V. I. Lenin

Draft Programme of the R.C.P.(B.)[1]


First Published: First published in 1931 Draft Programme section on the national question first published in 1925; Rough draft of the Programme of the R.C. P. first published in full in the Fourth (Russian) Edition of the Collected Works; Published according to manuscript and typewritten copies
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972 Volume 29, pages 97-140
Translated: George Hanna
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters & Robert Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marx.org) 2002; Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.


1
Rough Draft Of The Programme of the R.C.P.

Plan. The programme shall consist of the following sections.

I. Preamble. The proletarian revolution has begun in Russia and ’is rapidly spreading everywhere. To understand the revolution it is necessary to understand the nature of capitalism and the inevitability of its development towards the dictatorship of the proletariat. 2. Capitalism and the dictatorship of the proletariat. On this point repeat the main section of our old Marxist programme, drawn up by Plekhanov, so as to explain also the “historical roots” of our world outlook. 3. Imperialism. To be taken from the draft programme of May 1917. 4. Three trends in the world working-class movement and the new International. Revision of the draft of May 1917. 5. The fundamental tasks of the proletarian dictatorship in Russia. To be taken from The draft of December 1917-January 1918.[2] 6. These tasks in the political sphere to be formulated concretely (new). 7. Ditto in the national, religious, educational spheres (new). 8. Ditto in economic sphere (new). 9. Ditto in agrarian sphere (new). 10. Ditto as regards protection of the working people (to be written by Schmidt). 11 and 12. To be added on other spheres (not yet written).

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Much in this rough draft is unfinished, especially the editorial aspect of it, and in some cases, instead of programme formulations, commentaries have been provisionally taken.

(1) The Revolution of October. 25 (November 7), 1917 established the dictatorship of the proletariat in Russia which began, with the support of the poor peasantry or semi-proletariat, to build a communist society. The growth of the revolutionary movement of the proletariat in all advanced countries, the universal emergence and development of the Soviet form of that movement,. i.e., a form which aims directly at the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and, lastly, the beginning and progress of the revolution in Austria-Hungary and, particularly, in Germany, all goes to show vividly that the era of the world proletarian, communist revolution has begun.

(2) The causes, significance and aims of this revolution can be correctly understood, first, by making clear the real nature, the fundamental character of capitalism and of bourgeois society, and the inevitability of their development towards communism; and secondly, by making clear the nature of imperialism and of imperialist wars, which have accelerated the collapse of capitalism and have placed the proletarian revolution on the order of the day.

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(3) The nature of capitalism and of the bourgeois society which still dominates in most civilised countries and the development of which inevitably leads, and has been leading, to the world communist revolution of the proletariat, was described in our old Marxist programme in the following terms.

(4) “The principal specific feature of this society is commodity production based on capitalist production relations, under which the most important and major part of the means of production and exchange of commodities belongs to a numerically small class of persons while the vast majority of the population is made up of proletarians and semiproletarians, who, owing to their economic position, are compelled permanently or periodically to sell their labourpower, i.e., to hire themselves out to the capitalists and to create by their labour the incomes of the upper classes of society.

(5) “The ascendancy of capitalist production relations extends its area more and more with the steady improvement of technology, which, by enhancing the economic importance of the large enterprises, tends to eliminate the small independent producers, converting some of them into proletarians and narrowing the role of others in the social and economic sphere, and in some places making them more or less completely, more or less obviously, more or less painfully dependent on capital.

(6) “Moreover, this technical progress enables the employers to make growing use of female and child labour in the process of production and exchange of commodities. And since, on the other hand, it causes a relative decrease in the employers’ demand for human labour-power, the demand for labour-power necessarily lags behind its supply, as a result of which the dependence of wage-labour on capital is increased and exploitation of labour rises to a higher level.

(7) “This state of affairs in the bourgeois countries and the steadily growing competition among them in the world market make it more and more difficult for them to sell the goods which are produced in ever-increasing quantities. Over-production, manifesting itself in more or less acute industrial crises followed by more or less protracted periods of industrial stagnation, is an Inevitable consequence of the development of the productive forces in bourgeois society. Crises and periods of industrial stagnation, in their turn, still further ruin the small producers, still further increase the dependence of wage-labour on capital, and lead still more rapidly to the relative and sometimes to the absolute deterioration of the condition of the working class.

(8) “Thus, improvement in technology, signifying increased labour productivity and greater social wealth, becomes in bourgeois society the cause of greater social inequality, of widening gulfs between the rich and poor, of greater insecurity, unemployment, and various hardships of the mass of the working people.

(9) “However, in proportion as all these contradictions, which are inherent in bourgeois society, grow and develop, so also does the discontent of the toiling and exploited masses with the existing order of things grow; the numerical strength and solidarity of the proletarians increase and their struggle against their exploiters is sharpened. At the same time, by concentrating the means of production and exchange and socialising the process of labour in capitalist enterprises, the improvement in technology more and more rapidly creates the material possibility of capitalist production relations being superseded by communist relations, i.e., the possibility of bringing about the social revolution, which is the ultimate aim of all the activities of the international communist party as the conscious exponent of the class movement of the proletariat.

(10) “By introducing social in place of private ownership of the means of production and exchange, by introducing planned organisation of social production to ensure the well-being and many-sided development of all the members of society, the proletarian social revolution will do away with the division of society into classes and thereby emancipate the whole of oppressed humanity, for it will put an end to all forms of exploitation of one section of society by another.

(11) “A necessary condition for this social revolution is the dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e., the conquest by the proletariat of such political power as will enable it to suppress all resistance on the part of the exploiters. Aiming at making the proletariat capable of fulfilling its great historic mission, the international communist party organises the proletariat in an independent political party opposed to all the bourgeois parties, guides all the manifestations of its class struggle, reveals to it the irreconcilable antagonism between the interests of the exploiters and those of the exploited, and explains to the proletariat the historical significance of and the necessary conditions for the impending social revolution. At the same time it reveals to all the other toiling and exploited masses the hopelessness of their position in capitalist society and the need for a social revolution if they are to free themselves from the yoke of capital. The Communist Party, the party of the working class, calls upon all sections of the working and exploited population to join its ranks insofar as they adopt the standpoint of the proletariat.”

(12) World capitalism has at the present time, i.e., about the beginning of the twentieth century, reached the stage of imperialism. Imperialism, or the epoch of finance capital, is a high stage of development of the capitalist economic system, one in which monopoly associations of capitalists, syndicates, cartels, and trusts—have assumed decisive importance; in which enormously concentrated banking capital has fused with industrial capital; in which the export of capital to foreign countries has assumed vast dimensions; in which the whole world has been divided up territorially among the richer countries, and the economic carve-up of the world among international trusts has begun.

(13) Imperialist wars, i.e., wars for world domination, for markets for banking capital and for the subjugation of small and weaker nations, are inevitable under such a state of affairs. The first great imperialist war, the warof 1914-18, is precisely such a war.

