The Ideological Struggle and the Defeat of the Left 1925

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  • The Ideological Struggle and the Defeat of the Left 1925
    • There was a great need to promote economic growth and industrialisation - no one disagreed about that. The USSR had to invest in industry and the only place this investment could come from was by a transfer of resources from agriculture to industry.
    • The Left Communists were against NEP. They argued that the peasants benefited at the expense of the proletariat. They were in favour of ending NEP immediately.
    • The Right accepted NEP as a pragmatic policy to be tolerated as long as it produced sufficient food supplies.
    • In December 1924 Stalin adopted the policy of 'Socialism in One Country'. He argued that Russia could achieve socialism without the aid of revolution in other countries.
    • Trotsky saw industrialisation as less important than spreading the revolution. He wanted 'Permanent Revolution'.
    • 1925 Party Congress: Stalin had many supporters at the congress as a result of his position as General Secretary. Kamenev was the Chairman of the Moscow branch of the Party, and Zinoviev of the Leningrad branch. All votes went against Trotsky. He lost his position as Commissar for War.
    • Zinoviev and Kamenev did agree with Trotsky about economic matters. He wanted an end to NEP, and end to the food supplies being controlled by the peasants and moves to collectivisation.
    • Zinoviev and Kamenev thought rapid industrialisation could be achieved if the production of food was more efficient. They though the USSR would have difficulty surviving indefinitely without revolutions in other countries. These were the views of the political 'Left' within the Party.
    • On the 'Right' Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky said that NEP should be allowed to continue for another 20 years.
    • At the 1925 Party Congress all the Left resolutions were defeated and the Party backed the Right. Even Kamenev and Zinoviev's own supporters did not vote for them. Stalin sided with the Right.
    • 1926 Zinoviev, Kamenev and Trotsky failed to get their view supported at the Party Congress. Kamenev and Zinoviev were dismissed from their positions as Party Chairman. Stalin was able to place two of his men at the head of the Party organisations in Moscow and Leningrad.
    • 1927 The Left tried to make their case again at the Party Congress. They were denied the right to speak. Attempts to publicise their views failed - their presses were found and destroyed.
    • The fact that they were opposing so openly meant that the charge of factionalism could be brought against them. The Left had been defeated. Kamenev and Zinoviev and Trotsky were expelled from the Party.

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