The Party Crisis (1921)
|Written||19 January 1921|
Source: Lenin Collected Works, 1st English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 32, pages 43-53
The pre-Congress discussion is in full swing. Minor differences and disagreements have grown into big ones, which always happens when someone persists in a minor mistake and balks at its correction, or when those who are making a big mistake seize on the minor mistake of one or more persons.
That is how disagreements and splits always grow. That is how we “grew up”from minor disagreements to syndicalism, which means a complete break with communism and an inevitable split in the Party if it is not healthy and strong enough to purge itself of the malaise.
We must have the courage to face the bitter truth. The Party is sick. The Party is down with the fever. The whole point is whether the malaise has affected only the “feverish upper ranks”, and perhaps only those in Moscow, or the whole organism. And if the latter is the case, is it capable of healing itself completely within the next few weeks, before the Party Congress and at the Party Congress, making a relapse impossible, or will the malaise linger and become dangerous?
What is it that needs to be done for a rapid and certain cure? All members of the Party must make a calm and painstaking study of 1) the essence of the disagreements and 2) the development of the Party struggle. A study must be made of both, because the essence of the disagreements is revealed, clarified and specified (and very often transformed as well) in the course of the struggle, which, passing through its various stages, always shows, at every stage, a different line-up and number of combatants, different positions in the struggle, etc. A study must be made of both, and a demand made for the most exact, printed documents that can be thoroughly verified. Only a hopeless idiot will believe oral statements. If no documents are available, there must be an examination of witnesses on both or several sides and the grilling must take place in the presence of witnesses.
Let me outline the essence of the disagreements and the successive stages in the struggle, as I see them.
Stage one. The Fifth All-Russia Trade Union Conference November 2-6. The battle is joined. Trotsky and Tomsky are the only Central Committee ’’combatants’’. Trotsky lets drop a “catchy phrase”about “shaking up”the trade unions. Tomsky argues very heatedly. The majority of the Central Committee members are on the fence. The serious mistake they (and I above all) made was that we “overlooked”Rudzutak’s theses, The Tasks of the Trade Unions in Production, adopted by the Fifth Conference. That is the most important document in the whole of the controversy.
Stage two. The Central Committee Plenum of November 9 Trotsky submits his “draft theses”, The Trade Unions and Their Future Role, advocating the “shake-up”policy camouflaged or adorned with talk of a “severe crisis”gripping the trade unions, and their new tasks and methods Tomsky, strongly supported by Lenin, considers that in view of Tsektran’s irregularities and bureaucratic excesses it is the “shake-up”that is the crux of the whole controversy. In the course of it, Lenin makes a number of obviously exaggerated and therefore mistaken “attacks”, which produces the need for a “buffer group”, and this is made up of ten members of the Central Committee (the group includes Bukharin and Zinoviev, but neither Trotsky nor Lenin). It resolves “not to put the disagreements up for broad discussion”, and, cancelling Lenin’s report (to the trade unions), appoints Zinoviev as the rapporteur and instructs him to “present a business-like and non-controversial report.
Trotsky’s theses are rejected. Lenin’s theses are adopted in its final form, the resolution is adopted by ten votes to four (Trotsky, Andreyev, Krestinsky and Rykov). And this resolution advocates “sound forms of the militarisation of labour”, condemns “the degeneration of centralism and militarised forms of work into bureaucratic practices, petty tyranny, red-tape”, etc. Tsektran is instructed to “take a more active part in the general work of the All-Russia Central Council of Trade Unions, being incorporated in it on an equal footing with other trade union bodies.
The Central Committee sets up a trade union commission and elects Comrade Trotsky to it. He refuses to work on the commission, magnifying by this step alone his original mistake, which subsequently leads to factionalism. Without that step, his mistake (in submitting incorrect theses) remained a very minor one, such as every member of the Central Committee, without exception, has had occasion to make.
Stage three. The conflict between the water transport workers and Tsektran in December. The Central Committee Plenary Meeting of December 7. It is no longer Trotsky and Lenin, but Trotsky and Zinoviev who are the chief “combatants”.As chairman of the trade union commission, Zinoviev inquires into the December dispute between the water transport workers and Tsektran. The Central Committee Plenary Meeting of December 7. Zinoviev makes a practical proposal for an immediate change in the composition of Tsektran. This is opposed by a majority of the Central Committee. Rykov goes over to Zinoviev’s side. Bukharin’s resolution—the substantive part of which is three-quarters in favour of the water transport workers, while the preamble, rejecting the proposal to “reconstruct”the trade unions “from above”(§3), approves of the celebrated “industrial democracy”(§5)—is adopted. Our group of Central Committee members is in the minority, being opposed to Bukharin’s resolution chiefly because we consider the “buffer”a paper one; for Trotsky’s non-participation in the trade union commission’s work actually implies a continuation of the struggle and its transfer outside the Central Committee. We propose that the Party Congress be convened on February 6, 1921. That is adopted. The postponement to March 6 was agreed to later, on the demand of the outlying areas.
