October 26, 2019

For a Bolshevist Study of the History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

SPEECH DELIVERED BY COMRADE L. M. KAGANO­VITCH ON DECEMBER 1, 1931, ON THE OCCASION OF THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FOUNDING OF THE INSTITUTE OF RED PROFESSORS 

I. IMPORTANCE OF TRAINING MARXIST CADRES IN OUR PARTY 

COMRADES, today, the tenth anniversary of the Institute of Red Professors, the warmest greetings of the Party and of the Central Committee are due to you as staunch champions of the general line of the Party. (Loud applause.) 

The Institute of Red Professors is becoming the leading body of the rapidly growing new theoretical cadres of the Party. The problem of cadres has always occupied the most important place in the work of our Party. It has been dealt with in different ways in the various stages of the revolution. Nevertheless, it has always been regarded as one if the most important problems in the fight of the Party for the abolition of classes, for Communism. 

The reason for this is that our Party has been always hostile to the theory of spontaneity, to the theory of automatism in the labor movement; it has always fought to increase the role of the advance guard in the revolutionary movement and for a systematic Marxist Leninist training of the cadres in this advance guard. Beginning with Lenin's What Is to Be Done?, right up to the latest period, in which our Party-as the only Party in the world, stands at the head of the big proletarian socialist state, it has always organized leading workers' cadres and always promoted ever fresh hundreds and thousands of leaders from the ranks of the working class.

Two figures taken from the history of the development of the I. R. P. ( Institute of Red Professors) furnish a striking illustration of this fact. In the year 192 l, at the time of its founding, there were only six workers in the Institute, constituting 6 per cent of the students. And now? At the present time we have there 1,022 workers,i.e, 60 per cent of the students in the Institute of Red Professors.(Prolonged Applause.)

Our Party, in the course of its whole history, following the theories of Marx, Engels and Lenin, has been· able, like no other Party, to connect diametrically the theory and practice of the revolutionary movement, to link them up concretely into one. Comrade Stalin, in his book on Problems of Leninism, has clearly characterized the importance of Marxist-Leninist theory. 
"Theory," says Stalin, "is the experience of the movements of all countries, taken in general. Theory naturally becomes empty if it is not linked up with revolutionary practice, just as practice is blind, if the way is not lit up for it by revolutionary theory. Theory can become the greatest force of the labor movement when it is indissolubly linked up with revolutionary practice. For! theory, and only theory, can give the movement confidence, power of orientation and understanding for the inner connection of events; theory, and only theory, aids practice not only to understand how and whither they are bollod to move in the immediate future.» (Stalin: Problems of Leninism.)
The theoretical training of our cadres always had an actual political content. Take for instance,. the old Bolshevist school found-ed by Lenin in Longjumeau, and compare the experience of this school with the school founded on the Isle of Capri by the Otsovist Bogdanov. Two schools--two programs, two different meth-ods of training cadres. Whilst with Bogdanov, in the Isle of Capri, the history of world conceptions, the history of art, the history of Russian literature, the Church and State of Russia occupied a particularly prominent place, in Lenin's school the program consisted of the following: agrarian question, theory and practice of Social-ism, labor legislation. 

In comparing these programs we clearly see that the Bolsheviki, in this case, Lenin, understood how to put and deal with the fundamental questions of the revolution, inseparably connecting theory and practice. It is therefore certainly not due to chance that from Lenin's school there emerged some members of the C. C. and of the C. C. C. 

The I. R. P. is and must be the continuation of the further development of the work of our Party to· train cadres, .fighters for the Marxist-Leninist Bolshevik theory. This, of course, does not mean. that any guarantee can be given that all students at the I. R. P. will become members of the C. C. and the C. C. C. (Laughter.)

The I. R. P. first arose as a school for the training of teachers. But the character of the training of cadres changes according to the measure of the growth of the tasks of our Party and of socialist construction. Think of the period of 1921. It was the time of the introduction of the N. E. P ., the period of the revival of the old bourgeois professors at the universities. A considerable part of these bourgeois professors at the universities were very hos-tile at that time and worked both theoretically and practically against us. The politically most active part of them prepared the ideology and practice of sabotage.

The syllabus became more extensive, the general development of culture demanded above all the creation of our own Bolshevist cadres of instructors, for a cadre of 10 to 20 Bolshevist instructors no longer sufficed our Party. The Party, it must be remembered, has the power and is guiding a tremendous proletarian State. 

In the subsequent period, with the increasing extent and pace of socialist construction, when the tasks on all fronts of socialist construction became more complicated, the Institute of Red Professors also commenced to train · cadres for socialist economy and for the State. apparatus. The need for such cadres was very clearly revealed in the period of sabotage, in the period of the accentuated class struggle, when wreckers had positions in the State apparatus and the Right devastators did not wish to fight against them and, by reason of their whole attitude, could not .fight against them. Already at the time of the Shachty trial comrade Stalin sharply raised the question of training of new cadres. 

Today we are able to record undoubted successes in this sphere. Hundreds of thousands and millions are being trained in the high schools and technical institutions. We already have some institutions in which a great number of experts are Communists. Let us take, for instance, the People's. Commissariat for Agriculture. Here nearly half the experts are Communists; out of 260 experts 126 are Communists. We must not, however, be intoxicated by our successes. We must persistently and perseveringly realize the tasks contained in the six conditions laid down by comrade Stalin. Simultaneously with a rational utilization of the best of the old experts, we must work systematically, day in and day out, at filling the ranks of the old cadres with new proletarian experts. 

