November 30, 2017

The Seventh Enlarged Plenum of the E.C.C.I

Once More on the Social-Democratic Deviation in our Party
Report Delivered on December 7

I Preliminary Remarks

Comrades, permit me to make a few preliminary remarks before passing to the substance of the question.

1. Contradictions of Inner-Party Development

The first question is that of the struggle within our Party, a struggle which did not begin yesterday and which has not ceased.

If we take the history of our Party from the moment of its inception in 1903 in the form of the Bolshevik group, and follow its successive stages down to our day, we can say without exaggeration that the history of our Party has been the history of a struggle of contradictions within the Party, the history of the overcoming of these contradictions and of the gradual strengthening of our Party on the basis of overcoming them. Some might think that the Russians are excessively pugnacious, that they love debating and multiply differences, and that it is because of this that the development of their Party proceeds through the overcoming of inner Party contradictions. That is not true, comrades. It is not a matter of pugnacity, but of the existence of disagreements based on principle, which arise in the course of the Party's development, in the course of the class struggle of the proletariat. The fact of the matter is that contradictions can be overcome only by means of a struggle for definite principles, for definite aims of the struggle, for definite methods of waging the struggle leading to the desired aim. One can, and should, agree to any compromise with dissenters in the Party on questions of current policy, on questions of a purely practical nature. But if these questions are connected with disagreements based on principle, no compromise, no "middle" line can save the situation. There can be no "middle" line in questions of principle. Either one set of principles or another must be made the basis of the Party's work. A "middle" line in matters of principle is the "line" of stuffing people's heads with rubbish, of glossing over disagreements, a "line" leading to the ideological degeneration of the Party, to the ideological death of the Party.

How do the Social-Democratic parties of the West exist and develop nowadays? Have they inner-party contradictions, disagreements based on principle? Of course, they have. Do they disclose these contradictions and try to over come them honestly and openly in sight of the mass of the party membership? No, of course not. It is the practice of the Social-Democrats to cover up and conceal these contradictions and disagreements. It is the practice of the Social-Democrats to turn their conferences and congresses into an empty parade of ostensible well-being, assiduously covering up and slurring over internal disagreements. But nothing can come of this except stuffing people's heads with rubbish and the ideological impoverishment of the party. This is one of the reasons for the decline of West-European Social-Democracy, which was once revolutionary, and is now reformist.

We, however, cannot live and develop in that way, comrades. The policy of a "middle" line in matters of principle is not our policy. The policy of a "middle" line in matters of principle is the policy of decaying and degenerating parties. Such a policy cannot but lead to the conversion of the party into an empty bureaucratic apparatus, running idle and divorced from the masses of the workers. That path is not our path.

Our Party's whole past confirms the thesis that the history of our Party is the history of the overcoming of inner-Party contradictions and of the constant strengthening of the ranks of our Party on the basis of overcoming them.

Let us take the first period, the Iskra period, or the period of the Second Congress of our Party, when the disagreements between the Bolsheviks and the Men-sheviks first appeared within our Party and when the top leadership of our Party in the end split into two sections: the Bolshevik section (Lenin), and the Men-shevik section (Plekhanov, Axelrod, Martov, Zasulich, Potresov). Lenin then stood alone. If you only knew how much howling and shouting there was then about the "irreplaceables" who had left Lenin! But experience of the struggle and the history of the Party showed that this divergence was based on principle, that it was an essential phase for the birth and development of a really revolutionary and really Marxist party. The experience of the struggle at that time showed, firstly, that the important thing was not quantity, but quality, and, secondly, that the important thing was not formal unity, but that unity should be based on principle. History showed that Lenin was right and the "irreplaceables" were wrong. History showed that if these contradictions between Lenin and the "irreplaceables" had not been overcome, we should not today have a genuine revolutionary party.

Let us take the next period, the period of the eve of the 1905 Revolution, when the Bolsheviks and Men-sheviks confronted each other still within one party as two camps with two absolutely different platforms, when the Bolsheviks stood on the verge of a formal splitting of the Party, and when, in order to uphold the line of our revolution, they were compelled to convene a special congress of their own (the Third Congress). To what did the Bolshevik section of the Party owe the fact that it then gained the upper hand, that it won the sympathy of the majority of the Party? To the fact that it did not slur over disagreements based on principle and fought to overcome them by isolating the Men-sheviks.

I might refer, further, to the third stage in the development of our Party, the period following the defeat of the 1905 Revolution, the 1907 period, when a section of the Bolsheviks, the so-called "Otzovists," headed by Bogdanov, forsook Bolshevism. This was a critical period in the life of our Party. It was the period when a number of Bolsheviks of the old guard deserted Lenin and his party. The Mensheviks loudly asserted that the Bolsheviks were done for. But Bolshevism was not done for, and in the course of about a year and a half experience of the struggle showed that Lenin and his party were right in fighting to overcome the contradictions within the Bolshevik ranks. These contradictions were overcome not by slurring over them, but by bringing them into the open and by a struggle, to the benefit and advantage of our Party.

I might refer, further, to the fourth period in the history of our Party, the 1911-12 period, when the Bolsheviks rebuilt the Party, which had almost been shattered by tsarist reaction, and expelled the Liquidators. Here, too, as in the previous periods, the Bolsheviks proceeded to rebuild and strengthen the Party, not by slurring over the disagreements with the Liquidators on matters of principle, but by bringing them into the open and overcoming them.

I might point, next, to the fifth stage in the development of our Party, the period preceding the October Revolution of 1917, when a section of the Bolsheviks, headed by well-known leaders of the Bolshevik Party, wavered and were against undertaking the October uprising, considering it an adventure. We know that this contradiction, too, the Bolsheviks overcame not by slurring over the disagreements, but by an open struggle for the October Revolution. Experience of the struggle showed that if we had not overcome those disagreements we might have placed the October Revolution in a critical position.

I might point, lastly, to subsequent periods in the development of our inner-Party struggle—the period of the Brest Peace, the 1921 period (the trade-union discussion), and the other periods, with which you are familiar and on which I shall not dilate here. It is well known that in all these, as in earlier periods, our Party grew and became strong by overcoming internal contradictions. What follows from this?

It follows that the C.P.S.U.(B.) grew and became strong by overcoming inner-Party contradictions.

It follows that the overcoming of inner-Party disagreements by means of struggle is a law of development of our Party.

Some may say that this may be a law for the C.P.S.U.(B.), but not for other proletarian parties. That is not true. This law is a law of development for all parties of some size, whether the proletarian Party of the U.S.S.R. or the proletarian parties of the West. Whereas in a small party in a small country it is possible in one way or another to slur over disagreements, covering them up by the prestige of one or several persons, in the case of a big party in a big country development through the overcoming of contradictions is an inevitable element of party growth and consolidation. So it was in the past. So it is today.

I should like here to refer to the authority of Engels, who, together with Marx, directed the proletarian parties of the West for several decades. The matter concerns the eighties of the last century, when the Anti-Socialist Law was in force in Germany, when Marx and Engels were in exile in London, and when the Sozialdemokrat, the illegal German Social-Democratic organ published abroad, in fact guided the work of German Social-Democracy. Bernstein was then a revolutionary Marxist (he had not yet managed to go over to the reformists), and Engels maintained a lively correspondence with him on the most burning problems of German Social-Democratic policy. Here is what he wrote to Bernstein at that time (1882):

"It seems that every workers' party in a big country can develop only by inner struggle, in full conformity with the laws of dialectical development in general. The German Party has become what it is in a struggle between the Eisenachers and the Lassalleans, in which the fight itself played a major role. Unity became possible only when the gang of rascals deliberately reared by Lassalle to serve him as a tool had played itself out, and even so our side showed much too much haste in agreeing to unity. In France, the people who, although they have sacrificed the Bakunin-ist theory, continue to employ Bakuninist methods of struggle and at the same time want to sacrifice the class character of the movement to their own special ends, must also first play themselves out before unity can again become possible. To preach unity under such circumstances would be sheer folly. Moral preaching is of no avail against infantile diseases, which under present circumstances have to be gone through" (see Marx-Engels Archives, Book I, pp. 324-25 ).

For, Engels says in another place (1885):

"In the long run the contradictions are never slurred over, but always fought out" (ibid., p. 371).

It is to this, above all, that we must attribute the existence of contradictions within our Party and the development of our Party by overcoming these contradictions through struggle.

2. Sources of Contradictions Within the Party

Where do these contradictions and disagreements stem from, what is their source?

I think that the source of the contradictions within the proletarian parties lies in two circumstances.

What are these circumstances?

They are, firstly, the pressure exerted by the bourgeoisie and bourgeois ideology on the proletariat and its party in the conditions of the class struggle—a pressure to which the least stable strata of the proletariat, and, hence, the least stable strata of the proletarian party, not infrequently succumb. It must not be thought that the proletariat is completely isolated from society, that it stands outside society. The proletariat is a part of society, connected with its diverse strata by numerous threads. But the party is a part of the proletariat. Hence the Party cannot be exempt from connections with, and from the influence of, the diverse sections of bourgeois society. The pressure of the bourgeoisie and its ideology on the proletariat and its party finds expression in the fact that bourgeois ideas, manners, customs and sentiments not infrequently penetrate the proletariat and its party through definite strata of the proletariat that are in one way or another connected with bourgeois society.

