V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written on March 25–26, 1922
Published: First published in 1926 in the journal Bolshevik No. 4. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, pages 571-575.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
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.
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1. On Genoa briefly to repeat what was said on Mar. 6, 1922.[2]

(+delegation composed. — Directives carefully discussed more than once.—“We are ready.”)

2. NEP. The main points of this “question”:
(a) Testing the “link” with the peasant economy.

3. (b) The test by competition between state and capitalist enterprises (both commercial and industrial; both Russian and foreign).

4. ((State capitalism. “We” are the state.)) (c) “State capitalism.” Scholastic versus revolutionary and practical meaning of this term.

5. The scouting sortie has been made. Mixed companies. (d) Halting the retreat. Not in the sense: “We’ve already, learned”, but in the sense: don’t have nerves, don’t invent, but learn on the present ground; “ regrouping of forces and preparation”= the watchword of the day. Preparation for the offensive against private capital=the watchword.

6. “Evolution or tactics?”
Ustryalov in Smena Vekh[3]: more useful than “sweet– sounding communist lies”.

Which side will win? What do
we lack? Cultured methods,
ability to administer (including ability to carry on state trade).

8. Todorsky, p. 62, to underline.[4]
Already in Oct. 1918!

(Cf. conqueror and conquered: who is more cultured? 4,700 responsible Communists of Moscow and Moscow bureaucracy.)

Two typical examples:

9. Example No. 1: Moscow Consumers’ Co-operative Society fights the red tape of the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Trade.[5]

Copy of the white cow.”[6] What did “they” (without Krasin and Kamenev) lack? Culture.

(Material of the “case” of the M.C.C.S. versus the P.C.F.T.) (In this case there was insufficient ability to manage+a certain political mistake.)
(Role of the Communists: they’re bad!)

10. Example No. 2: How “he” (and “they”) overdid the administering (in the Donets Basin).

11. “State trusts.” An example ...
for next year!

12. Summing up: we have quite enough resources to win in NEP: both political and economic. The question is “only” one of cultured methods!

13. The whiteguards (including the Mensheviks and S.R.s and Co.) see in this something in their favour! Vain hope! A review of what has been completed and not completed is very valuable:

(α) A bourgeois-democratic revolution, “they” say! Against them (400 years’ worth of dung cleaned out in 4 years!).
(β) Exit from the war: a revolutionary exit from a reactionary war. And what about them?
(γ) The Soviet state. The first in the world. A new epoch: worse than the first locomotive!

The three are inseparable.

The fourth, and main one, is not finished: laying the foundations of a socialist economy. To be redone again and again.

14. What “link in the chain” must we get hold of now? 1917—withdrawal from the war. 1918—Soviet state versus Constituent Assembly. 1919 and 1920—repelling invasion. 1921: economic approach to the peasantry. The search for an economic policy. 1922: The essential is not in institutions, not in reorganisations, not in new decrees, but in the selection of personnel and in checking performance. Selection of personnel and checking performance. On three (3) conditions: (a) Absence of intervention.
With Mensheviks and S.R.s: shooting for political abetting. (β) The financial crisis not to be excessively severe.
(Not very severe? Purging the state trusts.) (γ) Making no political mistakes.

15. “The key feature of the moment” (the link in the chain)= the gap between the grandeur of the tasks imposed and our poverty, not only material but also cultural.

16. We must be at the head of the masses, otherwise we are a drop in the ocean.

The phase of propaganda by decreesis over. The masses will understand and appreciate only business-like practical work, practical success in economic and cultural work.

σσ =Selection of people and checking of performance!

_ _ _


1. The Party versus the Soviet bodies. (Don’t bother it with petty jobs. Raise the responsibility of personnel in Soviet bodies.)

2. All-Russia Central Executive Committee? Longer sessions. More careful discussion. More circumstantial checking.

3. Council of People’s Commissars and Council of Labour and Defence.
My deputies (Rykov and the usefulness of Wilhelm II).
Correspondence since Jan. 1922. Checking performance, pulling up, purging from above.

4. C.P.C. Raise its prestige, free it from minor tasks.

5. C.L.D. Develop and expand the activities of the regional economic conferences.

6. Narrow Council of People’s Commissars. Free it also from minor tasks.

Draft directives (on the instruction of the Central Committee) will be submitted.


[1] The notes for a political report of the Central Committee of the R.C.P.(B.) to the Eleventh Congress of the Party (see present edition, Vol. 33, pp. 263–309).

[2] A reference to Lenin’s speech on the international and domestic situation of the Soviet Republic at a meeting of the Communist group of the All-Russia Congress of Metalworkers, March 6, 1922 (see present edition, Vol. 33, pp. 212–26).

[3] Smena Vekh (Change of Landmarks)—a collection of counter-revolutionary articles, issued in Prague in July 1921. Its authors (N. V. Ustryalov, Y. V. Klyuchnikov, Y. N. Potekhin, S. S. Lukyanov, A. V. Bobrishchev-Pushkin, and S. S. Chakhotin) were representatives of intellectuals from the anti-Soviet whiteguard camp. They had come to realise that it was hopeless to try to overthrow the Soviet power with the aid of foreign armed intervention and were hoping that the Soviet state would evolve round to their views.

[4] A reference to the book by Alexander Todorsky, A Year with Rifle and Plough, issued by the Vesyegonsk Uyezd Executive Committee in 1918. Lenin’s article, “A Little Picture in Illustration of Big Problems” (see present edition, Vol. 28, p. 387), contains a quotation from the book in a copy of which (p. 62) he underlined it. This copy is now at the Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.

[5] For details, see present edition, Vol. 33, pp. 292–94.

[6] A reference to the incident from Lenin’s law practice, which he related in the political report of the Central Committee of the R.C.P.(B.) to the Eleventh Party Congress (see present edition, Vol. 33, pp. 294–95).

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