E. A. Preobrazhensky: Primitive Accumulation and the Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Peasantry. Introduction and Early Biography Initial Draft

Below is the first part of 3 of my paper, EA Preobrazhensky and the New Economics: Primitive Accumulation and the Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Peasantry.  This is an unpublished draft all rights by Rawlinsview.com readers comments are encouraged and welcome.

February 20, 2014 — New York

In capitalist society individuals are controlled by a pitiless law usually beyond their comprehension. The alienated human specimen is tied to society as a whole by an invisible umbilical cord: the law of value. —Che Guevara Socialism and Man in Cuba[1]

“We have the resources; we have the knowledge about economics, society and technology to achieve a kind of shared and sustainable prosperity that has never been within our grasp.
The real questions are not about economics, because I think that we know what we ought to do. The real question is, will our politics allow us to do what has to be done.”
–Joseph E. Stiglitz 2013[2]

…the socialization of industry means by its very essence a transference of responsibility in economic leadership to science, to an extent quite unknown in capitalist economics.
–EA Preobrazhensky Forward to the First Edition of The New Economics (1926)[3]

Out of the nightmare of crime in which the capitalist rulers of the world have killed and mutilated 30 million men in seeking gain to their narrow class, there has emerged but one constructive act, the only one bearing a promise for the future of the race, and that was an act of Labor — the establishment of a Workers’ Republic in Russia. Elsewhere it has been Labor, and Labor alone, that has stood guard and fought for what human rights remain. Wherever the Labor front has been broken, disaster to the human race has resulted.
The tragic history of the years from 1914 constitutes a cry for the consolidation of the toiling masses as such — as distinguished sharply from the class which has ruled and ruined [4]–James P. Cannon et al “…Letter to the Railroad Labor Organizations” (1922)


v – – Introduction – –

With the administrative takeover of the Russian Communist Party following the death of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin) (1924) in the mid-1920s, the militarized forced collectivization of the Russian peasantry in the early 1930s and the show trials, exile and executions of nearly every leading member of the original Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) between 1936 and 1938 a blow was dealt to the aspirations of millions of class conscious working people, to the long struggle to transcend the dominion of capital and material accumulation over human life, and to the practice and discipline of scientific socialism.

Evgeny (Eugene) Alexeyevich Preobrazhensky, (E.A.P) Евге́ний Алексе́евич Преображе́нский,. (February 27 [O.S.February 15] 1886 – July 13, 1937) was an early adherent of the Bolshevik faction of the RSDLP, from 1903, a candidate member of the Central Committee of the Bolsheviks elected at the Sixth Party Congress (July 1917), a leader of the party in the Urals at the time of the October Revolution, Communist Party secretary preceding Stalin, holder of key central offices during the early1920’s, significant ones in the early 1930’s, and a leading voice of the Bolshevik opposition in the 1920s. In the years immediately preceding Stalin’s assumption of the party post ‘General Secretary’ Preobrazhensky served with Krestinsky[5] and Serebryakov[6] in its central secretariat.[7] He was a self-described “professional revolutionary,” and working-class militant, a party leader, organizer, functionary, educator, thinker and writer for the full extent of his adult life. He was also a prescient and scientifically disciplined political economist whose insights transcended the intense factional party debates of the Soviet Union during the New Economic Policy (NEP) period (approximately 1921-1928).[8] [9]

Preobrazhensky’s writings on a range of economic problems have grown in influence over the past five decades and are increasingly cited in works on alternative economic theory, in the interpretation of Marx’ analysis, and the field of “development economics”[10] [11] as well as providing insight into the study of the history of the Soviet Union and theoretical models for the construction of both socialist and mixed or market socialist economies.

Preobrazhensky’s book, The New Economics (1965) is his most influential and thoroughly developed work. First published as a complete edition in 1926 as Novasia economika: Opy t teoreticheskogo analiza sovetsokogo khoziatva [The New Economics: An Attempt at a Theoretical Analysis of the Soviet Economy],[12] the book was part of a larger effort and one which was never completed as a whole.[13] Many of the ideas contained in The New Economics began to emerge in the author’s writings concurrent to the end of the War Communism/Civil War Period[14] and with the initial moves toward the implementation of the New Economic Policy (NEP).[15] The first thorough expression of the theories was presented in 1924[16] as lectures and later as articles published in Vestnik Kommunis-ticheskoi Akedemii. The published version was intended to be the first of two volumes representing a complete theoretical work. Though the latter part of this work was never completed, some of the elements have been assembled in English translation in the collection The Crisis of Soviet Industrializationedited and translated by Donald A. Filtzer.[17] Though Preobrazhensky continued to write and to conduct serious study up until the time of his imprisonment and eventual execution at the hands of Stalin’s terror The New Economics represents the last of his writings during the period in which he was able to project himself as an influential voice in the Russian revolution, the communist movement and the Soviet state. Preobrazhensky’s last major work The Decline of Capitalism[18] may be considered his most technically sophisticated work but it is written after the defeat of the ‘United Opposition’ to Stalin and after Preobrazhensky’s first exile. Given these circumstances he was able then to focus only on questions external to the Soviet economy.

In the New Economics Preobrazhensky describes the conflict between the emerging Soviet State in its attempt to develop industry along planned lines and the broad operation of market forces remnant from the Russian empire as well as the new market forces created by the peasant revolution which accompanied the Bolshevik seizure of power.[19]

The peculiarity of the commodity-socialist system which exists in our country consists in the fact that within its confines there operate at one and the same time two laws with diametrically opposite tendencies. The second of these two laws is the law of value. While the tendencies of the future of our economy are expressed in the first law, in the second law our past weighs upon us, stubbornly striving to remain in existence and to turn back the wheel of history. In the law of value are concentrated the entire sum of the tendencies of the commodity and commodity-capitalist elements in our economy, and also the entire sum of the influences of the capitalist world market on our economy.—EAP[20]

Preobrazhensky’s achievement is not limited to his technical understanding or his significant contribution to Marxist literature or even to economic thought as a whole. His contribution as a political figure rivals his contribution in the realm of ideas. Though he is often remembered in literature, incorrectly, as the “theoretician of Trotskyism,”[21] [22] [23]and perhaps more accurately as the most sophisticated economist amongst the Bolsheviks after Lenin’s death, Preobrazhensky did not live an isolated cerebral life. Having joined with the party of Lenin at the age of 17, only a year following the publication of What is to be Done[24] he was a dedicated, if independent minded, party cadre and militant partisan. He must be understood in the context of the broader continuity of scientific socialism and revolutionary ideas and in his later life as someone who sought to place the methods of discovery in social science at the service of the advance of the social interests of the working class.

I seek to explain that an understanding of the economic conflicts and contradictions which existed during the New Economic Policy period as described by Preobrazhensky remains directly relevant, not only to individual developing economies, or those in which agriculture is the dominant form of production, or to countries which are socialist, but also to the dynamics of the contemporary global political economy. The broad social challenges which he rose to battle against remain before us today. His life, actions, and his thought deserve more study than they have as yet received.

I will explore certain technical aspects of Marxist theory and of Preobrazhensky’s work in The New Economics. I will look at biographical and historical material relating to Preobrazhensky’s life paying particular focus to his interaction with Lenin, his principal teacher, and to his political career up to his leadership of the 1923 opposition the point at which his thinking had matured substantially. I will examine key ideas in post-WWII ‘Marxism-Leninism’ or revolutionary socialism and its sub-variants as these relate to current attitudes toward Preobrazhensky’s contributions.

I will explore:

  • Lenin’s concept of party organization as described in the pamphlet What is to Be Done and Preobrazhensky’s role in the construction of the Bolshevik organization.
  • Lenin’s slogan calling for the creation of a ‘Revolutionary Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Peasantry’ and its relationship to Trotsky’s Theory of Permanent Revolution .
  • Stalin and Bukharin’ slogan and theoretical orientation toward “Socialism in one Country
  • The organization and demands of the Bolshevik opposition in which Preobrazhensky played a consistent and leading—at times the leading—role.
  • The concepts of ‘The Planning Principle” and “the Law of Value” and the ideal of a planned economy as described by Preobrazhensky and other Second International and Bolshevik Marxists and socialists.
  • The Concept of “primitive” or “primary accumulation” as described by Marx and as applied by Preobrazhensky to socialist transitional economics.

The general thesis drawn in below is that Preobrazhensky’s approach to and expansion of the concept of “primitive” or primary accumulation in the construction of socialism is an extension of Lenin’s application of Marxism as described in the demand for a “Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Peasantry”. Effectively Preobrazhensky’s mature work is the economics of that imperative.

*          *          *

This work is not neatly fit into academic parlance or format. Read this as an essay in which political orientation and commitment are not pretended away. Many of the ideas expressed are derived from firsthand experience as a political agitant, small business owner, trade unionist, traveler, industrial worker and active cadre of socialist organizations. This essay has roots in the Americas. By matters in part accident and in part trend Leon Trotsky who represented the continuity of the leadership of the Russian revolution, and was its most articulate voice after the isolation, suppression, destruction and eventual murder of the original Bolshevik group by Stalin’s faction, found his way to the Western Hemisphere and from Mexico established direct political relations with members of the North American communist movement such as Maurice Spector, James Cannon[25], Joseph Hansen[26] and others who formed the foundation of the Socialist Workers Party headquartered from the 1930’s until the present time in New York City. So it was that the political currents which today rival the influence of Stalinism amongst advocates of socialism have their roots as much in Minneapolis, Chicago and New York as in Geneva, Paris, London, Beijing or Moscow.

If it is possible in the physical sciences to absent oneself from predisposition as to the results of an experiment, it is not so easily possible in the ‘social’ or human sciences in which each result may have consequences of varied or even opposed normative value depending upon the relationship of the practitioner and human subjects to the rest of society. An economist quite excellent at the task of assisting a given enterprise to increase its profit and decrease its exposure to instability caused by to labor unrest may have at the other end of her microscope half a thousand, or a hundred thousand workers whose lives are rendered to turmoil by long term unemployment and social obsolescence. What is good for the goose may not be so much good for the goose farmer.

In this lies the real difference between the political economy of scientific socialism and that which Marx called ‘bourgeois economics.’ Though there exist formal and categorical separations between the schools of economic thought. The economic analysis of communists is not first distinguished by its use of alternate categories such as the separation of the category of ‘exchange value’ from ‘price’ so much as it is separated by the distinct intentions of its practitioners, per Marx and Engels below.

The immediate aim of the Communists is the same as that of all other proletarian parties: formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat.
The theoretical conclusions of the Communists are in no way based on ideas or principles that have been invented, or discovered, by this or that would-be universal reformer.
They merely express, in general terms, actual relations springing from an existing class struggle, from a historical movement going on under our very eyes.[27]

The varied schools of economics are relevant in so much as they each focus their science from the point of view of certain definite objectives. Each writer may cast views in a light which purports to show their ideas as useful or beneficial to society as a whole, the obvious fact is that, though to a limited degree all people share some common interest, class society is such that even universal god provided essentials air, water and sunshine are most easily and beneficially enjoyed in the comfort of privilege.

v – – Background – –

E.A. Preobrazhensky is an unclaimed historical figure. There are no Preobrazhenskiite factions in the workers’ movement, no Preobrazhenskian school of theoretical analysis and no statues to him. Though inadequate to the task, as I do not read Russian nor as yet have access to much of the critical primary material, at the time of this writing, this may be, the longest English language biographical essay on Preobrazhensky in print. This though his ideas have had significant influence on the general field of development economics, on a range of figures including Nobel prize winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, and World Bank Economist Justin Lin[28], writers studying the economy and theoretical economic debates of the Soviet 1920’s or NEP period, Alec Nove[29], Alexander Erlich[30], Richard B. Day[31] and others. Maurice Dobb wrote in his 1967 classic Papers on Capitalism Development and Planning[32]

 “Preobrazhensky’s thesis on “primitive socialist accumulation” (which he defined as ‘accumulation of material resources in the hands of the state—primarily from sources lying outside the State economy’) involved issues of socialist strategy at the dawn of the socialist epoch, and is therefore of dominating interest (or should be) for all historians of the twentieth century as well as to all economists concerned with the theory of growth.”

