Down with Bukharinism !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

also available

IN GERMAN LANGUAGE

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Down with Bukharinism !

 

Collection of Texts against Bukharinism

 

Moscow Trials.  

 

Report of court proceedings

1938

 

 

in German language

LENIN ÜBER BUCHARIN

(Sammlung von Texten und Zitaten - zusammengestellt von Wolfgang Eggers) 

 

 

 

STALIN ON BUCHARIN

 

Stalin BEFORE the VI World Congress:

MAJOR PROBLEMS OF THE SIXTH CONGRESS OF THE COMINTERN

(„Leningradskaja pravda“ No. 162, June 14, 1928)

 

 

Plenum of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.)

July 4-12, 1928

 

 

Results of the July Plenum of the C.C., C.P.S.U.(B.)

Report to a Meeting of the Active of the Leningrad Organisation of the C.P.S.U.(B.),

July 13 1928;

 

 * * *

 

Stalin AFTER the VI World Congress:

 

The Right Danger in the C.P.S.U.(B.)

Speech Delivered at the Plenum of the Moscow Committee and Moscow Control Commission of the C.P.S.U.(B.)
October 19, 1928

 

 

INDUSTRIALISATION OF THE COUNTRY AND THE RIGHT DEVIATION IN THE C.P.S.U.[B]

(November 1928)

 

 

 

The Right Danger in the German Communist Party

(December 1928)

 

 

 

Bukharin`s Group and the Right Deviation in our Party

(February 1929)

 

 

THE RIGHT DEVIATION IN THE C.P.S.U. (B.)

Speech Delivered at the Plenum of
the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission
of the C.P.S.U.(B.) in April 1929
(Verbatim Report)

Excerpt concerning the Comintern:

 

Disagreements in Regard to the Comintern

I have already said that Bukharin does not see and does not understand the new tasks of the Comintern along the line of driving the Rights out of the Communist Parties, of curbing conciliation, and of purging the Communist Parties of Social-Democratic traditions—tasks which are dictated by the maturing conditions for a new revolutionary upsurge. This thesis is fully confirmed by our disagreements on Comintern questions.

How did the disagreements in this sphere begin?

They began with Bukharin’s theses at the Sixth Congress [3] on the international situation. As a rule, theses first examined by the delegation of the C.P.S.U.(B.). In this case, however, that condition was not observed. What happened was that the theses, signed by Bukharin, were sent to the delegation of the C.P.S.U.(B.) at the same time as they were distributed to the foreign delegations at the Sixth Congress. But the theses proved to be unsatisfactory on a number of points. The delegation of the C.P.S.U.(B.) was obliged to introduce about twenty amendments to the theses.

This created a rather awkward situation for Bukharin. But who was to blame for that? Why was it necessary for Bukharin to distribute the theses to the foreign delegations before they had been examined by the delegation of the C.P.S.U.(B.)? Could the delegation of the C.P.S.U.(B.) refrain from introducing amendments if the theses proved to be unsatisfactory? And so it came about that the delegation of the C.P.S.U.(B.) issued what were practically new theses on the international situation, which the foreign delegations began to counterpose to the old theses signed by Bukharin. Obviously, this awkward situation would not have arisen if Bukharin had not been in a hurry to distribute his theses to the foreign delegations.

I should like to draw attention to four principal amendments which the delegation of the C.P.S.U.(B.) introduced into Bukharin’s theses. I should like to draw attention to these principal amendments in order to illustrate more clearly the character of the disagreements on Comintern questions.

The first question is that of the character of the stabilisation of capitalism. According to Bukharin’s theses it appeared that nothing new is taking place at the present time to shake capitalist stabilisation, but that, on the contrary, capitalism is reconstructing itself and that, on the whole, it is maintaining itself more or less securely. Obviously, the delegation of the C.P.S.U.(B.) could not agree with such a characterisation of what is called the third period, i.e., the period through which we are now passing. The delegation could not agree with it because to retain such a characterisation of the third period might give our critics grounds for saying that we have adopted the point of view of so-called capitalist “recovery,” i.e., the point of view of Hilferding, a point of view which we Communists cannot adopt. Owing to this, the delegation of the C.P.S.U.(B.) introduced an amendment which makes it evident that capitalist stabilisation is not and cannot be secure, that it is being shaken and will continue to be shaken by the march of events, owing to the aggravation of the crisis of world capitalism.