They are, secondly, the heterogeneity of the working class, the existence of different strata within the working class. I think that the proletariat, as a class, can be divided into three strata.

One stratum is the main mass of the proletariat, its core, its permanent part, the mass of "pure-blooded" proletarians, who have long broken off connection with the capitalist class. This stratum of the proletariat is the most reliable bulwark of Marxism.

The second stratum consists of newcomers from non-proletarian classes—from the peasantry, the petty bourgeoisie or the intelligentsia. These are former members of other classes who have only recently merged with the proletariat and have brought with them into the working class their customs, their habits, their waverings and their vacillations. This stratum constitutes the most favourable soil for all sorts of anarchist, semi-anarchist and "ultra-Left" groups.

The third stratum, lastly, consists of the labour aristocracy, the upper stratum of the working class, the most well-to-do portion of the proletariat, with its propensity for compromise with the bourgeoisie, its predominant inclination to adapt itself to the powers that be, and its anxiety to "get on in life." This stratum constitutes the most favourable soil for outright reformists and opportunists.

Notwithstanding their superficial difference, these last two strata of the working class constitute a more or less common nutritive medium for opportunism in general—open opportunism, when the sentiments of the labour aristocracy gain the upper hand, and opportunism camouflaged with "Left" phrases, when the sentiments of the semi-middle-class strata of the working class which have not yet completely broken with the petty-bourgeois environment gain the upper hand. The fact that "ultra-Left" sentiments very often coincide with the sentiments of open opportunism is not at all surprising. Lenin said time and again that the "ultra-Left" opposition is the reverse side of the Right-wing, Menshevik, openly opportunist opposition. And that is quite true. If the "ultra-Lefts" stand for revolution only because they expect the victory of the revolution the very next day, then obviously they must fall into despair and be disillusioned in the revolution if the revolution is delayed, if the revolution is not victorious the very next day.

Naturally, with every turn in the development of the class struggle, with every sharpening of the struggle and intensification of difficulties, the differences in the views, customs and sentiments of the various strata of the proletariat must inevitably make themselves felt in the shape of definite disagreements within the party, and the pressure of the bourgeoisie and its ideology must inevitably accentuate these disagreements by providing them with an outlet in the form of a struggle within the proletarian party.

Such are the sources of inner-Party contradictions and disagreements.

Can these contradictions and disagreements be avoided? No, they cannot. To think that these contradictions can be avoided is self-deception. Engels was right when he said that in the long run it is impossible to slur over contradictions within the party, that they must be fought out.

This does not mean that the party must be turned into a debating society. On the contrary, the proletarian party is, and must remain, a militant organisation of the proletariat. All I want to say is that one cannot brush aside and shut one's eyes to disagreements within the party if they are disagreements over matters of principle. All I want to say is that only by fighting for the Marxist line based on principle can a proletarian party be protected from the pressure and influence of the bourgeoisie. All I want to say is that only by overcoming inner-Party contradictions can we succeed in making the Party sound and strong.

II
Specific Features of the Opposition in the C.P.S.U.(B.)

Permit me now to pass from the preliminary remarks to the question of the opposition in the C.P.S.U.(B.).

First of all, I should like to mention certain specific features of our inner-Party opposition. I am referring to its external features, those which strike the eye, and shall leave aside for the present the substance of the disagreements. I think these specific features may be reduced to three principal ones. There is, firstly, the fact that the opposition in the C.P.S.U.(B.) is a combined opposition and not "simply" some kind of opposition. There is, secondly, the fact that the opposition tries to camouflage its opportunism with "Left" phrases, making a parade of "revolutionary" slogans. There is, thirdly, the fact that the opposition, because of its amorphousness as regards principles, every now and again complains that it has been misunderstood—that in point of fact the opposition leaders constitute a faction of "the misunderstood." (Laughter.)

Let us begin with the first specific feature. How are we to explain the fact that our opposition comes forward as a combined opposition, as a bloc of all the various trends previously condemned by the Party, and, moreover, that it comes forward not "simply," but with Trotskyism at its head?

It is to be explained by the following circumstances:

Firstly, by the fact that all the trends united in the bloc-the Trotskyists, the "New Opposition," the remnants of "Democratic Centralism," the remnants of the "Workers' Opposition"  — are all more or less opportunist trends, which have either been fighting Leninism since their inception or have begun to fight it latterly. It stands to reason that this common feature could not but facilitate their uniting into a bloc for the purpose of fighting the Party.

Secondly, by the fact that the present period is a crucial one, and that this crucial period has again faced us point blank with the basic questions of our revolution; and since all these trends differed, and continue to differ, with our Party over various questions of the revolution, it is natural that the character of the present period, which sums up and strikes the balance of all our disagreements, should impel all these trends into one bloc, a bloc opposed to the basic line of our Party. It stands to reason that this circumstance could not but facilitate the uniting of the diverse opposition trends into one common camp.

Thirdly, by the fact that the mighty strength and solidarity of our Party, on the one hand, and the weakness of all the opposition trends without exception and their divorce from the masses, on the other hand, could not but render the disunited struggle of these trends against the Party manifestly hopeless, in view of which the opposition trends inevitably had to take the course of uniting their forces, so as to compensate for the weakness of the individual groups by combining them, and thus increase the opposition's chances, if only in appearance.

Well, and how are we to explain the fact that the opposition bloc is headed precisely by Trotskyism?

Firstly, by the fact that Trotskyism represents the most consummate opportunist trend of all the existing opposition trends in our Party (the Fifth Congress of the Comintern was right in characterising Trotskyism as a petty-bourgeois deviation ).

Secondly, by the fact that not a single other opposition trend in our Party is able to camouflage its opportunism with "Left" and r-r-r-revolutionary phrases so cunningly and skilfully as Trotskyism. (Laughter.)

This is not the first occasion in the history of our Party that Trotskyism has come forward at the head of the opposition trends against our Party. I should like to refer to the well known precedent in the history of our Party dating back to 1910-14, when a bloc of anti-Party opposition trends, headed by Trotsky, was formed in the shape of the so-called August Bloc. I should like to refer to this precedent, because that bloc represents as it were the prototype of the present opposition bloc. At that time Trotsky united against the Party the Liquidators (Potresov, Martov and others), the Otzovists ("Vperyodists") and his own group. Now he has attempted to unite in an opposition bloc the "Workers' Opposition," the "New Opposition" and his own group.

We know that Lenin fought the August Bloc for three years. Here is what Lenin wrote of the August Bloc on the eve of its formation:

"We therefore declare in the name of the Party as a whole that Trotsky is conducting an anti-Party policy—that he is breaking Party law and embarking on the path of adventurism and a split. . . . Trotsky keeps silent about this undeniable truth, because the real aims of his policy cannot stand the truth. But the real aims are becoming ever clearer and more obvious even to the least far-sighted Party members. These real aims are an anti-Party bloc of the Potresovs and Vperyodists, which bloc Trotsky is supporting and organising. . . . This bloc, of course, will support Trotsky's 'fund,' and the anti-Party conference he is convening, because both the Potresovs and the Vperyodists are getting here what they want: freedom for their factions and their consecration, a cover for their activity, and lawyer-like advocacy of it in the eyes of the workers.

"Well then, precisely from the standpoint of 'fundamental principles,' we cannot but regard this bloc as adventurism in the most precise meaning of the term. To say that he sees in Potresov and the Otzovists genuine Marxists, real champions of the principles of Social-Democracy, Trotsky does not dare. The essence of the position of an adventurer is that he has permanently to be evasive. . . . Trotsky's bloc with Potresov and the Vperyod-ists is adventurism precisely from the standpoint of 'fundamental principles.' That is no less true from the standpoint of the Party's political tasks. . . . The experience of the year since the plenum has shown in practice that it is precisely the Potresov groups and the Vperyod faction that embody this bourgeois influence on the proletariat. . . . Thirdly and lastly, Trotsky's policy is adventurism in the organisational sense, for, as we have already pointed out, it tears down Party legality and, by organising a conference in the name of one group abroad (or in the name of a bloc of two anti-Party factions-the Golosists and Vperyodists), it is directly making for a split" (see Vol. XV, pp. 65, 67-70).

That is what Lenin said about the first bloc of anti-Party trends headed by Trotsky. The same must be said in substance, but still more emphatically, of the present bloc of anti-Party trends, also headed by Trotsky.

These are the reasons why our opposition now comes forward in the shape of a united opposition, and not "simply," but with Trotskyism at its head.

That is how matters stand as regards the first specific feature of the opposition.

Let us pass to the second specific feature. I have already said that the second specific feature of the opposition is its strenuous effort to camouflage its opportunist deeds with "Left," "revolutionary" phrases. I do not consider it possible to dwell here on the facts that show the constant divergence between "revolutionary" words and opportunist deeds in the practice of our opposition. It is sufficient to examine, for example, the theses on the opposition adopted by the Fifteenth Conference of the C.P.S.U.(B.)  to understand how this camouflage works. I should like merely to quote a few instances from the history of our Party which indicate that all the opposition trends in our Party in the period since the seizure of power have endeavoured to camouflage their non-revolutionary deeds with "revolutionary" phrases, invariably criticising the Party and its policy from the "Left."

