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D. Sverchkov, who shared my imprisonment with me, later described the prison period in his book At the Dawn of the Revolution. He wrote: L. D. Trotsky, working under great pressure, wrote and handed in for printing parts of his book, ’Russia and the Revolution,’ a book in which he definitely advanced for the first time 1 the idea that the revolution which had started in Russia could not end until the Socialist regime was fulfilled. His theory of ‘permanent revolution,’ as it was called, was accepted by few, but he held firmly to his position, and even then discerned in the state of the world all the symptoms of decomposition of the bourgeois-capitalist economy, and the relative nearness of the Socialist Revolution . . . ”

Sklyansky knew Stalin well enough himself. He wanted my definition of Stalin and my explanation of his success. I thought for a minute.

The year of work in transport was a year in school for me. All the fundamental questions of socialist organization of economic life found their most concentrated expression in the sphere of transport. The great variety in the types of locomotives and cars complicated the work of the railways and the repair-shops. Extensive preparatory work was set on foot to standardize the transport system, which, before the revolution, had been con trolled equally by the state and by private companies. Locomotives were grouped according to class, their repair was more systematically organized, and the repair-shops began to receive precise orders based on their technical equipment. The programme for bringing the transport up to the pre-war standard was to be carried out in four and a half years. The measures adopted were a pronounced success. In the spring and summer of 1920, the transport system began to recover from its paralysis. Lenin never missed an occasion to remark the restoration of the railways. If the war started by Pilsudski in the hope that our transport system would collapse failed to yield Poland the expected result, it was because the curve of railway transport had begun to rise steadily upward. Those results were obtained by extraordinary administrative measures proceeding inevitably from the serious position of the transport system as well as from the system of war communism itself.

Some Social Democratic publications are trying to see a contradiction between my stand on the question of democracy and my request for admission to Germany. There is no contradiction. We do not at all ‘deny’ democracy as the anarchists ‘deny’ it, verbally. The bourgeois democracy has advantages in comparison with the state forms that preceded it. But it is not eternal. It must yield to Socialist society. The dictatorship of the pr?letariat is the bridge to Socialist society.

Kamenev was considered the official leader of Moscow. But after the routing with Kamenev’s participation of the Moscow party organization in 1923, when the party came out in its majority to support the opposition, the rank-and-file of the Moscow communists maintained a grim silence. With the first attempts to resist Stalin, Kamenev found himself suspended in air. The situation in Leningrad 1 was different. The Leningrad communists were protected from the opposition of 1923 by the heavy lid of Zinoviev’s apparatus. But now their turn came. The Leningrad workers were aroused by the political trend in favor of the rich peasants — the so-called kulaks — and a policy aimed at one-country socialism. The class protest of the workers coincided with the high-official opposition of Zinoviev. Thus a new opposition came into existence, and one of its members in the first stages was Nadyezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya. To every one’s utter surprise, their own most of all, Zinoviev and Kamenev found themselves obliged to repeat word for word the criticisms by the opposition, and soon they were listed as being in the camp of the Trotskyists.” It is little wonder that in our circle, closer relations with Zinoviev and Kamenev seemed, to say the least, paradoxical. There were among the oppositionists many who opposed such a bloc. There were even some, though only a few, who thought it possible to form a bloc with Stalin against Zinoviev and Kamenev. One of my closest friends, Mrachkovsky, an old revolutionary and one of the finest commanders in the civil war, expressed himself as opposed to a bloc with anyone and gave a classic explanation of his stand: Stalin will deceive, and Zinoviev will sneak away.” But such questions are finally decided not by psychological but by political considerations. Zinoviev and Kamenev openly avowed that the Trotskyists” had been right in the struggle against them ever since 1923. They accepted the basic principles of our platform. In such circumstances, it was impossible not to form a bloc with them, especially since thousands of revolutionary Leningrad workers were behind them.


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