Khrushchev’s Thermidor/Il Termidoro kruscioviano
A contribution to the critical analysis concerning the USSR’s return to capitalism

Ubaldo Buttafava

Lenin: ‘The goal of a victorious revolution consists in the realisation of all that which can be realised in one country to nurture, support and awaken the revolution in all countries’.

The return of capitalism to the USSR, an enormous, pressing and very real problem, is open to interpretation by various classes, political parties and ideologies which see it according to their interests and conceptions. It is important for Communists and the forces for change to understand this regressive phenomenon in order to face future revolutionary experiences – which will present themselves at a more advanced stage.

We will ignore in this study an analysis of Khrushchev given by the bourgeoisie and reactionary elements, and, also the analysis put forward in the decades following Khrushchev by the urban and agricultural ‘revolutionary’ petit bourgeoisie – the enemies of social progress and the ideology of the proletariat and the main detractors of the heroic struggles of the working class; struggles which will eventually lead to Communism. We will not attempt an historical reconstruction of Khrushchevism nor a detailed denial of his theories, later pathetically carried forward by Gorbachov, which lead to the conclusion that Communism is a Utopia.

We will start with a concrete fact, the most telling of all: the bourgeoisie has held power in the USSR for decades. The International Communist Movement has attempted, in the last forty years to explain why the Khrushchev Thermidor came about but as the collapse of socialism in China and Albania show, these explanations were not sufficient. On the back of these negative experiences we have attempted a more detailed examination of the theoretical debates and political (class) struggles in the U.S.S.R. of the time. Our conclusion is this: the bourgeois class’s struggle against the dictatorship of the proletariat reaches its most sophisticated form at the theoretical level. This is the real ‘Achilles’ heel’ of Socialism as a transition phase. It has rightly been said that bureaucratism is a factor in the Restoration, but bureaucratism is only a by-product of bourgeois degeneration. The division between manual labour and intellectual activity, the diffusion of bourgeois ideology throughout the masses can lead in certain cases to a reflux. It is one of the tasks of Socialism to solve these problems. The dangers of imperialism have often been underlined, but despite this imperialist pressures have been victorious.

We know that one of the first tasks of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat is the elimination of the bourgeoisie’s economic base – the base on which it survives – private ownership of the means of production.

The tasks, however, which Socialism sets itself are not the whole problem.

Where is the bourgeoisie? Why does it continue to exist despite no longer having its economic base? In what does its strength and potential danger consist? How does it manage to obtain power in the very heart of the party itself? One fact is certain: the most ‘famous’ representatives of the anti-socialist ideology (e.g. Trotsky and Bukharin) were not bureaucrats and considered themselves Communists. The same was true of Khrushchev and Brezhnev etc.

Reading Malenkov’s Report at the XIXth Congress of the Soviet Communist Party (1952) and bearing in mind the ‘Great Cultural Revolution’ and the revolutionary process in Albania – we find that all posed the same problem: that of the struggle against the danger of Restoration. The question repeated itself time and time again: where is the bourgeoisie? Where and how does it act?

The fact is that the bourgeoisie, with its property-based ideology maintained its influence for generations in the theoretical field, and especially in philosophy.

Lenin always underlined the importance of the struggle against petit bourgeois ideology and how modern revisionism is a product of international imperialism. We believe, however, that central importance must be given to the elimination of the bourgeoisie’s stranglehold on theory.

Ever since its foundation the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party contained an element (the Mensheviks) who held that there could be a Socialist phase in Russia only after capitalism had been fully developed. What was this if not an attempt by the bourgeoisie to affirm its power? This theory was supported by A. Bogdanov, Trotsky and Bukharin and was to be the foundation for the economic policies upheld by Yaroshenko and by Khrushchev and his followers. Naturally each had different political motivations but all were convinced that they were Marxist, even though they were not as history was to show. What was at the root of their deviations? Their theoretical base. They had embraced Communist ideology but they were ‘carriers’ of the age-old ideology of exploitation.

When was the first sign of weakness of the Soviet Communist Party in the face of the bourgeois offensive? As is well known, in the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Soviet Party in March 1937, Stalin outlined a series of theories on the restoration of capitalism. Socialism and Imperialism are interdependent phenomena which condition each other reciprocally – imperialism is not solely an external factor. The class war against the bourgeoisie continues in the Socialist phase, in an even more acute form on the political and theoretical field – socialism can create its forms but these can be emptied of their class content.

