Isaac Deutscher 1956

Communist Party Congress: The Break with Stalinism

Source: The Reporter, 22 March 1956. Scanned and prepared for the Marxist Internet Archive by Paul Flewers. This article was written before the news of Khrushchev’s ‘Secret Speech’ emerged.

The Twentieth Congress of the Soviet Communist Party was from beginning to end a repudiation of Stalin’s autocracy and of the idea of the single leader. This alone makes of it an event of extraordinary importance.

There was something paradoxical in the circumstance that Khrushchev presided over this spectacle, for it was in Malenkov’s heyday that the Stalin cult was in fact undermined. Khrushchev’s rise was accompanied by vague attempts to restore the Stalinist orthodoxy and by moves that appeared to be designed to put Khrushchev into Stalin’s vacant post. These moves have apparently come to nothing. If Khrushchev did indeed aspire to become the party’s sole leader, then the collective leadership has so far kept him in his place. He spoke to the Congress with the voice of the Central Committee, but not as the Central Committee’s sole master. And if it was his intention to stem the tide of anti-Stalinism, then that tide has proved stronger and has carried him some distance with it.

The break with Stalinism is now apparent in almost every field of Soviet domestic policy, not merely in the denunciation of the leader cult. It is a deep and radical break, especially in social policy.

In the course of a quarter of a century Stalin indefatigably fostered social inequality. He furiously and incessantly fought the ‘egalitarian heresy’ and enforced a system of salaries and wages under which those who earned much could easily earn more and more, while those who earned little had few chances of improving their lot. He was the ruthless guardian of the privileges of the bureaucracy, the managerial groups, and the élite of skilled workers.

Consequently when Khrushchev announced at the Congress that the Central Committee proposed to raise the wages and pensions of the lower-paid workers and to cut some of the high salaries and pensions, he proclaimed a truly sensational reversal of Stalin’s social policy. In language that has not been heard recently in Russia, he chided the trade unions for being docile tools of the employer-state and urged them to defend the workers’ claims even if that brought them into conflict with industrial managements. To the mass of the Soviet people this was probably even more startling and welcome than the renunciation of the leader cult. The same is true of the abolition of all school fees for secondary and academic education, which, Khrushchev confirmed, would come into force at the beginning of the next school year.

For the first time in more than thirty years the rulers of the Soviet Union have now attacked social inequality, and in this move most Soviet citizens certainly see the hope of a progressive democratisation of the regime.

Perhaps nothing was as characteristic of the new climate of opinion as what Khrushchev said at the Congress about the degradation of the political police and the distrust and open hostility with which this once-dreaded institution was now surrounded. Khrushchev even found it necessary to warn his audience not to carry its hostility towards the security services too far.

Kliment Voroshilov, President of the Soviet Union, announced that the work on the new criminal code, promised for 1953 but repeatedly delayed, was at last completed; that the whole judiciary had been reorganised to ensure ‘the rule of the law'; and that a new labour code would now be prepared.

At the same time something that was unthinkable only a short time ago has happened: most of Stalin’s ill-famed concentration and forced-labour camps have been closed. Many of their inmates have been rehabilitated and restored to complete freedom. Those not rehabilitated have been allowed to live and work as free men in prescribed areas of settlement. Thus the regime appears to have freed itself at last from one of its most prodigious abuses.

All these measures have done much to consolidate the post-Stalin regime and to give it a greater measure of popularity and stability than even the party leaders expected. No wonder they addressed the Congress in a mood of genuine confidence and unconcealed relief. The Congress responded in the same mood.

Half Slave and Half Free’: Yet the oppressive weight of the Stalin era is still felt, and the regime is still far from being the ‘proletarian democracy’ it claims to be. The proceedings of the Congress itself testify to that. The Congress voted its resolutions in ‘one hundred per cent unanimity’ in accordance with the Stalinist custom, which has nothing to do with the Leninist practice now allegedly revived. No open controversy or direct clash of opinion disturbed the smooth flow of the ‘monolithic’ debate. Not one of a hundred or so speakers dared to criticise Khrushchev or any other leader on any single point.

