November 24, 2017

The International Situation and the Defence of the U.S.S.R.

Speech Delivered on August 5

Comrades, Zinoviev was grossly disloyal to this plenum in reverting in his speech to the already settled question of the international situation.

We are now discussing point 4 on the agenda: "The violation of Party discipline by Trotsky and Zinoviev." Zinoviev, however, evading the point under discussion, reverted to the question of the international situation and tried to resume the discussion of an already settled question. Moreover, in his speech he concentrated his attack on Stalin, forgetting that we are not discussing Stalin, but the violation of Party discipline by Zinoviev and Trotsky.

I am therefore compelled in my speech to revert to several aspects of the already settled question in order to show that Zinoviev's speech was groundless.

I apologise, comrades, but I shall also have to say a few words about Zinoviev's thrusts at Stalin. (Voices: "Please, do!")

First. For some reason, Zinoviev in his speech recalled Stalin's vacillation in March 1917, and in doing so he piled up a heap of fairy-tales. I have never denied that I vacillated to some extent in March 1917, but that lasted only a week or two; on Lenin's arrival in April 1917 that vacillation ceased and at the April Conference 1917, I stood side by side with Comrade Lenin against Kamenev and his opposition group. I have mentioned this a number of times in our Party press (see On the Road to October, Trotskyism or Leninism?, etc.).

I have never regarded myself as being infallible, nor do I do so now. I have never concealed either my mistakes or my momentary vacillations. But one must not ignore also that I have never persisted in my mistakes, and that I have never drawn up a platform, or formed a separate group, and so forth, on the basis of my momentary vacillations.

But what has that to do with the question under discussion, the violation of Party discipline by Zinoviev and Trotsky? Why does Zinoviev, evading the question under discussion, revert to reminiscences of March 1917? Has he really forgotten his own mistakes, his struggle against Lenin, his separate platform in opposition to Lenin's Party in August, September, October and November 1917? Perhaps Zinoviev by his reminiscences of the past hopes to push into the background the question, now under discussion, of the violation of Party discipline by Zinoviev and Trotsky? No, that trick of Zinoviev's will not succeed.

Second. Zinoviev, further, quoted a passage from a letter I wrote to him in the summer of 1923, some months before the German revolution of 1923. I do not remember the history of that letter, I have no copy of it, and I am therefore unable to say with certainty whether Zi-noviev quoted it correctly. I wrote it, I think, at the end of July or beginning of August 1923. I must say, however, that that letter is absolutely correct from beginning to end. By referring to that letter Zinoviev evidently wants to imply that I was in general sceptical about the German revolution of 1923. That, of course, is nonsense.

The letter touched first of all on the question whether the Communists should take power immediately. In July or the beginning of August 1923 there was not yet in Germany that profound revolutionary crisis which brings the vast masses to their feet, exposes the compromising policy of Social-Democracy, utterly disorganises the bourgeoisie and raises the question of the immediate seizure of power by the Communists. Naturally, under the circumstances prevailing in July-August, there could be no question of the immediate seizure of power by the Communists in Germany, who moreover were a minority in the ranks of the working class.

Was that position correct? I think it was. And that was the position held at that time by the Political Bureau.

The second question touched on in that letter relates to a demonstration of communist workers at a time when armed fascists were trying to provoke the Communists to premature action. The stand I took at that time was that the Communists should not allow themselves to be provoked. I was not the only one to take that stand; it was the stand of the whole Political Bureau.

Two months later, however, a radical change took place in the situation in Germany; the revolutionary crisis became more acute; Poincare began a military offensive against Germany; the financial crisis in Germany became catastrophic; the German government began to collapse and a ministerial reshuffle began; the evolutionary tide rose, threatening to overwhelm the Social-Democrats; the workers began en masse to desert Social-Democracy and to go over to the Communists; the question of the seizure of power by the Communists came on the order of the day. Under these circumstances I, like the other members of the Comintern Commission, was resolutely and definitely in favour of the immediate seizure of power by the Communists.

As is known, the German Commission of the Comintern that was set up at that time, consisting of Zinoviev, Bukharin, Stalin, Trotsky, Radek and a number of German comrades, adopted a series of concrete decisions concerning direct assistance to the German comrades in the matter of seizing power.

