On Lenin's so called "Testament"
The fable of Lenin's Testament is something that all Trotskites like to throw around. In most arguments they would even go as far to prove the bureaucratization of the party with Lenin's words "Stalin is rude." The testament is supposed to prove that Trotsky was supposed to inherit Lenin's mantel. Oh, if Trotsky was in charge he would of done it all right. So, as the story goes, Lenin is on his death bed, weak and paralyzed from his stroke and gets mad at Stalin for arranging a coup in the Georgian party. Then he entrusts the heroic Trotsky to take up the struggle with the Georgians against Stalin. That is why he ordains Trotsky in his will (the testament) and says Stalin should be taken out of power. Then the evil stalinists did everything they could to prevent the reading of the Testament, and not publish it.
In order to get the full picture of what happened in Lenin's last days you must understand Lenin's relationship between Trotsky and Stalin over the years. One thing the Trotskyites never ask themselves is why Lenin gave Stalin so much power in the first place ? Lenin elected Stalin head of the Peasants and workers inspection (RABKIN) at the same time he was already party secretary. Just more to prove that Lenin's assessment of Stalin was very high up until 1922.
Here are the goodies;
For example, as long ago as February 1913 Lenin was describing Stalin, in a letter to the writer Maksim Gorky*, as ‘a marvelous Georgian’:
"We have a marvelous Georgian who has sat down to write
a big article for ‘Prosveshcheniye’, for which he has collected all the
Austrian and other materials". V.I. Lenin: Letter to Maksim Gorky, in:
'Collected Works', Volume 35; Moscow; 1966; p. 84.
A little later, in December 1913 Lenin was characterizing Stalin as the Party's leading Marxist analyst of the national question:
"The situation and the fundamentals of a national program for Social Democracy have recently been dealt with in Marxist theoretical literature (the most prominent place being taken by Stalin's article)". V.I. Lenin: 'The National Program of the RSDLP', in: 'Cool Works', Vol 19; Moscow; 1963; p.539..
And here Lenin defends Stalin against criticism from someone who believed
Stalin had to much power.
"The 'Turkestan, Caucasian and other questions . . are all political questions! They have to be settled. These are questions that have engaged the attention of European states for hundreds of years. . We are settling them; and we need a man to whom the representatives of any of these nations can go and discuss their difficulties in all detail. Where can we find such a man? I don't think Comrade Preobrazhensky could suggest any better candidate than Comrade Stalin... The same thing applies to the Workers' and Peasants' Inspection. This is a vast business; but to be able to handle investigations we must have at the head of it a man who enjoys high prestige, otherwise we shall become submerged in and overwhelmed by petty intrigue". V.I. Lenin: 'The National Program of the RSDLP', in: 'Coll Works', Vol 19; Moscow; 1963; p.539.
Indeed, it was on Lenin's proposal that in April 1922,
after the Congress, the Central Committee elected Stalin to the highest
post in the Party - that of General Secretary:
"On Lenin's motion, the Plenum of the Central Committee, on April 3 1922, elected Stalin . . . General Secretary of the Central Committee". G. F. Aleksandrov et al (Eds.): 'Joseph Stalin: A Short Biography'; Moscow; 1947; p. 74-75.
"After the congress, the Central Committee, on Lenin's proposal, elected Stalin . . as General Secretary of the Central Committee".Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute: 'Lenin'; London; 1943; p. 183
"A new Central Committee.. voted to establish the post of General Secretary to run the Secretariat and named Stalin to this office. It is highly probable that Lenin initiated this decision". R. H. McNeal: 'Stalin: Man and Ruler' (hereafter listed as 'R. H.McNeal:1988'); Basingstoke;1988; p. 67.
"It is.. fanciful for some Soviet historians, official and unofficial, to suggest that Stalin was not Lenin's personal choice for the post of General Secretary of the Central Committee to which he was elevated in April 1922". A. B. Ulam: 'Stalin: The Man and his Era'; London; 1989; p. 205.
"The obvious and indeed the only man with the knowledge, efficiency and authority for this key post (of General Secretary - Ed.) was Stalin. There can be no doubt that Lenin supported the nomination, which he probably initiated".I. Grey: 'Stalin: Man of History'; London; 1979; p. 159.
Now What was Lenin's relationship with Trotsky over the years ? The Trotskyites like to argue that although Trotsky did not join the Bolsheviks till 1917 and was a Menshevik for a year, he was always close to the Bolsheviks and Lenin from 1903 onward. Quite false, first remember that back then the difference between a Bolshevik and a Menshevik was that off formal party membership, there were none It just depended on whose ideas you sided with. Trotsky in fact worked with a group of Mensheviks in Paris till he returned to Russia. Here are is the trot out of the bag.
At the 2nd Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic labour Party in July-August. 1903, Trotsky's sympathetic biographer, Isaac Deutscher*, records that
"Trotsky was one of Lenin's most vocal opponents. He charged Lenin with the attempt to build up a closed organization of conspiracy not a party of the working class.. . . Lenin . . mildly and persuasively appealed to Trotsky. All was in vain. Trotsky was stiffening in hostility". Deutscher: 'Prophet Armed: Trotsky: 1879-1921' (hereafter : 'I. Deutscher:1989 (1)'; Oxford; 1989; p.80-81.
Shortly after the Congress, Trotsky wrote the 'Report of the Siberian Delegation' (of which he was a member). In this report he charged that Lenin 'resembles Maximilian Robespierre'*, although only as
‘a vulgar farce resembles historic tragedy’". L.D. Trotsky: 'Vtoroi Syezd RSDRP (Otchet Sibirskoi Delegatsy)'; Geneva; 1903; p. 33.
