Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Dennis T. Torigoe

Which Way Out for Socialist Poland?

Workers Struggle Against Polish Party’s Revisionist Line

First Published: The 80’s, Vol. II, No. 2, September-October 1981.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The thousands of workers who downed tools and took over the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk last July began a workers’ movement that has reverberated far beyond Poland’s borders. Workers and bourgeoisie, communists and capitalists pondered what it meant for workers to rebel against a government run supposedly for the workers. In many ways, it echoed the debate at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution in China over a decade ago.

Were the workers in Poland going berserk, threatening anarchy and the overthrow of the system (and thus making Soviet invasion “necessary”) as some opportunists say? Or was it a result of the accumulated revisionist lines and policies of the leadership of the Polish United Workers Party (PUWP)? And most important of all, how to begin resolving the serious problems of Poland?

Polish Workers Strike to Protest Food Prices–The Fourth Time Around

The recent strike wave is the fourth major workers’ protest in Poland’s postwar history. Previous strikes occurred in 1956, in 1970 and again in 1976. Never before, however, has the strike wave swept so many workers into the movement as in this past year. And never before have the workers been able to form and maintain as powerful a workers’ organization as Solidarity, the independent union born out of the struggle.

Marxists around the world are asking: “Is it terrible or is it fine?” Some revisionists, like those in Line of March, a sect divorced from class struggle, call the Polish workers “reactionary,” demanding that the Soviet Union militarily intervene and “save socialism.”

But Marxist-Leninists don’t sidestep the truth. The roots of the Polish workers’ revolt are deeper than a few “hooligans” or “anti-socialist” elements. The real basis lies in the revisionist lines and policies of the leaders of the PUWP and the Polish government it leads, particularly the lines they followed in handling the relationship between the party, government and the masses after World War II. This profoundly affected how the PUWP reacted to the economic dislocations of the country.

As Lenin said, “A political party’s attitude towards its own mistakes is one of the most important and surest ways of judging how earnest the party is and how it fulfills in practice its obligations towards its class and the working people. Frankly acknowledging a mistake, ascertaining the reasons for it, analyzing the conditions that have led up to it and thrashing out the means of its rectification–that is the hallmark of a serious party.”[1]

As we will show through examining the history of the PUWP, it is just this refusal to make thorough-going self-criticism and rectification that has deepened their opportunism and forced the workers to rebel. Instead of correcting wrong lines, especially weak mass line, party leaders have tried to protect their positions, breeding careerism and giving rise to a stratum of bureaucrats. And as they tried to justify their opportunist positions, the situation got worse and worse. This vicious cycle has backed the PUWP into the corner it’s in today.

The workers had no alternative but to rise up. There was absolutely no other way to turn the situation around. And clearly if the workers had not risen up, the future would have been literally out of control, giving the imperialists an opening to step in and take over. As the for the present, we think that as long as the Soviet Union does not intervene, the future for the Polish workers is definitely bright and will strengthen the socialist system in Poland.

The Polish workers have taken the lead in exposing these revisionist lines and policies, and in supervising the PUWP. While not blindly supporting everything the workers are demanding, we say the struggle in Poland today is setting the basis for a renewed political vigor in Polish life. To us, that’s the most important aspect of resolving Poland’s current economic dislocation.

The Vicious Cycle of PUWP’s Revisionist Line

The problems facing the PUWP stem in part from the way it came to power in Poland. Before World War II, the Polish communist movement was very weak and in 1938 the Polish Communist Party was dissolved. Reconstituted during the war, it was part of the overall resistance movement but was one of the smallest parties in Poland.

The key to the communists’ coming to power was the Red Army’s liberation of Poland from the Nazi occupiers. Aided by the Comintern, the Polish communists, then called the Polish Workers Party, began extensive work among the masses. Party membership grew rapidly as area after area was liberated.

But the road to power for the Polish Communist Party was not easy. Though backed by the Red Army and the Soviet Union, its standing among the Polish masses was far from consolidated. It still faced much larger anti-communist forces in the country, including the Home Army, the largest of the anti-Nazi armed forces directed by London exiles. It was only after a bloody civil war lasting over three years that the armed resistance of the Home Army and other anti-communist guerrillas was smashed. The war cost thousands of lives on both sides.

The history of the PUWP’s taking state power brings into sharp relief the fallacy of “exporting revolution,” a line held by the Soviet revisionists today. Because it had not been necessary to establish the party’s moral authority among the masses prior to the seizure of state power, this problematic task existed in the period after. Most of all, the PUWP had not had to deal seriously with winning over and keeping the majority of the masses on its side. That is the problem of a deep and thorough-going understanding of, and ability to implement, the mass line. Even now, the PUWP still has not been able, or refuses, to deal with the question seriously.

To see the effects of this revisionist line in the PUWP, we must begin with events in 1956. At the Stalin factory in Poznan, workers walked off the job demanding higher wages, setting off a chain of events which led to the rise of Gomulka four months later.

Right after the Poznan walkout, the party leadership opportunistically blamed an imperialist plot. However, as one writer put it, “But after a few days of reflection ... Ochab (then head of the party) admitted that riots were not an imperialist plot and that recently-published figures claiming to show how the standard of living had risen were imaginary. From then on the official Polish line was that the rioters were largely justified in taking the action they did. Later he even had the humility to lay part of the blame on himself and his comrades: “It is a fact that our leadership was unable to protect the country from the tragedy at Poznan, that we were all astounded when the tragedy took place. This means that our awareness of the actual situation, of actual moods in the country, was insufficient and superficial.”[2]

Gomulka himself hammered at this theme as a lesson for the party, saying: “Recently the working class gave a painful lesson to the party leadership and government.

The workers of Poznan made use of the strike weapon and came out into the street to demonstrate on that black Thursday in June, calling out in a loud voice, ’Enough! We cannot go on like this! Turn aside from the false road!’ The workers of Poznan were not protesting against people’s Poland, against socialism, when they came out into their city streets. They were protesting against the evil that has become so widespread in our social system and which touched them so painfully, against distortions of the basic rules of socialism, which is their ideal…The clumsy attempt to present the Poznan tragedy as the work of imperialist agents and agents provocateurs was politically very naive.”[3]

With these lessons in mind, Gomulka set out to find a “Polish road to socialism.” Two important measures stand out from that period–the establishment of workers’ councils and the decollectivization of agriculture. Both of these highlight the fundamental problems of Poland in the 1980’s, some 25 years after Poznan.

