Statement of the Thirteen

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Without entering into the polemical form in which the questions have been put, we are answering them on the substance of the issues.

To the first question: We are absolutely and unconditionally for the defense of our socialist motherland against imperialism. Of course, we are absolutely and unconditionally for the defense of the USSR with the present Central Committee and the present Executive Committee of the Comintern in power.

If, in Comrade Trotsky’s letter, the passage referring to Clemenceau has given any grounds for incorrect interpretation — as favoring a struggle for power by taking advantage of the difficulties of war — we categorically reject such an interpretation. At the same time we maintain our conviction that, in time of war, the party cannot renounce criticism or refrain from correcting the policy of the CC should it prove incorrect.

Our draft resolution on the international question, among other things, puts forward the following slogans:

For the defeat of all bourgeois states that go to war with the USSR.

All honest workers in capitalist countries should actively contribute to the defeat of “their own” governments.

Let all foreign soldiers who do not wish to play the game of “their own” masters cross over to the side of the Red Army.

The USSR is the homeland of all workers.

We have been defensists since October 25, 1917.

Our “national war” will be a war “for the Soviet Republic as a detachment of the world army of socialism”; our “national” war will not “end in the bourgeois state but in the international socialist revolution” — Lenin.

Not to defend the USSR is without doubt to betray the international proletariat.

On the question of Thermidorianism we declare: Elements of Thermidorianism are increasing in this country, and they have a rather substantial social basis. [We do not doubt that the party and the proletariat, by following the Leninist line and through inner-party democracy, will overcome these forces.] What we demand is that the party leadership should more firmly and systematically oppose these tendencies and their influence on certain sections of the party. We reject the idea that our Bolshevik party [or its CC or CCC] have become Thermidorian.

To the second question: We acknowledge that the German Communist movement is threatened by an open split and the formation of two parties. [While submitting to the decision of the Comintern concerning the impermissibility of maintaining organizational ties with the expelled Urbahns-Maslow group, we insist and shall not cease to insist in the Comintern that the decree of expulsion be re-examined, in view of the fact that] there are, among the expelled, hundreds of old revolutionary workers closely connected with the working masses, devoted to the cause of Lenin, and sincere in their readiness to defend the USSR to the very last.

The setting up of a second party in Germany would create a very great danger. We think that all possible steps should be taken to prevent that. We propose that the CC of the AUCP(B), through the Executive Committee of the Comintern, pursue the following means to avert that danger. On the condition that the Urbahns group cease publication of its paper and subordinate itself to all decisions of the Comintern congress, all those expelled members who accept these conditions should be reinstated in the Comintern and be assured the opportunity of defending their views in the party press and in the ranks of the party and Comintern in general.

To the third question: We categorically condemn any attempt whatsoever to create a new party. We consider the road toward the creation of a second party in the USSR as absolutely ruinous for the revolution. We shall oppose with all our might and in every possible way any tendency toward two parties. We condemn just as absolutely and categorically any splitting orientation. We will carry out all decisions of the AUCP(B) and its CC.

We are prepared to do everything possible to eliminate the elements of factionalism that have been engendered by the fact that, faced with the distortion of the inner-party regime, we were compelled to fight to make known to the party our real views, which were incorrectly presented in the press read by the entire country.

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Having answered the questions posed to us, we consider it necessary, in turn, to express to the joint plenum of the CC and CCC our profound conviction about the following matter.

Several measures are absolutely necessary to keep the attempt to establish peace in the party, and truly eliminate factionalism and closed-mindedness, from ending up with the same results as after October 16, 1926.

1. Immediately condemn, in the name of the joint plenum of the CC and CCC, the publication of such materials by our press as the pamphlet “On War and the War Danger,” issued by the Agitational and Propaganda Department of the Moscow committee, the article in the Ivanovo-Voznesensk party newspaper declaring the Oppositionists to be counterrevolutionaries, and the article in Leningradskaya Pravda of August 5 of this year, which went so far as to write, while this plenum was being held, that “the declarations of the Opposition bloc are as popular a commodity in the war ministries of hostile powers as the stocks of highly profitable enterprises are on the capitalist stock exchange.”

2. Put an end to expulsions from the party and other repressive measures against Oppositionists for dissenting from official policies and restore the expelled members to the party.

3. Guarantee that the methods of preparing for the Fifteenth Congress will be the same as they were under Lenin, when there also were serious differences in the party. In particular:

(a) Publish in the press the theses, articles, and platforms of every minority in the party two months before the congress;

(b) Make it possible for all members of the party to familiarize themselves with the most important documents on disputed questions and to arrive at a considered decision on the basis of a thorough discussion;

(c) Guarantee a comradely discussion of the questions in dispute — without exaggerations, accusations of a personal nature, etc.;

(d) Adopt as the main slogan in preparing for the Fifteenth Congress, “The Unity of the AUCP and the Comintern, Above All Else.”