People'sDemocracy. Beiyrut and Dimitrov.1949

  1. CONCERNING THE BASIS OF PLANNING IN THE PEOPLE’S DEMOCRACIES. Hilary Minc, Member, Political Bureau, Central Committee; United Workers’ Party of Poland

A correct solution to the questions of planning in the People’s Democracies can only be made on the basis of a Marxist-Leninist definition of the class essence of the State in these countries. The rise of the People’s Democracies and the consequent course of their development toward Socialism have made it necessary to solve a number of theoretical questions concerning the class nature of the State in these countries.

As is known, a detailed solution of these questions was outlined by Comrade Dimitrov in his report to the Fifth Congress of the Bulgarian Communist Party and by Comrade Bierut in his report to the First Congress of the United Polish Workers’ Party.


Workers of all lands, unite!

For a Lasting Peace, For a People’s Democracy!

Bucharest. Organ of the Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers’ Parties

NO. 27(54), FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 1949


The Fifth Congress of the Bulgarian Workers’ Party (Communists) was held in Sofia’s National Theatre on December 18-25. The 973 delegates represented 495,058 Party members.


Some comrades, continued Comrade Dimitrov, who spoke in debate on the question of people’s democracy, emphasised or were inclined to put the emphasis mainly on the difference between people’s democracy and the Soviet system— something which can lead to incorrect and harmful conclusions.

According to Marxism-Leninism, both people’s democracy and the Soviet system are two forms of one and the same power—the power of the working class in alliance with the working people of town and countryside, of the class who lead this alliance. Those are two forms of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The peculiar form of the transition from capitalism to Socialism in our country does not and cannot change the laws governing the transition from capitalism to Socialism which are common to all forms. The transition to Socialism cannot be carried out without the dictatorship of the proletariat directed against the capitalist elements and directed toward organising socialist economy.

Whereas bourgeois democracy is the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, the dictatorship of the exploiting minority of big capitalists over the vast majority of the working people, people’s democracy fulfils the functions of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the interests of the vast majority of the working people and brings into being the broadest and fullest democracy—socialist democracy.

The fact that the people’s democratic power and Soviet power share the main, the decisive point—namely that they are the power of the working class allied with the working people which it is guiding—leads to extremely essential conclusions concerning the need for the broadest study and the widest utilisation of the great experience of socialist construction in the Soviet Union;

And this experience, applied to our conditions, is the only and the best model for building Socialism in our country as well as in other people’s democracies. (Applause).


In the first part of his political report for the Central Committee, Comrade Dimitrov dwelt in detail on the main stages in the development of the Bulgarian Workers’ Party (Communists) which in the course of three decades, especially after the September uprising in 1923, overcoming the nonBolshevik hang-overs and fighting against various liquidationist—Right and Left—tendencies and groups in its own midst and in the working class movement, learning from the Bolshevik Party and acquiring an ever-increasing experience of its own, developed and established itself as a Marxist-Leninist Party, as the organised and conscious vanguard of the working class.

Standing at the head of the working class, faithful to Marxism-Leninism, the Bulgarian Workers” Party (Communists) in September 1944, utilising its revolutionary experience and relying on the help of the Soviet Union, summoned the Bulgarian people to armed struggle against the monarcho-fascist dictatorship, and secured victory. Comrade Dimitrov, on behalf of the Party and the people of Bulgaria, amid cheering and applause, expressed feelings of eternal gratitude to the valiant Soviet Army and to Comrade Stalin.

3.1. Laying the Foundations of Socialism

Comrade Dimitrov stressed that the popular uprising of September 9 opened up the way for the building of Socialism in Bulgaria. The people’s victory created the conditions for accelerating the political and economic development of the country, for bringing about fundamental transformations and which enabled the people’s power to engage in creative work.

In the conditions after the elections to the National Assembly and the formation of a government under the direct leadership of our Party, the development of the productive forces, the raising of the economic power of the nation and of the well-being of the working people were unthinkable without radical encroachment on the economic basis of the capitalist class. Bulgaria’s experience confirmed the Lenin-Stalin thesis that under conditions of decaying capitalism, of hopeless organic crisis of bourgeois democracy which gives birth to Fascism, no serious and lasting democratic changes are possible, no progress is feasible without tackling capitalism at its foundations, without advancing in the direction of Socialism, which tor our country became all the more possible due to the fraternal aid received from the mighty socialist state—the USSR. (Stormy applause).

The way was cleared for a full unfolding of the constructive tasks of the people’s government, for revolutionary changes in our national economy, for the elimination of the economic basis of capitalist reaction, and for the transition from capitalism to Socialism, which of course cannot be realized without waging an uncompromising class struggle against the capitalist elements.

Under those conditions the Party had to formulate in time its new tasks in order to equip with a clear perspective its own cadres, the Fatherland Front and the working people. It should be stated, however, that there occurred a certain lag in this respect. And after the main tasks of the preceding period had been basically solved, the Party continued to operate to a large extent, with its old slogans. We permitted a certain delay in the destruction of the reactionary opposition. We continued to speak of the possibility of co-ordinating the interests of private industrialists and merchants with the general interests of the state, when the entire situation already permitted us to carry through major measures for the elimination of the rule of big business in the national economy, and when certain factors had emerged which enabled us to go right ahead with the laying of the foundations of Socialism in our country.

But we never lost track of the general perspective of our development toward Socialism. We have always clearly realized that the destruction of fascism and the realization of many reforms, which figured in the Fatherland Front programme of July 17th 1942, are intimately tied up with our ultimate goal—Socialism and Communism. But it should be mentioned that at that time the transition to Socialism seemed to us a relatively distant matter and the international and domestic situation as not yet conducive to the application of such radical measures.