The change in the inner-party regime consists in the fact that major decisions of policy are now taken not by Khrushchev alone, and not even by the eleven members of the Praesidium, but by the Central Committee which has 133 members (nearly 260 if alternate members are included). Inside that body free debate has been restored, and differences of opinion are resolved by majority vote. But under Lenin, differences in the Central Committee were not, as a rule, kept secret from the party, and the rank and file freely expressed their own views. This is not the case at present. The Central Committee does not air its differences publicly or in the hearing of the whole party. At its higher levels the party appears now to be managed more or less in the Leninist fashion; but it is still in the Stalinist manner, though less harshly, that the lower ranks are ruled.

This can be only a transitional state of affairs. In the long run the party cannot remain ‘half slave and half free’. The higher ranks will either have to share their newly-won freedom with the lower ranks or they themselves must lose it to a new dictator. And in demonstrating hostility towards the ‘un-Marxist leader cult’, the Congress was anxious to bar the road to a new dictator, whoever he might be.

Mikoyan vs Khrushchev: I have said that the Congress witnessed no open and direct controversy. I should now add that one definite and fundamental controversy did develop at the Congress, but it was conducted obliquely, in hints and by implication, so that only the initiated could follow it. The chief antagonists in that controversy were Khrushchev and Anastas Mikoyan.

Their speeches reflected two trends of opinion, in part sharply conflicting. The question over which they divided was this: how much of the Stalinist orthodoxy should the party throw overboard and how much should it preserve? On the answer depend the methods of government, the party regime, and even the country’s spiritual climate.

The question has its critical implications. It may be dangerous for the ruling group to try and preserve too much of Stalinism, but it may be equally dangerous to repudiate too much of it, or to do so too abruptly. The issue is further complicated by the fact that all the present leaders have been Stalin’s accomplices in one degree or another.

Khrushchev’s attitude in this matter is one of great caution, not to say timidity. He has ceased to glorify Stalin. He even alludes to Stalin’s vices and arbitrariness. And he does this all the more sincerely because he himself suffered from them in Stalin’s last years: Khrushchev’s career and perhaps even his life hung then by a thread. But Khrushchev has not so far gone beyond allusions, although they are clear enough for anyone to grasp their meaning. He desperately avoids repudiating his dead master explicitly. When he castigates the leader cult, he never mentions Stalin’s name. He is afraid of the emotional reaction against Stalinism which runs high in the party and in the nation, and he does not wish to encourage that reaction by debunking the dead dictator’s memory.

He has offered the country a scapegoat for all of Stalin’s misdeeds. That scapegoat is Lavrenti Beria. Yet too many people in the Soviet Union remember that Beria became chief of the political police only towards the end of 1938, and that the great purges, the mass deportations and the worst outbursts of terror had occurred earlier. Still Khrushchev clings to Beria’s corpse as if to a protective shield.

He is afraid of ‘too much’ liberalism, ‘too much’ egalitarianism and ‘too many Utopian illusions’. Tough and practical administrator that he is, he looks askance at the party intellectuals who pose too many embarrassing questions and are too anxious to know or to tell the whole truth about the Stalin era. To Khrushchev’s mind they risk awakening too many sleeping dogs of Trotskyism, Bukharinism, bourgeois nationalism – all the heresies that the party canon has condemned and that Khrushchev has no wish to exonerate.

Khrushchev’s strongest ally is Lazar I Kaganovich, who represents the same frame of mind and is even less inclined to renounce the Stalinist canon. At times Kaganovich seems to be the real leader of the Stalinist diehards, but as a faction the diehards do not even have the courage to come out into the open. In any case, Khrushchev yields to the new spirit of the time only reluctantly, step by step, fighting Stalinism’s rear-guard battle all the time.

Mikoyan appeared at the Congress as the mouthpiece of militant anti-Stalinism. He has been the first and so far the only leader to repudiate Stalin explicitly. He has been the first to say that Stalin’s theoretical pronouncements (which at the previous Congress Mikoyan himself had no choice but to hail as the revelations of genius) were so much trash. It is not on Beria that Mikoyan heaps abuse. He told the Congress that the evil against which the party was now fighting had taken root long before Beria, in the early years of the Stalin era – perhaps even at its very beginning.

While Khrushchev inveighed against Trotskyists and Bukharinists and other ‘enemies of the people’, Mikoyan protested against slandering men who had led the revolution and the Red Army as enemies of the people.

