Ninth Congress of the RCP (B) - April 1920

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  Ninth Congress of the RCP (B) - April 1920



The IX Congress of our Party occupies a significant place in the history of our past, and its decisions are of great international significance. '

The Ninth Party Congress (March 29-April 5, 1920) took place during a new respite, won by the Land of the Soviets as a result of a tremendous victory over international imperialism and a decisive military defeat of the internal counter-revolution. It was a very brief period when allied imperialism began to replace its unsuccessful interventionist tactics with a "trade" orientation. The course of intervention was nevertheless soon afterwards taken again by imperialism, mainly from France. The attack of the White Wormwood, characterized by Lenin as "the wreckage of the old plan of the imperialists," was in the hands of the latter a new, yet another, major attempt at military defeat of the proletarian dictatorship they hated. But that was already after the congress. The respite established before that allowed the party to begin rebuilding its ranks to fight the enemy on the "bloodless front" —the economic front. Ninth Party Congress focused on questions of economic development. The decisions of the Ninth Congress on these issues do not go beyond the economic course of the era of War Communism. This is their profound difference from the decisions adopted at the next, Tenth Party Congress. The civil war was far from over. “We must remember,” Lenin said at the closing of the congress, “that the entire capitalist world is armed from head to toe and is waiting for the moment, choosing the best strategic conditions, examining the methods of attack” .

The decisions of the Ninth Party Congress on economic development are therefore "a simple transition on the same lines of politics", they are the embodiment of the economic course of the era of War Communism.

The congress decided to use the army on the labor front. The war was ended, but three million Red Army soldiers were under arms. To dissolve them to their homes, given the catastrophic state of transport, when trains from Moscow to Kharkov ran for weeks, it would mean, if necessary, collecting them would take too long. This would mean completely disarming the country of the proletarian dictatorship in the face of the intervention gathering with new forces. In addition, the country was faced with the urgent task of collecting grain and delivering it to industrial centers. To complete this task quickly, masses of unskilled labor were needed. That is why the only way out, under the conditions of that time, was to use the liberated armies on the labor front. It was precisely this aspect of the question — the labor armies as an emergency and temporary measure caused by extraordinary circumstances — that Lenin emphasized at the congress. But Leon Trotsky was inclined to turn this heavy necessity, which the party was forced to accept, into an ideal. He agreed to the point that the methods of military coercion, carried out with the help of the labor army, are almost the best methods of socialist construction. Of course, such views are not accidental for Trotsky. At the heart of his views on this issue was lack of faith in the creative forces of the proletariat, in its ability to lead the peasantry in building socialism, hence the lack of faith in the possibility of the victory of socialism in our country. The party, led by Lenin and Stalin, resolutely rejected Trotsky's bureaucratic hobbies.

In addition to the question of labor armies, in deciding "the immediate tasks of economic development" the congress widely raised questions of mass mobilizations, labor service, the development of forms of socialist centralism and other organizational issues related to economic construction. In this connection, much attention was devoted to the question of a single economic plan. The decision adopted at the congress on this issue provided for the gradual expansion of production in order for the first time to raise the enterprises and industries most necessary for the country: primarily transport, fuel, metallurgy, etc.

In the aforementioned decision on the unity of the economic plan, an important place is occupied by the question of the electrification of the entire national economy. It is known how Lenin, who put forward the idea of ​​electrifying the country in the spring of 1918, often returned to this issue. It is known that already at the beginning of 1920, on the eve of the IX Party Congress, V.I. Lenin instructed G.M. Krzhizhanovsky to work out the state draft plan for electrification, which Lenin thought of as a "great program for 10-20 years" . This task of Lenin soon "in the same 1920 gave rise to the well-known GOELRO plan, now far exceeded. It should be noted that exactly this idea of ​​electrification was resolutely opposed by L. Trotsky. He opposed the Leninist plan of bringing the technical and production base under the Soviet superstructure to labor-army. Touching upon this very question, Comrade Stalin in March 1921 wrote to Lenin in a well-known letter devoted to the characterization of the electrification plan: 