Let us take, for example, the "Left" Communists who came out against the Party in the period of the Brest Peace (1918). We know that they criticised the Party from the "Left," attacking the Brest Peace and characterising the Party's policy as opportunist, unpro-letarian and one of compromise with the imperialists. But it proved in practice that, in attacking the Brest Peace, the "Left" Communists were preventing the Party from securing a "respite" in which to organise and consolidate Soviet power, that they were helping the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, who were then opposed to the Brest Peace, and were facilitating the efforts of imperialism, which was endeavouring to crush the Soviet power at its very inception.

Let us take the "Workers' Opposition" (1921). We know that it also criticised the Party from the "Left," "fulminating" against the policy of NEP and "pulverising" to "dust and ashes" Lenin's thesis that the restoration of industry must begin with the development of agriculture, which provides the raw materials and food that are prerequisites for industry, "pulverising" this thesis of Lenin's on the grounds that it ignored the interests of the proletariat and was a peasant deviation. But it proved in practice that, had it not been for the NEP policy, had it not been for the development of agriculture, which provides the raw materials and food that are prerequisites for industry, we should have had no industry at all, and the proletariat would have remained declassed. Moreover, we know in which direction the "Workers' Opposition" began to develop after this—to the Right or to the Left.

Let us, lastly, take Trotskyism, which for several years now has been criticising our Party from the "Left" and which at the same time, as the Fifth Congress of the Comintern correctly put it, is a petty-bourgeois deviation. What can there be in common between a petty-bourgeois deviation and real revolutionary spirit? Is it not obvious that "revolutionary" phrases are here merely a camouflage for a petty-bourgeois deviation?

There is no need to mention the "New Opposition," whose "Left" cries are designed to conceal the fact that it is a captive of Trotskyism.

What do all these facts show?

That "Left" camouflage of opportunist actions has been one of the most characteristic features of all the various opposition trends in our Party during the period since the seizure of power.

What is the explanation of this phenomenon?

The explanation lies in the revolutionary spirit of the proletariat of the U.S.S.R., the profound revolutionary traditions that are deep-seated in our proletariat. The explanation lies in the downright hatred in which anti-revolutionary and opportunist elements are held by the workers of the U.S.S.R. The explanation lies in the fact that our workers will simply not listen to an open opportunist, and that therefore the "revolutionary" camouflage is a bait designed to attract, if only by its outward appearance, the attention of the workers and to inspire them with confidence in the opposition. Our workers, for instance, cannot understand why the British workers to this day have not thought of drowning such traitors as Thomas, of throwing them down a well. (Laughter.) Anyone who knows our workers will easily realise that individuals and opportunists like Thomas would simply not be tolerated by the Soviet workers. Yet we know that not only are the British workers not preparing to drown Messieurs the Thomases, but they even re-elect them to the General Council and re-elect them not just simply, but with acclamation. Obviously, such workers do not need a revolutionary camouflage for opportunism, since they are not averse to accepting opportunists into their midst as it is.

And what is the explanation of this? The explanation lies in the fact that the British workers have no revolutionary traditions. These revolutionary traditions are now coming into being. They are coming into being and developing, and there is no reason to doubt that the British workers are being tempered in revolutionary battle. But as long as these are lacking, the difference between the British and the Soviet workers remains. This, in fact, explains why it is risky for the opportunists in our Party to approach the workers of the U.S.S.R. without some "revolutionary" camouflage.

There you have the reasons for the "revolutionary" camouflage of the opposition bloc.

Finally, as regards the third specific feature of the opposition. I have already said that it consists in the amorphousness as regards principle of the opposition bloc, in its unprincipledness, in its amoebic character, and in the consequent continual complaints of the opposition leaders that they have been "misunderstood," "misrepresented," fathered with what they "did not say" and so on. They are truly a faction of "the misunderstood." The history of proletarian parties tells us that this feature ("they have misunderstood us!") is the most common and wide-spread feature of opportunism in general. You must know, comrades, that exactly the same thing "happened" with the well-known opportunists Bernstein, Vollmar, Auer and others in the ranks of German Social-Democracy at the end of the 1890's and the beginning of the 1900's, when German Social-Democracy was revolutionary, and when these arrant opportunists complained for many years that they were "misunderstood" and "misrepresented." We know that the German revolutionary Social-Democrats at that time called the Bernstein faction the faction of "the misunderstood." Thus it cannot be regarded as an accident that the opposition bloc has to be assigned to the category of "misunderstood" factions.

Such are the chief specific features of the opposition bloc.


III
The Disagreements in the C.P.S.U.(B.)

Let us pass to the substance of the disagreements.

I think that our disagreements could be reduced to a few basic questions. I shall not deal with these questions in detail, because time is short and my report is long enough as it is. There is all the more reason for not doing so, because you have material on the questions of the C.P.S.U.(B.), material which suffers, it is true, from certain errors of translation, but which on the whole gives a correct idea of the disagreements in our Party.
1. Questions of Socialist Construction

First question. The first question is that of the possibility of the victory of socialism in one country, the possibility of victoriously building socialism. It is not a matter, of course, of Montenegro or even Bulgaria, but of our country, the U.S.S.R. It is a matter of a country where imperialism existed and was developing, where there is a certain minimum of large-scale industry and a certain minimum of proletariat, and where there is a party which leads the proletariat. And so, is the victory of socialism possible in the U.S.S.R., can socialism be built in the U.S.S.R. on the basis of the internal forces of our country and on the basis of the potentialities at the disposal of the proletariat of the U.S.S.R.?

But what does building socialism mean, if this formula is translated into concrete class language? Building socialism in the U.S.S.R. means overcoming our, Soviet, bourgeoisie by our own efforts in the course of a struggle. Hence the question amounts to this: is the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. capable of overcoming its own, Soviet bourgeoisie? Consequently, when it is asked whether socialism can be built in the U.S.S.R., what is meant is this: is the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. by its own efforts capable of overcoming the bourgeoisie of the U.S.S.R.? That, and that alone, is how the question stands as regards solving the problem of building socialism in our country.

The Party answers this question in the affirmative, because it holds that the proletariat of the U.S.S.R., the proletarian dictatorship in the U.S.S.R., by its own efforts is capable of overcoming the bourgeoisie of the U.S.S.R.

If this were incorrect, if the Party had no justification for asserting that the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. is capable of building a socialist society, despite the relative technical backwardness of our country, then the Party would have no justification for remaining in power any longer, it would have to surrender power in one way or another and to pass to the position of an-opposition party.

For, one thing or the other:

either we can engage in building socialism and, in the final analysis, build it completely, overcoming our "national" bourgeoisie-in which case it is the duty of the Party to remain in power and direct the building of socialism in our country for the sake of the victory of socialism throughout the world;

or we are not in a position to overcome our bourgeoisie by our own efforts—in which case, in view of the absence of immediate support from abroad, from a victorious revolution in other countries, we must honestly and frankly retire from power and steer a course for organising another revolution in the U.S.S.R. in the future.

Has a party the right to deceive its class, in this case the working class? No, it has not. Such a party would deserve to be hanged, drawn and quartered. But just because our Party has no right to deceive the working class, it would have to say frankly that lack of confidence in the possibility of completely building socialism in our country would lead to our Party retiring from power and passing from the position of a ruling party to that of an opposition party.

We have won the dictatorship of the proletariat and have thereby created the political basis for the advance to socialism. Can we by our own efforts create the economic basis of socialism, the new economic foundation necessary for the building of socialism? What is the economic essence and economic basis of socialism? Is it the establishment of a "paradise" on earth and universal abundance? No, that is the philistine, petty-bourgeois idea of the economic essence of socialism. 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.

Here is what Comrade Lenin said on this score in the period when we introduced NEP, and when the question of laying a socialist foundation for the national economy confronted the Party in all its magnitude:

"Replacement of the surplus-appropriation system by a tax, its significance in principle: transition from 'War' Communism to a correct socialist foundation. Neither the surplus-appropriation system, nor a tax, but the exchange of the products of large-scale ('socialised') industry for peasant products-such is the economic essence of socialism, its basis" (see Vol. XXVI, pp. 311-12).

That is how Lenin understood the question of creating the economic basis of socialism.

But in order to weld agriculture with socialised industry, it is necessary, in the first place, to have an extensive network of bodies for the distribution of products, an extensive network of co-operative bodies, both of consumer co-operatives and of agricultural, producer co-operatives. That was precisely what Lenin had in mind when he said in his pamphlet On Co-operation:

"Co-operation, under our conditions, very often entirely coincides with socialism" (see Vol. XXVII, p. 396).

And so, can the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. by its own efforts build the economic basis of socialism, in the conditions of the capitalist encirclement of our country?

The Party replies to this question in the affirmative (see resolution of the Fourteenth Conference of the R.C.P.(B.). Lenin replies to this question in the affirmative (see, for instance, his pamphlet On Co-operation). All the experience of our constructive work furnishes an affirmative answer to this question, because the share of the socialist sector in our economy is growing from year to year at the expense of that of private capital, both in the sphere of production and in the sphere of distribution, while the role of private capital as compared with that of the socialist elements in our economy is declining from year to year.

Well, and how does the opposition reply to this question?

It replies to this question in the negative.

It follows that the victory of socialism in our country is possible, that the possibility of building the economic basis of socialism may be regarded as assured.

