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Leon Trotsky 19300213 The New Course in the Soviet Economy

Leon Trotsky: The New Course in the Soviet Economy

An Adventure in Economics and Its Dangers

February 13, 1930

[Writing of Leon Trotsky, Vol. 2, 1930, New York 1975, p. 105-119]

The success of the industrial development in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is of universal significance. The social democrats, who are not even making an attempt to evaluate the growth rates the Soviet economy has proven capable of achieving, deserve nothing but contempt. These rates are neither stable nor assured. We will discuss that later. But they provide empirical evidence of the infinite potentialities inherent in socialist methods.

If in 1918 the social democracy in Germany had used the power given to it by the revolution to introduce socialism (and it had every opportunity to do so), it would not be difficult to understand, in view of the experience of Soviet Russia, what economic power the socialist masses in Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and considerable portions of Asia would now have. The whole world would be different. But now humanity will pay for the betrayal of the German social democracy by wars and revolutions. Never was there a greater crime in all history. This question, however, is not the subject of our discussion.

A preliminary estimate of the possibilities of socialist industrialization was briefly analyzed by us in the book Toward Capitalism or Socialism? in the early part of 1925, before the end of the reconstruction period. We proved that even after all the means of production inherited from the bourgeoisie were exhausted, i.e., after the transition to independent reproduction on a large scale based on socialist accumulation, Soviet industry would be able to provide a growth factor absolutely unattainable by capitalism. While exercising the utmost caution, we projected an annual growth rate of 15-20 percent. Philistines like Stalin and Molotov derided these hypothetical figures as a fantasy of "superindustrialization." Reality left our calculations far behind. But then there occurred what has often happened before. These empirical philistines, overwhelmed by the first results, decided that from now on everything was possible, everything was realizable. The shortsighted became the visionaries.

In recent months it has finally become clear that the Stalinist faction has transformed its left zigzag into an ultraleft course both in domestic economic problems within the USSR and in Comintern policy.* This course is the negation and adventuristic complement of the opportunistic course that prevailed in 1923 and which was especially pronounced from 1926-28. Today's course is in no way less dangerous, and in certain respects is a more serious danger, than yesterday's.

Ultraleftism in the economic policy of the Soviet Union is now developing along two lines: industrialization and collectivization.

Since the beginning of 1923 the Opposition has demanded a faster rate of industrialization. It based its demands not only upon necessity but upon actual economic possibilities.

The dominant faction (Zinoviev, Stalin, Bukharin, and later Stalin and Bukharin minus Zinoviev) charged that the Opposition, in the name of superindustrialization, sought to "rob the peasants" and thus to break the economic and political link between the city and the countryside.

Experience has shown that the Opposition was right. The opportunistic leadership systematically underestimated the resources of nationalized industry. The actual development of industry, impelled by the market and the pressure of the Opposition, from year to year left the official plans far behind.

The struggle between the central leadership and the Opposition came to a head just at that moment when the correctness of the Opposition's position was being confirmed all along the line. The leadership was compelled within a few months to scrap their old minimum five-year plan, which had been criticized in the [1927] platform of the Opposition, and to replace it with a new and incomparably bolder plan. When the possibility of achieving the projected tempo was demonstrated in the first year, evidently to the surprise of the leadership itself, the latter at once abandoned their petty doubts and rushed to the opposite extreme. Now the slogan is "forward without delay, forward!" The plan is being constantly revised upward.

The opportunists have moved from a passive possibilist position to one of unrestrained subjectivism. A reference by an economist or a worker to actual obstacles — for example, bad equipment, lack of raw material or its poor quality — is considered a betrayed of the revolution. From the top down comes the demand for full speed, action, offensive. Everything else is the voice of evil.

The first quarter of the current fiscal year (October-February), the second year of the five-year plan, despite the tremendous progress — a growth rate approximately 26 percent greater than during the first quarter of the preceding year — fell far short of its mark. For the first time since the epigones took over the leadership, industry has lagged behind the projected plan. The lag was particularly serious in heavy industry. The production-cost system is in trouble. In order to decrease or conceal the arrears, factories are resorting to inferior quality. There has been a menacing rise in the number of defective goods. The Central Committee has responded with the categorical demand not only to fulfill the program but to "surpass" (i.e., to exceed) it.