The development of the revolutionary process of transformation initiated on September 9th made it indispensable to take decisive measures for the liquidation of the large capitalist private property, for a consistent policy of restricting the capitalist elements in the village, for a radical overhaul of the state apparatus...

With this delay in the rate of the economic and socialpolitical development of our country, our Party, although for a short time, displayed a certain underestimation of the forces of the working class and the toilers and of its own forces and an overestimation of the forces of reaction. This shows, as was mentioned by the 16th plenum of the Central Committee, that within our Party “there was not enough clarity regarding the perspectives and the rate of our advance toward Socialism”. It was not armed with a completely consistent Marxist-Leninist analysis of the September 9th break, of the possibilities afforded by the people’s victory and was slow in grasping the essential stages of our Peoples Republic. Fortunately, however, the Party although with a certain lag and with insufficient theoretical explanation, managed to put forward and ensure the solution of the new tasks which the conditions had made necessary.

This experience once again confirms the old truth that it is easier to master the principles of Marxism-Leninism than to apply them in practice as a guide to action, at every stage of social development. For the mastery of this difficult art, the Party leaders, big and small, must work tirelessly and study diligently so that the Party may not fall behind and be late in taking the necessary action, nor must it rush too far ahead.

We shall forever be grateful for the invaluable and timely aid which we received from the great Bolshevik Party and in particular from Comrade Stalin (stormy prolonged applause) through counsel and explanations on questions pertaining to the policy of our Party as the leading force of the people’s democracy, and which enabled us to correct quickly the mistakes made

Referring to the profound transformations which had taken place in the correlation of class and political forces in the country. Comrade Dimitrov stressed that the active support and aid of the Soviet Union made it possible to raise the question of laying the foundations of Socialism in Bulgaria, as a basic, vital and practical task. “This is now the general policy of our Party. And the Party, at the head of the working class allied with the toilers of town and countryside, will carry out this correct general policy firmly and unflinchingly, with unshakable confidence in its victory, notwithstanding all internal and especially external difficulties and obstacles”.

3.2. Character, Role, and Perspectives of People’s Democracy, and People’s Democratic State

In order that we may confidently march along the road to Socialism, absolute clarity is indispensable with regard to the character, role and perspectives of the people’s democracy and the people’s democratic state. We must specify and correct some of our earlier conceptions on the basis of our experience and of the latest data on this new and complex question. What in brief is the essence of this question?

1) The people’s democracy and the people’s democratic state, as is well known, were made possible as a result of the defeat of the Nazi-Fascist forces, as a result of the historic victory of the Soviet Union in World War II, and of the struggle of the masses under the leadership of the working class for national freedom and independence, which led to the dropping out of certain East and South-East European countries from the imperialist system.

The character of the people’s democratic state is determined by four major features:

a) The people’s democratic state represents the rule of the toiling people—of the overwhelming majority of the people, under the leadership of the working class.

This means, first, that the rule of the capitalist and big landowners is overthrown and the rule of the toiling people of town and countryside, under the leadership of the working class is established; that the working class as the most progressive class in contemporary society plays the main role in state and public life. Second, that the state serves as a weapon in the fight of the toilers against the exploiting elements, against all efforts and tendencies, aimed at reestablishing the capitalist order and bourgeois rule.

b) The people’s democratic state is a state in the transitional period, destined to ensure the development of the country along the road to Socialism.

This means that although the rule of the capitalists and big landowners is overthrown and their property handed over to the people, the economic roots of capitalism are not yet abolished; capitalist elements still persist and develop, trying to restore capitalist slavery. Therefore, the onward march towards Socialism is possible only by waging a relentless class struggle against the capitalist elements for their complete liquidation.

Only by advancing unswervingly along the road to Socialism, can the people’s democratic stale consolidate itself and fulfil its historic mission. Should the people’s democratic state cease to fight against the exploiting classes, and fail to suppress and dislodge these capitalist elements, the latter would inevitably gain the upper hand, and would not only undermine the foundations of the people’s democracy, but would bring about its doom.

c) The people’s democratic state is built in cooperation and friendship with the Soviet Union, the land of Socialism.

Just as the liberation of our country from the fetters of imperialism and the establishment of a people’s democratic state were made possible by the aid and liberating mission of the Soviet Union in the fight against Fascist Germany and its allies so does the further development of our people’s democracy presuppose the maintaining and strengthening of close relations and sincere cooperation, mutual aid and friendship between our state and the great Soviet state. Any tendency toward a weakening of cooperation with the USSR is directed against the very foundations of the people’s democracy in our country (stormy applause).

d) The people’s democratic state belongs to the democratic anti-imperialist camp.

Only by participating in the united democratic camp, headed by the mighty Soviet state, can each people’s democracy ensure its independence, sovereignty and security against aggression and the imperialist forces.

2) Under the conditions of the military collapse of the Fascist aggressor states, of the sharp intensification of the general capitalist crisis and of the immense strengthening of the might of the Soviet Union and the existing close cooperation with the USSR and the new democracies, our country and the other new democracies were enabled to bring about the transition from capitalism to Socialism, without the establishment of a Soviet system, through the system of people’s democracy, on condition that this system is consolidated and developed, and leans on the support of the USSR and the new democracies.

