For a Lasting Peace, For a People’s Democracy!
No. 1 (4), Thursday, January 1, 1948
Rumania belongs to the group of countries which dropped out of the imperialist system as a result of World War II and, after taking the path of building a new people’s democracy is effecting profound democratic changes with the support of the popular masses.
By advancing along this independent path – the path of a Rumanian people’s democracy, which is determined by the specific conditions of the historic development of the country – we are providing the political and economic preconditions for the reconstruction of Rumania on new, socialist foundations.
In order to better understand the specific character of our democratic development it should be said that Rumania made more rapid progress in the direction of political changes towards a people’s democracy than she did in the economic sphere.
What the Maniu Trial Revealed
The second half of 1947 brought crushing defeats to the groups representing the different sections of the reactionary bourgeoisie. The trial of the traitors in the leadership of the National Peasant Party, headed by Maniu, dealt a mortal blow to this group, which rallied around itself all the reactionary-fascist forces. The documents that fell into the hands of the security organs, and also the testimony of the accused revealed to public opinion the monstrous plot to provoke civil war and foreign armed intervention. This plot was prepared not only in close collaboration with the foreign intelligence service, but also with certain diplomatic representatives of the imperialist powers. The notorious Acheson letter to the conspirators, mentioned at the trial, disclosed that the main concern of the corresponding foreign State organs was to find the opportune moment for the armed uprising, prepared by the leadership of the National Peasant Party, to overthrow the democratic order in Rumania.
During World War II the parties of the big capitalists, linked with foreign monopoly circles, and the reactionary landlords, represented by the National Peasant and National Liberal Parties, discredited themselves by political and economic collaboration. However, by resorting to demagogic manoeuvres they succeeded for a time in retaining certain political positions. The Maniu trial showed the people that betrayal of national interests was an integral part of the policy of the social strata represented in these parties. The trial exposed the political bankruptcy of these social strata and completely discredited them.
Therein lies the main significance of the trial for the internal life of the country.
Another outcome of the trial was the removal of Tatarescu and his group from the government. The evidence showed that under Tatarescu the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had become a centre of espionage and treachery. Many high officials were directly involved in the conspiracy. Nor was this accidental. For some considerable time it had been obvious that Tatarescu’s line on the decisive questions of home and foreign policy ultimately protected the same interests championed by the so-called “historical parties” – the national peasants and national liberals. The Tatarescu group held important positions in the government, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance. As a result the democratic parties in the government often found themselves in the position of the legendary Rumanian architect Manola who overnight lost everything that he had managed to build in the course of the day. It was clear that an end had to be put to the participation of the Tatarescu group in the government, that this was an essential condition for the unhampered development of Rumania along the path of a people’s democracy. And so the Tatarescu group of ministers were removed from government.
The political bankruptcy of the whole of Rumania reaction is reflected also in the indifference shown by public opinion to the attempts of the Tatarescu group to keep going. Most indicative, too, is the disappearance, for lack of readers, of the newspaper “Liberalul”, organ of Bratianu’s National Liberal Party.
The question of State power is of decisive importance when determining the nature of any system. What is the character of the government and of the State power in our country, following the removal of the Tatarescu group? The vanguard of the working class played a leading role in the administration of the State even when Tatarescu was in the government. The resignation of Tatarescu and his group means the removal of the last representatives of the reactionary bourgeoisie from the government; it means that the proletariat and its allies no longer share State power with the representatives of the exploiting classes. The role of the working class as leader of democratic forces has gained in importance. The proletarian vanguard, in close alliance with the peasantry and progressive intelligentsia, is the backbone of the government. In other words our government today is a government of workers, peasants and working intelligentsia. Since the removal of the Tatarescu group the bloc of democratic parties is a bloc representing the genuine interests of the working people, headed by the party of the working class, the Communist Party.
For the Creation of a United Workers’ Party
The creation of a united workers’ party in the near future will be a new factor in consolidating the front of democratic parties. A nationwide campaign has been launched in preparation for this. The merger will be formally effected at a congress to be convened in all probability on January 21, the day when all progressive mankind honours the memory of the great Lenin.
