Written: Late March and early April of 1921
First Published: Published according early April 1921 to the manuscript
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 1st English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 32, pages 320-328
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\HTML Markup: David Walters & R. Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marx.org) 2002. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License
1. General significance of the tax.
Retreat? Advance? (to commodity exchange).
Is it another "Brest"?
Transition from surplus-grain appropriation (approp- riation of surplus stocks) to commodity exchange.
"War" communism versus proper economic relations.
2. The tax and unrestricted trade.
The tax and unrestricted trade.
Unrestricted trade versus the economic base ("local trade") of small-scale economy.
versus the political power of the proletariat.
Scope and conffitions for a free market.
3. The middle peasant. (Levelling up.)
Is it a stake on the kulak?
or the middle peasant.
Levelling up. The industrious peasant.
4. Methods of transition to socialist
the small peasant
6. The struggle against the evils of bureaucracy (its economic roots).
7. [The international situation and internal relations.
8. Party and political crises
(1920-21). Mensheviks + Socialist-Revolutionaries +anarchists (Kronstadt).
9. Xgreement" with the peasantry? or dictatorship?
10. Non-Party conferences.
|To convey the meaning more precisely: The substitution of a tax the appropriation system in view of the specific conditions and he general tasks of the present political situation.||The substitution of a tax for surplus-grain appropriation and agreement with the peasantry (or the tasks of a workers’ government in a peasant country) and the tasks of the working class in respect of the peasantry.|
|The substitution of a tax for or the appropriation system in view of the present political situation.|
The substitution of a tax for the appropriation system, its significance in principle: from “War” Communism to a proper socialist foundation.
The economic essence and foundation of socialism is neither appropriation nor tax, but exchange of the product of large-scale (“socialised”) industry for peasant produce.
The appropriation system is not an “ideal”, but a sad and bitter necessity. The opposite view is a dangerous mistake.
The appropriation system and the “apparatus”. We should have perished long ago but for the “apparatus”. Unless we wage a systematic and persevering struggle to improve it we shall perish before we manage to lay the foundation of socialism.
The alliance of the workers and peasants = c’. and c’ of the Soviet power. “Necessary and adequate” condition for its stability.
This alliance against Denikin & Co. is not the same as the alliance (the same one) in economic organisation.
The first=bourgeois revolution.
The second=socialist revolution.
Transition from war to construction.
Ninth Congress 1920 (cf. April 1918) versus Tenth Congress (March 1921).
Switch from appropriation to regular commodity exchange.
The tax is in principle compatible with a free market in grain and other products.
Formal democracy versus the reality of class relations over the tax and other similar questions.
Coercion + persuasion (in appropriation)-in the taxin "commodity exchange".
How much "free trade" is thereto be? After paying the tax.
|Scope for experiment, practice.
Small trade . . . .
||| Tasks of local officials.|
|| Tasks of local authorities.
Type of economic relations or the economic system before the proletarian revolution in a number of major countries=concentration at the top
unrestricted peasant trade at the bottom a species of state capitalism (cf. April 1918).
“Stake” on the middle peasant? On the kulak? Restoration of bourgeois relationships?
Levelling up of the rural areas
|“the poor peasants”||
were given an equalitarian redistribution|
were given landowners’ land
were given opportunity to take from the kulaks
were given extraordinary assistance by the state
The pivot and touchstone will now be ’(is) an increase in products (of. Programme of the R.C.P.).b00 Inde(Hense): the “stake” on the middle peasant in agriculture.
The industrious peasant as the "central figure" of our economic revival.
Individual commodity exchange.
Role of the collective farms: many stupid timings have been done. Prosecution for failure to implement the law and incompetence (three years).
Is socialism to fear the "individualism" of the peasant and his "free trade"? No.
Electrification: the yardstick. A long-range plan, but a plan and (ergo) a criterion. (Every plan is a yardstick, a criterion, a beacon, a landmark, etc.)
If we have electrification within 10 to 20 years, there is nothing to fear from the individualism of the small farmer and his unrestricted trade in local exchange. If we have no electrification, a return to capitalism is inevitable in any case.
The international situation is now favourable: a new equilibrium.
|Their disintegration, our consolidation.||Entente versus Germany.
America versus Japan (and Great Britain).
America versus Europe.
The imperialist world versus "Asia".
(0.250 x 7=1.75) (a thousand million out of 1,750)
Ten or twenty years of regular relations with the peasantry and victory is assured on a world scale (even if there is delay in the proletarian revolutions, which are maturing); otherwise 20-40 years of tormenting whiteguard terror.