(14) The extremely high level of development which world apitalism in general has attained, the replacement of free competition by monopoly capitalism, the fact that the banks and the capitalist associations have prepared the machinery for the social regulation of the process of production and distribution of products, the rise in the cost of living and increased oppression of the working class by the syndicates due to the growth of capitalist monopolies, the tremendous obstacles standing in the way of the proletariat’s economic and political struggle, the horrors, misery, ruin, and brutalisation caused by the imperialist war—all these factors transform the present stage of capitalist development into an era of proletarian socialist revolution.

That era has dawned.

(15) Only a proletarian socialist revolution can lead humanity out of the impasse which imperialism and imperialist wars have created. Whatever difficulties the revolution may have to encounter, whatever possible temporary setbacks or waves of counter-revolution it may have to contend with, the final victory of the proletariat is inevitable.

(16) The victory of the proletarian revolution calls for the complete confidence., the closest fraternal alliance and the greatest possible unity of revolutionary action on the part of the working class of all the advanced countries. These conditions cannot be created without a determined principled rupture with, and a relentles struggle against, those bourgeois distortions of socialism that have gained the upper hand in the top echelons of the vast majority of official “Social-Democratic” and “socialist” parties.

(17) One such distortion, on the one hand, is the trend of opportunism and social-chauvinism, socialism in words but chauvinism in deeds, the concealment of the defence of the predatory interests of one’s “own” national bourgeoisie behind the slogan of “defence of the fatherland”, both in general and during the imperialist war of 1914-18 in particular. This trend has come into being because in nearly all the advanced countries, the bourgeoisie, by plundering the colonial and weak nations, has been able to bribe the upper stratum of the proletariat with crumbs from the superprofits, to ensure them in peace-time a tolerable, pettybourgeois existence, and to take the leaders of that stratum into its service. The opportunists and social-chauvinists, being servants of the bourgeoisie, are real class enemies of the proletariat.

(18) Another bourgeois distortion of socialism is, on the other band, the “Centrist” trend, which is equally broad and international, which wavers between the social-chauvinists and the Communists, advocates unity with the former and is attempting to resuscitate the bankrupt and putrid Second International. The only really proletarian and revolutionary International is the new, Third, Communist International, that has actually been founded by the formation of Communist Parties out of the former socialist parties in a number of countries, particularly in Germany, and is gaining the growing sympathy of the proletarian masses in all countries.

The Basic Tasks Of The

Dictatorship Of The Proletariat In Russia

In Russia today the basic tasks of the dictatorship of the proletariat are to carry through to the end, to complete, the expropriation of the landowners and bourgeoisie that has already begun, and the transfer of all factories, railways, banks, the merchant fleet and other means of production and exchange to ownership by the Soviet Republic;

to employ the alliance of urban workers and poor peasants, which has already led to the abolition of private ownership of land, and the law on the transitional form between smallpeasant farming and socialism, which modern ideologists of the peasantry that has put itself on the side of the proletarians have called socialisation of the land, for a gradual but steady transition to joint tillage and large-scale socialist agriculture;

to strengthen and further develop the Federative Republic of Soviets as an immeasurably higher and more progressive form of democracy than bourgeois parliamentarism, and as the sole type of state corresponding, on the basis of the experience of the Paris Commune of 1871 and equally of the experience of the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917-18, to the transitional period between capitalism and socialism, i.e., to the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat;

by employing in every way the torch of world socialist revolution lit in Russia to paralyse the attempts of the imperialist bourgeois states to intervene in the internal affairs of Russia or to unite for direct struggle and war against the socialist Soviet Republic and to carry the revolution into the most advanced countries and in general into all countries; by a number of gradual but undeviating measures to abolish private trading completely and to organise the regular, planned exchange of products between producers’ and consumers’ communes to form the single economic entity the Soviet Republic must become.

The Russian Communist Party, developing the general tasks of the Soviet government in greater detail, at present formulates them as follows.

In the Political Sphere

Prior to the capture of political power by the proletariat it was (obligatory) necessary to make use of bourgeois democracy, parliamentarism in particular, for the political education and organisation of the working masses; now that the proletariat has won political power and a higher type of democracy is being put into effect in the Soviet Republic, any step backward to bourgeois parliamentarism and bourgeois democracy would undoubtedly be reactionary service to the interests of the exploiters, the landowners and capitalists. Such catchwords as supposedly popular, national, general, extra-class but actually bourgeois democracy serve the interests of the exploiters alone, and as long as the land and other means of production remain private property the most democratic republic must inevitably remain a bourgeois dictatorship, a machine for the suppression of the overwhelming majority of working people by a handful of capitalists.

The historical task that has fallen to the lot of the Soviet Republic, a new type of state that is transitional until the state disappears altogether, is the following.

(1) The creation and development of universal mass organisations of precisely those classes that are oppressed under capitalism—the proletariat and semi-proletariat. A bourgeois-democratic republic at best permits the organisation of the exploited masses, by declaring them free to organise, but actually has always placed countless obstacles in the way of their organisation, obstacles that were connected with the private ownership of the means of production in a way that made them irremovable. For the first time in history, Soviet power has not only greatly facilitated the organisation of the masses who were oppressed under capitalism, but has made that organisation the essential permanent basis of the entire state apparatus, local and central, from top to bottom. Only in this way is it possible to ensure democracy for the great majority of the population (the working people), i.e,, actual participation in state administration, in contrast to the actual administration of the state mainly by members of the bourgeois classes as is the case in the most democratic bourgeois republics.

(2) The Soviet system of state administration gives a certain actual advantage to that section of the working people that all the capitalist development that preceded socialism has made the most concentrated, united, educated and steeled in the struggle, i.e., to the urban industrial proletariat. This advantage must be used systematically and unswervingly to counteract the narrow guild and narrow trade interests that capitalism fostered among the workers and which split them into competitive groups, by uniting the most backward and disunited masses of rural proletarians and semi-proletarians more closely with the advanced workers, by snatching them away from the influence of the village kulaks and village bourgeoisie, and organising and educating them for communist development.

(3) Bourgeois democracy that solemnly announced the equality of all citizens, in actual fact hypocritically concealed the domination of the capitalist exploiters and deceived the masses with the idea that the equality of exploiters and exploited is possible. The Soviet organisation of the state destroys this deception and this hypocrisy by the implementation of real democracy, i.e., the real equality of all working people, and by excluding the exploiters from the category of members of society possessing full rights. The experience of world history, the experience of all revolts of the exploited classes against their exploiters shows the inevitability of long and desperate resistance of the exploiters in their struggle to retain their privileges. Soviet state organisation is adapted to the suppression of that resistance, for unless it is suppressed there can be no question of a victorious communist revolution.

