the key-note of the entire enlarged plenum of the Executive Committee of the Comintern was the isolation of the Right elements in the Comintern. Read the Comintern's resolution on the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, read the resolution on Bolshevisation, and you
will easily see that the Comintern's chief target was the Right elements in the communist movement.
That is why it is impossible to say that our Party has made concessions to the Right deviation in the Comintern.
Strictly speaking, Comrades Smeral and Zapotocky are not Rights. They do not accept the platform of the Rights, the platform of the Brünnites. The nearest description would be that they are vacillators between the Leninists and the Rights, with an inclination toward the Rights. The specific feature of their behaviour at the enlarged plenum of the Executive Committee of the Comintern was that, under the pressure of our criticism, on the one hand, and as a result of the dangerous prospect of a split created by the Rights, on the other, they, on this occasion, swung to our side, the side of the Leninists, and pledged themselves to keep in alliance with the Leninists against the Rights. That is to their credit. But do the comrades think that we should not have offered a hand to the vacillators when the latter swung to the side of the Leninists, when they made concessions to the Leninists against the Rights? It would be strange and deplorable if people were to be found among us who are incapable of understanding the elementary truths of Bolshevik tactics. Has not experience already shown that the Comintern's policy on the question of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia is the only correct policy? Are not Comrades Smeral and Zapotocky continuing to fight in the ranks of the Leninists against the Rights? Are not the Brünnites in the Czechoslovak Party already isolated?
It may be asked: will this be for long? Of course, I do not know whether this will be for long; I do not
undertake to prophesy. It is obvious, at all events, that as long as the Smeralites fight the Rights, the agreement with the former will remain in force; but as soon as the Smeralites abandon their present position, the agreement with them will cease to hold good. But that is not at all the point now. The point now is that the present agreement against the Rights
strengthens the Leninists, creates new possibilities for them to carry the vacillators with them. That is the main thing now, and not how Comrades Smeral and Zapotocky may vacillate again in the future.
Some people think that it is the duty of the Leninists to support every Left tub-thumper and neurasthenic, that everywhere and in everything the Leninists are the inveterate Lefts among the Communists. That is not true, comrades. We are Lefts in relation to the non-communist parties of the working class; but we have never pledged ourselves to be "more Left than everybody," as the late Parvus demanded at one time, and for which he received a severe telling-off from Lenin. Among Communists we are neither Lefts nor Rights, we are simply Leninists. Lenin knew what he was doing when he fought on two fronts, against both the Left and the Right deviations in the communist movement. It is not for nothing that one of Lenin's best pamphlets deals with the subject:
"Left-Wing" Communism, an Infantile Disorder.
I think that the comrades would not have asked me the sixth question had they paid timely attention to this latter circumstance.
That is how the matter stands with the sixth question.
Let us pass to the seventh question.
Owing to the weakness of the Party organisations in the countryside,
is there not a danger that, with the adoption of the new course,
anti-Soviet agitation in the countryside will assume a definite ideological form?
Yes, there is such a danger. There can be scarcely any doubt that conducting elections to the Soviets under the slogan of revitalising the Soviets means freedom of local election propaganda. Needless to say, the anti-Soviet elements will not miss such a convenient opportunity to squeeze through the loop-hole and once more make trouble for the Soviet regime. Hence the danger that anti-Soviet agitation in the countryside will increase and assume definite form. The elections in the Kuban, in Siberia and in the Ukraine provide eloquent proof of this. Undoubtedly, the weakness of our rural organisations in a number of districts enhances this danger. It is beyond doubt, too, that the interventionist proclivities of the imperialist powers also enhance this danger.
What fosters this danger, what are its sources?
There are at least two such sources.
Firstly, the anti-Soviet elements sense that a certain change in favour of the kulaks has taken place recently in the countryside, that in a number of districts the middle peasants have turned towards the kulaks. That might have been guessed before the elections; after the elections the guess became a certainty. That is the first and chief basis of the danger that anti-Soviet agitation in the countryside will assume a definite ideological form.
