Book Reviews

Losing Power: The Workers’ Opposition in the Russian Communist Party. A Review of The Workers’ Opposition in the Russian Communist Party: Documents, 1919–30, edited and translated by Barbara C. Allen

book cover

By Daniel Gaido

Book Cover

This monumental collection gathers the main documents of the Workers’ Opposition, a tendency within the Bolshevik Party that emerged in December 1920 against the background of the crisis in War Communism, i.e., the economic collapse resulting from grain requisitions and the prohibition of trade between the city and the countryside, which became unbearable to large strata of the population towards the end of 1920, after the end of the civil war and the armistice in the Polish–Soviet War. The book reproduces numerous documents from the main leader of the tendency, Alexander Shliapnikov (the chairman of the metalworkers’ union), as well as its platform, the interventions of its leaders in trade-union and party conferences and congresses, articles in party journals, diary entries, etc. It does not include, however, the most famous document of the tendency, Alexandra Kollontai’s pamphlet The Workers’ Opposition, because it is already widely available online and also because, according to Allen, ‘other leaders of the Workers’ Opposition refused to take responsibility’ for it, considering its language too inflammatory.[1] But the collection includes Kollontai’s diary entries from 23 March to 1 April 1921, which show her disappointment after having been disavowed by her comrades at the tenth congress of the Russian Communist Party – including Shliapnikov, who was elected to the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party.[2]

The book is divided into four sections. The first one deals with the trade-union debate (in which there was a three-way split between the Workers’ Opposition, the supporters of Trotsky’s proposal for the militarisation of the economy and the supporters of Lenin’s middle-of-the-road position) and the formation of the Workers’ Opposition, from March 1919 to the Autumn of 1920. The second section deals with the Workers’ Opposition as a fully-formed legal faction in the Russian Communist Party, from December 1920 to March 1921, when it was condemned as a ‘syndicalist deviation’ by the Tenth Congress of the Russian Communist Party – which coincided with the outbreak of the Kronstadt revolt and adopted the disastrous ban on factions as well as the transition from War Communism to the New Economic Policy (NEP). The third section covers the period from the ban on factions through the eleventh party congress of March–April 1922, which appointed Joseph Stalin as the Russian Communist Party’s first General Secretary (i.e., as the leader of the only legal faction within the Bolshevik Party). The fourth and final section deals with the former Worker Oppositionists in the debates of the NEP era and during the first five-year plan, from 1922 to 1930.

The Formation of the Workers’ Opposition

The main leader of the Workers’ Opposition in the Russian Communist Party, Alexander Shliapnikov raised the slogan ‘unionise the government’ (alternatively ‘unionise the state’) and advocated ‘the necessary purge even of the CC’.[3] The ‘Theses of the Workers’ Opposition’ adopted on 18 January 1921 envisioned this slogan in the following way: ‘Organisation of management of the entire economy will belong to an All-Russian Congress of Producers, who are united in professional production unions, which will elect a central body to manage the entire economy of the republic’.[4] Since this vaguely sounds like the realisation of the Industrial Workers of the World’s ‘One Big Union’ idea, it is not surprising that their opponents accused them of syndicalism, though the Workers’ Opposition rejected this denomination as a slur and argued that its proposal was based on the economic section of the programme of the Russian Communist Party adopted at the Eighth Congress held in March 1919, particularly its point 5, which stated that ‘Trade unions should further concentrate in their hands all management of the economy, as a single economic unit’ and that ‘The participation of trade unions and through them the masses in directing the economy is the chief means for struggle against bureaucratisation of Soviet power’s economic system’.[5]

Most party leaders, of course, saw matters in a completely different light: for them the Workers’ Opposition reduced the role of the party to the seizure of political power (and the eventual conduct of a civil war to secure that power), after which it would hand over the management of the economy to the trade unions. It is not surprising, therefore, that in the tenth congress of the Russian Communist Party the Workers’ Opposition had only a small minority of delegates: 45 out of 694 voting delegates, i.e., 6.5 percent.[6] More perplexing is the fact that they had the support of only a slight majority in the leadership of Shliapnikov’s own union, and that they remained a minority in the All-Russian Central Council of Trade Unions and at the Russian Communist Party’s conference in the Moscow gubernia, their stronghold.[7] While this was partly due to the heavy-handed intervention of the party in the internal affairs of the unions, it cannot be explained away so easily. An additional reason for the numerical weakness of the Workers’ Opposition was its programmatic weaknesses.

The Workers’ Opposition’s platform suffered from a series of shortcomings, the most glaring of which was the scant attention it paid to the peasant question in a country where, according to the population census of 1926, the peasantry amounted to 82.1 per cent of the population (the specialist on the peasantry, V.P. Danilov, claimed that the percentage of the peasants was actually higher: 84 per cent).[8] The compulsory requisition of grain not only estranged the peasantry – i.e., the vast majority of the population – from the government, but the peasants began to till only enough land to meet their own direct needs, ‘so that by the end of 1920 the amount of sown acreage in European Russia was only three-fifths of the figure for 1913, the last normal year before the onset of war and revolution’.[9] Any attempt to revive agriculture and husbandry required the abolition of grain requisition and its replacement by a tax, as well as the restauration of private exchange between cities and countryside, which in turn required the stabilisation of the rouble to rein in inflation. In other words: the only way out of the economic collapse in the short term was a transition from War Communism to the NEP, a measure adopted by the Tenth Congress of the Russian Communist Party only under pressure from the Kronstadt uprising. But the Workers’ Opposition never advanced such proposals, and, indeed, their demands envisioned a continuation of payments in kind to the workers through ‘the systematic implementation of naturalisation of wages’ as well as ‘basic and bonus payments in kind’.[10]

Another weakness of the Workers’ Opposition’s platform was that it was by no means obvious what it meant to transfer the management of the economy to the unions in late 1920 and early 1921, when the major cities were virtually depopulated:

Between May 1917 and April 1918, the city of Moscow lost 300,000 of its 2 million inhabitants. From 1918 to 1920, the city lost another 700,000 people. Moscow’s population toward the end of the civil war was thus half of what it had been in the midst of the 1917 revolution. An even more catastrophic fall occurred in Petrograd: its population plummeted from 2.5 million in 1917 to 700,000 in 1920.[11]

In this context of decimation of the working class: what percentage of the Soviet population did the wage workers represent and, of that number, what percentage was unionised? In her pamphlet The Workers’ Opposition, Kollontai claimed that there were seven million industrial workers in Russia in early 1921.[12] The Soviet population in 1920 has been estimated at 136.8 million – in other words, the total number of wage workers in Russia, let alone those who were unionised, amounted to just 5 percent of the population.[13] Could that small section of the population actually manage the economy through the unions against a backdrop of deep peasant discontent against War Communism, which manifested itself in mass revolts like the Antonov rebellion in Tambov?[14]

The strong point of the Workers’ Opposition platform was its denunciation of the bureaucratisation of the Bolshevik Party and of the Soviet state (partly due to the fusion of both) and its attempt to provide an alternative by returning power into the hands of proletarian organisations: the trade unions, the factory committees and the soviets, all of which required the celebration of free elections, the election instead of the appointment of functionaries and the right to recall all elected officials at any time.

