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J. V. Stalin


March 10, 1939

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

pp. 874-942.

Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, (March 1998)


The present English edition of J. V. Stalin's Problems of Leninism corresponds to the eleventh Russian edition of 1952. The English translation up to page 766 (including the relevant notes at the end of the book) is taken from Stalin's Works, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1953-55, Vol. 6 and Vols. 8-13, while the rest is taken from the same publishers' 1953 edition of Problems of Leninism. Minor changes have been made in the translation and the notes.

    Volume and page references to Lenin's Works made in the text are to the third Russian edition. References to English translations are added, as footnotes, by the present publisher.



March 10, 1939


    Comrades, five years have elapsed since the Seventeenth Party Congress. No small period, as you see. During this period the world has undergone considerable changes. States and countries, and their mutual relations, are now in many respects totally altered.

    What changes exactly have taken place in this period in the international situation? In what way exactly has the external and internal position of our country changed?

    For the capitalist countries this period was one of very profound perturbations in both the economic and political spheres. In the economic sphere these were years of depression, followed, from the beginning of the latter half of 1937, by a period of new economic crisis, of a new decline of industry in the United States, Britain and France -- consequently, these were years of new economic complications. In the political sphere they were years of serious political conflicts and perturbations. A new imperialist war is already in its second year, a war waged over a huge territory stretching from Shanghai to Gibraltar, and involving over 500 million people. The map of Europe, Africa and Asia is being forcibly redrawn. The entire post-war system, the so-called peace regime, has been shaken to irs foundations.

    For the Soviet Union, on the contrary, these were years of growth and prosperity, of further economic and cultural progress, of further growth of political and military might, of struggle for the preservation of peace throughout the world.

    Such is the general picture.

    Let us now examine the concrete data illustrating the changes in the international situation.


    The economic crisis which broke out in the capitalist countries in the latter half of 1929 lasted until the end of 1933. After that the crisis passed into a depression, and was then followed by a certain revival, a certain upward trend of industry. But this upward trend of industry did not develop into a boom, as is usually the case in a period of revival. On the contrary, in the latter half of 1937 a new economic crisis began which seized first of all the United States and then Britain, France and a number of other countries.

    The capitalist countries thus found themselves faced with a new economic crisis before they had even recovered from the ravages of the recent one.

    This circumstance naturally led to an increase of unemployment. The number of unemployed in the capitalist countries, which had fallen from 30 million in 1933 to 14 million in 1937, has now again risen to 18 million as a result of the new crisis.

    A distinguishing feature of the new crisis is that it differs in many respects from the preceding one, and, moreover, differs for the worse and not for the better.

    Firstly, the new crisis did not begin after an industrial boom, as was the case in 1929, but after a depression and a certain revival, which, however, did not develop into a boom. This means that the present crisis will be more severe and more difficult to cope with than the previous crisis.

    Further, the present crisis has broken out not in time of peace, but at a time when a second imperialist war has already begun; when Japan, already in the second year of its war with China, is disorganizing the immense Chinese market and rendering it almost inaccessible to the goods of other countries; when Italy and Germany have already placed their national economies on a war footing, squandering their reserves of raw material and foreign currency for this purpose; and when all the other big capitalist powers are beginning to reorganize themselves on a war footing. This means that capitalism will have far less resources at its disposal for a normal recovery from the present crisis than during the preceding one.

    Lastly, as distinct from the preceding crisis, the present crisis is not universal, but as yet involves chiefly the economically powerful countries which have not yet placed themselves on a war economy basis. As regards the aggressive countries, such as Japan, Germany and Italy, which have already reorganized their economies on a war footing, they, because of the intense development of their war industry, are not yet experiencing a crisis of over-production, although they are approaching it. This means that by the time the economically powerful, non-aggressive countries begin to emerge from the phase of crisis the aggressive countries, having exhausted their reserves of gold and raw material in the course of the war fever, are bound to enter a phase of very severe crisis.

    This is clearly illustrated, for example, by the figures for the visible gold reserves of the capitalist countries.

(In millions of former gold dollars )

End of 1936

September 1938

Total .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
U.S.A.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
Britain  .   .   .   .   .   .   .
France   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
Holland  .   .   .   .   .   .   .
Belgium .   .   .   .   .   .   .
Switzerland .   .   .   .   .   .
Germany .   .   .   .   .   .   .
Italy .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
Japan .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .



    This table shows that the combined gold reserves of Germany, Italy and Japan amount to less than the reserves of Switzerland alone.

    Here are a few figures illustrating the state of crisis of industry in the capitalist countries during the past five years and the trend of industrial progress in the U.S.S.R.

(1929 = 100 )






U.S.A.   .   .   .   .
Britain  .   .   .   .
France   .   .   .   .
Italy .   .   .   .   .
Germany .   .   .   .
Japan .   .   .   .   .
U.S.S.R.  .   .   .   .






    This table shows that the Soviet Union is the only country in the world where crises are unknown and where industry is continuously on the upgrade.

    This table also shows that a serious economic crisis has already begun and is developing in the United States, Britain and France.

    Further, this table shows that in Italy and Japan, who placed their national economies on a war footing earlier than Germany, the downward course of industry already began in 1938.

    Lastly, this table shows that in Germany, which reorganized its economy on a war footing later than Italy and Japan, industry is still experiencing a certain upward trend -- although a small one, it is true -- as was the case in Japan and Italy until recently.

    There can be no doubt that unless something unforeseen occurs, German industry must enter the same downward path as Japan and Italy have already taken. For what does placing the economy of a country on a war footing mean? It means giving industry a one-sided, war direction; developing to the utmost the production of goods necessary for war and not for consumption by the population; restricting to the utmost the production and, especially, the sale of articles of general consumption -- and, consequently, reducing consumption by the population and confronting the country with an economic crisis.

    Such is the concrete picture of the trend of the new economic crisis in the capitalist countries.

    Naturally, such an unfavourable turn of economic affairs could not but aggravate relations among the powers. The preceding crisis had already mixed the cards and sharpened the struggle for markets and sources of raw materials. The seizure of Manchuria and North China by Japan, the seizure of Abyssinia by Italy -- all this reflected the acuteness of the struggle among the powers. The new economic crisis was bound to lead, and is actually leading, to a further sharpening of the imperialist struggle. It is no longer a question of competition in the markets, of a commercial war, of dumping. These methods of struggle have long been recognized as inadequate. It is now a question of a new redivision of the world, of spheres of influence and colonies, by military action.

    Japan tried to justify its aggressive actions with the argument that it had been cheated when the Nine-Power Pact was concluded and had not been allowed to extend its territory at the expense of China, whereas Britain and France possess vast colonies Italy recalled that it had been cheated during the division of the spoils after the first imperialist war and that it must recompense itself at the expense of the spheres of influence of Britain and France. Germany, who had suffered severely as a result of the first imperialist war and the Peace of Versailles, joined forces with Japan and Italy and demanded an extension of its territory in Europe and the return of the colonies of which the victors in the first imperialist war had deprived it.

    Thus the bloc of three aggressive states came to be formed.

    A new redivision of the world by means of war became imminent.


    Here is a list of the most important events during the period under review which marked the beginning of a new imperialist war. In 1935 Italy attacked and seized Abyssinia. In the summer of 1936 Germany and Italy organized military intervention in Spain, Germany entrenching itself in the north of Spain and in Spanish Morocco, and Italy in the south of Spain and in the Balearic Islands. In 1937, having seized Manchuria, Japan invaded North and Central China, occupied Peking, Tientsin and Shanghai and began to oust its foreign competitors from the occupied zone. In the beginning of 1938 Germany seized Austria, and in the autumn of 1938 the Sudeten region of Czechoslovakia. At the end of 1938 Japan seized Canton, and at the beginning of 1939 the Island of Hainan.

    Thus the war, which has stolen so imperceptibly upon the nations, has drawn over 500 million people into its orbit and has extended its sphere of action over a vast territory, stretching from Tientsin, Shanghai and Canton, through Abyssinia, to Gibraltar.

    After the first imperialist war the victor states, primarily Britain, France and the United States, set up a new regime in the relations between countries, the post-war peace regime. The main props of this regime were the Nine-Power Pact in the Far East, and the Versailles and a number of other treaties in Europe. The League of Nations was set up to regulate relations between countries within the framework of this regime, on the basis of a united front of states, of collective defence of the security of states. However, three aggressive states, and the new imperialist war launched by them, upset the entire system of this post-war peace regime. Japan tore up the Nine-Power Pact, and Germany and Italy the Versailles Treaty. In order to have their hands free, these three states withdrew from the League of Nations.

    The new imperialist war became a fact.

    It is not so easy in our day suddenly to break loose and plunge straight into war without regard for treaties of any kind or for public opinion. Bourgeois politicians know this quite well. So do the fascist rulers. That is why the fascist rulers decided, before plunging into war, to mould public opinion to suit their ends, that is, to mislead it, to deceive it.

    A military bloc of Germany and Italy against the interests of Britain and France in Europe? Bless us, do you call that a bloc? "We" have no military bloc. All "we" have is an innocuous "Berlin-Rome axis"; that is, just a geometrical equation for an axis. (Laughter.)

    A military bloc of Germany, Italy and Japan against the interests of the United States, Britain and France in the Far East? Nothing of the kind! "We" have no military bloc. All "we" have is an innocuous "Berlin-Rome-Tokyo triangle"; that is, a slight penchant for geometry. (General laughter.)

    A war against the interests of Britain, France, the United States? Nonsense! "We" are waging war on the Comintern, not on these states. If you don't believe it, read the "anti-Comintern pact" concluded between Italy, Germany and Japan.

    That is how Messieurs the aggressors thought to mould public opinion, although it was not hard to see how preposterous this clumsy game of camouflage was; for it is ridiculous to look for Comintern "hotbeds" in the deserts of Mongolia, in the mountains of Abyssinia, or in the wilds of Spanish Morocco. (Laughter.)

    But war is inexorable. It cannot be hidden under any guise. For no "axes," "triangles" or "anti-Comintern pacts" can hide the fact that in this period Japan has seized a vast stretch of territory in China, that Italy has seized Abyssinia, that Germany has seized Austria and the Sudeten region, that Germany and Italy together have seized Spain -- and all this in defiance of the interests of the non-aggressive states. The war remains a war; the military bloc of aggressors remains a military bloc; and the aggressors remain aggressors.