The objective data is beginning to show ever more convincingly, as could have been foreseen theoretically, that the take-off lacked the forces to sustain it. The industrialization is more and more kept going by administrative whip. Equipment and labor power are being strained. Disproportions in production are accumulating in different fields of industry. Delays in the coming quarters of the year may prove more threatening that in the first. The government, for its part, feels compelled to fill the newly opened industrial gaps by making greater budget or credit allocations. This leads to inflation, which, in its turn, causes an artificial increase in the demand for goods, and consequently makes individual branches of industry go beyond the targets of the plan, adding new disproportions.

The Soviet economy depends upon the world economy. The dependence is expressed through exports and imports. Foreign trade is the biggest bottleneck in the entire Soviet economic system. The difficulties of our world trade are fundamentally the difficulties of our backwardness. At present there is an additional important conjunctural factor. The onset of the world economic crisis already affects Soviet exports through a lessening of demand and a lowering of prices of the exported products. If the world industrial and commercial crisis continues and deepens, the further decline in our even-now insufficient exports will affect imports, i.e., the importing of machinery and of the most important kinds of raw materials basic to industry. This danger does not, of course, stem from the Soviet leadership. But the leadership can and must take it into consideration. Through world trade, the reckless acceleration of industrialization, without coordination between its different branches, runs the obvious risk of becoming entangled in the world crisis: imports of the necessary means of production may be cut off and a new disruptive factor entered as a wedge into the five-year plan.

It is true that the industrial crisis in America and Europe could open up commercial and industrial credit possibilities for the Soviet Union. But this knife has a double edge. When economic development has a correct tempo, foreign credits can ease and speed the progress of industrialization. In the face of the accumulated contradictions, they can only postpone the blowup, making it doubly explosive later.

However, we mention these dangers flowing from the world economy only in passing and hypothetically. The central question today does not lie there, of course The greatest and most immediate dangers are concentrated around the most important line of Soviet policy: the relation between the city and the countryside.

For several years the Opposition had asked for increased taxation of the rich layer of the peasantry in the interest of industrial development. The official leadership denied that the kulaks were growing rich and accused the Opposition of wanting to "rob the peasant." Meanwhile, the kulaks had developed into a considerable force and, drawing behind them the middle peasants, subjected the cities and industry to a siege of famine. The height of the demonstration of the kulaks' strength coincided with the police dispersal of the Opposition (the beginning of 1928). The bureaucracy had to change its policy abruptly. A crusade was launched against the kulaks.

The measures for the limitation of the exploiting tendencies of the kulaks that the Opposition had proposed the day before were found insufficient as soon as the struggle with the kulaks over grain began.

The kulaks, however, are not separated from the middle peasants by an impenetrable partition. In a commodity market economy the middle peasants automatically give rise to kulaks. The hail of administrative blows, inconsistent and panicky, directed against the kulaks (and not only against them) cut short the further development of the top layer of the middle peasants. So-called disagreements with the peasantry were manifested. The peasantry, after the experience of the revolution, does not easily resort to the method of civil war. It rushes around agitatedly, looking for another way out. Thus "total collectivization" was born.

The Soviet government, in full accord with its main purpose, favors cooperative methods in both trade and production. Up to very recent times, however, production cooperatives in the countryside (collective farms) occupied a very insignificant place in the agricultural economy. Only two years ago, the present commissar of agriculture, Yakovlev, wrote that collective farming, in view of the technical and cultural backwardness of our peasantry and its dispersed character, will remain for a long time "islets in the sea of private peasant farms." Meanwhile, to the total surprise of the leadership, in the most recent period collectivization has taken on grandiose proportions. Suffice it to say that according to the plan, the collectives should have included by the end of the five-year plan around 20 percent of the peasantry. However, collectivization has already at the present time, i. e., at the beginning of the second year, taken in more than 40 percent. If this tempo is maintained, in the coming year or two collective farms will encompass the entire peasantry. This would appear to be a tremendous success. In fact, it is a great danger.

The collectivization of agriculture presupposes a certain technical base. A collective farm is above all large. The rational size for the farm is determined, however, by the character of the means and methods of production being applied. With the aid of peasant plows and peasant nags, even all of them put together, it is not possible to create large agricultural collectives, even as it is not possible to build a ship out of a flock of fishing boats. The collectivization of agriculture can be achieved only through its mechanization. From this it follows that the general level of industrialization of a country determines the possible speed of the collectivization of its agriculture.