3) Embodying the rule of the toilers under the leadership of the working class, the people’s democratic system under the existing historical conditions, as already proven by experience can and must successfully perform the functions of proletarian dictatorship (prolonged applause) in liquidating the capitalist elements and organising socialist economy. The people’s democratic system carl crush the resistance of the overthrown capitalists and big landowners, suppress and liquidate their attempts to restore the rule of capital, and organise the building of industry on the basis of public ownership and planned economy. The system of people’s democracy will also be able to overcome the capitalist elements in the countryside and in rallying the main sections of the toilers around the working class for resolute struggle for the transition to Socialism.

The system of people’s democracy will undoubtedly not remain unchanged during the implementation of this policy which aims at eliminating the capitalist elements from the national economy. The key positions of the working class in all spheres of state and public life must continuously be strengthened and all rural elements rallied who might become reliable allies of the workers during the period of sharp struggle

against the kulaks and their associates. The people’s democratic system must be strengthened and improved in order to restrict and abolish class enemies.

4) The new democracies, including our country are already marching toward Socialism, in ceaseless struggle against all domestic and especially foreign enemies. They are creating the conditions necessary for the building of Socialism, the economic and cultural bases for a future socialist society.

This is the central task facing the new democracies today, and, hence, the working class and its vanguard, the Communist Party.

This general task embraces a number of important aspects of which we consider the following to be of decisive significance:

a) Constant consolidation of the key positions held by the working class, headed by the Communist Party in all spheres of state, social- political, and cultural life.

b) Strengthening of the alliance between the working class and the peasant toilers under the former’s leadership.

c) Accelerated development of the social sector of the national economy and, in particular, of heavy industry.

d) Creation of conditions for the liquidation of the capitalist exploiting elements in agriculture through a consistent policy aiming at their restriction and subsequent elimination.

e) All-round development of the producer cooperatives among the peasants, state support to the poor and middle peasants by servicing them through machine-tractor-stations, credit, seed loans, intensifying their interest in the alliance with the working class, convincing them by concrete examples of the advantages of collective methods of farming, and educating them in a spirit of irreconcilability toward the capitalist elements.

So far as the nationalisation of land is concerned, our view is that under our conditions with the development of cooperative farming, it has no practical significance, that is, land nationalisation is not an essential condition for the expansion and mechanisation of our agriculture.

But from what 1 have said, Dimitrov continued, it does not follow that the building of Socialism in the countryside, in general, is possible without nationalisation of land. Accordingly as the poor and medium peasant is gradually won over for cooperative farming, as the machine-tractor stations develop, as the leasing of land is forbidden, with the restriction and subsequent prohibition of the buying and selling of land, reducing and later the abolition of rent payments by consent of peasant co-operators themselves, when conditions permit it— the matter of land nationalisation will be solved in practice, in that the and as a whole will be at the disposal of cooperative farms in perpetuity. In this way the toiling peasant who at present is the slave of his tiny plot of land, will be able to enjoy fully the fruits of the soil, which will be made to yield considerably more by means of cultivating the large scale cooperative farms with up to date agricultural machinery.

5) The people’s democracy stands for internationalism. Nationalism is incompatible with people’s democracy. Our Party sees in internationalism, in international co-operation headed by the great Stalin, a guarantee for the independent existence, prosperity and progress of our country toward Socialism. We think that nationalism, no matter behind what mask, is an enemy of Communism. This was clearly manifested by the anti-Communist actions of Tito’s nationalist group in Yugoslavia. Hence, combating nationalism is a primary duty of the Communists.

While combating all manifestations of nationalism, we must educate the toilers in the spirit of proletarian internationalism and devotion to their country, i.e. in the spirit of genuine patriotism.

Education in the spirit of proletarian internationalism and devotion to one’s country means, above all, to make people fully conscious of the vital importance of a firm unified front of the new democracies and the great Soviet Union in the struggle against the onslaught of the aggressive forces of international reaction and imperialism. The entire future of our people depends, on the one hand, on the might of the Soviet Union in whose friendship we are vitally interested and, on the other, on the readiness and ability of our people, in case of capitalist aggression, to fulfil their duty honourably in the common fight. (applause).

At the same time, education in the spirit of proletarian internationalism means to render people fully aware of the importance of the complete co-operation of the activities of the Communist and Workers Parties, and of the leading role of the Bolshevik Party; because for the Communist Parties there exists one, and only one theory as a guide to action—the theory of Marxism-Leninism, one, and only one goal in their policy, and there exists the great Party of Lenin and Stalin, as the leading Party of the international working class movement.

An important condition for our success is the need to educate in this spirit, tirelessly and fearlessly, the Party, the working class, the toiling peasantry, and entire labouring intelligentsia—the entire working people. (Stormy applause).

3.3. The International Situation

Turning to the international situation Comrade Dimitrov dwelt on the two basic factor which characterise the present epoch: 1) the general crisis and disintegration of the capitalist system, and 2) the steady growth and flourishing of Socialism in the USSR.

The general crisis of capitalism is the logical sequence of its own development. Having developed the productive capacities of society to an unprecedented extent, capitalism has become enmeshed in contradictions which it cannot solve. Already the first world imperialist war of 1914-18 ushered in the period of the general and profound crisis of capitalism. The Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia wrested from the system of world capitalism one-sixth of the earth’s surface. Capitalism ceased being the one and all-embracing system of world economy; it lost its former stability.

World War II, which was prepared by the forces of international reaction and unleashed by the Fascist aggressors, deepened and sharpened the general crisis of capitalism. As was the case during the first war, the net result was the further weakening of capitalism.

The destruction of the main centres of Fascism and world aggression—Germany, Italy and Japan—deprived international reaction of its outposts in the struggle against the USSR, democracy and Socialism, against the working class and the national liberation movement, and deprived capitalism of the fascist countries.

