The Workers' Opposition

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(1872 - 1952)
Alexandra Mikhailovna Kollontai (Russian: Алекса́ндра Миха́йловна Коллонта́й, née Domontovich, Домонто́вич; 31 March [O.S. 19 March] 1872 – 9 March 1952) was a Russian revolutionary, politician, diplomat and Marxist theoretician. Serving as the People's Commissar for Welfare in Vladimir Lenin's government in 1917–1918, she was a highly prominent woman within the Bolshevik party and the first woman in history to become an official member of a governing cabinet. (From :


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The Workers' Opposition

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Written: early 1921; First Published: Pravda, January 25, 1921. The text was banned in Soviet Russia in March of 1921, by resolution of the 10th Congress of the Communist Party; Source: Solidarity (London) Pamphlet no.7, 1961; taken from the original English publication: Workers' Dreadnought (by Sylvia Pankhurst), April 22 - August 19, 1921; Translated: from the Russian; Transcription/Markup: Class Against Class / Brian Baggins; Copyleft: Kollantai Internet Archive ( 2002. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. I Alexandra Kollontai’s text The Workers’ Opposition was written in Russian, during the early weeks of 1921. It was an attempt to give a more detailed justification to the Theses on the Trade Union Question, submitted by the Workers’ Opposition for discussion at the 10th Congress (March 1921) of... (From :

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The Workers Opposition by Alexandra Kollontai 1921 Individual or Collective Management? Before making clear what the cause is of the ever-widening break between the “Workers’ Opposition” and the official point of view held by our directing centers, it is necessary to call attention to two facts: The Workers’ Opposition sprang from the depths of the industrial proletariat of Soviet Russia. It is an outgrowth not only of the unbearable conditions of life and labor in which seven million industrial workers find themselves, but it is also a product of vacillation, inconsistencies, and outright deviations of our Soviet policy from the clearly expressed class-consistent principles of the Communist program. The Opposition did not originate in some particular center, was not a fruit of personal strife and controversy, but, on the contrary, covers the whole extent of Soviet Russia and meets with a resonant response. At pre... (From :

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1. Who shall build the Communist Economy? In a basic yet brief outline, we have already explained what it is that causes the crisis in our Party. Now we shall make clear what are the most important points of the controversy between the leaders of our Party and the Workers’ Opposition. There are two such points: firstly, the part to be played by, and the problems confronting, the trade unions during the reconstruction period of the national economy, coupled with the organization of production on a Communist basis, and secondly, the question of self-activity of the masses. This question is linked with that of bureaucracy in the Party and the Soviets. Let us answer both questions in turn. The period of ‘making theses’ in our Party has already ended. Before us we find six different platforms, six Party tendencies. Such a variety and such minute variations of shades in its tendencies our Party has never been seen before. Party thought has n... (From :

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1. Initiative... & The Roots of Apathy Is it to be bureaucracy or self-activity of the masses? This is the second point of the controversy between the leaders of our Party and the Workers’ Opposition. The question of bureaucracy was raised and only superficially discussed at the eighth Soviet Congress. Herein, just as in the question on the part to be played by the trade unions and their problems, the discussion was shifted to a wrong channel. The controversy on this question is more fundamental than it might seem. The essence is this: what system of administration in a workers’ republic during the period of creation of the economic basis for Communism secures more freedom for the class creative powers? Is it a bureaucratic state system or a system of wide practical self-activity of the working masses? The question relates to the system of administration and the controversy arises between two diametrically opposed principles: bureaucracy or self-... (From :


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