Were the members of that commission unanimous on all points at that time? No, they were not. There was disagreement at that time on the question whether Soviets should be set up in Germany. Bukharin and I argued that the factory committees could not serve as substitutes for Soviets and proposed that proletarian Soviets be immediately organised in Germany. Trotsky and Radek, as also some of the German comrades, opposed the organisation of Soviets and argued that the factory committees would be enough for seizure of power. Zinoviev wavered between these two groups.

Please note, comrades, that it was not a question of China, where there are only a few million proletarians, but of Germany, a highly industrialised country, where there were then about fifteen million proletarians.

What was the upshot of these disagreements? It was that Zinoviev deserted to the side of Trotsky and Radek and the question of Soviets was settled in the negative.

True, later on, Zinoviev repented of his sins, but that does not do away with the fact that at that time Zinoviev was on the Right, opportunist flank on one of the fundamental questions of the German revolution, whereas Bukharin and Stalin were on the revolutionary, communist flank.

Here is what Zinoviev said about this later:

"On the question of Soviets (in Germany — J. St.) we made a mistake in yielding to Trotsky and Radek. Every time a concession is made on these questions, one becomes convinced that one is making a mistake. It was impossible to set up workers' Soviets at the time, but that was a touchstone for revealing whether the line was Social-Democratic or Communist. We should not have yielded on this question. To yield was a mistake on our part. That is how the matter stands, comrades" (Verbatim Report of the Fifth Meeting of the Presidium of the E.C.C.I. with Represent tives of the Communist Party of Germany, January 19, 1924, p. 70).

In this passage Zinoviev says "we made a mistake." Who are "we"? There was not, and could not have been, any "we." It was Zinoviev who made a mistake in deserting to the side of Trotsky and Radek and in adopting their erroneous position.

Such are the facts.

Zinoviev would have done better not to recall the German revolution of 1923 and disgrace himself in the eyes of the plenum; the more so because, as you see, the question of the German revolution which he raised has nothing to do with point 4 of the plenum agenda which we are now discussing.

The question of China. According to Zinoviev it appears that Stalin, in his report at the Fourteenth Party Congress, identified China with America. That, of course, is nonsense. There was no question of any identification of China with America in my report, nor could there have been. Actually, in my report I merely dealt with the right of the Chinese people to national unity and to national liberation from the foreign yoke. Concentrating my criticism on the imperialist press, I said: If you, Messieurs the imperialists, justify, at any rate in words, the national war in Italy, the national war in America, and the national war in Germany for unity and liberation from a foreign yoke, in what way is China inferior to these countries, and why should not the Chinese people have the right to national unity and liberation?

That is what I said in my report, without in any way touching upon the question of the prospects and tasks of the Chinese revolution from the standpoint of communism.

Was that presentation of the question legitimate in controversy with the bourgeois press? Obviously, it was. Zinoviev does not understand a simple thing like that, but for that his own obtuseness is to blame and nothing else.

Zinoviev, it appears, considers that the policy of transforming the Wuhan Kuomintang, when it was revolutionary, into the core of a future revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry was wrong. The question arises: What was wrong about it? Is it not a fact that the Wuhan Kuomintang was revolutionary at the beginning of this year? Why did Zinoviev shout for "all-round assistance" for the Wuhan Kuomintang if the Wuhan Kuomintang was not revolutionary? Why did the opposition swear that it was in favour of the Communist Party remaining in the Wuhan Kuomintang if the latter was not revolutionary at that time? What would Communists be worth who, belonging to the Wuhan Kuomintang and enjoying influence in it, did not attempt to get the Kuomintang fellow-travellers to follow them and did not attempt to transform the Wuhan Kuomintang into the core of a revolutionary-democratic dictatorship? I would say that such Communists would not be worth a farthing.

True, that attempt failed, because at that stage the imperialists and the feudal landlords in China proved to be stronger than the revolution and, as a consequence, the Chinese revolution suffered temporary defeat. But does it follow from that that the Communist Party's policy was wrong?

In 1905 the Russian Communists also attempted to transform the Soviets which existed at that time into the core of a future revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry; but that attempt also failed at that time owing to the unfavourable correlation of class forces, owing to the fact that tsar-ism and the feudal landlords proved to be stronger than the revolution. Does it follow from this that the Bolsheviks' policy was wrong? Obviously, it does not.

