On Stalin, the World Revolution, and the Caucasus

BOOK 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Stalin, the World Revolution, and the Caucasus



3-Part Article Published by the Comintern/ML

Written by Wolfgang Eggers

English translation thanks to the Section USA of the Comintern (SH)

(Comintern/ML = renamed in 2009)



Part Two

On Stalin's first creative period in the Caucasus

Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (Dzhugashvili)

- the great, beloved and immortal son of the Georgian people -



A Brief Description of his First Period of Life and Work in the Caucasus (*) from a contemporary perspective

(*) based on “A Short biography” which was published in Moscow in 1945 and later published in the English Language in 1947.



There is nobody in the world that the imperialists hate and fear more than Comrade Stalin. They march into Georgia as if they wanted to “finally” triumph over Stalin.

However, they forget one thing:

Stalin is alive!

Stalin is and remains invincible!

The imperialists will grit their teeth on Georgia and will disappear from the Caucasus with their tails between their legs. It is the homeland of Comrade Stalin, it is the proud and freedom-loving and revolutionary Georgian people who still adore and love the great, immortal son and leader of the former Soviet peoples. Today, we cannot pretend that socialism never existed in Georgia. We cannot talk about a "liberation" of the Caucasus today. What kind of liberation is that and by whom? You cannot take the people in the Caucasus for fools! World imperialism must know that the Georgian people have rich historical experience in the struggle against tsarism and Soviet social imperialism, with the Western foreign powers, the Turkish Empire and many other reactionary foreign forces, all of which shed the blood of the Transcaucasian peoples in order to rob the treasures of the Caucasus and occupy this geo-politically strategic bridge between East and West, North and South. It was Stalin who led the peoples of Transcaucasia in their liberation struggle, who united them, and who brilliantly solved the extremely complicated national and social question there, and who built the Caucasus into a socialist bulwark against world imperialism, but above all, he also heroically defended it during the Second World War. No one has shaped the history of the Caucasus more than Stalin. Today, one cannot really understand the events in Georgia, one cannot understand the Georgian people and the other peoples of Transcaucasia, if one hides and excludes the sustainability of Stalin's revolutionary life and work in the Caucasus. For this reason, the Comintern (ML) publishes a short description of Stalin's life and work in the Caucasus here.

* * *

Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (Dzhugashvili) was born on December 21st, 1879 in the city of Gori, Tbilisi Governorate, a small town near the capital Tbilisi with a population of 7,500 at the time. His ancestors came from the mountains of Ossetia in the Northern Caucasus, descendants of immigrants from the island of Dzhu, hence the name Dzhugashvili ("son of the island "Dzhu"). His father, Vissarion Ivanovich Dzhugashvili, a Georgian of peasant stock, from the village of Didi-Lilo, in the mountains between Tbilisi and Gori, and was a shoemaker by profession, later being a worker at the Adelkhanov shoe factory in Tbilisi. The Georgian people suffered under the brutality of the tsarist regime and formed a small liberation army in the mountains, from where they organized uprisings. They called themselves the Abreken. These freedom fighters were surrounded by numerous legends, which also inspired the young Josef Vissarionovich. The name "Abreke" comes from Ossetian, an originally Iranian language, and means "freedom fighter". Stalin read about the mountain hero Koba and as a child already had a firm wish:

From now on, I'm Koba. I want to follow in his footsteps. I want to dedicate my life to the struggle to free our people and make Georgia free and happy.”

His mother, Ekaterina Georgievna Dzhugashvili, came from Geladze family of the serfs from the village of Gambareuli. Stalin grew up in poverty and was used to hardship from an early age. He led a modest life throughout his life, including a life in the Kremlin. Any personal luxury and pomp was foreign and hated by him.

In the autumn 1888, Stalin was admitted to the four-class, church school of Gori. His mother earned the school fees with hard work. At school, Stalin learned Russian, Ancient Greek and Hebrew. In 1894, Stalin finished the school with the best category. He passed the entrance examination to the seminary so brilliantly that he immediately received a scholarship. His mother, who was a strict believer until the end of her life and whose wish was to make her son a priest (which is why he was given the first name “Joseph” at birth), was naturally very proud of her son. His father, however, wanted to make a cobbler out of him, but Stalin became neither of those things.

In the same year Marxism became widespread in Russia thanks to the development of industrial capitalism and the growth of the workers' movement. The St. Petersburg “League of Struggle for the Liberation of the Working Class”, founded and led by Lenin, gave a powerful impetus to the development of the social-democratic movement throughout the country. The waves of the labor movement also swept across Transcaucasia, where capitalism had already taken root and national-colonial oppression was strong. Transcaucasia was a typical colony of Russian tsarism, an economically backward agricultural country with strong remnants of feudalism, a country inhabited by numerous nationalities living side by side in a colorful mixture. In the last quarter of the 19th century, a rapid development of capitalism began in Transcaucasia; workers and peasants were subjected to predatory exploitation, and national-colonial oppression was also intensified. Mining, oil extraction, and processing particularly developed rapidly; foreign capital had seized the decisive positions, as it does again today. This is the reason for the new source of "Georgian center of conflict", the new bone of contention of foreign imperialist powers.

“‘Russian capitalism,’ wrote Lenin, ‘drew the Caucasus into the sphere of world commodity circulation, obliterated its local peculiarities the remnants of ancient patriarchal isolation and created for itself a market for its goods. A country which was thinly populated at the beginning of the post-Reform epoch, or populated by mountaineers who lived out of the course of world economy and even out of the course of history, was being transformed into a land of oil operators, wine merchants, wheat growers and tobacco growers. . . .’” (Lenin: ‘Selected Works’, Volume 1 as quoted in: ‘Joseph Stalin - A Short Biography; Moscow; 1947; p.6; English Edition).

With the advent of the railways and the first factories and plants in the Caucasus, the working class also emerged. The oil-rich Baku, the large industrial and labor center of the Caucasus, underwent a particularly rapid development.

The development of industrial capitalism was followed by a growth of the labor movement. In the 1890s, the Russian Marxists who were sent to the Transcaucasus did revolutionary work. The propaganda of Marxism began in Transcaucasia. The Tbilisi seminary was then a breeding ground for all kinds of ideas of liberation, both popular-nationalist and Marxist-internationalist, among the youth; it was teeming with various secret circles. The Jesuit regime in the seminary provoked Stalin's stormy protest and nourished and strengthened his revolutionary spirit. The fifteen year old Stalin became a revolutionary.

On December 13th, 1931 Stalin had a conversation with the German writer Emil Ludwig, who asked Stalin questions about his biography. Let us first look at what Stalin answered, before we continue with Stalin in 1895:

Ludwig: Allow me to put a few questions to you concerning your biography. When I went to see Masaryk he told me he was conscious of being a Socialist when only six years old. What made you a Socialist and when was that? 

Stalin: I cannot assert that I was already drawn to socialism at the age of six. Not even at the age of ten or twelve. I joined the revolutionary movement when fifteen years old, when I became connected with underground groups of Russian Marxists then living in Transcaucasia. These groups exerted great influence on me and instilled in me a taste for underground Marxist literature. 

Ludwig: What impelled you to become an oppositionist? Was it, perhaps, bad treatment by your parents? 


Stalin: No. My parents were uneducated, but they did not treat me badly by any means. But it was a different matter at the Orthodox theological seminary which I was then attending. In protest against the outrageous regime and the jesuitical methods prevalent at the seminary, I was ready to become, and actually did become, a revolutionary, a believer in Marxism as a really revolutionary teaching.

Ludwig: But do you not admit that the Jesuits have good points?

Stalin: Yes, they are systematic and persevering in working to achieve sordid ends. But their principal method is spying, prying, worming their way into people’s souls and outraging their feelings. What good can there be in that? For instance, the spying in the hostel. At nine o’clock the bell rings for morning tea, we go to the dining-room, and when we return to our rooms we find that meantime a search has been made and all our chests have been ransacked. . . . What good point can there be in that?

[Note: they were searched because the administration was looking for forbidden student literature. It was forbidden to read Georgian language writings. Stalin was often locked up in a punitive cell by the rector because he was caught reading forbidden literature. The students felt that seminar life was like a "prison". The seminary and everything connected with the repressive methods of the tsarist ruling system were deeply hated by Stalin from the very beginning. For example, he refused to bow to his teachers and often faced disciplinary action. The periods of imprisonment in cells became longer and longer and the punishments became more and more draconian].

(...) Ludwig: You are smoking a cigarette. Where is your legendary pipe, Mr. Stalin?

(...) Stalin: I left my pipe at home.

(...) Ludwig: My question is the following: You have often incurred risks and dangers. You have been persecuted. You have taken part in battles. A number of your close friends have perished. You have survived. How do you explain that? And do you believe in fate? 

Stalin: No, I do not. Bolsheviks, Marxists, do not believe in ‘fate.’ The very concept of fate, of ‘Schicksal,’ is a prejudice, an absurdity, a relic of mythology, like the mythology of the ancient Greeks, for whom a goddess of fate controlled the destinies of men.

Ludwig: That is to say that the fact that you did not perish is an accident? 

Stalin: There are internal and external causes, the combined effect of which was that I did not perish. But entirely independent of that, somebody else could have been in my place, for somebody had to occupy it. ‘Fate’ is something not governed by natural law, something mystical. I do not believe in mysticism. Of course, there were reasons why danger left me unscathed. But there could have been a number of other fortuitous circumstances, of other causes, which could have led to a directly opposite result. So-called fate has nothing to do with it. 

Ludwig: Lenin passed many years in exile abroad. You had occasion to be abroad for only a very short time. Do you consider that this has handicapped you? Who do you believe were of greater benefit to the revolution—those revolutionaries who lived in exile abroad and thus had the opportunity of making a thorough study of Europe, but on the other hand were cut off from direct contact with the people; or those revolutionaries who carried on their work here, knew the moods of the people, but on the other hand knew little of Europe?

Stalin: Lenin must be excluded from this comparison. Very few of those who remained in Russia were as intimately connected with the actual state of affairs there and with the labour movement within the country as Lenin was, although he was a long time abroad. Whenever I went to see him abroad—in 1906, 1907, 1912 and 1913—I saw piles of letters he had received from practical Party workers in Russia, and he was always better informed than those who stayed in Russia. He always considered his stay abroad to be a burden to him. 

There are many more comrades in our Party and its leadership who remained in Russia, who did not go abroad, than there are former exiles, and they, of course, were able to be of greater benefit to the revolution than those who were in exile abroad.

[Note: This refers to Stalin's meetings with Lenin in Stockholm at the Fourth Party Congress of the RSDLP (1906), in London during the 5th Party Congress of the RSDLP (1906), in London during the 5th Party Congress of the RSDLP (1906) and in Russia. Party Congress of the RSDLP (1907), and during Stalin's travels abroad in Krakow and Vienna (1912 and 1913). Lenin and Stalin met for the first time in December 1905 at the First All-Russian Bolshevik Conference in Tampere (Tammerfors) in Finland] Actually few former exiles are left in our Party. They may add up to about one or two hundred out of the two million members of the Party. Of the seventy members of the Central Committee scarcely more than three or four lived in exile abroad. 

As far as knowledge of Europe, a study of Europe, is concerned, those who wished to make such a study had, of course, more opportunities of doing so while living there. In that respect those of us who did not live long abroad lost something. But living abroad is not at all a decisive factor in making a study of European economics, technique, the cadres of the labour movement and literature of every description, whether belles lettres or scientific. Other things being equal, it is of course easier to study Europe on the spot. But the disadvantage of those who have not lived in Europe is not of much importance. On the contrary, I know many comrades who were abroad twenty years, lived somewhere in Charlottenburg or in the Latin Quarter, spent years in cafés drinking beer, and who yet did not manage to acquire a knowledge of Europe and failed to understand it.” (Stalin: ‘Talk with the German Author Emil Ludwig’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 13; Moscow; 1954; p.115-124; English Edition).

In 1895, Stalin came into contact with illegal groups of Russian revolutionary Marxists who had been exiled to Transcaucasia by the tsarist government. In 1896 and 1897, Stalin was at the head of the Marxist circles of the Seminary. In August 1898 he also formally joined the Tbilisi organization of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party. Stalin became a member of the “Messameh Dassy” group, the first Georgian social-democratic organization, which played a certain positive role in spreading the ideas of Marxism from 1893 to 1898. The “Messameh Dassy” was not politically uniform: its majority held the view of “legal Marxism” and leaned towards bourgeois nationalism. Stalin, Ketskhoveli, and Tsulukidze formed the leading core of the revolutionary Marxist minority in the “Messameh Dassy”, which became the nucleus of revolutionary social democracy of Georgia. In the “Messameh Dassy”, the first sharp differences of opinion between the revolutionary minority and the opportunist majority emerged.

Stalin worked hard and persistently on his education. He studied “Capital”, the “Manifesto of the Communist Party”, and other works of Marx and Engels, familiarized himself with writings directed against Narodnism, “legal Marxism”, and “economism” and other early works of Lenin. The circle of Stalin's theoretical interest is extraordinarily wide: he studied philosophy, political economy, history, natural sciences, read the works of the classics of beautiful literature. Stalin becomes an educated Marxist. Even then, Lenin's works made a deep impression on Stalin. One of the comrades who knew Stalin well at that time recalls how Stalin, when he read a work of Tulin (Lenin), exclaimed: I must see him at all costs!" (‘Tales of Old Workers about the Great Stalin’, Memoirs of Comrade P. Kapanadze, Moscow; 1940; p.11).

During this period, Stalin carried out intensive propaganda work in workers’ circles, participated in illegal workers’ meetings, wrote leaflets and organized strikes. For Stalin, this was the first school of practical revolutionary work among the advanced proletarians of the city of Tbilisi.

I recall the year 1898, when I was first put in charge of a study circle of workers from the railway workshops. (...) It was here, among these comrades, that I received my first baptism in the revolutionary struggle. It was here, among these comrades, that I became an apprentice in the art of revolution. As you see, my first teachers were Tiflis workers.” (Stalin: ‘Reply to the Greetings of the Workers of the Chief Railway Workshops in Tiflis’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 8; Moscow; 1954; p.183; English Edition).

In the seminar, where the "suspects" were placed under close observation, the illegal revolutionary activity of Stalin was traced. On May 29th, 1899 he was expelled from the seminary for spreading Marxist propaganda. Stalin survived by giving lessons and then found work at the Tbilisi Physical Observatory as an observer and calculator, without stopping his revolutionary activity in the slightest.

Stalin was already one of the most energetic and outstanding party workers of the Tbilisi Social-Democratic movement at that time. In the area of the Tbilisi Salt Lake, Stalin gives the speech at a proletarian May Day celebration.

Stalin was at the head of this group. Lenin's “League for the Liberation of the Working Class” was the model that the Tbilisi revolutionary social democrats followed in their work. Under the leadership of the revolutionary minority of the “Messameh Dassy” (Stalin, Ketskhoveli, Tsulukidze), the workers' movement in Tbilisi during this period exceeded the framework of the old, purely propagandistic work "with outstanding individuals" from the ranks of the workers. The agitation among the masses through the publication of leaflets on current issues, through flying assemblies and political demonstrations against tsarism was brought to the forefront. The new tactic was met with the sharp resistance of the opportunist majority of the “Messameh Dassy”, who were more inclined towards "economism", shied away from revolutionary methods and rejected the political “street fight” against autocracy. Stalin and the revolutionary minority of the “Messameh Dassy” lead a fierce and irreconcilable struggle against opportunism and for the implementation of the new tactic, the tactic of political mass agitation. They found enthusiastic support among the advanced workers of Tbilisi.

Victor Kurnatovsky, a chemical worker, played an outstanding role in the transition of the Tbilisi social democrats to new working methods. He was a trained Marxist, a staunch supporter and close comrade-in-arms of Lenin, who brought Lenin's teachings to the Transcaucasus. Arriving in Tbilisi in the autumn of 1900, he established close relations with Stalin and the minority of the "Messameh Dassy" and became one of Stalin's closest friends and comrades-in-arms.

When the Lenin's “Iskra” began to appear in December 1900, Stalin wholeheartedly took up its position. Stalin immediately recognized Lenin as the founder of a truly Marxist party, a leader and teacher.

My introduction to the revolutionary activity of Lenin at the end of the 'nineties, and especially after 1901, after the publication of Iskra, convinced me that Lenin was a man out of the ordinary. At that time I did not regard him merely as the leader of the Party, but as, practically, its creator, because he alone understood the internal substance and the urgent needs of the Party. Whenever I compared him with the other leaders of our Party it always seemed to me that Lenin's comrades-in-arms-Plekhanov, Martov, Axelrod and others--were a head shorter than Lenin, that compared with them Lenin was not merely one of the leaders, but leader of a superior type, a mountain eagle, who knew no fear in the struggle, and who boldly led the Party forward along the unexplored paths of the Russian revolutionary movement.” (Stalin: ‘On Lenin’; Moscow; 1934; p.21-22; English Edition).

Stalin was filled with boundless faith in Lenin's revolutionary genius and went the way of Lenin. He never deviated from that path and after Lenin's death he boldly and confidently continued his work.

Under the conditions of the looming economic crisis, under the influence of the Russian labor movement and in the wake of the activities of the social democrats, the wave of economic strikes in Tbilisi in the years 1900 to 1901, which hit one company after another, increased:

In the years 1900/01 there was great unrest in the large railway workshops of Tbilisi. At the end of December 1900, a catastrophe had occurred, which was not uncommon in the difficult, mountainous terrain and with the technologically obsolete material. In order to provide the funds for the necessary repairs, savings had to be made on the wages of the small employees and workers. There were back and forth negotiations. A peaceful solution seemed possible. But in the background a force was at work that neither side had expected: Koba worked as a toolmaker in the Tbilisi railway repair workshops. When he acquired the craftsmanship, it always remained in the dark. But it was indeed so. For with the right instinct, he told himself that only a recognized craftsman who understood his craft would be taken seriously by the workers in the end, even if, as a ‘party tool’, he was always ‘in the thick of it’, as nimble as he was tireless. In addition to fulfilling his modest duties, he made sure, on his own initiative, that his spirits did not fall, but rose. He rushed and launched his ideas until the first large workers' mass demonstration took place. Russia was appalled. The foreign countries listened. The party officials only now realized that they had missed their chance. They did not find the courage to admit their real innocence in what was happening and allowed themselves to be arrested. The true leader, undiscovered and unrecognized, did not look for laurels and disappeared. Shortly afterwards he was elected to the local party leadership” (Amba: ‘Ein Mensch sieht Stalin’; 1951; p.58; Translated from German).

