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The Programme of the Comintern -The Dictatorship of the Proletariat

V. The Dictatorship of the Proletariat in the U.S.S.R., and the International Social Revolution.


The principal manifestation of the profound crisis of the capitalist system is the division of world economy into capitalist countries on the one hand, and countries building up socialism on the other. Therefore, the internal consolidation of the proletarian dictatorship in the U.S.S.R., the success achieved in he work of socialist construction, the growth of the influence and authority of the U.S.S.R. among the masses of the proletariat and the oppressed peoples of the colonies, signify the continuation, intensification and expansion of the international social revolution.

Possessing in the country the necessary and sufficient material pre-requisites not only for the overthrow of the landlord and the bourgeoisie, but also for the establishment of complete socialism, the workers of the Soviet Republic, with the aid of the international proletariat, heroically repelled the attacks of the armed forces of the internal and foreign counter-revolution, consolidated their alliance with the bulk of the peasantry and achieved considerable success in the sphere of socialist construction.

The contacts established between proletarian socialist industry and small peasant economy, which stimulates the growth of the productive forces of agriculture, and at the same time assures a leading role to socialist industry; the linking up of industry with agriculture in place of capitalist production for the satisfaction of the unproductive consumption of parasitic classes that was the system formerly; production, not for capitalist profit, but for the satisfaction of the growing needs of the masses of the consumers; the growth of the needs of the masses, which in the final analysis greatly stimulates the entire productive process; and, finally, the close concentration of the economic key positions under the command of the proletarian State, the growth of planned management and the more economic and expedient distribution of the means of production that goes with it-all this enables the proletariat to make rapid progress along the road of socialist construction.

In raising the level of the productive forces of the whole economy of the country, and in steering a straight course for the industrialisation of the U.S.S.R. – the rapidity of which is dictated by the international and internal situation-the proletariat in the U.S.S.R., notwithstanding the systematic attempts on the part of the capitalist Powers to organise an economic and financial boycott against the Soviet Republics, at the same time increases the relative share of the socialised (socialist) section of national economy in the total means of production in the country, in the total output of industry and in the total trade turnover.

Thus, with the land nationalised, by means of the levers of State trade and rapidly growing co-operation, and with the increasing industrialisation of the country, State socialist industry, transport and banking are more and more guiding the activities of the small and very small peasant enterprises.

In the sphere of agriculture especially the level of the forces of production is being raised amidst conditions that restrict the process of differentiation among the peasantry (nationalisation of the land, and consequently the prohibition of the sale and purchase of land; sharply graded progressive taxation; the financing of poor and middle class peasants’ co-operative societies and producers’ organisations; laws regulating the hiring of labour; depriving the kulaks of certain political and public rights; organising the rural poor in separate organisations, etc.). However, in so far as the productive forces of socialist industry have not yet grown sufficiently to enable a broad, new technical base to be laid for agriculture, and consequently to render possible the immediate and rapid unification of peasant enterprises into large public enterprises (collective farms), the kulak class tends to grow and establish, first economic and then political contacts with the elements of the so-called “new bourgeoisie.”

Being in command of the principal economic key positions in the country, and systematically squeezing out the remnants of urban and private capital, which has greatly dwindled in the last few years of the “New Economic Policy"-restricting in every way the exploiting strata in the rural districts that arise out of the development of commodity and money relationships; supporting existing Soviet farms in the rural districts and establishing new ones; drawing the bulk of the peasant simple commodity producers, through the medium of rapidly growing co-operative organisations, into the general system of Soviet economic organisation, and consequently into the work of socialist construction, which, in the conditions prevailing under the proletarian dictatorship, and with the economic leadership of socialist industry, is identical with the development of socialism; passing from the process of restoration to the process of expanded reproduction of the entire productive and technical base of the country-the proletariat of the U.S.S.R. sets itself, and is already beginning to fulfil the task of large-scale capital construction (production of means of production generally, development of heavy industry, and especially of electrification), and developing still further selling, buying and credit co-operation, sets itself the task of organising the peasantry in producing co-operatives on a mass scale and on a collectivist basis, which calls for the powerful material assistance of the proletarian State.

Thus, being already a decisive economic force determining, in the main, the entire economic development of the U.S.S.R., socialism by that very fact makes’ still further strides in its development and systematically overcomes the difficulties that arise from the petty-bourgeois character of the country and the periods of temporarily acute class antagonism.

The task of re-equipping industry and the need for large investments in capital construction, unavoidably give rise to serious difficulties in the path of socialist development which, in the last analysis, are to be attributed to the technical and economic backwardness of the country and to the ruin caused in the years of the imperialist and civil wars. Notwithstanding this, however, the standard of living of the working class and of the broad masses of the toilers is steadily rising and simultaneously with the socialist rationalisation and scientific organisation of industry, the 7-hour day is gradually being introduced, which opens up still wider prospects for the improvement of the conditions of life and labour of the working class.

Standing on the basis of the economic growth of the U.S.S.R. and on the steady increase in the relative importance of the socialist section of industry; never for a moment halting in the struggle against the kulaks; relying upon the rural poor and maintaining a firm alliance with the bulk of the middle peasantry, the working class, united and led by the Communist Party, which has been hardened in revolutionary battles, draws increasing masses, scores of millions of toilers into the work of socialist construction. The principal means employed towards this aim are: the development of broad mass organisations (the Party, as the guiding force; the trade unions, as the backbone of the entire system of the proletarian dictatorship; the Young Communist League; co-operative societies of all types; working women’s and peasant women’s organisations; the various so-called “voluntary societies” ; worker and peasant correspondents’ societies; sport, scientific, cultural and educational organisations); full encouragement of the initiative of the masses and the promotion of fresh strata of workers to high posts in all spheres of industry and administration. The steady attraction of the masses into the process of socialist construction, the constant renovation of the entire State, economic, trade union and Party apparatus with men and women fresh from the ranks of the proletariat, the systematic training in the higher educational establishments and at special courses of workers generally and young workers in particular as new socialist experts in all branches of construction-all these together serve as one of the principal guarantees against the bureaucratic ossification or social degeneration of the stratum of the proletariat directly engaged in administration.


