AMONG the Russian proletariat in the years 1926 and 1927 confidence in the Soviet Government was severely shaken. This want of confidence was caused by the belief that the Soviet Government was the friend of the Kulaks and lacked the desire to promote Socialism. In order to regain the confidence of the Russian workmen Stalin was compelled to prove to them that he was in earnest in seeking to realize Socialism in the form laid down by his theory of 'Socialism in a single country'.
At the Fifteenth Congress of the Party Stalin adopted a resolute and confident manner of speech. He demonstrated to his listeners that Russia was an industrial country, and set before the Party the task of furthering its industrialization by all possible means. He then proceeded to draw the conclusion: 'Our country advances unerringly and swiftly towards Socialism inasmuch as it forces the capitalist elements into the background and gradually excludes them from the national economy.' Stalin continued:
'This fact confronts us with the fundamental problem: Who shall be attacked and by whom? This question was asked by Lenin in 1921 after the introduction of the New Economic Policy. Should we be capable of allying our Socialist economy to peasant economy, of driving out the private trader and private capitalist, and of learning to trade ourselves, or would private Capital be too strong for us and create a chasm between the proletariat and the peasants? Such was the question in those days. Now we are able to say that we have already achieved a decisive victory in this direction. The truth of that statement can only be denied by madmen and the blind. Now, however, the problem of "Who" and "By whom" takes on quite a different character. Now the problem is transferred from the sphere of trading to that of production, manual production and agricultural production, in which private Capital has a certain definite importance and from which it must be systematically uprooted.'
Stalin admitted in this speech that the situation in the country districts was unsatisfactory, and that hitherto too