized. The formation of a new generation of communist specialists and scientists was begun. The most important achievement is the complete abolition of capitalist relations of production, with the abolition of hired labor power, thus laying the foundation for the new socio-economic formation.
14. The implementation of certain “transitional measures”, within the perspective of the complete abolition of capitalist relations, was inevitable in a country like Russia of the years 1917-1921.
The factors that forced the Bolshevik C.P to implement a temporary policy of preservation, to a certain extent, of capitalist production relations were: the class composition, where the petit- bourgeois agrarian element was in the majority, the lack of a distribution, supply and monitoring mechanism, the large scale of the backward small-sized production and, mainly, the dramatic worsening of sustenance and living conditions, due to the destruction caused by the civil war and the imperialist intervention. All these factors made the development of medium-term Central Planning difficult at that point.
The New Economic Policy (NEP), which was implemented following the civil war, constituted a policy of temporary concessions to capitalism. It had the basic goal of restoring industry from the ravages of war and, on this basis, to build in the field of agricultural production relations that would “attract” farmers into the cooperatives. A number of enterprises were given over to capitalists for use (without them having ownership rights over them), trade was developed, the exchange between agricultural production and the socialized industry was regulated based on the concept of the “tax in kind”. The possibility was provided to the peasants to put on the market the remaining portion of their agricultural production.
The maneuverings and temporary concessions to capitalist relations that are demanded under certain circumstances and special conditions are not in any way an inevitable characteristic of the process of socialist construction. It is presumptuous and misleading to utilize NEP, as was done by the leadership of the CPSU with perestroika during the 1980s, to justify the turn towards private property and capitalist relations.
15. The new phase of development of the productive forces at the end of the decade of the 1920s allowed the replacement of NEP by the policy of “socialism’s attack against capitalism”, that had as its main goal the complete abolition of capitalist relations. The concessions towards the capitalists were withdrawn and the policy of collectivization was developed, that is the complete cooperative organization of the agricultural economy, mainly in its developed form, the kolkhoz [13]. At the same time, the sovkhozes, the state-socialist units in agricultural production that were based on the mechanization of production and whose entire product was social property, were developed (albeit in a limited way).
The first five-year plan began in 1928, 7 years after the victory of revolution (the civil war ended in 1921). Soviet power experienced difficulty in formulating a central plan for the socialist economy from the very beginning, mainly due to the continuing existence of capitalist relations (NEP) and the exceptionally large number of individual commodity producers, mainly peasants. Weaknesses were also evident in the subjective factor, the Party, which did not have cadre specialists to guide the organization of production and was thus obliged for a certain time to depend almost exclusively on bourgeois specialists.
The specific conditions (imperialist encirclement, the threat of war in combination with the extensive backwardness) forced the promotion of collectivization at accelerated rates, something which sharpened the class struggle, especially in the rural areas. There were of course mistakes and certain bureaucratic excesses in the development of the collectivization movement in agricultural production, that were pointed-out by the Party itself in its decisions of that period [14]. However, the orientation of Soviet power for the reinforcement and the generalization of this movement were in the correct direction. It aimed at the development of a transitional form of ownership (cooperative) that would contribute to the transformation of small individual commodity production into directly social production.
16. The policy of “socialism’s attack against capitalism” was carried out under conditions of intense class struggle. The kulaks (the bourgeoisie in the village), social strata that benefited from the NEP (NEPmen) and sections of the intelligentsia that originated from the old exploiting classes reacted in many ways, including acts of sabotage against industry (e.g. the “Shakhty affair” [15]) and counter-revolutionary activities in the villages. These class-based, anti-socialist interests were reflected within the C.P, where opportunist currents developed.
The two basic “opposition” tendencies (Trotsky – Bukharin), that operated during that period, had a common base in absolutiizing the elements of backwardness in Soviet society. During the 1930s their views converged to the thesis that the overcoming of capitalist relations in the USSR was premature. Their positions were rejected by the AUCP (Bolshevik) and were not confirmed by reality.
Along the way, several opportunist forces established contacts with openly counter-revolutionary forces that were organizing plans to overthrow Soviet power in cooperation with secret services from imperialist countries.
The prevailing conditions dictated the direct and resolute confrontation of these centers with the trials of 1936 and 1937, trials that revealed conspiracies with elements in the army (the Tukhachevsky case, who was rehabilitated following the 20th Congress), as well as with the secret services of foreign countries, particularly of Germany.
The fact that some leading cadre of the Party and of Soviet power spearheaded opportunist currents proves that it is possible even for vanguard cadre to deviate, to bend when faced with the sharpness of the class struggle and to finally severe their ties with the communist movement and pass over to the side of the counter-revolution.
17. Following World War II, the debate on the laws of socialist economy, a debate that had subsided due to the war, was intensified once again. A confrontation developed around specific problems [16] between two basic theoretical and political currents, the «marketeers» and the «anti-marketeers» (tovarniki and anti-tovarniki), a confrontation that involved Party cadre and economists.
I.V. Stalin, as General Secretary of the C.C of the Party, was in the forefront of the organized intra-party discussion and supported the anti-market direction. He contributed to the formulation of political directives in that direction, for example the merging of kolkhozes, the dissolution of «auxiliary enterprises» in the kolkhozes (production of building materials). He confronted the current that pushed for the strengthening of commodity-money relations [17], rejecting proposals to hand-over means of mechanized production to the kolkhozes. He recognized that socialist production is not commodity production and, thus, that the law of value cannot be reconciled with its fundamental laws. He highlighted the role of Central Planning in the socialist economy. He argued that the means of production are not commodities, despite the fact that they appear as commodities “in form, but not in content.” They become commodities only in external trade [18]. He also recognized that the operation of the law of value (of commodity-money relations) in the USSR had its roots in cooperative and individual agricultural production, that the law of value does not regulate socialist production and its distribution.
Polemics were waged against “market” economists and political leaders who argued that the law of value is in general a law of the socialist economy as well. A correct criticism was also raised against those economists who supported the complete abolition of distribution in monetary form, without taking into account the objective limitations still placed by the productive base of the society at the time.
A weak spot in this approach was the thesis that the means of consumption are produced and distributed as commodities [19]. This thesis was correct only to the extent that it concerned the products of socialist production that were destined for the external trade, as well as the exchange of products between the socialist industry and cooperative and individual production. It was incorrect as far as it concerned the remaining means of consumption of socialist production, which are not commodities, even though they are not distributed freely.
This approach estimated correctly that in the USSR cooperative ownership (kolkhoz) and the circulation of products of individual consumption in the form of commodities had begun to act as a brake on the powerful development of the productive forces, because they blocked the full development of Central Planning in the full spectrum of production–distribution. It outlined the differences between the two cooperating classes, the working class and the kolkhoz agrarian class, but also the need to abolish them through the planned abolition of commodification of agricultural production and the transformation of the kolkhozes into social property [20]. At the beginning of the 1950’s, the Soviet leadership estimated correctly that the problems at the economic level were an expression of the sharpening of the contradiction between the productive forces that were developing and the relations of production that were lagging behind. The development of the productive forces had reached a new level after the post-war reconstruction of the economy. A new dynamic push for the further development of the productive forces demanded a deepening and extension of the socialist (immature communist) relations. The delay of the later concerned: the Central Planning, the deepening of the communist character of the relations of distribution, a more energetic and conscious workers’ participation in the organization of labour and in the control of its administration from the bottom up, the eradication of all forms of individual commodity production, the subordination of the more developed cooperatives to the directly social production.
The need had matured for communist relations to be expanded, consciously, in a well-planned manner, that is theoretically and politically prepared, and to gain supremacy in those fields of social production where, in the previous period, their full dominance was still not possible (from the point of view of their material maturity, the productivity of labour).
The maturity of the expansion of communist relations in agricultural production concerns to a significant extent the capacity of industry to provide corresponding machinery, the capacity of Central Planning to carry out works for the amelioration of agricultural productivity, protection from weather calamities, etc. Despite the fact that at the beginning of the 1950’s there still existed unevenness in the USSR, important pre-conditions of mechanization and infrastructure had been created that provided the opportunity to move in such a direction. The Progress Report of the C.C of the C.P (b) to the 19th Congress mentions a number of data that prove the aforementioned conclusion – the existence of 8,939 Machine Tractor Stations, the increase in tractor pulling power by 59% relative to the pre-war level, the implementation of irrigation and land reclamation projects during the post-war reconstruction period, the advances in the merging of kolkhozes into bigger ones during the 1950-1952 period (97,000 kolkhozes in 1952 compared to 254,000 in 1950), etc. [21]
However, there still remained small kolkhozes [22] which had to merge into bigger ones in the direction of the socialization of agricultural production, as was supported by the leadership of the Bolshevik C.P. The goal was set of excluding the left-overs of the production of kolkhozes from market distribution and their transition to the system of exchange between the state industry and the kolkhozes. A discussion was also initiated on the prospects of creating a unified economic body, which would contribute in the direction of an «all-embracing production sector» that would have the responsibility of allocating the entire production of consumer products.
The party and state leadership took a clear stand in the debate regarding the issue of the necessary proportions between Department I of social production (production of the means of production) and Department II (production of means of consumption). It correctly stood for the essential priority of Department I in the planned proportional distribution of labour and of production among the different branches of socialist industry. Expanded reproduction and socialist accumulation (social wealth), necessary for the future expansion of social prosperity, are dependent on this category of production (Department I).
The correct positions and directives of Stalin and the «anti-marketeer» economists and cadre of the C.P did not manage to lead to the elaboration of a comprehensive theoretical plan and a corresponding political line, capable of confronting the market-oriented theoretical positions and political choices that were being strengthened. Powerful social pressures, as well as discrepancies, deficiencies and fluctuations that existed within the «anti-marketeer» current, contributed to this.
