Bolshevik Writers: J. V. Stalin (1879-1953)

J. V. Stalin

SOME QUESTIONS CONCERNING
THE HISTORY OF BOLSHEVISM

The magazine Proletarshava Revolutsia,
No. 6 (113), 1931

From J. V. Stalin, Problems of Leninism,
Foreign Languages Press, Peking, 1976

pp. 560-77.

Based on J. V. Stalin, Works,
Foreign Languages Publishing House,
Moscow, 1955

Vol. 13, pp. 84-104.


Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, djr@cruzio.com (July 1997)


    SOME QUESTIONS CONCERNING
    THE HISTORY OF BOLSHEVISM

    Letter to the Editorial Board of the Magazine
    "Proletarskaya Revolutsia"

Dear Comrades,

    I emphatically protest against the publication in the magazine Proletarskaya Revolutsia [95] (No. 6, 1930) of Slutsky's anti-Party and semi-Trotskyist article, "The Bolsheviks on German Social-Democracy in the Period of Its Pre-War Crisis," as an article for discussion.

    Slutsky asserts that Lenin (the Bolsheviks) underestimated the danger of centrism in German Social-Democracy and in pre-war Social-Democracy in general; that is, he underestimated the danger of camouflaged opportunism, the danger of conciliation towards opportunism. In other words, according to Slutsky, Lenin (the Bolsheviks) did not wage an irreconcilable struggle against opportunism, for, in essence, underestimation of centrism is tantamount to refraining from a thorough going struggle against opportunism. It follows, there- fore, that in the period before the war Lenin was not yet a real Bolshevik; that it was only in the period of the imperialist war, or even at the close of the war, that Lenin became a real Bolshevik.

    Such is the tale Slutsky tells in his article. And you, instead of branding this new-found "historian" as a slanderer and falsifier, enter into discussion with him, provide him with a forum. I cannot refrain from protesting against the publication of Slutsky's article in your magazine as an article for discussion, for the question of Lenin's Bolshevism, the question whether Lenin did or did not wage an irreconcilable struggle, based on principle, against centrism as a certain form of opportunism, the question whether Lenin was or was not a real Bolshevik, cannot be made into a subject of discussion.

    In your statement entitled "From the Editorial Board, " sent to the Central Committee on October 20, you admit that the editorial board made a mistake in publishing Slutsky's article as a discussion article. That is all to the good, of course, despite the fact that the statement of the editorial board is very belated. But in your statement you commit a fresh mistake by declaring that "the editorial board consider it to be politically extremely urgent and necessary that the entire complex of problems pertaining to the relations between the Bolsheviks and the pre-war Second International be further analysed in the pages of Proletarskaya Revolutsia." That means that you intend once again to draw people into a discussion on questions which are axioms of Bolshevism. It means that you are again thinking of converting the subject of Lenin's Bolshevism from an axiom into a problem requiring "further analysis." Why? On what grounds?

    Everyone knows that Leninism was born, grew up and became strong in relentless struggle against opportunism of

every brand, including centrism in the West (Kautsky) and centrism in our country (Trotsky, etc.). This cannot be denied even by the downright enemies of Bolshevism, It is an axiom. But you are dragging us back by trying to turn an axiom into a problem requiring "further analysis." Why? On what grounds? Perhaps through ignorance of the history of Bolshevism? Perhaps for the sake of a rotten liberalism, so that the Slutskys and other disciples of Trotsky may not be ab]e to say that they are being gagged? A rather strange sort of liberalism, this, exercised at the expense of the vital interests of Bolshevism. . . .

    What, exactly, is there in Slutsky's article that the editorial board regard as worthy of discussion?

    1) Slutsky asserts that Lenin (the Bolsheviks) did not pursue a line directed towards a rupture, towards a split with the opportunists in German Social-Democracy, with the opportunists in the Second International of the pre-war period. You want to open a discussion on this Trotskyist thesis of Slutsky's. But what is there to discuss? Is it not obvious that Slutsky is simply slandering Lenin, slandering the Bolsheviks? Slander must be branded as such and not made the subject of discussion.

    Every Bolshevik, if he really is a Bolshevik, knows that long before the war, approximately since 1903-04, when the Bolshevik group in Russia took shape and when the Lefts in German Social-Democracy first raised their voice, Lenin pursued a line directed towards a rupture, towards a split with the opportunists both here, in the Russian Social-Democratic Party, and over there, in the Second International, particularly in the German Social-Democratic Party.