Empiricism, idealism, rationalism, metaphysics etc. Each acted under different circumstances but each led to capitalism. They were, whether they knew it or not, agents of the bourgeoisie – unable as they were to make the theories of the proletariat their own – historical and dialectical materialism.

History teaches that the proletarian revolution is victorious when the working class affirms its hegemony on the theoretical front, and vice versa loses its power when it loses this hegemony on the Party. See the difference between Lenin and Stalin on the one hand and the Khrushchevites on the other – the revolution coincides with a period of high theoretical tension and generates its theoreticians, its leaders. It is not a coincidence that it is against these that the petit bourgeoisie and the class enemies concentrate their attacks.

As we shall see later the criticism of the Stalin ‘personality cult’ had as its aim a direct attack on his theory of socialism. It is interesting to ask why the bourgeoisie defends with such force its place as far as theory is concerned: its conception of the world, society, thought and philosophy. The answer is because it is well aware that the loss of its theoretical primacy would lead to its final collapse. Because it is aware that metaphysics and idealism provide it with forms of thought, laws and definitions, which when applied to politics and economics can impede the Revolution and indeed lead to a Restoration. The history of classes in decline shows how they doggedly defend their ideals.

Thought is a form of matter which can become an enormous political force, something tangible which can change the state of things. The bourgeoisie is well aware that a counter-revolutionary transformation of the superstructure can lead to an alteration of the economic base.

A bitter theoretical war is engaged on the principle of the acute character of the class struggle under socialism. Opposition becomes determined and theories became manipulated and concealed. J. Stalin went so far as to state during the Second World War:

‘I know that after my death a pile of refuse will be heaped on my grace, but the wind of History will sooner or later sweep it away without mercy. I do not, however, believe this will happen soon: it is very probable that in the near future fervent anti-communists will take power in this country’. (Molotov – Memoirs).

Bourgeois ideology does not become relegated to a category of mere academic interest. It is actively used in the class struggle on the fundamental battlefield of economics.

Why is it so influential in economics and not in physics, biology, and other sciences? Because the bourgeoisie realises that it is on the political and economic front that its ideas can act as impediments and deviant elements.

The bourgeoisie leans on Imperialism as a support and takes advantage of the limits of socialism, it allies with the technocrats and the state apparatus where bureaucratisation has come about. The bourgeoisie of the Soviet Union had never ceased its struggle against the dictatorship of the proletariat – it opposed the storming of the Winter Palace (Kamenev and Zinoviev), it opposed the Leninist theory of Socialism in One Country (Trotsky), it doubted the possibility of building a Socialist society and the defeat of Nazi-Fascism (Bukharin, Radek) and continued its work even after the defeat of these ideas and agents.

The Purges of 1936-38, the victory over Nazism, the creation of the Socialist bloc and the great victories of Socialism in the USSR did not interrupt the opposition of the bourgeoisie but merely led it to change its tactics and form. Defeated by the policies of Stalin it masqueraded as Leninist and manoeuvered in the field of theory, in the very nerve centre of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, to regain power. A careful analysis of the theoretical and political debates immediately after the Second World War in the years 1946-55 and after shows the existence of two separate tendencies within the Soviet Party. That of Stalin, which places at its centre the class struggle, and the other which places great importance on the political, ideological and moral unity of the USSR. This latter tendency stresses the ideological pressures exerted by imperialism, the existence of a developed bureaucracy and serious shortfalls in proletarian democracy. The latter tendency opposed the fact that the class war was the central condition for the construction of Communism. The theories of Stalin gradually became hidden behind a smoke-screen – figures claiming to be Stalinist give high profile to the fact that the party must be vigilant, on the role of criticism and the fundamental nature of ideology – but no mention is made of the class struggle. Such figures include academics such as F.V. Konstantinov, K.V. Ostrovityanov, M.M. Rozenthal (among others) and economists such as N.A. Voznesensky and L.D. Yaroshenko.

In his report to the XIX Congress of the Soviet Party, G.M. Malenkov writes:

‘Ideological work is a prime duty of the Party, and underestimation of its importance may do irreparable damage to the interests of Party and state. We must always remember that if the influence of socialist ideology is weakened the effect is to strengthen the influence of the bourgeois ideology.