Stage four. The Eighth Congress of Soviets. On December 25, Trotsky issues his “platform pamphlet “, The Role and Tasks of the Trade Unions. From the standpoint of formal democracy, Trotsky had an uncontested right to issue his platform, for on December 24 the Central Committee had permitted free discussion. From the standpoint of revolutionary interest, this was blowing up the mistake out of all proportion and creating a faction on a faulty platform. The pamphlet quotes from the Central Committee resolution of December 7 only that part which refers to “industrial democracy”but does not quote what was said against “reconstruction from above”.The buffer created by Bukharin on December 7 with Trotsky’s aid was wrecked by Trotsky on December 25. The pamphlet from beginning to end is shot through with the “shake-up”spirit. Apart from its intellectualist flourishes (“production atmosphere”, “industrial democracy”), which are wrong in theory and in practice fall within the concept, ambit and tasks of production propaganda, it fails to indicate any “new”“tasks or methods”that were to gild or camouflage or justify the “shake-up”.
Stage five. The discusson before thousands of responsible Party workers from all over Russia at the RCP group of the Eighth Congress of Soviets on December 30. The controversy flares up to full blast. Zinoviev and Lenin on one side, Trotsky and Bukharin on the other. Bukharin wants to play the “buffer, but speaks only against Lenin and Zinoviev, and not a word against Trotsky. Bukharin reads out an excerpt from his theses (published on January 16), but only that part which says nothing about the rupture with communism and the switch to syndicalism. Shlyapnikov (on behalf of the Workers’ Opposition) reads out the syndicalist platform, which Trotsky had demolished before hand (thesis 16 of his platform) and which (partly, perhaps, for that reason) no one is inclined to take seriously.
In my opinion, the climax of the whole discussion of December 30 was the reading of Comrade Rudzutak’s theses. Indeed, Comrades Trotsky and Bukharin, far from being able to object to them, even invented the legend that the “best part”of the theses had been drawn up by members of Tsektran—Holtzmann, Andreyev and Lyubimov. And that is why Trotsky humorously and amiably twitted Lenin on his unsuccessful “diplolacy”, by which, he said, Lenin had wanted to “call off or disrupt”the discussion, and find a “lightning conductor”, “accidentally catching hold of Tsektran instead of the lightning conductor”.
The legend was exploded that very day, December 30, by Rudzutak, who pointed out that Lyubimov “did not exist”on the All-Russia Central Council of Trade Unions, that in its presidium Holtzmann had voted against these theses, and that they had been drawn up by a commission consisting of Andreyev, Tsiperovich and himself.
But let us for a moment assume that Comrades Trotsky and Bukharin’s legend is true. Nothing so completely defeats them as such an assumption. For what is the conclusion if the “Tsektranites”had inserted their “new”ideas into Rudzutak’s resolution, if Rudzutak had accepted them, if all the trade unions had adopted this resolution (November 2-6!), and if Bukharin and Trotsky have nothing to say against it?
It is that all of Trotsky’s disagreements are artificial, that neither he nor the “Tsektranites”have any “new tasks or methods”, and that everything practical and substantive had been said, adopted and decided upon by the trade unions, even before the question was raised in the Central Committee.
If anyone ought to be taken thoroughly to task and “shaken up”, it is not the All-Russia Central Council of Trade Unions but the Central Committee of the RCP, for having “overlooked”Rudzutak’s theses, a mistake which allowed an altogether empty discussion to flare up. There is nothing to cover up the mistake of the Tsektranites (which is not an excessive one but is, in essence, a very common one, consisting in some exaggeration of bureaucracy). What is more, it needs to be rectified, and not covered up, toned down or justified. That’s all there is to it.
