Stalin on Fighting Bureaucracy

“It would be ridiculous to think that it is possible to strengthen our Soviet-economic, trade-union and co-operative organisations, that it is possible to purge them of the dross of bureaucracy, without giving a sharp edge to the Party itself. There can be no doubt that bureaucratic elements exist not only in the economic and cooperative, trade-union and Soviet organisations, but in the organisations of the Party itself. Since the party is the guiding force of all these organisations, it is obvious that purging the Party is the essential condition for thoroughly revitalising and improving all the other organisations of the working class. Hence the slogan of purging the Party [is the] offensive of socialism against the elements of capitalism. ”

 — Stalin, J.V. The Right Deviation in the C.P.S.U.(B.): Speech Delivered at the Plenum of the Central Committee and Central Control Commission of the C.P.S.U.(B.) in April 1929. Works, Vol. 14. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954.

“A second shortcoming. It consists in introducing administrative methods in the Party, in replacing the method of persuasion, which is of decisive importance for the Party, by the method of administration. This shortcoming is a danger no less serious than the first one. Why? Because it creates the danger of our Party organisations, which are independently acting organisations, being converted into mere bureaucratic institutions. If we take into account that we have not less than 60,000 of the most active officials distributed among all sorts of economic, co-operative and state institutions, where they are fighting bureaucracy, it must be admitted that some of them, while fighting bureaucracy in those institutions, sometimes become infected with bureaucracy themselves and carry that infection into the Party organisation. And this is not our fault, comrades, but our misfortune, for that process will continue to a greater or lesser degree as long as the state exists.

And precisely because that process has some roots in life, we must arm ourselves for the struggle against this shortcoming, we must raise the activity of the mass of the Party membership, draw them into the decision of questions concerning our Party leadership, systematically implant inner-Party democracy and prevent the method of persuasion in our Party practice being replaced by the method of administration.”

 — Stalin, J.V. The Fifteenth Congress of the C.P.S.U.(B.): December 2-19, 1927. Works, Vol. 10. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954.

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