On the Capitalist Crisis
















excerpts of

The Fourteenth Congress of 
the C.P.S.U.(B.)

December 18-31, 1925




excerpt of

Questions and Answers

Speech Delivered at the Sverdlov University

June 9, 1925




excerpt of

The Results of the Work of the Fourteenth Conference of the R.C.P.(B.)

Report Delivered at a Meeting of the Active of the Moscow Organisation of the R.C.P.(B.)

I. International Situation

May 9, 1925




The International Situation and
the Tasks of the Communist Parties

March 22, 1925


J. V. Stalin

Speech Delivered at the French Commission of the Sixth Enlarged Plenum of the E.C.C.I. 

March 6, 1926

Stalin, Works, Vol. 8, January-November, 1926, pp. 106-113




Report Delivered at the Fifteenth All-Union Conference of the C.P.S.U.(B.)

November 1, 1926

Stalin, Works, Vol. 8, January-November, 1926, pp. 245-310

In the old period, the period of pre-monopoly capitalism, the pre-imperialist period, when the globe had not yet been divided up among financial groups, when the forcible redivision of an already divided world was not yet a matter of life or death for capitalism, when unevenness of economic development was not, and could not be, as sharply marked as it became later, when the contradictions of capitalism had not yet reached that degree of development at which they convert flourishing capitalism into moribund capitalism thus opening up the possibility of the victory of socialism in individual countries—in that old period the formula of Engels was undeniably correct. In the new period, the period of the development of imperialism, when the unevenness of development of the capitalist countries has become the decisive factor in imperialist development, when inevitable conflicts and wars among the imperialists weaken the imperialist front and make it possible for it to be breached in individual countries, when the law of uneven development discovered by Lenin has become the starting point for the theory of the victory of socialism in individual countries—in these conditions the old formula of Engels becomes incorrect and must inevitably be replaced by another formula, one that affirms the possibility of the victory of socialism in one country.


Reply to the Discussion
on the Report on
“The Social-Democratic Deviation in our Party”

November 3, 1926

Stalin, Works, Vol. 8, January-November, 1926, pp. 311-372


3.   The Unevenness of Development of the Capitalist Countries



The Seventh Enlarged Plenum of the E.C.C.I.

November 22-December 16, 1926

Stalin, Works, Vol. 9,   December 1926 - July, 1927


6. Zinoviev in the Role of a Schoolboy Quoting Marx, Engels, Lenin


. Lenin's analysis of the economic essence of imperialism says that in the period of imperialism bourgeois society as a whole is on the downgrade. Lenin is quite right in saying that monopoly capitalism, imperialist capitalism, is moribund capitalism. Here is what Comrade Lenin says on this score:

"It is clear why imperialism is moribund capitalism, capitalism in transition to socialism: monopoly, which grows out of capitalism, is already capitalism dying out, the beginning of its transition to socialism. The tremendoussocialisation of labour by imperialism (what the apologists—the bourgeois economists—call 'interlocking') means the same thing" (see Lenin, Vol. XIX, p. 302).




Joint Plenum of the Central Committee 
and Central Control Commission of the

July 29  -  August  9,  1927

Stalin, Works, Vol. 10, August - December, 1927


The question of the stabilisation of capitalism. 


Zinoviev here attacked Bukharin's theses, asserting that on the question of stabilisation they depart from the position of the Comintern. That, of course, is nonsense. By that Zinoviev only betrayed his ignorance of the question of stabilisation, of the question of world capitalism. Zinoviev thinks that once there is stabilisation, the cause of the revolution is lost. He does not understand that the crisis of capitalism and the preparation for its doom grow as a result of stabilisation. Is it not a fact that capitalism has lately perfected and rationalised its technique and has produced a vast mass of goods which cannot find a market? Is it not a fact that the capitalist governments are more and more assuming a fascist character, attacking the working class and temporarily strengthening their own positions? Do these facts imply that stabilisation has become durable? Of course not! On the contrary, it is just these facts that tend to aggravate the present crisis of world capitalism, which is incomparably deeper than the crisis before the last imperialist war.

The very fact that the capitalist governments are assuming a fascist character tends to aggravate the internal situation in the capitalist countries and gives rise to revolutionary action by the workers (Vienna, Britain).

The very fact that capitalism is rationalising its technique and is producing a vast mass of goods which the market cannot absorb, this very fact tends to intensify the struggle within the imperialist camp for markets and for fields of capital export and leads to the creation of the conditions for a new war, for a new redivision of the world.

Is it difficult to understand that the excessive growth of capitalism's productive potentialities, coupled with the limited capacity of the world market and the stability of "spheres of influence," intensifies the struggle for markets and deepens the crisis of capitalism?

Capitalism could solve this crisis if it could increase the wages of the workers severalfold, if it could considerably improve the material conditions of the peasantry, if it could thereby considerably increase the purchasing power of the vast masses of the working people and enlarge the capacity of the home market. But if it did that, capitalism would not be capitalism. Precisely because capitalism cannot do that, precisely because capitalism uses its "incomes" not to raise the well-being of the majority of the working people, but to intensify their exploitation and to export capital to less-developed countries in order to obtain still larger "incomes"—precisely for that reason, the struggle for markets and for fields of capital export gives rise to a desperate struggle for a new redivision of the world and of spheres of influence, a struggle which has already made a new imperialist war inevitable.