18. Social resistance (by kolkhoz peasants, executives in agricultural production and in industry) to the need for an expansion and deepening of the socialist relations of production was expressed, at an ideological and political level, through an internal party struggle at the beginning of the 1950’s. The sharpened debate, which ended with the theoretical acceptance of the law of value as a law of socialism, signified political choices with more immediate and powerful consequences on the course of socialist development, in comparison with the pre-war period, when the material backwardness made the effect of these theoretical positions less painful.
These forces were expressed politically through the positions adopted in the decisions of the 20th Congress of the CPSU, a congress which proved to be one of supremacy of the right opportunist deviation. Political choices were gradually adopted that expanded commodity-money (potentially capitalist) relations, in the name of correcting weaknesses in Central Planning and in the administration of the socialist productive units.
In order to solve the problems that arose in the economy, ways and means that belonged to the past were used. With the promotion of “market” policies, instead of reinforcing social ownership and Central Planning, the homogenization of the working class (with the widening of the abilities and capacities for multi-specialization, for alternation in the technical division of labour), workers’ participation in the organization of labour, workers’ control from the bottom up, the reverse trend began to strengthen itself. In such a setting the level of social consciousness gradually backslided. The previous experience and the effectiveness of the factory soviet, of the Stakhanovite movement in quality control, in the more effective organization and administration, in inventions for the conservation of material and labour time, were lost.
The “market-oriented” economists (Lieberman, Nemtsinov, Trapeznikov, etc.) mistakenly interpreted the existing problems of the economy, not as subjective weaknesses in planning[23], but as consequences stemming from the objective weakness of Central Planning to respond to the development of the volume of production, to the variety of sectors and the variegation of products required for the fulfillment of new social needs.
They claimed that the theoretical cause was the voluntarist denial of the commodity character of production under socialism, the underestimation of the development of agriculture, the overestimation of the possibility of subjective intervention in economic administration.
They maintained that it was not possible for the central organs to determine the quality, technology and prices of all commodities, the level of salaries, but that the use of market mechanisms was also required to facilitate the goals of a planned economy.
It was in such a way that, at a theoretical level, theories of “socialist commodity production” or “socialism with a market”, the acceptance of the law of value as a law of the socialist (immature communist) mode of production, which operates even in the phase of socialist development, prevailed. These theories constituted the basis for the formulation of economic policies [24].
 19. The policy of weakening Central Planning and social ownership escalated after the 20th Congress. In 1957, the branch ministries that directed industrial production across the entire USSR and at each republic were dissolved and the Organs of Regional Administration “Sovnarkhoz” (Regional Economic Councils) were formed. In this way the central direction of planning was weakened [25].  Instead of planning the transformation of the kolkhozes into sovkhozes, and especially instead of initiating the planned transfer of the entire production of the kolkhozes to state control, in 1958 the tractors and other machinery [26] passed into the ownership of the kolkhoz [27], a policy that had been rejected in the past. These changes not only did not solve the problems, but, on the contrary, they brought new problems to the surface or created additional ones, such as a shortage in animal feed and a regression in the technological renewal in the kolkhoz.
In the mid 1960s, mistakes of a subjective nature in the administration of the agricultural sector of the economy were pinpointed as the cause of the problems [28]. Subsequent reforms included: The reduction in the state procurement quotas from the kolkhozes [29], the possibility of selling the surplus output at higher prices, the lifting of the restrictions on the transactions of the individual peasant households and the elimination of the tax on private ownership of animals. Debts of the kolkhozes to the State Bank were erased, the deadlines to pay off debt from monetary advances were extended, the direct sale of animal feed to private animal owners was permitted. Thus, the portion of agricultural production which originated from individual households and the kolkhozes and which was freely sold on the market [30] was preserved and increased, while the lagging behind of livestock production deepened, the unevenness in the satisfaction of the needs for agricultural products between the various regions and Republics of the USSR increased.
A similar policy of reinforcing the commodity (at the expense of the directly social) character of production was implemented in industry, known as the “Kosygin Reforms” [31] (the system of “economic accounting” – “khozrachet”- of enterprises, having a substantive and not formal character). It was argued that this would combat the reduction in the annual rate of increase of labour productivity and of annual production in industry, that were observed during the first years of the 1960s, as a result of the measures which undermined Central Planning in the direction of the industrial sectors (Sovnarkhoz-1957).
The first wave of reforms was pushed forward in the period between the 23rd (1966) and 24th (1971) Congresses. According to the New System, the supplementary payments (bonuses) of the directors would be calculated not on the basis of the overfulfillement of the plan in terms of volume of production [32], but rather on the basis of the overfulfillement of the sales plan and would be dependent on the rate of profit of the enterprise. A part of the additional payments of the workers would also come from profit, as would the further satisfaction of housing needs etc. In this way, profit was adopted as a motive for production. The wage differentials increased. The possibility was provided for horizontal commodity-money transactions between enterprises, for direct agreements with ‘consumer units and commercial organizations’, for price-fixing, for the formation of profits on the basis of such transactions, etc. The Central Plan would determine the total level of production and investments only for new enterprises. Modernisation of old enterprises had to be financed out of the profits of the enterprises.
These reforms concerned the entire sector of the so-called «property of the whole people», i.e. including the operation of the sovkhozes (state farms) themselves. With a decision of the C.C of the CPSU and of the Council of Ministers of the USSR (April 13th, 1967), the sovkhozes began to pass into a regime of full economic accounting. By 1975 all the sovkhozes were operating «under full economic accounting» [33].
The theoretical sliding and the corresponding political retreat in the USSR occurred during a new phase, when the productive forces had developed at a higher level and necessitated a corresponding development of Central Planning. In other words, the need for a deepening of socialist relations had matured.
The market reforms that were chosen were not a one-way street. The confrontation of the economic problems required the elaboration of more effective incentives and indices of Central Planning, as well as of its sectoral, cross-sectoral and enterprise – level implementation. At the same time, proposals and plans for the use of computers and information technology [34], which could have contributed to improvements in the technical processing of data, in order to improve the observation and control of the production of use values through quantity and quality indicators, were rejected.
Through the market reforms, through the detachment of the socialist production unit from Central Planning, the socialist character of ownership over the means of production was weakened. The principle of distribution “according to labour” was violated.
The 24th CPSU Congress (1971), with its directives on the formulation of the 9th 5-Year plan (1971-1975), reversed the proportional priority of Department I over Department II. The reversal of this proportion had been proposed at the 20th Congress, but had not been accepted. This modification was rationalized as a choice reinforcing the level of popular consumption. In reality, it was a choice that violated socialist law and had negative consequences on the growth of labour productivity.  The development of labour productivity – a fundamental element for the growth of social wealth, the satisfaction of social needs and the all-round development of man – presupposes the development of the means of production. Planning should have dealt with greater efficacy with the following need: the introduction of modern technology in industry, in transport services, storage and distribution of products.
The choice to overturn the proportions did not help to deal with contradictions that had been expressed (e.g. the excess income in monetary form and the lack of an adequate amount of consumer goods, such as electronic household appliances, colour TVs). On the contrary, it moved Central Planning away from its basic goal of the rise of social prosperity. It further aggravated the contradiction between the level of development of the productive forces and the level of the communist relations of production-distribution.
During the 1980’s, at the political level, the decisions of the 27th Congress (1986) constituted a further opportunist choice. Subsequently, the counterrevolution was also promoted through the passing of the law (1987), which institutionally legitimised capitalist economic relations, under the guise of the acceptance of the multiplicity of forms of ownership.
At the beginning of the 1990’s, the social democratic approach of “the planned market economy” (the platform of the CC of the CPSU at the 28th Congress) was speedily abandoned in favour of the position of the “regulated market economy” and this was further replaced by the “free market economy”.
20. The direction that became dominant should not be judged today only from a theoretical perspective, but also by its practical results. After two decades of the application of these reforms, the problems had clearly sharpened.  Stagnation reared its head for the first time in the history of socialist construction. Technological backwardness continued to be a reality for the large majority of enterprises. Shortages appeared in many consumer products, as well as other problems in the “market”, because enterprises were causing an artificial rise in prices, by hoarding commodities in warehouses or by supplying them in controlled quantities.
An important index of the retreat of the Soviet economy during the 1970’s was the decline in the USSR’s share in the world production of industrial raw materials and in manufacturing.
The ever increasing involvement of market elements in the directly social production of socialism was weakening it. It led to a decline in the dynamics of socialist development. The short-term individual and group interests (with an increase in income differentiation among the workers in each enterprise, between the workers and the managerial apparat, between different enterprises) were strengthened vis-a-vis the overall interests of society. As time passed, the social conditions were created for the counterrevolution to flourish and to finally prevail using perestroika as its vehicle.
Through these reforms the possibility was created for monetary amounts which had been accumulated, primarily through illegal means (smuggling, etc), to be invested in the “black” (illegal) market. These opportunities concerned primarily officials in the management layers of enterprises and sectors, the cadre of the kolkhozes and of foreign trade. Data regarding the so-called “Para-economy” (parallel economy) were also provided by the Procurator General of the USSR. According to these statistics, a significant proportion of the cooperative or state agricultural production was also channelled to the consumers by illegal means.
The income differentiation among the individual agricultural producers, the kolkhozniks, widened, as well as their opposition to the tendency to strengthen the directly social character of agricultural production. A portion of the peasants and of the managerial cadre of the kolkhozes who were getting rich was strengthened as a social layer hampering socialist construction. The social differentiation in industry was even more pronounced through the concentration of “enterprise profits”. The so-called “shadow capital”, the result not only of enrichment through enterprise profits, but also of the black market, of criminal acts of embezzlement of the social product, sought its legal functioning as capital in production, i.e. the privatisation of the means of production, the restoration of capitalism. The owners of this capital constituted the driving social force of the counterrevolution. They utilised their position in the state and party mechanisms. They found support in sectors of the population which were more vulnerable, due to their objective position, to the influence of bourgeois ideology and to wavering, e.g. a significant part of the intelligentsia, sections of the youth, such as the university students [35]. These forces, directly or indirectly, influenced the Party, strengthening its opportunist erosion and its counterrevolutionary degeneration, which was expressed through the policies of “perestroika” and sought the institutional consolidation of capitalist relations. This was achieved after perestroika, with the overthrow of socialism.