"Once he had made up his mind against Lenin, he did not mince his words. He attacked with all his intensity of feeling and with all the sweep to his invective". L.D. Trotsky: 'Vtoroi Syezd RSDRP (Otchet Sibirskoi Delegatsy)'; Geneva; 1903; p. 33..
In August 1904 Trotsky published his pamphlet 'Our Political Tasks', in which he strongly attacked as 'Jacobinism'** Lenin's concept that a disciplined party was essential to lead the working people to carry through a socialist revolution and supported the idea of a 'workers' party' modeled on the lines of the SocialDemocratic parties of Western Europe:
"Lenin's methods lead to this: the party organization at first substitutes itself for the party as a whole; then the Central Committee substitutes itself for the organization; and finally a single 'dictator' substitutes himself for the Central Committee. .... Is it so difficult to see that any serious group . . when it is confronted by the dilemma whether it should, from a sense of discipline, silently efface itself, or, regardless of discipline struggle for survival - will undoubtedly choose the latter course . and say: perish that 'discipline' which suppresses the vital interests of the movement. This evil-minded and morally repugnant suspicion of Lenin, this shallow caricature of the tragic intolerance of Jacobinism. . must be liquidated at the present time at all costs, otherwise the party is threatened by complete political, moral and theoretical decay". L. D. Trotsky: 'Nos Taches Politiques'; Paris; 1970; p. 192.
Trotsky's biographer Deutscher comments on this book:
"Hardly any Menshevik* writer attacked Lenin with so much personal venom. 'Hideous', 'dissolute', 'demagogical', 'slovenly attorney', 'malicious and morally repulsive', these were the epithets which Trotsky threw at the man who had so recently held out to him the hand of fellowship, who had brought him to Western Europe, who had promoted him" .I. Deutscher: 1989 (1): p. 93.
However, Lenin was equally scathing about Trotsky. In October 1904 Lenin
"A new pamphlet by Trotsky came out recently. . . The pamphlet is a pack of brazen lies". V. I. Lenin: Letter to Yelena Stasova and Others, in: 'Collected Works'; Volume 43; Moscow; 1969; p. 129.
"Trotsky behaves like a despicable careerist and factionalist. He pays lip-service to the Party and behaves worse than any other of the factionalists". V. I. Lenin: Letter to Grigory Zinoviev, in: 'Collected Works', Volume 34; Moscow; 1966; p. 399-400.
In March-June 1910 Lenin was writing:
"Trotsky expressed the full spirit of the worst kind of conciliation, 'conciliation' in inverted commas . . . which actually renders the most faithful service to the liquidators** and Otzovists**. . This position of . . Trotsky is wrong". V. I. Lenin: 'Notes of a Publicist', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 16; Moscow; 1963; p. 211, 251.
In December 1910, Lenin was no kinder to Trotsky, whose resolution said Lenin :
"Expresses the very aim of the 'Golos'** group - to destroy the central bodies . . . and with them the Party as an organisation". V.I. Lenin: 'The State Volume 17; Moscow; 1968; of Affairs in the Party', in: 'Collected Works', p. 23.
"Trotsky's call for ‘friendly’ collaboration by the Party with the 'Gobs' and 'Vpered'** is disgusting hypocrisy and phrase-mongering. Trotsky groups all the enemies of Marxism. .. Trotsky unites all to whom ideological decay is dear, all who are not concerned with the defense of Marxism. struggle against the splitting tactics and the unprincipled adventuresome of Trotsky!" V. I. Lenin: ‘To Russian Collegium of the CC of RSDLP, in: 'Works', Vol 17; Mos; 1963; p. 20, 21, 22 .
And at the end of 1910 Lenin was speaking of :
"The resonant but empty phrases of which our Trotsky is
a master...Trotsky distorts Bolshevism, because he has never been able
to form any definite views on the role of the proletariat in the Russian
bourgeois revolution. That Trotsky's venture is an attempt to create a
faction is obvious to all. Trotsky . . .represents only his own personal
vacillations and nothing more. In 1903 he was a Menshevik; he abandoned
Menshevism in 1904, returned to the Mensheviks in 1905 and merely flaunted
One day Trotsky plagiarises from the ideological stock-in-trade of one faction; the next day he plagiarises that of another, and therefore declares himself to be standing above both factions. I am obliged to declare that Trotsky represents only his own faction and enjoys a certain amount of confidence exclusively among the Otzovists and the liquidators." V.I.Lenin: 'Historical Meaning of Inner-Party Struggle in Russia', in: 'Works', Vol 16; p. 375, 380, 389, 391.
In January 1911 Lenin was referring to Trotsky as : "Judas Trotsky".V. I . Lenin: 'Judas Trotsky's Blush of Shame', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 17; Moscow; 1968; p. 45.
In September 1911 Lenin declared:
"The 'Trotskyites . . .' are more pernicious than any liquidator. The Trotskys deceive the workers". V. I. Lenin: 'From the Camp of Stolypin Labour Party', 'Coll Works', Vol 17; Mos; 1968; p. 243.
In October 1911:
"Trotsky expressed conciliationism ** more consistently than anyone else. He was probably the only one who attempted to give the trend a theoretical foundation. Ever since the spring of 1910 Trotsky has been deceiving the workers in a most unprincipled and shameless manner by assuring them that the obstacles to unity were principally (if not wholly) of an organisational nature.