    It is a distinguishing feature of the new imperialist war that it has not yet become a universal, a world war. The war is being waged by aggressor states, who in every way infringe upon the interests of the non-aggressive states, primarily Britain, France and the U.S.A., while the latter draw back and retreat, making concession after concession to the aggressors.

    Thus we are witnessing an open redivision of the world and spheres of influence at the expense of the non-aggressive states, without the least attempt at resistance, and even with a certain connivance, on their part.

    Incredible, but true.

    To what are we to attribute this one-sided and strange character of the new imperialist war?

    How is it that the non-aggressive countries, which possess such vast opportunities, have so easily and without resistance abandoned their positions and their obligations to please the aggressors?

    Is it to be attributed to the weakness of the non-aggressive states? Of course not! Combined, the non-aggressive, democratic states are unquestionably stronger than the fascist states, both economically and militarily.

    To what then are we to attribute the systematic concessions made by these states to the aggressors?

    It might be attributed, for example, to the fear that a revolution might break out if the non-aggressive states were to go to war and the war were to assume world-wide proportions. The bourgeois politicians know, of course, that the first imperialist world war led to the victory of the revolution in one of the largest countries. They are afraid that a second imperialist world war may also lead to the victory of the revolution in one or several countries.

    But at present this is not the sole or even the chief reason. The chief reason is that the majority of the non-aggressive countries, particularly Britain and France, have rejected the policy of collective security, the policy of collective resistance to aggressors, and have taken up a position of non-intervention, a position of "neutrality."

    Formally speaking, the policy of non-intervention might be defined as follows: "Let each country defend itself against the aggressors as it likes and as best it can. That is not our affair We shall trade both with the aggressors and with their victims." But actually speaking, the policy of non-intervention means conniving at aggression, giving free rein to war, and, consequently, transforming the war into a world war. The policy of non-intervention reveals an eagerness, a desire, not to hinder the aggressors in their nefarious work: not to hinder Japan, say, from embroiling itself in a war with China, or better still, with the Soviet Union; not to hinder Germany, say, from enmeshing itself in European affairs, from embroiling itself in a war with the Soviet Union; to allow all the belligerents to sink deeply into the mire of war, to encourage them surreptitiously in this; to allow them to weaken and exhaust one another; and then, when they have become weak enough, to appear on the scene with fresh strength, to appear, of course, "in the interests of peace," and to dictate conditions to the enfeebled belligerents.

    Cheap and easy!

    Take Japan, for instance. It is characteristic that before Japan invaded North China all the influential French and British newspapers shouted about China's weakness and its inability to offer resistance, and declared that Japan with its army could subjugate China in two or three months. Then the European and American politicians began to watch and wait. And then, when Japan commenced military operations, they let it have Shanghai, the vital centre of foreign capital in China; they let it have Canton, a centre of Britain's monopoly influence in South China; they let it have Hainan, and they allowed it to surround Hongkong. Does not this look very much like encouraging the aggressor? It is as though they were saying: "Embroil yourself deeper in war; then we shall see."

    Or take Germany, for instance. They let it have Austria, despite the undertaking to defend its independence; they let it have the Sudeten region; they abandoned Czechoslovakia to her fate, thereby violating all their obligations; and then they began to lie vociferously in the press about "the weakness of the Russian army," "the demoralization of the Russian air force," and "riots" in the Soviet Union, egging on the Germans to march farther east, promising them easy pickings, and prompting them: "Just start war on the Bolsheviks, and everything will be all right." It must be admitted that this too looks very much like egging on and encouraging the aggressor.

    The hullabaloo raised by the British, French and American press over the Soviet Ukraine is characteristic. The gentlemen of the press there shouted until they were hoarse that the Germans were marching on the Soviet Ukraine, that they now had what is called the Carpathian Ukraine, with a population of some 700,000 and that not later than this spring the Germans would annex the Soviet Ukraine, which has a population of over 30 million, to this so-called Carpathian Ukraine. It looks as if the object of this suspicious hullabaloo was to incense the Soviet Union against Germany, to poison the atmosphere and to provoke a conflict with Germany without any visible grounds.

    It is quite possible, of course, that there are madmen in Germany who dream of annexing the elephant, that is, the Soviet Ukraine, to the gnat, namely, the so-called Carpathian Ukraine. If there really are such lunatics in Germany, rest assured that we shall find enough strait jackets for them in our country. (Thunderous applause.) But if we ignore the madmen and turn to normal people, is it not clearly absurd and foolish seriously

to talk of annexing the Soviet Ukraine to this so-called Carpathian Ukraine? Imagine: the gnat comes to the elephant and says perkily: "Ah, brother, how sorry I am for you. . . . Here you are without any landlords, without any capitalists, with no national oppression, without any fascist bosses. Is that a way to live? . . . I look at you and I can't help thinking that there is no hope for you unless you annex yourself to me. . . . (General laughter.) Well, so be it: I allow you to annex your tiny domain to my vast territories. . . ." (General laughter and applause.)

    Even more characteristic is the fact that certain European and American politicians and pressmen, having lost patience waiting for "the march on the Soviet Ukraine," are themselves beginning to disclose what is really behind the policy of non-intervention. They are saying quite openly, putting it down in black on white, that the Germans have cruelly "disappointed" them; for instead of marching farther east, against the Soviet Union, they have turned, you see, to the west and are demanding colonies. One might think that the districts of Czechoslovakia were yielded to Germany as the price of an undertaking to launch war on the Soviet Union, but that now the Germans are refusing to meet their bills and are sending them to Hades.

    Far be it from me to moralize on the policy of non-intervention, to talk of treason, treachery and so on. It would be naïve to preach morals to people who recognize no human morality. Politics are politics, as the old, case-hardened bourgeois diplomats say. It must be remarked, however, that the big and dangerous political game started by the supporters of the policy of non-intervention may end in serious fiasco for them.

    Such is the true face of the now prevailing policy of non-intervention.

    Such is the political situation in the capitalist countries.


    The war has created a new situation with regard to the relations between countries. It has enveloped them in an atmosphere of alarm and uncertainty. By undermining the basis of the post-war peace regime and overriding the elementary principles of international law, it has cast doubt on the value of international treaties and obligations. Pacifism and disarmament schemes are dead and buried. Feverish arming has taken their place. Everybody is arming, small states and big states, including primarily those which practise the policy of non-intervention. Nobody believes any longer in the unctuous speeches which claim that the Munich concessions to the aggressors and the Munich agreement opened a new era of "appeasement." They are disbelieved even by the signatories to the Munich agreement, Britain and France, who are increasing their armaments no less than other countries.

    Naturally, the U.S.S.R. could not ignore these ominous developments. There is no doubt that any war, however small, started by the aggressors in any remote corner of the world constitutes a danger to the peace-loving countries. All the more serious then is the danger arising from the new imperialist war, which has already drawn into its orbit over 500 million people in Asia, Africa and Europe. In view of this, while our country is unswervingly pursuing a policy of maintaining peace, it is at the same time working very seriously to increase the preparedness of our Red Army and our Red Navy.

    At the same time, in order to strengthen its international position, the Soviet Union decided to take certain other steps. At the end of 1934 our country joined the League of Nations, considering that despite its weakness the League might nevertheless serve as a place where aggressors could be exposed, and as a certain instrument of peace, however feeble, that might hinder the outbreak of war. The Soviet Union considers that in alarming times like these even so weak an international organization as the League of Nations should not be ignored. In May 1935 a treaty of mutual assistance against possible attack by aggressors was signed between France and the Soviet Union. A similar treaty was simultaneously concluded with Czechoslovakia. In March 1936 the Soviet Union concluded a treaty of mutual assistance with the Mongolian People's Republic. In August 1937 the Soviet Union concluded a pact of non-aggression with the Chinese Republic.

    It was in such difficult international conditions that the Soviet Union pursued its foreign policy of upholding the cause of peace.

    The foreign policy of the Soviet Union is clear and explicit.

    1. We stand for peace and the strengthening of business relations with all countries. That is our position; and we shall adhere to this position as long as these countries maintain like relations with the Soviet Union, and as long as they make no attempt to trespass on the interests of our country.

    2. We stand for peaceful, close and friendly relations with all the neighbouring countries which have common frontiers with the U.S.S.R. That is our position; and we shall adhere to this position as long as these countries maintain like relations with the Soviet Union, and as long as they make no attempt to trespass, directly or indirectly, on the integrity and inviolability of the frontiers of the Soviet state.

    3. We stand for the support of nations which are the victims of aggression and are fighting for the independence of their country.

    4. We are not afraid of the threats of aggressors, and are ready to return two blows for every one delivered by warmongers who attempt to violate our Soviet frontiers.

    Such is the foreign policy of the Soviet Union. (Loud and prolonged applause.)

    In its foreign policy the Soviet Union relies upon:

    1) Its growing economic, political and cultural might.

    2) The moral and political unity of our Soviet society.

    3) The mutual friendship of the peoples of our country.

    4) Its Red Army and Red Navy.

    5) Its policy of peace.

    6) The moral support of the working people of all countries, who are vitally concerned in the preservation of peace.

    7) The good sense of the countries which for one reason or another have no interest in the violation of peace.

*       *       *

    The tasks of the Party in the sphere of foreign policy are:

    1) To continue the policy of peace and of strengthening business relations with all countries.

    2) To be cautious and not allow our country to be drawn into conflicts by warmongers who are accustomed to have others pull the chestnuts out of the fire for them.

    3) To strengthen the might of our Red Army and Red Navy to the utmost.

    4) To strengthen the international bonds of friendship with the working people of all countries, who are interested in peace and friendship among nations.


    Let us now pass to the internal affairs of our country.

    From the standpoint of its internal situation, the Soviet Union, during the period under review, presented a picture of further progress of its entire economic life, rise in culture, and growth of the political might of the country.