To leave no doubt as his meaning, Mikoyan denounced roundly the whole ‘school of law’ and the judiciary established since Lenin’s death, the ‘school of law’ and judiciary which were headed by Andrei Vyshinsky, the Chief Prosecutor in the purge trials of 1936-38. His speech amounted therefore to a demand for a revision of those trials and, practically, for the rehabilitation of those who had been condemned: Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin, Radek, Rakovsky and others.

Moreover, when Mikoyan urged the Congress to wage a ‘merciless struggle’ against ‘bureaucratic centralism’ and for a full reinstatement of Lenin’s ‘democratic centralism’, he consciously borrowed these terms, as well as many other ideas and formulas, from none other than Trotsky, who coined them. And it was in an almost characteristically Trotskyist manner that Mikoyan hinted at Lenin’s Testament, that lost document unknown to the new Soviet generation, in which Lenin had advised the party ‘to remove Stalin’ from the post of General Secretary.

Mikoyan’s speech is a remarkable political and human document if only because he himself had been an ardent Stalinist at least since 1922, long before Khrushchev and Kaganovich joined the Stalinist faction.

Khrushchev and Kaganovich owed their careers entirely to Stalin; Mikoyan had risen in the party in Lenin’s day, and his mind had been formed in Lenin’s school. His speech was something of an old Leninist’s recantation of the part he had played in helping Stalin to ascendancy. It was not a recantation in the familiar Stalinist style, but a seemingly genuine confession, if only implicit, of grim and grave errors, and of a desire to undo some of the still rampant evils of Stalinism.

Conflict and Compromise: There can be little doubt that the Khrushchev – Mikoyan duet has disclosed to the world the party’s divided mind and has revealed something about the differences of opinion and the alignments within the Central Committee. Another probable consequence of the duet will be to project these differences and alignments from the Central Committee to the lower ranks of the party and to draw the latter into the controversy.

Until a year ago the Central Committee was divided over general economic policy. On the one side were those who, led by Malenkov, favoured a more rapid development of consumer industries. On the other were Khrushchev, Kaganovich and their followers, who insisted on absolute priority for heavy industry. This struggle led to the defeat of the pro-consumer group and is now closed. Malenkov has been demoted but not ‘purged’. He has retained his seat on the Praesidium, but he was allowed to retain it only on the understanding that he would not seek to reopen the controversy. His speech at the Congress was merely an acknowledgment of defeat. This controversy having lapsed, the Central Committee has remained divided over the issues raised by Mikoyan.

That Mikoyan was permitted to state his views from the platform of the Congress is in itself an important precedent. Again, this is no evidence yet of any real reinstatement of Leninist ‘inner-party democracy’. In Lenin’s day, when there was disagreement in the Central Committee over an important issue, it was customary for the majority to express its view in the official report to the Congress, while a spokesman of the minority came out with a frankly controversial ‘counter-report’. Mikoyan, it may be surmised, may have intended to come out with such a counter-report, but the Central Committee refused to permit at this stage any open clash between two members of the ‘collective leadership’. A compromise was reached, under which Mikoyan was allowed to state his views in a positive form, without making it explicit where and on what points he dissented from Khrushchev.

The effect of the discordant duet was some confusion at the Congress. While many delegates certainly understood what Mikoyan was driving at and how far-reaching were the implications of what he said, the less informed missed the nuances and believed that Mikoyan merely toed the Khrushchev line, or that Khrushchev was in full agreement with Mikoyan. When Mikoyan finished, the Congress gave him an ovation such as it accorded no other leader, except Khrushchev and perhaps Bulganin. But while Khrushchev and Bulganin received the homage due their offices and ranks, Mikoyan was applauded for what he had said and for the manner in which he had said it.

Mikoyan’s triumph suddenly brought to light the strength of the anti-Stalinist feeling in the party. It gave rise to intense speculation, inside Russia as well as outside, about the possible rehabilitation of Stalin’s enemies, including Trotsky. All this was hardly welcome to Khrushchev and to the majority of the Central Committee. And here came the next great surprise: neither Khrushchev nor any one of his associates rose to disavow Mikoyan in the Congress.

Both sides scrupulously adhered to the rule, agreed upon in the Central Committee, that they should not engage in direct controversy. Only indirectly, without mentioning Mikoyan’s name, did Pravda publish an editorial which began by stating emphatically that Trotskyists and Bukharinists were still considered ‘enemies of the people’, as Khrushchev had just described them. Notice was thus given that this crucial canon of Stalinist orthodoxy was still valid.