(4) The more direct influence of the working masses on state structure and administration—i.e., a higher form of democracy—is also effected under the Soviet type of state, first, by the electoral procedure and the possibility of holding elections more frequently, and also by conditions for re-election and for the recall of deputies which are simpler and more comprehensible to the urban and rural workers than is the case under the best forms of bourgeois democracy;

(5) secondly, by making the economic, industrial unit (factory) and not a territorial division the primary electoral unit and the nucleus of the state structure under Soviet power. This closer contact between the state apparatus and the masses of advanced proletarians that capitalism has united, in addition to effecting a higher level of democracy, also makes it possible to effect profound socialist reforms.

(6) Soviet organisation has made possible the creation of armed forces of workers and peasants which are much more closely connected with the working and exploited people than before. If this had not been done it would have been impossible to achieve one of the basic conditions for the victory of socialism—the arming of the workers and the disarming of the bourgeoisie.

(7) Soviet organisation has developed incomparably farther and deeper that feature of bourgeois democracy which marks historically its great progressive nature as compared with medieval times, i.e., the participation of the people in the election of individuals to office. In none of the most democratic bourgeois states have the working masses ever been able to enjoy the electoral rights formally granted them by the bourgeoisie (who actually hinder their enjoyment) anywhere near as extensively, frequently, universally, easily and simply as they are enjoyed under Soviet power. Soviet power has, at the same time, swept away those negative aspects of bourgeois democraythat the Paris Commune began to abolish, i.e., parliamentarism, or the separation of legislative and executive powers, the narrow, limited nature of which Marxism has long, since indicated. By merging the two aspects of government the Soviets bring the state apparatus closer to the working people and remove the fence of the bourgeois parliament that fooled the masses with hypocritical signboards concealing the financial and stock-exchange deals of’ parliamentary businessmen and ensured the inviolability of the bourgeois apparatus of state administration.

(8) Soviet state organisation alone has enabled the proletarian revolution to smash the old bourgeois state apparatus at one blow and destroy it to the very foundations; had this not been done no start could have been made on socialist development. Those strongholds of the bureaucracy which everywhere, both under monarchies and in the most democratic bourgeois republics, has always kept the state bound to the interests of the landowners and capitalists, have been destroyed in present-day Russia. The struggle against the bureaucracy, however, is certainly not over in our country. The bureaucracy is trying to regain some of its positions and is taking advantage, on the one hand, of the unsatisfactory cultural level of the masses of the people and, on the other, of the tremendous, almost superhuman war efforts of the most developed section of the urban ’workers. The continuation of the struggle against the bureaucracy, therefore, is absolutely necessary, is imperative, to ensure the success of future socialist development.

(9) Work in this field is closely connected with the implementation of the chief historical purpose of Soviet power, i.e., to advance towards the final abolition of the state, and should consist of the following. First, every member of a Soviet must, without fail, do a certain job of state administration; secondly, these jobs must be consistently changed so that they embrace all aspects of government, all its branches; and, thirdly, literally all the working population must be drawn into independent participation in state administration by means of a series of gradual measures that are carefully selected and unfailingly implemented.

(10) By and large, the difference between bourgeois democracy and parliamentarism on the one hand, and Soviet or proletarian democracy on the other, boils down to this: the centre of gravity of the former is in its solemn and pompous declarations of numerous liberties and rights which the majority of the population, the workers and peasants, cannot enjoy to the full. Proletarian, or Soviet, democracy, on. the contrary, has transferred the centre of gravity away from the declaration of rights and liberties for the entire people to the actual participation of none but the working people, who were oppressed and exploited by capital, in the administration of the state, the actual use of the best buildings and other premises for meetings and congresses, the best printing-works arid the biggest warehouses (stocks) of paper for the education of those who were stultified and downtrodden under capitalism, and to providing a real (actual) opportunity for those masses gradually to free themselves from the burden of religious prejudices, etc., etc. It is precisely in making the benefits of culture, civilisation and democracy really available to the working and exploited people that Soviet power sees its most important work, work which it must continue unswervingly in the future.

The policy of the R.C.P. on the national question, unlike the bourgeois-democratic declaration of the equality of nations, which cannot be implemented under imperialism, is that of steadily drawing together and merging the proletarians and the working masses of all nations in their revolutionary struggle for the overthrow of the bourgeoisie. Among the working people of the nations that entered into the Russian Empite the mistrust of the Great Russians that has been inherited from the epoch of tsarist and bourgeois GreatRussian imperialism is rapidly vanishing, under the influence of their acquaintance with Soviet Russia, but that mistrust has not yet completely disappeared among all nations and among all sections of the working people. It is, therefore, necessary to exercise special caution in respect of national feelings and to ensure the pursuance of a policy of actual equality and freedom to secede so as to remove the grounds for this mistrust and achieve the close voluntary union of the Soviet republics of all nations. Aid to backward and weak nations must be increased by assisting the independent organisation and education of the workers arid peasants of all nations in the struggle against medieval and bourgeois oppression and also by assisting in the development of the language and literature of nations that have been oppressed or have been underprivileged.

In respect of the policy on religion the task of the (R.C.P.) dictatorship of the proletariat must not be confined to decreeing the separation of the church from the state and the school from the church, that is, to measures promised by bourgeois democrats but never fully carried out anywhere in the world because of the many and varied connections actually existing between capital and religious propaganda. The proletarian dictatorship must completely destroy the connection between the exploiting classes—the landowners and capitalists—and the organisation of religious propaganda as something which keeps the masses in ignorance. The proletarian dictatorship must consistently effect the real emancipation of the working people from religious prejudices, doing so by means of propaganda and by raising the political consciousness of the masses but carefully avoiding anything that may hurt the feelings of the religious section of the population and serve to increase religious fanaticism.

In the sphere of public education, the object of the R.C.P. is to complete the work that began with the October Revolution in 1917 to convert the school from an instrument of the class rule of the bourgeoisie into an instrument for the overthrow of that rule and for the complete abolition of the division of society into classes.

In the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e., in the period in which conditions are being prepared for the full realisation of communism, the school must be the vehicle, not merely of the general principles of communism but also of the ideological, organisational and educational influence of the proletariat on the semi-proletarian and nonproletarian sections of the working people, in order to train a generation that is fully capable of building communism

The immediate tasks in this field are, for the present, the following.

(1) The implementation of free, obligatory general and polytechnical education (acquaintance with all the main branches of production theoretically and in practice) for all children of both sexes up to the age of 16.

(2) The closest connection between schooling and productive social labour.

(3) The provision of food, clothing, books and other teaching aids for all school children at the expense of the state.

(4) Greater agitation and propaganda among schoolteachers.

(5) The training of new teaching staffs imbued with communist ideas.

(6) The working people must be drawn into active participation, in the work of education (the development of the public education councils, mobilisation of the educated, etc.).

(7) All-round help on the part of Soviet power in the matter of the self-education and self-development of workers and working peasants (organisation of libraries, schools for adults, people’s universities, courses of lectures, cinemas, studios, etc.).

(8) Development of the most extensive propaganda of communist ideas.

The Russian Communist Party, developing the general tasks of the Soviet government in greater detail, at present formulates them as follows.