    In the sphere of economic development, the most important result in the period under review is the completion of the reconstruction of industry and agriculture on the basis of new modern technique. There are no more or hardly any more old plants in our country, with their backward technique, and hardly any old peasant farms, with their antediluvian equipment. Our industry and agriculture are now based on new, up-to-date technique. It may be said without exaggeration that from the standpoint of technique of production, from the standpoint of the degree of saturation of industry and agriculture with new machinery, our country is more advanced than any other country, where the old machinery acts as a fetter on production and hampers the introduction of new techniques.

    In the sphere of the social and political development of the country, the most important achievement in the period under review is that the remnants of the exploiting classes have been completely eliminated, that the workers, peasants and intellectuals have been welded into one common front of the working

people, that the moral and political unity of Soviet society has been strengthened, that the friendship among the peoples of our country has become closer, and that as a result of all this, the political life of our country has been completely democratized and a new Constitution created. No one will dare deny that our Constitution is the most democratic in the world, and that the results of the elections to the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R., as well as to the Supreme Soviets of the Union Republics, are the most indicative.

    The result of all this is a completely stable internal situation and a solid power in the country such as any government in the world might envy.

    Let us examine the concrete data illustrating the economic and political situation of our country.



    a) Industry. During the period under review our industry presented a picture of uninterrupted progress. This progress was reflected not only in an increase of output generally, but, and primarily, in the flourishing state of socialist industry, on the one hand, and the doom of private industry, on the other.

    Here is a table which illustrates this: [See p. 892. --Ed.]

    This table shows that during the period under review the output of our industry more than doubled, and that, more over, the whole increase in output was accounted for by socialist industry.

    Further, this table shows that the only system of industry in the U.S.S.R. is the socialist system.

    Lastly, this table shows that the utter doom of private industry is a fact which even a blind man cannot now deny. INDUSTRIAL PROGRESS OF THE U.S.S.R. IN 1934-38







Per cent of previous year







In millions of rubles at 1926-27 prices













Total output
 Of which:
1. Socialist
2. Private







Per cent

Total output
 Of which:
1. Socialist
2. Private







    The doom of private industry must not be regarded as a thing of chance. It perished, firstly, because the socialist economic system is superior to the capitalist system; and, secondly, because the socialist economic system made it possible for us to re-equip in a few years the whole of our socialist industry on new and up-to-date technical lines. This is a possibility which the capitalist economic system does not and cannot offer. It is a fact that, from the standpoint of technique of production, from the standpoint of the degree of saturation of industry with modern machinery, our industry holds first place in the world.

    If we take the rate of growth of our industry, expressed in percentages of the pre-war level, and compare it with the rate of growth of industry in the principal capitalist countries, we get the following picture:

IN 1913-1938








U.S.S.R.   .   .   .
U.S.A. .   .   .   .
Britain .   .   .   .
Germany  .   .   .
France .   .   .   .








    This table shows that our industry has grown more than ninefold as compared with pre-war, whereas the industry of the principal capitalist countries continues to mark time round about the pre-war level, exceeding the latter by only 20-30 per cent.

    This means that as regards rate of growth our socialist industry holds first place in the world.

    Thus we find that as regards technique of production and rate of growth of our industry, we have already overtaken and outstripped the principal capitalist countries.

    In what respect are we lagging? We are still lagging economically, that is, as regards the volume of our industrial output per head of the population. In 1938 we produced about 5 million tons of pig iron; Britain produced 7 million tons. It might seem that we are better off than Britain. But if we divide this number of tons by the number of population we shall find that the output of pig iron per head of the population in 1938 was 145 kilogrammes in Britain, and only 87 kilogrammes in the U.S.S.R. Or, further: in 1938 Britain produced 10.8 million tons of steel and about 29,000 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, whereas the U.S.S.R. produced 18 million tons of steel and over 39,000 million kilowatt-hours of electricity. It might seem that we are better off than Britain. But if we divide this number of tons and kilowatt-hours by the number of population we shall find that in 1938 in Britain the output of steel per head of the population was 226 kilogrammes and of electricity 620 kilowatt-hours, whereas in the U.S.S.R. the output of steel per head of the population was only 107 kilogrammes, and of electricity only 233 kilowatt-hours.

    What is the reason for this? The reason is that our population is several times larger than that of Britain, and hence our requirements are greater: the Soviet Union has a population of 170 million, whereas Britain has a population of not more than 46 million. The economic power of a country's industry is not expressed by the volume of industrial output in general, irrespective of the size of population, but by the volume of industrial output taken in direct reference to the amount consumed per head of the population. The larger a country's industrial output per head of the population, the greater is its economic power; and, conversely, the smaller the output per head of the population, the less is the economic power of the country and of its industry. Consequently, the larger a country's population, the greater is the need for articles of consumption, and hence the larger should be the industrial output of the country.

    Take, for example, the output of pig iron. In order to outstrip Britain economically in respect to production of pig iron, which in 1938 amounted in that country to 7 million tons, we must increase our annual output of pig iron to 25 million tons. In order economically to outstrip Germany, which in 1938 produced 18 million tons of pig iron in all, we must raise our annual output to 40-45 million tons. And in order to outstrip the U.S.A. economically -- not as regards the level of 1938, which was a year of crisis, and in which the U.S.A. produced only 18.8 million tons of pig iron, but as regards the level of 1929, when the U.S.A. was experiencing an industrial boom and when it produced about 43 million tons of pig iron -- we must raise our annual output of pig iron to 50-60 million tons.

    The same must be said of the production of steel and rolled steel, of the machine-building industry, and so on, inasmuch as these branches of industry, and all others too, depend in the long run on the production of pig iron.

    We have outstripped the principal capitalist countries as regards technique of production and rate of industrial development. The is very good, but it is not enough. We must outstrip them economically as well. We can do it, and we must do it. Only if we outstrip the principal capitalist countries economically can we reckon upon our country being fully saturated with consumer goods, on having an abundance of products, and on being able to make the transition from the first phase of communism to its second phase.

    What do we require to outstrip the principal capitalist countries economically? First of all, we require the earnest and in domitable desire to move ahead and the readiness to make sacrifices and invest very considerable amounts of capital for the utmost expansion of our socialist industry. Have we these requisites? We undoubtedly have! Further, we require a high technique of production and a high rate of industrial development. Have we these requisites? We undoubtedly have! Lastly, we require time. Yes, comrades, time. We must build new factories. We must train new cadres for industry. But that requires time, and no little time at that. We cannot outstrip the principal capitalist countries economically in two or three years. It will require rather more than that. Take, for example, pig iron and its production. How much time do we require to outstrip the principal capitalist countries economically in regard to the production of pig iron? When the Second Five-Year Plan was being drawn up, certain members of the former personnel of the State Planning Commission proposed that the annual output of pig iron towards the end of the Second Five-Year Plan should be fixed in the amount of 60 million tons. That means that they assumed the possibility of an average annual increase in pig iron production of 10 million tons. This, of course, was sheer fantasy, if not worse. Incidentally, it was not only in regard to the production of pig iron that these comrades indulged their fantasy. They considered, for example, that during the period of the Second Five-Year Plan the annual increase of population in the U.S.S.R. should amount to 3-4 million persons, or even more. That was also fantasy, if not worse. But if we ignore these fantastic dreamers and come down to reality, we may consider quite feasible an average annual increase in the output of pig iron of 2-2.5 million tons, bearing in mind the present state of technique of iron smelting. The industrial history of the principal capitalist countries, as well as of our country, shows that such an annual rate of increase involves a great strain, but is quite feasible.

    Hence, we require time, and no little time at that, in order to outstrip the principal capitalist countries economically. And the higher our productivity of labour becomes, and the more our technique of production is perfected, the more rapidly shall we be able to accomplish this cardinal economic task, the more shall we be able to reduce the period of its accomplishment.

    b) Agriculture. Like the development of industry, the development of agriculture during the period under review has followed an upward trend. This upward trend is expressed not only in an increase of agricultural output, but, and primarily, in the growth and consolidation of socialist agriculture on the one hand, and the downfall of individual peasant farming on the other. Whereas the grain area of the collective farms increased from 75 million hectares in 1933 to 92 million in 1938, the grain area of the individual peasant farmers dropped in this period from 15.7 million hectares to 600,000 hectares, or to 0.6 per cent of the total grain area. I will not mention the area under industrial crops, a branch in which individual peasant farming has been reduced to nil. Furthermore, it is well

known that the collective farms now unite 18.8 million peasant households, or 93.5 per cent of all the peasant households, aside from the collectives engaged in fishery, handicrafts, hunting, etc.

    This means that the collective farms have been firmly established and consolidated, and that the socialist system of farming is now our only form of agriculture.

    If we compare the areas under all crops during the period under review with the crop areas in the pre-revolutionary period, we observe the following picture of growth:


Millions of hectares

1913 (%)







Total crop area
    Of which:
a) Grain
b) Industrial
c) Vegetable
d) Fodder








    This table shows that we have an increase in the area for all crops, and above all for fodder, industrial crops and vegetables.

    This means that our agriculture is becoming more high grade and productive, and that a solid foundation is being provided for the increasing application of proper crop rotation.

    The way our collective farms and state farms have been in creasingly supplied with tractors, harvester combines and other machines during the period under review is shown by the following tables:








with 1933
(per cent)

a) Number of tractors (thousands)

Total .   .   .   .   .
     Of which:
a) In machine and
   tractor stations .
b) In state farms
   and auxiliary
   undertakings .   .








b) Capacity (thous. hp)

All tractors .   .   .
     Of which:
a) In machine and
   tractor stations .
b) In state farms
   and auxiliary
   undertakings .   .








(in thousands at end of year)







with 1933
(per cent)

Harvester combines
  and steam engines
Complex and semi-
  complex grain
  threshers .   .   .
Motor lorries  .   .
Passenger autocars
  (units) .   .   .   .








    If in addition to these figures, we bear in mind that in the period under review the number of machine and tractor stations increased from 2,900 in 1934 to 6,350 in 1938, it may be safely said, on the basis of all these facts, that the reconstruction of our agriculture on the foundation of a new and up-to date technology has in the main already been completed.

    Our agriculture, consequently, is not only run on the largest scale, is not only the most mechanized in the world, and therefore produces the largest surplus for the market, but is also more fully equipped with modern machinery than the agriculture of any other country.

