Twenty-Second Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Twenty-Second Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union


held in Moscow Oct. 17–31, 1961. It was attended by 4,394 delegates with deciding votes and 405 delegates with consultative votes, representing 8,872,516 party members and 843,489 candidate members.

By occupation, the delegates with deciding votes included 1,158 party officials, 465 officials from soviets, and 104 trade union and Komsomol officials, 6.3 percent of whom were officials from central party and state bodies. There were also 1,391 representatives from industry, transportation, communications, and construction, of whom 984 (22.3 percent of all the delegates with deciding votes) were workers, brigade leaders, and foremen. In addition, among the delegates with deciding votes there were 748 agricultural workers, of whom 469 (10.6 percent of all delegates with deciding votes) were kolkhoz members, sovkhoz workers, brigade leaders, and farm managers. The arts and literature were represented by 45 delegates with deciding votes, and 305 servicemen had deciding votes at the Twenty-second Congress of the CPSU. Of the delegates to the congress, 2,312 had received a higher education, 230 had not completed their higher education, and 665 had secondary school training (these figures represent 72.8 percent of all delegates with a deciding vote). In terms of age, 22 percent of the delegates with deciding votes were 35 and under, 16.6 percent were between 36 and 40, 37.9 percent were between 41 and 50, and 23.5 percent were over 50. Of the delegates with deciding votes, 42 joined the party before the Great October Socialist Revolution, 1.3 percent between 1917 and 1920, 7.7 percent between 1921 and 1930, 22 percent between 1931 and 1940, 26.6 percent between 1941 and 1945, 23.1 percent between 1946 and 1955, and 18.4 percent in and after 1956. There were 1,073 female delegates to the congress, representing 22.3 percent of the total number of delegates. Among the delegates there were 99 Heroes of the Soviet Union and 478 Heroes of Socialist Labor. The congress was attended by delegations from 80 foreign Communist, workers’, and national-democratic parties.

The agenda of the Twenty-second Congress of the CPSU included the report of the Central Committee of the CPSU (presented by N. S. Khrushchev), the report of the Central Auditing Commission of the CPSU (presented by A. F. Gor-kin), the draft program of the CPSU (presented by N. S. Khrushchev), the report on changes in the Rules of the CPSU (presented by F. R. Kozlov), and elections of the central party bodies. The congress had been preceded by a party wide and nationwide discussion of the drafts of the new program and Rules of the CPSU, which had been prepared by the Central Committee of the CPSU.

The congress approved the political course and practical activity of the Central Committee of the CPSU, summarized the labor and struggle of the Soviet people under the leadership of the Communist Party since the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU (1956), and adopted the new Program of the CPSU, which outlined the future progress of the Soviet people’s movement toward communism.

In a resolution adopted in accordance with the report of the Central Committee, the congress reaffirmed that the power of the Soviet nation had become greater and that its international authority as a champion of peace and progress had grown immeasurably. The congress noted that an outstanding feature of international affairs was the further growth of the forces of socialism, democracy, and peace throughout the world. The world socialist system is developing successfully, gaining strength, and becoming the leading force for progress in human society. Socialism—not capitalism—is defining the basic direction of international development. Among the most important tasks recognized by the congress were the further strengthening of the unity of the socialist camp, and increasing its power and defensive capacity.

The Twenty-second Congress of the CPSU developed several of the most important theoretical propositions adopted by the Twentieth and Twenty-first Congresses of the CPSU. The proposition on the inevitable deepening of the general crisis of capitalism was confirmed in its entirety by the congress, which also affirmed that under the powerful blows of the national liberation movement, the colonial system had in fact disintegrated. The congress recognized that the class struggle in the capitalist countries was becoming broader and sharper, and affirmed that the entire course of social development had proved the accuracy of the conclusion on the diverse forms, both peaceful and violent, of the transition to socialism in different countries.

Noting the great significance of the conferences of Communist and workers’ parties that were held in 1957 and I960 and the documents that were drawn up at these conferences, the congress appealed for an uncompromising, consistent struggle on two fronts against revisionism and dogmatism and sectarianism in the international Communist and workers’ movement. The congress called for a maximum effort to strengthen the monolithic character of the international Communist movement and struggle against all who try to weaken the unity of Communists in all countries.

