Lenin - Collected Work - v. 29 - March-August 1919
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Lenin - Collected Work - v. 29 - March-August 1919

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The co-
operatives 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 think-
ing 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 com-
munist 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 them-
selves to merge into one single co-operative that embraces
the whole of the Soviet Republic. Lastly, and most impor-
tant, 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 prole-
tarians 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 to-
kens 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

V. I. LENIN116

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 dictator-
ship 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 trans-
port 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
[almost] 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 com-
monly-owned estates, the chief task of Soviet power is to
discover and test in practice the most expedient and prac-
tical 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 in-
fluence of the rural bourgeoisie and petty-property inter-
ests. 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

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 conces-
sions 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 Com-
munist, 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 estab-
lished with the aid of the trade unions and by other means.

Insofar as concerns measures for the transition to com-
munist farming, the R.C.P. will test in practice three prin-
cipal 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 co-
operative 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.

V. I. LENIN118

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 uni-
versal organisation and correct functioning of producers
and consumers’ communes that hand over all food surpluses
to the state.



(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 prole-
tariat 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 dic-
tatorship of the proletariat, and, lastly, the beginning and
progress of the revolution in Austria-Hungary and, partic-
ularly, in Germany, all goes to show vividly that the era
of the world proletarian, communist revolution has begun.

(2) The causes,