The Latest Deception by Gabriel Miasnikov 1930

1. The bureaucracy’s deceitfulness and the proletariat

All the workers and peasants, whether they know how to read or not, have heard the deafening howls and uproar of the professional bureaucrats of the party-Soviet concerning self-criticism.

The newspapers and magazines spit and rage, demanding that the dissidents— the workers, peasants and intellectual opposition—should be eliminated, appealing to iron and blood, to retaliations urbi et orbi. But after having dragged thousands of workers, peasants and intellectuals to prison or deportation in the “socialist fatherland”, these gangsters of the bureaucracy are now making a terrible ruckus with this business about “criticism”, “self-criticism” and “implacable criticism, from top to bottom”. What is happening here? These gangsters, who are the ones who make all the important decisions in this country with its millions of people behind the backs of the proletarians and peasants, in their ministerial sanctuaries, the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR (bolshevik) whose decrees are more infallible than the edicts of the Holy Synod; these gangsters who have done away with so many workers, peasants and intellectuals without any kind of public trial, without allowing them the right to defend themselves, employing kangaroo courts and torture chambers, because these honest revolutionaries had the audacity to have their own opinions and to express them; these bureaucrats, whose acts of repression are more cruel than the most degrading and abject deeds of the bourgeois governments (Bela Kun was condemned to three months in prison by a bourgeois court, and the organizer of a prison escape, comrade Braun, was given a six-month sentence), are the same ones who are now suddenly advocating self-criticism.

The workers, peasants and intellectuals, whether or not they are members of the party, are stupefied and bemused by this clamorous hypocrisy. Does it represent a 180 degree change of course? Does it mean that the workers, peasants and intellectuals who disagree with the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (bolshevik) will no longer be subjected to secret reprisals and will not be imprisoned without a trial in the dungeons of the GPU because of the positions they advocate in meetings and in the press? Does it mean that from now on the proclamations of the bureaucracy of the Politburo of the CPSU(b) will no longer be infallible and will no longer be off-limits to all criticism? Does this mean that the gangsters of the bureaucracy, who meet in ecclesiastical conclaves (that is, in party congresses), will now be subject to criticism and that if they are opposed by a majority they will have to alter their decisions? No, of course not. All this talk of self-criticism is only the latest deception of the bureaucracy.

The bitter disillusionment of the working class and peasant masses caused by the arbitrary tyranny of the bureaucrats, by their betrayals, their deceitfulness, and their inability to perform the simplest task—supplying bread to the cities in a country that is an exporter of grain—this disillusionment is so profound, that the bureaucracy organized into a ruling class, that exercises command over production, distribution and the State, believes that it has not inflicted enough repression on the workers, peasants and intellectuals of the opposition, and it seems that now the ground is shaking under its feet. That is why it is howling like mad against “bureaucratism” and in favor of “self-criticism”.

Evidently, this “criticism” and “self-criticism” must ultimately benefit the bureaucracy, it must culminate in reinforcing its power and its rule, winnowing from its ranks the most notorious and corrupt embezzlers and bandits, those for whom the workers and peasants have expressed the greatest hatred, and thus divert the discontent against the system of bureaucratic rule towards more anodyne targets: the minor misappropriations of low-level bureaucrats, small-time bureaucratic chicanery. The bureaucracy praises the “honest” bureaucrats, calling upon the workers and peasants to collaborate in the task of cleaning up the mess. These are the limits of “criticism” and “self-criticism”, and anyone who deviates from them is persecuted with all available means: blackmail, calumny, discreet pressure applied at the headquarters of the GPU, deportation and prison. The working class, the agricultural wage workers and the honest proletarian intellectuals will fight to break the rule of the bureaucracy, by destroying the bureaucratic machinery, by overthrowing its power in production and replacing it with that of the Councils of Workers Delegates in the workplaces, who will elect the organs of industrial management: the directorial staff of the industrial sectors and the councils of administration, and the National Economic Council of the Soviet Union will simultaneously institute these Councils as the “working class cornerstone of state power” (the original program of the CPSU(b). They will fight to evict the bureaucracy from all commercial activities, to abolish all the National Commissariats of Commerce, the commercial organizations of the State, and to transfer all the capital, rights and responsibilities of these institutions to the cooperatives. They will fight to expel the bureaucracy from the leading positions of the State and to transfer all the rights and prerogatives of the bureaucratic Workers and Peasants Inspectorate to the trade unions. They will fight for a workers State, for the dictatorship of the proletariat and for workers democracy, knowing that the bureaucracy is incapable of eliminating, even minimally, fraud, bribery, arbitrariness, tyranny, and the oppression and exploitation of the working class and peasant masses.

And even while the proletariat fights for immediate objectives in its everyday struggles, for the suppression of the worst aspects of bureaucratic rule, for higher wages, better working conditions and other similar reforms of the social-bureaucracy, while they are fighting against these bureaucratic evils, the proletariat must understand the very nature of these evils, whose essence is State Capitalism itself, the very structure of the social-bureaucratic system.

Only the destruction of this system and its replacement by a workers State will destroy the bureaucracy at its very roots.