JULY 2000 SPECIAL ISSUE:
REPRINT OF J.V.STALIN'S REPORT TO THE 16TH CONGRESS OF THE CPSU(B)
2) The Stalin Archives On the Internet
In our prior works, we have frequently cited the works of Stalin, firstly from the printed pages; and then when they became available - from the relevant web sites. There is no need for Marxist-Leninist to belabor the impact of the web - it is of course immense.
Conspicuous credit and our warm thanks, must here be given publicly to the "Marx2Mao" web-pages, led by we believe, one Dave Romagnolo.
The Stalin component of that valuable archive is to be found at this web-site:
(AT http://gate.cruzio.com/~marx2mao/Stalin/Index.html )
Similarly the Maoist Documentation Project (AT
http://www.maoism.org/ ) has
placed many very useful works on the web, but their Stalin archive is a
cross-link to that excellent archive maintained at the "Marx2Mao" site
That brings us back to the Stalin archives of "Marx2Mao".
Obviously the huge work-load continued there is daunting and it is not surprising that as yet it is not complete.
Therefore as we had need of this particular piece by J.V.Stalin - his report to the 16th Congress - we have transcribed it for the web.
If the comrades at "Marx2mao" find it of use enough for them to place it to their site - we will have paid a small return service to them.
At the very least - We hope the document is of benefit to at least some Marxist-Leninists - even those who are already familiar with the work.
But then there are those who call themselves - only Marxists.
The Marxist Internet Archive (AT: http://www.marxists.org/index.htm ) is another huge labour - one that contains again, some very valuable resources. Indeed it is an especially valuable source for those who wish to compare texts by Trotsky with those by Lenin.
But no doubt - its' major unique strength is the most complete cataloguing of Marx and Engels thus far on the web - a work still in progress.
It is thus regrettable, that their basic position is to relegate Stalin as a secondary figure. Correspondingly their archive of Stalin's works is pitifully small.
In this circumstance - they might also find this key Stalin work of interest.
It is noteworthy that in a section called "Students' Section" - they have a series under the title: Students Section: "Did the Soviet Union ever become Socialist? Additional Readings on Socialism in the Soviet Union?" (AT: http://www.marxists.org/subject/students/soviet-union.htm ).
regrettably they offer articles by Lenin, Trotsky, and Mao - but not by Stalin!
This has been pointed out to the editors, who to their credit - state that they are open to suggestion for material by Stalin to be included in that section.
We offer them this piece, and await their considered response.
Such is the picture of the present situation in a few words.
Recall the state of affairs in the capitalist countries two and a half years ago. Growth of industrial production and trade in nearly all the capitalist countries. Growth of production of raw materials and food in nearly all the agrarian countries. A halo around the United States as the land of the most full-blooded capitalism. Triumphant hymns of "prosperity." Grovelling to the dollar. Panegyrics in honour of the new technology, in honour of capitalist rationalisation. Proclamation of an era of the "recovery" of capitalism and of the unshakable firmness of capitalist stabilisation. "Universal" noise and clamour about the "inevitable doom" of the Land of Soviets, about the "inevitable collapse" of the U.S.S.R.
Such is the picture today.
Things have turned out exactly as the Bolsheviks said they would two or three years ago.
The Bolsheviks said that in view of the restricted limits of the standard of living of the vast masses of the workers and peasants, the further development of technology in the capitalist countries, the growth of productive forces and of capitalist rationalisation, must inevitably lead to a severe economic crisis. The bourgeois press jeered at the "queer prophesies" of the Bolsheviks. The Right deviators dissociated themselves from this Bolshevik forecast and for the Marxist analysis substituted liberal chatter about "organised capitalism." But how did things actually turn out? They turned out exactly as the Bolsheviks said they would.
Such are the facts.
Let us now examine the data on the economic crisis in the capitalist countries.
1. WORLD ECONOMIC CRISIS
a) In studying the crisis, the following facts, above all, strike the eye:
2. The present crisis is the first post-war world economic crisis. It is a world crisis not only in the sense that it embraces all, or nearly all, the industrial countries in the world; even France, which is systematically injecting into her organism the billions of marks received as reparations payments from Germany, has been unable to avoid a certain depression, which, as all the data indicate, is bound to develop into a crisis. It is a world crisis also in the sense that the industrial crisis has coincided with an agricultural crisis that affects the production of all forms of raw materials and food in the chief agrarian countries of the world.
3. The present world crisis is developing unevenly,
notwithstanding its universal character; it affects different
countries at different times and in different degrees. The industrial crisis
began first of all in Poland, Rumania and the Balkans. It developed there
throughout the whole of last year. Obvious symptoms of an incipient agricultural
crisis were already visible at the end of 1928 in Canada, the United States,
the Argentine, Brazil and Australia. During the whole of this period United
States industry showed an upward trend. By the middle of 1929 industrial
production in the United States had reached an almost record level. A break
began only in the latter half of 1929, and then a crisis in industrial
production swiftly developed, which threw the United States back to the
level of 1927. This was followed by an industrial crisis in Canada and
Japan. Then came bankruptcies and crisis in China and in the colonial countries,
where the crisis was aggravated by the drop in the price of silver, and
where the crisis of overproduction was combined with the ruination of the
peasant farms, which were reduced to utter exhaustion by feudal exploitation
and unbearable taxation. As regards Western Europe, there the crisis began
to gain force only at the beginning of this year, but not everywhere to
the same degree, and even in that period France still showed an increase
in industrial production.
I do not think there is any need to dwell particularly on the statistics that demonstrate the existence of the crisis. Nobody now disputes the existence of the crisis. I shall therefore confine myself to quoting one small but characteristic table recently published by the German Institute of Economic Research. This table depicts the development of the mining industry and the chief branches of large-scale manufacturing industry in the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Poland and the U.S.S.R. since 1927; the 1928 level of production is taken as 100.
Here is the table:
1927 82.4 95.5 105.5 100.1 86.6 88.5
1928 100 100 100 100 100 100
1929 123.5 106.3 107.9 101.8 109.4 99.8
1930 (first quarter)
171.4 95.5 107.4 93.4 113.1 84.6
It shows, first of all that the United States, Germany and Poland are experiencing a sharply expressed crisis in large-scale industrial production; in the first quarter of 1930, in the United States, after the boom in the first half of 1929, the level of production dropped 10.8 per cent compared with 1929 and sank to the level of 1927; in Germany, after three years of stagnation, the level of production dropped 8.4 per cent compared with last year and sank to 6.7 per cent below the level of 1927; in Poland, after last year's crisis, the level of production dropped 15.2 per cent compared with last year and sank to 3.9 per cent below the level of 1927.
Secondly, the table shows that Britain has been marking time for three years, round about the 1927 level, and is experiencing severe economic stagnation; in the first quarter of 1930 she even suffered a drop in production of 0.5 per cent compared with the previous year, thus entering the first phase of a crisis.
Thirdly, the table shows that of the big capitalist countries only in France is there a certain growth of large-scale industry; but whereas the increase in 1928 amounted to 13.4 per cent and that in 1929 to 9.4 per cent, the increase in the first quarter of 1930 is only 3.7 per cent above that in 1929, thus presenting from year to year a picture of a descending curve of growth.
Lastly, the table shows that of all the countries in the world, the U.S.S.R. is the only one in which a powerful upswing of large-scale industry has taken place; the level of production in the first quarter of 1930 was more than twice as high as that in 1927, and the increase rose from 17.6 per cent in 1928 to 23.5 per cent in 1929 and to 32 per cent in the first quarter of 1930, thus presenting from year to year a picture of an ascending curve of growth.
It may be said that although such was the state of affairs up to the end of the first quarter of this year, it is not precluded that a turn for the better may have taken place in the second quarter of this year. The returns for the second quarter, however, emphatically refute such an assumption. They show, on the contrary, that the situation has become still worse in the second quarter. These returns show: a further drop in share prices on the New York Stock Exchange and a new wave of bankruptcies in the United States; a further decline in production, a reduction of wages of the workers, and growth of unemployment in the United States, Germany, Britain, Italy, Japan, South America, Poland, Czechoslovakia, etc.; the entry of a number of branches of industry in France into a state of stagnation, which, in the present international economic situation, is a symptom of incipient crisis. The number of unemployed in the United States is now over 6,000,000, in Germany about 5,000,000, in Britain over 2,000,000, in Italy, South America and Japan a million each, in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Austria half a million each. This is apart from the further intensification of the agricultural crisis, which is ruining millions of farmers and labour-mg peasants. The crisis of overproduction in agriculture has reached such a pitch that in Brazil, in order to keep up prices and the profits of the bourgeoisie, 2,000,000 bags of coffee have been thrown into the sea; in America maize has begun to he used for fuel instead of coal; in Germany, millions of poods of rye are being converted into pig food; and as regards cotton and wheat, every measure is being taken to reduce the crop area by 10-15 per cent.
Such is the general picture of the developing world economic crisis.
b) Now, when the destructive effects of the world economic crisis are spreading, sending to the bottom whole strata of medium and small capitalists, ruining entire groups of the labour aristocracy and farmers, and dooming vast masses of workers to starvation, everybody is asking: what is the cause of the crisis, what is at the bottom of it, how can it be combated, how can it he abolished? The most diverse "theories" about crises are being invented. Whole schemes are being proposed for "mitigating," "preventing," and "eliminating" crises. The bourgeois oppositions are blaming the bourgeois governments because "they failed to take all measures" to prevent the crisis. The "Democrats" blame the "Republicans" and the "Republicans" blame the "Democrats," and all of them together blame the Hoover group with its "Federal Reserve System", (Original Footnote: The Federal Reserve System was instituted in the U.S.A. In 1913. Twelve Federal Reserve Banks in the major centres of the country co-ordinate and control all the activities of the American banks and are an instrument of monopoly capital. The System is headed by a Federal Reserve Board (re-named in 1933 the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System), the members of which are appointed by the U.S. President, and which is completely under the thumb of the financial magnates. The American bourgeois economists - apologists of American capitalism - and financial and government circles in the U.S.A. considered that the Federal Reserve System would safeguard the country's economy against crises. The attempts of President Hoover to cope with the crisis that broke out in 1929 with the help of the Federal Reserve System proved a complete failure) which failed to "curb" the crisis. There are even wiseacres who ascribe the world economic crisis to the "machinations of the Bolsheviks". I have in mind the well-known "industrialist" Rechberg who, properly speaking, little resembles an industrialist, hut reminds one more than anything of an "industrialist" among literary men and a "literary man" among industrial-ists. (Laughter.)
It goes without
saying that none of these "theories" and schemes has anything in common
with science. It must be admitted that the bourgeois economists have proved
to be utter bankrupts in face of the crisis. More than that, they have
been found to be devoid even of that little sense of reality which their
predecessors could not always be said to lack. These gentlemen forget that
crises cannot be regarded as something fortuitous under the capitalist
system of economy. These gentlemen forget that economic crises are the
inevitable result of capitalism. These gentlemen forget that crises were
born with the birth of the rule of capitalism. There have been periodical
crises during more than a hundred years, recurring every 12, 10, 8 or less
years. During this period bourgeois governments of all ranks and colours,
bourgeois leaders of all levels and abilities, all without exception tried
their strength at the task of "preventing" and "abolishing" crises. But
they all suffered defeat. They suffered defeat because economic crises
cannot be prevented or abolished within the framework of capitalism. Is
it surprising that the present-day bourgeois leaders are also suffering
defeat? Is it surprising that far from mitigating the crisis, far from
easing the situation of the vast masses of the working people, the measures
taken by the bourgeois governments actually lead to new outbreaks of bankruptcy,
to new waves of unemployment, to the swallowing up of the less powerful
capitalist combines by the more powerful capitalist combines?
The basis, the cause, of economic crises of over-production lies in the capitalist system of economy itself. The basis of the crisis lies in the contradiction between the social character of production and the capitalist form of appropriation of the results of production. An expression of this fundamental contradiction of capitalism is the contradiction between the colossal growth of capitalism's potentialities of production, calculated to yield the maximum of capitalist profit, and the relative reduction of the effective demand of the vast masses of the working people whose standard of living the capitalists always try to keep at the minimum level. To be successful in competition and to squeeze out the utmost profit, the capitalists are compelled to develop their technical equipment, to introduce rationalisation, to intensify the exploitation of the workers and to increase the production potentialities of their enterprises to the utmost limits. So as not to lag behind one another, all the capitalists are compelled, in one way or another, to take this path of furiously developing production potentialities. The home market and the foreign market, however, the purchasing power of the vast masses of workers' and peasants who, in the last analysis, constitute the bulk of the purchasers, remain on a low level. Hence overproduction crises. Hence the well-known results, recurring more or less periodically, as a consequence of which goods remain unsold, production is reduced, unemployment grows and wages are cut, and all this still further intensifies the contradiction between the level of production and the level of effective demand. Overproduction crises are a manifestation of this contradiction in turbulent and destructive forms.
If capitalism could adapt production not to the obtaining of the utmost profit but to the systematic improvement of the material conditions of the masses of the people, and if it could turn profits not to the satisfaction of the whims of the parasitic classes, not to perfecting the methods of exploitation, not to the export of capital, but to the systematic improvement of the material conditions of the workers and peasants, then there would be no crises. But then capitalism would not be capitalism. To abolish crises it is necessary to abolish capitalism.
Such is the basis of economic crises of overproduction in general.
We cannot, however, confine ourselves to this in characterising the present crisis. The present crisis cannot be regarded as a mere recurrence of the old crises. It is occurring and developing under certain new conditions, which must be brought out if we are to obtain a complete picture of the crisis. It is complicated and deepened by a number of special circumstances which must be understood if we are to obtain a clear idea of the present economic crisis.
These special circumstances can be reduced to the following characteristic facts:
2. In the course of development of the economic crisis, the industrial crisis in the chief capitalist countries did not merely coincide but became interwoven with the agricultural crisis in the agrarian countries, thereby aggravating the difficulties and predetermining the inevitability of a general decline in economic activity. Needless to say, the industrial crisis will intensify the agricultural crisis, and the agricultural crisis will prolong the industrial crisis, which cannot but lead to the intensification of the economic crisis as a whole.
3. Present-day capitalism, unlike the old capitalism, is monopoly capitalism, and this predetermines the inevitability of the capitalist combines fighting to keep up the high monopolist prices of goods, in spite of over-production. Naturally, this circumstance, which makes the crisis particularly painful and ruinous for the masses of the people who constitute the main consumers of goods, cannot but lead to prolonging the crisis, cannot but be an obstacle to resolving it.
4. The present economic crisis is developing on the basis of the general crisis of capitalism, which came into being already in the period of the imperialist war, and is sapping the foundations of capitalism and has facilitated the advent of the economic crisis.
It means, further,
that the imperialist war and. the victory of the revolution in the U.S.S.R.
have shaken the foundations of imperialism in the colonial and dependent
countries, that the prestige of imperialism has already been undermined
in those countries, that it is no longer able to lord it in those countries
In the old way.
It means, further, that during the war and after it, a young native capitalism appeared and grew up in the colonial and dependent countries, which is successfully competing in the markets with the old capitalist countries, intensifying and complicating the struggle for markets.
It means, lastly, that the war left the majority of capitalist countries a burdensome heritage in the shape of enterprises chronically working under capacity and of an army o/ unemployed numbering millions, which has been transformed from a reserve into a permanent army of unemployed; this created for capitalism a mass of difficulties even before the present economic crisis, and must complicate matters still more during the crisis.
Such are the circumstances which intensify and aggravate the world economic crisis.
It must be admitted that the present economic crisis is the gravest and most profound world economic crisis that has ever occurred.
a) It is laying
bare and intensifying the contradictions
between the ma/or imperialist countries, the struggle for markets,
the struggle for raw materials, the struggle for the export of capital.
None of the capitalist states is now satisfied with the old distribution
of spheres of influence and colonies. They see that the relation of forces
has changed and that it is necessary in accordance with it to redivide
markets, sources of raw materials, spheres of influence, and so forth.
The chief contradiction here is that between the United States and Britain.
Both in the sphere of the export of manufactured goods and in the sphere
of the export of capital, the struggle is raging chiefly between the United
States and Britain. It is enough to read any journal dealing with economics,
any document concerning exports of goods and capital, to be convinced of
this. The principal arena of the struggle is South America, China, the
colonies and dominions of the old imperialist states. Superiority of forces
in this struggle - and a definite superiority - is on the side of the United
After the chief contradiction come contradictions which, while not the chief ones, are, however, fairly important: between America and Japan, between Germany and France, between France and Italy, between Britain and France, and so forth.