Secondly, in quite a number of districts our concessions to the peasantry were regarded as a sign of weakness. Before the elections there might have been some doubt about that; after the elections, there is no room for doubt. Hence the cry issued by the whiteguard elements in the countryside: "Press harder!" That is the second, although less important, basis of the danger that anti-Soviet agitation in the countryside will increase.
Communists must understand, first of all, that the present period in the countryside is a period of struggle to win over the middle peasants, that
to win the middle peasants to the side of the proletariat is the Party's paramount task in the countryside, that unless this task is carried out, the danger that anti-Soviet agitation will assume definite form will increase, and the Party's new course may benefit only the whiteguard elements.
Communists must understand, secondly, that the middle peasants can be won over now only on the basis of the Party's new policy in the sphere of the Soviets, co-operation, credit, the agricultural tax, local budgets, and so forth; that measures of administrative pressure can only do harm and ruin the work; that the middle peasants must be convinced of the correctness of our policy by means of measures of an economic and political character; that the middle peasants can be "captured" only by means of example, by practical proof.
Communists must understand, furthermore, that the new course has been taken not to stimulate the anti-Soviet elements, but to revitalise the Soviets and to win over the bulk of the peasant masses, that the new course does not preclude, but presupposes, a deter-
mined struggle against the anti-Soviet elements, that if the anti-Soviet elements, regarding the concessions to the peasantry as a sign of our weakness and utilising them for the benefit of counter-revolution, say: "Press harder," then we must, without fail, show them that the Soviet power is strong, and remind them of the prisons, which have long been waiting to receive them.
I think that the danger that anti-Soviet agitation in the countryside will assume a definite ideological form and increase will certainly be completely removed if these tasks of ours are understood and carried out.
That is how the matter stands with the seventh question.
Let us pass to the eighth question.
In view of the increased influence of the non-Party people, is there not a danger that non-Party groups will be formed in the Soviets?
One can speak of danger in this case only with reservations. There is nothing dangerous in the growth of the influence of more or less organised non-Party people in places where the influence of Communists has not yet penetrated. Such is the case, for example, with the trade unions in the towns and with non-Party, more or less Soviet organisations in the countryside. Danger arises the moment non-Party organisations begin to think of usurping the place of the Party.
What is the source of this danger?
It is characteristic that no sign, or very little sign of such danger is to be observed in our working class.
How is this to be explained? By the fact that around our Party in the working class there is a large active of non-Party workers who surround the Party with an atmosphere of confidence and link it with the vast masses of the working class.
It is no less characteristic that such a danger is especially acute among the peasantry. Why? Because the Party is weak among the peasantry, the Party has not yet a large active of non-Party peasants to link it with the tens of millions of peasants. And yet nowhere, perhaps, is the need of a non-Party active felt as acutely as it is among the peasantry.
Only one conclusion follows: to remove the danger of the non-Party peasant masses becoming divorced and alienated from the Party we must create around the Party a large non-Party peasant active.
But such an active cannot be created at one stroke, or in a couple of months. It can be created and singled out from the mass of the peasantry only in the course of time, in the course of work, in the course of revitalising the Soviets, in the course of implanting a co-operative communal life. For this purpose the Communist must change his very approach to the non-Party person. For this purpose the Communist must treat the non-Party person as an equal. For this purpose the Communist must learn to treat the non-Party person with confidence, to treat him as a brother. The non-Party person cannot be expected to display confidence when treated with distrust in return. Lenin said that the relations between Party and non-Party people must be those of "mutual confidence." Those words of Lenin's must not be forgotten. The creation of an atmosphere of mutual confi-
dence between Party and non-Party people -- that is what is needed first of all in order to prepare the conditions for the creation of a large non-Party peasant active around the Party.
But how is this mutual confidence to be created? Not at one stroke, of course, and not by order. It can be created, as Lenin said, only by means of "mutual testing" of Party and non-Party people, mutual testing in the course of the daily practical work. During the first purge of the Party, the Party members were tested through the medium of non-Party people, and this was beneficial for the Party, for it created around it an atmosphere of extraordinary confidence. Already at that time Lenin said in this connection that the lessons of the first purge as regards the mutual testing of Party and non-Party people should be extended to all branches of activity. I think it is high time to recall this advice of Lenin's and to take measures to put it into practice.
