C L R James
The World Revolution 1917–1936

Chapter 11


OFFICIAL STALINIST HISTORY, RETAILED WITH A CHILDLIKE confidence by the Webbs and all the learned Friends of the Soviet Union, is that the division of the land in 1917 had checked the development of large-scale capitalist farming. The existence of twenty-five million small farms was not only leading to Capitalist differentiation, but had also definite limits as far as production was concerned. Stalin had foreseen all this, but had allowed the kulaks to develop until the state-farms and the collective farms were sufficiently advanced to fill the gap which the loss of kulak production would cause. During 1927, however, chiefly through the initiative of Stalin, the party decided that the time had come to initiate a large-scale campaign of collectivisation and the Fifteenth Conference marked the official launching of this policy. The Trotskyist Opposition had intemperately demanded the destruction of the kulaks (or alternatively the tickling of the kulaks; Stalin accuses them of both on the same page) [1] when the kulaks were necessary. It is not only historically useful but politically necessary to expose this plausible packet of lies.

True, at the Fifteenth Conference one can point to bits of Stalin’s speeches where he talked about large-scale farming as the only way out for Russia. But he had made similar statements before, and at that time less than one per cent of the farms were collectivised. More to the point is a special report on agriculture by Molotov at that very conference in which he said that the offensive against the kulak for the construction of Socialism was actually going on at that time in the growing Socialist construction, and he saw no need to talk about it. [2] Stalin himself tells us that it was only in April 1928 [3] that the Political Bureau of the Central Committee adopted a decision to organise in the space of three or four years a number of new Soviet (State) farms. Stalin himself tells us that it was in July 1928 [4] that the Central Committee decided to carry out “unswervingly” the intensive construction of collective farms decided upon at the Fifteenth Conference.

And, most conclusive of all, in the midst of the crisis which followed the breakdown of N.E.P., Bucharin, Stalin’s right-hand man for four years, summed up the blindness and incompetence of the regime and destroyed this legend of collective farming carefully undertaken, at the right moment.

“We did not tackle the problem of our specialists until after the Shakhty affair; the problem of the Soviet and collective farms was practically left till after the grain supply crisis and its resultant convulsions, so that it had then to be attacked from a dead point. We have, in a word, acted pretty much in accordance with that characteristically Russian proverb: ‘Unless it thunders, the peasant does not cross himself.’”

And for one moment he gives us an indication of what the Leninist leadership of the party and the country had been.

"At the time of our transition from War Communism to the New Economic Policy, we began to regroup our ranks in the most courageous and decided manner. This gigantic regrouping of forces, combined with the determined propaganda of such slogans as: ‘Learn commerce,’ was the prerequisite for our economic successes. [5] ...”

In April, 1929, Stalin had at last been battered into recognising what Trotsky’s theses had stated six years to a month before. “The key to the reconstruction of agriculture is the rapid rate of development of our industry.” [6] Russia under any leadership was destined to many crises and upheavals. But they could have been foreseen and mitigated. The Opposition had foreseen them. The party and the proletariat could have been educated, and although of necessity with many mistakes and set-backs, the country would have been far more developed, far more powerful than it is today, and its political life, even if harsh and backward, not the thing of terror and disgrace to the Socialist ideal that it is.


Let us at once make one point clear. The amended five-year plan saved the Russian Revolution. By 1932–1933, collective ownership had demonstrated its capacity for increasing production on a scale unprecedented in the most expansive periods of capitalist economy. The world knows the successes. The capacity of electric power stations has increased sixfold since 1913. The total production of electricity in 1936 is over 32 million kilowatt-hours, or seventeen times as much as in 1913. Coal production, 29.1 millions in 1913 and 35.5 millions in 1928, was 108.9 millions in 1935. Oil, 9.2 million tons in 1913, 11.7 in 1928, was 26.8 millions in 1935. Iron, 4.2 million tons in 1913, was 3.3 millions in 1928 and in 1935, 9.4 millions. These are the basis of the modern State. If even the Soviet Union goes down, that is to say, back to Capitalism, collective ownership has demonstrated how much Capitalism retards the possibility of production. But Trotsky and the Left Opposition, though fighting for a large scale plan and intensive industrialisation, never had any illusions that these would bring the millennium, or could do more than strengthen the proletariat in its position as dominant class in the Workers’ State.

