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Seventh Emergency Congress of the RCP (B) - March 1918
The VII Extraordinary Congress of the RCP (b), convened mainly to resolve the question of peace. It was the first party congress after the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution and the creation of the world's first Soviet socialist state.
In four months, from October 1917 to February 1918, Soviet power was established throughout the vast country. This period, in the figurative expression of V. I. Lenin, was a "triumphal march" of Soviet power. Having conquered power, the proletariat, with revolutionary speed and energy, carried out a series of fundamental democratic and socialist transformations that meet the most urgent vital needs of the masses. The working class, in alliance with the poorest peasantry, destroyed the bourgeois state machine to its foundations, and established a truly popular power - the dictatorship of the proletariat. Landlord ownership was completely destroyed. The land was nationalized and transferred free of charge for the use of the peasantry. Large factories, factories, railways, banks were confiscated from the bourgeoisie and turned into the property of the entire people. This undermined the economic might of the exploiting classes and at the same time laid the foundations for new, socialist forms of economy. The Soviet government put an end to the national oppression and solemnly proclaimed the complete settlement and equality of all peoples and nationalities of Russia. All these and other revolutionary transformations have radically changed the balance of the struggling class forces within the country. Under these conditions, the revolutionary people relatively easily and quickly broke the resistance of the overthrown exploiting classes - the landlords and the bourgeoisie, who within the country, as Lenin pointed out, “had no political or economic support, and their attack was broken” .
In the struggle for the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution, the Communist Party, headed by V. I. Lenin, won the boundless confidence of the working class and the working peasantry. With the victory of Soviet power, the Communist Party became the leading force of the state of the proletarian dictatorship. She assumed full responsibility for the fate of socialism. Before you were faced with new tasks of organizing the construction of socialism and defending the socialist fatherland from the attack of the overthrown exploiting classes and imperialist powers, the task of carrying out "the maximum feasible in one country for the development, support and awakening of the revolution in all countries."
But for this it was necessary, first of all, to lead Russia out of the imperialist war, which claimed millions of lives, completely destroyed the national economy and doomed the working people to poverty and hunger. The first decree of the Soviet government was the decree on peace, adopted at the suggestion of V.I. Lenin on October 26, 1917 by the Second Congress of Soviets. The congress openly declared a complete rejection of all treaties pursuing aggressive aims. The war was declared "the greatest crime against humanity." The peoples and governments of all the belligerent powers were invited to begin peace negotiations for the conclusion of a general, just, democratic peace. The Congress of Soviets solemnly declared its determination to immediately sign peace on conditions equally fair for all peoples, without the seizure of foreign lands, without the enslavement of peoples, without indemnities. Thus, from the first day of the existence of the Soviet state, the struggle for peace became the basis of its foreign policy, which is based on Lenin's idea of the possibility of peaceful coexistence of two systems with different social systems.
However, the world had to be conquered in a fierce struggle both against the warring imperialist powers, and against the entire camp of internal counterrevolution, as well as in a bitter struggle against the "left communist" and Trotskyist adventurers within the Bolshevist party.
The governments of the Entente powers (USA, Great Britain, France, etc.) responded to the Soviet government's proposal for an immediate armistice and the opening of peace negotiations with a conspiracy of silence. This excluded the possibility of concluding a general peace. Germany and its military allies, although they agreed to peace negotiations, sought to impose a predatory and humiliating peace on Soviet Russia. The Soviet government, full of firm determination to fulfill the revolutionary will of the workers and peasants and to achieve an exit from the war, was forced to begin peace negotiations with Germany and its allies without the participation of the Entente.
Truce negotiations began on November 20 (December 3) 1917 in Brest-Litovsk. An armistice agreement was signed on December 2 (15). On December 9 (22), 1917, peace negotiations began. The very first days of the negotiations revealed the desire of the German imperialists to tear away from Russia and annex to Germany the territories of Poland, Lithuania, parts of Latvia, Estonia and Belarus. The brazen demands of the German imperialists were supported by representatives of the Central Ukrainian Rada, whose credentials were recognized by the head of the Soviet delegation, Trotsky. After that, the German imperialists finally threw off the mask of peacefulness and switched to a policy of threats and ultimatums. The Soviet delegation was given an ultimatum that the acceptance of the German proposals was an absolutely necessary condition for the conclusion of peace.
No matter how heavy and humiliating were the demands of imperialist Germany, the only correct way out, in the concrete historical conditions prevailing in Soviet Russia and in the international arena, was a temporary retreat before German imperialism and the conclusion of peace, albeit at a high price. Otherwise, the war with Germany could end in the death of Soviet power. Such a conclusion followed with all the necessity from a comprehensive assessment of the internal and international situation in Soviet Russia.
The unconditional need to sign the incredibly difficult Brest Peace Treaty was dictated primarily by the fact that the Soviet Republic did not have an army. A new, Workers 'and Peasants' Red Army was just being created. The old army was, in the words of V.I. Lenin, a sick organism. Its fighting spirit was broken by the imperialist war, the goals of which would be alien or used to the soldiers. The soldiers were rushing home, wanting to take part in the division of the landlord's land and in the creation of a new, Soviet social and state system. A careful study of the reports from the front, the responses of the delegates of the First All-Army Congress to questions of a special questionnaire developed by V.I. Fatigue caused by the war and hatred of war engulfed not only the army, but also the broad masses of the working class and peasantry, on whose shoulders the main brunt of the war fell in the first place. A breathing time was needed, during which the masses could free themselves from this fatigue and, on the basis of their own experience, be imbued with the determination to go to the revolutionary war.
It was also impossible to continue the war because the country was going through a state of ruin and economic decline generated by the war and Kerenskyism. Factories were closed all over Russia. According to - far from complete data of the factory inspection, from March to December 1917, 824 enterprises were closed and 168,670 workers were laid off. Unemployment grew in Moscow, Petrograd, and other cities of Russia. In Petrograd alone, by January 1918, there were up to 100,000 unemployed. Railway transport was in a difficult situation. By the end of 1917, the car fleet decreased by 28.8%, the transportation of industrial and food cargoes decreased; in October 1917 the average daily loading was 16,627 wagons, or 34% less than in 1916 .
"A small-peasant country, hungry and exhausted by the war, which has just begun to heal its wounds, is against the technically and organizationally higher productivity of labor - this is the objective situation at the beginning of 1918" , wrote V. I. Lenin, describing the situation in the country.
The socialist revolution was victorious in one country and was surrounded by hostile capitalist states, which were preparing to attack the Republic of Soviets. Unlike the period of the "triumphal march", when the forces of the revolution were faced with comparatively weak, as V. I. Lenin noted, scanty, despicable enemies, gangs of cadets and bourgeois, now one of the giants of world imperialism has risen before the Soviet Republic.
Under these conditions, the only way out could be the earliest possible conclusion of peace. Young Soviet Russia needed at least a short respite in order to put the economy in order and prepare an army capable of defending the country from the onslaught of imperialism.
Counter-revolutionaries of all stripes - from monarchists and Cadets to Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks - took up arms against the conclusion of peace. All of them, like the governments of the Entente powers, wanted to continue the war "to a victorious end." By speculating on the difficult conditions of the peace treaty proposed by Germany, they set a trap for the Soviet regime, realizing that the continuation of the war would inevitably lead to its death, to the restoration of the bourgeois-landlord system in Russia. The Bolshevik Party and Soviet power were pulled into this trap by the "left communists", these "phrase revolutionaries" headed by Bukharin, as well as Trotsky. Covering up their opportunist nature with loud phrases, the "Left Communists" waged a struggle against Lenin, against the majority of the Party. They slanderously portrayed the Party's Leninist policy as non-proletarian and compromising towards the imperialists. Regardless of the objectively developed domestic and international situation, they demanded a break in the peace negotiations and the immediate declaration of a revolutionary war on Germany. Trotsky, being in fact on the same positions as the "left communists", covered himself with the loud phrase "no peace, no war."