In the Economic Sphere

The present tasks of Soviet power are:

(1) To continue steadily and finish the expropriation of the bourgeoisie and the conversion of the means of production and distribution into the property of the Soviet Republic, i.e., into the common property of all working people, which has in the main been completed.

(2) To pay particularly great attention to the development and strengthening of comradely discipline among the working people and to stimulate their initiative and sense of responsibility in every field. This is the most. important if not the sole means of completely overcoming capitalism and the habits formed by the rule of the private ownership of the means of production. This aim can be achieved only by slow, persistent work to re-educate the masses; this re-education has not only become possible now that the masses have seen that the landowner, capitalist and merchant have really been eliminated, but is actually taking place in thousands of ways through the practical experience of the workers and peasants themselves. It is extremely important in this respect to work for the further organisation of the working people in trade unions; never before has this organisation developed as rapidly anywhere in the world as under Soviet power, and it must be developed until litrally all working people are organised in properly constituted, centralised and disciplined trade unions. We must not confine ourselves to the old, stereotyped forms of the trade union movement, but must, on the one hand, systematically convert the trade unions into organs administering the economy, carefully checking every step we take against the results of practical work; there must be greater and stronger bonds between the trade unions and the Supreme Economic Council, the Commissariat of Labour and, later, with all other branches of the state administration; on the other hand, the trade unions must to a greater degree become organs for the labour and socialist education of the working masses as a whole so that the practical experience of participation in the administration spreads to the more backward sections of the workers, under the control of the vanguard of the workers.

(3) One of the basic tasks is to raise the level of labour productivity, for without this the full transition to communism is impossible. In addition to lengthy work to educate the masses and raise their cultural level, the achievement of this goal requires the immediate, extensive and comprehensive employment in science and technology of those specialists who have been left us as our heritage from capitalism and, as a rule, are imbued with the bourgeois world outlook and habits. The Party, in close alliance with the trade union organisations, must continue its former line—on the one hand, there must not be the slightest political concession to this bourgeois section of the population, and any counter-revolutionary attempts on its part must be ruthlessly suppressed, and, on the other hand, there must be a relentless struggle against the pseudo-radical but actually ignorant and conceited opinion that the working people are capable of overcoming capitalism and the bourgeois social system without learning from bourgeois specialists, without making use of their services and without undergoing the training of a lengthy period of work side by side with them.

Although our ultimate aim is to achieve full communism and equal remuneration for all kinds of work, we cannot introduce this equality straightaway, at the present time, when only the first steps of the transition from capitalism to communism are being taken. For a certain period of time, therefore, we must retain the present higher remuneration for specialists in order to give them an incentive to work no worse, and even better, than they have worked before; and •with the same object in view we must not reject the system of paying bonuses for the most successful work, particularly organisational work; bonuses would be impermissible under a full communist system but in the period of transition from capitalism to communism bonuses are indispensable, as is borne out by theory and by a year’s experience of Soviet power.

We must, furthermore, work consistently to surround the bourgeois specialists with a c.omradely atmosphere created by working hand in hand with the masses of rank-and-file workers led by politically-conscious Communists; we must not be dismayed by the inevitable individual failures but must strive patiently to arouse in people possessing scientific knowledge a consciousness of how loathsome it is to use science for personal enrichment and for the exploitation of man by man, a consciousness of the more lofty aim of using science for the purpose of making it known to the working people.

(4) The building of communism undoubtedly requires the greatest possible and most strict centralisation of labour on a nation-wide scale, and this presumes overcoming the scattering and disunity of workers, by trades and locally, which was one of the sources of capital’s strength and labour’s weakness. The struggle against the narrowness and limitations of the guild and against its egoism is closely connected with the struggle to remove the antithesis between town and country; it presents great difficulties and cannot be begun on a broad scale without first achieving a considerable increase in the productivity of the people’s labour. A start on this work must, however, be made immediately, if at first only on a small, local scale and by way of experiment for the purpose of comparing the results of various measures undertaken in different trades and in different places. The mobilisation of the entire able-bodied population by the Soviet government, with the trade unions participating, for certain public works must be much more widely and systematically practised than has hitherto been the case.

(5) In the sphere of distribution, the present task of Soviet power is to continue steadily replacing trade by the planned, organised and nation-wide distribution of goods. The goal is the organisation of the entire population in producers’ and consumers’ communes that can distribute all essential products most rapidly, systematically, economically and with the least expenditure of labour by strictly centralising the entire distribution machinery. The cooperatives are a transitional means of achieving this aim. The use of them is similar to the use of bourgeois specialists insofar as the co-operative machinery we have inherited from capitalism is in the hands of people whose thinking and business habits are bourgeois. The R.C.P. must systematically pursue the policy of making it obligatory for all members of the Party to work in the co-operatives and, with the aid of the trade unions, direct them in a communist spirit, develop the initiative and discipline of the working people who belong to them, endeavour to get the entire population to join them, and the co-operatives themselves to merge into one single co-operative that embraces the whole of the Soviet Republic. Lastly, and most important, the dominating influence of the proletariat over the rest of the working people must be constantly maintained, and everywhere the most varied measures must be tried with a view to facilitating and bringing about the transition from petty-bourgeois co-operatives of the old capitalist type to producers’ and consumers’ communes led by proletarians and semi-proletarians.

(6) It is impossible to abolish money at one stroke in the first period of transition from capitalism to communism. As a consequence the bourgeois elements of the population continue to use privately-owned currency notes—these tokens by which the exploiters obtain the right to receive public wealth—for the purpose of speculation, profit-making and robbing the working population. The nationalisation of the banks is insufficient in itself to combat this survival of bourgeois robbery. The R.C.P. will strive as speedily as possible to introduce the most radical measures to pave the way for the abolition of money, first and foremost to replace it by savings-bank books, cheques, short-term notes entitling the holders to receive goods from the public stores, and so forth, to make it compulsory for money to be deposited in the banks, etc. Practical experience in paving the way for, and carrying out, these and similar measures will show which of them are the most expedient.

(7) In the sphere of finance, the R.C.P. will introduce a graduated income-and-property tax in all cases where it is feasible. But these cases cannot be numerous since private property in land, the majority of factories and other enterprises has been abolished. In the epoch of the dictatorship of the proletariat and of the state ownership of the principal means of production, the state finances must be based on the direct appropriation of a certain part of the revenue from the different state monopolies to meet the needs of the state. Revenue and expenditure can be balanced only if the exchange of commodities is properly organised, and this will be achieved by the organisation of producers’ and consumers’ communes and the restoration of the transport system, which is one of the major immediate objects of the Soviet government.

In the Sphere of Agriculture

After the abolition of private property in land and the Falmosti complete expropriation of the landowners and the promulgation of a law on the socialisation of the land which regards as preferable the large-scale farming of commonly-owned estates, the chief task of Soviet power is to discover and test in practice the most expedient and practical transitional measures to effect this.

