J. T. Murphy

Introduction to Lenin on Co-operatives

Source: Lenin on Co-operatives, 1925(?)
Publisher: Communist Party of Great Britain
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2008). 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.

The following pages contain extracts from the speeches of Lenin dealing with the role of the co-operatives in the revolutionary struggle of the workers. The first contains an analysis of the position of the co-operatives before the workers have become the ruling class. The remainder deal with the importance of the co-operatives after the taking of power.

For co-operative workers in this country, there is an urgent need to understand the limitations of the co-operatives before the revolution. There is a widespread feeling in our ranks that co-operation is enough, that there is no need for strikes, for conflict. There are those who hold the opinion that it is only a matter of the steady growth of co-operation and the co-operative commonwealth will come without all these annoying battles. These views are held without the slightest attempt to prove the case. The co-operative papers such as the “Co-op. News,” are in the hands of those who are literally scared at the idea that they should be asked to prove their case or discuss the Communist views on the problems before the co-operative movement. They shut their eyes, plug their ears, open their mouths as wide as possible and bellow—“Communist conspiracy,” “Communist propaganda” in true “Morning Post” style.

The extracts from the speeches of Lenin which we publish herewith will show that we Communists have not only a propaganda case, but a real appreciation of both the limitations and potentialities of the co-operative movement. Lenin here shows that the co-ops can only be auxiliary forces of the workers’ army fighting for political power. But once the workers have secured that power then the role of the co-operatives can be, and must be enormous when assisted by the workers’ State. Then and then only can it lay the foundations of the cooperative commonwealth and expand to its fullest capacity. But read what Lenin said for yourselves, and then examine the programme of the Communist Party for the co-operators. If you can find a better one, let us know about it. If you cannot find one, why not join us in the effort to achieve it