But in reality these two processes have been treated as separate and distinct. In spite of its rapid development, Soviet industry still is and will for a long time remain extremely backward. The high coefficients of its growth must be considered in relation to the general low level. We must not forget for a moment that, even if the projected plan were fully carried out, Soviet industry would be able to supply tractors and other kinds of machinery to only 20-25 percent of the peasant farms. And that only at the end of the five-year period. This is the real scale of the collectivization. As long as the Soviet Union remains isolated, industrialization (i. e., mechanization, electrification, etc.) of agriculture can be seen only as an end goal of a number of consecutive five-year plans. The present leadership itself looked at the matter in this way until yesterday. But now it appears that the collectivization has already been 40 percent fulfilled, and that during the next year it will be completed 100 percent in a number of the most important agricultural regions.

It is perfectly clear that the present tempo of collectivization is determined not by productive but by administrative factors. The sharp and in fact panicky change of policy toward the kulak, and toward the middle peasant as well, resulted during the last year in an almost complete liquidation of NEP. A peasant represents a small productive unit and as such cannot exist without a market. The liquidation of NEP presented the middle peasant with the following alternatives: either to revert to the natural consumers' economy, i. e., to become extinct, or to become involved in a civil war for the market, or to try his hand at the new way in the collective economy.

The course of collectivization holds out to the peasant not persecution but advantages: lower taxes, supply of agricultural machinery on easy terms, loans, etc. If at present the peasantry is crowding into the collective, it is not because the collectivization has already shown its advantages; it is not because the state has already proved to the peasant (or at least to itself) that it can reconstruct the peasant economy on a collective basis in the near future. It is because the peasantry, and first of all its top layer, which during the years of the "liberal" Stalin-Ustrialov policy had become accustomed to the ways of the capitalist farmer, suddenly found itself in an impasse.

The gate of the market was padlocked. The peasants stood frightened in front of it awhile, and then rushed through the only open door, that of collectivization.

The leadership itself was no less surprised by the sudden rush of the peasants into the collectives than the peasants were surprised by the liquidation of NEP. After getting over its astonishment, the leadership created a new theory: the building of socialism has entered into its "third" stage: there is no longer any need for a market; in the near future the kulak as a class will be liquidated.

In essence, this is not a new theory. It is the old theory of socialism in one country, but shifted into "third gear.” Earlier, we had been taught that socialism would be built in backward Russia "at a snail's pace,” with the kulak growing into socialism. Now the snail's pace has been replaced by a speed almost that of an aircraft. The kulak is no longer growing into socialism — at such speeds it is not possible! — but is simply being liquidated by administrative order.

The liquidation of the kulak, taken seriously, is unquestionably the liquidation of the last capitalist class. Without the kulak a jobber, a speculator, a city Nepman cannot exist economically. Even more so since the official policy for the liquidation of the kulaks as a class includes the petty-bourgeois elements of the city. To encompass the entire peasantry in the socialized economy means to transform the Soviet Union into a society without classes in two or three years. A society that has no classes has no need for a government, especially such a concentrated form of government as a dictatorship. No wonder that some of the young "theoreticians" of the new course expressed the idea that it would be advisable to disband the soviets, at least in the countryside, and to replace them with the merely productive organizations, namely, with the administration of the local collectives. These "theoreticians," however, were brought to their senses by a declaration from the top that the dictatorship will be necessary for a long time to come. But why and for what it will be necessary to have a dictatorship after the coming year or two of complete liquidation of the kulaks, the leaders have not explained. And it is not an accident either. For they themselves would have to admit that the program of the speedy liquidation of the kulaks, with the aid of peasant plows and old nags and wagons, is a bureaucratic adventure, spiced with theoretical charlatanism.

In practice, the liquidation of the kulaks led to merely administrative methods of the confiscation of the kulak's property, his house, his lot; and to his deportation. This policy has been carried out in a way that regards the kulak as an entirely foreign body among the peasants, some kind of invader, like a Pecheneg or Polovtsian nomad. As a matter of fact, the kulak represents only one of the stages of the development of the middle peasant. It is possible, of course, to liquidate every individual kulak. It can be achieved with the aid of two policemen (well armed). But to prevent the reappearance of kulaks, at least in the collective farms, is much more difficult For that, an industrial and cultural revolution is necessary.