Stalin gave his first great speech in Tbilisi on April 23rd, 1900, a speech on the day of struggle of the international working class: Our red flag must be seen in the center of Tbilisi so that tyranny will feel our strength.” (Memories of Alliluyev, later father-in-law of Stalin and comrade-in-arms of Lenin, p.49-51; Translated from German). At the May Day demonstration there were pictures of Marx and Engels. There had never been anything like it in the whole Caucasus before that. Then in August 1900 the grandiose strike of the workers of the railway workshops and the railway depot broke out. M. I. Kalinin, then a metalworker, was sent from St. Petersburg to the Caucasus and actively participated in that strike.

The following winter, the political agitator Stalin would speak at illegal workers’ meetings, but only briefly because the secret police was always on his trail.

He would appear suddenly at meetings, and would sit down without a word and listen until the time came for him to speak. He was always accompanied by two or three comrades, one of whom would keep watch by the door.” (Barbusse: ‘Stalin’; Bristol; 1935; p.18; English Edition).

On April 22nd, 1901, the following year, a May Day demonstration took place at the Soldier's Market in downtown Tbilisi. Stalin was the organizer and leader of that demonstration, in which over 2000 people took part. During the demonstration there was a clash with police and military, 14 workers were wounded and more than 50 were arrested. Mounted Cossacks, who had been ordered to reinforce the troops, tried to slaughter the flag bearer with sabre blows, but the crowd resisted with sticks and stones and passed the red flag from one to another. As a precautionary measure, Stalin had ordered that the first row of demonstrators should wear protective clothing. Lenin's "Iskra" considered this demonstration to be an event of historical significance for the whole Caucasus: “The Tbilisi event of Sunday, April 22 is historically memorable for the entire Caucasus: The open revolutionary movement began on that day in the Caucasus” (Iskra No. 6; July 1901). Lenin, then in exile, learned of Stalin's existence for the first time through Krasin and was so impressed that he immediately instructed his comrades to use all means to build the social-democratic organization in the Caucasus (see Volume 34 of Lenin’s Collected Works).

As a result, under the leadership of the revolutionary minority of the “Messameh Dassy” with Stalin at the head, the transition of the Georgian workers movement from propaganda in small circles to political mass agitation was accomplished. That was the beginning of the unification of socialism with the workers' movement in the Caucasus, just as the St. Petersburg “League of Struggle” led by Lenin had brilliantly fulfilled the same task a few years earlier. Lenin was in correspondence with the organization in Baku and a number of other organizations. A firm connection between Lenin and the Transcaucasian "Iskra" organization created by Stalin was already established during that period.

The tsarist government, disturbed by the growth of the revolutionary struggle of the Transcaucasian proletariat, intensified its violent measures and believed it could stop the movement. On the night of March 22nd, 1901 the police conducted a house search at the Physical Observatory, where Stalin lived and worked. The house search and the arrest warrant of the Okhrana, which later became known, caused Stalin to go into illegality. Since that day he had led the dangerous and heroic life of a professional revolutionary of Lenin's school and worked in Russian illegality until the February Revolution of 1917.

Just as the Russian secret service managed to penetrate to the top of the Social Democratic party leadership (Manuilsky), the social democrats were no less successful in taking advantage of it. Although there is nothing about that in the official biographies of Stalin, we can assume that Stalin mastered the art of skillfully using the Okhrana to advance the building and protection of the party organization, the revolution, the practical implementation of Lenin's ideas. There is nothing immoral about this if it serves the cause of the proletariat. As is well known, these illegal methods of struggle were later also used in the struggle against the secret services of the fascists, and this was not limited to the smuggling of informers into the fascist organizations, but also referred to the purposeful work of propaganda and agitation to influence the masses within those organizations. In that way, the Party had programmatically and correctly distinguished itself from the anti-popular, anti-proletarian policy and ideology of terrorism, but it did not exclude the possibility that the social-democratic revolutionaries, for their part, transformed the terrorist methods of counter-revolution directed against them into methods against counter-revolution and that they obtained all these means illegally, who used them for the revolution, that is, against counterrevolution, but by no means against the people, against the workers and peasants or even against their own comrades, against their own social-democratic organizations. Stalin never betrayed the proletarian cause. The deeds of Stalin were revolutionary deeds, which did not exclude using the means (such as obtaining funds, for example) of counter-revolution when the conditions for a particular task, in a particular time, required it. Class-conscious workers have no problems using the means of terror in certain situations, and Marxism-Leninism does not exclude the means of terror. These are not general, but in exceptional situations they are an indispensable and unavoidable part of the methods of the intensified proletarian class struggle, which Stalin knew how to use more intensively, even in the period of already established socialism. Bolsheviks are not only those who led a fierce class struggle against tsarism and opportunism in their own ranks in the First Period, who led not only the October Revolution, the Civil War and the construction of socialism, but were especially those who continued the intensified class struggle even in the final phase of socialism against the capitulators, against the danger of the emerging bourgeois class in the Soviet Union, against the counter-revolution which cleverly acted “in the name of Stalin”. Bolsheviks are such comrades who were true to the end to the cause of proletarian internationalism, to the cause of the fraternal alliance of the proletarians of all countries.” (Stalin: ‘Report to the Seventeenth Party Congress on the Work of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B.)’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 13; Moscow; 1954; p.388; English Edition). This could not necessarily be said of the leading Old Bolsheviks shortly before and after Comrade Stalin's death. They seemed to be so weakened by the loss of Stalin that they did not summon up the strength and courage that they had shown as young Bolsheviks in order to take resolute action, without sacrifice, against the enemies of Lenin and Stalin, against the enemies of the Bolshevik Party, by all means and to avert the impending danger. And so, until shortly before his death, Stalin also mastered legal and illegal methods of struggle not only against the imperialist perimeter from outside, but also against internal counter-revolution, both in Leningrad and in Georgia, against the revisionists, against the new, emerging bourgeoisie, against the bureaucracy and the apparatchiks in the Soviet Union, who in one way or another, directly or indirectly, legally or illegally, fought for the restoration of capitalism and for the liquidation of socialism, “in the name” of Stalin or "in criticism" of Stalin.

After Stalin's death, the Bolshevik Party of Lenin and Stalin would have found the right path against capitalism's attempts at restoration if it had consistently asserted state power, resolutely defended the dictatorship of the proletariat and uncompromisingly purged the revisionists. This would have been an absolute historical necessity, not only for the Soviet Union, but for the entire world communist movement, for the world proletariat. But instead, the party did not only leave the revisionists in its ranks, did not only tolerate them, but also let them do it, to open all the doors of the Party for a broad spread of all kinds of anti-Marxist and anti-socialist tendencies, views, and influences, and to let in rehabilitated renegades of Marxism in order to accelerate the process of degeneration. Although the party was well aware of the danger of revisionism, that bourgeois evil spreads where the struggle against it is stopped, it did not act, it wavered and finally let itself be cornered and taken by the counter-revolutionary activities of the revisionists. Those who did not surrender voluntarily and defected to the revisionists were eliminated. The Marxist-Leninist Party leaders should have united the party organizations, the party members, the working class, and the masses against the revisionists, should have led a great class struggle against the modern revisionists seizing power. The working class and its party should not have capitulated before the revisionists, should not have isolated itself from Stalin, should not have detached itself, and should not have turned away from him, should have prevented or at least answered the crimes against Stalin, against Marxism-Leninism and against socialism, with a new October Revolution if necessary. And finally, the Bolshevik Party of Lenin and Stalin should have been illegally rebuilt, because it had not prevented its degeneration.

After Stalin's death, many leading and executive Bolsheviks no longer justified the “honorary name of the Shock Brigade of the Proletarians of All Countries” (ibid., "Pravda" No. 27, 28 January 1934). But the Bolsheviks of Albania, with comrade Enver Hoxha at the head, who defended Stalin against the revisionists, against all his enemies, justified that name. That name was justified by the Marxist-Leninist World Movement of comrade Enver Hoxha. That name is justified by those Bolsheviks in Russia who concluded their “Programmatic Call of the Revolutionary (Bolshevik) Communists of the Soviet Union” (spread in the Soviet Union and published by the PLA in the late 1960s) with the words: “Lenin's ideas are with us, Stalin's will is with us, the great heart of our people is with us, we are invincible!” This name is today justified by the world Bolsheviks, the Comintern (ML).

The Tsar's satraps were powerless before the rising revolutionary movement. It could not destroy the Marxists in Georgia. Stalin rightly said in his report to the 17th Party Congress of the CPSU (B) that:

Marxism is the scientific expression of the fundamental interests of the working class. To destroy Marxism, the working class must be destroyed.” (Stalin: ‘Report to the Seventeenth Party Congress on the Work of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B.)’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 13; Moscow; 1954; p.386; English Edition). This applies not only to the working class in Georgia then and now, but also to the entire world proletariat then and now. The international counter-revolution cannot destroy the Marxism of Stalin, cannot destroy Stalinism.

In Baku, the first issue of the illegal newspaper "Brdzola" (The Struggle), the organ of the revolutionary wing of the Georgian Marxists, was published in September 1901 on the initiative of Stalin. In that issue, the programmatic article of Stalin's "From the Editors" is published. It was a newspaper that consistently represented the ideas of Lenin's "Iskra" and announced irreconcilable hostility towards the entire circle of opportunism. After "Iskra", "Brdzola" was the best Marxist newspaper in Russia. It did a tremendous job of crushing the "economists" and the nationalists of Transcaucasia, propagating Marxist revolutionary theory, uniting the Transcaucasian Marxists around Lenin and Lenin's "Iskra". The publication of leaflets in the different languages of the many nationalities of Transcaucasia also took on wide dimensions.

Magnificently written appeals have appeared in Russian, Georgian and Armenian, and with them all the districts of Tbilisi have been flooded,” wrote Lenin's “Iskra” on the activities of the Tbilisi Social Democrats (Iskra, No. 25, of 15 September 1902). Stalin's closest comrade-in-arms, Lado Ketskhoveli, who maintained contact with him throughout the entire period, founded a committee of Lenin's "Iskra" movement in Baku and organized an illegal printing press. On November 11th, 1901 a conference of the Tbilisi Social Democratic Movement was held with 25 delegates, at which the Tbilisi Committee of the RSDLP was formed. Stalin was elected to the committee. However, he remained in Tbilisi for only a short time. At the end of November, he traveled on behalf of the Tbilisi Committee to Batum, the third largest (after Baku and Tbilisi) proletarian center in the Caucasus. No. 2/3 of the newspaper “Brdzola” was published in December 1901, in which Stalin's article “The Russian Social-Democratic Party and its Immediate Tasks” was published. In it, Stalin addressed the growing political role of street demonstrations:

Street demonstrations are interesting in that they quickly draw large masses of the people into the movement, acquaint them with our demands at once and create extensive favourable soil in which we can boldly sow the seeds of socialist ideas and of political freedom. Street demonstrations give rise to street agitation, to the influence of which the backward and timid section of society cannot help yielding. A man has only to go out into the street during a demonstration to see courageous fighters, to understand what they are fighting for, to hear free voices calling upon everybody to join the struggle, and militant songs denouncing the existing system and exposing our social evils. That is why the government fears street demonstrations more than anything else. That is why it threatens with dire punishment not only the demonstrators, but also the ‘curious onlookers.’ In this curiosity of the people lurks the chief danger that threatens the government: the ‘curious onlooker’ of today will be a demonstrator tomorrow and rally new groups of ‘curious onlookers’ around himself. 

(...) The ‘curious onlookers’ see that the demonstrators have assembled in the streets to express their wishes and demands, and that the government retaliates by beatings and brutal suppression. The ‘curious onlookers’ no longer run away on hearing the swish of whips; on the contrary, they draw nearer, and the whips can no longer distinguish between the ‘curious onlookers’ and the ‘rioters.’ (...) Thereby, the whip lash is rendering us a great service, for it is hastening the revolutionisation of the “curious onlookers.” It is being transformed from an instrument for taming into an instrument for rousing the people.” (Stalin: ‘The Russian Social-Democratic Party and its Immediate Tasks’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 1; Moscow; 1953; p.24-26; English Edition).

In Batumi, smaller than the capital Tbilisi, but an industrial workers' town with oil refineries [connected to pipelines from Baku], tobacco factories, a foundry etc., where more than 11,000 workers were employed, Stalin developed a restless revolutionary activity: he established contacts with advanced workers, founded circles, led some circles himself, set up an illegal printing press himself, wrote, printed, and distributed incendiary leaflets, led the struggle of the workers of the Rothschild, Sideridis and Mantashev factories, and organized revolutionary propaganda in the countryside. Stalin lead the strikes in the factories.

On December 31st, at the age of 23, Stalin organized an illegal conference of representatives of social-democratic circles under the guise of a New Year's Eve celebration. The conference appointed a leading group led by Stalin, which subsequently played the role of a Batum committee of the RSDLP of Lenin's "Iskra" movement. Stalin also became friends with Teliya there. He introduced the ideas of street fighting there. From January 31st to February 17th, 1902, Stalin organized a strike in the Mantashev (oil) factories, which ended with a victory for the workers. From February 27th to the beginning of March, he led the work of the strike committee in the Rothschild factories and also a demonstration of the striking workers demanding the release of 32 arrested strike participants.

On March 9th, 1902, Stalin organized the famous political demonstration of the Batum workers, which he led and at the head of which he walked. It was here that Stalin actually united the strikes with the political demonstration. 6000 people participated in the demonstration, demanding the release of 300 proletarian demonstrators arrested by the police on March 8th. At the steps of the prisons where the workers were held in detention, the demonstration were shot down by the military, killing 15 workers and injuring 54. About 500 demonstrators are arrested. The very next night, Stalin wrote a proclamation about the shootings at the demonstration. On March 12th, he led the workers' demonstration he had organized on the occasion of the burial of the victims of the March 9th massacre. The upsurge of the workers' struggle in Batum caused serious concern to the government. The police dogs eagerly searched for the "ringleaders". On April 5th, he was arrested during a meeting of the Batum leading party group and he was taken to the Batum prison the next day. From there, Stalin organized and maintained contact with the Batum social democratic organization, directed its work, wrote leaflets, and did political work among the prisoners. In prison (first in Batum, then, from April 19th, 1903, in the Kutais prison, notorious for its harsh regime, and then again in Batum) Stalin did not lose touch with revolutionary work. In prison, Stalin learned from comrades who had returned from the Second Congress of the RSDLP that there were extremely serious differences of opinion between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. Stalin resolutely followed the side of Lenin and the Bolsheviks. The opportunists hid from the party and Stalin's resolution that the Caucasus was for a party congress.

At the 1st Congress of the Caucasian Social Democratic Workers' Movement, the Caucasian Federation of the RSDLP was founded. Stalin, who was being held in the Batum prison, was elected to the Caucasian Federal Committee created at the Congress in absentia.

The strikes that broke out in 1903 were of even larger dimensions. Mass political strikes took place that year in the south, sweeping Transcaucasia (Baku, Tiflis, Batum) and the large cities of the Ukraine (Odessa, Kiev, Ekaterinoslav). The strikes became increasingly stubborn and better organized. Unlike earlier actions of the working class, the political struggle of the workers was nearly everywhere directed by the Social-Democratic committees.” (Stalin: ‘History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union /Bolsheviks/ - Short Course’ Tibilisi; 2017; p.39; English Edition). 

During that period, in a determined and irreconcilable struggle against opportunism, the organization of Lenin's "Iskra" movement in Transcaucasia was born and developed. Its most outstanding organizer and leader was Stalin, whom the Batum workers called teacher of the workers even then. The organization of Lenin's "Iskra" movement in Transcaucasia was built on the firm foundations of proletarian internationalism, uniting in its ranks the advanced workers of different nationalities: Georgians, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, and Russians. Lenin later repeatedly cited the Transcaucasian organization of the party as a model of proletarian internationalism. It was a firm pillar of the Bolsheviks in their struggle against the Mensheviks.

As far back as 1902 Lenin wrote in his pamphlet What Is To Be Done? that history has now confronted us with an immediate task which is the most revolutionary of all the immediate tasks that confront the proletariat of any country,’ that the fulfilment of this task, the destruction of the most powerful bulwark, not only of European, but also (it may now be said) of Asiatic reaction, would make the Russian proletariat the vanguard of the international revolutionary proletariat.’ Thirty years have elapsed since that pamphlet, What Is To Be Done?, appeared. No one will dare deny that the events during this period have brilliantly confirmed Lenin’s words. But does it not follow from this that the Russian revolution was (and remains) the nodal point of the world revolution, that the fundamental questions of the Russian revolution were at the same time (and are now) the fundamental questions of the world revolution?” (Stalin: ‘Some Questions Concerning the History of Bolshevism’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 13; Moscow; 1954; p.97; English Edition).


The Comintern (ML) naturally adheres to Lenin and Stalin and defends its position to this day: The basic questions of today's world socialist revolution of the world proletariat are at the same time the foundations of the Russian revolution and the foundations of the Russian revolution for Stalin's revolutionary struggle in Transcaucasia are at the same time the foundations of the world revolution for today's revolutionary struggle in Transcaucasia.

On February 23rd, 1903, by decision of the Tbilisi Committee of the RSDLP, a demonstration of the Tbilisi workers took place, in which about 6000 people participated. The demonstration ended in a clash with the military. 150 people were arrested. In 1903, a powerful wave of political mass strikes swept across the whole of southern Russia, across Transcaucasia and Ukraine. Under the influence of the workers' movement, the peasants also rose up in struggle, destroying the estates in Georgia.

At the end of November 1903, Stalin is banished for three years to Eastern Siberia, to the village of Novaya Uda, Balagansk, Irkutsk Governorate. In December 1903, while in exile, he received a letter from Lenin, which was hushed up by the Soviet revisionists and neither appears in the Collected Works of Lenin, nor in the volumes of Lenin's correspondences, nor in the list of ‘as yet unfounded letters of Lenin’ (published in 1967). Lenin wrote a letter, ‘To the Party Membership’, which might be appropriate in terms of content (Party or Circle?), but it was written in the second half of January 1904 (first published in 1929) and not in 1903. Stalin conceded:  I cannot forgive myself for having, from the habit of an old underground worker, consigned this letter of Lenin’s, like many other letters, to the flames.” (Stalin: ‘Lenin’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 6; Moscow; 1953; p.55; English Edition). That was the bourgeoisie's bait and switch to accusing Stalin of lying and labeling him as being "addicted to status" especially by, who other than, Trotsky!

