November 30, 2017

III The Question of Building Socialism in the U.S.S.R.

The Seventh Enlarged Plenum of the E.C.C.I
Permit me, comrades, to pass now to the question of building socialism in our country, in the U.S.S.R.

1. The "Manoeuvres" of the Opposition and the "National-Reformism" of Lenin's Party

Trotsky declared in his speech that Stalin's biggest error is the theory of the possibility of building socialism in one country, in our country. It appears, then, that what is in question is not Lenin's theory of the possibility of completely building socialism in our country, but of some unknown "theory" of Stalin's. The way I understand it is that Trotsky set out to give battle to Lenin's theory, but since giving open battle to Lenin is a risky business, he decided to fight this battle under the guise of combating a "theory" of Stalin's. Trotsky in this way wants to make it easier for himself to fight Leninism, by disguising that fight by his criticism of Stalin's "theory." That this is precisely so, that Stalin has nothing to do with the case, that there can be no question of any "theory" of Stalin's, that Stalin never had any pretensions to making any new contributions to theory, but only strove to facilitate the complete triumph of Leninism in our Party, in spite of Trotsky's revisionist efforts—this I shall endeavour to show later. Meanwhile, let it be noted that Trotsky's statement about Stalin's "theory" is a manoeuvre, a trick, a cowardly and unsuccessful trick, designed to cover up his fight against Lenin's theory of the victory of socialism in individual countries, a fight which began in 1915 and is continuing to the present day. Whether this stratagem of Trotsky's is a sign of honest polemics, I leave the comrades to judge.

The starting point for the decisions of our Party on the question whether it is possible to build socialism in our country is to be found in the well-known programmatic works of Comrade Lenin. In those works Lenin says that under the conditions of imperialism the victory of socialism in individual countries is possible, that the victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat in solving the economic problem of this dictatorship is assured, that we, the proletarians of the U.S.S.R., have all that is necessary and sufficient for building a complete socialist society.

I have just quoted a passage from the well-known article of Lenin's where he for the first time raised the question of the possibility of the victory of socialism in individual countries, and which I therefore shall not repeat here. That article was written in 1915. It says that the victory of socialism in individual countries— he seizure of power by the proletariat, the expropriation of the capitalists and the organisation of socialist production—is possible. We know that Trotsky at that very time, in that same year 1915, came out in the press against this article of Lenin's and called Lenin's theory of socialism in one country a theory of "national narrow-mindedness."

The question arises, what has Stalin's "theory" to do with this?

Further, in my report I quoted a passage from Lenin's well-known work, "Economics and Politics in the Era of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat," where it says plainly and definitely that the victory of the proletariat of the U.S.S.R., in the sense of solving the economic problem of the dictatorship of the proletariat, may be considered assured. This work was written in 1919. Here is the passage:

"In spite of the lies and slanders of the bourgeoisie of all countries and of their open or masked henchmen (the 'Socialists' of the Second International), one thing remains beyond dispute, viz., that from the point of view of the basic economic problem of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the victory of communism over capitalism in our country is assured. Throughout the world the bourgeoisie is raging and fuming against Bolshevism and is organising military expeditions, plots, etc., against the Bolsheviks, just because it fully realises that our success in reconstructing the social economy is inevitable, provided we are not crushed by military force. And its attempts to crush us in this way are not succeeding"* (see Vol. XXIV, p. 510).

You see that Lenin plainly speaks here of the possibility of the victory of the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. in the matter of reconstructing the social economy, in the matter of solving the economic problem of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

We know that Trotsky and the opposition as a whole do not agree with the basic propositions contained in this passage.

The question arises, what has Stalin's "theory" to do with this?

I quoted, lastly, a passage from Lenin's well-known pamphlet, On Co-operation, written in 1923. In this passage, it says:

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

You see that this passage leaves no doubt whatever about the possibility of building socialism in our country.

You see that this passage enumerates the principal factors in the building of a socialist economy in our country: proletarian power, large-scale production in the hands of the proletarian power, an alliance of the proletariat and the peasantry, leadership of the proletariat in this alliance, co-operation.