    Every Bolshevik knows that it was for that very reason that even at that time (1903-05) in the ranks of the opportunists of the Second International the Bolsheviks won for themselves

honourable fame as being "splitters" and "disrupters. " But what could Lenin do, what could the Bolsheviks do, if the Left Social-Democrats in the Second International, and above all in the German Social-Democratic Party, were a weak and powerless group, a group without organizational shape, ideologically ill-equipped and afraid even to pronounce the word "rupture," "split"? It cannot be demanded that Lenin, the Bolsheviks, should have, from inside Russia, done the work of the Lefts for them and brought about a split in the parties of the West.

    That is apart from the fact that organizational and ideological weakness was a characteristic feature of the Left Social-Democrats not only in the period prior to the war. As is well known, the Lefts retained this negative feature in the post-war period as well. Everyone knows the appraisal of the German Left Social-Democrats given by Lenin in his famous article, "On Junius's Pamphlet,"[*] published in October 1916 -- that is, more than two years after the beginning of the war -- in which Lenin, criticising a number of very serious political mistakes committed by the Left Social-Democrats in Germany, speaks of "the weakness of all German Lefts, who are entangled on all sides in the vile net of Kautskyist hypocrisy, pedantry, 'friendship' for the opportunists "; in which he says that "Junius has not yet freed himself completely from the 'environment' of the German, even Left Social-Democrats, who are afraid of a split, are afraid to voice revolutionary slogans to the full."[96]

    Of all the groups in the Second International, the Russian Bolsheviks were at that time the only one which, by its organi-


    * Junius was the pen name of Rosa Luxemburg, leader of lhe Lefts in the Social-Democratic Party of Germany.

zational experience and ideological equipment, was capable of undertaking anything serious in the sense of a direct rupture, of a split with its own opportunists in its own Russian Social-Democratic Party. Now, if the Slutskys attempted, not even to prove, but simply to assume that Lenin and the Russian Bolsheviks did not exert all their efforts to organise a split with the opportunists (Plekhanov, Martov, Dan) and to oust the Centrists (Trotsky and other adherents of the August bloc), then one could argue about Lenin's Bolshevism, about the Bolsheviks' Bolshevism. But the whole point is that the Slutskys dare not even hint at such a wild assumption. They dare not, for they are aware that the universally known facts concerning the resolute policy of rupture with the opportunists of all brands pursued by the Russian Bolsheviks (1904-12) cry out against such an assumptiom. They dare not, for they know that they would be pilloried the very next day.

    But the question arises: Could the Russian Bolsheviks bring about a split with their opportunists and Centrist conciliators long before the imperialist war (1904-12) without at the same time pursuing a line directed towards a rupture, towards a split with the opportunists and Centrists of the Second International? Who can doubt that the Russian Bolsheviks regarded their policy towards the opportunists and Centrists as a model for the policy of the Lefts in the West? Who can doubt that the Russian Bolsheviks did all they could to push the Left Social-Democrats in the West, particularly the Lefts in the German Social-Democratic Party, towards a rupture, towards a split with their own opportunists and Centrists? It was not the fault of Lenin and of the Russian Bolsheviks that the Left Social-Democrats in the West proved to be too immature to follow in the footsteps of the Russian Bolsheviks.

    2) Slutsky reproaches Lenin and the Bolsheviks for not supporting the German Left Social-Democrat resolutely and wholeheartedly, for supporting them only with important reservations, for allowing factional considerations to hinder them from giving all-out support to the Lefts. You want to discuss this fraudulent and utterly false reproach. But what is there indeed to discuss? Is it not obvious that Slutsky is manoeuvring and trying, by means of a false reproach against Lenin and the Bolsheviks, to cover up the real gaps in the position of the Lefts in Germany? Is it not obvious that the Bolsheviks could not support the Lefts in Germany, who time and again wavered between Bolshevism and Menshevism, without important reservations, without seriously criticising their mistakes, and that to act otherwise would have been a betrayal of the working class and its revolution? Fraudulent manoeuvres must be branded as such and not made a subject of discussion.

    Yes, the Bolsheviks supported the Left Social-Democrats in Germany only with certain important reservations, criticising their semi-Menshevik mistakes. But for this they ought to be applauded, not reproached.

    Are there people who doubt this?