There can be no doubt whatever that owing to the developing crisis, the struggle for markets, for raw materials and for the export of capital will grow more intense month by month and day by day.
Means of struggle: tariff policy, cheap goods, cheap credits, regrouping of forces and new military-political alliances, growth of armaments and preparation for new imperialist wars, and finally - war.
I have spoken about the crisis embracing all branches of production. There is one branch, however, has not been affected by the crisis. That branch is the armament industry. It is growing continuously, not-withstanding the crisis. The bourgeois states are furiously arming and rearming. What for? Not for friendly chats, of course, but for war. And the imperialists need war, for it is the only means by which to redivide the world, to redivide markets, sources of raw materials and spheres for the investment of capital.
It is quite understandable that in this situation so-called pacifism is living its last days, that the League of Nations is rotting alive, that "disarmament schemes" come to nothing, while conferences for the reduction of naval armaments become transformed into conferences for renewing and enlarging navies.
This means that the danger of war will grow at an accelerated pace.
Let the Social-Democrats chatter about pacifism, peace, the peaceful development of capitalism, and so forth. The experience of Social-Democrats being in power in Germany and Britain shows that for them pacifism is only a screen needed to conceal the preparation for new wars.
b) It is laying bare and will intensify the contradictions between the victor countries and the vanquished countries. Among the latter I have in mind chiefly Germany. Undoubtedly, in view of the crisis and the aggravation of the problem of markets, increased pressure will be brought to bear upon Germany, which is not only a debtor, but also a very big exporting. country. The peculiar relations that have developed between the victor countries and Germany could be depicted in the form of a pyramid at the apex of which America, France, Britain and the others are seated in lordly fashion, holding in their hands the Young Plan (Original Footnote: The Young Plan - named after its author, the American banker Young - was a plan for exacting reparations from Germany. It was adopted on June 7, 1929, by a committee of French, British, Italian, Japanese, Belgian, American and German experts, and was finally endorsed at the Hague Conference on January 20, 1930. The plan fixed total German reparations at 113,900 million marks (in foreign currency), to be paid over a period of 59 years. All reparations receipts and payments were to be handled by the Bank for International Settlements, in which the U.S.A. occupied a dominant position. The establishment of this bank was one of the cardinal points of the Young Plan and was a means by which American monopoly capital could control the trade and currencies of the European countries. The plan relieved German industry of contributions to reparations, the whole burden of which was laid upon the working people. The Young Plan made it possible to speed up the rebuilding of Germany's industrial war potential, which the U.S. imperialists were seeking to achieve with a view to launching aggression against the U.S.S.R.) with the inscription: "Pay up!"; while underneath lies Germany, flattened out, exhausting herself and compelled to exert all her efforts to obey the order to pay thousands of millions in indemnities. You wish to know what this is? It is "the spirit of Locarno. (Original Footnote: This refers to the treaties and agreements concluded by the imperialist states at a conference in Locarno, Switzerland, held October 5-16, 1925. The Locarno agreements were designed to strengthen the post-war system established in Europe by the Treaty of Versailles, but their effect was to sharpen still more the contradictions between the chief imperialist countries and to stimulate preparation for new wars. [For the Locarno Conference, see J. V. Stalin, Works:, Vol. 7, pp. 277-83.]) To think that such a situation will have no effect upon world capitalism means not to understand anything in life. To think that the German bourgeoisie will be able to pay 20,000 million marks within the next ten years and that the German proletariat, which is living under the double yoke of "its own" and the "foreign" bourgeoisie, will allow the German bourgeoisie to squeeze these 20,000 million marks out of it without serious battles and convulsions, means to go out of one's mind. Let the German and French politicians pretend that they believe in this miracle. We Bolsheviks do not believe in miracles.
c) It is laying
bare and intensifying the contradictions between the imperialist
states and the colonial and dependent countries. The growing economic
crisis cannot but increase the pressure of the imperialists upon the colonies
and dependent countries, which are the chief markets for goods and sources
of raw materials. Indeed, this pressure is increasing to the utmost degree.
It is a fact that the European bourgeoisie is now in a state of war with
"its" colonies in India, Indo-China, Indonesia and North Africa. It is
a fact that "independent" China is already virtually partitioned into spheres
of influence, while the cliques of counter-revolutionary Kuomintang generals,
warring among themselves and ruining the Chinese people, are obeying the
will of their masters in the imperialist camp.
The mendacious story that officials of the Russian embassies in China are to blame for the disturbance of "peace and order" in China must now be regarded as having been utterly exposed. There have been no Russian embassies for a long time in either South or Central China. On the other hand, there are British, Japanese, German, American and all sorts of other embassies there. There have been no Russian embassies for a long time in either South or Central China. On the other hand, there are German, British and Japanese military advisers with the warring Chinese generals. There have been no Russian embassies there for a long time. On the other hand, there are British, American, German, Czechoslovak and all sorts of other guns, rifles, aircraft, tanks and poison gases. Well? Instead of "peace and order" a most unrestrained and most devastating war of the generals, financed and instructed by the "civilised" states of Europe and America, is now raging in South and Central China. We get a rather piquant picture of the "civilising" activities of the capitalist states. What we do not understand is merely: what have the Russian Bolsheviks to do with it?
It would be ridiculous to think that these out-rages will be without consequences for the imperialists. The Chinese workers and peasants have already retaliated to them by forming Soviets and a Red Army. It is said that a Soviet government has already been set up there. I think that if this is true, there is nothing surprising about it. There can be no doubt that only Soviets can save China from utter collapse and pauperisation.
As regards India, Indo-China, Indonesia, Africa, etc., the growth of the revolutionary movement in those countries, which at times assumes the form of a national war for liberation, leaves no room for doubt. Messieurs the bourgeois count on flooding those countries with blood and on relying on police bayonets, calling people like Gandhi to their assistance. There can be no doubt that police bayonets make a poor prop. Tsarism, in its day, also tried to rely on police bayonets, but everybody knows what kind of a prop they turned out to be. As regards assistants of the Gandhi type, tsarism had a whole herd of them in the shape of liberal compromisers of every kind, but nothing came of this except discomfiture.
d) It is laying
bare and intensifying the contradictions between the bourgeoisie
and the proletariat in the capitalist countries. The crisis has
already increased the pressure exerted by the capitalists on the working
class. The crisis has already given rise to another wave of capitalist
rationalisation, to a further deterioration of the conditions of the working
class, to increased un-employment, to an enlargement of the permanent army
of unemployed, to a reduction of wages. It is not surprising that these
circumstances are revolutionising the situation, intensifying the class
struggle and pushing the workers towards new class battles.
As a result of this, Social-Democratic illusions among the masses of workers are being shattered and dispelled. After the experience of Social-Democrats being in power, when they broke strikes, organised lockouts and shot down workers, the false promises of "industrial democracy, peace in industry," and "peaceful methods" of struggle sound like cruel mockery to the workers. Will many workers be found today capable of believing the false doctrines of the social-fascists? The well-known workers' demonstrations of August 1, 1929 (against the war danger) and of March 6, 1930 (against unemployment) (Original footnote: Anti-war demonstrations and strikes on August 1, 1929 (the fifteenth anniversary of the outbreak of the imperialist first world war) and protest demonstrations on March 8, 1930, against the rapid growth of unemployment (as a result of the world economic crisis of 1929) took place in many cities and industrial centres of France, Germany, Britain, the U.S.A., Poland and other European and American countries. The protest movement took place wholly under the leadership of the Communist Parties and the Communist International) show that the best members of the working class have already turned away from the social-fascists. The economic crisis will strike a fresh blow at Social-Democratic illusions among the workers. Not many workers will be found now, after the bankruptcies and ruination caused by the crisis, who believe that it is possible for "every worker" to become rich by holding shares in "democratised" joint-stock companies. Needless to say, the crisis will strike a crushing blow at all these and similar illusions.
The desertion of the masses of the workers from the Social-Democrats, however, signifies a turn on their part towards communism. That is what is actually taking place. The growth of the trade-union movement that is associated with the Communist Party, the electoral successes of the Communist Parties, the wave of strikes in which the Communists are taking a leading part, the development of economic strikes into political protests organised by the Communists, the mass demonstrations of workers who sympathise with communism, which are meeting a lively response in the working class - all this shows that the masses of the workers regard the Communist Party as the only party capable of fighting capitalism, the only party worthy of the workers' confidence, the only party under whose leadership it is possible to enter, and worth while entering, the struggle for emancipation from capitalism. This means that the masses are turning towards communism. It is the guarantee that our fraternal Communist Par-ties will become big mass parties of the working class. All that is necessary is that the Communists should be capable of appraising the situation and making proper use of it. By developing an uncompromising struggle against Social-Democracy, which is capital's agency in the working class, and by reducing to dust all and sundry deviations from Leninism, which bring grist to the mill of Social-Democracy, the Communist Parties have shown that they are on the right road. They must definitely fortify themselves on this road; for only if they do that can they count on winning over the majority of the working class and successfully prepare the proletariat for the coming class battles. Only if they do that can we count on a further increase in the influence and prestige of the Communist International.
Such is the state of the principal contradictions of world capitalism, which have become intensified to the utmost by the world economic crisis.
What do all these facts show?
That the stabilisation of capitalism is coming to an end.
That the upsurge of the mass revolutionary movement will increase with fresh vigour.
That in a number of countries the world economic crisis will grow into a political crisis.
This means, firstly, that the bourgeoisie will seek a way out of the situation through further fascisation in the sphere of domestic policy, and will utilise all the reactionary forces, including Social-Democracy, for this purpose.
It means, secondly, that in the sphere of foreign policy the bourgeoisie will seek a way out through a new imperialist war.
It means, lastly, that the proletariat, in fighting capitalist exploitation and the war danger, will seek a way out through revolution.
Let us pass to the internal situation in the U.S.S.R.
1. THE GROWTH OF THE NATIONAL ECONOMY AS A WHOLE
b) In 1926-27, i.e., at the time of the Fifteenth Congress of the Party, freight turnover on our entire railway system amounted to 81,700,000,000 ton-kilometers, i.e., 127 per cent of the prewar level. In the following year, however, i.e., in 1927-28 it was 134.2 per cent, in 1928-29 it was 162.4 per cent, and this year, 1929-30, it, by all accounts, will be not less than 193 per cent of the pre-war level. As regards new railway construction, in the period under review, i.e., counting from 1927-28, the railway system has grown from 76,000 kilometers to 80,000 kilometers, which is 136.7 per cent of the pro-war level.
c) If we take
the trade turnover (wholesale and retail) in the country
in 1926-27 as 100 (31,000,000,000 'rubles), then the volume of trade in
1927-28 shows an increase to 124.6 per cent, that in 1928-29 to 160.4 per
cent, and this year, 1929-30, the volume of trade will, by all accounts,
reach 202 per cent, i.e., double that of 1926-27.
d) If we take the combined balances of all our credit institutions on October 1, 1927 as 100 (9,173,000,000 rubles), then on October 1, 1928, there was an increase to 141 per cent, and on October 1, 1929, an increase to 201.1 per cent, i.e., an amount double that of 1927.
e) If the combined state budget for 1926-27 is taken as 100 (6,371,000,000 rubles) that for 1927-28 shows an increase to 125.5 per cent, that for 1928-29 an increase to 146.7 per cent, and that for 1929-30 to 204.4 per cent, i.e., double the budget for 1926-27 (12,605,000,000 rubles).
f) In 1926-27, our foreign trade turnover (exports and imports) was 47.9 per cent of the pre-war level. In 1927-28, however, our foreign trade turnover rose to 56.8 per cent, in 1928-29 to 67.9 per cent, and in 1929-30 it, by all accounts, will be not less than 80 per cent of the pre-war level.
g) As a result,
we have the following picture of the growth of the total national
income during the period under review (in 1926-27 prices): in 1926-27,
the national income, according to the data of the State Planning Commission,
amounted to 23,127,000,000 rubles; in 1927-28 it amounted to 25,396,000,000
rubles, an increase of 9.8 per cent; in 1928-29 it amounted to 28,596,000,000
rubles - an increase of 12.6 per cent; in 1929-30 the national income ought,
by all accounts, to amount to not less than 34,000,000,000 rubles, thus
showing an increase for the year of 20 per cent. The average annual increase
during the three years under review is, therefore, over 15 per cent.
Bearing in mind that the average annual increase in the national income in countries like the United States, Britain and Germany amounts to no more than 3-8 per cent, it must be admitted that the rate of increase of the national income of the U.S.S.R. is truly a record one.
a) The dynamics
of the relation between industry as a whole and agriculture as a whole
from the point of view of the relative importance of industry in the gross
output of the entire national economy during the period under review
takes the following form: in pre-war times, industry's share of the gross
output of the national economy was 42.1 per cent and that of agriculture
57.9 per cent; in 1927-28 industry's share was 45.2 per cent and that of
agriculture 54.8 per cent; in 1928-29, industry's share was 48.7 per cent
and that of agriculture 51.3 per cent; in 1929-30 industry's share ought
to, by all accounts, be, not less than 53 per cent and that of agriculture
not more than 47 per cent.
This means that the relative importance of industry is already beginning to surpass the relative importance of agriculture in the general system of national economy, and that we are on the eve of the transformation of our country from an agrarian into an industrial country. (Applause.)
b) There is
a still more marked preponderance in favour of industry when regarded from
the viewpoint of its relative importance in the commodity output
of the national economy. In 1926-27, industry's share of the total commodity
output of the national economy was 68.8 per cent and that of agriculture
31.2 per cent. In 1927-28, however, industry's share was 71.2 per cent
and that of agriculture 28.8 per cent; in 1928-29 industry's share was
72.4 per cent and that of agriculture 27.6 per cent, and in 1929-30, industry's
share will, by all accounts, be 76 per cent and that of agriculture 24
This particularly unfavourable position of agriculture is due, among other things, to its character as small-peasant and small-commodity agriculture. Naturally, this situation should change to a certain extent as large-scale agriculture develops through the state farms and collective farms and produces more for the market.
c) The development
of industry in general, however, does not give a complete picture of the
rate of industrialisation. To obtain a complete picture we must also ascertain
the dynamics of the relation between heavy industry and light industry.
Hence, the most striking index of the growth of industrialisation must
be considered to be the progressive growth of the relative importance of
the output of instruments and means of production (heavy
industry) in the total industrial output. In 1927-28, the share of output
of instruments and means of production in the total output of all
industry amounted to 27.2 per cent while that of the output of consumer
goods was 72.8 per cent. In 1928-29, however, the share of the output of
instruments and means of production amounted to 28.7 per cent as against
71.3 per cent, and in 1929-30, the share of the output of instruments and
means of production, will, by all accounts, already amount to 32.7 per
cent as against 67.3 per cent.
If, however, we take not all industry, but only that part which is planned by the Supreme Council of National Economy, and which embraces all the main branches of industry, the relation between the output of instruments and means of production and the output of consumer goods will present a still more favourable picture, namely: in 1927-28, the share of the output of instruments and means of production amounted to 42.7 per cent as against 57.3 per cent; 1928-29 - 44.6 per cent as against 55.4 per cent, and in1929-30, it will, by all accounts, amount to not less than 48 per cent as against 52 per cent for the output of consumer goods.
The keynote of the development of our national economy is industrialisation, the strengthening and development of our own heavy industry.
This means that we have already established and are further developing our heavy industry, the basis of our economic independence.
Private and capitalist
in 1926-27-63,000,000 rubles;
in 1927-28 - 64,000,000 rubles;
in 1928-29 -56,000,000 rubles;
in 1929-30 -51,000,000 rubles.
This means, firstly, that
during this period capital investments in the socialised sector of industry
have more than trebled (335 per cent).
It means, secondly, that during this period capital investments in the private and capitalist sector have been reduced by one-fifth (81 per cent).
The private and capitalist sector is living on its old capital and is moving towards its doom.
b) Taking the growth of
gross output of industry according to sectors we get the
in 1926-27 - 11,999,000,000 rubles;
in 1927-28 -15,389,000,000 rubles;
in 1928-29 - 18,903,000,000 rubles;
in 1929-30 - 24,740,000,000 rubles.
