H I S T O R Y O F  T H E C O M M U N I S T   P A R T Y

O F  T H E

S O V I E T  U N I O N

(B O L S H E V I K S)


    In 1937, new facts came to light regarding the fiendish crimes of the Bukharin-Trotsky gang. The trial of Pyatakov, Radek and others, the trial of Tukhachevsky, Yakir and others, and, lastly, the trial of Bukharin, Rykov, Krestinsky, Rosengoltz and others, all showed that the Bukharinites and Trotskyites had long ago joined to form a common band of enemies of the people, operating as the "Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites."

    The trials showed that these dregs of humanity, in conjunction with the enemies of the people, Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev, had been in conspiracy against Lenin, the Party and the Soviet state ever since the early days of the October Socialist Revolution. The insidious attempts to thwart the Peace of Brest-Litovsk at the beginning of 1918 the plot against Lenin and the conspiracy with the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries for the arrest and murder of Lenin, Stalin and Sverdlov in the spring of 1918, the villainous shot that wounded Lenin in the summer of 1918, the revolt of the "Left" Socialist-Revolutionaries in the summer of 1918, the deliberate aggravation of differences in the Party in 1921 with the object of undermining and overthrowing Lenin's leadership from within, the attempts to overthrow the Party leadership during Lenin's illness and after his death, the betrayal of state secrets and the supply of information of an espionage character to foreign espionage services, the vile assassination of Kirov, the acts of wrecking, diversion and explosions, the dastardly murder of Menzhinsky, Kuibyshev and Gorky -- all these and similar villainies over a period of twenty years were committed, it transpired, with the participation or under the direction of Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin, Rykov and their henchmen, at the behest of espionage services of bourgeois states.

    The trials brought to light the fact that the Trotsky-Bukharin fiends, in obedience to the wishes of their masters -- the espionage services of foreign states -- had set out to destroy the Party and the Soviet state, to undermine the defensive power of the country, to assist foreign military intervention, to prepare the way for the defeat of the Red Army, to bring about the dismemberment of the U.S.S.R., to hand over the Soviet Maritime Region to the Japanese, Soviet Byelorussia to the Poles, and the Soviet Ukraine to the Germans, to destroy the gains of the workers and collective farmers, and to restore capitalist slavery in the U.S.S.R.

    These Whiteguard pigmies, whose strength was no more than that of a gnat, apparently flattered themselves that they were the masters of the country, and imagined that it was really in their power to sell or give away the Ukraine, Byelorussia and the Maritime Region.

    These Whiteguard insects forgot that the real masters of the Soviet country were the Soviet people, and that the Rykovs, Bukharins, Zinovievs and Kamenevs were only temporary employees of the state, which could at any moment sweep them out from its offices as so much useless rubbish.

    These contemptible lackeys of the fascists forgot that the Soviet people had only to move a finger, and not a trace of them would be left.

    The Soviet court sentenced the Bukharin-Trotsky fiends to be shot.

    The People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs carried out the sentence.

    The Soviet people approved the annihilation of the Bukharin-Trotsky gang and passed on to next business.

    And the next business was to prepare for the election of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. and to carry it out in an organized way.

    The Party threw all its strength into the preparations for the elections. It held that the putting into effect of the new Constitution of the U.S.S.R. signified a turn in the political life of the country. This turn meant the complete democratization of the electoral system, the substitution of universal suffrage for restricted suffrage, equal suffrage for not entirely equal suffrage, direct elections for indirect elections, and secret ballot for open ballot.

    Before the introduction of the new Constitution there were restrictions of the franchise in the case of priests, former Whiteguards, former kulaks, and persons not engaged in useful labour. The new Constitution abolished all franchise restrictions for these categories of citizens by making the election of deputies universal.

    Formerly, the election of deputies had been unequal, inasmuch as the bases of representation for the urban and rural populations differed. Now, however, all necessity for restrictions of equality of the suffrage had disappeared and all citizens were given the right to take part in the elections on an equal footing.

    Formerly, the elections of the intermediate and higher organs of Soviet power were indirect. Now, however, under the new Constitution, all Soviets, from rural and urban up to and including the Supreme Soviet, were to be elected by the citizens directly.

    Formerly, deputies to the Soviets were elected by open ballot and the voting was for lists of candidates. Now, however, the voting for deputies was to be by secret ballot, and not by lists, but for individual candidates nominated in each electoral area.

    This was a definite turning point in the political life of the country.

    The new electoral system was bound to result, and actually did result, in an enhancement of the political activity of the people, in greater control by the masses over the organs of Soviet power, and in the increased responsibility of the organs of Soviet power to the people.

    In order to be fully prepared for this turn, the Party had to be its moving spirit, and the leading role of the Party in the forthcoming elections had to be fully ensured. But this could be done only if the Party organizations themselves became thoroughly democratic in their everyday work, only if they fully observed the principles of democratic centralism in their inner-Party life, as the Party Rules demanded, only if all organs of the Party were elected, only if criticism and self-criticism in the Party were developed to the full, only if the responsibility of the Party bodies to the members of the Party were complete, and if the members of the Party themselves became thoroughly active.

    A report made by Comrade Zhdanov at the plenum of the Central Committee at the end of February 1937 on the subject of preparing the Party organizations for the elections to the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. revealed the fact that a number of Party organizations were systematically violating the Party Rules and the principles of democratic centralism in their everyday work, substituting co-option for election, voting by lists for the voting for individual candidates, open ballot for secret ballot, etc. It was obvious that organizations in which such practices prevailed could not properly fulfil their tasks in the elections to the Supreme Soviet. It was therefore first of all necessary to put a stop to such anti-democratic practices in the Party organizations and to reorganize Party work on broad democratic lines.