The Institute of Red Professors · must· see to the training of workers who build up and administer the proletarian State, and also provide teaching staffs. 

The importance of the teaching staff is tremendous. We must fight in a Bolshevist manner to improve the quality of our educational system. And here ·the role of the teacher is particularly great. In his letter to the members of the school on the Isle of Capri, Lenin particularly emphasized the importance of the teachers.

He wrote as follows:
 In every school, the most important thing is the ideological political tendency of lecturers. What determines this tendency? It is determined wholly and entirely by the staff of teachers. You must realize quite clearly comrades that any supervision, any guidance, all programs, statutes etc. so far as the staff of teachers are concerned, are empty sound. No supervision, no program is able to alter the tendency of the work as determined by the composition of the teaching staff. And no self-respecting organization, fraction or group would overtake on the responsibility for a school the tendency of which is already determined before hand by the teachers, particularly when this tendency is a hostile one"
When Lenin wrote this he was opposing the composition of the teaching staff on the Isle of Capri, but the importance of this letter today is not less but greater.

Many think it suffices to write a book, to draft a program, or, as they like to express it nowadays, to draw up "a draft of methods" in order to lay down the tendency of the instruction. That is a big mistake. For this reason, comrades, we lay special emphasis on the necessity of further developing the work for the Marxist  training of teachers, for increased fight for the quality of the teaching.

II. THEORY AND PRACTICE IN THE TRAINING OF CADRES

I. The Fight for Instruction in Accordance with the Party Line Instruction must at all costs be connected with practical work.

We must extend and improve practical production all around; we must link up the training of cadres, especially in the I. R .. P., with the work of the State, Soviet and Party apparatus, with the economic 
organs, with practical work in the People's Commissariats.

And this must be done in all Institutes of Red Professors, in all departments (Transport, Planning, Agrarian departments, etc.).

We must not think that a good agricultural expert can be trained in the I. R. P. if this expert is not most closely connected with the building up of Soviet and collective farms, if he cannot apply his knowledge', his constructive ability, in order to analyze and generalize the exceedingly rich experiences in the field of practice, to understand in a profound and Leninist manner the dialectics of 
reality.

Nowhere else in the world is there such scope for experiment, such a laboratory in which the learner can test his knowledge in practice, as in our country.

Every student in the Institute of Red Professors, every learner must be able to generalize practice, to be able to raise practice to the level of theory and to enrich theory by practice. Here is an example.

In dealing last year with the difficulties in our transport system, we encountered the factor of obeslitska, the lack of personal responsibility; we ascertained that the chief evil in regard to this lack of personal responsibility was in the driving of  locomotives. Appropriate measures were adopted. There commenced the struggle to insure that each locomotive should be served by the same pair ( driver and fireman), and things improved. ·

One would have thought, if the Party fought for the solution of the transport problem, then our scientific cadres, the Communist Academy and the I. R. P., would have followed the path already smoothed and try to find how to help the Party in restoring the transport system. After six months, the Party encountered the second evil, the lack of personal responsibility in handling the railway carriages and wagons. ·If, however, our scientific workers, our scientific cadres, and especially the transport section of the I. R. P. had studied the experiences in the struggle to improve the serving of the locomotives and applied these experiences to transport, they would have encountered in good time the evil of the lack of personal responsibility in handling the wagons.

The student in the Institute of Red Professors must specialize in his sphere, nevertheless every student in the I. R. P. is a Party member, a Marxist-Leninist, and therefore we cannot proceed in the following manner: here is one who is trained as an economist-he must deal -with nothing else but economy; and here is one who is studying philosophy-his sphere is only philosophy, etc. We must fight against such a "specialization."

In reality there are only inseparable integral parts of a uniform Marxist-Leninist education. Of course, there is a specialization; and this is also necessary: In every institution it is necessary to ascertain the foundation from which one must proceed, the chief thing with which one engages in. One must not, however, carry specialization to absurdity. One must not forget that in life, all these specializations are mutually related, that they are all indissolubly linked up with one another.

The Party demands a concrete treatment, a striving for a clear aim in theoretical work. In its fight against the divergence of theory and practice, in its fight on two fronts-on the one side against useless busyness and narrow practicality, and on the other side against scholasticism and formalism, the Party demands of the theoretical cadres a profound study of Marxist and Leninist theory and tactics and the closest connection of theory with practice.

The students in the I. R. P. must, in preparing for their professions as leaders and educators, at the same time educate themselves. As leader and educator of others one is not free from committing mistakes on self. Therefore, these students must systematically engage in self-criticism. One must say, on our Communist scientific front the last few years have been years of profound self-criticism in our ranks.

On the scientific front, a number of harmful "systems," a number of glaring errors of principle were discovered-Rubinism in political economy, Menshevist idealism and mechanism in philosophy, a number of errors in the sphere of law and of the State, and finally, various harmful "theories" in the field of literature. Bourgeois and petty bourgeois influence was everywhere discovered on these 
theo­retical fronts.

One can say that Gromanism in the State Planning Institution and Rubinism in economic science are connected with each other. The one attempted to create confusion in the setting up of the Plan, and the other attempted to divert the attention of our economists from actual practice of socialist construction, to confuse, them by abstract discussions of apparently Marxist, but in fact anti-Marxist and anti-Leninist formulas.

