SOVIET RUSSIA. Brief history of the USSR
The period 1922-1927 It became a time when, in the course of a fierce ideological and political struggle within the party, Stalin managed to eliminate all the forces opposing him from the political arena. This was facilitated by Lenin's illness. In May 1922, he was struck by the first blow, after which he was out of action for several months. Stalin in this situation showed amazing long-sightedness, guessedness and foresight. He began to ask doctors about Lenin's illness, demanded that he be given appropriate medical literature. Several times he specially visited Lenin in Gorki. On the basis of his observations, Stalin already in 1922 made a conclusion that angered many: "Lenin ka-put."
After the XI Congress of the RCP (B) (March-April 1922), in which Lenin took occasional participation for health reasons, attending only 4 meetings out of 12, Stalin was elected General Secretary of the Party. In a narrow circle, opposing this appointment, Lenin said his famous phrase: "I do not advise, this cook will cook only spicy dishes." Resistance to Stalin’s candidacy was not brought to an end because the post of secretary was then of secondary importance, and the secretary-general himself could only be a subordinate figure.
However, taking this post, Stalin immediately began to make extensive use of methods for selecting and assigning personnel through the Secretariat of the Central Committee and the Accounting and Distribution Department of the Central Committee subordinate to it. Already in the first year of the activity of the Secretary General, Uchraspred made 4,750 appointments to senior positions.
At the same time, the material privileges of the party leadership were rapidly expanding. In August 1922, at the XI Party Conference, which took place during Lenin's illness, for the first time a document was adopted that legitimized these privileges. The resolution of the conference "On the Material Situation of Active Party Workers" determined their number - 15,325 people - and introduced a strict hierarchy of distribution for 6 categories.
According to the highest category, members of the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission (Central Control Commission), heads of departments of the Central Committee, members of regional bureaux of the Central Committee, secretary of regional and provincial party committees were to be paid. In this case, the possibility of a personal increase in their salaries was specified. In addition to the high salary, all of these workers were provided in housing (through local executive committees), in medical care (through the People's Commissariat of Health), in terms of the upbringing and education of children (through the People's Commissariat of Education).
These processes coincided with the end of the unstable situation of the period of the civil war. Resistance to Stalinist actions aimed at creating privileges for the bureaucracy was becoming weaker. The majority of responsible workers took privileges for granted, which was the beginning of the rebirth of the social and moral approach to the partytocracy. It was followed by a political rebirth - a willingness to sacrifice ideas and principles for the sake of preserving their posts and privileges. All this contributed to the rapid growth of bureaucracy and intrigue in the party and state apparatus.
Returning to work in October 1922, Lenin, according to Trotsky, planned to create a commission to combat bureaucracy under the Central Committee. Trotsky himself considered himself the successor of Lenin. However, Stalin, Kamenev, Zinoviev, and other members of the top party leadership did not agree with this.
For a little over two months (from December 23, 1922 to March 2, 1923), Lenin dictated 8 works in which ideas of political reform were stated and specified. Immediately after dictation, five le-nine articles were sent for publication in Pravda as materials for the pre-Congress discussion (the XII Party Congress was being prepared). However, in 1923, only three of Lenin's eight articles became public.
The core of the reform was to be the reorganization of the TsKK and Rabkrin (Workers' and Peasants Inspection), directed against the excessive concentration of power in the hands of the Politburo, the Organizing Bureau, the Secretariat and Stalin personally. The fact that five articles were not published at that time was not accidental, because Lenin in various forms expressed criticism of the Secretary General and Rabkrin (Stalin headed Rabkrin until mid-1922). One of the main ideas of Lenin's "testament" was the thought of the danger of a split in the party due to the influence of "purely personal and random circumstances within the Central Committee."
At the beginning of 1923 it became clear that Lenin’s health leaves little hope of the possibility of his participation in the work of the XII Party Congress. This period was marked by a number of Trotsky's mistakes, which later opened the way for the approval of Stalinism. Being consistent, decisive and irreconcilable in the struggle against class enemies (this was vividly demonstrated by the events of October 1917 and the civil war), Trotsky did not show the same qualities in the inner-party struggle, consisting mainly of backstage intrigues, provocations and secret conspiracies of his personal -nikov, who were with him in the same party.
In addition, Trotsky missed the initiative and a number of favorable opportunities that opened up before him in early 1923. Thus, he refused to make a political report at the XII Party Congress (the Central Committee report at the congress was entrusted to Zinoviev and Stalin), limiting himself to speaking about the state of industry; twice refused the offer to become deputy chairman of the CPC, that is, in fact, head of government in the absence of Lenin; made a number of other compromises in the Literature Bureau.
