MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE



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Bukharin and the enemies of Bolshevism

 

Bukharin  was sent to Paris to meet the Menshevik Nikolayevsky,  who had some manuscripts of Marx  and Engels.  The Soviet Union wanted to buy them. Nikolayevsky  reported on his discussions with Bukharin. 

`Bukharin  seemed to be longing for calm, far from the fatigue imposed on him by his life in Moscow. He was tired'.

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Yannick Blanc  and David Kaisergruber,  L'affaire Boukharine  ou Le recours de la mémoire (Paris: François Maspéro, 1979), p. 64.

`Bukharin  let me know indirectly that he had acquired a great pessimism in Central Asia and had lost the will to live. However, he did not want to commit suicide'.

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Ibid. , p. 79.

The Menshevik Nikolayevsky  continued: `I knew the Party order preventing Communists from talking to non-members about relationships within the Party, so I did not broach the subject. However, we did have several conversations about the internal situation in the Party. Bukharin  wanted to talk'.

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Ibid. , p. 65.

Bukharin  the `old Bolshevik' had violated the most elementary rules of a Communist party, faced with a political enemy.

`Fanny Yezerskaya  ... tried to persuade him to stay abroad. She told him that it was necessary to form an opposition newspaper abroad, a newspaper that would be truly informed about what was happening in Russia and that could have great influence. She claimed that Bukharin  was the only one with the right qualifications. But she gave me Bukharin's  answer, ``I don't think that I could live without Russia. We are all used to what is going on and to the tension that reigns.'' '

.

Ibid. , p. 64.

Bukharin  allowed himself to be approached by enemies who were plotting to overthrow the Bolshevik régime. His evasive answer shows that he did not take a principled stand against the provocative proposition to direct an anti-Bolshevik newspaper abroad.

Nikolayevsky  continued: `When we were in Copenhagen, Bukharin  reminded me that Trotsky  was close by, in Oslo. With the wink of an eye, he suggested: ``Suppose we took this trunk ... and spent a day with Trotsky'',  and continued: ``Obviously we fought to the bitter end but that does not prevent me from having the greatest respect for him.'' '

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Ibid. , pp. 64--65.

In Paris, Bukharin  also paid a visit to the Menshevik leader Fedor Dan,  to whom he confided that, in his eyes, Stalin was `not a man, a devil'.

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Cohen,  op. cit. , p. 365.

In 1936, Trotsky  had become an irreconcilable counter-revolutionary, calling for terrorism, and a partisan of an anti-Bolshevik insurrection. Dan  was one of the main leaders of the social-democratic counter-revolution. Bukharin  had become closer politically to these individuals.

Nikolayevsky: 

`He asked me one day to procure him Trotsky's  bulletin so that he could read the last issues. I also gave him socialist publications, including Sotsialistichevsky Vestnik .... An article in the last issue contained an analysis of Gorky's  plan aiming to regroup the intelligentsia in a separate party so that it could take part in the elections. Bukharin  responded: `A second party is necessary. If there is only one electoral list, without opposition, that's equivalent to Nazism'.'

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Blanc  and Kaisergruber,  op. cit. , p. 72.

`Bukharin  pulled his pen from his pocket and showed it to me: `Look carefully. It is with this pen that the New Soviet Constitution was written, from the first to the last word.' .... Bukharin  was very proud of this Constitution .... On the whole, it was a good framework for the pacific transfer from the dictatorship of one party to a real popular democracy.'

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Ibid. , pp. 75--76.

`Interested' by the ideas of the social-democrats and Trotsky,  Bukharin  even took up their main thesis of the necessity of an opposition anti-Bolshevik party, which would necessarily become the rallying point of all reactionary forces.

Nikolayevsky: 

`Bukharin's  humanism was due in great part to the cruelty of the forced collectivization and the internal battle that it set off within the Party .... `They are no longer human beings,' Bukharin  said. `They have truly become the cogs in a terrible machine. A complete dehumanization of people takes place in the Soviet apparatus'.'

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Ibid. , pp. 72--73.

`Bogdanov  had predicted, at the beginning of the Bolshevik Revolution, the birth of the dictatorship of a new class of economic leaders. Original thinker and, during the 1905 revolution, second in importance among the Bolsheviks, Bogdanov  played a leading rôle in Bukharin's  education .... Bukharin  was not in agreement with Bogdanov's  conclusions, but he did understand that the great danger of `early socialism' --- what the Bolsheviks were creating --- was in the creation of the dictatorship of a new class. Bukharin  and I discussed this question at length.'

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Ibid. , p. 76.

During 1918--1920, given the bitterness of the class struggle, all the bourgeois elements of the workers' movement passed over to the side of the Tsarist and imperialist reaction in the name of `humanism'. Upholding the Anglo-French intervention, hence the most terrorist colonialist régimes, all these men, from Tsereteli to Bogdanov,  had denounced the `dictatorship' and the `new class of Bolshevik aristocrats' in the Soviet Union.

Bukharin  followed the same line, despite the conditions of class struggle in the thirties.



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Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995