    If we compare the harvests of grain and industrial crops during the period under review with the pre-revolutionary period, we get the following picture of growth:



In millions of centners








 Grain .   .   .   .   .
 Raw cotton .   .   .
 Flax fibre   .   .   .
 Sugar-beet .   .   .
 Oil seeds .  .   .   .








    From this table it can be seen that despite the drought in the eastern and southeastern districts in 1936 and 1938, and despite the unprecedentedly large harvest in 1913, the gross production of grain and industrial crops during the period under review steadily increased as compared with 1913.

    Of particular interest is the question of the amount of grain marketed by the collective farms and state farms as compared with their gross harvests. Comrade Nemchinov, the well known statistician, has calculated that of a gross grain harvest of 5,000 million poods in pre-war times, only about 1,300 million poods were marketed. Thus the marketed proportion of the grain crop in those days was 26 per cent. Comrade Nemchinov computes that in the years 1926-27, for example, the proportion of marketed produce to gross harvest was about 47 per cent in the case of collective and state farming, which is large scale farming, and about 12 per cent in the case of individual peasant farming. If we approach the matter more cautiously and assume the amount of marketed produce in the case of collective and state farming in 1938 to be 40 per cent of the gross harvest, we find that in that year our socialist grain farming was able to release, and actually did release, about 2,300 million poods of grain for the market, or 1,000 million poods more than was marketed in pre-war times.

    Consequently, the high proportion of produce marketed constitutes an important feature of state and collective farming, and is of cardinal importance for the food supply of our country.

    It is this feature of the collective farms and state farms that explains the secret why our country has succeeded so easily and rapidly in solving the grain problem, the problem of producing an adequate supply of market grain for this vast country.

    It should be noted that during the last three years annual grain deliveries to the state have not dropped below 1,600 million poods, while sometimes, as for example in 1937, they reached 1,800 million poods. If we add to this about 200 million poods or so of grain purchased annually by the state, as well as several hundred million poods sold by collective farms and farmers directly in the market, we get in all the total of grain released by the collective farms and state farms already mentioned.

    Further, it is interesting to note that during the last three years the base of marketable grain has shifted from the Ukraine, which was formerly considered the granary of our country, to the north and the east, that is, to the R.S.F.S.R. We know that during the last two or three years grain deliveries in the Ukraine have amounted in all to about 400 million poods annually,whereas in the R.S.F.S.R. the grain deliveries during these years have amounted to 1,100-1,200 million poods annually.

    That is how things stand with regard to grain farming.

    As regards livestock farming, considerable advances have been made during the past few years in this, the most back-

page 903

ward branch of agriculture, as well. True, in the number of horses and in sheep breeding we are still below the pre revolutionary level; but as regards cattle and hog breeding we have already passed the pre-revolutionary level.

    Here are the figures:

(In millions)

J u l y

compared with

to census







to census
(per cent)

(per cent)

 Horses .   .   .
 Cattle .   .   .
 Sheep and goats
 Hogs   .   .   .










    There can be no doubt that the lag in horse breeding and sheep breeding will be remedied in a very short period.

    c) Trade turnover and transport. The progress in industry and agriculture was accompanied by an increase in the trade turnover of the country. During the period under review the number of state and co-operative retail stores increased by 25 per cent. State and co-operative retail trade increased by 178 per cent. Trade in the collective-farm markets increased by per cent.

    Here is the corresponding table:









(per cent)

1. State and co-op-
erative retail stores
and boothes -- at end
of year   .   .   .   .
2. State and co-op-
erative retail trade,
including public ca-
tering (in millions of
rubles)   .   .   .   .
3. Trade in collect-
ive-farm markets (in
millions of rubles)  .
4. Regional whole-
sale departments of
the People's Commis-
sariats of the Food
Industry, Light Indus-
try, Heavy Industry,
Timber Industry, and
and Local Industry of
the Union Republics
-- at end of year .   .








    It is obvious that trade turnover in the country could not have so developed without a certain increase in freight traffic. And indeed during the period under review freight traffic increased in all branches of transport, especially rail and air. There was an increase in water-borne freight, too, but with considerable fluctuations, and in 1938, it is to be regretted, there was even a drop in water-borne freight as compared with the previous year.

    Here is the corresponding table:








(per cent)

 (in millions of
River and mari-
 tine transport
 (in millions of
Civil air fleet
 (in thousands of








    There can be no doubt that the comparative lag in water transport in 1938 will be remedied in 1939.



    The steady progress of industry and agriculture could not but lead, and has actually led, to a new rise in the material and cultural standard of the people.

    The abolition of exploitation and the consolidation of the socialist economic system, the absence of unemployment, with its attendant poverty, in town and country, the enormous expansion of industry and the steady growth in the number of workers, the increase in the productivity of labour of the workers and collective farmers, the securement of the land to the collective farms in perpetuity, and the vast number of first-class tractors and agricultural machines supplied to the collective farms -- all this has created effective conditions for a further rise in the standard of living of the workers and peasants. In its turn, the improvement in the standard of living of the workers and peasants has naturally led to an improvement in the standard of living of the intelligentsia, who represent a considerable force in our country and serve the interests of the workers and peasants.

    Now it is no longer a question of finding room in industry for unemployed and homeless peasants who have been set adrift from their villages and live in fear of starvation -- of giving them jobs out of charity. The time has long gone by when there were such peasants in our country. And that is a good thing, of course, for it testifies to the prosperity of our countryside. If anything, it is now a question of asking the collective farms to comply with our request and to release, say, about 1.5 million young collective farmers annually for the needs of our expanding industry. The collective farms, which have already become prosperous, should bear in mind that if we do not get this assistance from them it will be very difficult to

continue the expansion of our industry, and that if we do not expand our industry we shall not be able to satisfy the peasants' growing demand for consumer goods. The collective farms are quite able to meet this request of ours, since the abundance of machinery in the collective farms releases a portion of the rural workers, who, if transferred to industry, could be of immense service to our whole national economy.

    As a result, we have the following indications of the improvement in the standard of living of the workers and peasants during the period under review:

    1) The national income rose from 48,500 million rubles in 1933 to 105,000 million rubles in 1938.

    2) The number of factory and office workers rose from a little over 22 million in 1933 to 28 million in 1938.

    3) The total annual payroll rose from 34,953 million rubles to 96,425 million rubles.

    4) The average annual wages of industrial workers, which amounted to 1,513 rubles in 1933, rose to 3,447 rubles in 1938.

    5) The total monetary incomes of the collective farms rose from 5,661,900,000 rubles in 1933 to 14,180,100,000 rubles in 1937.

    6) The average amount of grain received per collective farm household in the grain-growing regions rose from 61 poods in 1933 to 144 poods in 1937, exclusive of seed, emergency seed stocks, fodder for the collectively-owned cattle, grain deliveries, and payments in kind for work performed by the machine and tractor stations.

    7) State budget appropriations for social and cultural services rose from 5,839,900,000 rubles in 1933 to 35,202,500,000 rubles in 1938.

    As regards the cultural standard of the people, its rise was commensurate with the rise in the standard of living.

    From the standpoint of the cultural development of the peo ple, the period under review has been marked by a veritable cultural revolution. The introduction of universal compulsory elementary education in the languages of the various nationalities of the U.S.S.R., the increasing number of schools and scholars of all grades, the increasing number of college trained experts, and the creation and growth of a new intelligentsia, a Soviet intelligentsia -- such is the general picture of the cultural advancement of our people.

    Here are the figures: [See pp. 909-11.]

    As a result of this immense cultural work a numerous new, Soviet intelligentsia has arisen and developed in our country, an intelligentsia which has emerged from the ranks of the working class, peasantry and Soviet employees, which is of the flesh and blood of our people, has never known the yoke of exploitation, hates exploiters, and is ready to serve the peoples of the U.S.S.R. faithfully and devotedly.

    I think that the rise of this new, socialist intelligentsia of the people is one of the most important results of the cultural revolution in our country.



    One of the most important results of the period under review is that it has led to the further internal consolidation of the country, to the further consolidation of the Soviet system.

    Nor could it be otherwise. The firm establishment of the socialist system in all branches of national economy, the progress of industry and agriculture, the rising material standard of the working people, the rising cultural standard of the masses and their increasing political activity -- all this, accomplished under the guidance of the Soviet government, could not but lead to the further consolidation of the Soviet system.



Unit of




Number of pupils and students of all grades  .
                Of which:
  In elementary schools .   .   .   .   .   .   .
  In secondary schools (general and special) .
  In higher educational institutions .  .   .   .
Number of persons engaged in all forms of
  study in the U.S.S.R.  .   .   .   .   .   .   .
Number of public libraries  .   .   .   .   .   .
Number of books in public libraries .  .   .   .
Number of clubs  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
Number of theatres  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
Number of cinima installations (excluding
  narrow-film)   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
                Of which:
  With sound equipment .   .   .   .   .   .   .
Number of cinima installations (excluding
  narrow-film) in rural districts  .   .   .   .
                Of which:
  With sound equipment .   .   .   .   .   .   .
Annual newspaper circulation  .   .   .   .   .




31 times
278 times

IN 1933-38

In cities and
country towns

In rural


1933  .   .   .   .   .
1934  .   .   .   .   .
1935  .   .   .   .   .
1936  .   .   .   .   .
1937  .   .   .   .   .
1938  .   .   .   .   .




Total (1933-38)




page 911

(In thousands )







Total for U.S.S.R. (exclusive
  of military specialists)  .
1. Engineers for industry
   and building  .   .   .   .
2. Engineers for transport
   and communications .   .
3. Agricultural engineers,
   agronomists, veterinar-
   ians and zootechnicians .
4. Economists and jurists .
5. Teachers of secondary
   schools, workers' facul-
   ties, technical schools,
   and other educational
   workers, including art
   workers   .   .   .   .   .
6. Physicians, pharmacists,
   and physical culture in-
   structors .   .   .   .   .
7. Other specialists .   .   .