Having defeated Russian imperialism and liberated all the former colonies and oppressed nations of the Tsarist Empire, and systematically laid a firm foundation for their cultural and political development by industrialising their territories; having guaranteed the juridical position of the Autonomous Territories, Autonomous Republics and Allied Republics in the Constitution of the Union and having granted in full the right of nations to self-determination-the dictatorship of the proletariat in the U.S.S.R., by this guarantees, not only formal, but also real equality for the different nationalities in the Union.

Being the land of the dictatorship of the proletariat and of socialist construction, the land of great working class achievements, of the union of the workers with the peasants and of a new culture marching under the banner of Marxism-the U.S.S.R. inevitably becomes the base of the world movement of all oppressed classes, the centre of international revolution, the greatest factor in world history. In the U.S,S.R., the world proletariat for the first time acquires a country that is really its own, and for the colonial movements the U.S.S.R. becomes a powerful centre of attraction.

Thus, the U.S.S.R. is an extremely important factor in the general crisis of capitalism, not only because it has dropped out of the world capitalist system and has created a basis for a new socialist system of production, but also because it plays an exceptionally great revolutionary role generally; it is the international driving force of proletarian revolution that impels the proletariat of all countries to seize power; it is the living example proving that the working class is not only capable of destroying capitalism, but of building up socialism as well; it is the prototype of the fraternity of nationalities in all lands united in the World Union of Socialist Republics and of the economic unity of the toilers of all countries in a single world socialist economic system that the world proletariat must establish when it has captured political power.

The simultaneous existence of two economic systems; the socialist system in the U.S.S.R. and the capitalist system in other countries, imposes on the Proletarian State the task of warding off the blows showered upon it by the capitalist world (boycott, blockade, etc.), and also compels it to resort to economic manoeuvring and the utilisation of economic contacts with capitalist countries (with the aid of the monopoly of foreign trade-which is one of the fundamental conditions for the successful building up of socialism, and also with the aid of credits, loans, concessions, etc.). The principal and fundamental line to be followed in this connection must be the line of establishing the widest possible contact with foreign countries-within limits determined by their usefulness to the U.S.S.R., i.e., primarily for strengthening industry in the U.S.S.R., for laying the base for its own heavy industry and electrification, and finally, for the development of its socialist engineering industry. Only to the extent that the economic independence of the U.S.S.R. in the capitalist environment is secured can solid guarantees be obtained against the danger that socialist construction in the U.S.S.R. may be destroyed and that the U.S.S.R. may be transformed into an appendage of the world capitalist system.

On the other hand, notwithstanding their interest in the markets of the U.S.S.R., the capitalist States continually vacillate between their commercial interests and their fear of the growth of the U.S.S.R., which means the growth of international revolution. However, the principal and fundamental tendency in the policy of imperialist Powers is to encircle the U.S.S.R. and conduct counter-revolutionary war against it in order to strangle it and to establish a world bourgeois terrorist regime.


The systematic imperialist attempts politically to encircle the U.S.S.R., and the growing danger of an armed attack upon her, do not, however, prevent the Communist Party of the Soviet Union-a section of the Communist International and the leader of the proletarian dictatorship in the U.S.S.R.-from fulfilling its international obligations and from rendering support to all the oppressed, to the Labour movements in capitalist countries, to colonial movements against imperialism and to the struggle against national oppression in every form.

In view of the fact that the U.S.S.R. is the only fatherland of the international proletariat, the principal bulwark of its achievements and the most important factor for its international emancipation, the international proletariat must on its part facilitate the success of the work of socialist construction in the U.S.S.R., and defend it against the attacks of the capitalist Powers by all the means in its power.

“The world political situation has made the dictatorship of the proletariat an immediate issue, and all the events of world politics are inevitably concentrating around one central point, namely, the struggle of the world bourgeoisie against the Soviet Russian Republic, which must inevitably group around itself the Soviet movements of the advanced workers of all countries on the one hand, and all the national liberation movements of the colonial and oppressed nationalities on the other.” -( Lenin.)

In the colonies, and particularly the colonies of any imperialist attacking the U.S.S.R., the international proletariat must retaliate by organising bold and determined mass action and struggle for the overthrow of the imperialist governments with the slogan of: Dictatorship of the proletariat and alliance with the U.S.S.R.

In the colonies, and particularly the colonies of the imperialist country attacking the U.S.S.R., every effort must be made to take advantage of the diversion of the imperialist military forces to develop an anti-imperialist struggle and to organise revolutionary action for the purpose of throwing off the yoke of imperialism and of winning complete independence.

The development of socialism in the U.S.S.R. and the growth of its international influence not only rouse the hatred of the capitalist States and their social-democratic agents against it, but also inspire the toilers all over the world with sympathy towards it, and stimulate the readiness of the oppressed classes of all countries to fight with all the means in their power for the land of the proletarian dictatorship, in the event of an imperialist attack thereupon.

Thus the development of the contradictions within modern world economy, the development of the general capitalist crisis, and the imperialist military attack upon the Soviet Union inevitably lead to a mighty revolutionary outbreak which must overwhelm capitalism in a number of the so-called civilised countries, unleash the victorious revolution in the colonies, broaden the base of the proletarian dictatorship to an enormous degree, and thus, with tremendous strides bring nearer the final world victory of socialism.

VI. – The Strategy and Tactics of the Communist International in the Struggle for the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
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