The situation was aggravated by the fact that the "left communists" held leading positions in a number of major party organizations, including Moscow and Petrograd, and some honest and loyal communists did not immediately notice the fundamental changes in the struggle for the socialist revolution. The Soviet Republic came face to face with international imperialism, the struggle against which required a completely different approach than it was in the struggle against the internal enemies of the revolution. Not only ordinary communists, but also such experienced political figures as F.E. Dzerzhinsky, V.V. Kuibyshev, M.V. Frunze, did not immediately understand the radical change in the situation and the disastrous policy of the "free communists". The plundering conditions of the world aroused the indignation of wide sections of the working people.
The first to oppose the acceptance of the German terms of peace were the Moscow Regional Bureau and the St. Petersburg Committee of the RSDLP (b). On December 28, 1917 (January 10, 1918), the plenum of the Moscow Regional Bureau, whose leadership temporarily turned out to be the "left communists" Lomov, Maksimovsky, Osinsky, Sapronov, Stukov, and others. On the same day, the majority of the St. Petersburg Committee of the RSDLP (b), which included Bokiy, S. Kosior, Fenigstein, S. Ravich and other "left communists", spoke out against the German peace terms. In the most difficult and crucial period of the party's struggle for Russia's withdrawal from the imperialist war, the Moscow district, Moscow city party committees and a number of the largest party committees of the Urals, Ukraine and Siberia, led by the "left communists", also spoke out against the Leninist peace policy. Thus, many party committees were infected with the "left communist" disease. "Left communism" was then the main danger in the party.
The struggle for peace and the preservation of the dictatorship of the proletariat had to be sustained primarily within the party. The task was to help those who were honestly mistaken to free themselves from the illusion of a revolutionary war, to fully expose the ruinous platform of the "left communists" and to conclude peace with Germany without delay. The greatest merit in solving this most difficult task belongs to V.I. Lenin. VI Lenin brilliantly substantiated the need for a radical change in the tactics of the party, the transition from the "triumphal march" of Soviet power to a temporary retreat. His unsurpassed wisdom, adherence to principles and iron will ensured the adoption of the only correct policy by the party on the issue of war and peace. This was achieved in a fierce inner-party struggle against Trotsky and the "left communists".
On January 8 (21), 1918, a meeting of the members of the Central Committee of the party with the communist delegates of the III Congress of Soviets was held in Petrograd. VI Lenin spoke at the conference and read out his famous "Theses on the question of the immediate conclusion of a separate and annexationist peace". After analyzing the internal and international situation, outlining the course of the peace talks in Brest-Litovsk, V.I. , in the absence of an efficient army and its unwillingness to fight for interests alien to it, it would be a gamble. Lenin pointed out that a respite must be taken immediately, then it will be too late.
Trotsky, Kamenev, Preobrazhensky, Lomov, Osinsky, Yakovleva spoke out against Lenin's theses at the conference. The discussion of the theses revealed three opinions in the party on the issue of concluding peace: the Leninist point of view of the need to accept the German conditions of peace (15 voted for it), the "left communists" - the declaration of a "revolutionary war" by Germany (32) and Trotsky - "neither war, nor the world ”(16 people).
On January 11 (24), 1918, the question of peace was discussed at a meeting of the Party's Central Committee. VI Lenin delivered a speech on peace. He reiterated his arguments against the war, which he developed in the theses, and warned that if we refuse to sign peace with Germany and the Germans begin to attack, we will be forced to sign peace on even worse conditions. As a result of the discussion of the question of peace, the proposal to wage a revolutionary war received only 2 votes, 11 people voted against. When this proposal failed, the "left communists" supported Trotsky. As a result, Trotsky's proposal "no war, no peace" received a majority of votes at this meeting (for - 9, against - 7). Taking into account the lack of firm unity on the question of peace among the members of the Central Committee, V. I. Lenin insisted on accepting his proposal to drag out the peace negotiations in every possible way, up to the ultimatum of the Germans.
The question of peace was also discussed at the III All-Russian Congress of Soviets. On January 14 (27), 1918, at the suggestion of the Bolshevik faction, the congress adopted a resolution expressing full confidence in the Soviet government and approving all its activities aimed at concluding peace .
The supporters of the revolutionary war did not want to recognize the decisions of the Third Congress of Soviets. On January 15 (28), 1918, the "left communists" headed by Bukharin and Pyatakov submitted an application to the Central Committee of the party demanding the immediate convocation of a party conference for the final solution of the question of war and peace. The same statements were sent to the Central Committee by "left communists", who constituted the majority in the executive committee of the Petersburg committee, and by a group of leading workers of the Ural party organization (Preobrazhensky, Krestinsky, Beloborodov, etc.) .
The conference, since it would have been attended by representatives of the regional and provincial party committees, many of which supported the "left communists", could not reflect the opinion of the broad party masses, which in their overwhelming majority were supporters of the Leninist peace policy. In addition, the decisions of the conference, according to the Party Charter, were approved by the Central Committee and could not be final.
Therefore, Lenin considered it necessary to convene not a conference, but a party congress in order to resolve the question of peace. The issue of calling the conference was discussed at a meeting of the Central Committee on January 19 (February 1), 1918. The Central Committee accepted V. I. Lenin's proposal to convene a party congress. At a meeting of the Central Committee on January 24 (February 6), the order of the day of the congress was approved
The convocation of the VII Extraordinary Congress of the RCP (b) was preceded by a great deal of preparatory work carried out by the Central Committee of the Party, headed by V.I. Lenin. The preparations for the congress took place in an extremely difficult political situation. Lenin's speech with "Theses on the question of the immediate conclusion of a separate and annexationist peace" provoked a furious anti-party agitation by Trotsky and the "left communists" against peace. Speaking against V.I.Lenin and his policy of peace, they argued that Germany would not be able to attack, that the conclusion of peace with Germany would allegedly delay the revolution in Germany and would be a betrayal of the proletariat of the West and the Russian revolution. In January - February 1918, the internal party struggle over the question of peace captured a fairly wide range of party organizations.
The Party Committee of Sevastopol, the Western Oblast and Smolensk Committees of the RSDLP (b), Kozlovskaya, Kohomskaya and other party organizations , who considered the conclusion of peace to be the only correct policy, expressed full confidence in the political line of the Central Committee of the Party and the Council of People's Commissars and demanded the immediate acceptance of the German conditions of peace ... A number of organizations - Kaluga, Aleksandrovskaya, Saratovskaya, Nikolaevskaya, Gorlovsko-Shcherbinovskaya and others at first supported the "left communists". The "Left Communists" succeeded in passing their resolutions against the Brest-Litovsk Peace also through a number of Soviets, including Moscow, Petrograd, Perm.
The struggle unfolding within the party over the question of peace was based on deep fundamental differences on the fundamental questions of the socialist revolution. Trotsky and the "left communists" were based on Trotskyist-Menshevik views on the nature and prospects of the revolution in Russia. They proceeded from Trotsky's notorious theory of permanent revolution and rejected Lenin's theory of the possibility of the victory of socialism initially in one country taken separately. At a meeting of the Central Committee on January 11 (24), 1918, Uritsky, for example, bluntly said that “the mistake of comrade. Lenin at the present moment is the same as in 1915 - namely, he looks at the matter from the point of view of Russia, and not from the point of view of the international. " Believing that without the victory of the revolution in the West, the revolution in Russia would inevitably perish, Trotsky and the "left communists" did not believe in the revolutionary forces and capabilities of the Russian proletariat and its ability to lead the multi-million masses of the working peasantry.
V. I. Lenin in his numerous speeches and works exposed the adventurous and disastrous for the Soviet Republic tactics of the "left communists" and Trotsky.
Lenin repeatedly stressed that when developing tactics, one should proceed from a comprehensive consideration of the concrete historical situation, and not repeat revolutionary slogans without taking into account objective circumstances and their changes in a sharp turn of events. The current situation dictated the need to conclude peace at all costs.