The only difference between Trotsky and the conciliators in Paris is that the latter regard Trotsky as a factionalist and themselves as non-factional, whereas Trotsky holds the opposite view. .Trotsky provides us with an abundance of instances of scheming to establish unprincipled 'unity'". Lenin: 'The New Faction of Conciliators, or the Virtuous', in: 'Works', Vol 17; 1968; p. 258, 260, 264, 270.
and in December 1911:
"It is impossible to argue with Trotsky on the merits of the issue because Trotsky holds no views whatever. . In his case the thing to do is to expose him as a diplomat of the smallest calibre".V. I. Lenin: 'Trotsky's Diplomacy and a Certain Party Platform', in:'Works', Vol 17; 1968; p. 362.
The Prague conference in January 1912 proclaimed the Bolsheviks alone to be the Party. In his paper 'Pravda'** :
"Trotsky denounced Lenin's venture with much sound and fury. His anger rose to highest pitch in April, when the Bolsheviks began to publish in Petersburg a daily called 'Pravda'. . He thundered against the 'theft' and 'usurpation' . . committed by . . 'the circle which lives and thrives only through chaos and confusion". I. Deutscher: 1989 (1); p. 198-99 .
Lenin wrote in July 1912 to the editor of the paper:
"I advise you to reply to Trotsky through the post: 'To Trotsky'. (Vienna): We shall not reply to disruptive and slanderous letters. Trotsky's dirty campaign against 'Pravda' is one mass of lies and slander". V.I. Lenin: Letter to the Editor of 'Pravda', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 35; Moscow; 1966; p. 41.
In August 1912 Trotsky's group got together with the Mensheviks, Je
wish Bund** and others to form an anti-Bolshevik coalition known as the
'August Bloc'. Trotsky's biographer Deutscher comments:
"Trotsky was that bloc's chief mouthpiece, indefatigable at castigating Lenin's 'disruptive work". I. Deutscher: 1989 (1); p. 200.
In November 1912 Lenin was writing:
"Look at the platform of the liquidators. Its liquidationist essence is artfully concealed by Trotsky's revolutionary phrases". V.I. Lenin: 'The Platform of the Reformists and the Platform of Revolutionary Social-Democrats', in:'Works', Vol 18, Moscow; 1968; p. 380.
Between February and May 1914 Lenin wrote:
"Trotsky has never yet held a firm opinion on any important question of Marxism.. At the present moment he is in the company of the Bundists and the liquidators". V.I. Lenin: 'The Right of Nations to Self-Determination', in: ‘Works’, Vol 20; Moscow; 1964; p. 447-48.
In May, 1914:
"Trotsky is fond of high-sounding and empty phrases. We were right in calling Trotsky a representative of the 'worst remnants of factionalism'. Trotsky. . possesses no ideological and political definiteness. Under cover of 'non-factionalism' Trotsky is championing the interest of a group abroad which particularly lacks definite principles and has no basis in the working-class movement in Russia. There is much glitter and sound in Trotsky's phrases, but they are meaningless. Joking is the only way of retorting mildly to Trotsky's insufferable phrase-mongering. Trotsky is very fond of using with the learned air of the expert pompous and high-sounding phrases, to explain historical phenomena in a way that is flattering to Trotsky. .
Trotsky is trying to disrupt the movement and cause a split..
Trotsky avoids facts and concrete references .. because they relentlessly refute all his angry outcries and pompous phrases.
At the end of 1903 Trotsky was an ardent Menshevik. . . In 1904's he deserted the Mensheviks and occupied a vacillating position, now proclaiming his absurdly Left 'permanent revolution' theory. In the period of disintegration. . he again went to the right, and in August 1912 he entered into a bloc with the liquidators. He has now deserted them again, although in substance he reiterates their shoddy ideas".V.I. Lenin: 'Disruption of Unity under Cover of Outcries for Unity', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 20; Moscow; 1964; p. 329, 331, 332, 333-334, 345, 346-7.
In July 1915 Lenin was declaring:
"Trotsky... as always entirely disagrees with the social-chauvinists** in principle, but agrees as always, entirely disagrees with the social-in principle, but agrees with them ". V.I. Lenin: 'The State of Affairs in Russian Social-Democracy', in: 'Works', Vol 21;Moscow; 1964; p. 284.
In the same month he was referring to
"high-flown phraseology with which Trotsky always justifies opportunism. The phrase-banding Trotsky has completely lost his bearings on a simple issue". V. T. Lenin: 'The Defeat of One's Own Government in the Imperialist War', In.'Works', Vol 15;Moscow; 1964; p. 275
And Lenin was denouncing Trotsky's support for "the 'neither-victory-nor-defeat'
"Whoever is in favour of the slogan of 'neither victory nor defeat' is consciously or unconsciously a chauvinist; he is an enemy to proletarian policy… a partisan of the existing governments, of the present ruling classes. Those who stand for the 'neither-victory-nor-defeat' slogan are in fact on the side of the bourgeoisie and the opportunists, for they do not believe in the possibility of international revolutionary action by the working class against their own governments". V.I. Lenin: 'The Defeat of One's Own Government in the Imperialist War', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 21; Moscow; 1964; p. 278, 279, 280.
Between July and August 1915 we find Lenin saying that :
"Phrase-lovers . . like Trotsky defend - in opposition to us - the peace slogan". V.I. Lenin: 'The "Peace" Slogan Appraised', Volume 21; ‘Works’; Moscow; 1964; p. 288.
and Lenin was asserting that :
"In Russia, Trotsky. . . defends unity with the opportunist and chauvinist 'Nashe Zarya'** group". V.I. Lenin: 'Socialism and War', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 29; Moscow; 1964; p. 312.
