Concluding Speech before the 5th Congress of the BCP
Delivered: December 25, 1948 after the Conclusion of the Discussions of the Report
Source: Georgi Dimitrov, Selected Works
Sofia Press, Sofia, Volume 3, 1972, pp. 348-353
Online Version: Marxists Internet Archive
Comrades and Delegates,
After all that has been said so far, I feel that I can confine myself to
a short concluding speech.
The discussions have shown the complete unanimity of the Congress with
the Political Report of the Central Committee, as well as with the other
reports on the agenda of the Congress, with the appraisals made and the
inferences drawn, with the general Party line on the building of the
economic and cultural foundations of socialism in Bulgaria, and with the
concrete tasks mapped out in all spheres of our .social, economic,
political, and cultural life. The Congress thus expressed complete
unanimity on the basic problem., of Party policy. This is undoubtedly one
of the moat important guarantees for our future success.
The working out of a correct Party line and its unanimous approval by
the Party members is the most important fact and factor. We should not
forget, however, that good resolutions and declarations on the general
line of the Party are merely a beginning, for they merely indicate a
desire to win, but are not tantamount to victory.
For the success of the general Party line adopted unanimously by our
Fifth Congress it is necessary: a) to wage a systematic and steadfast
fight against all difficulties, of which there are quite a few on our
road, to surmount them by mobilizing the forces of the entire Party, of
the working class, of all working people, of the Fatherland Front; b) to
organize an ever more active participation of new forces in the socialist
construction; c) to make a constant and strict selection of cadres,
raising the capable ones to positions of leadership in the struggle
against hardships, and removing the incompetent ones, those that do not
wish to grow and develop or are incapable of doing so.
Now that our Party stands at the helm of the state, its members
occupying key positions in it and its authority having soared to
unprecedented heights, now that our working people express their readiness
to follow our Party and its general line - as was splendidly demonstrated
in yesterday's manifestation of Sofia's working masses, the role of our
organizations and their leaderships becomes crucial. Today our Party
leaderships carry the main responsibility for all shortcomings, omissions
and mistakes. On our Party and on the work of its cadres will hinge the
successful execution of a task truly stupendous for our conditions, the
fulfilment of the Five-Year Plan, as well as the other important decisions
of the Congress.
In my report I stressed what a mighty force our Party represented, how
wide a support it enjoyed, how firm and close were its bonds with the
existing mass organizations, how deep were the roots it had grown in the
working class, in the toiling masses, in our people. And if in spite of
the presence of these great possibilities which facilitate its successes,
we still have many shortcomings, weaknesses and omissions, the fault for
this lies within ourselves, especially in our insufficiently concrete
practical leadership, in the serious flaws which creep into our
We must do away as soon as possible with the lag in our organizational
work behind the requirements of the political line and the tasks of the
party. We must raise the level of organizational leadership to that of the
political leadership in all spheres of our activity, especially in our
national economy, so that our organizational work may ensure the
implementation of the political line and the decisions of the Party.
In this respect, as was already stressed at the Congress, the selection
of cadres, the check-up on the execution of decisions and the extensive
use of criticism and self-criticism within the Party, of internal Party
democracy, are of decisive importance.
Our Congress shows the indeniable growth of our Party cadres, especially
of our intermediary cadres which in the main decide on the success
of Party policy in all spheres of our construction. We must promote with
all forces the further growth of our Party cadres and unflinchingly remove
incorrigible bureaucrats and office rate, well-headed little tyrants,
windbags and all inefficient elements. We must boldly promote new
cadres to positions of leadership those that have proven themselves
capable organizers and efficient workers.
It is highly important for the proper selection of cadres, for their
growth and training, for the timely correction of mistakes and
shortcomings in their work, to check up on the execution of the decisions
taken and on the tasks entrusted to every single Party member. It is not
exaggerated to say that most of the flaws and omissions in our work are
due to the absence of a constant and correct check-up system.
Only such a check-up can ensure successful struggle against bureaucracy,
against those incapable of directing and organizing the implementation of
the Party decisions, against all distortions of the Party line. This
check-up, however, must be systematic and constant and be carried out by
the very leaders of the organizations.
As we noted at the Sixteenth Plenum of the Central Committee, criticism
and self-criticism within our Party have not yet become a genuine motive
force of its development. In this respect the Congress has undoubtedly
made a big step forward, especially in the discussions of the Five-Year
Plan and of organizational problems.
