Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the

Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (IML)

 

the central party scientific research institution.

The IML collects and preserves the documents of K. Marx, F. Engels, and V. I. Lenin and materials about their lives and work; prepares their works and biographies for publication; and collects and preserves documents concerning outstanding party figures. It also collects and publishes documents on the history of the CPSU and prepares for publication monographs and collected works on urgent problems of Marxist-Leninist theory, on the history of the CPSU, the building of the party, scientific communism, and the history of the international communist movement. The decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU of June 15, 1968, also charges the institute with the task of providing scientific-methodological direction for its branches— the institutes of party history under the central committees of the Communist parties of the Union republics—and for the Moscow oblast and Moscow city committees of the CPSU, the Leningrad oblast committee of the CPSU, the Marx-Engels Museum, and the Central Lenin Museum and its branches. It is also charged with the tasks of coordinating all scholarly research dealing with the history of the party, supervising the publication of scholarly works and works of literature and art about the lives and works of outstanding figures of Marxism-Leninism, and rendering scientific and methodological assistance to old Bolsheviks in preparing and publishing their memoirs.

In 1972 the IML had departments of the works of Marx and Engels and Lenin, the history of the CPSU, the building up of the party, scientific communism, and the history of the international communist movement. It also had a department for affiliates and the coordination of scientific research, the Central Party Archives (TsPA IML), a library, and the Marx-Engels Museum (since 1962). The IML publishes the journal Voprosy istorii KPSS (Problems of the History of the CPSU; since 1957).

In 1918, upon the resolution of the Central Committee of the RCP (Bolshevik), a commission was organized to prepare translations of the works of Marx and Engels. A plan to publish the collected works of Marx and Engels in 28 volumes was worked out. Lenin was a member of the editorial board. During the years 1918–22, Volumes 3–6 of this collection were published. In November 1919 the Office of the Theory, History, and Practice of Marxism was created under the Socialist Academy of Social Sciences. On Dec. 8, 1920, the plenary session of the Central Committee of the RCP, upon a suggestion made by Lenin, set itself the task of establishing the “first museum on Marxism in the world.” By the resolution of the Orgburo of the Central Committee of the RCP (B) of Jan. 11, 1921, this museum was converted into the scientific research Marx-Engels Institute (IME), based on the Office of the Theory, History, and Practice of Marxism. At first the institute (with D. B. Riazanov as its director) was under the Socialist Academy; from June 1922 it was under the All-Union Central Executive Committee, and from April 1924, under the Central Executive Committee of the USSR. Lenin paid a great deal of attention to the work of the IME and to the collecting of the literary heritage of Marx and Engels, of documents on the history of the revolutionary movement, and of the revolutionary and workers’ press, and he gave concrete aid to the institute. The Thirteenth Congress of the RCP (B) instructed the Party Central Committee to take every measure for the most expeditious publication of the complete collected works of Marx and Engels in Russian and other languages. By the decree of the Central Committee of the RCP (B) of June 12, 1924, a council was created within the IME to direct the work of the institute. It was made up of representatives from the Central Executive Committee of the USSR, the Central Committee of the RCP (B), and the Executive Committee of the Comintern.

On Mar. 31, 1923, a plenary session of the Moscow committee of the RCP (B) adopted a resolution concerning the creation of the Lenin Institute, which on Sept. 28, 1923, was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Central Committee of the RCP (B) as a department. On Jan. 26, 1924, in a special resolution, the Second Congress of the Soviets of the USSR instructed the Lenin Institute to adopt urgent measures for the publication of Lenin’s selected works and complete collected works. On May 31, 1924, the Thirteenth Congress of the RCP (B) officially declared the institute open and called upon the party organizations and party members to actively assist it in collecting materials.