    The feature that distinguishes Soviet society today from any capitalist society is that it no longer contains antagonistic, hostile classes; that the exploiting classes have been eliminated, while the workers, peasants and intellectuals, who make up Soviet society, live and work in friendly collaboration. Whereas capitalist society is torn by irreconcilable antagonisms between workers and capitalists and between peasants and landlords -- resulting in its internal instability -- Soviet society, liberated from the yoke of exploitation, knows no such antagonisms, is free of class conflicts, and presents a picture of friendly collaboration between workers, peasants and intellectuals. It is this community of interest which has formed the basis for the development of such motive forces as the moral and political unity of Soviet society, the mutual friendship of the peoples of the U.S.S.R., and Soviet patriotism. It has also been the basis for the Constitution of the U.S.S.R. adopted in November 1936, and for the complete democratization of the elections to the supreme organs of the country.

    As to the elections to the supreme organs, they were a magnificent demonstration of that unity of Soviet society and of that friendship among the peoples of the U.S.S.R. which constitute the characteristic feature of the internal situation of our country. As we know, in the elections to the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. in December 1937, nearly 90 million votes, or 98.6 per cent of the total ballot, were cast for the Communist and non-Party bloc, while in the elections to the Supreme Soviets of the Union Republics in June 1938, 92 million votes, or 99.4 per cent of the total ballot, were cast for the Communist and non-Party bloc.

    There you have the basis of the stability of the Soviet system and the source of the inexhaustible strength of Soviet government.

page 913

    This means, incidentally, that in case of war, the rear and front of our army, by reason of their homogeneity and inherent unity, will be stronger than those of any other country, a fact which foreign lovers of military conflicts would do well to remember.

    Certain foreign pressmen have been talking drivel to the effect that the purging of Soviet organizations of spies, assassins and wreckers like Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Yakir, Tukhachevsky, Rosengolts, Bukharin and other fiends has "shaken" the Soviet system and caused its "demoralization." All this cheap drivel deserves is laughter and scorn. How can the purging of Soviet organizations of noxious and hostile elements shake and demoralize the Soviet system? The Trotsky-Bukharin bunch, that handful of spies, assassins and wreckers, who kowtowed to the foreign world, who were possessed by a slavish instinct to grovel before every foreign bigwig and were ready to serve him as spies -- that handful of individuals who did not understand that the humblest Soviet citizen, being free from the fetters of capital, stands head and shoulders above any high-placed foreign bigwig whose neck wears the yoke of capitalist slavery -- of what use that miserable band of venal slaves, of what value can they be to the people, and whom can they "demoralize"? In 1937 Tukhachevsky, Yakir, Uborevich and other fiends were sentenced to be shot. After that, the elections to the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R were held. In these elections, 98.6 per cent of the total vote was cast for Soviet government. At the beginning of 1938 Rosengolts, Rykov, Bukharin and other fiends were sentenced to be shot. After that, the elections to the Supreme Soviets of the Union Republics were held. In these elections 99.4 per cent of the total vote was cast for Soviet government. Where are the symptoms of "demoralization," we would like to know, and

why was this "demoralization" not reflected in the results of the elections?

    To listen to these foreign drivellers one would think that if the spies, assassins and wreckers had been left at liberty to wreck, murder and spy without let or hindrance, the Soviet organizations would have been far sounder and stronger. (Laughter.) Are not these gentlemen giving themselves away too soon by so insolently defending the cause of spies, assassins and wreckers?

    Would it not be truer to say that the weeding out of spies, assassins and wreckers from our Soviet organizations was bound to lead, and did lead, to the further strengthening of these organizations?

    What, for instance, do the events at Lake Hassan show, if not that the weeding out of spies and wreckers is the surest means of strengthening our Soviet organizations?

*       *       *

    The tasks of the Party in the sphere of internal policy are:

    1) To promote the further progress of our industry, rise of productivity of labour, and perfection of the technique of production, in order, having already outstripped the principal capitalist countries in technique of production and rate of industrial development, to outstrip them economically as well in the next 10-15 years.

    2) To promote the further progress of our agriculture and stock breeding so as to achieve in the next three or four years an annual grain harvest of 8,000 million poods, with an average yield of 12-13 centners per hectare; an average increase in the harvest of industrial crops of 30-35 per cent; and an increase in the number of sheep and hogs by 100 per cent, of cattle by about 40 per cent, and of horses by about 35 per cent.


    3) To continue to improve the material and cultural standard of the workers, peasants and intellectuals.

    4) Steadfastly to carry into effect our socialist Constitution; to complete the democratization of the political life of the country; to strengthen the moral and political unity of Soviet society and fraternal collaboration among our workers, peasants and intellectuals; to promote the friendship of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. to the utmost, and to develop and cultivate Soviet patriotism.

    5) Never to forget that we are surrounded by a capitalist world; to remember that the foreign espionage services will smuggle spies, assassins and wreckers into our country; and, remembering this, to strengthen our socialist intelligence service and systematically help it to defeat and eradicate the enemies of the people.



    From the standpoint of the political line and day-to-day practical work, the period under review was one of complete victory for the general line of our Party. (Loud and prolonged applause.)

    The principal achievements demonstrating the correctness of the policy of our Party and the correctness of its leadership are the firm establishment of the socialist system in the entire national economy, the completion of the reconstruction of industry and agriculture on the basis of modern technique, the fulfilment of the Second Five-Year Plan in industry ahead of time, the increase of the annual grain harvest to a level of 7,000 million poods, the abolition of poverty and unemployment, and the rising material and cultural standard of the people.

page 916

    In the face of these imposing achievements, the opponents of the general line of our Party, all the various "Left" and "Right" trends, all the Trotsky-Pyatakov and Bukharin-Rykov renegades were forced to creep into their shells, to tuck away their hackneyed "platforms" and go under cover. Lacking the manhood to submit to the will of the people, they preferred to merge with the Mensheviks, Socialist-Revolutionaries and fascists, to become the tools of foreign espionage services, to hire themselves out as spies, and to commit themselves to help the enemies of the Soviet Union to dismember our country and to restore capitalist slavery in it.

    Such was the inglorious end of the opponents of the line of our Party, who finished up as enemies of the people.

    Having smashed the enemies of the people and purged the Party and Soviet organizations of renegades, the Party became still more strongly united in its political and organizational work and rallied even more solidly around its Central Committee. (Stormy applause. All the delegates rise and cheer the speaker. Shouts of "Hurrah for Comrade Stalin!" "Long live Comrade Stalin!" "Hurrah for the Central Committee of our Party!")

    Let us examine the concrete facts illustrating the development of the internal life of the Party and its organizational and propaganda work during the period under review.



    The strengthening of the Party and of its leading bodies during the period under review proceeded chiefly along two lines: a!ong the line of regulating the composition of the Party,

page 917

ejecting unreliable elements and selecting the best elements, and along the line of dividing up the organizations, reducing their size, and bringing the leading bodies closer to the concrete, day-to-day work of the lower bodies.

    At the Seventeenth Party Congress 1,874,488 Party members were represented. Comparing this figure with the number of Party members represented at the preceding congress, the Sixteenth Party Congress, we find that in the interval between these two congresses 600,000 new members joined the Party. The Party could not but feel that such a mass influx into its ranks in the conditions prevailing in 1930-33 was an unhealthy and undesirable expansion of its membership. The Party knew that not only honest and loyal people were joining its ranks, but also chance elements and careerists, who were seeking to utilize the badge of the Party for their own personal ends. The Party could not but know that its strength lay not only in the size of its membership, but, and above all, in the quality of its members. The question accordingly arose of regulating the composition of the Party. It was decided to continue the purge of Party members and candidate members begun in 1933; and the purge actually was continued until May 1935. It was further decided to suspend the admission of new members into the Party; and it actually was suspended until September 1936, the admission of new members being resumed only on November 1, 1936. Further, in connection with the dastardly murder of Comrade Kirov, which showed that there were no few suspicious elements in the Party, it was decided to undertake a verification of the records of Party members and an exchange of old Party cards for new ones, both these measures being completed only in September 1936. Only after this was the admission of new members and candidate members into the Party resumed. As a result of all these measures,

page 918

the Party succeeded in weeding out chance, passive, careerist and directly hostile elements, and in culling the staunchest and most loyal. It cannot be said that the purge was not accompanied by grave mistakes. There were unfortunately more mistakes than might have been expected. Undoubtedly, we shall have no need to resort to the method of mass purges any more. Nevertheless, the purge of 1933-36 was unavoidable and on the whole its results were beneficial. The number of Party members represented at this, the Eighteenth Congress, is about 1,600,000, which is 270,000 less than were represented at the Seventeenth Congress. But there is nothing bad in that. On the contrary, it is all to the good, for the Party is strengthened by purging its ranks of dross. Our Party is now somewhat smaller in membership, but on the other hand it is better in quality.

    That is a big achievement.

    As regards improvement of the Party's day-to-day leadership by bringing it closer to the work of the lower bodies and by making it more concrete, the Party came to the conclusion that the best way to make it easier for the Party bodies to guide the organizations and to make the leadership itself concrete, alive and practical was to divide up the organizations, to reduce their size. People's Commissariats as well as the administrative organizations of the various territorial divisions, that is, the Union Republics, territories, regions, districts, etc., were divided up. The result of the measures adopted is that instead of 7 Union Republics, we now have 11; instead of 14 People's Commissariats of the U.S.S.R. we have 34; instead of 70 territories and regions we have 110; instead of 2,559 urban and rural districts we have 3,815. Correspondingly, within the system of leading Party bodies, we now have 11 central committees, headed by the Central Committee of the

page 919

C.P.S.U.(B.), 6 territorial committees, 104 regional committees, 30 area committees, 212 city committees, 336 city district committees, 3,479 rural district committees, and 113,060 primary Party organizations.

    It cannot be said that the dividing of organizations will stop there. Most likely it will be carried further. But, however that may be, it is already yielding good results both in improving the day-to-day leadership of the work and in bringing the leadership itself closer to the concrete work of the lower bodies. I need not mention that this dividing up of organizations has made it possible to promote hundreds and thousands of new people to leading posts.

    That, too, is a big achievement.



    Regulating the composition of the Party and bringing the leading bodies closer to the concrete work of the lower bodies was not, and could not be, the only means of further strengthening the Party and its leadership. Another means adopted in the period under review was a radical improvement in the training of cadres, in the work of selecting, promoting and allocating cadres and of testing them in the process of work.

