Iii Stalin's SSSR; Nationalities Question And Succession


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This presentation discusses the Nationalities Question in the formation of the USSR, Stalin's role as Peoples Commissar for Nationalities Affairs, and his struggle to succeed Lenin as Vozhd

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Iii Stalin's SSSR; Nationalities Question And Succession

  1. 1. !!!" !#$%&'$ Stalin’s SSSR session iii-the Nationalities Question and succession; 1912-1928
  2. 2. this session’s major topics I. Introduction: Nationalism and Marxist Internationalism II.Stalin becomes Narkom for National Affairs III.Formation of the USSR; 1917-1923 IV.Lenin’s successors V.Stalin and Trotsky VI.Becoming the Vozhd
  3. 3. Nationalism and Marxist Internationalism
  5. 5. The Russian Empire, as it appeared in 1917, was the product of nearly four centuries of continuous expansion. Unlike other European nations, Russia...knew relatively few geographic deterrents to aggrandizement. This geographically favorable situation by the political weakness of Russia’s neighbors….Hence Russia, somewhat like the United States, found outlets for expansive tendencies along its own borders instead of overseas. It has been estimated that the growth of the Russian Empire, [1500-1900], proceded at the rate of …50 square miles a day. Richard Pipes. The Formation of the Soviet Union, p. 1
  6. 6. the National Problem in Imperial Russia Imperial Census of 1897--Nationalities are identified by native language Slavs Great Russians 44% Ukrainians 18% Poles 6% Byelorussians 5% Turkic peoples 11% Jews 4% Finnish peoples 3% Lithuanians and Latvians 2% Germans 1.42% Caucasian mountain people (gortsy) 1.34% Georgians 1.07% Armenians 0.93% Iranian people 0.62% Mongolians 0.38% Others 1.03% Pipes, p. 2
  7. 7. nationalities in a 1941 school map
  9. 9. The Caucasian population is extraordinarily heterogeneous. It may safely be said that no other territory of equal size anywhere in the world displays a comparable diversity of languages and races….In 1916 the Caucasus had 12,266,000 inhabitants, divided into the following principal groups: Russians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians 4,023,000 Azerbaijanis and other Moslems 2,455,000 Armenians 1,860,000 Georgians 1,791,000 Caucasian Mountain peoples (gortsy) 1,519,000 Other European peoples 140,000 Other indigenous peoples 478,000 Pipes, p. 16
  10. 10. The Caucasus therefore had not one but several national movements developing side by side. Of unity, there was none. The Georgians had their eyes turned toward Russia, to Europe, and to socialism; the chief concern of the [Christian] Armenians was the Turk, on both sides of the frontier; the Azerbaijanis participated in the All-Russian Moslem movement; and the inhabitants of the mountains had developed as yet no definite political orientation. Pipes, p. 20
  11. 11. Marx and Engels left their followers little guidance in matters of nationality and nationalism. In Western Europe, [the focus of most of their studies], the minority problem presented no serious issue: most of the states were nationally homogeneous… The natural tendency of the capitalist era, in the opinion of Engels, was to form large national states…. Marx and Engels shared some assumptions prevalent among liberal thinkers of their day, including the faith in the capacity of capitalism and democracy, with their free trade and opportunities for the expression of popular will, to level national differences, and to bring into being a world-wide international civilization…. Ethnic isolation and petty states as typical of the feudal era; nationalism and the national state as characteristic of the capitalist era; internationalism and the disappearance of national animosities as proper to the socialist era--such were in bare outline the views of Marx and Engels on the nationality question. Pipes, pp. 21-22
  12. 12. review • state • sovereignty • nation state • unitary state • federation
  13. 13. The principal exponent of the orthodox Marxist views on the nationality question in the early twentieth century was the Polish socialist Rosa Luxemburg….her researches led her to the conclusion that Poland’s striving for independence had become illusory and retrogressive because economic forces...had tied that country firmly to Russia….Poland should satisfy herself, consequently, with autonomy within a democratic Russian state….in Eastern European socialist circles, “Luxemburgism”came to be used, in effect, as synonymous with uncompromising hostility towards all national movements in general. Pipes, pp. 22-23 1871-1919
  14. 14. The Hapsburg monarchy, the first multi-national empire to develop a strong socialist movement, had within its borders several large minority groups...with a developed sense of national consciousness. The Social-Democrat there was forced to face the national problem: • whether the party was to be organized as one for the whole empire or to be divided along territorial or national lines • how to conduct socialist propaganda among the groups of the population which did not speak German • how to reconcile the different and often conflicting economic interests of the various nationalities • and, finally, he was required to formulate a constitutional system, satisfactory to all the inhabitants of the empire Pipes, p. 24
  15. 15. The Brünn Congress of the Austrian Social Democratic Party 1899 Two solutions were suggested: • the empire was to be divided into provinces, each corresponding as closely as possible to the ethnographic limits of each nationality. Within these provinces the numerically dominant group receive full authority over cultural and linguistic affairs. territorial national-cultural autonomy
  16. 16. The Brünn Congress of the Austrian Social Democratic Party, 1899 Otto Bauer Two solutions were suggested: • the empire was to be divided into provinces, each corresponding as closely as possible to the ethnographic limits Karl Renner of each nationality. Within these provinces the numerically dominant group receive full authority over cultural and linguistic affairs. territorial national-cultural autonomy • extraterritorial national-cultural autonomy Every national group was to have self- rule in linguistic and cultural matters throughout the entire empire regardless of territorial divisions. The state was to be divided not into territories but into nations...a more practical solution of the national problem in areas where the population was ethnically too mixed to make the customary territorial division possible. Pipes, p. 24
  17. 17. This much appeared certain to [Renner and Bauer]: nationalism had to be faced directly and the nation had to be recognized as a valuable and enduring form of social organization: Social Democracy proceeds not from the existing states but from live nations. It neither denies nor ignores the existence of the nation but on the contrary, it accepts it as the carrier of the new order, which is visualized not as a union of states but as a community of peoples, as nations… Social Democracy considers the nation both indestructible and unworthy of destruction...far from being unnational or antinational it places nations at the foundation of its world structure. O. Bauer, Die Nationalitaetenfrage und die Socialdemokratie (Vienna, 1907) quoted in Pipes, p. 25
  18. 18. the views of the two Austrian socialists--unprecedented and revolutionary in modern socialism--required that Social Democracy find a scheme capable of utilizing what was valuable and permanent in the national movement, and neutralizing what was harmful. In the first category were the linguistic and cultural aspects of nationalism; in the latter, the political. Pipes, p. 25
  19. 19. Julius Martov & the Jewish Bund • the son of Jewish middle class socialist political exiles • originally, their faction worked for exclusively economic goals (i.e., trade unionism) among the growing Jewish proletariat • 1900-influenced by the “Austrian solution” of the Brünn Congress, the factions united under the Yiddish name of the Bund (confederation) born Yuli Osipovich Zederbaum in Istanbul, 1873-died in Berlin, 1923