In November 1915 Lenin was saying:
"Trotsky . . is repeating his 'original' 1905 theory and refuses to give some thought to the reason why, in the course of ten years, life has been by-passing this splendid theory. From the Bolsheviks Trotsky's original theory has borrowed their call for a decisive proletarian revolutionary struggle and the conquest of political power by the proletariat, while from the Mensheviks it has borrowed 'repudiation of the peasantry's role. .Trotsky is, in fact, helping the liberal-labour politicians in Russia who by 'repudiation' of the role of the peasantry understand a refusal to raise up the peasants".V.I. Lenin: 'On the Two Lines in the Revolution', in ''Works', Vol21; Moscow; 1964; p. 419, 420.
In 1916: In March 1916 Lenin wrote to Henriette
"What are our differences with Trotsky? . In brief - he is a Kautskyite** V.I. Lenin: Letter to Henriette Roland-Holst, in: 'Collected 'Works', Volume 43; Moscow 1969;p. 515-16.
and in the same month was declaring:
"Trotsky . . is body and soul for self-determination, but in his case it is an empty phrase".V.I. Lenin: 'The Peace Program', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 22; Moscow; 1964; p. 167.
In June 1916 Lenin declared:
"No matter what the subjective 'good' intentions of Trotsky and Martov* may be, their evasiveness objectively supports Russian social-imperialism".V.I. Lenin: 'Discussion on Self-Determination Summed Up in:'Works', Volume 22; Moscow; 1964; p. 360
In February 1917 Lenin was writing respectively to Aleksandra Kollontai* and Inessa Armand*:
"What a swine this Trotsky is - Left phrases and a bloc with the Right . !!. He ought to be exposed". V.I.Lenin: ‘Letter to Aleksandra Kollontai, in: 'Collected Works', Volume 35; Moscow; 1966; p. 285.
"Trotsky arrived, and this scoundrel at once ganged up with the Right wing of 'Novy Mir'**. . . That's Trotsky for you!! Always true to himself ‘ twists, swindles, poses as a Left, helps the Right". V.I Lenin: Letter to Inessa Armand, in: 'Collected Works', Volume 35; Moscow; 1966; p. 288.
In April 1917 Lenin reported to the Petrograd City Conference of the
"Trotskyism: 'No Tsar but a workers' government'. This is wrong". V.I. Lenin: Concluding Remarks, Debate on the Present Situation, Petrograd City Conference of RSDLP, in: 'Collected Works' Volume 24; Moscow; 1966; p. 150.
In May 1917 the Bolsheviks met the 'Inter-Borough Organisation', of
which Trotsky was a member, to consider the possibility of a merger. At
the meeting Trotsky declared:
"I cannot call myself a Bolshevik. We cannot be asked to recognise Bolshevism. The old factional name is undesirable" L.D. Trotsky: Speech at the Mezhraiontsji** Conference, in: Institute of Marxism-Leninism: 'Against Trotskyism: Struggle of Lenin & CPSU against Trotskyism: Collection of Documents'; Mos; 1972; p. l22..
On 15 December 1917, the new revolutionary government of Soviet Russia
signed an armistice with Germany, and on 22 December negotiations for a
peace treaty began at Brest-Litovsk. The plan of Trotsky, who led the Russia
Soviet delegation, was as follows:
"We interrupt the war and do not sign the peace - we demobilise the army". I. Deutscher: 1989 (1); p. 175.
Lenin was strongly opposed to Trotsky's plan:
"Lenin opposed . . . my plan discreetly and calmly". L.D. Trotsky: 'Lenin'; New York; 1925; p. 135.
And so :
"Trotsky made a private arrangement with Lenin. . . What would happen, Lenin anxiously asked, if they (the (;Germans - Ed.) chose to resume hostilities? Lenin was rightly convinced that this was bound to happen. Trotsky treated this danger lightly. but he agreed to sign the peace if Lenin's fears proved justified". I.Deutscher: 1989 (1); p. 375.
On 9 February Trotsky announced to the peace conference that
"While Russia was desisting from signing a formal Peace Treaty, it declared the state of war ended with Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria simultaneously, giving orders for the complete demobilisation of Russian forces on all fronts". I.Deutscher: 1989 (1); p. 375.
Trotsky's delegation then walked out of the peace conference and returned to Petrograd.
On l5 February 1918, as Lenin had foreseen, Germany resumed military
operations against Soviet Russia. On 18 February 1918, the Central Committee
instructed its delegation to sign a peace treaty immediately. On 23 February
1918 the German government presented new peace terms, significantly harsher
than the earlier ones. The Peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was formally signed
on 23 March 1918.
Lenin commented at the 7th Congress of the RCP in March 1918:
"'That I predicted, has come to pass: instead of the Brest peace we have a much more humiliating peace, and the blame for this rests upon those who refused to accept the former peace". V.I. Lenin: Political Report of the Central Committee, Extraordinary 7th Congress of the RCP, in: 'Collected Works', Volume 27; Moscow; 1965; p.102.
As the Foreword to 'Against Trotskyism", issued by the Soviet revisionists in power in 1972, correctly expresses it:
"On the question of the Brest Peace Treaty, Trotsky maintained an anti-Leninist stand, criminally exposing the newly emerged Soviet Republic to mortal danger. As head of the Soviet delegation to the peace talks, he ignored the instructions of the Party Central Committee and the Soviet Government. At a crucial moment of the talks he declared that the Soviet Republic was unilaterally withdrawing from the war, announced that the Russian Army was being demobilised, and left Brest-Litovsk.
The German Army mounted an offensive and occupied considerable territory. As a result, much harsher peace terms were put forward by the German Government". V.I. Lenin: Political Report of the Central Committee, Extraordinary 7th Congress of the RCP, in: 'Collected Works', Volume 27; Moscow; 1965; p.102.