I first became acquainted with Lenin in 1903,’ Stalin subsequently related. ‘True, it was not a personal acquaintance; it was maintained by correspondence. But it made an indelible impression upon me, one which has never left me throughout all my work in the Party. I was in exile in Siberia at the time. . . . Lenin’s note was comparatively short, but it contained a bold and fearless criticism of the practical work of our Party, and a remarkably clear and concise account of the entire plan of work of the Party in the immediate future.’

Stalin did not remain in exile for long. He burned with impatience to regain freedom as quickly as possible in order to begin the implementation of Lenin’s plan to build the Bolshevik Party. On January 5th, 1904 Stalin escaped from exile. In February 1904 he was back in the Caucasus, first in Batum and then in Tbilisi. There he wrote a programmatic document entitled “Credo”, dedicated to the party's internal disagreements and organizational tasks.

a) In 1903, serious differences arose between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks in Russia on the question of Party membership. By their formula on Party membership the Bolsheviks wanted to set up an organisational barrier against the influx of non-proletarian elements into the Party. The danger of such an influx was very real at that time in view of the bourgeois-democratic character of the Russian revolution. The Russian Mensheviks advocated the opposite position, which threw the doors of the Party wide open to non-proletarian elements. In view of the importance of the questions of the Russian revolution for the world revolutionary movement, the West-European Social-Democrats decided to intervene. The Left Social-Democrats in Germany, Parvus and Rosa Luxemburg, then the leaders of the Lefts, also intervened. And what happened? Both declared for the Mensheviks and against the Bolsheviks. They accused the Bolsheviks of having ultra-centralist and Blanquist tendencies. Subsequently, these vulgar and philistine epithets were seized upon by the Mensheviks and spread far and wide.” (Stalin: ‘Some Questions Concerning the History of Bolshevism’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 13; Moscow; 1954; p.91-92; English Edition).

Stalin spent almost two years in prison and exile. Those were years of further increasing prosperity in the country. During this time, the Second Congress of the RSDLP had taken place, which anchored the victory of Marxism over “economism”. But in place of the old opportunists, the "economists," who were defeated by the Party, new opportunists, the Mensheviks, took their place. After the Party Congress, Lenin and the Bolsheviks' fierce struggle against the Mensheviks, against their opportunist ideas, their divisive and disorganizing activity, flared up. The outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War and the maturing of the revolution intensified this struggle even more. Lenin saw the way out of the emerging party crisis in the convening of the Third Party Congress. The struggle for the Party Congress became the central task of all Bolsheviks.

In the Caucasus, Stalin, who was at the head of the Transcaucasian Bolsheviks, was a reliable pillar of Lenin in this struggle. Stalin's work in this period was marked by the fierce struggle against Menshevism. He was a member of the Caucasian Committee of the RSDLP and lead its work. Stalin was tireless: He systematically traveled to the districts of Transcaucasia (Batum, Chiatury, Kutais, Tbilisi, Baku, and the peasant districts of West Georgia), consolidating the old party organizations and creating new ones. He took part in numerous discussions in the fierce struggles with the Mensheviks and other enemies of Marxism, actively defended the Bolshevik standpoint, exposed the political apathy and opportunism of the Mensheviks and the reconcilers towards them. In June 1903, Stalin arrived in Baku where, on behalf of the Caucasian Committee, he dissolved the Menshevik Committee and founded a new Bolshevik Committee. In the summer, he appeared in discussions against the Mensheviks, federalists, anarchists and others. In Kutais he founded a Bolshevik Imereti-Mingrelian committee. On the occasion of the internal party disagreements, he wrote the article “The Social-Democratic View on the National Question” in No.7 of the “Proletariatis Brdzola” and letters from Kutais to the Georgian Bolsheviks abroad, in which he develops Lenin's ideas on the unification of socialism with the workers' movement. The essay, “The Social-Democratic View on the National Question” (published in No. 7 of the “Borba Proletariata” of September 1st, 1904) is an excellent commentary on the national program of the RSDLP. In it, Stalin establishes and explains the party's program on the national question, subjects the opportunist principle of the national divorce of the proletariat to a crushing critique and consistently advocates the internationalist type of building proletarian class organizations. In that essay, Stalin stands out as a major theoretician in the field of the national question who has mastered the Marxist dialectical method. The essay contains in germ form the ideas that Stalin later developed in his work “Marxism and the National Question”.

Stalin considered the “national question” on the basis of the historical development in Georgia and wrote:

At different periods different classes enter the arena, and each class has its own view of the ‘national question.’ Consequently, in different periods the ‘national question’ serves different interests and assumes different shades, according to which class raises it, and when. [underlined by the editorial staff of the Comintern (ML) The world proletariat also has its own view of the national question, especially under the present globalized conditions of the world revolution. Also see our basic article "World Proletariat, unite all countries!”]

For instance, we had the so-called national question’ of the nobility, when—after the ‘annexation of Georgia to Russia’—the Georgian nobility, realising how disadvantageous it was for them to lose the old privileges and power they had enjoyed under the Georgian kings, and regarding the status of ‘mere subjects’ as being derogatory to their dignity wanted the liberation of Georgia.’ Their aim was to place the Georgian kings and the Georgian nobility at the head of ‘Georgia,’ and thus place the destiny of the Georgian people in their hands! That was feudal-monarchist ‘nationalism.’ This ‘movement’ left no visible trace in the life of the Georgians; not a single fact sheds glory on it, if we leave out of account isolated conspiracies hatched by Georgian nobles against the Russian rulers in the Caucasus. A slight touch from the events of social life to this already feeble ‘movement’ was enough to cause it to collapse to its foundations. Indeed, the development of commodity production, the abolition of serfdom, the establishment of the Nobles’ Bank, the intensification of class antagonisms in town and country, the growth of the poor peasants’ movement, etc.—all this dealt a mortal blow to the Georgian nobility and, with it, to feudal-monarchist nationalism.’ The Georgian nobility split into two groups. One renounced all ‘nationalism’ and stretched forth its hand to the Russian autocracy with the object of obtaining soft jobs, cheap credit and agricultural implements, the government’s protection against the rural ‘rebels,’ etc. The other, the weaker section of the Georgian nobility; struck up a friendship with the Georgian bishops and archimandrites, and thus found under the protecting wing of clericalism a sanctuary for the ‘nationalism’ which is being hounded by realities. This group is working zealously to restore ruined Georgian churches (that is the main item in its ‘programme’!)—’the monuments of departed glory’—and is reverently waiting for a miracle that will enable it to achieve its feudal-monarchistaspirations.’

Thus, in the last moments of its existence, feudal-monarchist nationalism has assumed a clerical form.

Meanwhile, our contemporary social life has brought the national question of the bourgeoisie to the fore. When the young Georgian bourgeoisie realised how difficult it was to contend with the free competition of ‘foreign’ capitalists, it began, through the mouths of the Georgian National-Democrats, to prattle about an independent Georgia. The Georgian bourgeoisie wanted to fence off the Georgian market with a tariff wall, to drive the ‘foreign’ bourgeoisie from this market by force, artificially raise prices, and by means of ‘patriotic’ tricks of this sort to achieve success in the money-making arena.

This was, and is, the aim of the nationalism of the Georgian bourgeoisie. Needless to say, to achieve this aim, strength was required—but only the proletariat possessed this strength. Only the proletariat could infuse life into the emasculated ‘patriotism’ of the bourgeoisie. It was necessary to win over the proletariat— and so the ‘National-Democrats’ appeared on the scene. They spent a great deal of ammunition in the endeavour to refute scientific socialism, decried the Social-Democrats and advised the Georgian proletarians to desert them, lauded the Georgian proletariat and urged it to strengthen in one way or another the Georgian bourgeoisie ‘in the interests of the workers themselves.’ They pleaded incessantly with the Georgian proletarians: Don’t ruin ‘Georgia’ (or the Georgian bourgeoisie?), forget ‘internal differences,’ make friends with the Georgian bourgeoisie, etc. But all in vain! The honeyed words of the bourgeois publicists failed to lull the Georgian proletariat! The merciless attacks of the Georgian Marxists and, particularly, the powerful class actions which welded Russian, Armenian, Georgian and other proletarians into a single socialist force, dealt our bourgeois nationalists a crushing blow and drove them from the battle-field. 

Since our fugitive patriots were unable to assimilate socialist views, they were obliged, ‘in order to rehabilitate their tarnished names,’ ‘at least to change their colour,’ at least to deck themselves in socialist garb. And indeed, an illegal . . . bourgeois-nationalist —’socialist,’ if you please—organ suddenly appeared on the scene, Sakartvelo! [Note: That was the newspaper of the foreign group of Georgian nationalists, which became the core of the bourgeois-nationalist Party of Social Federalists. The main demand of the federalists was the national autonomy of Georgia within the framework of the bourgeois-nationalist Russian Empire. In the years of reaction they became open opponents of the revolution]. That was how they wanted to seduce the Georgian workers! But it was too late! The Georgian workers had learned to distinguish between black and white, they easily guessed that the bourgeois nationalists had ‘changed only the colour’ but not the substance of their views, that Sakartvelo was socialist only in name. They realised this and made a laughing-stock of these ‘saviours’ of Georgia! The hopes of the Don Quixotes of Sakartvelo were dashed to the ground! 

On the other hand, our economic development is gradually building a bridge between the advanced circles of the Georgian bourgeoisie and ‘Russia’; it is connecting these circles with ‘Russia’ both economically and politically, thereby cutting the ground from under the feet of already tottering bourgeois nationalism. This is another blow to bourgeois nationalism!

A new class has entered the arena—the proletariatand, with it, a new ‘national question,’ has arisen—the national question’ of the proletariat. And the ‘national question’ raised by the proletariat differs from the ‘national question’ of the nobility and of the bourgeoisie to the same degree that the proletariat differs from the nobility and the bourgeoisie.

[Comment of the Comintern (ML): As much the proletariat of the First Period of Socialism differs from the proletariat of the Second Period of Socialism, the 'national question' of the proletariat of the First Period differs from the Second Period of Socialism].

Let us now discuss this ‘nationalism.’ 

What is the Social-Democratic view of the national question’? 

The proletariat of all Russia began to talk about the struggle long ago. As we know, the goal of every struggle is victory. But if the proletariat is to achieve victory, all the workers, irrespective of nationality, must be united. [underlined by the Comintern (ML)] Clearly, the demolition of national barriers and close unity between the Russian, Georgian, Armenian, Polish, Jewish and other proletarians is a necessary condition for the victory of the proletariat of all Russia.”  (Stalin: ‘The Social-Democratic View of the National Question’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 1; Moscow; 1953; p.31-35; English Edition).

[Note of the Comintern (ML): Just as the breaking down of all national (including Russian) barriers and the union of the proletarians of all countries are a necessary condition for the victory of the whole world proletariat].

In December 1904 a huge and well-organized strike of workers took place in Baku, led by the Baku Committee of the Bolsheviks. The strike ended in a victory for the workers and a collective agreement was concluded between the oilfield workers and owners, the first of its kind in the history of the working-class movement in Russia.

The Baku strike marked the beginning of a revolutionary rise in Transcaucasia and in various parts of Russia. 

The Baku strike was the signal for the glorious actions in January and February all over Russia’. (Stalin.)

This strike was like a clap of thunder heralding a great revolutionary storm.” (Stalin: ‘History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union /Bolsheviks/ - Short Course’; Tbilisi; 2017; p.78; English Edition).

Before our eyes rises the glorious scene, familiar to us all, when thousands of strikers surrounded the Electric Power offices and dictated the December demands to their delegates, while the representatives of the oil owners, who had taken shelter in the Electric Power offices and were besieged by the workers, ‘expressed their solidarity,’ signed the agreement, ‘agreed to everything.’ . . .

That was a genuine victory for the poor proletarians over the rich capitalists, a victory which laid the foundations of a ‘new order’ in the oil industry.

Before the December agreement we worked, on the average, eleven hours a day—after the agreement a nine-hour day was established and an eight-hour day was gradually introduced for the workers at the wells.

Before the December agreement we received on the average about eighty kopeks per day—after the agreement wages were raised to a ruble and some kopeks per day.

Before the December strike we received neither rent allowances, nor water, light or fuel—thanks to the strike we obtained all these for the mechanics, and it remained only to extend these benefits to the rest of the workers.

Before the December strike the flunkeys of capital exercised arbitrary power in the oil fields and at the works, and they beat us up and fined us with impunity—thanks to the strike, a definite system, a definite ‘constitution’ was introduced; by virtue of which we were enabled to express our will through our delegates, collectively to reach agreement with the oil owners, and collectively to establish mutual relations with them.

From ‘amsharas’ and ‘pack animals’ we, at one stroke, became men, fighting for a better life!” (Stalin: ‘The December Strike and the December Agreement’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.174-175; English Edition).

Stalin persistently carried out Lenin's directives, developed and defended Bolshevik ideas before the masses and organizes the struggle for the Third Congress. A close relationship was constantly maintained between Lenin and the Caucasian Federal Committee (see Volume 34 of Lenin's Collected Works). In the years of the first Russian Revolution, Stalin was at the forefront of the entire ideological and political struggle of the Caucasian Bolsheviks against the Mensheviks, Social Revolutionaries, Nationalists, and Anarchists. The Bolsheviks' most effective weapon in this struggle was party literature. Stalin was the organizer and initiator of almost all Bolshevik publications in the Caucasus. He gave the publication of illegal books, newspapers, pamphlets, and appeals an unprecedented scope in tsarist Russia.

An incredibly bold venture of the Caucasian League and an outstanding example of Bolshevik conspiratorial technology was the Avlabar Secret Printing Press, which operated in Tbilisi from early 1904 to April 1906. It printed Lenin's writings “The Revolutionary-Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and the Peasantry” and “To the Rural Poor,” Stalin's pamphlets “Briefly About Disagreements in the Party,” “Two Clashes”, and others, such the Party's program and statute, and dozens of leaflets, a significant portion of which were written by Stalin. It also published the newspapers “Borba Proletariata” (The Struggle of the Proletariat) and “Listok Borby Proletariata” (The Struggle of the Proletariat Journal). The books, pamphlets, newspapers and leaflets were printed in three languages and had run lengths of several thousand copies.

The press organ of the Caucasian League of the RSDLP, "Borba Proletariata", which was published under the editorship of Stalin and worthily continued the traditions of the "Brdzola", had decisive importance for the advocacy of the positions of Bolshevism in the Caucasus, for the propaganda and development of Lenin's teachings. After the "Proletari", Lenin's central organ of the party, “Borba Proletariata” was the greatest and largest Bolshevik newspaper. Almost every issue of the newspaper contained Lenin's articles from the “Proletari”. Many of the most important articles were written by Stalin. In those articles Stalin stood out as a talented polemicist, as an extraordinarily strong literary and theoretical force of the party, as the political leader of the proletariat, as a loyal supporter of Lenin. In his articles and pamphlets, Stalin addressed a number of theoretical and political issues. Without going astray, he exposed the ideological hypocrisy of the anti-Bolshevik currents and factions, their opportunism and betrayal, while his blows against the enemy always hit the mark. Lenin was enthusiastic about the “Borba Proletariata” newspaper, its Marxist steadfastness, and its significant literary merits.

As a profound and truly consistent student and comrade-in-arms of Lenin, Stalin played an outstanding role in the Caucasus in the ideological crushing of Menshevism and in defending the ideological, organizational, and tactical foundations of the Marxist party. Stalin's works from this period are models of consistent defense of the positions of Leninism and are characterized by theoretical depth and irreconcilability with opportunism.

In a series of articles, Stalin substantiated the Leninist line during and after the Second Party Congress. In the article “The Proletarian Class and The Proletarian Party” (published on January 1, 1905 in No. 8 of the “Borba Proletariata”), dedicated to the first paragraph of the party statute, Stalin defended the organizational foundations of the party, standing entirely on the ground of Lenin's doctrine of the party that developed and founded Lenin's teachings. That article defended the organizational ideas of Bolshevism as set forth by Lenin in his famous book “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back.”.

Up till now our Party has resembled a hospitable patriarchal family, ready to take in all who sympathise. But now that our Party has become a centralised organisation, it has thrown off its patriarchal aspect and has become in all respects like a fortress, the gates of which are opened only to those who are worthy. And that is of great importance to us. At a time when the autocracy is trying to corrupt the class consciousness of the proletariat with ‘trade unionism,’ nationalism, clericalism and the like, and when, on the other hand, the liberal intelligentsia is persistently striving to kill the political independence of the proletariat and to impose its tutelage upon it—at such a time we must be extremely vigilant and never forget that our Party is a fortress, the gates of which are opened only to those who have been tested.” (Stalin: ‘The Proletarian Class and the Proletarian Party’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 1; Moscow; 1953; p.68; English Edition).

On January 8th, Stalin's appeal "Workers of the Caucasus, it is time to take revenge!" written on the occasion of the defeat of tsarism in the Far East, would be published.

On the occasion of the police-provoked carnage between the Tartars and Armenians in Baku, Stalin wrote the leaflet "Long live international fraternity!" on February 13th, 1905. What Stalin wrote there has significance today:

But be vigilant, you Armenians, Tatars, Georgians and Russians! Stretch out your hands to one another, unite more closely, and to the attempts of the government to divide you answer unanimously: Down with the tsarist government! Long live the fraternity of the peoples!

Stretch out your hands to one another and, having united, rally around the proletariat, the real gravedigger of the tsarist government which is the sole culprit in the Baku massacres.” (Stalin: ‘Long live International Unity!’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 1; Moscow; 1953; p.83-84; English Edition).

And on February 15, Stalin wrote the leaflet “To citizens. Long live the Red Flag!” on the occasion of the successful mass demonstration in protest against the attempt of the police to provoke a massacre among the nations in Tbilisi as well. What Stalin wrote in it is also highly relevant:

You want to abolish all national enmity, do you not? You are striving for the complete solidarity of peoples, are you not? Know then, citizens, that all national strife will be abolished only when inequality and capitalism are abolished!

The ultimate aim of your striving must be—the triumph of socialism!” (Stalin: ‘To Citizens. Long live the Red Flag!’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 1; Moscow; 1953; p.88; English Edition).

Stalin appeared in a large discussion meeting in Batum against the Menshevik leaders N. Ramishvili, R. Arsenidze and others.