Zinoviev asserts, further, that Lenin was in favour of the immediate organisation of Soviets of workers' deputies in China, and he referred to Lenin's theses on the colonial question that were adopted at the Second Congress of the Comintern. But here Zinoviev is simply misleading the Party.

It has been stated in the press several times, and it must be repeated here, that in Lenin's theses there is not a single word about Soviets of workers' deputies in China.

It has been stated in the press several times, and it must be repeated here, that in his theses Lenin had in mind not Soviets of workers' deputies, but "peasant Soviets," "people's Soviets," "toilers' Soviets," and he made the special reservation that this applied to countries "where there is no industrial proletariat, or practically none."

Can China be included in the category of countries where "there is no industrial proletariat, or practically none"? Obviously not. Is it possible in China to form peasant Soviets, toilers' Soviets, or people's Soviets, without first forming class Soviets of the working class? Obviously not. Why, then, is the opposition deceiving the Party by referring to Lenin's theses?

The question of the respite. In 1921, on the termination of the Civil War, Lenin said that we now had some respite from war and that we ought to take advantage of that respite to build socialism. Zinoviev is now finding fault with Stalin, asserting that Stalin converted that respite into a period of respite, which, he alleges, contradicts the thesis on the threat of war between the U.S.S.R. and the imperialists.

Needless to say, this fault-finding of Zinoviev's is stupid and ridiculous. Is it not a fact that there has been no military conflict between the imperialists and the U.S.S.R. for the past seven years? Can this period of seven years be called a period of respite? Obviously, it can and should be so called. Lenin more than once spoke of the period of the Brest Peace, but everybody knows that that period did not last more than a year. Why can the one-year period of the Brest Peace be called a period and the seven-year period of respite not be called a period of respite? How is it possible to take up the time of the joint plenum of the Central Committee and Central Control Commission with such ridiculous and stupid fault-finding?

About the dictatorship of the Party. It has been stated several times in our Party press that Zinoviev distorts Lenin's conception of the "dictatorship" of the Party by identifying the dictatorship of the proletariat with the dictatorship of the Party. It has been stated several times in our Party press that by "dictatorship" of the Party Lenin understood the Party's leadership of the working class, that is to say, not the Party's use of force against the working class, but leadership by means of persuasion, by means of the political education of the working class, to be precise, leadership by one party, which does not share, and does not desire to share, that leadership with other parties.

Zinoviev does not understand this and distorts Lenin's conception. However, by distorting Lenin's conception of the "dictatorship" of the Party, Zinoviev is, perhaps without realising it, making way for the penetration of "Arakcheyev" methods into the Party, for justifying Kautsky's slanderous allegation that Lenin was effecting "the dictatorship of the Party over the working class." Is that a decent thing to do? Obviously not. But who is to blame if Zinoviev fails to understand such simple things?

About national culture. The nonsense Zinoviev talked here about national culture ought to be perpetuated in some way, so that the Party may know that Zinoviev is opposed to the development of the national culture of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. on a Soviet basis, that he is, in fact, an advocate of colonisation.

We used to regard, and still regard, the slogan of national culture in the epoch of the domination of the bourgeoisie in a multi-national state as a bourgeois slogan. Why? Because, in the period of the domination of the bourgeoisie in such a state, that slogan signifies the spiritual subordination of the masses of the working people of all nationalities to the leadership, the domination, the dictatorship, of the bourgeoisie.

After the proletariat seized power we proclaimed the slogan of the development of the national culture of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. on the basis of the Soviets. What does that mean? It means that we adapt the development of national culture among the peoples of the U.S.S.R. to the interests and requirements of socialism, to the interests and requirements of the proletarian dictatorship, to the interests and requirements of the working people of all the nationalities of the U.S.S.R.

Does that mean that we are now opposed to national culture in general? No, it does not. It merely means that we are now in favour of developing the national culture of the peoples of the U.S.S.R., their national languages, schools, press, and so forth, on the basis of the Soviets. And what does the reservation "on the basis of the Soviets" mean? It means that in its contentthe culture of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. which the Soviet Government is developing must be a culture common to all the working people, a socialist culture; in its form, however, it is and will be different for all the peoples of the U.S.S.R.; it is and will be a national culture, different for the various peoples of the U.S.S.R. in conformity with the differences in language and specific national features. I spoke about this in the speech I delivered at the Communist University of the Toilers of the East about three years ago. 26 It is on these lines that our Party has been operating all the time, encouraging the development of national Soviet schools, of a national Soviet press, and other cultural institutions; encouraging the "nationalisation" of the Party apparatus, the "nationalisation" of the Soviet apparatus, and so on and so forth.