Allen’s collection includes the ‘Theses of the Workers’ Opposition: Tasks of Trade Unions’, the platform of the tendency, signed on 18 December 1920, although Bukharin delayed its publication in Pravda until 18 January 1921.[15] But, to get a clearer sense of the controversy, one must turn to the interventions of the Workers’ Opposition’s members in the assemblies, for instance, this speech by Iury Lutovinov at the Ninth Conference of the Russian Communist Party held in September 1920:

Comrade Zinoviev asked workers in Rostov why they have not yet taken power into their hands. If I had been in the place of those Rostov workers, I would have asked Comrade Zinoviev, ‘Why is it that workers in Petersburg, under you, have still not taken power into their hands?’ Why is it that when Petersburg workers tried to do this, by expelling Zinoviev’s lackeys from the old Petersburg Committee and bringing old, tried-and-true comrades trusted by the masses into a new committee, Comrade Zinoviev sabotaged this Petersburg Committee? And why was this Petersburg Committee disbanded? Because a system exists, under which it will always be so. It is necessary to talk about this system. This is the main reason for the demoralisation in the party. […]

Comrade Zinoviev very readily described the situation in other places, but he did not say what is done under him in Piter (St. Petersburg) and nearby the CC here in Moscow. Indeed, the local satraps, the ‘Belenkys and Piatnitskys’ (there is no other name for them) went so far as to expel people from the party for an assembly, which in their opinion was illegal. Of course, this only intensifies demoralisation. Today, I was shown the decision of a committee, which forbids comrades acquitted by a court for illegal assemblies to communicate with or appear on the territory of the district, where they earlier worked. And Comrade Belenky in the district threatened to shoot workers for illegal assemblies. Yes, indeed, these are monstrous things. No matter how many thoughts you pour out here about abnormal blunders, until you destroy the system, it will be impossible to eliminate them.[16]

Given the size of the collection (960 pages), which, moreover, deals with a particular aspect of the Russian revolution, the documents tend to be repetitive, but Allen included them on purpose to show how the views of the Workers’ Opposition were expressed in different ways in the capital and the provinces, by workers and intellectuals, in written documents and oral interventions, etc. Besides, this comprehensiveness has redeeming features. Thus, although the collection deals almost exclusively with internal matters, because the Workers’ Opposition did not address international issues, the collection is so vast that we gain glimpses of what was going on in the Communist International, for instance in this entry in Alexandra Kollontai’s Diary Notes dated 6 February 1920:

… Often I see Anzh[elika] Balab[anoff]. Zinoviev secured her removal, she is no longer secretary of the Third International. He does not tolerate around himself anyone who is popular abroad. This is an enormous mistake and harmful for the Third Int[ernational]. His policy encourages colourless quantities [величины] but for that ‘obedient’ in everything. A repulsive type. Zinoviev. And a coward…[17]

Alexandra Kollontai’s brochure The Workers’ Opposition (January 1921)

Though not included in Allen’s collection, Alexandra Kollontai’s brochure The Workers’ Opposition, published in late January 1921 in 1,500 copies only for delegates to the Tenth Party Congress, represented an important milestone in the history of the Workers’ Opposition, because it was translated into several languages and made its views widely circulated abroad – for instance, an American edition was immediately published by the Industrial Workers of the World.[18]

Kollontai decried the growing alienation between the ‘upper’ and the ‘lower’ strata within the Russian Communist Party, i.e., between ‘the labouring masses, and the leading party centres’. The Workers’ Opposition voiced the views of the ‘lower’ strata, because its nucleus was composed of ‘members of the trade unions’, which forced the Workers’ Opposition ‘to come into close contact with the rank and file’. For that reason, according to Kollontai, ‘the Workers’ Opposition is the advanced part of the proletariat which has not severed the ties with the labouring masses organized into unions, and which has not scattered itself in the Soviet institutions.’ Within the ranks of the Russian Communist Party ‘a ferment was at work; signifying that the “lower” elements demand freedom of criticism, loudly proclaiming that bureaucracy strangles them, leaves no freedom for activity, or for manifestation of initiative’.[19]

Kollontai argued that ‘the crisis in our party is a direct outcome of the three distinct cross-current tendencies that correspond to the three different social groups, viz.: the working class, the peasantry together with the middle class, and the elements of former bourgeoisie, that is, specialists, technicians, and men of affairs’.[20] The implementation of the Russian Communist Party’s programme had been hindered by the ‘complete destruction and breakdown of the economic structure’ brought about by the civil war and the intervention of the imperialist armies, as well as by the economic backwardness of a country ‘with a preponderant peasant population, where the necessary economic prerequisites for socialization of production and distribution are lacking’. In those circumstances, ‘Any party standing at the head of a heterogeneous soviet state is compelled to consider the aspirations of peasants with their petty-bourgeois inclinations and resentments towards communism, as well as lend an ear to the numerous petty-bourgeois elements, remnants of the former capitalists in Russia, to all kinds of traders, middlemen, petty officials, etc., who have very rapidly adapted themselves to the soviet institutions and occupy responsible positions in the centres, appear in the capacity of agents of different commissariats, etc.’[21]

Kollontai decried, in particular, the growing influence of specialists in the Soviet state, arguing that ‘Beside peasant-owners in the villages and bourgeois elements in the cities, our party in its Soviet state policy is forced to reckon with the influence exerted by the representatives of wealthy bourgeoisie now appearing in the form of specialists, technicians, engineers, and former managers of financial and industrial affairs, who by all their past experience are bound to the capitalist system of production.’ Under their influence, the principle of collective management in the control of industry had been replaced by personal management, under ‘the ridiculously naive belief that it is possible to bring about communism by bureaucratic means’. These former bourgeois elements had ‘already adapted themselves to the soviet regime, and sway our policy toward petty-bourgeois lines’. The specialists approved heartily ‘the centralist tendencies of the soviet government in the sphere of economics, well realizing all the benefits of trustification and regulation of production’, and were

striving for just one thing – they want that this regulation should be carried on not through the labour organizations (the industrial unions) but through themselves – acting now under the guise of soviet economic institutions – the central industrial committees, industrial centres of the Supreme Council of National Economy, where they are already firmly rooted. The influence of these gentlemen on ‘the sober’ state policy of our leaders is great, considerably greater than is desirable. This influence is reflected in the policy which defends and cultivates bureaucratism.[22]

