Khristo Kabakchiev

The Reaction in Bulgaria

Source: The Communist Review, May 1923, Vol. 4, No. 1.
Publisher: Communist Party of Great Britain
Translated: P. Lavin
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2006). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

THE reactionary policy of the old bourgeois parties united in the so-called bourgeois bloc, as well as that of the Agrarian Government, becomes more pronounced from day to day. In spite of the failure of all their previous attempts to effect a coup d’etat (they made such attempts with the help of the Wrangel generals and the Officers’ League), the old bourgeois parties continue to push their preparations in that direction, and at the present time they are directing all their blows against the Communist Party. The bourgeoisie are creating illegal Fascist organisations, and are organising and preparing for the same Fascist rôle the existing legal bourgeois youth and touring organisations and others of a similar character, as well as the unions of reserve officers and under-officers. They are establishing under the most varied designations other unions, and are arming and equipping these unions and organisations for the struggle against the Communist Party. They have already delivered a series of such attacks, as, for example, in the last elections in Dupnitza, Stara Zagora and other towns.

The Agrarian Government not only tolerates these Fascist organisations, but actually protects and supports them. The demand of the masses in the towns and villages that the bourgeoisie and their organisations be disarmed, is being met by the Government by the wholesale disarming of the urban masses—precisely those who are capable of proving the strongest and most determined bulwark against the reactionary designs of the old parties. It is perfectly obvious that the Government is in this way making smooth the path of the bourgeois reaction.

During the municipal elections which took place on February 11th, the Government organised an all-round terror against the Communist Party. It organised nocturnal armed attacks by policemen and masked men on the quarters of the Communist Party in Russe and other towns. On the day of the elections it arrested hundreds of Communist electors and candidates and committed the commonest forgeries and frauds. In this way the Government is assisting the town bourgeoisie to capture the towns in order to plunder the municipal resources in conjunction with them. But in spite of all this, the Communist Party emerged from the last elections with an increased vote in almost every town, and captured the municipalities of Samakov, Lom, Dupnitza, Kalofer, Klissura, Yambol, Nova Zagora, Brazigovo and Gorna Dschumaja. In Sliven, the centre of the textile industry of Bulgaria, where in the last election the Communist Party polled 3,610 votes as against 1,942 votes recorded for all other parties, the town council was dissolved in a very brutal manner, and the Government did not issue writs for a new election.

A few weeks ago a crisis occurred in the Agrarian League and in the Agrarian Government. A few Ministers, led by Turlakoff, Minister of Finance, resigned from the Cabinet. These Ministers represent the so-called “Right” in the Agrarian League, which consists of the old village bourgeoisie, the members of which are inclined to form a coalition with the cliques of the old bourgeois parties. Stamboliski, who remained at the head of the Government, represents the so-called “Left” of the Agrarian League. But this “Left” does not represent nor protect the interests of the lower and propertyless masses of the League. It consists of the newly-enriched village bourgeoisie, that is, the medium and well-to-do peasants, who are utilising the enhanced prices of agricultural products, as well as the State power, to increase their land and capital by trade, usury, consortiums and, syndicates founded with national funds, the operation of bank credit, and the undisguised plundering of State and municipal resources. The newly-enriched village bourgeoisie desire to govern independently, and to still further utilise the power of the State and its attendant advantages exclusively for their own aggrandizement. In the means they employ for their enrichment the bourgeoisie are greedy, daring, and reckless. They are equally so in their politics, and in their behaviour towards the working class. But in order to attain to independent government, the “Left” of Stamboliski and of the newly-enriched village bourgeoisie continues its policy of demagogy and conciliation in relation to the small and propertyless peasants, because it needs their support.

This “Left,” which emerged victorious from the crisis in the Agrarian League, is now embarking upon a still more recklessly reactionary policy against the Communist Party. The latest action of the “Left” is an alteration of the electoral law, by which the electoral system is almost abolished. By this law more than 100,000 Communist electors will be without representation in Parliament.

The explanation of the reckless reaction, and of the bitterness of the Stamboliski Government against the Communist Party, is to be found in the circumstance that, apart from the above-mentioned “Left,” dissatisfaction with the policy of the old and the new village bourgeoisie is increasing every day amongst the mass of the small and propertyless peasants, who constitute the overwhelming majority of the Agrarian League. The Government sees that the ground is beginning to crumble under its feet, and that the village masses are hearkening more and more to the voice of the Communist Party. The organisation and the power of the Communist Party is growing steadily in the villages, and by the influence of our party the oppositional struggle of the village masses is strengthened against the village bourgeoisie and the Government. The Government is therefore organising a wide and reckless campaign against the Communist Party.

But with this campaign the Government is approaching the old cliques more and more. It is discrediting itself in the eyes of the working masses of town and country, and is preparing the conditions for the extension and the strengthening of the United Front of the proletariat of the towns and the working masses of the villages. The slogan of the “Workers’ and Peasants’ Government,” which was raised by the Communist Party, is causing anxiety and confusion in the ranks of the bourgeoisie, and especially in the ranks of the village bourgeoisie and their leaders; and it is this slogan which is aggravating the bitterness and the brutality of the Government against the Communist Party. Still the slogan is being, taken up enthusiastically by the broad working-masses in town and village. We shall return to this slogan in a special article.

The bourgeoisie have recently taken another victim from the ranks of the Communist Party. The burgomaster of the Communist municipality of Dupnitza, Comrade Kosta Petroff, was murdered in an ambush.

The Communist Party is organising thousands of demonstrations and meetings throughout the country against the growing reaction and against the disfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of workers and peasants. It threw amongst the masses the slogan of self-defence with every means against the armed onslaughts of the Fascist bands.