Fourteenth Conference of the Russian Communist Party Bolshevik
Fourteenth Conference of the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik)
a conference held in Moscow from Apr. 27 to Apr. 29, 1925. The conference was attended by 178 voting delegates and 392 with observer status. The agenda included a series of reports. V. M. Molotov presented a report on aspects of party organization, A. I. Rykov spoke to the conference on cooperation, and A. D. Tsiurupa read a report on the agricultural tax. In addition, F. E. Dzerzhinskii gave an account of the metallurgical and machine-building industry, G. E. Zinoviev reported on the enlarged plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International, and A. A. Sol’ts spoke to the delegates on the revolutionary legality.
The primary work of the conference centered on the prospects of building socialism in the USSR. This question was of paramount importance because the economy had approached prewar levels and, consequently, problems associated with its modernization were arising. Drawing attention to capitalist encirclement of the Soviet Union, the partial stabilization of capitalism, capitalist suppression of the revolutionary movement in a number of countries, and the economic backwardness of Russia, the Trotskyists and the leaders of the New Opposition, Zinoviev and L. B. Kamenev, argued that it would be impossible to build socialism in the USSR without outside help.
The Central Committee rejected Zinoviev’s draft theses “On the Tasks of the Comintern and the RCP(B) in Connection With the Enlarged Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International,” in which he stated that the victory of socialism could be achieved only on an international scale. The Central Committee reworked the theses to support the Leninist position that the victory of socialism in the USSR was possible at a time when the growth of the world revolution was slackening.
The conference unanimously approved the Central Committee’s theses (Zinoviev and Kamenev did not express their views on the revised theses during the conference). It pointed out that the Soviet Union had all the prerequisites for the creation of a socialist society and that an alliance of the working class and the toiling peasantry would be able on its own to defeat capitalism within the country not only politically but also economically. Inasmuch as capitalist encirclement of the USSR presented the danger of intervention and of the restoration of capitalism in the country, a resolution was adopted stressing that the final victory of socialism, which would provide a full guarantee against the restoration of bourgeois relations, would be possible only if proletarian revolutions were successful in a number of countries.
Other discussion centered on the immediate tasks of economic construction. It was suggested that the development of the metallurgical and machine-building industry be accelerated, that a three-year plan be prepared for the industry, and that construction of new metallurgical plants begin. It was also proposed that production of nonferrous metals be expanded and that more attention be devoted to increasing the productivity of labor and to improving the quality of output. The conference pointed out the need for maximum cooperation in all phases of rural economic life. In order that the influence of the poor and middle peasants be enhanced through cooperation, it was recommended that kulak elements not be permitted in the governing bodies of cooperative associations. The conference rejected N. I. Bukharin’s politically incorrect notion that kolkhozes were not the highroad to socialism for the peasantry, and it urged that greater emphasis be placed on the establishment and strengthening of kolkhozes. It was decided that the method for determining the agricultural tax should be based on farm size, thus serving the interests of the poor and middle peasants.
The resolution On Building the Party established a goal of improving party leadership in all branches of the economy, especially in the rural sector. It was decided that at least 1,000 Communists would be sent to district and volost (small rural district) RCP(B) committees and that, for the purpose of raising the level of ideological and educational work in the villages, at least 3,000 propagandists would be sent. The conference devoted special attention to the need to provide sound leadership for the peasantry from the ranks of the proletariat and to strengthen the alliance with the middle peasants in order to enlist them in the building of socialism. To reinforce the leadership of the mass organizations of working people, it was suggested that the Communist factions in the soviets, the trade unions, and the cooperative bodies be strengthened and that the party nucleus in the Komsomol be enlarged. The conference called for strict observance of socialist legality and for an intensification of the struggle against bureaucracy and infractions of state discipline.
The conclusion of the conference that the victory of socialism was possible in the USSR was put in the form of a party resolution, which obliged every Communist to take an active part in socialist construction and to rally the working people of the country around the achievement of this goal.
REFERENCESChetyrnadtsataia konferenlsiia RKP(b): Stenografich. otchet. Moscow-Leningrad, 1925.
KPSS v rezoliutsiiakh i resheniiakh s”ezdov, konferentsii i plenumov TsK, 8th ed., vol. 3. Moscow, 1970.
Istoriia KPSS, vol. 4, book 1. Moscow, 1970.
S. S. SHAUMIAN