‘There is no class basis, there can be no class basis, for the domination of the bourgeois ideology in our Soviet society. It is the socialist ideology that dominates in our country, and Marxism-Leninism constitutes its indestructible foundation. But we still have vestiges of the bourgeois ideology, relics of the private-property mentality. These relics do not die away of themselves; they are very tenacious and may strengthen their hold, and a determined struggle must be waged against them… alien elements, the remnants of anti-Leninist groups smashed by the Party, will try to… spread all sorts of un-Marxist ‘opinions’ and ‘conceptions’. (G. Malenkov: Report to the 19th Congress on the Work of the C.C. of the CPSU(B), Moscow, 1952, pp. 126-127.)

Three months after the death of Stalin a long article appeared in issue No. 8 (May 1953) of the theoretical periodical Kommunist full of references to Lenin and Stalin and against ‘reactionary theories’ which put emphasis on ‘personalities’ and their decisive role in the course of history. It was against the ‘cult of the personality’ – a principle which had always been the view of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin and therefore commendable.

But, one had to ask oneself the aims of such an article – was it to put to an end the cult of the bureaucracy which hid behind the figure of Stalin, or was it another? It was another! The article goes on to add:

‘In the current state of our society, in which there are no class enemies and which is united morally and politically, the social base for deviations within the Party does not exist’.

Here is the crux of the criticism of Stalin! Hundreds of other articles followed in this vein concluding with Khrushchev’s ‘Secret Report’ to the XX Congress, directed against Stalin. The total betrayal of socialism and Marxism-Leninism took place with the adoption of the ‘theories’ of the state and party of the whole people and the peaceful passage to socialism.

Again in ‘The Foundations of Marxist Philosophy’ written by one-time Stalinists such as Konstantinov and Rozenthal the conclusion is: ‘These radical differences (that is between the first phase of socialism and a presumed second phase characterised by social, political and ideological unity) were ignored by Stalin’s theory – according to which the class struggle intensified as the forces of Socialism grew. This theory, inconsistent and contrary to Marxism (the book continues) seriously damaged the building of Socialism… in the country there are no longer grounds for class struggle…’

The dividing line between Stalin’s views and those of his successors is all too clear. A few months before dying, Stalin wrote:

‘It is not true… that the production, i.e., the economic, relations lose their independent role under socialism. Marxism regards social production as an integral whole which has two inseparable sides: the productive forces of society… and the relations of production…’ (J. Stalin, Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR, Peking, 1976, p.64.)

‘Comrade Yaroshenko is mistaken when he asserts that there is no contradiction between the relations of production and the productive forces of society under socialism… There certainly are, and will be, contradictions. Given a correct policy on the part of the directing bodies, these contradictions cannot grow into antagonisms, and there is no chance of matters coming to a conflict between the relations and the productive forces of society. It would be a different matter if we were to conduct a wrong policy, such as that which Comrade Yaroshenko recommends. In that case conflict would be inevitable, and our relations of production might become a serious brake on the further development of the productive forces’ (Ibid., p. 69).

‘…It would be unpardonable blindness not to see at the same time that these factors are already beginning to hamper the powerful development of our productive forces…’ (Ibid., p. 70).

Stalin’s masterpiece can be considered his fundamental contribution to the future development of revolutionary theory and practice.

Stalin was well aware that class enemies were active in the manipulation of the superstructure. He clearly indicates the continuity of thought linking Bogdanov, Bukharin and Yaroshenko.

The criticisms which our movement has levelled against modern revisionism have concentrated on the ideas of Stalin’s successors. There has been no effective use of Stalinist theory – and where this took place in Albania and China – use was superficial or it degenerated into nationalist/ subjective/ anarchical tendencies.

It is for these motives that Communists are blamed for failure – we were unable to provide suitable analysis for what was going on and could not counter the charge that Socialism in One Country was impossible or that defeat was due to the Stalinist model. For this reason it is claimed that theory could not cope with pressures from Imperialism.

Khrushchev used the attack on Stalin to prevent a return to his theories – present day critics of Stalin use their criticism to directly attack Leninism. Indeed there exists a difficulty on our part as to a rigorous application of historical and materialistic dialectic. In this respect the memoirs of L. Kaganovich and V. Molotov are particularly interesting. Four decades of revisionism have provoked confusion and serious delays in the development of philosophical and economic theory – which have led to our defeat.