  20. 20. • established by Catherine the Great in the 18th century and continued to 1917 • the Pale of Settlement was the territory in the western empire to which Russia’s Jews were deported, some in chains • here they lived in greater or lesser density, among their Christian neighbors, as indicated by the shades of color on the map • such geographically-interspersed nationality made labor or political organization tricky and was a perfect ground for the “Austrian solution” The Jewish Encyclopedia (1901-1906)
  21. 21. Julius Martov & the Jewish Bund • the son of Jewish middle class socialist political exiles • originally, their faction worked for exclusively economic goals among the growing Jewish proletariat • 1900-influenced by the “Austrian solution” of the Brünn Congress, the factions united under the Yiddish name of the Bund (confederation) • Martov introduced the extraterritorial national-cultural autonomy principle as the solution to the Jewish question in Russian Marxist politics • 1903-as part of the famous RSDLP Second Congress, Martov led the Bund in the walkout that produced the Bolshevik-Menshevik split • he became the most famous leader of the Mensheviks born Yuli Osipovich Zederbaum in • 1907-at the London Congress which Stalin attended it was Martov who Istanbul, 1873-died in Berlin, 1923 introduced the resolution condemning “exes,” bank robberies
  22. 22. In 1903, at [the] Second Congress, the Social Democrats included in their program the following requests: 3. Broad local self-rule; regional self-rule for those localities which distinguish themselves bu separate living conditions and the composition of the population. 7. Destruction of social orders and full equality for all citizens, regardless of sex, religion, race, and nationality. 8. The right of the population to receive education in its native tongue, secured by the establishment of schools...and of organs of self-rule; the right of every citizen to use his native tongue at gatherings; the introduction of native languages on a basis of equality with the state language in all local social and governmental institutions. 9. The right of all nations (natsii) in the state to self-determination. The ninth point ... later became an object of heated controversy. Pipes, pp. 32-33
  23. 23. Lenin and the National Question before 1913 Lenin’s changing attitudes toward the national question reflected very clearly the growing importance of this problem in Russian political life: he became more and more aware of national emotions and alive to the need for an acceptable solution….Once he realized the value of the national movement as a weapon for fighting the established order, he stopped at nothing to employ it for his own ends…. By late 1912 it became necessary for the Bolsheviks to issue a more specific programmatic statement. All the other major parties in Russia had adopted definite programs for the solution of the minority question. In August of that year, even the Mensheviks...began to advocate national-cultural autonomy. Lenin had moved in the summer to Cracow, and there had the opportunity to witness personally the extent to which the national question had interfered with the development of the socialist movement in the Austrian Empire and in the neighboring provinces of Russian Poland. He now read Bauer’s chief work…, and then several books dealing with the minorities in Russia. He also compiled population statistics and economic data. Before long he realized that the nationality problem played a much more important role in the life of Russia in general, and of socialism in particular, than he had until then supposed. Pipes, pp. 34-37
  24. 24. nationalism--the problem communism couldn’t solve
  25. 25. nationalism--the problem communism couldn’t solve
  26. 26. nationalism--the problem communism couldn’t solve Can you name the “hot spots?
  27. 27. nationalism--the problem communism couldn’t solve Can you name the “hot spots? all three “hot spots” are ethnic gortsi (mountain peoples)
  28. 28. nationalism--the problem communism couldn’t solve Can you name the “hot spots? all three “hot spots” are ethnic gortsi (mountain peoples)
  29. 29. Stalin becomes
  30. 30. Narkom for Stalin becomes National Affairs
  31. 31. a visit to the -./0&' (khozyain--Boss) ...December 10, 1912, a Georgian Menshevik deputy… made a speech in the Duma in which he demanded “the creation of institutions necessary for the free development of every nationality.” This declaration greatly angered Lenin. He considered it a breech of party discipline, and brought up the subject at a conference of his followers [the Central committee, 1(] held in Cracow in January, 1913, at which Stalin was present….Lenin suggested a formal condemnation of [the] speech, and, to provide an immediate answer to the Bundists and Caucasian socialists who had by now become the chief exponents of the Renner-Bauer formula in the Russian Social democratic movement, he commissioned Stalin to write an article on this topic. the apartment where Pipes, p. 37 Stalin met with the 1(
  32. 32. the “job interview” • Oct 1912-after organizing the campaign which elected 6 Bolsheviks to the Fourth Duma, Stalin had received orders from “the Old Man” to join him and Krupskaya in Galicia for a !" meeting • Dec 1912-there Lenin drew his Georgian Praktik (Practical Man) out on the Nationalities Question. he wanted both to learn and to evaluate this 34 year-old. Although Stalin had written nothing on the subject, he had huge experience of the ethnic stew of the Caucasus where the Austrian doctrine had taken hold • indeed, much more qualified was Stalin’s Armenian friend, Stepan Shaumian. He had written a lengthy work in 1906 attacking nationalist sentiment in Transcaucasia, but he was unavailable for Lenin’s project • “Lenin may well have turned over to Stalin the...notes on the reading he had done since the summer, and probably gave other suggestions as well.” --Pipes • he directed him to prepare a theoretical piece for the Party’s “solid sociological journal,” Prosveschenia (Enlightenment). Next, he sent him to Vienna, heart of Austria-Hungary’s multi- national empire
  33. 33. Koba goes to Vienna--January, 1913 • since his Knowledge of German was slim to none, Stalin relied on Bolshevik émigrés to translate for him • this partially explains the errors in his article which Pipes savages (pp. 37-41) • “This essay represented no advance over discussion held by Russian Social Democrats previous to 1913, but rather a not too intelligent restatement of old arguments, replete with errors of fact and of reasoning.” • “...Stalin’s article...would long ago have been relegated to total oblivion, were it not for its author’s subsequent career” the Viennese apartment where he spent six weeks. The plaque with his silhouette dates from the post- WW II Soviet occupation • nevertheless, the article marks Stalin’s beginning as the Party’s expert on the Nationalities Question
  34. 34. Second National Bolshevik Congress; April 1917 • elects a new 9 man !" including Lenin, Kamenev, Zinoviev, Stalin and Sverdlov, the first time Stalin is confirmed in leadership by a large vote in a direct open election • at the conference he was the rapporteur on the problem of nationalities • at that time the Finns were breaking away from the Provisional Government’s grasp • “It is unthinkable” said Stalin, “that we should acquiesce in the forceable keeping of any nation within the framework of any state.” If we did that, “we ourselves would be the continuers of Tsarist policy.” • further, to support the aspirations of colonial peoples would be to “cast a bridge between East and West” and to secure a vast Asiatic backing for the Revolution in Europe • the editor of Pravda was confirming his reputation as the Party’s foremost expert on these matters
  35. 35. November, 1917--First at Smolny, then in the Kremlin (March 1918), Stalin served as Narkom for Nationalities Affairs in the Council of People’s Commissars, the Bolshevik “cabinet.” The appointment had been Lenin’s and the Party “organs” simply confirmed it.