It is precisely for this reason that Lenin, in his letters to comrades working in the national regions and republics, called for the development of the national culture of these regions and republics on the basis of the Soviets.

It is precisely because we have pursued this line ever since the proletariat seized power that we have succeeded in erecting an international edifice never before seen in the world, the edifice known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Zinoviev, however, now wants to overturn all this, to obliterate, to bury all this by declaring war on national culture. And this colonialist twaddle on the national question he calls Leninism! Is that not ridiculous, comrades?

The building of socialism in one country. Notwithstanding the series of severe defeats they have sustained on this question, Zinoviev and the opposition in general (Trotsky, Kamenev) clutch at it again and again and waste the time of the plenum. They try to make it appear that the thesis that the victory of socialism is possible in the U.S.S.R. is not Lenin's theory, but Stalin's "theory."

It scarcely needs proof that this assertion by the opposition is an attempt to deceive the Party. Is it not a fact that it was none other than Lenin who, as far back as 1915, stated that the victory of socialism is possible in one country? 27 Is it not a fact that it was none other than Trotsky who, at that very time, opposed Lenin on this question and described Lenin's thesis as "national narrow-mindedness"? What has Stalin's "theory" to do with it?

Is it not a fact that it was none other than Kamenev and Zinoviev who dragged in the wake of Trotsky in 1925 and declared that Lenin's teaching that the victory of socialism is possible in one country was "national narrow-mindedness"? Is it not a fact that our Party, as represented by its Fourteenth Conference, adopted a special resolution declaring that the victorious building of socialism in the U.S.S.R. is possible, 28 in spite of Trotsky's semi-Menshevik theory?

Why do Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev evade this resolution of the Fourteenth Conference?

Is it not a fact that our Party, as represented by its Fourteenth Congress, endorsed the resolution of the Fourteenth Conference and spearheaded its decision against Kamenev and Zinoviev29?

Is it not a fact that the Fifteenth Conference of our Party adopted a decision substantiated in detail declaring that the victory of socialism is possible in the U.S.S.R., 30 and that it spearheaded that decision against the opposition bloc and its head, Trotsky?

Is it not a fact that the Seventh Enlarged Plenum of the E.C.C.I. endorsed that resolution of the Fifteenth Conference of the C.P.S.U.(B.) and found Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev guilty of a Social-Democratic deviation 31 ?

The question is: What has Stalin's "theory" to do with it?

Did Stalin ever demand of the opposition anything else than that it should admit the correctness of these decisions of the highest bodies of our Party and of the Comintern?

Why do the leaders of the opposition evade all these facts if their consciences are clear? What are they counting on? On deceiving the Party? But is it difficult to understand that nobody will succeed in deceiving our Bolshevik Party?

Such, comrades, are the questions which, properly speaking, have nothing to do with the point under discussion about the breach of Party discipline by Trotsky and Zinoviev, but which nevertheless Zinoviev has dragged in for the purpose of throwing dust in our eyes and of slurring over the question under discussion.

I again ask you to excuse me for taking up your time by examining these questions, but I could not do otherwise, for there was no other way of killing the desire of our oppositionists to deceive the Party.

And now, comrades, permit me to pass from "defence" to attack.

The chief misfortune of the opposition is that it still fails to understand why it has been "reduced to this kind of life."

In point of fact, why did its leaders, who only yesterday were among the leaders of the Party, "suddenly" become renegades? How is this to be explained? The opposition itself is inclined to attribute it to causes of a personal character: Stalin "did not help," Bukharin "let us down," Rykov "did not support," Trotsky "missed the opportunity," Zinoviev "overlooked," and so forth. But this cheap "explanation" is not even the shadow of an explanation. The fact that the present leaders of the opposition are isolated from the Party is a fact of no little significance. And it certainly cannot be called an accident. The fact that the present leaders of the opposition fell away from the Party has deep-seated causes. Evidently, Zinoviev, Trotsky and Kamenev went astray on some question, they must have committed some grave offence—otherwise the Party would not have turned away from them, as from renegades. And so the question is: On what did the leaders of the present opposition go astray, what did they do to deserve being "reduced to this kind of life"?