Stalin first opposed industrialisation, and then, driven to adopt it, encouraged extravagant hopes about what it would bring. The illusion spread to Western Europe. Official Stalinists and friends of the Soviet Union pointed to the rising indices of production and encouraged the belief that they were an infallible indication of the near approach towards the classless society. The health of a society depends not only on a rising economy: in the last analysis the Socialist society depends on a productivity of labour far beyond anything that we have yet seen. But for many years the decisive factor will be not an absolute standard of economy, but the constantly shifting relationships between the different social groups in the State. When the social and political tension in the Soviet Union were revealed in the last half of 1936 [7], it came as a grievous shock and disillusionment to many quite sincere wellwishers of the Soviet Union in Western Europe.

Not only is Socialism, a “balanced, harmonious” economy, impossible in backward and isolated Russia. Today the country moves and will continue to move from crisis to crisis, whatever the successes of collective ownership. Collective ownership “works,” it wins great successes, but the struggle between collective and private ownership continues. Crises, as great as capitalist crises, shake the country, and today collective ownership is on the retreat. It is these things that lay behind Lenin’s ceaseless warnings against the dangerous illusion of a national Socialism. The attempt to put Socialism in a single country into practice cost the lives of millions.


Planned economy, much more than the actual overthrow of Capitalism and the political seizure of power, is the most difficult task that faces a revolutionary party. In the Soviet Union in 1928 it would, under the best of conditions, have been difficult to plan and difficult to carry out. The Stalinist regime inevitably turned it to chaos.

To begin with, Socialism in a single country, at first chiefly a weapon for use against Trotsky’s theory of the Permanent Revolution, now formed the basis of all the economic and political plans of the Stalinist bureaucrats. They had determined, in defiance of all economics, Capitalist or Marxist, on the building up of an economy absolutely independent of the rest of the world. Yet every word they spoke about international Capitalism, the rivalries of imperialism, the international division of labour, proved the falsity of trying to separate the economic destiny of one part of the modern world from the rest. Molotov solved the difficulty in the best Stalinist manner. He said at the Sixth International Congress that the Soviet Union would build its Socialism on an independent economic basis, but after the world revolution (presumably coming all at one stroke) they would rebuild it on an international economic basis. Dangerous nonsense as this was in words, it was trebly dangerous when embodied in plans. Stalin aimed in the two five-year plans at establishing the classless society: the first to lay the foundation, the second to achieve it. The result was a plan not so much beyond the capacity of the country, but a plan that refused to understand that Soviet economy was still a part of world economy. Says Arthur W. Just, Moscow correspondent of the Kölnische Zeitung.

“There is every reason to believe, for instance, that the Government bodies entrusted with the task of formulating the foreign trade plans were so misinformed about economic conditions abroad that they were completely taken by surprise when the sudden shrinkage of values occurred in 1931 and when, later on, Russia’s foreign trade slumped badly. Right down to the spring of 1931 the Soviet press and official quarters were still quite convinced that the U.S.S.R. would be relatively untouched by the world trade depression.” [8]

It was not misinformation. Since 1928 in the International the Stalinists had been announcing a world crisis and coming revolution. That was the basis of the new theory of Social Fascism. But at the same time all who insisted, with the Platform, that in the last analysis Soviet economy was subject to world economy, were Trotskyists, and risked peace and liberty.

The plan was based on exports of 923 million roubles and imports of 880 million roubles for 1929, steadily increasing to imports of 2,627 millions and exports of 2,040 millions in 1932-33. But by 1931 exports were only 811 million roubles, imports, 1,105.

The catastrophic fall in world prices which followed the crisis vitiated the whole scheme of the plan and, to make matters worse, while the prices of heavy machinery which the Soviet imported were comparatively unaffected by the crisis, it was the prices of agricultural products, which paid for this machinery, that fell by fifty per cent. Thus while Russia was continually increasing exports it was getting less and less in return. Then in 1930–31 war threatened from Japan. The Stalinist regime was compelled radically to recast the plan and build war factories in territory strategically safe both from Western Europe on the one hand and Japan on the other, territory hundreds of miles away from the industrial centres and lacking means of communication. Money had immediately to be appropriated for armaments. World economy and world politics which rest on it were teaching Stalin some simple but costly lessons in the elements of Marxism.