The programme of the united workers’ party, unanimously adopted at a joint meeting of the Executive Committees of the Communist Party and Social Democratic Party, explains the need for political and organisational unity of the working class in these terms:
“The menace of imperialist intrigues against peace and freedom; the complicity of the right-wing Socialist with the imperialist circles in the struggle against democracy and the Land of Socialism; the interests of the working class which, in a number of countries, and especially in the countries of the new democracy are confronted with the task of building Socialism – all this makes it vitally important not only to strengthen the unity of action of the working class, but also to establish a united Marxist-Leninist party wherever the objective and subjective conditions for this exist”.
We are of the opinion that such conditions exist in our country. The fact that Rumania is one of the countries where political and organisational unity of the proletariat is in the process of being realised, is undoubtedly the result of the correct united front policy pursued by our Party.
The united workers’ party will rally the working class around the banner of Marxism-Leninism and make it possible to cope with the historic task of eliminating reformism in the labour movement. “The ideology of the united workers’ party”, states the aforementioned programme, “must be the class, Marxist-Leninist ideology of the proletariat”. The united workers’ party will base its activity on the teaching of the great leaders of the working class – Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin.
“In its activity the united workers’ party will be guided by high class principles. It will make no concession in the matter of principles to other classes or parties. It will fight with revolutionary irreconcilability against all enemies of the working class and its ally, the labouring peasantry, and against all hostile agents in the ranks of the proletariat”.
Under our conditions where the peasantry constitute nearly 80 per cent of the population, the question of the alliance of industrial workers and small peasants is one of the central questions of the party of the working class. The alliance of workers and peasantry (i.e., peasants not exploiting the labour of others) is reflected in the close cooperation between the proletarian vanguard and the Agricultural Workers’ Front, which is headed by the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Dr. P. Groza. The Agricultural Workers’ Front is consolidating its ranks in the struggle against the kulak remnants in its organisations
The Forces of the Democratic Front Are Growing Stronger
Thanks to the activity of the Communist Party in stimulating the national culture and its patient ideological work among the intelligentsia nearly all prominent representatives of Rumanian culture have joined the democratic camp. This is an entirely new feature in our country. However, the job of eradicating the reactionary influence among the intelligentsia and servility before Anglo-Franco-American bourgeois culture, is far from finished.
The democratic front is being joined also by the National People’s Party, the party of the so-called middle strata (handicraftsmen, small traders and employers, etc.).
The democratic regime in Rumania has successfully solved one of the most complex problems confronting it, namely the question of relations between the Rumanian people and the other nationalities inhabiting the country, and especially relations with the Hungarians, who constitute the biggest national group in the country (over one and a half million inhabitants).
The fact that we are steadily carrying out a consistent national policy inspired by the teachings of Lenin and Stalin, has made the working people of the other nationalities a loyal and active ally of Rumanian democracy. This policy has dealt a sharp blow to chauvinist and revisionist sentiments. We regard the results in the sphere of national policy as one of the major achievements of our people’s democracy in its struggle for the moral-political unity of the working people, and above all, as the outstanding achievement of the Communist Party.
Thus, the front of Rumanian democracy, headed by the Communist Party, has won a number of major successes in the struggle against the forces of reaction, has completely changed the relation of forces in favour of the democratic camp, has consolidated and reinforced the political positions of the people’s democracy.
The Economic Foundation of the People’s Democracy
The cardinal task of the democratic forces in the country is to strengthen decisively the economic base of the people’s democracy.
In June 1947 our Party published its proposals for improving the economic situation of the country. These proposals were adopted by the government and became its programme. When carrying out this programme we succeeded in putting an end to the financial chaos, caused by inflation, and introduced a monetary reform – the pre-condition for a healthy economy. Thanks to the measures taken to organise the economy and thanks to the heroic efforts of the workers, considerable success has been achieved in the matter of industrial output. On July 1, when we began work on the six-month production plan, industrial output was but 48 per cent of the 1938 level. Between July-September output in the iron and steel industry reached 72 per cent compared to 1938 and 135 per cent compared to 1946; in the chemical industry the figure was 80 per cent compared to 1938 and 118 per cent compared to 1946; in the timber and building materials industry 67 per cent and 136 per cent respectively, in the pulp industry and printing trades 78 per cent and 123 per cent. The subsequent months showed a steady upward trend in a number of the vital industries such as steel, rolled steel, cast iron, pulp, cellulose, woollen fabrics, footwear, etc. The output of coal is also increasing. Thanks to a good harvest some branches of the food industry are topping the target figure.
