One famous distortion refers to Trotsky coming up with the plan of industrialisation and Stalin opposing this plan first only to apply it later, after he got rid of Trotsky.
Those who come up with this view hide many a facts:
According to Trotsky, can you build socialism in one country? No you cannot. Thus could this industrialisation plan be a plan to build socialism? No it cannot!
According to Trotsky, USSR economy is part and parcel of world imperialist economic system, cannot be independent of it. Thus would this plan of industrialisation be a plan that gives independence to USSR’s economy. No it cannot!
It is thus that this industrialisation plan is a plan of industrialisation that leaves USSR totally dependent on the world capitalist economy, it leaves it as an appendage of the world capitalist economy, it does not aim to build USSR’s independent machine making industry and its heavy industry. It aims to build a consumer product producing industry that obtains its machines from the capitalist world and is totally dependent on it. It is a plan to turn USSR into a raw material producer for the world capitalist economy that provides the funds to buy machines from the capitalists!
It was not a plan to build socialism in the USSR, it was a plan to restore capitalism in the USSR! Trotsky, as well as Bukharin are not builders of socialism, they are restorers of capitalism! They are the providers of the founding theories of Tito, and thus all the leaders of the USSR and People’s Democracies after Stalin and his comrades.
But there is another side to Trotsky, this industrialiser!
“You remember Trotsky’s “plan” (his theses) of last year for the “economic revival” of Russia on the basis of the mass application of the labour of unskilled peasant-worker masses (the labour army) to the remnants of pre-war industry. How wretched, how backward, compared with the Goelro plan! A medieval handicraftsman who imagines he is an Ibsen hero called to “save” Russia by an ancient saga. .” (Stalin’s Letter to Lenin; March 1921)
Thus it turns out that Trotsky whose Industrialisation plan was stolen by Stalin, was the planner of production based on hand labour and most backward means of production before he was an industrialist.
It is clear to all that to Trotsky the real plan, the central plan is not to build socialism. Anything else is a means of achieving that aim. What shape this take is dependent o opportunity and outride enmity to the cause of the proletariat, to the cause of communism! Of course all those who want to build their socialism in the countryside, using hand labour, all those comrades of Trotsky can find their plan of building socialism (or rather restoring capitalism) in the Trotsky plan exposed by Stalin in this letter to Lenin.
Here is the letter of Stalin to Lenin on the subject in full!
A LETTER TO V. I. LENIN
During the last three days I have had the opportunity to read the symposium:
A Plan for the Electrification of Russia
My illness made this possible (it is an ill wind that blows nobody any good!). An excellent, well-compiled book. A masterly draft of a really single and really state economic plan, not in quotation marks
The only Marxist attempt in our time to place the Soviet superstructure of economically backward Russia on a really practical technical and production basis, the only possible one under present conditions.
You remember Trotsky’s “plan” (his theses) of last year for the “economic revival” of Russia on the basis of the mass application of the labour of unskilled peasant-worker masses (the labour army) to the remnants of pre-war industry. How wretched, how backward, compared with the Goelro plan! A medieval handicraftsman who imagines he is an Ibsen hero called to “save” Russia by an ancient saga. . . . And of what value are the dozens of “single plans” which to our shame appear from time to time in our press—the childish prattle of preparatory-school pupils. . . . Or again, the philistine “realism” (in fact Manilovism) of Rykov, who continues to “criticise” the Goelro and is immersed to his ears in routine. . . .
In my opinion:
1) Not a single minute more must be wasted on idle talk about the plan.
2) A practical start on the work must be made immediately.
3) To this start must be devoted at least one-third of our work (two-thirds will be required for “current” needs) in transporting materials and men, restoring enterprises, distributing labour forces, delivering food-stuffs, organising supply bases and supply itself, and so on.
4) Since the staff of the Goelro, for all their excellent qualities, lack a sound practical outlook (a professorial impotence can be detected in the articles), we must without fail include in the planning commission live practical men who act on the principle—“Report the fulfilment,” “Fulfil on time,” etc.
5) Pravda, Izvestia, and especially Ekonomicheskaya Zhizn must be instructed to popularise the Plan for the Electrification both as a whole and as regards its concrete points dealing with individual parts, bearing in mind that there is only one “single economic plan”—the Plan for the Electrification, and that all other “plans” are just idle talk, empty and harmful.
Written in March 1921
First published in:
A Symposium on His Fiftieth Birthday.