The main line and the guiding principle of the R.C.P. agrarian policy under these circumstances still remains the effort to rely on the proletarian and semi-proletarian elements of the countryside. They must first and foremost be organised into an independent force, they must be brought closer to the urban proletariat and wrested from the influence of the rural bourgeoisie and petty-property interests. The organisation of Poor Peasants’ Committees was one step in this direction; the organisation. of Party cells in the villages, the re-election of Soviet deputies to exclude the kulaks, the establishment of special types of trade unions for the proletarians and semi-proletarians of the country-side-all these and similar measures must be effected without fail.

As far as the kulaks, the rural bourgeoisie, are concerned, the policy of the R.C.P. is one of decisive struggle against their attempts at exploitation and the suppression of their resistance to Soviet socialist policy.

As far as the middle peasant is concerned, the policy of the R.C.P. is one of a cautious attitude towards him; he must not be confused with the kulak and coercive measures must not be used against him; by his class position the middle peasant can be the ally of the proletarian government during the transition to socialism, or, at least, he can remain a neutral element. Despite the unavoidable partial failures and waverings of the middle peasant, therefore, we must strive persistently to reach agreement with him, showing a solicitous attitude to all his desires and making concessions in selecting ways of carrying out socialist reforms. In this respect a prominent, place must be given to the struggle against the abuses of those representatives of Soviet power who, hypocritically taking advantage of the title of Communist, are carrying out a policy that is not communist but is a policy of the bureaucracy, of officialdom; such people must be ruthlessly banished and a stricter control established with the aid of the trade unions and by other means.

Insofar as concerns measures for the transition to communist farming, the R.C.P. will test in practice three principal measures that have already taken shape-state farms, agricultural communes and societies (and co-operatives) for the collective tilling of the soil, care being taken to ensure their more extensive and more correct application, especially in respect of ways of developing the voluntary participation of the peasants in these new forms of cooperative farming and of the organisation of the working peasantry to carry out control from below and ensure comradely discipline.

The R.C.P. food policy upholds the consolidation and development of the state monopoly, and does not reject the use of co-operatives and private traders or the employees of trading firms, or the application of a system of bonuses, on the condition that it is controlled by Soviet power and serves the purpose of the better organisation of the business. The partial concessions that have to be made from time to time are only due to the extreme acuteness of need and never imply a refusal to strive persistently to implement the state monopoly. It is very difficult to implement it in a country of small peasant farms, it requires lengthy work and the practical testing of a number of transitional measures that lead to the goal by various ways, i.e., that lead to the universal organisation and correct functioning of producers’ and consumers’ communes that hand over all food surpluses to the state.

2
Draft Programme Of The R.C.P. (Bolsheviks)

(1) The Revolution of October 25 (November 7), 1917 established the dictatorship of the proletariat in Russia which began, with the support of the poor peasantry or semi-proletariat, to lay the foundations of a communist society. The growth of the revolutionary movement of the proletariat in all advanced countries, the universal emergence and development of the Soviet form of that movement, i.e., a form which aims directly at the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and, lastly, the beginning and progress of the revolution in Austria-Hungary and, particularly, in Germany, all goes to show vividly that the era of the world proletarian, communist revolution has begun.

(2) The causes, significance and aims of this revolution can be correctly understood only by making clear the real nature of capitalism and the inevitability of its development towards communism through imperialism and the imperialist wars that are accelerating the collapse of capitalism.

(3) The nature of capitalism and of the bourgeois society which still dominates in most civilised countries and the development of which inevitably leads to the world communist revolution of the proletariat was correctly described in our old Programme (if we disregard the inaccurate name of Social-Democratic Party) in the following terms.

(4) “The principal specific feature of this society is commodity production based on capitalist production relations, under which the most important and major part of the means of production and exchange of commodities belongs to a numerically small class of persons while the vast majority of the population is made up of proletarians and semi-proletarians, who, owing to their economic position, are compelled permanently or periodically to sell their labour-power, i.e., to hire themselves out to the capitalists and to create by their labour the incomes of the upper classes of society.

(5) “The ascendancy of capitalist production relations extends its area more and more with the steady improvement of technology, which, by enhancing the economic importance of the large enterprises, tends to eliminate the small independent producers, converting some of them into proletarians and narrowing the role of others in the social and economic sphere, and in some places making them more or less completely, more or less obviously, more or less painfully dependent on capital.

(6) “Moreover, this technical progress enables the employers to make growing use of female and child labour in the process of production and exchange of commodities. And since, on the other hand, it causes a relative decrease in the employers’ demand for human labour-power, the demand for labour-power necessarily lags behind its supply, as a result of which the dependence of wage-labour on capital is increased and exploitation of labour rises to a higher level.

(7) “This state of affairs in the bourgeois countries and the steadily growing competition among them in the world market make it more and more difficult for them to sell the goods which are produced in ever-increasing quantities. Over-production, manifesting itself in more or less acute industrial crises followed by more or less protracted periods of industrial stagnation, is an inevitable consequence of the development of the productive forces in bourgeois society. Crises and periods of industrial stagnation, in their turn, still further ruin the small producers, still further increase the dependence of wage-labour on capital, and lead still more rapidly to the relative and sometimes to the absolute deterioration of the condition of the working class.

(8) “Thus, improvement in technology, signifying increased labour productivity and greater social wealth, becomes in bourgeois society the cause of greater social inequality, of widening gulfs between the rich and poor, of greater insecurity, unemployment, and various hardships of the mass of the working people.

(9) “However, in proportion as all these contradictions, which are inherent in bourgeois society, grow and develop, so also does the discontent of the toiling and exploited masses with the existing order of things grow; the numerical strength and solidarity of the proletarians increase and their struggle against their exploiters is sharpened. At the same time, by concentrating the means of production and exchange and socialising the process of labour in capitalist enterprises, the improvement in technology more and more rapidly creates the material possibility of capitalist production relations being superseded by communist relations, i.e., the possibility of bringing about the social revolution, which is the ultimate aim of all the activities of the international communist party as the conscious exponent of the class movement of the proletariat.

(10) “By introducing social in place of private ownership of the means of production and exchange, by introducing planned organisation of social production to ensure the well-being and many-sided development of all the members of society, the proletarian social revolution will do away with the division of society into classes and thereby emancipate the whole of oppressed humanity, for it will put an end to all forms of exploitation of one section of society by another,

(11) “A necessary condition for, this social revolution is the dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e., the conquest by the proletariat of such political power as will enable it to suppress all resistance on the part of the exploiters. Aiming at making the proletariat capable of fulfilling its great historic mission, the international communist party organises the proletariat in an independent political party opposed to all the bourgeois parties, guides all the manifestations of its class struggle, reveals to it the irreconcilable antagonism between the interests of the exploiters and those of the exploited, and explains to the proletariat the historical significance of and the necessary conditions for the impending social revolution. At the same time it reveals to all the other toiling and exploited masses the hopelessness of their position in capitalist society and the need for a social revolution if they are to free themselves from the yoke of capital. The Communist Party, the party of the working class, calls upon all sections of the working and exploited population to join its ranks insofar as they adopt the standpoint of the proletariat.”

