To the Editors:
Mr. Schapiro [NYR, November 20] repudiates that anywhere in Lenin’s speeches to the Tenth Party Congress can be found a promise of allowing future discussions in the party. I state that there are many such and I quote one, from a speech on March 16 entitled, “Summing-up Speech on Party Unity and the Anarcho-Syndicalist Deviation.”
As for the extreme measure, it is a matter for the future: we are not resorting to it now, and are expressing our comradely confidence. If you think that we are wrong in theory, we can issue dozens of special publications on the subject. And if there are any young comrades, in the Samara organization, for example, who have anything new to say on this question, then let’s have it, Comrades Samarians! We shall publish a few of your articles.
San Fernando, Trinidad
Leonard Schapiro replies:
Whatever Lenin may have said, it did not help Samara, where a discussion club on party policy was closed down within a few months, along with similar clubs. The Samara party organization was purged within a few months of the Congress, and packed with Central Committee nominees.
February 19, 1981