I summed up the substance of Rudzutak’s theses on December 30 in four points: 1) Ordinary democracy (without any exaggerations, without denying the Central Committee’s right of “appointment”, etc., but also without any obstinate defence of the mistakes and excesses of certain “appointees”, which need to be rectified); 2) Production propaganda (this includes all that is practical in clumsy, ridiculous, theoretically wrong “formulas”like “industrial democracy”, “production atmosphere”, etc.). We have established a Soviet institution, the All-Russia Production Propaganda Bureau. We must do everything to support it and not spoil production work by producing . . . bad theses. That’s all there is to it; 3) Bonuses in kind and 4) Disciplinary comrades’ courts. Without Points 3 and 4, all talk about “the role and tasks in production”, etc., is empty, highbrow chatter; and it is these two points that are omitted from Trotsky’s “platform pamphlet”.But they are in Rudzutak’s theses.
While dealing with the December 30 discussion, I must correct another mistake of mine. I said: “Ours is not actually a workers’ state but a workers’ and peasants’ state.”Comrade Bukharin immediately exclaimed: ’What kind of a state?”In reply I referred him to the Eighth Congress of Soviets, which had just closed. I went back to the report of that discussion and found that I was wrong and Comrade Bukharin was right. What I should have said is: “A workers’ state is an abstraction. What we actually have is a workers’ state, with this peculiarity, firstly, that it is not the working class but the peasant population that predominates in the country, and, secondly, that it is a workers’ state with bureaucratic distortions.”Anyone who reads the whole of my speech will see that this correction makes no difference to my reasoning or conclusions.
Stage six. The Petrograd organisation issues an “Appeal to the Party”against Trotsky’s platform, and the Moscow Committee issues a counter-statement (Pravda, January 13).
This is a transition from the struggle between factions, formed from above, to the intervention of lower organisations. It is a big step towards recovery. Curiously enough, the Moscow Committee noticed the “dangerous”side of the Petrograd organisation’s issuing a platform, but refused to notice the dangerous side of Comrade Trotsky’s forming a faction on December 25! Some wags have said this is “buffer”(one-eyed) blindness.
Stage seven. The trade union commission concludes its work and issues a platform (a pamphlet, entitled Draft Decision of the Tenth Congress of the RCP on the Role and Tasks of the Trade Unions, dated January 14 and signed by nine members of the Central Committee—Zinoviev, Stalin, Tomsky, Rudzutak, Kalinin, Kamenev, Petrovsky, Artyom and Lenin, and also by Lozovsky, a member of the trade union commission; Comrades Shlyapnikov and Lutovinov seem to have “fled” to the Workers’ Opposition). It was published in Pravda on January 18, with the following additional signatures: Schmidt, Tsiperovich and Milyutin.
On January 16, Pravda carries the Bukharin platform (signed: “On behalf of a group of comrades, Bukharin, Larin, Preobrazhensky, Serebryakov, Sokolnikov, Yakovleva”) and the Sapronov platform (signed: “A group of comrades standing for democratic centralism”, Bubnov, Boguslavsky, Kamensky, Maximovsky, Osinsky, Rafail, Sapronov). The enlarged meeting of the Moscow Committee on January 17 was addressed by spokesmen for these platforms, and also by the ’’Ignatovites’’(theses published in Pravda on January 19 and signed by Ignatov, Orekhov, Korzinov, Kuranova, Burovtsev, Maslov).
What we find here is, on the one hand, increased solidarity (for the platform of the nine Central Committee members is in complete accord with the decision of the Fifth All-Russia Conference of Trade Unions); and, on the other, confusion and disintegration, with Bukharin and Co.’s theses being an all-time low in ideological disintegration. We have here one of those “turns”which in the old days Marxists used to call “not so much historical as hysterical”.Thesis 17 says: “At the present time, these nominations must be made mandatory ”(that is, the trade unions’ nominations to the respective “chief administrations and central boards”).
This is a clean break with communism and a transition to syndicalism. It is, in essence, a repetition of Shlyapnikov’s “unionise the state”slogan, and means transferring the Supreme Economic Council apparatus piecemeal to the respective trade unions. To say, “I propose mandatory nominations”, is exactly the same as saying, “I appoint”.
Communism says: The Communist Party, the vanguard of the proletariat, leads the non-Party workers’ masses, educating, preparing, teaching and training the masses (“school”of communism)—first the workers and then the peasants—to enable them eventually to concentrate in their hands the administration of the whole national economy.
Syndicalism hands over to the mass of non-Party workers, who are compartmentalised in the industries, the management of their industries (“the chief administrations and central boards”), thereby making the Party superfluous, and failing to carry on a sustained campaign either in training the masses or in actually concentrating in their hands the management of the whole national economy.