    The Party cadres constitute the commanding staff of the Party; and since our Party is in power, they also constitute the commanding staff of the leading organs of state. After a correct political line has been worked out and tested in practice, the Party cadres become the decisive force in the leadership exercised by the Party and the state. A correct political line is, of course, the primary and most important thing. But that in itself is not enough. A correct political line is not needed as a declaration, but as something to be carried into effect. But in order to carry a correct political line into effect, we must

page 920

have cadres, people who understand the political line of the Party, who accept it as their own line, who are prepared to carry it into effect, who are able to put it into practice and are capable of answering for it, defending it and fighting for it. Failing this, a correct political line runs the risk of being purely nominal.

    And here arises the problem of properly selecting cadres and fostering them, of promoting new people, of correctly allocating cadres, and testing them by work accomplished.

    What is meant by properly selecting cadres?

    Properly selecting cadres does not mean just gathering around one a lot of deps and subs, setting up an office and issuing order after order. (Laughter.) Nor does it mean abusing one's powers, switching scores and hundreds of people back and forth from one job to another without rhyme or reason and conducting endless "reorganizations." (Laughter.)

    Proper selection of cadres means:

    Firstly, valuing cadres as the gold reserve of the Party and the state, treasuring them, respecting them.

    Secondly, knowing cadres, carefully studying their individual merits and shortcomings, knowing in what post the capacities of a given worker are most likely to develop.

    Thirdly, carefully fostering cadres, helping every promising worker to advance, not grudging time on patiently "bothering" with such workers and accelerating their development.

    Fourthly, boldly promoting new and young cadres in time, so as not to allow them to stagnate in their old posts and grow stale.

    Fifthly, allocating workers to posts in such a way that each feels he is in the right place, that each may contribute to our common cause the maximum his personal capacities enable him to contribute, and that the general trend of the work of

page 921

allocating cadres may fully answer to the demands of the political line for the carrying out of which this allocation of cadres is designed.

    Particularly important in this respect is the bold and timely promotion of new and young cadres. It seems to me that our people are not quite clear on this point yet. Some think that in selecting people we must chiefly rely on the old cadres. Others, on the contrary, think that we must chiefly rely on young cadres. It seems to me that both are mistaken. The old cadres, of course, are a valuable asset to the Party and the state. They possess what the young cadres lack, namely, tremendous experience in leadership, a steeled knowledge of Marxist-Leninist principles, knowledge of affairs, and a capacity for orientation. But, firstly, there are never enough old cadres, there are far less than required, and they are already partly going out of commission owing to the operation of the laws of nature. Secondly, part of the old cadres are sometimes inclined to keep a too persistent eye on the past, to cling to the past, to stay in the old rut and fail to observe the new in life. This is called losing the sense of the new. It is a very serious and dangerous shortcoming. As to the young cadres, they, of course, have not the experience, the schooling, the knowledge of affairs and the capacity of orientation of the old cadres. But, firstly, the young cadres constitute the vast majority; secondly, they are young, and as yet are not subject to the danger of going out of commission; thirdly, they possess in abundance the sense of the new, which is a valuable quality in every Bolshevik worker; and, fourthly, they develop and acquire knowledge so rapidly, they press upward so eagerly, that the time is not far off when they will overtake the old

page 922

fellows, take their stand side by side with them, and become worthy of replacing them. Consequently, the point is not whether we should rely on the old cadres or the new, but rather that we should steer for a combination, a union of the old and the young cadres in one common symphony of leadership of the Party and the state. (Prolonged applause.)

    That is why we must boldly and in good time promote young cadres to leading posts.

    One of the important achievements of the Party during the period under review in the matter of strengthening the Party leadership is that, when selecting cadres, it has successfully pursued, from top to bottom, just this course of combining old and young workers.

    Data in the possession of the Central Committee of the Party show that during the period under review the Party succeeded in promoting to leading state and Party posts over 500,000 young Bolsheviks, members of the Party and people standing close to the Party, over 20 per cent of whom were women.

    What is our task now?

    Our task now is to concentrate the work of selecting cadres, from top to bottom, in the hands of one body and to raise it to a proper, scientific, Bolshevik level.

    This entails putting an end to the division of the work of studying, promoting and selecting cadres among various departments and sectors and concentrating it in one body.

    This body should be the Cadres Administration of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B.) and a corresponding cadres department in each of the republican, territorial and regional Party organizations.

page 923



    There is still another sphere of Party work, a very important and very responsible one, in which the work of strengthening the Party and its leading bodies has been carried on during the period under review. I am referring to Party propaganda and agitation, oral and printed, the work of training the Party members and Party cadres in the spirit of Marxism-Leninism, the work of raising the political and theoretical level of the Party and its workers.

    There is hardly need to dwell on the cardinal importance of Party propaganda, of the Marxist-Leninist training of our personnel. I am referring not only to Party personnel. I am also referring to the personnel of the Young Communist League, trade-union, trade, co-operative, economic, state, educational, military and other organizations. The work of regulating the composition of the Party and of bringing the leading bodies closer to the activities of the lower bodies may be organized satisfactorily; the work of promoting, selecting and allocating cadres may also be organized satisfactorily; but, with all this, if our Party propaganda for some reason or other goes lame, if the Marxist-Leninist training of our cadres begins to languish, if our work of raising the political and theoretical level of these cadres flags, and the cadres themselves cease on account of this to show interest in the prospect of our further progress, cease to understand the truth of our cause and are transformed into narrow plodders with no outlook, blindly and mechanically carrying out instructions from above -- then our entire state and Party work must inevitably languish. It must be accepted as an axiom that the higher the political level and the Marxist-Leninist understand-

page 924

ing of the workers in any branch of state or Party work, the better and more fruitful will be the work itself, and the more effective the results of the work; and, vice versa, the lower the political level and the Marxist-Leninist understanding of the workers, the greater will be the likelihood of disruption and failure in the work, of the workers themselves becoming shallow and deteriorating into paltry plodders, of their degenerating altogether. It may be confidently stated that if we succeeded in training the cadres in all branches of our work ideologically, and in schooling them politically, to such an extent as to enable them easily to orientate themselves in the internal and international situation; if we succeeded in making them quite mature Marxist-Leninists capable of solving the problems involved in the guidance of the country without serious error, we would have every reason to consider nine-tenths of our problems already settled. And we certainly can accomplish this, for we have all the means and opportunities for doing so.

    The training and moulding of our young cadres usually proceeds in each particular branch of science or technology along the line of specialization. That is necessary and expedient. There is no reason why a man who specializes in medicine should at the same time specialize in physics or botany, or vice versa. But there is one branch of science which Bolsheviks in all branches of science are in duty bound to know, and that is the Marxist-Leninist science of society, of the laws of social development, of the laws of development of the proletarian revolution, of the laws of development of socialist construction, and of the victory of communism. For a man who calls himself a Leninist cannot be considered a real Leninist if he shuts himself up in his speciality, in mathematics, botany or chemistry, let us say, and sees nothing beyond that

page 925

speciality. A Leninist cannot be just a specialist in his favourite science; he must also be a political and public worker, keenly interested in the destinies of his country, acquainted with the laws of social development, capable of applying these laws, and striving to be an active participant in the political guidance of the country. This, of course, will be an additional burden on specialists who are Bolsheviks. But it will be a burden more than compensated for by its results.

    The task of Party propaganda, the task of the Marxist-Leninist training of cadres, is to help our cadres in all branches of work to become versed in the Marxist-Leninist science of the laws of social development.

    Measures for improving the work of propaganda and of the Marxist-Leninist training of cadres have been discussed many times by the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B.) jointly with propagandists from various regional Party organizations. The publication, in September 1938, of the History of the C.P.S.U.(B.), Short Course was taken into account in this connection. It was ascertained that the publication of the History of the C.P.S.U.(B.), Short Course had given a new impetus to Marxist-Leninist propaganda in our country. The results of the work of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B.) have been published in its decision "On the Organization of Party Propaganda in Connection with the Publication of the History of the C.P.S.U.(B.), Short Course."

    On the basis of this decision and with due reference to the decisions of the Plenum of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B.) of March 1937, "On Defects in Party Work," the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B.) has outlined the following major measures for eliminating the defects in Party propaganda and improving the Marxist-Leninist training of Party members and Party cadres:

page 926

    1) To concentrate the work of Party propaganda and agitation in one body and to merge the propaganda and agitation departments and the press departments into a single Propaganda and Agitation Administration of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B.), and to organize corresponding propaganda and agitation departments in each republican, territorial and regional Party organization.

    2) Recognizing as incorrect the infatuation for the system of propaganda through study circles, and considering the method of individual study of the principles of Marxism-Leninism by Party members to be more expedient, to centre the attention of the Party on propaganda through the press and on the organization of a system of propaganda by lectures.

    3) To organize one-year Courses of Instruction for our lower cadres in each regional centre.

    4) To organize two-year Lenin Schools for our middle cadres in a number of centres of the country.

    5) To organize a Higher School of Marxism-Leninism under the auspices of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B.) with a three-year course for the training of highly-qualified Party theoreticians.

    6) To set up one-year Courses of Instruction for propagandists and journalists in a number of centres of the country.

    7) To set up in connection with the Higher School of Marxism-Leninism six-month Courses of Instruction for teachers of Marxism-Leninism in the higher educational establishments.

    There can be no doubt that the implementation of these measures, which are already being carried out, although not yet sufficiently, will soon yield beneficial results.

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    Another of the defects of our propagandist and ideological work is the absence of full clarity among our comrades on certain theoretical questions of vital practical importance, the existence of a certain amount of confusion on these questions. I refer to the question of the state in general, and of our socialist state in particular, and to the question of our Soviet intelligentsia.

    It is sometimes asked: "We have abolished the exploiting classes; there are no longer any hostile classes in the country; there is nobody to suppress; hence there is no more need for the state; it must die away. -- Why then do we not help our socialist state to wither away? Why do we not strive to put an end to it? Is it not time to get rid of the state, as so much lumber?"

