Tenth All-Russian Conference of the Russian Communist Party Bolshevik
Tenth All-Russian Conference of the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik)
held in Moscow on May 26-28, 1921, and attended by 239 delegates. The first item on the agenda was V. I. Lenin’s report on economic policy. Subsidiary reports were delivered on the tax in kind (A. I. Sviderskii), cooperatives (L. M. Khinchuk), the financial reform (E. A. Preobrazhenskii), and small industry (V. P. Miliutin). K. B. Radek presented reports on the contemporary role of the Socialist Revolutionaries (SR’s) and Mensheviks and on the Third Congress of the Comintern, and V. M. Molotov reported on upcoming tasks of party organizational work.
The Tenth All-Russian Conference of the RCP (Bolshevik) was urgently convened to clarify further the essence and tasks of the New Economic Policy (NEP), which had been proclaimed by the Tenth Congress of the RCP (Bolshevik) in March 1921 and was being carried out under Lenin’s direction. In opening the conference, Lenin declared that the main point on the agenda was the question of economic policy—the transition from the system of requisitioning surplus grain to a tax in kind. In his report he explained the significance and implementation of the NEP as a “serious and long-term” policy, emphasizing that its task was to consolidate the union of the working class and peasantry on an economic basis, raise the level of agriculture, adjust the exchange of goods between the agricultural and industrial sectors, ensure the improvement of large-scale industry, and carry out the electrification of the country, as bases for the construction of a socialist society.
Noting the importance of giving top priority to the upgrading of agriculture in order to produce the necessary supply of foodstuffs, Lenin particularly stressed large-scale industry. “Large-scale industry is the one and only real basis upon which we can multiply our resources and build a socialist society” (Pol. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 43, p. 305). In addition, he indicated the importance of improving agriculture, since “unless the state is able to accumulate a large stock of food it is no use thinking about the rehabilitation of large-scale industry” (ibid., p. 309). According to Lenin, in the struggle to establish and develop the national economy, the party had many important tasks, including the development of initiative and independence in the various localities, practical study of experience, transformation of backward regions into advanced ones, and instruction of the workers in the best methods of work. In his conclusion Lenin said: “Business matters are our common concern. These are the politics that interest us most” (ibid., p. 330). Warning the conference of the difficulties and dangers associated with the NEP (the revival of capitalist elements), he stressed that once the Soviet state had gained the commanding heights of a national economy, it would be able to overcome the dangers presented by the NEP.
The conference adopted Lenin’s resolution On Economic Policy, which noted that the full assimilation and precise implementation of the NEP was a fundamental political task. It also pointed out the importance of achieving a balance in the exchange of goods between the agricultural and industrial sectors as the basic economic lever of that period, and it emphasized the role of cooperatives. The conference ratified the plan of work of the Central Committee of the RCP (Bolshevik), which was primarily concerned with the proper allocation of party forces, the necessity of training and using new cadres, and the strengthening of ties between the Central Committee and the local party organizations.
In addition, the conference heard a report on the session of the Communist fraction of the Fourth Congress of Trade Unions, which was presented by V. M. Molotov.) Further information on this matter was given by Lenin, who sharply criticized the antiparty actions of the trade-union leadership, particularly M. P. Tomskii, the chairman of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions.
In his concluding remarks at the conference, Lenin emphasized the international significance of socialist construction in Soviet Russia. “We are now exercising our main influence on the international revolution,” said Lenin, “through our economic policy. The working people of all countries without exception and without exaggeration are looking to the Soviet Russian Republic. … The struggle in this field has now become global. Once we solve this problem, we shall have certainly and finally won on an international scale, surely and forever” (ibid.t p. 341).
REFERENCESLenin, V. I. “X Vserossiiskaia konferentsiia RKP(b).” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 43.
Protokoly Desiatoi Vserossiiskoi konferentsii RKP(b). Moscow, 1933.
“Maiskaia partiinaia konferentsiia.” InLeninskii sb., vol. 20. Moscow, 1932.
“Desiataia Vserossiiskaia konferentsiia RKP(b).” In KPSS v rezoliutsiiakh i resheniiakh s”ezdov, konferentsii i plenumov TsK, 8th ed., vol. 2. Moscow, 1970.