12th Congress

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Twelfth Party Conference of the Russian Communist Party (b) August 4-7, 1922

The Twelfth All-Russian Conference of the RCP (b) was held in Moscow on August 4-7, 1922. 129 delegates with a casting vote and 92 with an advisory vote took part. Order of the day:

1) On the international situation (speaker G. Ya. Sokolnikov);

 2) About trade unions (speaker MP Tomsky);

3) Party work in cooperation (lecturer V. V. Kuibyshev);

4) On Anti-Soviet parties and trends (lecturer G. E. Zinoviev);

5) On the work of the statutory section (lecturer VM Molotov);

6) On improving the material situation of party members (lecturer VM Molotov);

7) On the IV Congress of the Communist International (lecturer G. E. Zinoviev).

The conference sent greetings to V. I. Lenin, who due to illness was unable to take part in its work. The conference took place in an atmosphere when, on the basis of the new economic policy, new successes were achieved in restoring the national economy. The international situation at the time of the conference was characterized by attempts by the imperialist circles of the United States, Britain, and France to achieve unilateral concessions from Soviet Russia through dictates and ultimatums, shown at the 1922 Genoa Conference and the 1922 Hague Conference and rejected by the Soviet delegation. The conference approved the line of the Central Committee of the RCP (b) the activities of the Soviet delegations in Genoa and The Hague, drew attention to the need to concentrate all efforts on strengthening the national economy and strengthening the defense capability of the Republic at the proper level. After discussing the trade union question, the conference noted that despite a series of practical shortcomings, “the entire experience of carrying out the trade union tasks that had been outlined by the Eleventh Congress had completely confirmed the correctness of the line of the Eleventh Congress of the RCP” (KPSS v rezoliutsiiakh.  8th ed., vol. 2, 1970, p. 396). The conference called on party organizations to strengthen their ideological leadership of the trade unions. The discussion of the party’s tasks in the cooperative system proceeded from the point of view of increasing the guiding role of the working class and party organizations in the development of all forms of cooperation.

In the resolution On Anti-Soviet Parties and Tendencies, the conference pointed to the danger of the growing activity of bourgeois elements, which had revived in the first year of the NEP, and provided a class evaluation of smenovekhov-stvo (the change of landmarks movement), as an ideology that was appearing among a section of the bourgeois intelligentsia. The conference mobilized the party and the working class for a more active struggle against all parties and tendencies hostile to Soviet power, which viewed the NEP as a return to capitalism, as the beginning of the degeneration of Soviet power. The conference maintained that one of the most immediate tasks of the Communist Party was intensifying the party’s ideological work and the struggle against bourgeois ideology.

The conference adopted new Party Rules, which established three categories for those joining the RCP (Bolshevik) depending upon their social position, thus ensuring the selection of the best people from among workers and laboring peasants under the conditions of that time and impeding the entry of individuals from nonproletarian strata of the population.