And 'The 'Great Soviet Encyclopedia', issued by the Soviet revisionists
1974, comments similarly:
"No less adventuristic and demagogic was the position of L. D.Trotsky (People’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs of the RSFSR at the time) who proposed to declare the war terminated and to demobilise the army but not to sign the treaty. . As Trotsky, the head of the Soviet delegation was leaving for Brest, it was agreed between him and Lenin, the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, that the negotiations were to be prolonged by all possible means until the presentation of an ultimatum, after which the peace treaty should be signed immediately. On January 28 Trotsky presented the adventuristic declaration that Soviet Russia would terminate the war and demobilize its army but not sign the peace. Trotsky refused further negotiations, and the Soviet delegation left Brest-Litovsk". Great Soviet Encyclopedia', Volume 4; New York; 1974; p. 66, 67.
In December 1920 Lenin wrote:
"I have had to enumerate my 'differences' with Comrade Trotsky because, with such a broad theme as 'The Role and Tasks of the Trade Unions’, he has, I am quite sure, made a number of mistakes bearing on the very essence of the dictatorship of the proletariat". V.I. Lenin: 'The Trade Unions, the Present Situation and Trotsky's Mistakes', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 32; Moscow; 1965; p. 22.
In January 1921 Lenin severely criticised Trotsky for dereliction of Party duty and factionalism:
"The Central Committee sets up a trade union commission and elects Comrade Trotsky to it. Trotsky refuses to work on the commission, magnifying by this step alone his original mistake, which subsequently leads to factionalism, becomes magnified and later leads to factionalism"'. V.I. Lenin: 'The Party Crisis', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 32; Moscow; 1965; p. 45.
and in the same month, Lenin criticised him for his proposal to 'militarise' the trade unions:
"Comrade Trotsky's theses have landed him in a mess. That part of them which is correct is not new, and what is more, turns against him. That which is new is all wrong. .Comrade Trotsky's political mistakes distract our party’s attention from economic tasks. .All his theses, his entire pamphlet, are so wrong". V.I. Lenin: 'Once Again on the Trade Unions, the Current Situation and the Mistakes of Trotsky and Bukharin=, in: 'Collected Works', Volume 32; Moscow; 1965; p. 74, 85, 90.
Even as Late As In 1922:
There were serious differences between Lenin and Trotsky. Trotsky's biographer Deutscher describes a further rift between Lenin and Trotsky in 1922 over Trotsky's refusal to accept the post of Deputy Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars:
"In April 1922 an incident occurred which did much to cloud relations between Lenin and Trotsky. On 11 April . . . categorically and somewhat haughtily Trotsky declined to fill this office. The refusal and the manner in which it was made annoyed Lenin. Throughout the summer of 1922 . . the dissension between Lenin and Trotsky persisted. On 11 September . . Trotsky once again refused the post. . On 14 September the Politburo met and Stalin put before it a resolution which was highly damaging to Trotsky; it censured him in effect for dereliction of duty".. The circumstances of the case indicated that Lenin must have prompted Stalin to frame this resolution or that Stalin at least had his consent for it". I.Deutscher: 'The Prophet Unarmed: Trotsky: 1921-1929 (hereafter listed as: 'I. Deutscher: 1989 (2)); Oxford; 1989; p. 35, 65-66.
In July 1921 Stalin, speaking to the Tiflis Organisation of the Communist
Party of Georgia, referred to the rise of nationalism in Transcaucasia:
"Nationalism Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijanian - has shockingly increased in the Transcaucasian republics during the past few years and is an obstacle to joint effort. Evidently, the three years of existence of nationalist governments in Georgia (Mensheviks), in Azerbaijan (Mussavatists**) and in Armenia (Dashnaks**) have left their mark". J.V. Stalin: 'ImmediateTasks of Communism in Georgia & Transcaucasia', 'Works', Vol 5; 1953; p. 97
For this reason. Lenin proposed that Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia
should, as a temporary measure, be united in a Federation. On 28 November
1921 Lenin wrote to Stalin stating that :
"A federation of the Transcaucasian republics is absolutely correct in principle, and should be implemented without fail". V.I. Lenin: Memo to J. V. Stalin, 28 November 1921, in: 'Works', Vol 33; Moscow; 1973; p. 127.
"This unification (in the Transcaucasian Federation - Ed.) was proposed by Lenin".Great Soviet Encyclopedia', Volume 9; New York; 1975; p. 495.
Stalin reminded the 12 Congress of the RCP why such a federation was necessary.
"In a place like Transcaucasia . . it is impossible to dispense with a special organ of national peace. As you know, Transcaucasia is a country where there were Tatar-Armenian massacres while still under the tsar, and war under the Mussavatists, Dashnaks and Mensheviks. To put a stop to that strife an organ of national peace was needed, i.e., a supreme authority. . . And so . . . a federation of republics, and a year after that.. a Union of Republics was formed". Stalin
However, both before and after its formation, the existence of the Transcaucasian
Federation was opposed by a group of Georgian nationalists within the Communist
Party of Georgia, headed by Polikarp ('Budu') Mdivani and Filipp Makharadze*
and known as the 'Georgian deviators':
"The struggle which the group of Georgian Communists headed by Mdivani is waging against the Central Committee's directive concerning federation dates back to that time (the end of 1921 - Ed.)". J.V. Stalin: Reply to the Discussion on the Central Committee's Organisational Report, 12th Congress of RCP, in:'Works', Volume 5;Moscow; 1953; p. 234.
"The national-deviationist opposition in the ranks of the Communist Party of Georgia arose and took shape in 1921. During the entire period of 1921-24 the Georgian national-deviationists carried on a fierce struggle against the Leninist and Stalinist national policy of our Party". L.P.Beria:'On the History of Bolshevik Organisations in Transcaucasia'; London; 1939; p. 167.
later, many of the 'Georgian deviators' joined the Trotskyist opposition:
"In 1924 a considerable number of the national-deyiationists joined what was then the Trotskyite anti-Party opposition". L. P. Beria: ibid.; p. 167.
