Georgi Dimitrov

Concluding Speech before the 5th Congress of the BCP

Delivered: December 25, 1948 after the Conclusion of the Discussions of the Report
Source: Georgi Dimitrov, Selected Works Sofia Press, Sofia, Volume 3, 1972, pp. 348-353
Transcription/HTML Markup: Mathias Bismo
Online Version: Marxists Internet Archive ( 2002


Comrades and Delegates,

After all that has been said so far, I feel that I can confine myself to a short concluding speech.

The discussions have shown the complete unanimity of the Congress with the Political Report of the Central Committee, as well as with the other reports on the agenda of the Congress, with the appraisals made and the inferences drawn, with the general Party line on the building of the economic and cultural foundations of socialism in Bulgaria, and with the concrete tasks mapped out in all spheres of our .social, economic, political, and cultural life. The Congress thus expressed complete unanimity on the basic problem., of Party policy. This is undoubtedly one of the moat important guarantees for our future success.

The working out of a correct Party line and its unanimous approval by the Party members is the most important fact and factor. We should not forget, however, that good resolutions and declarations on the general line of the Party are merely a beginning, for they merely indicate a desire to win, but are not tantamount to victory.

For the success of the general Party line adopted unanimously by our Fifth Congress it is necessary: a) to wage a systematic and steadfast fight against all difficulties, of which there are quite a few on our road, to surmount them by mobilizing the forces of the entire Party, of the working class, of all working people, of the Fatherland Front; b) to organize an ever more active participation of new forces in the socialist construction; c) to make a constant and strict selection of cadres, raising the capable ones to positions of leadership in the struggle against hardships, and removing the incompetent ones, those that do not wish to grow and develop or are incapable of doing so.

Now that our Party stands at the helm of the state, its members occupying key positions in it and its authority having soared to unprecedented heights, now that our working people express their readiness to follow our Party and its general line - as was splendidly demonstrated in yesterday's manifestation of Sofia's working masses, the role of our organizations and their leaderships becomes crucial. Today our Party leaderships carry the main responsibility for all shortcomings, omissions and mistakes. On our Party and on the work of its cadres will hinge the successful execution of a task truly stupendous for our conditions, the fulfilment of the Five-Year Plan, as well as the other important decisions of the Congress.

In my report I stressed what a mighty force our Party represented, how wide a support it enjoyed, how firm and close were its bonds with the existing mass organizations, how deep were the roots it had grown in the working class, in the toiling masses, in our people. And if in spite of the presence of these great possibilities which facilitate its successes, we still have many shortcomings, weaknesses and omissions, the fault for this lies within ourselves, especially in our insufficiently concrete practical leadership, in the serious flaws which creep into our organizational work.

We must do away as soon as possible with the lag in our organizational work behind the requirements of the political line and the tasks of the party. We must raise the level of organizational leadership to that of the political leadership in all spheres of our activity, especially in our national economy, so that our organizational work may ensure the implementation of the political line and the decisions of the Party.

In this respect, as was already stressed at the Congress, the selection of cadres, the check-up on the execution of decisions and the extensive use of criticism and self-criticism within the Party, of internal Party democracy, are of decisive importance.

Our Congress shows the indeniable growth of our Party cadres, especially of our intermediary cadres which in the main decide on the success of Party policy in all spheres of our construction. We must promote with all forces the further growth of our Party cadres and unflinchingly remove incorrigible bureaucrats and office rate, well-headed little tyrants, windbags and all inefficient elements. We must boldly promote new cadres to positions of leadership those that have proven themselves capable organizers and efficient workers.

It is highly important for the proper selection of cadres, for their growth and training, for the timely correction of mistakes and shortcomings in their work, to check up on the execution of the decisions taken and on the tasks entrusted to every single Party member. It is not exaggerated to say that most of the flaws and omissions in our work are due to the absence of a constant and correct check-up system.

Only such a check-up can ensure successful struggle against bureaucracy, against those incapable of directing and organizing the implementation of the Party decisions, against all distortions of the Party line. This check-up, however, must be systematic and constant and be carried out by the very leaders of the organizations.

As we noted at the Sixteenth Plenum of the Central Committee, criticism and self-criticism within our Party have not yet become a genuine motive force of its development. In this respect the Congress has undoubtedly made a big step forward, especially in the discussions of the Five-Year Plan and of organizational problems.

