The Plot Against the Soviets

Stalin Imprisoned the Opposition Bolsheviks and
Allowed the Counter-Revolutionists to Get Into Positions of Power

(November 1930)

From The Militant, Vol. III No. 33, 15 November 1930, pp. 1 & 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Every worker conscious of his class interests must be profoundly alarmed at the exposure just made of the international conspiracy to overthrow the Soviet government. With a dramatic sharpness, it snatches out of the realm of abstraction the cold facts of the inexorable hostility of the capitalist world to the workers’ republic. It makes real and living the fact of the permanent state of war – open or concealed – that exists between the power of the proletariat and the power of the bourgeoisie. Contrary to the soothing theories which have been expressed even in the ranks of the Communist movement, the Soviet state cannot live peacefully by the side of the imperialist states: either the one or the other must be overthrown.

The “Denials” of the Plotters

The statements made by the Soviets, charging the existence of an international plot that involves the imperialist masters of half a dozen countries and hundreds of counter-revolutionary elements in the Soviet Union, cannot be taken lightly, or considered as a a passing sensation. Only those completely out of their senses would make such charges involving such “respectable” names as Poincaré, Briand, Churchill, Deterding, and the rulers of Poland, Finland and Roumania unless there were substantial evidence to prove them.

We do not, of course, give a fig for the “indignant denials” of these imperialist bandits. Have not a Churchill, Lloyd George, Poincaré, Pilsudski, and all the others, spent millions upon millions of dollars, and thousands of working class lives, in previous attempts to overthrow the workers’ republic by armed force? Can anybody, except one without a memory, forget the military intervention in Russia of all the imperialist powers after the end of the world war, an intervention conducted on a dozen fronts? Can anybody forget the millions given to the Georgian Mensheviks, to Denikin, Wrangel, Yudenitch, Tchaikovsky, Koltchak, to the Social Revolutionists, to monarchists?

Why should any sane man put any credence in the “denials” of the conspirators? There is no reason at all. It may be that this or that individual named in the charges – based on the confessions of arrested Russian conspirators – cannot have his connection proved, but the fact remains that international capitalism is constantly seeking to overthrow the Soviet government and to support those elements within the Soviet Union who represent the interests of the capitalist class.

The conspiracy has no accidental or passing significance. It is a symptom of a deeply-rooted evolution in the relationship of forces in the Soviet Union. How does it happen that thirteen years after the establishment of the Soviet power, there should be uncovered a well-knit counter-revolutionary organization of some 2,000 people, many, if not most of them, of prominence? They are people who did not become counter-revolutionists yesterday. Many of them have been in the Soviet apparatus for years. Their origin was known, their past recorded: ex-czarist officers, technicians, manufacturers, nobles, Mensheviks, Cadets, etc., etc. How were these types able to reach such high posts in the Soviet apparatus, and perfect a centralized organization which converted into an actuality the possibility of a counter-revolutionary overthrow of the workers’ dictatorship? They could not have started yesterday – such an organization must have required a few years; where was the G.P.U. in the past, where was the proletariat’s secret service to unearth these people and bring them to proletarian justice?

It was too busy framing up Left Oppositionists with the aid of provocateurs and “Wrangel officers” – as may yet be done in the present case – to pay attention to the growing danger of counter-revolutionary gangs.

We must answer flatly and openly: The responsibility for this development lies principally upon the present Stalin regime in the Communist Party and upon the Stalin-Bucharin regime that preceded it! The credit for exposing these counter-revolutionary nests lies principally with the Left Opposition, the Bolshevik-Leninists!

The Opposition’s Warning

For years past, the Opposition raised the cry of warning against the “Thermidorian danger,” that is, the dangerous growth of those capitalist elements in the country, who were even pressing down upon the party, and whose aim was to undermine the proletarian dictatorship – in other words, the counter-revolutionary danger embodied in the kulaks, the Nepman, the bourgeois “specialists”, the concessionary, and the Right wing inside the Communist Party. For this warning, the Stalinists and the Bucharinists slandered the Opposition. They denied the Thermidorian danger. They shouted down the Opposition as “alarmists” and people who “speculate on the overthrow of the dictatorship.” The Fosters and Lovestones in this and every other country still attack the Opposition for its warning against the Thermidorian threat to Russia. While these epigones centered their attack upon the Left flank of the movement, the Right flank, the counter-revolution took the opportunity to perfect its sinister plans.

The strategy of the counter-revolution was and is: First, we crush the Left Opposition, the proletarian heart of the dictatorship – then comes our day. The club with which to do the crushing was the usurpatory faction of Stalin-Bucharin. A thousand facts prove this.

Among the main leaders of the conspiracy is the chief of the so-called Peasants’ Party, Kondratiev, now imprisoned. Almost three years to the day before his arrest by the G.P.U. comrade Trotsky spoke before the Party Central Committee (October 23, 1927) on the proposal by Stalin-Bucharin-and-Co. to exclude him from that body:

“... The thoroughly opportunist faction which has dragged behind it in recent years and still drags behind it. the Chiang Kai-Sheks, the Feng Yuhsiangs, the Wang Chin Weis, the Purcells, the Hickses, the Ben Tilletts, the Martinovs, the KONDRATIEVS and the Ustrialovs, this faction cannot tolerate us in the Central Committee, not even one month before the Congress. We know why.”