The alienation of the workers by the party was heightened by the fact that ‘during these three years of the revolution the economic situation of the working class, of those who work in factories and mills, has not only not been improved, but become more unbearable.’ The ‘suppressed and widely spread dissatisfaction among workers’ had ‘a real justification’. Kollontai believed that ‘only the peasants gained directly by the revolution’, while the middle classes ‘very cleverly adapted themselves to the new conditions, together with the representatives of the rich bourgeoisie who had occupied all the responsible and directing positions in the soviet institutions (particularly in the sphere of directing state economy), in the industrial organizations and the reestablishment of commercial relations with foreign nations’.[23]

Kollontai’s propositions for reform mostly repeated those enumerated by the Workers’ Opposition (particularly the handing over of the administration of the economy to the trade unions), but she placed a greater emphasis on fighting against bureaucratisation, arguing that ‘The creation of new forms of national economy’ could not be entrusted ‘to the soviet bureaucratic institutions.’ The party had to ‘place the trust of building up the communist economy’, not ‘in the Supreme Council of National Economy with all its bureaucratic branches’ but on ‘the industrial unions’. Bureaucracy was ‘a direct negation of mass self-activity’ because

The restrictions on initiative are put not only in regard to the activity of non-partisan masses (this would be only a logical and reasonable condition in the suppressed atmosphere of the civil war), the initiative of party members themselves is also restricted. Every independent attempt, every new thought that had not passed through the censorship of our centre is considered as ‘heresy,’ as a violation of the party discipline, as an attempt to infringe on the prerogatives of the centre, which must ‘foresee’ everything, and ‘decree’ anything and everything. If anything is not decreed one must wait, for the time will come when the centre at its leisure will decree, and then within sharply restricted limits one may express his ‘initiative.’[24]

The workers’ initiative was indispensable for the survival for the Soviet state, yet it was stifled because

There can be no self-activity without freedom of thought and opinion, for self-activity manifests itself not only in initiative, action, and work, but in independent thought as well. We are afraid of mass-activity. We are afraid to give freedom to the class activity, we are afraid of criticism, we have ceased to rely on the masses, hence, we have bureaucracy with us. That is why the Workers’ Opposition considers that bureaucracy is our enemy, our scourge, and the greatest danger for the future existence of the Communist party itself. In order to do away with the bureaucracy that is finding its shelter in the soviet institutions, we must first of all get rid of all bureaucracy in the party itself. That is where we face the immediate struggle against this system.[25]

In order to carry out that task, the Workers’ Opposition demanded ‘complete realization of all democratic principles’, along with ‘the expulsion from the party of all non-proletarian elements’ and ‘the elimination of all non-workers’ elements from all the administrative positions’.[26] Finally

The fourth basic demand of the Workers’ Opposition is this: the party must reverse its policy to the elective principle.

Appointments must be permissible only as exceptions, but lately they began to prevail as a rule. Appointments are very characteristic of bureaucracy, and yet at present they are a general, legalized and well recognized daily occurrence. The procedure of appointments produces a very unhealthy atmosphere in the party, and disrupts the relationship of equality among the members by rewarding friends and punishing enemies as well as by other no less harmful practices in our party and soviet life. Appointments lessen the sense of duty and responsibility to the masses in the ranks of appointees, for they are not responsible to the masses. This condition makes the line of division between the leaders and the rank and file members still sharper.

Every appointee, as a matter of fact, is beyond any control, for the leaders are not able to watch closely his activity while the masses cannot call him to account, and discharge him if necessary. As a rule every appointee is surrounded by an atmosphere of officialdom, servility and blind subordination, which infects all subordinates, and discredits the party. The practice of appointments rejects completely the principle of collective work; it breeds irresponsibility. Appointments by the leaders must be done away with, and replaced by the elective principle all along the party line. Candidates shall be eligible to occupy responsible administrative positions only when they have been elected by conferences and congresses.

Finally, in order to eliminate bureaucracy and make the party healthier it is necessary to revert to that state of things where all the cardinal questions of party activity and soviet policy are submitted to the consideration of the rank and file and only after that are supervised by the leaders. This was the state of things when the party was forced to carry on its work in secret – even as late as the time of signing the treaty of Brest-Litovsk. At present the state of things is altogether different. […]

Wide publicity, freedom of opinion and discussion, right to criticize within the party and among the members of the trade unions – such is the decisive step that can put an end to the prevailing system of bureaucracy. Freedom of criticism, right of different factions to freely present their views at party meetings, freedom of discussion.[27]

Kollontai concluded, saying: ‘Finally, the Workers’ Opposition has raised its voice against bureaucracy, and has dared to say that bureaucracy binds the wings of self-activity and the creativeness of the working class; that it deadens thought, hinders initiative and experimenting in the sphere of finding new approaches to production, in a word – it hinders development of new forms for production and life. Instead of a system of bureaucracy it proposes a system of self-activity for the masses.’[28]

The Tenth Congress of the Russian Communist Party (March 1921)

The climax of the Workers’ Opposition’s struggle was its decisive defeat in the Russian Communist Party’s congress, which took place simultaneously with the outbreak of the Kronstadt revolt. Only 18 delegates voted for the proposals of the Workers’ Opposition, although the total number of votes cast (404) was far less than the total number of delegates attending the congress (694), partly because, by that time, around 200 of the congress delegates had left for the Kronstadt front (including at least four Worker Oppositionists) and also because around 90 delegates must have abstained from voting.[29] Allen includes all the relevant interventions of the Workers’ Opposition in the sub-section ‘Speeches, Resolutions, Materials, and Declarations Relating to the Workers’ Opposition at the Tenth Party Congress, March 1921’.[30]

Of the speeches by members of the Workers’ Opposition’s delegates at that congress, the most memorable was the one delivered by Efim Ignatov, which we will take the liberty to quote at length:

Comrades, on the one hand, the crisis in our party is called forth by external objective reasons, which lie outside the party’s influence and elimination of which does not depend on the party. But along with these conditions, the reasons for the crisis also lie in intraparty phenomena, which are conditions that do depend on the party and which can and should be eliminated. If we turn to external reasons, then we will say that uninterrupted civil war and the onslaught of White Guard elements from without helped this crisis develop. On the other hand, the collapse of the national economy during this period also significantly promoted this crisis and to a certain degree accelerated it, of course. These are objective causes, which of course could not depend on the party and of course they should be dealt with as such. Further, besides this, our party has to rule in a country that is economically backward, where the working class is an insignificant minority, and the majority of the population is peasant. The party has to manoeuvre and adapt its policy to diverse tendencies. First, these are communist tendencies of the working class. Second, there are the needs of the petty bourgeois masses and the peasantry. Third are the needs of the functionary bourgeois caste. These clashing circumstances have promoted the intensification of the crisis. […]

