What Is to Be Learned
from the Moscow Trial?


Source: The Militant, Vol. IV No. 1, 1 January, p. 5.
Transcription/HTML Mark-up: Einde O’Callaghan for the Trotsky Internet Archive.
Copyleft: Leon Trotsky Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) 2012. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0.

The act of indictment in the case of the sabotagers’ center (the “Industrial Party”) is of exceptional interest, not only because of its directly political significance but also from the point of view of the struggle of the tendencies within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The Opposition asserted and repeated in all of its documents that the minimalist provisions of 1923-1928 in the sphere of industrialization and collectivization were dictated on the one hand by the Kulak, and on the other – by the foreign bourgeoisie, through the medium of the Soviet bureaucracy.

The leading Soviet specialists, called to responsibility, show what an intensive struggle they developed in the past for the minimalist program in the Five Year Plan. Thus, it is pointed out by Ramzin particularly the most important measure of the sabotagers in relation to all the basic branches of industry was “the slowing down of the tempo of development, which is particularly clear in the old Five Year Plan, worked out under the influence of the Center” (that is, the center of the sabotagers).

The Opposition and the Five Year Plan

The old Five Year Plan, in its day, was submitted to the most crushing criticism by the Opposition. It is sufficient to quote from the Platform its general evaluation of the first Five Year Plan of Stalin-Ramzin: “The gigantic advantages of the nationalization of land, the means of production, banks, and centralized direction, that is, the advantages of the socialist revolution, are not all reflected in the Five Year Plan.” (Page 30) The Central Committee declared our criticism of the Five-Year Plan to be of an anti-Party nature. The Fifteenth Party Congress declared that we lack faith, because we became “frightened” of the allegedly unavoidable decline in tempo of the reconstruction period. In other words, during 1923-1928, that is, in the period of the development of the struggle against the Left Opposition, the Central Committee was the unconscious political instrument of the specialist sabotagers who, in turn, were the hired agents of the foreign imperialists and the Russian emigrant compradores. But didn’t we always assert that in the struggle against the Left Opposition, Stalin is fulfilling the social command of the world bourgeoisie and disarming the proletarian vanguard? What were once sociological generalizations are now strengthened by irrefutable juridical proof in the act of indictment.

Intensity is the heart of the Five Year Plan. On the beating of the heart depends the life of the whole organism. But who were the ones to determine the rhythm of the heart itself? Ramzin makes a very precise reply to this:

“The execution of the basic provisions of the Industrial Party (that is, the party of the sabotagers) in the sphere of intensity was assured by the fact that the basic organs deciding the given question were wholly in the hands of the Industrial Party.”

This is who directed the Stalinist struggle for a number of years against the “super-industrialists”!

What the Sabotagers Aimed At

Is it not clear that the act of indictment of Krylenko against the Industrial Party is at the same time an indictment of the Stalinist upper layer, which, in its struggle against the Bolshevik-Leninists was really the political weapon of world capitalism? But the matter did not end with the old Five Year Plan. The same defendants show that “beginning with the second half of 1928” – observe the exactitude of the division into two periods! – “a continued reliance upon the slowing up of the tempo became impossible because,” as Ramzin says, “of the energetic execution in life of the general line of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.” The second half of 1928 – is just the time when the Central Committee turned down the Five Year Plan for a criticism of which Oppositionists were sent to Siberia. However, did the Sabotage of the specialists cease since 1928? No, from this time onward it was particularly strengthened in view of the expectation of intervention, but in the words of the same Ramzin, it took on a different character: “The basic measures in the sphere of industrialization” – he shows – “were supposed to be directed towards the deepening of the economic difficulties, unavoidable in any case.”

But here Ramzin does not speak out entirely, or else Krylenko does not quote Ramzin’s evidence to the end. In spite of this, the matter is quite clear. The method of the specialists working under the direction of Krzhyzhanovsky consisted of “deepening the economic difficulties”, that is, of strengthening the disproportion of different branches of industry and of economy as a whole. Since, beginning with the second half of 1928, this aim could not be accomplished by a slowing down of tempo, the opposite road remained: an excessive acceleration of tempo of individual branches of industry. It is quite evident that one method is just as effective as the other.

In this way, we get what may appear to be an unexpected, but in reality a quite natural, explanation of how and why the State Planning Commission, in which the sabotagers were the basic kernel and where they led their “superior” Krzhyzhanovsky by the nose without difficulty, so easily passed from minimalist to maximalist tempos, and without any resistance sanctioned the conversion of the unverified Five Year Plan into a four year plan. The specialists understood perfectly that the unbridled acceleration of individual branches of industry without verification, without foresight, without capable regulation, results, on the one hand, in a disproportion and, on the other hand, lowers the quality of production, in this manner preparing the explosion of the Five Year Plan at its succeeding stage. In this way it flows without the least doubt from the act of indictment that in the period of its economic lagging – up to 1928 – as well as in the period of its economic adventurism – beginning with the second half of 1928 – the Stalinist economic leadership acted under the dictation of the sabotagers’ center, that is, a gang of agents of international capital. For the struggle against this “leadership”, the Bolshevik-Leninists were put in jail, exiled and even shot. Here is the naked truth which cannot be refuted by any shrewd concoction!

Pravda and the Planning Commission

The act of indictment, revealing the picture of the sabotagers’ command of the State Planning Commission and in the All-Union Council of People’s Economy, is published in the November 11th issue of Pravda, and a day before, the same paper, in a feuilleton under the extraordinarily fresh title: Merciless Fire against the Right-Left Bloc, writes the following with regard to the snares of the Opposition:

“And this means the usual factional trick: by attacking, let us say, the State Planning Commission and the control figures for the ‘bureaucratism of the economic organs’ – they conduct an attack upon the Central Committee, upon the policies of the Party and the Party leadership.”

This quotation seems absolutely incredible. A criticism of the State Planning Commission, for a number of years a toy in the hands of the bourgeois wreckers is made identical by Pravda with a criticism of the Central Committee and by that alone is declared to be blasphemy. Didn’t somebody play a “trick” here on Pravda itself? And in the approaching crisis we will find out from the second act of indictment that the Stalinist super-tempos, against which we issued a timely warning, were ordered from the sabotagers by the compradores. Such is the logic of the Stalinist regime!

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Last updated on: 21.11.2012