The working class and the working peasantry of Russia came to power in October 1917 in the country, which the landowners and capitalists had brought to the brink of national catastrophe, brought the national economy to general ruin and threatened to be partitioned by the imperialist powers. Having headed the Soviet state, the Communist Party immediately after the Great October Socialist Revolution declared its right and sacred duty to selflessly defend the socialist fatherland from all attacks from enemies, to fight for the transformation of backward Russia into a powerful and all-powerful socialist state.
VI Lenin repeatedly stressed that “we are defencists now, since October 25, 1917, we are for the defense of the fatherland from that day on. For we have proved in practice our break with imperialism. We have terminated and published the dirty and bloody imperialist conspiracy treaties. We overthrew our bourgeoisie. We have given freedom to the peoples we oppressed. We gave the land to the people and workers' control. We are for the defense of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Russia ”.
That is why V. I. Lenin declared a merciless war on the revolutionary phrase about the revolutionary war and demanded a serious attitude to the country's defense capability and combat training. He considered it a crime, from the point of view of defending the fatherland, to wage war with an infinitely more powerful enemy, when you did not have an army and a strong organized rear, when socialism was still weak and when the chances for the victory of socialism were obviously unfavorable. In these conditions, from the point of view of defending the fatherland, it is necessary to sign the most difficult peace, to do everything possible, to use the slightest chance to delay a decisive battle, “to evade a military battle - while it is possible, at least at the cost of grave sacrifices, to evade it - precisely for to be able to do something serious by the moment when the “last decisive battle” breaks out "; For this, it is necessary to prepare for a long time, seriously, starting with the economic advancement of the country, with the establishment of transport, with the restoration of the strictest revolutionary discipline and self-discipline everywhere and everywhere.
The interests of defending the fatherland do not always presuppose an armed struggle, wrote V.I. Lenin; they require the use of other forms of struggle, including diplomatic ones. "If the enemy" proclaims "his goal to suppress the revolution, then the revolutionary is bad who, by choosing an obviously impossible form of resistance, just reaches the transition from" proclaiming "to the realization of the enemy's goals" .
Lenin convincingly proved that the proletariat of Soviet Russia would best fulfill its internationalist duty if it preserves and consolidates Soviet power in order to defend the gains of the revolution and build socialism, even if only at the cost of concluding a difficult and humiliating peace. “A fundamental change now,” wrote Lenin, “is the creation of a republic of Soviets of Russia, which is above all, both for us and from the international socialist point of view, the preservation of this republic, which has already begun the socialist revolution, that at this moment the slogan of a revolutionary war is on the part of Russia would mean either a phrase and a naked demonstration, or would objectively equate to falling into a trap set up for us by the imperialists, who want to drag us into the continuation of the imperialist war, as a still weak particle, and crush the young republic of Soviets as cheaply as possible ".
Under these conditions, it is necessary to get an immediate respite, at least for a short time. Lenin considered it possible to give up space to the actual winner, to retreat into the interior of the country in order to gain time for gathering new forces, for increasing the country's defense capability.
As for the desire of the "left communists" to ignite the fire of the world revolution by means of a revolutionary war, Lenin pointed out that this would mean a complete break with Marxism, "which has always denied the" pushing "of revolutions developing as the acuteness of class contradictions revolution. Such a theory would be tantamount to the view that an armed uprising is a form of struggle that is obligatory always and under all conditions. In fact, the interests of the international revolution demand that the Soviet government, which overthrew the country's bourgeoisie, should help this revolution, but choose the form of assistance according to its strength. "
VI Lenin proved the absurdity of another argument of the "left communists" about the inadmissibility of the Soviet state supposedly concluding peace and agreements with imperialist states. He wrote: "A socialist republic among the imperialist powers could not, from the point of view of such views, conclude any economic agreements, could not exist without flying to the moon."
Rejecting the reproach that acceptance of the German conditions of peace was an alleged betrayal of Latvia, Poland, Courland, Lithuania, Lenin exposed the inconsistency of this argument from the point of view of revolutionary Marxism. Because of the violation of the temper of nations for self-determination, it is impermissible to give up the Soviet Socialist Republic to be devoured. "Not a single Marxist," Lenin pointed out, "without breaking with the foundations of Marxism and socialism in general, can deny that the interests of socialism are higher than the interests of the right of nations to self-determination."
Speaking about the social nature of the "left communists", V. I. Lenin called them "declassified, intellectual party" tops "and tops", heroes of the revolutionary phrase. He wrote that the "left communists" are, but in their objective role, a tool of imperialist reaction, that their subjective "psychology" "is the psychology of an enraged petty bourgeois".
On January 17 (30), 1918, peace negotiations were resumed in Brest-Lptovsko. Before the departure of the Soviet delegation to Brest, VI Lenin instructed Trotsky to drag out the peace negotiations and hold out until the ultimatum, "after the ultimatum, we surrender" ? that is, we immediately sign the Austro-German peace terms.
During the negotiations, the Soviet delegation tried to involve representatives of the All-Ukrainian CEC of Soviets in the negotiations. However, Germany rejected the Soviet proposal to recognize the powers of the delegation of the Soviet Ukraine and on January 27 (February 9) 1918, behind the back of Russia, signed a predatory treaty with the nationalist Ukrainian Central Rada, which was living out its last days. It was essentially a treaty on the occupation of Ukraine by the Germans. On January 27 (February 9), an ultimatum was presented to Soviet Russia for the immediate recognition of the Austro-German conditions of peace. In response to Trotsky's request on how to respond to the ultimatum of the Germans, on January 28 (February 10) a telegram was sent to Brest-Litovsk signed by Lenin and Stalin, which stated: “You know our point of view; it has only strengthened recently. "
Contrary to the direct directive of V.I. Lenin to conclude peace, Trotsky, having no authority whatsoever, at a meeting of the political commission on January 28 (February 10) announced that Soviet Russia did not sign the peace, it was ending the war, and would demobilize the army . On January 29 (February 11), 1918, this position was approved by the Petrograd Soviet on the proposal of Zinoviev, and on February 14 (1) - by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee on the report of Trotsky .
Trotsky's violation of Lenin's instructions played into the hands of the German imperialists, who launched preparations for an offensive on the Russian front. On February 16, 1918, Germany, grossly violating the terms of the armistice agreement, according to which the contracting parties must warn each other seven days in advance, notified the Soviet delegation that from February 18 at 12 noon, Germany considered itself at war with Russia.
Even before the start of the offensive, the issue of the German ultimatum was discussed twice at a meeting of the Party's Central Committee - on the evening of February 17 and in the morning of February 18, 1918. Lenin's proposal to immediately resume negotiations with Germany and sign peace was rejected at both sessions of the Central Committee.
On the night of February 18-19, 1918, an appeal was sent on behalf of the Council of People's Commissars to the German government, in which the Soviet government protested against the treacherous attack by Germany and announced its agreement to sign a peace on the terms presented by the delegations of the Quadruple Alliance in Brest-Litovsk ...
The German government was deliberately slow to answer; German troops continued their offensive and advanced deep into Russia. At this critical moment, the party and the Soviet government appealed to the peoples of Russia to defend the Republic of Soviets. On February 21, 1918, the Council of People's Commissars adopted Lenin's decree "The socialist fatherland is in danger!", in which a detailed program of the struggle of the Soviet people against the hordes of imperialist Germany was given. Lenin's appeal caused a powerful patriotic upsurge in the country. The workers responded with a massive entry into the ranks of the Red Army. Poorly trained, but strong in revolutionary spirit, the detachments of the young Red Army staunchly repelled the onslaught of the enemy and blocked the path of the German army, which rushed through Pskov and Narva to Petrograd.
