J. V. Stalin

Letter to Comrade Etchin

February 27, 1931

Source : Works, Vol. 13, 1930 - January 1934
Publisher : Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1954
Transcription/HTML 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.

Comrade Etchin,

I was unable (for lack of time!) to read your pamphlet but I can reply briefly to your four questions.

1) "Inner-Party contradictions." Ever since Engels's day the proposition that the development of proletarian parties takes place through the overcoming of internal Party contradictions has been axiomatic. These contradictions find expression in overt or covert disagreements. Ossovsky has nothing to do with the matter here, since he wrongly considered our Party, for instance, to be a bloc of two antagonistic classes, as the representative of these classes, whereas our Party (like the other sections of the Comintern) is in actual fact the representative of one class, namely, the working class. And, after all, we are concerned with the Communist Parties, each of which is the representative of one (the proletarian) class.

2) Leninism. There can be no doubt that Leninism is the most Left (without quotation marks) trend in the world labour movement. The labour movement contains all kinds of trends, from the feudal-monarchist (such as "the League of the Russian People") and the openly capitalist trend (such as the Cadets) to the covertly-bourgeois trend (Social-Democrats, particularly the "Left" Social-Democrats, Anarchists, Anarcho-Syndicalists) and the ultra-Left "communist" trend. The most Left of these, and the only consistently revolutionary trend, is Leninism.

3) The roots of the "Left" and Right deviations. Their roots are common in the sense that they both reflect the pressure of classes alien to us. Their forms and means of struggle against the Party differ in accordance with the differences in the social strata which they, i.e., the deviations, represent.

4) The struggle on two fronts. There is nothing to explain here. I fail to understand why Comrade Kantor disagrees with you.

With communist greetings,

J. Stalin
February 27, 1931

Published for the first time