Workers' Opposition

From Academic Kids

The Workers' Opposition was a faction of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union that emerged in 1920 as a response to the perceived over-bureaucratisation that was occurring in the Soviet Union. It was led by Alexander Shlyapnikov and Alexandra Kollantai and was in essence a left-wing communist movement designed to ensure that the promises made by the Bolsheviks at the time of the October Revolution were kept.

Specifically the Workers' Opposition demanded a greater economic plan that would increase production, Russia to be ruled by the trade unions, the equalisation of wages, the free distribution of food, and the gradual replacement of monetary payment with payment in kind. They also argued against the use of bourgeois specialists in the running of industry and warned against what they perceived to be the emergent "cult of personality" surrounding Vladimir Lenin.

However, at the tenth congress of the Communist Party, in 1921 Lenin successfully managed to have the Workers' Opposition proscribed. Thereafter Shlyapnikov and Kollantai became politically marginalised.

Although the Workers' Opposition contained elements on its left wing who had views similar to those of Left Communists there was no continuity bewteen it and the earlier faction of Left-Communists in either personel or theory. In contrast to the Left Communists of 1918 the Workers Opposition was narrowly focused on the organisation of industry in the new Russian state that emerged after 1918 and was based upon a section of the party closely involved in this sphere of work. Similarly the Workers Opposition had little in common with the tiny post-1918 groups of Left Communists, for example the Workers Group and Workers Truth, in that its activity was confined to the ranks of the Russian Communist Party alone.

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