Stalin pointed out that this deviation could not have been a result of Great Russian Chauvinism since the 'Georgian deviators’ supported the entry of Georgia into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as an independent state.
"There has been and still is a group of Georgian Communists who do not object to Georgia uniting with the Union of Republics, but who do object to this union being effected through the Transcaucasian Federation. These statements indicate that on the national question the attitude towards the Russians is of secondary importance in Georgia, for these comrades, the deviators (that is what they are called), have no objection to Georgia joining the Union directly; that is, they do not fear Great-Russian chauvinism, believing that its roots have been cut in one way or another or at any rate, that it is not of decisive importance". J. V. Stalin: Report on National Factors in Party and State Affairs, 12th Congress of RCP, in: 'Works', Volume S; Moscow; 1953; p. 257.
He assessed the cause of the 'Georgian deviation’ as the
desire of the Georgian nationalists not to lose the geographical advantages
which an independent Georgia would possess, advantages of which they wished
to take advantage:
"It is these geographical advantages that the Georgian deviators do not lose.. that are causing our deviators to oppose federation. They want to leave the federation, and this will create legal opportunities for independently performing certain operations which will result in the advantageous position enjoyed by the Georgians being fully utilised against Azerbaijan and Armenia. And all this would create a privileged position for the Georgians in Transcaucasia. Therein lies the whole danger. The Georgian deviators . . . are pushing us on to the path of granting them certain privileges at the expense of the Armenian and Azerbaijanian Republics. But that is a path we cannot take, for it means certain death to . . Soviet power in the Caucasus". J. V. Stalin: Report on National Factors in Party and State Affairs, 12th Congress of RCP, in: 'Works', Volume 5; Moscow; 1953; p. 258, 261.
The 'Georgian deviators', while dominating the Central Committee of
the Communist Party of Georgia, formed only a small minority within the
Communist Party of Georgia as a whole:
"The Mdivani group has no influence in its own Georgian Communist Party. . The Party has held two congresses: the first congress was held at the beginning of 1922, and the second was held at the beginning of 1923. At both congresses the Mdivani group, and its idea of rejecting federation, was emphatically opposed by its own Party. At the first congress, I think, out of a total of 122 votes he obtained somewhere about 18; and at the second congress, out of a total of 144 votes he obtained about 20". J. V. Stalin: Reply to the Discussion on the Central Committee's Organisational Report, 12th Congress of PCP, in: 'Works', Volume 5; Moscow; 1953; p. 234-35.
Nevertheless, even after the Transcaucasian Federation had been formed
against the objections of the 'Georgian deviators', the latter did all
they could to sabotage the functioning of the federation:
"Mdivani and his supporters, constituting a majority on the Georgian Communist Party Central Committee, virtually slowed down the economic and political union of the Transcaucasian Republics and were intent, in essence, on keeping Georgia isolated". Note to: V. I. Lenin: 'Collected Works', Volume 45; Moscow; 1970; p. 750.
"The Mdivani group, now joined by Makharadze and his followers,
protested the infringement on Georgian sovereignty and did everything in
its power to prevent implementation of the federal union's directives".
P. G. Suny: >The Making of the Georgian Nation=; London; 1989; p. 215.
"The Georgians sabotaged as best they could the measures taken to bring about the economic integration of the three republics. They installed military guards on the frontiers of the Georgian republic, demanded residence permits, etc." M. Lewin: 'Lenin's Last Struggle'; London; 1969; p. 45.
At the 12th Congress of the RCP in April 1923 Grigory ('Sergo') Ordzhonikidze*, First Secretary of the Transcaucasian Territorial Party Committe':,'accused the 'deviationists', Mdivani and Makharadze, of a series of improper activities - refusing to take down customs barriers, selling a Soviet ship to foreigners, negotiating with the Ottoman Bank, and closing the frontiers of Georgia to hungry refugees from the North Caucasus and the Volga region... More important, he condemned the Georgian government's failure to implement a radical land reform and eliminate once and for all the noble landlords". R. G. Suny: op. cit.; p. 218.
The policy of maintaining the Transcaucasian Federation was continued
as preparations were made to form the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
On 6 October 1922 the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party
"To have Transcaucasia enter the union as one unit". R. G. Suny: op. cit.; p. 216.
However: "the Georgian leadership in Tiflis insisted on Georgia's separate entry.. . From Tiflis the Georgian leaders wired Moscow in protest and heatedly criticised the authoritarianism of the Transcaucasian Territory Party Committee".R. G. Suny: op. cit.; p. 216.
"The Georgians. . protested to Moscow, demanding the disbandment
of the projected federation. To this request Stalin replied on October
16 in the name of the Central Committee, stating that it was unanimously
rejected". R. Pipes: 'The
Formation of the Soviet Union'; Cambridge (USA); 1964; p.274
A group of the 'Georgian deviators', headed by Kate Tsintsadze* and
Sergey Kavtaradze* then telegraphed a protest, making a strong attack on
Ordzhonikidze, directly to Lenin, who rebuked them sharply and defended
Ordzhonikidze in a telegram of reply dated 21 October 1922:
"I am surprised at the indecent tone of the direct wire message sent by Tsintsadze and others. . . I was sure that all the diffferences had been ironed out by the CC Plenum resolutions with my indirect participation and with the direct participation of Midivani. That is why I resolutely condemn the abuse against Ordzhonikidze and insist that your conflict should be referred in a decent and loyal tone for settlement by the RCP CC Secretariat". V. I. Lenin: Telegram to K.M.Tsintsadze and S. I.Kavtarddze, 21 October 1922, in: 'Collected Works',
On receiving Lenin's rebuke, the bloc of 'Georgian deviators', who formed
nine of the eleven members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party
of Georgia, resigned in protest:
"Faced with Lenin's fury and isolated from the central leaders, the Georgian Central Committee took an unprecedented step: on October 22 they resigned en masse. Ordzhonikidze quickly appointed a new Central Committee of people who agreed with the positions taken up in Moscow, but the Mdivani-Makharadze stepped up their protests". R. C. Suny: op. cit.; p. 216.
