J. V. Stalin
Source: Works, Vol. 11, January, 1928 to March, 1929
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.
I have received your letter and must say that I cannot possibly agree with you.
1) It is clear from the quotation from Lenin that so long as we remain a small-peasant country the danger of the restoration of capitalism will exist. You say that this opinion of Lenin's "cannot be applied to the present period in the U.S.S.R." Why, one asks? Are we not still a small-peasant country?
Of course, inasmuch as our socialist industry is developing and collective forms of economy are beginning to take root in the countryside, the chances of the restoration of capitalism are diminishing. That is a fact. But does that mean that we have already ceased to be a small-peasant country? Does it mean that the socialist forms have developed to such an extent that the U.S.S.R. can no longer be considered a small-peasant country? It obviously does not.
But what follows from this? Only one thing, namely, the danger of the restoration of capitalism in our country does exist. How can one contest such an obvious fact?
2) You say in your letter: "It would appear from what you said about the Right and the 'Left' deviations that our difference both with the Rights and with the 'Lefts' is only over the question of the rate of industrialisation. The question of the peasantry, on theother hand, was referred to in your assessment of the Trotskyist position only sketchily. That gives rise to a very objectionable interpretation of your speech."
It is very possible that my speech is interpreted differently by different people. That is a matter of taste. But that the thoughts expressed in your letter are not in accordance with reality is quite evident to me. I said plainly in my speech that the Right deviation "underestimates the strength of capitalism" in our country, "does not see the danger of the restoration of capitalism," "does not understand the mechanism of the class struggle," "and therefore so readily agrees to make concessions to capitalism." I said plainly in my speech that "the triumph of the Right deviation in our Party" would "increase the chances of the restoration of capitalism in our country." You will realise, of course, that what is referred to here is not merely the rate of industrialisation.
What more should be said about the Right deviation to satisfy you?
As to the "Left," Trotskyist, deviation, I said plainly in my speech that it denies the possibility of building socialism in our country, rejects the idea of an alliance of the working class and the peasantry, and is prepared to carry out its fantastic plan of industrialisation at the cost of a split with the peasantry. I said in my speech (if you have read it) that "the triumph of the 'Left' deviation in our Party would lead to the working class being separated from its peasant base, to the vanguard of the working class being separated from the rest of the working-class masses, and, consequently, to the defeat of the proletariat and to facilitating conditions for the restoration of capitalism." You will realise, of course, that what is referred to here is not merely the rate of industrialisation.
I think that everything fundamental we have ever said against Trotskyism is said here.
Of course, less was said in my speech about the "Left" deviation than about the Right. But that is because the theme of my speech was the Right deviation, as I definitely specified at the beginning of my speech, and as was fully in accordance with the agenda of the joint plenum of the M.C. and M.C.C. But one thing cannot be denied, and that is that, despite this, everything fundamental that at all distinguishes Trotskyism from Leninism on the one hand, and from the Right deviation on the other, was said in my speech.
What more should be said about Trotskyism in a speech devoted to the Right deviation to satisfy you?
3) You are not satisfied with my statement that in the Political Bureau there are neither Right nor "Left" deviations nor conciliation towards them. Was I justified in making such a statement? I was. Why? Because when the text of the Central Committee''s message to the members of the Moscow organisation was adopted by the Political Bureau, not one of the members of the Political Bureau present voted against it. Is this a good or a bad thing? I think it is a good thing. Can such a fact be disregarded when characterising the Political Bureau in October 1928? Obviously not.
With communist greetings,
Pravda, No. 247, October 27, 1928