The Soviet Republic and our Communist Party, in as much as it was strengthened and internally reborn, lost that uniform composition, which it had before the October Revolution. It especially started to swell when alien elements came into our party. Without having broken with their old ways of thinking and working, they began to pour into the party, after the suppression of the Left SR uprising and the liquidation of petty bourgeois parties. Of course, this circumstance in its turn contributed to the party’s loss of contact with the masses, on the one hand, and on the other hand, made the party all the more diverse internally. Here it should be said, of course, that the conditions cited above only facilitated the making of a special type of Soviet bureaucrat in our communist party and milieu. This was a bureaucrat, who did not assimilate the earlier communist way of thinking and who could not adequately be educated in the circumstances of civil war. On the contrary, he was cultivated in wartime and from him was created a type of functionary-bureaucrat [чиновник-бюрократ], who cannot understand communist psychology, because it is alien to him. It is completely understandable how this circumstance gave a certain direction to new groups, which poured into the party. Under other conditions, our party could have coped with this, but not in the context of civil war. When the party’s most valuable proletarian element perished on the fronts, the ill-assorted new element could not be recast in a new mould. Due to this, heterogeneous groups appeared inside the party. These groups were just as alien to one another. Gradually, the party lost contact with its class, which aggravated the crisis. When we turned to economy building, we saw that our party was experiencing a deep crisis. Our party was losing authority within the working class. From essentially having been the vanguard of the working class, it is ceasing to be connected with it. We can see evidence of this in strikes, when workers force communists out of factories. Moreover, the mass departure of workers from the ranks of our party proves that our party really is experiencing a crisis. […]

Indeed, now giant tasks confront us and we have to take into account the mood of the peasantry, which no longer faces a direct threat of losing its land at the hands of White Guard generals. Given the situation in which the working class now finds itself, it needs to be said that we essentially are losing touch with our main base.[31]

Efimov proposed to carry out ‘a thorough purge of the party’ of non-working-class members and the implementation of ‘labour education’ by which each party member would have had ‘to work in a factory or plant for a certain period of time each year’. This ‘workerisation’ of the party also required a drastic change in its organisational dynamics:

Further, appointmentism to party posts needs to be abolished without any conditions. This institution of having plenipotentiaries and appointees must be ended! Plenipotentiaries can be chosen by a congress or by an appropriate conference. Besides that, it is necessary to make it so that each person entering the party would undergo a certain preliminary probation period. For nonworkers and peasant elements, a two-year probationary period is needed in order to receive senior work assignments and a year for junior work assignments.

Besides that, it needs to be pointed out that an organisation can be disbanded only if this organisation takes a decision, which contradicts the decision of a congress or an order of the highest bodies resulting from a congress decision. In those and other cases, higher standing bodies should convene appropriate conferences, where they would carry out reelections of committees or reregistration of members. In order to make the ‘higher-ups’ healthier, systematic changes in the composition of leading bodies is necessary. We consider it necessary that all leading bodies be infused with a majority of workers, who have not become cut off from the workbench and who are connected with the broad proletarian masses. On the one hand, this will make it possible to connect more closely with the masses. On the other hand, it will allow as many appropriate personnel as possible to enter through the workplace and moreover, will not allow cadres of bureaucrats to settle down in place. Despite how everyone says that the course needs to be held toward worker democracy, such bureaucratic cadres are still in the party.[32]

Ignatov’s speech shows clearly both the strengths and weaknesses of the Workers’ Opposition: it denounced the process of bureaucratisation and the growing divorce between the leadership of the party and its working-class members, proposing a number of solutions to it (whether correct or not), but it failed to address the main issue confronting the tenth congress of the Russian Communist Party: the revolt of the peasantry against War Communism and the urgent need to transition to a New Economic Policy of some sort.

Kollontai’s intervention raised the question of ‘freedom of discussion’ within the party, saying: ‘Party tendencies and representatives of various tendencies must have the right to arrange discussion and the possibility to defend their views, for example to use Central Committee funds to publish such a “harmful” brochure as my brochure, “Workers’ Opposition”. We insist upon the need to actually be able within the party to defend that which we consider true and correct.’[33] The ‘Resolution on Party Building proposed by the Workers’ Opposition’, which, in a sense, was its final platform, phrased that demand as follows: ‘Ensuring that freedom of discussion is possible; recognise for intraparty tendencies the right to arrange discussions and give representatives of tendencies the material resources they need to defend their views.’[34]

The congress did the exact opposite, adopting the resolutions ‘On Party Unity’ (which prohibited the formation of party tendencies around particular platforms) and ‘On the Syndicalist and Anarchist Deviation in our Party’, both directed against the Workers’ Opposition. As Ignatov denounced in a further speech:

with the resolution proposed now, you eliminate the possibility to discuss any problems within the party. Here everything gets tossed in a heap. Instead of real principles of worker democracy, you get suspension of any discussion and cessation of any vital idea within the party.[35]

The Tenth Party Congress also elected Shliapnikov as a member of the Central Committee and even of the Central Purge Commission, in an attempt to co-opt the main leader of the Workers’ Opposition.

Perhaps the most baleful consequence of the ban on factions adopted by the tenth congress of the Russian Communist Party was that it provided a template for Zinoviev’s ‘Bolshevisation’ of the Communist Parties all over the world. The ‘Theses on Tactics’ adopted by the Fifth Congress of the Communist International held in July 1924 read: ‘It must be a centralized party prohibiting factions, tendencies and groups. It must be a monolithic party hewn of one piece.’[36] As this quotation from the ‘father of American Trotskyism’ makes clear, this also became the template for the future Trotskyist organisations, particularly after Trotsky’s death.