Historians of the Bolshevik period, the NEP and the rise of Stalinism such as E.H. Carr,[33] Issac Deutcher,[34] Charles Bettleheim[35] and others have considered Preobrazhensky’s writing valuable to understanding the events of his time. The publication of Preobrazhensky’s works in English translation has however been spotty and is not maintained in print. Only now, 76 years after his death, is a more complete edition of his writings translated into English to be published by Brill. The status of The Preobrazhensky Papers edited by Richard B. Day and Michael M. Gorinov and translated by Mr. Day remains in progress. It is telling that, though The New Economics is widely recognized by historians and economists as a work of unparalleled quality in its historical time and context, the 1965 translation of the work by the late Brian Pearce[36] was not reprinted after 1967 and has been unavailable outside of libraries since then. This paper may be looked at as an advance study guide to the Preobrazhensky Papers. [37]

If the publishing world and the academy have been slow to hoist Preobrazhensky to an appropriate status. the Marxist parties in the socialist movement, many of which have their own publishing organs, and put great effort into preserving the written legacy of the Bolsheviks and the Russian Revolution have made little effort to resuscitate Preobrazhensky or to include his ideas as part of the pedagogy of their cadre.[38] [39] [40]Despite the obvious relevance of Preobrazhensky’s work to the varied market socialist experiments being attempted in countries such as Vietnam, China and Venezuela and the broad discussion of economics and range of economic experimentation which has taken place in revolutionary Cuba since the initiation of the “rectification process”[41] there in the mid 1980’s, to my knowledge there has been no effort made in these countries to publish or expand the study of his work on the part of party officials or state publishing houses. I am aware of interest and study of his work by a few by individuals in Vietnam and of more substantial influence in China.[42] [43]

Type the words ‘communism’ or ‘socialist workers’ into the search field on any computer as a momentary experiment, scroll down below the sponsored advertising and you can see the degree to which the specter continues to haunt civilization. The October Revolution in Russia 1917 and the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks, their ability to organize workers, peasants and enlisted soldiers to prevail in the Civil War of 1918 to 1921 and the forcible overthrow not just of the Tzar and landed aristocracy but the social power of the capitalist class and the social relations and property rights of capitalism rang a bell the soundings of which reverberate to this day. To this day conversations regarding fundamental social change come back to the question of socialism in some form or another and any question of socialism must contend with the ideas actions, and, in the end, the consequences of the actions, of Lenin, Trotsky and the Bolsheviks and of their executioner and once comrade Joseph Stalin.

The orientation toward and characterization of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet state provide the litmus test which separates the varied factions, parties and ‘tendencies’ of the world socialist movement and semi-related academic ‘Marxian’  schools of thought. Some understanding of these divisions is helpful to an understanding of Preobrazhensky’s odd man out relationship to the ‘revolutionary left’, the socialist movement and to Marxism and scientific socialism as historical intellectual current.

The following paragraph a ‘biography’ of our subject found in, of all places, The Marxists Internet Archive, but originally published in the 1969 Penguin Books edition of Bukharin and Preobrazhensky’s introductory text book for party cadres The ABC of Communism, is indicative of the disservice sometimes done to Preobrazhensky’s legacy.

[E.A. Preobrazhensky:] Joined the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party in 1903 where he quickly became a part of the Bolshevik-wing. Played no significant part until he met Bukharin with whom he wrote The ABC of Communism. Shortly after he joined the editorial board of Pravda, and in 1920 he was elected to the secretariat of the party central committee. Supported war-communism and spoke about the depreciation of the currency as a factor leading to the abolishment of classes. Resisted NEP and was removed from the secretariat. In 1922 he criticized the attempts to create greater equality in the countryside, and this led to his break with Bukharin. After Lenin’s death a signator of the “Declaration of the 46” which definitely made him a part of the opposition, though without any important position. Exiled to Siberia in 1927, but was re-admitted to the party in 1929. Arrested in 1935 or 1936 and died in prison, not subject to any of the Moscow Trials. [Emphasis added][see note][44]

In part, the slow progress of integration of Preobrazhensky’s thinking into the general discourse of 21st century socialism goes back to his comradely arguments with Lenin and the Bolshevik leadership of which he was an unquestionable part, and later on, more bitterly, with all three of the principle figureheads of post-war 20th century revolutionary Marxism: Trotsky, Stalin and Mao.[45] [46] Preobrazhensky is in some ways the most significant Bolshevik pupil of Lenin to stand intellectually independent of the political battle between Trotsky and Stalin who was able to continue to make significant contributions to revolutionary communism and to scientific socialist thought and who was largely able to retain, at least in his writing, intellectual independence, integrity and creativity.[47] [48] [49] [50]Admittedly, from the point of view of organizational politics he was forced eventually, to make deep political and moral sacrifices.

v – -1. Biography and Autobiography: Part 1- –

Ø  Finding Bolshevism

We are marching in a compact group along a precipitous and difficult path, firmly holding each other by the hand. We are surrounded on all sides by enemies, and we have to advance almost constantly under their fire. We have combined, by a freely adopted decision, for the purpose of fighting the enemy, and not of retreating into the neighboring marsh, the inhabitants of which, from the very outset, have reproached us with having separated ourselves into an exclusive group and with having chosen the path of struggle instead of the path of conciliation. And now some among us begin to cry out: Let us go into the marsh! And when we begin to shame them, they retort: What backward people you are! Are you not ashamed to deny us the liberty to invite you to take a better road! Oh, yes, gentlemen! You are free not only to invite us, but to go yourselves wherever you will, even into the marsh. In fact, we think that the marsh is your proper place, and we are prepared to render you every assistance to get there. Only let go of our hands, don’t clutch at us and don’t besmirch the grand word freedom, for we too are “free” to go where we please, free to fight not only against the marsh, but also against those who are turning towards the marsh!  –Lenin, What is to be Done (1902)[51]

We can but imagine the excitement, intensity of commitment, the courage and perhaps as well the naiveté which brought Eugene Preobrazhensky to join Lenin’s faction of the Social Democrats (RSDLP) at the age of 17 in 1903. The crumbling of the centuries old empire of the Tzar must have seemed palpable[52] just two years before Trotsky, approached the helm of the St Petersburg council of workers ‘Soviet’ in the Russian revolution of 1905 and Preobrazhensky found himself amidst the flaming ruins of the Presnya barricades under the fire of the Semyonovsky Regiment.

Details of Preobrazhensky’s early life are limited especially to the reader who has only the English language. It is a welcome development that Day and Gorinov will open a window with the upcoming publication of his collected papers and related archival documents beginning from 1886 the year of Preobrazhensky’s birth in Bolkhov, a town in the Oryol Province of Russia. Fortunately there exists in translation an entertaining autobiography of about nine pages and this can be connected to other records of the events of the time and to the limited secondary biographical material that has been already published.

Born the son of an Orthodox Priest and Bible teacher Preobrahensky writes …

 “. I learnt to read at a very early age and when only four, I read the tales in Tolstoy’s Alphabet. As a child, I was very religious. … at the age of fourteen I came to the conclusion that God does not exist. From that moment I began my stubborn struggle inside our family against going to church and other religious ceremonies. This aversion for religion was reinforced by the fact that I could observe all the religious quackery with my own eyes from the wings. …[53]

In just the beginning of his life here we see our character exposed to zeal to catechism to orthodoxy, to rigor and as well to the seeds of his independence, rebellion and the beginning of his movement toward both scientific and revolutionary ideas.

Preobrazhensky describes encountering illegal literature at about the age of 15. He sentimentally recalls his first “cell”

In Bolkhovo that summer, … myself and a childhood friend, the son of the local merchant, Ivan Anisimov, …would set off for the most solitary places outside town and there we expressed our protest against the autocracy by singing the ‘Marseillaise’, but in such a way that no one could hear us. … our thoughts went out to the Kresty and Butyrki, where the heroic enemies of the autocratic regime were languishing. [54]

He applied himself to serious study and acquired a passion for the hectograph and printing press. He claims to have intentionally cut back his focus on study at the Gymnasium so as to carry no less than a passing grade, a 3.0 of 5 and to allow time for his real passions.

At night I concentrated eagerly on reading foreign works printed on cigarette paper, … during the day I read books on the history of culture, on both general history and the history of the revolution, and also on the rudiments of political economy. In addition, Ivan Anisimov and I began to spread our propaganda among the students: we started a couple of circles, and came into contact with some people living under police supervision in Oryol. During this period, I developed a mystical passion for multiplying illegal literature. I had already abandoned as politically useless the hand-written journal School Leisure, which I had founded and run with Aleksandr Tinyakov, the poet who later went mad. Hectographing a few small things did not satisfy me either, although from one master sheet we could obtain a hundred copies. I dreamt of a printing-press.[55]

Feltzer and others have made note of the fact, exceptional for an economist of his later stature, that Preobrazhensky’s intellectual development occurred in the Russian provinces almost entirely outside of a university structure and was without formal tutelage, that he was a “self-made scholar.” [56] It is evident from the vibrancy of his writing as well as from his accomplishment that he was a person of exceptional intelligence and energy. Significant factors are worth considering as regards his development outside of academia.

As the Autocracy in Russia and to an extent the Continental European social order as a whole accelerated toward a morass of social crisis and world war, much of the ferment, especially in Russia, was taking place outside the parameters of the accepted order. In the realm of critical social science this was particularly the case and it fit in to the long and developed tradition of illegal and semi-legal literature stretching back at least to Russian radicals Herzen, Bakunin and Chernyshevsky, half a century before Preobrazhensky’s coming of age. This is corroborated by Preobrazhensky’s own writing above. Preobrazhensky’s school was the underground cell and the exile commune[57] within which he was likely to come across more advanced and demanding material than he might have in the officially sanctioned educational system of the autocracy and the Orthodox Church.

Relatedly the tradition of Marxism existed outside of the university structures of all countries at that period. The development of influential academic schools of Marxist thought took place primarily following the Russian Revolution and did not come into its own until after the Second World War. Carried on through the large and influential party structures of the Second International and other segments of what existed as a mass workers movement with myriad journals, newspapers and publishing houses, such as that of Charles Kerr in the United States,[58]and supported culturally by mass audiences during the heyday of print before the time of popular radio, Marxism had a rich tradition of scholarly study and literature. It is arguable that, at the turn of the twentieth century, Marx’ and Engels’ thought was transcendent in relation to the development of concurrent competing intellectual traditions. In the dialectic of the history of ideas it may be said that Marx challenge to the enlightenment spurred forth reconsiderations of bourgeois society on the part of what was to become modern bourgeois social science. Weber, Freud, and Keynes are best considered Preobrazhensky’s contemporaries, arriving late to be his teachers. Having joined the RSDLP only eight years after the death of Engels, Preobrazhensky aligned himself with the most vibrant, and still the ascendant intellectual as well as political movement of his time. In his eventual area of expertise formal quantitative methods were only beginning to be applied in systematic fashion. I do not know how or where Preobrazhensky obtained training in mathematics. It is clear from his writing that he had at least an adequate command of mathematical ideas. Victor Serge later describes Preobrazhensky having “driven himself so hard that during meetings it seemed that he might at any moment drop off to sleep; but his brain was still fresh, and crammed with statistics on the agrarian problem[59] The quantitative rigor and specialization that characterizes contemporary bourgeois economics is a development largely post-dating Preobrazhensky’s studies[60]. With the publication of his papers more detail as regards his influences will come to light.

Preobrazhensky’s intellectual accomplishment must be considered in the context of the most important decision that he made in his life. Cannon explains, “For the proletarian revolutionist the party is the concentrated expression of his life purpose, …he knows that his socialist ideal cannot be realized without the party. …The proletarian revolutionist is a disciplined man, since the party cannot exist as a combat organization without discipline”[61] For Cannon as so for Preobrazhensky.

Amongst a sea of radical, liberal, reformist and revolutionary political tendencies the young Preobrazhensky chose the relatively small but yet the most rigorous and disciplined element amongst the Russian revolutionary organizations with which to align himself. [62]  He made this choice at the start of his adult life and his political career.