This question, comrades, is of decisive importance for the Sections of the Comintern. Is capitalist stabilisation shaken or is it becoming more secure? It is on this that the whole line of the Communist Parties in their day-to-day political work depends. Are we passing through a period of decline of the revolutionary movement, a period of the more gathering of forces, or are we passing through a period when the conditions are maturing for a new revolutionary upsurge, a period of preparation of the working class for future class battles? It is on this that the tactical line of the Communist Parties depends. The amendment of the delegation of the C.P.S.U.(B.) subsequently adopted by the congress, is a good one for the very reason that it gives a clear line based on the latter prospect, the prospect of maturing conditions for a new revolutionary upsurge.

The second question is that of the fight against Social-Democracy. In Bukharin’s theses it was stated that the fight against Social-Democracy is one of the fundamental tasks of the Sections of the Comintern. That, of course, is true. But it is not enough. In order that the fight against Social-Democracy may be waged successfully, stress must be laid on the fight against the so-called “Left” wing of Social-Democracy, that “Left” wing which, by playing with “Left” phrases and thus adroitly deceiving the workers, is retarding their mass defection from Social-Democracy. It is obvious that unless the “Left” Social-Democrats are routed it will be impossible to overcome Social-Democracy in general. Yet, in Bukharin’s theses the question of “Left” Social-Democracy was entirely ignored. That, of course, was a great defect. The delegation of the C.P.S.U.(B.) was therefore obliged to introduce into Bukharin’s theses an appropriate amendment, which was subsequently adopted by the congress.

The third question is that of the conciliatory tendency in the Sections of the Comintern. Bukharin’s theses spoke of the necessity of fighting the Right deviation, but not a word was said there about fighting conciliation towards the Right deviation. That, of course, was a great defect. The point is that when war is declared on the Right deviation, the Right deviators usually disguise themselves as conciliators and place the Party in an awkward position. To forestall this manoeuvre of the Right deviators we must insist on a determined fight against conciliation. That is why the delegation of the C.P.S.U.(B.) considered it necessary to introduce into Bukharin’s theses an appropriate amendment, which was subsequently adopted by the congress.

The fourth question is that of Party discipline. In Bukharin’s theses no mention was made of the necessity of maintaining iron discipline in the Communist Parties. That also was a defect of no little importance. Why? Because in a period when the fight against the Right deviation is being intensified, in a period when the slogan of purging the Communist Parties of opportunist elements is being put into effect, the Right deviators usually organise themselves as a faction, set up their own factional discipline and disrupt and destroy the discipline of the Party. To protect the Party from the factional sorties of the Right deviators we must insist on iron discipline in the Party and on the unconditional subordination of Party members to this discipline. Without that there can be no question of waging a serious fight against the Right deviation. That is why the delegation of the C.P.S.U.(B.) introduced into Bukharin’s theses an appropriate amendment, which was subsequently adopted by the Sixth Congress.

Could we refrain from introducing these amendments into Bukharin’s theses? Of course not. In olden times it was said about the philosopher Plato: We love Plato, but we love truth even more. The same must be said about Bukharin: We love Bukharin, but we love truth, the Party and the Comintern even more. That is why the delegation of the C.P.S.U.(B.) found itself obliged to introduce these amendments into Bukharin’s theses.

That, so to speak, was the first stage of our disagreements on Comintern questions.

The second stage of our disagreements is connected with what is known as the Wittorf and Thälmann case. Wittorf was formerly secretary of the Hamburg organisation, and was accused of embezzling Party funds. For this he was expelled from the Party. The conciliators in the Central Committee of the German Communist Party, taking advantage of the fact that Wittorf had been close to Comrade Thälmann, although Comrade Thälmann was in no way implicated in Wittorf’s crime, converted the Wittorf case into a Thälmann case, and set out to overthrow the leadership of the German Communist Party. No doubt you know from the press that at that time the conciliators Ewert and Gerhart succeeded temporarily in winning over a majority of the Central Committee of the German Communist Party against Comrade Thälmann. And what followed? They removed Thälmann from the leadership, began to accuse him of corruption and published a “corresponding” resolution without the knowledge and sanction of the Executive Committee of the Comintern.