The separation of economics from politics is the most character­istic feature of bourgeois theoreticians and their social fascist lackeys. Thus, for instance, Karl Kautsky, who has long been exposed as an enemy of Marxism, writes in his latest book, Materialist Concep­tion of History, as follows:
"How is it possible that two antagonistic classes have become not only absolutely but relatively stronger. The explanation of the apparent contradiction is, that these two classes have become constantly stronger in two quite different spheres. The forces of the capitalists are constantly increasing in the sphere of economy, and the forces of the proletariat are continually increasing in the sphere of politics."
Trotsky in no way lagged behind Kautsky in propagating this bourgeois theory. In his book, Permanent R'evolution, he writes that:

"A country can become ripe for the dictatorship of the proletariat without having  become ripe not only for the independent building up of Socialism but also for broad measures of socialization."
In other words, in politics-the proletariat, and in economics-­ the bourgeoisie.

Thus on the basis of the fight against the Marxist-Leninist unity of economics and politics, there 
has emerged a complete identity of the views of Kautsky and Trotsky.

In the history of the fight of our Party against the various distortions and deviations we come across similar attempts to separate poli­ tics from economics.

Let us take economism. Wherein lies the nature of its mistakes? It lies in making concessions to the spontaneity of the economic development, in ignoring the political superstructure and its reaction on economics. This is an old story. Let us take however, the Right deviation; the essence of its mistake is-denial of the revolutionary transformatory role of the proletarian dictatorship, the insistence on spontaneity. Both in the case of the economists and the Rights there is, at bottom, a separation of politics from economics, a setting, up of one against the other.

Further, if you consider the discussions on the trade unions you will see that the essence of the mistakes of the opponents of Lenin consists in the lack of understanding of the dialectical unity of economics and politics, or, as comrade Lenin said, in "forgetting Marx­ ism, which is expressed in a theoretically false, eclectic definition ofthe relations of politics to economics."

For this reason we must in the Institute of Red Professors and on all economic fronts permeate education more with our Party tendencies; we must learn how to find in every theoretical thesis its application to the burning questions of the day, to understand the synthesis of antagonisms in reality.

To know how to find the synthesis of antagonisms in reality means not be afraid of  difficulties, above all not to be afraid of the contradictions of life which rise up in our path, but to overcome them with Bolshevist energy and persistence. And this means also that our difficulties are such that they contain within them the pos­sibility of overcoming them. 

This means that the characteristic of  our difficulties is that they themselves give us the basis for over­ coming them. Stalin: Political  Report to the C.C. at the XVI Congress of the C.P.S.U.)

We must convert this possibility into reality; in mobilizing all spiritual forces and the will to victory we must help this objective possibility, convert it more rapidly and better into reality. One must approach education in a Bolshevist manner and understand how to take from Hegel, for instance, what is necessary for us, for our fight. In particular, we must approach the history of the past in a Bolshevist, Leninist manner by connecting the history of the past with the genera\ line of the Party, with those new great tasks which confront us today and  which will confront us tomorrow.

Therein consists the nature of the Party tendency in education, therein lies the meaning of  Marxist-Leninist education, and it is necessary to fight in a Bolshevist manner for this.

III. MARXIST-LENINIST EDUCATION AND THE HISTORY OF THE PARTY.

1. Trotzkyist Contraband in the History of the Party.

We are now faced with new tasks, comrade Stalin has laid bare the most harmful excrescences and the biggest mistakes in one of the most important spheres--in the sphere of the history of our Bolshevist Party. Comrade Stalin, in his letter, has raised the questions of the Party history, the tasks of its study, to a very high level. The history of our Party is the history of an irreconcilable fight against deviations from the consistent, revolutionary Marxist-Lenin­ist point of view.

Our Party has grown enormously; it has grown in the ruthless, energetic fight against deviations, against distortions of Marxism­ Leninism. In the last decade this dispute turned on the main questions of the policy of the Party, on the main questions of socialist construction. The dispute over daily policy and practice was al­ways an outspokenly theoretical dispute. It always had its starting point in theoretical differences of opinion. The practical errors likewise had their roots in distortions of Marxist-Leninist theory.

The fight for Marxist-Leninist education is of extraordinary importance, and is exceedingly urgent precisely at the present time, because we have in our Party over two and a half million members, including between one and a half to two million who have been in the Party three, four or five years; then we have five and a half million members of the Young Communist League. As you see, it is a question of millions. But it is a question of quality as well quantity, for here we have members of the most revolutionary, theoretically consistent and disciplined Party in the history of the world.

How are these millions of the young generation to be educated? How are they to be converted into 
staunch and experienced Leninists?

We put the whole problem of the Marxist-Leninist education of the Party members. How is this problem to be tackled in a Bolshevist manner? This must not be tackled from a pedantic point of view-not formally and stereotyped, but from a revolutionary, Bolshevist point of view. The history of our Party is often approached quite formally; the chronology of events is treated more or less accurately, some facts are given prominence, different events are more or less correctly described, but the connection between these facts and events is not revealed. A dialectical study of the history of our Party is necessary, as well as an understanding of the laws of development and further, a keen interest
for the main and fundamental questions in the decisive stages of our revolution.