From the Ban on Factions to the Election of Stalin as General Secretary

The next step in the struggle of the party leadership against the Workers’ Opposition was the removal of Shliapnikov as chair of the Metalworkers’ Union in May 1921, because, according to Allen, ‘there were more workers in the union (five hundred thousand) than in the party’.[37] The representatives of the Central Committee at the sessions of the Russian Communist Party’s Faction of the Fourth All-Russian Congress of Metalworkers were Bukharin and Molotov, two people completely alien to any kind of physical work, let alone metalworkers’ labour. The former Worker Oppositionists protested against the violation of the ‘normal methods of proletarian democracy, especially in trade unions, where most of all leaders should be selected by the organised masses themselves’.[38] But those who spoke most clearly were obscure representatives, in this case Alexander Tolokontsev, a delegate from the artillery factory at Nizhny Novgorod: ‘I think that it needs to be said clearly and openly that the central body of the All-Russian Metalworkers’ Union is not elected, but appointed. In my opinion, the Eleventh Party Congress should set down in writing that such bodies as the central committee of the All-Russian Metalworkers’ Union are not elected, but appointed by the Party CC.’[39] Worker Oppositionists were also removed from leading positions and transferred to other posts to deprive them of a mass base.

Such ‘appointmentism’ took a heavy toll on its conscientious ‘beneficiaries’, such as the Worker Oppositionist Mikhail Vladimirov, who at the All-Russian Union of Metalworkers Central Committee Plenum held on 17 October 1921 said: ‘I find it extremely difficult for me to go somewhere to a union organisation and to speak not as an elected, but as an appointed central committee member.’[40] The attempt by Shliapnikov and his supporters to regain control at the Fifth Congress of the Metalworkers’ Union held in late February 1922 ended in failure. On that occasion Vladimirov stated:

I worked not in order to be in the presidium and in the central committee [of the union], but for the sake of the work itself. I have suffered such torment for the past six months, which I never experienced during hard labour under the tsarist regime. No one now can force me to work in the central committee. Even if called to account under party discipline, I would say, ‘No, I can’t.’[41]

On 5 July 1921, Kollontai addressed the Third Congress of the Communist International to inform it about dissent within the Russian Communist Party. In his ‘Report on Policies of Communist Party of Russia’, Lenin had openly admitted that

Freedom to trade means freedom for capitalism, but it also means a new form of capitalism. It means that, to a certain extent, we are re-creating capitalism. We are doing this quite openly. It is state capitalism. […] It goes without saying that we must grant concessions to the foreign bourgeoisie, to foreign capital. […] We admit quite openly, and do not conceal the fact that concessions in the system of state capitalism mean paying tribute to capitalism.[42]

In her intervention, Kollontai warned that ‘the new economic policy makes it possible for capitalism to regain its footing and be reborn in Russia’, and that it represented ‘an enormous concession of all our economic policy to the Russian petty bourgeoisie’.[43] Both Trotsky and Bukharin delivered scathing replies to Kollontai’s address, which had the fatal flaw of retaining a sort of emotional attachment to the egalitarian aspects of War Communism and of not proposing any real way out of its crisis and of the consequent collapse in production.[44]

The former Worker Oppositionists made a last attempt to address the Communist International on the issue of the differences within the Russian Communist Party by submitting a petition to the expanded Comintern Executive on 28 February 1922, a document known as the ‘Letter of the 22’. Its main passages read:

At a time when the forces of the bourgeois press upon us from all sides and when they even infiltrate our party, the social composition of which (40% worker and 60% non-proletarian) favours this, our leading centres wage a relentless, demoralising struggle against everyone, especially proletarians, who permit themselves to have their own opinion. They apply all kinds of repressive measures against those who express their own opinion within the party.

They call this attempt to bring the proletarian masses closer to the government ‘anarcho-syndicalism’. They persecute and discredit its advocates.

In the trade union movement, there is the same picture of suppression of worker enterprise and initiative and struggle using all means against heterodoxy. The unified forces of the party and trade union bureaucracy, taking advantage of their position and authority, ignore our congresses’ decisions about laying the foundations of worker democracy. Our union communist factions, even factions of entire congresses, are deprived of the right to manifest their will in the election of their own centres. Bureaucracy’s petty tutelage and pressure has gone so far that party members are directed under the threat of exclusion and other repressive measures to elect not those whom the communists themselves want, but those whom the dismissive higher-ups want. Such methods of work lead to careerism, intrigues, and servility. Workers respond to this by leaving the party.[45]

The reply of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party, signed by Trotsky and Zinoviev, claimed that the appeal distorted the questions in dispute and simply appended the Resolutions of the Russian Communist Party’s Tenth Congress on ‘Party Unity’ and the ‘Anarcho-Syndicalist Current’.[46]

The final clash between the party leadership and the former Worker Oppositionists took place at the Eleventh Congress of the Russian Communist Party in March–April 1922. In a meeting of a group of 25 delegates to the Fifth All-Russian Congress of Metalworkers held on 10 February 1922, Shliapnikov said:

The Eleventh Party Congress is being prepared in silence. It’s been decided to conduct as little discussion as possible. This phenomenon is fundamentally impermissible. The party needs to be made healthy, because the elements of its degeneration are obvious. The party is not talking, for it is afraid to speak.[47]

The collection reproduces the published speeches at the open sessions, the unpublished speeches at the 2 April 1922 closed session, the published resolution, and other materials relating to the former Workers’ Opposition at the eleventh congress of the Russian Communist Party, which elected Stalin as General Secretary.[48] The most well-known anecdote of this event was Shliapnikov’s reply to Lenin’s claim that the Russian proletariat had ceased to exist as a class: ‘Vladimir Illich said yesterday that the proletariat as a class, in that sense which Marx had in mind, does not exist. Allow me to congratulate you [plural] with being the vanguard of a non-existent class.’[49]

Other interventions of Worker Oppositionists at the Eleventh Congress went beyond irony in trying to explain why the best workers were leaving the party. One reason was economic hardship: in the framework of the NEP, the issuing of currency was drastically cut to reduce inflation and restore the circulation of commodities between cities and countryside. But, as a result of budget cuts, massive social programmes (schools and other educational institutions, child-care centres, communal kitchens, etc.) were defunded and workers’ wages went unpaid for months on end, which resulted in strikes and the further alienation of workers from the Russian Communist Party and the Soviet regime.

