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Right opportunism rears its head

In a rural world dominated by small producers, Stalin's criticism of such blatant errors was clearly dangerous. Enthusiasm easily transformed itself into defeatism, and right opportunism, always present, reared its head when leftist errors were criticized. For many local leaders, there was a feeling of panic and disarray; their morale and their confidence was severely shaken. Some claimed that Stalin's article had destroyed several viable kolkhozy, that he made too many concessions to the kulaks and that he was taking a step backwards towards capitalism.


Ibid. , pp. 319--320.

Within the party as a whole, right-opportunist tendencies, beaten in 1929--1930, were still present. Some, afraid of the bitterness and the violence of the class struggle in the countryside, took advantage of the criticism of the excesses of collectivization to start criticizing, once again, the very concept of collectivization. Syrtsov  had belonged to Bukharin's  right-opportunist group in 1927--1928. In July 1930, he was promoted to the rank of substitute member of the Politburo. On February 20, 1930, he wrote of the `production apathy and production nihilism which have appeared with a considerable section of the peasantry on entering the kolkhozy'. He attacked the `centralization and bureaucratism' prevalent in the kolkhoz movement, called for `developing the initiative of the peasant on a new basis'.


Ibid. , p. 300.

This capitulationist position favored a change of course that would help the kulaks. In August 1930, Syrtsov  warned against further collectivization and stated that the kolkhozy were not worth anything if they did not have a solid technical basis. At the same time, he stated his skepticism about the perspectives of the Stalingrad tractor factory. In December 1930, he was expelled from the Central Committee.


Ibid. , p. 375.

Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995