The first fundamental question on which they went astray was the question of Leninism, the question of the Leninist ideology of our Party. They went astray in trying, and they are still trying, to supplement Leninism with Trotskyism, in fact, to substitute Trotskyism for Leninism. But, comrades, by doing so the leaders of the opposition committed a very grave offence for which the Party could not, and cannot, forgive them. Obviously, the Party could not follow them in their attempt to turn from Leninism to Trotskyism, and owing to this the leaders of the opposition found themselves isolated from the Party.

What is the present bloc of the Trotskyists with the former Leninists in the opposition? Their present bloc is the material expression of the attempt to supplement Leninism with Trotskyism. It was not I who invented the term "Trotskyism." It was first used by Comrade Lenin to denote something that is the opposite of Leninism.

What is the principal sin of Trotskyism? The principal sin of Trotskyism is disbelief in the strength and capacity of the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. to lead the peasantry, the main mass of the peasantry, both in the struggle to consolidate the rule of the proletariat and, particularly, in the struggle for victory in building socialism in our country.

The principal sin of Trotskyism is that it does not understand and, in essence, refuses to accept the Leninist idea of the hegemony of the proletariat (in relation to the peasantry) in the matter of winning and consolidating the proletarian dictatorship, in the matter of building socialism in separate countries.

Were the former Leninists—Zinoviev and Kamenev — aware of these organic defects of Trotskyism? Yes, they were. Only yesterday they were shouting from the housetops that Leninism is one thing and Trotskyism is another. Only yesterday they were shouting that Trotskyism is incompatible with Leninism. But it was enough for them to come into conflict with the Party and to find themselves in the minority to forget all this and to turn to Trotskyism in order to wage a joint struggle against the Leninist Party, against its ideology, against Leninism.

You, no doubt, remember our disputes at the Fourteenth Congress. What was our dispute at that time with the so-called "New Opposition"? It was about the role and significance of the middle peasant, about the role and significance of the main mass of the peasantry, about the possibility of the proletariat leading the main mass of the peasantry in the matter of building socialism in spite of the technical backwardness of our country.

In other words, our dispute with the opposition was on the same subject as that on which our Party has long been in dispute with Trotskyism. You know that the result of the disputes at the Fourteenth Congress was deplorable for the "New Opposition." You know that as a result of the disputes the "New Opposition" migrated to the camp of Trotskyism on the fundamental question of the Leninist idea of the hegemony of the proletariat in the era of proletarian revolution. It was on this basis that the so-called opposition bloc of the Trotskyists and the former Leninists in the opposition arose.

Did the "New Opposition" know that the Fifth Congress of the Comintern had defined Trotskyism as a petty-bourgeois deviation 32 ? Of course, it did. More than that, it itself helped to carry the corresponding resolution at the Fifth Congress. Was the "New Opposition" aware that Leninism and a petty-bourgeois deviation are incompatible? Of course, it was. More than that, it shouted it from the house-tops for the entire Party to hear.

Now judge for yourselves: Could the Party refrain from turning away from leaders who burn today what they worshipped yesterday, who deny today what they loudly preached to the Party yesterday, who try to supplement Leninism with Trotskyism in spite of the fact that only yesterday they denounced such an attempt as a betrayal of Leninism? Obviously, the Party had to turn away from such leaders.

In its zeal to turn everything upside down, the opposition even went so far as to deny that Trotsky belonged to the Mensheviks in the period before the October Revolution. Don't let that surprise you, comrades. The opposition bluntly says that Trotsky has never been a Menshevik since 1904. Is that a fact? Let us turn to Lenin.

Here is what Lenin said about Trotsky in 1914, three and a half years before the October Revolution.

"The old participants in the Marxist movement in Russia know the figure of Trotsky very well and there is no need to discuss him for their benefit. But the younger generation of workers does not know him, and it is therefore necessary to discuss him, for he is typical of all the five coteries abroad, which, in fact, also vacillate between the Liquidators and the Party.

"In the period of the old Iskra (1901-03), these waverers, who flitted from the 'Economists' to the 'Iskra-ists' and back again, were dubbed 'Tushino deserters' (the name given in the Turbulent Times in Russia to soldiers who deserted from one camp to another). . . .