Does this mean that such a victory can be termed a full victory, a final victory of socialism, one that would guarantee the country that is building socialism against all danger from abroad, against the danger of imperialist intervention and the consequent danger of restoration? No, it does not. While the question of completely building socialism in the U.S.S.R. is one of overcoming our own, "national," bourgeoisie, the question of the final victory of socialism is one of overcoming the world bourgeoisie. The Party says that the proletariat of one country is not in a position to overpower the world bourgeoisie by its own efforts. The Party says that for the final victory of socialism in one country it is necessary to overcome, or at least to neutralise, the world bourgeoisie. The Party says that such a task is within the power only of the proletariat of several countries. Consequently, the final victory of socialism in a particular country signifies the victory of the proletarian revolution in, at least, several countries.

This question does not give rise to any special disagreement in our Party, and therefore I shall not dwell on it, but would refer those who are interested to the materials of the Central Committee of our Party which were distributed the other day to the members of the Enlarged Plenum of the E.C.C.I.
2. Factors of the "Respite"

Second question. The second question concerns problems of the conditions of the present international position of the U.S.S.R., the conditions of that period of "respite" during which the work of building socialism in our country began and developed. We can and must build socialism in the U.S.S.R. But in order to build socialism, we must first exist. There must be a "respite" from war, there must be no attempts at intervention, there must have been won a certain minimum of international conditions which are necessary in order that we may exist and build socialism.

On what, it may be asked, does the present international position of the Republic of Soviets rest, what determines the present "peaceful" period of development of our country in its relation to the capitalist countries, what is the basis of that "respite," or of that period of "respite," which has been won, which renders immediate attempts at serious intervention on the part of the capitalist world impossible, and which creates the necessary external conditions for the building of socialism in our country, seeing that it has been proved that the danger of intervention exists and will continue to exist, and that this danger can be eliminated only as a result of the victory of the proletarian revolution in a number of countries?

The present period of "respite" is based on at least four fundamental facts.

Firstly, on the contradictions within the imperialist camp, which are not becoming weaker and which render a plot against the Republic of Soviets difficult.

Secondly, on the contradictions between imperialism and the colonial countries, on the growth of the liberation movement in the colonies and dependent countries.

Thirdly, on the growth of the revolutionary movement in the capitalist countries and the growing sympathy of the proletarians of all countries for the Republic of Soviets. The proletarians of the capitalist countries are not yet able to support the proletarians of the U.S.S.R. with an outright revolution against their own capitalists. But the capitalists of the imperialist states are already unable to march "their" workers against the proletariat of the U.S.S.R., because the sympathy of the proletarians of all countries for the Republic of Soviets is growing, and is bound to grow from day to day. And to go to war nowadays without the workers is impossible.

Fourthly, on the strength and might of the proletariat of the U.S.S.R., on its achievements in socialist construction, and on the strength of organisation of its Red Army.

The combination of these and similar conditions gives rise to that period of "respite" which is the characteristic feature of the present international position in the Republic of Soviets.
3. The Unity and Inseparability of the "National" and International Tasks of the Revolution

Third question. The third question concerns problems of the "national" and international tasks of the proletarian revolution in a particular country. The Party holds that the "national" and international tasks of the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. merge into the one general task of emancipating the proletarians of all countries from capitalism, that the interests of the building of socialism in our country wholly and completely merge with the interests of the revolutionary movement of all countries into the one general interest of the victory of the socialist revolution in all countries.

What would happen if the proletarians of all countries did not sympathise with and support the Republic of Soviets? There would be intervention and the Republic of Soviets would be smashed.

What would happen if capital succeeded in smashing the Republic of Soviets? There would set in an era of the blackest reaction in all the capitalist and colonial countries, the working class and the oppressed peoples would be seized by the throat, the positions of international communism would be lost.

What will happen if the sympathy and support that the Republic of Soviets enjoys among the proletarians of all countries grows and intensifies? It will radically facilitate the building of socialism in the U.S.S.R.

What will happen if the achievements of socialist construction in the U.S.S.R. continue to grow? It will radically improve the revolutionary position of the proletarians of all countries in their struggle against capital, will undermine the position of international capital in its struggle against the proletariat, and will greatly heighten the chances of the world proletariat.

But it follows from this that the interests and tasks of the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. are interwoven and inseparably connected with the interests and tasks of the revolutionary movement in all countries, and, conversely, that the tasks of the revolutionary proletarians of all countries are inseparably connected with the tasks and achievements of the proletarians of the U.S.S.R. in the field of socialist construction.

Hence to counterpose the "national" tasks of the proletarians of a particular country to the international tasks is to commit a profound political error.

Hence anyone who depicts the zeal and fervour displayed by the proletarians of the U.S.S.R. in the struggle on the front of socialist construction as a sign of "national isolation" or "national narrow-mindedness," as our oppositionists sometimes do, has gone out of his mind or fallen into second childhood.

Hence affirmation of the unity and inseparability of the interests and tasks of the proletarians of one country and the interests and tasks of the proletarians of all countries is the surest way to the victory of the revolutionary movement of the proletarians of all countries.

Precisely for this reason, the victory of the proletarian revolution in one country is not an end in itself, but a means and an aid for the development and victory of the revolution in all countries.

Hence building socialism in the U.S.S.R. means furthering the common cause of the proletarians of all countries, it means forging the victory over capital not only in the U.S.S.R., but in all the capitalist countries, for the revolution in the U.S.S.R. is part of the world revolution—its beginning and the base for its development.
4. Concerning the History of the Question of Building Socialism

Fourth question. The fourth question concerns the history of the question under discussion. The opposition asserts that the question of the building of socialism in one country was first raised in our Party in 1925. At all events, Trotsky bluntly declared at the Fifteenth Conference: "Why is theoretical recognition of the building of socialism in one country demanded? Where does this perspective come from? How is it that nobody raised this question before 1925?"

It follows, then, that before 1925 this question was not raised in our Party. It follows that this question was raised in the Party only by Stalin and Bukharin, and that it was in 1925 that they raised it. Is that true? No, it is not.

I affirm that the question of the building of a socialist economy in one country was first raised in the Party by Lenin as early as 1915. I affirm that Lenin was opposed at that time by none other than Trotsky. I affirm that since then, that is, since 1915, the question of the building of a socialist economy in one country was repeatedly discussed in our press and in our Party.

Let us turn to the facts.

a) 1915. Lenin's article on "The United States of Europe Slogan" in the Central Organ of the Bolsheviks (Sotsial-Demokrat ). Here is what Lenin says in that article:

"As a separate slogan, however, the slogan of a United States of the World would hardly be a correct one, firstly, because it merges with socialism; secondly, because it may give rise to a wrong interpretation in the sense of the impossibility of the victory of socialism in a single country and about the relation of such a country to the rest.

"Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence the victory of socialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country taken separately. The victorious proletariat of that country, having expropriated the capitalists and having organised its own socialist production,* would stand up against the rest of the world, the capitalist world, attracting to its cause the oppressed classes of other countries, raising revolts in those countries against the capitalists, and in the event of necessity coming out even with armed force against the exploiting classes and their states." . . . For "the free union of nations in socialism is impossible without a more or less prolonged and stubborn struggle of the socialist republics against the backward states" (see Vol. XVIII, pp. 232-33).

And here is Trotsky's rejoinder, made in the same year, 1915, in Nashe Slovo, which Trotsky directed:

"'Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism.' From this the Sotsia/-Demokrat (the central organ of the Bolsheviks in 1915, where Lenin's article in question was published.—J. St.) draws the conclusion that the victory of socialism is possible in one country, and that therefore there is no reason to make the dictatorship of the proletariat in each separate country contingent upon the establishment of a United States of Europe. . . . That no country in its struggle must 'wait' for others, is an elementary thought which it is useful and necessary to reiterate in order that the idea of concurrent international action may not be replaced by the idea of temporising international inaction. Without waiting for the others, we begin and continue the struggle nationally, in the full confidence that our initiative will give an impetus to the struggle other countries; but if this should not occur, it wou/d be hope/ess to think — as historical experience and theoretical considerations testify—that, for example, a revolutionary Russia cou/d ho/d out in the face of a conservative Europe, or that a socia/ist Germany cou/d exist in iso/a-tion in a capita/ist wor/d. To accept the perspective of a social revolution within national bounds is to fall a prey to that very nationa/ narrow-mindedness which constitutes the essence of social-patriotism"* (Trotsky, The Year 1917, Vol. III, Part I, pp. 89-90).

You see that the question of "organising socialist production" was raised by Lenin as far back as 1915, on the eve of the bourgeois-democratic revolution in Russia, at the time of the imperialist war, when the question of the growing over of the bourgeois-democratic revolution into a socialist revolution was on the order of the day.

You see that at that time Comrade Lenin was controverted by none other than Trotsky, who obviously knew that Lenin in his article was speaking of the "victory of socialism" and of the possibility of "organising socialist production in one country."

You see that the charge of "national narrow-mindedness" was raised for the first time by Trotsky already in 1915, and that this charge was levelled not against Stalin or Bukharin, but against Lenin.