Thus, mutual criticism and mutual testing of Party and non-Party people in the course of the daily practical work as the means of creating an atmosphere of mutual confidence between them -- such is the path along which the Party must proceed if it wants to remove the danger of the alienation of the millions of non-Party people from the Party, if it wants to create a large non-Party peasant active around its organisations in the countryside.
That is how the matter stands with the eighth question.
Let us pass to the ninth question.
Shall we really be able to carry out the re-equipment and considerable enlargement of the fixed capital of large-scale industry without foreign assistance?
This question can be interpreted in two ways.
Either that the questioners have in mind immediate assistance to the Soviet state in the shape of credits from the existing capitalist states as an essential condition for the development of Soviet industry -- in which case one answer would have to be given, corresponding to that way of presenting the question
Or that the questioners have in mind assistance to the Soviet state on the part of the Western proletariat in the future, after it has achieved victory, as an essential condition for the building of a socialist economy -- in which case a different answer would have to be given.
To avoid offending anybody, I shall try to answer both possible interpretations of this question.
Let us start with the first interpretation.
Is it possible to develop large-scale Soviet industry in the conditions of capitalist encirclement without credits from abroad?
Yes, it is possible. It will be accompanied by great difficulties, we shall have to go through severe trials, nevertheless we can industrialise our country without credits from abroad, in spite of all those difficulties.
History up to now knows three ways of the formation and development of powerful industrial states.
The first way is the seizure and plunder of colonies. That was the way Britain, for example, developed.
After seizing colonies in all parts of the world, she for two centuries squeezed "extra capital" out of them for the purpose of strengthening her industry, and eventually she became the "workshop of the world." You know that this path of development is unacceptable for us, for the seizure and plunder of colonies are incompatible with the nature of the Soviet system.
The second way is the military defeat of one country by another and the imposition of indemnities upon the defeated country. Such was the case with Germany, for example. After defeating France in the Franco-Prussian war, Germany squeezed an indemnity of 5,000 millions out of France and poured this money into the channels of her own industry. You know that this path of development is also incompatible with the nature of the Soviet system, for, in essence, it differs in no way from the first.
The third way is for capitalistically backward countries to grant concessions to and accept loans from capitalistically developed countries on enslaving terms. Such was the case with tsarist Russia, for example. She granted concessions to and accepted loans from the Western powers on such terms and thereby imposed upon herself the yoke of a semi-colonial existence, which, however, did not preclude the possibility of her eventually emerging on to the road of independent industrial development, not, of course, without the aid of more or less "successful" wars, and, of course, not without plundering neighbouring countries. It scarcely needs proof that this path is also unacceptable for the Land of Soviets. We did not shed our blood in the three-years' war against the imperialists of all countries in order to go
into voluntary bondage to imperialism the very next day after the victorious termination of the civil war.
It would be wrong to think that in real life each of these paths of development is necessarily travelled in its pure form, and is absolutely isolated from the others. Actually, in the history of individual countries those paths often intercrossed and supplemented one another, presenting an interwoven pattern. An example of such an interweaving of paths is provided by the history of the development of the United States of America. That is explained by the fact that, notwithstanding all the differences between them, those diverse paths of development have certain features in common, which bring them close to one another and make their interweaving possible: firstly, all lead to the formation of
capitalist industrial states; secondly, all presuppose an influx from outside of "extra capital," obtained in one way or another,
as an essential condition for the formation of such states. It would be still more wrong, however, on these grounds to confuse those paths, to jumble them together, failing to understand that, after all, those three paths of development imply three different modes of formation of industrial capitalist states, that each of those paths puts its own special impress upon the complexion of those states.
What, then, is the Soviet state to do if the old paths of industrialisation are unacceptable for it, and if an influx of new capital on other than enslaving terms is still out of the question?
It can take a new path of development, a path not yet fully explored by other countries, the path of developing large-scale industry without credits from abroad,
the path of industrialising the country without necessarily having an influx of foreign capital, the path indicated by Lenin in his article "Better Fewer, but Better."