Thus, instead of the directive of the Sixth Congress of the Comintern about fighting conciliation being carried out, instead of a fight against the Right deviation and against conciliation, there was, in fact, a most gross violation of this directive, there was a fight against the revolutionary leadership of the German Communist Party, a fight against Comrade Thälmann, with the object of covering up the Right deviation and of consolidating the conciliatory tendency in the ranks of the German Communists.

And so, instead of swinging the tiller over and correcting the situation, instead of restoring the validity of the violated directive of the Sixth Congress and calling the conciliators to order, Bukharin proposed in his well-known letter to sanction the conciliators’ coup, to hand over the German Communist, Party to the conciliators, and to revile Comrade Thälmann in the press again by issuing another statement declaring him to be guilty. And this is supposed to be a “leader” of the Comintern! Can there really be such “leaders”?

The Central Committee discussed Bukharin’s proposal and rejected it. Bukharin, of course, did not like that. But who is to blame? The decisions of the Sixth Congress were adopted not in order that they should be violated but in order that they should be carried out. If the Sixth Congress decided to declare war on the Right deviation and conciliation towards it by keeping the leadership in the hands of the main core of the German Communist Party, headed by Comrade Thälmann, and if it occurred to the conciliators Ewert and Gerhart to upset that decision, it was Bukharin’s duty to call the conciliators to order and not to leave in their hands the leadership of the German Communist Party. It is Bukharin, who “forgot” the decisions of the Sixth Congress, who is to blame.

The third stage of our disagreements is connected with the question of the fight against the Rights in the German Communist Party, with the question of routing the Brandler and Thalheimer faction, and of expelling the leaders of that faction from the German Communist Party. The “position” taken up by Bukharin and his friends on that cardinal question was that they persistently avoided taking part in settling it. At bottom, it was the fate of the German Communist Party that was being decided. Yet Bukharin and his friends, knowing this, nevertheless continually hindered matters by systematically keeping away from the meetings of the bodies which had the question under consideration. For the sake of what? Presumably, for the sake of remaining “clean” in the eyes of both the Comintern and the Rights in the German Communist Party. For the sake of being able subsequently to say: “It was not we, the Bukharinites, who carried out the expulsion of Brandler and Thalheimer from the Communist Party, but they, the majority in the Central Committee.” And that is what is called fighting the Right danger!

Finally, the fourth stage of our disagreements. It is connected with Bukharin’s demand prior to the November plenum of the Central Committee [4] that Neumann be recalled from Germany and that Comrade Thälmann, who, it was alleged, had criticised in one of his speeches Bukharin’s report at the Sixth Congress, be called to order. We, of course, could not agree with Bukharin, since there was not a single document in our possession supporting his demand. Bukharin promised to submit documents against Neumann and Thälmann but never submitted a single one. Instead of documents, he distributed to the members of the delegation of the C.P.S.U.(B.) copies of the speech delivered by Humbert-Droz at the Political Secretariat of the E.C.C.I., the very speech which was subsequently qualified by the Presidium of the E.C.C.I. as an opportunist speech. By distributing Humbert-Droz’s speech to the members of the delegation of the C.P.S.U.(B.), and by recommending it as material against Thälmann, Bukharin wanted to prove the justice of his demand for the recall of Neumann and for calling Comrade Thälmann to order. In fact, however, he thereby showed that he identified himself with the position taken up by Humbert-Droz, a position which the E.C.C.I. regards as opportunist.

Those, comrades, are the main points of our disagreements on Comintern questions.

Bukharin thinks that by conducting a struggle against the Right deviation and conciliation towards it in the Sections of the Comintern, by purging the German and Czechoslovak Communist Parties of Social-Democratic elements and traditions, and by expelling the Brandlers and the Thalheimers from the Communist Parties, we are “disintegrating” the Comintern, “ruining” the Comintern. We, on the contrary, think that by carrying out such a policy and by laying stress on the fight against the Right deviation and conciliation towards it, we are strengthening the Comintern, purging it of opportunists, bolshevising its Sections and helping the Communist Parties to prepare the working class for the future revolutionary battles, for the Party is strengthened by purging itself of dross.