  36. 36. Apart from the Ukraine...the Commissariat of Nationalities faced primarily Russia’s vast, inert, oriental fringe. None of the leaders who had spent most of their adult life in Western Europe was as fit to head the Commissariat as Stalin. His first-hand knowledge of the customs and habits of his clients was unsurpassed. So was his capacity to deal with their “politics”, in which blood feuds and oriental intrigue mixed with a genuine urge towards modern civilization. His attitude was just that mixture of patience, patriarchal firmness, and slyness that was needed. The Politburo relied on this and refrained from interfering. Deutscher, Stalin, p. 228
  37. 37. crisis at the Tenth Party Congress; 8-21 March 1921 • party factionalism grew after the Polish defeat and failure of the European Revolution • at the same time, there was a domestic crisis: • Green Civil War--Tambov province, the “war against the village” was won by Tukashevsky’s use of poison gas! • there were strikes in the major cities • 28 Feb-the Kronstadt sailors’ rebellion was the most shocking of several military mutinies • Lenin demanded and got Party unity in the face of domestic danger • “War Communism” was dropped in favor of a New Economic Policy without a dissenting vote
  38. 38. 2.3.4. 2.5$0 36.'.7,&86$0 4.%&#&6$ (Novaya Ekonomicheskaya Politika) NEP • it was clear that the attempt to move directly to communism (1917-1921) was producing economic collapse • 21 March 1921-formally promulgated by the decree, “On the replacement of Prodrazvyorstka (foodstuffs requisitions) by Prodnalog (fixed foodstuffs tax) • the decree ended the hated War against the Village by the Food Battalions and required farmers to give the government a specified amount of raw agricultural product as a tax in kind • further decrees refined the policy and expanded it to include some industries • small businesses and shops were allowed to reopen for private profit, i.e., limited reintroduction of capitalism • “the commanding heights” of the economy: large industry, banks, foreign trade, remained under state control • the NEP remained in effect until Stalin’s first Five Year Plan in 1929
  39. 39. Stalin’s many “hats” • he had been People’s Commissar (Narkom) for Nationalities Affairs since the first Sovnarkom (Council of People’s Commissars) in November 1917 • he performed his duties both in Moscow at bureaucratic meetings and on special missions to the borderlands, before during and after his work in the Civil War • in 1919, at Zinoviev’s suggestion, he had been appointed Commissar of Rabkrin (Workers [rabochi] and Peasants [krestyan] Inspectorate). It was a bizarre system of worker and peasant committees intended to keep the Bolshevik administration “honest” by oversight • he was de jure a member of the Politburo and the !" • 3 April 1922-after the Eleventh Party Congress, Lenin had him confirmed as General Secretary of the Party, a job that Molotov had botched after the first General Secretary, Iakob Sverdlov, died in 1919. This job he would hold until he died!
  40. 40. Formation of the USSR; 1917-1923
  41. 41. "!9!" Росси́йская Сове́тская Федерати́вная Социалисти́ческая Респу́блика Rossiyskaya Sovetskaya Federativnaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika [RSFSR]) air•ess•eff•ess•air State Seal Territory within the Soviet Union (borders after 1945)
  42. 42. TRANSCAUCASIAN SOVIET FEDERATIVE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC Закавказская Советская Федеративная Социалистическая Республика – ЗСФСР, Zakavkazskaya Sovetskaya Federativnaya Sotsalisticheskaya Respublika – ZSFSR) 1920 map with optimistic borders (at Persia’s and Turkey’s expense) note the nod to Islam
  43. 43. BASHKIR AUTONOMOUS NO SEAL SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC NO FLAG map of the RSFSR only with Bashkiria in red This major battleground in the Civil War was the first of the Autonomous SSRs, created in 1919. It is located in the southeast corner of European Russia. It was Stalin’s attempt to allow limited cultural autonomy in order to channel ethnic energy into a useful and apolitical acceptance of central rule t h ro u g h t h e i n s t r u m e n t o f t h e Communist Party in the RSFSR. The strategy was called “autonomization.” au•TON•O•MI•ZA•SHUN
  44. 44. Defanging nationalism; Bashkiria, a case study • summer 1919-during the height of the Civil War, Stalin made a generous agreement with the Bashrevkom, a national separatist group, to switch from White to Red sides • this Muslim region, once part of the Mongol Golden Horde, was developing from nomadism to settled cattle agriculture. In addition to Bashkirs there were Russian and Tatar colonists with the beginnings of industrialization-urbanization in a few cities • January 1920-with the end of the local White threat, the local Communist Party organization began to challenge the Bashkir-majority Bashrevkom government. This Obkom was dominated by the Russian-Tatar minority and coveted the Bashkir lands and cattle • the Obkom increased local Communist membership fivefold by forming local committees of the poor to receive famine and medical aid based on party loyalty. The threatened Bashrevkom government ordered the arrest of several Tatar members of the Obkom. • The Obkom retaliated by appealing to the Red Army to occupy Bashkiria. Both groups appealed to Moscow for support
  45. 45. Defanging nationalism; Bashkiria, a case study • March 1920-Moscow tried to be an honest broker. Called the leadership of both rival groups to a conference conducted by a troika: Trotsky (chair), Stalin and Kamenev. Both groups seemed satisfied • Lenin and Trotsky had proven themselves friendly to the Bashkirs and if Stalin favored the Tatars, he at least wanted the Bashkirs to retain their autonomy. But, as the Civil War wound down, Moscow decided it needed more centralization and the promises to the Bashkirs were “inoperative” • 22 May 1920-Moscow published a new decree on Bashkir autonomy without consulting either party. The Bashkirs were left “with nothing but minor administrative powers” • June-infuriated, the rebelling Bashkir leaders took to the Ural Mountains to fight. The Russian and Tatar colonists formed “punitive detachments” to seize the land and cattle of the Bashkir “rebels” • late 1920-the Bashkir Republic when formally organized had no natives in its government • the suppression of the rebellion was only a matter of time. Its leaders fled abroad. Autonomy was made hollow by Communist Party control over native nationalists.