Trotsky endeavoured recently, at the Fifteenth Conference of the C.P.S.U.(B.), to counterpose to this quotation another quotation from the works of Lenin, where it says that "Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country" (see Vol. XXVI, p. 46). But to counterpose these quotations is to distort the basic idea of Lenin's pamphlet, On Co-operation. Is not electrification a constituent part of large-scale production, and is electrification possible at all in our country without large-scale production, concentrated in the hands of a proletarian state? Is it not clear that when Lenin says in his pamphlet On Co-operation that large-scale production is one of the factors in the building of socialism, this includes electrification?

We know that the opposition is conducting a more or less overt, but mostly covert, fight against the basic propositions formulated in this passage from Lenin's pamphlet, On Co-operation.

The question arises, what has Stalin's "theory" to do with this?

Such are the basic propositions of Leninism in the question of the building of socialism in our country.

The Party affirms that fundamentally at variance with these propositions of Leninism are the postulates of Trotsky and the opposition bloc to the effect that "the building of socialism within the framework of national states is impossible," that "the theory of socialism in one country is a theoretical justification of national narrow-mindedness," that "without direct state support from the European proletariat, the working class of Russia will not be able to maintain itself in power" (Trotsky).

The Party affirms that these propositions of the opposition bloc are the expression of a Social-Democratic deviation in our Party.

The Party affirms that Trotsky's formula about "direct state support from the European proletariat" is a formula that makes a complete break with Leninism. For what is implied by making the building of socialism in our country dependent on "direct state support from the European proletariat"? What if the European proletariat does not succeed in seizing power within the next few years? Can our revolution mark time for an indefinite period, pending the victory of the revolution in the West? Can it be expected that the bourgeoisie of our country will agree to wait for the victory of the revolution in the West and renounce its work and its struggle against the socialist elements in our economy? Does not this formula of Trotsky's denote the prospect of a gradual surrender of our positions to the capitalist elements in our economy, and then the prospect of our Party's retiring from power in the event of a victorious revolution in the West being delayed?

Is it not clear that what we have here are two absolutely different lines, one of which is the line of the Party and Leninism, and the other the line of the opposition and Trotskyism?

I asked Trotsky in my report, and I ask him again: Is it not true that Lenin's theory of the possibility of the victory of socialism in individual countries was qualified by Trotsky in 1915 as a theory of "national narrow-mindedness"? But I received no answer. Why? Is silence a sign of courage in polemics?

I asked Trotsky, further, and I ask him again: Is it not true that he repeated the charge of "national narrow-mindedness" against the theory of the building of socialism only quite recently, in September 1926, in his document addressed to the opposition? But I received no answer to this either. Why? Is it not because silence with Trotsky is also a sort of "manoeuvre"?

What does all this show?

It shows that Trotsky adheres to his old position of fighting Leninism on the basic question of the building of socialism in our country.

It shows that Trotsky, not having the courage to come out openly against Leninism, is trying to disguise his fight by criticising a non-existent "theory" of Stalin's.

Let us pass to another "manoeuvrer," Kamenev. He, apparently, was infected by Trotsky and also began to manoeuvre. But his manoeuvre turned out to be cruder than Trotsky's. Trotsky tried to accuse Stalin alone, but Kamenev hurled an accusation against the whole Party, declaring that it, that is, the Party, "replaces the international revolutionary perspective by a national-reformist perspective." How do you like that? Our Party, it appears, replaces the international revolutionary perspective by a national-reformist perspective. But since our Party is Lenin's party, and since in its decisions on the question of the building of socialism it rests wholly and entirely on Lenin's well-known propositions, it follows that Lenin's theory of the building of socialism is a national-reformist theory. Lenin a "national-reformist"—that is the sort of nonsense Kamenev treats us to.

Are there any decisions of our Party on the question of building socialism in our country? Yes, and even very definite decisions. When were those decisions adopted by the Party? They were adopted at the Fourteenth Conference of our Party in April 1925. I am referring to the resolution of the Fourteenth Conference on the work of the E.C.C.I. and socialist construction in our country. Is this resolution a Leninist resolution? Yes, it is, because this can be vouched for by such competent persons as Zinoviev, who made the report at the Fourteenth Conference in defence of this resolution, and Kamenev, who presided at this conference and voted for this resolution.

Why, then, did not Kamenev and Zinoviev try to convict the Party of contradicting itself, of diverging from the resolution of the Fourteenth Conference on the question of building socialism in our country, which resolution, as we know, was adopted unanimously?

