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Remarks on a Summary of the Manual of the History of the U.S.S.R.
8 August 1934
The group presided over by Vanag has not accomplished its task and has not even understood it. It has made a summary of "Russian History" and not of the history of the U.S.S.R., that is to say, a history of Russia, but without a history of the peoples who came into the bosom of the U.S.S.R. (Nothing is given on the history of the Ukraine, of Byelorussia, of Finland and of other Baltic countries, of people of North Caucasia and Transcaucasia, of people from Central Asia and the Far East, of people from the Volga and people from the North: Tartars, Bakhirs, Mordves, Tchovaks, etc).
In the summary, the role of the colonizer for Russian Tsarism and its supporters, the Russian bourgeoisie and the landowners is not emphasized. (Tsarism, imprisonment of the people).
In the summary the counter-revolutionary role of Russian Tsarism in foreign politics since Catherine II up until about 1850 and onwards is not emphasized. (Tsarism as international police).
In the summary, the concepts of reaction and of counter-revolution, of bourgeois revolution, of bourgeois democratic revolution, and of revolution in general, are confused.
In the summary the foundation and the origins of the national liberation movement of the peoples of Russia, downtrodden by Tsarism, does not figure and thus, the October Revolution, in as much as it was the revolution which liberated these people from the national yoke is not dealt with anymore than is the formation of the U.S.S.R.
The summary abounds in banalities and cliches such as "the police terrorism of Nicholas I", "the insurrection of Razine", "the insurrection of Pugatchev", "the offensive of the counter-revolution of landowners in the 1870s", "the first steps of Tsarism and of the bourgeoisie in the fight against the revolution of 1905 - 1907", etc. The authors of the summary copy blindly the banalities and unscientific definitions of bourgeois historians, forgetting that they have to teach our youth the scientifically founded Marxist conceptions.
The summary does not reflect the influence of the bourgeoisie and the Social-Revolutionaries from Eastern Europe on the formation of the bourgeois revolutionary movement and the proletarian socialist movement in Russia. The authors of the summary appear to have forgotten that the Russian revolutionaries are recognized to be the continuators and pupils of Marxist thought.
In the summary, the ravages of the first imperialist war and the role of Tsarism in this war are not shown up, in as much as the dependence of Russian Tsarism on Russian capitalism and the dependence of Russian capitalism on Western Europe, is not brought out. Also the importance of the October Revolution which liberated Russia from her semi-colonial situation remains undefined.
The summary does not acknowledge the existence of a European political crisis on the brink of a world war, which will be brought about by the decadence of bourgeois democracy and parliamentarianism. Also the importance of the Soviets from the viewpoint of universal history, as the representatives of the proletarian democracy, organs of the liberation of workers and peasants from capitalism remains undefined.
The summary does not acknowledge the inner party struggle of the Communist Party of Russia, nor the struggle against Trotskyism and petty-bourgeois counter-revolution.
And thus to continue. We judge a radical revision of this summary to be indispensible in the light of the propositions stated above, and it is necessary also to realise that this necessitates a manual where each word and each concept must be weighed and not just an unclear review which substantiates not more than idle and irresponsible chatter.
We must have a manual of the history of the U.S.S.R. where primarily the history of our great Russia will not be detached from the other peoples of the U.S.S.R. and where secondly, the history of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. will not be detached from European history and world history in general.
Stalin – Idanov – Kirov
Bolshevik No. 3