chapter  5
30 Pages

Building a Workers’ State

Universal labour service and central planning were the key and, as he told the Seventh Congress of Soviets in early December 1919, this should be linked to the gradual adoption of a militia system for the Army. The Army would be transformed into an armed nation, bringing it close to the land and the factories, forming territorial districts for the regiments “so that every worker and peasant of the appropriate age-group belongs to a particular district and is consequently included beforehand in a particular regiment and can at once be called up and placed under arms”. This was the militarisation of labour, a proposal which Lenin backed when the Central Committee met on 16 December 1919 to adopt Trotsky’s proposals.1