One would think that nothing could be easier: the Party adopted a special resolution on the question of building socialism in our country and Kamenev and Zinoviev voted for it, and now both of them accuse the Party of national-reformism—why, then, should they not base their argument on so important a Party document as the resolution of the Fourteenth Conference, which deals with the building of socialism in our country, and which is obviously Leninist from beginning to end?

Did you notice that the opposition in general, and Kamenev in particular, avoided the Fourteenth Conference resolution as a cat-avoids hot porridge? (Laughter.) Why this fear of the Fourteenth Conference resolution, which was adopted on Zinoviev's motion and passed with the active assistance of Kamenev? Why are Kamenev and Zinoviev scared of mentioning this resolution even casually? Does not this resolution deal with the building of socialism in our country? And is not the question of the building of socialism the basic question at issue in our discussion?

Then what is the trouble?

It is that Kamenev and Zinoviev, who supported the Fourteenth Conference resolution in 1925, afterwards renounced this resolution, and hence, renounced Leninism, went over to the side of Trotskyism, and are now scared of mentioning this resolution even casually, for fear of being exposed.

What does this resolution say?

Here is a quotation from the resolution:

"Generally, the victory of socialism in one country (not in the sense offinal victory) is unquestionably possible."* And further:

". . . The existence of two directly opposite social systems gives rise to the constant menace of capitalist blockade, of other forms of economic pressure, of armed intervention, of restoration. Consequently, the only guarantee of the final victory of socialism, i.e., the guarantee against restoration, is a victorious socialist revolution in a number of countries. It by no means follows from this that it is impossible to build a complete socialist society in a backward country like Russia without the 'state aid'* (Trotsky) of countries more developed technically and economically. An integral part of Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution is the assertion that 'real progress of a socialist economy in Russia will become possible only after the victory of the proletariat in the major European countries' (Trotsky, 1922)—an assertion which in the present period condemns the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. to fatalistic passivity. In opposition to such 'theories,' Comrade Lenin wrote: 'Infinitely hackneyed is the argument that they learned by rote during the development of West-European Social-Democracy, namely, that we are not yet ripe for socialism, that, as certain "learned" gentlemen among them express it, the objective economic prerequisites for socialism do not exist in our country' (Notes on Sukhanov)." (Resolution of the Fourteenth Conference of the R.C.P.(B.) on "The Tasks of the Comintern and the R.C.P.(B.) in Connection with the Enlarged Plenum of the E.C.C.I." )

You see that the Fourteenth Conference resolution is an accurate statement of the basic propositions of Leninism on the question of the possibility of building socialism in our country.

You see that the resolution qualifies Trotskyism as running counter to Leninism, while a number of theses in the resolution are based upon a direct denial of the basic tenets of Trotskyism.

You see that the resolution fully reflects the disputes that have now again broken out over the question of the building of a socialist society in our country.

You know that my report was based on the guiding propositions of this resolution.

You no doubt remember that in my report I made special mention of the Fourteenth Conference resolution and accused Kamenev and Zinoviev of having violated it, of having departed from this resolution.

Why did not Kamenev and Zinoviev try to dispel that accusation?

What is the secret?

The secret is that Kamenev and Zinoviev renounced this resolution long ago and, having renounced it, passed over to Trotskyism.

For either one thing or the other:

either the Fourteenth Conference resolution is not a Leninist resolution—in which case Kamenev and Zinoviev were not Leninists when they voted for it;

or the resolution is a Leninist resolution—in which case Kamenev and Zinoviev, having renounced the resolution, have ceased to be Leninists.

Some of the speakers here said (Riese was one of them, I think) that Zinoviev and Kamenev had not gone over to Trotskyism, but, on the contrary, Trotsky had gone over to Zinoviev and Kamenev. That is all nonsense, comrades. The fact that Kamenev and Zinoviev have renounced the Fourteenth Conference resolution is direct proof that it is precisely Kamenev and Zinoviev that have gone over to Trotskyism.

And so:

Who has renounced the Leninist line in the question of the building of socialism in the U.S.S.R., as formulated in the resolution of the Fourteenth Conference of the R.C.P.(B.)?

It turns out that Kamenev and Zinoviev have.

Who has "replaced the international revolutionary perspective" by Trotskyism?

