Ninth All-Russian Conference of the Russian Communist Party Bolshevik
Ninth All-Russian Conference of the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik)
held in Moscow on Sept. 22-25, 1920, and attended by 116 delegates with a casting vote and 125 with a consultative vote. The agenda of the conference included the report of the Polish Communists’ representative, which was delivered by W. Ulanowski, the political report of the Central Committee (speaker, V. I. Lenin), and the organizational report of the Central Committee (speaker, N. N. Krestinskii). A report on the immediate tasks of building up the party was presented by G. E. Zinov’ev, the report of the Commission on the Study of Party History was read by M. S. Ol’minskii, and the report on the Second Congress of the Comintern was delivered by G. E. Zinov’ev.
Lenin opened the conference. The political report of the Central Committee of the RCP (Bolshevik) focused on the war with Poland and the preparations for the final defeat of Wrangel’s White Guard army. The conference unanimously adopted a resolution on the need to conclude peace with Poland and approved the declaration of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee on the concrete conditions for peace, which Lenin had edited. After hearing the report of the representative of the Polish Communists, the conference noted the complete solidarity in the views of the Polish and Russian Communists and sent fraternal greetings to the Polish worker-Communists.
In a resolution on the organizational report of the Central Committee, the conference approved the Central Committee’s organizational line and pointed out the need to strengthen the activity of the secretariat of the Central Committee, in order to become more fully acquainted with work in the provinces and to use available experience in further organizational construction. Lenin took part in the debates on this question.
The resolution On the Immediate Tasks of Building up the Party, the draft of which was written by Lenin, contained a series of practical measures to develop internal party democracy, strengthen party unity, revive the work of the soviets, intensify the struggle against bureaucracy, improve work in the communist education of party members, and strengthen the ties between the party and the masses. The conference rebuffed the members of the antiparty “democratic centralist” group, who were represented by T. V. Sapronov, their coreporter on the fourth item on the agenda—the immediate tasks of building up the party. The “democratic centralists” argued against a leading role for the party in the soviets and in economic and trade-union organizations and against one-man management in industry, and advocated petit bourgeois egalitarianism (leveling) in the payment of labor.
Reaffirming the letter of the Central Committee of the RCP (Bolshevik) of Sept. 4, 1920, the conference pointed out to party groups the need to hold more frequent general assemblies of party members to discuss the most important questions of party, political, and local life. The need for district and provincial party committees systematically to supply reports on their activity at general party meetings was emphasized, as well as the need to attract nonparty members to open party meetings. The conference considered it necessary to increase the recruitment into the party of advanced workers and the poorest peasants, to intensify the activity of inspection commissions, to strive to turn out propaganda that would be effective on a mass scale and systematically raise the ideological level of party members, and to put into practice in internal party affairs a broader criticism of both local and central party institutions.
The resolutions of the conference pointed out the importance of reviving the activity of the soviets and having members of the soviets present regular reports to the voters. The systematic rotation of responsible workers was called for, as well as the promotion of new rank-and-file party members to leadership positions. The conference proposed the obligatory participation of all party members, regardless of position, in communist subbotniki (volunteer labor performed on Saturdays). It was pointed out that measures should be taken to eliminate inequality between spetsy (specialists) and responsible workers, on the one hand, and the toiling masses, on the other. The conference called for a struggle against bureaucracy and passed a resolution to set up a control commission, to be elected by the party congress, and to establish party commissions attached to the provincial committees of the party and elected at provincial conferences.
REFERENCESLenin, V. I. “Politicheskii otchet TsK RKP(b), 22 sent.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 41.
Lenin, V. I. “Rech’ ob ochered’nykh zadachakh partiinogo stroitel’stva 24 sentiabria.” Ibid.
Lenin, V. I. “Proekt rezoliutsii ob ocherednykh zadachakh partiinogo stroitel’stva.” Ibid.
Lenin, V. I. “Predlozheniia k rezoliutsii ob ocherednykh zadachakh partiinogo stroitel’stva.” Ibid.
KPSS v rezoliutsiiakh i resheniiakh s”ezdov, konferentsii, i plenumov TsK, 8th ed., vol. 2. Moscow, 1970.