  46. 46. The Bolsheviks’ adoption of the principle of federalism upon their accession to power in no way signified an abandonment of the traditional Marxist hostility to the decentralized state. In the first place, under the circumstances in which it had been adopted, federalism was a step in the direction of centralization, since it gave an opportunity of bringing together once more borderland areas which during the Revolution had acquired the status of independent republics. In the second place, the existence of the Communist Party, with its unique internal organization and extraordinary rights with regard to the institutions of the state, made it possible for the rulers of the Soviet republic to retain all the important features of a unitary state in a state which was formally decentralized. Pipes, p. 242
  47. 47. Lenin’s attitude toward the nationality question Nationalism was a transitional, historical phenomenon associated with the era of capitalism and bound to dissolve in the heat of intense class struggle Pipes, p. 276
  48. 48. Eleventh Party Congress; March 1922 • Mykola Skrypnik, a Ukrainian Communist leader who was also a nationalist challenged the new bureaucracy under Stalin which was riding roughshod • “The one and indivisible Russia is not our slogan” • the Communists will only be able to liberate the oppressed peoples of the world if they begin to do so at home • the proper way to eliminate “nationalist deviations” was to destroy the inequalities and injustices present in the Soviet system 1872-purged & committed suicide, 1933
  49. 49. constitutional question: real federalism or “autonomization”--summer 1922 • to Lenin it seemed crucial that the Soviet republics formed since 1918 be joined on equal terms in a federal structure • the impression had to be given that, although the state would be run from Moscow, the communist rulers rejected all tendencies of “Great Russian chauvinism” • he wanted the new state to be called the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia • Stalin, however, wanted to expand the RSFSR over the entire territory and provide Ukraine, Byelorussia and the Transcaucasus with the same status as the existing ‘autonomous republics’ of the RSFSR such as Bashkiria • he regarded Lenin’s demand for a formal federal structure as having the potential to undermine the whole state order. With characteristic brusqueness he dismissed it as ‘liberalism’
  50. 50. constitutional question: real federalism or “autonomization”--fall 1922 • Sept 1922-Sergei Kirov and Sergo Ordzhonikidze push Stalin’s plan in the Transcaucasian SFSR • Armenia and Azerbaijan agree but the Georgian Central Committee object and complain to Lenin (the so-called Georgian Problem) • 23 September--Stalin pushes his version for Transcaucasia through a commission of the Moscow Party Orgburo • Lenin and Stalin meet and agree on a compromise • Lenin agreed that the Transcaucasian federation was necessary to tame nationalism in that region and Stalin agreed to abandon his demand for ‘autonomization’ of the SFSRs • the agreed name for the state would be Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)
  51. 51. Lenin and Stalin fight over the “Georgian Problem” • Lenin believed that the Georgian Menshevik government should be won over by the “carrot” rather than the “stick” • Stalin, familiar with his homeland, confident as Lenin’s “expert,” urged his Tsaritsyn pals, Sergo, Mikoyan, Kirov, to use the Red Army and the Cheka
  52. 52. Lenin and Stalin fight over the “Georgian Problem” • Lenin believed that the Georgian Menshevik government should be won over by the “carrot” rather than the “stick” • Stalin, familiar with his homeland, confident as Lenin’s “expert,” urged his Tsaritsyn pals, Sergo, Mikoyan, Kirov, to use the Red Army and the Cheka
  53. 53. Lenin and Stalin fight over the “Georgian Problem” • Lenin believed that the Georgian Menshevik government should be won over by the “carrot” rather than the “stick” • Stalin, familiar with his homeland, confident as Lenin’s “expert,” urged his Tsaritsyn pals, Sergo, Mikoyan, Kirov, to use the Red Army and the Cheka
  54. 54. Lenin and Stalin fight over the “Georgian Problem” • Lenin believed that the Georgian Menshevik government should be won over by the “carrot” rather than the “stick” • Stalin, familiar with his homeland, confident as Lenin’s “expert,” urged his Tsaritsyn pals, Sergo, Mikoyan, Kirov, to use the Red Army and the Cheka • Trotsky and his followers saw just another example of “Comrade Stalin’s” preference for “bureaucratic centralism” rather than “proletarian democracy” • Lenin agreed with Trotsky that Stalin was too “rude” and “harsh” • 1922-1923-this “back-and-forth” over Georgia and the shape of the USSR constitution would darken their relationship during Lenin’s last year of life
  55. 55. The matters dividing them were not of primary importance despite what was said by Lenin at the time (and despite what was written by historians ever after). Stalin and Lenin agreed about basic politics. Neither questioned the desirability of the one-party state, its ideological monopoly or its right to use dictatorial or terrorist methods. They concurred on the provisional need for the NEP. They had also reached an implicit agreement that Stalin had an important job in the central party apparatus to block the advance of Trotskyists and tighten the whole administrative order….Whenever toughness or underhandedness was needed, Lenin had turned to him. Service, pp.195-196
  56. 56. Communist Party Structure KPSS= Kommunistecheskaya Partiya Sovetskovo Soyuza Theoretical (as conceived by Lenin in the beginning) Actual (by mid-1930s) Party Congress General Secretary ELECTS P DETERMINES ALL O W Central Committee ( !" ) Politburo Orgburo ELECTS E R Politburo Orgburo Central Committee (! " ) ELECTS General Secretary Party Congress Proletarian Democracy Bureaucratic Centralism
  57. 57. On December 28, 1922, a conference of plenipotentiary delegations from the Russian SFSR, the Transcaucasian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR and the Byelorussian SSR approved the Treaty of Creation of the USSR and the Declaration of the Creation of the USSR, forming the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. These two documents were confirmed by the 1st Congress of Soviets of the USSR and signed by heads of delegations – Mikhail Kalinin, Mikha Tskhakaya, Mikhail Frunze and Grigory Petrovsky, Aleksandr Chervyakov respectively on December 30, 1922.