When I moved up into the seventh class, I could no longer remain a vague, wishy-washy revolutionary. I had to choose between the Socialist Revolutionaries and the Social Democrats. I was decisively influenced by two works: The Communist Manifesto, and The Development of Scientific Socialism by Engels. After long meditation over them, I decided that the Populist outlook was untenable and unscientific, and that only Marxism could show me the correct path. This watershed in my beliefs produced certain practical consequences. Previously I had distributed to students not only SD literature which reached us from the Oryol SD Committee through Valeryan Schmidt and Pyotr Semyonovich Bobrovsky (both later Mensheviks,) but also SR literature which was provided by the SR Nikkeleva, although she lived under supervision in Oryol. I recall with what sombre resolution I announced to her that I could no longer help her distribute SR literature because I had become a Social Democrat. [RSDLP][63]

Ulam makes no mention of Preobrazhensky in his study of The Bolsheviks[64] written just before Pearce’ translation of The New Economics. This is a surprising omission given EAP’s prominence as the co-author of the broadly popular pamphlet The ABC of Communism and as a figure in the opposition to the treaty of Brest Litovsk as a Bolshevik leader and organizer of considerable authority from the earliest days of the movement. “And it is characteristic of the man [Lenin] that he seeks to infuse the Marxists with the revolutionary fire and conspiratorial discipline that had belonged to the heroes of [Russian] populism.”[65] Ulam fails to comprehend the attraction to Lenin and Bolshevism of individuals such as Preobrazhensky who possessed not so much a penchant for hero worship but rather a critical intellect and a drive toward effective action, the character of a scientist and an organizer rather than that of a romantic or philosopher. In his characterization of democratic centralism as a machine made up of ‘cogs’ and in desperate need of a leader, Ulam misses the possibility of an organization of leaders functioning in disciplined collaboration. The character and behavior of EAP, is an affront to Ulam’s thesis. Ulam undervalues the degree to which Lenin’s organizational proposals were rational to their historical context and so to which self-reliant, capable and far sighted individuals were drawn to Bolshevism as the most effective political orientation of the time. Ulam discovers Preobrazhensky in his 1973 biography of Stalin and there pays him some due.[66]

When the Russo Japanese war broke out in 1904 Preobrazhensky participated in student and anti-war propaganda work in collaboration with the Oryol party committee. In the spring of 1904 at the age of 18 he was for the first time involved in the education of workers at the Khrushchev engineering works. “I explained the Party program to them at some length, but not very convincingly. In summer… after consultations with the Party, I gave lessons at the Dyadkovo factory in the Maltsev industrial centre, Bryansk district.”[67] In April and May of 1905 he describes participating in a “general strike in educational establishments in Oryol.” Despite having spoken publicly at these events he was allowed to graduate school and suffered no legal consequences.

From this point on Preobrazhensky’ describes an increasing level of authority and responsibility in the activities of the RSDLP and the major events of the day. After participating in workers’ circles in the Bryansk automotive plant he became part of the Oryol Committee which he describes as “conciliationist[68]” and in which his youth and zeal combined to amuse some of his older and less fervent comrades. “We have two Bolsheviks Mikhail Ekaterinoslavsky who is 20 and Evgeny Preobrazhensky who is 19…”[69]

 “I stuck to my guns and defended the positions adopted at the Third Party Congress.”[70] The resolution of the Third Congress called “for the Party to participate practically and most energetically in the armed uprising and to give it leadership[71] Held on the eve of the climactic events of 1905. The Third Party congress was an all Bolshevik affair with the Mensheviks holding a nearly concurrent ‘First All-Russian Conference’ in Geneva. Zinoviev writes, “At these two congresses both sides worked out their respective detailed tactics in relation to the 1905 revolution: for everyone sensed that the decisive days would come…[72] The Third Congress allowed the Bolsheviks to establish a preparatory organizational structure and propaganda apparatus and to reaffirm amongst themselves the strategic orientation put forward in What is to Be Done. Preobrazhensky though still a relatively young cadre of the Party, had absorbed this programmatic orientation and would carry it out with a commitment to the cause and to party discipline. In addition to sharpening the organization question and calling for the Bolshevik cadre to throw themselves into preparations for a general strike and insurrection, the connected theoretical questions of the class character of the regime which would replace the Tzar and the role of the peasantry in the revolution began to sharpen around the lines that would separate Social Democracy (Menshevism), Bolshevism and Trotskyism.[73] [74] Preobrazhensky as a leading, if still junior, party cadre tasked with the education and organization of workers preparing for insurrection would have been aware of, given thought to, and had to answer to his party’s positions on fundamental questions. [75] It is worth noting that at this stage in the development of Russian Social Democracy Trotsky stood apart from Bolshevism whereas Preobrazhensky clearly chose to support Lenin’s tight organizational strategy and to carry out its essential task of organizing the Russian proletariat directly.

Ø  1905

Following a “struggle with the pogrom thugs in Oryol” Preobrazhensky transferred temporarily to the Bryansk plant in October 1905 and then shortly thereafter in Mid-November transferred to the Moscow Committee and was made propagandist for the Presnya district. By this time Lenin’s pamphlet published in July 1905 Two Tactics of Social Democracy in the Democratic Revolution[76] expanding on the positions adopted by the Bolsheviks at the Third Congress would have reached the party cadre. Aside from the organizational tasks Lenin’s polemic expanded upon the demand that the proletarian party fight for a “provisional revolutionary government” in which the working class would seek a republic led by a “revolutionary democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry.[77]” It is also at this time, to some extent under the influence of Parvus, that Trotsky began to formulate his theory of ‘permanent revolution’. Zinoviev wrote in his History of the Bolshevik Party:

“The culminating point of this movement [the formation of workers’ councils “Soviets” as an independent force] was the December rising at Presnya in Moscow. The leading organizational role belonged to Bolsheviks and their committee at whose head stood the late Schanzer (Marat)…Vladimirsky … Sedoy and several other comrades. It was this committee that organized workers combat units for the first time.”[78]

Trotsky in his book 1905 describes the organization of the workers at Presnya :

Here there was none of the disorganization which reigned in the rest of the town.[Moscow] The workers formed groups of ten elected team leaders armed themselves with shovels, picks and axes and marched into the streets in orderly formation, like regular road-making gangs. …Women carried sledges, gates logs of firewood into the streets. Workmen cut down and sawed up telegraph poles and lamp posts. The whole Presnya rang with the sound of axes: it was like the felling of a forest.[79]

Preobrazhensky was there at the center of activity during the Presnya uprising in the middle of the most militant actions yet taken by the urban working class in Russia .

I worked here [Moscow] permanently until the rising and during it attended District Committee meetings, which directed the Presnya insurrection and gave command of our forces to Sedoy. My functions consisted mainly of organising meetings of strikers at their factories even when under artillery fire from the Vagankovsky cemetery. When Presnya was ablaze and surrounded by the Semyonovsky Regiment, I hid my Browning [pistol] in the water-closet of my room, slipped through the soldiers’ cordon at night, went to Oryol for a few days and then returned to Moscow to put myself at the disposition of its Central Committee, which was led at that time by Rykov. [80] [81] EAP


Ø  The “Usual Underground Work”

After escaping the assault by the Semyonovsky Regiment, Preobrazhensky was given a choice of assignments by Rykov “between the two organizations which had suffered the greatest losses-Kostroma, or Perm in the Urals. I chose the Urals, and within five days I had reached there and been introduced to the Perm Committee.[83]

He describes the “usual routine of underground work.” He claims that he and his comrades succeeded in reforming the Urals regional organization, that he worked mainly in Ufa at the Sima plant, and fulfilled his early dream having an “excellent clandestine printing press in Ufa,” publishing Uralsky Rabochy, Krestyankaya Gazeta and Soldatskaya Gazeta.[84]

He was arrested twice during the course of his work in the Urals imprisoned for 5 months from March 1906—he recalls a four day hunger strike during this first imprisonment—and again for eight months in the “notorious penal battalions” in Perm. [85] [86] In July of 1907 he represented the Urals at the Third Conference of the RSDLP (Second All-Russian) which was held in Kotka Finland. It was here that he first met Lenin.

The Third Conference was attended by both wings of the RSDLP. Following the democratic reforms instituted after the 1905 revolution, a temporary rapprochement of the party factions and a relative lull in the militancy of the working class, much of the focus of the meeting surrounded legal work. Lenin supported participation in the Duma elections[87], Bogdanov supported a boycott. Lenin’s position prevailed. Lenin submitted a resolution regarding the participation of Social-Democrats in the trade unions.

“…Social Democrats in the Trade Unions should not confine themselves to passive accommodation to a “neutral” platform …but should steadfastly uphold Social Democratic views in their entirety and should …promote acceptance by the trade unions of the Social Democrats’ ideological leadership and the establishment of permanent and effective organizational contacts…[88]

This resolution was also adopted. [89] Calling for a politicized orientation in trade union work, it would have directly affected Preobrazhensky’s organizing activity.

My activity in the Urals continued until March 1908 in ever worsening conditions, amidst growing arrests and intensified repression. In March I was arrested at the Chelyabinsk town conference. I swallowed the agenda and coded addresses, and escaped the same night from the police station. I was now a marked man in the Urals, but I could not tear myself away from the area and I escaped from Chelyabinsk to Ufa dressed as a student. I had to summon a regional conference which was due to meet in Zlatoust, but I delayed in Ufa a little while and did not reach the conference. I was arrested in the street at the end of April and immediately identified.. [90]

After another year in prison in Ufa and Chelyabinsk he was tried in the fall of 1909 and exiled. “I reached the Aleksandrov transit centre near Irkutsk, and remained there till summer when I was settled in the area of Karapchanka, Kirensk district. The deportees there lived like a happy family in a commune….Apart from daily work with peasants, my main occupation was hunting.[91]

The Ekaterinburg Party Committee suggested that he escape to represent them at 1912 party conference in Prague. “I joyfully accepted their offer as I was corresponding with Krupskaya and had received a brief coded letter from Vladimir Ilyich [Lenin] ” following a daring and down to the wire Christmas Day escape involving the drunken personage of the infamous Captain Tereshchenkov,[92] Preobrazhenksy managed to make it to Novonikolaevsk where he was able to participate in the Legal periodical Obskaya Zhisn and to correspond with Zenoviev and Lenin. In autumn 2012 this organization was denounced and he was again arrested fouling his plans to participate in the Prague Conference. Preobrazhensky’s arrest resulting in his missing the Sixth (Prague) All Russian Congress of (1912) may have slowed somewhat his party career. It is at this congress that Stalin begins to rise substantially in prominence. The meeting was important to the establishment of organizational structure and continuity prior to the outbreak of the First World War.

In an extraordinary story corroborated by Deutcher[93] Preobrazhensky’s council turned out to be none other than Alexander Kerensky who was later to lead the Provisional Government installed after the February 1917 revolution and was in turn was overthrown by the October uprising. Deutcher recounts that Preobrazhensky denounced Kerensky’s technical defense of his innocence and proclaimed his revolutionary convictions to the court. Preobrazhensky does not mention this in his autobiography. Nonetheless, having been confused by the prosecutor with another Evgeny, his legal team obtained his acquittal “to the astonishment of all”[94]

Following his acquittal on legal charges he was jailed for 6 months as punishment for his escape from exile and returned to exile eventually being granted permission to move to Irkutsk some 5000 kilometers from Moscow again “equipped with a printing-press and [planning] to begin publication with an anti-war proclamation which I had written.” His group in Irkutsk was infiltrated by an agent provocateur and dissolved however he writes that he was able to contribute Social Democratic paper Zabaikalskoye Obozreniye.

From Irkutsk he went to Chita and was in Chita 6,000 kilometers from Moscow when the February Revolution began. He says that he left Chita in April of 1917 as a delegate to the First Congress of Soviets.[95]

Filtzer[96] indicates that Preobrazhensky was amongst a minority of Bolsheviks opposed from the outset to the Provisional Government of Prince Lvov and was thus consistent in supporting the “defeatist” [97] position of Lenin and that he was correspondingly an early adherent to Lenin’s “April Thesis” outlined by Lenin in “The task of the Proletariat in the Present Revolution” which also did not have the immediate support of the majority of the central committee. It is in this document that Lenin outlined the basic strategy  Not a parliamentary republic…but a republic of Soviets of Workers’, Agricultural Laborers’ and Peasants’ Deputies throughout the country, from top to bottom.”[98]

Ø  The Sixth Party Congress

Preobrazhensky was subsequently elected to the Urals Regional Committee and was a delegate from the Urals to the Sixth Party Congress[99] at which he was chosen as a candidate member of the Central Committee of the RSDLP (Bolsheviks).

The Sixth Congress took place in the heightened atmosphere of the increasing division of power “dual power[100] between the liberal-and reformist-socialist coalition Provisional Government at that time headed by Kerensky and the mass organizations of the Soviets. Bolshevik party ranks had swelled to nearly a quarter million members from less than 50,000 only a few months before.[101] Pravda the main Bolshevik print organ at that time had a run of 90,000 daily and growing.[102] It was at the Sixth Congress that Trotsky, Riazanov, Lunicharsky, Ioffe and other members of an independent faction of the RSDLP composed of non-Bolsheviks who supported the “defeatist” position toward the WWI, the Petrograd based Inter District Organization of United Social Democrats, formally merged with the Bolshevik faction effectively forming the communist party which was to lead the insurrection in October 1917.

