J. V. Stalin

To all the Members of the Editorial Board of Komsomolskaya Pravda1

June 2, 1925

Source : Works, Vol. 7, 1925
Publisher : Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1954
Transcription/Markup : Salil Sen for MIA, 2008
Public Domain : Marxists Internet Archive (2008). 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.

Comrades, in view of the great importance of Komsomolskaya Pravda, I should like to share with you my first impressions of some of the articles in that newspaper.

1) We are of the opinion that certain passages in Stetsky's articles "A New Stage in the New Economic Policy" evoke doubts. In those articles, in a mild form it is true, countenance is given to the slogan "enrich yourselves." That is not our slogan, it is incorrect, it gives rise to a whole series of doubts and misunderstandings and has no place in a leading article in Komsomolskaya Pravda. Our slogan is socialist accumulation. We are removing the administrative obstacles to an improvement of the welfare of the countryside. That operation will undoubtedly facilitate all accumulation, both private-capitalist and socialist. But the Party has never yet said that it makes private accumulation its slogan. We are giving NEP full scope and permitting private accumulation in order to facilitate the implementation of our slogan of socialist accumulation within the framework of our national economy. Perhaps some of our comrades regard this as a debatable question. If so, it should be stated that the slogan "enrich yourselves" is a debatable one, and that articles in favour of such a slogan are printed for discussion. On the other hand it is obvious that Komsomolskaya Pravda is not an organ for discussion, but primarily a positive organ, which presents its readers with the slogans and propositions generally accepted by the Party.

In short, whichever way you look at the question, from the formal standpoint, or from the standpoint of the substance of the matter, in this respect Stetsky's article must be regarded as unsatisfactory. You must be more careful in future.

2) The point in Stetsky's articles about non-capitalist development in the countryside is also not quite acceptable. Formerly it was possible to speak of a non-capitalist path of development. Now, however, when an actual struggle between the elements of socialist development and the elements of capitalist development has begun and is expanding to the full, it would be more correct to speak of the socialist path of development. Otherwise, the impression may be created that besides the two paths of development, capitalist and socialist, there is a third path, which is wrong, and at any rate unconvincing.

3) It seems to me that the passage in Slepkov's article "Lenin's Legacy," about the Communists and Young Communist Leaguers having to compete with the non-Party peasant active in organisational and political work, is also wrong. Up to now we have raised the question of forming such an active around the Party and of training that active, and that was regarded as correct. Now Slepkov is raising a new question about the Communists and Young Communist Leaguers having to compete with a non-Party active which has still to be formed. That is wrong, and it is out of accord with the whole of our campaign under the slogan of revitalising the Soviets. We must not compete with this active, but form and train it.

4) It would be good to arrange for systematic publication of supplements to Komsomolskaya Pravda in the shape of popular pamphlets by outstanding exponents of Marxist theory, on communism, the dictatorship of the proletariat, the October Revolution, and also on various branches of economy and administration that are directly related to the practical work of the active of the Young Communist League in town and country. Such supplements, in the shape of small pamphlets, could later form a sort of little library for the activists of the Young Communist League, which could not fail to be of great importance for training the active of the Young Communist League.

5) It would be good to simplify the style of the articles in Komsomolskaya Pravda, to make the contributors write in a simple way, in short sentences, and, as far as possible, without employing foreign terms, as Ilyich knew how to write. At least, it should be possible to publish, also in the shape of a supplement to Komsomolskaya Pravda, a small glossary of foreign words, or at any rate to give in the text of the articles explanations of foreign words if the latter really cannot be avoided.

J. Stalin
V. Molotov
Moscow, June 2, 1925                                                                                                                                                               A. Andreyev



1.Komsomolskaya Pravda (Y.C.L. Truth), a daily newspaper, organ of the Central Committee and Moscow Committee of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League, began publication in May 1925 in conformity with the decisions of the Thirteenth Congress of the R.C.P.(B.) and the Sixth Congress of the Russian Leninist Young Communist League.