Fearing accusations of factionalism (the ban on factions in the party was adopted by the 10th Congress of the RCP (B)), Trotsky, in the period before the 12th Congress (April 1923), did not take any measures to rally around like-minded people, party leaders dissatisfied with the political dictate the "troika" Stalin-Zinoviev-Kamenev. He decided to take this step after half a year, when there was almost no hope of Lenin's recovery, and the “triumvirate” significantly strengthened his position. Thus, the Stalinist apparatus preparation of the XII Congress, Trotsky's indecision and the ignorance of the majority of delegates about the struggle in the Politburo led to the fact that the organizational results of the congress proved to be beneficial for the "triumvirate." The Twelfth Congress secured the dominant role of the “established core” in the DC.
In September 1923, at the Central Committee plenum, the facts of workers' strikes and strikes that took place in many cities of the country in the summer became known. The plenum was forced to state that in the NEP environment, many officials lost their democratic appearance, broke away from the masses, became poor communists, bureaucratic. The debate on this issue has become acute. Trotsky, slamming the door, left the meeting. A few days later, on October 8, 1923, he sent a sharp letter to the members of the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission on the economic crisis and the inner-party regime.
Among the reasons for the current situation, he called the bureaucratization of the party apparatus; the usurpation of rights to solve all the most important economic issues; consideration of these issues hastily, without lengthy preparation by their specialists; attempts of the "military-communist price command" and their mechanical reduction in the administrative order. Trotsky's letter caused confusion in the ranks of the ruling faction. The majority in the Politburo made an attempt to present the letter "as a platform on the basis of which energetic attempts are being made to form a faction".
On October 15, 1923, the so-called "Statement of 46", signed by 46 members of the party with experience before 1917, was presented to the Politburo of the Central Committee. In this "statement", as well as in Trotsky's letter, an inconsistency with Lenin's ideas of political reform. But in the "statement" the questions of changing the inner-party regime and the struggle against the apparatus bureaucracy were raised even more widely and more acutely than in the last Leninist works. The letter was signed by E. Preobrazhensky, S. Breslav, L. Serebryakov, A. Rosengolts, G. Pyatakov, V. Obolensky (Osinsky), N. Muralov, T. Sa-pronov, A. Goltsman and other well-known figures of the party the Bolsheviks.
On October 19, 1923, the "Response of Politburo Members to Comrade Trotsky's Letter" appeared, the content of which was biased and tendentious. It raised the question of Trotsky's desire for personal dictatorship, used a gross distortion of the facts. A special section was included in the “Answer” - the “Report of 46 supporters of Comrade Trotsky”, which stated that this “petition” is a “rehash of Comrade Trotsky’s letter” and is an example of “planned”, “maneuverable”, “ coordinated "speeches (meanwhile, to date, no evidence has been found that Trotsky was involved in writing the" Statement of 46 ").
On December 11, Trotsky's article "The New Course" appeared in Pravda. Even the very name of the publication Trotsky distanced himself from the ossified majority in the Politburo and the Central Committee, opposing them with his own vision of the problems facing the country and the party. Appeal for support to the young members of the party had a certain resonance. Reproaches in the bureaucratization of the party were close to youth. A typical statement was made at the meeting of the highest technical courses of the People's Commissariat of Communications in early December 1923: "We have 40,000 party members with hammers and 400,000 with briefcases in our party." There was an actual split in the Central Committee of the Komsomol - 9 members of the Central Committee of the RKSM reproached Trotsky for “pulling the youth issue out of their hair”, 8 members of the Central Committee spoke in his defense. The speech of Trotsky, which threatened to tear the party leadership from its young members, called for an immediate rebuke in the party press.
Isolation was gradually created around Trotsky - the movement and displacement of his supporters, primarily from leading military bodies, were carried out (the supporters of the "triumvirate" were put at the head of most military districts). By the end of 1923, the attacks on Trotsky intensified. He and his supporters were accused of "deviations from Bolshevism." Stalin "denounced" Trotsky that he was a former Menshevik and, therefore, had no right to classify himself as an old Bolshevik guard.
The main reason for the defeat of the opposition in the first internal party discussion, which was held without Lenin's participation, was that Trotsky and his supporters decided to openly oppose themselves to the “triumvirate” and the party bureaucracy supporting it only at the end of 1923, when the alignment of leading cadres that were swift the pace was such that the apparatus was basically already selected. To this was added Trotsky's illness, which, in the midst of the discussion struggle, confined him to bed and made it impossible for him to actively participate in the discussion of intraparty tasks.
In the discussion of 1923 (its content remained unknown to most ordinary communists), Stalin tested for the first time techniques that he later widely practiced: the declaration of any ideological group in a party — factional and splitting, and all criticism of the majority of the Central Committee or Politburo - an attempt on the unity of the party ranks. Trotsky's attempt to clarify his position and, perhaps, to resume the discussion in the fall of 1924, was immediately stopped. Trotsky's memoirs "On Lenin" and "Lessons of October" were regarded as an attempt to dissent into the ranks of the party and reduce the role of the deceased leader of the revolution.