I cannot bypass the fact, comrades, that here at the Congress as well,
not enough courage was shown openly and justly to point out the errors and
shortcomings allowed, concretely to name those responsible for them, to
reveal the reasons for these errors and shortcomings and to suggest the
ways and means of their prompt and effective elimination.
The great stress on of constructive criticism and selfcriticism in our
Party and the exposure of inadequacies in our work must be our constant
and paramount task after the Congress as well in all sections of the Party
from top to bottom.
We must never forget that the acme of wisdom for a real Communist
is to frankly admit his mistake, to boldly expose its causes and to be
ready to promptly and radically correct it.
In the Party and in all spheres of our life we must get rid of the
harmful habit of not concretely pointing out mistakes lest we jeopardize
friendships and kinships, hurt someone, or create personal troubles. We
must ruthlessly flay every nepotism when deciding on Party or state
matters. The interests of the Party of the working class, of the people,
must stand above all such petty bourgeois considerations and prejudices.
In connexion with the discussions and some questions addressed to me in
writing, permit me to make two more remarks on matters of principle.
1) From what I have said in my report, to wit that under our present
conditions, with the development of cooperative farms, we do not consider
nationalization as an indispensable condition for the development of
agriculture, it should by no means be deduced that the construction of
socialism in the countryside is, in general, possible without the
nationalization of land. We consider, however, that by gradually winning
over the poor and middling peasants into the co-operative farms by
developing the machine-tractor stations, by prohibiting the renting out of
farms, by restricting and subsequently prohibiting the purchase and sale
of land, by reducing and subsequently abolishing rent through decision of
the co-operative farmers themselves when conditions permit, the
practical problem of land nationalization will be solved by leaving all
land for the perpetual use of the toiling peasants. Thus the toiling
peasant who is today a slave of his small plot will be enabled to make the
widest use of the fruits of the land which will be considerably increased
through modernized and mechanized cultivation in the large co-operative
2) The second remark refers to the definition of popular democracy given
in my report. Some comrades who in their discussions touched on this
problem were inclined to put the main emphasis on what distinguishes
popular democracy from the Soviet regime, something which may lead to
incorrect and harmful deductions.
According to Marxist-Leninist principles, the Soviet regime and popular
democracy are two forms of one and the same rule - the rule of the working
class in alliance with and at the head of the working people from town and
countryside. They are two forms of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The particular form of transition from capitalism to socialism in Bulgaria
does not and cannot alter the basic laws on the transition period from
capitalism to socialism which are valid for all countries.The transition
to socialism cannot be carried out without dictatorship of the proletariat
against the capitalist elements andfor the organization of the socialist
But whereas bourgeois democracy is the dictatorship of capital, of an
exploiting big business minority over the great majority of working
people, popular democracy fulfils the functions of the dictatorship of the
proletariat in the interest of the overwhelming majority of working people
and realizes the widest and most complete democracy - socialist democracy.
From the fact that popular democracy and the Soviet regime coincide in
the most important and decisive respect, i. e. that they both
represent the rule of the working class in alliance and at the head of the
working people, there follow some highly essential deductions on the
necessity of making the most thorough study and widest application of the
great experiment of socialist construction in the USSR. And this
experiment, comrades, adapted to our conditions, is the only and best
model for the construction of socialism in Bulgaria, as well as in the
other People's Democracies.
The apprehension expressed by our comrade Todor Pavlov before this
Congress that the definition of our popular democracy as a form of
proletarian dictatorship might encourage attempts to violate law and
order, caused considerable consternation. Such apprehension is completely
unwarranted. Popular democracy, fulfilling the functions of the
dictatorship of the proletariat, by its very essence and character cannot
tolerate any arbitrariness and lawlessness. This rule is strong enough to
be respected by everyone, irrespective of his position.
We harbour no illusion - and in our Party there are no serious Party
members who can have such an illusion that the road along which our Party
is travelling will be smooth. We know that this road is hard and thorny,
but it is the only salutary road for the working class, the people and our
We realize that we still have many difficulties to overcome. But we also
know and our people know it well - that our Party has proven that it is
not afraid of difficulties in fulfilling its historic mission. Our Party
has also proved that it knows how to overcome all difficulties, no matter
how great they be and from what quarters they may stem, from our internal
or external enemies.
Now, armed with the historic decisions of our Fifth Congress, learning
constantly and tirelessly from the great Bolshevik Party, there can be no
doubt that our Party - headed by a Central Committee to be elected by the
Congress and which will be Leninist in spirit, firmness, iron discipline,
diligence, fearlessness in face of hardships and dangers - will, in spite
of everything, bring the already begun task of building a socialist
society in our country to a victorious consummation.