Now it is Zinoviev who every now and again puts forward the ludicrous charge of "national narrow-mindedness." But he apparently does not realise that in so doing he is repeating and reviving Trotsky's thesis, directed against Lenin and his Party.

b) 1919. Lenin's article "Economics and Politics in the Era of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat." Here is what Lenin says in that article:

"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 in this article Lenin speaks of the "economic problem of the dictatorship of the proletariat," of "reconstructing the social economy" with a view to the "victory of communism." And what does the "economic problem of the dictatorship of the proletariat" and "reconstructing the social economy" mean under the dictatorship of the proletariat? It means nothing else than the building of socialism in one country, our country.

c) 1921. Lenin's pamphlet, The Tax in Kind. The well known proposition that we can and must lay "a socialist foundation for our economy" (see The Tax in Kind).

d) 1922. Lenin's speech in the Moscow Soviet, where he says that "we have dragged socialism into everyday life," and that "NEP Russia will become socialist Russia" (see Vol. XXVII, p. 366). Trotsky's rejoinder to this in his "Postscript" to the Peace Programme in 1922, without any direct indication that he is polemising against Lenin. Here is what Trotsky says in the "Post-script":

"The assertion reiterated several times in the Peace Programme that a proletarian revolution cannot culminate victoriously within national bounds may perhaps seem to some readers to have been refuted by the nearly five years' experience of our Soviet Republic. But such a conclusion would be unwarranted. The fact that the workers' state has held out against the whole world in one country, and a backward country at that, testifies to the colossal might of the proletariat, which in other, more advanced, more civilised countries will be truly capable of performing miracles. But while we have held our ground as a state politically and militarily, we have not arrived, or even begun to arrive, at the creation of a socialist society. The struggle for survival as a revolutionary state has resulted in this period in an extreme decline of productive forces; yet socialism is conceivable only on the basis of their growth and development. The trade negotiations with bourgeois countries, the concessions the Genoa Conference and the like constitute all too graphic evidence of the impossibility of isolated building of socialism within the framework of national states. . . . Real progress of a socialist economy in Russia will become possible only after the victory of the proletariat in the major European countries"* (Trotsky, The Year 1917, Vol. III, Part I, pp. 92-93).

Who is Trotsky controverting when he speaks here of "the impossibility of isolated building of socialism within the framework of national states"? Not, of course, Stalin or Bukharin. Trotsky is here controverting Comrade Lenin, and controverting him on the basic question and no other—the possibility of "socialist construction within the framework of national states."

e) 1923. Lenin's pamphlet On Co-operation, which was his political testament. Here is what Lenin wrote in this pamphlet:

"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).

It could hardly be put more clearly, one would think.

From what Trotsky says it follows that "socialist construction within the framework of national states" is impossib/e. Lenin, however, affirms that we, that is, the proletariat of the U.S.S.R., have now, in the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat, "all that is necessary and sufficient" "for building a complete socialist society." The antithesis of views is absolute.

Such are the facts.

You thus see that the question of the building of socialism in one country was raised in our Party as early as 1915, that it was raised by Lenin himself, and that he was controverted on this issue by none other than Trotsky, who accused Lenin of "national narrow-mindedness."

You see that since then and down to Comrade Lenin's death this question was not removed from the order of the day of our Party's work.

You see that in one form or another this question was several times raised by Trotsky in the shape of a veiled but quite definite controversy with Comrade Lenin, and that every time Trotsky handled the question not in the spirit of Lenin and Leninism, but in opposition to Lenin and Leninism.

You see that Trotsky is telling a downright untruth when he asserts that the question of the building of socialism in one country was not raised by anybody prior to 1925.
5. The Special Importance of the Question of Building Socialism in the U.S.S.R. at the Present Moment

Fifth question. The fifth question concerns the problem of the urgency of the task of building socialism at the present moment. Why has the question of building socialism assumed a specially urgent character just now, just in this recent period? Why is it that, whereas in 1915, 1918, 1919, 1921, 1922, 1923, for instance, the question of building socialism in the U.S.S.R. was discussed only occasionally, in individual articles, in 1924, 1925, 1926 it has assumed a very prominent place in our Party activity? What is the explanation of that?

In my opinion, the explanation lies in three chief causes.

Firstly, in the fact that in the last few years the tempo of the revolution in other countries has slowed down, and what is called a "partial stabilisation of capitalism" has set in. Hence the question: is not the partial stabilisation of capitalism tending to diminish or even to nullify the possibility of building socialism in our country? Hence the enhanced interest in the fate of socialism and socialist construction in our country.

Secondly, in the fact that we have introduced NEP, have permitted private capital, and have to some extent retreated in order to regroup our forces and later on pass to the offensive. Hence the question: may not the introduction of NEP tend to diminish the possibility of socialist construction in our country? This is another source of the growing interest in the possibility of socialist construction in our country.

Thirdly, in the circumstance that we have won the Civil War, driven out the interventionists and won a "respite" from war, that we have assured ourselves peace and a peaceful period, offering favourable conditions for putting an end to economic disruption, restoring the country's productive forces, and setting about building a new economy in our country. Hence the question: in what direction must we conduct the building of our economy—towards socialism, or in some other direction? Hence the question: if we are to conduct our building towards socialism, are there grounds for counting on being able to build socialism under the conditions of NEP and the partial stabilisation of capitalism? Hence the tremendous interest displayed by the entire Party and the entire working class in the fate of socialist construction in our country. Hence the annual computations of all sorts of factors made by the organs of the Party and the Soviet government with a view to enhancing the relative importance of the socialist forms of economy in the spheres of industry, trade and agriculture.

There you have the three chief causes which indicate that the question of building socialism has become a most urgent one for our Party and our proletariat, as well as for the Comintern.

The opposition considers that the question of building socialism in the U.S.S.R. is only of theoretical interest. That is not true. It is a profound error. Such an attitude to the question can only be attributed to the fact that the opposition is completely divorced from our practical Party work, our work of economic construction and our co-operative affairs. Now that we have put an end to economic disruption, have restored industry, and have entered a period of the reconstruction of our entire national economy on a new technical basis, the question of building socialism has assumed immense practical importance. What should we aim at in our work of economic construction, in what direction should we build, what should we build, what should be the perspective of our constructive work?—these are all questions, without the settlement of which honest and thoughtful business executives cannot take a step forward if they want to adopt a really enlightened and considered attitude to the work of construction. Are we building in order to manure the soil for a bourgeois democracy, or in order to build a socialist society?—this is now the root question of our constructive work. Are we in a position to build a socialist economy now, under the conditions of NEP and the partial stabilisation of capitalism?— this has now become one of the cardinal questions for our Party and Soviet work.

Lenin answered this question in the affirmative (see, for example, his pamphlet On Co-operation). The Party has answered this question in the affirmative (see the resolution of the Fourteenth Conference of the R.C.P.(B.)). And what about the opposition? I have already said that the opposition answers this question in the negative. I have already said in my report at the Fifteenth Conference of the C.P.S.U.(B.), and I am obliged to repeat it here, that only quite recently, in September 1926, Trotsky, the leader of the opposition bloc, declared in his message to the oppositionists that he considers the "theory of socialism in one country" a "theoretical justification of national narrow-mindedness" (see Stalin's report at the Fifteenth Conference of the C.P.S.U.(B.) .

Compare this quotation from Trotsky (1926) with his article of 1915 where, polemising with Lenin on the possibility of the victory of socialism in one country, he for the first time raised the question of the "national narrow-mindedness" of Comrade Lenin and the Leninists— and you will realise that Trotsky still adheres to his old position of Social-Democratic negation as regards the building of socialism in one country.

That is precisely why the Party affirms that Trotskyism is a Social-Democratic deviation in our Party.
6. The Perspectives of the Revolution

Sixth question. The sixth question concerns the problem of the perspectives of the proletarian revolution. In his speech at the Fifteenth Party Conference, Trotsky said: "Lenin considered that we cannot possibly build socialism in 20 years, that in view of the backwardness of our peasant country we shall not build it even in 30 years. Let us take 30-50 years as a minimum."

I must say here, comrades, that this perspective, invented by Trotsky, has nothing in common with Comrade Lenin's perspective of the revolution in the U.S.S.R. A few minutes later, Trotsky himself in his speech began to challenge this perspective. But that is his affair. I, however, must declare that neither Lenin nor the Party can be held responsible for this perspective invented by Trotsky or for the conclusions that follow from it. The fact that Trotsky, having fabricated this perspective, later on in his speech began to challenge his own fabrication, only goes to show that Trotsky has got himself completely muddled and has put himself in a ridiculous position.

Lenin did not say that "we cannot possibly build socialism" in 30 or 50 years. In point of fact, what Lenin said was this:

"Ten or 20 years of correct relations with the peasantry, and victory on a world scale is assured (even if the proletarian revolutions, which are growing, are delayed); otherwise, 20-40 years of the torments of white guard terrorism" (see Vol. XXVI, p. 313).

From this proposition of Lenin's can the conclusion be drawn that we "cannot possibly build socialism in 20-30 or even 50 years"? No. From this proposition only the following conclusions can be drawn:

a) given correct relations with the peasantry, we are assured of victory (i.e., the victory of socialism) in 10-20 years;

b) this victory will not only be a victory for the U.S.S.R.; it will be a victory "on a world scale";

c) if we do not secure victory in this period, it will mean that we have been smashed, and that the regime of the dictatorship of the proletariat has been replaced by a regime of whiteguard terrorism, which may last 20-40 years.