For how long will it remain valid? The fact that Khrushchev refrained from attacking Mikoyan in public is a sign of the times. Stalin, during his struggle for power, never hesitated to disregard any gentlemen’s agreement reached in the Central Committee and to hit Trotsky, Zinoviev and Bukharin below the belt. Whatever Khrushchev may do in the future, so far he has treated Mikoyan with fairness and even loyalty, although he would have found it quite easy to arraign Mikoyan, on the strength of his speech, as a Trotskyist and enemy of the people.

Mikoyan instead was elected to the commission that framed the final resolution on Khrushchev’s report; and like Malenkov he has retained his seat in the Praesidium. Moreover, the final resolution is worded to give some satisfaction to those who share Mikoyan’s views. It calls on the new Central Committee to ‘keep up the struggle against the remnants of the leader cult’.

The Congress thus ended on a note of compromise. Its final resolution contains no explicit disparagement of Stalin – this should soothe the Stalinist diehards. But it authorises a further revision of the party’s record, which is what the anti-Stalinists desire. Such a resolution designed to please everyone can hardly prevent the opposed views from clashing after the Congress. Far from closing the conflict, it only carries the controversy into a new phase.

Who stands behind the antagonists? Broadly speaking, the groups that enjoyed privileges under Stalin defend their ‘acquired rights’, and their action assumes the form of an ‘ideological’ defence of what remains of Stalinist orthodoxy. Radical workers, the advanced intelligentsia and the ‘Leninists’ in the party all desire, from different motives, to rid themselves of the remaining fetters of that orthodoxy. Khrushchev and the practical administrators behind him try to strike a balance between the conflicting interests and aspirations and to avoid sweeping ‘ideological revisions’ that may rend the party and complicate the business of government.

The leaders have so far been wary of injecting bitterness into the controversy. Economic progress, rising standards of living, and a degree of popular contentment make it possible for the ruling group to settle its inner differences in a milder manner than that in which differences were settled in Stalin’s days. But the ideological revisions cannot be arrested halfway.

The Chinese and the French: The anti-Stalinist trend in the Soviet Union is a matter of vital interest to Communist parties in other countries. It is, paradoxically, in some of those parties that Stalinism now finds its blindest adherents. Behind the scenes, the foreign Communist leaders, most of them present at the Congress as guests of honour, were drawn into the controversy; and some indication of the attitudes could be found even in their ceremonial greetings to the Congress.

While the Soviet leaders, even the most pro-Stalinist ones, refrained from making a single laudatory remark about Stalin, Mao Tse-tung (who sent a message) and Maurice Thorez were, it seems, the only ones to bring in notes of adulation for Stalin, notes reminiscent of the Nineteenth Congress in 1952, which sounded strangely out of date. The attitude of Thorez was perhaps not surprising: rushing to the rescue of Stalinist orthodoxy, he was defending his own interest as autocratic leader of the French Communist Party, an interest jeopardised by the new requirements of collective leadership.

Mao Tse-tung’s attitude is more puzzling, because from the Stalinist viewpoint his own political record is by no means irreproachable. In his preoccupation with the industrialisation of his own country and the collectivisation of Chinese farming, has he become converted at this late hour to full Stalinist orthodoxy? That orthodoxy certainly fits a primitive country in the throes of upheaval and in need of harsh discipline better than it fits present-day Russia. In any case, Mao’s attitude must have greatly strengthened the hands of the pro-Stalinist elements within the Soviet party. Most other foreign Communist leaders appear to be sitting on the fence. Only Palmiro Togliatti, the Italian leader, and Bołeslaw Bierut, the Pole, seem definitely in favour of the break with Stalinism.

The Soviet and the World: In foreign affairs the Twentieth Congress has not brought to light any evolution as startling as that which it revealed in Soviet internal affairs. In the conduct of diplomacy the change from the Stalin era has been in manner rather than in matter, but it is not unimportant. Over the years Stalin’s foreign policy alternated between extremes of conciliation and recklessness. At times, in the 1920s and 1930s, Stalin was almost abjectly meek; at other times he was preposterously blunt and provocative. His successors avoid the extremes. Their policy is set on a far steadier course. It is less clumsy, less devious and secretive, more self-confident and flexible, and it is sensitive to public opinion.

