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The Right Opposition was the name given to the tendency made up of Nikolai Bukharin, Alexei Rykov and their supporters within the Soviet Union in the late 1920s. It is also the name given to "right-wing" critics within the Communist movement internationally, particularly those who coalesced in the International Communist Opposition, regardless of whether they identified with Bukharin and Rykov. Note that the designation "Right Opposition" refers to the position of this movement relative to the other Communist movements on the traditional spectrum. Relative to the political mainstream, the Right Opposition is still very firmly on the Left. Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin (Russian: Николай Иванович Бухарин), (October 9 (September 27 Old Style) 1888 – March 13, 1938) was a Bolshevik revolutionary and intellectual, and later a Soviet politician. ... Jump to: navigation, search Alexei Rykov Alexei Ivanovich Rykov (February 25 (February 13, Old Style), 1881 - March 15, 1938) was a Russian revolutionary and Soviet politician. ...

Contents


Emergence

The struggle for power in the Soviet Union after the death of Lenin saw the development of three major tendencies within the Communist Party. These were described by Leon Trotsky as representing left, right and centre tendencies, each based on a specific class or caste. Trotsky argued that his tendency, the Left Opposition, represented the internationalist traditions of the working class. The tendency led by Stalin was described as being in the centre, based on the state and party bureaucracy, tending to shift alliances between the left and the right. The right tendency was identified with the supporters of Nikolai Bukharin and Rykov. It was asserted that they represented the influence of the peasantry and the danger of capitalist restoration. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin ( Russian: Влади́мир Ильи́ч Ле́нин  listen?), original surname Ulyanov (Улья́нов) ( April 22 (April 10 ( O.S.)), 1870 – January 21, 1924), was a Russian revolutionary, the leader of the Bolshevik party, the first Premier of the Soviet Union, and the founder of the ideology of Leninism. ... The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Russian: Коммунисти́ческая Па́ртия Сове́тского Сою́за = КПСС) was the name used by the successors of the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party from 1952 to 1991, but the wording Communist Party was present in the partys name since 1918 when the Bolsheviks became the All... Jump to: navigation, search Leon Trotsky Leon Davidovich Trotsky â–¶(?) (Russian: Лев Давидович Троцкий; also transliterated Leo, Lev, Trotskii, Trotski, Trotskij and Trotzky ) (October 26 (O.S.) = November 7 (N.S.), 1879 – August 21, 1940), born Lev Davidovich Bronstein (Лев Давидович Бронштейн), was a Bolshevik revolutionary and Marxist theorist. ... The Left Opposition was a faction within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during 1923-1927. ... The term working class is used to denote a social class. ... Iosif (usually anglicized as Joseph) Vissarionovich Stalin (Russian: Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин), original name Ioseb Jughashvili (Georgian: იოსებ ჯუღაშვილი; see Other names section) (December 21, 1879[1] – March 5, 1953) was a Bolshevik revolutionary and leader of the Soviet Union. ... In economics, a capitalist is someone who owns capital, presumably within the economic system of capitalism. ...


It was further argued that these three tendencies (a working-class "left", a bureaucratic "centre" and a peasant-oriented "right") could be found in many of the major communist parties throughout the world. Indeed, a "left wing" which agreed with Trotsky and supported world revolution could be found in almost every section of the Communist International (Comintern), just as representatives of Stalinism and the idea of "Socialism in One Country" could also be found. But a "right wing" only developed in a limited number of countries, and in each country where it did develop it stood between the left and the centre factions. This was because the right tendencies were usually not critical of the Comintern or of Stalin's regime but only of the leaderships of their own Communist parties. The first edition of Communist International, journal of the Comintern published in Moscow and Petrograd (now Saint Petersburg) in May 1919. ... Jump to: navigation, search Stalinism is a brand of political theory, and the political and economic system implemented by Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union. ... With the prospect of world revolution so close at hand in the early part of the 20th Century, communists, socialists and workers movements in general were dominated by a feeling of overwhelming optimism, which in the end proved to be quite premature. ... Jump to: navigation, search In modern usage, a communist party is a political party which promotes communism, a sociopolitical philosophy based on the particular interpretation of Marxism put forth by Vladimir Lenin. ...