  58. 58. This is the day of the triumph of the new Russia over the old one, over the Russia that was the gendarme of Europe and the hangman of Asia….Let this congress demonstrate to those who have not yet lost the capacity to understand that Communists are as good at building new things as they are at destroying old ones. Joseph Stalin quoted in Deutscher, Stalin, p. 250
  59. 59. New Planet, 1920 by Konstantin Yuon
  60. 60. Lenin’s successors
  61. 61. Lenin’s successors “So many mourned his death. Better they should have mourned his birth.” Marc Aldanov
  62. 62. Then I pointed to the tomb...before which we used to see every day an interminable procession of poor ragged peasants slowly filing. “I presume you love Lenin,” I said to him. “I knew him too and have a very vivid recollection of him. You must admit with me that this superstitious cult of his mummy is an insult to his memory and to a revolutionary city like Moscow.” Ignazio Silone, quoted in the god that failed, pp. 102-103
  63. 63. Few important developments in history are so inconspicuous and seem so inconsequential to their contemporaries as did the amazing accumulation of power in the hands of Stalin, which took place while Lenin was still alive. Two years after the end of the civil war Russian society already lived under Stalin’s virtual rule, without being aware of the ruler’s name. More strangely still, he was voted and moved into all his positions of power by his rivals. There was to be an abundance of somber drama in his later fight against these rivals. But the fight began only after he had firmly gripped all the levers of power….then they found him immovable. Deutscher, p.228
  64. 64. the Politburo & the Orgburo • throughout the civil war the Politburo had consisted of five men only: Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Kamenev and Bukharin • Lenin was the acknowledged leader of both Party and government, Trotsky was responsible for the conduct of the war, Kamenev was Lenin’s deputy for various matters, Bukharin managed propaganda and the press, the day-to-day management of the Party was Stalin’s job • the Politburo discussed high policy • the Orgburo, like the Politburo, was elected by the Central Committee (!"). Its job was to direct the Party’s personnel • to call up, to direct to work and distribute them throughout the civil service and the army according to the demands of the civil war • from 1919 Stalin was the liaison officer between the Politburo and the Orgburo
  65. 65. the Politburo, the Orgburo & the General Secretariat • Stalin ensured the unity of policy (Politburo) and organization (Orgburo) • that is, he marshaled the forces of the Party according to the Politburo’s directives. Like none of his colleagues, he was immersed in the Party’s daily drudgery and in all its kitchen cabals • 3 April 1922-the position of General Secretary was added in addition to this already extensive power • the General Secretariat was nominally subordinate to the exalted Politburo • but the dependence of the Politburo on the Secretariat was great: it (1) supplied the agenda (2) prepared the documentation for each point under debate (3) transmitted the decisions of the Politburo to the lower grades (4) was in daily contact with the many thousands of functionaries in the capital and the provinces, and most important (5) was responsible for their appointments, promotions, and demotions • the personal ambition of the General Secretary lent tremendous weight to this office
  66. 66. the Politburo, the Orgburo, the General Secretariat & the Central Control Commission (CCC) • the CCC in the Party was analogous to the Rabkrin in the government, that is, it audited the Party’s morals • it had been formed by Tenth Congress in 1921 to be in charge of the so-called purges. These were much milder than in later years, punishments extended only to reprimands or expulsion from the Party • it was intended to purge the Party of careerists or opportunists who had climbed on the bandwagon in great numbers after 1917, of Communists who had developed a taste for bourgeois perks, and of commissars who had become power hungry. It was one of Lenin’s puritanical attempts to keep the Party pure and in touch with the masses • purges were to serve as a substitute for real elections; they were to remove corrupted members without removing the Party from power • originally, the commissions worked on the local level and any citizen could appear with grievances against any Party member. Cases could be appealed upward until the CCC in Moscow was the final court of appeal. The General Secretary served as coordinator between the CCC and the Politburo, thus he became, unofficially, chief conductor of the purges
  67. 67. Lenin’s Illness • 1921-at age 51, Lenin’s health deteriorated, largely as a result of the 1918 assassination attempt and his grueling, self-imposed work load, or, as some argue, tertiary syphilis • 24 April 1922-a German surgeon removed the bullet from his neck • 26 May 1922- the first of three strokes which caused increasing paralysis and loss of speech • Stalin used his position as General Secretary to become the intermediary between Lenin and the rest of the top Party leaders • he struggled with Krupskaya to become the chief determiner of Lenin’s work schedule at his dacha in Gorky, 1923
  68. 68. The impact of Lenin’s illness on the Bolshevik leadership can hardly be exaggerated. The whole constellation ceased, almost at once, to shine with the reflected light of its master mind or to move in the familiar orbits….Stalin was in a sense less dependent on Lenin than were his colleagues; his intellectual needs were more limited than theirs. He was interested in the practical use of the Leninist gadgets, not in the Leninist laboratory of thought….His political philosophy boiled down to securing dominance of [the Party] machine by the handiest and most convenient means….The Politburo may have been thrown into disarray by Lenin’s disappearance; the General Secretariat was not. On the contrary, since it no longer had to account for what it did to the vigilant and astute supervisor, it acted with greater firmness and self confidence. Deutscher, Stalin, p. 235
  69. 69. Tensions between Lenin and Stalin went on rising in autumn 1922. Stalin was not in a conciliating mood…[Lenin] became agitated about leaving the communist party to Stalin. As his hope of physical recovery slipped away, he dictated a series of notes to be made public in the event of his death. They were headed ‘Letter to Congress’ because he wanted them to be read out to the next Party Congress. These are the notes known to history as Lenin’s Testament. Service, p.208
  70. 70. The Testament • he commented upon fellow party leaders Stalin, Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin, and Pyatakov: • “Comrade Stalin, having become General Secretary, has concentrated boundless power in his hands and I am not convinced he will always use this power with adequate care.” • “On the other hand, Comrade Trotsky...is distinguished not merely by his outstanding talents. He surely is personally the most able individual in the current Central Committee but he has an excessive self-confidence and an excessive preoccupation with the purely administrative side of affairs.” • Lenin dwelt on the rivalry between Stalin and Trotsky: • “these two qualities of the two outstanding leaders of the present Central Committee have the capacity to bring about an unintended split [in the party], and unless the party takes measures to prevent this, a split could happen unexpectedly…” • A split in the party, he argued, would imperil the Soviet regime
  71. 71. the dispute between Stalin and Krupskaya • 22 December 1922-Stalin “directed verbal obscenities at her” over the telephone after learning she had violated Politburo rules about Lenin’s recuperative confinement
  72. 72. the dispute between Stalin and Krupskaya • 22 December 1922-Stalin “directed verbal obscenities at her” over the telephone after learning she had violated Politburo rules about Lenin’s recuperative confinement