At the Sixth Congress an exchange took place between Preobrazhensky and Stalin which presaged later conflicts regarding the slogan for “Socialism in One Country.” It is reported in distorted fashion in the 1977 Moscow edited notes to the Collected Works of Lenin.

“The congress rejected the anti-Lenin proposals put forward by Preobrazhensky, who contended that the socialist revolution could not win in Russia and that Russia could not take the socialist road unless a proletarian revolution was accomplished in the West. The congress also rebuffed Bukharin, who opposed the Party’s course for the socialist revolution, saying that the peasants formed a bloc with the bourgeoisie and would refuse to follow the working class.”[103]

The exchange is reported, as far as I know, accurately in the works of Stalin

6. Reply to Preobrazhensky on Clause 9 of the Resolution “On The Political Situation” August 3

Stalin reads clause 9 of the resolution :

9. “The task of these revolutionary classes will then be to bend every effort to take state power into their hands and, in alliance with the revolutionary proletariat of the advanced countries, direct it towards peace and towards the socialist reconstruction of society.”

Preobrazhensky : I propose a different formulation of the end of the resolution: “to direct it towards peace and, in the event of a proletarian revolution in the West, towards socialism.” If we adopt the formulation proposed by the commission it will contradict Bukharin’s resolution which we have already adopted.

Stalin : I am against such an amendment. The possibility is not excluded that Russia will be the country that will lay the road to socialism. No country hitherto has enjoyed such freedom in time of war as Russia does, or has attempted to introduce workers’ control of production. Moreover, the base of our revolution is broader than in Western Europe, where the proletariat stands utterly alone face to face with the bourgeoisie. In our country the workers are supported by the poorer strata of the peasantry. Lastly, in Germany the state apparatus is incomparably more efficient than the imperfect apparatus of our bourgeoisie, which is itself a tributary to European capital. we must discard the antiquated idea that only Europe can show us the way. There is dogmatic Marxism and creative Marxism. I stand by the latter.[104]

We see from the exchange the sense of precision in thinking that characterizes Preobrazhensky’s later work and his confidence to speak out early in his ascension to central responsibility. In terms of the theoretical question involved we know that Preobrazhensky supported the April Theses, and thereby the strategy of building for an insurrection to gain political power to the hands of the working class and peasantry, but a trepidation as regards the idea that this power can be put to the task of socialist construction in the immediate without one of two conditions either time for the economic and class forces to develop or the much hoped for European revolution to sweep the continent and support the Russian workers in their efforts. In these few words Preobrazhensky not only separates himself from Stalin but also from Trotsky’s theory of ‘Permanent Revolution’ which effectively diminishes the importance of historical stages.

Preobrazhensky’s selection as an alternate member to the central committee at a time of fourfold expansion of the party ranks, with the new absorption of influential Social-Democrats returning from exile and at the height of revolutionary ferment may be understood as recognition of his ability and accomplishment as a field organizer and propagandist. In the context of the times it was understandable that the congress also paid attention to the tightening of party organization as the task at hand was now directly preparing the workers, peasants and soldiers for the overthrow of the Provisional Government which by this point had been deemed “counter revolutionary,” following the “July events” in which the Government had ordered troops to fire on a mass demonstration of workers and sailors,[105] In Lenin’s “The Political Situation (Four Theses)” the basic themes of the Sixth Congress were outlined.

All hopes for a peaceful development of the Russian revolution have vanished for good. This is the objective situation: either complete victory for the military dictatorship, or victory for the workers’ armed uprising; the latter victory is only possible when it coincides with a deep mass upheaval, against the government and the bourgeoisie caused by economic disruption and the prolongation of the war.

The party of the working class, without abandoning legal activity but never for a moment overrating it, must combine legal with illegal work, as it did in 1912–14.

Don’t let a single hour of legal work slip by. But don’t cherish any constitutional or “peaceful” illusions. Form illegal organisations or cells everywhere and at once for the publication of leaflets, etc. Reorganise immediately, consistently, resolutely, …

After this, Preobrazhensky “resolutely” returned to the Urals.

Ø  The October Days

In Zlatoust, where I had returned to work, our Party was in the minority amongst the workers, even during the October Days.[106] The majority supported the SRs. In October I took part in an armed demonstration by the Party under the slogan ‘All power to the Soviets’, and urged workers so vehemently at the Zlatoust works to support us that I lost my voice. Yet we were only partially successful. EAP[107]

The conventional historiography places the beginning of the Russian Civil war and the establishment of “War Communism” from the summer of 1918 at which point large and relatively organized armed forces began to square off in territorial conquest and the somewhat stabilized communist regime under a variety of pressures began the organized expropriation of large scale capital and forced reorganization of social class structures.[108] Mawdsley[109] places its start effectively at the October Revolution. While it is in many ways important to place distinct dividing lines around historical events and to take note of the moment of qualitative shift, it should at the same time be understood that the facing off of the forces arrayed in the civil war may be traced back as far as one wishes to go, to the initial peasant land seizures and armed insurrections of 1905, to the opening guns of the First World War, to Kerensky’s summoning and subsequent dismissal of Kornilov[110] in the events of “July.” The civil war in Russia was at once, an extension of the global imperial war of conquest, a classical contest for geopolitical power within Russian society and an open class war on a scale unwitnessed prior to itself in history. Whoever else may have realized it at the time Lenin knew that he was at war within a month of the October Revolution. In December at a meeting of the Central Executive Committee he spoke

Considered apart from the circumstances of the class war, which has developed into civil war, we so far do not know of a more perfect institution for determining the will of the people than the Constituent Assembly. But we must not indulge in fancies. The Constituent Assembly will have to function under civil war conditions; the Kaledinite bourgeois elements have started a civil war.

…after the.. attempt on the part of Kerensky to bring troops against Petrograd, after the fruitless attempt to organise the counter-revolutionary high-ranking officers of the army, these elements are now endeavouring to organise an uprising on the Don…. [111]

We pause here to review another mis-appreciation of our “theoretician” from Lewin

“Among the delegates and commissars, front commanders and regional secretaries that had participated in the struggle of the civil war and its immediate aftermath were to be found two of the great categories of militants of which the Party Leadership was composed. The first of these were the intellectuals and idealists, sensitive to doctrinal requirements and deeply attached to their vision of socialism; most of them had come to the party through contact with Western Marxism, particularly in the course of long stays in Europe during the emigration. The second group were primarily executives, men of action, practitioners of the revolution, more concerned with day-to-day realities; by training and ability they were seldom intellectuals; they were generally former underground Bolsheviks who had not known the experience of emigration.
Both kinds of men had a role to play in the Revolution….. But the course of events turned out to be more tragic and more painful than the theoreticians had foreseen, soon favored a predominance of activists of the stamp of Ordzhonikidze, Kaganovich, Molotov, Kibyshev or Stalin rather than men like Rakovsky, Kretinsky Serebryakov Preobrazhensky Makharadze and Trotsky[112]

Lewin goes on to state that Lenin’s practical thinking and organizational skills placed him between the two groups. Lewin’s is an anti-Stalinist and sympathetic commentator but his statement here is exemplary of the unconscious academic and social class bias that affects the study of the Russian revolution and which stands alongside Marxist factionalism as an obstacle to understanding or even studying Preobrazhensky, or for that matter Stalin, as an historical character. The assumption here is made, obviously without adequate research, that, because Preobrazhensky emerges at the end of his political career as the most sophisticated social-scientific thinker amongst the Bolshevik core cadre that he would have been also a most entertaining cocktail party guest. As well he might have been, but not for the reasons thereby assumed. Intellectuals both in the university context and amongst the many who fancy themselves revolutionaries, are attracted to Bolshevism, its adherents and adversaries and the Russian Revolution, it’s history and characters in part because of the extraordinary breadth and detail of ideas expressed by the participants. But in this study one must be careful not to lose ones’ self in the contest of ideas alone and forget the mass character of the Russian Revolution. Bukharin who did spend substantial time within the émigré community before the revolution was essential to the ultimate success of Stalin’s faction. It is a caricature of Marxism to assume that critical events will be decided on the basis of the annual income of the parents of a movement’s leadership. Such information as is essential to the construction of an interesting biography and of great use to the psychoanalyst is not the information needed to understand the social class character of a given movement. What made the Bolsheviks a working class party was their deep and direct integration with workers in action as a party, and as an organization. Preobrazhensky was a declassed youth when he joined the movement—the son of a priest with a high school education—not rich not poor. He was stamped by the worker’s struggle by becoming directly a part of it, by choice not by fate. His eventually profound comprehension of events and social forces was a result of his embeddedness rather than somehow in spite of it.

It is said that at the time of the February revolution the Bolsheviks had “only” 25,000 or so members. Often this is coupled with comments as regards their level of organization discipline and financing. Missing in this appreciation is that given the rigorous demands of membership and the difficulty of the conditions of war and repression, the exile of key leaders that this was an exceptional organizational feat that lay the basis for their exponential expansion over the course of the following 18 months and ultimately for their victory in the civil-war. Nonetheless, in the aftermath of October, communication from field to center was difficult; only one out of a dozen party cadre had much more than a year’s experience and the Bolsheviks’ centers of power were concentrated toward urban areas and a limited geographic zone within the vastness of the former Russian Empire.[113]

If the events of October in Petrograd had the feeling of being, orchestrated—down to Lenin’s insistence that the timing properly correspond to and precede the Second Congress of the Soviets at which victory could be announced—the events which followed in the Urals surely did not have the same choreographed feel. The accomplishment of Lenin as an leader was that he effectively unlocked and unleashed the pent up frustrations, demands and desires of the oppressed classes of the former empire of the Tzar, giving just enough direction and focus to turn the consequences to purpose. That any of this went as previously intended is a testimony to Lenin’s singular greatness. That so much else was beyond control is a testimony to the severe limits of the role of the individual in history.

Again, we can look forward to the publication of documents which will shed more light on the specifics of Preobrazhensky’s activities in the early days of Soviet power, but from this brief in his autobiography begins the story of The New Economics.  It is not too far of stretch to imagine our ‘economist’s first conception of “primitive socialist accumulation” occurred in the act of leading miners in the appropriation of a mine.

In the Sima district, however, where I arrived on 26 October, we managed to take control everywhere and to nationalize all the mines in the area. After the October Days, all the remaining comrades, myself included, concentrated on establishing Soviet power in the Urals and on strengthening our Party organizations.[114]

It is likely through these experiences, in which his career was as rich as that of any other party leader, that his fervent proletarian democratic revolutionary perspective was formed.

v – – Chapter II—Biography and Autobiography: Building Socialism- –

Ø  Brest-Litovsk and Left Wing Communism

We have seen in the brief exchange between eventual adversaries at the Sixth Party Congress, the adumbrations of the contest over the strategy ‘socialism in one country’, later elevated as party slogan under Stalin and, to this day, the inevitable strategy of every country in which socialist property relations predominate with the partial exception of Cuba.[115] The starting point of this strategy may be understood as the signing of the Treaty of Brest Litovsk.[116]

Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie. [From the Commuist Mannifesto]

Carr describes the atmosphere leading up to the signing of Brest-Litovsk as “…an outburst of unfettered dissention and controversy unprecedented in the annals of the Bolshevik party and perhaps rare in those of any other.”[117] Still an alternate in the Central Committee Preobrazhensky did not have a vote at the end of the debate as regards the signing of the Brest peace agreement.[118] In the party struggle over the Brest treaty an organized opposition to the center, then represented by Lenin, formed a consolidated faction.

