“The decision of the plenary meeting of the CC of October 6 (minutes no. 7, point 3) institutes what seems to be an unimportant, partial reform: “implement a number of separate decisions of the Council of Labor and Defense on temporary permission for the import and export of individual categories of goods or on granting the permission for specific frontiers” (10). In actual fact, however, this wrecks the foreign trade monopoly . Small wonder that Comrade Sokolnikov has been trying to get this done and has succeeded. He has always been for it; he likes paradoxes and has always undertaken to prove that monopoly is not to our advantage. But it is surprising that people who in principle favor the monopoly have voted for this without asking for detailed information from any of the business executives. What does the decision that has been adopted signify? Purchaising offices are being opened for the import and export trade. The owner of such an office has the right to buy an sell only specially listed good. Where is the control over this? Where are the means of control? In Russia flax costs 4 rubles 50 kopecks, in Britain it costs 14 rubles. All of us have read in ‘Capital’ how capitalism changes internally and grows more daring when interest rates and profits rise quickly. All of us recall that capitalism is capable of taking deadly risks and that Marx recognized this long before the war and before capitalism began its “leaps”. What is the situation now? What force is capable of holding the peasants and the traders from extremely profitable deals? Cover Russia with a network of overseers? Catch the neighbour in a purchasing office and prove that his flax has been sold to be smuggled out of the country? Comrade Sokolnikov’s paradoxes are always clever, but one must distinguish between paradoxes and the grim truth. No “legality” on such a question is at all possible in the Russian countryside (…)” (pag 88-89) [V.I. Lenin, ‘On the foreign trade monopoly. Letter to Joseph Stalin for the members of the Central Committee, October 13, 1922] [(in V.I. Lenin, Lenin’s Final Fight. Speeches and Writings, 1922-23, New York, 1993] [(10) Under the state monopoly on foreign trade, all exporting and importing activity was centralized in the hands of a state agency. There were continuing proposals to relax the monopoly from a number of party leaders, including Bukharin, Zinoviev, Kamenev, and Stalin. Lenin responded to these proposals with a letter on May 15, 1922, calling for “a ‘formal ban’ on all talks and negotiations and commissions, etc, concerning the relaxation of the foreign trade monopoly” (…)] [Lenin-Bibliographical-Materials]  [LBM*]