It turns out that Kamenev and Zinoviev have.

If Kamenev now howls and clamours about the "national-reformism" of our Party, it is because he is trying to divert the attention of the comrades from his fall from grace and to blame others for his own sins.

This is why Kamenev's "manoeuvre" about the "national-reformism" of our Party is a trick, an unseemly and crude trick, designed to cover up his renunciation of the Fourteenth Conference resolution, his renunciation of Leninism, his desertion to Trotskyism, by clamouring about "national-reformism" in our Party.
2. We Are Building and Can Completely Build the Economic Basis of Socialism in the U.S.S.R.

I said in my report that the political basis of socialism has already been created in our country—it is the dictatorship of the proletariat. I said that the economic basis of socialism is still far from having been created, and has yet to be created. I said, further, that in consequence of this the question stands as follows: have we the possibility of building the economic basis of socialism in our country by our own efforts? I said, lastly, that if this question is put in class language, it takes the followingform: have we the possibility of overcoming our, Soviet, bourgeoisie by our own efforts?

Trotsky asserted in his speech that when I spoke of overcoming the bourgeoisie in the U.S.S.R., I meant overcoming it politically. That, of course, is not true. It is a factional fancy of Trotsky's. It will be seen from my report that when I spoke of overcoming the bourgeoisie in the U.S.S.R., I meant overcoming it economically, because, politically, it has already been overcome.

What does overcoming the bourgeoisie in the U.S.S.R. economically mean? Or in other words: what does creating the economic basis of socialism in the U.S.S.R. mean?

"To create the economic basis of socialism means welding agriculture and socialist industry into one integral economy, subordinating agriculture to the leadership of socialist industry, regulating relations between town and country on the basis of an exchange of the products of agriculture and industry, closing and eliminating all the channels which facilitate the birth of classes and, above all, of capital, and, in the long run, establishing such conditions of production and distribution as will lead directly and immediately to the abolition of classes" (see Stalin's report at the Seventh Enlarged Plenum of the E.C.C.I.).

That is how I defined in my report the essence of the economic basis of socialism in the U.S.S.R.

This definition is an exact formulation of the definition of the "economic essence," the "economic basis" of socialism given by Lenin in his draft of the pamphlet, The Tax in Kind. 30

Is this definition correct, and can we count on the possibility of completely building the economic basis of socialism in our country?—that is now the fundamental point of our disagreements.

Trotsky did not even touch upon this question. He simply avoided it, apparently considering that it would be wiser to say nothing about it.

But that we are building, and can completely build, the economic basis of socialism is evident if only from the fact that:

a) our socialised production is large-scale and united production, whereas non-nationalised production in our country is small-scale and dispersed production, and it is known that the superiority of large-scale, and moreover united, production over small-scale production is an indisputable fact;

b) our socialised production is already directing and beginning to bring under its control small-scale production, irrespective whether the latter is urban or rural;

c) on the front of the struggle between the socialist elements in our economy and the capitalist elements, the former have undoubted superiority over the latter and are progressing step by step, overcoming the capitalist elements in our economy both in the sphere of production and in the sphere of circulation.

I shall not stop to mention other factors which make for the victory of the socialist elements in our economy over the capitalist elements.

What grounds are there for supposing that the process of overcoming the capitalist elements in our economy will not continue in future?

Trotsky said in his speech:

"Stalin says that we are engaged in the building of socialism, that is, are working for the abolition of classes and the state, that is, are overcoming our bourgeoisie. Yes, comrades, but the state needs an army against external enemies" (I quote from the verbatim report. — J. St.).

What does this mean? What is the sense of this passage? From this passage, only one conclusion can be drawn: since completely building the economic basis of socialism implies abolition of classes and the state, and since we shall nevertheless need an army for the protection of the socialist homeland, while an army without a state is impossible (so Trotsky thinks), it follows that we cannot completely build the economic basis of socialism until the necessity for armed defence of the socialist homeland has disappeared.

