41 40 THE WORKERS COUNCIL THE WORKERS COUNCIL (May 1, 1921 May 1, 1921 for us.
point out the main features of this departure. What tributing centers, and we must preserve this ap will be adopted at the Congress will become the paratus. Have we utilized the co operatives? Not law of the Republic. The question must be settled sufficiently. This was due to a mistaken policy and the peasants must be notified immediately. and the war.
Our entire apparatus must be employed to carry it The co operatives have developed elements through into life. We must first take it up theo among the people who because of their economic retically and find out whether we can re establish superiority were leaniny toward the Mensheviks to some extent freedom of trading, capitalist enterand Social Revolutionists. This is a chemical law prise for the small landholders, and at the same and nothing can be done about it. Laughter. time not undermine the very roots of proletarian The Mensheviks and Social Revolutionists are rule.
consciously or unconsciously interested in the We could obtain a certain amount of goods and, restoration of capitalism and are helping the Yudekeeping it under the control of the proletarian nitches. This is also a law. We had to wage war state, we could get it into the market. This would upon them and defend ourselves. Can we, however, add to our political strength and econonic power. remain as we are at present? To bind our hands Trade would revitalize our agriculture, the devel would be a mistake. therefore offer the following opment of which has been arrested by the war, and resolution concerning co operatives. which in turn has brought about economic demoral In view of the fact that the resolution of the ization. The opportunity to trade will have a stim Ninth Congress of the Russian Communist Party ulating influence, and we must resort to it. If this regarding the co operatives is based on the printrading will give the country in exchange for its ciple of assessments which is now being substigoods a certain minimum of foodstuffs to meet the tuted by a tax in kind, the Tenth Congress of the needs of the cities and factories, then the govern Russian Communist Party declares the former mental power of the workers remains and is even resolutions null and void and instructs the Central strengthened. The peasants want to know whether Committee to carry through the party and the Sothe workers who control the shops and factories viets decisions which would lead to the improvecan establish trade with them. It must be realized, nient and development of the co operatives in acfurthermore, that an agricultural country with lim cordance with the program of the Russian Comited transportation facilities, and peculiar agrarian munist Party and adaptable to the change from conditions requires a certain measure of freedom the assessments to the system of taxations in kind.
to trade within the sphere of local agriculture and The result of the Ninth Congress bound our local industry.
hands. It put the co operatives under the control Errors have been committed in this field and it of the Commissariat of Food Supplies. The Comwould be a great crime not to admit them or not missariat of Provisions is a good institution, but to to understand them. We did not enforce the vari place the co operatives under its control and bind ous measures or did not know how to enforce them. our hands is to commit a political error. We must There have been, of course, extenuating circuminstruct the Central Committee to work out ways stances. We were forced to do nothing else but to and means of perfecting a change in this relation.
carry on war and to neglect the economic life of We are at the commencement of a series of tranthe land. It is a miracle that the country was able sitory ineasures. One thing is certain, the resoluto go through it all. This miracle did not come tion of the Ninth Congress presupposed that our from heaven, but from the very economic inter movement would follow the straight line. As a ests of the workers and the peasants who jointly matter of fact, it zigzagged. In changing the resorose to the defense of the country and have to lution we declare that our program must emphasize gether withstood the attacks of the capitalists and the importance of the co operative organizations.
landlords. The fact. however, remains and we When shall we introduce the new system? Not cannot overlook it that we have gone farther than before the crops are brought in, e. after several was necessary, both from the theoretical and pracmonths. Will the system be uniform everywhere?
tical points of view. We can allow local trade to By no means. To measure Central Russia, Ukraine a great extent and instead of interfering, it would and Siberia with the sanıc yardstick would be folly.
rather strengthen the political power of the prole propose that this plan concerning free exchange tariat. The way it will be accomplished will debe adopted by the Congress and put forth as its pend upon experience. It is my function to prove decision. The Central Committee will then send to you that it is possible theoretically. The workout a letter which will contain the following sugers controlling the powers of the state and having gestions: Do not be hasty about the new plan; certain resources can place them on the market work for the benefit of the peasants without injurand satisfy the needs of the peasants, through the ing the interest of the workers. Investigate and medium of local exchange.
test the various plans through actual experience, sending us the results. We will then create a speThe Co operatives cial commission or commissions which will go over few words must be said about the local eco the collected material and make the necessary denomic exchange. Before going into the matter ductions. If we want to be sure about the undermust touch on the subje of co operatives. We taking, we must check up and verify our data beneed the co operatives for local exchange. Our pro fore we work out the final plan.