On the note of the Soviet government dated February 19, 1918, on the morning of February 23, a reply from Germany was received in Petrograd (dated February 21) . The new peace conditions presented to Russia were more difficult than the previous ones and were of an ultimatum nature. On February 23, a meeting of the Party Central Committee took place. The question of accepting new peace conditions was discussed. VI Lenin firmly posed the question of the immediate acceptance of the German proposals. Lenin pointed out that "the policy of revolutionary phrase-mongering is over," and if this policy hinders the conclusion of peace, then he "leaves both the government and the Central Committee." The "left communists" were against it. During the discussion, JV Stalin, who had previously supported VI Lenin, expressed the opinion that the new treaty "cannot be signed, but peace negotiations can be started."
Lenin, exposing the "left communists", sharply criticized the erroneous position of Stalin, after which Stalin at the same meeting spoke in favor of Lenin's proposal. Lomov, speaking at the meeting, said that it was necessary to take power without Lenin. As a result of a stormy discussion by a majority of 7 votes (Lenin, Stasova, Sverdlov, Stalin, Zinoviev, Sokolnikov, Smilga), against 4 (Bubnov, Uritsky, Bukharin, Lomov), with 4 abstentions (Trotsky, Krestinsky, Dzerzhinsky, Ioffe) Central committee accepted V.I. Lenin's proposal for the conclusion of peace. After the decision was made, the "left communists" Bukharin, Lomov, Uritsky, Bubnov, Pyatakov, Smirnov, Yakovleva, not wanting to reckon with the demands of party discipline, submitted an application to the Central Committee to resign from responsible party and Soviet posts and demanded for themselves the right to free agitation against the decision Of the Central Committee . It was decided to inform all members of the party about the sharp disagreements within the Central Committee on the issue of concluding peace. On February 24, 1918, the Central Committee in its letter "The position of the Central Committee of the RSDLP (Bolsheviks) on the question of a separate and annexationist peace" set out the reasons for the disagreements between the majority of the Central Committee and a group of opponents of peace, the reasons that prompted the Central Committee to sign a separate peace with Germany, and called on all party members support the decision of the Central Committee.
The proposal to conclude the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty on February 24, 1918 at 4:30 a.m. was adopted by a majority of votes at a plenary meeting of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, then by the Council of People's Commissars and on behalf of the Soviet government was submitted to the German government.
On the same day, the Central Committee approved the composition of the Soviet peace delegation, which left for Brest-Litovsk in the evening. Peace talks resumed on March 1. On March 3, 1918, the peace treaty was signed.
On March 5, 1918, in his article "A Serious Lesson and Serious Responsibility", exposing the position of the "Left Communists" taken by them on the issue of war and peace, and analyzing the terms of the new treaty, V. I. Lenin wrote: "And what are the new conditions, harder, more humiliating than the thin, difficult and humiliating Brest conditions, this is to blame, in relation to the Great Russian Soviet Republic, our unfortunate "left" Bukharin, Lomov, Uritsky and Co ... "" You were given Brest conditions, and you answered fanfare and bragging, leading to worse conditions. It is a fact. You will not relieve yourself of responsibility for this. "
The "Left Communists", having suffered defeat in the Central Committee and the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, led a line on splitting the party, attracted part of the local party organizations to their side and tried to oppose them to the Central Committee of the party. Trotsky and the "left communists" tried by all means to disrupt the ratification of the peace treaty. On February 24, the day when the decision to conclude the Brest Peace was taken by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People's Commissars, the Moscow Regional Bureau of the RSDLP (b), headed by "left communists", at a meeting of a narrow composition adopted a resolution in which it expressed no confidence in the political line of the Central Committee and refused to obey all its decisions related to the implementation of the terms of the peace treaty. An "explanatory text" was attached to the resolution, in which the Moscow Regional Bureau indicated that the split in the party could hardly be eliminated and that, allegedly, in the interests of the international revolution, it was necessary to take the possibility of losing Soviet power, which seemed to be becoming purely formal. VI Lenin sharply condemned the position taken by the Moscow Regional Bureau and called this decision “strange and monstrous” . Following the Moscow Regional Bureau, resolutions against peace were adopted by the Moscow City and Moscow District Committees of the RSDLP (b), the Ural Regional Committee, a joint meeting of active workers of the RSDLP (b) in Kharkov and Donbass, and other party organizations.
However, these decisions did not reflect the opinion of not only the entire party, but also the opinion of those party organizations on whose behalf they were adopted. The German offensive, which began on February 18 and lasted until the signing of the peace treaty, very soon sobered the party committees, whose leadership was "left communists", and the party organizations temporarily under the influence of "left communists" from the frenzy of revolutionary phrases. Party organizations in the workers' districts of Moscow, Petrograd, the Urals, and others ardently supported Lenin's policy of concluding peace with Germany. On March 4, under the influence of the working masses, the Moscow City Committee of the RSDLP (b) abandoned its previous position. By 10 votes in favor, against 7, the MK adopted a resolution approving the peace treaty. On the same day, the signing of the peace by a majority vote was approved by the Moscow City Conference of the RSDLP (b). A member of the Central Committee of the party, Y. M. Sverdlov, who had arrived in Moscow on behalf of the Central Committee, spoke in defense of Lenin's policy of peace. Obolensky and Pokrovsky sharply criticized the policy of the peace advocates at the conference. However, the conference sharply condemned "isolated attempts to split" on the part of the "left communists", expressed confidence in the Central Committee of the party and instructed its delegates to the 7th party congress "to defend the unity of the party at all costs" . 65 people voted for the resolution supporting peace, 46 against. The resolution of Obolensky, expressing no confidence in the policy of the Central Committee, received only 5 votes. The factional activity of the "left communists" on the issue of concluding peace was condemned by the party organizations of the workers' districts of Petrograd - Vyborgsky, Vasileostrovsky, First and Second urban districts. The general meeting of the Second Urban District, in its decision, demanded from its delegates elected to the VII Party Congress "to support the line of the majority of the Central Committee." "The Petrograd Committee, as not reflecting the views of the St. Petersburg organization, must be re-elected", - stated in the decision. The meeting decided to close down the factional newspaper Kommunist, which was leading to a split in the party. A similar decision was made by a party conference at the Petrograd District Committee. The Leninist position of the world was approved by the party conference of the Baku organization, the general meeting of the Ufa party organization, the Yekaterinoslav committee of the RSDLP (b), etc. These decisions testified to the complete isolation of the group of "left communists" from the lower party organizations, from the broad popular masses.
The decision of the Central Committee and the Soviet government to immediately sign peace with Germany found a response and support also from the local Soviets. On the request of the Council of People's Commissars dated February 25, 1918 to the local councils and land committees about their attitude to the issue of signing the peace, answers began to arrive literally on the second day. By March 5, 262 Councils had voted in favor of peace, against 233. The Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies of Moscow, Petrograd, Arkhangelsk, Voronezh, Orel, Ryazan and other cities of Russia, even those of them that earlier, without understanding the difficult situation, opposed the signing of peace with Germany, on the eve of the VII Party Congress, unanimously spoke out for peace. The anti-party position of the "left communists" was defeated.
Trotsky and a group of "left communists", deprived of support in most party organizations, on the eve of the congress intensified the struggle against peace, they hoped to form an “opposition” at the congress itself, get the support of a part of the congress delegates and thwart the Central Committee's decision to conclude the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty. A.S. Bubnov stated this directly at a meeting of the expanded plenum of the Moscow Regional Bureau on March 2. "At the congress it is necessary to form a group of supporters of the revolutionary war," he said, "which must oppose the position of the Central Committee with a fundamental justification of its point of view." IN Stukov made the same statement at the meeting.
Openly going for a split, the "left communists" came out with their political platform in the press. On March 6, their organ "Communist" published an appeal "To All Party Members", in which they, covering up their anti-party behavior with "revolutionary phrases", tried to discredit the policy of V. I. Lenin and the majority of the Central Committee on the issue of concluding peace with Germany ... A sharp struggle lay ahead. But it was clear that the Leninist line was supported by the main body of the party, which predetermined the outcome of the struggle at the congress.