We must educate the Party members and the members of the Young Communist League, elevate ever 
fresh strata of the working class and instruct them in the history of the Bolshevist Party. This history, however, is not, as many schematic historians believe, the history of a past which is sinking into oblivion. Our whole history is a programme, strategy and tactics, the organizing of the heroic fight of the best leading elements of our class for the victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat, for the abolition of classes, for Communism.

And if our country, which formerly ranked as the most back­ ward country in the world, is today a country of Socialism, it is thanks to the Bolshevist programme, to the tactics and organization of the proletariat, to the programme and the leadership of our Party; it is thanks to that persistent fight which the best people, with Lenin at their head, waged for years against the Narodniki, the legal Marxists, the economists, Mensheviki, Trotzkyists and the Right and irreconcilable elements in the Party. For this reason there is no better means of educating our youth i the spirit of Marxism-Lenin­ ism than the history of our Party.

This is the reason why comrade Stalin reacted so sharply to the exceedingly harmful distortions and 
big mistakes which had been committed in presenting the history of our Party.

In his letter to the editors of the Proletarskaya Revoluzia he ex­posed the Trotzkyist slanderous attempt to distort the history of our Party, to calumniate Lenin and to make out to the members of the Party and the Komsomols that Lenin was not a Bolshevik until the revolution.

What is criminal on the part of the sorry historians of the type of Slutzky is the endeavor to represent matters as if up to the revolution Lenin had underestimated centrism in the Second Interna­tional and not really combated it; that he had supported the so­ called Left social democrats in the German social 
democratic party,i. e., Rosa Luxemburg and others, only feebly and in some cases not at all. One of them, Mironov, who has passed through the Institute of Red Professors and also formerly held the position of deputy director of the Academy for Communist Education ( a big academy with more than 2,000 Communists), wrote that the Bolsheviks did not oppose Kautsky until the war, because they considered him to be an orthodox Marxist.

Is there any need to refute these malicious distortions and falsifications of the history of Leninism?

One has only to think of the history of Lenin's fight against Martov, Axelrod, Plechanov from the year 1903 onwards, and finally against Trotzky in order to understand that Lenin fought like no other against every kind of opportunism, including centrism, by exposing it above all in the ranks of his own party, the Russian social democratic party, and thereby at the same time exposing centrism, Kautskyism in the Second International. Lenin constantly combated and stigmatized the opportunists who are so "revolu­tionary" where other countries are concerned but put up no fight against the enemy in their own country; he combated the revision­ists and conciliators in his immediate neighborhood, and thereby at the same time exposed revisionism, conciliation on the whole front of the international revolutionary movement of the proletariat.

And this is precisely why Lenin did not unreservedly support the so-called Lefts in the German social democracy. What were the Left social democrats, Rosa Luxemburg, Parvus and the others? Did they stand just as much to the Left as Lenin, as the Russian Bolsheviki. Were they as consistent as Lenin, as the Russian Bol­ sheviki1 Can one describe them as Bolsheviki. The most element­ary acquaintance with the facts of history shows beyond doubt that Lenin, and the Russian Bolsheviki in general, were the only thor­ough going consistent Marxist Lefts in the whole in the II Inter­national in the pre-war period; that the Left social democrats in Germany were not Bolsheviki, that they vacillated the whole time between Bolshevism and Menshevism and came near the Mensheviki and centrists.

Lenin and the Bolsheviki did not always support the Lefts in the German social democracy, including Rosa Luxemburg. Why? Because Rosa Luxemburg, as Lenin has pointed out and now also Stalin points out, on a number of fundamental questions on the organizational, national and colonial sphere, on the question of im­perialism, on the peasant question and on the question of the so­ called permanent revolution, disa,greed with the Bolsheviki and approached the centrists. She stood nearer 
to the Trotzkyists and Trotzky, who at that time was a real centrist and founded the centrist August bloc in the year 1911-12.

Trotzky was a centrist, and what has become of him? His centrism has become counter-revolutionism. Trotzky, the former centrist, is today, just the same as Kautzky, the former centrist, one of the most prominent champion of the counterrevolutionary bourgeoisie. 

The centrist Trotzky shared the fate of centrist Kautsky.

Rosa Luxemburg, of course, has many great merits. Her name has gone down in history as a fighter for the emancipation of the

working class, as a fighter who fell at the hands of the German social democracy. No one will dispute that. Does that mean, how­ever, that we must falsify history by passing over and maintaining silence regarding the errors of Rosa Luxemburg and the Left social democrats of Germany in face of the demands for historical truth. It is obvious that it does not mean that. Comrade Radek spoke in the fraction of the Marxist historical researchers. He confessed to a number of mistakes; he admitted that Rosa Luxemburg had not always adopted a correct Bolshevist standpoint. He did not, how­ever, connect the false standpoint he adopted when he collaborated with Rosa Luxemburg, with the false standpoint he adopted later when he collaborated with Trotzky. He elaborated the theory that Rosa Luxemburg formed a bridge over which the best social demo­ cratic workers could come to us, and therefore she must be criti­cized more mildly. In the first place this theory is false: it is not absolutely necessary that the workers come to us over the Luxemburgian bridge. Secondly: those workers who are still connected with this bridge, must be informed of the mistakes of the Left social democrats in 
order to learn from these mistakes and to be­ come real Bolsheviki. Otherwise this bridge, if we cloak over the mistakes of Rosa Luxemburg, will become a bridge to the social democracy and not to Communism. If, however, we expose Rosa Luxemburg's mistakes, in a Bolshevist manner, then this bridge will be for the workers a bridge from the social democratic mis­ takes to the Bolsheviki! This is the way in which the Bolsheviki must approach thi? question. Comrade Radek, however, has not gone the whole way. This is apparently due to the fact, which he has not completely revealed, and he himself was either a bridge between Rosa Luxemburg and Trotzky, or has gone over the bridge from Rosa Luxemburg to Trotzky, i. e.. the general non-Bolshevist way. (Laughter.)