Conclusions on the role of the Communist Party in the process of socialist construction.

21. The indispensable role of the Party in the process of socialist foundation and development is expressed in its leadership of working class state-power, in the mobilisation of the masses to participate in this process.
The working class is formed as the leading force of this new state power, first and foremost through its Party.
The struggle for the foundation and development of the new society is carried out by the revolutionary workers’ power, with the Communist Party, which acts consciously on the basis of the laws of motion of socialist-communist society, as its guiding nucleus. The human being, becoming the master of the social processes, passes gradually from the kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom. From this flows the higher role of the subjective factor, relative to all previous socio-economic formations, where human activity was dominated by the spontaneous enforcement of social laws on the basis of the spontaneous development of the relations of production.
Consequently, the scientific and class nature of the policies of the CP is a crucial precondition for socialist construction. To the extent that these features become lost, opportunism grows and, if it is not dealt with, it gradually develops into a counterrevolutionary force.
The duty to develop the communist relations of production – distribution pre-supposes the development of the theory of scientific communism by the C.P, through the understanding of the laws of motion of the communist socio-economic formation with the utilisation of scientific study for class oriented purposes. Experience has shown that the governing parties, in theUSSR and in the other socialist states, did not fulfil this task successfully.
Class consciousness in the working class as a whole does not develop spontaneously and in a unified manner. The rise of the communist consciousness of the masses of the working class is determined above all by the strengthening of the communist relations of production and by the level of working class participation, with the leadership of the CP, which is the main vehicle for the penetration of revolutionary consciousness amongst the masses. It is on this material basis that ideological work, as well as the impact of the revolutionary party which consolidates its leading role to the extent that it mobilises the working class to construct socialism, must become rooted.
The consciousness of the vanguard must always be ahead of the consciousness shaped on a mass scale within the working class by the economic relations. From this arises the necessity for the Party to have a high theoretical-ideological level and tenacity, to be unwavering in the struggle against opportunism, not only under the conditions of capitalism, but even more so under the conditions of socialist construction.
22. The opportunist turn which held sway since the 1950’s, the gradual loss of the revolutionary character of the Party, confirm that in socialist society the danger for the development of deviations never disappears. Beyond the imperialist surroundings and their undoubted negative impact, the social base of opportunism remains, as long as forms of private and group ownership, commodity-money relations and social differentiations remain. The material basis of opportunism will continue to exist for the entire duration of socialist construction and as long as capitalism, particularly in the more powerful capitalist states, continues to exist on earth.
The new phase, following World War II, found the Party weakened ideologically and in class terms, with massive losses of cadre experienced and hardened in the class struggle, with theoretical weaknesses vis-a-vis the new problems which were sharpening. It found itself vulnerable to the inner-party struggle which reflected the existing social differences. Under these conditions, the scales tipped in favour of the adoption of opportunist and revisionist positions, many of which had been defeated during previous phases of the inner-party struggle.
The adoption of revisionist and opportunist positions by the leadership of the CPSU and of the other CPs in power, in the end transformed these parties into vehicles which led the counterrevolution in the 1980’s.
The 19th Congress (1952) highlighted the underestimation of and other serious problems in the development of the ideological work of the Party [36]. The official data reveal changes in the number and the composition of the Party membership. At the 18th Congress (March 1939) the C.P (b) numbered 1,588,852 full members and 888,814 candidate members. During the course of World War II, the full members exceeded 3,615,000 and the candidate members 5,319,000 [37]. In the course of the war, the C.P lost 3 million members [38]. At the 19th Congress in 1952, the CPSU numbered 6.013,259 full members and 868,886 candidate members [39].
The opportunist turn which took place during the 20th Congress of the CPSU (1956) and the subsequent gradual loss of the revolutionary characteristics of the Party, a governing party which was, at the same time, the target of imperialist aggression, made the awakening and mobilization of consistent communists more difficult. A struggle was waged within the ranks of the CPSU before, during [40] and after the 20th Congress. The period when Andropov was the GS of the CC of the CPSU (November 1982-February 1984), which preceded the period of perestroika, is too brief to be definitively judged. Nevertheless, in articles and documents of the CPSU of this period, references are being made to the need to intensify the struggle against bourgeois and reformist views regarding the construction of socialism, as well as to the need for vigilance vis-a-vis the subversive activities of imperialism.
The consistent communist forces that existed within the CPSU were not able to reveal in time the treacherous counterrevolutionary character of the line which got the upper hand at the Plenum of the C.C of April 1985 and at the 27th Congress of the CPSU (1986). History has shown that at the 28th Congress (1990), on the eve of the final assault of the counterrevolution, there co-existed within the CPSU bourgeois, opportunist and communist forces. The communist forces did not have the strength to prevail, to prevent the victory of the counterrevolution, although they offered resistance during the 28th Congress and later on. They grouped themselves around the «United Front of the Working People of Russia», they put up candidates for the positions of president and vice-president of Russia. Through the actions of the «Movement for a Communist Initiative» in the ranks of the CPSU they tried to achieve the expulsion of Gorbachev from the Party for anti-communist activities [41].
Despite such resistance, a revolutionary communist vanguard, with ideological political clarity and cohesion, capable of leading the working class, ideologically, politically and organisationally against the developing counterrevolution, was not formed in time. Even if this development could not have been stopped, especially by the 1980’s, it is certain that a powerful resistance, both within the governing parties and within the international communist movement, could have contributed so that today’s struggle for the reconstruction of the international movement would be taking place under better conditions. It could have created the preconditions for the overcoming of its deep crisis.
The development and prevalence of revisionist ideological positions and opportunist policies, the gradual opportunist erosion of the CPSU, and of the other governing C.P.’s, the degeneration of the revolutionary character of state-power and the full-fledged development and victory of the counterrevolution were not inevitable.
We are continuing the investigation of all the factors which contributed to this development. The following factors can be included:
A) – The decline in the level of political Marxist education in the leadership of the C.P’s and overall in the Party, because of the specific conditions of the war, the extensive casualties and the sudden increase in the number of party members, which had among its results the delayed development of the Political Economy of Socialism.
 – The relative dependence which communist state-power in the USSR had, from its very outset, on administrative and scientific cadre of a bourgeois origin.
– The historical inheritance of the USSR, from the point of view of the breadth of pre-capitalist backwardness and its uneven capitalist development.
– The changes in the class composition of the Party, in its structure and functioning and their impact on the ideological level and the revolutionary characteristics of the Party, its members and cadre need further investigation.
–    The massive losses during World War II and the sacrifices at the level of social prosperity required by the post-war reconstruction, under the conditions of competition with the capitalist reconstruction in Western Europe which was supported, to a significant extent, by the capacity and the need of the USA to export capital.
–    Problems and contradictions during the course of assimilation of the countries of Eastern and Central Europe into the socialist system.
– The fear of a new war, due to the imperialist interventions in Korea etc, the Cold war, the Holstein dogma of West Germany (the non-recognition of the GDR, and its characterization as a «zone of soviet occupation»).
B) Imperialist strategy adapted itself in form during the different periods of the revolutionary workers’ power (direct imperialist assault in 1918 and 1941, proclamation of the “cold war” in 1946), including a differentiated policy of diplomatic relations and commercial transactions with certain states of Central and Eastern Europe, as well as a more direct ideological and political pressure on the USSR. The interventionist policy of international imperialism towards the countries of socialist construction utilized the subversive role of international social democracy.
The international correlation of forces during World War II favoured the strengthening of opportunism, which finally prevailed during the 1950’s. The multi-faceted external pressure from the beginning of the 1940’s took the following forms:
– German imperialist occupation of a significant part of the USSR
– Imperialist encirclement of the USSR through its forced alliance with the USA and Great Britain
– Problems in the strategic line of the international communist movement, particularly in the C.P’s of the USA and Great Britain, that is in the C.P’s of the main imperialist powers, which became allies when a significant part of the USSR was under German occupation.
– Pressure from petit-bourgeois forces in the liberation fronts and their governments in the states newly allied to the USSR.
The external pressure intermingled with the internal pressure from petit-bourgeois forces (or even from cadre of a bourgeois origin in the economy and the administration). The private (individual) commodity production became stronger in the USSR with the incorporation of new territories following World War II.
All of the above constitute factors for the development of opportunism, conditions under which a large growth of the Party’s ranks and a loss of cadre and members of the Revolution took place.
The evolution of the social composition of the Party, of the structures and of the internal Party procedures (the reasons for the long delay in holding a congress) and their influence on the ideological level and on the revolutionary characteristics of the Party as a whole, of its members and cadre, are objects of further study.
C) The problems of strategy and the split in the international communist movement.

The course of Soviet power.