"We must strive," says Lenin, "to build up a state in which the workers retain their leadership of the peasants, in which they retain the confidence of the peasants, and, by exercising the greatest economy, remove every trace of extravagance from their social relations.
"We must bring our state apparatus to the utmost degree of economy. . . . If we see to it that the working class retains the leadership of the peasantry, we shall be able, by exercising the greatest possible economy in the economic life of our state, to use every kopek we save to develop our large-scale machine industry, to develop electrification. . . . Only when we have done this," says Lenin further, "will we, speaking figuratively, be able to change horses, to change from the peasant, muzhik, horse of poverty, from the horse of economies adapted to a ruined peasant country, to the horse which the proletariat is seeking and cannot but seek -- the horse of large-scale machine industry, of electrification, of Volkhovstroi, etc." (see Vol. XXVII, p. 417).
That is the path our country has already taken, and along which it must proceed, in order to develop its large-scale industry and in order that it may itself develop into a powerful, industrial, proletarian state.
As I have already said, that path has not been explored by the bourgeois states, but that does not mean in the least that it cannot be taken by the proletarian state. What in this case is impossible, or almost impossible, for bourgeois states, is quite possible for the proletarian state. The fact of the matter is that, in this respect, the proletarian state possesses advantages which bourgeois states do not, and, perhaps, cannot possess. Nationalised land, nationalised industry, nationalised transport and credit, monopoly of foreign trade and state-regulated home trade -- these are all new sources of "extra capital," which can be used for developing our country's industry, and which hitherto no bourgeois state has possessed. You know that the proletarian government is already using these and similar new sources for developing our industry. You know that along this path we have already achieved some successes of no little importance.
That is why the path of development that is impossible for bourgeois states is quite possible for the proletarian state, in spite of all the difficulties and trials involved.
Furthermore, it must be noted that the absence at the present time of an influx of capital from abroad on other than enslaving terms cannot be eternal and absolute. You know that some influx of capital into our country from abroad has already begun. There is scarcely any room for doubt that this influx will increase in proportion as our national economy grows and becomes consolidated.
That is how the matter stands with the first interpretation of the question.
Let us pass to the second interpretation of the question.
Is it possible to build a socialist economy in our country before socialism is victorious in the major European countries, without direct assistance in machinery and equipment from the victorious European proletariat?
Before dealing with this question, which, by the by, I have already answered in the beginning of my speech,
I should like to dispel a very widespread misconception concerning it. The misconception is that some comrades are inclined to identify the question of "the re-equipment and enlargement of the fixed capital of large-scale industry" with the question of building a socialist economy in our country. Can we agree to such an identification? No, we cannot. Why? Because the scope of the first question is narrower than that of the second. Because the first question concerning the enlargement of the fixed capital of industry embraces only a
part of the national economy, namely, industry, whereas the question concerning the building of a socialist economy embraces the
whole national economy, namely, both industry and agriculture. Because the problem of building socialism is the problem of
organising the national economy as a whole, the problem of correctly combining industry and agriculture, whereas, strictly speaking, the question of enlarging the fixed capital of industry does not even touch that problem. We can picture to ourselves that the fixed capital of industry is already being re-equipped and enlarged, but that would not at all mean that the problem of building a socialist economy has already been solved. Socialist society is a producers' and consumers' association of those who work in industry and agriculture. If, in this association, industry is not linked up with agriculture, which provides raw materials and food and absorbs the products of industry, if industry and agriculture do not thus constitute a single, national-economic whole, there will be no socialism whatever.
That is why the question of the relations between industry and agriculture, the question of the relations between the proletariat and the peasantry, is a
fundamental question in the problem of building a socialist economy.
That is why the question of the re-equipment and enlargement of the fixed capital of large-scale industry cannot be identified with the question of building a socialist economy.
And so, is it possible to build a socialist economy in our country before socialism is victorious in other countries, without direct assistance in machinery and equipment from the victorious Western proletariat?