  73. 73. the dispute between Stalin and Krupskaya • 22 December 1922-Stalin “directed verbal obscenities at her” over the telephone after learning she had violated Politburo rules about Lenin’s recuperative confinement • she wrote complaining to Kamenev but didn’t tell Lenin, fearing to upset him • 5 March 1923-Lenin learned of the episode and dictated a sharp letter to Stalin, demanding an apology • 10 March-while Stalin was mulling his response, Lenin suffered a heart attack and was taken back to Gorky, never to return alive Lenin and Krupskaya at Gorky
  74. 74. Lenin’s dictated thoughts , however, remained a threat. The dying leader had had them typed up in multiple copies and their existence was known to Politburo members….What counted in Stalin’s favor, though, was that Kamenev, Zinoviev and others anticipated a strong bid from Trotsky for supreme power. Stalin was a valuable accomplice whom they were disinclined to remove from the General Secretaryship. They knew his defects as well as Lenin did; but they were less aware of his capacities and ambition than Lenin had become: Stalin, followed by Rykov, Kamenev and Zinoviev they therefore underestimated the difficulty they might have in handling him in the years ahead. This meant that if Stalin played his hand skillfully, he might yet survive the storm ahead. Service, p. 212
  75. 75. Stalin and Trotsky; 1921-1926
  76. 76. At the very pinnacle of power [1921] Trotsky, like the protagonist of a classical tragedy, stumbled. He acted against his own principle and in disregard of a most solemn moral commitment. Circumstances, the preservation of the revolution, and his own pride drove him into this predicament. Placed as he was he could hardly have avoided it….Yet in acting as he did he shattered the ground on which he stood…. Deutscher, The Prophet Armed; Trotsky: 1879-1921., “Victory into Defeat,” p. 486
  77. 77. Civil War and the Militarization of the Proletariat • the pressure of war, 1914-1920, had reduced the Soviet railroads to near exhaustion • Lenin asked his successful Voykom (Commissar for War) to take over the Transportation Commissariat • Trotsky told the Transportation Union that they were under military discipline. This naturally produced a push- back • Trotsky saw the failure of War Communism through his “military spectacles.” If only he could demand the discipline of the battlefield to solve economic problems • As Voykom , he did have a “back door” to the strategy, troops which were no longer needed to defeat the White Guards. He made them into labor battalions. • First in the Urals, then in the Ukraine, he put soldiers to work in forestry, road mending, mining and farming work • this was his first step towards bringing the entire proletariat under military discipline
  78. 78. ‘Substitution’: The Tenth Party Congress; March 1921 • at the depth of the economic failure of “War Communism” party unity was threatened by division over the effort to compel labor: • Workers Opposition (Left): Shlyapnikov & Kollontai-denounced the party’s tyranny over the unions • (Right): Trotsky & Bukharin-wanted the trade unions to be deprived of their autonomy and absorbed into the machinery of government • in the midst of this dispute the Kronstadt rebellion gave the forces of authority the upper hand over those arguing for more “proletarian democracy” • Trotsky, in order to save the Revolution, took the stand that the Party should act “in the interest of the proletariat” even if it were against its will. The so-called “Substitution” of Party for Proletariat--something that he had accused Lenin of before 1917! • Trotsky and the congress voted to outlaw all political opposition parties and factions within the party itself. A victory for “bureaucratic centralism” over “proletarian democracy”
  79. 79. At the very pinnacle of power [1921] Trotsky, like the protagonist of a classical tragedy, stumbled. He acted against his own principle and in disregard of a most solemn moral commitment. Circumstances, the preservation of the revolution, and his own pride drove him into this predicament. Placed as he was he could hardly have avoided it….Yet in acting as he did he shattered the ground on which he stood…. When Trotsky now urged the Bolshevik party to ‘substitute’ itself for the working classes, he did not, in the rush of work and controversy, think of the next phases of the process, although he had long since predicted them with uncanny clear-sightedness. ‘The party organization would then substitute itself for the party as a whole; then the Central Committee would substitute itself for the organization; and finally a single dictator would substitute himself for the Central Committee.’ The dictator was already waiting in the wings. Deutscher, The Prophet Armed; Trotsky: 1879-1921., “Victory into Defeat,” pp. 486 & 522.
  80. 80. 1923; the triumvirate (from the Latin triumvires - three man rule) or, more appropriately, the troika (from the Russian for a three-horse team) Lev Kamenev Grigori Zinoviev
  81. 81. It was at about this time [1923] that a triumvirate, composed of Stalin, Zinoviev, and Kamenev, formed itself within the Politburo. What made for the solidarity of the three men was their determination to prevent Trotsky from succeeding to the leadership of the party. Separately, neither could measure up to Trotsky. Jointly, they represented a powerful combination of talent and influence. Zinoviev was the politician, the orator, the demagogue with popular appeal. Kamenev was the strategist…, its solid brain, trained in matters of doctrine…. Stalin was the tactician of the triumvirate and its organizing force. Between them, the three men virtually controlled the whole party and through it, the Government…. Finally, the three men represented, as it were, the party’s tradition…. they held seniority of leadership….The three men refused now to follow that ‘ex-Menshevik’ Trotsky, who, after an association with the party of only five years, had come to be commonly regarded as Lenin’s successor. Deutscher, Stalin, pp. 255-256
  82. 82. Crisis: The Twelfth Party Congress; April 1923 • the Politburo was eager to show that the Party could function without the ill Lenin • Zinoviev, Kamenev and Stalin arranged the agenda: • they neutralized the reforms of the !" and the CCC which Lenin had intended • they suppressed the Testament which Lenin had intended the delegates to hear • Stalin had to accept some amendments to his plans for Transcaucasia which he disliked • but for a man in danger of losing the General Secretaryship, he had dodged the bullet • because Trotsky had supported the “substitution” he felt limited in how he could express opposition. Thus he didn’t attack Stalin’s mismanagement of the Georgian situation or fight to bring out Lenin’s criticism of the General Secretary in the Testament
  83. 83. Crisis: The Twelfth Party Congress; April 1923 • Trotsky later explained his silence by saying that he hoped for Lenin’s recovery and that the two of them could better combat Stalin together • Stalin replied to another critic who demanded more freedom of discussion within the party that the party was no debating society: • Russia was “surrounded by the wolves of imperialism; and to discuss all important matters in 20,000 party cells would mean to lay all one’s cards before the enemy.” • at no other congress had Stalin spoken with his present self confidence • the malcontents, leaderless and helpless, were defeated at the congress
  84. 84. The Purges Begin in earnest; August 1923 • economic recovery since the NEP had begun in 1921 was still slow and painful • the trade unions, now part of the party machinery, refused to take up the workers’ demands • the result was a series of ‘unofficial strikes’ and consternation in the Politburo • malcontents within the Party demanded more opportunities to criticize policy • some of the dissenters were expelled from the Party, others imprisoned • this was the first example of clandestine opposition among Communists and the troika was anxious that there might develop a link up between their rivals and the discontented rank-and-file