23. The theoretical foundation for the analysis of the course of Soviet power is that state-power under socialism is the dictatorship of the proletariat. It is the power of the working class which is not shared with anyone, as is the case in all forms of state-power. The dictatorship of the proletariat is the instrument of the working class in the class struggle which continues by other means and forms.
The working class, as the bearer of the communist relations which are being formed, as the collective owner of the socialised means of production, is the only class which can lead the struggle for the total supremacy of communist relations, for the “eradication” of classes and the withering away of the state. Through its revolutionary state-power, the working class as the ruling class implements its alliance with other popular strata (e.g. the cooperative small owners of town and country, the self-employed in the service sector), as well as with scientists-intellectuals and technicians originating from the upper-middle strata who are not yet workers in directly social (socialist) production. Through this alliance, the working class seeks to lead these strata in the foundation and development of socialism, towards the total supremacy of communist relations.
Such an alliance contains of course compromises, as well as struggle, since there exist objective contradictions between these social forces, since this alliance groups together common, as well as distinct, potentially competitive interests. Contradictions which, if they are not solved in the direction of expanding and deepening socialist relations, are liable to sharpen into antagonistic contradictions.
The dictatorship of the proletariat is retained until all social relations become communist, i.e. as long as there is a need for the state as a mechanism of political domination. Its necessity is also the result of the continuation of class struggle internationally.
24. The political choices concerning the superstructure, the institutions of the dictatorship of the proletariat, workers’ control, etc are closely connected with the political choices at the level of the economy, since the most essential duty of the dictatorship of the proletariat is the formation of the new social relations.
In the first Constitution of the RSFSR [43] and in the first Constitution of the USSR of 1924 (as well as in the constitutions of the Republics of 1925), the relationship between the masses and the state machine was effected through the indirect electoral representation of the workers, with the production unit being the electoral unit. The right to vote was ensured only for working people (not generally for the citizens). The bourgeoisie, the landowners, anyone who exploited another’s labour power, priests and monks, counterrevolutionary elements were denied the right to vote. The concessions towards the capitalists during the NEP period did not include political rights.
In the Constitution of 1936 direct electoral representation was established through geographical electoral wards (the region became the electoral unit and representation was proportional to the number of residents). The holding of elections in electoral assemblies was abolished, replaced by their holding through electoral wards. The right to vote was granted to all via the generalized secret ballot.
The changes in the Constitution of 1936 aimed at solving certain problems [44], such as the lack of direct communication of party and soviet officials with the base and with the operation of the Soviets, bureaucratic attitudes, etc, as well as at guaranteeing the stability of Soviet power in the face of the coming war.
The critical approach to these changes focuses on the need to study further the functional downgrading of the production unit as the nucleus of organisation of workers’ power, due to the abolition of the production unit principle and of the indirect election of delegates through congresses and assemblies. We need to study its negative impact on the class composition of the higher state organs and on the application of the right of recall of delegates (which according to Lenin constitutes a basic element of democratism in the dictatorship of the proletariat).
25. Following the 20th Congress (1956) the powers of the local soviets on questions which concerned “economic accounting” and “self-management” of socialist enterprises were strengthened. In this way, democratic centralism at the political level receded to bring it to par with the retreat of Central Planning at the economic level. Measures were adopted which strengthened the “permanence” of officials in the soviets, through the gradual increase of the terms of office of their organs and an expansion of the possibility for the exemption of delegates from their duties in production.
At the 22nd Congress of the CPSU (1961) mistaken assessments and approaches concerning “developed socialism” and the “end of class struggle” were adopted. In the name of “non-antagonistic contradictions” between social classes and groups, the thesis that the USSR was a “state of the whole people” (consolidated in the constitutional revision of 1977) and the CPSU a “party of the whole people” was adopted. This development contributed to the adulteration of the characteristics of the revolutionary workers’ state, to the deterioration of the social composition of the Party and its cadre, to the loss of revolutionary vigilance, which was theorised with the thesis for the “irreversibility” of the socialist course.
Through perestroika and the reform of the political system in 1988, the Soviet system degenerated into a bourgeois parliamentary organ with a division of the executive and legislative functions, a permanence of office holders, an undermining of the right to recall, high remuneration, etc.
26. Practical experience reveals the gradual distancing of the masses from participation in the soviet system, which – particularly during the 1980s – had attained a purely formal character. This distancing cannot be attributed exclusively or primarily to the changes in the functioning of the Soviets, but to the social differentiations which were becoming stronger through the economic policies being followed, to the sharpening of contradictions between individual and group interests on the one hand, and the collective social interest on the other. It was in this fashion that the criteria of workers’ control were degenerating or were adopting a formal character.
So long as the leadership of the CPSU adopted policies which weakened the social character of ownership and strengthened narrow individual and group interests, a feeling of alienation from social ownership was created and consciousness was eroded. The road to passivity, indifference and individualism was opened, as practice was becoming more and more removed from the official pronouncements, as the rates of the expanded industrial and agricultural reproduction declined, in tandem with the rates of satisfaction of the ever increasing social needs.
The working class, the popular masses in general, did not reject socialism. It is notable that the slogans used by perestroika were “revolution within the revolution”, “more democracy”, “more socialism”, “socialism with a human face”, “return to the Leninist principles”, because a large section of the people, who saw the problems, wanted changes within the framework of socialism. Both the measures which initially weakened communist relations while strengthening commodity-money relations, as well as those which later paved the way for the return of private ownership over the means of production were promoted as measures that would strengthen socialism.

The strategy of the international communist movement and developments within it.

27. Developments within the international communist movement and the issues of its strategy played an important role in the worldwide class struggle and in the configuration of the correlation of forces [45].
Problems of ideological and strategic unity were expressed during the entire course of the Communist International (CI), regarding the character of the revolution, the nature of the coming war following the rise of fascism in Germany [46] and the attitude vis-a-vis Social democracy.
The opportunist groups within the Bolshevik CP (Trotskyites – Bukharinites) were also connected to the ongoing struggle within the CI concerning the strategy of the international communist movement. At the end of the 1920s, during the 6th Congress of the C.I, Bukharin, as president of the CI, supported forces in the C.P’s and the CI which exaggerated the “stabilisation of capitalism” and the unlikelihood of a new revolutionary upsurge, and expressed a spirit of rapprochement with social democracy, especially its “left wing”, etc.
A relaxation in the functioning of the CI as a unitary centre had appeared many years before its self-dissolution (1943) [47]. The dissolution of the C.I (May 1943), despite the problems of unity it had and irrespective of whether it could be retained or not, deprived the international communist movement of the centre and the capacity for the coordinated elaboration of a revolutionary strategy for the transformation of the struggle against imperialist war or foreign occupation into a struggle for state-power, as a common duty concerning every CP in the conditions of its own country [48].
Irrespective of the reasons which led to the dissolution of the CI, there is an objective need for the international communist movement to formulate a unified revolutionary strategy, to plan and coordinate its activity. A deeper study concerning the dissolution of the CI must take into consideration a series of developments [49], such as: the cessation of the activities of the Red Trade Union International, in 1937, because the majority of its sections merged with the mass reformist unions, or joined these unions. The decision of the 6th Congress of the Young Communist International (1935), according to which the struggle against fascism and war demanded a change in the character of the communist youth organizations, which led in some cases to their unification with socialist youth organizations (e.g. in Spain, in Latvia, etc).
While the war created a sharpening of the class contradictions inside many countries, the antifascist struggle led to the overthrow of bourgeois power, with the decisive support of the popular movements by the Red Army, only in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
In the capitalist West, the C.P’s did not elaborate a strategy for the transformation of the imperialist war or of the national liberation struggle into a struggle for the conquest of state-power. The strategy of the communist movement did not utilise the fact that the contradiction between capital and labour was an integral component of the antifascist-national liberation character of the armed struggle in a number of countries, in order to raise the question of state-power, since socialism and the prospect of communism are the only alternative solution to capitalist barbarity.
The lack of such a strategy in the C.P’s cannot be justified by the negative correlation of forces, due to the military presence of American and British troops in a series of Western European countries. The C.P’s are obliged to elaborate their strategy irrespective of the correlation of forces. There was a gradual retreat from the concept that between capitalism and socialism there can exist no intermediate social system, and thus no intermediate political power between bourgeois and working class state-power.
This thesis holds true, irrespective of the correlation of forces, independently of the problems which can act as a catalyst for the speeding up of developments e.g. the sharpening of inter-imperialist contradictions, an imperialist war, changes in the form of bourgeois state power which can take place.
28. Following the end of World War II, alliances were restructured. The capitalist states and the bourgeois and opportunist forces which participated in the national liberation struggle in each country (e.g. social democratic forces) united against the communist movement and the socialist states.
Under these conditions, the negative results of the increasing opportunist erosion of some sections of the international communist movement became even clearer. The seriously damaged ideological unity and the lack of an organisational connection between the CPs, after the dissolution of the CI, did not allow the elaboration of an independent unified strategy of the international communist movement vis-a-vis the strategy of international imperialism.
The “Information Bureau” of the Communist Parties [50], which was established in 1947 and was dissolved in 1956, as well as the international meetings of the C.P’s which followed, could not adequately deal with these problems.
The international imperialist system remained strong after the war, despite the undoubted strengthening of the forces of socialism. Immediately after the end of the war, imperialism, under the U.S hegemony, started the “Cold War”. It was a carefully elaborated strategy for undermining the socialist system.
The “Cold War” included the organization of psychological warfare, the intensification of military spending to exhaust the USSR economically, networks of subversion and erosion of the socialist system from within, open provocations and the incitement of counterrevolutionary developments (e.g. in Yugoslavia 1947-48, in the GDR 1953, in Hungary in 1956, in Czechoslovakia in 1968 etc). A differentiated economic and diplomatic strategy was followed vis-a-vis the new socialist states in order to break their alliance with the USSR, to strengthen the conditions for their opportunist erosion.
At the same time, the imperialist system, with the USA at its helm, created a series of military, political, economic alliances and international lending organisations (NATO, EC, IMF, World Bank, international trade agreements). These ensured the coordination of capitalist states, and bridged some of the contradictions amongst them, in order to serve the common strategic goal of a multi-pronged pressure on the socialist system. They organised imperialist interventions, systematic and multi-faceted provocations and anti-communist campaigns. They used the most up-to-date ideological weapons to manipulate the peoples, to create a hostile climate against the socialist states and the communist movement in general. They utilised the opportunist deviations and the problems of ideological unity of the communist movement. They supported economically, politically, and morally every form of discontent or disagreement with the CPSU and the USSR. They made billions of dollars available from their state budgets for this purpose.
29. The line of “peaceful co-existence”, as was developed in the post-war period, to some extent at the 19th Congress (October 1952) [51] and primarily at the 20th Congress of the CPSU (1956) [52], acknowledged the capitalist barbarity and aggression of the USA and Britain, and of certain sections of the bourgeoisie and its respective political forces in the western European capitalist states, but not as an integral element of monopoly capitalism, of imperialism. In this way, it allowed the nurturing of utopian perceptions, such as that it is possible for imperialism to accept on long term basis its co-existence with forces that have broken its worldwide domination.
Since the 20th Congress of the CPSU (February 1956) and its thesis for a “variety of forms of transition to socialism, under certain conditions”, the line of “peaceful co-existence” was also linked to the possibility of a parliamentary transition to socialism in Europe, a strategy that already existed in a number of Communist Parties and ended up gaining the upper hand in most of them. This thesis constituted in essence a revision of the lessons of the Soviet revolutionary experience and a reformist social democratic strategy. The united strategy of capitalism against the socialist states and the labour movement in the capitalist countries was underestimated. The contradictions between the capitalist states, which of course contained the element of dependency, as is inevitable within the imperialist pyramid, were not correctly analysed. The assessment that there was a relationship of “subordination and dependency” of every capitalist country from the USA gained the upper hand [53]. The strategy of the “anti-monopoly government”, as a sort of stage between socialism and capitalism, that would solve problems of “dependency” from the USA, was adopted. This line was adopted even by the CPUSA, i.e. the C.P of the country which was at the top of the imperialist pyramid. In political practice it found expression in the participation of C.P’s in governments which managed capitalism in alliance with social democracy.
It was thus that C.Ps chose a policy of alliances that included bourgeois forces, those defined as “nationally thinking” as opposed to those which were deemed as servile to foreign imperialism. Such views also held sway in that section of the communist movement which, during the split of the 1960’s, oriented itself towards the CP of China and constituted the Maoist current.
The attitude of many C.P’s towards social democracy was part of this strategy. The view that social democracy could be distinguished into a “left” and a “right” wing became dominant in the C.P’s, seriously weakening the ideological struggle against it. In the name of the unity of the working class, the C.P’s made a series of ideological and political concessions, while the proclamations of unity from the side of social democracy did not aim at the overthrow of the capitalist system, but at the detachment of the working class from the influence of communist ideas and at its alienation as a class.
In Western Europe, in the ranks of many CPs, under the pretext of the national peculiarities of each country, the opportunist current known as “Euro-communism” held sway, a current which denied the scientific laws of the socialist revolution, the dictatorship of the proletariat and revolutionary struggle in general.
Both sections of the communist movement (in power or not) overestimated the strength of the socialist system and underestimated the dynamic of the post-war reconstruction of capitalism. At the same time, the crisis in the international communist movement, which was initially expressed with the complete rupture of relations between the CPSU and the CPC and later with the creation of the current known as “Euro-communism”, deepened.
The mutual interaction of contemporary opportunism between the CPs of the capitalist countries and the governing CPs was strengthened in the conditions of a fear of a nuclear strike against the socialist countries, of the sharpening of class struggle inside the socialist states (Central and Eastern Europe) and of new imperialist wars (against Vietnam, Korea). The flexible tactics of imperialism had an impact on the development of opportunism in the CPs of the socialist states, on the undermining of socialist construction, and of the revolutionary struggle in capitalist Europe and worldwide. Thus, directly or indirectly, imperialist pressure on the socialist states was strengthened, utilizing, among others, both the euro communist current, as well as the Trotskyite and Maoist currents which, to a greater or lesser extent, supported the imperialist attacks against the USSR and the other socialist countries.