Yes, it is possible. It is not only possible, but necessary and inevitable. For we are already building socialism by developing nationalised industry and linking it with agriculture, implanting co-operatives in the countryside and drawing peasant economy into the general system of Soviet development, revitalising the Soviets and merging the state apparatus with the vast masses of the people, building a new culture and implanting a new social life. Undoubtedly, a multitude of difficulties face us on this path, and we shall have to go through a number of trials. Undoubtedly, things would be vastly easier if the victory of socialism in the West came to our aid. But, firstly, the victory of socialism in the West is not "happening" as quickly as we would like; and, secondly, those difficulties can be surmounted and we are already surmounting them, as you know.
I spoke about all this in the beginning of my speech. I spoke about it even before, in my report to the Moscow active.* And still earlier I spoke about it in my "Pref-
* See this volume, pp. 90-134. --Ed. [Transcriber's Note: See Stalin's "The Results of the Work of the Fourteenth Conference of the R.C.P.(B.)." --
ace" to the book On the Road to October [¥]. I said that denial of the possibility of building socialism in our country is liquidationism, which leads to the degeneration of the Party. It is scarcely worth while repeating now what has already been said several times before. Therefore, I refer you to the works of Lenin, where you will find sufficient material and propositions on this subject.
I should like, however, to say a few words about the history of the question, and about the significance it has for the Party at the present time.
If we leave out of account the discussion that took place in 1905-06, we can say that the question of the possibility of building socialism in one country was first raised in the Party during the imperialist war, in 1915. As is known, Lenin then for the first time formulated his proposition about "the possibility of the victory of socialism" first of all "in one capitalist country taken separately" (see Vol. XVIII, p. 232).[¥¥] That was the period of the turn from the bourgeois-democratic revolution to the socialist revolution. As is known, Trotsky, already at that time, disputed this proposition of Lenin's, declaring that "it would be hopeless to think . . . that, for example, a revolutionary Russia could hold out in the face of a conservative Europe" (see Vol. III of Trotsky's
Works, Part I, p. 90).
In 1921, after the October Revolution and the civil war, when questions of construction came to the fore, the question of building socialism again rose in the Party. That was the period when some comrades regarded the turn towards the "New Economic Policy" as the abandonment of socialist aims, as the abandonment of the building of socialism. As is known, Lenin, in his pamphlet
[Transcriber's Note: See Stalin's "The October Revolution and the Tactics of the Russian Communists." --
[Transcriber's Note: See Lenin's "On the Slogan of a United States of Europe." --
The Tax in Kind, then defined the turn towards the "New Economic Policy" as a necessary condition for linking industry with peasant economy, as a condition for building the foundation of a socialist economy, as the path to the successful building of socialism. That was in April 1921. As if in answer to this, Trotsky, in January 1922, in the preface to his book
The Year 1905, advanced a totally opposite proposition on the question of building socialism in our country, declaring that "the contradictions in the position of a workers' government in a backward country with an overwhelmingly peasant population can be solved only on an international scale, in the arena of the world proletarian revolution."
A year later (in 1922) we again get two statements in opposition to one another: that of Lenin at the plenum of the Moscow Soviet, saying "NEP Russia will become socialist Russia," and that of Trotsky in the postscript to his
Peace Programme, saying "real progress of a socialist economy in Russia will become possible only after the victory of the proletariat in the major European countries."
Finally, still another year later, shortly before his death, Lenin reverted to this question again in his article "On Co-operation" (May 1923), stating that here in the Soviet Union, we have "all that is necessary for building a complete socialist society."
Such is the brief history of the question.
This reference to history alone is sufficient to show that the problem of building socialism in our country is one of the major problems of our Party's practical work. It scarcely needs proof that Lenin would not have
reverted to it repeatedly had he not regarded it as a major problem of our practical work.
The subsequent development of our economy, the intensification of the struggle between the socialist and the capitalist elements within it, and particularly the temporary stabilisation of capitalism, only served to make the question of the possibility of building socialism in our country more acute and to enhance its importance.
Why is this question so important from the standpoint of the Party's practical work?
