cburford at gn.apc.org
Tue Jul 25 22:30:44 MDT 1995
From: Adam Bandt <bandt at cleo.murdoch.edu.au>
Date: Sun, 23 Jul 1995 14:36:56 +0800 (WST)
After recently reading Kruschev's secret speech to the XXth Congress of
the CPSU, my limited knowledge of Russian history has left me with a
question: at what stage did the Bolsheviks become officially
Student, Murdoch University, Western Australia
Fascinating, candid question, which I have spent a few hours exploring.
Both sides interpret history to show how the devil had long been
lurking, but that is with hindsight.
I will rephrase the question as "at what point did the contradiction
between Stalin and Trotsky become irreversibly antagonistic? ".
Many people on this list will know of Lenin's late comments on the
possibility of a split between Stalin and Lenin, but some may not,
and they are perhaps worth repeating.
"I would urge strongly that at this Congress a number of changes be
made in our political structure.
I want to tell you of the considerations to which I attach most
At the head of the list I set an increase in the number of Central
Committee members to a few dozen or even a few hundred."
Dec 22 1922
"By stability of the Central Committee, of which I spoke above, I
mean measures against a split, as far as such measures can at all
be taken. ...
I have in mind stability as a guarantee against a split in the
immediate future, and I intend to deal here with a few ideas
concerning personal qualities.
"I think that from this standpoint the prime factors in the question
of stability are such members of the C.C. as Stalin and Trotsky. I
think relations between them make up the greater part of the danger
of a split, which could be avoided, and this purpose, in my opinion,
would be served, among other things, by increasing the number of C.C.
members to 50 or 100.
"Comrade Stalin, having become Secretary-General, has unlimited
authority concentrated in his hands, and I am not sure whether
he will always be capable of using that authority with sufficient
caution. Comrade Trotsky, on the other hand, as his struggle
against the C.C. on the question of the People's Commissariat
for Communications, has already proved, is distinguished not only
by his outstanding ability. He is personally perhaps the most
capable man in the present C.C., but he has displayed excessive
self-assurance and shown excessive preoccupation with the purely
administrative side of the work.
"These two qualities of the two outstanding leaders of the present
C.C. can inadvertently lead to a split, and if our Party does not
take steps to avert this, the split may come unexpectedly."
[In my view it emerged finally and irreversibly within a year between
December 6th and Dec 15th 1923.]
"Stalin is too rude and this defect, although quite tolerable in our
midst and in dealings among us Communists, becomes intolerable in a
Secretary-General. That is why I suggest that the comrades think about
a way of removing Stalin from that post and appointing another man in
his stead who in all other respects differs from Comrade Stalin in
having only one advantage, namely, that of being more tolerant, more
loyal, more polite and more considerate to the comrades, less
capricious, etc. This circumstance may appear to be a negligible
detail. But I think that from the standpoint of safeguards against
a split and from the standpoint of what I wrote above about the
relationship between Stalin and Trotsky it is not a detail, or it is
a detail which can assume decisive importance."
January 4th 1923
I am quoting from a pamphlet published by Progress Publishers,
Moscow, 1964, with text taken from the English edition of Lenin's
Does anyone know if there is serious reason to think these passages
--- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---
More information about the Marxism