    Let us turn to the most generally known facts of history.

    a) In 1903, serious differences arose between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks in Russia on the question of Party membership. By their formula on Party membership the Bolsheviks wanted to set up an organizational barrier against the influx of non-proletarian elements into the Party. The danger of such an influx was very real at that time in view of the bourgeois-democratic character of the Russian revolution. The Russian Mensheviks advocated the opposite position, which threw the doors of the Party wide open to non-proletarian elements.

page 566

In view of the importance of the questions of the Russian revolution for the world revolutionary movement, the West-European Social-Democrats decided to intervene. The Left Social-Democrats in Germany, Parvus and Rosa Luxemburg, then the leaders of the Lefts, also intervened. And what happened? Both declared for the Mensheviks and against the Bolsheviks. They accused the Bolsheviks of having ultra-centralist and Blanquist tendencies. Subsequently, these vulgar and philistine epithets were seized upon by the Mensheviks and spread far and wide.

    b) In 1905, differences developed between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks in Russia on the question of the character of the Russian revolution. The Bolsheviks advocated an alliance between the working class and the peasantry under the hegemony of the proletariat. The Bolsheviks asserted that the objective must be a revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry for the purpose of passing immediately from the bourgeois-democratic revolution to the socialist revolution, with the support of the rural poor secured. The Mensheviks in Russia rejected the idea of the hegemony of the proletariat in the bourgeois democratic revolution; instead of the policy of an alliance between the working class and the peasantry they preferred the' policy of an agreement with the liberal bourgeoisie, and they declared that the revolutionary democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry was a reactionary Blanquist scheme that ran counter to the development of the bourgeois revolution. What was the attitude of the German Left Social-Democrats, of Parvus and Rosa Luxemburg, to this controversy? They invented a utopian and semi-Menshevik scheme of permanent revolution (a distorted representation of the Marxist scheme of revolution), which

page 567

was permeated through and through with the Menshevik repudiation of the policy of alliance between the working class and peasantry, and they counterposed this scheme to the Bolshevik scheme of the revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry. Subsequently, this semi-Menshevik scheme of permanent revolution was seized upon by Trotsky (in part by Martov) and turned into a weapon of struggle against Leninism.

    c) In the period before the war, one of the most urgent questions that came to the fore in the parties of the Second International was the national and colonial question, the question of the oppressed nations and colonies, the question of the liberation of the oppressed nations and colonies, the question of the paths to be followed in the struggle against impelialism, the question of the paths to the overthrow of imperialism. In the interests of developing the proletarian revolution and encircling imperialism, the Bolsheviks proposed the policy of supporting the liberation movement of the oppressed nations and colonies on the basis of the self-determination of nations, and developed the scheme of a united front between the proletarian revolution in the advanced countries and the revolutionary-liberation movement of the peoples of the colonies and oppressed countries. The opportunists of all countries, the social-chauvinists and social-imperialists of all countries has tened to take up arms against the Bolsheviks on this account. The Bolsheviks were baited like mad dogs. What position did the Left Social-Democrats in the West adopt at that time? They developed a semi-Menshevik theory of imperialism, rejected the principle of self-determination of nations in its Marxist sense (including secession and formation of independent states),

page 568

rejected the thesis that the liberation movement in the colonies and oppressed countries is of great revolutionary importance, rejected the thesis that a united front between the proletarian revolution and the movement for national liberation is possible, and counterposed all this semi-Menshevik hotchpotch, which is nothing but an underestimation of the national and colonial question, to the Marxist scheme of the Bolsheviks. It is well known that this semi-Menshevik hotchpotch was subsequently seized upon by Trotsky, who used it as a weapon in the struggle against Leninism.

    Such are the universally known mistakes committed by the Left Social-Democrats in Germany.

    I need not speak of the other mistakes of the German Lefts, mistakes which were severely criticised in various articles by Lenin.

    Nor need I speak of the mistakes they committed in appraising the policy of the Bolsheviks in the period of the October Revolution.

    What do these mistakes of the German Lefts taken from the history of the pre-war period indicate, if not that the Left Social-Democrats, despite their Leftism, had not yet rid themselves of Menshevik lumber?

    Of course, the record of the Lefts in Germany does not consist only of serious mistakes. They also have great and important revolutionary deeds to their credit. I have in mind a number of their services and revolutionary actions in relation to questions of internal policy and, in particular, of the electoral struggle, questions of the struggle inside and outside parliament, the general strike, war, the Revolution of 1905 in Russia, etc. That is why the Bolsheviks reckoned with them as Lefts, supported them and urged them forward. But it does not and cannot obliterate the fact that at the same time the Left Social-Democrats in Germany did commit a number of very serious political and theoretical mistakes; that they had not yet rid themselves of the Menshevik burden and therefore were in need of severe criticism by the Bolsheviks.

