J. V. Stalin

To the Sverdlov University

On the Occasion of the Second Graduation of Students of Basic and Trade-Union Courses

June 13, 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.

The Sverdlov University is one of the most powerful instruments in training the Party's commanding personnel for leading the masses.

During the years it has been in existence the Sverdlov University has already given the Party whole detachments of active workers who are now operating on all the fronts of socialist construction.

The University is now handing over for Party work another detachment of 214 students, the majority of whom are workers.

In order that the forthcoming work of this detachment may be fruitful in view of the complex tasks of construction that confront the Party, this detachment must bear in mind certain new circumstances in our situation which are of decisive importance at the present time.

What are these circumstances?

Firstly, the fact that the basic classes in our country, the proletariat and the peasantry, have lately undergone a substantial change. They have become more active both in the political and in the economic field, and this requires that the Party should adopt a new approach to them. We no longer have a declassed working class; that class is now a fully-formed and full-blooded proletarian class, culturally and politically developed. This requires that the Party's leadership should become more flexible and thought-out. The same can be said about the peasantry. It is no longer the old peasantry, under the scourge of the old scorpions, dreading the loss of the land that formerly belonged to the landlords and cowed by the rigours of the surplus appropriation system. It is now a new peasantry, which has culturally developed, which has already forgotten about the landlords and the surplus appropriation system, which is demanding cheap goods and high prices for grain and is able to exploit to the full the Party's slogan of revitalising the Soviets. The utmost flexibility in relation to the present-day peasantry — that is what is demanded of the Party now. To win the peasantry anew to the side of the proletariat — that is now the Party's task.

Secondly, the circumstance that in a number of districts the middle peasants have been found to be in a bloc with the kulaks. That is a fundamental fact that must not be forgotten for a single moment. From the standpoint of the alliance between the workers and the peasants, the dictatorship of the proletariat is leadership of the peasantry by the proletariat. But what does leading the peasantry mean? It means fully restoring the confidence of the bulk of the peasantry in the working class and its Party. If there is no such confidence there is no proletarian leadership, and if there is no such leadership there is no proletarian dictatorship. Hence, to work in the direction of fully restoring the confidence of the bulk of the peasantry in the working class — that is the task of the Party and of the Party workers.

Thirdly, the circumstance that, because of the slogan "face to the countryside," our Party workers have of late gradually begun to forget the workers, they have lost sight of the fact that in facing the countryside we must not turn our backs on the towns, especially on the proletariat. That, too, is a new fact which must not be forgotten for a single moment. It must be borne in mind that of late a sense of its power and dignity has especially developed and grown strong in the working class. It is the sense of being the master which has developed in the class which in our country is the ruling class. That, comrades, is an immense achievement in all our work, for a working class that feels that it is not only the class that works, but also the class that governs— such a class can perform miracles. But from this it follows that a Communist who in his work fails to reckon with this sense of being the master felt by the proletarian class, fails to understand anything about the new situation; strictly speaking, he is not a Communist, he is certainly riding for a fall. Therefore, when speaking about the slogan "face to the countryside" we must at the same time remember that the main class which is called upon to implement this slogan is the working class, that this slogan can be put into practice only to the degree that the working class really becomes the leading force in the country. That is why the Party's immediate task is to make our local Party workers understand, at last, the absolute necessity of adopting a most attentive and thoughtful attitude to absolutely all the requirements of the working class, whether material or cultural.

The task of your detachment of graduates is to take all these circumstances into account in your work in the localities.

I have no doubt that you will be able to carry out this task.

Permit me to wish you complete success in your forthcoming work.

With communist greetings,

J. Stalin


Pravda, Nos. 132, June 13, 1925