The Rise and Fall of Workers’ Councils

The Poznan strike made it clear that the relation between the party, government and masses in Poland was far from correct. The PUWP was out of touch with the Polish masses and the workers were letting the party know it.

One of the workers’ demands in the 1956 crisis was for “workers’ councils.” Many of them had already sprung up in Polish factories with no legal basis. When the Polish government legalized them in November 1956, the councils were to participate in management to a considerable degree, under higher bodies representing the government.

The demand for workers’ councils was a spontaneous demand of the masses for more opportunities to supervise the leadership of the management and the party. Trade unions under PUWP leadership did exist but the demand for workers’ councils showed clearly the masses did not see them as representing the workers’ interests. Nor did they serve as the “schools of communism” Lenin described.

Clearly, the fundamental condition for all trade union activity in a socialist state had been violated by the PUWP. As Lenin said during the New Economic Policy: “Contact with the masses, i.e., with the overwhelming majority of the workers (and eventually of all the working people), is the most important and most fundamental condition for the success of all trade union activity. In all the trade union organizations and their machinery, from bottom up, there should be instituted, and tested in practice over a period of many years, a system of responsible comrades– who must not all be Communists–who should live right among the workers, study their lives in every detail, and be able unerringly, on any question, and at any time, to judge the mood, the real needs, aspirations and thoughts of the masses. They must be able without a shadow of false idealization to define the degree of class consciousness and the extent to which they are influenced by various prejudices and survivals of the past; and they must be able to win the boundless confidence of the masses by comradeship and concern for their needs.. .”[4]

Whether the workers’ councils were a correct form or not is not the question here. In any case, the PUWP began to oppose them and then took administrative measures against the workers’ councils. The first step curbing the power of the workers’ councils was the instruction to the trade union organizations to fight them. By the spring of 1958, Gomulka had announced plans for legislation to reduce the status of workers’ councils and the plans were enacted into law in December. Thus by 1958, Gomulka himself had forgotten what he had called “the painful lessons” of the Poznan.

As Lenin through bitter experience of the early years of Soviet power learned, “.. .One of the greatest and most serious dangers that confront the numerically small Communist Party which, as the vanguard of the working class, is guiding a vast country in the process of transition to socialism (for the time being without the direct support of the more advanced countries), is isolation from the masses, the danger that the vanguard may run too far ahead and fail to “straighten out the line,” fail to maintain firm contact with the whole army of labour, i.e., with the overwhelming majority of workers and peasants. Just as the best factory, with the very best motors and first class machines, will be forced to remain idle if the transmission belts from the motors to the machines are damaged, so our work of socialist construction must meet with inevitable disaster if the trade unions–the transmission belts from the Communist Party to the masses–are badly fitted or function badly. It is not sufficient to explain, to reiterate and corroborate this truth; it must be backed up organizationally by the whole structure of the trade unions and by their everyday activities.”[5]

This extremely important truth returned to haunt the PUWP again and again in the decades following Poznan.

The Decollectivization of Agriculture–A Giant Half-Step

In 1956, collective farms in Poland were made voluntary, and as a the result most of the collective farms in the country were dissolved. At the same time, compulsory delivery of products to the state at fixed prices was reduced by one-third which meant that 50% of all farm products were sold to the state at fixed prices, with state agencies buying the other half at open-market prices.

As a result of the land reform carried out by the PUWP soon after it took power in 1948 and the decollectivization in 1956, 80% of all farmland in Poland is now privately owned. The typical farmer is a peasant using primitive methods on 12-15 acres. The greatest part of Polish agriculture is based on a grossly inefficient system and it ties down a full third of Poland’s workforce.

The Polish leadership after 1956 metaphysically placed agricultural development of the country on the back burner. “The nightmare of our generation was rural unemployment,” recalled a key adviser to Gomulka. “Poland had farms of five hectares (12.4 acres) worked by five adults. For all of us, this rural misery was an obsession, and we went about creating new work in the cities, without thinking what it would mean in the countryside.” Tremendous investment under the state plans went into building and diversifying Polish industry, expanding the fertilizer, petrochemical, machinery, electronic, shipbuilding, coal, sulphur, natural gas and copper industries. An agrarian economy before World War II, Poland industrialized in a very short period of time.

For the new jobs created in industry, five million people left the countryside within 15 years. While this relieved the rural unemployment, it also drained manpower necessary for agricultural development.

Poland was then caught in a gigantic half-step. On the one hand, it had decollectivized most of its agriculture, not unlike Lenin’s New Economic Policy, restoring to a certain extent capitalist market relations in agriculture to boost productivity of the peasants. But it had not undertaken systematic steps to rebuild collective farms step-by-step as China did in the 50’s through its cooperative and commune movements.

Thus by 1970 Poland had a serious contradiction in its economy. On the one hand a massive industrial base was built after the war. On the other was a largely peasant agricultural sector producing with primitive methods on farms too small to be efficient and incapable of rapid growth.

This problem would come full-force to the surface in the event of 1970.

The 1970 Strikes and the Growth of the PUWP’s Organization

Days before the Christmas holidays in Poland, the Polish government announced price rises ranging from 20 to 30% on 46 food items and consumer goods. In response, workers struck in Gdansk, Sopot and other cities. At the strike’s peak, over 600,000 workers, students and others took part. Government and party offices were attacked. Troops moved in to smash the rebellion. When the fighting ended, fifty were dead, among them shipyard workers at Gdansk.

The lessons of Poznan were coming back to haunt the PUWP and the government. But things were at a higher level. To stem the anger of the masses, the government had resorted to force of arms against the people. If things were bad for the PUWP before 1970, they were infinitely worse after.

Faced with this crisis, the PUWP removed Gomulka from the position of First Secretary and replaced him with Edward Gierek, a coal miner’s son elected to the party’s Political Bureau in 1959. Gierek himself reiterated the “painful lessons” of Poznan in his own way:

The iron rule of our economic policy and our policy in general must always take reality into account as well as wide-ranging consultation with the working class and intelligentsia, respect for the principle of collective leadership and democracy in the party and in the activity of top authorities.