In his excellent pamphlet “Briefly About Disagreements in the Party” and in the article “A Reply to ‘Social-Democrat’” Stalin stands out as a strong advocate of the ideological foundations of the Marxist Party. The pamphlet “Briefly About Disagreements in the Party” (written in early 1905, illegally published in the summer of 1905) is one of the most outstanding works of Bolshevik thought. It follows directly on from "What is there to be done?", the historically significant work of Lenin, and defends Lenin's brilliant teachings in a decisive manner. In that pamphlet, Stalin subjected the opportunist theory of spontaneity to a scathing critique and explained the role and importance of the revolutionary party and revolutionary theory for the working class.

“‘The labour movement,’ wrote Stalin, ‘must be linked up with Socialism; practical activities and theoretical thought must merge into one and thereby lend the spontaneous labour movement a Social-Democratic character. . . . Our duty, the duty of Social-Democracy is to divert the spontaneous labour movement from the trade union path to the Social-Democratic path. Our duty is to introduce Socialist consciousness* into this movement and unite the progressive forces of the working class in one centralized party. Our task is always to be at the head of the movement and tirelessly combat all those foes or 'friends' who hinder the accomplishment of this task.’” (Stalin as quoted in: ‘Stalin - A Short Biography’; Moscow; 1947; p.25; English Edition).

It is now clear on what grounds the disagreements in the Party arose. As is evident, two trends have appeared in our Party: the trend of proletarian firmness, and the trend of intellectual wavering. And this intellectual wavering is expressed by the present ‘minority.’ The Tiflis ‘Committee’ and its Social-Democrat are the obedient slaves of this “minority’! (Stalin: ‘Briefly About Disagreements in the Party’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 1; Moscow; 1953; p.132; English Edition).

If there was no world capitalism, then there would be no scientific world socialism either. Only a globally centralized Marxist-Leninist party can develop a world socialist consciousness. It is the bearer of today's Marxist-Leninist theory, the bearer of the unconscious global processes. From the global perspective of the world proletariat, the international workers' movement flattens and decays into revisionism if it is not given a world socialist character. World Bolshevism is the union of global spontaneous labor movement with world socialism. This must be globally implemented today in order to bring the world socialist consciousness into the spontaneous movement of the world proletariat, to place the Communist International at the forefront of the revolutionary world movement and to wage a vigorous struggle against all those who obstruct the realization of our global goals.

Stalin’s appearance found the full approval of Lenin. In his appraisal of Stalin’s article “Answer to the ‘Social Democrat’”, which appeared in the "Borba Proletariata” in August 1905, Lenin emphasized in the central organ of the party, the “Proletari” (No. 22), the “excellent formulation of the famous question of the ‘introduction of consciousness from without.’” Lenin wrote:

The author divides the problem into four independent parts: 1) The philosophical problem of the relation of man’s consciousness to his social being—social being determines consciousness. Corresponding to the existence of two classes, two kinds of consciousness are evolved —the bourgeois and the socialist. Socialist consciousness corresponds to the position of the proletariat. 2) ‘Who can and does evolve this socialist consciousness (scientific socialism)?’ ‘Contemporary socialist consciousness can arise only on the basis of profound scientific knowledge’ (Kautsky), i.e., its evolution ‘is a matter for a few Social-Democratic intellectuals who possess the necessary means and time”. 3) How does this consciousness penetrate into the proletariat? ‘It is here that Social-Democracy (and not only Social-Democratic intellectuals) comes in, and introduces socialist consciousness into the working-class movement.’ 4) What does Social-Democracy meet with when it comes to the proletariat with the message of socialism? It meets with an instinctive urge towards socialism. ‘Together with the proletariat, a tendency towards socialism is of necessity engendered both among the proletarians themselves, and among those who adopt the viewpoint of the proletariat; this accounts for the birth of an urge towards socialism’ (Kautsky).” (Lenin: ‘The Struggle of the Proletariat’ in: ‘Collected Works’, Volume 9; Moscow; 1977; p.388; English Edition).

Lenin also wrote the “Draft Resolution on the Events in the Caucasus” at the Third Party Congress of the RSDLP, which appeared in issue No. 1 of the “Proletari” on May 27th, 1905 and in issue No. 1 of the illegal Bolshevik newspaper
Borba Proletariata”, which appeared in Georgia on July 1st, 1905. The Party Congress adopted the resolution “On the events in the Caucasus” presented by Lenin, which showed that the movement in the Caucasus had already developed to the point of the uprising of the entire people against autocracy, and where a high assessment of the Caucasian party organizations as the best fighting organizations of the party was given. The Congress instructed the Central Committee and the local committees to take the most energetic measures to spread the news about the situation in the Caucasus as widely as possible and to support the Caucasus with all available means in time:

1. Whereas the specific social and political conditions in the Caucasus have favoured the creation there of the most militant organisations of our Party; 

2. Whereas the revolutionary mood of the majority of the population in the Caucasus, both in the towns and in the villages, has reached the stage of a people’s uprising against the autocracy; 

3. Whereas the autocratic government has begun to send troops and artillery to Guria for the ruthless destruction of all the important seats of rebellion; and

4. Whereas a victory of the autocracy over the popular uprising in the Caucasus, which would be rendered easier by the non-Russian composition of the population, would most grievously affect the success of the uprising throughout Russia;— 

Therefore, the Third Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, on behalf of the class-conscious proletariat of Russia, sends ardent greetings to the heroic proletariat and peasantry of the Caucasus and instructs the Central Committee and the local Party committees to take the most energetic measures towards promulgating information on the state of affairs in the Caucasus as widely as possible by means of pamphlets, meetings, workers’ rallies, study circle talks, etc., as well as measures towards rendering timely support to the Caucasus by armed force.” (Lenin: ‘Draft Resolution on the Events in the Caucasus’ in: ‘Collected Works’,Volume 8; Moscow; 1977; p.424; English Edition).

On June 12th, 1905, Stalin delivered a speech at the funeral of A.G. Tsulukidze, in which he developed a program for the struggle of the workers and peasants against autocracy and subjected the tactics of the Mensheviks to crushing criticism. Alexander Grigorievich Tsulukidze (1876-1905) was one of the editors of the "Brdzola", which from 1898 created the conditions for building the first social-democratic organization in Transcaucasia. He also founded the subsequent “Proletariatis Brdzola” with Stalin. Tsulukidze took active part in the propaganda of Marxist-Leninist ideas, in the struggle for Leninism, and applied it to the historical conditions of the Caucasus. Tsulukidze emphasized the role of socialist consciousness, of Marxist ideology in the revolutionary transformation of society and expressed his conviction that without an Workers' Party equipped with Marxism, it would be impossible to eliminate capitalism and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat.

In the archives of the Georgian branch of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism, there were documents which showed that the Marxist M. Filiya Lenin, who had come to Paris from Georgia in 1910, said that the Bolsheviks of Georgia, including Tsulukidze, Makharadze and Davitashvili, were studying his book “Materialism and Empirio-criticism” with great interest. At the same time, Filiya emphasized that the Georgian Bolsheviks rejected the philosophical views of Bogdanov and other revisionists and, in particular, sharply criticized and fought against their followers in Georgia. With Stalin at the head, the Georgian Marxists were in the front line of the ideological preparation of the October Revolution.

From the beginning of the first Russian Revolution, Stalin resolutely championed and implemented Lenin’s strategy and tactics in the revolution, Lenin’s teachings of the hegemony of the proletariat in the revolution, Lenin’s teachings of the progression of bourgeois-democratic revolution into socialist revolution:

In 1905, differences developed between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks in Russia on the question of the character of the Russian revolution. The Bolsheviks advocated an alliance between the working class and the peasantry under the hegemony of the proletariat. The Bolsheviks asserted that the objective must be a revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry for the purpose of passing immediately from the bourgeois-democratic revolution to the socialist revolution, with the support of the rural poor secured. The Mensheviks in Russia rejected the idea of the hegemony of the proletariat in the bourgeois-democratic revolution; instead of the policy of an alliance between the working class and the peasantry they preferred the’ policy of an agreement with the liberal bourgeoisie, and they declared that the revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry was a reactionary Blanquist scheme that ran counter to the development of the bourgeois revolution. What was the attitude of the German Left Social-Democrats, of Parvus and Rosa Luxemburg, to this controversy? They invented a utopian and semi-Menshevik scheme of permanent revolution (a distorted representation of the Marxist scheme of revolution), which was permeated through and through with the Menshevik repudiation of the policy of alliance between the working class and peasantry, and they counterposed this scheme to the Bolshevik scheme of the revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry. Subsequently, this semi-Menshevik scheme of permanent revolution was seized upon by Trotsky (in part by Martov) and turned into a weapon of struggle against Leninism.” (Stalin: ‘Some Questions Regarding the History of Bolshevism’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 13; Moscow; 1954; p.92-93; English Edition).

The appeal of the Tbilisi Committee of the Caucasian Union of the RSDLP on the occasion of the banquet campaign of the Tbilisi Liberals said:

It is not the cowardly word of the Liberals, but our open and bold word that shall resound throughout Russia. It is not the Liberals, but we must set the tone in the whole revolutionary movement. We must demand a democratic republic with universal suffrage, we must fight both against autocracy and against the bourgeoisie.”

The Caucasian Union Committee, led by Stalin, tirelessly propagated the resolutions of the Third Party Congress and called on the workers and peasants to armed insurrection. Almost all of Georgia was affected by the uprising. Stalin's 1905 leaflets are a model for the propaganda of the teachings of Bolshevism among the masses. In his article “Armed Insurrection and our Tactics”, “Reaction is Growing”, and others, published on July 15th in issue No.10 of the “Proletariata Brdzola”, Stalin made a scathing criticism of the Menshevik leaders and defended and propagated the necessity of armed insurrection in a coherent way.

The flames of revolution are flaring up with ever-increasing intensity...” (Stalin: ‘Armed Insurrection and our Tactics’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 1; Moscow; 1953; p.133; English Edition).

Stalin also mentions the “week” in Georgia, among other local uprisings, which he describes as harbingers of the approaching storm.” (ibid).

But mere realisation of the necessity of arming is not enough—the practical task must be bluntly and clearly put before the Party. Hence, our committees must at once, forthwith, proceed to arm the people locally, to set up special groups to arrange this matter, to organise district groups for the purpose of procuring arms, to organise workshops for the manufacture of different kinds of explosives, to draw up plans for seizing state and private stores of arms and arsenals.

(...) Under no circumstances should actions such as distributing arms directly to the masses be resorted to. In view of the fact that our resources are limited and that it is extremely difficult to conceal weapons from the vigilant eyes of the police, we shall be unable to arm any considerable section of the population, and all our efforts will be wasted. It will be quite different when we set up a special fighting organisation. Our fighting squads will learn to handle their weapons, and during the uprising— irrespective of whether it breaks out spontaneously or is prepared beforehand—they will come out as the chief and leading units around which the insurgent people will rally, and under whose leadership they will march into battle. Thanks to their experience and organisation, and also to the fact that they will be well armed, it will be possible to utilise all the forces of the insurgent people and thereby achieve the immediate object—the arming of the entire people and the execution of the prearranged plan of action. They will quickly capture various stores of arms, government and public offices, the post office, the telephone exchange, and so forth, which will be necessary for the further development of the revolution.

(...) One of the main tasks of our fighting squads, and of military-technical organisation in general, should be to draw up the plan of the uprising for their particular districts and co-ordinate it with the plan drawn up by the Party centre for the whole of Russia. Ascertain the enemy’s weakest spots, choose the points from which the attack against him is to be launched, distribute all the forces over the district and thoroughly study the topography of the town—all this must be done beforehand, so that we shall not be taken by surprise under any circumstances. It is totally inappropriate here to go into a detailed analysis of this aspect of our organisations’ activity. Strict secrecy in drawing up the plan of action must be accompanied by the widest possible dissemination among the proletariat of military-technical knowledge which is absolutely necessary for conducting street fighting. For this purpose we must utilise the services of the military men in the organisation. For this purpose also we must utilise the services of a number of other comrades who will be extremely useful in this matter because of their natural talent and inclinations.

(...) Only complete fighting preparedness will enable the proletariat to transform the isolated clashes with the police and the troops into a nation-wide uprising with the object of setting up a provisional revolutionary government in place of the tsarist government.” (ibid. p.136-139).

The salvation of the people lies in the victorious uprising of the people themselves.” (Stalin: ‘Reaction is Growing’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 1; Moscow; 1953; p.180; English Edition).

What Stalin taught about the uprising and our tactics especially applies to today’s global uprising, applies to the arming all peoples, applies to the global plan of action in which the actions of all countries are coordinated by the headquarters of the Comintern (ML). The salvation of the peoples lies in the victorious global uprising of the peoples themselves.

The general strike in October, which revealed the power and strength of the proletarian movement, forced the Tsar, who was frightened to death, to issue the manifesto of October 17th. This manifesto, which promised the people all sorts of liberties, was a deception to the masses, a sham of the Tsar, a kind of breathing space which the Tsar needed to put the gullible to sleep, gain time, gather strength and then strike against the revolution. The Bolsheviks enlightened the masses that the October Manifesto was a trap. Stalin exposed the cadets as representatives of the liberal bourgeoisie who, after the victories of the October Revolution, were inciting counter-revolutionary conspiracies and uprisings against the Soviet Republic.

The wealthy bourgeoisie are our uncompromising enemies, their wealth is based upon our poverty, their joy is based upon our sorrow. Clearly, their class-conscious representatives will be our sworn enemies who will consciously try to smash us.

(..) They are not Socialists, they detest the socialist movement. That means that they are out to strengthen the bourgeois system and are waging a life-and-death struggle against the proletariat.

(...) All they want is slightly to curtail the powers of the tsar, and then only on the condition that these powers are transferred to the bourgeoisie. As regards tsarism itself, it must, in their opinion, certainly remain as a reliable bulwark of the wealthy bourgeoisie, which will use it against the proletariat.

(...) i.e., they want a curtailed constitution with a limited monarchy.” (Stalin: ‘The Bourgeoisie is Laying a Trap’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 1; Moscow; 1953; p.181-182; English Edition).

Speaking at a meeting of workers in Tiflis on the day the tsar’s Manifesto was announced, Comrade Stalin said: 

“‘What do we need in order to really win? We need three things: first—arms, second—arms, third—arms and arms again!’” (Stalin: ‘History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union /Bolsheviks/ - Short Course; Tbilisi; 2017; p.113; English Edition).

And this is exactly what we need to win in world revolution: A Red Army of the world proletariat, which arms the peoples against world imperialism, leads the people’s uprising and leads them into the global civil war against international counter-revolution! The liberation of the peoples must be carried out with the armed hands of the peoples themselves against the global enemy - world imperialism.

In the proclamation of the Tbilisi Committee of the Caucasian Union of the RSDLP written by Stalin in November 1905, he advocated the idea that the armed popular uprising is necessary for the victory of the revolution and wrote:

The general political strike now raging—of dimensions unprecedented and unexampled not only in the history of Russia but in the history of the whole world—may, perhaps, end today without developing into a nation-wide uprising, but tomorrow it will shake the country again with even greater force and develop into that mighty armed uprising which must settle the age-long contest between the Russian people and the tsarist autocracy and smash the head of this despicable monster.

(...) A nation-wide armed uprising—such is the great task that today confronts the proletariat of Russia and is imperatively demanding execution!” (Stalin: ‘Citizens!’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 1; Moscow; 1953; p.188; English Edition).

The First Period of Socialism, unprecedented in its magnificence not only in the history of Russia and Albania, but also of the whole world, the First Period of Socialism, “socialism in one country”, came to an end without entering the Second Period, world socialism, but only to shake the world again tomorrow with even greater violence and to enter into the grandiose armed uprising that must decide the age-old feud between socialism and capitalism and smash the head of that hideous monster... The world armed uprising of the peoples - that is the global task which currently stands before the world proletariat and demands its solution.

On the occasion of the October Strike throughout Russia, Stalin wrote the leaflets "Citizens!" and "To all the workers!”. Stalin lead the work of the Fourth Bolshevik Conference of the Caucasian Union of the RSDLP. The first issue of the “Kavkaski Rabochi Listok” was published on November 20th with Stalin's editorial “Tiflis, November 20, 1905”:

Will the proletariat have strength enough to reach the end of this path, will it have strength enough to emerge with honour from the gigantic, bloody struggle which awaits it on this path?

Yes, it will!

That is what the proletariat itself thinks, and it is boldly and resolutely preparing for battle.” (Stalin: ‘Tiflis, November 20, 1905’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 1; Moscow; 1953; p.197; English Edition).

And if Stalin was still alive today, would he say the same thing to the world proletariat? Yes he would!

Incidentally, Stalin wrote about Lenin's merits of the Russian Revolution in 1905:

The great service Lenin rendered to the Russian revolution was that he exposed the very roots of the futility of the historical parallels which the Mensheviks drew, and exposed the danger of the Menshevik "scheme of the revolution" which surrendered the cause of the workers to the mercy of the bourgeoisie.” (Stalin: ‘On Lenin’: Moscow; 1934; p.12; English Edition).

Under Stalin's leadership, the Fourth Bolshevik Conference of the Caucasian Union of the RSDLP made the decision to intensify the struggle for the preparation and implementation of the armed uprising, for the boycott against the tsarist Duma, for the development and consolidation of the revolutionary organizations of the workers and peasants, the soviets of workers' deputies, the strike committees, the revolutionary peasants' committees. Stalin exposed and fought the Mensheviks as opponents of revolution and armed insurrection. He steadfastly prepared the workers for a determined struggle against autocracy. All of Transcaucasia was engulfed in the flames of the revolutionary fire.

In December 1905, Stalin traveled as a delegate of the Transcaucasian Bolsheviks to the First All-Russian Bolshevik Conference at Tampere (Tammerfors) in Finland. At the Tammerfors conference, Lenin and Stalin met in person for the first time. Stalin recalled:

These were inspired speeches, which roused the whole conference to an outburst of enthusiasm. Extraordinary power of conviction, simplicity and clarity in argumentation, short sentences intelligible to all, the absence of posing, the absence of violent gesticulations and high-sounding phrases playing for effect-all this favourably  distinguished Lenin’s speeches from the speeches of ordinary, ‘parliamentary’ orators.

But it was not this aspect of Lenin's speeches that captivated me at the time. I was captivated by the invincible power of logic in Lenin's speeches which, though somewhat dry, nevertheless completely overcomes the audience gradually electrifies it, and then holds the whole audience captive.” (Stalin: ‘On Lenin’; Moscow; 1934; p.23-24; English Edition).