The Programme of the RCP says: “The trade unions should eventually arrive ”(which means that they are not yet there or even on the way) “at a de facto concentration in their hands”(in their, that is, the hands of the trade unions, that is, the hands of the fully organised masses; anyone will see how far we have still to go even to the very first approaches to this de facto concentration) . . . concentration of what? “of the whole administration of the whole national economy, as a single economic entity”thence, not branches of industry, or even industry as a whole, but industry plus agriculture, etc. Are we anywhere near to actually concentrating the management of agriculture in the hands of the trade unions?). The RCP Programme then speaks of the “ties”between the “central state administration”and the “broad masses of toilers”, and of the “participation of the trade unions in running the economy”.
Why have a Party, if industrial management is to be appointed (“mandatory nomination”) by the trade unions nine-tenths of whose members are non-Party workers? Bukharin has talked himself into a logical, theoretical and practical implication of a split in the Party, or, rather, a breakaway of the syndicalists from the Party.
Trotsky, who had been “chief”in the struggle, has now been “outstripped”and entirely “eclipsed”by Bukharin, who has thrown the struggle into an altogether new balance by talking himself into a mistake that is much more serious than all of Trotsky’s put together.
How could Bukharin talk himself into a break with communism? We know how soft Comrade Bukharin is; it is one of the qualities which endears him to people, who cannot help liking him. We know that he has been ribbed for being as “soft as wax”.It turns out that any “unprincipled”person, any “demagogue”can leave any mark he likes on this “soft wax”.The sharp words in quotation marks were used by Comrade Kamenev, during the January 17 discussion, and he had a perfect right to do so. But, of course, neither Kamenev nor anyone else would dream of attributing or reducing it all to unprincipled demagogy.
On the contrary, there is an objective logic in factional struggles which inevitably leads even the best of men—if they persist in their mistaken attitude—into a state which differs little if at all from unprincipled demagogy. That is the lesson of the entire history of factional wars (for example, the alliance of the Vperyodists and the Mensheviks against the Bolsheviks). That is why we must make a study not only of the nature of the disagreements in the abstract, but also of their concrete development and change at the various stages of the struggle. This development was summed up in the January 17 discussion. Neither the “shake-up”nor the “new production tasks”can any longer be advocated (because all the efficient and sensible ideas went into Rudzutak’s theses). The alternative then is to find what Lassalle called “the physical strength of mind”(and character) to admit the mistake, rectify it and turn over this page of the history of the RCP, or—to cling to the remaining allies, no matter who they are, and “ignore”the principles altogether. There remain only the adherents of “democracy”ad nauseam. And Bukharin is sliding down towards them and syndicalism.
While we are slowly absorbing what was sound in the “democratic” Workers’ Opposition, Bukharin has to cling to what is unsound. On January 17, Comrade Bumazhny, a prominent Tsektranite, or Trotskyite, expressed his readiness to accept Bukharin’s syndicalist proposals. The “Sapronovites”have gone so far as to insist in the same thesis (3) on a “profound crisis”and a “bureaucratic necrosis”of the trade unions, while proposing, as being “absolutely”necessary, the “extension of the trade unions’ rights in production”. . . probably because of their “bureaucratic necrosis"? Can this group be taken seriously? They had heard the talk about the role of the trade unions in production, and wishing to outshout the others, blurted out: “extension of rights”on the occasion of “bureaucratic necrosis”.You need read no more than the first few lines of their “practical”proposals: “The presidium of the Supreme Economic Council shall be nominated by the All-Russia Central Council of Trade Unions and confirmed by the All-Russia Central Executive Committee.”And what is their democratic position in “principle"? Listen to this (thesis 2): “They [Zinoviev and Trotsky] in fact express two trends within the same group of ex-militarisers of the economy.”
Taken seriously, this is Menshevism and Socialist-Revolutionarism at their worst. But Sapronov, Osinsky and Co. should not be taken seriously, when, before every Party congress (“every blessed time on this very same spot”), these, I believe, superlative workers have a sort of paroxysmal seizure and try to outshout the others (the “champion shouter”faction) and solemnly make a hash of things. The “Ignatovites”try to keep up with the “Sapronovites”.It is, of course, quite permissible (specially before a congress) for various groups to form blocs (and also to go vote chasing). But this should he done within the framework of communism (and not syndicalism) and in such a way as to avoid being ridiculous. Who is the highest bidder? Promisers of more “rights”to non-Party people, unite on the occasion of the congress of the Russian Communist Party! . . .