    Or again: "The exploiting classes have already been abolished in our country; socialism has in the main been built; we are advancing towards communism. Now, the Marxist doctrine of the state says that there is to be no state under communism. -- Why then do we not help our socialist state to wither away? Is it not time we relegated the state to the museum of antiquities?"

    These questions show that those who ask them have conscientiously memorized certain tenets of the doctrine of Marx and Engels about the state. But they also show that these comrades have not grasped the essential meaning of this doctrine; that they do not realize in what historical conditions the various tenets of this doctrine were elaborated; and, what is more, that they do not understand present-day international conditions, have overlooked the capitalist encirclement and the dangers it entails for the socialist country. These questions

page 928

not only betray an underestimation of the capitalist encirclement, but also an underestimation of the role and significance of the bourgeois states and their organs, which send spies, assassins and wreckers into our country and are waiting for a favourable opportunity to attack it by armed force. They likewise betray an underestimation of the role and significance of our socialist state and of its military, penal and intelligence organs, which are essential for the defence of the Land of Socialism from foreign attack. It must be confessed that the comrades mentioned are not the only ones guilty of this un derestimation. All the Bolsheviks, all of us without exception, to a certain extent sin in this respect. Is it not surprising that we learnt about the espionage and conspiratorial activities of the Trotskyite and Bukharinite ringleaders only quite recently, in 1937 and 1938, although, as the evidence shows, these gentry were in the service of foreign espionage organizations and carried on conspiratorial activities from the very first days of the October Revolution? How could we have failed to notice so grave a matter? How are we to explain this blunder? The usual answer to this question is that we could not possibly have assumed that these people could have fallen so low. But that is no explanation, still less is it a justification, for the blunder was a blunder. How is this blunder to be explained? It is to be explained by an underestimation of the strength and significance of the mechanism of the bourgeois states surrounding us and of their espionage organs, which endeavour to take advantage of people's weaknesses, their vanity, their slackness of will, to enmesh them in their espionage nets and use them to surround the organs of the Soviet state. It is to be explained by an underestimation of the role and significance of the mechanism of our socialist state and of its intelligence service, by an underestimation of the importance of this intelligence

page 929

service by the twaddle that an intelligence service in the Soviet state is an unimportant trifle, and that the Soviet intelligence service and the Soviet state itself will soon have to be relegated to the museum of antiquities.

    What could have given rise to this underestimation?

    It arose owing to the fact that certain of the general tenets of the Marxist doctrine of the state were incompletely elaborated and were inadequate. It received currency owing to our unpardonably heedless attitude to matters pertaining to the theory of the state, in spite of the fact that we have had 20 years of practical experience in state affairs which provides rich material for theoretical generalizations, and in spite of the fact that, given the desire, we have every opportunity of successfully filling this gap in theory. We have forgotten Lenin's highly important injunction about the theoretical duties of Russian Marxists, that it is their mission to further elaborate the Marxist theory. Here is what Lenin said in this connection:

    "We do not regard Marxist theory as something completed and inviolable; on the contrary, we are convinced that it has only laid the corner-stone of the science which socialists must further advance in all directions if they wish to keep pace with life. We think that an independent elaboration of the Marxist theory is especially essential for Russian socialists, for this theory provides only general guiding principles, which, in particular, are applied in England differently from France, in France differently from Germany, and in Germany differently from Russia." (Lenin, Vol. II, p, 492,)[1]

    Consider, for example, the classical formulation of the theory of the development of the socialist state given by Engels:

    "As soon as there is no longer any class of society to be held in subjection; as soon as, along with class domination and the struggle for individual

    [1] " Our Programme," written in the second half of 1899.  [Transcriber's Note: This piece is one of four items appearing in Articles for" Rabochaya Gazeta". -- DJR]

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existence based on the anarchy of production hitherto, the collisions and excesses arising from these have also been abolished, there is nothing more to be repressed which would make a special repressive force, a state, neces sary. The first act in which the state really comes forward as the repre sentative of society as a whole -- the taking possession of the means of production in the name of society -- is at the same time its last indepcndent act as a state. The interference of the state power in social relations becomes superfluous in one sphere after another, and then ceases of itself. The gov ernment of persons is replaced by the administration of things and the direc tion of the processes of production. The state is not 'abolished,' it withers away." (Engels, Anti-Dühring, Partizdat, 1933, p. 202.)

    Is this proposition of Engels' correct?

    Yes, it is correct, but only on one of two conditions: a) if we study the socialist state only from the angle of the internal development of a country, abstracting ourselves in advance from the international factor, isolating, for the convenience of investigation, the country and the state from the international situation; or b) if we assume that socialism is already victorious in all countries, or in the majority of countries, that a socialist encirclement exists instead of a capitalist encirclement, that there is no more danger of foreign attack, and that there is no more need to strengthen the army and the state.

    Well, but what if socialism has been victorious only in one separate country, and if, in view of this, it is quite impossible to abstract oneself from international conditions -- what then? Engels' formula does not furnish an answer to this question. As a matter of fact, Engels did not set himself this question, and therefore could not have given an answer to it. Engels proceeds from the assumption that socialism has already been victorious more or less simultaneously in all countries, or in a majority of countries. Consequently, Engels is not here in vestigating any specific socialist state of any particular country, but the development of the socialist state in general, on the assumption that socialism has been victorious in a majority

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of countries -- according to the formula: "Assuming that socialism is victorious in a majority of countries, what changes must the proletarian, socialist state undergo?" Only this general and abstract character of the problem can explain why in his investigation of the question of the socialist state Engels completely abstracted himself from such a factor as international conditions, the international situation.

    But it follows from this that Engels' general formula about the destiny of the socialist state in general cannot be extended to the particular and specific case of the victory of socialism in one separate country, a country which is surrounded by a capitalist world, is subject to the menace of foreign military attack, cannot therefore abstract itself from the international situation, and must have at its disposal a well-trained army, well-organized penal organs, and a strong intelligence service, consequently, must have its own state, strong enough to defend the conquests of socialism from foreign attack.

    We cannot expect the Marxist classics, separated as they were from our day by a period of 45 or 55 years, to have foreseen each and every zigzag of history in the distant future in every separate country. It would be ridiculous to expect the Marxist classics to have elaborated for our benefit ready made solutions for each and every theoretical problem that might arise in any particular country 50 or 100 years afterwards, so that we, the descendants of the Marxist classics, might calmly doze at the fireside and munch ready-made solutions. (General laughter.) But we can and should expect the Marxist-Leninists of our day not to confine themselves to learning by rote a few general tenets of Marxism; to delve deeply into the essence of Marxism; to learn to take account of the experience gained in the 20 years of existence of the socialist state in our country; and, lastly, utilizing this expe-

page 932

rience and basing themselves on the essence of Marxism, to learn to apply the various general tenets of Marxism concretely, to lend them greater precision and improve them. Lenin wrote his famous book, The State and Revolution, in August 1917, that is, a few months before the October Revolution and the establishment of the Soviet state. Lenin considered it the main task of this book to defend Marx's and Engels' teaching on the state from distortion and vulgarization by the opportunists. Lenin was preparing to write a second volume of The State and Revolution, in which he intended to sum up the principal lessons of the experience of the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917. There can be no doubt that Lenin intended in the second volume of his book to elaborate and to further develop the theory of the state on the basis of the experience gained during the existence of Soviet power in our country. Death, however, prevented him from carrying this task into execution. But what Lenin did not manage to do should be done by his disciples. (Loud applause.)

    The state arose because society split up into antagonistic classes, it arose in order to keep in check the exploited majority in the interests of the exploiting minority. The instruments of state power became concentrated mainly in the army, the penal organs, the intelligence service, the prisons. Two basic functions characterize the activity of the state: at home (the main function), to keep in check the exploited majority; abroad (not the main function), to extend the territory of its class, the ruling class, at the expense of the territory of other states, or to defend the territory of its own state from attack by other states. Such was the case in slave society and under feudalism. Such is the case under capitalism.

    In order to overthrow capitalism it was necessary not only to remove the bourgeoisie from power, not only to expropriate

page 933

the capitalists, but also to smash entirely the bourgeois state machine, its old army, its bureaucratic officialdom and its police force, and to substitute for it a new, proletarian form of state, a new, socialist state. And that, as we know, is exactly what the Bolsheviks did. But it does not at all follow that the new, proletarian state may not retain certain functions of the old state, modified to suit the requirements of the proletarian state. Still less does it follow that the forms of our socialist state must remain unchanged, that all the original functions of our state must be fully retained in future. As a matter of fact, the forms of our state are changing and will continue to change in line with the development of our country and with the changes in the international situation.

    Lenin was absolutely right when he said:

    "The forms of bourgeois states are extremely varied, but their essence is the same: all these states, whatever their form, in the final analysis are inevitably the dictatorship of fhe bourgeoisie. The transition from capitalism to communism certainly cannot but yield a great abundance and variety of political forms, but the essence will inevitably be the same: the dictatorship of the proletariat." (Lenin, Vol. XXI, p. 393.)[1]

    Since the October Revolution, our socialist state has in its development passed through two main phases.

    The first phase was the period from the October Revolution to the elimination of the exploiting classes. The principal task in that period was to suppress the resistance of the overthrown classes, to organize the defence of the country against the attack of the interventionists, to restore industry and agriculture, and to prepare the conditions for the elimination of the capitalist elements. Accordingly, in this period our state performed

    [1] "The State and Revolution," August-September 1917.

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two main functions. The first function was to suppress the overthrown classes within the country. In this respect our state bore a superficial resemblance to previous states, whose functions had also been to suppress recalcitrants, with the fundamental difference, however, that our state suppressed the exploiting minority in the interests of the labouring majority, while previous states had suppressed the exploited majority in the interests of the exploiting minority. The second function was to defend the country from foreign attack. In this respect it likewise bore a superficial resemblance to previous states, which also undertook the armed defence of their countries, with the fundamental difference, however, that our state defended from foreign attack the gains of the labouring majority, while previous states in such cases defended the wealth and privileges of the exploiting minority. Our state had yet a third function: this was economic and organizational work and cultural and educational work performed by our state bodies with the purpose of developing the young shoots of the new, socialist economic system and re-educating the people in the spirit of socialism. But this new function did not attain any considerable development in that period.