The Communist Movement is still young historically speaking and our main task is a revolution in thought to demolish bourgeois cultural primacy. Perhaps we have over-estimated changes which result in the creation of Socialist Man – these changes are much slower than changes in the economic structure. Furthermore nationalistic components which were fused together with Communist movements in the great revolutions turned out to gain the upper hand due to the strong presence of petit bourgeois revolutionary tendencies. These finally defeated proletarian ideas (Leninism).

It is important to dwell on the point that the main comrades in arms of Lenin and Stalin turned out to be the main promoters of restoration e.g. Khrushchev – between the XXth and XXIInd Congresses the Soviet Party expelled more than one and a half million party cadres.

The objective limits of a revolution (e.g., the presence of a large mass of small-landowning peasants, a micro-urban bourgeoisie, the superiority of ‘mental’ labour over ‘physical’ labour, the widespread ideology of exploitation from previous societies and the ferocious activity of the counter-revolution) constitute grave problems on the road to Socialism and Communism. The deciding factor is the presence of a Party which is able to lead the working class through the unexplored ground towards revolution; a Party which is able to do away with not only bourgeois property relations but to overcome the vast theoretical baggage of bourgeois ideology. The potential for the bourgeoisie to regenerate exists in Socialist society and it is for this reason that Stalin always stressed the importance of the class struggle as the fundamental component in the struggle for socialism – on the economic and ideological front. The counter-revolution began at the top with the continuation of the views of Bogdanov and Bukharin in theory, ideology and politics. The new bourgeoisie gained control of the economic base totally thanks to Khrushchev’s policy in relation to the planning and management of the means of production and distribution.

The theories of Bogdanov, Trotsky, Bukharin, Yaroshenko and Khrushchev – positivist, rationalistic and therefore idealistic and anti-dialectical led to chaos, stagnation and Restoration. Dogma such as that the class war had ended, and that state ownership corresponded to Socialism – led in the case of the USSR to the conclusion that no bourgeois property relations could exist. The form was perceived as being the content and nothing was said about the real economic relationships which constitute the essence of a Socialist regime.

And so the bourgeoisie regained power. This is what Bukharin said on this count during his trial:

‘If one had to synthesise what my ‘programme’ would be, it would be the following: state capitalism, the reduction of the kolkhozy, foreign concessions, the abandonment of the monopoly on foreign trade, in other words, the restoration of capitalism in our country… Our programme was – very clearly and simply – the prelude to bourgeois liberal democracy.’

The conclusion is that objective causes mean that revisionism is possible in a Socialist society whereas the presence of subjective factors transform this possibility into reality.

Subjective factors are given by the capacity of the party and its leaders to realize and identify revisionist deviations and react to them – in other words their ability to be at the forefront of ideology.

All the revolutionary experiences of this century have been characterized by the strong presence of petit bourgeois ideology as a counter to Leninism. The latter was continually opposed in the USSR.

The proletariat has found itself in the past and will always find itself surrounded by small scale production which generates capitalism and the bourgeoisie. It will long face the threat of the petit bourgeoisie and labour aristocracy taking control of the workers’ struggle. It is for this reason that the proletariat must demolish all the social relationships which correspond to those of capitalist type production… ‘so as to subvert all the ideas which sprout from these social relations’. (K. Marx – The Civil War in France.)

With Lenin and Stalin the proletariat had been victorious. With Titoism, Khrushchevism, Maoism etc. our movement has faced defeat – these are facts. We have already mentioned how the bourgeoisie concentrates its attack especially on the ground of economic theory, and how Stalin’s aforementioned work provides us with a fundamental guide on how the bourgeoisie operates in order to block the revolutionary dialectic and arrest the revolutionary process. The bourgeoisie reintroduces metaphysics to reinforce idealism and subjectivism in politics.

On this count it is interesting to examine the debate which surrounded the Textbook of Political Economy. This was not solely an academic debate but a crucial debate on the future of socialism in the USSR. In any consideration we must use as a point of reference the views of Engels, who considered that the economic structure is the base, the source of any society but for whom the superstructure too plays a great part in historical processes.

The bourgeoisie, the enemy of socialism, prevented the construction of Communism in the USSR, a process which was to have been completed from 1941 onwards (in a maximum of 15 years). It acted within the Party, stressing the fact that there was no longer a need for revolution, that Socialism would spontaneously give way to Communism due solely to the growth of productive forces. The ‘theory of the productive forces’ was the idealistic opportunism of the Second International, an offshoot of bourgeois positivism.