Why do certain imperialist circles look askance at the U.S.S.R. and organise a united front against it? Because the U.S.S.R. is a very valuable market and field of capital export. Why are these same imperialist circles intervening in China? Because China is a very valuable market and field of capital export. And so on and so forth.

That is the basis and source of the inevitability of a new war, irrespective of whether it breaks out between separate imperialist coalitions, or against the U.S.S.R.

The misfortune of the opposition is that it does not understand these simple, elementary things.





Stalin's Interview With the First American Trade Union Delegation to Soviet Russia

First Published: Pravda September 15, 1927 





Interview with 
Foreign Workers' Delegations

November 5, 1927


SEVENTH QUESTION. How do you estimate the situation in Western Europe? 
Are revolutionary events to be expected within the next few years?

ANSWER : I think that elements of a profound crisis of capitalism are growing and will continue to grow in Europe. Capitalism may become partly stabilised, it may rationalise its production, it may temporarily hold down the working class—capitalism is still able to do all that, but it will never recover the "stability" and "equilibrium" that it possessed before the world war and the October Revolution. It will never recover that "stability" and "equilibrium."

That this is true is evident if only from the fact that every now and again the flames of revolution break out in the European countries and also in the colonies, which are the source of life of European capitalism. One day the flames of revolution break out in Austria, next day in Britain, the day after that somewhere in France or Germany, and then in China, Indonesia, India, and so forth.

But what are Europe and the colonies? They are the centre and periphery of capitalism. There is "unrest" in the centres of European capitalism. There is still greater "unrest" in its periphery. The conditions for new revolutionary events are maturing. I think that the clearest indication of the growing crisis of capitalism, and the clearest manifestation of the mounting discontent and anger of the working class, are the events connected with the murder of Sacco and Vanzetti. 

What is the murder of two working men for the capitalist mincing-machine? Have not scores and hundreds of workers been killed up till now every week, every day? But the murder of two workers, Sacco and Vanzetti, was enough to set the working class all over the world in motion. What does that show? It shows that things are getting hotter and hotter for capitalism. It shows that the conditions for new revolutionary events are maturing.

The fact that the capitalists may succeed in sweeping back the first wave of the revolutionary outbreak cannot by any means serve as a consolation for capitalism. The revolution against capitalism cannot advance in one solid and unbroken wave. It always grows in the course of flows and ebbs. It was so in Russia. It will be so in Europe. We are on the threshold of new revolutionary events.



excerpt of:

The International Character of 
the October Revolution

On the Occasion of the Tenth Anniversary of the October Revolution
November 6-7, 1927

Stalin, Works, Vol. 10, August - December, 1927



excerpts of:

J. V. Stalin

Political Report of the Central Committee to the Fifteenth Congress of the C.P.S.U.(B.)

Works, Vol. 10, August - December, 1927




Excerpt of:

The Right Danger in the German Communist Party

Speech: Delivered at a Meeting of the Presidium of the E.C.C.I.,

December 19, 1928 Bolshevik, No. 23-24, 1928; J. V. Stalin, Works, Vol. 11, pp. 307-24




Excerpt of the

Speech Delivered in the American Commission of
the Presidium of the ECCI, May 6, 1929.

A word or two regarding the tasks and the mission of the American Communist Party. Ithink, comrades, that the American Communist Party is one of those few Communist Parties in the world upon which history has laid tasks of a decisive character from the point of view of the world revolutionary movement.
You all know very well the strength and power of American capitalism. Many now think that the general crisis of world capitalism will not affect America.
That, of course, is not true. It is entirely untrue, comrades. The crisis of world capitalism is developing with increasing rapidity and cannot but affect American capitalism. The three million now unemployed in America are the first swallows indicating the ripening of the economic crisis in America. The sharpening antagonism between America and England, the struggle for markets and raw materials and, finally, the colossal growth of armaments — that is the second portent of the approaching crisis. I think the moment is not far off when a revolutionary crisis will develop in America. And when a revolutionary crisis develops in America, that will be the beginning of the end of world capitalism as a whole. It is essential that the American Communist Party should be capable of meeting that historical moment fully prepared and of assuming the leadership of the impending class struggle in America.




Excerpts of the

Political Report of the Central Committee to the Sixteenth Congress of the C.P.S.U.(B.)

June 27, 1930

First Published: Pravda, No. 177, June 29, 1930

Works, Volume 12, pp. 242-385



Excerpts of the

Report to the Seventeenth Party Congress on the Work of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B.)

January 26, 1934 
Stalin, Works, Volume 13,



Joseph Stalin

Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR


 (excerpts - related to the economic crisis of capitalism)



J.V. Stalin


Five Conversations with Soviet Economists, 1941-1952