Private and capitalist
in 1926-27 - 4,043,000,000 rubles;
in 1927-28 3,704,000,000 rubles;
in 1928-29 - 3,389,000,000 rubles; in 1929-30 - 3,310,000,000 rubles.
This means, firstly, that
during the three years, the gross output of the socialised sector of industry
more than doubled (206.2 per cent).
It means, secondly, that in the same period the gross industrial output of the private and capitalist sector was reduced by nearly one-fifth (81.9 per cent).
If, however, we take the
output not of all industry, but only of large-scale (statistically
registered) industry and examine it according to sectors, we get the following
picture of the relation between the socialised and private sectors.
Relative importance of the socialised sector in the output of the country's large-scale industry:
1926-27 - 97.7 per cent;
1927-28 - 98.6 per cent;
1928-29 - 99.1 per cent;
1929-30 - 99.3 per cent.
Relative importance of
the private sector in the output of the country's large-scale industry:
1926-27 - 2.3 per cent;
1927-28 - 1.4 per cent;
1928-29 - 0.9 per cent;
1929-30 - 0.7 per cent.
As you see, the capitalist
elements in large-scale industry have already gone to the bottom.
Clearly, the question "who will beat whom," the question whether socialism will defeat the capitalist elements in industry, or whether the latter will defeat socialism, has already been settled in favour of the socialist forms of industry. Settled finally and irrevocably. (Applause.)
d) Some comrades are sceptical about the slogan "the five-year plan
in four years." Only very recently one section of comrades regarded
our five-year plan, which was endorsed by the Fifth Congress of Soviets,
(Original Footnote: The Fifth Congress
of Soviets of the U.S.S.R., which was held In Moscow, May 2028, 1929, discussed
the following questions: The report of the Government of the U.S.S.R.;
the five-year plan of development of the national economy of the U.S.S.R.;
the promotion of agriculture and the development of co-operation in the
countryside. The central question at the congress was the discussion and
adoption of the First Stalin Five Year Plan. The congress approved the
report of the Government of the U.S.S.R., endorsed the five-year plan of
development of the national economy, outlined ways and means of promoting
agriculture and the development of co-operatives in the countryside, and
elected a new Central Executive Committee of the U.S.S.R.)
as fantastic; not to mention the bourgeois writers whose eyes pop out of their heads at the very words "five-year plan." But what is the actual situation if we consider the fulfillment of the five-year plan during the first two years? What does checking the fulfilment of the optimal variant of the five-year plan tell us? It tells us not only that we can carry out the five-year plan in four years, it also tells us that in a number of branches of industry we can carry it out in three and even in two-and-a-half years. This may sound incredible to the sceptics in the opportunist camp, but it is a fact, which it would be foolish, and ridiculous to deny.
Judge for yourselves.
According to the five-year plan, the output of the oil industry in 1932-33 was to amount to 977,000,000 rubles. Actually, its output already in 1929-30 amounts to 809,000,000 rubles, i.e., 83 per cent of the amount fixed in the five-year plan for 1932-33. Thus, we are fulfilling the five-year plan for the oil industry in a matter of two-and-a-half years.
The output of the peat industry in 1932-33, according to the five-year plan, was to amount to 122,000,000 rubles. Actually, in 1919-30 already its output amounts to over 115,000,000 rubles, i.e., 96 per cent of the output fixed in the five-year plan for 1932-33. Thus, we are fulfilling the five-year plan for the peat industry in two-and-a-half years, if not sooner.
According to the five-year plan, the output of the general machine-building industry in 1932-33 was to amount to 2,058,000,000 rubles. Actually, in 1929-30 already its output amounts to 1,458,000,000 rubles, i.e., 70 per cent of the output fixed in the five-year plan for 1932-33. Thus, we are fulfilling the five-year plan for the general machine-building industry in two-and-a-half years.
According to the five-year plan, the output of the agricultural machine-building industry in 1932-33 was to amount to 610,000,000 rubles. Actually, in 1929-30, already its output amounts to 400,000 000 rubles, i.e., over 60 per cent of the amount fixed in the five-year plan for 1932-33. Thus, we are fulfilling the agricultural machine-building industry in three years, if not sooner.
According to the five-year plan, the output of the electro-technical industry in 1932-33 was to amount to 896,000,000 rubles. Actually in 1929-30 already it amounts to 503,00,000 rubles, i.e.; over 56 per cent of the amount fixed for 1932-33. Thus, we are fulfilling the five-year plan the five-year plan for the electro-technical industry in three years.
Such are the unprecedented rates of development of our socialist industries.
We are going forward at an accelerated pace, technically and economically overtaking the advanced capitalist countries.
e) This does
not mean of course, that we have already overtaken them as regards size
of output, that our industry has already reached the level of
the development of industry in the advanced capitalist countries. No, this
is far from being the case. The rate of industrial development
must not be confused with the level of industrial development.
Many people in our country confuse the two and believe that since we have
achieved an unprecedented rate of industrial development we have thereby
reached the level of industrial development of the advanced capitalist
countries. But that is radically wrong.
Take, for example, the, production of electricity, in regard to which our rate of development is very high. From 1924 to 1929 we achieved an increase in the output of electricity to nearly 600 per cent of the 1924 figure, whereas in the same period the output of electricity in the United States increased only to 181 per cent, in Canada to 218 per cent, in Germany to 241 per cent and in Italy to 222 per cent. As you see, our rate is truly unprecedented and exceeds that of all other states. But if we take the level of development of electricity production in those countries, in 1929, for example, and compare it with the level of development in the U.S.S.R., we shall get a picture that is far from comforting for the U.S.S.R. Notwithstanding the unprecedented rate of development of electricity production in the U.S.S.R., in 1929 output amounted to only 6,465,000,000 kilowatt-hours, whereas that of the United States amounted to 126,000,000,000 kilowatt-hours, Canada 17,628,000,000 kilowatt-hours, Germany 33,000,000,000 kilowatt-hours, and Italy 10,850,000,000 kilowatt-hours. The difference, as you see, is colossal.
It follows, then, that as regards level of development we are behind all these states.
Or take, for example, our output of pig-iron. If our output of pig-iron for 1926-27 is taken as 100 (2,900,000 tons), the output for the three years from 1927-28 to 1929-30 shows an increase to almost double, to 190 per cent (5,500,000 tons). The rate of development, as you see, is fairly high. But if we look at it from the point of view of the level of development of pig-iron production in our country and compare the size of the output in the U.S.S.R. with that in the advanced capitalist countries, the result is not very comforting. To begin with, we are reaching and shall exceed the pre-war level of pig-iron production only this year 1929-30. This alone drives us to the inexorable conclusion that unless we still further accelerate the development of our metallurgical industry we run the risk of jeopardising our entire industrial production. As regards the level of development of the pig4ron industry in our country and in the West we have the following picture: the output of pig-iron in 1929 in the United States amounted to 42,300,000 tons; Germany 13,400,000 tons; in France 10,450,000 tons; in Great Britain 7,700,000 tons; but in the U.S.S.R. the output of pig-iron at the end of 1929 30 will amount to only 5,500,000 tons.
No small difference, as you see.
It follows, therefore, that as regards level of development of pig-iron production we are behind all these countries.
What does all this show?
It shows that:
1) The rate of development of industry must not be confused with its level of development;
2) We are damnably behind the advanced capitalist countries as regards level of development of industry;
3) Only the further acceleration of the development of our industry will enable us to overtake and outstrip the advanced capitalist countries technically and economically;
4) People who talk about the necessity of reducing the rate of development of our industry are enemies of socialism, agents of our class enemies. (Applause.)
Thus it follows,
further, that, as regards the marketable part of the grain
output we are still far from having reached the pre-war standard and shall
remain below it this year too by about 25 per cent.
That is the basis of our grain difficulties, which became particularly acute in 1928.
That, too, is the basis grain problem.
b) The picture
is approximately the same, but with more alarming figures, in the sphere
of livestock farming. If the number of all kinds of head
of livestock in 1916 is taken as 100, we get the following picture for
the respective years:
the number of horses amounted to 88.9 per cent of the pre-war level;
Large horned-cattle - 114.3 per cent;
Sheep and goats 119.3 per cent;
Pigs 113.4 per cent.
horses 94.6 percent;
large horned cattle - 118.5 per cent;
sheep and goats 126 per cent;
pigs - 126.1 per cent.
horses - 96.9 per cent; l
large horned cattle - 115.6 per cent;
sheep and goats - 127.8 per cent;
pigs - 103 per cent.
horses - 88.6 per cent;
large horned cattle - 89.1 per cent;
sheep and goats - 87.1 per cent;
pigs - 60.1 per cent of the 1916 standard.
in 1926 - 33.4 per cent;
in 1927 - 32.9 per cent;
in 1928 - 30.4 per cent;
in 1929 - 29.2 per cent.
c) A different picture is revealed by the development of industrial crops, which provide the raw materials for our light industry. If the industrial crop area in 1913 is taken as 100, we have the following:
in 1927 - 86.6 per cent;
in 1928 95.7 per cent;
in 1929 112.9 per cent;
in 1930 - 125 per cent of the pre-war level;
in 1927 - 106.6 per cent;
in 1928 - 124.2 per cent;
in 1929 - 125.8 per cent;
in 1930 169 per cent of the pre-war level.
in 1927 - 179.4 per cent;
in 1928 - 230.9 per cent;
in 1929 - 219.7 per cent;
in 1930 - no less than 260 per cent of the pre-war level.
in 1928 - 71.6 per cent;
in 1929 - 81.5 per cent;
in 1930 we shall have, by all accounts, 101.3 per cent of the pre-war level.
in 1928 - 93 per cent;
in 1929 - 58 per cent,
in 1930 we shall have, by all accounts, 139.4 per cent of the pro-war level.
in 1928 - 161.9 per cent;
in 1929 - 149.8 per cent;
in 1930 we shall have, by all accounts, 220 per cent of the pre-war level.
2) the problem of raising the level of livestock farming and of solving the meat question by supplying the districts concerned with sufficient quantities of cheap grain produce and fodder;
3) the problem of finally solving the question of grain farming as the chief question in agriculture at the present moment.
5. THE TURN OF THE PEASANTRY TOWARDS SOCIALISM AND THE RATE OF DEVELOPMENT OF STATE FARMS AND COLLECTIVE FARMS
a) As early
as 1928, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee adopted a decision
to organise new state farms in the course of three or four
years, calculating that by the end of this period these state farms could
provide not less than 100,000,000 poods of marketable grain. Later, this
decision was endorsed by a plenum of the Central Committee. The Grain Trust
was organised and entrusted with the task of carrying out this decision.
Parallel with this, a decision was adopted to strengthen the old state
farms and to enlarge their crop area. The State Farm Centre was
organised and entrusted with the task of carrying out this decision.
I cannot help mentioning that these decisions met with a hostile reception from the opportunist section of our Party. There was talk about the money invested in the state farms being money "thrown away." There was also criticism from men of "science", supported by the Opportunist elements in the Party, to the effect that it was impossible and senseless to organise large state farms. The Central Committee, however, continued to pursue its line and pursued it to the end in spite of everything.
In 1927-28, the sum of 65,700,000 rubles (not counting short-term credits for working capital) was assigned for financing the state farms. In 1928-29, the sum of 185,800,000 rubles was assigned. Lastly, this year 856,200,000 rubles have been assigned. During the period under review, 18,000 tractors with a total of 350,000 h.p. were placed at the disposal of the state farms.
What are the results of these measures?
the crop area of the Grain Trust amounted to:
in 1929-30 to 1,060,000 hectares,
in 1930-31 it will amount to 4,500,000 hectares,
in 1931-32 to 9,000,000 hectares,
and in 1932-33, i.e., towards the end of the five-year plan period, to 14,000,000 hectares.
the crop area of the State Farm Centre amounted to 430,000
in 1929-30 to 860,000 hectares,
in 1930-31 it will amount to 1,800,000 hectares,
in 1931-32 to 2,000,000 hectares, and in 1932-33 to 2,500,000 hectares.
In 1928-29, the crop area of the Sugar Union
(grain crop) amounted to 780,000 hectares,
in 1929-30 to 820,000 hectares,
in 1930-31 it will amount to 860,000 hectares,
in 1931-32 to 980,000 hectares,
and in 1932-33 to 990,000 hectares.
Such are the existing and anticipated results of our Party's state-farm policy.
b) As regards
collective-farm development, we have an even more favourable
As early as July 1928, a plenum of the Central Committee adopted the following decision on collective-farm development:
1) placed on record the existence of a mass turn
of the peasantry towards the collective farms and the possibility
of overfulfilling the live-year plan of collective-farm development in
the spring of 1930;
2) placed on record the existence of the material and other conditions necessary for replacing kulak production by collective-farm production and, in view of this, proclaimed the necessity of passing from the policy of restricting the kulaks to the policy of eliminating the kulaks as a class; 3) laid down the prospect that already in the spring of 1930 the crop area cultivated on a socialised basis would considerably exceed 30,000,000 hectares;
4) divided the U.S.S.R. into three groups of districts and fixed for each of them approximate dates for the completion, in the main, of collectivisation;
5) revised the land settlement method in favour of the collective farms and the forms of financing agriculture, assigning for the collective farms in 1929-30 credits amounting to not less than 500,000,000 rubles;
6) defined the artel form of the collective-farm movement as the main link in the collective-farm system at the present time;
7) rebuffed the opportunist elements in the Party who were trying to retard the collective-farm movement on the plea of a shortage of machines and tractors;
8) lastly, warned Party workers against possible excesses in the collective-farm movement, and against the danger of decreeing collective-farm development from above, a danger that would involve the threat of playing at collectivisation taking the place of a genuine and mass collective-farm movement.
The crop area
of the collective farms -
in 1927 amounted to 800,000 hectares,
in 1928 - 1,400,000 hectares,
in 1929 - 4,300,000 hectares,
in 1930 - not less than 36,000,000 hectares, counting both spring and winter crops.
firstly, that in three years the crop area of the collective farms has
grown more than forty-fold. (Applause.)
It means, secondly, that our collective farms now have a crop area as large as that of France and Italy put together. (Applause.)
As regards gross grain output and the part available for the market, we have the following picture.
Of these, workers employed in large-scale industry
(not including office employees) numbered:
in 1926-27 - 2,439,000,
in 1927-28 - 2,632,000,
in 198-29 - 2,858,000,
in 1929-30 - 3,029,000.
Let us pass
to the question of unemployment. It must be said that in
this sphere considerable confusion reigns both at the People's Commissariat
of Labour and at the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions.
On the one hand, according to the data of these institutions we have about a million unemployed, of whom, those to any degree skilled constitute only 14.3 per cent, while about 73 per cent are those engaged in so-called intellectual labour and unskilled workers; the vast majority of the latter are women and young persons not connected with industrial production.
On the other hand, according to the same data, we are suffering from a frightful shortage of skilled labour, the labour exchanges are unable to meet about 80 per cent of the demands for labour by our factories and thus we are obliged hurriedly, literally as we go along, to train absolutely unskilled people and make skilled workers out of them in order to satisfy at least the minimum requirements of our factories.
Just try to find your way out of this confusion. It is clear, at all events, that these unemployed do not constitute a reserve and still less a permanent army of un-employed workers of our industry.
Well? Even according to the data of the People's Commissariat of Labour it appears that in the recent period the number of unemployed has diminished compared with last year by over 700,000. This means that by May 1, this year, the number of unemployed had dropped by over 42 per cent.
There you have another result of the growth of the socialist sector of our national economy.
b) The share of the kulaks and urban capitalists
in 1927-28 - 8.1 per cent;
in 1928-29 - 6.5 per cent;
in 1929-30 - 1.8 per cent.
c) The share of handicraftsmen, the majority
of whom are working people, was:
in 1927-28 - 6.5 per cent;
in 1928-29 - 5.4 per cent;
in 1929-30 - 4.4 per cent.
d) The share of the state sector, the income
of which is the income of the working class and of the working people generally,
in 1927-28 - 8.4 per cent;
in 1928-29 10 per cent;
in 1929-30 - 15.2 per cent.
e) Lastly, the share of the so-called miscellaneous
(meaning pensions) was
in 1927-28 - 1.8 per cent;
in 1928-29 - 1.6 per cent;
in 1929-30 - 1.5 per cent.
f) In the light
of these decisive facts, one can quite understand the systematic increase
in the real wages of the workers, the increase in the workers' social insurance
budget, the increased assistance to poor- and middle-peasant farms, the
increased assignments for workers' housing, for the improvement of the
workers' living conditions and for mother and child care, and, as a consequence,
the progressive growth of the population of the U.S.S.R. and the decline
in mortality, particularly in infant mortality.