You see that these are not merely shades of difference in the ranks of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B.), but quite serious disagreements on fundamental questions of Comintern policy. (Stalin)


 

Speeches on the CPUSA

Delivered in the AMERICAN COMMISSION of the Presidium of the Executive Committee of the Communist International

May 6, 1929

 

and

delivered in THE PRESIDIUM of the Executive Committee of the Communist International on the American Question

May 14th, 1929

available also in PDF - Format

 

In his Political Report to the XVI Congress Stalin defined rightist opportunism as follows: 

   

"The chief evil of Right opportunism is that it breaks with the Leninist conception of the class struggle and slips into the viewpoint of petty-bourgeois liberalism.

    There can be no doubt that the victory of the Right deviation in our Party would have meant completely disarming the working class, arming the capitalist elements in the countryside and increasing the chances of the restoration of capitalism in the U.S.S.R.

    The Right deviators do not take the stand of forming another party, and that is another thing that distinguishes them from the Trotskyists. The leaders of the Right deviators have openly admitted their mistakes and have surrendered to the Party. But it would be foolish to think, on these grounds, that the Right deviation is already buried. The strength of Right opportunism is not measured by this circumstance. The strength of Right opportunism lies in the strength of the petty-bourgeois elemental forces, in the strength of the pressure on the Party exercised by the capitalist elements in general, and by the kulaks in particular. And it is precisely because the Right deviation reflects the resistance of the chief elements of the moribund classes that the Right deviation is the principal danger in the Party at the present time.

    That is why the Party considered it necessary to wage a determined and uncompromising struggle against the Right deviation.

    There can be no doubt that if we had not waged a determined struggle against the Right deviation, if we had not isolated its leading elements, we would not have succeeded in mobilising the forces of the Party and of the working class, in mobilising the forces of the poor- and middle-peasant masses, for the sweeping offensive of socialism, for the organisation of state farms and collective farms, for the restoration of our heavy industry, for the elimination of the kulaks as a class.

    That is how matters stand as regards the "Left" and Right deviations in the Party.

    The task is to continue the uncompromising struggle on two fronts, against the "Lefts," who represent petty-bourgeois radicalism, and against the Rights, who represent petty-bourgeois liberalism.

    The task is to continue the uncompromising struggle against those conciliatory elements in the Party who fail to understand, or pretend they do not understand, the necessity of a determined struggle on two fronts. (Stalin)

 

* * *

This idea of equity, of striking at the Rights and “ultra-Lefts” with equal intensity under all conditions and circumstances, is childish. The question of the fight against the Rights and “ultraLefts” must be regarded not from the standpoint of equity, but from the standpoint of the demands of the political situation, of the political requirements of the Party at any given moment. It should not be forgotten that Rights and “ultraLefts” are actually twins, that consequently both take an opportunist stand, the difference between them being that whereas the Rights do not always conceal their opportunism, the Lefts invariably camouflage their opportunism with “revolutionary” phrases. (Stalin Volume 8, pages 1 ff)

 

* * *

This situation changed dramatically when the Rightists and the Trotskyites had formed their "Bloc of Rightists and Trotskyites" !

In his Report to the XVII Congress (Januar 1934) Stalin stated the merging of the "left"-wing and right wing opportunists and their unification in "Bloc of Rightists and Trotskyites":

 

The “Lefts” have openly associated themselves with the counter-revolutionary programme of the Rights in order to enter into a bloc with them and to wage a joint struggle against the Party. (Stalin, Works, Volume 13, page 371)

 

This meant to decide on new forms of the "Two-front-struggle" according to the new conditions of the "Bloc of Rightists and Trotskyites." This explains the necessity of the Moscow Trials against both the Trotskyites and the Rightists. The leaders of the "Bloc of Rightists and Trotskyites" got there what they deserved - the death penalty !!

 

 

 

RESOLUTION OF THE TENTH ECCI PLENUM ON BUKHARIN

July 1929 Inprecorr, ix, 45, p. 964, 30 August 1929

 

* * *

 

DECISION OF THE ECCI PRESIDIUM

ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES CONNECTED WITH THE EMBEZZLEMENT OF PARTY FUNDS IN HAMBURG

6 October 1928

 

* * *

 

OPEN LETTER FROM THE ECCI PRESIDIUM TO

THE GERMAN COMMUNIST PARTY ON THE RIGHT-WING DANGER IN THAT PARTY 

19 December 1928 Inprekorr, viii, 142, p. 2829,

21 December 1928 

 

90th Anniversary of the

Sixth Congress of the Communist International

from 17th of July to 1st of September 1928.

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