“Remember last year Trotsky's“ plan ”(his theses) of the“ economic revival ”of Russia based on the massive application of labor to the wreckage of the pre-war industry unskilled peasant-worker masses (labor armies). What squalor, what backwardness in comparison with the GOELRO plan! A medieval handicraftsman who imagines himself to be an Ibsen hero, called upon to “save” Russia with an old saga ... ”. Incidentally, we note that the question of a single economic plan, as it was already raised at the Ninth Congress, met with a negative attitude at the Congress and from AI Rykov. As you know, later he still "criticized" the GOELRO plan, and in the same letter, Comrade Stalin characterizes Comrade Rykov's position on this issue as "philistine" realism "(in fact, Manilovism)" .

The congress decisively raised the question of resolving a number of urgent problems of an economic nature and of the priority (shock) supply of certain industrial enterprises and groups of workers. The tasks of trade unions and cooperatives discussed at the congress were viewed from the point of view of that “special organizational task”, which was formulated by the congress in the following words: “The party will have to adapt its work to new economic tasks, reorganize its ranks and make a radical redistribution of forces” .

In the field of party building, the Ninth Congress continued the line of establishing and strengthening iron discipline and a kind of military regime in the party. Looking back at the past, it should be said that without the implementation of these methods of a kind of militarization in politics and practice, the party would not have resisted the struggle that ended in the complete defeat of Yudenich, Kolchak, Denikin, etc. democratic centralism ". The leaders of this "faction" were exclusively the "left" communists of 1918 — Sapronov, V. Smirnov, Osinsky and others. They opposed the one-man management, against the labor armies, against the militarization of individual branches of the economy, against the creation of a strong, centralized state apparatus, in fact, against the dictatorship of the proletariat. Being ultra-left in its phraseology, the faction “louder than all the shouts,” as Lenin called it, it took an openly right-wing opportunist position on a number of issues. From an anarcho-Menshevik position, she spoke out against proletarian discipline and organization in all the main sectors of the struggle and building of the party during the years of the fierce civil war. Especially a lot of "decists" shouted about the excessive guardianship of the Central Committee over local organizations, about the fact that the Central Committee arbitrarily disposes of local workers. The fact is that by that time the Central Committee had done an enormous amount of work on mass and individual transfers and mobilization of Party workers. In this connection it was necessary in a number of cases to deprive a number of local organizations of the necessary personnel. Speaking on this issue, the "decists" were the direct spokesmen for the narrow-local tendencies that arose on this basis.

The "Decists" (Democratic Centralists. EA)  tried to give the party a big fight on the question of one-man management in the management of industry. Despite the fact that this issue had long been resolved by the party, and it was necessary to move on to its practical implementation, the "Decists", by the way, we should note that, supported by a number of trade unionists led by Tomsky and a group of business executives led by Rykov, demanded collegiality in the management of industry. considering it as "the highest level of government." And such argumentation represents, Lenin said, “a terrible confusion of elementary theoretical questions” . "Decists" were pulling the party back, to rallies and partisans, then and where the strictest centralized actions were needed. In a word, the "Decists" pursued a line of weakening and disintegrating the proletarian dictatorship.

Under the most difficult conditions of civil war, the Party rebuffed all attempts to divert it from the Leninist general line. If in the struggle against the deepest economic devastation, against new and fesh offensives of the interventionists, the Party won, then the decisions of the IX Party Congress played a significant role in this.

The minutes (verbatim record) of the IX'th Party Congress were first issued in 1920 in Moscow (State Publishing House, 412 pages). This publication is verified against the transcripts of the sessions of the congress stored in the IMEL Archive. A number of insertions included in the text, taken from the transcripts, are published for the first time. The text of Lenin's reports and speeches, verified against the available transcripts, also includes some additions.

All obvious misprints and spelling errors found in the 1919 edition were corrected in the text without any reservations. All footnotes belonging to the editorial board of this publication, in contrast to the notes of the editorial committee of the congress, are signed "Ed."

