J. V. Stalin

They have Sunk to New Depths


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.

The necessity of raising with the utmost sharpness the question of the Trotskyist underground organisation is dictated by all its recent activities, which compel the Party and the Soviet Government to adopt an attitude towards the Trotskyists fundamentally different from that of the Party towards them before the Fifteenth Congress.

The open demonstration of the Trotskyists in the streets on November 7, 1927, was a turning-point, when the Trotskyist organisation showed that it was breaking not only with the Party, but also with the Soviet regime.

This demonstration was preceded by a whole series of anti-Party and anti-Soviet acts: the forcible seizure of a government building for a meeting (the Moscow Higher Technical School), the organisation of underground printing plants, etc. However, prior to the Fifteenth Congress the Party still adopted measures with regard to the Trotskyist organisation testifying to the desire of the Party leadership to induce the Trotskyists to mend their ways, to induce them to admit their errors, to induce them to return to the Party path. For a number of years, beginning with the 1923 discussion, the Party patiently pursued this line—the line, chiefly, of an ideological struggle. And even at the Fifteenth Party Congress it was precisely such measures against the Trotskyist organisation that were considered, notwithstanding the fact that the Trotskyists had "passed from disagreements over tactics to disagreements of a programmatic character, revising the views of Lenin and sinking to the position of Menshevism." (Resolution of the Fifteenth Congress.) 1

The year that has elapsed since the Fifteenth Congress has shown that the Fifteenth Congress was right in deciding to expel active Trotskyists from the Party. In the course of 1928 the Trotskyists completed their conversion from an underground anti-Party group into an underground anti-Soviet organisation. This was the new element which during 1928 compelled the Soviet authorities to adopt repressive measures against active members of this underground anti-Soviet organisation.

The organs of authority of the proletarian dictatorship cannot permit that in the land of the dictatorship of the proletariat there should exist an underground anti-Soviet organisation which, although insignificant in membership, nevertheless has its printing plants and its committees, which is attempting to organise anti-Soviet strikes, and which is going to the length of preparing its followers for civil war against the organs of the proletarian dictatorship. But it is precisely to such depths that the Trotskyists have sunk—once a faction within the Party, they have now become an underground anti-Soviet organisation.

Naturally, all the anti-Soviet, Menshevik elements in the country are expressing their sympathy with the Trotskyists and are now grouping around them.

The struggle of the Trotskyists against the C.P.S.U.(B.) had its own logic, and this logic has brought them into the anti-Soviet camp. Trotsky began by advising his followers in January 1928 to strike at the leadership of the C.P.S.U.(B.), without setting themselves up against the U.S.S.R. However, the logic of the struggle brought Trotsky to a point at which his blows against the leadership of the C.P.S.U.(B.), against the guiding force of the proletarian dictatorship, were inevitably directed against the dictatorship of the proletariat itself, against the U.S.S.R., against our entire Soviet society.

The Trotskyists have tried in every way to discredit the Party, which directs the country, and the organs of Soviet Government in the eyes of the working class. In his letter of instructions of October 21, 1928, which he sent abroad and which was published not only in the organ of the renegade Maslow, but also in whiteguard organs (Rul, [66] etc.), Trotsky makes the slanderous anti-Soviet allegation that the system existing in the U.S.S.R. is "Kerenskyism turned inside-out," calls for the organisation of strikes and the disruption of the collective agreement campaign, and in fact prepares his cadres for the possibility of another civil war.

Other Trotskyists say bluntly that in preparing for civil war "we must stop at nothing and not be deterred by any rules, written or unwritten."

The slanders against the Red Army and its leaders which the Trotskyists disseminate in the underground and foreign renegade press and, through it, in the white-guard press abroad, show that the Trotskyists do not stop at directly inciting the international bourgeoisie against the Soviet state. The Red Army and its leaders are depicted in these documents as the army of a future Bonapartist coup. Moreover, the Trotskyist organisation is trying, on the one hand, to split the Comintern sections, to disintegrate the ranks of the Comintern by creating its factions everywhere, and, on the other hand, is inciting against the U.S.S.R. the elements who as it is are hostile to the Soviet state.

The revolutionary phrases in the writings of the Trotskyists can no longer conceal the counter-revolutionary essence of the Trotskyist appeals. At the Tenth Party Congress, in connection with the Kronstadt mutiny, Lenin warned the Party that even "the whiteguards strive, and are able, to disguise themselves as Communists, and even as 'more Left' than the Communists, solely in order to weaken and overthrow the bulwark of the proletarian revolution in Russia." Lenin at that time cited as an example the way in which the Mensheviks utilised the disagreements within the R.C.P.(B.) in order actually to egg on and support the Kronstadt mutineers, the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the whiteguards, while pretending, in case the mutiny failed, to be supporters of the Soviet regime with only slight amendments. [67] The Trotskyist underground organisation has given full proof that it is the sort of camouflaged organisation that at the present time rallies around it all the elements hostile to the proletarian dictatorship. The Trotskyist organisation is in fact now fulfilling the same role as the Menshevik party once fulfilled in the U.S.S.R. in its struggle against the Soviet regime.

The subversive activities of the Trotskyist organisation demand that the Soviet authorities wage an implacable fight against this anti-Soviet organisation. This explains the measures taken recently by the OGPU to liquidate this anti-Soviet organisation (arrests and deportations).

Apparently, by no means all Party members clearly realise that between the former Trotskyist Opposition within the C.P.S.U.(B.) and the present Trotskyist anti-Soviet underground organisation outside the C.P.S.U.(B.) there is already an impassable gulf. Yet it is high time to understand and appreciate this obvious truth. Hence the "liberal" attitude that certain Party members sometimes display towards active figures in the Trotskyist underground organisation is absolutely impermissible. All Party members must appreciate this. More, it must be explained to the whole country, to the broad strata of the workers and peasants, that the illegal Trotskyist organisation is an anti-Soviet organisation, an organisation hostile to the proletarian dictatorship.

Let those Trotskyists who have not yet fully committed themselves also ponder over this new situation created by their leaders and by the activities of the Trotskyist

One or the other: either with the Trotskyist underground anti-Soviet organisation against the C.P.S.U.(B.) and against the proletarian dictatorship in the U.S.S.R., or complete rupture with the Trotskyist anti-Soviet underground organisation and withdrawal of any kind of support of this organisation.


1. For the Fifteenth Party Congress resolution on "The Opposition,"see Resolutions and Decisions of C.P.S.U. Congresses, Conferences and Central Committee Plenums, Part II, 1953, pp. 368-70.