While on the one hand it was simple Marxism to govern the plan always in the closest relation to world-economy, on the other such a plan could be adequately realised only in co-operation with the masses, and particularly the proletariat working through its Soviets and Trade Unions, exercising a constant check and test by the effect of the plan on its living conditions and the qualities of articles it used. The plan both on paper and in propaganda aimed at improving the living conditions of the masses. A Workers’ State rests on the workers, and any plan which did not in actual fact improve their conditions from year to year was thereby condemned. The masses themselves were the best judges of this, and a Soviet regime should have boldly drawn their full strength into cooperation. For a system of planned economy embarked upon by a Socialist State involved such dangers of bureaucratic rigidity and consequent error, that it demanded a ceaseless and vigilant check from below. But the Stalinist regime was based on bureaucracy; its only idea of fighting bureaucracy was to admit workers into its ranks and create more ill-educated and incompetent bureaucrats. Stalin has never understood the role the workers must increasingly play in a Workers’ State. An early step of the swollen bureaucratic regime was to take the plan as an excuse for destroying the few remaining privileges of the workers so as to ensure control over them in the difficult days that were ahead. The Trade Unions were deprived of the status they had at least nominally enjoyed since N.E.P. and made mere appendages of the State; the remnants of workers’ control were wiped away.

Stalin found that the workers of 1930 wanted to give up their privileges.

“The workers again and again complain: There is no master in the works, there is no system in the works. We can no longer tolerate our factories being transformed from productive organisms into parliaments. Our Party and Trades Union organisations must at length understand that, without ensuring one-man-management and strict responsibility for work done, we cannot solve the problems of reconstructing industry.“

For the moment, however, under the barrage of propaganda promising the millennium, the workers in the factories submitted and girded themselves for what seemed the final sacrifice. Hitherto wages had varied between fixed proportions in an effort to lessen inequality. Stalin introduced a system of shock-brigades, bodies of workers who received better pay and valuable privileges for more intensive effort. It was, in a country still so backward as Russia, quite justifiable, though a retreat. He announced it as a step forward towards Socialism, and the requisite quotations and interpretations from Lenin were loosed on the workers. Yet such is the vitality of collective ownership and planned economy that in many respects industrialisation triumphed over all these handicaps. In the first year of the plan the success was such as to astonish even the Stalinists themselves. The low quality of production, due not only to the backwardness of the country but to a vulgar haste for achieving paper records, the bureaucratic methods, added to the inevitable confusion which so vast a scheme under the best auspices must inevitably bring, [9] the systematic lying for the glorification of the regime, when all these are discounted, not only the first year but all the years of the five-year plan have proved that the Socialist methods, even in the difficult internal and external circumstances of a backward country like Soviet Russia, are incomparably superior to capitalist economy. Stalin was jubilant. “We are becoming a land of metals, of automobiles and tractors; and when we put the U.S.S.R. into a motor car and the muzhik into a tractor, then let the reverenced capitalists who pride themselves on their ‘civilisation’ try to catch up with us. It is still to be seen which country will then have to be considered backward and which advanced.” This, for the time being, might be considered by those who knew him as the crude boasting of a fundamentally ignorant and commonplace mind. He forecasts the catching and outstripping of the most advanced capitalist countries in ten years. [10] As long as this remained words, it did not much matter, but by 1930 there was nothing in the Soviet Union to prevent these absurdities being translated into immediate practice. In late 1929 the ominous signs of the world-crisis were already clear. The International was heralding the crisis as the beginning of doom. Under those circumstances it would be all that Russia could do to accomplish the five-year plan in the time set for it. Instead Stalin decided to accomplish it in four. The culmination of this hysteria was reached in his report to the Political Report of the Sixteenth Congress in July 1930. He now seemed seriously to be expecting Socialism, or some tolerable substitute, in 1932-33. Whereas to the bourgeois expert in 1928 the Platform seemed a romantic gesture, this 1930 report seemed to indicate that the strong, silent man and the clique who surrounded him had lost their reason. “I will not speak of the bourgeois writers whose eyes simply bulge out of their heads at the very words Five-year Plan ...” [11] They boasted that they would soon abolish the market and begin the Socialist exchange of goods. Russia’s troubles were over. “It must be admitted,” said Stalin, “that the Soviet Government is the most stable in the world.” Russia, he said, had entered into Socialism, and he gave warnings to all who thought otherwise. Trotsky in 1926 had suggested that industrial growth in the Soviet State should be twelve to eighteen per cent yearly in comparison to the average six per cent of capitalist countries. Stalin abused Trotsky as a defeatist and enemy of Socialism. The "reactionary character" of Trotsky’s eighteen per cent he proved by the figures of 1929–30, which he said were thirty-two per cent.