In a dozen other speeches and articles, Trotsky warned against the Kondratievs by name and by species. The Kondratievs were kept in the apparatus where they plotted the overthrow of the dictatorship; the Oppositionists who fought them were sent to prison or exile.

Among others arrested in the plot are people like Ramzin, who was nothing less than Fuel Power Director, and Kalinnikov, a commander of the Central Military Academy. How did these two, and countless others reach these high posts, of such immense strategical value to the Soviet power? What Oppositionist was removed, expelled, imprisoned, exiled or killed, in order to make room for the Ramzins and the Kalinnikovs? Did the latter take the places of comrades Ochotnikov, Kuzmitchev, Broidta and Capel, to mention only a few of the Oppositionists – valorous fighters in the civil war and some decorated with the Order of the Red Flag – who were expelled from the Military Academy and the Academy of Aviation?

It is an incontestable fact, which all the rabid howls of the Stalinist penman will not succeed in shouting down, that the ruling clique in the Party was too busy hounding the Opposition to notice the silent advance of the counter-revolution:

The Stalin-Bucharin regime tortured comrade Trotsky’s secretary, Georgi Butov, to death, while Stalin’s secretary was enabled to go abroad and turn White Guard. The Stalinist regime stood comrade Jakob Blumkin against the wall and shot him – a dastardly crime they have never dared to defend publicly. Then Stalin appointed Mr. Agabekov to Blumkin’s post. Agabekov went abroad to join the army of the counter-revolution!

An accusation is now made against Briand, and justly. But in 1927, when the Briands demanded the withdrawal of comrade Christian Rakovsky as Soviet ambassador to France, because he had signed the Platform of the Opposition, Stalin and Bucharin withdrew Rakovsky. Who replaced the Rakovskys? Bessedovsky, who helped to expel Rakovsky in the Party nucleus! Bessedovsky, who fled through the back window of the Soviet Embassy in Paris to join the ranks of the enemies of the proletarian dictatorship!

In the United States, Serebriakov (who later capitulated) was taken out of the Amtorg. His place was taken by the Delgasses. Delgass has now joined the counter-revolutionary hue and cry against the Soviets; he has become the darling of the New York White Guards.

The charges name Lord Churchill. They might have added the name of his colleague Chamberlain, who said England would recognize Russia only when Trotsky is stood against the wall and shot. Is there any difference in essence between, that command, and the reality – the fact that comrade Trotsky was finally deported to Turkey; the fact that comrade Rakovsky is in mortal danger in Barnaoul, threatened with death by Stalin’s refusal to transfer him to another climate; that Muralov, ex-military head of the Moscow district (what Kalinnikov took his place?), is desperately ill in Siberian deportation; that comrade Zinzadze wracked by tuberculosis, is kept in solitary exile; that hundreds and thousands of others are suffering the same fate?

We repeat that the Stalinist regime, with the whole state and party apparatus at its command, was so occupied with hounding and suppressing the Bolshevik Opposition as “agents of world imperialism”, that the real agents of counter-revolution were enabled to mobilize the strength they have now been shown to have.

Stalin and the Right Wing The Stalinist clique, which now admits that the conspirators were staking their cards on the victory of the Right wing (Bucharin-Rykov-Tomsky), was the intimate partner of this very same Right wing to the campaign to strangle the Bolshevik-Leninists. To the extent that this campaign was successful, it was a victory, not for the proletariat, but for the Kondratievs, the Ramzins, the Ustarialovs, the Chamberlains and world imperialism as a whole.

* * *

The capitalist press is making a sickly effort to minimize the whole plot. Naturally. They wish to lull the workers into a false security. But the vanguard will not be deceived. The Thermidorian danger, the danger of the growth of the counter-revolutionary forces, is a real one in the Soviet Union. Soviet Russia, isolated from the capitalist world, encircled by the might of world imperialism, still has a strong base for capitalist elements and capitalist restoration. The advances of the Soviet Union, while it liquidates some of these elements, sharpen the contradictions inherent in an isolated proletarian state and bring the restorationist dangers to a head. The Stalinist regime accentuates these dangers.

Oscillating between a proletarian line and a petty bourgeois line, Stalinism is unable to mobilize properly the international revolutionary resistance of the workers. This task, now more imperative than ever in the face of the recent exposures, requires a Leninist course, a Leninist regime in the Party, a Leninist policy towards the proletariat at home and towards the international movement. It requires a Leninist leadership. This leadership is dispersed, in prison and exile. It must be recalled and reinstated.

The counter-revolution has raised its ominous head. The Bolsheviks, the fighters and leaders of the October revolution, are needed in the Party to crush the threat to the Soviet Union and the international revolution.

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