The recent events remind us in a painful way of this basic truth, that the party must always maintain close links with the working class and the whole nation, that it must not lose a common language with the working people.[6]

As Monthly Review summed up, “One’s first reaction to this may be that there is nothing remarkable about it, merely a reiteration of commonplaces that have been current in the socialist movement for generations. And yet, interpreted in context, what Gierek is saying in these few sentences is (1) that in formulating its policies the government had not been in the habit of taking account of reality; (2) that it had neglected to consult the working class and the intelligentsia; (3) that it had ignored the principle of collective leadership and democracy in the life of the party; and (4) that it had failed to maintain close links with the working class and did not speak of a common language with the working people. Quite some confessions for a party which defines itself as the vanguard of the proletariat!”[7]

Gierek’s Opportunist Policies–From Bad to Worse

The strikes of 1970 also brought home with a vengeance the fact that Poland’s economy had a massive contradiction. Throughout the 60’s the economy as a whole grew at a brisk 6% pace based on the development of a number of industries. But the peasant-dominated agricultural sector based on small private plots was clearly beginning to drag the economy back. The attempted price adjustments of 1970 indicated that.

The choices open to Gierek upon his rise to the first position of First Secretary were clear–either deal with the agricultural problem head-on and start taking the necessary steps, painful as they were, to rectify the situation; or sidestep it and take the path of least resistance.

At that point, it was clear that the worse sin the PUWP could commit would have been to do nothing at all on the agricultural question–which is essentially a peasant question. Collectivization seems to be seen as a deadly threat by the Polish peasants and the government. If in fact there was widespread collectivization, there probably would be massive distress that would mean greater food shortages and more workers’ revolts.

But the PUWP had to act, whether it instituted a step-by-step cooperative and commune movement based on concrete local conditions–as China did in the 50’s and 60’s or another version of the NEP under Lenin, with further unleashing of market forces and the polarization of the peasantry, including the expansion of the kulak class. It was clear, that the condition of Polish agriculture was creating both economic and political dislocations on a massive scale. No long-run solution was possible without solving this problem. And half-steps only made it worse.

Under Gierek’s leadership, the PUWP committed the opportunist sin–it sidestepped the question. After the 1970 strikes, Gierek was forced to rescind the price increases and lower them to the pre-1968 level. He removed a few top level leaders of the PUWP, including a number of Political Bureau members, and replaced 12 out of 18 provincial party secretaries. The replacement of people, however, was incidental. The main thing was that the line remained revisionist.

Without dealing with the fundamental underlying problem of agriculture, Gierek tried to cool out the workers’ resistance by creating more consumer goods. This treated the symptoms of the problem without getting to its basis. It only put off the problem to the point where it exploded with ever greater ferocity.

Basically, Gierek gambled with the Polish economy. Fearing them he failed to explain clearly to the workers and the masses the scope and extent of the problems the country faced. Instead of mobilizing the masses to deal with the problems, he lied to them and tried to cover up the contradictions.

Gierek’s “False Prosperity”

Gierek was gambling that he could work an “economic miracle” by shifting the emphasis in the 1971-75 five-year-plan from heavy industry to consumer industries and thus placate the workers. There was to be rapid economic growth based on importing foreign technology and obtaining loans and food from the West. Part of the plan was to increase trade with the West to obtain the hard currency necessary to buy imports.

None of these methods are incorrect in and of themselves. In fact, not to use these methods on principle is dogmatism and anti-Marxist. The problem with Poland’s using them, however, was they represented a sidestepping of the real economic and political problem.

Nevertheless, from 1971 to 1975, things seems to be getting better for Poland. National income increased rapidly from 6.2% in the 1960-70 period to nearly l0% a year between 1971 and 1975. Moreover, workers’ wages rose at a dramatic 8% per year in the same period.

But three factors put an end to the “economic miracle.” First of all, in 1975 the Soviet Union adjusted its prices for oil it provided to the COMECOM countries. Poland historically had imported practically all its oil from the Soviet Union, which it obtained and still obtains at 70°7o of world market prices. The readjustment in prices in 1975, however, raised Poland’s oil bill 150%, about 36.5% of total 1975 imports from the Soviet Union and a difference of 528 million rubles between 1973 and 1975. To a certain extent, this was offset by coal exports to the Soviet Union, which made up about a quarter of Poland’s total coal production.

Secondly, Poland’s export position was hurt by the deep capitalist crisis of 1974-75. Exports to the West and thus hard currency needed for financing Western imports went down. Coupled with higher oil prices, Poland’s trade deficit hit a staggering $3.2 billion in 1976. Moreover, by 1975, Poland had obtained $5 billion in loans from the West for which it was spending nearly a quarter of its export earnings to pay off.

Thirdly, by 1975 Poland again faced declining agricultural production and in 1976 a drought hit Eastern Europe. According to the Polish Government, agricultural production dropped 2.1% in 1975 and .7% in 1976.

1976 – Revisionists Do It Again

These economic problems, especially the crisis in agriculture, forced the government again to try to raise food prices in 1976. They raised meat prices 60% and sugar 100%. On June 28, 1976 workers in the cities of Ursus and Radom went on strike, occupying party offices and paralyzing the railroads. In the end, the government rescinded the price increases but 20 people lay dead and many were arrested.

This time, however, there was not even the cosmetic removal of the leadership that occurred in 1956 and 1970. Instead, the revisionist PUWP leadership tried harder to cover its tracks. This represented the growth of opportunism.

At the Dec. 1976 Central Committee meeting the PUWP decided to put more funds into subsidizing the low prices of agricultural products and into the production of consumer goods in general. In the long run it amounted to doing nothing; in the short run it meant drying up investment and running the economy into the ground.

Most important, however, was the line basis of the Polish revisionists’ actions. They were treating the Polish working class essentially like a bunch of animals. The revisionists refused to explain to them the economic and political dislocations the country faced, deeper than even five years before, repudiating the incorrect line and policies they held and removing those responsible –primarily Gierek himself. Nor did they have the guts to call on the Party and advanced workers to lead the struggle for the purging of the revisionist line and make the sacrifices necessary to turn the country around. Instead of a vitally necessary concentric attack in all spheres–political, organizational, ideological and economic–to deal with the problems, the revisionists took short-sighted pragmatic measures to cool the workers off. Some of this was necessary. But it did not deal with fundamental problems.

The Severe Economic Dislocation in Poland Today

Because of these problems, since 1975 the Polish economic picture is one of steady deterioration. Agricultural production shrank every year except 1977. National income, industrial production and investment have all declined. In 1979, for the first time since the formation of the People’s Republic of Poland, national income actually dropped, with industrial production growing only 2.8%. Investment in the economy dropped 8.2% from the previous year (which dropped .2%) and agricultural production dropped 1.4%

Agriculture in Poland is now clearly a disaster area. In 1980 food production fell an estimated 300 million tons. Trying to make up for it, the Polish government had to import 1,000 million tons of grain, some 400 million tons over the previous year. One observer noted that Poland, now the largest food importer in Europe, “is never more than a shipload away from agricultural crisis.”

Because Poland is not self-sufficient in feed grain, there will be distress slaughter of livestock if the government cannot raise the necessary foreign exchange to buy feed. Lack of foreign exchange–caused the Poland’s tremendous debt and interest payments on Western loans–has already caused massive cutbacks in Common Market butter imports and led to shortages.

Tightness in the meat supply sparked the strike waves in 1970, 1976 and this past year. One of the reasons why the government has to raise meat prices last year was the tremendous expense of subsidizing food costs. These have averaged $2.12 billion annually, a full 20% of the government’s budget. In an attempt to cut these costs, the government kept prices stable in state-owned stores while reducing quantities of meat available. At the same time, they allowed the prices in the commercial markets to rise. Since July, prices for the best meats have doubled Beef went from $1.15 to $2.27 a pound, smoked ham from $1.30 to $2.50 a pound. These price rises, on top of shortages, fueled the latest storm of resistance from the Polish workers.

Poland in 1981 is going through a food crisis which has made the government to declare food rationing. Meat, fish, butter, oranges, candies and nuts were in short supply before Christmas, a situation worsened by hoarding. Unable to find supplies for traditional holiday fare, people crossed over to East Germany and Czechoslovakia to stock up on and cleaned out stores near the border.

The situation is the short term, according to the Polish government, is going to get worse and requires more rationing. According to Newsweek, leaders of Solidarity, the new independent union, promised to cooperate with the government in putting together an emergency economic package. The rationing plan will permit each card holder to 6.6 pounds of meat, 6.6 pounds of sausage and 4.4 pounds of butter a month.

Moreover, the Polish government continued to borrow heavily from the West. Loans nearly doubled between 1975 and 1978, rising from $5 billion to nearly $12 billion. Today it stands at a staggering $20 billion, with 90% of all of Poland’s export earnings going to pay off the interest and debt of the loans. The Polish government has been humiliated to the point of being forced by the Western finance capitalists to disclose formerly withheld economic information in exchange for new loans.

Yet the very fact that Poland is bogged down so deeply in debt to the West is having important political effects on the U.S. and to a certain extent Soviet policy toward Poland. First of all, the U.S. finance capitalists, rather than wanting to destabilize Poland, want the crisis to be resolved. The last thing they want to see is continuing strikes and economic dislocation which threaten Poland’s ability to meet its debt obligations. They have therefore lined up against the Polish workers’ struggle, and called for “moderation.” For all their blustering about the Soviet Union’s potential invasion, the U.S. finance capitalists want stability restored. On the other hand, according to an article in The New York Times, one banker said that if the Soviet Union did invade, the nation’s credit worthiness would actually be strengthened.

Like the situation in certain third world countries, the U.S. is caught in a bind. According to the same Times article, bankers concede privately that they would have little choice but to roll over the credits because if they did not it would be like pulling the plug and inviting default. Besides, the rollovers keep the banks earning interest at a time when OPEC dollars are still deluging the international banking system. U.S. banks believed to be deeply involved in Poland are Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., Bank of America, Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Co. of Chicago, and Morgan Guaranty-Trust Co. of New York.

Certain Trotskyists like Sam Marcy of Workers World have taken the position that Poland should repudiate the debts owed to the Western finance capitalists. This is clearly a pragmatic and opportunist position. For what would that mean for the other countries of Eastern Europe, China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and others? How would it effect their economies if sources of Western credit were cut off? First of all, it would not solve Poland’s problem. If anything, Poland needs to reschedule the debts it has and borrow a little more to tide it over. Poland can maneuver in and make use of the Western financial system’s contradictions in this sphere. (For a further analysis of this question, see “The International Monetary Crisis” The 80’s, October, 1980).

The U.S. bourgeoisie are definitely holding the Soviet Union responsible for Poland’s debts. An article in Business Week (Feb. 16, 1981) makes this point up-front

These nations, led by Poland’s four largest creditors–France, West Germany, Austria and Britain–believe it is primarily the Soviet Union’s responsibility to bail out the Poles. Wary of committing sizable sums of new cash to let the Soviets off the hook, Poland’s Western creditors are pushing Moscow by delaying contributions to the proposed $14 billion Yamal pipeline. ..

For the moment, at least, most commercial bankers are clinging to the so-called ’umbrella theory,’ the long-held assumption that Moscow is the ultimate guarantor of its satellites’ debts. The logic behind such thinking is that the Soviet Union cannot renounce its obligations and risk shutting itself off from access to hard-currency loans needed to purchase wheat and Western technology. Says one Bonn source: ’Moscow knows that a failure by Poland to meet its Western debt would likely lead Western lenders to shut their money windows to the East bloc as a whole, and that’s something they neither want nor really can afford’.

Given the economic dislocation in the Soviet Union, this is probably another factor restraining their invasion of Poland. And it gives Poland another contradiction that can be used to gain time.

Why the Brezhnev Doctrine Would Bring Disaster

The fact is, however, that there are two Soviet divisions stationed inside Poland and today tens of thousands of Warsaw Pact troops are at Poland’s “borders. As everyone knows, they are poised to invade Poland if in the eyes of the CPSU leadership things get out of hand.

The precedent for violation of Poland’s sovereignty is the Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia in 1968. At that time the infamous “Brezhnev Doctrine” was coined. This according to the Soviet revisionists, gave them the right to intervene at will anywhere socialism is “threatened.” According to this line, which represents a social-imperialist policy, socialist nations have only a “limited sovereignty.”

A few weeks after the Czechoslovakia invasion, the doctrine was explicitly stated by Sergei Kovalev in Pravda on Sept. 25, 1968:

There is no doubt that the peoples of the socialist countries and the Communist parties have and must have freedom to determine their country’s path of development. However, any decision of theirs must damage neither socialism in their own country nor the fundamental interests of the other socialist countries nor the worldwide workers’ movement, which is waging a struggle for socialism. This means that every Communist party is responsible not only to its own people but also to all the socialist countries and to the entire Communist movement. Whoever forgets this on placing sole emphasis on the autonomy and independence of Communist parties lapses into one-sidedness, shirking international obligations. . .The sovereignty of individual socialist countries cannot be counterposed to the interests of world socialism and the world international movement.” It is under this concept of “limited sovereignty” that the Soviet revisionists justify invading other countries in Eastern Europe. Not only is it another example of the revisionists’ great-nation chauvinism, it is a concept in fundamental opposition to the interests of socialism in the era of imperialism.

In essence, the Brezhnev doctrine represents a revisionist programmatic cover-up of the source of the problem–all in the name of “imperialist plots.” It sidetracks attention from the internal basis of the problem–the revisionist line inside the PUWP and in fact justifies the lack of thorough-going self-criticism and rectification in practice.

The line of “limited sovereignty” also represents out-and-out opportunism in the relations between socialist states. In its polemic against the revisionist line of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) led by Khruschev, the Communist Party of China said:

Relations between socialist countries are international relations of a new type. Relations between socialist countries, whether large or small, and whether more developed or less developed economically, must be based on the principles of complete equality, respect for territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence, and noninterference in each others internal affairs, and must also be based on the principles of mutual support and mutual assistance in accordance with proletarian internationalism.

Every socialist country must rely mainly on itself for its construction.

In accordance with its own concrete conditions, every socialist country must rely first of all on the diligent labor and talents of its own people, utilize all its available resources fully and in a planned way, and bring all its potential into play in socialist construction. Only thus can it build socialism effectively and develop its economy speedily.

This is the only way for each socialist country to strengthen the might of the entire socialist camp and enhance its capacity to assist the revolutionary cause of the international proletariat. Therefore, to observe the principle of mainly relying on oneself in construction is to apply proletarian internationalism concretely.

If, proceeding only from its own partial interests, any socialist country unilaterally demands that other fraternal countries submit to its needs, and uses the pretext of opposing what they call “going it alone” and “nationalism” to prevent other fraternal countries from applying the principle of relying mainly on their own efforts in their construction and from developing their economies on the basis of independence, or even goes to the length of putting economic pressure on other fraternal countries–then these are pure manifestations of national egoism.

It is absolutely necessary for socialist countries to practice mutual economic assistance and cooperation and exchange. Such economic cooperation must be based on the principle of complete equality, mutual benefit and comradely mutual assistance.

It would be great power chauvinism to deny these basic principles and, in the name of “international division of labor” or “specialization,” to impose one’s will on others, infringe on the independence and sovereignty of fraternal countries or harm the interests of the people.[8]

Just as important, in the era of imperialism, the fight against imperialism is tightly linked to a socialist state’s foreign policy. This includes relations between socialist states based on mutual assistance and proletarian internationalism, the support of national liberation struggles and countries’ independence and the policy of peaceful coexistence. The imperialists are driven by their economic systems to constantly violate the sovereignty of other countries in order to export their capital and find new markets and sources of raw materials. The socialist policy of peaceful coexistence between countries with different social systems exposes the imperialists who can never follow this policy. The imperialists are the ones who never uphold the principle of sovereignty of all countries and look for any excuses to violate countries’ independence.

The concept of “limited sovereignty” in fact undercut the socialist foreign policy of peaceful coexistence and the Soviet revisionists have in fact helped the imperialists off the hook.

Line of March has stated that to oppose the right of the Soviet Union to intervene in Poland is to negate the liberation of Eastern Europe from the Nazis by the Red Army and the People’s Volunteers from China in the Korean War. This is shameless sophistry. Where are the fascist armies in Poland? Where are the U.S imperialist troops invading the country? This is nothing but another attempt to prove themselves better flunkies to the revisionists of the CPSU than the CPUSA–over the bodies of Polish workers.

If the Soviet Union did invade Poland–under whatever pretext–it would utterly destroy the PUWP’s chances to regain its moral authority. It would play right into the hands of the reactionaries and imperialist agents inside Poland. The Line of March revisionists blast the PUWP and the Polish masses for “nationalism.” They resort to national nihilism to cover their support for the social-imperialist policy of the Soviet Union. The utter stupidity of this line is clear: in fact a Soviet invasion would arouse anti-Soviet nationalism to levels unseen in Poland’s history.

One argument the Line of March makes for saying that the Polish workers’ movement is reactionary concerns the role of the Catholic Church in Poland. An estimated 80% of Poles consider themselves Catholic and the Church has extensive organization in the country. Lech Walesa, the recognized leader of Solidarity, considers himself Catholic.

The truth is that the Catholic hierarchy, including Cardinal Wysznski, has been calling on the workers for “moderation.” In early December, according to Time, the Church called for “internal peace,” citing a “threat to the freedom and statehood of the Fatherland.” A Church spokesman, the Rev. Alojzy Orszulik, later criticized the “noisy and irresponsible statements which have been made against our eastern neighbor,” and singled out Jacek Kuron, a leading dissident, for censure.

The Church knows very well that whatever its ideological influence, it is weak politically. Government control over the church is extensive, with the power of veto over church appointments to key posts. Though the government refrains from attacking it openly–which would be politically incorrect as well as fuel the fire of resistance at this point–the government control of resources and the threat of repression keeps the church in check.

Lech Walesa and other leaders of Solidarity have been using the contradiction between the church and the government as a bargaining chip. As Solidarity is barely beginning to get organized, this is definitely correct. Solidarity has to use everything it can to protect its own existence.

A Soviet invasion, as called for by the Line of March, would prevent any real rectification of the revisionist line of the PUWP leadership. As one PUWP member said, “There are a lot of people who are going to lose their fur coats and Mercedes cars. They will do anything to restore the status quo–even welcome the Russians.” If the Soviet Union in league with the revisionists do succeed in crushing the workers’ movement, what would make the revisionist leadership change their line? Why would they even have to bother?

There are forces constraining the Soviet Union. First of all, the Soviet Union is already tied down in its reactionary war against the Afghanistan people. Secondly, the SU feels the political pressure exerted by the world’s people and especially the third world against any military intervention in Poland. Aside from threats and the mobilization of Warsaw Pact troops, the Soviet Union has not moved. To help Poland out of its economic mess, the Soviet Union has recently granted more than 3 billion rubles worth of economic aid to the country.

Solidarity Necessary Counterweight To PUWP’s Revisionism

The situation in Poland clearly shows that the workers are the driving force behind rectification of the PUWP. The bureaucratic line of the PUWP and its vast separation from the masses have come out full-bloom in the latest crisis. Criminal corruption among top level government officials has come to light. In one instance, the head of the state television and radio was exposed for massive corruption. A close friend of ex-First Secretary Gierek, has amassed ten mansions, seven cars, a yacht, a $1 million personal account in a London bank and, it was reported, 900 pornographic cassettes. In a significant political victory, the Polish workers in Bielso-Biala have forced the government to remove the provincial Governor and three of his deputies and investigate their crimes of corruption. According to the New York Times, they have been accused of expropriating government buildings for their own use, constructing summer villas instead of public housing, allocating cars to the secret police instead of doctors and allowing tax payments to lapse for influential friends.

It is clear that without Solidarity, workers would have no leverage to make the revisionists change. That’s why we say that the new union must be supported and the right to strike guaranteed.

Precisely for the reason given above, bureaucracy and corruption among the top officials of the government and the party, Lenin struggled against Trotsky’s bureaucratic line on the trade unions under socialism. In “Once Again on the Trade Unions,” he wrote,

Thesis 6 of Trotsky’s platform quotes paragraph 5 of the economic section of the Russian Communist Party Programme, which deals with the trade unions. Two pages later, his thesis 8 says:

Having lost the old basis of their existence, the class economic struggle, the trade unions”.. .(that is wrong, and is a hasty exaggeration: the trade unions no longer have to face the class economic struggle but the non-class ’economic struggle,’ which means combating bureaucratic distortions of the Soviet apparatus, safeguarding the working people’s material and spiritual interests in ways and means inaccessible to this apparatus, etc. This is a struggle they will unfortunately have to face for many more years to come)...[9]

Lenin expanded on this later in his “Draft Theses on the Role and Functions of the Trade Unions Under the New Economic Policy”:

As long as classes exist, the class struggle is inevitable. In the period of transition from capitalism to socialism the existence of classes is inevitable; and the Programme of the Russian Communist Party definitely states that we are taking only the first steps in the transition from capitalism to socialism. Hence, the Communist Party, the Soviet government and the trade unions must frankly admit the existence of a class struggle and its inevitablility until the electrification of industry and agriculture is completed–at least in the main–and until small production and the supremacy of the market are thereby cut off at the roots.

From this it follows that at present we must on no account reject strikes and cannot, as a matter of principle, agree to a substituting obligatory state mediation for strikes.

On the other hand, it is obvious that under capitalism the ultimate object of the strike movement is to break up the state machine and to overthrow the given class state power. Under the transitional type of proletarian state such as ours, however, the ultimate object of the strike movement can only be to fortify the proletarian state and the state power of the proletarian class by combating the bureaucratic distortions, mistakes and flaws in this state, and by curbing the class appetites of the capitalists who try to evade its control, etc. Hence, the Communist Party, the Soviet government and the trade unions must never forget and must never conceal from the workers and the mass of the working people that strikes in a state where the proletariat holds political power can be explained and justified only by the bureaucratic distortions of the proletarian state and by all sorts of survivals of the old capitalist system in the government offices on the one hand, and by the political immaturity and cultural backwardness of the mass of the working people on the other. For if the courts and all other state bodies are set up on a class basis by the working people themselves, and the bourgeoisie is excluded from the list of voters, then it will be to an increasing extent become normal for the working people to turn directly to the state bodies in order to settle disputes between labour and capital, and between employees and employers.[10]

Is Solidarity Anarcho-Syndicalist?

The above quote from Lenin comes from the period of transition from war-time communism (the period of the civil war from 1918-21) to the New Economic Policy. The Soviet Union shifted from war-time communism to the NEP, not because they felt that the NEP was better (it turned out that the NEP was actually not a retreat, but a step forward in creating the material and spiritual conditions for communism). The understanding at that time was that they were stuck in war-time communism.

War-time communism had started to turn into its opposite. Directives and military commands alone didn’t work any more. After the Civil War ended (mainly after the Brest-Litovsk concessions made to the German imperialists), the army was disbanded. The Bolshevik Army collapsed into groups of bandits and started to rob their own people. If the railroads were crippled during wartime communism, the Bolsheviks could always send in the army and impose martial law on the management or whoever opposed it. They gave orders to the trade unions and there was no trade union democracy. It was like military orders. And that’s how they got the railroads, and in fact the whole economy, going.

But once the war-time conditions ended, after they disbanded the army, not only did the army go berserk (robbing people because there were no jobs), management did not have the skills to organize the economic life of the country. Nor could they move the trains, since they did not have the organized coercive force to get them going.

Lenin realized that the art of leadership entails more, that you cannot take care of organizational matters with coercive force. You cannot build communism just by war-time communism. You have to build it through socialist construction, getting the productive forces going, getting the economic and cultural life going, developing highly conscious socialist people with initiative, as you create the material basis for communism. This cannot be done by directives alone. Lenin realized that the model for waging class struggle, for overthrowing the bourgeoisie and operating in war conditions, that is, wartime communism, is very one-sided.

In this regard, the Soviet news agency, TASS, has accused the Polish workers of “anarcho-syndicalism” and quoted Lenin on the struggle against anarcho-syndicalism during the period mentioned above. This is nothing but crass opportunism on the Soviet Union’s part–completely out of the context of time, place and conditions.

At the time, there was a line that represented anarcho-syndicalism and Lenin did write a resolution for the party congress to attack it. But the main struggle–a three-month discussion, as Lenin said, was between Trotsky’s bureaucratic line on the trade unions and Lenin’s line on the need to first use persuasion, to handle the relationship between the party and the trade unions correctly. In fact, Lenin spent very little of his writing and speaking on the anarcho-syndicalist deviation. He wrote, “As for the syndicalist deviation–it is ridiculous. That is all we have to say to Shlyapnikov, who maintained that the Ail-Russian Congress of Producers, a demand set down in black and white in their platform (the platform of the Workers’ Opposition–ed.) and confirmed by Kollantai, can be upheld by a reference to Engels...”[11]

Lenin summed up, the fight at that time was not over anarcho-syndicalism. “Let me say this again:” he said, “the actual differences do not lie where comrade Trotsky sees them but in the question of how to approach the mass, win it over and keep in touch with it.”[12] It was over bureaucratism and the militarization of labor. As Stalin said in “Our Disagreements,” a polemic against Trotsky,

Our disagreements are about questions of the means by which to strengthen labour discipline in the working class, the methods of approach to the mass of the workers who are being drawn into the work of reviving industry, the ways of transforming the present weak trade unions into powerful, genuinely industrial unions, capable of reviving our industry.

There are two methods: the methods of coercion (the military method), and the method of persuasion (the trade union method)... Trotsky fails to understand the difference between labour organizations and military organizations, that he fails to understand that in the period of the termination of the war and the revival of industry it becomes necessary, inevitable, to contrast military with democratic (trade union) methods, and that, therefore, to transfer military methods into the trade unions is a mistake, is harmful.[13]

What Does Solidarity As An “Independent Union” Mean?

It would be one-sided and simplistic, however, to say that trade unions under socialism only have to protect its members’ interests and fight bureaucracy. Lenin explained the contradictory role trade unions under socialism have to play:

From all the foregoing it is evident that there are a number of contradictions in the various functions of the trade unions. On the one hand, their principal method of operation is that of persuasion and education; on the other hand, as participants in the exercise of state power they cannot refuse to share in coercion. On the one hand, their main function is to protect the interests of the masses of the working people in the most direct and immediate sense of the term; on the other hand, as participants in the exercise of state power and builders of the economy as a whole they cannot refuse to resort to pressure. On the one hand, they must operate in a military fashion, for the dictatorship of the proletariat is the fiercest, most dogged and most desperate class war; on the other hand, specifically military methods of operation are least of all applicable to the trade unions. On the one hand, they must be able to adapt themselves to the masses, to their level; on the other hand, they must never pander to the prejudices and backwardness of the masses, but steadily raise them to a higher and higher level, etc., etc.

These contradictions are no accident, and they will persist for several decades. For, in the first place, these are contradictions peculiar to any school. And the trade unions are a school of communism. It cannot be expected that the majority of the working people will reach a higher stage of development and discard all traces of vestiges of the “school” for grown-ups, before several decades have passed. Secondly, for as long as survivals of capitalism and small production remain, contradictions between them and the young shoots of socialism are inevitable throughout the social system.

Two practical conclusions must be drawn from this. First, for the successful conduct of trade union activities, it is not enough to understand their functions correctly, it is not enough to organize them properly. In addition, special tact is required, ability to approach the masses in a special way in each individual case for the purpose of raising these masses to a higher cultural, economic and political stage with the minimum of friction.

Second, the afore-mentioned contradictions will inevitably give rise to disputes, disagreements, friction, etc. A higher body is required with sufficient authority to settle these at once. This higher body is the Communist Party and the international federation of the Communist Parties of all countries–the Communist International.[14]

The problem is that because of its bureaucratic line, the PUWP has lost the authority to settle these “disputes, disagreements, friction.” Solidarity is now independent of the party precisely because the party’s incorrect lines have driven the workers away from its leadership.

One reason for the gap between the party and the workers is that the class composition of the PUWP has become increasingly non-worker. In 1945 non-manual employees accounted for less than 10% of the party membership; by 1961 they made up almost 43% of the total. One study found that Poles with higher education were three times more likely to be party members than those with only elementary schooling. Party activists were even more likely to come from the ranks of white-collar experts; among technicians and engineers, one in 15 was a party activist, as against one in 75 skilled workers, and only one in 198 unskilled workers.”[15]

It would be totally vulgar materialist, however, to look at these figures strictly from the point of view of class composition of the party. Whatever the composition of a party, the main question is political line. From these figures, however, we can see some effect of the revisionist line of the PUWP.

It reflects the PUWP’s increasing distance from the masses of workers. The workers, especially the advanced, most class conscious, are driven to oppose the party’s revisionist line.

In this regard, Sam Marcy of Workers World has stated: “... In times of tension between the state and the workers, as is the case now, and in times of workers’ dissatisfaction and even outright hostility, the party of necessity must be ready, even at some risk to the economy, to partially detach itself from the state with which it is so intimately interwoven and connected, and which it has been leading; the party must be ready to create some distance between itself and the state and stand by the workers, even when they may occasionally be temporarily in error.” (Workers World, Aug. 29, 1980).

Besides being ridiculous to think such a maneuver would fool workers, Marcy missed the whole point of the struggle for the correct mass line within the PUWP. The PUWP has never resolved the contradiction between direct leadership of the state apparatus and building its moral authority among the masses. It must do both to remain the vanguard party of the proletariat under socialism. To think otherwise, as Marcy does with his “partial detachment from the state,” is to fall into hopeless idealism, of pie-in-the-sky dreams outside real class struggle. Marcy advocates the PUWP punking out of necessary rectification of its revisionist line.

Agreement Between Solidarity and the Government a First Step

It would be anarcho-syndicalism to say that this state of affairs is preferable. The Polish workers, like all workers, need their vanguard party. The unions, which are mass organizations encompassing the majority of the proletariat and correctly not requiring its members to be communist, are incapable of running the state machinery today.

The fact remains, however, that the workers do want the ability to supervise the government and the party and to protect their interests against the bureaucracy.

This is the thrust and significance of the agreement reached between Solidarity and the government last August. The following appeared in the New York Times on Aug. 31, 1980:

GDANSK, Poland, Aug. 30–Following, in unofficial translation, are excerpts from the draft agreement between the Polish government and the Interfactory Strike Committee:
The activities of trade unions in Poland have not fulfilled the workers’ expectations. Therefore, it is considered useful to set up new self-governing trade unions that would be genuine representatives of the working class.
We do not dispute anyone’s right to stay in the old union, and in the future there might even be cooperation between the two unions.
In setting up the independent, self-governing trade unions, the Interfactory Strike Committee states that they will observe the Polish Constitution. The new unions will defend the social and material interests of working people, and they have no intention of playing the role of a political party.
They accept the principle of nationalized means of production, which is the basis of Poland’s social system.
Party’s Leading Role Stressed
They recognize that the Polish Communist Party plays a leading role in the state and they do not challenge existing international alliances.
They strike to give working people appropriate means of control, to express their opinions and defend their interests.
The Government commission states that the Government will guarantee the freedom and independence of the new unions in both structure and organization.
The existing strike committee will turn themselves into founding organs of the new trade unions. The new trade unions should have a real opportunity to publicly express an opinion on key decisions that determine the living conditions of working people, the principle under which the national income is divided into consumption and investment, how the social consumption fund (health, education, culture) is divided, the basic principles of income and wage policy, especially the principle of automatic wage indexation in conditions of inflation, long-term economic plans, and investment policy and price changes.
Study Center is Projected
The Government guarantees that it will insure that the provisions are carried out.
The workers’ committee will set up a center for study of social affairs whose aim is to analyze objectively the situation of the workers, the living conditions of working people and the methods of representing the working people. It will carry out expert analyses on indexing prices and wages and will propose forms of compensation. It will publish the results of this finding and the new unions will have their own publications.
The right to strike will be guaranteed in a law on trade unions that is being prepared. The law will determine the condition under which strikes are organized and proclaimed, methods for resolving conflicts and responsibility for infractions of the law.

Is There a Structural Guarantee for Socialism, For the Dictatorship of the Proletariat?

The agreement between Solidarity and the Polish government is a solid first step. Its implementation will certainly require vigilance and further struggle by the workers.

This brings us to a fundamental and important question facing socialist societies–is there a structural guarantee for socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat? Can revolutionary committees, Soviets or independent unions as in Poland serve as such structural guarantees?

This question has been addressed recently by Jerry Tung, General Secretary of the Communist Workers Party and head of its Central Committee.

He said, “there is no structural guarantee, no organizational guarantee to socialism. Our party’s experience shows that. There needs to be both ideological/political line and organization. Both are indispensable. Political line without organization to implement it, to spread it, to consolidate it, to clothe it, cannot be turned into a material force.

On the other hand, organization without political line is useless. In fact, it will serve reactionary ends. There is no organizational structure that guarantees democracy, to maintain the dictatorship of the proletariat. You need both under socialism.

There must be organizational guarantees such as ability to vote somebody out of power, and regularly scheduled congresses–in other words, the norm of democratic centralism. If there is no party congress, no Central Committee plenary scheduled on a regular basis, then questions drag on and on with no chance to vote on them. Organizational structure is a necessary condition for the implementation of the line.

In China, that particular structure was abused after the Cultural Revolution. Basically a whole generation of cadres who held opposing views or had differences of opinion were purged. There was no way to have debate and democracy with the opposition. That’s the result of obsession with and uprightness over the ideological line–thinking that any shade in line leads to restoration of capitalism without considering the material enforcement of socialism, the workers’ interest and building the organization to protect it. Not seeing the positive independent momentum of socialism and of the socialist state, leads to an abnormal internal life of the party. That’s how democracy can be abused and was abused in China after the 9th Congress and that’s why struggle has to be on a line basis.

You can’t prosecute people for holding a different line, a different opinion or a different belief under socialism unless they engage in active sabotage, carry out the other line in practice and violate democratic centralism. You cannot prosecute a different line. Line has to be debated on line-basis and everybody has the right to hold a different line under socialism. That’s why we oppose the prosecution of the so-called Gang of Four– because it was based on their line and not on what they did. They are accused of individually executing different people, but those acts were based on the prevailing line of the Central Committee of the Political Bureau. The problem is that the majority of revisionists in power today did not dare raise differences. So it was the nominal majority view. Even though the line caused damage, under those conditions you should not prosecute people because that was the line. They are equally responsible for it. That’s where the organizational structural guarantee comes in, though they do not guarantee the change in line itself. But there should be protection for people who hold different lines–physical protection, and then prosecution of people who practiced different lines. That’s the only way to have genuine socialist democracy.

There is a question as to whether they should remain in the party. But even if they’re not allowed to stay in the party, their right to express different views and different lines must be insured. The only way the party can truly maintain itself as the vanguard party is if it can successfully combat their line and their influence without shutting somebody up, and by actually winning the masses over to its line instead of allowing them to be influenced by the incorrect line.

He continued by saying that the ideological/political guarantee is a true vanguard–i.e., the most advanced, most farsighted in the party, particularly in the Central Committee and in top leadership positions. To raise the political level of the people as a whole, you have to constantly raise the masses theoretical and cultural level. That’s what the campaign to study the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in China was about. The study classes on the job with pay are very necessary. There is no concentric attack in China or the Soviet Union now because there are no theoretical/ideological/political components to the masses’ lives. There is excessive concern for economic construction.

In the last few weeks, there were signs of change in China–emphasis on politics, curtailment of imports and undoing many of the effects of the revisionist line such as giving the law of value free rein (under which each unit would request and negotiate separately with foreign countries to import advanced technology to the point where they cannot pay for it anymore.) This method of doing things does not proceed from the concrete conditions in China. There are some signs of correction in China, but not in the Soviet Union, at least not up to now. Of course, the socialist material basis is stronger in the Soviet Union than in China. The public ownership (state ownership) of the means of production extends to greater realms and is more thoroughgoing than in China.

One aspect of the organizational guarantee is making sure that socialist legality is established–policies, and set procedures. All will be judged as equals by socialist legality. One problem of mass democracy during the Cultural Revolution was formulating new laws and new policies with a different set of values. It’s one thing to overthrow and knock down, to drag down, demote, and purge but it’s quite another to establish positive organizational policies and socialist legality. Without them there will inevitably be an arbitrary style of decision-making. That’s another essential element in safeguarding democracy under socialism.


In the final analysis the PUWP still must repudiate its revisionist lines and take extreme measures to correct its mistakes. The party must win the advanced workers and through them the masses of the Polish workers by an all-rounded concentric attack in all spheres–political, economic, organizational, cultural, and ideological. Only thus can the situation be rectified and the party regain the moral authority and leadership of the workers upon which its political power depends.

For precisely these reasons Mao summed up the need for and then led the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China. Though there were problems in implementing it, it opened up a great debate over the line of the Communist Party of China, mobilizing and educating hundreds of millions of the masses in the process. And it reinvigorated the communist movement worldwide, stultified by the revisionist line of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union led by Krushchev.

Given the situation in Poland, does the PUWP have any other choice?


[1] V.I. Lenin, “Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder,” Collected Works, Vo. 3 (Moscow, 1966), 57.

[2] From Nicholas Betell, Gomulka: His Poland, His Communism, as quoted in Sweezy and Bettelheim, On The Transition To Socialism (New York, 1971), 97.

[3] Ibid.

[4] V.I. Lenin, “The Role and Functions of the Trade Unions Under the New Economic Policy,” Collected Works, Vol. 33 (Moscow, 1966), 192.

[5] Ibid.

[6] The New York Times, Dec. 21, 1970.

[7] On the Transition to Socialism, 99.

[8] A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement (Peking, 1963), 46.

[9] V.I. Lenin, “Once Again On The Trade Unions,” Collected Works, (Moscow, 1966) Vol. 32, 99.

[10] “The Role and Functions of the Trade Unions Under the New Economic Policy, 186.

[11] V.I. Lenin, “Speech on the Trade Unions, March 14 at the Tenth Congress of the RCP(B),” Collected Works, Vol 32 (Moscow, 1966)

[12] V.I. Lenin, “The Trade Unions, The Present Situation and Trotsky’s Mistakes,” Collected Works, (Moscow, 1966), Vol. 32.

[13] J.V. Stalin, “Our Disagreements” in On the Opposition, (Peking, 1974), 2.

[14] “The Role and Functions of the Trade Unions Under the New Economic Policy, 193.

[15] Zygmunt Bauman, “Economic Growth, Social Structure, Elite Formation,” International Social Science Journal, No. 2, 1964, 213.