Because it affects the question of the prospects of our work of construction, the question of the aims and objects of that work. You cannot build effectively if you do not know what you are building for. You cannot move a step forward if you do not know in what direction to go. The question of prospects is a cardinal question for our Party, which is accustomed to have a clear and definite goal. Are we building for socialism, in anticipation of victory in the building of socialism? Or are we building at haphazard, blindly, so as, "in anticipation of a socialist revolution throughout the world" to manure the soil for bourgeois democracy? That is a fundamental question today. We cannot work and build effectively unless we have a clear answer to this no less clear question. Hundreds and thousands of Party workers, trade-unionists and co-operators, business executives and cultural workers, military men and Young Communist Leaguers turn to us, asking us, asking our Party: What is the aim of our work? What are we building for? Woe betide those leaders who are unable, or unwilling, to give a clear and definite answer to that
question, who begin to shuffle, to send people from Pontius to Pilate, and drown the socialist prospects of our work of construction in intellectualist scepticism.
The great significance of Leninism lies, among other things, in that it does not recognise building at haphazard, blindly, that it cannot conceive of building without prospects, that it gives a clear and definite answer to the question of the prospects of our work, declaring that we have all that is needed to build a socialist economy in our country, that we can and must build a complete socialist society.
That is how the matter stands with the question of the possibility of building a socialist economy.
Whether we shall succeed for certain in building a socialist economy is another question. That does not depend upon us alone. It also depends upon the strength, or weakness, of our enemies and of our friends outside our country. We shall build it if we are allowed to do so, if we succeed in prolonging the period of "respite," if there is no serious intervention, if intervention is not victorious, if the international revolutionary movement on the one hand, and our own country on the other, are sufficiently strong and mighty to make a serious attempt at intervention impossible. And vice versa, we shall not build it if we are crushed as the result of successful intervention.
That is how the matter stands with the ninth question.
Let us pass to the last question.
Indicate the greatest forthcoming difficulties in our Party and Soviet affairs arising from stabilisation and the delay of the world revolution,
especially difficulties in the sphere of the relations between the Party and the working class,
and between the working class and the peasantry.
I have counted five such difficulties, having in mind the chief ones. The part played by the stabilisation of capitalism is that it somewhat increases these difficulties.
The first difficulty. This consists of the difficulties arising from the danger of foreign armed intervention. That does not mean that we are confronted with the immediate danger of intervention, that the imperialists are already prepared and fully in a position to intervene in our country immediately. To be able to do that, imperialism would have to be at least as strong as it was, for example, before the war, which is not the case, as is known. The present war in Morocco and intervention in China, those rehearsals of future wars and intervention, clearly demonstrate that the backbone of imperialism has weakened. Therefore, it is not a matter of immediate intervention; the point is that, as long as capitalist encirclement exists, there will always be the danger of intervention in general, and as long as the danger of intervention exists we shall have to maintain, for the purpose of defence, an army and navy, which cost us hundreds of millions of rubles every year. What does the annual expenditure of hundreds of millions of rubles on the army and navy mean? It means a corresponding reduction of expenditure on cultural and economic
development. Needless to say, if there were no danger of intervention we could use these sums, or at least the greater part of them, to strengthen industry, to improve agriculture, to introduce, for example, a reform like universal compulsory primary education, and so forth. Hence the difficulties in the sphere of constructive work which arise from the danger of intervention.
The characteristic feature of this difficulty, which distinguishes it from all the others, is that to overcome it does not depend upon us alone, that it can be removed only by the joint efforts of our country and of the revolutionary movement in all other countries.
The second difficulty. This consists of the difficulties arising from the contradictions between the proletariat and the peasantry. I spoke about those contradictions when dealing with the question of the class struggle in the countryside. There is no need whatever to repeat what has already been said. Those contradictions manifest themselves in the sphere of the policy relating to prices of agricultural produce and manufactured goods, in the sphere of the agricultural tax, rural administration, and so forth. The danger here is that the bond may be disrupted and that the idea of the proletariat leading the peasantry may be discredited. Hence the difficulty arising from this danger.
The characteristic feature of this difficulty, which distinguishes it from the preceding one, is that it can be overcome by our own internal forces. The new course in the countryside -- such is the path that must be taken to overcome this difficulty.