The international prestige and might of the Soviet Union increased tremendously. By its heroic struggle the Soviet Union not only defended its own freedom and independence but also liberated the European people’s from enslavement. The USSR played a decisive role in winning victory over the aggressors and saved civilization from the fascist brigands. It showed to the whole world that the forces of Socialism and democracy were invincible. The USSR became a decisive factor in international politics. It is a pillar of peace and of the security of the nations, of their development toward progress and genuine democracy. The USSR, which heads the united anti-imperialist world front, is an unsurmountable barrier to the realization of the dark schemes of international reaction which is trying to hurl the peoples into a new world war.

Just as World War I ended with Russia dropping out of the world capitalist system, so World War II and the defeat of Fascism led to the dropping out from the imperialist system of a number of East and South-East European states. Liberated with the decisive support of the Soviet army, these states were thereby enabled to determine their own destinies through the free choice of their peoples, based on the selfless aid of the Soviet Union.

The crisis of the colonial system which had been aggravated by World War II, led to a powerful upsurge of the national liberation movement in the colonial and dependent countries and threatened the very rear oi the imperialist system. The colonial peoples no longer wish to live in the old way and they have risen in decisive struggle for the establishment of free and independent states.

Throughout the entire capitalist world the war led to an unprecedented impoverishment of the masses, to increased unemployment, misery and hunger and to a sharpening of class contradictions, because the bourgeoisie is striving everywhere to shift the main burden of the war and the postwar difficulties onto the toilers. At the same time, the war was followed by a great upsurge of the international working class movement.

After the destruction of the Fascist aggressors, the center of world reaction shifted to the United States. Hitler’s plans to enslave the world, which suffered fiasco in the last War, were superseded by the plans of the American imperialists for world domination. These adventurist plans for the economic, political and ideological enslavement of Europe and the whole world, in the guise of the so-called Marshall Plan and the Truman doctrine, are directed against the vital national interests of the overwhelming majority of nations and peoples. They are prompted by the greedy imperialist appetites of a financial oligarchy and by its fear of the growth of Socialism and people’s democracy.

Under the flag of so-called “Western democracy’ American imperialism is trying to impose on the European nations its regime, based on the mighty dollar and on the domination of a handful of monopolists. Its aim is to turn the UN into a tool of its own expansionist policy by violating the principle of sovereignty and equality of the member-nations of this organization. American imperialism is striving to enslave the small and temporarily war weakened peoples and to build up an imperialist bloc against the USSR, the new democracies and the revolutionary movements of the toilers and the colonial peoples fighting for their freedom. It is pursuing a policy of reckless rearmament. The Anglo-American imperialists are unceremoniously interfering in the internal affairs of other states and are supporting everywhere the reactionary and openly Fascist elements which have been rejected by the people. Typical in this respect is our neighbour, Greece.

But the Anglo-American bloc which was established after the condition of World War Il and in which Britain plays the role of a junior partner, can hardly be lasting and stable. The contradictions between the two main states of present-day imperialism—US and Britain—as well as between other capitalist nations, are bound to become more acute in the struggle for markets and spheres of influence.

The attitude toward the USSR is today the decisive dividing line between the democratic camp and the reactionary camp on the world arena, between the warmongers and the champions of a lasting democratic peace.

The USSR in resolutely resisting all attempts of the imperialists and their endeavours to scare the peoples with atom bombs. Pursuing an unswerving policy at peace and friendly cooperation among peoples, the USSR is backed by its growing economic and political power, its invincible Soviet army, and the unconditional support of workers and toilers throughout the whole world who are vitally interested in the presentation of peace. The plans of the aggressors and instigators of a new war are doomed to failure. (applause)

Exposing the instigators of a new world war, Comrade Stalin recently said his weighty word on how this policy might end:

“The outcome can only be the ignominious failure of the instigators of a new war. Churchill, the chief instigator of a new war, has succeeded in losing the confidence of his own country and of the democratic forces of the world. A similar fate awaits all the other warmongers. The horrors of the recent war are too fresh in the minds of the peoples, and the social- forces standing for peace are too great for the Churchill disciples of aggression to overcome them and turn them towards a new war.”

The time has passed when the peoples were blind and helpless tools in the hands of the ruling capitalist cliques. The peace-loving peoples of both hemispheres are ever more resolutely rallying in defence of peace, democracy and world culture; the anti-imperialist world front, headed by the great Soviet Union, whose forces are growing continuously, is becoming ever more clearly delineated. Now when the American imperialists are insolent enough to threaten the world with the atom bomb and cynically boast of their ability to wipe out millions of people and to destroy whole countries and regions of the world, all peoples see in the Soviet Union the main guardian of world peace and defender of civilisation from capitalist barbarity. The peace-loving peoples learned a good lesson, particularly from the duel between the forces of war and peace fought out in the recently concluded UN General Assembly. Rejecting the Soviet proposals to ban atomic weapons and immediately decrease by one third the armaments of the five great powers, the Anglo-American imperialists exposed themselves before the eyes of the entire world as the enemies of peace and international cooperation...

Together with the peoples of the Soviet Union and the people’s democracies, the overwhelming majority of the peoples in the capitalist countries and colonies is aligned with the peace front...

The anti- imperialist front has extended after the war far to the East and on its side are now fighting for their independence the peoples of Indonesia, Vietnam, Burma and other colonial countries. The people of Korea, enjoying the selfless support in the USSR, secured a brilliant victory against the reaction and the flunkeys of imperialism, by proclaiming their independent republic which the Bulgarian … recognised and greeted warmly.