These achievements brought about a definite improvement in the economic conditions in our country. However, we cannot be satisfied with the present rate of industrial output. A number of industries failed to fulfil their production programme. The present growth of output does not correspond to the pressing economic needs of the country, or to the economic tasks raised by the rapid development of the people’s democracy. In point of fact the present rate of growth is hampering the planned reorganisation of Rumanian economy.
The situation would be quite different if the efforts of the government and workers to increase industrial output did not encounter the resistance of a large section of the capitalists, and if the democratic state occupied a stronger position in the country’s economy.
The State sector in our economy is still small. The State controls the National Bank, the railways and a number of enterprises. We have appointed State administrators to supervise certain enterprises, especially where the employers are persistently sabotaging economic restoration. We also have State administrators in the “Astra-Romana” and “Unirea” oil companies in which foreign capital has shares and in the “Banca Romanesca”, the biggest private bank in the country, etc.
In addition 14 industrial councils have been set up, uniting the basic industrial enterprises. As is known in September 1917 Lenin suggested an amalgamation of industrialists to ensure State control over the activities of industry and the most effective organisation of these activities. Lenin declared that the purpose of amalgamation was to establish complete, detailed and strictest book-keeping, and above all, to coordinate buying and selling operations in the matter of raw materials, and to economise with national means. Lenin emphasised that, in itself, this measure did not in the least affect private property, did not deprive the proprietor of a single penny. Our industrial councils are of a somewhat similar nature.
A large part of the industrial and banking enterprises are in the hands of capitalists. The democratic regime has been most tolerant in its attitude towards the private employers, who enjoy favourable conditions for taking part in the economic rehabilitation of the country. The government will continue to give manufacturers helping to restore the economy an opportunity to make reasonable profits. However, despite repeated appeals to “private enterprise” we are compelled to admit that it has failed us. The capitalists frequently refuse to make capital investments and install the necessary equipment; they transmit funds abroad, and organize overt and covert sabotage. Their behaviour is dictated by narrow class interests and the desire to obstruct economic restoration and thus prevent the consolidation of the people’s democracy. A striking example of this is offered by the oil industry – one of the basic branches of our economy. Oil output is but a mere 59 per cent of the 1938 level. Moreover, in 1947 output fell compared to 1946. The fact that the representative of the “Royal Dutch” and “Standard Oil” international trusts are vitally interested in undermining the economy of people’s democratic Rumania, does not occasion any surprise.
The interests of rehabilitation and the further planned development of the national economy, and the safe-guarding of our independence demand that the State sector in national economy be consolidated and extended.
It is also necessary to put a stop to the profoundly unjust distribution of the national income, inherited from the former regime. The monetary reform resulted in a definite redistribution of the national income in favour of the working people. The financial policy of the Communist Minister of Finance aims at introducing new changes in the distribution of national income. Thanks to the policy pursued by the Tatarescu minister of finance Rumania until recently, was one of the few countries where the capitalists hardly paid any taxes. Direct taxes paid by industrialists and merchants comprised only 8-9 per cent of the total budget revenue. Actually this percentage was even lower. Thus dodging of tax payments, which was widely practised by the manufacturers, aggravated inflation.
A month after stringent measures had been imposed by the new leadership of the Finance Ministry incomes from taxation nearly doubled. The printing of new paper money to cover budget expenditure was stopped. Parliament passed a law whereby all persons deliberately withholding tax payments render themselves liable to be charged as economic saboteurs. Steps now being taken to introduce a tax reform will ease the tax burden of the working people at the expense of the propertied strata of the population. Budget revenue will no longer be pocketed by shady businessmen. We consider that this clean up in the financial system will enable us in the near future to establish a special development fund.