It is known, for example, that the real wages of the workers, including social insurance and allocations from, profits to the fund for improvement of the workers living conditions, have risen to 167 per cent of the pre-war level. During the past three years, the workers social insurance budget alone has grown from 980,000,000 rubles in 1927-28 to 1,400,000 000 rubles in 1929-30. The amount spent on mother and child care during the past three years (1929-30) was 494,000,000 rubles. The amount spent on pre-school education (kindergartens, playgrounds, etc.) during the same period was 204,000,000 rubles. The amount spent on workers' housing was 1,880,000,000 rubles.
This does not mean, of course, that everything necessary for an important increase in real wages has already been done, that real wages could not have been raised to a higher level. If this has not been done, it is because of the bureaucracy in our supply organisations in general, and primarily and particularly because of the bureaucracy in the consumers' co-operatives. According to the data of the State Planning Commission, in 1929-30 the socialised sector of internal trade embraced over 99 per cent of wholesale trade and over 89 per cent of retail trade. This means that the co-operatives are systematically ousting the private sector and are becoming the monopolists in the sphere of trade. That, of course, is good. What is bad, however, is that in a number of cases this monopoly operates to the detriment of the consumers. It appears, that in spite of the almost monopolist position they occupy in trade, the co-operatives prefer to supply the workers with more "paying" goods, which yield bigger profits (haberdashery, etc.), and avoid supplying them with less "paying," although more essential, goods for the workers (agricultural produce). As a result, the workers are obliged to satisfy about 25 per cent of their requirements for agricultural produce in the private market, paying higher prices. That is apart from the fact that the co-operative apparatus is concerned most of all with its balance and is therefore reluctant to reduce retail prices in spite of the categorical instructions of the leading centres. It follows, therefore, that in this case the co-operatives function not as a socialist sector, but as a peculiar sector that is infected with a sort of Nepman spirit. The question is, does anyone need co-operatives of this sort, and what benefit do the workers derive from their monopoly if they do not carry out the function of seriously raising the workers' real wages?
If, in spite of this, real wages in our country are steadily rising from year to year, it means that our social system, our system of distribution of the national income, and our entire wages policy, are such that they are able to neutralise and make up for all defects arising from the co-operatives.
If to this circumstance we add a number of other factors, such as the increase in the role of public catering, lower rents for workers, the vast number of stipends paid to workers and workers' children, cultural services, and so forth, we may boldly say that the percentage increase of workers' wages is much greater than is indicated in the statistics of some of our institutions.
All this taken together, plus the introduction of the seven-hour day for over 830,000 industrial workers (33.5 per cent), plus the introduction of the five-day week for over a million and a half industrial workers (63.4 per cent), plus the extensive network of rest homes, sanatoria and health resorts for workers, to which more than 1,700,000 workers have gone during the past three years-all this creates conditions of work and life for the working class that enable us to rear a new generation of workers who are healthy and vigorous, who are capable of raising the might of the Soviet country to the proper level and of protecting it with their lives from attaclcs by its enemies. (Applause.)
As regards assistance to the peasants, both individual and collective-farm peasants, and bearing in mind also assistance to poor peasants, this in the past three years (1927-28 -- 1929-30) has amounted to a sum of not less than 4,000,000,000 rubles, provided in the shape of credits and assignments from the state budget. As is known, assistance in the shape of seeds alone has been granted the peasants during the past three years to the amount of not less than 154,000,000 poods.
It is not surprising that the workers and peasants in our country are living fairly well on the whole, that general mortality has dropped 36 per cent, and infant mortality 42.5 per cent, below the pre-war level, while the annual increase in population in our country is about three million. (Applause.)
As regards the cultural conditions of the workers and peasants, in this sphere too we have some achievements, which, however, cannot under any circumstances satisfy us, as they are still small. Leaving out of account workers' clubs of all kinds, village reading rooms, libraries and abolition of illiteracy classes, which this year are being attended by 10,500,000 persons, the situation as regards cultural and educational matters is as follows. This year elementary schools are being attended by 11,638,000 pupils; secondary schools-1,945,000; industrial and technical, transport and agricultural schools and classes for training workers of ordinary skill---333,100; secondary technical and equivalent trade schools ---238,700; colleges, general and technical- 190,400. All this has enabled us to raise literacy in the U.S.S.R. to 62.6 per cent of the population, compared with 33 per cent in pre-war times.
The chief thing now is to pass to universal, compulsory elementary education. I say the "chief" thing, because this would be a decisive step in the cultural revolution. And it is high time we took this step, for we now possess all that is needed to organise compulsory, universal elementary education in all areas of the U.S.S.R.
Until now we have been obliged to "exercise economy in all things, even in schools" in order to "save, to restore heavy industry" (Lenin). During the recent period, however, we have already restored heavy industry and are developing it further. Hence, the time has arrived when we must set about fully achieving universal, compulsory elementary education.
I think that the congress will do the right thing if it adopts a definite and absolutely categorical decision on this matter. (Applause.)
must bear in mind the circumstance that in our country the reconstruction
of the national economy is not limited to rebuilding its technical basis,
but that, on the contrary, parallel with this, it calls for the reconstruction
of social-economic relationships. Here I have in mind, mainly, agriculture.
In industry, which is already united and socialised, technical reconstruction
already has, in the main, a ready-made social-economic basis. Here, the
task of reconstruction is to accelerate the process of ousting the capitalist
elements from industry. The matter is not so simple in agriculture. The
reconstruction of the technical basis of agriculture pursues, of course,
the same aims. The specific feature of agriculture in our country, however,
is that small-peasant farming still predominates in it, that small farming
is unable to master the new technology and that, in view of this, the reconstruction
of the technical basis of agriculture is impossible without
simultaneously re-constructing the old social-economic order, without unit-ing
the small individual farms into large, collective farms, without tearing
out the roots of capitalism in agriculture.
Naturally, these circumstances cannot but complicate our difficulties, cannot but complicate our work in surmounting these difficulties.
Thirdly, we must hear in mind the circumstance that our work for the socialist reconstruction of the national economy, since it breaks up the economic connections of capitalism and turns all the forces of the old world upside down, cannot but rouse the desperate resistance of these forces. Such is the case, as you know. The malicious wrecking activities of the top stratum of the bourgeois intelligentsia in all branches of our industry, the brutal struggle of the kulaks against collective forms of farming in the countryside, the sabotage of the Soviet government's measures by bureaucratic elements in the state apparatus, who are agents of our class enemy - such, so far, are the chief forms of the resistance of the moribund classes in our country. Obviously, these circumstances cannot facilitate our work of reconstructing the national economy.
must hear in mind the circumstance that the resistance of the moribund
classes in our country is not taking place in isolation from the outside
world, hut is receiving the support of the capitalist encirclement. Capitalist
encirclement must not be regarded simply as a geographical concept. Capitalist
encirclement means that the U.S.S.R. is surrounded by hostile class forces,
which are ready to support our class enemies within the U.S.S.R. morally,
materially, by means of a financial blockade and, if the opportunity offers,
by military intervention. It has been proved that the wrecking activities
of our specialists, the anti-Soviet activities of the kulaks, and the incendiarism
and explosions at our factories and installations are subsidised and inspired
from abroad. The imperialist world is not interested in the U.S.S.R. standing
up firmly and becoming able to overtake and outstrip the advanced capitalist
countries. Hence, the assistance it renders the forces of the old world
in the U.S.S.R. Naturally, this circumstance, too, cannot serve to facilitate
our work of reconstruction.
The characterisation of our difficulties will not be complete, however, if we fail to bear in mind one other circumstance. I am referring to the special character of our difficulties. I am referring to the fact that our difficulties are not difficulties of decline, or of stagnation, but difficulties of growth, difficulties of ascent, difficulties of progress. This means that our difficulties differ fundamentally from those encountered by the capitalist countries. When people in the United States talk about difficulties they have in mind difficulties due to decline, for America is now going through a crisis, i.e., economic decline. When people in Britain talk about difficulties they have in mind difficulties due to stagnation, for Britain, for a number of years already, has been experiencing stagnation, i.e., cessation of progress. When we speak about our difficulties, however, we have in mind not decline and not stagnation in development, but the growth of our forces, the upswing of our forces, the progress of our economy. How many points shall we move further forward by a given date? What per cent more goods shall we produce? How many million more hectares shall we sow? How many months earlier shall we erect a factory, a mill, a railway? Such are the questions that we have in mind when we speak of difficulties. Consequently, our difficulties, unlike those encountered by, say, America or Britain, are difficulties of growth, difficulties of progress.
What does this signify? It signifies that our difficulties are such as contain within themselves the possibility of surmounting them. It signifies that the distinguishing feature of our difficulties is that they themselves give us the basis for surmounting them.
What follows from all this?
It follows from this, first of all that our difficulties are not difficulties due to minor and accidental "derangements," but difficulties arising from the class struggle.
It follows from this secondly, that behind our difficulties are hidden our class enemies, that these difficulties are complicated by the desperate resistance of the moribund classes in our country, by the support that these classes receive from abroad, by the existence of bureaucratic elements in our own institutions, by the existence of unsureness and conservatism among certain sections of our Party.
It follows from this thirdly, that to surmount the difficulties it is necessary first of all, to repulse the attacks of the capitalist elements, to crush their resistance and thereby clear the way for rapid progress.
It follows from this, lastly, that the very character of our difficulties, being difficulties of growth, creates the possibilities that we need for crushing our class enemies.
There is only one means, however, of taking advantage of these possibilities and of converting them into reality, of crushing the resistance of our class enemies and surmounting the difficulties, and that is to organise an offensive against the capitalist elements along the whole front and to isolate the opportunist elements in our own ranks, who are hindering the offensive, who are rushing in panic from one side to another and sowing doubt in the Party about the possibility of victory. (Applause.)
There are no other means.
Only people who have lost their heads can seek a way out in Bukharin's childish formula about the capitalist elements peacefully growing into socialism. In our country development has not proceeded and is not proceeding according to Bukharin's formula. Development has proceeded, and is proceeding, according to Lenin's formula "who will beat whom." Either we vanquish and crush them, the exploiters, or they will vanquish and crush us, the workers and peasants of the U.S.S.R. - that is how the question stands, comrades.
Thus, the organisation of the offensive of socialism along the whole front - that is the task that arose before us in developing our work of reconstructing the entire national economy.
That is precisely how the Party interpreted its mission in organising the offensive against the capitalist elements in our country.
b) But is an
offensive, and an offensive along the whole front at that, permissible
at all under the conditions of NEP?
Some think that an offensive is incompatible with NEP - that NEP is essentially a retreat, that, since the retreat has ended, NEP must be abolished. That is non-sense, of course. It is nonsense that emanates either from the Trotskyists, who have never understood anything about Leninism and who think of "abolishing" NEP "in a trice," or from the Right opportunists, who have also never understood Leninism, and think that by chattering about the "the threat to abolish NEP", they can manage to secure abandonment of the offensive. If NEP was nothing but a retreat, Lenin would not have said at the Eleventh Congress of the Party, when we were implementing NEP with the utmost consistency, that "the retreat has ended." When Lenin said that the retreat had ended, did he not also say that we were thinking of carrying out NEP "in earnest and for a long time"? It is sufficient to put this question to understand the utter absurdity of the talk about NEP being incompatible with an offensive. In point of fact, NEP does not merely presuppose a retreat and permission for the revival of private trade, permission for the revival of capitalism while ensuring the regulating role of the state (the initial stage of NEP). In point of fact, NEP also presupposes at a certain stage of development, the offensive of socialism against the capitalist elements, the restriction of the field of activity of private trade, the relative and absolute diminution of capitalism, the increasing preponderance of the socialised sector over the non-socialised sector, the victory of socialism over capitalism (the present stage of NEP). NEP was introduced to ensure the victory of socialism over the capitalist elements. In passing to the offensive along the whole front, we do not yet abolish NEP for private trade and the capitalist elements still remain, "free" trade still remains - but we are certainly abolishing the initial stage of NEP, while developing its next stage, the present stage, which is the last stage of NEP.
Here is what Lenin said in 1922, a year after NEP was introduced:
Clear, one would think.
repression in the sphere of socialist construction are a necessary element
of the offensive, but they are an auxiliary, not the chief element. The
chief thing in the offensive of socialism under our present conditions
is to speed up the rate of development of our industry, to speed up the
rate of state-farm and collective-farm development, to speed up the rate
of the economic ousting of the capitalist elements in town and country,
to mobilise the masses around socialist construction, to mobilise the masses
against capitalism. You may arrest and deport tens and hundreds of thousands
of kulaks, but if you do not at the same time do all that is necessary
to speed up the development of the new forms of farming, to replace the
old, capitalist forms of farming by the new forms, to undermine and abolish
the production sources of the economic existence and development of the
capitalist elements in the countryside - the kulaks will, nevertheless,
revive and grow.
Others think that the offensive of socialism means advancing headlong, without proper preparation, without regrouping forces in the course of the offensive, with-out consolidating captured positions, without utilising reserves to develop successes, and that if signs have appeared of, say, an exodus of a section of the peasants from the collective farms it means that there is already the "ebb of the revolution," the decline of the movement, the cessation of the offensive.
Is that true? Of course, it is not true.
Firstly, no offensive, even the most successful, can proceed without some breaches or incursions on individual sectors of the front. To argue, on these grounds, that the offensive has stopped, or has failed, means not to understand the essence of an offensive.
Secondly, there has never been, nor can there be, a successful offensive without regrouping forces in the course of the offensive itself, without consolidating captured positions, without utilising reserves for developing success and for carrying the offensive through to the end. Where there is a headlong advance, i.e., without observing these conditions, the offensive must inevitably peter out and fail. A headlong advance means death to the offensive. This is proved by the wealth of experience of our Civil War. Thirdly, how can an analogy be drawn between the "ebb of the revolution," which usually takes place on the basis of a decline of the movement, and the withdrawal of a section of the peasantry from the collective farms, which took place against a background of the continuing upswing of the movement, against a background of the continuing upswing of the whole of our socialist development, both industrial and collective-farm, against a background of the continuing upswing of our revolution? What can there be in common between these two totally different phenomena?
c) What is the essence of the Bolshevik offensive under
our present conditions?
The essence of the Bolshevik offensive lies, first and foremost, in mobilising the class vigilance and revolutionary activity of the masses against the capitalist elements in our country; in mobilising the creative initiative and independent activity of the masses against bureaucracy in our institutions and organisations, which keeps concealed the colossal reserves latent in the depths of our system and prevents them from being used; in organising emulation and labour enthusiasm among the masses for raising the productivity of labour, for developing socialist construction.
The essence of the Bolshevik offensive lies, secondly, in organising the reconstruction of the entire practical work of the trade-union, co-operative, Soviet and all other mass organisations to fit the requirements of the reconstruction period; in creating in them a core of the most active and revolutionary functionaries, pushing aside and isolating the opportunist, trade-unionist, bureaucratic elements; in expelling from them the alien and degenerate elements and promoting new cadres from the rank and file.
The essence of the Bolshevik offensive lies, further, in mobilising the maximum funds for financing our industry, for financing our state farms and collective farms, in appointing the best people in our Party for developing all this work.
The essence of the Bolshevik offensive lies, lastly, in mobilising the Party itself for organising the whole offensive; in strengthening and giving a sharp edge to the Party organisations, exposing elements of bureaucracy and degeneration from them; in isolating and thrusting aside those that express Right or "Left" deviations from the Leninist line and bringing to the fore genuine, staunch Leninists.
Such are the principles of the Bolshevik offensive at the present time.
How has the Party carried out this plan of the offensive?
You know that the Party has carried out this plan with the utmost consistency.