Of course, one may agree or not agree with this proposition of Lenin's and the conclusions that follow from it. But to distort it, as Trotsky does, is impermissible.

And what does victory "on a world scale" mean? Does it mean that such a victory is equivalent to the victory of socialism in one country? No, it does not. In his writings, Lenin strictly distinguishes between the victory of socialism in one country and victory "on a world scale." When Lenin speaks of victory "on a world scale," he means to say that the success of socialism in our country, the victory of socialist construction in our country, will have such tremendous international significance that that victory cannot be confined to our country, but is bound to call forth a powerful movement towards socialism in all capitalist countries, and that, moreover, if it does not coincide in time with the victory of the proletarian revolution in other countries, it must at any rate usher in a powerful movement of the proletarians of other countries towards the victory of the world revolution.

Such is the perspective of the revolution as Lenin saw it, if we mean by this the perspective of the victory of the revolution, which, of course, is what we in our Party have in mind.

To confuse this perspective with Trotsky's perspective of 30-50 years is to slander Lenin.
7. How the Question Really Stands

Seventh question. Suppose we grant this, the opposition says to us, but with whom, in the final analysis, is it better to maintain an alliance—with the world proletariat, or with the peasantry of our country; to whom should we give preference—to the world proletariat or the peasantry of the U.S.S.R.? In so doing, matters are depicted as if the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. stands confronted by two allies—the world proletariat, which is prepared to overthrow its bourgeoisie at once, but is awaiting our preferential consent; and our peasantry, which is prepared to assist the proletariat of the U.S.S.R., but is not quite certain that the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. will accept its assistance. That, comrades, is a childish way of presenting the question. It is one that bears no relation either to the course of the revolution in our country or to the correlation of forces on the front of the struggle between world capitalism and socialism. Excuse me for saying so, but only schoolgirls can present the question in that way. Unfortunately, matters are not as some oppositionists depict them. Furthermore, there is no reason to doubt that we would gladly accept assistance from both parties, if it depended only on us. No, that is not the way the question stands in reality.

The way the question stands is this: since the tempo of the world revolutionary movement has slowed down and socialism is not yet victorious in the West, but the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. is in power, is strengthening its power year by year, is rallying the main mass of the peasantry around it, is already registering substantial achievements on the front of socialist construction, and is successfully strengthening ties of friendship with the proletarians and oppressed peoples of all countries— are there any grounds for denying that the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. can overcome its bourgeoisie and continue the victorious building of socialism in our country, notwithstanding the capitalist encirclement?

That is how the question stands now, provided, of course, we proceed not from fancy, as the opposition bloc does, but from the actual correlation of forces on the front of the struggle between socialism and capitalism.

The reply of the Party to this question is that the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. is, in these circumstances, capable of overcoming its own, "national," bourgeoisie and of successfully building a socialist economy.

The opposition, however, says:

"Without direct state* support from the European proletariat, the working class of Russia will not be able to maintain itself in power and to transform its temporary rule into a lasting socialist dictatorship" (see Trotsky, Our Revolution, p. 278).

What is the significance of this quotation from Trotsky, and what does "state support from the European proletariat" mean? It means that, without the preliminary victory of the proletariat in the West, without the preliminary seizure of power by the proletariat in the West, the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. will not only be incapable of overcoming its bourgeoisie and of building socialism, but will even be incapable of maintaining itself in power.

That is how the question stands, and that is where the root of our disagreements lies.

How does Trotsky's position differ from that of Otto Bauer, the Menshevik?

Unfortunately, not at all.

8. The Chances of Victory

Eighth question. Suppose we grant this, the opposition says, but which has the greater chance of victory— the proletariat of the U.S.S.R., or the world proletariat?

"Is it conceivable," Trotsky said in his speech at the Fifteenth Conference of the C.P.S.U.(B.), "that in the next 30-50 years European capitalism will continue to decay, but the proletariat will prove incapable of making a revolution? I ask: why should I accept this assumption, which can only be said to be an assumption of unjustified and gloomy pessimism regarding the European proletariat? . . . I affirm that I see no theoretical or political justification for believing that it will be easier for us to build socialism together with the peasantry, than for the European proletariat to take power" (see Trotsky's speech at the Fifteenth Conference of the C.P.S.U.(B.)).

Firstly, the perspective of stagnation in Europe "in the next 30-50 years" must be rejected unreservedly. No one compelled Trotsky to proceed from this perspective of the proletarian revolution in the capitalist countries of the West, which has nothing in common with the perspective our Party envisages. Trotsky has fettered himself with this fictitious perspective, and he must himself answer for the consequences of such an operation. I think that this period must be reduced by at least half, if the actual perspective of the proletarian revolution in the West is borne in mind.

Secondly, Trotsky decides without reservation that the proletarians of the West have a much greater chance of overcoming the world bourgeoisie, which is now in power, than the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. has of overcoming its own, "national," bourgeoisie, which has already been smashed politically, has been cast out of the key positions in the national economy, and, economically, is compelled to retreat under the pressure of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the socialist forms of our economy.

I consider that such a way of presenting the question is incorrect. I consider that, in putting the question in that way, Trotsky completely betrays himself. Did not the Mensheviks tell us the same thing in October 1917, when they cried from the house-tops that the proletarians of the West had a far greater chance of overthrowing the bourgeoisie and seizing power than the proletarians of Russia, where technical development was weak and the proletariat numerically small? And is it not a fact that, in spite of the lamentations of the Mensheviks, the proletarians of Russia in October 1917 proved to have had a greater chance of seizing power and overthrowing the bourgeoisie than the proletarians of Britain, France or Germany? Has not the experience of the revolutionary struggle throughout the world demonstrated and proved that the question cannot be put in the way that Trotsky puts it?

Who has the greater chance of a speedy victory is a question that is not decided by contrasting the proletariat of one country with the proletariat of other countries, or the peasantry of our country with the proletariat of other countries. Such contrasting is mere childishness. Who has the greater chance of a speedy victory is a question that is decided by the real international situation, by the real correlation of forces on the front of the struggle between capitalism and socialism. It may happen that the proletarians of the West will defeat their bourgeoisie and seize power before we succeed in laying a socialist foundation for our economy. That is by no means excluded. But it may happen that the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. will succeed in laying a socialist foundation for our economy before the proletarians of the West overthrow their bourgeoisie. That is not excluded either.

The question of the chances of a speedy victory is one the decision of which depends upon the real situation on the front of the struggle between capitalism and socialism, and upon it alone.

9. Disagreements over Political Practice

Such are the bases of our disagreements.

From these bases spring disagreements over political practice, both in the fields of foreign and home policy, and in the purely Party field. These disagreements form the subject of the ninth question.

a) The Party, proceeding from the fact of the partial stabilisation of capitalism, considers that we are in a period between revolutions, that in the capitalist countries we are moving towards revolution and the principal task of the Communist Parties is to establish a path to the masses, to strengthen connections with the masses, to win the mass organisations of the proletariat and prepare the broad mass of the workers for the coming revolutionary clashes.

The opposition, however, having no faith in the internal forces of our revolution, and fearing the fact of the partial stabilisation of capitalism as capable of destroying our revolution, considers (or considered) it possible to deny the fact of the partial stabilisation of capitalism, considers (or considered) the British strike 14 a sign that the stabilisation of capitalism has ended; and when it turns out that stabilisation is a fact nevertheless—so much the worse for the facts, the opposition-declares, and that it is possible, therefore, to skip over-the facts, and in this connection it demonstratively comes out with noisy slogans for a revision of the united front tactics, for a rupture with the trade-union movement in the West, and so on.

But what does disregarding the facts, disregarding the objective course of things, mean? It means abandoning science for quackery.

Hence the adventurist character of the policy of the opposition bloc.

b) The Party, proceeding from the fact that industrialisation is the principal means of socialist construction, and that the principal market for socialist industry is the home market of our country, considers that the development of industrialisation must be based upon a steady improvement of the material conditions of the main mass of the peasantry (to say nothing of the workers), that a bond between industry and peasant economy, between the proletariat and the peasantry, with the leadership of the proletariat in the bond, is, as Lenin expressed it, the "alpha and omega of Soviet power" and of the success of our constructive work, and that therefore our policy in general, and our taxation policy and price policy in particular, must be so constructed as to answer to the interests of this bond.

The opposition, however, having no faith in the possibility of drawing the peasantry into the work of building socialism and obviously believing that it is permissible to carry out industrialisation to the detriment of the main mass of the peasantry, is inclined towards capitalist methods of industrialisation, is inclined to regard the peasantry as a "colony," as an object of "exploitation" by the proletarian state, and proposes such methods of industrialisation (increased taxation of the peasantry, higher wholesale prices for manufactured goods, etc.) as are calculated only to disrupt the bond between industry and peasant economy, undermine the economic position of the poor and middle peasantry, and shatter the very foundations of industrialisation.