"The only ground the 'Tushino deserters' have for claiming that they stand above factions is that they 'borrow' their ideas from one faction one day and from another faction the next day. Trotsky was an ardent 'Iskra-ist' in 1901-03, and Ryazanov described his role at the Congress of 1903 as that of 'Lenin's cudgel.' At the end of 1903, Trotsky was an ardent Menshevik,* i.e., he had gone over from the Iskra-ists to the 'Economists.' He proclaimed that 'there is a gulf between the old and the new Iskra.' In 1904-05, he deserted the Mensheviks and began to oscillate, co-operating with Martynov (an 'Economist') at one moment and proclaiming his absurdly Left 'permanent revolution' theory the next. In 1906-07, he approached the Bolsheviks, and in the spring of 1907 he declared that he was in agreement with Rosa Luxemburg.

"In the period of disintegration, after long 'non-factional' vacillation, he again went to the Right, and in August 1912 he entered into a bloc with the Liquidators. Now he has deserted them again, although, in substance, he repeats their paltry ideas.*

"Such types are characteristic as the wreckage of past historical formations, of the time when the mass working-class movement in Russia was still dormant, and when every coterie had 'space' in which to pose as a trend, group or faction, in short, as a 'power,' negotiating amalgamation with others.

"The younger generation of workers need to know thoroughly whom they are dealing with when people come before them making incredibly pretentious claims, but absolutely refusing to reckon with either the Party decisions that since 1908 have defined and established our attitude towards Liquidationism, or the experience of the present-day working-class movement in Russia, which has actually brought about the unity of the majority on the basis of full recognition of the above-mentioned decisions" (see Vol. XVII, pp. 393-94).

It turns out therefore that throughout the period after 1903 Trotsky was outside the Bolshevik camp, now flitting to the Menshevik camp, now deserting it, but never joining the Bolsheviks; and in 1912 he organised a bloc with the Menshevik-Liquidators against Lenin and his Party, while remaining in the same camp as the Mensheviks.

Is it surprising that such a "figure" is distrusted by our Bolshevik Party?

Is it surprising that the opposition bloc headed by this "figure" finds itself isolated from and rejected by the Party?

The second fundamental question on which the leaders of the opposition went astray was that of whether the victory of socialism in one country is possible in the period of imperialism. The opposition's mistake is that it tried imperceptibly to liquidate Lenin's teaching on the possibility of the victory of socialism in one country.

It is now no secret to anyone that as far back as 1915, two years before the October Revolution, Lenin proclaimed the thesis, on the basis of the law of uneven economic and political development in the conditions of imperialism, that "the victory of socialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country taken separately" (Lenin, Vol. XVIII, p. 232).

It is now no secret to anyone that it was none other than Trotsky who, in that same year 1915, opposed Lenin's thesis in the press and declared that to admit the possibility of the victory of socialism in separate countries "is to fall a prey to that very national narrow-mindedness* which constitutes the essence of social-patriotism" (Trotsky, The Year 1917, Vol. III, Part 1, pp. 89-90).

Nor is it a secret, but a universally-known fact, that this controversy between Lenin and Trotsky continued, in fact, right up to the appearance in 1923 of Lenin's last pamphlet On Co-operation, 33 in which he again and again proclaimed that it is possible to build "a complete socialist society" in our country.

What changes in connection with this question occurred in the history of our Party after Lenin's death? In 1925, at the Fourteenth Conference of our Party, Kamenev and Zinoviev, after a number of vacillations, accepted Lenin's teaching on the possibility of the victory of socialism in one country and, with the Party, dissociated themselves from Trotskyism on this question. Several months later, however, before the Fourteenth Congress, when they found themselves in the minority in the struggle against the Party and were compelled to enter into a bloc with Trotsky, they "suddenly" turned towards Trotskyism, repudiating the resolution of the Fourteenth Conference of our Party and abandoning Lenin's teaching on the possibility of the victory of socialism in one country. As a result, Trotsky's semi-Menshevik twaddle about the national narrow-mindedness of Lenin's theory has served the opposition as a screen by means of which it attempts to cover up its activities aimed at liquidating Leninism on the question of building socialism.

The question is: What is there surprising in the fact that the Party, educated and trained in the spirit of Leninism, considered it necessary, after all that, to turn away from these Liquidators, and that the leaders of the opposition found themselves isolated from the Party?

The third fundamental question on which the leaders of the opposition went astray was the question of our Party, of its monolithic character, of its iron unity.