Kollontai argued that, although ‘objective conditions’ were ‘the basic and chief reason’ for ‘the workers’ weakening influence in the party’, they were by no means the only ones: there were also subjective conditions at play, beginning with the ‘the stifling of thought within the party’.[50] According to Kollontai:

A faction was not organised. Yet if there had been one, the party would have gained from this contact, in the sense that we would have met and debated among ourselves as close friends. But here is the misfortune and to what we have been reduced. When there are just two of us, we talk about a lot of things that cause us pain. But when a third person comes (laughter), we fall silent. We fear one another. […] as soon as you express a definite opinion, which departs from certain directives, right away the talk about factionalism begins.[51]

In order to attract workers, Kollontai called for a radical change in the party regime, concluding: ‘what we have now, which is a small grouping of a few higher-ups who essentially make the decisions, should disappear’.[52] Sergei Medvedev argued that ‘the best party personnel, when resigning their membership in communist cells, declare that they feel like puppets when they vote in party elections’.[53]

Although, as already mentioned, the platform of the Workers’ Opposition dealt only with internal issues of the Russian Communist Party and the Soviet state, the collection is so comprehensive that we occasionally get glimpses of the international context in which those events were taking place. Thus, for instance, at a meeting of Worker Oppositionists that took place on 8 July 1922, Lutovinov, who had spent some time in 1921 in Germany, reported the following about the disastrous putsch known as the ‘March action’ in Germany:

in the March days, when there was a silent directive to come forward […] our commissars, who are kicked out from here and sent there, looked only to Russia. As a result, the blood of the proletariat was spilt unnecessarily. Our role is not far off from that of a provocateur in that we give money, we send people who are incapable of leading, we raise an uprising, and the result is beatings.[54]

This disaster, organised by Zinoviev and his envoy Béla Kun against the opposition of the main leaders of the German Communist Party (in particular Paul Levi and Clara Zetkin), resulted in the loss of 200,000 workers in the industrial heartland of Europe. Nonetheless, it was hailed as a ‘step forward’ by the Third Congress of the Communist International, which kicked out Levi rather than Zinoviev.[55]

The collection also contains documents showing that in late August 1920, and again on 9 March 1922, members of the ultra-left Kommunistische Arbeiter-Partei Deutschlands (KAPD), which had been driven out of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) in October 1919, contacted Shliapnikov soliciting the participation of the Workers’ Opposition in the foundation of a ‘fourth international’ together with Dutch and Bulgarian oppositionists, to which Shliapnikov replied that the Workers’ Opposition was against a split both in the Russian Communist Party and in the Communist International.[56]

From the New Economic Policy to Stalinism

Between 1922 and the end of 1923, the consequences of the NEP began to unfold, including a revival of production and trade as well as an increase in social stratification, the reappearance of unemployment and a growing clash between the peasantry and the state over the determination of the prices of agricultural products. Internationally, 1923 was the year of the French–Belgian occupation of the Ruhr, which resulted in hyperinflation and in the last chapter of the German revolution that began in November 1918, known as the failed Deutscher Oktober. In Soviet politics, the period was marked by the progressive paralysis of Lenin, who suffered a series of strokes, and by the struggle over the succession between Trotsky and the Stalin–Kamenev–Zinoviev ‘troika’.

In October 1923, Trotsky and his supporters signed the ‘Declaration of the 46’ decrying the course of economic policy under the NEP and the lack of democracy in the Russian Communist Party.[57] Trotsky and his supporters, known as the Left Opposition, joined the struggle against the bureaucracy relatively late in the game, almost three years after the formation of the Workers’ Opposition. Trotsky’s rationalisation of how the Bolshevik leadership helped dig its own grave appears in his book The New Course, Chapter 3: Groups and Factional Formations (first published inPravda on 22 December 1923). It runs as follows:

The longest-lasting grouping and, from certain angles, the most dangerous one, was the ‘Workers’ Opposition.’ It reflected, although distortedly, the contradictions of war communism, certain mistakes of the party, as well as the essential objective difficulties of socialist organization. But this time, too, we did not confine ourselves merely to a formal prohibition. On the questions of democracy, formal decisions were made, and on the purging of the party effective and extremely important measures were taken, satisfying what was just and healthy in the criticism and the demands of the ‘Workers’ Opposition.’ And the main thing is that because of the decisions and the economic measures adopted by the party, the result of which was to bring about the disappearance of the differences of opinions and the groupings, the Tenth Congress was able to prohibit formally the constitution of factions, with reason to believe that its decisions would not remain a dead letter. But as experience and good political sense show, it goes without saying that by itself this prohibition contained no absolute or even serious guarantee against the appearance of new ideological and organic groupings. The essential guarantee, in this case, is a correct leadership, paying timely attention to the needs of the moment, which are reflected in the party; and flexibility of the apparatus, which ought not paralyze but rather organize the initiative of the party, and which ought not fear criticism or intimidate the party with the bugbear of factions (intimidation is most often a product of fright).[58]

How the party leadership was supposed to work out a correct orientation while maintaining the ban on factions, which, naturally, tended put a stop to any serious debate (particularly in the absence of any legal opposition outside the ruling party) remains a mystery. Later, in a letter criticising Boris Souvarine’s book on Stalin, translated by C.L.R. James as Stalin: A Critical Survey of Bolshevism,[59] Trotsky offered a more nuanced assessment, recognising that ‘there were many mistakes, blunders, and even stupidities’.[60]

By late 1923, the former Worker Oppositionists had largely dispersed, with some making an abrupt volte-face, adapting to Stalin’s regime and rewriting their own past, like Kollontai.[61] According to Natalia Sedova Trotsky:

Before the final blow, Alexandra Kollontai used to visit us quite often. The 1920 Workers’ Opposition, of which she had been one of the leaders, was allied to our movement. When she was appointed ambassador to Norway, she came to take her leave of us and offered to take out Opposition documents in her diplomatic bags to hand over to foreign groups. When I took them to her a few days later, I found her completely changed, confused and absolutely terrified. ‘Really, I can’t take anything, I am sorry,’ she kept repeating … Soon afterwards, she published a complete refutation of her past in Pravda – the price for keeping her job.[62]

Other former Worker Oppositionists, like Shliapnikov and Medvedev, declined to join the Left Opposition established in October 1923 or the United Opposition created in April 1926 (which temporarily united Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev against Stalin) but refused to go over completely to Stalin’s camp. Still others, like Lutovinov in 1924, took their own life, like Adolph Joffe, Vladimir Mayakovsky and so many other would do in the following years – including Stalin’s second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva, in 1932.

Shliapnikov outlined his differences with the Left Opposition in an article entitled ‘Our Differences’, published in Pravda on 18 January 1924. He began by recalling how the battle against the Workers’ Opposition had been waged after the Tenth Party Congress:

Struggle was conducted not along an ideological line, but by denial of work assignments, expulsion from places of work, systematic transfers, and even expulsions from the party. Any party member who defended the Tenth Congress resolution on worker democracy was declared a supporter of the ‘Workers’ Opposition’ and a demoraliser of the party and was subjected to all sorts of lashes of the command regime being consolidated within the party.