There are three types of collective farms in the USSR, depending mainly on the degree to which the .means of production have been collectivized: associations, artels, and communes. In an association, the work in the fields is done collectively with privately owned implements: the labor has been collectivized but not the means of production. In the artels, some of the most expensive machinery has been collectivized. And, finally, in the communes all the means of production are collectivized. The ways of dividing income among the members of these types of farms differ according to the forms of ownership: from the capitalist to the near-communist method. These three types of collective farms represent the three stages in the progress of collectivization. The highest type mirrors the future of the lowest.

The transition from one stage to another — its volume and its tempo — is fundamentally determined by the technical conditions of production. Therefore it is perfectly clear that the wider the scale of the present collectivization, the more primitive the form it will have to take, thus opening the way to capitalist tendencies. But the last decree of the Central Committee demands as far as possible full collective ownership of the means of production from the start. In other words total collectivization resting mainly on peasant equipment must occur in a form somewhere between an artel and a commune. An obvious contradiction: the wider the scale of forced collectivization, and consequently the lower its technical base, the higher is the type of social relations that the utopian-bureaucratic leadership wants to impose.

At the same time the question of the internal relations of the collective farms is not discussed in the press. To avoid the decisive social question concerning the distribution of income, the leaders and the executors replace Marxist analysis with unbearable propagandistic noise.

Of course if state industry could supply the collective farms with the means of production, it would soon remove the difference between these collective farms and the state farms. It would transform the peasants into normal socialist workers for state wheat factories, and would once and forever take the ground from under the feet of the kulaks. But from such a regime we are as yet separated by many years. The majority of collective farms will be compelled, for several years, to fall back upon the livestock and other equipment of the peasants themselves.

Let us grant, however, that even under these conditions collectivization brings real and immediate advantages, capable of overcoming the individualistic tendencies of the peasants. At once a new difficulty arises; not one of an administrative but of a social nature, i. e., a difficulty inherent not in the methods of collectivization but in the class character of small producers. Namely: How will the incomes of the collective farms be distributed? Would a peasant who gave the collective farm two horses have a right to more income than a farmhand who brought with him only his two arms? If the percentage on the "capital" were not credited, nobody would want to supply his own property as a gift. Then the state would confront an insurmountable task: to equip anew all the collective farms with necessary machinery. Should the percentage on the "capital” be allowed, an economic differentiation of individuals within the collectives would inevitably follow. And if the collectives prove to have considerable advantages over individual farming, differentiation within them will develop faster than it did before.

The problem is not exhausted, however, by the matter of equipment alone. A family that has three workers would want to receive more than a family with only one adult worker. If a collective should want to take the unexpended part of the earnings of its members as a loan to buy new machinery, or for a turnover of capital, again it would have to pay a percentage. This in turn opens the way to more differentiation within the cooperative farm and thus to its possible transformation into a petty-bourgeois cooperative, with the leadership concentrated in the hands of the well-off and the majority of its members little more than farmhands.

Such phenomena have already been widely observed in the past, when collective farms were the rare exceptions and wholly voluntary. They are even more inevitable in light of total collectivization which, by retaining the technological base of a small farm, means the inclusion within the confines of the collective farms of all the contradictions inherent in the small petty commodity economy, and thus the inevitable reappearance of the kulaks within the collective farms.

It means that the day after the official "liquidation of the kulaks as a class," i. e., after the confiscation of the property of "named kulaks" and their deportation, the Stalinist bureaucracy will declare the kulaks within the collective farms to be progressive or "civilized cooperators," incorrectly quoting, of course, Lenin's formula ("On Cooperation"). The collectives may become, in this case, only a new form of social and political disguise for the kulaks. As director of such a masquerade, the present commissar of agriculture Yakovlev is perfect Not in vain did he occupy himself for several years with statistical juggling to prove that the kulak was an invention of the Opposition. Not in vain did he, until yesterday, along with other officials, declare that the platform of the Opposition was a counterrevolutionary document — the platform which demanded the speeding up of collectivization on the basis of planned industrialization.

In the meantime the peasants react to the contradictions between the collectivization and its insufficient technical base in advance, by selling their livestock right and left before joining the collective farms. The official press is full of alarming reports of the mass destruction of work animals and their sale to slaughterhouses. The leadership reacts to this with decrees, telegrams, and threats. But it is obviously insufficient. A peasant does not know whether he will get credit for his horse or his cow, or in what way. He hopes that a collective farm will get a tractor from the state. In any case he does not see any reason why he should give his cow to the collective for nothing. A peasant is still a narrow realist. Seeing himself compelled to join the collective, he hurries to get the advantages from the sale of his individual property. The number of work animals decreases. Meanwhile the state cannot replace them with machinery or even livestock of better quality. This prepares exceptionally acute difficulties for the collective farms from the beginning.