(12) The concentration and centralisation of capital which destroys free competition, had, by the turn of the twentieth century, created powerful monopoly associations of capitalists, syndicates, cartels and trusts—that became of decisive importance in all economic life, had led to the merging of hank capital and highly concentrated industrial capital, to the increased export of capital to other countries and to the stage which marked the beginning of the economic division of the world among the trusts that embrace ever growing groups of capitalist powers when it had already been divided territorially between the richest countries. This epoch of finance capital, the epoch of a struggle between capitalist states unparalleled in its ferocity, is the epoch of imperialism.

(13) The inevitable outcome of this is imperialist wars, wars for markets, spheres of investment, raw materials and cheap labour-power, i.e., for world domination and the crushing of small and weak peoples. The first great imperialist war of 1914-18 was a war of this type.

(14) The extremely high level of development which world capitalism in general has attained, the replacement of free competition by state monopoly capitalism, the fact that the banks and the capitalist associations have prepared the machinery for the social regulation of the process of production and distribution of products, the rise in the cost of living and increased oppression of the working class by the syndicates and its enslavement by the imperialist state due to the growth of capitalist monopolies, the tremendous obstacles standing in the way of the proletariat’s economic and political struggle, the horrors, misery, ruin, and brutalisation caused by the imperialist war—all these factors transform the present stage of capitalist development into an era of proletarian communist revolution.

That era has dawned.

(15) Only a proletarian communist revolution can lead humanity out of the impasse which imperialism and imperialist wars have created. Whatever difficulties the revolution may have to encounter, whatever possible temporary setbacks or waves of counter-revolution it may have to contend with, the final victory of the proletariat is inevitable.

(16) The victory of the world proletarian revolution calls for the complete confidence, the closest fraternal alliance. and the greatest possible unity of revolutionary action on the part of the working class of the advanced countries. These conditions cannot be created without a determined, principled rupture with, and a relentless struggle against, those bourgeois distortions of socialism that have gained the upper hand in the top echelons of the official “SocialDemocratic” and “socialist” parties.

(17) One such distortion, on the one hand, is the trend of opportunism and social-chauvinism, socialism in words but chauvinism in deeds, the concealment of the defence of the predatory interests of one’s “own” national bourgeoisie behind the false slogan of “defence of the fatherland”, both in general and during the imperialist war of 1914-18 in particular. This trend has come into being because in the advanced capitalist states, the bourgeoisie, by plundering the colonial and weak nations, has been able to bribe the upper stratum of the proletariat with crumbs from the superprofits obtained from this plunder and ensure them in peace-time a tolerable, petty-bourgeois existence, and to take the leaders of that stratum into its service. The opportunists and social-chauvinists, being servants of the bourgeoisie, are real class enemies of the proletariat, especially today, when, in alliance with the capitalists, they are crushing the proletarian revolutionary movement with a mailed fist, both in their own and in other countries.

(18) Another bourgeois distortion of socialism is, on the other hand, the “Centrist” trend, also to be found in all capitalist countries, which wavers between the social-chauvinists and the Communists, advocates unity with the former and is attempting to resuscitate the bankrupt Second International. The only leader of the proletariat in its struggle for emancipation is the new, Third, Communist International that has actually been founded by the formation of Communist Parties from the truly proletarian elements of the former socialist parties in a number of countries, particularly in Germany, and is gaining the growing sympathy of the proletarian masses in all countries. This International is returning to Marxism, not only in its name, but in all its political and ideological content, and in all its activities is implementing the revolutionary doctrine of Marx, cleansed of bourgeois opportunist distortions.

Pravda No. 43,
February 25, 1919
Published according to a typewritten copy corrected by Lenin

3
Insertion For Political Section Of The Programme

To avoid making an incorrect generalisation of transient historical needs the R.C.P. must also explain to the working people that in the Soviet Republic the disfranchisement of a section of the citizens does not mean, as was the case in the majority of bourgeois-democratic republics, that a definite category of citizens are disfranchised for life. It applies, only to the exploiters, to those who, in violation of the fundamental laws of the socialist Soviet Republic, persist in their efforts to cling to their exploiters’ status and to preserve capitalist relations. Consequently, in the Soviet Republic, on the one hand, as socialism grows daily stronger and the number of those who are objectively able to remain exploiters or preserve capitalist relations is reduced, the number of disfranchised persons will automatically diminish. Even now the disfranchised persons in Russia constitute barely two or three per cent of the population. On the other hand, in the very near future, the cessation of foreign invasion and the completion of the expropriation of the expropriators may, under certain circumstances, create a situation where the proletarian state will choose other methods of suppressing the resistance of the exploiters and will introduce unrestricted universal suffrage.

4
Fragment Of The Political Section Of The Programme

The Soviet Constitution ensures the working people immeasurably larger opportunities than are provided by bourgeois democracy and parliamentarism to elect and recall deputies in a way that is most easy and accessible for workers and peasants; it also eliminates the negative aspects of parliamentarism which have been evident since the Paris Commune, particularly the division of legislative and executive power, the alienation of parliament from the masses, and so forth.

The Soviet Constitution also brings the machinery of state closer to the masses by making the electoral constituency and the basic unit of the state not territorial but industrial units (the factory, etc.).

The closer contact between the machinery of state and the masses under the Soviet system. makes it possible to create...[3]

5
Section Of The Programme On National Relations

On the national question, the policy of the proletariat which has captured political power—unlike that of the bourgeois-democratic formal proclamation of equality of nations, which is impossible under imperialism—is persistently to bring about the real rapprochement and amalgamation of the workers and peasants of all nations in their revolutionary struggle for the overthrow of the bourgeoisie. To achieve this object, the colonial and other nations which are oppressed, or whose rights are restricted, must be completely liberated and granted the right to secede as a guarantee that the sentiment inherited from capitalism, the distrust of the working people of the various nations and the wrath which the workers o the oppressed nations feel towards the workers of the oppressor nations, will be fully dispelled and replaced by a conscious and voluntary alliance. The workers of those nations which under capitalism were oppressor nations must take exceptional care not to hurt the national sentiments of the oppressed nations (for example, the attitude of the Great Russians, Ukrainians and Poles towards the Jews, the attitude of the Tatars towards the Bashkirs, and so forth) and must not only promote the actual equality, but also the development of the language and literature of the working people of the formerly oppressed nations so as to remove all traces of distrust and alienation inherited from the epoch of capitalism.

6
Insertion For The Final Draft Of The Programme Section On The National Question

On the question of who expresses the will of the nation on the matter of secession, the R.C.P. upholds the historical class view and takes into consideration the level of historical development of the nation concerned—on the way from the Middle Ages to bourgeois democracy, or from bourgeois to Soviet or proletarian democracy, etc. In any case, on the part of...[4]

7
Preamble To The Military Section Of The Programme

The state of affairs in the’sphere of the military tasks and military activities of the Soviet Republic under the dictatorship of the proletariat is as follows.