gram maintains that the co operatives which were We know at the present time where we can exleft over from the capitalist order can serve as dis pect to obtain conmodities. Our economic position in the sphere of international relations has been ment monopoly. We couldn do otherwise because greatly improved. The type of economic relations of our extreme poverty. Government monopoly is which we are conducting with the various govern the best from the Socialist viewpoint. As a tranments will enable us to establish freedom of ex sitional measure, the system of taxation and freechange for the peasants. know that there are dom of exchange can be, however, adopted in an people who smile at such proposals. There is in agricultural country. This exchange will act as a Moscow a galaxy of bureaucratic intellectuals who stimulus to the peasant. The owner will look out are trying to create public opinion. They are for his interest, since the tax which will be deteramused at this transformation of Communism. mined in advance will not absorb all of his extra They picture it as a man with crutches under his supplies. The main thing is to provide a stimulus arms and his face covered with bandages. heard for the peasant. We must build our national econthese jokes but they are the jokes of either bureau omy in relation to the economics of the village crats or fools.
which we couldn change in the past three years.
Russia has come out of the war like a man who We were faced with certain needs. The assessment has been almost beaten to death. They were beatwas increased last year. The tax should be lower.
ing her for seven years. To think that we can manIf the crop should fail we cannot obtain the extra foodstuffs as there will be none. We would have age without crutches means not to realize the situation. Since the revolution in the other counto take them from the mouths of the peasants, Untries has not yet arrived, we would have to spend der the proposed system, if the crops should fail tens of years on our rehabilitation. We can afford us, everybody will suffer a little and the nation will rather to spend millions or even billions of our vast be saved. This is our propaganda task among the natural resources to enlist the aid of advanced capipeasants. The more or less enlightened peasant talism. We shall be repaid fully for this.
understands that we represent the working class How must we feel after seven years of war, when with whom the toiling peasants can co operate, and more advanced countries than ours are feeling as yet that any return to the old system would mean a rethe effect of only four years of it. We need an ecoturn to the Czarist regime. This is shown by the nomic breathing spell. inay announce that several Kronstadt experience. They don want the White hundreds of thousands of poods (pood 40 lbs. Guard, and they cannot have any other government but ours. This situation is the best agitation of various necessaries have already been purchased and are reaching us from Lithuania, Finland and We have now an opportunity to get toLatvia. We received today information that a gether with the peasants, and we must handle the matter with tact. The machinery of the Commissar contract has been signed in London for delivery of of Provisions is excellent, but it must be governed 18 million poods of coal which we shall use for the textile industries and Petrograd. When we receive by the political situation. We cannot use this splendid apparatus if we fail in our attempt to bring the the goods for the peasants, it will be a breach of the program, but we must have the breathing spell.
peasants closer to us. Before the day is over, we should let the world know through the radio that must touch upon individual exchange. When the Congress of the government party has decided we speak of freedom of exchange we mean indito institute the tax system and provide a stimuvidual exchange. We must not ignore the fact that the exploiting peasants would be favored, and they improvement of his holdings and that, in accepting Jus to the peasants in the cultivation of the soil, will multiply now where their growth was arrested this policy, the Congress aims to improve and to before. We must fight them, however, not with strengthen the relations between the workers and punitive legislation but with national unity and the peasants.
national measures. If the nation gets machines it will be strengthened, and if in addition to machines electrification is perfected, then hundreds of thouEvery class of oppressor requires two social funcsands of peasant exploiters will be annihilated. tions to defend his domination the function of a Until we can get that, we must secure goods. hangman and that of a priest. The hangman must Everybody will be able to give something in re crush the protests and the revolts of the oppressed; turn. One will give bread, the other vegetables, the priest must picture to them perspectives of their the third his labor. We must either satisfy the misery being alleviated and their sacrifices lessened, peasantry or the rule of the proletariat will have while leaving class domination intact. Thus are the to suffer due to prevailing conditions. We must oppressed reconciled to this domination and led away speak about it openly and speak fearlessly.
from taking revolutionary action. Their revolutionary If the Congress adopts the underlying principle frame of mind is impaired and their revolutionary of the proposal the Central All Russian Executive resoluteness shaken. Kautsky has turned Marxism Committee of Soviets will take it up at its first into a most loathsome and stupid counter revolutionary session. The Council of Commissars and the So theory, and into the dirty sermonising of a priest.
viet of Labor and Defense will enforce the decisions Lenin.
and will formulate practical instructions. It is important that this project should be understood everywhere and undivided co operation afforded us. For the creation of a new organization time is Why are we substituting taxation for the assessneeded as well as courage to cast aside the old one ment? The assessment provided that the peasant that is rotten and has outlived its usefulness.
had to yield his extra foodstuffs into the governN. Lenin.