  85. 85. Trotsky fights back, but only in the Politburo What had happened, he stated, was symptomatic of the party’s state of mind, its sense of frustration, and its distrust of its leaders. Even during the civil war ‘the system of appointment [from above] did not have one tenth of the extent that it has now. Appointment of the secretaries of provincial committees is now the rule.’ He granted that there was a grain of demagogy in the demands for a workers’ democracy, ‘in view of the incompatibility of a fully developed workers’ democracy with the regime of the dictatorship’. But the discipline of the civil war ought to have given place to ‘a more lively and broader party responsibility’. Instead, ‘the bureaucratization of the party machine had developed to unheard of proportions; and criticism and discontent, the open expression of which was stifled, were driven underground, assuming uncontrollable and dangerous forms’. Deutscher, Stalin, p. 259
  86. 86. the controversy goes public A few weeks after Zinoviev had officially opened the public debate [7 November 1923] Stalin addressed the Communists of Krasnaya Presnya, a working-class district in Moscow, on the meaning of the New Course. He frankly admitted that the party was in a state of ferment and that it had lost touch with the mood of the country. ‘What is needed to free the state from bureaucratic elements...is a high degree of civilization in the people, a completely secure, peaceful condition all around, so that we should not need large military cadres’ There was to be freedom of expression, but the previously imposed limitations must still apply. Some critics, Stalin said, quoted Trotsky in their support. Deutscher, Stalin, p. 263 He more or less challenged Trotsky to state his position publicly
  87. 87. Open Letter to the Communists of Krasnaya Presnya 5 December 1923 “Certain conservatively disposed comrades [he did not mention names] incline to overestimate the role of the machine and underestimate the self-activity of the party, take a critical attitude to the resolution of the Politburo. They say the Central Committee is undertaking an impossible task, the resolution will only spread false illusions and lead to negative results….The party shall subordinate to itself its machine, not for one instant ceasing to be a centralized organization….The New Course ought to begin with this, that in the machine all should feel, from top to bottom, that nobody dares to terrorize the party.” Deutscher, Stalin, pp. 263-264
  88. 88. It was from this letter that the public got its first inkling of the cleavage in the Politburo
  89. 89. Stalin’s “Gang” in the 1( (Central Committee); 1924 Andrey Andreev Sergei Kirov Sergo Ordzhonikidze Klim Voroshilov Semyon Budyonny He demanded efficiency as well as loyalty from the gang members. He also selected them for their individual qualities. He wanted no one near him who outranked him intellectually. He selected men with a revolutionary commitment like his own, and he set the style with his ruthless policies….He created an ambience of conspiracy, companionship and crude masculine humor. In return for their services he looked after their interests. He was solicitous about their health. He overlooked their foibles so long as their work remained unaffected and they recognized his word as law. Service, p. 225
  90. 90. 1924; after Lenin’s death, Trotsky’s downfall • January-Trotsky, ill, was absent from the ornate funeral which Stalin directed • his control over the military was undermined by Stalin’s appointment of his man, Mikhail Frunze, who was groomed to replace Trotsky • May-the XIII Party Congress, Trotsky makes a conciliatory speech, offers to accept party discipline. His health weakened (psychosomatically?) • the troika criticizes Trotsky’s policy of “Permanent Revolution” and Stalin begins to advance his alternative, “Socialism in One Country” • October-the beginning of the ideological conflict known as the “literary discussion”
  91. 91. after Lenin’s death, Trotsky’s downfall • the “literary discussion” was a series of dueling pamphlets • Trotsky’s The Lessons of October, reminded the public that Kamenev and Zinoviev had opposed the revolution • the troika responded by criticizing Trotsky’s: • disagreements and conflicts with Lenin and the Bolsheviks prior to 1917 • alleged distortion of the events of 1917 in order to emphasize his role and diminish the roles played by other Bolsheviks • harsh treatment of his subordinates and other alleged mistakes during the Russian Civil War • 6 January 1925-they damaged Trotskyʼs reputation so much that he resigned as Peopleʼs Commissar of Army and Fleet Affairs and Chairman of the Revolutionary Military Council
  92. 92. 1925; the troika breaks up Lev Kamenev Grigori Zinoviev
  93. 93. 1925; the troika breaks up
  94. 94. Becoming the Vozhd
  96. 96. Under the title “The Sorrow of all Peoples,” the Lenin Biographical Atlas reproduces the route of the funeral cortege from Lenin’s dacha in Gorky to the Moscow House of the Union and then to the temporary mausoleum by the Kremlin wall. Also featured are reproductions of the worldwide leftist newspapers with grieving tributes. Stalin planned and directed the quasi- religious ceremony and the creation of “Lenin-as-relic,” both over the objection of Krupskaya
  97. 97. The Cult of Lenin
  98. 98. The Cult of Lenin
  99. 99. The Cult of Lenin
  100. 100. The Cult of Lenin Soviets and electrification are the foundation of a new world
  101. 101. The Cult of Lenin
  102. 102. The Cult of Lenin
  103. 103. The Cult of Lenin
  104. 104. The Cult of Lenin
  106. 106. The Cult of Lenin
  107. 107. The Cult of Lenin
  108. 108. The Cult of Lenin
  109. 109. The Cult of Lenin
  110. 110. The Cult of Lenin
  111. 111. The Cult of Lenin
  112. 112. The Cult of Lenin
  113. 113. The Cult of Lenin
  114. 114. The Cult of Lenin
  115. 115. The Cult of Lenin
  116. 116. The Cult of Lenin
  117. 117. The Cult of Lenin
  118. 118. The Cult of Lenin
  119. 119. The Cult of Lenin and Stalin
  120. 120. The Cult of Lenin and Stalin
  121. 121. The Cult of Lenin and Stalin
  122. 122. The Cult of Lenin and Stalin
  123. 123. The Cult of Lenin and Stalin
  124. 124. The Cult of Lenin and Stalin
  125. 125. The Cult of Lenin and Stalin
  126. 126. The Cult of Lenin and Stalin
  128. 128. The Cult of Lenin and Stalin
  129. 129. The Cult of Lenin and Stalin
  130. 130. The Cult of Lenin and Stalin
  131. 131. The Cult of Lenin and Stalin
  132. 132. The Cult of Lenin and Stalin
  133. 133. the Cult of Stalin
  134. 134. the Cult of Stalin
  135. 135. the Cult of Stalin
  136. 136. the Cult of Stalin
  137. 137. the Cult of Stalin
  138. 138. the Cult of Stalin
  139. 139. the Cult of Stalin
  140. 140. Politburo, after April 1924--7 members Left Wing Kamenev Zinoviev Trotsky Right Wing Bukharin Rykov Tomsky
  141. 141. Politburo, after April 1924--7 members Left Wing Kamenev Zinoviev Trotsky Right Wing Bukharin Rykov Tomsky
  142. 142. Attacks on the NEP; Fall 1925 • factionalism in the Politburo comes to a head, over: • the party’s internal organization, especially Stalin’s increasing power • foreign policy, how hard to push for the World Revolution through the Comintern • agrarian policy--to spur grain production, Bukharin had encouraged the peasants “Enrich yourselves!” • Kamenev and Zinoviev broke openly with Stalin and Bukharin. They argued that Lenin had envisaged a steady movement toward collectivization, NOT MORE KULAKS! • Stalin and Bukharin pushed back, survival of the NEP was at stake • Kamenev and Zinoviev enlisted Krupskaya and Narkom of Finances Sokolnikov
  143. 143. Stalin’s new ally • born in Moscow, two school teacher parents • 1905-participated in the revolution as a student at Moscow University • 1906-became a member RSDLP(b) • 1907-convened a youth conference, later considered the founding of the Komsomol • author, editor of Pravda and Isvestia, economist, botanist, Renaissance man • 1917-”Golden Boy of the Revolution”--Lenin Nikolai Bukharin Никола́й Буха́рин 1888-1938