That, comrades, is a mixing up of all concepts. Either what is meant by the state here is simply an apparatus for the armed defence of socialist society—which is absurd, for the state is primarily the weapon of one class against other classes, and it is self-evident that if there are no classes there cannot be a state. Or an army for the defence of socialist society is here considered inconceivable without the existence of a state—which again is absurd, for it is theoretically quite possible to grant the existence of a state of society in which there are no classes and no state, but there is an armed people defending its classless society against external enemies. Sociology provides quite a number of examples of the existence in the course of human history of societies which had no classes and no state, but which defended themselves in one way or another against external enemies. It is similarly possible to conceive a future classless society which, having no classes and no state, may nevertheless have a socialist militia, essential for defence against external enemies. I consider it hardly likely that such a state of things may occur in our country, because there is no reason to doubt that the achievements of socialist construction in our country, and still more the victory of socialism and the abolition of classes, will be facts of such historic significance that they cannot fail to evoke a mighty impulse towards socialism among the proletarians of the capitalist countries, can not fail to evoke revolutionary explosions in other countries. But, theoretically, a state of society is quite conceivable in which there is a socialist militia, but no classes and no state.

Incidentally, this question is to a certain extent dealt with in the programme of our Party. Here is what it says:

"The Red Army, as an instrument of the proletarian dictatorship must necessarily be of a frankly class character, that is, it must be recruited exclusively from the proletariat and the related semi-proletarian strata of the peasantry. Only with the abolition of classes will such a class army be converted into a socialist militia of the whole people"* (see Programme of the C.P.S.U.(B.) ).

Trotsky has evidently forgotten this point in our programme.

In his speech Trotsky spoke of the dependence of our national economy on world capitalist economy, and asserted that "from isolated War Communism we are coming more and more to coalescence with world economy."

It follows from this that our national economy, with its struggle between the capitalist and socialist elements, is coalescing with world capitalist economy. I say capitalist world economy because at the present time no other world economy exists.

That is not true, comrades. It is absurd. It is a factional fancy of Trotsky's.

No one denies that there exists a dependence of our national economy on world capitalist economy. No one denies this, or has denied it, just as no one denies that there exists a dependence of every country and every national economy, not excluding the American national economy, on international capitalist economy. But this dependence is mutual. Not only does our economy depend upon the capitalist countries, but the capitalist countries, too, depend upon our economy, upon our oil, our grain, our timber and, lastly, our boundless market. We receive credits, say, from Standard Oil. We receive credits from German capitalists. But we receive them not because of our bright eyes, but because the capitalist countries need our oil, our grain and our market for the disposal of their machinery. It must not be forgotten that our country constitutes one-sixth of the world, that it constitutes a huge market, and the capitalist countries cannot manage without some connection or other with our market. All this means that the capitalist countries depend upon our economy. The dependence is mutual.

Does this mean that the dependence of our national economy on the capitalist countries precludes the possibility of building a socialist economy in our country? Of course not. To depict a socialist economy as something absolutely self-contained and absolutely independent of the surrounding national economies is to talk nonsense. Can it be asserted that a socialist economy will have absolutely no exports or imports, will not import products it does not itself possess, and will not, in consequence of this, export its own products? No, it cannot. And what are exports and imports? They are an expression of the dependence of countries upon other countries. They are an expression of economic interdependence.

The same must be said of the capitalist countries of today. You cannot imagine a single country which does not export and import. Take America, the richest country in the world. Can it be said that the present-day capitalist states, Britain or America, say, are absolutely independent countries? No, it cannot. Why? Because they depend on exports and imports, they depend on the raw materials of other countries (America, for instance, depends on rubber and other raw materials), they depend on the markets in which they sell their machinery and other finished goods.

Does this mean that since there are no absolutely independent countries, the independence of individual national economies is thereby precluded? No, it does not. Our country depends upon other countries just as other countries depend upon our national economy; but this does not mean that our country has thereby lost, or will lose, its independence, that it cannot uphold its independence, that it is bound to become a cog in international capitalist economy. A distinction must be drawn between the dependence of some countries on others and the economic independence of these countries. Denying the absolute independence of individual national economic units does not mean, and cannot mean, denying the economic independence of these units.

But Trotsky speaks not only of the dependence of our national economy. He converts this dependence into a coalescence of our economy with capitalist world economy. But what does the coalescence of our national economy with capitalist world economy mean? It means its conversion into an appendage of world capitalism. But is our country an appendage of world capitalism? Of course not! It is nonsense to say so, comrades. It is not talking seriously.

If it were true, we should be quite unable to uphold our socialist industry, our foreign trade monopoly, our nationalised transport system, our nationalised credit system, our planned direction of economy.