Leninism teaches that the proletarian Party must be united and monolithic, that it must not have any factions or factional centres, that it must have a single Party centre and a single will. Leninism teaches that the interests of the proletarian party require enlightened discussion of questions of Party policy, an enlightened attitude of the mass of the Party membership towards the Party's leadership, criticism of the Party's defects, criticism of its mistakes. At the same time, however Leninism requires that the decisions of the Party should be unquestioningly carried out by all members of the Party, once these decisions have been adopted and approved by the leading Party bodies.

Trotskyism looks at the matter differently. According to Trotskyism, the Party is something in the nature of a federation of factional groups, with separate factional centres. According to Trotskyism, the Party's proletarian discipline is unbearable. Trotskyism cannot tolerate the proletarian regime in the Party. Trotskyism does not understand that it is impossible to carry out the dictatorship of the proletariat unless there is iron discipline in the Party.

Were the former Leninists in the opposition aware of these organic defects in Trotskyism? Of course, they were. More than that, they shouted from the house-tops that the "organisational schemes" of Trotskyism were incompatible with the organisational principles of Leninism. The fact that in its statement of October 16, 1926, the opposition repudiated the conception of the Party as a federation of groups is only additional confirmation of the fact that the opposition had not, and has not, a leg to stand on in this matter. This repudiation, however, was only verbal, it was insincere. Actually, the Trotskyists have never abandoned their efforts to foist the Trotskyist organisational line upon our Party, and Zinoviev and Kamenev are helping them in that disgraceful work. It was enough for Zinoviev and Kamenev to find themselves in the minority in their struggle against the Party for them to turn to the Trotskyist, semi-Menshevik organisational plan and, jointly with the Trotskyists, to proclaim war on the proletarian regime in the Party as the slogan of the day.

What is there surprising in the fact that our Party did not consider it possible to bury the organisational principles of Leninism and that it cast aside the present leaders of the opposition?

Such, comrades, are the three fundamental questions on which the present leaders of the opposition went astray and broke with Leninism.

After that, can one be surprised that Lenin's Party in its turn broke with those leaders?

Unfortunately, however, the degradation of the opposition did not end there. It sank still lower, to limits beyond which it is impossible to go without running the risk of landing outside the Party.

Judge for yourselves.

Until now it was difficult to suppose that, low as it had sunk, the opposition would waver on the question of the unqualified defence of our country. Now, however, we must not only assume, but assert, that the attitude of the present leaders of the opposition is a defeatist one. How else is one to interpret Trotsky's stupid and absurd thesis about a Clemenceau experiment in the event of a new war against the U.S.S.R.? Can there be any doubt that this is a sign that the opposition has sunk still lower?

Until now it was difficult to suppose that the opposition would ever hurl against our Party the stupid and incongruous accusation of being a Thermidor party. In 1925, when Zalutsky first talked about Thermidor tendencies in our Party, the present leaders of the opposition emphatically dissociated themselves from him. Now, however, the opposition has sunk so low that it goes farther than Zalutsky and accuses the Party of being a Thermidor party. What I cannot understand is how people who assert that our Party has become a Thermidor party can remain in its ranks.

Until now the opposition tried "merely" to organise separate factional groups in the sections of the Comintern. Now, however, it has gone to the length of openly organising a new party in Germany, the party of those counter-revolutionary scoundrels Maslow and Ruth Fischer, in opposition to the existing Communist Party in Germany. That stand is one of directly splitting the Comintern. From the formation of factional groups in the sections of the Comintern to splitting the Comintern—such is the road of degradation that the leaders of the opposition have travelled.

It is characteristic that in his speech Zinoviev did not deny that there is a split in Germany. That this anti-communist party was organised by our opposition is evident if only from the fact that the anti-Party articles and speeches of the leaders of our opposition are being printed and distributed in pamphlet form by Mas-low and Ruth Fischer. (A voice: "Shame!")

And what is the significance of the fact that the opposition bloc put up Vuiovich to undertake in our press the political defence of this second, Maslow-Ruth Fischer, party in Germany? It shows that our opposition is supporting Maslow and Ruth Fischer openly, is supporting them against the Comintern, against its proletarian sections. That is no longer merely factionalism, comrades. It is a policy of openly splitting the Comintern. (Voices: "Quite right!")

