Draft Decision for the Politbureau of the CC, RCP(b) (November 8, 1921)

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It shall be recognised that the resolution of the First All-Russia Conference on the cultural and educational work of the trade unions is at variance with the resolution of the Tenth Congress of the RCP on the Chief Committee for Political Education and its relations with the All-Russia Central Council of Trade Unions (§ 2).[1]

The resolution of the Congress of Gubernia Political Education Departments[2] shall be confirmed as a whole and the Chief Committee for Political Education shall be directed, within a month and in agreement with the ACCTU to draw up detailed practical instructions giving concrete definitions of the forms of “joint” work by both institutions and the forms in which the trade unions and their bodies are to “use” the “apparatus and staff” of the Chief Committee for Political Education.[3]

  1. The First All-Russia Conference on Trade Union Cultural and Educational Work was held in Moscow from September 26 to October 1, 1921. It was attended by 173 delegates (122 voting delegates and 51 with a consultative voice), of whom 419 were Communists, 51 non-Party people, 1 Menslievik, I Socialist-Revolutionary and I inter-party socialist. There were 13 items on the agenda of the conference, which included reports of the ACCTU’s Culture Department, the Peoples’ Commissariat for Education and its chief administrations, and Proletcult; reports from the local areas (Donbas, Petrograd, Baku); the New Economic Policy and education; the trade union’s work of polit-ical education; cultural work among the youth, and other items. The conference mapped out ways for improving the trade unions’ work of political education, and new forms and methods under the New Economic Policy (cultural work at private and leased enterprises, and so on).
    The conference adopted a wrong stand on the question of relations with the Chief Committee for Political Education. Its resolution (“Role and Aims of the Trade Unions’ Cultural Work”) contained a demand that the trade unions’ cultural work should be freed from the influence of the Chief Committee for Political Education. This ran counter to the resolution of the Tenth Congress of the RCP “On the Chief Committee for Political Educa-tion and the Agitation and Propaganda Tasks of the Party” (see The C.P.S, U. in the Resolutions and Decisions of Its Congresses, Conferences and Plenary Meetings of the Central Committee, Part 1, 1954, p. 550).
  2. Lenin is referring to the resolution of the Second All-Russia Congress of Political Education Departments (held from October 17 to 22, 1921) “On the Reports of the Chief Committee for Political Education”, which defined the relations between the political education departments and the trade unions’ culture departments centrally and locally. “The trade unions,” ran this resolution, “constantly lapse into the entirely erroneous view that educational work in all forms should be the business of the trade unions, that the trade unions would be better able to conduct the business of education than the educational authorities.
    ”Their point of view is erroneous and. stems from misinter-pretation of the tasks of the trade unions. Adherence to such a point of view would induce the conclusion that all state functions, the work of all the commissariats, should be turned over to the trade unions” (Second All-Russia Congress of Political Education Departments. Congress Bulletin No. 7, October 24, 1921).
    The resolution of the congress mapped out concrete measures for the joint ideological, political, cultural and educational work of the Chief Committee for Political Education and the Culture Department of the ACCTU
  3. The Politbureau of the CC, RCP(b) decided on November 8, 1921, to adopt as a basis Lenin’s resolution. In accordance with this decision regulations were drafted for the joint political education work of the ACCTU’s Culture Department and the Chief Committee for Political Education.