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stalin political report

I. Stalin Political Report of the Central Committee to the XIV Congress 1926




Historical significance

stalin XIV Congress frontespieceBook, 104 pages

The Congress on which this publication reports took place on 18-31 December 1925 in Moscow.  This copy is hand-dated 28th. January 1926, so it was one of the first of the first editions to be published.   It is signed but the signature has faded.

This rare edition is divided into two distinct parts:  The first is the political report read by Stalin to the congress.  It takes up pages 1-64.  The second (and more interesting) part, is Stalin’s ‘concluding remarks’, occupying 28 pages.   Having the last word at the congress meant that Stalin could hear all the arguments first and then deliver his verdict on them all without any chance of reply from those on whose opinions he sits in judgement.

This piece has some crayon and pencil annotations.

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The International Situation

1 The Stabilisation of Capitalism
2 Imperialism, colonies and semi-colonies
3 Victors and the defeated
4 Contradictions among the victorious countries
5 The capitalist world and the Soviet Union
6 The external position of the USSR

The Internal Situation of the USSR

1 The national economy in full
2 Industry and agriculture
3 Questions about trade
4 The activity and relationships of classes

The Party
Concluding remarks
The Resolution adopted by the Congress on the report of the Central Committee (on the reports of comrades Stalin and Molotov)

The Congress

The 14th Party congress was held in December 1925.  A year and a half earlier, at the 13th. Congress and immediately after Lenin’s death, Trotsky had attacked the policies of Stalin and his two allies, Kamenev and Zinoviev.  At this conference, Stalin used his growing prestige and power to insult not only Trotsky, but also his erstwhile comrades Kamenev and Zinoviev, as well as Bukharin, Sokolnikov and even Lenin’s widow, Krupskaya.  He says in his concluding remarks (p.73) that ….Krupskaya….talked utter nonsense…

She was the only one whom Stalin allowed to die a natural death, although if one takes Khrushev’s ‘secret speech’ at face value, he hated her.  Perhaps there was more to their relationship that meets the historian’s non-sensationalist appreciation.

Some of Stalin’s concluding remarks are gruesome in the extreme when one remembers what happened in the next decade:

Page 84 – ‘On the History of Disagreements’

 ‘We disagreed with Zinoviev and Kamenev because we knew that the policy of amputation was fraught with great dangers for the Party, that the method of amputation, the method of blood-letting — and they demanded blood — was dangerous, infectious: today you amputate one limb, tomorrow another, the day after tomorrow a third — what will we have left in the Party?’

Baiting Bukharin

In respect of Bukharin, The internet Marxist archive records the contents of what is page 87 in the book from our collection thus:

How is it to be explained that, in spite of this, the unrestrained baiting of Bukharin still continues? What do they really want of Bukharin?  That is how the matter stands with Bukharin’s mistake.

However, what was really in the original published version (that is this version) is:

How is it to be explained that, in spite of this, the unrestrained baiting of Bukharin still continues? What do they really want of Bukharin?  They are asking for the blood of comrade Bukharin.  This, namely, is what comrade Zinoviev wants, sharpening the question on the concluding remark on Bukharin. You are after Bukharin’s blood, aren’t you? We are not giving you his blood, as you know. (Applause, shouts of ‘Right’).  That is how the matter stands with Bukharin’s mistake.

Is it not strange that the Marxist archive leaves out such a clear allusion to the expendability of Bukharin, one of Marxism’s all-time favourites?

Bukharin was shot in 1938.

Additional Information

Dimensions 16 x 24 cm