V.I. Lenin Library: Last Works

Lenin's Last Works

"Last Testament": Letters to Congress

Dec. - Jan. 1923: The first in the series of documents to follow, Lenin begins formulating a program for the rebuilding of the Soviet government. The first two letters focus on reducing bureaucratism in the State Planning Commission and the Central Committee, while the third letter deals with the necessity of ensuring minority cultures in Russia have national self-determination. Lenin emphasises the need to make these changes to the Soviet government and warns of potentially disasterous consequences if the necessary but difficult steps are not taken. These works begin Lenin's early and incredibly insightful critique of the Soviet government; notably suggesting the removal of Stalin.

On Education

Jan. 2, 1923: Lenin outlines the urgent tasks of the Soviet education system: to get up to speed with its European counterparts, to involve the teachers throughout Russia in new teaching methods, and to pay special attention to bringing up levels of literacy. Key to achieving this is through educating the peasantry in the countryside, and combating bureaucratism in the educational system.

On Cooperation

Jan. 4-6, 1923: That the system of "civilized cooperators" is the system of socialism, Lenin explains the necessity of developing these cooperatives as the best means towards the transition to Socialism for the peasant. Lenin explains that cooperatives can be achieved through government support and through a Cultural Revolution, which would push creation of the necessary material basis, a reorganization of the machinery of the state, and education of the peasantry towards organization into cooperatives.

Our Revolution

Jan. 16, 1923: Was Russia not yet "ripe" for socialism? Had it achieved the necessary preconditions? Lenin explains that while the Russian revolution did not follow what was thought to be the general path of all countries towards socialism, it would have been a capitulation to the bourgeoisie to not use the revolutionary opportunity caused by the first world war to usher in a socialist society. Lenin goes on to explain that the first task of the Soviet system, then, is to establish those prerequisites necessary to build socialism.

How we should reorganise the Workers' and Peasants' Inspection

Jan. 23, 1923: "Our Central Committee has grown into a strictly centralised and highly authoritative group, but the conditions under which this group is working are not concurrent with its authority." Lenin explains that the bureaucratic apparatus of the Soviet state is nearly identical to the czarist government, save for a slightly "touched up surface". Lenin suggests combining the Workers' and Peasants' Inspection with the Central Control Commission, and decreasing the former' s membership to improve efficiency while increasing the latter's membership with more peasants and workers. Lenin stresses that the powers of the increasingly powerful Politburo be governed by the Workers' and Peasants' Inspection.

Better Fewer, But Better

March 2, 1923: Lenin emphasises the necessity of a Cultural Revolution in the Soviet Union, and governing the power of the Politburo with the Workers and Peasants Inspection, a non-party government institution. In order to correctly rebuild the state apparatus, Lenin explains that the workers must be better educated. In the meantime the lack of education in the country must be heeded by moving forward only in cautious, slow steps. Lenin ends his last letter, commenting on the future of Soviet Russia in the world, stressing that its survival is based on reducing the government bureaucracy "to the utmost everything that is not absolutely essential in it". Lenin stressed that the then small government dedicate itself to electrification, large-scale industry, and education.