An insightful commentary on the deliberations within the Bolsheviks regarding the peace made with Germany at Brest-Litovsk and the formation and motivations of the Left Communists can be found in Serge. “Thesis on Heroic Sacrifice”[119] [120]

….The Left Communists’ case was founded, both then and before the conclusion of the treaty, upon deeply rooted feelings: indignation, sorrow, anger and a tragic pessimism on the future of the revolution, all the more tragic in that it was mingled with an almost blind enthusiasm which involved a desire for total sacrifice. This feeling was expressed in a number of surprising declarations: ‘If the Russian revolution itself does not flinch, no one can master it or break it’;[121]So long as the revolution … does not capitulate, it can fear no partial defeat, however grave. The great Republic of the Soviets can lose Petrograd, Kiev or Moscow, but it cannot perish.’[122]
…it is as I see it no longer deniable that this Left-wing tendency also represented something else: a reaction against the danger of opportunism. Lenin belonged neither to any Left nor to any Right: he was simply revolutionary, inflexibly yet pragmatically, and without fine phrases. ..We must also remember another essential fact. Never before had there been a successful proletarian revolution. Some of the best revolutionaries now became inclined to continue the tradition of heroic proletarian defeats, by means of a sacrifice whose fruitfulness for the future deeply and understandably impressed them..[123]

In his visit to Moscow for the Fourth Congress of Soviets held in March 1918 and related party meetings Preobrazhensky began to establish his voice in the party allying, at this point, with the “left” communists. At this stage the most prominent figure of the left was Bukharin, who would soon collaborate with Preobrazhensky on the ABC of Communism. They published a newspaper Kommunist and drew support from workers and party organizations based in Moscow and in the Urals.

The Left Communists were resoundingly critiqued by Lenin and the faction dissolved after some months. Preobrazhensky would evolve from this point as the most consistent voice of internal opposition within the Bolsheviks until his capitulation in 1929. Filtzer[124] has pointed to the Thesis on the Current Situation[125] excerpted below and its seminal relationship to Preobrazhensky’s thought and to the issues that would define the party factions and debates until the consolidation of Stalin’s power. The publication of the Theses is thought to be largely the work of Ossinsky[126] who remained an influence on Preobrazhensky in this formative period. Bukharin receded from the left after the debates over Brest Litovsk and moved through the center of the party toward its most conservative wing over time. The Left’s Theses addressed real problems and identified trends  which would undermine the progressive force of the Russian revolution and occupy Preobrazhensky’s activities and intellectual talents in later years but it is hard not to see the good sense in Lenin’s critique of it’s inherent “left wing childishness.” It is also evident the degree to which Preobrazhensky’s later social scientific work stemmed from Lenin’s stark and cutting reply formulating the material challenges which faced the Bolsheviks as a party and the people of the former Russian Empire as a whole.  First from the Left.

. the proletarian communists …. basic direction of their political line is not the preservation at all costs of the conquests made by the workers and peasants on the present disjointed territory of the Soviet republic, …Their line is the development and strengthening of the whole of Russia as a fighting unit of the international workers’ revolution against international imperialism. ..[127] –Excerpt Theses on the Current Situation Kommunist #1, 20 April 1918 .[Emphasis added]

In addition a plea to retain the revolutionary internationalist spirit of Bolshevism great attention was paid in this document to the perceived combined threat of bureaucracy and potential forms of capitalist restoration. This theme runs through Bolshevik opposition movements for twenty years hence to Trotsky’s publication of the Revolution Betrayed[128] and effectively ties bureaucracy to capitalist social norms and does not perceive its possibility in a worker’s society other than by external pressures.

… as a result of the immediate, direct consequences of the peace, the reduction in class activity and the increased declassing of the proletariat … as a result of the increased class rapprochement between the proletariat and the poor peasants .., there arises the strong possibility of a tendency towards deviation on the part of the majority of the communist party and the Soviet power led by it into the channel of petty bourgeois politics of a new type.
In the event that such a tendency should materialise, the working class will cease to be the leader and guide of the socialist revolution inspiring the poor peasantry to destroy the rule of finance capital and the landowners.
…. In the event of a rejection of active proletarian politics, the conquests of the workers’ and peasants’ revolution will start to coagulate into a system of state capitalism and petty bourgeois economic relations.
…This path – in words – may be justified by the effort to save at all costs the revolutionary forces of Soviet power, even if only in ‘Great Russia’, for international revolution. In this case all efforts will be directed towards strengthening the development of productive forces towards ‘organic construction’, while rejecting the continued smashing of capitalist relations of production and even furthering their partial restoration[129]

Concurrent to the concerns expressed above the solution to the encroachment of bureaucracy and the restoration of class rule by capitalism was a program of “decisive socialization” and radical class struggle calling for measures which to some extent foretold the actions of the Bolsheviks in the War Communism period.

  • The final liquidation of the counter-revolutionary press and the counter-revolutionary bourgeois organisations.
  • The introduction of labour conscription for qualified specialists and intellectuals, the organisation of consumer communes, the limitation of consumption by the prosperous classes and the confiscation of their surplus property.
  • The organisation in the countryside of an attack by the poor peasants on the rich, the development of large scale socialised agriculture and support for forms of working the land by the poor peasants which are transitional to socialised agriculture.[130]

Yet they opposed proposals for the militarization of the trade unions—by Trotsky—and the integration of former Tzarist commanding officers into the Red Army—also by Trotsky. They called for measures directly availing the conditions faced by working people

[no to the] the introduction of piece-work and the lengthening of the working day, which in circumstances of rising unemployment are senseless, but the introduction by local economic councils and trade unions of standards of manufacture and shortening of the working day with increase in the number of shifts and broad organisation of productive social labour.

The granting of broad independence to local Soviets and not the checking of their activities by commissars sent by the central power. Soviet power and the party of the proletariat must seek support in the class autonomy of the broad masses, to the development of which all efforts must be directed. .[131]

Lenin’s reply to the Theses published in Kommunist under the title “Left Wing Childishness and the Petty Bourgeois Mentality”[132] may be seen as a piece with his article The Immediate Tasks of the Soviet Government[133] Published on April 28, 1918 in Pravda and Isvestia, and to his reports at the Seventh Congress of the RCP(B) Held in March of the same year.

…one of the essential differences between the bourgeois and the Socialist revolution is that the first, which is always born out of the feudal order, builds up its forms of economic organization bit by bit within the old régime, through the development of commerce which slowly modifies all aspects of feudal society. The bourgeois revolution has one task only: to remove, eliminate and destroy all the foundations of the old order. When it accomplishes this task the bourgeois revolution fulfils its whole mission, as it ends up by creating the system of commodity production and facilitating the growth of capitalism. The situation of the Socialist revolution is quite different. The more backward the country is where the zigzags of history cause it to begin, the more difficult is the transition from the old capitalist relationships to the new relationships of Socialism. As well as the tasks of destruction there are other tasks, infinitely difficult: those of organization.[134] Lenin VII Congres RCP(B)

Six years hence Preobrazhensky would write, in The New Economics.

Capitalist production arises and develops within the womb of feudal society, or of feudal society which has been half disintegrated by commodity economy, many decades before the bourgeois revolutions. This fully applies to the development of merchant capital, as the necessary preliminary stage of capitalist production. It applies also to the first steps of manufacture in England and to the first steps of capitalist machine industry on the Continent
…The socialist system, on the contrary, begins its chronology with the seizure of power by the proletariat. This follows from the very essence of the socialist economy as a single complex which cannot be built up molecularly within the world of capitalism.[135]

Lenin’s attack was manifold. His focus was to call to order his unruly children,

…the peace supporters were absolutely right, in having drummed into the minds of the lovers of ostentation that one must be able to calculate the balance of forces and not help the imperialists by making the battle against socialism easier for them when socialism is still weak, and when the chances of the battle are manifestly against socialism. [136]

 to concentrate their attention on the real and the particular, “…At first we must really carry out the simplest things, properly organise what is available, and then prepare for the more intricate things…”[137] to dig in to the details
… The centre of gravity of our struggle against the bourgeoisie is shifting to the organisation of such accounting and control. Only with this as our starting-point will it be possible to determine correctly the immediate tasks of economic and financial policy in the sphere of nationalisation of the banks, monopolisation of foreign trade, the state control of money circulation, the introduction of a property and income tax satisfactory from the proletarian point of view, and the introduction of compulsory labour service. [138]

And to call attention to the fundamental difference between a view of science rooted in romantic notions of infallibility—or faith—compared to the kind of scientific learning which begins with understanding what one cannot, or does not, know…

“During the coming spring and summer,” the “Lefts” write in their theses, “the collapse of the imperialist system must begin. In the event of a victory for German imperialism in the present phase of the war this collapse can only be postponed, but it will then express itself in even more acute forms.”
This formulation is even more childishly inaccurate despite its playing at science. It is natural for children to “understand” science to mean something that can determine in what year, spring, summer, autumn or winter the “collapse must begin”.
These are ridiculous, vain attempts to ascertain what cannot be ascertained. No serious politician will ever say when this or that collapse of a “system” “must begin” [139]

Lenin, himself, however, was not completely immune to reliance on matters of faith.

(the more so that the collapse of the system has already begun, and it is now a question of the moment when the outbreak of revolution in particular [European] countries will begin). …in this lies the only chance of playing for time while the revolution in the West matures, the revolution which is not “bound” (despite the twaddle of the “Lefts”) to begin in “spring or summer”, but which is coming nearer and becoming more probable every month. [140]

In any case, the orderly disciplined and scientifically governed construction of a socialist economy as discussed by Lenin was not to begin so soon as desired. To the episode in Bolshevik history which spans the period from the negotiation of the Brest peace to the beginnings of the Czechoslovak intervention–basically the first half of 1918—called by Serge “The Great Retrenchment,” and the expansive debates and controversy within the party which developed in this time, I have given much attention. Because the issues raised at this stage returned over and again, because it was formative in the experience of Preobrazhensky—consider it his graduate school—and in the development of the Communist Party, and because it is illustrative of the degree to which Bolshevism was, at least at this stage, a vital and open venue for the exposition of a range of political positions. These debates were carried out in competing periodicals. Despite the theatrics and melodramatic temporary resignations of various members, the party leadership held together and was able to turn forward to the coming challenges.

No doubt with much to think about, and perhaps with Lenin’s castigations ringing in his ears “The “Left” intellectual striplings,… with the magnificence of a self-infatuated Narcissus, profoundly declare “that the masses ??? have become firmly imbued !!! with an inactive!!!??? peace mentality”. Was I not right when I said at the Party Congress that [their] paper ought to have been called not “Kommunist” but “Szlachcic”. [Polish nobleman] [141] and facing the rising threat of famine and violence our protagonist returned to his territory.

  • At the Center

From spring 1918 we in the Urals had to endure the Czechoslovak onslaught and then create a front against Kolchak. In summer 1918, in my capacity as delegate from the Urals to the Fourth Congress of Soviets, I took part in the suppression of the left-wing SR rising, [Moscow July 1918] was slightly wounded in the left temple during the storming of the central telegraph office which was occupied by the SRs, and was then dispatched by the RVS to the Kursk area for a few days to maintain discipline among troops on the Ukrainian border. EAP[142]

From Moscow I set off back to the Urals, where Ekaterinburg had already been taken by Kolchak and our forces were retreating northwards. At this time I was Chairman of the Urals Regional Committee, which had taken upon itself the functions of political section of the Third Army. When Kolchak’s troops advanced on Perm [December 1918] and bombarded the town, our Revolutionary Committee was evacuated together with the last detachments of Mrachkovsky’s division and we then fell back in strength towards Glazov and Vyatka. Afterwards, when the Urals Regional Union had in fact lost almost all its territory, it was dissolved on the orders of the CC [Central Committee], and I was recalled to Moscow to work on Pravda. I was a delegate to the eighth Party Congress [March 1919] and a member of the Commission charged with drawing up the Party programme. [143]

Following his participation in the civil war and initial social and military battles as a member of the Communist Party, and in direct collaboration with Lenin, Preobrazhensky passed over three years as part of the central organization of the Bolsheviks. During this time as he describes he participated with Bukharin in the drafting of the party program.

Following their work on the program, Preobrazhensky and Bukharin collaborated on the ABC of Communism[144], a book length popular exposition of the party program and communist ideas intended as an educational manual for party militants and working class cadres. The ABC is underappreciated and misunderstood by many academic commentators focused on its “utopian” vision of future communism. Written in the context of civil war and War-Communism, Cohen, Bukharin’s principal biographer, calls it “the best known and most widely circulated of all pre-Stalinist expositions of Bolshevism.[145] According to Cohen, Bukharin drew a line between his ‘popular’ or propagandistic work and his more cerebral theoretical investigations. By comparison with his work of only a year later we understand that Preobrazhensky drew a similar line. The ABC ought not to be underestimated. It is expansive in scope reviewing in less than 300 pages a huge range of topics and ideas, from broad abstract questions of Marxism to detailed—if hopeful—descriptions of Bolshevik plans for building a socialist society. In the work two of the best writers and most exploratory young minds to come from the old Bolshevik camp were applied to its task. According to its Forward and Preface the young ‘old Bolsheviks’ split the work in two with Bukharin writing the first part and Preobrazhensky writing the second. Of particular interest is Preobrazhensky’s exposition on the subject of oppressed nationalities and his review of revolutionary finance. The section below from Chapter Seven: Communism and the Problem of Nationality was most likely penned by Preobrazhensky and is instructive of his internationalist perspective in the context of his views on the prospects for world revolution, and the economic organization of resources in the future that he foresaw.