We can predict that after the present precarious offensive a panicky retreat will follow, elemental down below, and allegedly "maneuvered" from above. The collective farms, hastily organized, will either simply fall apart or begin to degenerate. In a cruel internal struggle the individual means of production will be liberated, thus opening the way to capitalist tendencies. The infallible leadership will, of course, accuse the executors of being "Trotskyists," and will bring out from under the pillow Stalin's capitalist-farmer's formulas of 1924-25, if the party will give the bureaucratic connecting rods the necessary time.

It is not difficult to foresee the reaction our analysis will arouse in official circles. The government officials will say that we are betting on a crisis. Scoundrels will add that we desire the fall of the Soviet government. People of Yaroslavsky's type will explain that we write in the interest of Chamberlain. It is possible that the Mensheviks and liberals will lift out a dozen sentences to prove that it is indispensable for Russia to return to capitalism. The Communist officials will again establish the "solidarity between the Opposition and the Mensheviks." So it has happened before, so it will happen again. But that will not stop us. Intrigues pass, but facts remain. The Stalinist bureaucracy, after its years of opportunist policy, is going through a period of brief but thorough ultraleft lunacy. The theory and practice of the "third period" bear equally destructive consequences for the Soviet Union both inside and outside its borders.

Some people will say that the Opposition has changed places with the apparatus: the Opposition accuses the apparatus of superindustrialization while it itself swerves to the right. Other thoughtful souls will add that the right wing, which formerly accused the Stalinists of superindustrialization and of "Trotskyism," has capitulated to Stalin, while the Left Opposition appears to be adopting the point of view of the right wing.

All such generalizations, comparisons, and approximations can be foreseen. And it is possible to write in advance all the articles and speeches that will be written and given on the subject. It is not difficult to disclose the superficiality of these arguments.

The Opposition never undertook "in the shortest possible time to overtake and outstrip" the capitalist world. We demanded acceleration of industrialization because it is the only way to secure a leading position for the cities in relation to the countryside, and thus in the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Our estimate of the possibilities of industrialization was immeasurably broader and bolder than that of the bureaucrats up until 1928. But we never regarded the resources for industrialization as inexhaustible. We never thought that its tempo could be regulated by the administrative whip alone. We have always advanced, as a basic condition for industrialization, the necessity for systematic improvement in the conditions of the working class. We have always considered collectivization dependent upon industrialization. We saw the socialist reconstruction of peasant economy only as a prospect of many years. We never closed our eyes to the inevitability of internal conflicts during the socialist reconstruction of a single nation. To remove contradictions in rural life is possible only by removing contradictions between the city and the countryside. This can be realized only through the world revolution. We never demanded, therefore, the liquidation of classes within the scope of the five-year plan of Stalin and Krzhizhanovsky We demanded limitation of the exploiting tendencies of the kulak and systematic limitation of his accumulation of wealth in the interest of industrialization. For that we were exiled on the basis of Article 58 of the penal code.

The Marxist Opposition was denounced by the bloc of the right and center. They broke for a while, but now are united again. They have a common basis: national socialism. Together they made a curve of 180 degrees over our heads. More and more, they transform the problem of industrialization into hazardous bureaucratic superindustrialization. They abolished NEP, i.e., committed the very "crime" of which they had falsely accused the Opposition and for which our friends are still crowding the prisons and places of exile. Limitation of the kulaks they replaced with official "liquidation," which yesterday they had attributed to us and which we denied in good Marxist conscience.

The right wing, which was afraid to take the most elementary steps, now has joined with the center in a frantic rush "forward." The bloc is restored and the snail's pace is advanced to the speed of aircraft.

For how many months will the present leadership drive the party along the road of ultraleftism? Not for very many, we think. The more frenzied the character of the present course, the sooner and sharper its contradictions will break out. Then to the former 180-degree curve, the leadership will add another, returning close to its starting point from the other end. So it has been, so it will be again.

The problems briefly outlined in the present article will be the subject of an extensive work that we hope to bring out in a few weeks. Therefore our analysis here is in the nature of a synopsis. In the same way, we briefly answer the question: What is to be done?