In a curious aside the now semi-retired Mr Molotov confided to the Congress that barely ten years ago only in their boldest dreams could the party leaders imagine a situation as advantageous for the Soviet Union as the one in which they now find themselves. He was not merely boasting. In a very real sense, the Soviet Union is now playing from strength – strength derived from its own economic progress, from the consolidation of Communist rule in China and Eastern Europe, from the possession of a vast and massive assortment of atomic, hydrogen and conventional arms, and (last but not least) from the anti-colonialist ferment in Asia and Africa. All these elements of strength had been maturing during the last years of the Stalin era. But some of them have come to fruition only since then, and have only recently made themselves fully felt in the conduct of foreign affairs.

Thus Moscow’s foreign policy no longer shows any of the hesitation and wavering that it exhibited just after Stalin’s death and throughout most of the Malenkov period, when Moscow appeared to be half inclined to consider an overall settlement with the West on the basis of a joint evacuation of Germany, and seemed only to be waiting for encouragement from the West. At that time almost every one of Molotov’s diplomatic notes to the Western powers called insistently for an early evacuation of Germany. Evacuation is no longer even mentioned. ‘What we have we hold’ – the words were once used by Churchill – is now the implicit maxim of Soviet diplomacy.

This certainly applies to the major bulwarks and bastions of Communist power, if not to such dubious acquisitions of the Stalin era as the Soviet naval bases in Finland and Manchuria and the joint-stock companies which Russia set up in the Balkan countries and in China. These have been given up with little real loss and with much moral gain, and at the Congress Mikoyan did not hesitate to describe Stalin’s efforts to acquire them as grievous errors. With the record more or less cleared of those ‘errors’, the broad purpose of Soviet diplomacy is now to preserve the international status quo.

In a sense Stalin’s successors are doing what Stalin did in the 1920s, when he too based his policy on the international status quo. But the Congress was naturally much more aware of the differences than of the resemblance. Thirty years ago the status quo meant isolation of a weak and backward Soviet Union in the face of immensely superior non-Communist powers. It was then still possible for Trotsky and Zinoviev to argue that by reconciling itself with the status quo Communism weakened its own chances and played into its enemies’ hands. The question whether Bolshevism should bank primarily on ‘socialist construction’ at home or on the early spread of revolution abroad presented a real dilemma because of the extreme weakness and precariousness of Soviet ‘socialist construction’ and of the apparently great strength of Communism abroad, especially in Germany and China.

No such acute dilemma is troubling Moscow at present. The main strength of Communism, actual and potential, lies now within the Soviet bloc, not outside it. The old controversy has become irrelevant to the new facts. Stalin’s ‘Socialism in a Single Country’ is a mere memory of the past, and Trotsky’s prophecy that the Soviet Union depended for its survival on the spread of revolution has in some respects been fulfilled and in others become outdated.

Yet never perhaps since the 1920s have professions of faith in the eventual triumph of world Communism over capitalism resounded from Moscow with as much strength of conviction as they do now. They have a quasi-Trotskyist undertone. In the middle 1920s the Soviet party and the Comintern assumed, despite Trotsky’s criticisms, that Western capitalism had achieved a measure of stabilisation. No such assumption is made about the present state of the Western economy. In spite of boom conditions, continued full employment and feats of bourgeois progress, which Moscow no longer crudely denies, it is convinced that the long and ‘artificially sustained’ prosperity of the West is bound to end, sooner or later, in a collapse as disastrous as that of 1929.

How are these forecasts and professions of faith in world Communism related to the defence of the diplomatic status quo and to the much-overworked slogan of peaceful coexistence?

The answer is found not in the abstract logic of the Soviet attitude but in a specific, and in part tacitly assumed, concept of the international class struggle. That the ‘tide of history’ carries mankind as a whole towards Communism, through whatever stages and crosscurrents, is an old Bolshevik, indeed an old Marxist, axiom. That the ‘tide’ is moving faster than the Soviet leaders expected it to move ten or twenty years ago – and that it is doing its work all the better despite the fewer attempts to force its pace – is the lesson they think they have learned, or relearned, from the upheavals and conflicts of the last decade – in Germany and Korea not less than in China and Indo-China.