Of exceptional importance for ….ship of forces between the two wo… is the long, stubborn and heroic… which the Chinese people are waging their independence against the imperialists and their corrupt, reactionary agency China. The forces of democracy of the Chinese people are winning the upper hand over the forces of reaction, and their final victory, to our great joy, is clearly foreshadowed. The event in China represent one of the major factors frustrating and upsetting the plans of the American imperialists

The anti-imperialist front is thus continuously growing and consolidating. Today it constitutes an unshakable force. The people’s masses and the anti-imperialist forces in all lands, in the first ranks of which are to be found the Communist Parties, will know how to paralyse the war-like machinations of aggressive imperialism and will ensure thereby lasting peace to the world.

Dwelling in detail on the foreign policy of the people’s democratic Bulgaria, Comrade Dimitrov said:

The basic lines of our foreign policy, the foreign policy outlined in the 1942 programme of the Fatherland, guaranteed the national interests of the Bulgarian people, close friendship with the USSR and understanding with neighbouring states.

Our Republic needs lasting peace, friendship and cooperation with other peoples, so that it may catch up with the other more advanced nations and become an economically developed, highly cultured, democratic and socialist state. That is the goal of our foreign policy. But our Party knows that this can be achieved only if our nation is free, independent and enjoys equal rights. That is why the Bulgarian people are fighting against all foreign interference, watching closely and vigilantly over the freedom and independence of Bulgaria and working for ever closer co-operation with our …. with the peace and freedom-loving ….

In connection with the international …uation and foreign policy, Comrade Dimitrov dwelt on the question of the relation of the Southern Slavs and Macedonian question.

The treachery of the Tito group, Comrade Dimitrov, also found expression in the attitude of this group to the matter…South Slav federation and the Macedonian question. This group is sliding down slippery road of nationalism and today stands on the positions of the Greater Serbian chauvinists who strove for hegemony in the Balkans and for the annexation of Macedonia to Serbia and Yugoslavia.

Touching on the successes and perspectives of the economic and cultural construction in the country, Comrade Dimitrov referred to the concrete tasks in this sphere.

During the first Five-Year Plan, said Dimitrov, our task will be to lay the basis of Socialism in industry and in agriculture. It rests with this Plan to solve this task. And on the basis of this Plan the edifice of Socialism will be built during the subsequent two or three Five-Year Plans—socialist society will be created.”

Comrade Dimitrov devoted the final part of his report to the Party.

3.4. The Party as Decisive Motive and Leading Force

Comrade Dimitrov gave a detailed review of the growth of the Party and outlined the tasks to improve the quality of the membership.

The Party comes to its Fifth Congress, said Comrade Dimitrov, with 8,053 basic organisations and 464,000 members. If we add to these the Party members in the Army and in the Labour Corps and the former members of the SocialDemocratic Party who joined us after the fusion of the two Parties, the total membership reaches 496,000, that is almost half a million.

Half a million Party members in Bulgaria with its seven million population—that is indeed a mighty political army, an invincible force which can move mountains, as the saying goes, on condition that every Party member becomes a conscious and educated Communist boundlessly devoted to the Party, his country and the great cause of Communism, capable of being a real leader and organiser of the non-Party masses

Under the generally recognised ideological-political leadership of the Party. there are such mass organisations as the unified social—political organisation—the Fatherland Front, the Trade Unions, the Bulgarian Women’s Union, the Union of People’s Youth, Farmers Union, the cooperatives etc. “This explains why the entire political, social, economic and cultural life in our country is developing under the exclusive ideological-political leadership of our Party, stressed Comrade Dimitrov.

The strength and influence of the Party depend not only on the number of its members, but above all on their quality, their Marxist-Leninist education, their loyalty to the cause of the Party and Socialism, their ability to keep in touch with the masses, to mobilise them and lead them toward the fulfilment of the national tasks set by the Party and Government.

From this point of view the situation within the Party is far from satisfactory. As was stressed by the Sixteenth Plenum of the Central Committee, there are in the Party quite a few members who in reality should at best be candidates for membership. In the life of the Party organisations, inner Party democracy is not up to the mark. Criticism and self-criticism irrespective of person, have not yet become the basic driving force of Party life from top to bottom. We have not yet got completely rid of the methods of issuing commands inside Party organisations and do not always know how to pay heed to the collective and and experience of the Party. The Party leadership has not yet organised its work on the basis of comradely relations.

Moreover, we often forget the brilliant thought of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin that two things are of decisive importance for the strength and success of the Party: the selection of people (cadres) and the check-up on the fulfilment of a given task. We also do not pay enough attention in our practice to What Comrade Stalin has often underlined, that cadres decide the success of our cause.

…be mentioned as a positive fact correctness… of the general line of the Party for the liquidation of the capitalist system and the construction of Socialism in our country, through an uncompromising class struggle against the capitalist elements and by means of the planning principle in our economy, is not disputed in our Party. It is generally recognised and firmly carried out in practice.

We cannot yet say, however, that there exists complete unity of action in our Party from top to bottom. In order to achieve this we shall still have to work hard. Cases are not infrequent when decisions of the Central Committee are accepted only formally, while in practice they are carried out in a distorted way. There still exist in our Party “pinchbeck dictators” who, relying on their past services, real or imaginary, are exploiting their positions, do not abide by any laws or decrees and act in an arbitrary way. There are still chatterboxes and self-inflated egos, people with big and perverse ambitions who pretend that there is nothing they do know or cannot do, but who lack the ability or industriousness to work and manage things systematically and efficiently, and to complete what they have started. They are people who do not like to learn and are capable of wrecking every useful enterprise.