An evaluation of the stance of KKE.

30.  The 14th Congress of the KKE (1991) and the National Conference (1995) evaluated in a self-critical manner the following: we did not avoid as a party the idealisation and the embellishment of socialism, as it was constructed during the 20th century. We underestimated the problems that we observed, attributing them mainly to objective factors. We justified them as problems in the development of socialism, something which has proven not to correspond to reality. We underestimated the complexity of the struggle with the inherited remnants of the past; we overestimated the course of socialist development, while underestimating the tenacity of the international imperialist system.
Our self criticism concerns our mistaken perception regarding the causalities of socialism and the nature of the contradictions in the process of formation and development of the new society. The stance adopted by our Party constituted part of the problem. Our ability to arrive at the correct conclusions was restricted by the fact that our Party did not pay the necessary attention to the need to acquire theoretical sufficiency, to promote the creative study and assimilation of our theory, to utilise the rich experience of the class, revolutionary struggle, to contribute with its own forces to the creative development of ideological and political positions, based on the developing conditions. To a great extent, as a party, we adopted mistaken theoretical assessments and political choices of the CPSU.
Our attitude was influenced to a significant extent by the formality of relations which appeared between the communist parties, by the uncritical adoption of CPSU’s positions concerning questions of theory and ideology. From our experience the conclusion emerges that the respect for the experience of other parties must be combined with an objective judgement of their policies and practices, with comradely criticism concerning mistakes and with opposition to deviations.
The Conference of 1995 criticised the fact that our party uncritically accepted the policy of perestroika, assessing it as a reform policy which would benefit socialism. This fact reflected the strengthening of opportunism within the ranks of our Party during this period.
This critical treatment of the stance of KKE vis-à-vis socialist construction does not denigrate the fact that our Party throughout its history, true to its internationalist character, defended the process of the construction of socialism-communism in the 20th century, even with the lives of thousands of its members and cadre. It militantly propagandised the contribution of socialism. The militant defence of the contribution of socialism in the 20th century was and is a conscious choice of our Party.
KKE did not join the side of those forces which, originating in the communist movement and in the name of criticism of the USSR and the other countries, were led to utter rejection, to the denial of the socialist character of these countries, to the adoption of the propaganda of imperialism; neither did it revise its defence of socialism, despite its weaknesses.

Issues for further study.

31. On the basis of the preceding evaluations and directives, the new C.C should organize the deeper study and extraction of conclusions on a series of issues:
* The forms of organisation of workers’ participation, their rights and duties, during different periods of Soviet Power, such as the Workers’ Committees and the Production Councils inthe 1920’s, the Stakhanovite movement in the 1930’s, in contrast to the “self-management councils” under perestroika. Their relationship to Central Planning and the realisation of the social character of ownership over the means of production.
* The development of the Soviets as a form of the dictatorship of the proletariat. How was the relationship “Party – Soviet – working class and popular forces” realized during the different phases of socialist construction in the USSR. Issues concerning the functional downgrading of the production unit as the nucleus of organisation of workers’ power, with the abolition of the principle of the production unit being the electoral unit and of the indirect election of delegates through congresses and assemblies. The negative impact on the class composition of the higher state organs and on the application of the right of recall of delegates.
* The development of the wage policy which was followed during the socialist course of the USSR. The evolution of the working class structure. Further study of the relationship between individual and social in the production and distribution of the product of socialist production.
* The development of relations of ownership and distribution in the agricultural production of the USSR. The differentiations among workers in the socialist production units and services and the stratification within private and cooperative agricultural producers.
* The developments in the class composition of the Party, in its structure and functioning and their impact on the ideological level and the revolutionary characteristics of the Party, its members and cadre.
* The evolution of relations between the member states of the CMA, as well as the economic relations between the member states of the CMA and the capitalist states, especially during the period when socialist construction began to retreat.
* How the form (People’s Democracy) of working class state-power was expressed in the other socialist states, the alliance of the working class with the petit bourgeois strata and the struggle between them. The bourgeois nationalist influences in certain policies of the C.P’s in power, e.g. CPC, the Union of Yugoslav Communists. How the unification after 1945 with sections of social democracy affected the character of the C.P’s in power, e.g. the Polish United Workers’ Party, the Socialist Unity Party in Germany, the CP of Czechoslovakia, the Hungarian Workers’ Party.
* The course of the Communist International and of the evolution of the strategy of the international communist movement.
* The development of the international correlation of forces and its influence on the growth of opportunism in the CPSU. The elucidation of the factors that led to the supremacy of opportunism in the CPSU.

D. The Necessity and Timeliness of Socialism. Enrichment of our Programmatic Conception of Socialism.

The necessity and timeliness of socialism.

32. The Programme of the Party states: “The counterrevolutionary overthrows do not change the character of the epoch. The 21st century will be the century of a new upsurge of the world revolutionary movement and of a new series of social revolutions”. Those struggles which limit themselves to defending some gains, despite the fact that they are necessary, cannot provide substantive solutions. The only way out and the inevitable perspective remains socialism, despite the defeat at the end of the 20th century.
The necessity of socialism emerges from the sharpening of the contradictions of the contemporary capitalist world, of the imperialist system. It flows from the fact that in the imperialist stage of development of capitalism, which is characterised by the domination of the monopolies, the material preconditions that necessitate the transition to a superior socio-economic system have fully matured.
Capitalism has socialised production to an unprecedented level. However, the means of production, the products of social labour constitute private, capitalist property. This contradiction is the source of all the crisis phenomena of contemporary capitalist societies: unemployment and poverty, which reach explosive levels during economic crises. The extended daily working time, despite the large increase of labour productivity, and a simultaneous expansion of partial employment. The failure to satisfy the contemporary social needs for education and professional specialisation, for healthcare prevention and rehabilitation, based on the modern scientific and technological breakthroughs. The provocative destruction of the environment with severe consequences for public health and the health of the workers, the lack of protection from natural disasters despite the new technological possibilities. The destruction of imperialist wars, the drug trade and trade in human organs, etc.
At the same time, this contradiction of capitalism points to the way out: The alignment of the relations of production with the level of development of the productive forces. The abolition of private property over the means of production, starting with the most concentrated, their socialisation, their planned use in social production with the aim of satisfying social needs. Central Planning of the economy by the revolutionary workers’ socialist power, workers’ control. The socialist aim is realistic, because it is rooted in the development of capitalism itself. Its designation is not dependent on the correlation of forces, that is on the conditions under which revolutionary action develops and which can speed up or slow down developments.
The victory of the socialist revolution, initially in one country or in a group of countries, springs from the operation of the law of uneven economic and political development of capitalism. [54] The preconditions that bring socialist revolution to the agenda do not mature simultaneously worldwide. The imperialist chain will break at its weakest link.
The specific “national” duty of each CP is the realisation of the socialist revolution and of socialist construction in its own country, as a part of the world revolutionary process. This will contribute to the creation of a “fully consummated socialism” within the framework of  the “revolutionary collaboration of the proletarians of all countries”. [55]
The Leninist thesis concerning the weak link does not overlook the dialectic relationship of the national with the international in the revolutionary process, which is expressed by the fact that the transition to the highest phase of communism presupposes the worldwide predominance of socialism, or at least, its victory in the developed and most influential countries in the imperialist system.
33.  The degree of maturation of the material preconditions for socialism differs between the various capitalist societies as a result of the law of unequal development of capitalism. The basic yardstick for the development of capitalist relations is the extent and concentration of salaried labour.
Under the conditions of imperialism, the relative capitalist backwardness can flame a sudden sharpening of contradictions, hence a revolutionary crisis and the possibility of victory. However, the degree of socio-economic backwardness will correspondingly make more difficult the future socialist construction, the struggle of the new against the old. The speed of socialist construction is influenced by what it inherits. [56]
Whatever the case, the level of the capitalist past that the revolutionary workers’ power inherits does not justify the questioning of the basic laws of socialist revolution and construction. These laws have general applicability in all capitalist countries, irrespective of their historically conditioned peculiarities, which undoubtedly existed during the course of socialist construction in the 20th century. They will definitely also exist during a future socialist construction, which will however begin on the basis of a capitalist development far more advanced than that of 1917 Russia.

Enrichment of our programmatic conception concerning socialism.

