Christian Rakovsky


Statement on Expulsion from the Party

(December 1927)

First published in Report on the Fifteenth Party Congress, Communist Party of Great Britain, 1928.
Reprinted in Christian Rakovsky, Selected Writings on Opposition in the USSR 1923–30 (editor: Gus Fagan), Allison & Busby, London & New York, 1980.
Copyright © 1980 Allison & Busby and Gus Fagan.
Reproduced here with the kind permission of Gus Fagan.
Transcribed and marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

It was moved at the Congress that we be expelled from the CPSU. We consider it our duty to make the following statement on this matter to the Congress:

(1) Expulsion from the party deprives us of our party rights, but it cannot free us from the duties which everyone of us took on himself in joining the ranks, we remain as before true to the programme of our party, its traditions, its banner. We shall work for the strengthening of the Communist Party and its influence on the working class.

(2) We declared and declare now that we submit to the decisions of the Fifteenth Congress on the dissolution of our faction. We have pledged ourselves to advocate our views within the limits of the party statutes. We pledged, and pledge ourselves now, to do our utmost for the preservation of unity of our party which is at the head of a workers’ state. We categorically reject the intention to organize a second party, which is ascribed to us, as being incompatible with the proletarian dictatorship and against Lenin’s teachings. Expulsion from the party will not change our opinions nor our attitude to the question of unity in the CPSU.

(3) We reject just as emphatically the assertions concerning the anti-Soviet tendencies in our struggle. All of us, in one form or another, are partakers in the building up of the Soviet state, the first country of the toilers. Our aim is to strengthen the Soviet government on the basis of an alliance of the workers and peasants. Our path is the path of inner party reform. We will strive forward to the triumph of our views only on this path.

(4) Our opinions have been branded as Menshevik opinions at the Congress. Menshevism was and is opposed to the October revolution and is the champion of bourgeois democracy, which is a form of capitalist domination.

We are participants in the struggle for the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of a proletarian dictatorship. The meaning of our inner party struggle lies in the defence of the socialist dictatorship from mistakes as a result of which may follow a return, after several political stages, of bourgeois democracy.

(5 We repudiate the »trotskyist« epithet of the opposition, which is based on artificial and deliberate attempts to link up the greatest problems of our epoch with pre-revolutionary differences which have long since been liquidated and with which most of us have not been connected. We stand fully and completely on the basis of the historical foundations of Bolshevism.

(6) We are being expelled for our views. They have been laid down in our platform and theses. We consider these views to be Bolshevik-Leninist views. We cannot renounce them because the march of events confirms their correctness.

(7) Over one thousand communists of the opposition have already been expelled from the party. The expulsion of the leaders of the opposition by the Congress will signal the expulsion of additional thousands. These expulsions will signify – whether the Congress wants it or not – a turn of party policy to the right, a strengthening of the classes and groups within the country which are hostile to the proletariat and an incentive to the imperialist encroachments from without.

It is impossible successfully to limit the kulak, combat bureaucracy, and introduce the seven hour day by cutting off at the same time those elements from the party who have been endeavouring, during the last few years, to rebuff the growing strength of the kulak, persistently speaking against bureaucratic distortions and bringing the question of a more rapid improvement of the workers’ conditions on the order of the day. It is impossible to carry on preparations for the defence of the October conquests against the onslaughts of imperialism and at the same time drive out from the party those elements whom the world bourgeoisie regard as their irreconcilable foes.

(8) The party régime resulting in our expulsion inevitably leads to a new dismemberment of the party and to new expulsions. Only a régime of inner-party democracy can guarantee the elaboration of a correct party line and strengthen its ties with the working class.

(9) The expulsion of oppositionists as well as the other repressive measures against them aim at tearing out by their roots opposition ideas from the party. But in so far as these ideas correctly reflect the historical interests of the proletariat and the basic tasks of the party, they, in spite of repressions, will live in the party and secure new champions.

The worker-Bolsheviks are the heart of the party. In time of growing danger their voice will be decisive for the fate of the party and the revolution.

(10) Being expelled from the party, we shall work for our return to its ranks. We are convinced that our expulsion will be temporary because the further development of the class struggle and our activities will convince every party member of the injustice of the accusations which brought about our expulsion.

(11) The struggle within the ranks of the CPSU could not leave the ranks of the Comintern unaffected. The opposition has its followers and sympathizers, who are subject to repression just as we are, almost in all fraternal communist parties. We doubt whether the oppositionists expelled from the other parties will choose the path of setting up duplicate parties, i.e. the path of splitting the Comintern. The correction of mistakes and straightening out of the line of the leaders can and should be done within the limits of unity. A patient elucidation of our views on the basis of events, active participation in the struggle of the communist parties against the bourgeoisie and the social democrats, will restore unity in the Comintern on the firm basis laid down by Lenin at the new rise of the tide of the labour movement.

(12) True to the teachings of Marx and Lenin, vitally connected with the CPSU and the Comintern, we reply to our expulsion from the CPSU by our firm decision to fight under the Bolshevik banner without restraint for the triumph of world revolution, for the unity of the communist parties as the vanguards of the proletariat. for the defence of the conquests of the October revolution for communism, for the CPSU, and the Comintern.

I. Smilga, N. Muralov, C. Rakovsky, K. Radek
18 December 1927                            

Last updated on 16.10.2011