Wherein lies the importance of Slutzky's article? It lies in the fact that it is an open attempt to smuggle the Trotzkyist plunder through under the flag of the Left social democrats of the pre-war period, under the flag of Luxemburgism. In this sense Slutzky's article is a characteristic phenomenon of the present situation. Slutz­ky was for a long time a Menshevik; then he was outside of the Party, and it was not until 1930 that he became a candidate for membership of our Party. It is a fact that this man, who had only recently become a Party candidate, was given the possibility of publishing an article against Lenin, in which he accused Lenin of having underestimated the danger of centrism, of 
having right to the last not supported the Left German social democrats who were near to Trotzky, and that therefore he was not a genuine revolutionary.

It would be doing Slutzky too much honor if we were to engage here in a serious criticism of  this libellous nonsense. It suffices that comrade Stalin, in passing, has torn this nonsense to shreds. The point here is not that Slutzky has written libellous nonsense. What is more serious is that a Bolshevist paper has given space in its col­ umns to this nonsense. It is a question of rotten liberalism on the part of some of our Communists towards the Trotzkyist minded writers. When Trotzky, in his contemptible and boastful book My Life describes himself as the center of revolution and does not mention that he has long gone over to the camp of the enemy, there is nothing remarkable in this, for what is there left for a bankrupt and renegade to do than to comfort himself with boasting and self­ glorification?

When Slutzky attempts in his article to make use of the Luxem­ burgian flag in order to smuggle his Trotzkyist plunder into our press, there is nothing remarkable in this, for what is there left for a bankrupt Trotzkyist than to comfort himself with such contraband. When, however, the Bolshevik paper Proletarskaya Rimoluzi considers it possible to place its columns at the disposal of Trotzkyist smugglers, then this is no longer a trifle. It means that th "e exists in our ranks a rotten liberalism towards deviations from Bol­shevism and towards distortions of the history of our Party. It means that 
there exists in our ranks a rotten liberalism towards de­viations from Bolshevism and towards distortions of the history of our Party. It means that there are still people in our ranks who in their ·stupidity are ready, for the sake of rotten liberalism, to render voluntary aid in the falsification of the history of Bolshe­vism.

For these reasons, comrades, I believe that the fight against the rotten liberalism in our ranks must be constituent part of our fight against the falsification and distortion of the history of our Party.

2. The Leninist Growth of the Bourgeois-Democratic Revolution into the Socialist Revolution and the Errors of the Historians Unfortunately; the Proletarskaya Rwoluzia is not our only weak spot. Comrade Yaroslavsky's History of the C. P. S. U. has proved a still weaker spot. Comrade Yaroslavsky, the editor of four vol­umes of the History of the C.P.S.U., has permitted glaring mis­takes: he has given the young historians chosen by him a free hand, and not only not hindered them in their 
attempts to distort the history of the Party, but also put his seal, his signature, his name thereunder and thereby supported them.

I will not analyze here all the mistakes of the "History" which

was edited by comrade Yaroslavsky. These mistakes have already been criticized in part and will undoubtedly be subjected to further criticism. I only wish to say here that comrade Yaroslavsky, in his "History," or better said in the "History" edited by him, treats falsely the question of the revolution of 1905 and likewise falsely presents the role of Lenin and his estimate of the character of the Russian revolution; the presentation of our Bolshevist treatment of the question of the hegemony of the proletariat and especially of the growth of the bourgeois-democratic revolution into the socialist revolution is also false.

As an illustration we will quote only an extract from page 206 of the third volume of the History of the C.P.S.U., where com­rade Bayevsky writes:
"And this objective connection between the revolution against Tsarism and the revolution against imperialism was recognized by the Party already ( !) in the war years...."
As you see, he writes as if he does Lenin and the Party a favor by admitting that they recognized this connection "already" ( !) in the war years. According to the opinion of this profound "historian," this connection was expressed by Lenin in the new treatment of the question of the growth of the bourgeois-democratic revolution in Russia into the socialist revolution, in connection with the war. It was also expressed in the preparation for the change in the· strategic plans."

In what way, one might ask, does this differ from Trotzkl 's notorious "change of strategy." At bottom there is no difference between them.

In the second part of the "History" one finds a number of errors and a thoroughly confused estimate of the stand-point of the Bol­sheviki in 1905 in the spirit of a Trotzkyist treatment of the Leninist standpoint regarding the growth of the bourgeois-democratic revolution into the socialist revolution.

