Report on the current situation to the Moscow Regional Conference of the RCP(b), May 1918

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Moscow Regional Conference of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) was held May 14-17, 1918. The conference heard reports from the provinces (Tyer, Vladimir and Yaroslavl gubernias) concerning the state of Party work, the growth of the Red Army and other questions, and discussed the reports of the Moscow Regional Bureau and the Moscow Committee of the Party, and also of the Moscow Area Party organisation. On May 15,. the conference discussed the current situation. A report sharply criticising the foreign policy of the Bolshevik Central Committee on behalf of the “Left Communists” was made by A. Lomov (G. I. Op- pokov). This report was followed by a report by Lenin. After the debate and replies to the debate by Lenin and Lemov the conference decided by 47 votes to 9 in favour of accepting as the basis for its resolution Lenin’s “Theses on the Present Political Situation” (see this volume, pp. 360-64). In reply to this, when a new Regional Bureau of the RCP(b) was elected, the “Left Communists” refused to join it.

To The Moscow Regional Conference Of The RCP(b)

May 15, 1918

Brief Newspaper Report

Lenin dealt first with the views of the “Lefts” on foreign policy and pointed out the tremendous propaganda value of the Brest negotiations, for the Western proletariat had been able to learn a lot, and to understand who the Bolsheviks were, and what the situation here was after the revolution, etc. Salvation now lay not in an open rupture of the Brest Treaty but in the ability to manoeuvre in the complex international situations that arose from the conflicting interests of the various imperialist countries. One had to take into account the relationship between Japan and America, Germany and Britain, the dissension in the German capitalist and war parties, and so on. The need in internal politics was for proletarian discipline, a struggle against the kulaks in the villages, the campaign for grain, a complete food dictatorship and dictatorship of the working class. Replying to the “Lefts” on the question of state capitalism, Lenin explained that this held no terror for us because in the agonising period of transition from capitalism to socialism that we had been going through the main thing was to save industry, and production could be got going and an exact account kept of production and consumption only by means of the large-scale organisation that was possible at present only under state capitalism, An essential condition for this was workers’ control, as an example Lenin mentioned the tanners, their sound organisation, and the workers’ control in private enterprises.