ON THE F. KONSTANTINOV’s “ROLE OF ADVANCED IDEAS IN DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIETY” printed in Moscow 1954
LONDON February 2018
Reader will find attached F. KONSTANTINOV’s “ROLE OF ADVANCED IDEAS IN DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIETY” printed in Moscow 1954”.
This is a brilliant work that will be of use to all comrades.
Our thanks are due to the comrades of Socialist Party of Cyprus.
In relation to this article we have noted three problematic areas, these are below.
- “The masses, led by the Communist Party, constitute the main force that creates socialism and communism. Marxism holds that it is the people who are basically the architects of history. Both the cult of the individual and the subjectivist denial of the objective character of the laws of development of society have been and may become an ideological weapon in the hands of adventurist elements. These views lead to the liquidation of the Marxist tenet of the objective character of the laws of development of society and of the people being the basic architects of history, the builders of communism. What, indeed, is the idealistic cult of the individual? It is superstitiously to worship outstanding personalities, to attribute to them super-natural properties and powers to do things which the Party alone, the advanced social class and the people can and do actually accomplish. The cult of the individual by the socialist-utopians and the narodniks was manifest in that they linked the destinies of socialism not with the struggle of the working class not with the creative activity of the masses but with the exploits of individual, outstanding, “critically-minded personalities” “heroes.” As is known the socialist-utopians in Western Europe and the Russian narodniks suffered fiasco. The Communist Party and Lenin, its founder, waged a relentless struggle against the idealistic theory of the cult of the individual, alien to the cause of communism.
Some people confuse the recognition by Marxism of the immense role played by great historical personalities, by the leaders of classes and parties, with the cult of the individual. That is a fundamental mistake. Marxism does not at all deny the role of outstanding personalities in history. V. I. Lenin vividly brought out the role played by Marx and Engels as the creators of Marxism, the founders of the First International and the leaders and teachers of the working class. J. V. Stalin graphically portrayed Lenin’s role as the leader of the world proletariat, the founder of the Communist Party and of the Soviet state, the brilliant thinker who creatively developed Marxism in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolutions. An immense role was also played by J. V. Stalin, the disciple and continuer of Lenin’s cause. However, the role of the leaders of the proletariat is inseparably linked with the activity of the Communist Party and the working class. They draw their strength from the Party which unites the leaders with the class and the masses.
Throughout its history the Communist Party has effected collective leadership of the working-class movement and of the struggle for communism. The cult of the individual belittles the role of collective leadership, the role of the Central Committee of the Party. It disarms the Party and the working class, prevents them from mobilizing the creative initiative of the masses; therefore, an urgent task of the Party’s ideological work is to root out the cult of the individual, to overcome subjectivism in interpreting the character of the laws of development of socialist society.
The exposition of the cult of the individual and the role of the leaders is correct and brilliant. But it is clear from the last sentence that “cult of the individual” is being discussed in the party by some people in relation to Stalin’s role. Why F. KONSTANTINOV does not declare who they are and expose and attack and defeat them ideologically but more importantly organisationally is a question we cannot answer. But it is clear to all that such attacks on our leaders are one of the means of those people to attack our theories, policies and organisations, one of their means to fight and defeat us. F. KONSTANTINOV’s method of fighting against our clear enemies is not appropriate. Reminds one of Shepilov’s brilliant and correct article on the priority of the means of production and the way it surrenders to our enemies instead of fighting them.
- “The socialist state draws its strength from the consciousness of the masses, from their loyalty patriotism, activity and creative initiative. Criticism and self-criticism, especially criticism from below, are a form of conscious political activity of the masses which give the people the feeling that they are the masters of the country. This explains the efforts of the Party to promote the broadest possible criticism from below.”
First of all the idea that criticism from below “give the people the feeling that they are the masters of the country” misses the whole point. It certainly does that, but what makes criticism and self-criticism a motive force of development of socialist society where there are no antagonistic classes is the fact that it is the means of educating the masses (and party cadres) in all spheres but most importantly in the administration of the state, and the means of masses (and party cadres) in controlling the party cadres, and dismissing them as needed who are in the leading position of all our organisations. Only by being able to do so can the masses feel that they are the real masters of the county.
It is also well known that criticism from below (criticism and self-criticism in general) like all things in politics, can be misused by the enemy to disorganise and defeat us. In other words no campaign of criticism from below is correct and useful without further ado, and especially if these are combined with “cult of personality of Stalin” as noted above, and Trotskyite economic policies as we shall see below. In other words and precisely at that time “this” does not “explains the efforts of the Party to promote the broadest possible criticism from below.” It certainly explain the efforts of the enemies of the people to disorganise the party and the country!
- “The measures mapped out by the Party assure the achievement of these lofty aims. Development of technique, introduction of the latest scientific discoveries in production, measures for creating an abundance of material values and for improving to the utmost the well-being of the people—all this is essential for transforming socialist labour into communist labour, into a vital necessity for all members of society.”
To have this paragraph within this brilliant work is beyond belief and nullify all its practical use. If the laws of development of society are to be obeyed, the measures mapped out by Malenkov in his Speech to the Soviets and the measures formulated by the party after that and depending on that are a total disregard of economic laws of socialist society-they are clearly Trotskyite. This fact was later on exposed by Shepilov in his article on the priority development of the means of production. But Shepilov’s article stands in exactly the same positon as this- a brilliant and correct exposer of the theory followed by total defeatist approach in practice.
While our theory is distorted and based on that distortion all our organisations are attacked and disorganised, to think that criticism from below organised by the same forces is doing any good is extremely faulty.
While our theory is distorted and based on that all our organisations are attacked and disorganised, to think not much of an attack on our leader who formulated these theories and the forms of these organisations organised by these same forces is extremely faulty.
It is in fact criminal.
Comrades should take note of these while reading this brilliant article.