I cannot bypass the fact, comrades, that here at the Congress as well, not enough courage was shown openly and justly to point out the errors and shortcomings allowed, concretely to name those responsible for them, to reveal the reasons for these errors and shortcomings and to suggest the ways and means of their prompt and effective elimination.

The great stress on of constructive criticism and selfcriticism in our Party and the exposure of inadequacies in our work must be our constant and paramount task after the Congress as well in all sections of the Party from top to bottom.

We must never forget that the acme of wisdom for a real Communist is to frankly admit his mistake, to boldly expose its causes and to be ready to promptly and radically correct it.

In the Party and in all spheres of our life we must get rid of the harmful habit of not concretely pointing out mistakes lest we jeopardize friendships and kinships, hurt someone, or create personal troubles. We must ruthlessly flay every nepotism when deciding on Party or state matters. The interests of the Party of the working class, of the people, must stand above all such petty bourgeois considerations and prejudices.


In connexion with the discussions and some questions addressed to me in writing, permit me to make two more remarks on matters of principle.

1) From what I have said in my report, to wit that under our present conditions, with the development of cooperative farms, we do not consider nationalization as an indispensable condition for the development of agriculture, it should by no means be deduced that the construction of socialism in the countryside is, in general, possible without the nationalization of land. We consider, however, that by gradually winning over the poor and middling peasants into the co-operative farms by developing the machine-tractor stations, by prohibiting the renting out of farms, by restricting and subsequently prohibiting the purchase and sale of land, by reducing and subsequently abolishing rent through decision of the co-operative farmers themselves when conditions permit, the practical problem of land nationalization will be solved by leaving all land for the perpetual use of the toiling peasants. Thus the toiling peasant who is today a slave of his small plot will be enabled to make the widest use of the fruits of the land which will be considerably increased through modernized and mechanized cultivation in the large co-operative farms.

2) The second remark refers to the definition of popular democracy given in my report. Some comrades who in their discussions touched on this problem were inclined to put the main emphasis on what distinguishes popular democracy from the Soviet regime, something which may lead to incorrect and harmful deductions.

According to Marxist-Leninist principles, the Soviet regime and popular democracy are two forms of one and the same rule - the rule of the working class in alliance with and at the head of the working people from town and countryside. They are two forms of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The particular form of transition from capitalism to socialism in Bulgaria does not and cannot alter the basic laws on the transition period from capitalism to socialism which are valid for all countries.The transition to socialism cannot be carried out without dictatorship of the proletariat against the capitalist elements andfor the organization of the socialist economy.

But whereas bourgeois democracy is the dictatorship of capital, of an exploiting big business minority over the great majority of working people, popular democracy fulfils the functions of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the interest of the overwhelming majority of working people and realizes the widest and most complete democracy - socialist democracy.

From the fact that popular democracy and the Soviet regime coincide in the most important and decisive respect, i. e. that they both represent the rule of the working class in alliance and at the head of the working people, there follow some highly essential deductions on the necessity of making the most thorough study and widest application of the great experiment of socialist construction in the USSR. And this experiment, comrades, adapted to our conditions, is the only and best model for the construction of socialism in Bulgaria, as well as in the other People's Democracies.

The apprehension expressed by our comrade Todor Pavlov before this Congress that the definition of our popular democracy as a form of proletarian dictatorship might encourage attempts to violate law and order, caused considerable consternation. Such apprehension is completely unwarranted. Popular democracy, fulfilling the functions of the dictatorship of the proletariat, by its very essence and character cannot tolerate any arbitrariness and lawlessness. This rule is strong enough to be respected by everyone, irrespective of his position.

We harbour no illusion - and in our Party there are no serious Party members who can have such an illusion that the road along which our Party is travelling will be smooth. We know that this road is hard and thorny, but it is the only salutary road for the working class, the people and our country.

We realize that we still have many difficulties to overcome. But we also know and our people know it well - that our Party has proven that it is not afraid of difficulties in fulfilling its historic mission. Our Party has also proved that it knows how to overcome all difficulties, no matter how great they be and from what quarters they may stem, from our internal or external enemies.

Now, armed with the historic decisions of our Fifth Congress, learning constantly and tirelessly from the great Bolshevik Party, there can be no doubt that our Party - headed by a Central Committee to be elected by the Congress and which will be Leninist in spirit, firmness, iron discipline, diligence, fearlessness in face of hardships and dangers - will, in spite of everything, bring the already begun task of building a socialist society in our country to a victorious consummation.