If it were true, our socialist industry would already be on the way to degenerating into ordinary capitalist industry.

If it were true, we should have no successes on the front of the struggle of the socialist elements of our economy against the capitalist elements.

Trotsky said in his speech: "In reality, we shall always be under the control of world economy."

It follows from this that our national economy will develop under the control of world capitalist economy, because at the present time no other world economy than capitalist world economy exists.

Is that true? No, it is not. That is the dream of the capitalist sharks, but one that will never be realised.

What does the control of capitalist world economy mean? In the mouths of the capitalists, control is not an empty word. In the mouths of the capitalists, control is something real.

Capitalist control means first of all financial control. But have not our banks been nationalised, and are they functioning under the direction of European capitalist banks? Financial control means the establishment in our country of branches of big capitalist banks, the formation of what are known as "subsidiary" banks. But are there such banks in our country? Of course not! Not only are there no such banks, but there never will be so long as Soviet power exists.

Capitalist control means control over our industry, the denationalisation of our socialist industry, the denationalisation of our transport system. But is not our industry nationalised and is it not developing precisely as nationalised industry? Does anyone intend to denationalise even a single one of our nationalised enterprises? I don't know, of course, what they are thinking of in Trotsky's Chief Concessions Committee. (Laughter.) But that there will be no room for denationalisers in our country so long as Soviet power exists, of that you may be certain.

Capitalist control means a free run of our market, it means abolition of the monopoly of foreign trade. I know that the Western capitalists have time and again dashed their heads against the wall, trying to shatter the armour-plate of the foreign trade monopoly. You know that the foreign trade monopoly is the shield and protection of our young socialist industry. But have the capitalists achieved any success in liquidating the foreign trade monopoly? Is it so hard to understand that so long as Soviet power exists, the foreign trade monopoly will continue to live and flourish, in spite of everything?

Capitalist control, lastly, means political control, the destruction of the political independence of our country, the adaptation of its laws to the interests and tastes of international capitalist economy. But is not our country a politically independent country? Are not our laws dictated by the interests of the proletariat and the masses of the working people of our country? Why not cite facts, even one fact, to show that our country is losing its political independence? Let them try to do so.

That is how the capitalists understand control, if, of course, we are speaking of real control, and not chattering idly about some imaginary control.

If it is real capitalist control of this nature we are discussing—and it is only such control we can discuss, because only wretched scribblers can indulge in idle chatter about imaginary control—I must say that in our country there is no such control, and there never will be so long as our proletariat lives and so long as we have Soviet power. (Applause.)

Trotsky said in his speech:

"The idea is, within the encirclement of the capitalist world economy, to build an isolated socialist state. This can be achieved only if the productive forces of this isolated state will be superior to the productive forces of capitalism; because, looked at from the perspective not of one year or even ten years, but of a half-century or even a century, only such a state, such a new social form can firmly establish itself, whose productive forces prove to be more powerful than the productive forces of the old economic system" (see verbatim report of Trotsky's speech at the Seventh Enlarged Plenum of the E.C.C.I.).

It follows from this that some fifty or even a hundred years will be needed for the socialist system of economy to prove in practice its superiority over the capitalist system of economy from the standpoint of the development of productive forces.

That is not true, comrades. It is a mixing up of all concepts and perspectives.

It required, I think, about two hundred years, or somewhat less, for the feudal system of economy to prove its superiority over the slave system of economy. And it could not be otherwise, since the rate of development at that time was dreadfully slow, and the technique of production was more than primitive.

It required about a hundred years, or somewhat less, for the bourgeois system of economy to prove its superiority over the feudal system of economy. Already in the depths of feudal society the bourgeois system of economy revealed that it was superior, far superior, to the feudal system of economy. The difference in the periods is to be explained by the faster rate of development and the more highly developed technology of the bourgeois system of economy.

Since then technology has achieved unprecedented successes, and the rate of development has become truly furious. What grounds, then, has Trotsky for assuming that the socialist system of economy will require about a hundred years to prove its superiority over the capitalist system of economy? Is not the fact that our production will be headed not by parasites, but by the producers themselves—is not this a most powerful factor ensuring that the socialist system of economy will have every chance of advancing the economy with giant strides, and of proving its superiority over the capitalist system of economy in a much shorter period?