It is questionable whether the various "Right Oppositions" could be described as a single international tendency, since they were usually concerned only with the issues relevant for their own countries and their own Communist Parties. Therefore, the Right Opposition was far more fragmented than the Left Opposition. Nevertheless, the various right opposition groups did come together to form an International Communist Opposition (ICO).


Fate of the Russian Right Opposition

Stalin and his "centre" faction had initially allied with Bukharin and the Right Opposition in order to defeat Trotsky and the Left. However, once Trotsky was out of the way and the Left Opposition had been sidelined, Stalin turned on his former allies. Bukharin and the Right Opposition were, in their turn, sidelined and removed from important positions within the Communist Party and the Soviet government.


Bukharin was isolated from his allies abroad, and, in the face of increasing Stalinist repression, was unable to mount a sustained struggle against Stalin. Unlike Trotsky, who built an anti-Stalinist movement, Bukharin and his followers within the Soviet Union capitulated to Stalin and admitted their "ideological errors". They were temporarily rehabilitated (though they were not returned to their former prominence, but kept in minor posts), only to be ultimately liquidated during the Great Purge trials. Jump to: navigation, search The Great Purge is the name given to campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union during the late 1930s which included purges of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. ...


Foundation of the International Communist Opposition

The various right oppostional groups loosely aligned with Bukharin within the Comintern were forced to form their own organisations when they were, in their turn, purged from the national sections of the Comintern. In Europe, the most important and substantial of these new organisations was the Communist Party Opposition (KPO) in Germany, led by Heinrich Brandler. In the United States, Jay Lovestone, Bertram Wolfe and their supporters founded the Communist Party (Opposition) and published the newspaper Workers Age. In Canada, the Marxian Educational League was formed as part of Lovestone's CP(O), and it became affiliated with the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. However, by the end of 1939, both the Toronto and Montreal groups of this organization had ceased to function. Jump to: navigation, search The Comintern (from Russian Коммунистичекий Интернационал (Kommunisticheskiy Internatsional) – Communist International), also known as the Third International, was an international Communist organization founded in March 1919 by Lenin, Trotsky and the Russian Communist Party (bolshevik), which intended to fight by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow... Jay Lovestone (1897-1990) was at various times head of the Communist Party, leader of a small oppositionist party, and foreign policy advisor to the leadership of the AFL-CIO and various unions within it. ... Bertram David Wolfe (1896-1977) was an American scholar and former Communist best known for writing Three Who Made a Revolution (ISBN 0815411774), a biographical study of Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky which was published in 1948 and The Fabulous Life of Diego Rivera (ISBN 081281259X). ... Jump to: navigation, search The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) was a Canadian political party founded in 1932 in Calgary, Alberta, by a number of socialist, farm, co-operative and labour groups as well as the League for Social Reconstruction. ... Jump to: navigation, search {{Hide = {{{Disable Motto Link}}}}} Motto: {{Unhide = {{{Disable Motto Link}}}}} Diversity Our Strength {{Canadian City/Location Image is:{{{Location Image Type}}}|[[Image:{{{Location Image}}}|thumbnail|center|250px|City of Toronto, Ontario, Canada location. ... Jump to: navigation, search City motto: Concordia Salus (Latin: Well-being through harmony) Province Quebec Mayor Gérald Tremblay Area  - % water 500. ...


In a few places, communist groups affiliated with the ICO achieved more success than the Comintern-affiliated Stalinist organizations. For example, in Sweden, the Socialist Party, affiliated with the ICO, received 5.7% of the vote in the 1932 elections to the Riksdag, outpolling the Comintern section which received 3.9%. Party Flag A split in the Sveriges Kommunistiska Parti (The Communist Party of Sweden) in 1929 resulted in the formation of a parallel communist party, led by Karl Kihlbom and Nils Flyg. ... The Riksdag or Sveriges Riksdag is the Parliament of Sweden. ...