The conference elected comrade Stalin to the political commission for the revision of the conference resolutions, where he worked together with Lenin as one of the most outstanding leaders of the party. The Bolsheviks there prepared themselves with a resolution for the coming unity conference. Under the pressure of the workers, the Mensheviks had to consent to unification.” (Stalin: ‘History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union /Bolsheviks/ - Short Course’; Tbilisi; 2017; p.118; English Edition).

On January 7th, Stalin's brochure “Two Clashes” was published in Georgian. In it he compares the developmental processes of the January Uprising of the Petersburg proletariat, which are still very instructive today, with those of the December Uprising in Moscow, in which his great military talent for the assessment of uprisings becomes apparent: In short, a united party, an uprising organised by the Party, and a policy of offensivethis is what we need today to achieve the victory of the uprising.” (Stalin: ‘Two Clashes’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 1; Moscow; 1953; p.206; English Edition). The study of this short, concise text is a duty for every aspiring Stalinist.

On March 8th, Stalin's article “The State Duma and the Tactics of Social-Democracy” was published in issue No.3 of the “Gantiadi” ("Dawn"), Stalin represented the tactics of the boycott of the Duma in it:

Thus, the participation tactics involuntarily serve to strengthen the tsarist Duma, weaken the revolutionary spirit of the masses, dim the revolutionary consciousness of the people, are unable to create any revolutionary organisations, run counter to the development of social life, and therefore should be rejected by Social-Democracy.(Stalin: ‘The State Duma and the Tactics of Social-Democracy’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 1; Moscow; 1953; p.215; English Edition).

After the defeat of the December Uprising, the turn towards the gradual withdrawal of the revolution began. Stalin wrote about Lenin in that situation:

“‘To snivelling in the event of defeat.’ This is the peculiar feature in the activities of Lenin that helped him to rally around himself an army that was faithful to the last and had confidence in its strength .” (Stalin: ‘On Lenin’; Moscow; 1934; p.25; English Edition).

And in the summer and autumn of 1906 the revolutionary struggle became stronger again.

In 1935, when Stalin remembered the Caucasus events during the revolution of 1905/06, he also mentioned the attack of his action groups on the estate of Prince Orbeliani, one of the largest families of Georgia. A of the famous Pavlov, Leon Orbeli, was personally received by Stalin after the physiologists' congress, where he gave a lecture on the meaning of pain:

He asked if Orbeli had any relations with the house. The scholar hesitated for a moment, then said: ‘It was only my father…’. Stalin laughed and said: ‘Yes, I have sinned…’” (Achmed Amba, ‘Ein Mensch sieht Stalin’; Rowohlt; 1951; p.216; Translated from German).

The party was preparing for the Fourth Congress of the RSDLP. The struggle between the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks was flaring up with renewed strength. The Mensheviks blamed the Bolsheviks for the defeat of the revolution. Anarcho-syndicalist elements appeared at the scene. They behaved particularly noisily in Tbilisi. Stalin was at the center of the struggle against all anti-proletarian currents in the Transcaucasus.

From March 17-29th, 1906, his articles "The Agrarian Question" and "On the Agrarian Question" are published in issues No.5, 9, 10, and 14 of "Elva":

The peasant movement, which only yesterday was helpless, is today sweeping like a turbulent flood against the old order (...) ‘The peasants want the landlords’ land,’ ‘The peasants want to abolish the remnants of serfdom’

Clearly, the only way is to take all the land from the landlords.” (Stalin: ‘The Agrarian Question’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 1; Moscow; 1953; p.216, 219; English Edition).

Introducing socialism means abolishing commodity production, abolishing the money system, razing capitalism to its foundations and socialising all the means of production. The Socialist-Revolutionaries, however, want to leave all this intact and to socialise only the land, which is absolutely impossible. If commodity production remains intact, the land, too, will become a commodity and will come on to the market any day, and the ‘socialism’ of the Socialist-Revolutionaries will be blown sky-high. Clearly, they want to introduce socialism within the framework of capitalism, which, of course, is inconceivable. That is exactly why it is said that the “socialism” of the Socialist-Revolutionaries is bourgeois socialism.

(...) Evidently, the Socialist-Revolutionaries want to combat the further development of capitalism and turn back the wheel of history—in this they seek salvation. Science, however, tells us that the victory of socialism depends upon the development of capitalism, and whoever combats this development is combating socialism. That is why the Socialist-Revolutionaries are also called Socialist-Reactionaries. (ibid; p.221-222).

Political freedom is a bourgeois demand; but despite that it occupies an honourable place in our minimum programme. But why go so far? Take Clause 2 of the agrarian programme and read: the Party demands ‘. . . the abolition of all laws which restrict the peasant in the disposal of his land’—read all that and answer: what is socialistic about this clause? Nothing, you will say, because it demands freedom for bourgeois property, and not its abolition. Nevertheless, this clause is in our minimum programme. What is the point then? Only that the maximum programme and the minimum programme are two different concepts, which must not be confused. True, the Anarchists will be displeased with that; but we cannot help it. We are not Anarchists! . . .

As regards the peasants’ striving for the division of the land, we have already said that its importance is measured by the trend of economic development; and as this striving of the peasants “springs directly” from this trend, our Party must support, and not counteract it.” (Stalin: ‘Concerning the Agrarian Question’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 1; Moscow; 1953; p.237; English Edition).

And it is the same with the global tendency of economic development today; if the global solution of the agricultural question is based on it, the global program of the Comintern (ML) must be distinguished from its program and these two programs must not be confused.

What seems important to us today is Stalin's article "International Counter-Revolution", which he published on July 14, 1906 in issue No.20 of "Akhali Tskhovreba" ("New Life"), signed with his illegal code name "Koba". Koba is the name of a former Georgian guerilla leader. First it was Stalin's nickname and then it became his pseudonym.

In it, Stalin spoke of the international character of counter-revolution, describing it as: (...) entering into an alliance with counter-revolution in other countries (...) By uniting with the European counter-revolution the Russian counterrevolution is steadily expanding the revolution, uniting the proletarians of all countries, and laying the foundations for the international revolution.” (Stalin: ‘International Counter-Revolution’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 1; Moscow; 1953; p.249, 251; English Edition). The global counter-revolution today unites the world proletariat and lays the foundation of the world revolution.

Stalin actively participated in the Fourth Congress of the RSDLP (Stockholm, 1906), where he, shoulder to shoulder with Lenin, the Bolshevik line in the revolution against the Mensheviks. Many Bolshevik organizations had been crushed by the government after the armed December 1905 uprising and were unable to send delegates. Therefore, the majority at the Party Congress was held by the Mensheviks. In his reply to the Mensheviks, Stalin posed the question with full force:

Either the hegemony of the proletariat, or the hegemony of the democratic bourgeoisie—that is how the question stands in the Party, that is where we differ.” (Stalin: ‘On the Present Situation’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 1; Moscow; 1953; p.242; English Edition).

Shortly after the Party Congress, Stalin wrote the pamphlet: “The Present Situation and the Unity Congress of the Workers’ Party”. In this pamphlet, Stalin gave an analysis of the lessons of the armed December Uprising, established the Bolshevik line in the revolution, and summarized the results of the work of the Fourth Congress of the RSDLP.

One of two things: either the victory of the revolution and the sovereignty of the people, or the victory of the counter-revolution and the tsarist autocracy. Whoever tries to sit between two stools betrays the revolution.” (Stalin: ‘The Present Situation and Unity Congress of the Workers’ Party’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 1; Moscow; 1953; p.253; English Edition). This applies more so to today's counter-revolution and the world revolution.

The December action showed that, in addition to all our other sins, we Social-Democrats are guilty of another great sin against the proletariat. This sin is that we failed to take the trouble, or took too little trouble, to arm the workers and to organise Red detachments. Recall December. Who does not remember the excited people who rose to the struggle in Tiflis, in the west Caucasus, in the south of Russia, in Siberia, in Moscow, in St. Petersburg and in Baku? Why did the autocracy succeed in dispersing these infuriated people so easily? Was it because the people were not yet convinced that the tsarist government was no good? Of course not! Why was it, then?

First of all because the people had no arms, or too few of them. However great your consciousness may be, you cannot stand up against bullets with bare hands! Yes, they were quite right when they cursed us and said: You take our money, but where are the arms?” (ibid; p.272).

The world proletariat cannot lead the peoples to world revolution if they are not supplied with sufficient weapons.

Secondly, because we had no trained Red detachments capable of leading the rest, of procuring arms by force of arms and of arming the people. The people are heroes in street fighting, but if they are not led by their armed brothers and are not set an example, they can turn into a mob.” (ibid).

And so the world proletariat also needs its own armed divisions in all countries of the world, it needs a world proletarian army that leads by its example.

Thirdly, because the uprising was sporadic and unorganised. While Moscow was fighting at the barricades, St. Petersburg was silent. Tiflis and Kutais were preparing for an assault when Moscow was already “subdued.” Siberia took to arms when the South and the Letts were already ‘vanquished.’ That shows that the fighting proletariat entered the uprising split up into groups, as a consequence of which the government was able to inflict ‘defeat’ upon it with comparative ease.” (ibid; p.272-273).

Countries cannot enter the struggle fragmented, they must form and organize themselves globally, they must appear in a closed, centralized global front so that the international counter-revolution is not able to bring a “defeat” to the world proletariat.

Fourthly, because our uprising adhered to the policy of the defensive and not of the offensive. The government itself provoked the December uprising. The government attacked us; it had a plan, whereas we met the government’s attack unprepared; we had no thought-out plan, we were obliged to adhere to the policy of self-defence and thus dragged at the tail of events. Had the people of Moscow, from the very outset, chosen the policy of attack, they would have immediately captured the Nikolayevsky Railway Station, the government would have been unable to transport troops from St. Petersburg to Moscow, and thus, the Moscow uprising would have lasted longer. That would have exerted corresponding influence upon other towns. The same must be said about the Letts; had they taken the path of attack at the very outset, they would first of all have captured artillery and would thus have sapped the forces of the government.

It was not for nothing that Marx said:

. . . The insurrectionary career once entered upon, act with the greatest determination, and on the offensive. The defensive is the death of every armed rising. . . .(ibid).

The policy on the offensive and striking first must also be applied in the global revolution, in the world uprising.

After the Fourth Party Congress, Stalin was back in Transcaucasia. He lead an irreconcilable struggle against Menshevism and other anti-proletarian currents. He lead the legal Bolshevik newspapers "Akhaly Tskhovreba" (New Life), "Akhali Droyeba" (New Age), “Khveny Tskhovreba” (Our Life) and “Dro” (Time), which appeared in Tbilisi in the Georgian language. On March 6th, 1907 “Khveny Tskhovreba" was banned "because of its extreme direction". Instead, "Dro" was published in Tbilisi from March 11th to April 15th, 1907.

From that period came the series of excellent articles by Stalin called “Anarchism or Socialism?”. The reason for these articles was the fact that the anarchists of Kropotkin's tendency had become active in Transcaucasia. Lenin had published the article “Socialism and Anarchism” in issue No. 21 of "Novaya Zhizn", which appeared on November 25th, 1905, in response to the rejection of the anarchists' request to be included in the Executive Committee of the Soviet Workers' Deputies. The article already contained Lenin's internationalist thesis, “that the complete victory of our revolution demands an alliance of the revolutionary proletariat of Russia with the socialist workers of all countries.

A wide gulf separates socialism from anarchism... ” (Lenin: ‘Socialism and Anarchism’ in: ‘Collected Works’, Volume 10; Moscow; 1978; p.73; English Edition).

In late 1905 and early 1906, a group of anarchists in Georgia, led by V. Cherkezishvili, a disciple of Kropotkin and a well-known anarchist, and his followers Mikhako Tsereteli (Baton), Shalva Gogelia (S.G.) and others, led a fierce campaign against the Social-Democrats. The group published the newspapers “Nobati”, “Musha” and other papers in Tbilisi. The anarchists had no support whatsoever among the proletariat, but achieved some success among the declassed and petty-bourgeois elements. Stalin attacked the anarchists in a series of articles. The first four articles appeared in June and July 1906 in the newspaper “Akhali Tskhovreba”. The pressure of the articles that followed was stopped because the authorities had banned the newspaper. In December 1906 and on January 1st, 1907 the articles published in “Akhali Tskhovreba” were reprinted in the newspaper “Akhali Droyeba”, but in a slightly different form. Their continuation was printed in April 1907. In Stalin's Collected Works, both variants were published side by side, with the first variant being an appendix. A continuation did not appear in the press, because the Central Committee of the Party sent Comrade Stalin to Baku in mid-1907 for Party work, where he was arrested after a few months, and the notes on the last chapters of the work "Anarchism or Socialism?” were lost in the house search, including the conclusions written by Stalin. Stalin himself assessed this work as the work of a "learning Marxist". To understand and correctly judge these early works, Stalin wrote: 

To understand and properly appraise these works, they must be regarded as the works of a young Marxist not yet moulded into a finished Marxist-Leninist. It is natural therefore that these works should bear traces of some of the propositions of the old Marxists which afterwards became obsolete and were subsequently discarded by our Party.” (Stalin: ‘Author's Preface to Volume One’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 1; Moscow; 1953; p.XVII; English Edition).

To this day, the works written by Stalin between 1901 and April 1907 have not been completely found. To this day, the archives of the Caucasian Union of the RSDLP and individual publications of the Transcaucasian Bolshevik organizations in which Stalin's works were published have not been found.

Stalin first polemically discussed the Georgian anarchists' views on the Marxist methodology of dialectics and on the Marxist theory of materialism, and distinguished Marxism from anarchism on this issue, because at that time the view was still widely held that these were merely tactical differences of opinion between anarchists and Marxists, that both currents were based on common foundations.

This is a great mistake.

We believe that the Anarchists are real enemies of Marxism. Accordingly, we also hold that a real struggle must be waged against real enemies. Therefore, it is necessary to examine the “doctrine” of the Anarchists from beginning to end and weigh it up thoroughly from all aspects.” (Stalin: ‘Anarchism or Socialism?’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 1; Moscow; 1953; p.298-299; English Edition).

Stalin then familiarizes the reader with the plan of his articles:

We shall begin with a description of Marxism, deal, in passing, with the Anarchists’ views on Marxism, and then proceed to criticise anarchism itself. Namely:

we shall expound the dialectical method, the Anarchists’ views on this method, and our criticism; the materialist theory, the Anarchists’ views and our criticism (here, too, we shall discuss the socialist revolution, the socialist dictatorship, the minimum programme, and tactics generally); the philosophy of the Anarchists and our criticism; the socialism of the Anarchists and our criticism; anarchist tactics and organisation—and, in conclusion, we shall give our deductions. 

We shall try to prove that, as advocates of small community socialism, the Anarchists are not genuine Socialists. 

We shall also try to prove that, in so far as they repudiate the dictatorship of the proletariat, the Anarchists are also not genuine revolutionaries. . . .” (ibid. p.299-300).

Incidentally, in "Anarchism or Socialism" Stalin explained Marx's famous thesis “It is not people's consciousness that determines their being, but conversely their social being that determines their consciousness”, using the example of his father, who was known to be a shoemaker. We take this example with us here. Stalin's father had taken his son with him for a few weeks (probably during the school holidays in 1889) to Tbilisi, where Stalin was said to have actually worked in the shoe factory. His mother had traveled to Tbilisi specifically to bring her son back to school.

Here is a simple illustration. Let us take a shoemaker who owned a tiny workshop, but who, unable to withstand the competition of the big manufacturers, closed his workshop and took a job, say, at Adelkhanov’s shoe factory in Tiflis. He went to work at Adelkhanov’s factory not with the view to becoming a permanent wage-worker, but with the object of saving up some money, of accumulating a little capital to enable him to reopen his workshop. As you see, the position of this shoemaker is already proletarian, but his consciousness is still non-proletarian, it is thoroughly petty-bourgeois. In other words, this shoemaker has already lost his petty-bourgeois position, it has gone, but his petty-bourgeois consciousness has not yet gone, it has lagged behind his actual position.

Clearly, here too, in social life, first the external conditions change, first the conditions of men change and then their consciousness changes accordingly.

But let us return to our shoemaker. As we already know, he intends to save up some money and then reopen his workshop. This proletarianised shoemaker goes on working, but finds that it is a very difficult matter to save money, because what he earns barely suffices to maintain an existence. Moreover, he realises that the opening of a private workshop is after all not so alluring: the rent he will have to pay for the premises, the caprices of customers, shortage of money, the competition of the big manufacturers and similar worries—such are the many troubles that torment the private workshop owner. On the other hand, the proletarian is relatively freer from such cares; he is not troubled by customers, or by having to pay rent for premises. He goes to the factory every morning, “calmly” goes home in the evening, and as calmly pockets his “pay” on Saturdays. Here, for the first time, the wings of our shoemaker’s petty-bourgeois dreams are clipped; here for the first time proletarian strivings awaken in his soul.

Time passes and our shoemaker sees that he has not enough money to satisfy his most essential needs, that what he needs very badly is a rise in wages. At the same time, he hears his fellow-workers talking about unions and strikes. Here our shoemaker realises that in order to improve his conditions he must fight the masters and not open a workshop of his own. He joins the union, enters the strike movement, and soon becomes imbued with socialist ideas. . . .

Thus, in the long run, the change in the shoemaker’s material conditions was followed by a change in his consciousness: first his material conditions changed, and then, after a time, his consciousness changed accordingly” (ibid; p.317-319).