34. The 15th Congress of KKE defined the coming revolution in Greece as socialist. It also defined the anti-imperialist, anti-monopoly and democratic character of the Front as the socio-political alliance of the working class with the other popular strata, which, under certain preconditions and under the leadership of KKE, may evolve into a revolutionary front for the realization of the socialist revolution. Subsequent Congresses, especially the 16th, enriched the programmatic content of the Front.
In KKE’s Programme our basic theses concerning socialism have been expounded, which today we can enrich and develop, utilising the conclusions concerning socialist construction in the USSR during the 20th century, based on the Marxist-Leninist theses which were developed in the 2nd chapter.
35. The high level of monopolisation which has occurred, especially in recent years, is the material pre-condition for the immediate socialisation of the means of production in industry, in concentrated trade and tourism, so that the wealth which is being produced can become social property. On the basis of socialization, every form of private-business activity in the areas of health, welfare, social security, education, culture and sports should be immediately abolished.
Social ownership and Central Planning will create the possibility for the disappearance of unemployment.
Central Planning of the economy, based on the social ownership of the concentrated means of production, is a communist relation of production. Central Planning should guarantee the precedence of Department I relative to Department II, the proportional expanded reproduction. The state plans will cover long-term, intermediate and short-term goals in the planning of socialist construction and social prosperity.
The implementation of Central Planning will be organised by sector, through a single unified state authority, with regional and industry-level branches. Planning will be based on a totality of goals and criteria such as:
  • In Energy:  the development of infrastructure to meet the needs of centrally planned production, the reduction of the level of energy dependency of the country, the safeguarding of adequate and cheap popular consumption, the safety of workers of the sector and of residential areas, the protection of public health and the environment. In this direction, energy policies will have the following pillars: the utilisation of all domestic energy sources (lignite, hydro-electric, wind etc), systematic research and discovery of new sources, the pursuit of mutually beneficial interstate collaborations.
  • In Transport priority will be given to mass rather than individual transport, to rail transport on the mainland of the country. Planning will be carried out based on the criterion of having all forms of transport operate in an interlinked and complementary way and with the goals of cheap and fast transport of people and goods, the saving of energy and the protection of the environment, the planned development for the obliteration of uneven regional development, the full control of national security and defence of the socialist state. A precondition for the realisation of these goals in the development of transport is the planning of the relevant infrastructure- ports, airports, railway stations, roads- and of an industry for the production of means of transportation. The same applies to telecommunications, to the processing of raw materials, to manufacturing, especially machine-production, with the aim of a self-reliant economy (to the extent possible), reducing the dependency on external trade and transactions with capitalist economies in these crucial sectors.
  • The land will be socialised, as will the large capitalist agricultural businesses. State productive units for the production and processing of agricultural products as raw materials or as articles of consumption will be set up.
  • Production cooperatives of the small and medium peasants will be promoted, having the right of the use of land as a productive medium. Small and medium peasants will participate taking initially into account, for the purposes of distribution, the amount of land and the number of animals by which each of them was integrated into the cooperative. The measure of the socialization of the land precludes, on the one hand, the possibility for land concentration inside or outside the cooperative and, on the other hand, changes in the utilization of the land and its commodification. Greek reality does not require land redistribution. Land tillers possessing no property will be employed in the state-organized agricultural units. The production cooperative for small commodity production in the cities will be promoted along similar lines.
Production cooperatives will create the preconditions for the extension of communist relations in all sectors of the economy through the concentration of small commodity production, its organisation, the division of labour within the cooperatives, the increase in labour productivity, and the utilisation of new technology. A system for the distribution of cooperative products through state and cooperative shops will be created. Central Planning will determine the proportions between the product that is distributed through the cooperative market (and their prices) and the product that is distributed through the state mechanism. The aim is that eventually all the produce of the cooperatives will be distributed through a unified state mechanism. The production cooperatives are linked to Central Planning through set production targets and plans for the consumption of raw materials, energy, new machines and services.
The new achievements in technology and science will be used, with the aim of reducing labour time, the increase of free time, which can be used for the upgrading of the educational-cultural level, for the acquisition of the abilities to fully participate in the control of management, and in the institutions of state-power.
  • Scientific research will be organised through state institutions – higher education bodies, institutes, etc- and will serve Central Planning, the administration of social production and social services, in order to develop social prosperity.
36. A part of the social product will be distributed according to need, fulfilling in an equal fashion  public and free services- healthcare, education, social security, leisure, protection of children and the aged, cheap (and in some cases free) transport, telecommunications services, energy and water supply for popular consumption, etc.
A state social infrastructure will be created which will provide high quality social services in order to meet needs which are being tackled today by the individual or family households (e.g. restaurants in the workplace, in schools).
  • All children of pre-school age will be provided with free, public and compulsory pre-school education. The exclusively public, free, general (basic) 12-year school education will be ensured for all through a school with a unified structure, programme, administration and functioning, technical infrastructure, trained specialised staff. Exclusively public and free professional education will be ensured after the completion of the compulsory basic education. Through a unified system of free public higher education, scientific personnel will be formed, capable of teaching in the educational institutions and of providing the specialised staff in areas of research, socialised production and state services.
  • An exclusively public and free health and welfare system will be established. The directly social production (socialised means of production, Central Planning, workers’ control) creates the material preconditions, so that a developing socialist economy – in accordance with its level of development- can ensure equally, to all its members, the conditions for health care and welfare as social goods. They are being provided as a precondition for physical and psychological well-being, for the intellectual and cultural development of every person, which depend on the living and working conditions, the overall environmental and social conditions affecting each person’s ability for labour and social activity.
37. With the elaboration and implementation of the first state plan, the operation of commodity-money relations will already become restricted. Their continual restriction, with the prospect of their complete disappearance, is linked to the planned extension of communist relations in the whole of production and distribution, with the expansion of social services to satisfy an ever larger part of the needs of individual consumption. Money gradually loses its content as a form of value, its function as a means of commodity exchange and is transformed into a certificate of labour, by which workers can have access to that part of the social product that is distributed in accordance to their labour.
Access to these products is determined by the individual’s labour contribution in total social labour. The measure of an individual’s contribution is labour time, which is determined by the Plan and is coupled to the following goals: savings in raw materials, the application of more productive technologies, the more rational organization of labour, the performance of control functions in administration – management.
Labour time also takes into consideration the overall needs of social production, the material conditions of the production process in which “individual” labour is incorporated, the particular needs of social production (e.g. the transfer of labour force to specific regions, or priority sectors), as well as other special social needs (e.g. maternity, individuals with special needs). Incentives will be created for the development of a vanguard communist attitude vis-a-vis the organization and execution of labour, the overall increase in the efficacy of the collective in the production unit or social service, as a result of the different combined particular labours. The incentives will aim at the decrease of purely unskilled and manual labours, at the decrease of labour time, in parallel with access to educational programmes, leisure and cultural services, participation in workers’ control. We reject the monetary form of incentives.
The policy dictating the monetary income from labour will be elaborated based on the above-mentioned principles, with a tendency towards softening and subsequently eliminating monetary income differentials. Whatever temporary deviations exist, aiming at the recruitment of experts in certain sectors of the economy, will be dealt with in a planned way, giving priority to raising the income of the lowest paid sections of the workers.
Central Planning aims, in the medium and long term, to develop, in a generalized way, the ability to perform specialised labour, as well as shifts in the technical division of labour, to achieve the all-round development of labour productivity and the reduction of labour time, in the perspective of eliminating the differences between executive and administrative labour, between manual and intellectual labour.
  • The role and the function of the Central Bank will change. The regulation of the function of money, as a means of commodity circulation, will be restricted to the exchange  between socialist production and the production of agricultural cooperatives, in general the commodity production of that portion of consumer goods that are not produced by the socialist production units, until the final elimination of commodity production. On this basis, the respective functions of certain specialised state credit organisms for agricultural and other productive cooperatives and certain small commodity producers will be controlled.
The same will hold true for international-interstate transactions (trade, tourism), as long as capitalist states exist on earth. Consequently, as a department of Central Planning it will regulate gold reserves or reserves of other commodities which operate as world money. The new role of the Central Bank in the exercise of general social accounting will be shaped and it will be connected with the organs and goals of Central Planning.
38. Socialist construction is not compatible with participation of the country in imperialist formations, such as the EU and NATO. Revolutionary state-power, depending on the international and regional situation, will seek to develop inter-state relations, with mutual benefit, between Greece and other countries, especially with countries whose level of development, problems and immediate interests can ensure such a beneficial cooperation. The socialist state will seek cooperation with countries and peoples who have objectively a direct interest in resisting the economic, political and military centres of imperialism, first and foremost with the peoples who are constructing socialism. It will seek to utilize every available rupture which might exist in the imperialist front due to inter-imperialist contradictions, in order to defend and strengthen the revolution and socialism. A socialist Greece, loyal to the principles of proletarian internationalism, will be, to the extent of its capacities, a bulwark for the world anti-imperialist, revolutionary and communist movement.
39. Revolutionary working class state power, the dictatorship of the proletariat, has the duty to obstruct the attempts of the bourgeoisie and international reaction to restore the rule of capital. It has the duty to create a new society, with the abolition of the exploitation of man by man. Its function is not only repressive – organizational. It is also constructive – political, cultural,  educational and defensive – under the guidance of the Party. It will express a higher form of democracy, with the energetic participation of the working class, of the people, in solving the basic problems in the construction of socialist society and in the control over state-power and its organs, being its basic characteristic. It is an instrument of the class struggle of the working class, which continues through other forms and under new conditions.
Democratic centralism is a fundamental principle in the formation and functioning of the socialist state, in the development of socialist democracy, in the administration of the productive unit, of every social service.
The revolutionary workers’ power will be based on the institutions that will be borne by the revolutionary struggle of the working class and its allies. The bourgeois parliamentary institutions will be replaced by the new institutions of workers’ power.
The nuclei of working class state-power will be the units of production, workplaces, through which working class and social control of the administration will be exercised. The workers’ representatives to the organs of state-power will be elected (and when necessary recalled) from these “communities of production”. Young people that are not engaged in production (e.g.  students in higher education) will take part in the election of representatives through the educational units. The participation of non-working women and retirees will take place in a special fashion, utilizing mass organization and the units providing special services.
The exercise of workers’ and social control will be institutionalised and safeguarded in practice, as will the unhindered criticism of decisions and practices which obstruct socialist construction, the unhindered denunciation of subjective arbitrariness and bureaucratic behaviour of officials, and other negative phenomena and deviations from socialist-communist principles.
The representation of the cooperative farmers and small commodity producers safeguards their alliance with the working class. The composition of the highest organs is made up of delegates elected from the lower ones through corresponding bodies. It will be ensured that the majority of the representatives to these organs will be made up of workers from the units of socialist production and the public social services.
The highest organ of state-power is a working body- it both legislates and governs at the same time- within the framework of which the allocation of executive and legislative powers is made. It is not a parliament, the representatives are not permanent, they can be recalled, they are not cut off from production, but are on leave from their work for the duration of their term, according to the requirements of their functions as representatives. They have no special economic privilege from their participation in the organs of state-power. The government, the heads of the various executive authorities (ministries, administrations, committees etc) are chosen by the highest body.
A revolutionary constitution and revolutionary legislation will be enacted, which will be in accordance with the new social relations-social ownership, Central Planning, workers’ control- and which will defend revolutionary legality. On this basis, Labour law, Family law and all the legal consolidation of the new social relations will be shaped. A new judicial system will be set up, which will be based on revolutionary popular institutions for the bestowal of justice. The new judicial authorities will be under the direct supervision of the organs of state-power. The judicial corps will be made up of elected and recallable people’s lay judges, as well as of permanent staff, answerable to the institutions of working class state power.
Among the duties of revolutionary working class state power will be the replacement of all administrative mechanisms with new ones corresponding to the character of the proletarian state. The utilization of structures and personnel originating from the old state mechanism presupposes their revolutionary re-education. Working time, the rights and duties of the workers will be regulated according to Revolutionary Law. The party’s leadership, without any privileges, will safeguard the carrying out of the aforementioned directives.
The new organs of revolutionary security and defence will be based on the participation of the workers and the people, but will also have permanent specialised staff.
In the place of the bourgeois army and repressive organs, which will be completely dissolved, new institutions will be created, based on the armed revolutionary struggle for the destruction of the resistance of the exploiters and for the defence of the Revolution. The leading role of the Party in the military units and in the forces for the defence of the revolution will be ensured. Their cadre will be shaped on the basis of their stance vis-à-vis the Revolution.
Gradually, via new military schools, a new corps will be created, chosen mainly out of youth from working class background. It will be educated in the principles of the new state-power. The positive experience of socialist construction, where the duties for the defence of the revolutionary achievements were carried out not only by the special permanent bodies, but also via the responsibility of the people through workers’ committees on shifts etc, will be utilised.
40. KKE, as the vanguard of the working class, has the duty to lead the struggle for the full transformation of all social relations into communist ones.
Its vanguard revolutionary role is consolidated through the constant effort to further assimilate and develop Marxist-Leninist theory, scientific communism, with the assimilation of contemporary scientific achievements and the class-based interpretation of the problems which rear their heads during the process of foundation and development of the communist socio-economic formation.
In every phase, it is important to guarantee the proletarian composition of the Party, as socialist society is not homogenous and has social contradictions.
The revolutionary leading role of the party is borne out by its ability to energize workers’ participation and control, above all in the production unit and in the social services.
The role of the Party is not simply ideological-educational. It is the party of the class which has state power, with a leading role in it. Consequently, the CP must have a direct leading organizational relationship with all the structures of the dictatorship of the proletariat. It provides the strategic direction. It must be concerned with all the important political questions which have to do with the exercise of state-power; it must mobilize the working class in the control of state-power and of the administration of production.