In Spain, the ICO-affiliated Bloque Obrero y Campesino (BOC), led by Joaquin Maurin, was for a time larger and more important than the official Spanish Communist Party. Later, the BOC merged with Andres Nin's Izquierda Comunista in 1935 to form the POUM which was to be a major party backing the Second Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War. Maurin became general secretary of the POUM but was arrested early in the Civil War. As a result, Nin, a former Trotskyist, became the POUM's new leader. Andres Nin, a. ... The Workers Party of Marxist Unification (POUM, Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista) was a Spanish political party around the time of the Spanish Civil War. ... Jump to: navigation, search History of Spain series Prehistoric Spain Roman Spain Medieval Spain -Visigoths -Al-Andalus -Age of Reconquest Age of Expansion Age of Enlightenment Reaction and Revolution First Spanish Republic The Restoration Second Spanish Republic Spanish Civil War The Dictatorship Modern Spain Topics Economic History Military History Social... Jump to: navigation, search History of Spain series Prehistoric Spain Roman Spain Medieval Spain -Visigoths -Al-Andalus -Age of Reconquest Age of Expansion Age of Enlightenment Reaction and Revolution First Spanish Republic The Restoration Second Spanish Republic Spanish Civil War The Dictatorship Modern Spain Topics Economic History Military History Social... Jump to: navigation, search The term General Secretary (alternatively First Secretary) denotes a leader of various unions, parties or associations. ... Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. ...


In all, the ICO had member parties in fifteen countries during the 1930s. However, the ICO and its affiliates did not consider themselves a new international, but a "faction" that was involuntarily excluded from the Comintern and that was anxious to return to it if only the Comintern would change its policies and allow ICO members the freedom to advocate their positions.


Despite being identified with Bukharin, the ICO generally supported Stalin's economic policies (which Bukharin opposed), such as the Five Year Plans to achieve rapid industrialization, and the collectivization of agriculture. Furthermore, they even supported the early Moscow Trials. Their main difference with Stalin and the Comintern was over the issue of democracy within the Communist International and the influence of the CPSU in the Comintern and its sections, and over Stalin's international policy, particularly the Third Period and the subsequent Popular Front policies. Five-Year Plans or Piatiletkas (пятилетка) were a series of nation-wide centralized exercises in rapid economic development in the Soviet Union. ... Collective farming is an organizational unit in agriculture in which peasants are not paid wages, but rather receive a share of the farms net output. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Moscow Trials were a series of trials of political opponents of Joseph Stalin during the Great Purge. ... Third Period refers to the ultra-left policy adopted by the Comintern, following the end of the New Economic Policy in the Soviet Union in 1928 up to the adoption of the Popular Front policy in 1934. ... Popular Fronts comprise broad coalitions of political and other groups, often made up of oppositioners or left wingers, and often united against particularly stringent circumstances. ...


In addition, as the Moscow Trials entered their second phase and turned against Bukharin and his supporters, disputes broke out within the ICO regarding whether there was any point in continuing with the concept of being an opposition within the Communist movement rather than openly create a new international rival to the Comintern, like Trotsky did with his Fourth International. The Fourth International has been the international organisation of Trotskyist communists. ...


The end of the Right Opposition

In February 1938, at the Revolutionary Socialist Congress in Paris, the International Communist Opposition and the London Bureau (led by the Independent Labour Party of Britain) organized the International Bureau for Revolutionary Socialist Unity. The IBRSU was an eclectic "revolutionary centrist" organisation. "Centrism" refers to the fact that its members moved between social democracy and revolutionary Communism. This underscored much of the ideological problems facing Bukharin's supporters, in that they lacked a political space of their own. Their ideas had little to differentiate themselves from social democracy and provided little reason for them to have an independent existence. The International Revolutionary Marxist Centre was an international association of left-socialist parties. ... The Independent Labour Party (ILP) was a former political party in the United Kingdom. ... Social democracy is a political ideology emerging in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from supporters of Marxism who believed that the transition to a socialist society could be achieved through democratic evolutionary rather than revolutionary means. ...


In the United States, Lovestone's CP(O) changed its name to the Independent Communist Labor League, and then the Independent Labor League of America, marking its move away from Communism. It also suffered several splits: First, in the early years, it split over the refusal of the majority to criticize Stalin's domestic policies, resulting in Ben Gitlow's departure in 1933. Later, a factional dispute developed between Lovestone and Bertram Wolfe over the issue of the war. In 1939 the group saw the war as an imperialist conflict and opposed American participation. However, after the fall of France in 1940, Lovestone began to change his position and, while still opposing America's joining in the war, came out in favour of American military aid to Britain (known as Lend-Lease), while Wolfe continued to support the ILLA's older anti-war policy. By that time, however, there was very little reason for the ILLA's continued existence, since its policies were practically identical to those of mainstream social democrats. At the end of 1940, the leadership of the ILLA decided to dissolve the organization and passed a resolution to that effect at its final convention held on December 28 and 29, 1940. Jump to: navigation, search 1933 was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Jump to: navigation, search 1939 was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Jump to: navigation, search 1940 was a leap year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Lend-Lease program was a program of the United States during World War II that allowed the United States to provide the Allied Powers with war material without becoming directly involved in the war. ...