And this must also be said of Stalin, because it was not the father but the son who "became imbued with socialist ideas". This must also be said of some comrades who lived in the period of the First Period of Socialism and who, in part, found it difficult to create or acquire a new, world socialist consciousness in accordance with the new situation of globalization, namely that of the Second Period of Socialism. It is regrettable, but these comrades become really dangerous to us when they try to drag young comrades down to the level of the First Period with the justification that they have to "defend" the socialist consciousness of the First Period before the Second. Whoever denies the qualitative difference between the consciousness of the First and Second Period of socialism is on the way to revisionism, just as Dimitrov's followers did at the Seventh World Congress of the Comintern, who considered the victory of socialism in the Soviet Union of Lenin and Stalin fatally "guaranteed" and "invincible", which made a world revolutionary thinking, which made a world revolution superfluous and which led to nothing else but the downfall of "socialism in one country", which, in the opinion of Marxism-Leninism, can only remain viable in a larger community of further socialist states, that is, strong enough not only to assert itself against world imperialism, but to beat it because socialism is ultimately only guaranteed on a world scale, which means nothing other than by world revolution, what else? Such comrades may be world revolutionaries in words, but in deeds they are liquidators of the world revolution. Lenin and Stalin had already warned of this mistake and fought against it and its representatives. This is only in passing. We must protect ourselves from this kind of revisionism, we must overcome it, expose it and fight against it, because without this new world socialist consciousness, without the scientific-dialectical elaboration of the socialist consciousness of the Second from the First Period of Socialism, and this under the conditions of the world revolution in a historically changed world situation, it is impossible for the world proletariat today to win in the world socialist revolution, it is impossible, among other things, to keep a socialist state alive in the world. Without new world revolutionary theory, there can be no new world revolutionary practice, no new world revolutionary movement. If Marxism-Leninism is not raised to a higher, global level, then it must inevitably go down. With the socialist consciousness of the First Period of Socialism one cannot build world socialism, for one can only build world socialism with a higher socialist consciousness, with the socialist consciousness of the Second Period of Socialism, which of course does not fall from the sky and which does not emerge from anything else but from the consciousness of the First Period of Socialism, starting from the changed conditions of world capitalism today. World socialism cannot emerge from anything other than world capitalism. First of all, the material conditions change due to capitalist globalization, then the revolutionary thinking of the global people changes accordingly, the internationalist world outlook makes a new leap forward, world revolutionary thinking develops on a higher level and inevitably brings forth the new type of World Bolsheviks, who inevitably build up the new type of a World Bolshevik party to lead the world proletariat to world revolution, to world socialism. The Comintern (ML) is the only organization in the world that takes this position and fights for it. Just as the Bolsheviks under the leadership of Lenin and Stalin fought all anti-Marxist currents, especially Menshevism, before they could win in the October Revolution, the Comintern (ML) fights all anti-Marxist currents, especially global Menshevism, in order to win in the world revolution today.

From April to May 1907, the Fifth (London) Party Congress of the RSDLP took place, which anchored the victory of the Bolsheviks over the Mensheviks. It was the first Bolshevik Party Congress. Stalin wrote about Lenin:

I then saw Lenin for the first time in the role of victor. Usually, victory turns ordinary leaders’ heads, makes them proud and boastful. Most frequently, in such cases, they begin to celebrate their victory and rest on their laurels. But Lenin was not in the least like such leaders. On the contrary, it is precisely after victory that he became particularly vigilant, on the alert. I remember Lenin at that time earnestly impressing upon the delegates: ‘The first thing is, not to be carried away with victory and not to boast; the second thing is, consolidate the victory; the third thing is, crush the opponent, because he is only defeated, but not yet crushed by a long way.’ He poured ‘withering ridicule on those delegates who frivolously declared that ‘from now on the Mensheviks are finished.’ It was not difficult for him to prove that the Mensheviks still had roots in the labor movement, that they had to be fought skillfully, and that over-estimation of one's own strength, and particularly under-estimation of the strength of the enemy, was to be avoided.

“‘Not boasting of victory’-this is the peculiar feature in Lenin's character that helped him soberly to weigh the forces of the enemy and to ensure the Party against possible surprises.” (Stalin: ‘On Lenin’; Moscow; 1934; p.25-26; English Edition).

Stalin was an active participant of the Party Conference and was present as a delegate of the Tbilisi organization. Returning from the Party Congress, he published a report on its work: "Records of a Delegate," in which he gave an assessment of the resolutions and results of the Party Congress, defended the ideological and tactical positions of Bolshevism, unmasked the liberal-bourgeois line of the Mensheviks in the revolution and their liquidationism towards the party, and showed the class nature of Menshevism as a petty-bourgeois political movement:

Of exceptional interest were the speeches of Comrade Rosa Luxemburg, who conveyed greetings to the congress on behalf of the German Social-Democrats and expounded the views of our German comrades on our disagreements.

(...) Thus, it became clear that the German Social-Democratic Party, the most tried and tested and the most Revolutionary party in Europe, openly and clearly supported the Bolsheviks, as true Marxists, in their struggle against the traitors to Marxism, against the Mensheviks.” (Stalin: ‘The London Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.65-66; English Edition).

At that time, the RSDLP's party funds were empty. From the Caucasus, Stalin raised money for the party. Stalin personally participated in all actions. He and other Georgian comrades carried out a bank robbery in Tbilisi on Lenin's orders (250,000 rubles). This combat troop was led by comrade Kamo Petrosian. The money was to be smuggled to Europe and exchanged into local currencies. Petrosian was handed over to the tsar's government. After he had managed to escape from the prison hospital, he worked for Beria in the Caucasus after the revolution.

On the second day after the money transport robbery, Stalin fled with three loyalists. He saw a little sheep with a broken leg lying on the edge of a grove. And the man, whose hands still had the blood of his victims from yesterday, carried the little animal into the village. With great detour and risk: he could have already been recognized and caught by Schulzen. Was it a bravura act or an act of love? Neither of the two. It was the only thing that gave him a good reputation in that area, which could always be of use to him. But for none of his deeds did Stalin reckon with a justification by his fellow men. What is necessary in his opinion, and what is bought with rivers of blood, is just right and is not subject to any moral judgment. (...) ‘In battle’, as Stalin openly states, ‘all means are right. He has fought and won’. (...) To get everything out of a situation, what can be got out, everything and even more, was and is one of the deepest traits of Stalin” (Achmed Amba, “Ein Mensch sieht Stalin”; p.68, 70, and 74).

Ten years passed from the end of the first revolution to the beginning of the second, during which the Bolsheviks heroically and sacrificially, tenaciously and tirelessly organized the masses, educated them in the revolutionary spirit, led their struggle and prepared for the future victory of the revolution.

For Lenin and Stalin, these were years of irreconcilable struggle for the maintenance and consolidation of the illegal revolutionary party, for the implementation of the Bolshevik line under new conditions, years of hard work to organize and educate the working masses, years of particularly stubborn struggle with the tsarist police. Tsarism felt that it had one of the greatest revolutionaries in Stalin before it and tried to deprive Stalin of the opportunity to continue his revolutionary work in any way. Arrests, imprisonment, and exile took over from each other. From 1902 to 1913, Stalin was arrested eight times, and was exiled seven times, from which he escaped six times. No sooner had the tsarist henchmen taken Stalin to a new place of exile than he fled again and, once again "at liberty", forged the revolutionary energy of the masses.

No sooner had he been caught than he thought of running away. Escape was often more successful for him than for anyone else (which even aroused suspicion). More than once he fled from Turukhansk alone. This word may not be a household word in the West. Turukhansk could be reached from the Ural Mountains by sleigh in 8 weeks at the earliest. On his escape, which he often carried out on foot, Stalin had to cross the tundra and taiga, sometimes in a cold of negative 60 degrees. Since he was not an athlete, rather slim of build, he had to replace strength with endurance and above all with will.” (Achmed Amba; ‘Ein Mensch sieht Stalin’; Rowohlt; 1951; p.59).

Only from the last banishment was Stalin liberated by the February Revolution.

With January 1907, the Baku period began in the revolutionary activity of Stalin. After the return from Fifth (London) Party Congress of the RSDLP, Stalin left Tbilisi and settled on the instructions of the party in Baku, the largest industrial district in Transcaucasia and one of the most important centers of the Russian labor movement. He developed a restless activity to unite the Baku organization around the slogans of Lenin, to win the working masses for Bolshevism. Stalin organized the struggle to oust the Mensheviks from the Baku workers' quarters (Balachany, Bibi-Eibat, Chorny Gorod, Bely Gorod) and lead the illegal and legal Bolshevik organs "Bakinski Proletari" (The Baku Proletarian), "Gudok" (Siren), "Bakinski Rabochi" (The Baku Worker).

On January 1, 1907, issue No. 1 of the newspaper "Mnatobi" (Light), which was directed by Stalin, was published. On February 10, Stalin wrote the preface to the Georgian edition of K. Kautsky's booklet "The Driving Forces and Prospects of the Russian Revolution". In it, he outlined the main issues of the disagreements with the Mensheviks, noting the views of Kautsky, who at the time of the Russian Revolution of 1905 still held a revolutionary position. In assessing the overall character of the 1905 bourgeois revolution, Kautsky sided with the Bolsheviks and advocated their view that the revolution should be led by the proletariat and not by the bourgeoisie. Today, it is the proletariat in the Caucasus which links the historical role of the reconquest of its dictatorship to the struggle of the world proletariat against world capitalism and which will thus be transformed into a section of the world proletarian leadership of the world socialist revolution.

Where the proletariat fights consciously, the liberal bourgeoisie ceases to be revolutionary.” (Stalin: ‘Preface to the Georgian Edition of K. Kautsky’s Pamphlet The Driving Forces and Prospects of the Russian Revolution’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.4; English Edition).

That was the Bolshevik position that Kautsky also adopted. The bourgeoisie in the Caucasus today fears the world imperialists, but it fears the world proletariat even more. Therefore, it does not belong to the anti-imperialist driving forces of the revolution in the Caucasus. The revolutionary driving force is the Caucasian proletariat and the peasantry led by it, which will not be able to fulfill its historical role if it cannot impose its internationalist standpoint against the bourgeois nationalism in Transcaucasia.

That is to say, the revolution will be victorious only if the proletariat and the peasantry fight side by side for the common victory...” (ibid; p.11). That was also Kautsky's opinion. And finally Stalin wrote:

As you see, in Kautsky’s opinion, not only is it permissible to enter a provisional revolutionary government, it may even happen that “the helm of state will temporarily” pass entirely and exclusively into the hands of Social-Democracy.

(...) As you see, Kautsky, an outstanding theoretician of Social-Democracy, and the Bolsheviks are in complete agreement with each other.” (ibid; p.12).

This is also true of World Bolshevism today. The participation of us World Bolsheviks in a Provisional Revolutionary World Government is not only permissible, but it may even happen that World Bolshevism alone “is temporarily put at the helm”.

It appears on February 18th, in issue No. 1 of the Stalin-led newspaper “Chveni Tskhovreba” (Our Life) with his article “The Election Campaign in St. Petersburg and the Mensheviks”. On March 11th, the first issue of the Stalin-led newspaper “Dro” (Time) was published. And in the second issue, with Stalin's article “The Autocracy of the Cadets or the Sovereignty of the People?”, on March 13th, 1907. In No. 6, of March 17th, Stalin's editorial “The Proletariat is Fighting, the Bourgeoisie is Concluding an Alliance with the Government” also appears in the "Dro". In it Stalin exposes the Cadets:While the people are fighting, while the workers and peasants are shedding their blood in order to crush the reaction, the Cadets are concluding an alliance with the reaction in order to curb the people’s revolution!” (Stalin: ‘The Proletariat is Fighting, the Bourgeoisie is Concluding an Alliance with the Government’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.27; English Edition). Today we can see that the Georgian government has made an alliance with world reaction in order to barter the interests of the Georgian people for a few dollars and euros.

On March 22nd, Stalin's article "In memory of comrade G. Telia" was published in issue No. 10 of the "Dro". Stalin characterized a comrade as an example of the heroic struggle of all Caucasian revolutionary workers, giving us a vivid insight into the then Marxist, Caucasian workers movement. In it, Stalin emphasized:

...that Comrade G. Telia, an advanced working man and an active Party worker, was a man of irreproachable character and of inestimable value for the Party.

Comrade Telia (...) got a job in the carpenters’ shop at the railway workshops. These workshops rendered Comrade Telia a great service. They were his school; there he became a Social-Democrat; there he was steeled and became a staunch fighter; there he came to the front as a capable and class-conscious worker.

In 1900-01 Telia already stood out among the advanced workers as an esteemed leader. He had known no rest since the demonstration in Tiflis in 1901. Ardent propaganda, the formation of organisations, attendance at important meetings, persevering effort in socialist self-education—to that he devoted all his spare time. He was hunted by the police, who searched for him ‘with lanterns,’ but it only served to redouble his energy and ardour in the struggle. Comrade Telia was the inspirer of the 1903 demonstration (in Tiflis). The police were hot on his heels, but, notwithstanding this, he hoisted the flag and delivered a speech. After that demonstration he passed entirely underground. In that year, on the instructions of the organisation, he began to ‘travel’ from one town to another in Transcaucasia. In that same year, on the instructions of the organisation, he went to Batum to organise a secret printing plant, but he was arrested at the Batum station with the equipment for this printing plant in his possession and soon after he was sent to the Kutais prison. That marked the beginning of a new period in his ‘restless’ life. The eighteen months of imprisonment were not lost on Telia. The prison became his second school. (...) Here his indomitable revolutionary character, which many of his comrades envied, was definitely moulded. But the prison also left on him the impress of death, this prison infected him with a fatal disease (consumption), which carried our splendid comrade to his grave.

(...) A few days before he died he wrote to us that he was working on a pamphlet on the history of Social-Democracy in the Caucasus, but cruel death prematurely tore the pen out of the hand of our tireless comrade.

(...) Amazing capabilities, inexhaustible energy, independence, profound love for the cause, heroic determination and apostolic talent—that is what characterised Comrade Telia.” (Stalin: ‘Comrade G. Telia’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.28-30, 31; English Edition).

And the Caucasian proletariat also will take revenge today on the cursed order of Soviet revisionism, on the cursed order of Caucasian nationalism, Russian imperialism, world imperialism and world reaction.

On March 28th and 30th, 1907, the resolutions of the Bolshevik workers of Tbilisi on the election of Stalin as a delegate to the Fifth Party Congress of the RSDLP were published and on April 8th, Stalin's leading article “The Advanced Proletariat and the Fifth Party Congress” followed in issue No. 25 of the newspaper “Dro”.

The Caucasus, the trans-Caspian region, South Russia, several towns in the areas where the Bund has influence, and the peasant organisations of the Spilka 28—these are the sources from which the Menshevik comrades draw their strength. South Russia is the only industrial area where the Mensheviks enjoy confidence. The rest of the Menshevik strongholds are for the most part centres of small industry.

(...) At one time Russian Social-Democracy consisted of a handful of members. At that time it bore the character of a movement of intellectuals and was unable to influence the proletarian struggle.

(...) Today we have a magnificent party —the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, which has as many as 200,000 members in its ranks, which is influencing the proletarian struggle, is rallying around itself the revolutionary democracy of the whole of Russia, and is a terror to ‘the powers that be.’” (Stalin: ‘The Advanced Proletariat and the Fifth Party Congress’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.33-34; English Edition).

In issue No.26 of the same newspaper, Stalin's article “Muddle...” was published on April 10th; three days later, the article “Our Caucasian Clowns”, which of course meant the Caucasian Mensheviks, was published. Stalin coined the phrase: Get that well into your minds once and for all, pro-liberal comrades: the more consciously the proletariat fights the more counter-revolutionary the bourgeoisie becomes. (Stalin: ‘Our Caucasian Clowns” in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.41; English Edition).

Stalin took part in the work of the Fifth (London) Congress of the RSDLP. In the first half of June he returned to Baku and then in Tbilisi and reported the meetings of the social democratic organizations of Baku, Tbilisi and a number of districts of West Georgia on the results of the party congress and placed himself at the forefront of the struggle against the Mensheviks, Social-Revolutionaries and other social-democrats. On June 20, issue No.1 of the illegal Bolshevik newspaper 'Bakinsky Proletary', edited by Stalin, was published. In the newspaper his articles were published: “The Dispersion of the Duma and the Tasks of the Proletariat” (editorial) and “The London Congress of the Social Democratic Workers Party of Russia (Notes of a Delegate)”. Stalin exposed the politics of the Mensheviks and Social-Revolutionaries summer/autumn 1907 in discussion meetings organized in the Baku districts.

During this time, Stalin led the boycott against consulting with the oil industrialists. At the end of July, Stalin, headed by the Baku Bolsheviks, held a party conference of the oil districts in favor of organizing a general strike. On August 12th, issue No.1 of the newspaper “Gudok”, the legal Bolshevik organ of the Baku Petroleum Workers' Union, founded on Stalin's initiative, appeared. With issue No. 35, the “Gudok” later, on July 1st, 1908, passed into the hands of the Mensheviks.

On August 24th, Stalin is elected a member of the organizing committee for convening a city party conference in a delegates' meeting of five social-democratic district organizations and the Muslim social-democratic group "Hummat".

In September/October Stalin lead the campaign for elections to the Third Imperial Duma. On September 22th, the Assembly of Plenipotentiaries of the Workers' Curiae in Baku adopted the “Mandate to the Social-Democratic Deputies in the Third State Duma”, written by Stalin.

On September 29th, Stalin gave a speech at the grave of the Bolshevik worker Khanlar Safaraliyev, who was murdered by hired agents of the capitalists.

In issue No. 4 of the “Gudok”, Stalin's article "Boycott the Conference” In it, he clarifies the tactical question of boycott or participation in a fundamental way, distinguishing the respective tactics in the Duma from the tactics against the oil industrialists. Tactical questions are not questions of principle, but of practical expediency.