Wave Upon Wave: But the Communist leaders have had to face anew the fact that the process of international revolution has not been continuous. It has so far developed in two distinctly separate cycles of ‘waves’.

From the first wave of revolution, that of 1917-20, Bolshevik Russia emerged victorious but bled white and isolated. From the second there has emerged the Chinese revolution, compared with which the Eastern European revolutions, carried out in the shadow of the Red Army in 1944-48, have been of minor importance. This second wave has now nearly spent its force.

That the third wave will come the Communists take for granted, but nobody can say when. The interval, whether short or long, requires adjustments in Communist policy and a modus vivendi with the capitalist world.

The first two waves of revolution came in the wake of world wars. It is therefore a matter of some interest to Communist theory and policy whether the third wave, too, can have its origin only in a cataclysm. The Congress has answered this question in the negative, because, so Khrushchev argues, the general balance of strength between East and West – the atomic stalemate above all – militates strongly against the likelihood of a third world war, even though the attitude of the United States is partly unpredictable. This is the meaning of the ‘thesis’ about the avoidability of armed conflict.

The message of the Twentieth Congress, not altogether novel, is that the third wave of revolution need not be set in motion, as were the first two waves, by the destructive fury of war – it may be generated by the constructive achievement of the Soviet bloc, especially of the Soviet Union.

These achievements require time for their materialisation – a long ‘respite’ from the most acute forms of international class struggle that could lead to world war. Both camps, the Western and the Eastern, may hope to benefit from a respite. Both have therefore – the Soviets reason – a common interest in prolonging the respite to the utmost. Soviet policy invokes this common interest; and it does so all the more insistently because, whatever the variations of Soviet pronouncements on this subject, a clash of arms would now threaten both camps with annihilation.

The Soviet leaders have certainly a clear idea as to how they intend to use the respite. Having broken the Western, or rather the American, monopoly of atomic and hydrogen weapons, they plan to use the time at their disposal for breaking another, equally decisive, monopoly so far enjoyed by the West – the monopoly of a high standard of living. They argue that the West will be forced to defend this advantage with all its economic might, and that it is legitimate for the Soviet Union to challenge the West on this ground. Such is the meaning of ‘peaceful competition’ in ‘peaceful coexistence’.

Red and Rosy Dreams: The new Five-Year Plan, endorsed by the Congress, is seen in Moscow as a milestone in the struggle to break the West’s most vital monopoly. But the struggle will take anywhere from ten to twenty years. If it can be brought to a successful conclusion, the Soviet leaders expect that Communism, offering the masses high standards of living and education, will no longer have to force itself on unwilling subjects by means of terror. Its attraction will be so overwhelming that the bourgeois order will not be able to resist it.

The third wave of revolution may then not carry with it all the blood that the first two waves carried, and the roads by which other nations approach socialism will prove much easier and smoother than the thorny paths trodden by the Russians and the Chinese. Even now, Khrushchev pointed out, the roads – he insisted on the plural – are already easier for the People’s Democracies. Unlike the Soviet Union, they need not give strict priority to heavy industry; they can afford a less strenuous economic policy.

The thesis about the ‘different roads to socialism’ is also designed to serve another more immediate and opportunistic purpose. When Moscow’s leaders expatiate vaguely on the admissibility of a parliamentary road to socialism, a road unsullied by civil war, they intend to reassure Mr Nehru and the Congress Party of India and similar neutral governments and parties in Asia. The Communist Party of India is already adopting a conciliatory attitude towards the Prime Minister. The lure of the parliamentary road is also meant to overcome the misgivings of Western Socialist parties about united fronts, the misgivings especially of the French Socialists and Radicals.

The Price They'll Pay: This policy gives a moderate and ‘rightist’ twist to Communist tactics. It obliges the Communist parties to exert themselves more than hitherto in the search for parliamentary alliances, to refrain from revolutionary ventures, and behave with a good deal of bourgeois respectability. This seems to be the price Khrushchev is prepared to pay, or rather to make the Communist parties pay, for a period of peaceful coexistence.

Not unlike Stalin in the 1920s and 1930s, he sees that in coming years the decisive element of the international struggle will be not the action of the French, Italian or Indian Communists, but ‘socialist construction’ within the Communist realm.

And so the Twentieth Congress looked forward not to the seizure of new positions of power for Communism but to the consolidation and the building up of the power that Communism has already won.