This struggle continued right up until recently, on the eve of the current discussion. Not only official leading party circles waged it bitterly, but also the leaders of the current opposition, many of whom were members of leading party bodies. In harmony with the ‘apparatchiks’, the present leaders of the ‘opposition’ intimidated party circles with shouts about the ‘danger of the Workers’ Opposition’. They also supported unconditionally all methods for intraparty suppression of any party democracy.[63]

For that reason, Shliapnikov believed that ‘in the current discussion, comrade Trotsky’s and the opposition’s single goal is just the seizure of the apparat’.[64]

Shliapnikov warned that ‘in recent years party policy has deviated away from the proletariat’ and argued that this was due to the change in the party’s social composition: the 1922 census had revealed that, of the 514,529 party members, only 17.6% were ‘proletarians and employees connected to production or transport’. On this ground had arisen ‘The party regime, which was built on the suffocation of intraparty initiative and criticism’, and which had separated ‘party members into two camps: those managing and those being managed’.[65]

As a remedy to these ills, along with the strengthening of state industry, Shliapnikov proposed the restoration of party democracy by implementing the following measures:

barriers between the broad mass of party members and the leading bodies need to be abolished. There should be a practice of holding general assemblies not only of ‘senior’, ‘active’, and so forth, but of all party members, without dividing them into categories.

Party functionaries and executive bodies must be deprived of the right to decide party-political questions without proper authority to do so and over the heads of general assemblies, committees, and cells. We have allowed it to come to the point that organisers, ‘group organisers’, and secretaries think that their official position has awarded them the right to decide and express the opinions of organisations and cells without proper authority and without discussion. This must be ended.

Cells should be freed from importune tutelage and should have the right to assemble without the preliminary permission of official persons and committees. Simple notification of the committee fully ensures contact and orderly work.

Each of us has a single party identification card. We are members of the Russian Communist Party. We are deprived of the right to be present at assemblies of party members, however, if these assemblies do not occur in the ‘courtyard’, in which we are registered. This arrangement should be eliminated. Upon presenting identification, party members should be allowed at all party assemblies and even at open sessions of committees.

The system of secret work references and secret personal files of party members needs to be ended immediately. The general assembly of the cell should completely openly provide references about party members.

Make a transition from words to action about ‘rapprochement’ with production. Give party members the freedom to judge the management and work of institutions in which they labour.

Realisation of just these modest wishes would suffice to tear out by the roots the unhealthy formulation of the question about ‘apparatchiks’.

The problem of material inequality among party members is inseparable from the question about intraparty worker democracy. It is utopian to dream about universal equality under the New Economic Policy. However, there is a way to eliminate the scandalous excesses, which demoralise not only on those who commit them, but also the surrounding milieu. To solve this problem, one needs to recall that once upon a time we decided this question correctly. After the October days, we decreed and implemented a statute about pay for senior government personnel. The regulation defined pay according to the wages of highly skilled workers. Why not take this route now? Why not ban holding more than one office, receiving multiple salaries, and similar ‘sinecures’? This measure would create satisfaction not only within the party, but also far outside of it. It should be remembered that the Paris Commune took such a path.[66]

However, although he recalled that ‘Bolshevism as a tendency grew and became stronger through factional struggle’,[67] in January 1924 Shliapnikov stopped short of demanding the lifting of the ban on factions adopted by the Tenth Party Congress. Still, the views that he then advocated publicly had become anathema two years later.

After the formation of the United Opposition, Shliapnikov and Medvedev signed a joint statement, published in Pravda on 31 October 1926, which said: ‘We resolutely and unconditionally condemn the methods of factional struggle that we permitted and likewise resolutely condemn any kind of organised consolidation on the basis of views which depart from party decisions. We call on those who share our views and who took the path of creating underground factional groupings to immediately disband such’.[68]

One of the reasons that prevented the former Worker Oppositionists from joining the new struggle against bureaucracy is that, first the troika, and then Stalin apparently implemented some of their demands. Thus, between February and May 1924, 240,000 workers joined the Russian Communist Party in the framework of the ‘Lenin Levy’ organised by the troika. But this apparent concession to the opposition was actually a manoeuvre by the bureaucracy, which strengthened its stranglehold over the party and the state with this mass recruitment of politically illiterate people, many of whom joined the party out of careerist ambitions.[69] Similarly, Stalin’s turn to forced collectivisation and rapid industrialisation in the late 1920s disoriented the ranks of the former Worker Oppositionists, as well as of many leading Left Oppositionists, driving them into the arms of the bureaucracy.

During the clash between Stalin and the Right Opposition led by Bukharin, the old Worker Oppositionists’ spark was kindled again. For instance, in an article entitled ‘Lessons of Intraparty Struggle’, published in Pravda on 22 November 1927, Shlipanikov stated: ‘We think that the time has come to set up a different order in the party, under which party members could discuss, decide, and act without bureaucratic tutelage and without asking the permission of secretaries.’ He went on to argue that

Party members should be able to put on the agenda and discuss not only those questions, which the centre demands, but also those which interest and concern a given group of party members. Only when there is open discussion of all questions, on which differences arise, will the party and worker masses be able to correctly evaluate who goes to the right or to the left. Without these conditions, struggle against disagreements and heterodoxy will assume the character of reprisals.

These could only have negative consequences, because ‘punitive policy never resolved disagreements anywhere and it will not resolve them in our country’. Above all, it was necessary to put an end to ‘the currently existing order, when all is decided without their involvement and when periodically and “suddenly” they are confronted with crises in the party.’ To that end, Shlipanikov proposed ‘to finally implement the principle of intraparty workers’ democracy’.[70] But this was merely a humble proposal to the Central Committee, and, of course, nothing came out of it.

The launching of forced collectivisation by Stalin induced Shlipanikov to publish an article in Pravda on 16 December 1929, entitled ‘For Industrialisation and for Socialism’, in support of the new policy. According the Shliapnikov, the comparisons of ‘state procurement’ with the old requisitions of the era of War Communism were ‘hysterical’. Criticisms ‘about administrative pressure on the poor and middle peasant elements, as if they were being “hounded” into the collective farms’ were mere ‘rumours’. In fact, according to Shliapnikov: ‘The highway of industrialisation is marked out, the landmarks are placed, and millions of proletarian hands already are laying its foundation in response to the party’s call’.[71] Actually, forced collectivisation resulted in millions of deaths by starvation during the Rural Famine of 1932–3.[72]

In a ‘Letter to the Editor’ published in Pravda ten days later, on 26 December 1929, Shliapnikov emphasised that ‘have no differences with the majority of our party’s CC’, adding:

The party’s line was completely correct. The party did and does everything it can to develop intraparty democracy and self-criticism. My attacks on leading party bodies were mistaken and impermissible. I have nothing in common with the counterrevolutionary position of Trotskyism or with the opportunistic position of the Rightists, either on questions of intraparty life or on other questions.[73]

Despite this self-debasement, Shliapnikov’s and Medvedev’s refusal to organise an opposition was deemed insufficient by Stalin, who had them both executed in 1937, during the Great Purges. Kollontai, on the other hand, died of old age in 1952.