Positivism negates the dialectic and social contradictions and so denies the existence of the laws of revolutionary transformation. Trotsky and Bukharin were two ‘classic’ examples of positivist thought. This current of bourgeois thought does not fully examine real processes – see Trotsky’s theory of world revolution where will is thought to impose itself on reality and Bukharin’s view according to which with socialism economic policy came to an end and any policy could be applied without there being any damage to the construction of Socialism and Communism. In his trial, Bukharin was later to admit the consequences of such views.

His theories were transmitted by others and were to reach maximum effect with Khrushchev. Khrushchev was to be accused by his fellow comrades of being solely responsible for the political and economic chaos which was to engulf the USSR.

As Stalin had realized Bukharin’s supporters not only denied the laws of a Socialist economy but in so doing gave vent to bourgeois economic categories and theories while at the same time arguing that these would gradually give way to new Socialist economic laws and thus to Communism.

This is the real problem! It is from this base that Khrushchevism derives its ideas. The bourgeois tactics were simple – hide behind the mask of ultra-left wing ideals so as not to be identified as bourgeois opportunists only to then act freely behind a Communist veneer.

The vast debate which occurred in the USSR before and after the XIX Congress of the Soviet Party centred around Stalin’s work – ‘Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR’. The Stalinist offensive covered all fronts: philosophy, political economy, law, history etc. but from the beginning the vitality of bourgeois ideology was obvious. Stalin’s death and weakness in the party leadership led to the emergence of the main defects of the Bolshevik revolution. Thirty-five years of internal and external conflict and the superhuman efforts to create the cultural and material base of Socialism, political in-fighting – these all led to Marxism-Leninism not having a firm enough grip. At the crucial moment – in which the final push towards Communism was a possibility, the bourgeoisie launched another offensive, as Stalin had predicted.

It is safe to affirm that the main defect of the Soviet party leadership was to believe that theoretical and political deviations would be defeated thanks to the development of Soviet society. Deviations were seen as a serious threat and criticized but what was not foreseen was that these would become a political force and take power. Although no historical precedent existed Stalin’s warnings were clear. The hard core of Stalinists remained, however, a minority. The anti-Leninist tendencies were a strong reality in the 1930s. Bukharin attempted to weaken both Lenin’s and Stalin’s positions within the Party.

The socialist revolution, therefore, faces a real enemy – the ideas of the old society. This is especially true in a nation such as the USSR where feudalism was a recent experience and where the intelligentsia was weak and backward.

With idealism that which is objective is transformed into subjective (and vice versa) and so the materialistic principle is overturned. In the various sciences objective laws were held to develop from consciousness. Many had difficulty discerning appearance from reality and so during the socialist phase it was believed that the bourgeoisie could not function. From these ideas spring the view that laws and categories can be changed by will, formalism developed whereby the real characteristics of the developing society were not examined. Stalin’s teachings that the old conserves its form and uses the new went unheeded, as did his warning that in political economy:

‘The new productive relationships are those factors which are decisive in the further development of productive forces. This is one of the principle elements of Marxist dialectical materialism’ (Stalin).

Errors and a taking lightly of Lenin’s indications led to the economic adventurism of figures such as L.D. Yaroshenko and to, as Stalin put it ‘The primacy of bourgeois ideology over Marxist ideology’. Indeed, subjective idealism, confusing the objective with the spontaneous, led to the identification of capitalism with socialism, which, in turn, led to everlasting damage to the revolutionary cause. With Khrushchev this tendency reached its height and the result was theoretical chaos. Research and philosophical study became fossilized. In political economy the separation of philosophy and economics led to metaphysics – to the idea that there is a direct correspondence between productive forces and productive relationships; to the theory according to which mercantile economics and the law of value determine production and the use of manpower! To the theories that labour is a commodity (Merzenev and Mikalenko), that capital has a place in a socialist economy (Yakovlev), that the rate of profit exists etc.

The presence of these theories especially during the period 1945-1952 was attacked (in particular during 1952-53) but it was widely believed that there could be no effective opposition or resistance to Socialism – this was the major strategic error.

The bourgeois ideological offensive covered other sciences – law (Polianski and Strogovich), history, (with Pokrovski), archeology (Marra) etc.

Our enemies, especially the Trotskyites, are mistaken when they conclude that Socialism was defeated and Communism was not achieved because a preconceived model was not followed to the letter. A model which Marx, Engels and Lenin never dreamed of applying – because a similar mode of thought lay in the realm of utopian Socialism.