Hence the opposition's attitude of disapproval towards the idea of a bloc between the proletariat and the peasantry, and the hegemony of the proletariat in this bloc—an attitude characteristic of Social-Democracy.

c) We proceed from the fact that the Party, the Communist Party, is the principal instrument of the dictatorship of the proletariat, that the leadership of one party, which does not and cannot share this leadership with other parties, constitutes that fundamental condition without which no firm and developed dictatorship of the proletariat is conceivable. In view of this, we regard the existence of factions within our Party as impermissible, for it is self-evident that the existence of organised factions within the Party must lead to the splitting of the united Party into parallel organisations, to the formation of embryos and nuclei of a new party or parties in the country, and, hence, to the disintegration of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The opposition, however, while not contesting these propositions openly, nevertheless in its practical work proceeds from the necessity of weakening the unity of the Party, the necessity of freedom of factions within the Party, and therefore—the necessity of creating the elements of a new party.

Hence the splitting policy in the practical work of the opposition bloc.

Hence the outcry of the opposition against the "regime" in the Party, an outcry which, in point of fact, is a reflection of the protests of the non-proletarian elements in the country against the regime of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Hence the question of two parties.

Such, comrades, is the sum and substance of our disagreements with the opposition.


IV
The Opposition at Work

Let us pass now to the question how these disagreements have manifested themselves in practical work.

Well then, what did our opposition look like in actual fact in its practical work, in its struggle against the Party?

We know that the opposition was operating not only in our Party, but in other sections of the Comintern as well, for instance in Germany, France, etc. Therefore, the question must be put in this way: what in actual fact did the practical work of the opposition and its followers look like both in the C.P.S.U.(B.) and in other sections of the Comintern?

a) The practical work of the opposition and its followers in the C.P.S.U.(B.). The opposition began its "work" by levelling very grave charges against the Party. It declared that the Party "is sliding into opportunism." The opposition asserted that the Party's policy "runs counter to the class line of the revolution." The opposition asserted that the Party is degenerating and moving towards a Thermidor. The opposition declared that our state is "far from being a proletarian state." All this was affirmed either in open declarations and speeches of representatives of the opposition (at the July Plenum of the Central Committee and Central Control Commission in 1926), or in secret documents of the opposition disseminated by its supporters.

But, in levelling these grave charges against the Party, the opposition created the basis for the organisation of new, parallel units within the Party, for the organisation of a new, parallel Party centre, for the formation of a new party. One of the supporters of the opposition, Mr. Ossovsky, bluntly declared in his articles that the existing party, our Party, defends the interests of the capitalists, and that in view of this a new party, a "purely proletarian party," must be formed, existing and functioning side by side with the present party.

The opposition may say that it is not answerable for Ossovsky's attitude. But that is not true. It is fully and entirely answerable for the "doings" of Mr. Ossovsky. We know that Ossovsky openly declared himself a supporter of the opposition, and the opposition never once attempted to contest this. We know, further, that at the July Plenum of the Central Committee Trotsky defended Ossovsky against Comrade Molotov. We know, lastly, that despite the unanimous opinion of the Party against Ossovsky, the opposition voted in the Central Committee against Ossovsky's expulsion from the Party. All this indicates that the opposition assumed moral responsibility for Ossovsky's "doings."

Conclusion: the practical work of the opposition in the C.P.S.U.(B.) manifested itself in the attitude of Ossovsky, in his view that a new party must be formed in our country, parallel with and opposed to the C.P.S.U.(B.).

Indeed, it could not be otherwise. For either one thing or the other:

either the opposition, when levelling these grave charges against the Party, did not itself mean them seriously and levelled them only as a demonstration—in which case it was misleading the working class, which is a crime;

or the opposition meant, and still means, its charges seriously—in which case it should have steered a course, as indeed it did, towards the rout of the leading cadres of the Party and the formation of a new party.

Such was the complexion of our opposition as displayed in its practical work against the C.P.S.U.(B.) by October 1926.

b) The practical work of the opposition's followers in the German Communist Party. Proceeding from the charges levelled against the Party by our opposition, the "ultra-Lefts" in Germany, headed by Herr Korsch, drew "further" conclusions and dotted the i's and crossed the t's. We know that Korsch, that ideologist of the German "ultra-Lefts," asserts that our socialist industry is a "purely capitalist industry." We know that Korsch dubs our Party a "kulakised" party, and the Comintern an "opportunist" organisation. We know, further, that, in view of this, Korsch preaches the necessity for a "new revolution," directed against the existing regime in the U.S.S.R.

The opposition may say that it is not answerable for Korsch's attitude. But that is not true. The opposition is fully and entirely answerable for the "doings" of Herr Korsch. What Korsch says is a natural conclusion from the premises preached by the leaders of our opposition to their supporters in the shape of the charges against the Party. Because, if the Party is sliding into opportunism, if its policy diverges from the class line of the revolution, if it is degenerating and moving towards a Thermidor, and our state is "far from being a proletarian state," only one inference can be drawn from this, namely, the necessity for a new revolution, a revolution against the "kulakised" regime. Apart from this, we know that the German "ultra-Lefts," including the Wed-dingites, voted against the expulsion of Korsch from the party, thereby assuming moral responsibility for Korsch's counter-revolutionary propaganda. Well, and who does not know that the "ultra-Lefts" support the opposition in the C.P.S.U.(B.)?

c) The practical work of the opposition's followers in France. The same must be said of the opposition's followers in France. I am referring to Souvarine and his group, who run a notorious magazine in France. Proceeding from the premises provided by our opposition in its charges against the Party, Souvarine draws the conclusion that the chief enemy of the revolution is the Party bureaucracy, the top leadership of our Party. Souvarine asserts that there is only one "salvation"—a new revolution, a revolution against the top leadership in the Party and the government, a revolution, primarily, against the Secretariat of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.). There, in Germany, a "new revolution" against the existing regime in the U.S.S.R. Here, in France, a "new revolution" against the Secretariat of the C.C. Well, and how is this new revolution to be organised? Can it be organised without a separate party adapted to the aims of the new revolution? Of course not. Hence the question of creating a new party.

The opposition may say that it is not answerable for Souvarine's writings. But that is not true. We know, firstly, that Souvarine and his group are supporters of the opposition, especially its Trotskyist section. We know, secondly, that only quite recently the opposition was planning to instal M. Souvarine on the editorial board of the central organ of the French Communist Party. True, that plan failed. That, however, was not the fault but the misfortune of our opposition.

Thus it follows that the opposition in its practical work, taking the opposition not in the form in which it depicts itself, but in the form in which it manifests itself in the course of work both in our country, the U.S.S.R., and in France and Germany—it follows, I say, that the opposition in its practical work is directly facing the question of routing the existing cadres of our Party and forming a new party.


V
Why the Ememies of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat Praise the Opposition

Why do the Social-Democrats and the Cadets praise the opposition?

Or, in other words, whose sentiments does the opposition reflect?

You have probably observed that the so-called "Russian question" has of late become a burning question of the Social-Democratic and bourgeois press in the West. Is this accidental? Of course not. The progress of socialism in the U.S.S.R. and the development of the communist movement in the West cannot but inspire profound alarm in the ranks of the bourgeoisie and its agents in the working class—the Social-Democratic leaders. The dividing line between revolution and counter-revolution nowadays lies between the bitter hatred of some and the comradely friendship of others for the proletarian Party of the U.S.S.R. The cardinal international significance of the "Russian question" is now a fact with which the enemies of communism cannot but reckon.

Around the "Russian question" two fronts have formed: the front of the enemies of the Republic of Soviets, and the front of its devoted friends. What do the enemies of the Republic of Soviets want? They are out to create among the broad masses of the population the ideological and moral prerequisites for a fight against the proletarian dictatorship. What do the friends of the Republic of Soviets want? They are out to create among the broad strata of the proletariat the ideological and moral prerequisites for supporting and defending the Republic of Soviets.

Let us now examine why the Social-Democrats and Cadets among the Russian bourgeois emigres praise our opposition.

Here, for instance, is what Paul Levi, a well-known Social-Democratic leader in Germany, says:

"We were of the opinion that the special interests of the workers—in the final analysis, the interests of socialism—run counter to the existence of peasant ownership, that the identity of interests of workers and peasants is only an illusion, and that as the Russian revolution developed this contradiction would become acute and more apparent. We considered the idea of community of interests another form of the idea of coalition. If Marxism has any shadow of justification at all, if history develops dialectically, then this contradiction was bound to shatter the coalition idea, just as it has already been shattered in Germany. . . . To us who observe developments in the U.S.S.R. from farther away, from Western Europe, it is clear that our views coincide with the views of the opposition. . . . The fact is there: an independent, anti-capitalist movement under the banner of the class struggle is again beginning-in Russia" (Leipziger Volkszeitung, July 30, 1926).

That there is confusion in this quotation regarding the "identity" of the interests of the workers and peasants is obvious. But that Paul Levi is praising our opposition for its struggle against the idea of a bloc of the workers and peasants, the idea of an alliance of the workers and peasants, is likewise indubitable.

Here is what the not unnotorious Dan, leader of the "Russian" Social-Democrats, leader of the "Russian" Mensheviks who advocate the restoration of capitalism in the U.S.S.R., has to say about our opposition:

"By their criticism of the existing system, which repeats the Social-Democratic criticism almost word for word, the Bolshevik opposition is preparing minds . . . for the acceptance of the positive platform of Social-Democracy."

And further:

"Not only among the mass of the workers, but among communist workers as well, the opposition is rearing the shoots of ideas and sentiments which, if skilfully tended, may easily bear Social-Democratic fruit" (Sotsialistichesky Vestnik, No. 17-18).