The Comintern (ML) goes into detail about Stalin here, because in the global struggle of the oil workers today lies one of the most powerful keys for the victorious implementation of the world proletarian revolution. At that time, the oil workers had awakened to lead their economic struggle organized in trade unions. They conquered political power and finally established the dictatorship of the proletariat. They then socialized the oil industry and built a great socialist oil industry, which they were able to defend victoriously against the predatory Hitlerites. Hitler's blitzkrieg could have only lead to victory if, with the occupation of the oil fields in Baku, the fuel reserves and thus the securing the supply problem. The annexation of the Soviet Union by Hitler failed not least because of its heroic defence of the Northern Caucasus and the oil fields of Baku. In August 1942, Beria received the order to equip 150 mountain fighters for combat operations. They were flown into the Caucasus with several aircraft, incidentally, with American C-47 aircraft. With Colonel Shtemenko, the head of the Caucasian section of the Operations Department of the General Staff, a situation meeting was held in Baku. It was decided that the special units should try to block the mountain roads with the help of sabotage and thus stop the German Gebirgsjäger divisions. An experienced partisan unit arrived in Tbilisi to prevent the German invasion of Kabordino-Balkaria, the autonomous district near Nalchik. In case of German conquest, a network of Georgian agents was to be set up there. Thus Konstatin Gamsakhurdia [Editor's note: In 1954, after Beria was shot, the Georgian authorities wanted to get rid of Gamsakhurdia, whose arrest Stalin had previously forbidden. The KGB of Georgia demanded that Khrushchev arrest him as Beria's accomplice, who had made capital out of his personal relationships. The accusation was that Gamsakhurdia, on Beriya's orders, had blackmailed the Georgian intelligentsia, maintained relations with the German secret service and in return had received large sums of money and an American jeep from Beria and Mikoyan. In 1953 Beria was accused of having "undermined" the defense in the Battle of the Caucasus. Shtemenko was dismissed from the army because of his relationship with Beria. Grechko, Deputy Minister of Defense in 1953, had fought at that time under Beria's command in the Caucasus. That is why the battle in the Caucasus was not mentioned in public in the indictment against Beria by Khrushchev. (also see Sudoplatov's “Special Tasks”)], who had also written a Georgian biography of Stalin. It was the father of the, first president of independent Georgia, who was disposed in 1992, the main adversary of Eduard Shevardnadze, Zviad Gamsakhurdia. At that time these regions were on the side of the Soviet Union. Today these regions are the scene of ethnic conflicts. Before the decisive battle at Stalingrad, the German advance into the Caucasus was stopped by the Georgian mountain troops, who were supported by the local population and were therefore able to move around in the difficult mountain terrain. The mountain roads were blocked by acts of sabotage to stop the German mountain troops. The oil fields and drilling rigs were mined and the German oil tanks were blown up. The oil dumps they had captured in the North Caucasus were useless to the Germans. Stalin reprimanded that Beria's deputy had exposed himself to the danger of German capture during the operation. Kaganovich and Isakov were seriously wounded during the operation. On the eve of their last advance on Stalingrad the Germans did not have enough fuel for their offensive.

Caucasian oil was appropriated by other imperialists, the Russian social imperialists. They needed it in order to realize their military plans of criminal world domination.

Baibakov graduated from the Baku Industrial Institute in 1932 and worked in the oil industry. During the Great Patriotic War he was the People's Commissar for the Petroleum Industry of the USSR from 1944-1946 and Minister of the Petroleum Industry of the Southern and Western Territories of the USSR from 1946 to 1948, Minister of Petroleum Industry of the USSR from 1948 to 1955, member of the Central Committee of the CPSU in 1952, Chairman of the Gosplan of the USSR from 1955 to 1957 and deputy of the Supreme Soviet in 1958. So he directed the oil of the Soviet peoples into the pipelines of the revisionists and was rewarded with high posts. A great betrayal, a great crime, not only against the peoples of the Caucasus.

Today, the oil industry of the Caucasus is again in the hands of private capitalists, world imperialism has stretched out its predatory claws and smeared them with blood. The oil proletariat will take up its global economic struggle, overcome the division of the oil workers of all countries and also politically form up to the international struggle for power. The oil and the oil industry must be taken over and controlled by the world proletariat. The price of oil would be lowered as planned in the interest of the consumers all over the world. Whoever has power over oil today also has power over the capitalist world. Therefore, today we must unite the oil workers of all countries of the East and West against world imperialism, against the oil companies in the West as well as in the East, as global-central led departments and lead them together with all other world proletarian departments to the victory of the world revolution. So now it is time to learn after 100 years from Stalin's struggle for the Baku oil workers! It means: to learn from the former revolutionary oil workers of the Caucasus and their socialist achievements, but above all from the mistakes of the revisionist betrayal!

In this context, we insert an interesting answer of Stalin, which he gave much later, in November 1927, that is, just before the 1929 economic crisis, to the question he was asked:

In what way does the government of the USSR intend to fight against the foreign oil companies?

ANSWER: I think that the question is wrongly put. As it stands, one might think that the Soviet oil industry has set out to attack the oil firms of other countries and is seeking to knock them out and liquidate them. Is that how matters actually stand? No, it is not. In actual fact, the situation is that certain oil firms in capitalist countries are striving to strangle the Soviet oil industry, and so the latter is compelled to defend itself in order to be able to exist and develop.

Is that how matters actually stand? No, it is not. In actual fact, the situation is that certain oil firms in capitalist countries are striving to strangle the Soviet oil industry, and so the latter is compelled to defend itself in order to be able to exist and develop.

The fact of the matter is that the Soviet oil industry is weaker than the oil industry of the capitalist countries both as regards output—our output is less than theirs —and as regards connections with the market—they have better connection with the world market than we have.

How does the Soviet oil industry defend itself? It defends itself by improving the quality of its products and, above all, by reducing the price of oil, by putting cheap oil on the market, cheaper than the oil of the capitalist firms. 

It may be asked: Are the Soviets so well off that they can afford to sell cheaper than the extremely rich capitalist firms? Of course, Soviet industry is not richer than the capitalist firms. On the contrary, the capitalist firms are much richer than Soviet industry. But it is not a matter of being rich. The point is that the Soviet oil industry is not a capitalist industry and, therefore, does not need enormous super-profits, whereas capitalist oil firms cannot do without colossal super-profits. And precisely because the Soviet oil industry does not need super-profits, it can sell its products cheaper than the capitalist firms.

In general, it must be said that Soviet commodities, and especially Soviet oil, are a price-reducing factor in the international market and, therefore, one that helps to improve the conditions of the mass of consumers. Herein lies the strength of the Soviet oil industry and its means of defence against the attacks of the capitalist oil firms. It also explains why the oil owners of all countries, and Deterding in particular, are howling at the top of their voices against the Soviets and the Soviet oil industry, covering up their policy of high oil prices and of robbing the mass of consumers with fashionable talk about ‘communist propaganda.’” (Stalin: ‘Interview with Foreign Workers’ Delegations’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 10; Moscow; 1954; p.226-227; English Edition).

Back to 1907, Stalin wrote the article in connection with the intended convening of a meeting of oil industrialists with representatives of the Baku workers. In order to answer the concrete question of boycott of the oil industrialists, Stalin divided the history of the economic struggle of the Baku workers into two periods:

The first period is the period of struggle up to recent times, during which the principal roles were played by the mechanics, while the oil workers simply and trustfully followed the mechanics as their leaders and were as yet unconscious of the enormously important part they played in production. The tactics pursued by the oil owners during that period may be described as the tactics of flirting with the mechanics, tactics of systematic concessions to the mechanics, and of equally systematic ignoring of the oil workers. (Note: oilfield workers are workers employed in the construction of wells and in oil production, while factory workers work in the mechanical workshops, power stations and other auxiliary operations of the oil industry).

The second period opens with the awakening of the oil workers, their independent entry on to the scene, and the simultaneous pushing of the mechanics into the background. But this entry bore the character of a burlesque, for 1) it went no further than the shameful demand for bonuses, and 2) it was tinged with the most fatal distrust towards the mechanics. The oil owners are trying to take advantage of the changed situation and are changing their tactics. They are no longer flirting with the mechanics; they are no longer trying to cajole the mechanics, for they know perfectly well that the oil workers will not always follow them now; on the contrary, the oil owners themselves are trying to provoke the mechanics to go on strike without the oil workers, in order, thereby, to demonstrate the relative weakness of the mechanics and make them submissive. Parallel with this, the oil owners, who previously had paid no attention to the oil workers, are now most brazenly flirting with them and treating them to bonuses. In this way they are trying completely to divorce the oil workers from the mechanics, utterly to corrupt them, to infect them with slavish faith in the oil owners, to replace the principle of uncompromising struggle by the ‘principle’ of haggling and obsequious begging, and thus make all real improvement impossible.

It was with these objects in view that the forthcoming conference was ‘thought up.’

Hence it is obvious that the immediate task of the advanced comrades is to launch a desperate struggle to win over the oil workers, a struggle to rally the oil workers around their comrades the mechanics by imbuing their minds with utter distrust of the oil owners, by obliterating from their minds the pernicious prejudices in favour of haggling and begging. We must loudly and sharply tell (not only in words but with facts!) the masses of the oil workers who have come on to the scene for the first time, and in such a clumsy and burlesque fashion at that (‘beshkesh,’ etc.

[Note: "baksheesh literally means "gift". Bonuses were distributed to distract the Baku oil workers from the political struggle and to divide the labor movement; the Bolsheviks therefore resolutely opposed the demand for bonuses during the strikes and fought for an increase in wages. And so the Comintern/ML today is fighting for the increase of the global oil workers' wage and for: equal global work and an equal global wage]),

that improvements in conditions of life are not granted from above, nor as a result of haggling, but are obtained from below, by means of a general struggle jointly with the mechanics. (Stalin: ‘Boycott the Conference’ in: ‘Works’,Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.86-87; English Edition).

The tactic of boycotting of the conference, which the Bolsheviks carried out at the time to force the capitalists to recognize the unions as representing the interests of the oil workers, found widespread support among the working masses. From October 10th to November 1st, 1907, workers' meetings were held in the oil fields and factories of Baku to discuss the question of the conference. Two thirds of the workers present at these meetings were against participation in the conference. The Mensheviks, who were in favor of conference at all costs, suffered defeat.

On October 25th, Stalin was elected a member of the Baku committee of the RSDLP at the Baku Bolshevik conference. And in the first half of November, the Baku committee of RSDLP held a meeting in the building of the hospital in Sabunchi with the participation of Stalin. On November 22th, the Baku Committee of RSDLP held a one-day protest strike, led by Stalin, against the trial of the Social-Democratic faction of the Second Imperial Duma. At the end of November, he will traveled to Tbilisi on party affairs. From November to March 28th, 1908, Stalin lead the campaign for the guarantee of workers' rights on the question of the participation of the Baku workers in a conference with the oil industrialists.

On January 13th, 1908, the article “Before the Elections” (editorial) in issue No. 14 of the “Gudok” on the conditions of recognition of trade union representatives for the 50,000 workers in the oil industry appeared. The aim was not to allow conferences with the oil industrialists without the broadest participation of the working masses and their trade unions.

Only when the workers are able 1) freely to discuss their demands, 2) freely to assemble a Delegate Council, 3) freely to utilise the services of their unions and 4) freely to choose the moment for opening the conference—only then will the workers agree to a conference.” (Stalin: ‘Before the Elections’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.144; English Edition).

In January and February 1908, the Baku Bolsheviks organized a large number of strikes led by Stalin. The Baku committee, under Stalin's leadership, organized a "self-protection staff" because of the increasing frequency of attacks by the Black Hundreds. Issue No. 17 of the “Gudok” published Stalin's editorial “More about a Conference with Guarantees” on February 3, which stated:

We must not turn our backs on the positions of the bourgeoisie, we must face and storm them! We must not leave the bourgeoisie in possession of their positions, we must capture them, step by step, and eject the bourgeoisie from them!” (Stalin: ‘More about a Conference with Guarantees’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.99; English Edition). And that is exactly what the positions of the world bourgeoisie are today!

On March 2nd, issue No. 21 of the “Gudok” was published with Stalin's article “What do our recent strikes tell us?” and on March 9th, issue No. 22 and “The Change in Oil Owners” Tactics” (editorial) was published. It followed the article “We must prepare!” (editorial).

On March 25, 1908, Stalin is arrested under the name of Gaiosa Nizharadze and transferred to the Bailov prison in the city of Baku. In prison, Stalin established a permanent link with the Baku Bolshevik organization, headed the Baku Committee of the RSDLP and continued to write articles for the “Bakinsky proletary” and the “Gudok”. In addition, Stalin worked in prison among the political prisoners, held discussions with the Social-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks and organized the study of Marxist literature among the political prisoners.

On March 30th, Stalin's editorial “Economic Terrorism and the Labour Movement” appeared in issue No. 25 of “Gudok”.

Clearly, we must not smash up the machines and factories, but gain possession of them, when that becomes possible, if we are indeed striving to abolish poverty.

That is why the labour movement rejects anarchist-rebel conflicts.” (Stalin: ‘Economic Terrorism and the Labour Movement’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.114).

In his article, Stalin spoke out against the economic terrorism of individual “hero-terrorists”, since it kills both the spirit of self-action and the spirit of association among the workers.

It is against our principles to terrorise the bourgeoisie by means of individual, stealthy acts of violence. Let us leave such ‘deeds’ to the notorious terrorist elements. We must come out openly against the bourgeoisie, we must keep it in a state of fear all the time, until final victory is achieved! And for this we need not economic terrorism, but a strong mass organisation which will be capable of leading the workers into the struggle.

That is why the labour movement rejects economic terrorism.” (ibid; p.115).

In issues No. 28, 30, and 32 of "Gudok", Stalin's article "The oil industrialists on economic terror" was published. The oil industrialists tried to blame the assassination of one of their administrators and the fire in a boiler house on the 1500 striking workers, criminalize and slander the labor movement, and undermine the workers' confidence in their new union. It was the oil industrialists who organized economic terrorism against the workers, who throw their leaders on the streets and in prison, corrupted workers or had them beaten beaten up, etc. 

Not the workers and their organisations, but the activities of Messrs. the oil owners, which incense and embitter the workers, are the real cause of ‘economic assassinations.’(Stalin: ‘The Oil Owners on Economic Terrorism’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.125; English Edition).

Obviously, more profound measures than simple agitation are needed to cause the ‘disappearance’ of ‘economic assassinations’; and what is primarily needed is that the oil owners should drop their repressive measures, big and small, and satisfy the just demands of the workers. . . . Only when the oil owners abandon their Asiatically aggressive tactics of lowering wages, taking away the people’s halls, reducing the number of schools and hutments, collecting the ten-kopek hospital levy, raising the price of meals, systematically discharging advanced workers, beating them up, and so forth, only when the oil owners definitely take the path of cultured European-style relations with the masses of the workers and their unions and regard them as a force ‘on an equal footing’—only then will the ground for the ‘disappearance’ of ‘assassinations’ be created.” (ibid; p.129).


On July 20th , 1908, Stalin's articles “Flunkey ‘Socialists’” and “Hypocritical Zubatovites” were published in issue No. 5 of the “Bakinsky Proletary”; the supplement of the issue contained the article “The Conference and the Workers”.

Opportunism is lack of principle, political spinelessness. We declare that no Menshevik group has displayed such crass spinelessness as is displayed by the Tiflis group.

(...) Social-Democrats in the role of voluntary police informers—this is what the Menshevik opportunists in Tiflis have brought us to!

(...) Tactics of adaptation could not go further than that!” (Stalin: ‘Flunkey ‘Socialists’’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.132, 134; English Edition).

Among the cities in the Caucasus which produce original types of opportunism is Baku. In Baku there is a group which is still more to the right and, therefore, more unprincipled than the Tiflis group. We do not mean Promyslovy Vestnik, which has entered into unlawful cohabitation with the bourgeois Segodnya; enough has been written about that paper in our press. We are referring to the Shendrikovite Pravoye Delo group, the progenitors of the Baku Mensheviks.

(...) The Shendrikovs want to “save” the Baku workers!

To achieve this they propose that the workers should return to the past, abandon the gains of the last three years, turn their backs on Gudok and Promyslovy Vestnik, give up the existing unions, send Social-Democracy to the devil, and after expelling all the non-Shendrikovites from the workers’ commissions, unite around conciliation boards. Strikes are no longer needed, nor are illegal organisations—all that the workers need are conciliation boards, on which the Shendrikovs and Gukasovs will ‘settle questions’ with Mr. Junkovsky’s permission. . . .” (Stalin: ‘Hypocritical Zubatovites’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.134-136; English Edition).

The Mensheviks were liquidators who hid under the mask of representing workers' interests.

The oil owners were pursuing their own objects: in return for minor concessions they wanted to guarantee themselves against strikes and ensure the uninterrupted bailing of oil. The authorities were still more interested in the maintenance of ‘peace and quiet’ in the oil kingdom, quite apart from the fact that very many members of the government own shares in the big oil firms, that the taxes on the oil industry constitute one of the most important items of revenue in the state budget, that Baku crude oil feeds ‘home industry’ and, consequently, the slightest hitch in the oil industry inevitably affects the state of industry in Russia.” (Stalin: ‘The Conference and the Workers’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.140-141; English Edition). This quotation is very relevant today!


But this is not all. Apart from everything already said above, peace in Baku is important for the government because the mass actions of the Baku proletariat—both the oil industry workers and the marine workers connected with them—have a contagious effect on the proletariat in other cities.” (ibid; p.141).

It should be noted that the strike and seizure of oil tankers will be of great importance for the world movement of the working class, for the world revolution.

Recall the facts. The first general strike in Baku in the spring of 1903 marked the beginning of the celebrated July strikes and demonstrations in the South-Russian towns. [70] The second general strike in November and December 1904 [71] served as the signal for the glorious January and February actions all over Russia. In 1905, after quickly recovering from the Armenian-Tatar massacres, the Baku proletariat again rushed into battle, infecting with its enthusiasm ‘the whole Caucasus.’ Lastly, beginning with 1906, after the retreat of the revolution in Russia, Baku remains ‘irrepressible,’ to this day actually enjoys certain liberties, and every year celebrates proletarian May Day better than any other place in Russia, rousing feelings of noble envy in other towns. . . . After all this, it is not difficult to understand why the authorities tried not to incense the Baku workers, and on each occasion supported the oil owners in their attempts to confer with the workers, ‘to come to terms,’ to conclude a collective agreement.” (ibid; p.141-142).

Stalin gave the struggle of the Baku workers direction and a goal. On the occasion of the conference of the workers with the oil industrialists, the purpose of which was to conclude a collective agreement, Stalin lead a great campaign and created a brilliant example for the implementation of Lenin's elastic line of combining illegal and legal work. By skilfully applying Lenin's tactic of mobilizing the working masses for political struggle against the tsarist monarchy, Stalin achieved the victory of the Bolsheviks in that campaign. 47,000 Baku workers were on strike. At that time, this was the largest mass strike in the entire tsarist empire. In the dark night of Stolypin's reaction, proletarian Baku offers an unprecedented spectacle: the proletarian struggle was in full swing, the voice of the legal Bolshevik newspapers, which were Stalin's creation, resounded throughout Russia. Lenin characterized the mass strikes of 1908 as ...the Last of the Mohicans.” (Lenin, Collected Works, Russ. ed., Vol. XV, p.33.)

Stalin rallied a solid base of tried and tested Leninist-Bolsheviks around him such as Ordzhonikidze, Voroshilov, Dzhaparidze, Shaumian, Spandarian, and others. He finally achieved the full victory of Bolshevism in the ranks of the Baku organization. Baku became a citadel of Bolshevism. Under Stalin's leadership, the Baku proletariat heroically fought in the front lines of the all-Russian revolutionary movement.