    Now judge for yourselves whether Lenin and the Bolsheviks could have supported the Left Social-Democrats in the West without serious reservations, without severely criticising their mistakes, and whether it would not have been a betrayal of the interests of the working class, a betrayal of the interests of the revolution, a betrayal of communism, to act otherwise?

    Is it not obvious that in reproaching Lenin and the Bolsheviks for something for which he should have applauded them if he were a Bolshevik, Slutsky fully exposes himself as a semi-Menshevik, as a camouflaged Trotskyist?

    Slutsky assumes that in their appraisal of the Lefts in the West, Lenin and the Bolsheviks were guided by their own factional considerations and that, consequently, the Russian Bolsheviks sacrificed the great cause of the international revolution to the interests of their faction. It scarcely needs proof that there can be nothing more base and disgusting than such an assumption. There can be nothing more base, for even the basest of Mensheviks are beginning to understand that the Russian revolution is not a private cause of the Russians; that, on the contrary, it is the cause of the working class of the whole world, the cause of the world proletarian revolution. There can be nothing more disgusting, for even the professional slanderers in the Second International are beginning to understand that the consistent and thoroughly revolutionary internationalism of the Bolsheviks is a model of proletarian internationalism for the workers of all eountries.

    Yes, the Russian Bolsheviks did put in the forefront the fundamental questions of the Russian revolution, such questions as those of the Party, of the attitude of Marxists towards the bourgeois-democratic revolution, of the alliance between the working class and the peasantry, of the hegemony of the proletariat, of the struggle inside and outside parliament, of the general strike, of the growing over of the bourgeois-democratic revolution into a socialist revolution, of the dictatorship of the proletariat, of imperialism, of the self-determination of nations, of the liberation movement of the oppressed nations and colonies, of the policy of support for this movement, etc. They advanced these questions as the touchstone by which they tested the revolutionary stamina of the Left Social-Democrats in the West. Had they, the right to do so? Yes, they had. They not only had the right, but it was their duty to do so. It was their duty to do so because all these questions were also fundamental questions of the world revolution, to whose aims the Bolsheviks suboldinated their policy and their tactics. It was their duty to do so because only through such questions could they really test the revolutionary character of the various groups in the Second International. The question arises: Where is there here any "factionalism" of the Russian Bolsheviks and what have "factional" considerations to do with this?

    As far back as 1902 Lenin wrote in his pamphlet What Is To Be Done? that "history has now confronted us with an immediate task which is the m o s t  r e v o I u t i o n a r y of all thei m m e d i a t e tasks that confront the proletariat of any country," that "the fulfilment of this task, the destruction of the most powerful bulwark, not only of European, but also (it may now be said ) of Asiatic reaction, would make the Russian proletariat the vanguard of the international revolutionary proletariat."[97] Thirty years have elapsed since that pamphlet, What Is To Be Done?, appeared. No one will dare deny that the events during this period have brilliantly confirmed Lenin's words. But does it not follow from this that the Russian revolution was (and remains) the nodal point of the world revolution, that the fundamental questions of the Russian revolution were at the same time (and are now) the fundamental questions of the world revolution?

    Is it not obvious that only through these fundamental questions was it possible to make a real test of the revolutionary character of the Left Social-Democrats in the West?

    Is it not obvious that people who regard these questions as "factional" questions fully expose themselves as base and degenerate elements?

    3) Slutsky asserts that so far there has not been found a sufficient number of official documents testifying to Lenin's (the Bolsheviks') determined and relentless struggle against centrism. He employs this bureaucratic thesis as an irrefutable argument in favour of the proposition that Lenin (the Bolsheviks) underestimated the danger of centrism in the Second International. And you are ready to discuss this nonsense, this rascally chicanery. But what is there indeed to discuss? Is it not obvious any way that by his talk about documents Slutsky is trying to cover up the wretchedness and falsity of his so-called conception?

    Slutsky considers the Party documents now available to be inadequate. Why? On what grounds? Are not the universally known documents relating to the Second International, as well as those relating to the inner-Party struggle in Russian Social-Democracy, sufficient to demonstrate with full clarity the revolutionary relentlessness of Lenin and the Bolsheviks in their struggle against the opportunists and Centrists? Is Slutsky at all familiar with these documents? What more documents does he need?