Immediately after the XIII Congress of the RCP (b), which took place in May 1924, Stalin set about preparing a new split within the Politburo, creating a new bloc with "young" Politburo members that became part of it in 1922-1924: Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsk. After a year and a half, Stalin effectively removed Zinoviev and Kamenev, who had previously been the instigators of the campaign against “Trotskyism,” unfolded in print, from power. Thus, the historical responsibility for the missed opportunity to turn the tide of events in favor of the revival of party democracy lies to a large extent with Zinoviev and Kamenev, who, up to their final separation from Stalin, showed a fair share of lack of principle and political short-sightedness, which made it easier ultimately the victory of Stalinism. In the ranks of the opposition there was a strong conviction that "Stalin will deceive, and Zinoviev will run away" (a statement by the oppositionist Mrachkovsky).
By 1925, Trotsky was ousted to the minor posts of the chairman of the Main Concession Committee; the head of the electrotechnical department and the chairman of the scientific and technical department of the Supreme Economic Council, and an influential group in the party, headed by Zinoviev and Kamenev, began to be “driven into opposition”. The place of the former "triumvirate" was taken by the "duumvirate", consisting of Stalin and Bukharin. Their allies in the fight against Zinoviev and Kamenev were M. P. Tomsky (who had served as chairman of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions since 1919) and A. I. Rykov (after Lenin’s death, was at the head of the SNK, and in 1926 replaced Kamenev at the second highest post - Chairman of the station).
The new split in the Politburo and the Central Committee was clearly designated in October 1925, when Zinoviev, Kamenev, Sokolnikov and Krupskaya presented to the Central Committee a document reflecting serious contradictions in the views of the new opposition group (the so-called Platform 4).
From January 1925, Zinoviev prepared the Leningrad Communist organization to fight the "semi-Trotskyists", which Stalin allegedly headed. Zinoviev and his supporters mistakenly believed that for victory at the XIV Party Congress (December 1925) there would be enough monolithic unity of the Leningrad communist delegation. However, as a result, the “solidity” of the Leningrad delegation faced the same “solidity” of all other delegations of the congress. In the art of hardware mechanics, Zi-nov and Kamenev could not bear with Stalin.
L. Kamenev and G. Sokolnikov at the congress directly pointed to the need to remove Stalin from the post of Secretary General. But Kamenev’s words that "Stalin cannot fulfill the role of a unifier of the Bolshevik headquarters," drowned in shouts from the field: "Wrong! Nonsense! We opened the cards! We will not give you commanding heights!" As a result, the condemnation condemned the views of the "new opposition" ("Leningrad"). Zinoviev and Trotsky were left in the Politburo, and Kamenev was transferred to the candidates. But Stalin secured an overwhelming majority in the top party leadership by introducing Molotov, Kalin * and Voroshilov into the Politburo, who later supported any Stalinist actions.
The gap between the 1923 opposition and the “new opposition” was so great that it took almost half a year after the XIV Party Congress to unite these groups, who realized who was a threat to the party. Kamenev and Zinoviev pushed for rapprochement with Trotsky, the speed with which the Stalinist faction deprived them of their leading posts.
Trotsky's rapprochement with the "new opposition" was first revealed at the April 1926 captivity of the Central Committee when discussing Rykov's report on economic policy. Trotsky, who was supported by Pyatakov, Kamenev and Zinoviev, advocated a plan for the intensive industrialization of the country in order to reduce the lag of industry from agriculture and eliminate price scissors. But Stalin was in favor of the extremely minimal rates of development of the industry and accused Trotsky of "super-industrialization", "impatience", "superhuman jumps", etc. But in reality the ruling faction did not have any clear plan for socialist transformation in economics, clear views on the relationship between industrial and agricultural development.
The final formulation of the "united" opposition took place at the July plenum of the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission of 1926. But Stalin successfully played on the previous feuds of the two united party movements and undermined the authority of both groups in the eyes of the CPSU (b) members. Thus, the addition of forces turned into a de facto weakening. The July 1926 plenary session of the Central Committee opened the campaign of harassment and persecution of the opposition that lasted another year and a half.
The culmination of this process was the 15th Party Congress (December 1927). Rykov, in his speech, summing up the outcome of the inner-party struggle, remarked: "I think that it is impossible to vouch that the prison population will not have to be somewhat increased in the near future." The fate of the members of the anti-Stalinist oppositions, indeed, was tragic. Already in January 1928, Trotsky was exiled to Alma-Ata, and a year later he was expelled from the USSR. The last years of his life he spent in Mexico, where he continued to fight with Stalin, but was eventually killed in August 1940 on the instructions of the NKVD
History of the Soviet Union and Russia in the 20th Century