Trotsky and the Opposition in exile, while welcoming the drive, were now warning against the exaggerated tendencies which had so soon appeared. From his exile for Trotskyism, Rakovsky, after Lenin and Trotsky perhaps the ablest and certainly the most brilliant of all the Bolsheviks, in one of the most masterly surveys of Russian economy ever published by the Opposition, [12] summed up the Marxist view. He told the Stalinists that they were overstepping their limits, that there were no resources for this catching up and outstripping, that industrialisation could and must be continued, but that this mad attempt to build Socialism was piling up incalculable dangers and would bring a heavy retribution. Stalin in his report wrote many pages condemning the right-wing deviation of Trotskyism, hailed the unprecedented rates of development, set forty-seven per cent as the increase of industrial growth for the coming year, and met argument with terror. Once more the errors of the bureaucracy were paid for by the workers.

Deprived of means of defence, the full weight of the unprecedented rates of development fell on them in cut wages, low standards of living and remorseless speeding-up. Their resistance was met by terror. On January 15, 1931, Izvestia published the decree giving up to ten years of prison, not to class enemies but to Socialist workmen for infraction of discipline which provoked or caused “deterioration of the rolling stock,” “delays in the departure of trains or boats” and “all other incidents which might impede the execution of official plans for transport or compromise the regularity and security of traffic.” In case of premeditation the penalty was death. But no brutality, no terrorism could check the steady fall in prices in Western Europe, where it took almost two tons of Soviet raw material to buy what one had bought before. The Platform had demanded that the one concrete check on the confusion inevitable in this initial experiment was a stable monetary unit. But as soon as the Stalinist regime felt the pressure, dishonest to the core, it let the rouble go. At the end of 1933, according to the Plan, the circulation of roubles was to have been 3,200,000,000. At the end of the first year there were 2,642,000,000 roubles in circulation, at the end of the next year 4,263,900,000, in November 1931 5,181,700,000. By means of wage statistics calculated in these roubles the Soviet Press proved to the starving workers the steady improvement in their standard of living. The Japanese menace followed, and then on the groaning country came the final burden – the collapse of agricultural economy under collectivisation so long neglected and now carried out in the Stalinist manner.


Since the days of Engels it had been Socialist policy that the collectivisation of peasant agriculture was never under any circumstances to be forcibly carried out. At the Fourth Congress of the International, speaking of the crisis which had led to N.E.P., Lenin told the delegates of the disaffection not only of the peasantry, but also of large numbers of workers: “It was the first and I hope the last time in the history of Soviet Russia that we had the great masses of the peasantry arrayed against us, not consciously, but instinctively, as a sort of political mood.” Lenin understood the backward millions of ignorant peasants. Ruthless against all whom, as Spain has once more recently proved, are far more ruthless than he in pursuit of privilege and property, he was permeated by a deep humanitarianism, as unlike the sickly frothings of Liberalism as his revolutionary doctrine is different from their bleatings about democracy. “We are in favour of communal farms, but they must be run in such a manner as to win the peasants’ confidence. And up to that time we are not their teachers but their pupils. Nothing can be sillier than the mere thought of forcing the average peasant to change his economic relations. Our task is not to expropriate the average peasant, but to take account of the special conditions of their lives, to learn from themselves the methods that may lead them to a better social order and least of all to order them about.” It was electrification, by which he meant large-scale industry and all the benefits it would bring to the countryside, which could make the peasant change his immemorial habits, realise the inadequacy of peasant civilisation, and willingly take the road to Socialism. Nothing else could ever do it. [13]