‘In Marx there is no attempt to create utopias, to guess that which is impossible to understand’. (Lenin – Works, vol. 25.)

Returning to economics – the debate, especially during the war years (and eagerly followed by the specialized press in the USA) was on the bourgeois theory of market socialism’ a theory which is now in vogue in China. The Textbook of Political Economy published in 1954 ignored Stalin’s main principles – the theory of the relationships of production and the principle of gradually introducing the exchange of products rather then having commodity exchange. In the months between the death of Stalin and August 1954 the theory of Yaroshenko (which was that of Bukharin and Preobrazhensky, 1925-26) gained the upper hand. That is, that value, commodity exchange, credit, money etc. fundamentally changed their nature in a socialist economy and therefore could be used freely without damaging the Socialist base. By May 1953 the circulation of money was expanded and, before this, in April of the same year, the role of centralised planning (Gosplan) was drastically reduced with more power being given to the economic ministries. In the plenum of the Central Committee of September 1953, goods supplied by the kolkhozy to the state saw their prices raised, the number of goods which were to be supplied was reduced and the kolkhozy in general were given a reduced role in the central plan.

The pressures of bourgeois ideology on economic theory, already present during Stalin’s lifetime, increased after his death. In May 1953 it was decided to expand ‘Soviet trade’, the powers of the Directors of enterprise were increased and their role and power over the economy and the work force was to become dominant. After the elimination of the last pockets of resistance – Molotov, Kaganovich and Saburov – in July 1957 agricultural machinery was sold to the kolkhozy and in September 1957 the principle was introduced whereby state enterprises had to create profit.

The crux of the bourgeois offensive lay in the theory of value – it is here that bourgeois laws find their base. Value is the cardinal principle of commodity production – by placing it at the centre of economic policy the Soviet state look a step back from progress towards Communism.

Changing the form does not necessarily mean changing the content – the bourgeoisie extended its control over the economy and the social sciences. With Stalin the proletariat had come to dominate the objective laws which operate in the transitional phase – Socialism – with Khrushchev the use of old ‘laws’ recreated the economic base for the bourgeoisie. The expansion of commodity production led to the reintroduction of wage labour and capital. Khrushchev’s programme (1961) led firstly to state capitalism and then a return to classical capitalism.

In concluding, what now of Stalin’s ideas in an eventual return of Communism to the USSR?

The party must create a new relationship between labour and the masses, given that Socialism grows directly from capitalism (Lenin), the party must work for the elimination of classes and the contrast between ‘manual’ and ‘intellectual’ labour.

Stalin underlined many times how the passage to Communism is difficult and complex and guarded against a rush towards the final goals without a due consideration of the realities. It is important to educate the masses that Communism is the final result of the creative efforts of the masses guided by a party which is fully aware of the economic laws which dictate the growth of Socialism.

Stalin sets three conditions for Communism to be reached: (1) an uninterrupted growth in production especially in the means of production; (2) the gradual replacing of commodity exchange by the exchange of products; (3) the complete physical and mental development of every member of society – decreasing time at work and introducing a freedom of choice as far as choosing a job is concerned.

The objective of Socialism, in order to proceed to Communism, must be the maximum satisfaction of all needs – material and cultural. This presupposes high productivity in order to ensure the free availability of consumer goods. This free availability will lead to the disappearance of Capitalist theories – and this allied with cultural and scientific study would open new doors to humanity.

Stalin argued that the state would disappear in the USSR only after socialism had triumphed. He held that the start of the exchange of products was the embryo from which Communism would grow. (It was taken as a given that the means of production would be the property of society).

For the overcoming of the contrast between ‘manual’ and ‘intellectual’ labour Stalin indicated the necessity of further education for everyone – so as to put everyone in a position to choose their jobs – in order for this to come about the working day had to be reduced to 5 hours. The increased productivity of labour, a growing stock of goods, would lead to ever decreasing prices and growing real salaries.

Our movement sets itself today new important goals. The First World War led to the creation of the first great Socialist State, World War II to the Socialist bloc. The next crisis of capitalist Imperialism could lead to its collapse. Stalin’s words are very relevant: Today we must talk of the existence of the conditions for revolution in the whole of the capitalist world system, given that it is a whole… as a system it is already ready for a revolution.

Forward then to a Communist future guided by our immortal doctrine – Marxism-Leninism!

April 1997

The author is a leading member of the Organisation for the Construction of the Communist Party of the Proletariat of Italy.

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