On 25 November the Politburo of the Central Committee decided to send
a commission to Georgia, headed by People's Commissar for Internal Affairs
Feliks Dzerzhinsky* :
"To examine urgently the statements by members of the Central Committee of the Georgian Communist Party who had resigned, and to work out measures to establish tranquility in the Georgian Communist Party". Note to: V. I. Lenin: 'Collected Works', Volume 45; Moscow; l97O; p. 656-57.
Dzerzhinsky reported the findings of his commission to Lenin on 12 December 1922, including the fact that :
"The commission had decided to recall to Moscow the leaders of the former Georgian Central Committee, who were held responsible for everything". M.Lewin, op. cit.; p. 68.
Then, at the very end of December 1922, Lenin, who had initiated the
concept of the Transcaucasian Federation, who had denounced the 'Georgian
deviators’, and defended Ordzhonikidze against their attacks, suddenly
reversed his position on these questions. In the document known as 'Lenin's
Testament' he dictated to his secretary Maria Volodicheva on 30 December
1922, he implied that the charges of 'Georgian nationalism' levelled against
the 'Georgian deviators’ were 'imaginary' (and the product of 'Great Russian
chauvinism on the part of Dzerzhinsky':
"Comrade Dzerzhinsky, who went to the Caucasus to investigate the 'crime' of those ‘nationalist-socialists', distinguished himself there by his truly Russian frame of mind (it is common knowledge that people of other nationalities who have become Russified overdo this Russian frame of mind)". V.I. Lenin: 'The Question of "Nationalities, or "Autonomisation"', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 36; Moscow; 1966; p. 606.
However, Lenin placed the main blame for this 'erroneous policy of Great
Russian chauvinism’ on Stalin. He declared that it was necessary:
"To defend the non-Pussian from the onslaught of that really Russian man, the Great Russian chauvinist, in substance a rascal and a tyrant... I think that Stalin’s . . spite against the notorious 'nationalist-socialism' played a fatal role here. In politics spite generally plays the basest of roles". V.I. Lenin: 'The Question of Nationalities, or "Autonomisation", in: 'Collected Works1, Vol 36; Moscow; 1966; p 606.
On the following day, 31 December 1922, Lenin dictated a postcript on
the same lines, referring to Stalin as :
"The Georgian who. . casually flings about accusations of 'nationalist-socialist', whereas he himself is a real and true nationalist-socialist’ and even a vulgar Great-Russian bully)...The political responsibility for all this truly Great-Russian nationalist campaign must, of course, be laid on Stalin and Dzerzhinsky". V.I. Lenin: 'The Question of Nationalities, or 'Autononisation"', in: 'Collected Works', Volume 36; Moscow; 1966; p. 606
By March 1923 Lenin was dictating a letter to Trotsky asking him to
defend the case of the 'Georgian deviators' in the Central Committee:
"It is my earnest request that you should undertake the defence of the Georgian case in the Party CC. The case is now under 'persecution' by Stalin and Dzerzhinsky, and I cannot rely on their impartiality. Quite the contrary, I would feel at ease if you agreed to undertake this defence".V.I. Lenin: Letter to L. D. Trotsky, 5 March 1923, in: 'Collected Works', Volume 45; Moscow; 1970; p. 607
But what did our Hero Trotsky do when Lenin entrusted him to take up the case. He said he was to sick!On the plea of ill health". Note to: V. I. Lenin: 'Collected Works;', Volume 45; Moscow; 1970; p. 757.
On the following day, Lenin dictated a letter to the leading 'Georgian
deviators', giving them his whole-hearted support to their case and offering
to assist it with notes and a speech:
"I am following your case with all my heart. I am indignant over Ordzhonikidze's rudeness and the connivance of Stalin and Dzerzhinsky. I am preparing for you notes and a speech". V.I. Lenin: Letter to P. G. Mdivani, F. Y. Makharadze and Others, 6 March 1923, in: 'Collected Works', Volume 45; Moscow; 1970; p. 608.
In conclusion it may be added that Trotsky's efforts in 1923 to persuade
the Central Committee to adopt the line of the 'Georgian deviators' and
abolish the Transcaucasian Federation were heavily defeated:
"Trotsky's motion in the Politburo on March 26 to recall Ordzhomikidze, decentralise the Transcaucasian Federation and recognise that the minority in the Communist Party of Georgia had not been 'deviationists', failed by six to one". R.G.Suny: op. cit.; p. 218.