But after the kulak offensive in 1928, as we have seen, the Stalin regime revised its plans and announced that twenty per cent of the peasantry would be collectivised at the end of five years. [14] Huge sums were apportioned and, on the basis of the coming industrialisation, the provision of tractors and other forms of mechanised assistance, it was planned that there would be a steady rise in Soviet agricultural economy by 1932 from 73.7 million tons in 1927 to 106 million tons in 1932. [15] The plan itself was, with due regard to the national and international situation, not unworkable. But Stalin was now seriously trying to transform Socialism in a single country from a propaganda weapon against Trotskyism into economic reality. What should have been carefully and persistently carried out during four years was now being rushed through without preparation. With that brutality which Lenin had noted and feared so many years before, and which now characterised the whole terrorist regime, the poorer peasants, having nothing to lose, were mobilised against the kulaks, and under the guidance of party members from the towns collective farms were created by the simple method of violence against all who resisted. While the whole Soviet Press screamed of the miraculous turn of the peasants to Socialism, millions of peasants were being forced into the commune – that highly-developed form of collective production and cooperative living which can come only on the basis of the very highest development of production. Despite all subsequent denials, Stalin’s speeches show that he gave his authority to this irreparable folly. [16] In little more than a year fifteen million peasants poured into the collectives, while Stalin announced a series of brilliant victories on the grain front. The kulaks were deported to Siberia or driven off to swampy land. Stalin celebrated the success of his new policy of liquidating the kulaks, “the last capitalist class,” and by so doing ushering in the classless society. He would accomplish by administrative decree and terror what only an industrialisation beyond the strength of Russia for the next fifty years could accomplish. Just for a moment an inner party struggle checked the mad race. The pressure of the proletariat, combined with the pressure of the peasantry, strengthened the old Right Wing, and in early 1930 Stalin’s position was in serious danger. He had to retreat, wrote an article called Dizzy with Success in which he rebuked his astonished janissaries for carrying out his orders, and quoted Lenin amply to prove that there should be no forcible coercion of the peasantry. There were torchlight processions in the villages, the peasants cut out the article and pasted it in their homes. Collective peasantry dropped from fifteen million to five. But Rykov, Tomsky and Bucharin in helping to destroy Trotskyism had forged a perfect weapon which Stalin knew how to use. Setting the machine to work he cleared the party of his enemies, and by July the old hundred per cent collectivisation and the liquidation of the kulak policy was again in full swing, except that the main form of collectivisation was to be, not the commune, but the artel where only the land and the cattle are held in common. In his report to the Political Conference in July, in the section dealing with agriculture, Stalin reached the summit of his career as an economist. After the dreadful exposure of all his forecasts which soon followed, he ceased to pontificate on the economic prospects of the Soviet Union; before the end of the plan he had confined himself to vague and extremely cautious generalities, and for years he has been as silent about the future of economic schemes as the Chinese Revolution has made him about the prospects of any revolution.


Today, this July 1930 report reads like delirium. Stalin told the Soviet people of the State farms.

“The programme is surpassed 100 per cent.

“It turns out that the people who laughed at the decision of the Political Bureau, of our Central Committee were actually laughing at themselves ... The Five Year Plan in three years. Let the bourgeois scribblers and their opportunist imitators talk now about it being impossible to carry out and surpass the Five-Year Plan of Soviet farm construction in three years.

“(b) As regards collective farming, we have an even more favourable picture ...” [17]

Followed a flight of statistics.

“It turns out that the people who laughed at the decision of the Central Committee were laughing at themselves .. This means that we have already surpassed the five-year programme of collective farm construction in two years, and by more than fifty per cent (applause). Let the opportunist old women mumble now about it being impossible to carry out and surpass the Five-Year Plan of collective construction in two years.” [18]

Following the chief builder, a frenzy of collective-farm building seized the country. Bands of armed Stalinists descended on the countryside to help those peasants who were still unconvinced by Stalin’s speeches. Kulaks and their families were deported by millions. Then the fiction of the kulak was dropped. At the Congress of Soviets in 1931 Molotov told the peasants that all henceforth had to decide “for or against the collective. Against the collective means supporting the kulak against the Soviet power.” By the autumn of 1931 over sixty per cent of the farms had been collectivised. The peasant, said Stalin, has now turned to Socialism. The style of this campaign can be judged by a statement of Molotov’s early in 1930 that in the previous thirty days they had made more collective farms than in the previous twelve years.