    The second phase was the period from the elimination of the capitalist elements in town and country to the complete victory of the socialist economic system and the adoption of the new Constitution. The principal task in this period was to organize socialist economy throughout the country and to eliminate the last remnants of the capitalist elements, to organize a cultural revolution, and to organize a thoroughly modern army for the defence of the country. And the functions of our socialist state changed accordingly. The function of military suppression inside the country ceased, died away; for exploitation had been abolished, there were no more ex-

page 935

ploiters left, and so there was no one to suppress. In place of this function of suppression the state acquired the function of protecting socialist property from thieves and pilferers of the property of the people. The function of armed defence of the country from foreign attack fully remained; consequently, the Red Army and the Navy also fully remained, as did the penal organs and the intelligence service, which are indispensable for the detection and punishment of the spies, assassins and wreckers sent into our country by foreign intelligence services. The function of the state organs as regards economic and organizational work, and cultural and educational work, remained and was developed to the full. Now the main task of our state inside the country lies in peaceful economic and organizational work, and cultural and educational work. As for our army, penal organs, and intelligences service, their edge is no longer turned to the inside of the country but to the outside, against external enemies.

    As you see, we now have an entirely new, socialist statc, one without precedent in history and differing considerably in form and functions from the socialist state of the first phase.

    But development cannot stop there. We are moving ahead, towards communism. Will our state remain in the period of communism also?

    Yes, it will, if the capitalist encirclement is not liquidated, and if the danger of foreign military attack is not eliminated, although naturally, the forms of our state will again change in conformity with the change in the situation at home and abroad.

    No, it will not remain and will wither away if the capitalist encirclement is liquidated and is replaced by a socialist encirclement.

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    That is how the question stands with regard to the socialist state.

    The second question is that of the Soviet intelligentsia.

    On this question, too, as on the question of the state, there is a certain unclearness and confusion among Party members.

    In spite of the fact that the position of the Party on the question of the Soviet intelligentsia is perfectly clear, there are still current in our Party views hostile to the Soviet intelligentsia and incompatible with the Party position. As you know, those who hold these false views practise a disdainful and contemptuous attitude towards the Soviet intelligentsia and regard it as a force alien and even hostile to the working class and the peasantry. True, during the period of Soviet development the intelligentsia has undergone a radical change both in composition and status. It has become closer to the people and is honestly collaborating with them, in which respect it differs fundamentally from the old, bourgeois intelligentsia. But this apparently means nothing to these comrades. They go on harping on the old tune and wrongly apply to the Soviet intelligentsia views and attitudes which were justified in the old days when the intelligentsia was in the service of the landlords and capitalists.

    In the old pre-revolutionary days, under capitalism, the intelligentsia consisted primarily of members of the propertied classes -- noblemen, manufacturers, merchants, kulaks and so on. Some members of the intelligentsia were sons of small tradesmen, petty officials, and even of peasants and working men, but they did not and could not play a decisive part. The intelligentsia as a whole depended for their livelihood on the propertied classes and ministered to them. Hence it is easy to understand the mistrust, often bordering on hatred, with which the revolutionary elements of our country and above

page 937

all the workers regarded the intellectuals. True, the old intelligentsia produced some courageous and revolutionary individuals or handfuls of individuals who adopted the standpoint of the working class and completely threw in their lot with the working class. But such people were all too few among the intelligentsia, and they could not change the complexion of the intelligentsia as a whole.

    But the position with regard to the intelligentsia has radically changed since the October Revolution, since the defeat of the foreign armed intervention, and especially since the victory of industrialization and collectivization, when the abolition of exploitation and the firm establishment of the socialist economic system made it effectively possible to give the country a new Constitution and to put it into effect. The most influential and highly-qualified section of the old intelligentsia broke away from the main body in the very first days of the October Revolution, proclaimed war on the Soviet government, and joined the ranks of the saboteurs. They met with well-deserved punishment for this; they were smashed and dispersed by the organs of Soviet power. Subsequently the majority of those that survived were recruited by the enemies of our country as wreckers and spies, and thus expunged themselves by their own deeds from the ranks of the intellectuals. Another section of the old intelligentsia, less qualified but more numerous, continued for a long time to temporize, waiting for "better days"; but then, apparently giving up hope, decided to go and serve and live in harmony with the Soviet government. The greater part of this group of the old intelligentsia are getting well on in years and are beginning to go out of commission. A third section of the old intelligentsia, mainly comprising its rank and file, and still less qualified than the section just mentioned, joined forces with the people and supported the Soviet

page 938

government. They needed to perfect their education, and they set about doing so in our universities. But parallel with this painful process of differentiation and break-up of the old intelligentsia there was going on a rapid process of formation, mobilization and mustering of forces of a new intelligentsia. Hundreds of thousands of young people from the ranks of the working class, the peasantry and the working intelligentsia entered the universities and technical colleges, from which they emerged to reinforce the attenuated ranks of the intelligentsia. They infused fresh blood into it and animated it with a new, Soviet spirit. They radically changed the whole aspect of the intelligentsia, moulding it in their own form and image. The remnants of the old intelligentsia were dissolved in the new, Soviet intelligentsia, the intelligentsia of the people. There thus arose a new, Soviet intelligentsia, intimately bound up with the people and, for the most part, ready to serve them faithfully and loyally.

    As a result, we now have a numerous, new, popular, socialist intelligentsia, fundamentally different from the old, bourgeois intelligentsia both in composition and in social and political character.

    The old theory about the intelligentsia, which taught that it should be distrusted and combated, fully applied to the old pre-revolutionary intelligentsia, which served the landlords and capitalists. That theory is now out-of-date and does not fit our new, Soviet intelligentsia. A new theory is needed for our new intelligentsia, one teaching the necessity for a cordial attitude towards it, solicitude and respect for it, and co-operation with it in the interests of the working class and the peasantry.

    That is clear, I should think.

    It is therefore all the more astonishing and strange that after all these fundamental changes in the status of the intelligentsia,

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there should be people in our Party who attempt to apply the old theory, which was directed against the bourgeois intelligentsia, to our new, Soviet intelligentsia, which is basically a socialist intelligentsia. These people, it appears, assert that workers and peasants who until recently were working in Stakhanov fashion in the factories and collective farms and who were then sent to universities to be educated, thereby ceased to be real people and became second-rate people. So we are to conclude that education is a pernicious and dangerous thing. (Laughter.) We want all our workers and peasants to be cultured and educated, and we shall achieve this in time. But in the opinion of these queer comrades, this purpose harbours a grave danger; for when the workers and peasants become cultured and educated they may face the danger of being classified as second rate people. (General laughter.) The possibility is not precluded that these queer comrades may in time sink to the level of extolling backwardness, ignorance, benightedness and obscurantism. It would be quite in the nature of things. Theoretical vagaries never have led, and never can lead, to any good.

    Such is the position with regard to our new, socialist intelligentsia.

*       *       *

    Our tasks in respect to the further strengthening of the Party are:

    1) To systematically improve the composition of the Party, raising the ideological level of its membership, and admitting into its ranks, by a process of individual selection, only tried and tested comrades who are loyal to the cause of communism.

    2) To establish closer contact between the leading bodies and the work of the lower bodies, so as to make their work

page 940

of leadership more practical and specific and less confined to meetings and offices.

    3) To centralize the work of selecting cadres, to train them carefully and foster them, to study the merits and demerits of workers thoroughly, to promote young workers boldly and adapt the selection and allocation of cadres to the requirements of the political line of the Party.

    4) To centralize Party propaganda and agitation, to extend the propaganda of the ideas of Marxism-Leninism, and to raise the theoretical level and improve the political schooling of our cadres.

*       *       *

    Comrades, I am now about to conclude my report.

    I have sketched in broad outline the path traversed by our Party during the period under review. The results of the work of the Party and of its Central Committee during this period are well known. There have been mistakes and shortcomings in our work. The Party and the Central Committee did not conceal them and strove to correct them. There have also been important successes and big achievements, which must not however be allowed to turn our heads.

    The main outcome is that the working class of our country, having abolished the exploitation of man by man and firmly established the socialist system, has proved to the world the truth of its cause. That is the main outcome; for it strengthens confidence in the power of the working class and in the inevitability of its ultimate victory.

    The bourgeoisie of all countries asserts that the people cannot get along without capitalists and landlords, without merchants and kulaks. The working class of our country has proved

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in practice that the people can get along perfectly well with out exploiters.

    The bourgeoisie of all countries asserts that the working class, having destroyed the old bourgeois system, will be incapable of building anything new to replace the old. The working class of our country has proved in practice that it is quite capable not only of destroying the old system but of building a new and better system, a socialist system, a system, moreover, to which crises and unemployment are unknown.

    The bourgeoisie of all countries asserts that the peasantry is incapable of taking the path of socialism. The collective-farm peasants of our country have proved in practice that they can do so quite successfully.

    The chief endeavour of the bourgeoisie of all countries and of its reformist hangers-on is to kill in the working class faith in its own strength, faith in the possibility and inevitability of its victory, and thus to perpetuate capitalist slavery. For the bourgeoisie knows that if capitalism has not yet been overthrown and still continues to exist, it owes this not to its own merits, but to the fact that the proletariat still has not enough faith in the possibility of its victory. It cannot be said that the efforts of the bourgeoisie in this respect have been altogether unsuccessful. It must be confessed that the bourgeoisie and its agents among the working class have to some extent succeeded in poisoning the minds of the working class with the virus of doubt and disbelief. If the successes of the working class of our country, if its fight and victory serve to rouse the spirit of the working class in the capitalist countries and to strengthen its faith in its own power and in its victory, then our Party may say that its work has not been in vain. And there need be no doubt that this will be the case. (Loud and prolonged applause.)

    Long live our victorious working class! (Applause.)

    Long live our victorious collective-farm peasantry! (Applause.)

    Long live our socialist intelligentsia! (Applause.)

    Long live the great friendship of the peoples of our country! (Applause.)

    Long live the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks)! (Applause.)

    (The delegates rise and hail Comrade Stalin with loud and stormy cheers. Cries of : "Long live Comrade Stalin!" "Hurrah for our great Stalin!" "Hurrah for our beloved Stalin!")