Our platform up to now has been: Do not defend but rectify the bureaucratic excesses. The fight against bureaucracy is a long and arduous one. Excesses can and must be rectified at once. It is not those who point out harmful excesses and strive to rectify them but those who resist rectificatien that undermine the prestige of the military workers and appointees. Such were the excesses of certain Tsektranites who, however, will continue to be (and have been) valuable workers. There is no need to harass the trade unions by inventing disagreements with them, when they themselves have decided upon and accepted all that is new, business-like and practical in the tasks of the trade unions in production. On this basis, let us vigorously work together for practical results.
We have now added to our platform the following: We must combat the ideological discord and the unsound elements of the opposition who talk themselves into repudiating all “militarisation of industry”, and not only the “appointments method”, which has been the prevailing one up to now, but all “appointments”, that is, in the last analysis, repudiating the Party’s leading role in relation to the non-Party masses. We must combat the syndicalist deviation, which will kill the Party unless it is entirely cured of it.
The Entente capitalists will surely try to take advantage of our Party’s malaise to mount another invasion, and the Socialist-Revolutionaries, to hatch plots and rebellions. We need have no fear of this because we shall all unite as one man, without being afraid to admit the malaise, but recognising that it demands from all of us a greater discipline, tenacity and firmness at every post. By the time the Tenth Congress of the RCP meets in March, and after the Congress, the Party will not be weaker, but stronger.
January 19, 1921
- The Workers’ Opposition See Glossary Entry
- At a joint meeting of the Party groups of the Eighth Congress of Soviets, the All-Russia Central Council of Trade Unions and the Moscow City Council of Trade Unions, an argument took place as to whether Y. E. Rudzutak was the author of the theses, The Tasks of the Trade Unions in Production. Lenin asked the Trade Union Central Council for documents on the origin of the theses. He was given an extract from record No. 44 of the minutes of November 1, and a covering note from S. A. Lozovsky. The extract proved that the Presidium had discussed and adopted Rudzutak’s theses as a basis and had instructed M. P. Tomsky and Rudiutak to put finishing touches to the theses. The note said this was done by Rudzutak alone. The Fifth All-Russia Conference of Trade Unions heard Rudzutak’s report, adopted his theses as a basis and elected a commission, consisting of G. V. Tsiperovich, A. A. Andreyev and Rudzutak, to edit them. They worked out several points and amplified the theses.
Lenin sent the documents and Rudzutak’s theses to Pravda with his covering letter, which said: “I request the Editorial Board to publish Rudzutak’s theses, which were adopted by the Fifth All-Russia Trade Union Conference of November 2-6, 1920, and are indispensable to the discussion. I enclose additional material on the disagreements in Party circles concerning the origin of these theses.”The documents and Lenin’s Ietter were published in Pravda No. 13 on January 21, 1921.
- The “Appeal to the Party”was adopted at a discussion meeting of the representatives of Petrograd district Party organisations on January 3, 1921. On January 6, it was approved by a city meeting in People’s House which was attended by over 4,000 Party members and candidates. Only 20 votes were cast against it. When it was discussed in the district Party organisations it had the support of 95-98 per cent of the membership.
The Petrograd Bolsheviks supported Lenin and opposed Trotsky on the question of the trade unions’ role and tasks. They called the other Party organisations to follow Lenin and stressed the danger of Trotsky’s platform, for its realisation would have abolished the trade unions and undermined the dictatorship of the proletariat. Pravda No. 7 of January 13 published the Appeal and also the counter-statement of the Moscow Party Committee, which at that time took a “buffer”stand. In a resolution published in the same issue of Pravda the Moscow Committee said that it found “it absolutely impossible”to accept the Petrograd proposals; it said the Petrograd Party organisation’s stand showed its “extremely dangerous”tendency to become a special centre for preparing thc Party Congress; it did not condemn Trotsky’s establishment of a faction, thereby giving support to his anti-Party struggle.
- Draft Decision of the Tenth Congress of the RCP on the Role and Tasks of the Trade Unions was Lenin’s “Platform of 10”tabled before the Central Committee by a group of members of the CC and of thc Central Committee’s Trade Union Commission in opposition to the platforms of the anti-Party groups. It defined the role of the trade unions in the light of the new tasks connected with the end of the Civil War and transition to peaceful socialist construction: the trade unions, being a school of administration, a school of economic management, a school of communism, were chiefly to take part in government, train personnel for government bodies and economic agencies, and help tighten labour discipline. They were to base their work on education, persuasion and democratic practices. The Tenth Congress’s resolution on the role and tasks of the trade unions was based on the “Platform of 10”, which during the discussion had been supported by a majority of local Party organisations.