The mistakes in the "History" edited by comrade Yaroslavsky, the mistakes in the estimation f the role f the Bolsheviki in tl e year 1905, the denial that Lenin was for the growth of the bour­geois-democratic revolution into the socialist ;evolution inevitably led to a false and harmful estimate of the role of the Bolsheviki in the first period of the year 1917, to a base slandering of the Bolsheviki. When now some historic-in muddle heads of the type of D. Kin, formalists of "history," wish to represent matters thus: Comrades, I am for the Party, for the C. C., I have only written a small page, judge for yourselves, what crime have I committed when these people endeavor to reduce this whole matter to a small page, then, of course, they only show their ignorance in regard to theory and history. Look, a small page,-is that what it is all about? One does not need to know a great deal about history in order to see a connection between the mistakes in the "History" edited by comrade Yaroslavsky in judging the role of the Bolsheviki in 1905 and the slanderous Trotzkyist estimate of the role of the Bolsheviki in February-March, 1917.

The history of our Party, and the standpoint of Lenin suffer a similar distortion at the hands of comrade Popov ( K. A.). He, too, it appears, does not treat the standpoint of Lenin in the ques­tion of the growth of the bourgeois democratic revolution into the socialist revolution in a Bolshevist spirit. In order to confirm the correctness of his presentation, in editing the collection of the selected works of Lenin he has left out one of the most important articles by Lenin on the growth of the bourgeois-democratic revolution into the socialist revolution. I give here a quotation from this article by Lenin:
"We first support the peasants in general with all means up to expropriation against the landowners and then ( and not even then but at the same time) we support the proletariat against the peasants in general. To calculate the combination of forces within the peasantry at the present time, 'on the day after the ( democratic) revolution'-that is an empty utopia. Without becoming adventurers, without being false' to our scientific conscience, without hunt­ing after cheap popularity, we can say and say only one thing: We shall help the whole of the peasantry with all our forces to convert the revolution into a democratic revolution in order that it shall be easier for us, the Party of the proletariat, to proceed as quickly as possible to the new and higher task of the socialist revolution. We do not promise any harmony, any equality, any 'socialization' as a result of the victory of a peasant insurrection at the present time, on the contrary, we 'promise' fresh struggle, new un­equality, new revolution for which we shall also strive." (Volume VIII, Page 186-187, Russian edition.)
And now, just imagine, it is precisely the passage regarding the attitude of our Party to the peasant movement which comrade K. A. Popov leaves out of the selected works of Lenin.

Why? For what reason? What is his own attitude to the prob­lem of the growth of the bourgeois-democratic revolution into the socialist revolution? According to Popov, up to the year 1917 Lenin had a special plan, namely: The Bolsheviki assumed that between the bourgeois-democratic revolution and the socialist revolution a socialist revolution is bound to take place in the West. It follows therefore that Popov, at bottom, replaced the Leninist theory of the growth of the bourgeois-democratic revolution into the socialist revolution with the Trotzkyist theory, and therefore Lenin's article does not suit him and he leaves it out. This is how our Party history is written!

Whilst permitting mistakes of a Trotzkyist character, some of these "historians" seek to justify themselves by feeble talk about "objectivity" and "political expediency," which, however, only in­ creases the anti-Party character of their mistakes. At a meeting of the Society of Marxist Historians, one of the authors of the "History" edited by comrade Yaroslavsky, comrade Mintz, de­clared regarding the mistakes permitted in Volume IV that, "in emphasizing this or that fact we have proceeded not from the stand­ point of political expediency but from the standpoint of that objectivity which is by no means characteristic of our political history, but constitutes only a relapse into bourgeois liberalism."

Comrade Mintz, while pretending to criticize bourgeois historians and his former errors, in reality, by this putting of the question­ by opposing "objectivity" to "political expediency"-resurrects his old opportunist mistakes. Here it is not a question of these methodological errors, but that comrade Mintz attempts by his declaration so to represent the whole matter as if he had written a good objective history, but ought to have renounced "objectivity" for the sake of "political expediency." Comrade Mintz obviously forgets that history, including the history of the C.P .S.U., must be scientifically objective, absolutely in accordance with the truth; that with­out such qualities history loses its scientific character and becomes mythology.

It is scarcely necessary to discuss the theoretical untenability of this new standpoint of comrade Mintz. Comrade Mintz's statements are a maneuver, a miserable attempt to gloss over the main content of the mistakes which have been allowed to appear in the "History" edited by comrade Yaroslavsky. Precisely this shows that Mintz's "History" is not an objective history. 

Just as the bourgeois social­ opportunist historians of the Second International take cover behind the "objectivity" of their "scientific" works whilst in reality they help the fight of the bourgeoisie against the proletariat, so also comrade Mintz and his friends, by their alleged "ob jcctive history" but in reality by their outspokenly subjective "history," help the avowed calumniators and falsifiers of the history of the Party, the Trotzkyists. In spite of, or rather because the "objective historians," in their preface to the Volume IV, proudly speak of the endeavors they made "to give a completely objective portrayal," "to treat the question with the greatest possible historical objectivity, and keeping before them the historical perspective during the whole work," the collective historians, under the leadership of comrade Yaroslavsky, have not given us an objective history, hut a history falsified in many respects and savouring of Trotzkyism. 

It is quite in vain therefore that comrade Mintz maligns his own "History" by making out that there has been no "political expediency." There was a political expediency, hut a Trotzkyist and no other.

Errors in the histories, both in those edited by comrade Yaroslav­sky and in those of other historians, are the result of non-dialectic, scholastic and formalistic treatment of the study of  history in gen­eral and the history of our Party in particular. Therefore comrade Stalin, in his letter, specially emphasized the task of fighting against the formal-bureaucratic approach to history. When some Bolshe­ viki, champions of the general line of the Party, are caught by thl' bait of the Trotzkyists, this is to a great extent because they forget dialectics, and separate and oppose to one another theory and practice, history and politics.