Epilogue.

Our Party will continue study and research, towards a better codification of our conclusions, including issues which have not been fully dealt with. Equally important is the assimilation of our present elaborations on socialism-communism by all the members of the Party and of the Communist Youth, by the friends of the Party.
It is this duty that will determine the ability of the Party to fully connect its strategy with the everyday struggle, to formulate goals for the immediate problems of the working people in connection with the strategy for the conquest of revolutionary workers’ power and for socialist construction.
 February 2009
 The 18th Congress of KKE.
Endnotes
[1] Economic School of the University of Lomonosov, Moscow. “Political Economy”, Vol. 4, Gutenberg Press, 1980, p. 150.
[2] The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, Vol 31, p. 340, refers to the law with the title, “Principles of labour legislation in the USSR and the Union Republics”.
[3] V.I. Lenin, Collected Works, Greek edition (Synchroni Epohi), vol. 43, p. 57 and p.79, vol. 44, pp 191-200.
[4] V.I. Lenin, Collected Works, SE, Athens, Vol 39, p. 15.
[5] K. Marx, “Critique of the Gotha Programme”, Greek edition (SE), p. 22.
[6] K. Marx, “Capital”, Volume 1, pp. 91-92 (Greek edition)
[7] K. Marx, “Critique of the Gotha Programme”, Greek edition, p. 21, 22, 23 and Fr. Engels, “Anti-Duhring”, Greek edition, 2006, p. 328, 329, 330.
[8] K. Marx, “Capital”, Volume 1, p 91-92. (Greek edition). « Time » as a measure of labour must be viewed “merely for the sake of a parallel with the production of commodities.”
[9] K. Marx, “Capital”, Volume 2, p. 357. (Greek edition).
[10] V.I. Lenin, « Regarding our revolution », Collected Works, Greek edition (SE), vol. 45.
[11] On the eve of World War I there was an important for that time development and concentration of the working class in Russia: the total number of workers was estimated at 15 million, out of which 4 million were workers in industry and railroads. In addition, it was estimated that 56.6% of industrial workers was concentrated in large industries with more than 500 workers. Russia was 5th in the world and 4th in Europe in terms of its share in the volume of international industrial production. Of course, the rise of industrial production had begun at the end of the first decade of the 20th century. The branches of means of production increased their production by 83% during the period 1909-1913 (average annual increase of 13%). However, large capitalist industry was concentrated in six areas: Central, N-W (Petrograd), Baltic, South, Poland, Urals, which accounted for about 79% of industrial workers and 75% of industrial production. The profound unevenness that characterized the economy of the Russian Empire on the eve of WW I is reflected in the statistical data from that era, despite their various flaws. The working class only approached 20% of the total population (depending on the source it was variably cited from 17% to 19.5%). Small commodity producers (peasants, artisans, etc) accounted for 66.7% and the exploiting classes for 16.3%, out of which 12.3% were kulaks. National Academy of Sciences of USSR, “Political Economy”, Cypraiou Publications, 1960, p.542 and “The Great Soviet Encyclopedia” Vol. 31, p.183-185.
[12] In 1913 the per capita GNP of Russia was 11.5% that of the USA. Approximately 2/3 of the population was completely illiterate.
[13] An orientation that was laid out in the 15th Congress (1927). The AUCP (b) gave weight to the rise in productivity of small and medium-sized households and in providing technology and equipment. The nationalization of land did not come in conflict with the rights of land-usage of small and medium peasants. It benefited the small agricultural household and the forms of cooperation of the scattered agricultural households from the most simple, the “companionships”, up to the “artel”. The policy vis-a-vis the small agricultural household, the small production, was one of aid, not struggle. It rejected the destruction of lower forms of organization of production in the name of larger ones. At the same time, it promoted the advantages of the kolkhoz and the sovkhoz. In parallel, it aimed to defeat certain sections of the kulak in the villages and, subsequently, to eliminate the kulak class as a class.
[14] Decision of the CC, 15.3.1930 and personal article of I.V. Stalin (“Dizzy from success”, I.V. Stalin, Collected Works, V.12, pg. 218-227, Greek edition), where mistakes which aggravated the stabilization of the worker-peasant alliance were noted and positions were taken in favour of recognizing errors and correcting them, in as many areas and circumstances as possible, where the mistakes had not created irreversible facts from deviations or an incorrect course.
[15] The “Shakhty” affair concerns the sabotage carried out in the coal mining industry of the Donbas area by bourgeois specialists, cadre of industry who had been employed by the soviet power in the organization and administration of production. During the trial that took place in 1928, it was proven that these executives had connections to the old capitalist coal mine owners who had left for abroad. The sabotage was part of an overall plan to undermine socialist industry and soviet power.
[16]  Despite the successes that were achieved in the fulfillment of the 4th 5-year plan (1946-1950), the CPSU leadership noted the following problems during that period: Slow rates in the introduction of new scientific and technological achievements in a series of branches of industry and in agricultural production. Factories with old technical equipment and low productivity, production of tool machinery and machines of outdated technology. Phenomena of slowing down, routine, inertia in factory administration, indifference concerning the introduction of technical progress as a constant stimulus for the development of the productive forces. Delay in the restoration of agricultural production, low productivity per acre in wheat cultivation, low productivity in livestock production, the total production of which had not even reached pre-war levels, with the result that there were shortages of meat, milk, butter, fruits and vegetables that affected the general goal of raising the level of social prosperity.
Source: G. Malenkov, “Report of the CC of the CP (Bolshevik) of the USSR at the 19th Congress of the Party”, CC KKE publication, p 48-64.
[17] G. Malenkov, “Report of the CC of the CP (Bolshevik) of the USSR at the 19th Congress of the Party”, CC KKE publication, p 60.
[18] I.V. Stalin, “Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR”, Sychroni Epochi Publications, 1988, pp. 77-78 (Greek edition).
[19] I.V. Stalin, “Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR”, Sychroni Epochi Publications, 1988, pg. 44 (Greek edition).
[20] “Undoubtedly, with the abolition of capitalism and the exploiting system in our country, and with the consolidation of the socialist system, the antagonism of interests between town and country, between industry and agriculture, was also bound to disappear. And that is what happened…. Of course, the workers and the collective-farm peasantry do represent two classes differing from one another in status. But this difference does not weaken their friendship in any way. On the contrary, their interests lie along one common line, that of strengthening the socialist system and attaining the victory of communism…. Take, for instance, the distinction between agriculture and industry. In our country it consists not only in the fact that the conditions of labour in agriculture differ from those in industry, but, mainly and chiefly, in the fact that whereas in industry we have public ownership of the means of production and of the product of industry, in agriculture we have not public, but group, collective-farm ownership. It has already been said that this fact leads to the preservation of commodity circulation, and that only when this distinction between industry and agriculture disappears, can commodity production with all its attendant consequences also disappear. It therefore cannot be denied that the disappearance of this essential distinction between agriculture and industry must be a matter of paramount importance for us”.
I.V. Stalin, “Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR,” Sychroni Epochi Publications, 1988, p. 50-52 (Greek edition).
[21] G. Malenkov, “Report of the CC of the CP (Bolshevik) of the USSR at the 19th Congress of the Party”, CC KKE publication.
[22] There were many small kolkhozes with 10-30 households on small plots of land, where the technological means were not fully utilized and the administrative managerial costs were very high.
[23] Delay in the development of a mechanism that would reflect in Central Planning the real necessary proportions between branches and sectors of the economy.
[24] It is important to note how bourgeois forces characterized at that point the reforms of 1965:
1.) Bourgeois economic thought characterized them as a return to capitalism (published material in the “Economist”, “Financial Times”)
2.) They had the support of Western bourgeois economists of the Keynesian school and social democracy, who characterized the ‘reforms’ as an improvement in planning with a battle against bureaucracy.
[25] The Sovnarkhoz were abolished in 1965 and the separate Ministries per sector were re-instated.
[26] The tractors etc until then had been state ownership. They were concentrated in stations (machine-tractor stations – MTS) and were operated by workers.
[27] In February 1958 a plenary session of the  Central Committee of CPSU decided the dissolution of the MTS and the selling of their technical means to the kolkhozes. This policy resulted in a big expansion of the kolkhoz ownership at the expense of the social ownership.
[28] Plenum of the CC of CPSU in March 1965, with a report of L. Brezhnev on the subject: “Urgent measures for the further development of the agricultural economy of the USSR”.
[29] Up until 1958, in the USSR, forms of procurement of agricultural products from the kolkhozes were being used that limited the market element or retained it in form, but not in content; obligatory procurements at low supply prices, which had the force of a tax, contracts, i.e. selling of products by the kolkhozes on the basis of a contract with the supply organizations, payment in kind for the work of the MTS, purchases of products above the obligatory procurements at prices slightly higher than the procurement prices. The procurement system was instituted in 1932-1933. The contract made its appearance earlier and was extended to the supply of technical crops.
[30] In 1970 the supplementary household in the USSR produced 38% of vegetables, 35% of meat and 53% of eggs. In all, the supplementary household produced 12% of all agricultural products which were sold on the market (8% of the commodity produce of agriculture and 14% of animal breeding)
Source: Economic School of Lomonosov University, Moscow: “Political Economy”, Gutenberg. Athens 1984. Volume 4, p. 319.