Does not the fact that socialist economy is the most united and concentrated economy, that socialist economy is conducted on planned lines—does not this fact indicate that socialist economy will have every advantage, and be able in a comparatively short period to prove its superiority over the capitalist system of economy, which is torn by internal contradictions and corroded by crises?

In view of all this, is it not clear that to hold out here a perspective of fifty or a hundred years means to suffer from the superstitious faith of the scared petty bourgeois in the almighty power of the capitalist system of economy? (Voices: "Quite right!")

And what are the conclusions? There are two conclusions.

Firstly. In controverting the possibility of building socialism in our country, Trotsky retreated from his old polemical stand and adopted another. Formerly the opposition based its objections on internal contradictions, on the contradictions between the proletariat and the peasantry, considering these contradictions insuperable. Now Trotsky stresses external contradictions, the contradictions between our national economy and world capitalist economy, considering these contradictions insuperable. Whereas, formerly, Trotsky believed that the stumbling-block of socialist construction in our country is the contradictions between the proletariat and the peasantry, now he has changed front, retreated to another stand from which to criticise the Party's position, and asserts that the stumbling-block of socialist construction is the contradictions between our system of economy and capitalist world economy. Thereby he has in fact admitted the untenability of the opposition's old arguments.

Secondly. But Trotsky's retreat is a retreat into the wilderness, into the morass. Trotsky has, in point of fact, retreated to Sukhanov, directly and openly. What, in point of fact, do Trotsky's "new" arguments amount to? They amount to this: owing to our economic backwardness we are not ripe for socialism, we have not the objective prerequisites for building a socialist economy, and as a result our national economy is being converted, and is bound to be converted, into an appendage of capitalist world economy, into an economic unit controlled by world capitalism.

But this is "Sukhanovism," open and undisguised.

The opposition has sunk to the position of the Menshevik Sukhanov, to his attitude of bluntly denying the possibility of the victorious building of socialism in our country.
3. We Are Building Socialism in Alliance with the World Proletariat

That we are building socialism in alliance with the peasantry is something, I think, which our opposition does not venture openly to deny. Whether we are building socialism in alliance with the world proletariat, this the opposition is inclined to doubt. Some of the oppositionists even assert that our Party underestimates the importance of this alliance. And one of them, Kamenev, has even gone so far as to accuse the Party of national-reformism, of replacing the international revolutionary perspective by a national-reformist perspective.

That, comrades, is nonsense. The most arrant nonsense. Only madmen can deny the paramount importance of an alliance of the proletarians of our country with the proletarians of all other countries in the building of socialism. Only madmen can accuse our Party of underestimating the importance of an alliance of the proletarians of all countries. Only in alliance with the world proletariat is it possible to build socialism in our country.

The whole point is how this alliance is to be understood.

When the proletarians of the U.S.S.R. seized power in October 1917, this was assistance to the proletarians of all countries; it was an alliance with them.

When the proletarians of Germany made a revolution in 1918, this was assistance to the proletarians of all countries, especially the proletarians of the U.S.S.R.; it was an alliance with the proletariat of the U.S.S.R.

When the proletarians of Western Europe frustrated intervention against the U.S.S.R., refused to transport arms for the counter-revolutionary generals, set up councils of action and undermined the rear of their capitalists, this was assistance to the proletarians of the U.S.S.R.; it was an alliance of the West-European proletarians with the proletarians of the U.S.S.R. Without this sympathy and this support of the proletarians of the capitalist countries, we could not have won the Civil War.

When the proletarians of the capitalist countries send a series of delegations to our country, check our constructive work and then spread the news of the successes of our constructive work to all the workers of Europe, this is assistance to the proletarians of the U.S.S.R., it is support of the highest value for the proletarians of the U.S.S.R., it is an alliance with the proletarians of the U.S.S.R., and a curb on possible imperialist intervention in our country. Without this support and without this curb, we should not now be having a "respite," and without a "respite" there could be no widely developed work on the building of socialism in our country.

