ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Case Concerning the People-A Comment

petition is created between capitalist methods and our methods.3 And again: The mixed companies that we have begun to form, in which private capitalists, Russian and foreign, and Communists participate, provide one of the means by which we can learn to organise competition properly and show that we are no less able to establish a link with the peasant economy than the capitalists; that we can meet its requirements; that we can help the peasant make progress even at his present level, in spite of his backwardness; for it is impossible to change him in a brief span of time.4 The dangers inherent in the policy were clearly (and publicly) spelt out, and the retreat recognised as such: Never before in history has there been a situation in which the proletariat, the revolutionary vanguard, possessed sufficient political power and had state capitalism existing alongside it. The whole questions turn on our understanding that this is the capitalism that we can and must permit, that we can and must confine within certain bounds; for this capitalism is essential for the broad masses of the peasantry and for private capital, which must trade in such a way as to satisfy the needs of the peasantry. We must organise things in such a way as to make possible that customary operation of capitalist economy and capitalist exchange, because this is essential for the people.5 The enemy is speaking the class truth and is pointing to the danger that confronts us, and which the enemy is striving to make inevitable, Smena Vekh adherents express the sentiments of thousands and tens of thousands of bourgeois, or of Soviet employees whose function it is to operate our New Economic Policy. This is the real and main danger. And that is why attention must be concentrated mainly on the question; "Who will win?" I have spoken about competition. No direct onslaught is being made on us now; nobody is clutching us by the throat. True, we have yet to see what will happen tomorrow; but today we are not being subjected to armed attack. Nevertheless, the fight against capitalist society has become a hundred times more fierce and perilous, because we are not always able to tell enemies from friends.6 In China, officially at least, we see no signs of such awareness, nor willingness to concede that the new policies are retreats. This spells danger, and indicates that right revisionists are exerting considerable influence in the leadership.

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