Matters started by the Party developing wide self-criticism, concentrating the attention of the masses upon shortcomings in our work of construction, upon short-comings in our organisations and institutions. The need for intensifying self-criticism was proclaimed already at the Fifteenth Congress. The Shakty affair and the wrecking activities in various branches of industry, which revealed the absence of revolutionary vigilance in some of the Party organisations, on the one hand, and the struggle against the kulaks and the defects revealed in our rural organisations, on the other hand, gave a further impetus to self-criticism. In its appeal of June 2, 1928, (Original Footnote: This refers to an appeal of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.) "To All Party Members and to All Workers" on developing self-criticism, which was published in Pravda, No.128, June 3, 1928) the Central Committee gave final shape to the campaign for self-criticism, calling upon all the forces of the Party and the working class to develop self-criticism "from top to bottom and from the bottom up" "irrespective of persons." Dissociating itself from the Trotskyist "criticism emanating from the other side of the barricade and aiming at discrediting and weakening the Soviet regime, the Party proclaimed the task of self-criticism to be the ruthless exposure of shortcomings in our work for the purpose of improving our work of construction and strengthening the Soviet regime. As is known, the Party's appeal met with a most lively response among the masses of the working class and peasantry
Further, the Party organised a wide campaign for the struggle against bureaucracy and issued the slogan of purging the Party, trade-union cooperative and Soviet organisations of alien and bureaucratised elements. A sequel to this campaign was the well-known decision of the Central Committee and Central Control Commission of March 16, 1930, concerning the promotion of workers to posts in the state apparatus and the organisation of mass workers' control of the Soviet apparatus (patronage by factories). (Original Footnote: The decision of the C.C. and C.C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.) on "Promotion of Workers to Posts in the State Apparatus, and Mass Workers' Control from Below of the Soviet Apparatus (Patronage by Factories)" was published in Pravda, No. 74, March 16, 1930.) As is known, this campaign evoked tremendous enthusiasm and activity among the masses of the workers. The result of this campaign has been an immense increase in the Party's prestige among the masses of the working people, an increase in the confidence of the working class in the Party, the influx into the Party of further hundreds of thousands of workers, and the resolutions passed by workers expressing the desire to join the Party in whole shops and factories. Lastly, a result of this campaign has been that our organisations have got rid of a number of conservative and bureaucratic elements, and the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions has got rid of the old, opportunist leadership.
Further, the Party organised wide socialist emulation and mass labour enthusiasm in the factories and mills. The appeal of the Sixteenth Party Conference concerning emulation started the ball rolling. The shock brigades are pushing it on further. The Leninist Young Communist League and the working-class youth which it guides are crowning the cause of emulation and shock-brigade work with decisive successes. It must be admitted that our revolutionary youth have played an exceptional role in this matter. There can be no doubt now that one of the most important, if not the most important, factor in our work of construction at the present time is socialist emulation among factories and mills, the interchange of challenges of hundreds of thousands of workers on the results achieved in emulation, the wide development of shock-brigade work.
Only the blind fail to see that a tremendous change has taken place in the mentality of the masses and in their attitude to work, a change which has radically altered the appearance of our mills and factories. Not so long ago voices were still heard among us saying that emulation and shock-brigade work were "artificial inventions," and "unsound." Today, these "sages" do not even provoke ridicule, they are regarded simply as "sages" who have outlived their time. The cause of emulation and shock-brigade work is now a cause that has been won and consolidated. It is a fact that over two million of our workers are engaged in emulation, and that not less than a million workers belong to shock brigades.
The most remarkable feature of emulation is the radical revolution it brings about in people's views of labour, for it transforms labour from a degrading and heavy burden, as it was considered before, into a matter of honour, a matter of glory, a matter of valour and heroism. There is not, nor can there be, anything of the sort in capitalist countries. There, among the capitalists, the most desirable thing, deserving of public approval, is to be a bondholder, to live on interest, not to have to work, which is regarded as a contemptible occupation. Here, in the U.S.S.R., on the contrary, what is becoming the most desirable thing, deserving of public approval, is the possibility of being a hero of labour, the possibility of being a hero in shock-brigade work, surrounded with an aureole of esteem among millions of working people.
A no less remarkable feature of emulation is the fact that it is beginning to spread also in the countryside, having already spread to our state farms and collective farms. Everybody is aware of the numerous cases of genuine labour enthusiasm being displayed by the vast masses of state-farm workers and collective farmers.
Who could have dreamed of such successes in emulation and shock-brigade work a couple of years ago?
Further, the Party mobilised the country's financial resources for the purpose of developing state farms and collective farms, supplied the state farms with the best organisers, sent 25,000 front-rank workers to assist the collective farms, promoted the best people among the collective-farm peasants to leading posts in the collective farms and organised a network of training classes for collective farmers, thereby laying the foundation for the training of staunch and tried cadres for the collective-farm movement.
Lastly, the Party re-formed its own ranks in battle order, re-equipped the press, organised the struggle on two fronts, routed the remnants of Trotskyism, utterly defeated the Right deviators, isolated the conciliators, and thereby ensured the unity of its ranks on the basis of the Leninist line, which is essential for a successful offensive, and properly led this offensive, pulling up and putting in their place both the gradualists of the camp of the Rights and the "Left" distorters in regard to the collective-farm movement
Such are the principal measures that the Party carried out in conducting the offensive along the whole front.
Everybody knows that this offensive has been crowned with success in all spheres of our work.
That is why we have succeeded in surmounting a whole number of difficulties of the period of reconstruction of our national economy.
That is why we are succeeding in surmounting the greatest difficulty in our development, the difficulty of turning the main mass of the peasantry towards socialism.
Foreigners sometimes ask about the internal situation in the U.S.S.R. But can there be any doubt that the internal situation in the U.S.S.R. is firm and unshakable? Look at the capitalist countries, at the growing crisis and unemployment in those countries, at the strikes and lockouts, at the anti-government demonstrations - what comparison can there be between the internal situation in those countries and the internal situation in the U.S.S.R.?
It must be admitted that the Soviet regime is now the most stable of all the regimes in the world. (Applause.)
Thus, we have the picture of the internal situation in the U.S.S.R.
Let us note
the main, generally known facts. Over there, in the capitalist countries,
there is economic crisis and a decline in production,
both in industry and in agriculture.
Here, in the U.S.S.R., there is an economic upswing and rising production in all spheres of the national economy.
Over there, in the capitalist countries, there is deterioration of the material conditions of the working people, reduction of wages and increasing unemployment,
Here, in the U.S.S.R., there is improvement in the material conditions of the working people, rising wages and diminishing unemployment.
Over there, in the capitalist countries, there are increasing strikes and demonstrations, which lead to the loss of millions of work-days.
Here, in the U.S.S.R., there are no strikes, but rising labour enthusiasm among the workers and peasants, by which our social system gains millions of additional work-days.
Over there, in the capitalist countries, there is increasing tension in the internal situation and growth of the revolutionary working-class movement against the capitalist regime.
Here, in the U.S.S.R., there is consolidation of the internal situation and the vast masses of the working class are united around the Soviet regime.
Over there, in the capitalist countries, there is growing acuteness of the national question and growth of the national-liberation movement in India, Indo-China, Indonesia, in the Philippines, etc., developing into national war.
Here, in the U.S.S.R., the foundations of national fraternity have been strengthened, peace among the nations is ensured and the vast masses of the people in the U.S.S.R. are united around the Soviet regime.
Over there, in the capitalist countries, there is confusion and the prospect of further deterioration of the situation.
Here, in the U.S.S.R., there is confidence in our strength and the prospect of further improvement in the situation.
They chatter about the "doom" of the U.S.S.R., about the "prosperity" of the capitalist countries, and so forth. Would it not be more correct to speak about the inevitable doom of those who have so "unexpectedly" fallen into the maelstrom of economic crisis and to this day are unable to extricate themselves from the slough of despond?
What are the causes of such a grave collapse over there, in the capitalist countries, and of the important successes here, in the U.S.S.R.?
It is said that the state of the national economy depends in a large measure upon the abundance or dearth of capital. That, of course, is true! But can the crisis in the capitalist countries and the upswing in the U.S.S.R. be explained by abundance of capital here and a dearth of capital over there? No, of course not. Every body knows that there is much less capital in the U.S.S.R. than there is in the capitalist countries. If matters were decided in the present instance by the state of accumulations, there would be a crisis here and a boom in the capitalist countries.
It is said that the state of economy depends in a large measure on the technical and organising experience of the economic cadres. That, of course, is true. But can the crisis in the capitalist countries and the upswing in the U.S.S.R. be explained by the dearth of technical cadres over there and to an abundance of them here? No, of course not! Everybody knows that there are far more technically experienced cadres in the capitalist countries than there are here, in the U.S.S.R. We have never concealed, and do not intend to conceal, that in the sphere of technology we are the pupils of the Germans, the British, the French, the Italians, and, first and foremost, of the Americans. No, matters are not decided by the abundance or dearth of technically experienced cadres, although the problem of cadres is of great importance for the development of the national economy.
Perhaps the answer to the riddle is that the cultural level is higher in our country than in the capitalist countries? Again, no. Everybody knows that the general cultural level of the masses is lower in our country than in the United States, Britain or Germany. No, it is not a matter of the cultural level of the masses, although this is of enormous importance for the development of the national economy.
Perhaps the cause lies in the phenomenal qualities of the leaders of the capitalist countries? Again, no. Crises were born together with the advent of the rule of capitalism. For over a hundred years already there have been periodic economic crises of capitalism, recurring every 12, 10, 8 or fewer years. All the capitalist parties, all the more or less prominent capitalist leaders, from the greatest "geniuses" to the greatest mediocrities, have tried their hand at "preventing" or "abolishing" crises. But they have all suffered defeat. Is it surprising that Hoover and his group have also suffered defeat? No, it is not a matter of the capitalist leaders or parties, although both the capitalist leaders and par-ties are of no little importance in this matter.
What is the cause, then?
What is the cause of the fact that the U.S.S.R., despite its cultural backwardness, despite the dearth of capital, despite the dearth of technically experienced economic cadres, is in a state of increasing economic upswing and has achieved decisive successes on the front of economic construction, whereas the advanced capitalist countries, despite their abundance of capital, their abundance of technical cadres and their higher cultural level, are in a state of growing economic crisis and in the sphere of economic development are suffering defeat after defeat?
The cause lies in the difference in the economic systems here and in the capitalist countries. The cause lies in the bankruptcy of the capitalist system of economy. The cause lies in the advantages of the Soviet system of economy over the capitalist system.
What is the Soviet system of economy?
The Soviet system of economy means that:
2) the instruments and means of production, the land, factories, mills, etc., have been taken from the capitalists and transferred to the ownership of the working class and the labouring masses of the peasantry;
3) the development of production is subordinated not to the principle of competition and of ensuring capitalist profit, but to the principle of planned guidance and of systematically raising the material and cultural level of the working people;
4) the distribution of the national income takes place not with a view to enriching the exploiting classes and their numerous parasitical hangers-on, but with a view to ensuring the systematic improvement of the material conditions of the workers and peasants and the expansion of socialist production in town and country;
5) the systematic improvement in the material conditions of the working people and the continuous increase in their requirements (purchasing power), being a constantly increasing source of the expansion of production, guarantees the working people against crises of over-production, growth of unemployment and poverty;
6) the working class and the labouring peasantry are the masters of the country, working not for the benefit of capitalists, but for their own benefit, the benefit of the working people.
What is the capitalist system of economy?
The capitalist system of economy means that:
1) power in the country is in the hands of the capitalists;
2) the instruments and means of production are concentrated in the hands of the exploiters;
3) production is subordinated not to the principle of improving the material conditions of the masses of the working people, but to the principle of ensuring high capitalist profit;
4) the distribution of the national income takes place not with a view to improving the material conditions of the working people, but with a view to ensuring the maximum profits for the exploiters;
5) capitalist rationalisation and the rapid growth of production, the object of which is to ensure high profits for the capitalists, encounters an obstacle in the shape of the poverty-stricken conditions and the decline in the material security of the vast masses of the working people, who are not always able to satisfy their needs even within the limits of the extreme minimum, which inevitably creates the basis for unavoidable crises of overproduction, growth of unemployment, mass poverty;
6) the working class and the labouring peasantry are exploited, they work not for their own benefit, but for the benefit of an alien class, the exploiting class.
Such are the advantages of the Soviet system of
economy over the capitalist system.
Such are the advantages of the socialist organisation of economy over the capitalist organisation.
That is why here, in the U.S.S.R., the increase of mass consumption (purchasing power) continuously outstrips the growth of production and pushes it forward, whereas over there, in the capitalist countries, on the contrary, the increase of mass consumption (purchasing power) never keeps pace with the growth of production and continuously lags behind it, thus dooming industry to crises from time to time.
That is why over there, in the capitalist countries, it is considered quite a normal thing during crises to destroy "superfluous" goods and to burn "superfluous" agricultural produce in order to bolster up prices and ensure high profits, whereas here, in the U.S.S.R., anybody guilty of such crimes would be sent to a lunatic asylum. (Applause.)
That is why over there, in the capitalist countries, the workers go on strike and demonstrate, organising a revolutionary struggle against the existing capitalist regime, whereas here, in the U.S.S.R., we have the picture of great labour emulation among millions of workers and peasants who are ready to defend the Soviet regime with their lives.
That is the cause of the stability and security of the internal situation in the U.S.S.R. and of the instability and insecurity of the internal situation in the capitalist countries.
It must be admitted that a system of economy that does not know what to do with its "superfluous" goods and is obliged to burn them at a time when want and unemployment, hunger and ruin reign among the masses - such a system of economy pronounces its own death sentence.
The recent years have been a period of practical test, an examination period of the two opposite systems of economy, the Soviet and capitalist. During these years we have heard more than enough prophecies of the "doom," of the "downfall" of the Soviet system. There has been even more talk and singing about the "prosperity" of capitalism. And what has happened? These years have proved once again that the capitalist system of economy is a bankrupt system, and that the Soviet system of economy possesses advantages of which not a single bourgeois state, even the most "democratic," most "popular," etc., dares to dream.
In his speech at the conference of the R.C.P.(B.) in May 1921, Lenin said:
9. THE NEXT TASK
1) First of all there is the problem of the proper distribution of industry throughout the U.S.S.R. However much we may develop our national economy, we cannot avoid the question of how properly to distribute industry, which is the leading branch of the national economy. The situation at present is that our industry, like the whole of our national economy, rests, in the main, on the coal and metallurgical base in the Ukraine. Naturally, without such a base, the industrialisation of the country is inconceivable. Well, the Ukraine fuel and metallurgical base serves us as such a base.
But can this one base satisfy in future the south, the central part of the U.S.S.R. the North, the North-East, the Far East and Turkestan? All the facts go to show that it cannot. The new feature of the development of our national economy is, among other things, that this base has already become inadequate for us. The new feature is that, while continuing to develop this base to the utmost, we must begin immediately to create a second coal and metallurgical base. This base must be the Urals-Kuznetsk Combine, the combination of Kuznetsk coking coal with the ore of the Urals. (Applause.) The construction of the automobile works in Nizhni-Novgorod, the tractor works in Chelyabinsk, the machine-building works in Sverdlovsk, the harvester-combine works in Saratov and Novosibirsk; the existence of the growing non-ferrous metal industry in Siberia and Kazakhstan, which calls for the creation of a network of repair shops and a number of major metallurgical factories in the east; and, lastly, the decision to erect textile mills in Novosibirsk and Turkestan-all this imperatively demands that we should proceed immediately to create a second coal and metallurgical base in the Urals.
You know that the Central Committee of our Party expressed itself precisely in this spirit in its resolution on the Urals Metal Trust. (Original Footnote: This refers to the decision of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.) of May 15, 1Y3'), on "The Work of Uralmet" (a trust embracing the iron and steel industry of the Urals). It was published in Pravda, No. 135, May 18, 1930.)
2) Further, there is the problem of the proper distribution of the basic branches of agriculture throughout the U.S.S.R., the problem of our regions specialising in particular agricultural crops and branches of agriculture. Naturally, with small-peasant farming real specialisation is impossible. It is impossible because small farming being unstable and lacking the necessary reserves, each farm is obliged to grow all kinds of crops so that in the event of one crop failing it can keep going with the others. Naturally, too, it is impossible to organise specialisation unless the state possesses certain reserves of grain. Now that we have passed over to large-scale farming and ensured that the state possesses reserves of grain, we can and must set ourselves the task of properly organising specialisation according to crops and branches of agriculture. The starting point for this is the complete solution of the grain problem. I say "starting point," because unless the grain problem is solved, unless a large network of granaries is set up in the live-stock, cotton, sugar-beet, flax and tobacco districts, it will be impossible to promote livestock farming and industrial crop cultivation, it will be impossible to organise the specialisation of our regions according to crops and branches of agriculture.