During the 1920’s the IME, Istpart (Commission on Party History), and the Lenin Institute became the most important research centers in which were concentrated the literary heritage of the classics of Marxism-Leninism and party documents. Materials were collected (in state and private archives) not only in the USSR but also in many countries of Europe and America. When the discovered documents could not be obtained in the originals, photographic copies were acquired. Preserved in the TsPA (Central Party Archives) as of 1972 were about 8,000 documents of Marx and Engels, more than 30,000 documents of Lenin, 874 meters of newsreels shot during Lenin’s lifetime, 396 photographs of Lenin, and 14 phonograph records of his speeches, as well as many thousands of documents on the history of the CPSU and the international communist and workers’ movement. The institute’s library has 800,000 books and more than 1 million periodical items.

During the second half of the 1920’s the IME and the Lenin Institute began to engage in scholarly and publishing activities. The IME published in Russian Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto, Marx’ Das Kapital, Engels’ Anti-Duhring, and other works. The first edition of the works of Marx and Engels began to be published by the IME in 1928. By 1930 five volumes of the Archives of Marx and Engels had been issued, in which Marx and Engels’ German Ideology, Engels’ The Dialectics of Nature, and other works were published for the first time. The IME also published 11 volumes (12 books) of Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe (MEGA) in the original language.

On the 50th anniversary of Marx’ death the biographical chronicle K. Marx: Dates of His Life and Work, 1818–1883 was published. It was the first attempt at a scholarly biography of Marx. The IME published the works of G. V. Plekhanov, P. Lafargue, and others, as well as a number of series on such topics as The Library of Scientific Socialism and The Marxist’s Library.

In 1926, the Lenin Institute completed the publication of the first edition of Lenin’s works and in 1925 began to publish the second and third editions. Before 1932 it had published Lenin’s selected works in six volumes, 18 volumes of Leninist collections, a number of topical collections of Lenin’s works, reminiscences about Lenin, and so on. New documents and articles were also published in the IME’s periodical organ Letopisi marksizma (Annals of Marxism) and in Zapiski Instituta V. I. Lenina (Transactions of the Lenin Institute).

In accordance with the decrees of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolshevik) of May 10 and Aug. 20, 1928, the Lenin Institute was merged with Istpart (with M. A. Savel’ev as director). On Nov. 3, 1931, by a resolution of the Presidium of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR, the Lenin Institute was merged with the Marx-Engels Institute, and the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute (IMEL) was established under the auspices of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (B). The journal Proletarskaia revoliutsiia (Proletarian Revolution) became the organ of IMEL. In 1936 the institute began to publish the bibliographical bulletin Marksist-sko-leninskaia literatura (Marxist-Leninist Literature), which was replaced by Politicheskaia i sotsiaVno-ekonomicheskaia literatura (Political and Socioeconomic Literature) in 1941. Since Mar. 28, 1956, IMEL has been called the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the CPSU (IML).

After the 1931 merger, the institute continued its work of collecting the documents of Marx, Engels, and Lenin as well as publishing their works and developing and spreading the ideological heritage of the founders of scientific communism. The institute published two editions of Marx’ and Engels’ works (1928–47; 1954–66), selected works of Marx and Engels in two and three volumes, 14 volumes of the Archives of Marx and Engels, reminiscences about Marx and Engels, a complete edition of the record of the proceedings of General Council of the First International, and a collection of articles on the First International.

In preparing the second edition of the works of Marx and Engels a considerable amount of scholarly research was carried out, as a result of which errors in the translations were eliminated and about 1,000 new documents were made available to scholars, the apparatus criticus comprised more than 400 quires. The institute is publishing 11 supplementary volumes to the second edition of the works of Marx and Engels, and jointly with the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany it is preparing the complete collected works of Marx and Engels in the languages of the original (MEGA) as well as documents of the League of Communists. The institute is also preparing an edition of the works of Marx and Engels in English jointly with the progressive publishing houses of Great Britain and the USA.

