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Anti-Communists against `bureaucracy'

First we should make sure that we agree about the meaning of terms.

As soon as the Bolsheviks seized power, the Right used the word `bureaucracy' to describe and denigrate the revolutionary régime itself. For the Right, any socialist and revolutionary enterprise was detestable, and automatically received the defamatory label of `bureaucratic'. Right from October 26, 1917, the Mensheviks declared their irreconcilable hostility with the `bureaucratic' Bolshevik régime, the result of a `coup d'état', a régime that could not be socialist because most of the country was peasant, a régime characterized by `state capitalism' and by the `dictatorship against the peasants'. This propaganda clearly intended the reversal of the dictatorship of the proletariat imposed under the Bolshevik régime.

But, in 1922, faced with the destruction of the productive forces in the countryside and trying to preserve the dictatorship of the proletariat, the Bolsheviks were forced to back off, to make concessions to the individual peasants, to allow them the freedom to buy and sell. The Bolsheviks wanted to create in the countryside a kind of `state capitalism', i.e. the development of a small capitalism constrained and controlled by the (Socialist) State. At the same time, the Bolsheviks declared war on bureaucracy: they combatted the unchanged habits of the old bureaucratic apparatus and the tendency of new Soviet civil servants to adapt to it.

The Mensheviks sought then to return to the political scene by stating: `You, the Bolsheviks, you are now against bureaucracy and you admit to building state capitalism. This is what we said, what we have always said. We were correct.' Here is Lenin's  answer:

`[T]he sermons ... the Mensheviks and the Socialist-Revolutionaries preach express their true nature --- ``The revolution has gone too far. What you are saying now we have been saying all the time, permit us to say again.'' But we say in reply: ``Permit us to put you before a firing squad for saying that. Either you refrain from expressing your views, or, if you insist on expressing your political views publicly in the present circumstances, when our position is far more difficult than it was when the whiteguards were directly attacking us, then you will have only yourselves to blame if we treat you as the worst and most pernicious whiteguard elements.'' '


Lenin,  Eleventh Congress of the R.C.P.(B.). Works. vol. 33, p. 283.

As can be seen above, Lenin  vehemently dealt with counter-revolutionaries attacking the so-called `bureaucracy' to overthrow the socialist régime.

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Next: Bolsheviks against bureaucratization Up: The struggle against Previous: The struggle against

Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995