The documents of the congress emphasized that the struggle of socialist countries and all peace-loving forces against the imperialists’ preparations for a new war is the essence of contemporary international policy. The Twenty-second Congress declared that events since 1956 had demonstrated the correctness of the conclusions made at the Twentieth and Twenty-first Congresses of the CPSU regarding the means available to the peoples of the world to prevent thermonuclear war. The growing economic and military power of the USSR and other socialist countries is an important guarantee of peace throughout the world, and the congress noted the necessity to continue to apply steadfastly and consistently the principle of the peaceful coexistence of states with different social systems.

Summarizing the accomplishments of domestic policy, the Twenty-second Congress reaffirmed that the industrial production of the USSR had increased by 80 percent in the six years (1956–61) preceding the congress. The congress noted that there had been great improvements in the technical reequipment of all branches of material production. Capital construction expanded on an unprecedented scale. The implementation of the policy of accelerated development of the productive forces of the eastern regions of the country and the strengthening of the material and technical bases of the kolkhozes and sovkhozes were noted by the congress. During the years from 1956 to 1960 the gross agricultural output increased by 43 percent over the gross output of the preceding five-year period.

The Twenty-second Congress of the CPSU noted the outstanding achievements of Soviet science and culture, which was most brilliantly expressed by the unexampled pioneering flights of the Soviet cosmonauts.

The Twenty-second Congress paid a great deal of attention to the question of developing and perfecting socialist social relationships in the USSR during the period of transition from socialism to communism. It was pointed out that the guiding role of the working class in alliance with the kolkhoz peasantry and the entire Soviet people survives even during the period of communist construction, when the state has become a state of the entire people. The congress approved the policy for further developing socialist democracy, strengthening the friendship of peoples, bringing closer and enriching comprehensively and mutually the cultures of the Soviet socialist nations (natsii: nation in the historical sense), strengthening the moral and political unity of Soviet society, and actively forming communist principles in the work, everyday life, and consciousness of the Soviet people.

Having approved the work of the Central Committee in overcoming the consequences of the cult of the personality and restoring and developing Leninist principles in all areas of party. state, and ideological activity. the congress affirmed the measures adopted by the Central Committee of the party in exposing the antiparty group of V. M. Molotov. L. M. Kaganovich, and G. M. Malenkov. which had opposed the Leninist course established by the Twentieth Congress.

On Oct. 31, 1961, the Twenty-second Congress of the CPSU adopted the new party program—the third in the history of the CPSU. The previous party program, which had been adopted in 1919 at the Eighth Congress of the RCP (Bolshevik), had been fulfilled by the party and Soviet people during the construction of socialist society in the USSR. The new Program of the CPSU adopted by the Twenty-second Congress consisted of two basic parts. The first part dealt with the transition from capitalism to communism—the path of development for mankind—and the second part involved the tasks of the CPSU in building a communist society. The Program of the CPSU defined the general course of the movement of Soviet society toward communism. The transition from socialism to communism requires execution of three interconnected tasks: creation of the material-technical base of communism, transformation of socialistic social relationships into communist ones, and the education of all the toiling people in a spirit of elevated communist consciousness.

The Twenty-second Congress of the CPSU adopted a new edition of the Rules of the CPSU, defining basic duties and rights of Communists and the organizational norms regulating admission into and expulsion from the party. The rules provide for increasing the role and responsibility of Communists and for the further development of intraparty democracy and Leninist principles and norms of party life. In particular, the party rules emphasize that the highest principle of party leadership is the principle of collective leadership, which protects the party and all its bodies from the adoption of one-sided, subjective decisions and actions.

The Twenty-second Congress of the CPSU elected the new Central Committee, consisting of 175 members and 155 candidate members, and the new Central Auditing Commission, with 65 members.

The Twenty-second Congress and the documents adopted by it have great international significance. The new Program of the CPSU gives a detailed picture of communist society and indicates the ways and means for building communism. The decisions of the congress received nationwide approval in the USSR and have been supported by fraternal Communist and workers’ parties.


XXII s”ezd KPSS: Stenografiche skii otchet, vols. 1–3. Moscow, 1962.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.