Formerly, the opposition strove to secure freedom for factional groups within our Party. Now, that is not enough for it. Now, it is taking the path of an outright split, creating a new party in the U.S.S.R., with its own Central Committee and its own local organisations. From the policy of factionalism to the policy of an outright split, to the policy of creating a new party, to the policy of "Ossovskyism" 34 — such are the depths to which the leaders of our opposition have sunk.

Such are the principal landmarks on the road of the opposition's further degradation in departing from the Party and the Comintern, in pursuing the policy of splitting the Comintern and the C.P.S.U.(B.).

Can such a situation be tolerated any longer? Obviously not. The splitting policy cannot be permitted either in the Comintern or in the C.P.S.U.(B.). That evil must be eradicated immediately if we value the interests of the Party and the Comintern, the interests of their unity.

Such are the circumstances that compelled the Central Committee to raise the question of expelling Trotsky and Zinoviev from the Central Committee.

What is the way out?—you will ask.

The opposition has landed in an impasse. The task is to make a last attempt to help the opposition to extricate itself from that impasse. What Comrade Orjoni-kidze proposed here on behalf of the Central Control Commission is the method and the maximum of concession to which the Party could agree in order to promote peace in the Party.

Firstly, the opposition must emphatically and irrevocably abandon its "Thermidor" twaddle and its foolish slogan of a Clemenceau experiment. The opposition must understand that people with such views and such tendencies cannot defend our country in face of the threat of war that hangs over it. The opposition must understand that people with such views and such tendencies cannot continue to be members of the Central Committee of our Party. (Voices: "Quite right!")

Secondly, the opposition must openly and definitely condemn the splitting, anti-Leninist Maslow-Ruth Fischer group in Germany and break off all connection with it. Support of the policy of splitting the Comintern cannot be tolerated any longer. (Voices: "Quite right!")

The U.S.S.R. cannot be defended if support is given to the splitting of the Comintern and to the disorganisation of the sections of the Comintern.

Thirdly, the opposition must emphatically and irrevocably abandon all factionalism and all the paths that lead to the creation of a new party within the C.P.S.U.(B.). The splitting policy must not be permitted in our Party either two months or even two hours before our Party congress. (Voices: "Quite right!")

Such, comrades, are the three chief conditions which must be accepted if we are to allow Trotsky and Zino-viev to remain members of the Central Committee of our Party.

It will be said that this is repression. Yes, it is repression. We have never regarded the weapon of repression as excluded from our Party's arsenal. We are acting here in conformity with the well-known resolution of the Tenth Congress of our Party, in conformity with the resolution that was drafted and carried through at the Tenth Congress by Comrade Lenin. 35 Here are points 6 and 7 of this resolution:

Point 6: "The congress orders the immediate dissolution of all groups without exception that have been formed on the basis of one platform or another and instructs all organisations strictly to see to it that there shall be no factional pronouncements of any kind. Non-observance of this decision of the congress shall involve certain and immediate expulsion from the Party."

Point 7: "In order to ensure strict discipline within the Party and in all Soviet work and to secure the maximum unanimity, doing away with all factionalism, the congress authorises the Central Committee, in case (cases) of breach of discipline or of a revival or toleration of factionalism, to apply all Party penalties, up to and including expulsion from the Party and, in regard to members of the Central Committee, to reduce them to the status of candidate members and even, as an extreme measure, to expel them from the Party. A condition for the application of such an extreme measure (to members and candidate members of the C.C. and members of the Control Commission) must be the convocation of a plenum of the Central Committee, to which all candidate members of the Central Committee and all members of the Control Commission shall be invited. If such a general assembly of the most responsible leaders of the Party, by a two-thirds majority, considers it necessary to reduce a member of the Central Committee to the status of a candidate member, or to expel him from the Party, this measure shall be put into effect immediately."

Voices: This should be put into effect at once.

Stalin: Wait, comrades, don't be in a hurry. This was written and bequeathed to us by Lenin, for he knew what iron Party discipline is, what the proletarian dictatorship is. For he knew that the dictatorship of the proletariat is exercised through the Party, that without the Party, a united and monolithic party, the dictatorship of the proletariat is impossible.

Such are the conditions which must be accepted if Trotsky and Zinoviev are to remain members of the Central Committee of our Party. If the opposition accepts these conditions, well and good. If it does not, so much the worse for it. (Applause.)