The VII Extraordinary Congress of the RCP (B) was held in Petrograd on March 6-8, 1918. By the time the congress was convened, the party had about 300,000 members; the Congress was attended by 47 delegates with a casting vote and 59 with an advisory vote, representing about 170,000 party members. This is due to the fact that the congress was convened urgently and a number of party organizations did not have time to send their delegates, and some party organizations did not have the opportunity to do this, due to the occupation of part of the territory of Soviet Russia by the Germans. Finally, the relatively small number of delegates at the congress is explained by the high rate of representation at the congress. One delegate was sent from party organizations of 3 to 5 thousand party members. Party organizations numbering more than 5 thousand sent an additional delegate for every 5 thousand. Organizations that did not have 3,000 party members could unite and jointly send one delegate.
Both before and after the congress, the “Left Communists” tried to belittle its significance in every possible way, to portray it as not particularly “authoritative both in terms of the number of members represented at it, and the number of delegates who had gathered”. But neither during the congress, nor after it ended, they failed to discredit him.
Despite the small number of delegates, the congress was competent. Its representation was in accordance with the decision of the Central Committee, according to which at least half of the party members represented at the previous, VI Congress of the RSDLP (b) should be represented at the VII Congress of the RCP (b), and the Party Regulations adopted by the VI Congress, paragraph 10 of which states that "A congress is considered valid if at least half of all party members are represented at it" . The largest party organizations were represented at the congress - Moscow, Petrograd, party organizations of the Central industrial region, the Urals, the Volga region, etc.
The congress was also authoritative in terms of party experience. All congress delegates (except one) had pre-October party experience. Moreover, more than half of the delegates joined the party in the period from 1895 to 1907.
On the eve of the opening of the congress, a preliminary meeting of the delegates was held, at which the issue of the competence of the congress was resolved, the order of the day and the rules of its work were approved, the questionnaire of the congress delegate was adopted .
The congress approved the following order of the day, adopted by the preliminary meeting: 1) the report of the Central Committee, 2) the question of war and peace, 3) revision of the program and the name of the party, 4) organizational issues, and 5) elections of the Central Committee.
During the work of the congress, the order of the day was somewhat changed. The political report of the Central Committee and the question of war and peace merged into one question - a report on war and peace. The organizational issue was not discussed at the congress due to lack of time.
The work of the congress was directed by V. I. Lenin. He spoke at the congress 18 times, including with reports on all the main issues of the order of the day - with the political report of the Central Committee of the party, in which he comprehensively covered the second issue of the order of the day - about war and peace; on the revision of the program and the name of the party, and also took an active part in the discussion of the issues considered by the congress.
In his report on war and peace, V.I. Lenin gave a deep scientific analysis of the international and internal situation in the country, showed the objective reasons for the relatively easy victory of the working class of Russia in October 1917, outlined the tasks of an organizational and constructive nature that faced the Communist Party as the leading the strength of the Soviet state.
The main part of Lenin's report was devoted to the defense and substantiation of the decision of the Central Committee of the Party and the Soviet government to immediately sign the gravest and most humiliating peace with Germany and to expose the position of Trotsky and the "left communists" on the issue of war and peace.
In his report on war and peace, Lenin showed that the predatory imperialist war had brought Russia to complete economic ruin; railway transport is paralyzed, unemployment and poverty are growing. The country lacks a combat-ready army that could defend the gains of Soviet power. The old army, disorganized by the war, had to be demobilized, and the new, socialist army, had just begun to be created.
There is also no strong rear capable of helping the front. The workers and peasants are tired of the three-year war and demand rest, they realized that with such a state of the army and the economic situation of the country, it is impossible to wage a war with an enemy prepared and armed to the teeth. Without serious preparation, Russia cannot fight, said V. I. Lenin, “we won’t take the“ German predator ”with a bang, we won’t throw it off, as we overthrew Kerensky and Kornilov. Lenin called the position of the "left communists" "gentry", their newspaper, which bears the name "Communist", should have been nicknamed "Shlyakhtich" - Lenin pointed out, “they reason from the point of view of the gentry, who, dying in a beautiful pose with a sword in hand, says: "Peace is a shame, war is an honor." While defending the slogan of "revolutionary war," the "left communists" did not realize that they were helping German imperialism.
Lenin showed the utter groundlessness of the argument of Trotsky and the "left communists" against the world, that the Germans would not be able to go on the offensive for fear of provoking an uprising of the German workers in defense of the Russian revolution. Life has shown, Lenin pointed out, that the excuse " German cannot attack" was the greatest adventure; that “the European revolution, against our wishes, dared to be late, and German imperialism, against our wishes, dared to advance” and within a few days the Germans occupied a significant part of the territory of Russia, seized millions of the country's wealth.
Lenin sharply criticized Trotsky's adventurous formula "no war, no peace." “Instead of the Peace of Brest-Litovsk we got a much more humiliating peace, through the fault of those who did not take it,” said V. I. Lenin.
V. I. Lenin called on the party and the working class, using the moment while the imperialists are in a stranglehold and cannot attack Soviet Russia with all their might, fight for self-discipline, exemplary order, learn to fight every day and “if we can act like this, then despite our defeat, we can say with absolute certainty that we will win. "
The discussion of VI Lenin's report at the congress took on the character of an acute internal party struggle. Eighteen delegates took the floor in the debate. Y. M. Sverdlov, Sergeev (Artem) and a number of delegates from the localities spoke out in defense of Lenin's position. It is characteristic that during the discussion at the congress of the question of war and peace, many delegates, influenced mainly by the speeches of V. I. Lenin, reconsidered their erroneous position, resolutely opposed factionalism, for the unity of the party. A striking example of this is a note submitted to the presidium of the congress by H. H. Kochubei, a delegate with a decisive vote from the Yuzov party organization. On the forty-fourth question of the Congress delegate's questionnaire - - what is your organization's attitude to the issue of war and peace - Kochubei answered: “The issue was not discussed in the organization before my departure. I stand in the position of Bukharin's group. " After hearing the report of V.I. Lenin, convinced of the correctness of the Leninist policy of the party, Kochubey wrote in a note to the presidium that his point of view at the congress was in the minority, that the decisions of the congress should be the most unanimous, therefore he “votes for the resolution proposed by comrade Lenin ".
The speech at the congress of the delegate with the decisive vote of Maskov-Yaremchuk was similar in content. During the Brest Peace, the Ural Regional Committee was led by "left communists". Contrary to the Party Charter, which does not allow imperative mandates, they gave instructions to the Ural delegates to vote against the conclusion of a peace treaty . After hearing Lenin's report at the congress, Maskov became convinced that peace is necessary. In his speech, he said that when he was going to the congress, he had "more explosives" against Lenin's line "more than Ryazanov." Now he realized that the decision of the question "to be or not to be Soviet power" depends on the conclusion of a separate peace with Germany, that now, more than ever, the unity of the party is needed, and therefore "the tactics of signing the peace are correct, although the Ural comrades did not authorize me to say this."
Delegate of the congress OI Rozanova (Yaroslavl) said that right up to the discussion of VI Lenin's theses on the issue of concluding a separate and annexationist peace with Germany, the Yaroslavl party organization took a "left communist" position. When discussing Lenin's theses, they realized that "revolutionary fervor and enthusiasm is not enough, that real preparation must be carried out." Bukharin's speech is unconvincing, said Rozanova. In Yaroslavl, "the same arguments were presented by the 'Left' Socialist-Revolutionaries," who were supported by the Mensheviks. She qualified Ryazanov's speech at the congress as Menshevik.
KI Shelavin spoke at the congress about the sharp turn of the broad party masses of Petrograd towards peace. He stressed that this turnaround took place only two weeks ago, after the workers realized the whole "imminent danger of a German invasion." We have before us one way, Shelavin pointed out, this is "the way of concluding peace, its ratification."