    Let us assume that, in addition to the documents already known, a mass of other documents were found, containing, say, resolutions of the Bolsheviks once again urging the necessity of wiping out centrism. Would that mean that the mere existence of written documents is sufficient to demonstrate the real revolutionary character and the real relentlessness of the Bolsheviks' attitude towards centrism? Who, except hopeless bureaucrats, can rely on written documents alone? Who, except archive rats, does not understand that a party and its leaders must be tested primarily by their deeds and not merely by their declarations? History knows not a few Socialists who readily signed all sorts of revolutionary resolutions, just for the sake of satisfying importunate critics. But that does not mean that they carried out these resolutions. Furthermore, history knows not a few Socialists who, foaming at the mouth, called upon the workers' parties of other countries to perform the most revolutionary actions imaginable. But that does not mean that they did not in their own party, or in their own country, shrink from fighting their own opportunists, their own bourgeoisie. Is not this why Lenin taught us to test revolutionary parties, trends and leaders, not by their declarations and resolutions, but by their deeds ?

    Is it not obvious that if Slutsky really wanted to test the relentlessness of Lenin and the Bolsheviks towards centrism, he should have taken as the basis of his article, not individual documents and two or three personal letters, but a test of the Bolsheviks by their deeds, their history, their actions? Did we not have opportunists and centrists in the Russian Social-Democratic Party? Did not the Bolsheviks wage a determined and relentless struggle against all these trends? Were not these trends both ideologically and organizationally connected with the opportunists and centrists in the West? Did not the Bolsheviks smash the opportunists and centrists as no other Left group did anywhere else in the world? How can anyone say after all this that Lenin and the Bolsheviks underestimated the danger of centrism? Why did Slutsky ignore these facts, which are of decisive importance in characterising the Bolsheviks? Why did he not resort to the most reliable method of testing Lenin and the Bolsheviks: by their deeds, by their actions? Why did he prefer the less reliable method of rummaging among casually selected papers?

    Because recourse to the more reliable method of testing the Bolsheviks by their deeds would have instantaneously upset Slutsky's whole conception.

    Because a test of the Bolsheviks by their deeds would have shown that the Bolsheviks are the only revolutionary organization in the world which has completely smashed the opportunists and centrists and driven them out of the Party.

    Because recourse to the real deeds and the real history of the Bolsheviks would have shown that Slutsky's teachers, the Trotskyists, were the principal and basic group which fostered centrism in Russia, and for this purpose created a special organization, the August bloc, as a hotbed of centrism.

    Because a test of the Bolsheviks by their deeds would have exposed Slutsky once and for all as a falsifier of the history of our Party, who is trying to cover up the centrism of pre-war Trotskyism by slanderously accusing Lenin and the Bolsheviks of having underestimated the danger of centrism.

    That, comrade editors, is how matters stand with Slutsky and his article.

    As you see, the editorial board made a mistake in permitting a discussion with a falsifier of the history of our Party.

    What could have impelled the editorial board to take this wrong road?

    I think that they were impelled to take that road by rotten liberalism, which has spread to some extent among a section of the Bolsheviks. Some Bolsheviks think that Trotskyism is a faction of communism -- one which makes mistakes, it is true, which does many foolish things, is sometimes even anti-Soviet, but which, nevertheless, is a faction of communism. Hence a certain liberalism in the attitude towards the Trotskyists and Trotskyist-minded people. It scarcely needs proof that such a view of Trotskyism is deeply mistaken and harmful. As a matter of fact, Trotskyism has long since ceased to be a faction of communism. As a matter of fact, Trotskyism is the advanced detachment of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie, which is fighting against communism, against the Soviet regime, against the building of socialism in the U.S.S.R.

    Who gave the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie an ideological weapon against Bolshevism in the shape of the thesis that building socialism in our country is impossible, that the degeneration of the Bolsheviks is inevitable, etc.? Trotskyism gave it that weapon. It is no accident that in their efforts to prove the inevitability of the struggle against the Soviet regime all the anti-Soviet groups in the U.S.S.R. have been referring to the well-known Trotskyist thesis that building socialism in our country is impossible, that the degeneration of the Soviet regime is inevitable, that a return to capitalism is probable.

    Who gave the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie in the U.S.S.R. a tactical weapon in the shape of attempts at open actions against the Soviet regime? The Trotskyists, who tried to organise anti-Soviet demonstrations in Moscow and Leningrad on November 7, 1927, gave it that weapon. It is a fact that the anti-Soviet actions of the Trotskyists raised the spirits of the bourgeoisie and let loose the wrecking activities of the bourgeois experts.