The task is to take advantage of the possibilities that have opened up and to push this matter forward.
3) Next comes the problem of cadres both for industry and for agriculture. Everybody is aware of the lack of technical experience of our economic cadres, of our specialists, technicians and business executives. The matter is complicated by the fact that a section of the specialists, having connections with former owners and prompted from abroad, was found to be at the head of the wrecking activities. The matter is still more complicated by the fact that a number of our communist business executives failed to display revolutionary vigilance and in many cases proved to be under the ideological influence of the wrecker elements. Yet, we are faced with the colossal task of reconstructing the whole of our national economy, for which a large number of new cadres capable of mastering the new technology is needed. In view of this, the problem of cadres has become a truly vital problem for us.
The task is to smash bureaucracy in our institutions and organisations, to get rid of bureaucratic "habits" and "customs" and to clear the way for utilising the reserves of our social system, for developing the creative initiative and independent activity of the masses.
That is not an easy task. It cannot be carried out "in a trice." But it must be carried out at all costs if we really want to transform our country on the basis of socialism.
In the struggle against bureaucracy, the Party is working along four lines: that of developing self-criticism, that of organising the checking of fulfilment, that of purging the apparatus and, lastly, that of promoting from below to posts in the apparatus devoted workers from those of working-class origin.
The task is to exert every effort to carry out all these measures.
5) The problem of increasing the productivity of labour. If there is not a systematic increase in the productivity of labour both in industry and agriculture we shall not be able to carry out the tasks of reconstruction, we shall not only fail to overtake and outstrip the advanced capitalist countries, but we shall not even be able to maintain our independent existence. Hence, the problem of increasing the productivity of labour is of prime importance for us.
The Party's measures for solving this problem are along three lines: that of systematically improving the material conditions of the working people, that of implanting comradely labour discipline in industrial and agricultural enterprises, and lastly, that of organising socialist emulation and shock-brigade work. All this is based on improved technology and the rational organisation of labour.
The task is to further develop the mass campaign for carrying out these measures.
6) The problem of supplies. This includes the questions of
adequate supplies of necessary produce for the working people
in town and country, of adapting the co-operative apparatus to
the needs of the workers and peasants, of systematically raising the real
wages of the workers, of reducing prices of manufactured
goods and agricultural produce. I have already spoken about the shortcomings
of the consumers' co-operatives. These shortcomings must be eliminated
and we must see to it that the policy of reducing prices is
carried out. As regards the inadequate supply of goods (the "goods short-age"),
we are now in a position to enlarge the raw materials base of light industry
and increase the output of urban consumer goods. The bread supply can be
regarded as already assured. The situation is more difficult as regards
the supply of meat, dairy produce and vegetables. Unfortunately, this difficulty
cannot be removed within a few months. To overcome it will require at least
a year. In a year's time, thanks primarily to the organisation
of state farms and collective farms for this purpose, we shall be in a
position to ensure full supplies of meat, dairy produce and vegetables.
And what does controlling the supply of these products mean when we already
have grain reserves, textiles, increased housing construction for workers
and cheap municipal services? It means controlling all the principal factors
that determine the worker's budget and his real wages. It means guaranteeing
the rapid rise of workers' real wages surely and finally.
The task is to develop the work of all our organisations in this direction.
7) The problem of credits and currency. The rational organisation of credit and correct manoeuvring with our financial reserves are of great importance for the development of the national economy. The Party's measures for solving this problem are along two lines:
1) The chief problem is to force the development of the iron and steel industry. You must bear in mind that we have reached and are exceeding the pre-war level of pig-iron output only this year, in 1929-30. This is a serious threat to the whole of our national economy. To remove this threat we must force the development of the iron and steel industry. By the end of the five-year period we must reach an output not of 10,000,000 tons as is laid down in the five-year plan, but of 15-17 million tons. We must achieve this aim at all costs if we want really to develop the work of industrialising our country.
Bolsheviks must show that they are able to cope with this task.
That does not mean, of course, that we must abandon light industry. No, it does not mean that. Until now we have been economising in all things, including light industry, in order to restore heavy industry. But we have already restored heavy industry. Now it only needs to be developed further. Now we can turn to light industry and push it forward at an accelerated pace. One of the new features in the development of our industry is that we are now in a position to develop both heavy and light industry at an accelerated pace. The overfulfilment of the cotton, flax and sugar-beet crop plans this year, and the solution of the problem of kendyr and artificial silk, all this shows that we are in a position really to push forward light industry.
2) The problem of rationalisation, reducing production costs and improving the quality of production. We can no longer tolerate defects in the sphere of rationalisation, non-fulfilment of the plan to reduce production costs and the outrageous quality of the goods turned out by a number of our enterprises. These gaps and defects are harmfully affecting the whole of our national economy and hindering it from making further progress. It is time, high time, that this disgraceful stain was removed.
1) The problem of livestock farming and industrial crops. Now that we have, in the main, solved the grain problem, we can set about solving simultaneously both the livestock farming problem, which is a vital one at the present time, and the industrial crops problem. In solving these problems we must proceed along the same limes as we did in solving the grain problem. That is to say, by organising state farms and collective farms, which are the strong points for our policy, we must gradually transform the technical and economic basis of present-day small-peasant livestock farming and industrial crops growing. The Livestock Trust, the Sheep Trust, the Pig Trust and the Dairy Trust, plus livestock collective farms, and the existing state farms and collective farms which grow industrial crops such are our points of departure for solving the problems that face us.
2) The problem of further promoting the development of state farms and collective farms. It is scarcely necessary to dwell at length on the point that for us this is the primary problem of the whole of our development in the countryside. Now, even the blind can see that the peasants have made a tremendous, a radical turn from the old to the new, from kulak bondage to free collective-farm life. There is no going back to the old. The kulaks are doomed and will be eliminated. Only one path remains, the collective-farm path. And the collective-farm path is no longer for us an unknown and unexplored path. It has been explored and tried in a thousand ways by the peasant masses themselves. It has been explored and appraised as a new path that leads the peasants to emancipation from kulak bondage, from want and ignorance. That is the basis of our achievements.
How will the new movement in the countryside develop further? In the forefront will be the state farms as the backbone of the reorganisation of the old way of life in the countryside. They will be followed by the numerous collective farms, as the strong points of the new movement in the countryside. The combined work of these two systems will create the conditions for the complete collectivisation of all the regions in the U.S.S.R.
One of the most remarkable achievements of the collective-farm movement is that it has already brought to the forefront thousands of organisers and tens of thousands of agitators in favour of collective farms from among the peasants themselves. Not we alone, the skilled Bolsheviks, but the collective-farm peasants themselves, tens of thousands of peasant organisers of collective farms and agitators in favour of them will now carry forward the banner of collectivisation. And the peasant agitators are splendid agitators for the collective-farm movement, for they will find arguments in favour of collective farms, intelligible and acceptable to the rest of the peasant masses, of which we skilled Bolsheviks cannot even dream.
Here and there voices are heard saying that we must abandon the policy of complete collectivisation. We have information that there are advocates of this "idea" even in our Party. That can be said, however, only by people who, voluntarily or involuntarily, have joined forces with the enemies of communism. The method of complete collectivisation is that essential method without which it will be impossible to carry out the five-year plan for the collectivisation of all the regions of the U.S.S.R. How can it be abandoned without betraying communism, without betraying the interests of the working class and peasantry?
This does not mean, of course, that everything will go "smoothly" and "normally" for us in the collective farm movement. There will still be vacillation within the collective farms. There will still be flows and ebbs. But this cannot and must not daunt the builders of the collective-farm movement. Still less can it serve as a serious obstacle to the powerful development of the collective-farm movement. A sound movement, such as our collective-farm movement undoubtedly is, will achieve its goal in spite of everything, in spite of individual obstacles and difficulties.
The task is to train the forces and to arrange for the further development of the collective-farm movement.
3) The problem of bringing the apparatus as close as possible to the districts and villages. There can be no doubt that we would have been unable to cope with the enormous task of reconstructing agriculture and of developing the collective-farm movement had we not carried out redelimitation of administrative areas. The enlargement of the volosts and their transformation into districts, the abolition of gubernias and their transformation into smaller units (okrugs), and lastly, the formation of regions as direct strong points of the Central Committee - such are the general features of this redelimitation. Its object is to bring the Party and Soviet and the economic and co-operative apparatus closer to the districts and villages in order to make possible the timely solution of the vexed questions of agriculture, of its upswing, of its reconstruction. In this sense, I repeat, the redelimitation of administrative areas has been of immense benefit to the whole of our development.
But has everything been done to bring the apparatus really and effectively closer to the districts and villages? No, not everything. The centre of gravity of collective-farm development has now shifted to the district organisations. They are the centres on which converge all the threads of collective-farm development and of all other economic work in the countryside, as regards both co-operatives and Soviets, credits and procurements. Are the district organisations adequately supplied with the workers they need, and must have, to cope with all these diverse tasks? There can be no doubt that they are extremely inadequately staffed. What is the way out? What must be done to correct this defect and to supply the district organisations with a sufficient number of the workers required for all branches of our work?
1) abolish the okrugs (applause), which are becoming an unnecessary barrier between the region and the districts, and use the released okrug personnel to strengthen the district organisations;
2) link the district organisations directly with the region (Territorial Committee, national Central Committee).
Lastly, the transport problem. There is no need to dwell at length on the enormous importance of transport for the whole of the national economy. And not only for the national economy. As you know, transport is of the utmost importance also for the defence of the country. In spite of the enormous importance of transport, however, the transport system, the reconstruction of this system, still lags behind the general rate of development. Does it need to be proved that in such a situation we run the risk of transport becoming a "bottle-neck" in the national economy, capable of retarding our progress? Is it not time to put an end to this situation?
Matters are particularly bad as regards river transport. It is a fact that the Volga steamship service has barely reached 60 per cent, and the Dnieper steamship service 40 per cent, of the pre-war level. Sixty and forty per cent of the pre-war level - this is all that river transport can enter in its record of "achievements." A big "achievement" to be sure! Is it not time to put an end to this disgrace? (Voices: "It is.")
The task is to tackle the transport problem, at last, in the Bolshevik
manner and to get ahead with it.
Such are the Party's next tasks.
What is needed to carry out these tasks?
Primarily and chiefly, what is needed is to continue the sweeping offensive against the capitalist elements along the whole front and to carry it through to the end.
That is the centre and basis of our policy at the present time. (Applause.)
I pass to the question of the Party.
I have spoken about the advantages of the Soviet system of economy over the capitalist system. I have spoken about the colossal possibilities that our social system affords us in fighting for the complete victory of socialism. I said that without these possibilities, without utilising them, we could not have achieved the successes gained by us in the past period.
But the question arises: has the Party been able to make proper use of the possibilities afforded us by the Soviet system; has it not kept these possibilities concealed, thereby preventing the working class from fully developing its revolutionary might; has it been able to squeeze out of these possibilities all that could be squeezed out of them for the purpose of promoting socialist construction along the whole front?
The Soviet system provides colossal possibilities for the complete victory of socialism. But possibility is not actuality. To transform possibility into actuality a number of conditions are needed, among which the Party's line and the correct carrying out of this line play by no means the least role.
The Right opportunists assert that NEP guarantees us the victory of socialism; therefore, there is no need to worry about the rate of industrialisation, about developing state farms and collective farms, and so forth, because the arrival of victory is assured in any case, automatically, so to speak. That, of course, is wrong and absurd. To speak like that means denying the Party a role in the building of socialism, denying the Party's responsibility for the work of building socialism. Lenin by no means said that NEP guarantees us the victory of socialism. Lenin merely said that "economically and politically, NEP fully ensures us the possibility of laying the foundation of a socialist economy." (Original Footnote: V. I. Lenin, Letter to V. M. Molotov on a Plan for the Political Report to the Eleventh Party Congress (see Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 33, pp. 223-24.)
But possibility is not yet actuality. To convert possibility into actuality we must first of all cast aside the opportunist theory of things going of their own accord, we must re-build (reconstruct) our national economy and conduct a determined offensive against the capitalist elements in town and country.
The Right opportunists assert, further, that there are no grounds inherent in our social system for a split between the working class and the peasantry-consequently we need not worry about establishing a correct policy in regard to the social groups in the countryside, because the kulaks will grow into socialism in any case, and the alliance of the workers and peasants will be guaranteed automatically, so to speak. That, too, is wrong and absurd. Such a thing can be said only by people who fail to understand that the policy of the Party, and especially because it is a party that is in power, is the chief factor that determines the fate of the alliance of the workers and peasants. Lenin by no means considered that the danger of a split between the working class and the peasantry was out of the question. Lenin said that "the grounds for such a split are not necessarily inherent in our social system," but "if serious class disagreements arise between these classes, a split will be inevitable."
In view of this, Lenin considered that:
It follows, therefore, that a strict distinction must be drawn between the possibilities inherent in our social system and the utilisation of these possibilities, the conversion of these possibilities into actuality.
It follows that cases are quite conceivable when the possibilities of victory exist, but the Party does not see them, or is incapable of utilising them properly, with the result that instead of victory there may come defeat.
And so the same question arises: Has the Party been able to make proper use of the possibilities and advantages afforded us by the Soviet system? Has it done everything to convert these possibilities into actuality and thus guarantee the maximum success for our work of construction?
In other words: Has the Party and its Central Committee correctly guided the building of socialism in the past period?
What is needed for correct leadership by the Party under our present conditions?
For correct leadership by the Party it is necessary, apart from everything else, that the Party should have a correct line; that the masses should understand that the Party's line is correct and should actively support it; that the Party should not confine itself to drawing up a general line, but should day by day guide the carrying out of this line; that the Party should wage a determined struggle against deviations from the general line and against conciliation towards such deviations; that in the struggle against deviations the Party should forge the unity of its ranks and iron discipline.
What has the
Party and its Central Committee done to fulfil these conditions?
Congress was mainly the congress of industrialisation.
The Fifteenth Congress was mainly the congress of collectivisation.
This was the preparation for the general offensive.
As distinct from the past stages, the period before the Sixteenth Congress was a period of the general offensive of socialism along the whole Front, a period of intensified socialist construction both in industry and in agriculture.
The Sixteenth Congress of the Party is the congress of the sweeping 0ffensive of socialism along the whole front, of the elimination of the kulaks as a class, and of the realisation of complete collectivisation.
There you have in a few words the essence of our Party's general line.
This is proved by our successes and achievements on the front of socialist construction. It was not and cannot be the case that the decisive victory won by the Party on the front of socialist construction in town and country during the past period was the result of an incorrect policy. Only a correct general line could give us such a victory.
It is proved by the frenzied howl against our Party's policy raised lately by our class enemies, the capitalists and their press, the Pope and bishops of all kinds, the Social-Democrats and the "Russian" Mensheviks of the Abramovich and Dan type. The capitalists and their lackeys are abusing our Party - that is a sign that our Party's general line is correct. (Applause.)
It is proved by the fate of Trotskyism, with which everybody is now familiar. The gentlemen in the Trotsky camp chattered about the "degeneration" of the Soviet regime, about "Thermidor," about the "inevitable victory" of Trotskyism, and so forth. But, actually, what happened? What happened was the collapse, the end of Trotskyism. One section of the Trotskyists, as is known, broke away from Trotskyism and in numerous declarations of its representatives admitted that the Party was right, and acknowledged the counter-revolutionary character of Trotskyism. Another section of the Trotskyists really degenerated into typical petty-bourgeois counter-revolutionaries, and actually became an information bureau of the capitalist press on matters concerning the C.P.S.U.(B.). But the Soviet regime, which was to have "degenerated" (or "had already degenerated"), continues to thrive and to build socialism, successfully breaking the backbone of the capitalist elements in our country and their petty-bourgeois yes-men.
It is proved by the fate of the Right deviators, with which everybody is now familiar. They chattered and howled about the Party line being "fatal," about the "probable catastrophe" in the U.S.S.R., about the necessity of "saving" the country from the Party and its leadership, and so forth. But what actually happened? What actually happened was that the Party achieved gigantic successes on all the fronts of socialist construction, whereas the group of Right deviators, who wanted to "save" the country but who later admitted that they were wrong, are now left high and dry.