The "Left Communists" tried at the congress to prevent the victory of the Leninist policy of the Central Committee on the question of peace. On the report on war and peace, they singled out Bukharin as a co-rapporteur. In addition, during the discussion of the issue, they demanded a break in order to break up into factions and find out: who is for and who is against peace. Their proposal was rejected by the congress. In the co-report, Bukharin, as before, tried to defend and substantiate the adventurous position of an immediate war against Germany; The Brest-Litovsk peace treaty, adopted by the Central Committee of the party, he characterized as “surrender along the entire front, surrender outside, surrender inside”, as “an attempt to partition Russia” and demanded the annulment of this treaty.
Uritsky, Bubnov, Ryazanov, Obolensky, Sapronov, and others spoke out against the ratification of the peace treaty, in defense of Bukharin's position at the congress,”maintenance of the proletarian government; by concluding a treaty, the Soviet government signs "itself a death sentence" . Bubnov, defending the slogan of a revolutionary war, tried to prove that the conclusion of peace would deal a blow to the cause of the international proletariat, that the proletariat was supposedly faced with the task of "developing a civil war on an international scale", that this was not a fantastic, but quite real task.
Trotsky defended the position "neither war, nor peace" at the congress. He tried in every possible way to justify his anti-Leninist position in Brest. Developing capitulatory, Menshevik views, Trotsky declared at the congress that Russia would not build socialism with its internal forces, that "Soviet power is too heavy a burden for the proletariat, that we came too early and must go underground." He argued that the European proletariat was riper than the Russian one for socialism and that it would help the proletariat of Russia.
Trotsky was supported by Radek at the congress.
At the morning session of the congress on March 8, V.I. Lenin made a concluding speech on the report on war and peace. Summing up the results of the speeches at the congress, he emphasized that the splitting activity of the "left communists" caused enormous harm to the party. Lenin sharply criticized Trotsky's speech.
Having unanimously approved the report of the Central Committee, the congress began to discuss the resolution on the question of war and peace.
Two resolutions were submitted for voting — a draft resolution by V. I. Lenin and “Theses on the Present Time” , proposed as a resolution by the “left communists”. The theses of the "left communists" were immediately rejected by the congress; the draft resolution of V.I. Lenin was adopted as a basis.
During the discussion of Lenin's resolution, Ryazanov made a disorganizing proposal, demanding that the text be removed from the resolution, which speaks of increasing self-discipline and discipline among workers and peasants. The congress rejected this amendment. After the congress adopted Lenin's resolution, Ryazanov announced his resignation from the party. Trotsky introduced an amendment to the resolution demanding that the Soviet government be prohibited from concluding a peace treaty with the Ukrainian Rada and the bourgeois government of Finland. This amendment deprived the Central Committee of the possibility of free maneuvering in the implementation of the peace policy. V.I. Lenin opposed it. The amendment was rejected.
Instead of Trotsky's amendment, the congress adopted an addendum to the resolution proposed by V.I. Lenin , which gave the Central Committee broad powers in canceling the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty and prohibited the publication of the congress resolution on war and peace in the press.
With a majority of votes: for - 30, against - 12, with 4 - abstaining by rollcall, the congress adopted the resolution of V.I. Lenin.
After the adoption of the resolution on the question of war and peace, Krestinsky and Ioffe introduced an additional resolution approving Trotsky’s activity as the head of the Soviet peace delegation and his failure to sign a peace treaty with Germany on January 28 (February 10). This resolution clearly denied the decision just adopted by the Congress and was rejected after discussion. Trotsky, threatening to resign from positions of responsibility, demanded that the congress approve his statement in Brest on the refusal to sign the peace and on the demobilization of the army. But these demands of Trotsky, who was trying to cross out the peace resolution already adopted by the congress, were also resolutely rejected by the congress.
On the second issue of the order of the day - the revision of the program and the name of the party - at the evening session of the congress on March 8, 1918, V.I. Lenin made a speech.
Already in the April Theses, V. I. Lenin raised the question of changing the name of the party and revising the party program. The program had to reflect the changes that occurred as a result of the entry of capitalism into the last stage of its development - imperialism, as well as a result of the overthrow of the autocracy in Russia in February 1917 and to define the tasks of the party in the new conditions of the transition to the socialist revolution. An important role in the preparation of the new program was played by the decisions of the VII (April) conference and the VI Congress of the RSDLP (b). The fundamental program documents were the special works of VI Lenin "Materials for the revision of the party program", "For the revision of the party program" and "Rough sketch of the draft program".
With the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution, radical changes took place not only in Russia, but throughout the world. In Russia, the capitalist system was destroyed, a socialist state of workers and peasants was created - the state of the proletarian dictatorship, the creation of a new, socialist society began. Having broken through the front of imperialism in Russia, the Great October Socialist Revolution marked the beginning of a new era in the history of mankind - the era of the collapse of capitalism and the establishment of communism. The main tasks set by the program adopted at the Second Party Congress in 1903 were accomplished. The party became the leading and guiding force of the Soviet state. We needed a new program and a new name for the party.
In his April Theses and in his report at the VII Congress, V. I. Lenin suggested giving a new name to the party instead of the RSDLP (Bolsheviks): "Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks)". This name of the party, said V. I. Lenin, is the only scientifically correct one, for it accurately reflects the goal towards which, in the end, the initiated socialist transformations are directed - "precisely the goal of creating a communist society" . In addition, the new name of the party also testified to the fact that it, which had long broken in essence, was breaking all ties and formally with the Social Democracy, whose official leaders around the world had betrayed the working class by becoming servants of the bourgeoisie.
At the beginning of the Congress, the delegates received a "Rough Sketch of the Draft Program," written by V. I. Lenin and used as the basis for his report at the Congress. V. I. Lenin gave a substantiation of the theoretical, political and practical parts of the program. He stressed that "the program of the Marxist party must proceed from absolutely precisely established facts." Objection to those who, like N. Bukharin and V. Smirnov, suggested deleting the theoretical part of the old program, V. I. Lenin reminded that the development of exchange and commodity production led to capitalism, and capitalism grew into imperialism. Therefore, staying on the basis of facts, one should preserve the theoretical part of the old program with the characteristics of simple commodity production and capitalism, supplementing it with the characteristics of the era of imperialism and the beginning of the era of socialist revolution.
V.I. Lenin considered it necessary in the party program to characterize and scientifically substantiate the Soviet form of the state of the proletarian dictatorship as a new type of state in the transitional period from capitalism to socialism, as well as an accurate description of the first economic transformations of Soviet power with a specific statement of the immediate tasks arising from already taken practical steps of expropriation of expropriators.
Stressing that Russia is only at the first transitional stage from capitalism to socialism, V.I. Lenin did not consider it possible to abandon all the requirements of the minimum program, as N. Bukharin and V. Smirnov had proposed before the congress, and N. Bukharin. "We must now," said Lenin, "instead of the old program, write a new program of Soviet power, without in the least renouncing the use of bourgeois parliamentarism." Objection to R. Pelshe, who suggested not to mention the use of parliamentary forms of struggle in the program, V. I. Lenin pointed out: “In no case should we pretend that we do not value bourgeois parliamentary institutions at all. They are a huge step forward in comparison with the previous one ... we cannot open the way for a purely anarchist denial of bourgeois parliamentarism ”.
This statement by V. I. Lenin provided and continues to provide great assistance to the international communist movement in its struggle against the "left" sectarians who deny the need to use the bourgeois parliament in the interests of the revolution.
Lenin strongly opposed Bukharin's proposal to give in the new program "a characterization of the socialist system in its expanded form, to characterize communism", to say about the destruction of "any political superstructure", "political power as such."
Objection to Bukharin, Lenin said that “the bricks have not yet been created, from which socialism will be formed”, and “what socialism will be when it reaches ready-made forms, we do not know, we cannot say this”, that “to proclaim the abolition of the state in advance would be a violation historical perspective ".