The formal study of events, of the historical facts, formal an­alogies, often lead to a number of mistakes in the conception of many things in tactics and in the fight of our Party. Thus, for example, one might accuse the Bolsheviki, who in the year 1917 issued the slogan, "Away with the ten capitalist Ministers!", when Mensheviki and social-revolutionaries sat in the government, of be­ ing inconsistent ( what some historians actually did). Nevertheless this slogan was the only right one and was also one of the most popular among the workers at that time. The slogan appears in­ consistent to those who approach the question formally, scholastically. If, however, one considers the situation at that time, then one understands the ingeniousness of the tactics of the Bolsheviki at the moment when it was necessary to wrest the Soviets from the cadet party.

There was a time in the year 191 7 when the Mensheviki and the social revolutionaries were predominant in the Soviets. We set up the demand that these Soviets should seize power. Why did we put the question thus? Because in the first months of the revolution the masses were swept off their feet and, as Lenin said, "constitutional illusions were very prevalent among them." The Tsar was overthrown. Everybody was wearing red ribbons. Many could not understand at once what had happened; many did not immediately adopt the path of clear fight for the development of the revolution; did not at once perceive the character of the Men­sheviki and the social revolutionaries. The Bolsheviki, therefore, were for the transference of power to the menshevist-social-revolutionary Soviets in order to cause these gentlemen to proceed to carry out their programme, in order thereby to give the masses the possibility of seeing them in their true color. The formalists do not understand this, the Leninists, however, will understand this.

Or take another case. We accused the Kerensky government of putting off the convocation of  the Constituent Assembly, as if we Bolsheviki stood for the Constituent Assembly, whilst shortly after-wards we dispersed it. If one approaches the matter formally, scholastically, bureaucratically, there appears here to he an "inconsistency." But the dialectical Leninists could not pursue any other tactics, for the revolution demanded that the masses should he led up to the walls of the Constituent Assembly in order that they might see with their own eyes its utter uselessness.

Those who do not understand Lenin, who was filled with the will to victory, those who do not grasp the elasticity of Leninist tactics, cannot understand the history of our Party, cannot study it and draw from it the Leninist conclusions. In the fight for the victory of the proletarian dictatorship, Lenin changed the slogans because he took into account the feelings of the masses, their readi­ness to fight, their overcoming of prejudices; he captured the masses without deviating one step from the chief thing, from the fight for the victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

We need such an approach to the study of the history of the Party for the education of our youth in its experiences, and not the rotten formal-bureaucratic method of rummaging among papers as "historians" of the type of Slutsky do. Because these people did not come across a paper on which Lenin had written that "Kautsky is a scoundrel," so Slutsky, who once idealized Kaut­ sky, and perhaps idolizes him still, has the brazenness to reproach Lenin with not having fought against the centrists. In the search for such a paper they are ready to write a whole pile of articles, hut will not take the trouble to notice that fact which is known to everybody: that Lenin and the Russian Bolsheviki were the only Left group in the world which ruthlessly drove all the centrists out of the Party.

Here we have before us a typical Trotskyist-Menshevist method in the "study," "interpretation" and "presentation" of history.

3. Exposure of the Maneuvers of the Trotskyists, Bolshevist Struggle' for Leninism, for the General Line of the Party

The particular feature of the present stage of the fight for the Party, for Leninism, consists in the fact that Trotskyism has been defeated, the Right deviation exposed and the general line of the Party has remained victorious along the whole line. Our victories -these are one turbine after another, one work after another, the growth of the production of industry and agriculture, the Bolshevist tempo of our development.

It is now difficult for one to come forward openly under the flag of Trotskyism. One must now come forward under other flags, slogans, theses, formulations. One must now cast doubt on the consistency of the Leninist Bolshevist theory in order to be­ smirch the actual realization of the general line of the Party.

Opportunism attempts therefore at present to creep into our ranks under various guises; it attempts to fawn and to ingratiate itself, to grovel, to slip through the wicket gate of the history of our Party.

What is the meaning of the "philosophy of History" of Slutsky, of Alter and other smugglers? There is no doubt that here we have to <lo with a direct or indirect attempt on the part of the Trotskyists and semi-Trotskyists to exert their influence on the study of the history of our Party, with the attempt to exert their influence on the education of our Party youth and Komsomolz. Herein lies the political meaning of the cunning, in form, but in essence very crude historical investigation.

Trotsky is no longer in our country. Here with us, in the Soviet State, the ill famed, soiled flag of Trotsky, which has been torn to shreds by the working class, can win nobody over to its side. One must approach the masses from another side, gently, with "legal" methods. One must proceed from the front of the Partv history, the history of the labor movement, at the same time making use of the flag of Luxemburgism and any other mask.

These standard hearers of Trotskyism speculate as follows: Now, you Bolsheviki, you members of the C. C., arc occupied with thL· erection of Magnitogorsk, Dnieprostrny, the new Moscow, with the construction of Kusnetzkstroi; you are busy with your plans and your tractors, with potatoes and coal, etc.-just carry on. We, however, shall engage in history, we shall proceed very circumspectly, and where cunning is of no avail we shall pn:tend to he stupid and take advantage of the rotten liberalism of some Bolsheviki; We shall attempt to achieve our aim, to influence the education of the youth, always having in mind the "far aim" of our bankrupt leaders.