Against such unhealthy phenomena and elements, the Party will wage a ruthless struggle by word and by deed, exposing mistakes and correcting those who have erred, and by the merciless removal of incorrigibles. The Party must be purged of those who have joined it by mistake or for selfish careerist purposes. We shall work with all our strength for the creating of that Bolshevik unity in action from top to bottom, which is the guarantee for the success of our great cause.

In order to strengthen the Party continuously and unswervingly, we must:—first purge the Party organisations of inimical, careerist and casual elements who have entered its ranks; second, when accepting new members and candidate members, to make a strict selection from among those who wish to enter the ranks of the Party and to regulate its social composition by strictly adhering to the Party rules and systematically increasing its working-class composition; third to further develop inner Party democracy by completely abolishing the methods of issuing commands, to collectively discuss and decide Party problems in the Party committees and organisations, to entrust every Party member with a concrete task and to follow its execution, to encourage healthy criticism and self-criticism in the Party, to raise the general activity of the Party members, to tighten Party discipline and unity in Party organisations; fourth, to organise on a much broader basis than hitherto a systematic Marxist-Leninist collective and individual-education of every Party member and candidate. A Party member who does not wish to learn, to educate himself and to develop, is not and cannot be a real member of our Party.

Comrade Dimitrov then dwelt on the tasks connected with improving the organisational leadership of Party, economic and state work and with other matters concerning the work of the Party. He summoned the Party to resolute struggle against the carelessness and smugness which can be found here and there in its ranks.

In conclusion, Comrade Dimitrov said: Our Party, which actively participates in the Information Bureau of the Communist and Worker’s Parties, is proud to belong to the great family of the Communists of the world, headed by the Bolshevik Party and the brilliant leader of progressive mankind, Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (stormy applause).

We feel that one cannot be a true Marxist without being a true Leninist, and that one cannot be a true Leninist without being a Stalinist!

Comrades, allow me to conclude my report with the Party appeal: Under the invincible banner of Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin onward to Socialism and Communism! ( prolonged applause followed by delegates singing the International.)


The Unity Congress of the Polish Workers’ Parties was held in Warsaw on December 15-21.


  1. IDEOLOGICAL BASIS OF THE UNITED WORKERS’ PARTY OF POLAND. Report by Comrade B. Bierut at Unity Congress of P.W.P. and P.S.P.


…..He analysed the weaknesses and mistakes of the Communist Party, and pointed out that the penetration of enemy agents into its ranks led to its dissolution in 1938.

….The Polish Workers’ Party created in 1942 mainly on the initiative of the active members of the Polish Communist Party, based its programme on the principles of Marxism-Leninism….


6.1. Role and Nature of the State of People’s Democracy

The entire historical and revolutionary experience of the Polish proletariat confirms how correct and profound is the theory of Marxism-Leninism.

Considering the question of the essence, class content and nature of the state under conditions of people’s democracy from the point of view of Marxism-Leninism. Comrade Bierut said: The fact that there was no clear answer to this cardinal question was the reason for many mistakes and distortions in the estimation of the historical period in which we are living. This estimation was often confined to regarding people’s democracy as a system which differed qualitatively and in principle, from the system foreseen by the theory of Marxism-Leninism.

Some people have imagined people’s democracy to be a kind of synthesis between capitalism and Socialism, a specific kind of social-political system in which socialist elements and capitalist elements exist side by side on the basis of mutual recognition. Others, while recognising that people’s democracy results from a certain temporary post-war relation of forces, were ready to reconcile themselves to this balance of forces in the hope that it would be possible as time went on to return to the pre-war positions. Others again would have liked the new form of people’s democracy to continue for ever as some kind of “successful” compromise, as a kind of bridge between the capitalist West and the socialist East. Finally, some people who wanted people’s democracy to be a road to Socialism, considered that this road was distinguished by some sort of special qualities which exceeded the bounds of MarxistLeninist theory.

The conception of people’s democracy as a fundamentally specific and new path to Socialism was meant to go hand in hand with the political conception of the Polish Workers’ Party as a party which was organisationally new and allegedly isolated from its predecessors and from its revolutionary traditions, a party representing a kind of ideological mixture of the Polish Socialist Party conception of “independence” and the traditions of class struggle waged by the Social Democratic Party of Poland and Lithuania and the Polish Communist Party.

There is no doubt that all these theories arise out of a social democratic attitude. They are in one form or another a relapse to social democracy and a return to the opportunist or semi-reformist tendencies in the working class movement.

A review of the history of our working class movement, continued Comrade Bierut, shows the great role played by the Party in the development of the movement, particularly in the period of the proletariat’s direct struggle for power. The history of our working class movement is simultaneously the history of the revolutionary party, guiding the class struggle of the Polish proletariat.

From the day when the first Social Revolutionary Party, known as “Proletariat” was founded, through the Social Democratic Party of Poland and, Lithuania, the left-wing of the Polish Socialist Party, the Polish Communist and the Polish Workers’ Party and right up to the time of the United Workers’ Party, the forms and the names of the Party were changed.

However, all this time, the question really amounted to the problem of establishing a party expressing a consistent and genuine proletarian ideology. For the proletariat has one, and only one ideology—the ideology of scientific Socialism, that is, of Marxism-Leninism.