When the proletarians of the U.S.S.R. consolidate their dictatorship, put an end to economic disruption, develop constructive work and achieve successes in the building of socialism, this is support of the highest value for the proletarians of all countries, for their struggle against capitalism, their struggle for power; because the existence of the Soviet Republic, its steadfastness, its successes on the front of socialist construction, are factors of the highest value for the world revolution, factors that encourage the proletarians of all countries in their struggle against capitalism. It can scarcely be doubted that the destruction of the Soviet Republic would be followed by the blackest and most savage reaction in all capitalist countries.

The strength of our revolution and the strength of the revolutionary movement in the capitalist countries lie in this mutual support and in this alliance of the proletarians of all countries.

Such are the diverse forms of the alliance between the proletarians of the U.S.S.R. and the world proletariat.

The error of the opposition consists in the fact that it does not understand or does not recognise these forms of alliance. The trouble of the opposition is that it recognises only one form of alliance, the form of "direct state support" rendered to the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. by the proletarians of Western Europe, i.e., a form which, unfortunately, is not yet being applied; and the opposition makes the fate of socialist construction in the U.S.S.R. directly dependent upon such support being rendered in the future.

The opposition thinks that only by recognising this form of support can the Party retain its "international revolutionary perspective." But I have already said that if the world revolution should be delayed, this attitude can only lead to endless concessions on our part to the capitalist elements in our economy and, in the long run, to capitulationism, to defeatism.

It therefore follows that "direct state support" from the European proletariat, which the opposition holds out as the only form of alliance with the world proletariat, would, if the world revolution should be delayed, serve as a screen for capitulationism.

Kamenev's "international revolutionary perspective" as a screen for capitulationism—this, it appears, is where Kamenev is heading for.

One can therefore only wonder at the audacity with which Kamenev spoke here, in accusing our Party of national reformism.

Whence this, to put it mildly, audacity of Kamenev's, who has never been distinguished either for his revolutionary spirit or his internationalism?

Whence this audacity of Kamenev's, who has always been considered by us a Bolshevik among Mensheviks, and a Menshevik among Bolsheviks? (Laughter.)

Whence this audacity of Kamenev's, whom Lenin at one time with full justification called a "black-leg" of the October Revolution?

Kamenev wants to know whether the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. is internationalist. I must declare that the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. needs no testimonial from a "black-leg" of the October Revolution. You want to know the extent of the internationalism of the proletariat of the U.S.S.R.? Well, ask the British workers, ask the German workers (stormy applause), ask the Chinese workers—they will tell you about the internationalism of the proletariat of the U.S.S.R.
4. The Question of Degeneration

It may therefore be regarded as demonstrated that the attitude of the opposition is one of direct denial of the possibility of victoriously building socialism in our country.

But denying the possibility of victoriously building socialism leads to the perspective of the degeneration of the Party, and the perspective of degeneration, in its turn, leads to retirement from power and the issue of forming another party.

Trotsky pretended that he could not take this seriously. But that was camouflage.

There can be no doubt that, if we cannot build socialism, and the revolution in other countries is delayed, while capital in our country grows, just as the "coalescence" of our national economy with world capitalist economy also grows—then, from the point of view of the opposition, there can be only two alternatives:

a) either to remain in power and pursue a bourgeois-democratic policy, to take part in a bourgeois government, hence, to pursue a "Millerandist" policy;

b) or to retire from power, so as not to degenerate, and, parallel with the official party, to form a new party—which indeed is what our opposition was striving for and, in point of fact, is continuing to strive for now.

The theory of two parties, or the theory of a new party, is the direct result of denying the possibility of victoriously building socialism, the direct result of the perspective of degeneration.

Both these alternatives lead to capitulationism, to defeatism.

How did the question stand in the period of the Civil War? It stood as follows: if we do not succeed in organising an army and repulsing our enemies, the dictatorship of the proletariat will fall and we shall lose power. At that time the war held first place.

How does the question stand now, when the Civil War is over and the tasks of economic construction have come to hold first place? Now the question stands as follows: if we cannot build a socialist economy, then the dictatorship of the proletariat will have to make more and more serious concessions to the bourgeoisie and must degenerate and follow in the wake of bourgeois democracy.

Can Communists agree to pursue a bourgeois policy, with the dictatorship of the proletariat in process of degenerating?

No, they cannot, and must not.

Hence the way out: to retire from power and form a new party, having cleared the way for the restoration of capitalism.



Capitulationism as the natural result of the present attitude of the opposition bloc—such is the conclusion.