It was for this reason that comrade Stalin laid so much emphasis on the danger of a rotten liberal attitude towards the Trotskyist falsifiers.

One must keep facts in mind. Slutsky, a Party candidate of 1930,a former Menshevik, is given the possibility of besmirching Leni­nism and defaming Lenin; and this in the columns of our Bolshevist paper, Proletarskaya Revoluzia. He is also given the hospitality of the columns of the Marxist Historian. Another "historian," Alter, a Trotskyist who has been expelled from the Party, is given the opportunity of speaking in the Communist Academy, and, just think, in the fraction of the Society of Marxist Historians when comrade Stalin's article is being discussed. He is replied to politely and in a liberal manner: 

"Comrade Alter is mistaken, he is defending the Trotskyist smuggled goods; he is somewhat in error, he distorts the facts." It suffices, however, to glance at the history of this man in order to know that he is not a contrabandist but at bottom is himself a genuine  piece of Trotskyist smuggled goods. (Laughter, applause.)

The Trotskyist who has been expelled from the Party, and is given the opportunity of speaking in the Communist fraction, comes forward and defends Luxehburgism and declares: "Luxemburgism has become merged with Bolshevism." Previously, in 1927, he wrote that "Luxemburgism, in the year 1918, became transformed into Bolshevism." 

Alter seizes upon the flag of Luxemburgism. He, the Trotskyist, needs it now in order to mask himself behind it.

The fact of the matter is, comrades, that the Trotskyists, the genuine and the masked Trotskyists, who are no longer able to come forward under their soiled counter-revolutionary flag, which is seized upon by the worst enemies of the proletarian dictatorship therefore seize on a new flag, the flag of Luxemburgism, in order to make use of it for their Trotskyist ends.

For what purpose? In order, under this flag, to attempt to raise again the question of the Trotskyist platform, to attempt again to revise the basis of Marxism-Leninism. They endeavor, under new conditions, in a new manner, to raise the old Trotskyist questions regarding Bolshevism, the growth of the bourgeois-democratic revolution into the socialist revolution, fractions, etc.

We come across the fact that people who are endeavoring to break with their Trotskyist past have in reality not yet rid them­ selves of their former incumbrances. Comrade Radek also spoke at the fraction of the Marxist historians. One learns from h:, speech that the Comintern has drawn into its ranks all that is best in the labor movement, and that the Comintern must not forget all those currents and rivulets which have flowed into the Bolshevist Party. Comrade Radek must have known what this theory of "rivulets" implies! This is, in the final end, the idea of the August bloc. There also they wanted to have various rivulets in order to unite them in a stream; but nothing came of this; the rivulets, as is known, flowed in different directions. Trotskyism proved to be a rotten leaky vat. Although with us today irrigation is on a very high level and although we Moscowites intend to connect the Moscow River with the Volga, such irrigation cannot be employed in the sphere of politics. 

Here nothing will come of the theory of rivulets, of the mechanical connection of various rivulets.

It is true, some individual Left social democratic elements have come into the Bolshevist Party. They came, however, after Bol­shevism had beaten and vanquished their prejudices and overcame their false attitude. In mentioning the Comintern Comrade Radek has forgotten the twenty-one conditions. Have the twenty-one conditions not been carried out? Were they not the weapon in the fight against those elements who wished to maintain their individual former attitude? Can one speak here of a merging and a con­nection? Certainly not. Comrade Radek must understand that the theory of rivulets creates a basis for the freedom of groups and fractions. If one admits a "rivulet" one must also give it the possibility to have its "current."

No, comrades, our Party is not a basin of turbid rivulets, but a powerful stream which no rivulets can check, for it has the possibility to sweep all hindrances out of its way. ( Loud applause.)

Our Party, as never before, stands firmly around its Leninist C. C.; it is united in the fight for the consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat, for securing the achievements of the so­cialist revolution. And if today the Central Committee of our Party stands on a tremendous height, if it possesses the greatest authority among the masses of workers and collective farmers, if our leader, the head of our Party, comrade Stalin (loud applause) enjoys the undivided support and love of the Party, of the Kom­somol, of the overwhelming majority of the working class and of the collective farmers, it is thanks to the circumstance that our C. C. of the Bolsheviki has inexorably, ruthlessly, step by step, in all spheres, exposed every attempt to distort the general line of our Party, to convert it into rivulets; every attempt to deviate from our main path, from the path of victory of Socialism in our country and in the whole world. (Loud applause.)

Comrades, we still have many difficulties in our work of construction. The fight is not yet ended. The class struggle is still going on in our country; one comes across it in various places·, in town and country. There are attempts to exert bourgeois and petty-bourgeois influence not only in the working class by the kulaks and semi-kulaks who are penetrating their ranks, but also in our Party. On the tenth anniversary of the Institute of Red Professors every one of its students must say: I was a fighter for the line of the Party, I will become a still stronger and steadfast fighter, I will weld myself more closely to the Party, I will weld others along with us and will work tenaciously and persistently for the Marxist-Leninist education of the youth, for the rallying of millions around the Leninist C. C. (Loud applause.)

SPEECH DELIVERED BY COMRADE L. M. KAGANO­VITCH ON DECEMBER 1, 1931, ON THE OCCASION OF THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FOUNDING OF THE INSTITUTE OF RED PROFESSORS