The Baku Period was of the greatest importance in Stalin's life and work. Stalin himself spoke about this period:

I recall, further, the years 1907-09, when, by the will of the Party, I was transferred to work in Baku. Three years of revolutionary activity among the workers in the oil industry steeled me as a practical fighterand as one of the local practical leaders. Association with such advanced workers in Baku as Vatsek, Saratovets, Fioletov and others, on the one hand, and the storm of acute conflicts between the workers and the oil owners, on the other, first taught me what it means to lead large masses of workers. It was there, in Baku, that I thus received my second baptism in the revolutionary struggle. There I became a journeyman in the art of revolution.

(...) From the rank of apprentice (Tiflis), to the rank of journeyman (Baku), and then to the rank of a master workman of our revolution (Leningrad)—such, comrades, was the school in which I passed my revolutionary apprenticeship. (Stalin: ‘Reply to the Greetings of the Workers of the Chief Railway Workshops in Tiflis’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 8; Moscow; 1954; p.183-184; English Edition).

On March 25th, 1908, Stalin was arrested and after almost eight months in prison, was banished for two years to Solvychegodsk in the Governorate of Vologda. On February 8th, 1909 Stalin fell ill with typhoid fever on the way and was transferred from the Vyatka prison to the Zemstvo hospital in the Vyatka governorate. On February 20th, he was transferred from the hospital back to the prison.

On June 24th, 1909 he escaped and returned to Baku to continue his illegal work. Stalin fully supported Lenin's position and took a firm stand against the liquidators and Otsovists.

After one year of interruption, Stalin's leading article appeared on August 1st, 1909 in issue No. 6 of the “Bakinsky Proletary”: “The Party Crisis and Our Tasks”.

While the Baku organization maintained its unbroken links with the masses, the party as a whole suffered from the detachment from the broad masses, from the detachment of its organizations from each other. Stalin proposed to overcome the party crisis:

The only radical measure can be the publication of an all-Russian newspaper, a newspaper that will serve as the centre of Party activity and be published in Russia.” (Stalin: ‘The Party Crisis and Our Tasks’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.160; English Edition).

The following day, the Baku Committee of the RSDLP, under the leadership of Stalin, passed a resolution on the state of affairs in the editorial staff of the “proletariat”, expressing “the position of the majority of the editorial staff, of which comrade Lenin is the representative"; it was against the two Otsovist and ultimatist editors who represented the minority.

In issue No. 7 of the “Bakinsky Proletary”, the article “The Forthcoming General Strike” appeared.

In it, Stalin describes the difficult situation of the Baku workers due to the slowdown of the revolutionary movement in Russia and the superiority of counter-revolution, which the oil industrialists tried to exploit against the workers by cutting back as much as possible on their newly acquired gains. The inexperience and disorganization of the oil industrialists led, not least because of the organized nature of the Baku workers, to their growing organization. The capitalists had also learned from the strikes and have adapted to them. As a result, the workers had prepared and armed themselves better than before for an economic strike. This is what Stalin talked about:

Indeed, since the oil owners’ profits are fabulously high at the present time compared with the profits of other employers in Russia and in Europe; since the oil market is not shrinking but, on the contrary, is expanding and spreading to new regions (Bulgaria, for example); since the gushers are steadily increasing in number, and since oil prices are not dropping but, on the contrary, show a tendency to rise—is it not clear that it is quite possible for the workers to break the chains of slavish patience, throw off the yoke of shameful silence, hoist the flag of a counter-offensive against the oil owners and win from them new and better conditions of labour?

(...) All this goes to show that the workers have before them a stern and difficult struggle against organised enemies.” (Stalin: ‘The Forthcoming General Strike’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.166-167; English Edition).

In the first half of September, Stalin traveled from Baku to Tbilisi, where he organized and directed the struggle of the Tbilisi Bolshevik Organization against the liquidationist-Mensheviks and at the end of September, Stalin took measures to put the illegal printing press of the Baku Committee back into operation. On October 19, 1909, he arrived in Tbilisi and prepared the convening of a Tbilisi Party Conference and the publication of the Bolshevik newspaper “Tbilisi Proletary”. On November 12th he returned from Tbilisi to Baku. On December 13th, the Baku Committee of the RSDLP published the Stalin's proclamation “The December Strike and the December Agreement” (on the fifth anniversary of the Baku strike of 1904).

In November/December 1909, Stalin's essays, “Letters from the Caucasus”, were published in the central organs of the Party and were of historical significance. They were destined to be published in either the "Proletary" or the “Sotsial-Demokrat”. Since the “Proletary” ceased to exist at that time, the letters were sent to the editorial office of the central organ of the RSDLP, the “Sotsial-Demokrat”. The Menshevik part of the editorial staff did not want to include the “Letters from the Caucasus”, which included a sharp criticism of liquidationism, in the central organ. The letter was published in the “Diskussionny Listok” (supplement of the “Sotsial-Demokrat”).

Using the example of the Tbilisi Mensheviks, the liquidators' renegadeism was exposed in programmatic and tactical questions. Trotsky corresponded with the secret opposition center in the Caucasus. In those letters, Stalin sharply condemned the treacherous attitude of the stooges of Trotskyism and outlined the next tasks that were subsequently fulfilled by the Prague Party Conference: Convening a general party conference, publishing a legal party newspaper and creating an illegal party center for practical work in Russia. Here are a few brief extracts:

Propaganda is being conducted only in the advanced study circles, which we here call ‘discussion groups.’ The system is one of lectures. A great shortage of serious propaganda literature is felt. . . . Isolation from the Party and complete lack of information about what the Party organisations in Russia are doing have a bad effect upon the Party membership. An all-Russian organ, regular general Party conferences, and systematic tours by members of the Central Committee could help matters. Of the decisions of a general organisational character adopted by the Baku Committee, the most important are the following two: on a general Party conference, and on an all-Russian organ.” (Stalin: ‘Letters from the Caucasus’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.187; English Edition).

On the question of oil, Stalin wrote: This is quite apart from the fact that every hitch in the oil industry has a depressing effect upon the Central Industrial region, and this, in turn, disturbs the government’s ‘affairs.’” (ibid; p.181). This is all the more true in the age of globalization.

The new self-government in the oil fields, in which workers' representatives were also involved, was also interesting for the future. They were favorable conditions that the Baku Committee under the leadership of Stalin was able to take advantage of, which was not possible in the rest of Russia at that time.

As far as self-government ("Zemstvo") was concerned, the oil industrialists had the advantage of developing, centralizing, and controlling the infrastructure of the Caucasus according to their needs. At that time, this self-government of the oil industrialists gave the petroleum workers and the workers in the auxiliary enterprises the opportunity to unite throughout the Caucasus and to establish and enforce common demands, which Stalin was able to use for the construction of the RSDLP in the Caucasus. According to that model, it should also be possible today to unite and organize all the oil workers of the world in order to form up against the global oil capitalists in the global struggle. Global trade unions must be created to lead the economic struggle of the world proletariat.

The RSDLP had no more than 300 members at that time. There were two trade unions in the Caucasus at that time: that of the "workers of the oil industry" with about 900 members and that of the "machine builders" with about 300 members. The former union was based on the production principle, was very popular, and was under the direct influence of the Bolsheviks. The second was under the influence of the Mensheviks and was structured according to the professional principle. It was virtually non-functional and did not carry out any actions. The Mensheviks rejected a merger of these unions proposed by Stalin.

Regarding Tbilisi, Stalin wrote:

As regards industrial development, Tiflis is the very opposite of Baku. While Baku is interesting as the centre of the oil industry, Tiflis can be of interest only as the administrative-commercial and “cultural” centre of the Caucasus. The total number of industrial workers in Tiflis is about 20,000, i.e., less than the number of troops and police. (...) The absence of the sharp class conflicts that are characteristic only of large industrial centres converts it into something in the nature of a marsh, waiting to be stirred from outside. It is this, in particular, that explains why Menshevism, real, ‘Right’ Menshevism, has held on so long in Tiflis. How different from Baku, where the sharp class stand of the Bolsheviks finds a lively response among the workers!” (Stalin: ‘Letters from the Caucasus’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.193; English Edition).

On March 23rd, 1910, Stalin's “August Bebel, Leader of the German Workers” was published on the occasion of his 70th birthday as a special proclamation of the Baku Committee of the RSDLP. In it, Stalin familiarized the proletariat of the Caucasus in its connection to the international working class with proletarian internationalism:

Bebel achieved his aim in the following year, 1868, at the Nuremberg Congress. The skilful and relentless attack he launched at this congress brought about the utter defeat of the liberals, and German Social-Democracy rose up on the ruins of liberalism.

The emancipation of the workers can be the act only of the workers themselves, said Bebel at the congress, and therefore, the workers must break away from the bourgeois liberals and unite in their own workers’ party—and in spite of the opposition of the handful of liberals, the overwhelming majority at the congress repeated after him the great words of Karl Marx.

To achieve their complete emancipation the workers of all countries must unite, said Bebel, and therefore, it was necessary to affiliate to the International Workingmen’s Association—and the majority at the congress unanimously repeated after him the words of the great teacher.

Thus, the Social-Democratic Labour Party of Germany was born, and Bebel was its midwife.

(...) Long Live Bebel!

Long Live International Social-Democracy!” (Stalin: ‘August Bebel, Leader of the German Workers’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.209, 214; English Edition).

Accordingly for us today: Long live Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Hoxha! Long live world Bolshevism!

On the same day, March 23rd 1910, Stalin was arrested again under the name of Sakhar Grigoryan Melikyan and imprisoned in the Bailov prison in Baku. After six months in prison, he was sent back to Solvychegodsk in accordance with a decree of the Caucasian governor of August 27th, which banned him from the Caucasus for five years. During his exile he held meetings among the exiles, where he gave lectures and discussed current political issues. He contacted Lenin and wrote him a letter at the end of 1910 in which he fully supported the Leninist tactics of the party bloc of supporters of the maintenance and consolidation of the illegal proletarian party, sharply castigated the "rank unpricipledness" of the traitor Trotsky and proposed a plan for organizing party work in Russia. Lenin branded Trotsky's attempt to bring together an unprincipled, anti-party bloc of all enemies of Bolshevism as follows:

Trotsky unites all those for whom ideological disintegration is dear; all those who have no interest in defending Marxism; all bourgeoisie who do not understand what the struggle is about, and who do not want to learn, to think, or to find the ideological roots of differences” (Lenin; Translated from German).

Lenin relied on the party organizations in Russia in the fight against Trotskyism and so his comrade-in-arms also supported Stalin Lenin's fight against Trotskyism. He brought this even more intensified anti-Trotskyite struggle to an honorable and victorious end after Lenin's death.

The intensified struggle that Stalin waged against the liquidators in Russia received Lenin's full approval. He published Stalin's article “From the Camp of Stolypin's ‘Workers’ Party,” to which he gives the following assessment:

“‘The correspondence of Comrade K. (meaning Stalin) deserves the greatest attention of all those to whom our party is dear. A better unmasking of the politics (and diplomacy) of the people of ‘Golos’, a better refutation of the views and hopes of our 'reconcilers and pacemakers' is hard to imagine’” (Lenin; Translated from German).

On June 27th 1911, Stalin was exempted from the obligation to report because the period of banishment had expired. As a result of the ban on staying in the Caucasus, in the capitals and in the industrial center, Stalin chose Vologda as his place of residence, halfway between Moscow and St. Petersburg. He was under secret police surveillance there. Stalin wrote a letter to the editorial staff of the “Rabochaya Gazeta”, which was led by Lenin. In his letter Stalin announced his intention to work in St. Petersburg or Moscow and on September 6th he left for St. Petersburg where he met with the Bolsheviks Todriya and Alliluyev and established contact with the St. Petersburg party organization. He registered with the police in St. Petersburg with a forged passport. But he was arrested again on September 9th and imprisoned in the St. Petersburg prison. This time he was banished to Vologda for three years. Comrade Stalin escaped from exile for the third time on February 29th, 1912 and came to St. Petersburg. Throughout his life Stalin was imprisoned and exiled 13 times and managed to escape 13 times. In St. Petersburg, Comrade Stalin organized and led the struggle against the liquidating Mensheviks and Trotskyites and united and consolidated the Bolshevik organizations of St. Petersburg.

January 1912 brought a significant event in the life of the party. The two-week Prague Conference of the RSDLP, which expelled the Mensheviks from the party and to which all anti-liquidationist forces were invited, laid the foundation for a new type of party, the Party of Leninism, the Bolshevik Party. The All-Russian Party Conference was constituted, which claimed the right to elect the central bodies of the party itself. Ordzhonikidze from Tbilisi and Spandarian from Baku were members of the organizing committee for convening the party conference. On behalf of Lenin, Ordzhonikidze went to Vologda, where Stalin was in exile. In a letter to Lenin, Ordzhonikidze states:

I have visited Ivanovich, I have spoken to him definitively. He is satisfied with the outcome. The communication made an excellent impression” (Ordzhonikidze: ‘From the epoch of ‘Zvezda’ and ‘Pravda’’, Issue No. 3, p.233; 1911-1914; Russian).

Stalin was elected as a member of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party in his absence. The conference created a center for the practical management of revolutionary work in Russia (Russian Office of the Central Committee), which Stalin played a major role in building up. Those bodies of the Prague Conference remained intact until the party conference in April 1917.

After the Bolshevik Party Conference in January 1912 in Prague, Trotsky organized a counterpart conference of all Menshevik groups in Vienna in August 1912, which was also attended by the Mensheviks of the Caucasian Territorial Committee and was joined by Trotsky's “August Bloc”. Representatives of “left” opportunist currents also took part. Trotsky united everything against the Bolsheviks. If Trotsky organized the liquidation of the party from within, it was the Okhrana that also intensified its work of disintegration from without, firstly by strengthening its stool pigeons within the party organizations, and two Okhrana stool pigeons were present at the Prague Conference(!) and secondly by smuggling their informants, who pretended to be energetic Bolsheviks, into the labor movement. As soon as the connections to the workers in the factories were established, denunciations by the best comrades followed. The comrades who remained free then had to organize everything anew. They were always helped by Bolsheviks from the Lenin Guard, professional revolutionaries who had fled from prisons and exile, with Stalin in the front line. With the return of these professional revolutionaries, the work then used to gain momentum anew until arrests began again, and this was repeated again and again in the most diverse cities, not only in the Caucasus. Nevertheless, the Okhrana did not succeed in destroying the local organizations of the Bolsheviks in the Caucasus. The workers there had great confidence, as the following years (the strike in Baku, the barricades in St. Petersburg, etc. in 1913-1914) clearly showed. The enormous efforts and sacrifices made by the Bolsheviks, especially by professional revolutionaries like Stalin, were ultimately crowned with success.

In early March 1912, Stalin wrote the pamphlet “For the Party!” Published in a circulation of 6,000 and distributed in the 18 most important places in Russia, it not only met with approval everywhere, but also brought joy and relief.

Lenin said:police rabble-rousing has increased tenfold after the publication of the first Russian leaflet of the Social-Democratic Center; long and difficult months are to be expected, new arrests, new interruptions in work. But the main thing is done. The banner has been raised; the workers' circles throughout Russia have stretched out their hands to it, and no counter-revolutionary attack will now tear it down!” (Lenin; Translated from German).

In the first half of March 1912, Stalin travelled to Baku and Tbilisi to organize the work of the Transcaucasian Bolshevik organisations to implement the decisions of the Prague Conference. He drafted Circular No. 1 of the CC of the RSDLP to the party organizations, in which he announced the final constitution of the Central Committee.

On March 29th, Stalin held a meeting with party workers of the Bolshevik district organizations of Baku. The consultation follows the decisions of the Prague Conference.

On March 30th, 1912 Stalin wrote a correspondence for the “Sotsial-Demokrat” about the consultation in Baku and on April 1st he left Baku for St. Petersburg. At the beginning of April he interrupted his trip to St. Petersburg in Moscow and met with Ordzhonikidze. Stalin wrote the proclamation “Long live the First of May!” It was secretly printed in a legal printing house in Tbilisi and sent from there to St. Petersburg.

...the workers of all countries (...) resolved to proclaim loudly and openly to the whole world, precisely on this day, that the workers are bringing spring to mankind and deliverance from the shackles of capitalism, that it is the mission of the workers to renovate the world on the basis of freedom and socialism.

(...) Let us, then, extend our hands to our comrades abroad and together with them proclaim:

Down With Capitalism! 

Long Live Socialism! 

(...) Long Live International Social-Democracy! 

Long Live the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party! (Stalin: ‘Long live the First of May’ in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p.225, 230; English Edition).

Today we World Bolsheviks are still committed to this May Day tradition.

Stalin sent the text of the resolution to Tbilisi to a group of Moscow party workers who welcomed the decisions of the Prague Conference and the newly created Central Committee.

The Bolsheviks prepared this party, the party of a new type, since the time of the old "Iskra". They prepared it persistently and tenaciously, against all odds. The entire history of the struggle against the "economists", Mensheviks, Trotskyites, Otsovists, idealists of all shades, up to the adherents of empirio-criticism, was the history of the preparation of this very party. The fundamental and decisive role in this preparatory work was played by the works of Lenin “What is to be done?”, “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”, “Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution”, and “Materialism and Empirio-Criticism”.

Stalin was Lenin's faithful comrade-in-arms in this struggle against the numerous enemies; he was a firm supporter in the struggle for the creation of a revolutionary Marxist party, the Bolshevik Party. In 1913, at Lenin's suggestion, Stalin gave up the alias Koba and was henceforth called “Stalin”. With the end of the Caucasian period, the last and most important period of his life and work, the Russian Period, began.

Bolshevism in the Caucasus emerged in 1904-1912 in a break with and struggle against opportunists of all shades. It had taken more than 10 years of colossal efforts and sacrifices to save the party from its supposed “friends” from the right (the liquidationists) and from the left (the Otsovists). This separation did not develop in all of Russia independently of the struggle against the opportunists and centrists of the Second International, but created the conditions for the formation of the Comintern. Only the Albanians under the leadership of Enver Hoxha proved to be mature enough to step into the shoes of the Russian Bolsheviks. And so, even today's World Bolshevism will only emerge in all countries of the world and re-emerge in Georgia, by breaking with and fighting against opportunists of all shades and this is the decisive point we are trying to make here. Learning from Stalin's Period up to 1912 helps defeat opportunism, which tries to get in the way not only of the revolution in Georgia, but of World Bolshevism as well. We would like to make the following additional comments on this: