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John G. Wright

Some Amazing Figures Expose Stalin’s Rule

(March 1941)

From The Militant, Vol. V No. 12, 22 March 1941, p. 6.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

At the Eighteenth Party Conference, held in Moscow a few weeks, ago, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was in effect divested of its former leading role in the life of the country.

Who attended this Conference? Who voted unanimously for Stalin’s latest “triumphs”?

Most of the delegates were very young. “More than 35 per cent of those present”, boasted Moscow, “are under 36 years of age, 42.8 per cent are under 40 and only 8 delegates are over 50.” (Daily Worker, February 21)

“Only 8 delegates are over 50!” Only 8 delegates out of 500 present at Stalin’s conference were actually old enough to have participated in any leading or secondary capacity in the October revolution, which occurred 24 years ago, in October 1917. Almost one-half of the delegates at the conference, or 47.8 per cent, were under sixteen in 1917. More than one third, or 35 per cent, were children under eleven in the year 1917 and therefore could have played no part whatever either in the October insurrection or in the period of the Civil War.

“Five per cent of all the delegates present joined the Communist Party prior to 1917 and 15 per cent joined prior to 1923.” (Daily Worker, February 21)

Only 15 per cent of the delegates joined the party prior to 1923! That is to say, 85 per cent – the overwhelming majority – became members only after the revolution, only after the Civil War, only after Lenin’s death. Such are Stalin’s own vital statistics relating to the Eighteenth Party Conference.

What These Figures Mean Is Clear

The terrible meaning of these statistics is clear enough: Of Lenin’s comrades-in-arms, not a single one has remained to figure even as a delegate. Stalin has completely destroyed the entire generation of revolutionists who together with Lenin built the Bolshevik party; who together with Lenin made the revolution. If only eight of the delegates were “over fifty,” it means that in addition to destroying the oldest generation of revolutionists, Stalin has also sent to their graves the next generation, that is, those who were old enough to have participated in the Civil War; those who helped raise Stalin to power after Lenin died; those, who carried on their shoulders the first and Second Five Year Plans. That is how Stalin has “stabilized” his regime.

More than one-third of the delegates at this Conference were appointed by 125 City Committees, 30 Party organizations in railways, and 27 party organizations in the ports, sea and river fleets. These 182 bodies, in their turn, represent but a small minority even of the top committees of the party. According to Stalin’s own report to the Eighteenth Party Congress, in March 1939, the system of leading party bodies embraces the following:


Area Committees


Regional Committees


City Committees


City District Committees

Of these 682 top committees, then, only 182 were deemed sufficiently trustworthy to be, given “representation” at the Conference.

This means that Stalin cannot find voluntary support even among the generation of party functionaries who have no other traditions and who know of no other regime than that of Stalinism.

The Stalin School of “Statistics”

To cover up the bankruptcy of its regime in its own party, the Kremlin resorts to the same device with which it tries to cover up its economic bankruptcy, namely, inflated statistics. To believe Moscow, the Russian party is now growing at an unprecedented speed. To show figures of growth. party members and party candidates are now lumped together. “It is not without significance,” reads the latest dispatch from Moscow, “that the Party ... is on the way of doubling its membership: the 2,477,66 members and candidates which the party had two years ago has increased to 3,876,885. (Daily Worker, March 11)

Soviet Russia Today goes so far as to brazenly declare that the delegates at the Eighteenth Party Conference “represented 3,876,885 Party members.” (March 1941)

But what do these boasts of Stalin really prove? Stalin’s own figures show that since June 1940, that is, in the last eight months, he has purged not less than one-third of a million party members and candidates. Here is the proof:

According to an official statement, 605,627 members and 1,127,802 candidates, or a total 6f 1,733,429 new members and candidates were admitted into the Party from April 1, 1939, to June 1, 1940. (Pravda, July 29, 1940) But, as Stalin now reveals, on April 1, 1939, there were 2,477,666 members and candidates on the party rolls. Therefore in June 1940 the total party membership was 4,211,095 (2,477,666 plus 1,733,429). Yet in February 1941 there were only 3,876,885 members and candidates on the rolls. If we now subtract the number on the rolls in February 1941 (3,876,885) from the number on the rolls in June 1940 (4,211,095), we shall obtain the number admittedly purged in the last eight months, namely – 334,210. The real number of those purged is unquestionably far larger.

Stalin has been reducing the specific weight of the party by flooding its ranks. At the same time, this influx of raw elements is utilized to cover up the monstrous proportions of the latest blood-purge. Stalin’s bureaucratic apparatus of domination has crumbled beyond repair.

Last updated: 4 October 2015