These Leninist theses have been brilliantly confirmed by the world-historical experience of the Soviet people's struggle for the victory of socialism in the USSR and have not lost their significance at the present stage of the international revolutionary movement, when the newly-minted revisionists, repeating Bukharin, insist on the need for the immediate withering away of the socialist state. The Program of the CPSU, adopted by the 22nd Party Congress, emphasizes that peoples can come to socialism only as a result of the implementation of the dictatorship of the proletariat, that the socialist state serves as the main instrument of the socialist transformation of society, and “for the complete withering away of the state, it is necessary to create both internal conditions - building a developed socialist society and external conditions — the victory and consolidation of socialism in the international arena ”.
The Seventh Party Congress resolutely rebuffed Bukharin's opportunist forays, adopted the resolution proposed by V. I. Lenin "On changing the name of the party and the party program."
To develop the party program, a commission headed by V.I. Lenin was created, which was instructed in preparing the party program to be guided by Lenin's resolution adopted by the congress.
Before the adoption of the program by the VIII Congress of the RCP (b), Lenin's draft program was the main program document of the party. At the request of the Novgorod Provincial Committee of the RCP (b) to send them immediately the party program, the Central Committee in a letter dated April 26, 1918 replied that the party program was being developed and that it was guided by “rough sketches of the program of comrade Lenin, which, in addition, we are applying ".
An extremely acute situation arose at the congress during the discussion of the last issue of the order of the day — the election of the Central Committee. The "Left Communists" initially refused to take part in the elections to the Central Committee, and only after the congress condemned this splitting move, they took part in the voting, insisting, however, on their refusal to join the Central Committee. This question was transferred to a meeting of the plenum of the Central Committee.
By closed ballot, the Central Committee was elected by a congress consisting of 15 members of the Central Committee and 8 candidates.
The VII Extraordinary Congress of the RCP (Bolshevik) was of tremendous historical significance. The resolution of V. I. Lenin "On War and Peace", adopted by the Congress, summed up the struggle of the Leninist majority of the Central Committee and the entire party for the revolutionary withdrawal of Russia from the imperialist war, approved the basic principles of the foreign policy of the Soviet state, developed by V. I. Lenin, outlined the primary tasks of the party in building socialism and strengthening the dictatorship of the proletariat in Russia in the interests of the working people of all countries.
Assessing the significance of the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty, V. I. Lenin wrote: “Thanks to the peace achieved, despite all its burdens and all its fragility, the Russian Soviet Republic gets the opportunity for a certain time to concentrate its forces on the most important and most difficult side of the socialist revolution , namely, on an organizational task ".
The IV Extraordinary All-Russian Congress of Soviets gathered in Moscow at a meeting on March 15, 1918, recognizing the correct policy of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People's Commissars on the issue of war and peace, by a majority of 784 votes, against 261, with 115 abstentions, adopted the resolution of V.I. Lenin on the ratification of the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty. The "left communists" also abstained from voting, who, contrary to the decision of the Central Committee of the party of March 15, 1918, prohibiting the submission of a separate declaration to the congress, announced at the congress a special declaration explaining the reasons for their abstaining from voting. The resolution of the IV All-Russian Congress of Soviets on the ratification of the peace treaty with Germany was supported by the Second All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets (for 408 votes, against - 308).
The decisions of the VII Party Congress during March - April 1918 were widely discussed in local party organizations. At the party meetings that took place after the congress, the delegates of the congress Y.M. Sverdlov, M.S. Sergushev, O.I. Rozanova, S.S. Moiseev, F.I. they carried ideas of peace into the very midst of the party masses. The speech of the delegate of the VII Congress of Fedorovsky at the meeting of the party organization of the City District of Nizhny Novgorod on March 24, 1918 was imbued with special trust and respect for V. I. Lenin and his peace policy. “The word of Lenin, the greatest leader of our party, was decisive, it was that very word, before which all the speeches of the orators paled, and which made an extraordinary impression in the eyes of the Congress ."
The decisions of the VII Congress were fully approved by the largest party organizations of the Central Industrial Region, which were part of the Moscow Regional Bureau of the RCP (b) - Yaroslavskaya Gorodskaya, Sormovskaya, Kanavinskaya, Nizhegorodskaya, etc .; party organizations of the Urals - Chelyabinsk, Nizhne-Tagilskaya, etc. The Petrograd organization of the RCP (b) expressed its protest against the splitting activity of the "left communists". "The St. Petersburg Committee, chosen by a random small majority of delegates and pursuing a policy of splitting into broad working masses due to tactical differences, should be re-elected as not expressing the opinion of the majority of the party" city of Petrograd. Attempts to split on March 20 were sharply condemned at the Extraordinary City Petrograd Conference of the RCP (b). Recognizing the policy of the St. Petersburg Committee on the issue of concluding a peace treaty "deeply mistaken", the conference decided to stop publishing "Kommunist", to demand from the supporters of the "revolutionary war" "an end to the isolated organizational existence."
On April 4, 1918, the decisions of the VII Party Congress were approved by the Northern Regional Conference of the RCP (b).
On March 24, 1918, the ratification of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty was approved by the 7th Moscow Regional Conference of the RCP (b), V.I. Lenin's theses on the current political situation as a resolution for the current moment were adopted: May 13 - Moscow City Conference, May 14 - Moscow regional and 15 May - Moscow regional conference of the RCP (b).
The anti-party position of Trotsky and the "left communists" was dealt a crushing blow.
However, even after the 7th Congress of the RCP (b), the "left communists" in some party organizations, continuing their factional splitting activity, opposed the decision of the congress to ratify the peace treaty.
On March 9, 1918, the "left communists" who were part of the Petersburg Committee of the RCP (b), in their address "To all party members" declared the decision of the congress "deeply mistaken." They counted on their support from the entire Petrograd party organization. However, as indicated above, the Petrograd Conference, which met on March 20, 1918, condemning the "left communists" and declared that the PK policy "could in no way be the policy of the Petrograd organization of the Communist Party."
The leaders of the Moscow Regional Bureau also went to an open break with the party. With the aim of disintegrating the party ranks, they sent their representatives to the provinces that were part of MOE, trying to carry out their decisions there. On April 28, at the suggestion of Lomov, the Ivanovo-Voznesensk city conference of the RCP (b) adopted a "left-communist" resolution recognizing the "policy of the" majority "of the party as wrong"; On May 10, a similar resolution was adopted at the suggestion of Bukharin at the Ivanovo-Kineshma regional conference of the RCP (b) and on May 13 - at the Yaroslavl citywide conference of the RCP (b) at the suggestion of Yakovleva. Influenced by the demagogy of the "left communists", the IV Ural Regional Conference, held on April 25-29, recognized the tactics of implementing the Brest Treaty as "unacceptable and disastrous". Safarov, who spoke at the conference, called the agreement "Brest paper". After the conference, the Ural Regional Committee sent a telegram to the IV Moscow Regional Conference (held May 14-17, 1918) demanding to join the decision of the Ural Regional Conference on the immediate convocation of a broad party congress . The Moscow Regional Conference rejected this proposal, recognizing "the immediate convocation of a new party congress inappropriate", and called on all party members to "strict party disciplined and close-knit work under the leadership of the Central Committee".
The "Left Communists" failed to thwart the decisions of the 7th Congress and split the ranks of the party.
Signing a difficult and humiliating peace, V. I. Lenin believed in its fragility and fragility. He knew that the ratification of the Brest-Litovsk Peace would meet with the broadest support of the popular masses both in Russia and in the capitalist countries, that the policy of Soviet power would show all oppressed humanity the way to fight for a way out of the imperialist war.
During the struggle for the conclusion of the Brest Peace, the Communist Party enriched the world communist movement with valuable experience in adapting the tactics of the revolutionary proletariat to any change in the conditions for the development of the revolution, the use of various forms of struggle against the forces of external and internal counter-revolution. It provided examples of skillful maneuvering up to an organized retreat in front of a stronger and more experienced enemy at a time when his forces are obviously superior in order to prepare with the greatest energy a new offensive against the enemy. “To accept a battle when it is deliberately beneficial to the enemy, and not to us,” wrote V. I. Lenin, “is a crime, and such politicians of the revolutionary class are useless if they cannot make“ maneuvering, compromise, compromises ”in order to evade a deliberately unprofitable battle ".