“It is essential that the working class should overcome all national prejudices and national enmities. This is requisite, not only for the world-wide attack upon capital and for the complete overthrow of the capitalist system, but also for the organization of a single world-wide economic system. Soviet Russia cannot exist without Donetz coal, Baku mineral oil, Turkestan cotton; but it is just as true that Central and Western Europe cannot do without Russian wood, hemp, flax, and platinum, or without American wheat; it is just as true that Italy finds British coal a vital necessity, and that Britain urgently needs Egyptian cotton, etc., etc. The bourgeoisie has found itself unable to organize a world economy, and the bourgeois system has been shipwrecked upon this difficulty. The proletariat is alone competent to organize such a system with success. To this end, however, it must proclaim the watchword, ‘All the world and all the wealth that it contains belong to the whole world of labour.’[146]

According to Gorniov Preobrazhensky moved permanently to Moscow in March of 1920. There were, as mentioned before, three secretaries to the RCP central committee at this time. Schapiro[147] notes that Preobrazhensky carried most of the work. In this way he may be considered as the direct predecessor in the position which Stalin assumed after 1922 and which was utilized by Stalin to consolidate autocratic political power over the Soviet Union.

A review of the Moscow edited Collected Works of Lenin in various editions and online at the Lenin Internet Archive[148] supports the view, found in many sources that by 1920 Preobrazhensky’s opinions on economic and particularly financial matters were respected by the leading cadre of the RCP(b) including Lenin. Incidentally, it is known that Preobrazhensky met John Maynard Keynes and exchanged conversation as part of a Bolshevik delegation to Genoa.[149] Preobrazhensky is sometimes credited as being the first economist to advocate the use of inflation as a hidden state tax strategy, an idea also found in Keynes. Lenin’s correspondence show many notes and letters on fairly particular subjects directed toward Preobrazhensky during this period.  At the same time Lenin was critical of what he saw as a certain impolitic tendency in EAP’s theoretical precision. At the 1922 11th party congress Lenin stated, “…Comrade Preobrazhensky …approaches everything …[as] a theoretician, looking for definite, usual and accustomed limits…Everyone knows his strong side, but when he comes up with a political and administrative point of view, something monstrous comes out.” [150]

After the liberation of the Urals, I was again dispatched for Party and Soviet work in Ufa. I was selected by the Ufa Party organization to attend the ninth Party Congress where I was elected to the CC, and the CC elected me one of its three secretaries. [151]

With Stalin’s ascension as the General Secretary to the Central Committee at the 10th party Congress and the continued weakening of Lenin resultant from the assassination attempt on him of 1919 Preobrazhensky’s organizational authority within the Party began to wane. He continued to play an important role and to carry political influence as well as to be respected for his growing technical knowledge of economics and finance.

After the tenth Party Congress, I was appointed Chairman of the Financial Committee of the CC and Sovnarkom and directed its work on the adaptation of money circulation and financial control to the conditions of NEP.

I then presided over the Main Directorate for Professional Training, was one of the editors of Pravda, and performed a number of other functions which it would be tiresome to enumerate.[152] EAP Autobiograpy

Taking this cue from my subject I will not further tire the reader with a detail of the variety of party offices and functions carried out by him in the period between his election to the party Central Committee and the disablement of Lenin only a few years later. Ulam(1973) and Lewin mention Preobrazhensky and incidentally Bukharin as being among the last Bolsheviks to visit with Lenin before his death in January 1924.

End Part 1.

[1] Guevara, Ernesto “Che”; Socialism and Man in Cuba 1965 http://www.marxists.org/archive/guevara/1965/03/man-socialism.htm

[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y27dCVlyqsA&t=13m57s Published on Oct 7, 2013 Session Prospective : le monde en 2030 Jacques Attali & Joseph E Stiglitz LHFORUM 2013 (ENG)

[3] Preobrazhensky, E.A. ‘Foreword to the First Edition’ of The New Economics. Trans. Brian Pearce. London, UK: Clarendon/Oxford, (1965)

[4] Cannon, et al; Open Letter to the Conference Called by the Authorized Committee of the 16 Standard Railroad Labor Organizations from the Central Executive Committee of the Workers Party of America. [c. Feb. 20, 1922] 1 A document in the Comintern Archive, RGASPI, f. 515, op. 1, d. 146, ll. 26-32. http://www.marxists.org/history/usa/parties/cpusa/1922/02/0220-cecwpa-tocppa.pdf

[5] Nikolay Nikolayevich Krestinsky (13 October 1883–15 March 1938) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolay_Krestinsky. Executed 1938

[6] Serebryakov, Leonid Petrovich (1890-1937) Executed after the third Moscow trial 1937 http://www.marxists.org/glossary/people/s/e.htm

[7] Nove, Alec; Introduction to The New Economics (1965), pp viii.

[9] Gorinov, M. M. , Tsakunov S. V. and Konstantin Gurevich Life and Works of Evgenii Alekseevich Preobrazhenskii Slavic Review , Vol. 50, No. 2 (Summer, 1991), pp. 286-296 Published by: Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2500204

[10] Lin, J. and M. Yu (2008) ‘The Economics of Price Scissors: An Empirical Investigation for China’, CCER working paper. http://en.ccer.edu.cn/download/6468-1.pdf

[11] Sah, Raaj Kumar and Stiglitz, Joseph E.; The Economics of Price Scissors The American Economic Review , Vol. 74, No. 1 (Mar., 1984), pp. 125-138 Published by: American Economic Association Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1803313 http://www.nber.org/papers/w1156

[12]Filtzer, Donald, A. “A Select Bibliography of Preobrazhensky’s Works” in Preobrazhensky, E.A. The Crisis of Soviet Industrialization: Selected essays [1921-1927] trans., ed., Filtzer, Donald A.; M.E. Sharpe, White Plains NY. (1979) pp 237-240.

[13]The theoretical study of the Soviet system of economy undertaken by the author, the beginning of which is here offered to the reader, will be completed in two volumes. The present work is the first, theoretical part of Volume One. The second, historical part of this volume will be devoted to a brief survey of socialist and communist conceptions of socialism.”  ‘Forward to the first edition,’ The New Economics. EAP.

[14]War Communism’ is an ideological construct encompassing the economic methods utilized by the Bolsheviks during the period of the Russian Civil War, approximately (1918 to 1921) during which the Soviet state in its successful but desperate bid for survival resorted to a combination of extreme tactics including radical inflation of the currency, forced requisition of goods and services needed by the Red Army and the urban population, and the conduct of a large part of economic transaction in the form of barter or direct “natural” exchange of goods.  Many amongst the leadership of the Bolsheviks idealized these desperate tactical measures as exemplary of the end of capitalist social relations and the beginnings of the new socialist order, not so much Lenin who, though affected by the exuberance of this period took a generally longer term and more measured view of the possible.

[15] The New Economic Policy (NEP) and NEP period (1921-1929) was instituted under Lenin’s leadership and with the begrudging acceptance of the Party cadre in 1921 as it became obvious that the economic conditions which had prevailed during the Civil War and its immediate aftermath were unsustainable and indeed were leading toward a breach between the Party and its principal constituency the urban working class and the poorest layers of the peasantry and agricultural workers. The NEP involved the reintroduction of certain basic property rights and market operation in the production and distribution of goods especially in the countryside and amongst the peasantry. The progress of the NEP and some of its economic specifics will be discussed as a subject of this paper.

[16]Nove, A; ‘Introduction’ to EAP. The New Economics. pp xi

[17] EAP, The Crisis of Soviet Industrialization (1979)

[18] Preobrazhensky E.A. The Decline of Capitalism; trans. Ed. Richard B. Day. ME Sharpe (1985)

[19] The Slogan of the October Revolution of 1917 “Peace Land and Bread” Was taken in earnest by millions of Russian and Central Asian peasants who revolted against feudal conditions and seized the lands formerly possessed by feudal aristocrats. The resulting condition was that the socialist Revolution in Russia achieved a significant task assigned to the bourgeois stage of social development. It opened the door to unfettered commodity production in the sphere of agriculture and liberated the peasantry to condition of open competition amongst themselves. http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/sep/06.htm

[20] EAP. The New Economics pp147. Online at Rawlinsview.com http://wp.me/p11GIr-sE

[21]Nove, Alex. Introduction to The New Economics  pp iix “In due course Preobrazhensky became the leading theoretician of the Trotskyite opposition…”

[22] North, David; “A significant contribution to an understanding of Permanent Revolution” review of Witnesses to Permanent Revolution: The Documentary Record edited and translated by Richard B. Day and Daniel Gaido. (Brill, 2009). 19 April 2010 WSWS https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2010/04/perm-a19.html  “Day’s [Richard B.] work on the life and ideas of E. A. Preobrazhensky, including a translation of the latter’s Decline of Capitalism (1985), rescued from historical oblivion this important figure in the Trotskyist Left Opposition, who was eventually murdered by Stalin in 1937. [emphasis mine] (See Note 42 page 13 for further detail) In the case of Nove, above, this mischaracterization is perhaps understandable as his Social Democratic orientation places him far outside of these political distinctions. In the case of North one must see in the distortion an omission of fact. He is aware of the distinctions.

[23] It is furthermore a questionable claim that Day, who has done much contemporary work on EAP has “rescued Preobrazhensky from oblivion” Of the five major translations to English. The Decline of Capitalism is the 5th to come to print. The rescue of Preobrazhensky more properly belongs to Carr, Deutcher, Dobb, Erlich, Nove, and Pearce. North’s objective is to enclose scientific socialism within the envelope of ‘Trotskyism’ and to demonstrate its continuity with his pet theory “Permanent Revolution” It is impossible that an historical figure of Preobrazhensky’s stature should under any circumstances be consigned to “oblivion.” I do not think that Mr Day would accept personal credit for EAP’s ‘rescue.’

[24] Lenin, VI, What is to be Done? (1902) Pamphlet and book outlining the broad strategy of what was to become Bolshevism. Lenin Internet Archive (LIA) http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1901/witbd/

[25] James P. Cannon (February 11, 1890 – August 21, 1974) is an outsized figure in the history of American communism. A protégé of IWW leader Big Bill Haywood, Cannon was a “Wobbly” organizer, early member of the Socialist Party, and founding leader of the Workers Party which became the CP USA. Visiting Moscow in 1928 for the Sixth World Congress of the Comintern, Cannon was inadvertently exposed to Trotsky’s “The Draft Program of the Communist International: a Critique of Fundamentals.” He smuggled the document back to the United States and began a campaign within the communist movement of his home country. Cannon was expelled from the CP in 1929. After a series of political maneuvers carried out in direct collaboration with Trotsky, Cannon became the National Secretary of the then “Trotskyist” Socialist Workers Party at its founding in 1938 and was a leading figure in the early development of the Fourth International. See: Cannon, James:  Notebook of an Agitator, Pathfinder Press First Edition (1958) Fifth Printing (2009) The History of American Trotskyism, Pathfinder Press First Edition (1944) source Second Edition (1972) and Palmer, Bryan D. James P. Cannon and the Origins of the American Revolutionary Left, 1890-1928; University of Illinois Press(2008).

[26] Hansen, Joseph; (June 16, 1910 – January 18, 1979), Hansen from a working class background was an early adherent to the American Trotskyists who served as Trotsky’s secretary in Coyoacán Mexico from 1937 until Trotsky’s death. It was Hansen more than anyone else who pressed for recognition of the vitality of the Cuban Revolution on the part of socialists who had come from the Trotskyist tradition. See The Theory of the Cuban Revolution Pioneer Publisher NY (1962) http://www.marxists.org/archive/hansen/1961/xx/cuba-theory.htm .  for a brief biography and bibliography of Hansen see http://www.trotskyana.net/Trotskyists/Bio-Bibliographies/bio-bibl_hansen_j.pdf

[27] Marx, Karl, Engels Frederich; The Comunist Manifesto http://marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch02.htm .