- An opportunist faction headed by M. S. Boguslavsky, A. Z. Kamensky, V. N. Maximovsky, N. Osinsky, Raphail (P. B. Farbman) and T. V. Sapronov. They first came out against Lenin’s line in Party and Soviet organisation at the Eighth Party Congress. At the Ninth Congress, they had their own rapporteurs on economic construction and organisational problems, but failed to find any support among the Bolsheviks. On many questions they had backing only from the Mensheviks.
They denied the Party’s leading role in the Soviets and trade unions and demanded freedom of factions and groups, and a merger of the Council of People’s Commissars and the Presidium of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee, they opposed the subordination of local to central organs and wanted the Organisation Bureau of the Central Committee deprived of all say in political leadership, which would have split up the CC’s political and organisational unity. They opposed one-man management and the personal responsibility of managers in industry. In the Ukraine, they were against the “Poor Peasants’ Committees”which were instruments of the proletariat’s dictatorship in the countryside.
The group published its platform during the trade union discussion in 1920-21, but at the pre-Congress meetings it won only a handful of votes. At the Tenth Congress they withdrew their platform and allowed their members to vote freely. They continued to fight the Party on questions of organisation, on which V. N. Maximovsky delivered a co-report. After the Tenth Congress, only the leaders continued their anti-Party activity. In 1923, they joined the Trotskyites, and in 1926, formed the “Group of 15”headed by Sapronov and Smirnov, which was expelled from the Party by the Fifteenth Party Congross.
- Incidentally, the Party should demand that every “platform”be issued with the full signatures of all the comrades responsible for it. This demand is met by the “Ignatovites”and the “Sapronovites”but not by the “Trotskyites’’, the “Bukharinites”and the “Shlyapnikovites”, who refer to anonymous comrades allegedly responsible for their platforms—Lenin.
- Ignatovites or “a group of activists of Moscow city districts”was an anti-Party anarcho-syndicalist group, headed by Y. N. Ignatov, during the trade union discussion of 1920-21. Its activity was limited to the Moscow Party organisation, because it had no influence among the city’s workers and rank-and-file Party members. Before the Tenth Party Congress, it came out with two platforms: the current tasks of the trade unions, and Party organisation. The Ignatovites shared the anarcho-syndicalist views of the Workers’ Opposition; they set the trade unions in opposition to the Soviet state, denied the Party’s leadorship in socialist construction: opposed democratic centralism; demanded freedom of discussions, and wanted the Party membership to consist of workers only. They also demanded the handover of the administration of the economy to an organ elected by the All-Russia Trade Union Congress, but in contrast to the Workers’ Opposition, they wanted the organ confirmed by the All-Russia Central Executive Committee as well. At the Tenth Congress, Ignatov was the official rapporteur of the Workers’ Opposition on problems of Party organisation. After the Congress, the group broke up.
- The reference is to the merger of the anti-Party Vperyod group (which consisted of otzovists, ultimatumists, and god-builders) with Menshevik liquidators and Trotskyites. They united after the Sixth (Prague) All-Russia Conference of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party to fight its decisions. They led a malicious campaign against ths Bolsheviks in an effort to split the workers’ revolutionary movement and weaken the proletarian Party. They formed a bloc demanding the “transformation”of the Party, which, in fact, implied its liquidation. The bloc, which had no principles to hold it together, was unstable and soon fell apart.
- The reference is to the trade union discussion at an enlarged session of the Moscow Party Committee together with delegates from Party organisations of Moscow city districts and uyezds on January 17, 1921.
The session debated all the draft theses put forward by various groups during the discussion. In the preliminary voting, Lenin’s theses got 76 votes; Trotsky’s, 27; Bukharin’s, 5; Shlyapnikov’s, 4; Sapronov’s, 11; Ignatov’s, 25; Nogin’s, none, and Ryazanov’s, none. In the re-vote on the two main platforms, 84 votes were cast for Lenin’s theses, and 27, for Trotsky’s.
On January 18, the Moscow Party Committee adopted an appeal “To All Party Organisations”asking all Party members to give unanimous support to Lenin’s platform.
- Interpolations in square brackets (within passages quoted by Lenin) have been introduced by Lenin, unless otherwise indicated.
- Entente or the “Allies”— Britain, France, the U.S.A., Japan and other countries that took part in the intervention against Soviet Russia. It should not be confused with Entente cordiale, the alliance of France and Great Britain and, later, tsarist Russia.—Translator.