Clear, I think.

And here is what Posledniye Novosti, central organ of Milyukov's counter-revolutionary bourgeois party, says of our opposition:

"Today, the opposition is undermining the dictatorship, every new publication of the opposition utters more and more 'terrible' words, the opposition itself is evolving in the direction of increasingly violent assaults on the prevailing system; and this for the time being is enough for us to accept it with gratitude as a mouthpiece for wide sections of the politically dissatisfied population" (Posledniye Novosti, No. 1990).

And further:

"The most formidable enemy of the Soviet power today is the one that creeps upon it unawares, grips it in its tentacles on all sides, and destroys it before it realises that it has been destroyed. It is precisely this role—inevitable and necessary in the preparatory period from which we have not yet emerged—that the Soviet opposition is performing" (Posledniye Novosti, No. 1983, August 27 of this year).

Comment, I think, is superfluous.

I confine myself to these quotations owing to shortness of time, although scores and hundreds like them might be cited.

That is why the Social-Democrats and the Cadets praise our opposition.

Is this accidental? No, it is not.

It will be seen from this that the opposition reflects not the sentiments of the proletariat of our country, but the sentiments of the non-proletarian elements who are dissatisfied with the dictatorship of the proletariat, incensed against the dictatorship of the proletariat, and are waiting with impatience for it to disintegrate and collapse.

Thus the logic of the factional struggle of our opposition has led in practice to the front of our opposition objectively merging with the front of the opponents and enemies of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Did the opposition want this? It is to be presumed it did not. But the point here is not what the opposition wants, but where its factional struggle objectively leads. The logic of the factional struggle is stronger than the wishes of particular individuals. And precisely because of this it has come to pass that the opposition front has in practice merged with the front of the opponents and enemies of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Lenin taught us that the basic duty of Communists is to defend and consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat. But what has happened is that the opposition, because of its factional policy, has landed in the camp of the opponents of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

That is why we say that the opposition has broken with Leninism not only in theory, but also in practice.

Indeed, it could not be otherwise. The correlation of forces on the front of the struggle between capitalism and socialism is such that only one of two policies is now possible within the ranks of the working class: either the policy of communism, or the policy of Social-Democracy. The attempt of the opposition to occupy a third position, while spearheading the struggle against the C.P.S.U.(B.), was inevitably bound to result in its being thrown by the very course of the factional struggle into the camp of the enemies of Leninism.

And that is exactly what has happened, as the facts quoted show.

That is why the Social-Democrats and Cadets praise the opposition.


VI
Defeat of the Opposition Bloc

I have already said that in their struggle against the Party the opposition operated by means of very grave charges against the Party. I have said that, in their practical work, the opposition came to the very verge of the idea of a split and the formation of a new party. The question therefore arises: how long did the opposition succeed in maintaining this splitting attitude? The facts show that it succeeded in maintaining this attitude for only a few months. The facts show that by the beginning of October of this year the opposition was compelled to acknowledge its defeat and to retreat.

What brought about the retreat of the opposition?

In my opinion, the retreat of the opposition was brought about by the following causes.

Firstly, by the fact that in the U.S.S.R. the opposition found itself without a political army. It may very well be that the building of a new party is an entertaining occupation. But if, after a discussion, it turns out that there is nobody to build a new party from, then obviously retreat is the only way out.

Secondly, by the fact that in the course of the factional struggle all sorts of sordid elements, both in our country, the U.S.S.R., and abroad, attached themselves to the opposition, and that the Social-Democrats and Cadets began to praise it for all they were worth, shaming and disgracing it in the eyes of the workers with their kisses. The opposition was left with the choice: either to accept these praises and kisses of the enemy as their due, or to make an abrupt turn and retreat, so that the sordid appendages that had attached themselves to the opposition should mechanically fall away. By retreating, and acknowledging its retreat, the opposition confessed that the latter way out was for it the only acceptable one.

Thirdly, by the fact that the situation in the U.S.S.R. proved to be better than the opposition had assumed, and the mass of the Party membership proved to be more politically conscious and united than it might have seemed to the opposition at the beginning of the struggle. Of course, if there had been a crisis in the country, if discontent had been mounting among the workers, and if the Party had displayed less solidarity, the opposition would have taken a different course and not have decided to retreat. But the facts have shown that the calculations of the opposition came to naught in this field also.

Hence the defeat of the opposition.

Hence its retreat.

The opposition's defeat passed through three stages.

The first stage was the opposition's "statement" of October 6, 1926. In this document the opposition renounced the theory and practice of freedom of factions and factional methods of struggle, and publicly and unequivocally admitted its errors in this sphere. But that was not all that the opposition renounced. By dissociating itself in its "statement" from the "Workers' Opposition" and the Korsches and Souvarines of every brand, the opposition thereby renounced those ideological positions it had held which had recently brought it close to those trends.

The second stage was the opposition's virtual renunciation of the charges it had recently been levelling against the Party. It must be admitted and, having admitted it, it must be stressed that the opposition did not venture to repeat its charges against the Party at the Fifteenth Conference of the C.P.S.U.(B.). If one compares the minutes of the July Plenum of the Central Committee and Central Control Commission with the minutes of the Fifteenth Conference of the C.P.S.U.(B.), one cannot help noting that at the Fifteenth Conference not a trace remained of the old charges of opportunism, Thermidorism, sliding away from the class line of the revolution, etc. Furthermore, bearing in mind the circumstance that a number of delegates questioned the opposition about its former charges, and that the opposition maintained a stubborn silence on this point, it must be admitted that the opposition has in fact renounced its former charges against the Party.

Can this circumstance be qualified as a virtual renunciation by the opposition of a number of its ideological positions? It can, and should be. It means that the opposition has deliberately furled its battle-standard in face of its defeat. It could not, indeed, be otherwise. The charges were levelled in the expectation of building a new party. But since these expectations fell to the ground, the charges had to fall to the ground too, at least for the time being.

The third stage was the complete isolation of the opposition at the Fifteenth Conference of the C.P.S.U.(B.). It should be remarked that at the Fifteenth Conference not a single vote was given to the opposition, and thus it found itself in complete isolation. Recall the hullabaloo raised by the Opposition towards the end of September of this year, when it launched the attack, the open attack on the Party, and compare this clamour with the fact that at the Fifteenth Conference the opposition found itself, so to speak, in the singular number—and you will realise that the opposition could not be wished a "better" defeat.

Can the fact be denied that the opposition has indeed renounced its charges against the Party, not having dared to repeat them at the Fifteenth Conference in spite of the demands of the delegates?

No, it cannot, because it is a fact.

Why did the opposition take this course; why did it furl its banner?

Because the unfurling of the ideological banner of the opposition necessarily and inevitably signifies the theory of two parties, the reanimation of all the various brands of Katzes, Korsches, Maslows, Souvarines and other sordid elements, the unleashing of the anti-proletarian forces in our country, the praises and kisses of the Social-Democrats and the bourgeois-liberal Russian emigres.

The ideological banner of the opposition is fatal to the opposition — that is the point, comrades.

Therefore, in order not to perish altogether, the opposition was forced to retreat and to cast away its banner.

That is the basic reason for the defeat of the opposition bloc.


VII
The Practical Meaning and Importance of the Fifteenth Conference of the C.P.S.U.(B.)

I am concluding, comrades. It only remains for me to say a few words on the conclusions as regards the meaning and importance of the decisions of the Fifteenth Conference of the C.P.S.U.(B.).

The first conclusion is that the conference summed up the inner-Party struggle since the Fourteenth Congress, gave definite shape to the victory scored by the Party over the opposition and, by isolating the opposition, put an end to that factional orgy which the opposition had forced upon our Party in the previous period.

The second conclusion is that the conference cemented our Party more solidly than ever before, on the basis of the socialist perspective of our constructive work, on the basis of the idea of the struggle for the victory of socialist construction against all opposition trends and all deviations in our Party.

The most urgent question in our Party today is that of the building of socialism in our country. Lenin was right when he said that the eyes of the whole world are upon us, upon our economic construction, upon our achievements on the front of constructive work. But in order to achieve successes on this front, the principal instrument of the dictatorship of the proletariat, our Party, must be ready for this work, must realise the importance of this task, and must be able to serve as the lever of the victory of socialist construction in our country. The meaning and importance of the Fifteenth Conference is that it gave definite shape to and crowned the arming of our Party with the idea of the victory of socialist construction in our country.

The third conclusion is that the conference administered a decisive rebuff to all ideological vacillations in our Party and thereby facilitated the full triumph of Leninism in the C.P.S.U.(B.).

If the Enlarged Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Comintern approves the decisions of the Fifteenth Conference of the C.P.S.U.(B.) and recognises the correctness of our Party's policy towards the opposition—as I have no reason to doubt it will—this will lead to a fourth conclusion, namely, that the Fifteenth Conference has created certain by no means unimportant conditions essential for the triumph of Leninism throughout the Comintern, in the ranks of the revolutionary proletariat of all countries and nations. (Stormy applause. An ovation from the entire plenum.)


Reply to the Discussion
December 13


I





Pravda, Nos. 285, 286, 294, 295 and 296; December 9, 10, 19, 21, and 22, 1926