[28] See notes 10, 11 and 46

[29]Nove, Alec; (1915-1994) Author of An Economic History of the USSR Penguin (1969), also wrote the introduction to the introduction to the English edition of The New Economics. He is also the creator of an academic model for a ‘market socialist’ economy. The Economics of Feasible Socialism (1983)

[30]Erlich, Alexander; The Soviet Industrialization Debate 1924-1928 Harvard 1960. Still the standard bearer

[31] Day, Richard B; ‘Preobrazhensky and the Theory of the Transition Period’ Soviet Studies, Vol. 27, No. 2 (Apr., 1975) pp 196-219

[32] Dobb, Maurice; Papers on Capitalism Development and Planning, International Publishers New York. 1967 pp129,130 Reprinted from Soviet Studies October 1965 (Vol, XVII No. 2) Dobb’s study is brief  but detailed “The discussions of the ‘twenties on planning and economic growth” pp 126-139

[33]Carr, Edwar Hallet; A History of Soviet Russia The Bolshevik Revolution 1917-1923; 3 vols Penguin 1984

[34] Deutscher, Issac; The Prophet Unarmed Trotsky: 1921-1929; Oxford 1959

[35] Bettleheim, Charles; Class Struggles in the USSR (1978), Monthly Review Press

[36] Brian Leonard Pearce (8 May 1915 – 25 November 2008) Also Translated Preobrazhensky’s From NEP to Socialism originally published in 1922 English version in 1962 New Park.

[37] Day, Richard B. and Gornov, M; The Preobrazhensky Papers Brill Pending publication. According to a letter I received from Mr. Day he has completed the proofs and the first volume of works through 1920 is going to print at the time of this writing. The second volume is expected by Summer 2014. Day says all material currently in English translation will be reviewed and re-edited with new introductions so that within the next few years there should exist a complete works of EAP.

[38] One exception to this is the editors of New Park press, progenitors and precursor to the current WSWS “World Socialist Web Site” representing a form of militant ‘orthodox’ Trotskyism defending the theory of Permanent Revolution and idealizing the Left Opposition to some extent for the fact of its leftism. Currently represented as the Socialist Equality Party in the US, this tendency and its offshoots lose interest in EAP’s mature work as it is a departure from their brand of politics. New Park published a version of The ABC of Communism and From NEP to Socialism. (see notes 43, 44 below)

David North the leading political and intellectual figure in this movement following the fall of the infamous Gerry Heally lecured “Slowly but surely, the discovery, publication and critical assimilation of documents and long-lost manuscripts will reshape public consciousness of the historical development of the Russian Revolution. There will be growing recognition of the Marxist alternative to Stalinism advanced by Trotsky and the Left Opposition. Brilliant political figures like Rakovsky, Preobrazhensky, Piatakov, Joffe, Sosnovsky, Eltsin, Ter-Vaganian, Boguslavsky, Vilensky and Voronsky, to name only a few of the leading Oppositionists, will be the subject of major biographies; and, of course, the life of Trotsky—one of the greatest political and intellectual figures of the twentieth century—will be reexamined in the light of new and vital information.”  From Was there an alternative to Stalinism? By David North, 25 October 1995 https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/1995/10/glas-o25.html Encouraging words, albeit decades after much of Peobrazhensky’s major work had been translated and published and had received significant, if not comprehensive, academic treatment. A treatment of the Marxist “tendencies” comes later in this paper. [See also note 22 above]

[39] Bukharin, Nikolai Ivanovich; (9 October  [O.S. 27 September] 1888 – 15 March 1938) and Preobrazhensky, E.A. The ABC of Communism First published in Russian 1920. First English translation 1922

[40] Preobrazhensky, E.A. From N.E.P. to Socialism: A Glance into the Future of Russia and Europe. New Park (1973) Translated by Brian Pearce. Original publication in Russian 1921.

[41]Castro, Fidel New International  No 6 (1987)“Important Problems for the whole of International Revolutionary Thought” In 1986 the Cuban Communist Party began a review of their relationship to economic and political norms imported from the Soviet Union during the first two decades of socialist construction. “What kind of socialism were we going to build along those lines? What kind of ideology was that? And I want to know whether those policies were leading us to a system worse than capitalism…” pp 217 Since then, however haltingly, they have experimented increasingly with a relaxation on restrictions on private employment especially in the area of small farming and petty services such as repairs.

[42] In my 2005 visit to Vietnam I had conversations with individuals, interestingly one of them a business person, who were clearly familiar with The New Economics. The Rawlinsview Blog rawlinsview.com , of which I am the editor, has a small readership in Vietnam which has shown interest in articles on and excerpts from Preobrazhensky published in its pages.

[43] Lin, Justin Yifu; Cai, Fang; Li, Zhou; The China Miracle: Development Strategy and Economic Reform. pp 33-34 The Chinese University Press Hong Kong (1996) 3rd edition 2008. Lin is honorary dean at the National School of Development at Peking University and he was the senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank from 2008-2012. Lin Also cites Stiglitz et al ‘Price Scissors’

[44] There are only two possible explanations for such a misleading representation. One is complete scholarly negligence, the other is intentional obfuscation. Preobrazhensky was one of the 3 original signatories to the ‘Platform of the 46.’ He “died in prison” from a bullet to the skull.

[45] Preobrazhensky did not hesitate at any point during the relevant phase of his political career to defend unpopular positions. He behaved appropriately as an unbowed equal to his great Bolshevik comrades, Lenin, Trotsky, Bukharin Zinoviev et al, and almost but not all the way so to the end Stalin.

[46] There was, to my knowledge, no meeting of EAP and Mao, though Mao, the assiduous student, was aware of the economic debates in the Soviet Union. On its fundamentals Preobrazhensky’s ideas both on economic development, party democracy, and political strategy are in strong contrast to those of Mao and more so yet to 20th century post-war Maoism. This thought to be developed further in the main text.

[47] Victor Serge  born Victor Lvovich Kibalchich (December 30, 1890 – November 17, 1947), also stands out in this regard, but Serge, like Trotsky had political roots outside of the original core of Bolshevism and did not join the party until 1919.

[48] David Riazanov, born David Borisovich Goldendakh (1870 – 1938) As with Trotsky and Serge he was a late adherent to Bolshevism remaining outside of the RSDLP split until just before the October revolution. Riazanov opposed the dissolution of the constituent assembly and temporarily resigned from the Party. Later he was a Russian delegate to the 2nd conference of the Communist International.

[49] Grigori Yakovlovich Sokolnikov (; 1888–1939) also stands out in this regard to some extent having argued for the sort of financial discipline that might in the present day be classified by leftists as “neo-liberal.” An old Bolshevik he joined the party ranks in 1905. In 1925 he both denounced Trotsky and called for Stalin to step down. In the long course however he did not carry the flag of the opposition as far as did EAP. His almost Marshallian approach to economic policy is not as original as Preobrazhenky’s nor was his study as persistent and deep.  See “Between Right and Left: G. Ia. Sokolnikov and the Development of the Soviet State, 1921-1929” Samuel A. Oppenheim Slavic Review , Vol. 48, No. 4 (Winter, 1989), pp. 592-613 Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2499785

[50] Bukharin is theoretically on near par with Trotsky and Preobrazhensky’s but his stance on the right and his extensive collusion with Stalin place him in a separate camp altogether.

[51] Lenin, VI; What is to be Done (1902)

[52] Trotsky writes “Peasant disorders on a smaller scale never stopped occurring … [following the 1902 appointment of Phleve to Minister of Interior upon the assassination of his predecessor] The celebrated Rostov strike in November 1902 and the July days of 1903, which extended over the whole of the industrial south, prefigured all the future actions of the proletariat. Street demonstrations succeeded one another without cessation. The debates and decisions of committees concerned with the needs of agriculture served as a prologue to the agrarian campaign which was to follow. The universities, even before Plehve, had become centers of extreme political turbulence, and they continued to remain so under his rule. Two congresses held in Petersburg in January 1904 – the technical and the Pirogov congresses – played the role of a vanguard strike for the democratic intelligentsia. From 1905 Original publication (1907.) Vintage 1972

[53] Haupt, Georges and Marie, Jean-Jaques; ed. from Makers of the Russian Revolution (1969) originally published in French English translation Cornell University Press 1974. Pp 191 For a scan OCR and historical annotation see http://wp.me/11GIr by Rawlinsview.

[54] Ibid pp 191

[55] Ibid pp 192

[56] Feltzer D.A. in Preobrazhensky, E.A. The Crisis of Soviet Industrialization, “Introduction” pp xii.

[57] Smilga, Ivan Tenisovich; (1892-1937) ‘Autobiography’ in Makers of the Russian Revolution, pp237-238 writes: “Almost five years of exile for me were a real university, besides studying the history and tactics of our party, I mainly applied myself to political economy and philosophy

[58] http://www.charleshkerr.com/ Founded in 1881, Kerr published the International Socialist Review an organ of the second international, major works by Marx Engels Kautsky and Luxembourg as well as Morgan, Darrow, Jack London and so on. Between 1900 and the first world war Kerr was the largest publisher of radical works in the world and it supported politically the ideas of the IWW and the Second International. Remarkably the Kerr Company remains in existence, though it is long past the heyday of its influence. Eventually influenced by De Leon, it did not follow the tradition of Bolshevism and was superseded by the state power of the Soviet Union and the rise of the Comintern. A concise history of the company can be found on its website. I am familiar with many of the titles mentioned having come across them over the years in libraries and on the shelves of used booksellers.

[59] Serge, Victor; Memoirs of a Revolutionary 1901-1941 trans. Peter Sedgwick Oxford (1963) pp214

[60] Consider Both Schumpeter and Keynes, each born in 1883 only 3 years prior to EAP. Schumpeter was trained as a Lawyer and though Keynes was a sophisticated mathematician and his work implies complex mathematical ideas and the possibility of greater mathematical rigor, it is possible to read and grasp the major works of all three of these men with only moderate mathematical training.

[61] Cannon, James P.  The Struggle for a Proletarian Party Ed John G. Wright First Edition 1942, Pathfinder Press (1972) Part 1 Section 4. ‘The Organization Question’ pp 15.  Cannon was only 4 years Preobrazhensky’s junior.

[62] Ulam, Adam; The Bolsheviks Macmillan 1965 (pp176-193) Ulam’s thesis is that all subsequent formations of Bolshevism, the communist Party and the Soviet state, including the rise of Stalin, the purges and show trials of the prominent leaders of the original Bolshevik movement are a function of the strategy outlined by Lenin in What is to be Done. Pp179 “But the source of it all is in What is to be Done.”

[63] Preobrazhensky, E.A. “Autobiography” in Makers of the Russian Revolution pp192. Preobrazhensky dates himself here at 17 (1903)

[64]Ulam, ibid;

[65] Ulam (1965) pp 177

[66] Ulam, Adam; Stalin: The Man and His Era, Viking (1973)

[67] EAP Autobiography pp 193

[68] The “conciliationists,” which includes Trotsky at this time sought to heal the rift or find the middle in the split between Lenin’s faction and the “Mensheviks”

[69] Ibid 194

[70] Ibid

[71] Third Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (London) 25 April –10 May “Revolution has broken out and its flames are spreading wider and wider …The Proletariat stands at the head of the fighting forces of the revolution…”
“The Third Congress sought to take into consideration the new tasks of the moment in its resolutions on the Party’s preparation for open action…”
Lenin Collected Works (LCW) Foreign Languages Publishing house, (1962) vol 8. Pp 433-439 Marxists Internet Archive (MIA)

[72]Zinoviev, Grigorii; History of the Bolshevik Party—A popular Outline, trans. R. Chappell. New Park (1973) Originally in Russian (1922)

[73] Service, Robert; Trotsky: A Biography, The Belknap Press of Harvard, Cambridge (2009) pp90, 91.

[74] An exposition of Lenin’s thinking during this period can be found in the 1904 book One Step Forward Two Steps Back which precedes the 3rd Congress (London) and in the July 1905 pamphlet Two Tactics of Social Democracy in the Democratic Revolution see note below.

[75] Stalin at this point was tasked similarly to Preobrazhensky conducting party propaganda work amongst the Georgian populace. A remnant of this work has survived courtesy of the gendarmerie in the form of the Russian Translation of an article originally in Georgian summarizing the positions advocated at the Bolsheviks Third Congress. See Stalin’s “The Provisional Revolutionary Government and Social Democracy August 1905” Stalin Works, Vol 1, November 1901-April 1907

[76] Lenin, V. I.;Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution original in Russian.1905 Lenin’s LCW, 1962, Moscow, Volume 9, pp. 15-140.Trans.: Abraham Fineburg and Julius Katzer. LIA (1999)

[77] Lenin, V.I. “The Revolutionary Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Peasantry, Vperyod. No 14 April 12 (1905) LCW Vol 8. 293-303 LIA http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1905/apr/12b.htm

[78] Zinoviev; pp126

[79]December 9 to 17, 1905  Trotsky, 1905 pages 245-249 offers an account of the organization of Presnya.