The struggle between, the two trends of the Polish working class movement was, in fact, the struggle between two opposed class ideologies—the ideology of the proletariat and the ideology of the bourgeoisie, the struggle of Marxism-Leninism against the ideological influences of the bourgeoisie which permeated the working class movement in order to subordinate it to the aims and interests of the ruling class, the bourgeoisie.

The Polish Workers’ Party fought for a proletarian ideology in the specific historical period when the struggle of the proletariat for power was closely bound up with the struggle for national liberation.

Hence the peculiarities and the historically justified difference in the tactics, slogans and organisational forms which corresponded to the specific conditions of war-time, the specific conditions of the struggle against the Hitler invaders as the main enemy not only of the proletariat but also of the entire people.

But while lighting for national liberation, the Polish Workers’ Party did not give up the struggle for working class power. On the contrary, it was the only party which inseparably linked the struggle for working class power with the struggle for national liberation.

The waverings of certain comrades in the Party who tended to separate these questions from each other and to subordinate the question of the struggle for power to the question of national liberation, considering the latter to be the main question, undoubtedly represented a manifestation of opportunism and a departure from Leninist principles.

At this stage the tasks of social and national liberation could only be solved on two basic conditions: first, the defeat of fascism by the armed forces of the socialist state, without whose assistance neither the national liberation of Poland nor her social liberation, that is, the seizure of power by the proletariat, was possible; second, the alliance of the working class with the semi-proletarian elements of town and countryside, with the main masses of the peasantry and the working intelligentsia without which it would be impossible to maintain and consolidate the power of the proletariat.

The victory of the Soviet Union in the war was the basic factor determining the entire further course of the history of mankind. It was the greatest victory of the Socialist state in the struggle against imperialism, and Hitlerism, at that time its most aggressive detachment. Herein lies the historical and class meaning of this victory.

Without the defeat of the imperialist Hitlerite aggressor which was brought about, by the Soviet Union’s victory in the war, both the national liberation of Poland and other nations enslaved by Hitlerism, and the conquest of power by the Polish proletariat when the country was liberated, would have been impossible. That is why the people’s democratic state is the direct result of the historical victory won by the socialist state over the Hitlerite invaders during World War Two.

The second condition is closely bound up with the maintenance of power and consolidation of the people’s democratic state. It determines the essence and class character of this state. People’s democracy did not arise as a result of an armed revolt aimed at seizure of power by force; it did not arise as did Soviet power in October 1917; it was the result of the victory of the Soviet Union over the armed forces of German fascism.

The entire state apparatus of Poland was at that time in the hands of the German fascist invaders and was the apparatus of their dictatorship. As German fascism was defeated; this apparatus in the occupied countries including Poland, fell to pieces. The underground bourgeois landlord organisations had prepared to seize this apparatus the moment Hitler Germany was defeated.

The combination of the liberation struggle of the mass of the people carried through under the guidance of the working class, and the victorious liberating march of the Soviet Army made it possible to build up the revolutionary power of the people on the ruins of the bourgeois apparatus. Thus, it follows that the people’s democratic state

is the revolutionary power of the popular masses headed by the Polish working class.

Is it possible to regard people’s democracy as [co…posing—damaged text—Ed.] social systems, [… damaged text—Ed.] of peacefully co-existing […—damaged text—Ed.] socialist elements? It […—damaged text—Ed.] formulation of […—damaged text—Ed.] tely false. The […—damaged text—Ed.] knows no […—damaged text—Ed.] …ence of antagon […—damaged text—Ed.] systems without […—damaged text—Ed.]

[…—damaged text—Ed.] economy of People’s […— damaged text—Ed.] shape of its development […—damaged text—Ed.] said: The task of the […—damaged text—Ed.] which is building the foun […—damaged text—Ed.] new social system is to streng […—damaged text—Ed.] deepen the alliance between the […—damaged text—Ed.] and peasants, the basis of the […—damaged text—Ed.] power .

As long as capitalist elements exist and develop, and small scale economy is left […—damaged text—Ed.] the spontaneity of the exchange market, the economic roots of capitalism may put forth new shoots and capitalism has the opportunity of regeneration.

As long as the economic roots of capitalist exploitation are not fully dug out, capitalist elements will seek in every possible way to restore the old system of capitalist economy. That is why the working class must wage an irreconcilable struggle against the capitalist elements, must strive to liquidate completely all forms and economic sources of capitalist exploitation.

It follows from this, Comrade Bierut concluded, that people’s democracy is not a form of a synthesis or stable coexistence of two different social orders, but is a form where the capitalist elements are dislodged and gradually liquidated while at the same time the foundations of future socialist economy develop and strengthen.

Developing the question of the essence of people’s democracy, Comrade Bierut said: People’s democracy is a specific form of revolutionary power which has arisen in the new historic conditions of our epoch; it is an expression of a new correlation of class forces on an international scale.

The October Revolution raised the revolutionary movement of the proletariat to a higher level, which it had not until then been able to reach.

“The October Revolution,” wrote Comrade Stalin, “has at the same time created in the first proletarian dictatorship a powerful and open base for the world revolutionary movement, a base such as the world revolutionary movement never possessed before and on which it can now rely. It has created a powerful and open centre of the world revolutionary movement, such as the world revolutionary movement never possessed before and around which it can now rally and organise a united revolutionary front of the proletarians and of the oppressed nations of all countries against imperialism.”

The historic victory of the Soviet Union in World War Two, Comrade Bierut went on, had made a new, deep breach in the world system of the imperialist forces and created a new powerful foundation for the revolutionary, anti-imperialist front. The working class and its Communist and Workers’ Parties everywhere headed the struggle of the peoples against the Hitler invaders. In this combination of the national liberation struggle and the class struggle, the class factor was the leading one. For in the period of imperialism, only the working class can consistently defend the independence and sovereignty of the people from the machinations of the imperialists.