It is proved by the growing revolutionary activity of the working class and peasantry, by the active support for the Party's policy by the vast masses of the working people, and lastly, by that unprecedented labour enthusiasm of the workers and peasant collective farmers, the immensity of which astonishes both the friends and the enemies of our country. That is apart from such signs of the growth of confidence in the Party as the applications from workers to join the Party in whole shops and factories, the growth of the Party membership between the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Congresses by over 600,000, and the 200,000 new members who joined the Party in the first quarter of this year alone. What does all this show if not that the vast masses of the working people realise that our Party's policy is correct and are ready to support it?
It must be admitted that these facts would not have existed if our Party's general line had not been the only correct one.
b) But the Party cannot confine itself to drawing up a general line. It must also, from day to day, keep check on how the general line is being carried out in practice. It must guide the carrying out of the general line, improving and perfecting the adopted plans of economic development in the course of the work, and correcting and preventing mistakes.
How has the Central Committee of our Party performed this work?
The Central Committee's work in this sphere has proceeded mainly along the line of amending and giving precision to the five-year plan by accelerating tempo and shortening time schedules, along the line of checking the economic organisations' fulfilment of the assignments laid down.
Here are a few of the principal decisions adopted by the Central Committee amending the five-year plan in the direction of speeding up the rate of development and shortening time schedules of fulfilment.
iron and steel industry:
the five-year plan provides for the output of pig-iron to be brought up to 10,000,000 tons in the last year of the five-year period; the Central Committee's decision, however, found that this level is not sufficient, and laid it down that in the last year of the five-year period the output of pig-iron must be brought up to 17,000,000 tons.
the five-year plan provides for the output of tractors to be brought up to 55,000 in the last year of the five-year period; the Central Committee's decision, however, found that this target is not sufficient, and laid it down that the output of tractors in the last year of the five-year period must be brought up to 170,000.
The same must be said about automobile construction:
where, instead of an output of 100,000 cars (lorries and passenger cars) in the last year of the five-year period as provided for in the five-year plan, it was decided to bring it up to 200,000.
The same applies
to non-ferrous metallurgy:
where the five-year plan estimates were raised by more than 100 per cent;
and to agricultural
where the five-year plan estimates were also raised by over 100 per cent.
That is apart from harvester-combine building, for which no provision at all was made in the five-year plan, and the output of which must he brought up to at least 40,000 in the last year of the five-year period
the five-year plan provides for the expansion of the crop area to be brought up to 5,000,000 hectares by the end of the five-year period; the Central Committee's decision, however, found that this level was not sufficient and laid it down that by the end of the five-year period the state-farm crop area must be brought up to 18,000,000 hectares.
the five-year plan provides for the expansion of the crop area to be brought up to 20,000,000 hectares by the end of the five-year period; the Central Committee's decision, however, found that this level was obviously not sufficient (it has already been exceeded this year) and laid it down that by the end of the five-year period the collectivisation of the U.S.S.R. should, in the main, be completed, and by that time the collective-farm crop area should cover nine-tenths of the crop area of the U.S.S.R. now cultivated by individual farmers. (Applause.)
And so on and so forth.
Such, in general, is the picture of the way the Central Committee is guiding the carrying out of the Party's general line, the planning of socialist construction.
It may be said that in altering the estimates of the five-year plan so radically the Central Committee is violating the principle of planning and is discrediting the planning organisations. But only hopeless bureaucrats can talk like that. For us Bolsheviks, the five-year plan is not something fixed once and for all. For us the five-year plan, like every other, is merely a plan adopted as a first approximation, which has to be made more precise, altered and perfected in conformity with the experience gained in the localities, with the experience gained in carrying out the plan. No five-year plan can take into account all the possibilities latent in the depths of our system and which reveal themselves only in the course of the work, in the course of carrying out the plan in the factory and mill, in the collective farm and state farm, in the district, and so forth. Only bureaucrats can think that the work of planning ends with the drafting of a plan. The drafting of a plan is only the beginning of planning. Real guidance in planning develops only after the plan bas been drafted, after it has been tested in the localities, in the course of carrying it out, correcting it and making it more precise.
That is why the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission, jointly with the planning bodies of the Republic, deemed it necessary to correct and improve the five-year plan on the basis of experience, in the direction of speeding up the rate of development and shortening time schedules of fulfilment.
Here is what Lenin said about the principle of planning and guidance in planning at the Eighth Congress of Soviets, when the ten-year plan of the GOELRO (Original Footnote: The Eighth Congress of Soviets of the R.S.F.S.R. was held December 22-29, 1920. One of the principal questions at the congress was the plan for the electrification of the country, prepared by the State Commission on the Electrification of Russia (GOELRO). In its decision. the congress assessed the electrification plan "as the first step of a great economic undertaking." In a letter to V.I. Lenin in March 1921, J. V. Stalin wrote about the plan for the electrification of Russia:
was being discussed:
As you see, the Central Committee has followed the path indicated by Lenin, altering and improving the five-year plan, shortening time schedules and speeding up the rate of development.
On what possibilities did the Central Committee rely when speeding up the rate of development and shortening the time schedules for carrying out the five-year plan? On the reserves latent in the depths of our system and revealed only in the course of the work, on the possibilities afforded us by the reconstruction period. The Central Committee is of the opinion that the reconstruction of the technical basis of industry and agriculture under the socialist organisation of production creates such possibilities of accelerating tempo as no capitalist country can dream of.
These circumstances alone can explain the fact that during the past three years our socialist industry has more than doubled its output and that the output of this industry in 1930-31 should be 47 per cent above that of the current year, while the volume of this increase alone will he equal to the volume of output of the entire pre-war large-scale industry.
These circumstances alone can explain the fact that the five-year plan of state-farm development is being overfulfilled in three years, while that of collective-farm development has already been overfulfilled in two years.
There is a theory according to which high rates of development are possible only in the restoration period and that with the transition to the reconstruction period the rate of development must diminish sharply year by year. This theory is called the theory of the "descending curve." It is a theory for justifying our backwardness. It has nothing in common with Marxism, with Leninism. It is a bourgeois theory, designed to perpetuate the backwardness of our country. Of the people who have had, or have, connection with our Party, only the Trotskyists and Right deviators uphold and preach this theory.
There exists an opinion that the Trotskyists are super-industrialists. But this opinion is only partly correct. It is correct only insofar as it applies to the end of the restoration period, when the Trotskyists did, indeed, develop super-industrialist fantasies. As regards the reconstruction period, however, the Trotskyists, on the question of tempo, are the most extreme minimalists and the most wretched capitulators. (Laughter. Applause.)
In their platforms and declarations the Trotskyists gave no figures concerning tempo, they confined themselves to general chatter about tempo. But there is one document in which the Trotskyists did depict in figures their understanding of the rate of development of state industry. I am referring to the memorandum of the "Special Conference on the Restoration of Fixed Capital" of state industry (OSVOK) drawn up on the principles of Trotskyism. It will be interesting briefly to analyse this document, which dates back to 1925-26. It will be interesting to do so, because it fully reflects the Trotskyist scheme of the descending curve.
But how much
did we actually invest? Actually we invested in state industry:
1,065,000,000 rubles in 1926-27;
1,304,000,000 rubles in 1927-28;
1,819,000,000 rubles in 1929;
4,775,000,000 rubles in 4929-30 (at 1926-27 prices).
Such is the picture of the ascending Bolshevik curve.
But what actually happened? Actually, the increase in
the output of state industry was:
19.7 per cent in 1926-27;
26.3 per cent in 1927-28;
24.3 per cent in 1928-29;
32 per cent in 1929-30,
and in 1930-31 the increase will amount to 47 per cent.
Such is the picture of the ascending Bolshevik curve.
That is why the Trotskyists are now singing about the "excessive" Bolshevik rates of industrial and collective-farm development.
That is why the Trotskyists cannot now be distinguished from our Right deviators.
Naturally, if we had not shattered the Trotskyist-Right-deviation theory of the "descending curve," we should not have been able either to develop real planning or to accelerate tempo and shorten time schedules of development. In order to guide the carrying out of the Party's general line, to correct and improve the five-year plan of development, to accelerate tempo and to pre-vent mistakes in the work of construction, it was necessary first of all to shatter and liquidate the reactionary theory of the "descending curve."
That is what the Central Committee did, as I have already said.
Is it possible to wage a successful struggle against class enemies without at the same time combating deviations in our Party, without overcoming these deviations? No, it is not. That is because it is impossible to develop a real struggle against class enemies while having their agents in our rear, while leaving in our rear people who have no faith in our cause, and who strive in every way to hinder our progress.
Hence an uncompromising struggle against deviations from the Leninist line is an immediate task of the Party.
Why is the Right deviation the chief danger in the Party at the present time? Because it reflects the kulak danger; and at the present moment, the moment of the sweeping offensive and the tearing out of the roots of capitalism, the kulak danger is the chief danger in the country.
What did the Central Committee have to do to over-come the Right deviation, to deliver the finishing stroke to the "Left" deviation and clear the way for rallying the Party to the utmost around the Leninist line?
a) It had, first of all, to put an end to the remnants of Trotskyism in the Party, to the survivals of the Trotskyist theory. We had long ago routed the Trotskyist group as an opposition, and had expelled it. The Trotskyist group is now an anti-proletarian and anti-Soviet counter-revolutionary group, which is zealously informing the bourgeoisie about the affairs of our Party. But the remnants of the Trotskyist theory, the survivals of Trotskyism, have not yet been completely swept out of the Party. Hence, the first thing to be done was to put an end to these survivals.
What is the essence of Trotskyism?
The essence of Trotskyism is, first of all, denial of the possibility of completely building socialism in the U.S.S.R. by the efforts of the working class and peasantry of our country. What does this mean? It means that if a victorious world revolution does not come to our aid in the near future, we shall have to surrender to the bourgeoisie and clear the way for a bourgeois-democratic republic. Consequently, we have here the bourgeois denial of the possibility of completely building socialism in our country, disguised by "revolutionary" phrases about the victory of the world revolution.
Is it possible, while holding such views, to rouse the labour enthusiasm of the vast masses of the working class, to rouse them for socialist emulation, for mass shock-brigade work, for a sweeping offensive against the capitalist elements? Obviously not. It would be foolish to think that our working class, which has made three revolutions, will display labour enthusiasm and engage in mass shock-brigade work in order to manure the soil for capitalism. Our working class is displaying labour enthusiasm not for the sake of capitalism, but in order to bury capitalism once and for all and to build socialism in the U.S.S.R. Take from it its confidence in the possibility of building socialism, and you will completely destroy the basis for emulation, for labour enthusiasm, for shock-brigade work.
Hence the conclusion:
in order to rouse labour enthusiasm and emulation among the working class and to organise a sweeping offensive, it was necessary, first of all, to bury the bourgeois theory of Trotskyism that it is impossible to build socialism in our country.
The essence of Trotskyism is, secondly, denial of the possibility of drawing the main mass of the peasantry into the work of socialist construction in the country-side. What does this mean? It means that the working class is incapable of leading the peasantry in the work of transferring the individual peasant farms to collectivist lines, that if the victory of the world revolution does not come to the aid of the working class in the near future, the peasantry will restore the old bourgeois order. Consequently, we have here the bourgeois denial of the capacity or possibility of the proletarian dictatorship to lead the peasantry to socialism, disguised by a mask of "revolutionary" phrases about the victory of the world revolution.
Is it possible, while holding such views, to rouse the peasant masses for the collective-farm movement, to organise a mass collective-farm movement, to organise the elimination of the kulaks as a class? Obviously not.
Hence the conclusion: in order to organise a mass collective-farm movement of the peasantry and to eliminate the kulaks, it was necessary, first of all, to bury the bourgeois theory of Trotskyism that it is impossible to bring the labouring masses of the peasantry to socialism.
The essence of Trotskyism is, lastly, denial of the necessity for iron discipline in the Party, recognition of freedom for factional groupings in the Party, recognition of the need to form a Trotskyist party. According to Trotskyism, the C.P.S.U.(B.) must be not a single, united militant party, but a collection of groups and factions, each with its own centre, its own discipline, its own press, and so forth. What does this mean? It means proclaiming freedom for political factions in the Party. It means that freedom for political groupings in the Party must be followed by freedom for political parties in the country, i.e., bourgeois democracy. Consequently, we have here recognition of freedom for factional groupings in the Party right up to permitting political parties in the land of the dictatorship of the proletariat, disguised by phrases about "inner-party democracy,', about "improving the regime" in the Party. That freedom for factional squabbling of groups of intellectuals is not inner-party democracy, that the widely-developed self-criticism conducted by the Party and the colossal activity of the mass of the Party membership is real and genuine inner-party democracy - Trotskyism cannot understand.
Is it possible, while holding such views about the Party, to ensure iron discipline in the Party, to ensure the iron unity of the Party that is essential for waging a successful struggle against class enemies? Obviously not.
Hence the conclusion: in order to guarantee the iron unity of the Party and proletarian discipline in it, it was necessary, first of all, to bury the Trotskyist theory of organisation.
Capitulation in practice as the content, "Left" phrases and "revolutionary" adventurist postures, as the form disguising and advertising the defeatist content - such is the essence of Trotskyism.
This duality of Trotskyism reflects the duality of the position of the urban petty bourgeoisie, which is being ruined, cannot tolerate the "regime" of the dictatorship of the proletariat and is striving either to jump into socialism "at one go" in order to avoid being ruined (hence adventurism and hysterics in policy), or, if this is impossible, to make every conceivable concession to capitalism (hence capitulation in policy).
This duality of Trotskyism explains why it usually crowns its supposedly "furious" attacks on the Right deviators by a bloc with them, as undisguised capitulators.
And what are the "Left" excesses that have occurred in the Party in connection with the collective-farm movement? They represent a certain attempt, true an unconscious one, to revive among us the traditions of Trotskyism in practice, to revive the Trotskyist attitude towards the middle peasantry. They are the result of that mistake in policy which Lenin called "over-administration." This means that some of our comrades, infatuated by the successes of the collective-farm movement, began to approach the problem of collective-farm development not as builders, but mainly as administrators and, as a result, committed a number of very gross mistakes.
There are people in our Party who think that the "Left" distorters should not have been pulled up. They think that our officials should not have been taken to task and their infatuation should not have been counteracted even though it led to mistakes. That is nonsense, comrades. Only people who are determined to swim with the stream, can talk like that. These are the very same people who can never understand the Leninist policy of going against the stream when the situation demands it, when the interests of the Party demand it. They are khvostists, not Leninists. The reason why the Party succeeded in turning whole detachments of our comrades on to the right road, the reason why the Party succeeded in rectifying mistakes and achieving successes is just because it resolutely went against the stream in order to carry out the Party's general line. That is Leninism in practice, Leninism in leadership.
That is why I think that if we had not overcome the "Left" excesses we could not have achieved the successes in the collective-farm movement that we have now achieved.
That is how matters stand as regards the struggle against the survivals of Trotskyism and against the recurrence of them in practice.
Matters are somewhat different as regards Right opportunism, which was, or is, headed by Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky.
It cannot be said that the Right deviators do not admit the possibility of completely building socialism in the U.S.S.R. No, they do admit it, and that is what distinguishes them from the Trotskyists. But the misfortune of the Right deviators is that, while formally admitting that it is possible to build socialism in one country, they refuse to recognise the ways and means of struggle without which it is impossible to build socialism. They refuse to admit that the utmost development of industry is the key to the transformation of the entire national economy on the basis of socialism. They refuse to admit the uncompromising class struggle against the capitalist elements and the sweeping offensive of socialism against capitalism. They fail to understand that all these ways and means constitute the system of measures without which it is impossible to retain the dictatorship of the proletariat and to build socialism in our country. They think that socialism can be built on the quiet, automatically, without class struggle, without an offensive against the capitalist elements. They think that the capitalist elements will either die out imperceptibly or grow into socialism. As, however, such miracles do not happen in history, it follows that the Right deviators are in fact slipping into the viewpoint of denying the possibility of completely building socialism in our country.
