V. I.   Lenin


To:   L. D. TROTSKY[1]

Dictated: Dictated by phone
Published: First published in 1965 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 54. Printed from the text in Lydia Fotieva’s hand.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 443b-444a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.README

Comrade Trotsky:

I have no doubt that the Mensheviks have now intensified and will go on intensifying their most malicious agitation. I think, therefore, that there is need to intensify surveillance over and reprisals against them. I have already spoken about this with Unschlicht, and request you to find ten minutes or so for a conversation with him not by telephone. As for the substance of the matter—I think I   agree with you. I now seem to be developing an urge to write an article on topics close to those you have referred to, but I shall nevertheless be hardly able to do this before a fortnight is out. Therefore, it would be perhaps extremely useful if you were to join open battle in the press right away, naming this Menshevik, explaining the malicious whiteguard character of his speech, and issuing an impressive call to the Party to pull itself together. The term “state capitalism” is, in my opinion (and I have repeatedly argued with Bukharin about it), the only theoretically correct and necessary one to make inert Communists realise that the new policy is going forward in earnest. But, of course, such malicious helpmates of the whiteguards, as all Mensheviks are, can pretend that they do not understand that state capitalism in a state with proletarian power can exist only as limited in time and sphere of extension, and conditions of its application, mode of supervision over it, etc.[2]




[1] This is in reply to L. D. Trotsky’s communication that the youth conference, where he had given a report, was addressed by the Menshevik Gurvich, who, referring to Lenin’s pronouncements on state capitalism, asserted that the New Economic Policy was a return to capitalism.

[2] Lenin shed light on the question of state capitalism in the political report of the R.C.P.(B.) Central Committee and in the summing up speech on the report at the Eleventh Party Congress, and also in an interview with a Manchester Guardian correspondent, in a report at the Fourth Congress of the Comintern, and in his article “On Co-operation” (see present edition, Vol. 33, pp. 279, 310–13, 402–04, 418–22, 472–73).

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