The working masses, the working class enslaved by Hitlerism, and its political organisations had in the Soviet Army their class ally which not only brought liberation to the peoples enslaved by Hitlerism but which, by its very presence, paralysed the camp of reaction and deprived it of the possibility of taking up arms against the revolutionary movement. The presence of the Soviet Army was a guarantee that the imperialist powers would not decide the fate of any country against the interests of the people.

Under such conditions, the anti-capitalist revolution was able to take place without a revolutionary upheaval, without widespread civil war, without the use of violence on a large scale.

The specific feature of the development of people’s democracy in Poland was the fact that during the period of its rise, the administrative apparatus of the occupationists had been smashed and the state machinery of the Polish bourgeoisie compromised, crushed, and made powerless.

One must not forget, however, the cardinal historic truth— that this could happen only because of the presence of powerful class revolutionary forces which did not allow the bourgeoisie to capture power, but helped the working people to seize political power.

The working class of the countries where imperialist armies entered did not have such conditions, but we enjoyed such conditions when we linked the destiny of our country, our independence, our advance to Socialism with the Soviet Union, with the fraternal Soviet Army, with the Bolshevik Party.

Dwelling on the question of the path of transition from people’s democracy to Socialism, Comrade Bierut said:

The main laws of development governing our advance to Socialism arise from the fundamental theses of MarxismLeninism:

Seizure of power by the working class which stands at the head of the popular masses.

The leading role of the working class in alliance of workers and peasants and in the democratic people’s front.

Realisation of leadership by the revolutionary political party.

Irreconcilable class struggle. Elimination of big capital and landed property. Offensive against capitalist elements.

But these general laws do not preclude specific, diverse forms.

Our particular way along the general path—not to mention the inevitable specific form arising from national peculiarities—is above all the outcome of the fact that we as a people’s democracy came into being with the help and support of the Soviet Union, as a result of the defeat of fascism in World War Two.

People’s democracy in Poland is one of the specific features of the Marxist-Leninist path to Socialism, a path blazed for the first time in the history of mankind by the victorious proletariat of Russia. The distinctive feature of our path is that:

We were not threatened with imperialist invasion. On the contrary we had the fraternal, allied Soviet Army.

We did not become economically dependent on the imperialist countries which would have led to political dependence, because we received the fraternal economic assistance of the Soviet state.

Lastly, we were able from the very outset to make extensive use of the experience and achievements of the Soviet Union in the political, economic and scientific spheres and in the domain of culture.

Thus, just as at the basis of our people’s democracy lies the selfless, heroic help of the Soviet Union, the basis of the distinctive feature of our path, compared with the Soviet path, rests on the all-round help of the Soviet Union and on the utilisation of the experience and achievements of the victorious dictatorship of the proletariat, thanks to which we, within the framework of peoples’ democracy, are able, in our way, to realise the functions of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

People’s democracy as a new form of political power of the working people, headed by the working class, best of all ensures under present historic conditions, our advance towards Socialism.

6.2. Educating the Masses in the Spirit of Internationalism

The political unification of the working class said Comrade Bierut, will raise the consciousness, the spirit of selflessness and enthusiasm of the working people to a still higher level, will accelerate the tempo of our construction and ensure a more rapid advance to Socialism.

However, the essential condition for the growth of this political consciousness is to educate the Party and the popular masses in the spirit of understanding the exceptional importance of international ties between the working people at the present new historical phase—the phase of new aggressive attacks by imperialism against the working-class movement, against the new democracies, against the land of Socialism, the U.S.S.R.

Drawing the correct conclusions from the history and experience of our movement, and combining this experience with an analysis of the present international situation, we must wage a particularly resolute and irreconcilable struggle against manifestations of nationalistic tendencies as a special form with the aid of which the class enemy will seek to retard our development, our advance, our socialist construction.

Concluding his remarks on the international situation Comrade Bierut said:

The hatred of imperialism and its “Socialist” agents (and for the U.S.S.R. and the countries of the people’s democracy is being intensified now due to the powerful consolidation and constant growth of the popular forces which are waging a struggle for freedom and peace throughout the world.

Only the nationalistic Yugoslav traitors broke away from the united anti-imperialist front; by utilising the machinery of state power they are impelling their country and of its courageous peoples onto the path of dependence on imperialism. By becoming more and more dependent on imperialism the nationalistic Tito group in Yugoslavia is sliding down into the camp of those who are fighting against the international working class and the popular movement which defends peace and freedom.

The history of the working-class movement teaches us that nationalism is the most dangerous and concealed enemy of the liberating aspirations of the people and is a weapon in the struggle against the consolidation and unity of the working class. Nationalism is the opposite of real, profound patriotism. Patriotism is sincere and genuine only when it is international. It is impossible to be sincere in love of country without fighting for human freedom and social progress.

Absence of vigilance in relation to the nationalistic tendencies which are introduced into the working-class movement owing to the pressure of petty-bourgeois elements is a great danger which dulls class consciousness, Comrade Bierut stressed. That is why the struggle against nationalism, the struggle to educate the working people in the spirit of proletarian internationalism, the deep-going traditions of which the United Workers’ Party is inheriting from the predecessors, is the main and cardinal duty of every Party member.

Workers of all lands, unite!

For a Lasting Peace, For a People’s Democracy!

Bucharest. Organ of the Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers’ Parties

No. 1 (28), SATURDAY, JANUARY 1, 1949