[80] Alexei Ivanovich Rykov (Алексе́й Ива́нович Ры́ков) (25 February 1881–15 March 1938). A leading figure in the Bolsheviks was present at the 3rd Congress in London. Later the Premier of Russia and the USSR following Lenin’s Death. In reporting to Rykov, Preobrazhensky was working directly with the Bolshevik central leadership.

[81] EAP Autobiography pp 194

[82] Photo from Magnoliabox.com

[83] EAP Autobiography 194.

[84] Ibid 194,195.


[86] Deutcher, Issac; in Stalin Oxford 1966 pp 67 notes “The Tzarist Prisons, ill-famed as they were, seem mild almost humanitarian to a generation that knows the cruelties of a Himmler or a Yezhov…The regime in Tzarist prisons and places of exile was a mixture of brutality and ‘liberal’ inefficiency. There was enough brutality to confirm the prisoners in their hatred of the existing order and enough muddled inefficiency to allow the revolutionary work to be effectively carried on even behind prison bars. For many young Socialists, the prisons were their ‘universities,’ where they had a chance to get a solid revolutionary education often under experienced tutors.

[87] Lenin Collected Works Progress Publishers 1972,  Moscow, Volume 13, pages 60-61

[88] Ibid

[89] Ibid. EAP was one of nine Bolsheviks five Mensheviks, five Polish Social-Democrats, five Bundists, and two Lettish Social-Democrats. A total of 26 delegates.

[90] EAP Autobiography, pp 195

[91] Ibid 196

[92] This Captain reportedly gave the orders to fire at the Lena Massacre See Melancon, Michael; “The Ninth Circle: The Lena Goldfield Workers and the Massacre of 4 April 1912” Slavic Review , Vol. 53, No. 3 (Autumn, 1994), pp. 766-795 Published by: Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2501519

[93] Deutcher; The Prophet Unarmed pp 207

[94] EAP Autobiography pp 195

[95]The First All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers ‘and Soldiers’ Deputies (June 16 – July 7, 1917). June 3-22, 1917 The first convocation of a Congress of Soviets in Russia opened on June 3, 1917 and was attended by some 1,090 delegates (784 with full vote). Approximately: from 53 regional/provincial soviets (106 deputies), 305 local soviets (610 deputies), and 34 military organizations (68 delegates).To which political parties delegates with the full vote belonged:  285 Socialist-Revolutionary (20 sympathetic to this party) 248 Mensheviks (8 sympathetic) 105 Bolsheviks 111 Various other small parties (presumably 7 delegates did not answer)” http://www.marxists.org/glossary/events/a/arcs.htm

[96] Fitzer, “Introduction” pp xiii

[97]Defeatism’ as opposed to ‘defensism’ was a position in which revolutionary socialists effectively campaigned for the defeat of their own respective national governments in the war and the conversion of the Imperialist war into a civil war of the classes. Lenin and Trotsky and presumably Preobrazhensky supported some version of the position. See Lenin “The Tasks of the Proletariat in the Present Revolution.” April 7, 1917 in Pravda No. 26 LIA http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/apr/04.htm

[98] ibid

[99] This is the Sixth (Petrograd) Congress of the Bolsheviks July 26 to August 3 1917. Held between the February and October Revolutions.

[100] See Trotsky, History of the Russian Revolution http://wp.me/p11GIr-uX and Lenin “The Dual Power” Pravda No.28, April 9, 1917. LIA http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/apr/09.htm

[101] Ulam, The Bolsheviks pp352.

[102] Service, Robert; Trotsky: A Biography; Belknap/Harvard (2009) pp178

[103] LCW, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 25, pages 247-254. Footnote 1 to “Rumors of a Conspiracy”. re: The Sixth Congress. LIA https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/aug/19.htm

[104] Stalin, J.V. Speech Delivered at the Sixth Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. (Bolsheviks) July 26-August 3, 1917 Works, Vol. 3, March – October, 1917 Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1954 MIA http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1917/07/26_2.htm

[105] Lenin; “The Political Situation” (four theses) Written on July10 (23), 1917 Published August2 (July 20), 1917 in Proletarskoye Dyelo No.6. LIA www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/jul/10c.htm The beginning of the end of the provisional government was a decision to undertake a new offensive at the German front a move opposed in large part by the war weary Russian masses.

[106] The October Revolution (0ctober 24,25 1917 OS) Preceded by intense organization by the party, in which political power was decreed to have passed over to the Soviets, A declaration of peace was issued by the Petrograd Soviet with the Bolsheviks in majority calling for a complete cessation of hostilities in the war and a Decree on Land juridicially nationalized land ownership and authorized peasant land seizures.

[107] EAP Autobiography pp196

[108] Dowlah, Alex F.and Elliot, John E. ; The Life and Times of Soviet Socialism, Praeger (1997). Pages 13-20

[109] Mawdsley, Evan; The Russian Civil War, Allen and Unwin (1987) pp 4.

[110] Ulam’s (The Bolsheviks)(1965) description of the first Kornilov affair is both informative and entertainingly written.

[111] Lenin. Speech On The Constituent Assembly Meeting Of The All-Russia Central Executive Committee December 1(14), 1917 Published: 19 December, 1917, Pravda No. 207. LCW, Moscow, Volume 28, 1972, pp. 351. LIA https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/dec/01.htm

[112] Moshe Lewin Lenin’s Last Struggle Random House 1968 vintage 1970, pp 59

[113] Mawdsley pp7

[114] EAP Autobiography pp 196

[115] Given its size and geographical relation to its adversary the United States, the Cuban Communist party has behaved to some extent in continuity with the internationalist ideals of the original Bolsheviks. They participated militarily in the defeat of South African forces in Angola and Namibia helping to bring the downfall of the Apartheid regime. Che Guevara’s guerilla war exploits in the Congo and Bolivia are well known. Cuba exported doctors and teachers, ‘advisors’ and technicians en mass to aid revolutionary Nicaragua and they supported housed and gave cover to Carlos Fonseca and the founders of the FSLN. They have directly participated in the mass campaigns oriented toward workers and peasants in Venezuela. They have promoted and supported progressive regional economic agreements under ALBA. The rhetoric of Fidel Castro and behavior of Cuba in the United Nations has consistently favored the interests of oppressed peoples and nations worldwide without concern for political cost. Nevertheless Cuba has had little choice but to develop along the lines of single country socialism and to devise an economic strategy based upon the assumption of the longer term survival of international capitalism.

[116]The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty on March 3, 1918, between the Bolshevik government of Russia (the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey), which ended Russia’s participation in World War I. The treaty was signed at Brest-Litovsk (now Brest, Belarus) after two months of negotiations. The treaty was forced on the Soviet government by the threat of further advances by German and Austrian forces. By the treaty, Soviet Russia defaulted on Imperial Russia’s commitments to the Triple Entente alliance”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Brest-Litovsk

[117] Carr, E.H. The Bolshevik Revolution 1917-1923 Macmillan 1954 pp 187.

[118] “The decision to sign the peace was carried in the Central Committee on 23 February 1918. There were seven in favour (Lenin, Zinoviev, Sverdlov, Stalin, Sokolnikov, Smilga and Stasova) and four against (Bukharin, Lomov, Bubnov and Uritsky) while Trotsky, Joffe, Krestinsky and Dzerzhinsky abstained. On the following day the resolution was passed by the Central Soviet Executive (V TslK) by 112 votes to 84 with 24 abstentions. The treaty was subsequently ratified by the VII Party Congress (6-8 March 1918) and by the IV Congress of Soviets (14-16 March 1918). The Congress of Soviets of which the manifesto speaks was attended by 1172 delegates with the right of vote, the resolution being carried by 784 votes against 261 with 115 abstentions. From the introduction to the Critique 1977 pamphlet The ‘Left’ Communists’ Theses on the Current Situation (Russia, 1918) http://libcom.org/library/theses-left-communists-russia-1918

[119] Serge, Victor; Year one of the Russian Revolution, Trans, Ed. Peter Segwick. Original in French 1930. Holt Rinehart and Winston. (1972). Section on Brest Litovsk and Thesis on Heroic Sacrifice. Pages 143-210 also at http://www.marxists.org/archive/serge/1930/year-one/ch06.htm

[120] Serge knew the protagonists in these events as comrades and friends. His references to Preobrazhensky show both respect and empathy.  He would later become a comrade in the struggles of the opposition to Stalin. The writing quoted above was smuggled out of Russia in 1929 from his place of exile. But Serge did not arrive as a participant until 1919 and Year One… is written as a study rather than a memoir.

[121] Serge note 28 “V. Sorin, The Party and the Opposition. 1: The Fraction of Left Communists (Partiya i Oppozitsiya. I. Fraktsiya Levykh Kommunistov), preface by N. Bukharin (Moscow, 1925)”.

[122] Serge note 29 “K. Radek in Soc. Dem. Brest-Litovsk [no fuller reference available]”.

[123] Serge, Year one..  pp205

[124] Preobrazhensky, The Decline of Capitalism; ‘Introduction’ Filtzer pp xiv

[125] Cohen, Stephen F.; Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution; Knopf (1974) cites the Theses as having appeared in Kommunist 1 1918 Moscow

[126] For contemporary advocates of Ossinsky’s positions see http://en.internationalism.org/ir/1977/08/communist_left

[127] Theses on the Current Situation… 1918

[128] Trotsky LD The Revolution Betrayed.  Trans. Max Eastman 1937

[129] Theses on the Current Situation… 1918

[130] Ibid

[131] Ibid

[132] Lenin VI, “Left Wing Childishness” Published May 9, 10, 11, 1918 in; Pravda Nos. 88, 89, 90 Signed: N. Lenin; Published according to the text of the pamphlet: N. Lenin, The Chief Task of Our Duty, Pribol Publishers, Moscow, 1918, collated with the Pravda text and the text of the pamphlet: N. Lenin (V. I. Ulyanov), Old Articles on Almost New Subjects, Moscow, 1922 Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972 Volume 27, pages 323-334 LIA http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1918/may/09.htm

[133] Lenin, VI. Published on April 28, 1918 in Pravda No. 83 and Izvestia VTsIK No.85; Published according to the text of the pamphlet: N. Lenin, The Immediate Task of the Soviet Government 2nd ed., Moscow, 1918, collated with the manuscript  LCW, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972 Volume 27, pages 235-77 LIA http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1918/mar/x03.htm

[134] Lenin, from the Seventh (Extraordinary) Congress of the R.C.P (B) as quoted in Serge, Year One…pp202 [I use Segwick’s Translation which is more Fluid] Lenin’s comments are also found in LCW and LIA (The party at this point concedes Lenin’s desire to change its name to the Communist Party.)

[135] EAP; The New Economics; pp79.

[136] Lenin; “Left Wing Childishness”

[137] Lenin, The Immediate Task of the Soviet Government 2nd ed., Moscow, 1918, collated with the manuscript  LCW, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972 Volume 27, pages 235-77 LIA http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1918/mar/x03.htm

[139] Lenin; “Left Wing Childishness”

[140] Ibid

[141] Lenin; “Left Wing Childishness”

[142] EAP Autobiography pp 197

[143] EAP Autobiography pp197,198

[144] Bukharin, N.I.; and Preobrazhensky E.A. The ABC of Communism, Penguin 1969 orig 1920.

[145] Cohen Stephen F.; Bukharin pages 84-84.

[146] Bukharin and Preobrazhensky  The ABC of Communism online at Rawlinsview http://wp.me/p11GIr-DD

[147] Schapiro, Leonard; The Origin of Communist Autocracy: Political Opposition in the Soviet State; Harvard 1977 pages 262-264

[148] Lenin Internet Achive at the Marxists Internet Archive, Marxists.org  http://marxists.org/archive/lenin/index.htm

[149] Dobb, 1967 pp 138

[150] Fitzpatrick, Sheila; The Commissariat of Enlightenment, Cambridge (1970) pp142

[151] EAP; Autobiography pp198

[152] Ibid

1 Response to E. A. Preobrazhensky: Primitive Accumulation and the Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Peasantry. Introduction and Early Biography Initial Draft

  1. Pingback: E.A. Preobrazhensky Excerpt from “Primitive Accumulation and the Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Peasantry” | Rawlin'sView Blog

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