Nor can it be said that the Right deviators deny that it is possible to draw the main mass of the peasantry into the work of building socialism in the countryside. No, they admit that it is possible, and that is what distinguishes them from the Trotskyists. But while admitting it formally, they will not accept the ways and means without which it is impossible to draw the peasantry into the work of building socialism. They refuse to admit that state farms and collective farms are the principal means and the "high road" for drawing the main mass of the peasantry into the work of building socialism. They refuse to admit that unless the policy of eliminating the kulaks as a class is carried out it will be impossible to transform the countryside on the basis of socialism. They think that the countryside can be transferred to socialist lines on the quiet, automatically, without class struggle, merely with the aid of supply and marketing co-operatives, for they are convinced that the kulaks themselves will grow into socialism. They think that the chief thing now is not a high rate of industrial development, and not collective farms and state farms, but to "release" the elemental forces of the market, to "emancipate" the market and to "remove the shackles" from the individual farms, up to and including those of the capitalist elements in the countryside. As, however, the kulaks cannot grow into socialism, and "emancipating" the market means arming the kulaks and disarming the working class, it follows that the Right deviators are in fact slipping into the viewpoint of denying that it is possible to draw the main mass of the peasantry into the work of building socialism.
It is this, really, that explains why the Right deviators usually crown their sparring with the Trotskyists by backstairs negotiations with them on the subject of a bloc with them.
The chief evil of Right opportunism is that it breaks with the Leninist conception of the class struggle and slips into the viewpoint of petty-bourgeois liberalism.
There can be no doubt that the victory of the Right deviation in our Party would have meant completely disarming the working class, arming the capitalist elements in the countryside and increasing the chances of the restoration of capitalism in the U.S.S.R.
The Right deviators do not take the stand of forming another party, and that is another thing that distinguishes them from the Trotskyists. The leaders of the Right deviators have openly admitted their mistakes and have surrendered to the Party. But it would be foolish to think, on these grounds, that the Right deviation is already buried. The strength of Right opportunism is not measured by this circumstance. The strength of Right opportunism lies in the strength of the petty-bourgeois elemental forces, in the strength of the pressure on the Party exercised by the capitalist elements in general, and by the kulaks in particular. And it is precisely because the Right deviation reflects the resistance of the chief elements of the moribund classes that the Right deviation is the principal danger in the Party at the present time.
That is why the Party considered it necessary to wage a determined and uncompromising struggle against the Right deviation.
There can be no doubt that if we had not waged a determined struggle against the Right deviation, if we had not isolated its leading elements, we would not have succeeded in mobilising the forces of the Party and of the working class, in mobilising the forces of the poor- and middle-peasant masses, for the sweeping offensive of socialism, for the organisation of state farms and collective farms, for the restoration of our heavy industry, for the elimination of the kulaks as a class.
That is how matters stand as regards the "Left" and Right deviations in the Party.
The task is to continue the uncompromising struggle on two fronts, against the "Lefts," who represent petty-bourgeois radicalism, and against the Rights, who re-present petty-bourgeois liberalism.
The task is to continue the uncompromising struggle against those conciliatory elements in the Party who fail to understand, or pretend they do not understand, the necessity of a determined struggle on two fronts.
b) The picture of the struggle against deviations in the Party will not be complete if we do not touch upon the deviations that exist in the Party on the national question. I have in mind, firstly, the deviation towards Great-Russian chauvinism, and secondly, the deviation towards local nationalism. These deviations are not so conspicuous and assertive as the "Left" or the Right deviation. They could be called creeping deviations. But this does not mean that they do not exist. They do exist, and what is most important they are growing. There can be no doubt whatever about that. There can be no doubt about it, because the general atmosphere of more acute class struggle cannot fail to cause some intensification of national friction, which finds reflection in the Party. Therefore, the features of these deviations should be exposed and dragged into the light of day.
What is the essence of the deviation towards Great-Russian chauvinism under our present conditions?
The essence of the deviation towards Great-Russian chauvinism lies in the striving to ignore national differences in language, culture and way of life; in the striving to prepare for the liquidation of the national republics and regions; in the striving to undermine the principle of national equality and to discredit the Party's policy of nationalising the administrative apparatus, the press, the schools and other state and public organisations.
In this connection, the deviators of this type proceed from the view that since, with the victory of socialism, the nations must merge into one and their national languages must be transformed into a single common language, the time has come to abolish national differences and to abandon the policy of promoting the development of the national cultures of the formerly oppressed peoples.
In this connection, they refer to Lenin, misquoting him and sometimes deliberately distorting and slandering him.
Lenin said that under socialism the interests of the nationalities will
merge into a single whole - does it not follow from this that it is time
to put an end to the national republics and regions in the interests of
internationalism? Lenin said in 1913, in his controversy with the Bundists, that the slogan of national culture is a bourgeois slogan - does it not follow from this that it is time to put an end to the national cultures of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. in the interests of . . internationalism?
Lenin said that national oppression and national barriers are destroyed
under socialism - does it not follow from this that it is time to put a
stop to the policy of taking into account the specific national features
of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. and to go over to the policy of assimilation
in the interests of . . , internationalism?
And so on and so forth.
There can be no doubt that this deviation on the national question, disguised, moreover, by a mask of internationalism and by the name of Lenin, is the most subtle and therefore the most dangerous species of Great-Russian nationalism.
Lenin never said
that national differences must disappear and that national languages must
merge into one common language within the borders of a single
the victory of
socialism on a world scale. On
the contrary, Lenin
said something that was the very opposite of this, namely, that "national
and state differences among
peoples and countries ... . will continue to exist for a very,
very long time even
dictatorship of the proletariat has been established on a world
(Original Comment: JVS: My italics) (Vol. XXV, p. 227).
How can anyone refer to Lenin and forget about this fundamental statement of his?
True, Mr. Kautsky, an ex-Marxist and now a renegade and reformist, asserts something that is the very opposite of what Lenin teaches us. Despite Lenin, he asserts that the victory of the proletarian revolution in the Austro-German federal state in the middle of the last century would have led to the formation of a single, common German language and to the Germanisation of the Czechs, because "the mere force of unshackled intercourse, the mere force of modern culture of which the Germans were the vehicles, without any forcible Germanisation, would have converted into Germans the backward Czech petty bourgeois, peasants and proletarians who had nothing to gain from their decayed nationality" (see Preface to the German edition of Revolution and Counter-revolution).
It goes without saying that such a "conception" is in full accord with Kautsky's social-chauvinism. It was these views of Kautsky's that I combated in 1925 in my speech at the University of the Peoples of the East. (Original Footnote: This refers to the address delivered at a meeting of students of the Communist University of the Toilers of the East, May 18, 1925 (see J. V. Stalin, "The Political Tasks of the University of the Peoples of the East," Works , Vol. 7, pp. 141-42)
But can this anti-Marxist chatter of an arrogant German social-chauvinist have any positive significance for us Marxists, who want to remain consistent internationalists?
Who is right, Kautsky or Lenin?
If Kautsky is right, then how are we to explain the fact that relatively backward nationalities like the Byelorussians and Ukrainians, who are closer to the Great-Russians than the Czechs are to the Germans, have not become Russified as a result of the victory of the proletarian revolution in the U.S.S.R., but, on the contrary, have been regenerated and have developed as independent nations? How are we to explain the fact that nations like the Turkmenians, Kirghizians, Uzbeks, Tajiks (not to speak of the Georgians, Armenians, Azerbaijanians,- and others), in spite of their backwardness, far from becoming Russified as a result of the victory of socialism in the U.S.S.R., have, on the contrary, been regenerated and have developed into independent nations? Is it not evident that our worthy deviators, in their hunt after a sham internationalism, have fallen into the clutches of Kautskyan social-chanvinism? Is it not evident that in advocating a single, common language within the borders of a single state, within the borders of the U.S.S.R., they are, in essence, striving to restore the privileges of the formerly predominant language, namely, the Great-Russian language?
What has this to do with internationalism?
Secondly, Lenin never said that the abolition of national oppression and the merging of the interests of nationalities into one whole is tantamount to the abolition of national differences. We have abolished national oppression. We have abolished national privileges and have established national equality of rights. We have abolished state frontiers in the old sense of the term, frontier posts and customs barriers between the nationalities of the U.S.S.R. We have established the unity of the economic and political interests of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. But does this mean that we have thereby abolished national differences, national languages, culture, manner of life, etc.? Obviously it does not mean this. But if national differences, languages, culture, manner of life, etc.; have remained, is it not evident that the demand for the abolition of the national republics and regions in the present historical period is a reactionary demand directed against the interests of the dictatorship of the proletariat? Do our deviators understand that to abolish the national republics at the present time means depriving the vast masses of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. of the possibility of receiving education in their native languages, depriving them of the possibility of having schools, courts, administration, public and other organisations and institutions in their native languages, depriving them of the possibility of being drawn into the work of socialist construction? Is it not evident that in their hunt after a sham internationalism our deviators have fallen into the clutches of the reactionary Great-Russian chauvinists and have forgotten, completely forgotten, the slogan of the cultural revolution in the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat which applies equally to all the peoples of the U.S.S.R.; both Great-Russian and non-Great-Russian?
Thirdly, Lenin never said that the slogan of developing national culture under the conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat is a reactionary slogan. On the contrary, Lenin always stood for helping the peoples of the U.S.S.R. to develop their national cultures. It was under the guidance of none other than Lenin that at the Tenth Congress of the Party, the resolution on the national question was drafted and adopted, in which it is plainly stated that:
Is it not obvious that to deny the slogan of national culture under the conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat means denying the necessity of raising the cultural level of the non-Great-Russian peoples of the U.S.S.R., denying the necessity of compulsory universal education for these peoples, means putting these peoples into spiritual bondage to the reactionary nationalists?
Lenin did indeed qualify the slogan of national culture under the rule of the bourgeoisie as a reactionary slogan. But could it be otherwise?
What is national culture under the rule of the national bourgeoisie? It is culture that is bourgeois in content and national in form, having the object of doping the masses with the poison of nationalism and of strengthening the rule of the bourgeoisie.
What is national culture under the dictatorship of the proletariat? It is culture that is socialist in content and national in form, having the object of educating the masses in the spirit of socialism and internationalism.
How is it possible to confuse these two fundamentally different things without breaking with Marxism?
Is it not obvious that in combating the slogan of national culture under the bourgeois order, Lenin was striving at the bourgeois content of national culture and not at its national form?
It would be foolish to suppose that Lenin regarded socialist culture as non-national, as not having a particular national form. The Bundists did at one time actually ascribe this nonsense to Lenin. But it is known from the works of Lenin that he protested sharply against this slander, and emphatically dissociated himself from this nonsense. Have our worthy deviators really followed in the footsteps of the Bundists?
After all that has been said, what is left of the arguments of our deviators?
Nothing, except juggling with the flag of inter-nationalism and slander against Lenin.
Those who are deviating towards Great-Russian chauvinism are profoundly mistaken in believing that the period of building socialism in the U.S.S.R. is the period of the collapse and abolition of national cultures. The very opposite is the case. In point of fact, the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat and of the building of socialism in the U.S.S.R. is a period of the flowering of national cultures that are socialist in content and national in form for under the Soviet system, the nations themselves are not the ordinary "modern" nations, but socialist nations just as in content their national cultures are not the ordinary bourgeois cultures, but socialist cultures.
They apparently fail to understand that national cultures are bound to develop with new strength with the introduction and firm establishment of compulsory universal elementary education in the native languages. They fail to understand that only if the national cultures are developed will it be possible really to draw the backward nationalities into the work of socialist construction.
They fail to understand that it is just this that is the basis of the Leninist policy of helping and promoting the development of the national cultures of the peoples of the U.S.S.R.
It may seem strange that we who stand for the future merging of national cultures into one common (both in form and content) culture, with one common language, should at the same time stand for the flowering of national cultures at the present moment, in the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat. But there is nothing strange about it. The national cultures must be allowed to develop and unfold, to reveal all their potentialities, in order to create the conditions for merging them into one common culture with one common language in the period of the victory of social-ism all over the world. The flowering of cultures that are national in form and socialist in content under the dictatorship of the proletariat in one country for the purpose of merging them into one common socialist (both in form and content) culture, with one common language, when the proletariat is victorious all over the world and when socialism becomes the way of life - it is just this that constitutes the dialectics of the Leninist presentation of the question of national culture.
It may be said that such a presentation of the question is "contradictory." But is there not the same "contradictoriness" in our presentation of the question of the state? We stand for the withering away of the state. At the same time we stand for the strengthening of the dictatorship of the proletariat, which is the mightiest and strongest state power that has ever existed. The highest development of state power with the object of preparing the conditions for the withering away of state-power - such is the Marxist formula. Is this "contradictory"? Yes, it is "contradictory." But this contradiction is bound up with life, and it fully reflects Marx's dialectics.
Or, for example, Lenin's presentation of the question of the right of nations to self-determination, including the right to secession. Lenin sometimes depicted the thesis on national self-determination in the guise of the simple formula: "disunion for union." Think of it - disunion for union. It even sounds like a paradox. And yet, this "contradictory', formula reflects that living truth of Marx's dialectics which enables the Bolsheviks to capture the most impregnable fortresses in the sphere of the national question.
The same may be said about the formula relating to national culture: the flowering of national cultures (and languages) in the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat in one country with the object of preparing the conditions for their withering away and merging into one common socialist culture (and into one common language) in the period of the victory of socialism all over the world.
Anyone who fails to understand this peculiar feature and "contradiction" of our transition period, anyone who fails to understand these dialectics of the historical processes, is dead as far as Marxism is concerned.
The misfortune of our deviators is that they do not understand, and do not wish to understand, Marx's dialectics.
That is how matters stand as regards the deviation towards Great-Russian chauvinism.
It is not difficult to understand that this deviation reflects the striving of the moribund classes of the formerly dominant Great-Russian nation to recover their lost privileges.
Hence the danger of Great-Russian chauvinism as the chief danger in the Party in the sphere of the national question.
What is the essence of the deviation towards local nationalism?
The essence of the deviation towards local nationalism is the endeavour to isolate and segregate oneself within the shell of one's own nation, the endeavour to slur over class contradictions within one's own nation, the endeavour to protect oneself from Great-Russian chauvinism by withdrawing from the general stream of socialist construction, the endeavour not to see what draws together and unites the labouring masses of the nations of the U.S.S.R. and to see only what can draw them apart from one another.
The deviation towards local nationalism reflects the discontent of the moribund classes of the formerly oppressed nations with the regime of the dictatorship of the proletariat, their striving to isolate themselves in their national bourgeois state and to establish their class rule there.
The danger of this deviation is that it cultivates bourgeois nationalism, weakens the unity of the working people of the different nations of the U.S.S.R. and plays into the hands of the interventionists.
Such is the essence of the deviation towards local nationalism.
The party's task is to wage a determined struggle against this deviation and to ensure the conditions necessary for the education of the labouring masses of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. in the spirit of internationalism.
That is how matters stand with the deviations in our Party, with the "Left" and Right deviations in the sphere of general policy, and with the deviations in the sphere of the national question.
Such is our inner-Party situation.
Now that the Party has emerged victoriously from the struggle for the general line, now that our Party's Leninist line is triumphant along the whole front, many are inclined to forget the difficulties that were created for us in our work by all kinds of deviators. More than that, to this day some philistine-minded comrades still think that we could have managed without a struggle against the deviators. Needless to say, those comrades are profoundly mistaken. It is enough to look back and recall the handiwork of the Trotskyists and Right deviators, it is enough to recall the history of the struggle against deviations during the past period, to understand the utter vacuity and futility of this party philistinism. There can be no doubt that if we had not curbed the deviators and routed them in open struggle, we could not have achieved the successes of which our Party is now justly proud.
In the struggle against deviations from the Leninist line our Party grew and gained strength. In the struggle against deviations it forged the Leninist unity of its ranks. Nobody now denies the indisputable fact that the Party has never been so united around its Central Committee as it is now. Everybody is now obliged to admit that the Party is now more united and solid than ever before, that the Sixteenth Congress is one of the few congresses of our Party at which there is no longer a definitely formed and united opposition capable of counterposing its separate line to the Party's general line.
To what is the Party indebted for this decisive achievement?
It is indebted for this achievement to the circumstance that in its struggle against deviations it always pursued a policy based on principle, that it never sank to backstairs combinations or diplomatic huckstering.
Lenin said that a policy based on principle is the sole correct policy. We emerged victoriously from the struggle against deviations because we honestly and consistently carried out this behest of Lenin's. (Applause.)
What is the general conclusion?
Such is the general conclusion.
With the banner of Lenin we triumphed in the battles for the October Revolution.
With the banner of Lenin we have achieved decisive successes in the struggle for the victory of socialist construction.
With this banner we shall triumph in the proletarian revolution all over the world.
Long live Leninism ! (Loud and prolonged applause. An ovation from the entire hall.)
PRAVDA, No. 177;