Written: June 1931.
First Published: The Militant, Vol. IV No. 12, 15 June 1931, p. 2.
Transcription/HTML Markup: Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
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The International Opposition has always proceeded from the assumption that the regeneration of the Communist International can be accomplished only by the defeat and displacement of the upper stratum of the Centrist bureaucracy. The degeneration of the leading circle of Stalinism, confirmed in every decisive question of the international revolution over a period of years, is given a fresh confirmation in the political resolution of the Eleventh Plenum of the C.I., this utterly barren and worthless document is a striking revelation of the unbridgeable chasm which stands between the necessities of the movement and the capacities of the official leadership. In this respect it is on a par with the contributions, in theory and practice, of the Stalin mercenaries directing the American party.
It becomes clearer by day that people are not and cannot be the leaders of Communism. They are the chief obstacle in the path of its development. If the kernel of the future staff of Marxist revolutionaries must be assembled in the struggle against them – and there is no other way – then the real headway of the Opposition in maturing and developing new leading forces is a yardstick by which to measure its actual progress.
In this field our gains are indisputable. The Opposition is barred by all the circumstances of the complicated fight from a rapid numerical growth. We never promised that. The crisis is too profound to permit of a quick and easy solution. But in the stubborn and irreconcilable struggle we are preparing the cadres of the future leadership. One has only to examine the recent issues of the Militant to convince himself of this vital fact. An increasing number of contributions of a high political standard are coming from comrades who are writing for the first time. This is the unfailing sign of internal growth of qualitative improvement and strengthening in our ranks. It is the proof that our forces, unavoidably limited as they are, are preparing for their great historic future and going out to meet it.
To record this promising development is not to rest content with it. For it must be recognized that it marks only a beginning of what we must accomplish if we are to measure up to the magnitude of our tasks. It is only a beginning because the education of new Communist propagandists, organizers and politicians does not keep pace with the expansion of our responsibilities, and because they still remain amateurs devoting only their spare time to the movement.
It would be fatal to stop there, and doubly fatal to make a principle of such a condition. “In order to be fully prepared for his task” said Lenin, “the working-class revolutionist must also become a professional revolutionist.” We ought to steer a deliberate course in this direction. The training of the young Communists in the Marxist school of the Opposition should proceed with this objective. The more earnestly we concentrate on this design the better will we utilize the opportunities of the present to prepare the revolutionary staff of the future.
Last updated on: 31.12.2012