THE communist parties' obsession with correct class composition is matched by their constant preoccupation with matters of organization. "Give us an organization of revolutionaries," Lenin wrote in 1902, "and we shall overturn the whole of Russia."1 His life's work shows indeed that he concentrated as much on the excellence of organization as on the need for dedicated revolutionaries. This organizational perfectionism becomes even more imperative whenever the Party is transformed from a weapon of revolution into an instrument of power. The new duties and opportunities accruing to it after the overthrow of capitalism in each of the satellite countries brought with them new risks and temptations. Such dangers as "opportunistic pollution," "bureaucratic rot," abuse of authority, and complacency tended to deepen and multiply after the "proletarian" victory. "The history of the Party further teaches us that a party cannot perform its role as a leader of the working class if, carried away by success, it begins to grow conceited [and] ceases to observe the defects in its work . . .," warns the Short Course. "A Party perishes . . . if it gives way to self-complacency and vainglory and if it rests on its laurels."2 Furthermore, the Party's new role as supreme ruler necessitated both a substantial enlargement of Party apparatus and a constant streamlining of its machinery so that it might cope with perennial and increasingly complex governmental problems.
The Czechoslovak Communist Party could not escape such problems and dangers any more than its sister parties in the Soviet Union and elsewhere behind the Iron Curtain. To meet them, it too felt compelled to adapt its machinery and to refurbish and even amend its organizational philosophy. In doing so, the KSČ followed quite closely the Soviet model. Whenever a change occurred in the organizational pattern of the Soviet Party, Czechoslovak Communists un-____________________