The institute has completed the publication of the second and third (1925–32) and the fourth (1941–67) editions of Lenin’s works and the fifth (1958–65) edition of Lenin’s complete collected works. Of especially great importance was the publication of Lenin’s complete collected works in 55 volumes, which included about 9,000 of Lenin’s works and documents, among which were about 1,100 that were published for the first time. This edition has an extensive apparatus criticus. Among the other works that have been published are 19 Leninist collections (nos. XIX through XXXVII), Lenin’s selected works in two and three volumes, a number of topical collections of works by Lenin, individual works by Lenin, his scholarly biography (4th ed.), a brief biographical sketch (7th ed.), and five volumes of reminiscences about Lenin.

The institute has published the fourth through the seventh editions of the collection The CPSU in Resolutions and Decisions of Congresses, Conferences, and Plenary Sessions of the Central Committee and is issuing the eighth edition. It has published the records of the proceedings and the stenographic minutes of the First through Thirteenth and the Fifteenth Party Congresses, the Seventh (April), Eighth, and Sixteenth Party Conferences, a large number of documentary collections, and the selected works of F. E. Dzerzhinskii, M. I. Kalinin, G. K. Ordzhonikidze, S. G. Shaumian, and others.

During the 1950’s and 1960’s there was a noticeable increase in the institute’s role as a center for scholarly research in the history of the CPSU, the history of the international communist movement, and the propaganda of Marxist-Leninist theory. On the sesquicentennial anniversaries of the birthdays of Marx and Engels the institute published their scholarly biographies, collections of documents, articles, and papers read at scholarly conferences, and other materials. The institute also published a brief survey of the history of the Comintern.

Events that are important in ideological work include the institute’s preparation for publication (beginning in 1964) of the History of the CPSU in six volumes, the History of the Civil War in the USSR in five volumes (1936–60), and the History of the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union, 1941–1945 in six volumes (1960–65). Among the collective monographs that were issued by the institute on the centennial of Lenin’s birthday were Lenin—the Leader of the October Revolution, V. I. Lenin and the Problems of Scientific Communism (with the Academy of Social Sciences), V. I. Lenin and the Communist International, The Leninist Plan for Socialist Industrialization and Its Implementation, and Lenin’s Cooperative Plan and the Party’s Struggle to Implement It.

As of 1972, the institute had 16 branches (in 14 Union republics besides the RSFSR and in Leningrad and Moscow). The branches translate and publish the classics of Marxism-Leninism and the most important party documents in the languages of the peoples of the USSR, work on and publish the histories of local party organizations, collect, preserve, process, and publish the documents of these organizations, and issue monographic research studies on the vital problems of the policy and the history of the CPSU.

The IML maintains close ties with the institutes of party history in a number of socialist countries and with the scholarly centers of fraternal parties in capitalist countries.

Among the persons who have played a large part in the work of the IML at various times are N. K. Krupskaia, M. I. Ul’ianova, Clara Zetkin, Bela Kun, V. V. Adoratskii, A. Ia. Arosev, A. S. Bubnov, S. I. Gusev, M. N. Pokrovskii, P. N. Pospelov, I. I. Skvortsov-Stepanov, and Em. Iaroslavskii. Many other figures and researchers of the communist movement have also contributed. For its meritorious services in the scholarly development, publication, and propagation of the ideological heritage of Marx, Engels, and Lenin and in honor of the 50th anniversary of its founding, the IML was awarded the Order of Lenin.

REFERENCES

“O zadachakh, strukture i shtatakh Instituta marksizma-leninizma pri Tsk KPSS: Postanovlenie TsK KPSS.” Kommunist, 1968, no. 12.
Ocherki istorii istoricheskoi nauki v SSSR, vol. 4. Moscow, 1966. Pages 210–14.
Literaturnoe nasledstvo K. Marksa i F. Engel’sa: Istoriia publikatsii i izucheniia v SSSR. Moscow, 1969.
Obichkin, G. D. “Vazhnyi tsentr propagandy marksistsko-leninskoi teorii.” Voprosy istorii, 1961, no. 6.
“IML k 100-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia V. I. Lenina.” Kommunist, 1968, no. 17.
Verkhovtsev, I. P., and Z. A. Levina. Ideinyi arsenal kommunistov. Moscow, 1971.
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