As our Party long ago foresaw, the imperialist war could not end even with the simple conclusion of a durable peace between the bourgeois governments, let alone with a just peace. This petty-bourgeois illusion entertained by democrats, socialists and Social-Democrats has been fully dispelled by the course of events. The imperialist war inevitably had to be transformed, and is being transformed before our very eyes, into the civil war of the exploited working people, headed by the proletariat, against the exploiters, against the bourgeoisie.

The resistance of the exploiters, which grows simultaneously with the Intensification of the onslaught of the proletariat, and is particularly intensified by the victory of the proletariat in individual countries, and the international solidarity and organisation of the bourgeoisie inevitably cause the combination of civil war in individual countries and revolutionary wars between the proletarian countries and bourgeois countries fighting to retain the rule of capital. In view of the class character of such wars, the distinction drawn between defensive and offensive wars becomes utterly meaningless.

By and large, this development of international civil war, a process which has been taking place with exceptional rapidity before our very eyes since the end of 1918 is the legitimate product of the class struggle under capitalism and a legitimate step towards the victory of the international proletarian revolution.

For this reason, the R.C.P. emphatically rejects the hope of disarmament under capitalism as the reactionary philistine illusion of petty-bourgeois democrats, even though they call themselves socialists and Social-Democrats, and in opposition to this and all similar slogans which actually play into the hands of the bourgeoisie, it advances the slogan of arming the proletariat and disarming the bourgeoisie, the slogan of completely and ruthlessly suppressing the resistance of the exploiters, the slogan of fighting until victory over the bourgeoisie of the whole world is achieved both in civil wars at home and in international revolutionary wars.

The practical experience of more than a year’s military activity and of the formation of a proletarian revolutionary army after the incredible weariness and exhaustion of the entire mass of working people as a result of the war, has led the R.C.P. to the following main conclusions:

8
First Paragraph Of Section Of The Programme On The Courts

On the road to communism through the dictatorship of the proletariat, the Communist Party, rejecting democratic slogans, completely. abolishes also such organs of bourgeois rule as the old courts, and replaces them by the class courts of the workers and peasants. After taking all power into its hands, the proletariat puts forward, instead of the old vague formula, “Election of judges by the people”, the class slogan, “Election of judges from the working people by none but the working people”, and carries it into practice throughout the judicial system. In the election of judges from none but workers and peasants who do not employ wagelabour for profit, the Communist Party makes no distinction with regard to women but allows the two sexes completely equal rights both in electing judges and in exercising judicial functions. Having repealed the laws of the deposed governments, the Party gives the judges elected by Soviet electors the slogan: enforce the will of the proletariat, apply its decrees, and in the absence of a suitable decree; or if the relevant decree is inadequate, take guidance from your socialist sense of justice, ignoring the laws of the deposed governments.

9
Section Of The Programme Dealing With Public Education

In the sphere of public education, the object of the R.C.P. is to complete the work That began with the October Revolution in 1917 to convert the school from an instrument of the class rule of the bourgeoisie into an instrument for the overthrow of that rule and for the complete abolition of the division of society into classes. The schools must become an instrument of the dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e., a vehicle not merely of the general principles of communism but also of the ideological, organisational and educational influence of the proletariat on the semi-proletarian and non-proletarian sections of the working people with the object of completely suppressing the resistance of the exploiters and of building the communist system.The immediate tasks in this field are, for the present, the following:

(1) the further development of the initiative of the workers and working peasants in the sphere of education with the all-round assistance of the Soviet government;

(2) securing complete command not only over a section, or the majority, of the school-teachers, as is the case at present, but over all school-teachers by, weeding out the incorrigible bourgeois counter-revolutionary elements and securing the conscientious application of communist principles; (policy)

(3) the implementation of free, obligatory general and polytechnical education (acquaintance with all the main branches of production theoretically and in practice) for all children of both sexes up to the age of 16.

(4) the closest connection between schooling and productive social labour of the child;

(5) the provision of food, clothing, books arid other teaching aids for all school children at the expense of the state;

(6) the working people must be drawn into active participation in the work of public education (the development of the public education councils, mobilisation of the educated, etc.);

or ad 2) (7) to secure the closest contact between schoolteachers and the agitation and propaganda machinery of the R.C.P.

Section Of The Programme Dealing With Religion

As regards religion, the policy of the R.C.P. is not to be confined to decreeing the separation of the church from the state and the school from the church, that is, to measures promised by bourgeois democrats but never fully carried out anywhere in the world because of the many and varied connections actually existing between capital and religious propaganda.

The Party’s object is to completely destroy the connection between the exploiting classes and organised religious propaganda and really liberate the working people from religious prejudices. For this purpose it must organise the most widespread scientific education and anti-religious propaganda. It is necessary, however, to take care to avoid hurting the religious sentiments of believers, for this only serves to increase religious fanaticism.

11
Points From The Economic Section Of The Programme

The Russian Communist Party, developing the general tasks of the Soviet government in greater detail, at present formulates them as follows.

In the Economic Sphere

The present tasks of Soviet power are:

(1) to continue steadily and finish the expropriation of the bourgeoisie and the conversion of the means of production and distribution into the property of the Soviet Republic, i.e., the common property of all working people, which has in the main been completed.

(2) To pay particularly great attention to the development and strengthening of comradely discipline among the working people and to stimulate their initiative and sense of responsibility in every field. This is the most-important if not the sole means of completely overcoming capitalism and the habits formed by the rule of the private ownership of the means of production. This aim can be achieved only by slow, persistent work to re-educate the masses; this re-education has not only become possible now that the masses have seen that the landowner, capitalist and merchant have really been eliminated, but is actually taking place in thousands of ways through the practical experience of the workers and peasants themselves. It is extremely important in this respect to work for the further organisation of the working people in trade unions; never before has this organisation developed as rapidly anywhere in the world as under Soviet power and it must be developed until literally all working people are organised in properly constituted centralised and disciplined trade unions.

8.[5] This same task of developing the productive forces calls for the immediate, extensive and comprehensive employment in science and technology of the specialists who have been left us as our heritage by capitalism, although, as a rule, they are imbued with a bourgeois world outlook and habits. The Party, in close alliance with the trade union organisations, must continue its former line—on the one hand, there must not be the slightest political concession to this bourgeois section of the population, and any counterrevolutionary attempts on its part must he ruthlessly suppressed, and, on the other hand, there must be a relentless struggle against the pseudo-radical but actually ignorant and conceited opinion that the working people are capable of overcoming capitalism and the bourgeois social system without learning from bourgeois specialists, without making use of their services and without undergoing the training of a lengthy period, of work side by side with them.