Aut-aut. Tertium non clatur.(Either or. There is no third road—Editor.)
|“Agreement” with the peasantry? Constituent Assembly (overt or covert), voting, change of Constitution, Socialist-Revolutionaries, Mensheviks + anarchists.||Co-operatives. Their economic and political (Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries) aspects.||Ambiguity of the notion of “agreement”, particularly versus "dictatorship".|
|Experience and lessons of Kronstadt (new feature in the political history of Soviet power).||Uncompromising struggle against Mensheviks, Socialist-Revolutionaries, anarchists.|
Quid est politica?(What is “politics”?—Editor.)
(1) the vanguard of the proletariat and its mass.
(2) the proletariat and the peasantry.
(3) the proletariat (and the peasantry) and the bourgeoisie.
|Weariness, exhaustion, despair .... Lack of strength . . . .“Respite” evils of bureaucracy (Gegenstück) ( Counterpart.—Editor.)||among working class and among the peasants||“Top section” worn out, promotion of new people from “lower ranks”≡ (α) young people; (β) non-Party people.|
| Anarchism and the “Marxist” struggle against it. “Despair”?|
The pace is not what it should be (in war-time and peacetime construction).
In April 1918 and in April 1920, we imagined transition from the war to peace-time construction to be a simple one on the same lines of policy.
The transition is a complex one: relations with the peasantry are different, the pace is different, the situation is different.
Demobilisation of the army.
Banditry. (Devastation. Seven years of war.)
Either a whiteguard reign of terror, or the dictatorship of the proletariat, its (relaxing) leadership.
What is so terrible about the word “dictatorship”?
|The non-Party peasant as are a yardstick, a criterion, a counsellor—and a slogan (= Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks). Vote? Overthrow the government? Or seek accord with it?||Non-Party conferences a not an absolute political weapon of the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries + anarchists. Caveant consules! (Let the consuls beware! —Editor.)|
|It is a well-tried trick of conventional bourgeois party politics and bourgeois parliarnentarism to try to "catch one" through concossions. But we reject the very basis of bourgeois parliamentarism, and "conventional (bourgeois) party politics"!!||| NB||
“The economic foundations for the withering away of the state” (The State and Revolution): in this case we also have the “economic foundations” for the withering away of bureaucracy, the top section and lower ranks, inequality (cf. “First Steps from Capitalism to Communism”). The economic basis of socialism is not yet there. What is this basis? It is commodity exchange with the peasantry!!
Combating the evils of bureaucracy.
+Note. Significance of the political crisis in spring (Feb.-March) 1921 (“transitions”) and Party crisis (Nov. or Sept. 1920-March 1921). Adapt the Party’s top section to its mass or vice versa? The Party to the masses (proletariat+then the peasantry) or vice versa.
|State capitalism not terrible but desirable.
3) Commission agents.
|Learning from state capitalism.|
“Elemental” c’est le mot 1794 versus 1921.
|All within proper limits and
on definite terms.
What are these limits?
Experience will show.
mainly and primarily.
Tax in kind and trade.
instructions to food supply workers:
These (3 and 4) forms are weak, because we are weak and stupid. Cf. bureaucratic practices….
Free market α to develop the productive forces of peasant farming β) to develop small industry γ) to combat the evils of bureaucracy.
Practice will show.
Food supply worker:
Petty-bourgeois element will overthrow (May 5, 1918).
“Example” of the French Revolution, cf. November 10,
Pessimism or optimism?
Calculation of forces. Sober approach and fervent dedication.
Transition to politics.
Economics in the spring of 1921 transformed into politics: “Kronstadt ”.
Role of Socialist-Revolutionaries +Mensheviks (Dan, Rozhkoy & Co., Martov & Co.). A "slight shift", to the right or the left, makes no difference.
Milyukov is more intelligent than Chernov and Martov: it is not so difficult to be more intelligent than these conceited fools, phrase-mongers and knights of the petty-bourgeois doctrine (1789-1848-1920).
Their place is in prison and not at a non-Party conference.
1794 versus 1921.
Vacillation of the "elements". (Quid est elements) and firmness.
promotion of men.
Pessimism or optimism? A most sober appraisal of the evil and the difficulties.
Dedication in the struggle. ΣΣ=
1) “Trade”. Quid est?
2) Small industry. Where are the raw materials?
5) State capitalism.
6) Local initiative.
7) Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries +non-P arty people.
 Lenin began to work on The Tax in Kind pamphlet at the end of March 1921, just after the Tenth Party Congress, and finished it on April 21. He attached great importance to its earliest publication and distribution, because it explained the necessity of transition to the New Economic Policy. In early May, it was published as a pamphlet, and was soon after carried by the magazine Krasnaya Nov No. 1; it later appeared in pamphlet form in many towns, and was reprinted in part and in full in central and local papers. In 1921, it was translated into German, English and French.
A special resolution of the Central Committee instructed all regional, gullernia and uyezd Party committees to use the pamphlet to explain the New Economic Policy to the working people.