What happened is known far and wide. The bourgeois Press and publicists have seen to that. Civil war raged on the countryside. The peasants refused to produce; they ate the seed rather than plant it, they slaughtered the livestock rather than take them to the collective farms. Thousands were shot, and these and those deported were the more successful farmers. No economy in the world, Capitalist or Socialist, could stand such maladministration and such brutality. A ghastly famine seized the country. Grain-production, 83 millions of tons in 1930 was 69 in 1932; sugar-beet fell from 14 million tons to 6.56; horses, 34 million in 1929 were 16.6 million in 1932; large-horned cattle, 68.1 millions in 1929 were 38.6 millions in 1932; sheep and goats fell from 147.2 millions to 52.1 millions, a loss of nearly seventy-five per cent; pigs from 20.3 millions to 12.2, [19] and to this shrinkage was added the burden of meeting the foreign commitments on the shrinking prices of the world crisis and the factories and armaments against Japan. The Soviet authorities had to take from even the little that there was. Millions died, [20] and long after the famine, until January, 1935, the Russian masses queued for bread. On the 8th of August, 1932, Izvestia published the decree which imposed the death-penalty on the wretches who stole “Socialist” property from the railway-wagons or any collective farm property whatever. In case of extenuating circumstances the punishment would be at least ten years, and there was to be no amnesty. The workers and peasants, starving and held in the iron grip of the Stalinist terror, could only make sporadic revolts, but as the regime heaved and cracked, disaffection began to appear in the bureaucracy itself. To the mass shootings of workers and peasants were now added a series of proscriptions against professors, secretaries, collective-farm officials, workers, all who dared to utter a word of criticism while, in a vain attempt to drown the sombre rattle of the bullets, Stalin and the Soviet Press sang unceasing panegyrics to the brilliant, and amazing victories of peasant Socialism. But by the middle of 1932 the country could bear it no longer. In May the amount of grain to be collected from the peasant was reduced by a quarter, the number of cattle to be given over to the State reduced by a half. And far more important, the attempt to abolish the market and introduce Socialist exchange of commodities was abandoned finally and for good. The peasant was allowed to buy and sell. The Russian Revolution was once more on the defensive before the moujik. Then in October, 1933, Fascist Germany left the League of Nations. The defensive became a retreat, and the Russian Revolution is retreating to this day.


[1] Leninism, Vol. II, p. 271.

[2] XV Conference of the C.P.S.U., C.P.G.B., p. 75.

[3] Leninism, Vol. II, p. 339 and again on p. 341.

[4] Leninism, Vol. II, p. 342

[5] International Press Correspondence, Oct. l9, 1928.

[6] Leninism, Vol. II, p. 217. Italics his own.

[7] “When we hear that so close and trusted a friend of Stalin as Radek is suspected, and that one of the ablest of Soviet generals is recalled for examination, and that a hunt is going on for men and women who may have some time said something critical of official policy, we are compelled to wonder whether there may not be more serious discontent in the Soviet Union than was generally believed.” Editorial article, New Statesman and Nation, 5th September, 1936 This belatedness comes from reading Stalinist propaganda, listening to the conscious or unconscious falsifiers who “have been and seen for themselves” all those who cannot or will not understand that not only Russia’s safety from external aggression but also her internal development depends on world economy, in political terms, on the world revolution.

[8] Soviet Economics, a symposium edited by Dr. Gerhard Dobbert, 1933, p. 69.

[9] We do not underestimate this.

[10] There are many astonishing statements in Strachey’s The Theory and Practice of Socialism. But surely the most astonishing is the following: “They had to build up, in a decade or so at the most, a Socialist system which should surpass the Capitalisms of Britain, America and Germany, with their century of development behind them,” p. 432 So it seems that this miracle has been achieved. Can idolatry go further?

[11] Leninism, Vol. II, p. 365

[12] La Lutte des Classes, May, 1932.

[13] Never by “plundering the peasant.” That is purely and simply a Stalinist lie of the old days when the necessity for basic capital was pronounced a chimera and co-operation was to bring Socialism. In no single writing at any time did Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev, the leaders of the Opposition, ever hint at or tolerate any suggestion of extortion for the benefit of industry from peasant production. Even in the years when they saw the kulak peril approaching, they demanded only political restriction of the kulak, heavy taxation of the richest, and gradual collectivisation on the basis of industrialisation.

[14] The Soviet Union Looks Ahead, 1930, p. 83.

[15] Ibid., p. 251.

[16] Leninism, Vol. II, p. 251. “And that is why the middle peasant has turned towards the ‘communia.’” Soon, however, the middle peasant or Stalin found that a mistake had been made and the middle peasant discovered, or was discovered to have, a preference for the artel.

[17] Leninism, Vol. II, pp. 341–342.

[18] Leninism, Vol. II, pp. 345–346.

[19] These are the official figures given on pages 36 and 37 of Socialism Victorious, by Stalin, Kaganovitch, etc. It is certain that these figures hide about twenty per cent of the decline, in accordance with Stalin’s brazen slogan, “Statistics on the class-front.“

[20] The official Stalinists, the Webbs and a few others, today still deny the famine. The reader should consult W.H. Chamberlain’s Russia’s Iron Age, a review by the Beatrice Webb in The New Statesman of March 9th, 1935. Chamberlain’s reply in the issue of May 18th, and a letter from E.J. Evans in the issue of April 20th, 1935. That will in all probability be enough.

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