The Brest-Litovsk Peace was, in a certain sense, a compromise with the German imperialists, but just in such a situation and such a compromise, which, according to Lenin's definition, was obligatory. The Party yielded to the violence of the German imperialists only after the peace was thwarted by the Entente imperialists. At the same time, having concluded the Brest Peace, the party skillfully used the contradictions within the imperialist camp as a kind of reserve of the state of the proletarian dictatorship in its struggle to consolidate the gains of the Great October Socialist Revolution and increase the country's defense capability. “Brest is remarkable for the fact that for the first time on a gigantic scale, amidst immense difficulties, we were able to use the contradictions between the imperialists so that socialism ultimately won” . Analyzing the experience accumulated by the party during its existence, including during the period of the Brest-Litovsk Peace, V.I. , from agreements and compromises with a possible, even temporary, fragile, shaky, conditional ally. “After the first socialist revolution of the proletariat, after the overthrow of the bourgeoisie in one country,” wrote VI Lenin, “the proletariat of this country remains weaker for a long time than the bourgeoisie, simply because of its enormous international ties, and then because of the spontaneous and constant restoration , the revival of capitalism and the bourgeoisie by small commodity producers that overthrew the bourgeoisie of the country. Defeating a more powerful enemy is possible only with the greatest exertion of forces and with the obligatory, most careful, caring, careful, skillful use, like any, even the slightest, “crack” between enemies, any opposition of interests between the bourgeoisie of different countries, between different groups or types of the bourgeoisie within individual countries - and any, even the slightest, opportunity to get a massive ally, even a temporary, shaky, fragile, unreliable, conditional. Whoever did not understand this, he did not understand a single grain of Marxism and scientific, modern, socialism in general "
Life has confirmed the full perspicacity of Lenin's policy. The conclusion of the Brest Peace Treaty gave Soviet Russia a respite. A peaceful respite was used by the party to consolidate Soviet power, to strengthen the alliance of the working class and the working peasantry, to create a Red Army capable of defending the Socialist fatherland from the imperialist invaders.
Lenin's prediction about the fragility of the Brest Peace was confirmed. In November 1918, a revolution broke out in Germany. Wilhelm II's government was overthrown. Power passed into the hands of the Soviets of Workers 'and Sailors' Deputies. The Soviet government on November 13, 1918, by a resolution of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, annulled the predatory peace treaty and proclaimed, "true peace - a world union of working people of all countries and nations!"
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The verbatim report of the 7th Party Congress was first published by the Istpart of the Central Committee of the RCP (b) in 1923 under the editorship of a special commission created by the Central Committee of the Party. The publication was based on the transcript of the sessions of the Congress. In 1928 it was also republished by the Istpart of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b). In the text of the 1928 edition, a number of additions from the secretary's notes were included to clarify or develop the speaker's thought. All of these additions were given in the text in square brackets.
The basis of this edition of the verbatim record of the VII Congress of the RCP (b) is the text of the first edition of 1923, carefully verified with the verbatim records of the sessions of the Congress kept in the Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism under the Central Committee of the CPSU, edited by the editorial commission of the Central Committee (f. 40, op. I, items 6) and genuine secretarial notes, which were kept at the sessions of the congress simultaneously by six secretaries appointed by the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the RSDLP (b) (items 1-5). The secretarial notes are very short and not all have been found, for some meetings there are only 2-4 notes.
Taking into account the authenticity of the secretarial notes, as well as the fact that the reports on the work of the 7th stage were published in the Bolshevik press on the basis of these notes, the editorial board considered it possible in this edition to add the text from the secretarial notes supplementing the congress transcript without brackets. In addition, the texts of the secretaries' notes were also used in footnotes for a more complete presentation of the speeches of delegates speaking at the congress.
A number of additions to the transcript are published for the first time.
There is no list of delegates to the Congress in the funds of the VII Party Congress. Based on the study of documentary materials of the congress (registration lists with the personal signature of delegates, partially preserved mandates and questionnaires of delegates), as well as decisions of local party conferences on the election of delegates to the VII Congress of the RCP (b), the list of delegates in this publication has been significantly expanded and corrected in comparison with a list in previous editions. Twenty new names have been added to the casting list, 17 of which are being reintroduced and 3 have been moved from other lists. From the list of delegates with a casting vote, 16 people who were mistakenly included in this list were moved to the list of delegates with an advisory vote. The list of delegates with an advisory vote includes 36 new names, 12 of them again, 16 from the list with a casting vote and 8 from other lists. The names of delegates, newly included in the list with a casting and advisory vote, are marked in the list with one asterisk (*). The names of delegates who, in previous editions of the minutes, were mistakenly entered on the voting or advisory lists, are marked with two asterisks (**) and three asterisks (***) —from the guest list or with an unclear right to vote.
Compared with the previous ones, this edition of the verbatim report has been supplemented with new documents and materials related to the congress showing the enormous work done by the Central Committee headed by V.I. Lenin in preparing on the conclusion of the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty on the eve and after the work of the VII Party Congress. The publication includes documents from local party organizations, as well as documents from the "left communists".
This edition of the verbatim record contains a new section, "Materials of the Congress". The section includes documents of V. I. Lenin: a rough outline of the draft program, notes at the congress on the question of war and peace, a plan for the final speech on the report on war and peace. For the first time, historical and party documents are published in this section: a letter from the Central Council of Factory Committees of Petrograd to the Central Committee of the RSDLP (b), a telegram from the Ural Regional Party Committee to the Central Committee of the RSDLP (b), the decision of the working meeting on March 5, 1918, minutes of the preliminary meeting delegates to the congress on March 5, notes from delegates to the presidium of the congress.
The section "Appendices" again includes works by V. I. Lenin, written by him during the preparation of the congress: "Summary of the program of negotiations on peace", "Theses on the question of the immediate conclusion of a separate and annexationist peace", "Afterword to the theses on the question of immediate the conclusion of a separate and annexationist peace "," The socialist fatherland is in danger! "," Strange and monstrous ", as well as notes on the party conference on January 8 (21), 1918, the results of the answers on the question of peace or war received by the Council of People's Commissars and the Central Executive Committee.
For the first time, the protocols of the Central Committee of the RSDLP (b) of the period of the Brest negotiations, documents and materials related to the issue of concluding peace and resolutions on this issue of local party organizations and Soviets of workers, peasants and soldiers' deputies were fully included. More than one hundred documents are included again.
Printed sources and documentary materials from the period of the Brest-Litovsk peace negotiations have not been fully preserved, therefore the resolutions of local party organizations and Soviets included in this publication do not reflect the positions of all organizations of the RSDLP (b) and local Soviets that have expressed their attitude towards the issue of war and peace.
For the first time, the report of the Secretariat of the Central Committee for the period from the VI Congress to February 1918 and the decision of the Central Committee of the Party of March 15, 1918, prohibiting the "left communists" from submitting a separate declaration to the IV Extraordinary All-Russian Congress of Soviets, is also published.
In this edition of the verbatim record, dates before February 1 (14), 1918 are given in double style (new style in brackets), after February 14 in new style.
The text of the verbatim report of the congress is printed but modern spelling while maintaining all the stylistic features of documentary materials. Explicit misprints, misprints, spelling errors are corrected without reservations.
The publication is equipped with a revised and supplemented scientific and reference apparatus, consisting of notes to the text, indexes: names, party organizations and periodicals.
The publication has been prepared for publication by N. T. Gorbunova. Preparatory Assistant S. Nikolaevskaya. Editor N.I.Shatagin.
Institute of Marxism-Leninism under the Central Committee of the CPSU
CONGRESS STENOGRAPHIC REPORT
Although some sections are already available on line, as the "primary source" the entire book is within the "Archive works" & will be organized for PDF in late December, after the completion of 19th Congress. -possibly 6th and 8th will follow
Svitlana M, Erdogan A