Although the ultimate aim of the Soviet government is to achieve full communism and equal remuneration for all kinds of work, it cannot, however, introduce this equality straightaway, at the present time, when only the first steps of the transition from capitalism to communism are being taken. For a certain period of time, therefore, we must retain the present higher remuneration for specialists in order to give them an incentive to work no worse, and even better, than they have worked before; and with the same object in view, we must not reject the system of paying bonuses for the most successful work, particularly organisational work.

It is equally necessary to surround the bourgeois specialist with a comradely atmosphere created by working hand in hand with the masses of rank-and-file workers led by politically-conscious Communists in order to promote mutual understanding and friendship between workers by hand and brain whom capitalism kept apart

The mobilization of the entire able-bodied population by the Soviet government, with the trade unions participating, for certain public works must be much more widely and systematically practised than has hitherto been the case.

In the sphere of distribution, the present task of Soviet power is to continue steadily replacing trade by the planned, organised and nation-wide distribution of goods. The goal is the organisation of the entire population in a single system of consumers’ communes that can distribute all essential products most rapidly, systematically, economically and with the least expenditure of labour by strictly centralising the entire distribution machinery.

To achieve this object it is particularly important in the present period, when there are transitional forms based on different principles, for the Soviet food supply organisation to make use of the co-operative societies, the only mass apparatus for systematic distribution inherited from capitalism.

Being of the opinion that in principle the only correct policy is the further communist development of this apparatus and not its rejection, the R.C.P. must systematically pursue the policy of making it obligatory for all members of the Party to work in the co-operatives and, with the aid of the trade unions, direct them in a communist spirit, develop the initiative and discipline of the working people who belong to them, endeavour to get the entire population to join them, and the co-operatives themselves to merge into one single co-operative that embraces the whole of the Soviet Republic. Lastly, and most important, the dominating influence of the proletariat over the rest of the working people must be constantly maintained, and everywhere the most varied measures must be tried with a view to facilitating and bringing about the transition from petty-bourgeois co-operatives of the old capitalist type to consumers’ communes led by proletarians and semi-proletarians.

(6) It is impossible to abolish money at one stroke in the first period of transition from capitalism to communism. As a consequence, the bourgeois elements of the population continue to use privately-owned currency notes—these tokens by which the exploiters obtain the right to receive public wealth—for the purpose of speculation, profit-making and robbing the working population. The nationalization of the banks is insufficient in itself to combat this survival of bourgeois robbery. The R.C.P. will strive as speedily as possible to introduce the most radical measures to pave the way for the abolition of money, first and foremost to replace it by savings-bank books, cheques, short-term notes entitling the holders to receive goods from the public stores, and so forth, to make it compulsory for money to be deposited in the banks, etc. Practical experience in paving the way for, and carrying out, these and similar measures will show which of them are the most expedient.

(7) In the sphere of finance, the R.C.P. will introduce a graduated income-and-property tax in all cases where it is feasible. But these cases cannot be numerous since private property in land, the majority of factories and other enterprises has been abolished. In the epoch of the dictatorship of the proletariat and of the state ownership of the principal means of production, the state finances must be based on the direct appropriation of a certain part of the revenue from the different state monopolies to meet the needs of the state. Revenue and expenditure can be balanced only if the exchange of commodities is properly organised, and this will be achieved by the organisation of consumers’ communes and the restoration of the transport system, which is one of the major immediate objects of the Soviet government.

12
Agrarian Section Of The Programme

Soviet power, having completely abolished private property in land, has already started on the implementation of a whole series of measures aimed at the organisation of large-scale socialist agriculture. The most important of these measures are the organisation of state farms (i.e., large socialist farms), the encouragement of agricultural communes (i.e., voluntary associations of tillers of the land for large-scale farming in common), and societies and co-operatives for the collective cultivation of the land; cultivation by the state of all uncultivated lands, no matter whom they belong to; mobilisation by the state of all agricultural specialists for vigorous measures to raise farming efficiency, etc.

Regarding all these measures as the only way to raise the productivity of agricultural labour, which is absolutely imperative, the R.C.P. seeks to carry them out as fully as possible, to extend them to the more backward regions of the country, and to take further steps in this direction.

Inasmuch as the antithesis between town and country is one of the root causes of the economic and cultural backwardness of the countryside, one which in a period of so deep a crisis as the present confronts both town and country with the direct threat of ruin and collapse, the R.C.P. regards the eradication of this antithesis as one of the basic tasks of building communism and, alongside the above measures, considers it necessary extensively and systematically to enlist industrial workers for the communist development of agriculture, to promote the activities of the nation-wide Working Committee of Assistance set up by the Soviet government with this aim in view, and so on.

In all its work in the countryside the R.C.P. will continue to rely on the proletarian and semi-proletarian sections of the rural poulatiori, first organising them into an independent force, setting up Poor Peasants’ Committees, Party cells in the villages, a specific type of trade union for rural proletarians and semi-proletarians, etc., exerting every effort to bring them closer to the urban proletariat and wresting them from the influence of the rural bourgeoisie and petty-property interests.

As far as the kulaks, the rural bourgeoisie, are concerned, the policy of the FLC.P. is one of decisive struggle against their attempts at exploitation and the suppression of their resistance to Soviet, communist, policy.

With regard to the middle peasants, the policy of the R.C.P. is to draw them into the work of socialist construction gradually and systematically. The Party sets itself the task of separating them from the kulaks, of winning them to the side of the working class by carefully attending to their needs, by combating their backwardness with ideological weapons and not with measures of suppression, and by striving in all cases where their vital interests are concerned to come to practical agreements with them, making concessions to them in determining the methods of carrying out socialist reforms.


Endnotes

[1] The following documents are included under the general head “Draft Programme of the R.C.P.(B.)”; “Rough Draft of the Programme of the R.C.P.” and individual chapters and sections of the programme with Lenin’s amendments. The full text of the chapter “The Basic Tasks of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in Russia” was first published in the Fourth (Russian) Edition of the Collected Works. In this edition, too, the “Draft Programme of the B..C.P. (Bolsheviks)", which constituted the first sections of the “Rough Draft of the Programthe of the R.C.P." with amendments and addenda by Lenin, and the “Insertion for the Final, Draft of the Programme Section on the National Question” were first published. Lenin’s” proposals for the Draft Programme formed the basis of the” Programme of the Communist Party adopted at the Eighth Congress of the R.C.P.(B.).

[2] See present edition, Vol. 24, pp. 45963 and Vol. 27, pp. 152-58 [Section 4]

[3] The manuscript remained unfinished. This passage, with amendments, was included in the Programme of the R.C.P .(B.) adopted by the Eighth Congress o(. the R.C.P:(B.) as Section 5 of the chapter “The General Political Sphere”

[4]This insertion was, included in toto as Section 4 of the chapter. “In the Sphere of National Relations”.

[5]This point of the draft of 'the economic section of the programme was originally placed third; Lenin later recast it and made it point eight, under which number it was included in the Party Programme.