Industry is racing toward a crisis primarily because of the monstrously bureaucratic methods used in the preparation of the plan. A five-year plan can be projected with the necessary proportions and guarantees only on condition of a free discussion of its rates and terms; only with participation in these discussions by all related industries and by the working class, drawing in all its organizations and above all the party itself; only with an evaluation of the whole experience of the Soviet economy in the last period, including the monstrous faults of the leadership. The most important element of the plan is not a question of what the workers and peasants want and are able to consume immediately, but what they can save and accumulate. The question of the tempo of industrialization is not a matter of bureaucratic fancy, but of the life and culture of the masses.

Therefore the plan for building socialism cannot be issued as an a priori bureaucratic command. It must be worked out and corrected in the same way that the construction of socialism itself can only be realized, i.e., through broad soviet democracy. The decision, for example, on the role of chemistry in the national economy can be established only through an open discussion among different economic groups and branches of industry. Soviet democracy is not an abstract political demand and still less a moral one It has become an economic necessity.

The first condition for the success of socialism is to preserve or, more correctly, to save the party. Without this basic historic instrument the proletariat is powerless. In the meantime the Stalinist bureaucracy is destroying the party. To total collectivization in the countryside, it adds total admittance into the party of whole plants and artels. The vanguard is disappearing in the mass. The thought and the will of the party are crushed underfoot. The bureaucracy's hands are completely free. The leadership is blind and uncontrollable. The party will not be able to create a farsighted leadership until it becomes a party again. What must be done? Take from the usurpers' apparatus the power that has been usurped from the party. Who can do that? The proletarian nucleus of the party, relying on the working class.

The second condition is to preserve or, more correctly, to restore the proletarian dictatorship. This is possible only if the proletariat from year to year shows an improvement in its economic and cultural level and a growth of its importance in the state and country, and if simultaneously the scissors of agricultural and industrial prices begin to close, offering the peasants real advantages from the October Revolution.

The tempo of industrialization must guarantee, not the building of national socialism, but the reinforcement of the foundation of the proletarian dictatorship and the improvement of the conditions of the working masses of the city and countryside. This is an entirely realistic task. It demands a combination of courage and caution. It excludes both excess timidity and wild recklessness.

It would be absurd to pretend that the Opposition has an a priori plan for a painless way out of the new dangers created by the combination of adventurism and opportunism. The best directions for keeping on the road are useless if the car at the head of the line has already swerved off the road into the mud. Then a whole series of special measures are necessary to bring the column back on the road. We assert that even the best driver at the wheel could not solve the problem alone. The collective effort of the party and the class is necessary, with help from the ranks, which presupposes the right and the possibility of collective creative initiative.

Right now the measure that seems most immediate and urgent is the strictest financial discipline. It is absolutely necessary to pull the strings of the state's purse as tightly as possible, in both the budget and credit columns. There is no doubt that this measure will prove painful at the start, as it will inevitably stop many undertakings and enterprises halfway. But this measure is unavoidable. Financial discipline must become the first step toward general economic discipline.

If these exaggerated and unattainable projects are not immediately curtailed, if the tempo is not revised to a realistic one, runaway inflation may easily swell them to perilous proportions, with consequences that will not only puncture the false reputation of the ignorant leadership — a reputation founded wholly on self-inflation — but also real values of immeasurably greater importance: the October Revolution.

Again and again we decisively rejected the task of building a national socialist society "in the shortest possible time." Collectivization and industrialization we bind by an unbreakable tie to the world revolution. The problems of our economy are decided in the final analysis on the international arena. It is necessary to rebuild the Comintern. It is necessary to review the revolutionary strategy of the post-Lenin period and to condemn all three of its stages: the Zinoviev, the Bukharin-Stalin, and the Stalin-Molotov stage. It is necessary to remove the present leadership, because it is precisely in the field of international questions that the Stalinist faction reaches the limits of theoretical cynicism and practical license, which threaten the proletarian vanguard with innumerable disasters. Refutation of the theory of national socialism and the practice of bureaucratic adventurism is the elementary prerequisite for the regeneration of the Communist International.

* We are establishing to our complete satisfaction that our cothinkers in the USSR in no way let themselves be taken in by Stalin's "ultraleftism," which the right wing, the Mensheviks, and the liberals are passing off as "Trotskyism" put into practice by Stalin. We have managed in recent months to exchange several dozen letters with our friends in different corners of the USSR and have established incontestable agreement in our evaluations of the new course. Excerpts from some of the letters we have received are being printed in the current issue of the Biulleten.