What can we conclude from all this ? First that all the innocent trots who took their time to learn this stuff were all lied to by their Trot masters. Second, that cleraly there was something that occured to alter Lenin's opinion in 1922 of Trotsky and Stalin. And what else could change a sharp change in a person's attitude than a stroke ! It was recorded in May 1922 that Catastrophe struck: his right hand and leg became paralysed and his speech was impaired, sometimes completely so. . his convalescence was slow and tedious. . . He never fully regained his health. The return to public life was not to last long". His testament was written in late 1922. Then Lenin suffered 2 more strokes that same year and remained a vegtable till his death in 1924. The autopsy report stated:
"The basic disease of the deceased was disseminated vascular arteriosclerosis based on premature wearing out of the vessels. The narrowing of the lumen of the cerebral arteries and the disturbances of the cerebral blood supply brought about focal softening of the brain tissue which can account for all symptoms of the disease (paralysis, disturbance of speech)". R.Payne: Report on the Pathological-Anatomical Examination of the Body of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, in: 'The Life and Death of Lenin'; London; 1967; p. 632.
The controversial document known as 'Lenin's Testament' was dictated between 23 and 31 December 1922, with a supplement dated 4 January 1923, after Lenin had already suffered four severe strokes which had adversely affected his brain function. Thus. Lenin's radical changes of opinion on Stalin, on Trotsky and on Transcaucasia are partly explicable by psycho-pathologica1 factors.
Also let it be noted that Stalin was never aloud to see Lenin personally
during the whole period. Strict rules were established so only the doctors
and Lenin's immediate family were able to visit him. Also note Krupskaya
hatred of Stalin noted on by her biographer Robert McNeal. She joined the
Opposition after Lenin's death.
"Krupskaya . showed not the slightest intention of carrying out the orders of the doctors and the Politburo; and so small scraps of information were fed to Lenin. . . While he lay ill, she was his ears and eyes, his sole powerful contact with the outside world'.
In March 1923 Stalin rebuked Krupskaya over the telephone
for feeding Lenin information.
On March 5, Lenin dictated a new note:
`Respected Comrade Stalin. You had the rudeness to summon
my wife to the telephone and reprimand her .... I do not
intend to forget so easily what was done against me, and I need not stress that I consider what is done against my wife is
done against me also. I ask therefore that you weigh carefully whether you are agreeable to retract what you said and to
apologize or whether you prefer to sever relations between us. Lenin.'
It is distressing to read this private letter from a man who had reached
his physical limits. Krupskaya herself asked the
secretary not to forward the note to Stalin.
On May 23, 1924 the Steering Committee voted not to publish the Testament because Lenin himself did not wish it published and instead read at a closed session of delegates . However it was distributed to all the delegates at the 13th party congress. This was admitted by Krushev in his speech at the 20th party congress in 1956. At the 13th congress Stalin volunteered to step down.(also confirmed by Krushev)
"This question. was discussed by each delegation separately, and all the delegations unanimously, including Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev*, obliged Stalin to remain at his post. What could I do? Desert my post? That is not in my nature. I have never deserted any post, and I have no right to do so. . When the Party imposes an obligation upon ne, I must obey." J.V. Stalin: Speech to Joint Plenum of CC & CCC of CPSU, in: "Works',Volume 10; Mos; 1954; p. 181.
At the first meeting of the Central Committee elected at the 13th Congress
of the Party, and again a year later, Stalin offered his resignation, and
each time it was rejected:
"At the very first Plenum of the Central Committee after the 13th Congress, I asked the Plenum to release me from my duties as General Secretary.. A year later I again put in a request to the plenum to release me, but I was again obliged to remain at my post. What else could I do?" J.V. Stalin: ibid.; p. 181
Krushev confirmed that "The delegates (to the 13th Party Congress - Ed.) declared themselves in favor of retaining Stalin in this post". N.S.Krushchev: op. cit.; p. 7.
Just out of interest one of the delegates who voted against Stalin's
resignation was Lenin himself! Later Max Eastman, Trotsky's biographer
published this will along with certain remarks about Trotsky. Trotsky responded
back in the Bolshevik Newspaper stating:
Eastman says that the Central Committee concealed' from the Party ... the so-called `will,' ... there can be no other name for this than slander against the Central Committee of our Party .... Vladimir Ilyich did not leave any `will,' and the very character of the Party itself, precluded the possibility of such a `will.' What is usually referred to as a `will' in the émigré and foreign bourgeois and Menshevik press (in a manner garbled beyond recognition) is one of Vladimir Ilyich's letters containing advice on organizational matters. The Thirteenth Congress of the Party paid the closest attention to that letter .... All talk about concealing or violating a `will' is a malicious invention.'
Later a course Trotsky would clamor indignantly about `Lenin's ``Will'', which Stalin concealed from the party'. So the Left opposition claims.
In a public declaration, Stalin said:
`The oppositionists shouted here ... that the Central
Committee of the Party ``concealed'' Lenin's ``will.'' We have discussed
this question several times at the plenum of the Central Committee and Central Control Commission .... (A voice: ``Scores
of times.'') It has been proved and proved again that nobody has concealed anything, that Lenin's ``will'' was addressed to
the Thirteenth Party Congress, that this ``will'' was read out at the congress ( voices: ``That's right!''), that the congress
unanimously decided not to publish it because, among other things, Lenin himself did not want it to be published and did
not ask that it should be published.'
`It is said in that ``will'' Comrade Lenin suggested
to the congress that in view of Stalin's ``rudeness'' it should consider
question of putting another comrade in Stalin's place as General Secretary. That is quite true. Yes, comrades, I am rude to
those who grossly and perfidiously wreck and split the Party. I have never concealed this and do not conceal it now .... At
the very first meeting of the plenum of the Central Committee after the Thirteenth Congress I asked the plenum of the Central
Committee to release me from my duties as General Secretary. The congress discussed this question. It was discussed by
each delegation separately, and all the delegations unanimously, including Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev, obliged Stalin
to remain at his post ....
`A year later I again put in a request to the plenum to
release me, but I was obliged to remain at my post.'
None of what I said was even mentioned by Trotsky or the Trotskyite,
just to show you how correct they really are.