  144. 144. Bukharin as artist;“Forget about politics. There is no future in politics for you. Painting is your real calling."--renowned Soviet artist Konstantin Yuon
  145. 145. Bukharin as artist;“Forget about politics. There is no future in politics for you. Painting is your real calling."--renowned Soviet artist Konstantin Yuon
  146. 146. Bukharin as artist;“Forget about politics. There is no future in politics for you. Painting is your real calling."--renowned Soviet artist Konstantin Yuon
  147. 147. Bukharin as artist;“Forget about politics. There is no future in politics for you. Painting is your real calling."--renowned Soviet artist Konstantin Yuon
  148. 148. Bukharin as artist;“Forget about politics. There is no future in politics for you. Painting is your real calling."--renowned Soviet artist Konstantin Yuon
  149. 149. Bukharin as artist;“Forget about politics. There is no future in politics for you. Painting is your real calling."--renowned Soviet artist Konstantin Yuon
  150. 150. Bukharin as artist;“Forget about politics. There is no future in politics for you. Painting is your real calling."--renowned Soviet artist Konstantin Yuon
  151. 151. XIV Party Congress; December 1925--the crisis erupts Stalin...decided to attack them openly….He did this deftly by revealing that [Kamenev and Zinoviev] had once tried to get him to agree to Trotski’s expulsion from the party. Sanctimoniously disclaiming his own propensity for butchery, Stalin announced: We are for unity, we’re against chopping. The policy of chopping is repugnant to us. The party wants unity, and it will achieve this together with comrades Kamenev and Zinoviev if this is what they want -- and without them if they don’t want it. ...he contrived to suggest that the menace of a party split was embodied by what was becoming known as the Leningrad Opposition. Service, pp. 240-241
  152. 152. Kamenev responds: We’re against creating a theory of “the Leader” [vozhd]; we’re against making anyone into “the Leader”. We’re against the Secretariat...standing above the political body….there should exist a truly omnipotent Politburo...the Secretariat should be subordinate to it ….Personally I suggest that our General Secretary is not the kind of figure who can unite the old Bolshevik high command around him….I repeat it at the Congress: I have come to the conclusion that comrade Stalin is incapable of performing the role of unifier of the Bolshevik high command [emphasis added, JBP] Service, p. 241
  153. 153. the stenographic record indicates how delegates reacted: ‘Untrue.’ ‘Nonsense.’ ‘So that’s what they’re up to!’ ‘Now they’ve shown their hand.’ ‘We won’t surrender the command posts to you.’ ‘Stalin! Stalin!’ The delegates rise and salute Comrade Stalin. Stormy applause. Cries of ‘Here’s where the party’s united’ and ‘The Bolshevik general staff must be united.’ ‘Long live Comrade Stalin!’ Prolonged stormy applause. Shouts of ‘Hurrah.’ General Commotion Roi Medvedev, Let History Judge, quoted in Gellatley, Lenin, Stalin and Hitler, p. 158
  154. 154. XIV Congress; the conflict resolved • the delegates were more impressed by Stalin’s pose as a unifier than the shrill attacks by Kamenev and Zinoviev • The Leningrad Opposition seemed only to offer complaints. Stalin and Bukharin had policies to deal with the fear of isolation which the Party was feeling: • workers outside the Bolshevik ranks were overwhelmingly hostile to “the System” • peasants were far from grateful to the Bolsheviks for the NEP. The attacks on religion were another sore spot • many non-Russian nationals were chafing under the U.S.S.R. • kulaks and the so-called ‘Nepmen’ wanted more capitalism • so the Congress sent more allies for Stalin and Bukharin to the Politburo
  155. 155. Politburo, December 1925--10 members Left Wing Kamenev Zinoviev Trotsky Molotov Voroshilov Kalinin Right Wing Bukharin Rykov Tomsky
  156. 156. Stalin had power over the formulation of policy and the choice of personnel; he had managed to trounce his main individual enemies in the party. He had not yet turned the Soviet order into a system of power enshrining pervasive obedience and enthusiasm. Service, p. 243
  157. 157. On his death bed, twenty-two years later, the “All Union State Peasant” (Stalin’s nickname for President Mikhail Kalinin) wrote to Stalin: “In the year after Lenin’s death, after the row with Trotsky, Bukharin invited me to his flat to admire his hunting trophies and asked--would I consider ‘ruling without Stalin?’; I replied I couldn’t contemplate such a thing. Any combination without Stalin was incomprehensible...After the death of Lenin I believed in Stalin’s policy...I thought Zinoviev was most dangerous.” Montefiore, Stalin;The Court of the Red Tsar, p. 555 This shows the dangerous conspiracies which riddled the Politburo during this period
  158. 158. the final showdown • mid-1926-a United Opposition including Krupskaya was formed against Stalin and Bukharin • Stalin decided that Zinoviev should be picked off first. Trotsky should be saved for later • the stress of the infighting began to wear Stalin down, but he fought on • spring 1927-Trotsky drew up a ‘declaration’ signed by 84 Oppositionists accusing the leadership of ruining everything Lenin had stood for • as the foreign scene darkened, Stalin prepared to challenge his critics in a party forum
  159. 159. ...the date of the fifteenth congress was approaching; and with it Trotsky’s and Zinoviev’s opportunity to state their case. The whole country would listen. It would be impossible to suppress speeches made at a congress in the way that criticisms uttered at the Central Committee were concealed. At any cost Stalin had to deprive them of this opportunity. Deutscher, The Prophet Unarmed, p. 292.
  160. 160. The joint plenum [of the !" and the CCC] met in October, 1927. [Stalin’s] handling...was a masterpiece of persuasion. He reminded the Opposition that previously he had rejected calls for the expulsion of Trotski and Zinoviev from the Central Committee. ‘Perhaps,’ he waspishly suggested, ‘I overdid the “kindness” and made a mistake.’ The joint plenum excluded Trotski, Zinoviev and Kamenev from the Central Committee. On 14 November 1927 Trotski and Zinoviev were expelled from the party entirely, and this decision was ratified by the Fifteenth Party Congress in December. The Stalin-Bukharin axis had triumphed….Bukharin maintained friendly relations with his defeated adversaries. But Stalin refused to compromise. At the Fifteenth Party Congress the further exclusion of seventy-five oppositionists, including Kamenev, was announced. Stalin and Bukharin had seen off the acute threat to the NEP. No one imagined that within a month the political settlement would be destroyed and that the two victors would become enemies. In January 1928 the New Economic Policy was about to be torn apart by the Party General Secretary. Service, pp. 249-250
  161. 161. Politburo, December 1927--9 members Undecided New members Voroshilov Kalinin Rudzutak Kuibyshev Molotov Right Wing Bukharin Rykov Tomsky
  162. 162. Politburo, December 1927--9 members New members Kalinin Rudzutak Kuibyshev Molotov Right Wing Bukharin Rykov Tomsky
  163. 163. Politburo, December 1927--9 members New members Rudzutak Kuibyshev Molotov Right Wing Bukharin Rykov Tomsky
  164. 164. Stalin at the 1927 Congress: unshaven, pockmarked, sardonic, sarcastic and utterly vigilant, the supreme politician, the messianic egotist, fanatical Marxist, and superlative mass murderer, in his prime Montefiore, caption for his last picture
  165. 165. Stalin’s strength has always lain in the machine, not in himself...Severed from the machine….Stalin...represents nothing….It is time to part with the Stalin myth….You wish to proceed along the [Stalinist] road any further? But there is no road further. Stalin has brought you to an impasse….It is time to bring under review the whole Soviet system and cleanse it ruthlessly from all the filth with which it has overgrown. It is time to carry out at last Lenin’s insistent advice : ‘Remove Stalin!” Leon Trotsky, Bulletin Oppozitsii, March 1932 quoted in Deutscher, The Prophet Outcast, pp. 167-168