During World War II, the International Communist Opposition in Europe also disappeared. Its once significant movement in Germany had been forced underground by the Third Reich and ultimately destroyed. The Spanish movement was suppressed by the Stalinist Communist Party and ultimately destroyed by Francisco Franco's fascist victory. The groups in other countries did not survive the Nazi occupation. And in an odd development, a split group of the Swedish party, led by Nils Flyg, oriented itself towards a pro-Nazi position during the war, and disintegrated after the defeat of Germany. Jump to: navigation, search World War II was a truly global conflict with many facets: immense human suffering, fierce indoctrinations, and the use of new, extremely devastating weapons such as the atom bomb. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... Jump to: navigation, search Francisco Franco Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco y Bahamonde Salgado Pardo de Andrade (December 4, 1892 – November 20, 1975), abbreviated Francisco Franco Bahamonde and sometimes known as Generalísimo Francisco Franco, was Head of State of Spain from 1936 until his death in 1975. ... Nils Flyg (1891 – 1943) was Swedish Communist politician who turned pro-nazi during World War II. Nils Flyg, the young communist, with his wife Elsa Ströberg Nils Flyg was born and raised in Södermalm, a working-class area of Stockholm. ... Jump to: navigation, search Look up Nazi on Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


The former supporters of the Right Opposition in the United States drifted to the right-wing of the labour movement and into anti-Communist activities, with Lovestone working for many years both for the AFL-CIO and the CIA. In other countries, its supporters either drifted into mainstream social democratic movements, towards more viable anti-Stalinist trends within Communism (such as Trotskyism) or towards Stalinism itself. Anti-communism is opposition to communist ideology, organization, or government, on either a theoretical or practical level. ... The AFL-CIO is the largest labor union federation in the United States. ... The CIA Seal The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an American intelligence agency, responsible for obtaining and analyzing information about foreign governments, corporations, and individuals, and reporting such information to the various branches of the U.S. Government. ... Jump to: navigation, search Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. ...


List of groups associated with ICO

The Communist Party Opposition (in German, Kommunistische Partei-Opposition or KPD-Opposition - KPD-O, KPDO or KPO) was a communist organisation functioning in Germany from 1928 to 1939 or 40. ... Party Flag A split in the Sveriges Kommunistiska Parti (The Communist Party of Sweden) in 1929 resulted in the formation of a parallel communist party, led by Karl Kihlbom and Nils Flyg. ...

Further reading

There is little information available on the International Communist Opposition in English. The only book length study is Robert J Alexander's The Right Opposition; The Lovestoneites and the International Communist Opposition of the 1930s (ISBN 0313220700). Issues of Revolutionary History journal have reprinted a number of texts from members of Right Oppositional groups of the 1930s.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Right-wing politics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2502 words)
In politics, right-wing, the political right, or simply the Right, are terms which refer, with no particular precision, to the segment of the political spectrum in opposition to left-wing politics.
The dominant modern strand of right wing thought is concerned with traditional values (often Christian in nature) and preservation of individual and corporate rights through constraints on government power.
A more obscure strand of right wing thought, often associated with the original right wing from the times of monarchy, supports the preservation of wealth and power in the hands that have traditionally held them, social stability, and national solidarity and ambition.
Right Opposition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1483 words)
The Right Opposition was the name given to the tendency made up of Nikolai Bukharin, Alexei Rykov and their supporters within the Soviet Union in the late 1920s.
This was because the right tendencies were usually not critical of the Comintern or of Stalin's regime but only of the leaderships of their own Communist parties.
The various right oppostional groups loosely aligned with Bukharin within the Comintern were forced to form their own organisations when they were, in their turn, purged from the national sections of the Comintern.
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