    Accordingly, after hearing the report of Comrade Zhdanov, the Plenum of the Central Committee resolved:

    "a) To reorganize Party work on the basis of complete and unqualified observance of the principles of inner-Party democracy as prescribed by the Party Rules.
    "b) To put an end to the practice of co-opting members of Party Committees and to restore the principle of election of directing bodies of Party organizations as prescribed by the Party Rules.
    "c) To forbid voting by lists in the election of Party bodies; voting should be for individual candidates, all members of the Party being guaranteed the unlimited right to challenge candidates and to criticize them.
    "d) To introduce the secret ballot in the election of Party bodies.
    "e) To hold elections of Party bodies in all Party organizations, from the Party Committees of primary Party organizations to the territorial and regional committees and the Central Committees of the national Communist Parties, the elections to be completed not later than May 20.
    "f) To charge all Party organizations strictly to observe the provisions of the Party Rules with respect to the terms of office of Party bodies, namely: to hold elections in primary Party organizations once a year; in district and city organizations -- once a year; in regional, territorial and republican organizations -- every eighteen months.
    "g) To ensure that Party organizations strictly adhere to the system of electing Party Committees at general factory meetings, and not to allow the latter to be replaced by delegate conferences.
    "h) To put a stop to the practice prevalent in a number of primary Party organizations whereby general meetings are virtually abolished and replaced by shop meetings and delegate conferences."

    In this way the Party began its preparations for the forthcoming elections.

    This decision of the Central Committee was of tremendous political importance. Its significance lay not only in the fact that it inaugurated the Party's campaign in the election of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R., but also, and primarily, in the fact that it helped the Party organizations to reorganize their work, to apply the principles of inner-Party democracy, and to meet the elections to the Supreme Soviet fully prepared.

    The Party decided to make the idea of an election bloc of Communists and the non-Party masses the keynote of its policy in developing the election campaign. The Party entered the elections in a bloc, an alliance with the non-Party masses, by deciding to put up in the electoral areas joint candidates with the non-Party masses. This was something unprecedented and absolutely impossible in elections in bourgeois countries. But a bloc of Communists and the non-Party masses was something quite natural in our country, where hostile classes no longer exist and where the moral and political unity of all sections of the population is an incontestable fact.

    On December 7, 1937, the Central Committee of the Party issued an Address to the electors, which stated:

    "On December 12, 1937, the working people of the Soviet Union will, on the basis of our Socialist Constitution, elect their deputies to the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. The Bolshevik Party enters the elections in a bloc, an alliance with the non-Party workers, peasants, office employees and intellectuals. . . . The Bolshevik Party does not fence itself off from non-Party people, but, on the contrary, enters the elections in a bloc, an alliance, with the non-Party masses, in a bloc with the trade unions of the workers and office employees, with the Young Communist League and other non-Party organizations and societies. Consequently, the candidates will be the joint candidates of the Communists and the non-Party masse every non-Party deputy will also be the deputy of the Communists, just as every Communist deputy will be the deputy of the non-Party masses."

    The Address of the Central Committee concluded with the following appeal to the electors:

    "The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks) calls upon all Communists and sympathizers to vote for the non-Party candidates with the same unanimity as they should vote for the Communist candidates.
    "The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks) calls upon all non-Party electors to vote for the Communist candidates with the same unanimity as they will vote for the non-Party candidates.
    "The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks) calls upon all electors to appear at the polling stations on December 12, 1937, as one man, to elect the deputies to the Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities.
    "There must not be a single elector who does not exercise his honourable right of electing deputies to the Supreme organ of the Soviet state.
    "There must not be a single active citizen who does not consider it his civic duty to assist in ensuring that all electors without exception take part in the elections of the Supreme Soviet.
    "December 12, 1937, should be a great holiday celebrating the union of the working people of all the nations of the U.S.S.R. around the victorious banner of Lenin and Stalin."

    On December 1, 1937, the eve of the elections, Comrade Stalin addressed the voters of the area in which he was nominated and described what type of public figures those whom the people choose, the deputies to the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R., should be. Comrade Stalin said:

    "The electors, the people, must demand that their deputies should remain equal to their tasks; that in their work they should not sink to the level of political philistines; that in their posts they should remain political figures of the Lenin type; that as public figures they should be as clear and definite as Lenin was; that they should be as fearless in battle and as merciless towards the enemies of the people as Lenin was; that they should be free from all panic, from any semblance of panic, when things begin to get complicated and some danger or other looms on the horizon, that they should be as free from all semblance of panic as Lenin was; that they should be as wise and deliberate in deciding complex problems requiring a comprehensive orientation and a comprehensive weighing of all pros and cons as Lenin was; that they should be as upright and honest as Lenin was; that they should love their people as Lenin did."

    The elections to the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. took place on December 12 amidst great enthusiasm. They were something more than elections; they were a great holiday celebrating the triumph of the Soviet people, a demonstration of the great friendship of the peoples of the U.S.S.R.

    Of a total of 94,000,000 electors, over 91,000,000, or 96.8 per cent, voted. Of this number 89,844,000, or 98.6 per cent, voted for the candidates of the bloc of the Communists and the non-Party masses. Only 632,000 persons, or less than one per cent, voted against the candidates of the bloc of the Communists and the non-Party masses. All the candidates of the bloc were elected without exception.

    Thus, 90,000,000 persons, by their unanimous vote, confirmed the victory of Socialism in the U.S.S.R.

    This was a remarkable victory for the bloc of the Communists and the non-Party masses.

    It was a triumph for the Bolshevik Party.

    It was a brilliant confirmation of the moral and political unity of the Soviet people, to which Comrade Molotov had referred in a historic speech he delivered on the occasion of the Twentieth Anniversary of the October Revolution.