    Who gave the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie an organizational weapon in the form of attempts at setting up under-

ground anti-Soviet organizations? The Trotskyists, who organised their own anti-Bolshevik illegal group, gave it that weapon. It is a fact that the underground anti-Soviet work of the Trotskyists helped the anti-Soviet groups in the U.S.S.R. to assume an organised form.

    Trotskyism is the advanced detachment of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie.

    That is why liberalism in the attitude towards Trotskyism, even though the latter is shattered and camouflaged, is blockheadedness bordering on crime, on treason to the working class.

    That is why the attempts of certain "writers" and "historians" to smuggle disguised Trotskyist rubbish into our literature must meet with a determined rebuff from Bolsheviks.

    That is why we cannot permit a literary discussion with the Trotskyist smugglers.

    It seems to me that "historians" and "writers" of the Trotskyist smuggler category are for the present trying to carry out their smuggling work along two lines.

    Firstly, they are trying to prove that in the period before the war Lenin underestimated the danger of centrism, thereby leaving the inexperienced reader to surmise that, in consequence, Lenin was not yet a real revolutionary at that time; that he became one only after the war, after he had "re-equipped" himself with Trotsky's assistance. Slutsky may be regarded as a typical representative of this type of smuggler.

    We have seen above that Slutsky and Co. are not worth making much fuss about.

    Secondly, they are trying to prove that in the period prior to the war Lenin did not realise the necessity of the growing over of the bourgeois-democratic revolution into a socialist revolution, thereby leaving the inexperienced reader to surmise that, in consequence, Lenin at that time was not yet a real Bolshevik; that he realised the necessity of this growing over only after the war, after he had "re-equipped" himself with Trotsky's assistance. Volosevich, author of A Course in the History of the C.P.S.U. (B.), may be regarded as a typical representative of this type of smuggler.

    True, as far back as 1905 Lenin wrote that "from the democratic revolution we shall at once, and just to the extent of our strength, the strength of the class-conscious and organised proletariat, begin to pass to the socialist revolution," that "we stand for uninterrupted revolution," that "we shall not stop halfway."[98] True, a very large number of facts and documents of a similar nature could be found in the works of Lenin. But what do the Voloseviches care about the facts of Lenin's life and work? The Voloseviches write in order, by decking themselves out in Bolshevik colours, to smuggle in their anti-Leninist contraband, to utter lies about the Bolsheviks and to falsify the history of the Bolshevik Party.

    As you see, the Voloseviches are worthy of the Slutskys.

    Such are the "highways and byways" of the Trotskyist smugglers.

    You yourselves should realise that it is not the business of the editorial board of Proletarskaya Revolutsia to facilitate the smuggling activities of such "historians" by providing them with a forum for discussion.

    The task of the editorial board is, in my opinion, to raise the questions concerning the history of Bolshevism to the proper level, to put the study of the history of our Party on scientific, Bolshevik lines, and to concentrate attention against the Trotskyist and all other falsifiers of the history of our Party, systematically tearing off their masks.

    That is all the more necessary since even some of our historians -- I am speaking of historians without quotation marks, of Bolshevik historians of our Party -- are not free from mistakes which bring grist to the mill of the Slutskys and Voloseviches. In this respect, even Comrade Yaroslavsky is not, unfortunately, an exception; his books on the history of the C.P.S.U.(B.), despite all their merits, contain a number of errors in matters of principle and history.

          With communist greetings,

J. Stalin    

Proletarskaya Revolutsia,
No. 6 (113), 1931J. V. Stalin, Works,
Eng. ed., Vol 13, pp. 86-104

NOTES

  [95] Proletarskaya Revolutsia (Proletarian Revolution ) -- a historical magazine published from 1921 to 1928 by the History of the Party Department (a commission on the history of the October Revolution and the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks), subsequently the Department of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.) for studying the history of the October Revolution and the C.P.S.U.(B.), and from October 1928 to 1931 by the Lenin Institute of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.). After a year's interval, the magazine was published from 1933 to 1941 by the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.).    [p.560]

  [96] See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 22, pp. 305, 304.    [p.563]

  [97] See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 5, p. 345.    [p.570]

  [98] V, I. Lenin, The Attitude of Social-Dcmocracy Towards the Peasant Movement (see Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. 9, p. 213).    [p.576]