[31] Plenum of the CC of the CPSU, September 1965 on the subject “For the improvement of the management of industry, for the perfection of planning and the strengthening of the economic drive of industrial production”. The “Kosygin reforms” climaxed in the 1970s.
[32] In industry, the reforms were applied experimentally in 1962, in the operation of two clothing production enterprises, according to a system of administration proposed by professor Liebermann (known as the Kharkov System).
Lieberman argued that the calculation of bonuses to directors in proportion with the over-fulfillment of the Plan, introduced a contradiction between the interests of the directors and the interest of Soviet society as a whole. This was because the directors concealed the real productive capacity of the enterprises, created stockpiles of raw materials and goods and were indifferent to the discontinuation of the production of ‘useless goods’. They blocked the application of new technology in order not to alter the “norms”, that is the indexes of social production, based on which the plans’ coverage was measured. In this way, e.g. they produced thick paper, instead of thin, because the norms were measured by weight. He made some correct observations, but proposed mistaken policies. It was on this basis that communists and workers were persuaded of the necessity of these measures.
[33] The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, Vol 30, p. 607, entry “Sovkhoz” (Greek edition).
[34] See articles of V.M Glushkov [published in KOMEP (Communist Review) 1/2005] and N.D. Pikhorovich in KOMEP 3/2005.
[35] See Documents of the National (Pan-Hellenic) Conference of KKE (1995) “Thoughts on the factors that determined the overthrow of the socialist system in Europe. The necessity and relevance of socialism”, pages 23-24.
[36] G. Malenkov, “Report of the CC of the CP (Bolshevik) of the USSR at the 19th Congress of the Party”, excerpts re-published in KOMEP (Communist Review) 2/1995.
[37] Ibid
[38] The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, Vol 17, p. 671, entry “CPSU” (Greek edition).
[39] G. Malenkov, “Report of the CC of the CP (Bolshevik) of the USSR at the 19th Congress of the Party”, excerpts re-published in KOMEP (Communist Review) 2/1995.
[40] As it can be deduced from the history of the CPSU, there was a sharp struggle in the Presidium of the CC in June 1957, one year after the 20th Congress. The members of the Presidium of the C.C, Malenkov, Kaganovitch and Molotov, opposed the line of the 20th Congress on both internal and external policies: against expansion of the powers of the union republics in economic and cultural construction, against measures restricting the state mechanism and reorganizing the administration of Industry and Construction, against the measure of increasing material incentives for the kolkhoz farmers, against the abolition of obligatory procurements of agricultural products from the supplementary households of the kolkhozniks. Molotov also opposed the expansion to virgin lands. All three took a stand against the international political line of the Party. Finally, Malenkov, Kaganovitch, Molotov and Shepilov were stripped of their rank in the CC and the Presidium of the CC at the Plenary Session of the C.C in June. Bulganin was given a severe reprimand with a warning. Other members were also penalized. Pervukhin was downgraded from regular to substitute member of the Presidium of the CC, Saburov was removed as substitute member of the Presidium. In October 1957, the Presidium and the Secretariat were enlarged with new members.
“History of the CPSU”, Political and Literary Editions, 1960, pp. 861-865.
[41] Victor Tiulkin, first secretary of the CC of the RCWP-RCP, in his speech at the International Conference on the 80th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Moscow, notes that:
– The 19th Conference of the CPSU declared political pluralism.
-The road to market policies was opened at the 28th Congress of the CPSU.
– The Plenum of the CC of CPSU (April 1991) opened the way for privatization policies.
-The policy of national “independence” (cessation from the USSR) was followed by the group of communists in the congresses of Soviets.
– The dissolution of the USSR was rubber-stamped by the so-called communist majority in the Supreme Soviet.
In an article in 2000, on the 10th anniversary of the convocation of the 28th Congress of the CPSU, Tiulkin mentions that, in the All-Russia Conference which created the Communist party of the Russian Federation (within the framework of the CPSU) appeared for the first time the faction “Movement of the Communist Initiative” which, together with others, voted against the decisions of the 28th Congress of the CPSU.
[42] Lenin notes: “Agreement between the working class and the peasantry may be taken to mean anything. If one does not take into consideration the fact that, from the working-class standpoint, an agreement is permissible, correct and possible in principle, only if it supports the dictatorship of the working class and is one of the measures aimed at the abolition of classes (…)” (V.I. Lenin, “Report on the tax-in-kind”, Collected Works, Vol. 43, p.301, Greek edition).
Elsewhere in the same discussion, Lenin noted: “What does it mean to lead the peasantry? It means, first, pursuing a course towards the abolition of classes, and not the course of the small producer. If we strayed from this bedrock course, we would cease to be socialists and would find ourselves in the camp of the petty bourgeoisie, in the camp of the Mensheviks and the Socialist-Revolutionaries…” (V.I. Lenin, “Concluding speech on the tax-in-kind report”, Collected Works, Vol. 43, p.318, Greek edition).
[43] Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic.
[44] The report of A. Zhdanov at the session of the Plenum of the CC of the AUCP (b) (February-March 1937) refers to the following problems which the new electoral system sought to solve: “we must overcome the harmful psychology, which certain of our party and soviet cadre  have, who suppose that they can easily win the trust of the people and sleep quietly, waiting to be offered their deputy positions at home, with thundering applause, for their previous services. Through the secret ballot you can’t take the people’s trust for granted…We have an important layer of cadre in party and soviet organizations, who think that their task finishes when they are elected to the soviet. This is witnessed by the large number of cadre who do not attend the sessions of the Soviets, the deputies’ groups and soviet departments, who avoid fulfilling basic parliamentary duties… many of our cadre in soviets tend to acquire bureaucratic features and have many weaknesses in their work, they are ready to answer for their work 10 times before the party bureau in a close “family” environment, rather than appear in a session of the soviet plenum and criticize themselves and listen to the criticism of the masses. I think you know this as well as I do
KOMEP (Communist Review) 4/2008
[45] For assessments and conclusions on this issue see the “Theses of the CC of KKE on the 60th anniversary of the Anti-fascist victory of the People”, April 2005.
[46] Initially the Secretariat of the EC of the CI, on the 9th of September, 1939, characterized the war as imperialist and predatory on both sides, calling on the sections of the CI in countries involved in the war to struggle against it.
 [47] See “History of the 3rd International”, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, p. 428 (Greek edition).
 [48] It should be noted that at the 7th Congress of the KKE (1945) a decision concerning “the international political unity of the working class” was voted, which mentioned amongst other things: “The 7th Congress of the KKE… expresses the wish that all the workers’ parties in the world, which believe in socialism, irrespective of differences, should be incorporated as quickly as possible in a unified international political organization of the working class”.
Source: “The KKE. Official Documents”, S.E, vol. 6, p.113.
[49] Already, in 1935, the 7th Congress of the CI “recommended to the EC of the CI to shift the center of weight of its activity to the elaboration of basic political theses and theses concerning the tactics of the world labour movement, taking into consideration the specific conditions and peculiarities of each country” and at the same time advised the EC of the CI to “ avoid as a rule direct involvement in the internal organizational affairs of the communist parties”. After the 7th Congress the so-called reorganization of the mechanism of the Communist International started, by means of which “the operational leadership of the parties, passed into the hands of the parties themselves… regional secretariats, which up to a point exercised some operational guidance, were abolished, .. In place of the departments of the Executive Committee of the CI only two organs were created; the cadre department and the department for propaganda and mass organizations.”
Academy of Sciences of the USSR “History of the Third international” pp 433-434.
[50] In the COMINFORM (Information Bureau of the CPs) the following Communist and Workers’ parties were represented:  Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, USSR, Czechoslovakia and France.
[51] Report of the CC of CP (b) to the 19th Congress, p. 28 of the edition of the CC of KKE.
[52] “The 20th Congress of CPSU”, Zogia editions, 1965, page 8.
[53] “The preparation of a new war is integrally connected with the subordination of the countries of Europe and of other continents to US imperialism. The Marshall plan, the Western Union, NATO, all these links in the chain of a criminal conspiracy against peace are at the same time links of the chain which the overseas monopolies are tying around peoples’ necks. The duty of the communist and workers parties in the capitalist countries is to unite the struggle for national independence with the struggle for peace, to reveal the anti-national, traitorous character  of the policies of the bourgeois governments which have been transformed into open lackeys of US imperialism, to unite and rally all democratic patriotic forces in every country around slogans calling for an end to their wretched subordination to the Americans, for a transition to and independent foreign and domestic policy which will meet the national interests of the peoples. The communist and workers parties must hold high the flag of the defense of national independence and the sovereignty of the peoples”.
(Archive of the KKE; Resolutions of the Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers’ parties, meeting of November1949. Athens. Ps73-74)
[54] V.I Lenin: “On the Slogan for a United States of Europe”, Collected Works, Vol. 26, pp. 359-363 (Greek edition) and “The military program of the proletarian revolution”, Collected Works, Vol. 30, pp. 131-143 (Greek edition).
[55] V.I. Lenin “Left-Wing Childishness and the Petty-Bourgeois Mentality”, Collected Works, Vol. 36, p.306 (Greek edition).
[56] Lenin in his time defended the position that in the countries with a “weak-intermediate” level of capitalist development it is “easier to begin, more difficult to continue” the socialist revolution.