Concluding Remarks

There are two basic ways in which the proletariat can lose power after a victorious socialist revolution: through a counterrevolutionary bloodbath as in the Paris Commune, or gradually, almost imperceptibly, as in the Russian Revolution. It is this second path that poses the greatest analytical challenges.

There is no debate among historians of the Paris Commune that it was crushed during the semaine sanglante (bloody week), but, ever since the 1920s, there has been an ongoing debate over how and when did the Russian workers lose political power. Did the process begin in 1920–1, with the silencing of the Workers’ Opposition and the transition to the NEP, or in 1923, with the rise of the Stalin–Zinoviev–Kamenev ‘troika’, as claimed by Trotsky and his followers in the Left Opposition? Did it conclude with the massacre of the revolutionary generation by the Stalinist bureaucracy in the Great Purges of 1936–8, or with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the definitive restauration of capitalism in 1991? And so on, and so forth.

The answers to these and related questions depend as much on one’s own political and theoretical standpoint as on the historical record itself. Nonetheless, any serious analysis must be based on a rigorous acquaintance with actual events. In this respect, Allen’s collection represents an invaluable contribution to the debate, as a treasure-trove of information about the gradual loss of control of the Russian workers over the party and state apparatuses they sacrificed so much to create.


Allen, Barbara C. (ed.) 2022, The Workers’ Opposition in the Russian Communist Party: Documents, 1919–30, translated by Barbara C. Allen,Historical Materialism Book Series, Chicago, IL: Haymarket Books.

Avrich, Paul 1974, Kronstadt, 1921, New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

Cannon, James P. 1925, ‘The Bolshevization of the Party: A Speech before the New York Workers’ School, Sunday, October 5, 1925’, Workers Monthly, 4, 1: 34–7.

Farnsworth, Beatrice 2010, ‘Conversing with Stalin, Surviving the Terror: The Diaries of Aleksandra Kollontai and the Internal Life of Politics’, Slavic Review, 69, 4: 944–70.

Jeffries, Peter (ed.) 1975, Documents of the 1923 Opposition, London: New Park Publications.

Koenker, Diane P. 1985, ‘Urbanization and Deurbanization in the Russian Revolution and Civil War’, Journal of Modern History, 57: 424–50.

Kollontai, Alexandra 1921, The Workers’ Opposition in Russia,Moscow, 1921, Chicago, IL: Industrial Workers of the World.

Landis, Erik C. 2008, Bandits and Partisans: The Antonov Movement in the Russian Civil War, Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Lewin, Moshe 2005, The Soviet Century, London: Verso.

Riddell, John (ed.) 2015, To the Masses: Proceedings of the Third Congress of the Communist International,1921,Historical Materialism Book Series, Leiden: Brill.

Serge, Victor and Natalia Sedova Trotsky 2015 [1946], Life and Death of Leon Trotsky, Foreword and Afterword by Richard Greeman, translated by Arnold J. Pomerans, Chicago, IL: Haymarket Books.

Schwartz, Lee 1986, ‘A History of Russian and Soviet Censuses’, in Research Guide to the Russian and Soviet Censuses, edited by Ralph S. Clem, pp. 48–69, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Souvarine, Boris 1935, Staline: Aperçu historique du bolchévisme, Paris: Plon.

Souvarine, Boris 1939, Stalin: A Critical Survey of Bolshevism, translated by C.L.R. James, New York: Alliance Book Corporation.

Taber, Mike 2018, The Communist Movement at a Crossroads: Plenums of the Communist International’s Executive Committee, 1922–1923, edited by Mike Taber, translated by John Riddell,Historical Materialism Book Series, Leiden: Brill.

Trotsky, Leon 1975, The Challenge of the Left Opposition (1923–25), New York: Pathfinder Press.

Trotsky, Leon 1979 [1938], ‘Political Personality and the Milieu’ (10 May 1938), in Writings of Leon Trotsky: Supplement (1934–1940), pp. 771–3, New York: Pathfinder Press.

Wheatcroft, Stephen and R.W. Davies 2004, The Years of Hunger: Soviet Agriculture, 1931–1933, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

[1]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 8, 122.

[2]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 333–7.

[3]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 132, 136–7.

[4]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 143.

[5]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 29.

[6]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 121.

[7]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 119–20.

[8]Lewin 2005, p. 61.

[9]Avrich 1974, p. 10.

[10]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 144–5.

[11]Koenker 1985, p. 424.

[12]Kollontai 1921, p. 6.

[13]Schwartz 1986, p. 53.

[14]Landis 2008.

[15]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 137–47.

[16]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 65–7.

[17]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 48.

[18]Kollontai 1921.

[19]Kollontai 1921, pp. 4, 6, 8.

[20]Kollontai 1921, p. 39.

[21]Kollontai 1921, p. 10.

[22]Kollontai 1921, pp. 11, 12, 13.

[23]Kollontai 1921, pp. 15–16.

[24]Kollontai 1921, pp. 27, 32, 36.

[25]Kollontai 1921, p. 37.

[26]Kollontai 1921, p. 38.

[27]Kollontai 1921, p. 40.

[28]Kollontai 1921, p. 44.

[29]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 124–5.

[30]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 206–88.

[31]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 223–8.

[32]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 230–1.

[33]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 243.

[34]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 282.

[35]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 273.

[36]Cannon 1925, p. 35.

[37]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 306.

[38]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 367.

[39]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 364.

[40]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 425.

[41]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 465.

[42]Riddell (ed.) 2015, pp. 667–8.

[43]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 375–6.

[44]Riddell (ed.) 2015, pp. 683–702.

[45]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 460–1.

[46]Taber 2018, pp. 183–4.

[47]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 442.

[48]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 521–617.

[49]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 524.

[50]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 548.

[51]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 571.

[52]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 572.

[53]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 531.

[54]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 402–3.

[55]Riddell (ed.) 2015, p. 941.

[56]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 419–20, 486, 495–6.

[57]Jeffries (ed.) 1975.

[58]Trotsky 1975, pp. 83–4.

[59]Souvarine 1935, 1939.

[60]Trotsky 1979, p. 771.

[61]Farnsworth 2010.

[62]Serge and Sedova Trotsky 2015, p. 155.

[63]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 683–4.

[64]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 696.

[65]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 687–9.

[66]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 691–2.

[67]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 685.

[68]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 798.

[69]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 649–50.

[70]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 815.

[71]Allen (ed.) 2022, pp. 816–19.

[72]Wheatcroft and Davies 2004, pp. 400–41.

[73]Allen (ed.) 2022, p. 820.