Our achievement in industry and finances, and of course the good grain harvest, sugar beet, potato and olive crop, will greatly remedy the material conditions of the working people. But increasing the productivity of labour, which is still very low, remains the principal means of raising the standard of living, especially the working class. The emulation movement in the factories is gaining momentum; a new attitude toward labour is taking shape on the different construction jobs where volunteer youth brigades are working. This will improve labour discipline and achieve a steady increase in the productivity of labour.
It is difficult in a single article to dwell in detail on the different measures taken by the government to consolidate the economic foundations of the people’s democracy in Rumania. We have made a beginning in building up the State trading sector by opening State-owned stores. Parallel with this the cooperative sector is being strengthened by establishing consumers’ cooperatives for workers and office employees.
Measures have been taken to extend the agricultural cooperatives on new principles. These cooperatives are to help liquidate gradually the dominant position of the exploiting elements in the countryside. Apart from selling agricultural products, from supplying the village with manufactured goods and improving exchange between town and countryside the cooperative movement is faced with the prime task of organising peasants’ producer cooperatives. This will facilitate the mechanisation of agriculture and hasten the abolition of the economic, technical and cultural backwardness of the countryside.
Such, briefly, are the measures taken by the democratic government to consolidate the economic base of the people’s democracy in Rumania.
A second major task confronting the democratic forces in Rumania is that of consolidating and extending the political base of the people’s democracy.
Extending the Political Base of the People’s Democracy
A new reform, which will abolish the clearly obsolete administrative structure, is scheduled for the near future. Organs of people’s power, democratically elected by the working masses, will be established. These new local bodies of the people’s power will help to eliminate the remnants of the old reactionary State apparatus, will help to consolidate the front of the democratic forces and draw the popular masses into the administration of the country.
In keeping with the reform of the judicature, which was adopted by Parliament on the initiative of the Communist Party, the judicial organs are being fundamentally reorganised. The very composition of these organs, not to maintain the reactionary legislation had turned justice into a tool of the exploiting classes. According to the new reform organs of people’s justice will be set up in the country. Henceforth, the judicial organs will consist of a judge and two people’s assessors, elected by the trade unions and other public organisations, and by general meetings of the peasants. The election of people’s assessors is already under way in many regions.
Finally, the time has come to give the country a new democratic constitution, a constitution which will correspond to the changes that have taken place in Rumania, and which will register our achievements. This constitution will proclaim that in democratic Rumania the leading role belongs to people of manual and mental labour, to the working people of town and countryside. The constitution will show that the democratic system strives to guarantee the realisation of the rights of the working people, which is impossible under conditions of capitalist democracy. The constitution will proclaim the principle of equality of all citizens, irrespective of sex, race, or nationality. Thus, the new constitution will be the corner stone for the further development of our country along the path of people’s democracy.
Advancing Toward New Successes
The working people of Rumania are faced with the tremendous job of eliminating the economic and cultural backwardness, inherited from the reactionary regimes of the past. These regimes, acting in the interests of their imperialist masters, retarded the development of Rumania so as to make it impossible for her to break loose from economic dependence on foreign monopoly capital.
The country abounds in natural wealth. The soil is fertile, there are rich deposits of oil, coal, iron and copper ores and bauxites, which are only partly exploited. We have enormous sources of electric power; we are not short of labour. All this makes it possible to secure the economic independence of Rumania.
Our country can, and shall, advance along the path of the accelerated development of industry, above all, of heavy industry, along the path of the further development of agriculture. Our people realise that their well-being, the prosperity of the country, her political and economic independence and progress towards a higher plane of social development depends on overcoming Rumania’s economic backwardness.
The constructive labour of our people is anathema to the foreign capitalists, who infuriated are resorting to any and every means in an attempt to place once again the country under the imperialist yoke. That is why Rumanian democracy regards the struggle against the imperialists, against the warmongers as its vital concern. That is why it is actively participating, together with the other countries of the people’s democracy in the struggle of the anti-imperialist democratic camp, headed by the Land of Socialism – the great Soviet Union, whose friendship and political and economic support is felt daily by our country.
Nothing will deflect Rumanian democracy, headed by its Communist
vanguard, from the path leading to the liberation of the working people
from the exploitation of man by man, to the future socialist Rumania.
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