The documents cited in the "Supplements" to the 1920 edition are rearranged in such a way that all resolutions and greetings adopted at the congress make up the section "Materials of the congress." All other documents, both included in the 1920 edition and for the first time included in this edition, have entered in the Appendices section. A number of documents included in this section are published for the first time, including Lenin's remarks on Trotsky's draft theses (pp. 812-813).

The title of the short foreword of the editorial committee was given by the editors of this publication.

The work on the preparation for printing of this publication was carried out by M. A. Avilova, under the direction of I. V. Volkovicher.

December 1933


I. Resolutions and resolutions of the IX Congress

1. According to the report of the Central Committee

2. On the immediate tasks of economic construction

3. On the organization of communication between economic commissions

4. On the issue of trade unions and their organization.

5. About the attitude towards cooperation

6. On organizational matters

7. About the transition to the police system

8. On the relationship between political departments and party committees

9. About work among the female proletariat

10. About mobilization for transport

a) Appeal of the IX Congress to the local organizations of the RCP (b)

b) Resolution of the IX Congress of the RCP (b) on mobilization for transport

11. Composition of the Central Committee of the RCP (b)

II. Greetings to the Congress

12. Greetings to the IX Congress of the RCP (b) To the Red Army and the Red

the fleet of the RSFSR

13. Greetings to the IX Congress of the RCP (b) to the German proletariat

III. Composition of the Congress

14. Delegates with casting vote


1. Notice of the convocation of the IX Congress of the RSCB)

2. To the organizations of the RCP (b) on the issue of the order of the day of partial congress

3. Regulations of the IX Congress of the RCP (b)

4. Political report of the Central Committee

5. Organizational report of the Central Committee

6. Report of the Central Committee of the RKSM (for the year of work)

7. Work in the village

8. Report on the activities of the Central Committee department for work among women

9. Lenin's remark on Trotsky's draft theses - the next important tasks of economic construction - and the initial project of Trotsky

10. Draft resolution of the Central Committee of the RCP (b) for the IX Congress on the next

tasks of economic construction

11. Theses of the Central Committee of the RCP on the mobilization of industrial proletariat, labor service, militarization of the economy and the use of military units for economic needs

12. Theses of the Central Committee on trade unions and their organization.

13. Tasks of trade unions (theses of M. Tomsky).

14. On collegiality and individuality (theses of the Axis of no one, Sapronov, Maksimovsky)

15. Theses of the Moscow Provincial Committee of the RCP ..... 539

16. Composition of the RCP (according to the information and statistics department of the Central Committee)

17. Movement of the composition of the RCP (according to the information and statistics department of the Central Committee).

18. Results of the party week (October – December 1919) (according to the Information-Statistical Department of the Central Committee)

19. Statistical data on the members of the Congress


Lenin's remarks


To I.

a) Title I: "On labor rise."

replace in the second line the words "the rise of the will to work with the words" the rise of labor ".

b) add

universally recognized and by many congresses of economic councils, etc., the confirmed principle of establishing the exact responsibility of each employee (member of the collegium, manager, manager, etc.) for the performance of certain operations or work or assignments must be persistent and persistent, no matter what , we carry out. It is still far, far from being sufficiently implemented.

c) Consumers — through consumer societies, etc., should be systematically involved in the control of production.

d) Slave [oche] -Kr [isyankaya] Inspection should raise  to more and more participation in control over production and distribution.

e) The fight against speculation and red tape, as well as bureaucracy should be put in the foreground.

f) Every effort must be made to organize the competition. Measures to improve discipline and productivity should include lowering rations for the incorrigible, etc.

g) End of 4 in Trotsky (last 9 lines) to delete or soften YALA to formulate more generally.

(these are my preliminary draft notes). 3 / Sh Lenin.

Archive IMEL, Inv. L * 4941

 (Only the first time printed sections will be considered to publish - if time permits)

S. M, E. A