The third difficulty. This consists of the difficulties arising from the national contradictions within our
Union, from the contradictions between the "centre" and the "border regions." Those contradictions develop as a result of the dissimilarity between the economic and cultural conditions of development at the "centre" and those in the "border regions," as a result of the fact that the latter lag behind the former. Whereas the political contradictions in this sphere may be regarded as already overcome, the cultural, and more especially, the economic contradictions, are only just arising and taking shape; consequently, they still have to be overcome. The danger here is twofold: on the one hand, the danger of dominant-nation arrogance and bureaucratic arbitrariness on the part of those central institutions in the Union which are unable, or unwilling, to display the necessary sensitiveness to the requirements of the national republics, and, on the other hand, the danger of the republics and regions becoming imbued with national distrust and national insularity in relation to the "centre." To combat those dangers, especially the first -- such is the path that must be taken to overcome the difficulties in the sphere of the national question.
The characteristic feature of this difficulty is that, like the second one, it can be overcome by the internal forces of the Union.
The fourth difficulty. This consists of the difficulties arising from the danger that the state apparatus may become divorced from the Party, the danger that the Party's leadership of the state apparatus may be weakened. I spoke about that danger when dealing with the dangers of the Party's degeneration. It is hardly necessary to repeat what has already been said. That danger is fostered by tbe presence of bourgeois-bureaucratic
elements in the state apparatus. It is intensified and aggravated by the growth of the state apparatus and its increased importance. The task is to reduce the state apparatus as much as possible, systematically to expel the elements of bureaucracy and bourgeois decay from it, to place leading Party forces in the key positions of the state apparatus and thus ensure the Party's leadership of it.
The characteristic feature of this difficulty is that, like the third one, it can be overcome by our own forces.
The fifth difficulty. This consists of the danger of a partial divorce of the Party organisations and trade unions from the broad working-class masses, from the needs and requirements of these masses. That danger arises and develops as a result of the domination of bureaucratic elements in quite a number of Party and trade-union bodies, not excluding Party units and factory committees. That danger has increased lately owing to the slogan "face to the countryside," which has shifted the attention of our organisations from the town to the country, from the proletariat to the peasantry. Many comrades have failed to understand that when turning to face the countryside they must not turn their backs on the proletariat, that the slogan "face to the countryside" can be implemented only through the medium of the proletariat and with the forces of the proletariat, that inattention to the requirements of the working class can only increase the danger of the Party and trade-union organisations becoming divorced from the masses of the workers.
What are the signs of this danger?
Firstly, loss of sensitiveness and inadequate attention of our Party and trade-union organisations to the requirements and needs of the broad working-class masses; secondly, failure to understand that the workers now have a higher sense of dignity and a sense of being the ruling class, that they will not understand or tolerate a bureaucratic attitude on the part of Party and trade-union organisations; thirdly, failure to understand that one should not thrust oneself on the workers with ill-considered orders, that attention must now be focussed not on such "measures," but on winning for the Party the confidence of the whole working class; fourthly, failure to understand that no measures at all extensive affecting the masses of the workers (for example, going over to the three-loom system in the textile area) should be carried out without first conducting a campaign among the workers, without first holding broad production conferences.
All this results in a number of Party and trade-union organisations becoming divorced from the broad working-class masses and in conflicts in the factories. As is known, the conflicts which flared up in the textile area recently revealed the existence of all these evils in a number of our Party and trade-union organisations.
Such are the characteristic features of the fifth difficulty on our path of development.
To overcome these difficulties it is necessary above all to rid our Party and trade-union organisations of the manifestly bureaucratic elements, to set about renewing the composition of the factory committees, to revive without fail the production conferences, to centre Party
work on the large Party units in industrial enterprises and to assign the best Party workers to them.
More attention and thought to the requirements and needs of the working class, less bureaucratic formalism in the practical work of our Party and trade-union organisations, more sensitiveness and responsiveness to the sense of class dignity of the working class -- such is now the task.
That is how the matter stands with the tenth question.
Pravda, Nos. 139, 141,
142 and 145, June 21,
24, 25 and 28, 1925