V. I.   Lenin

Notes Concerning the Draft Regulations on Bonuses for Workers and Office Employees

Written: February 1, 1920
Published: First published in 1945 in Lenin Miscellany XXXV. Printed from the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, 2nd English Edition, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 42, page 163a.
Translated: Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: D. Walters
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2003). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.README


Regarding bonuses, I have strong doubts.

§ 4—absolutely arbitrary fixing of the standard (50%—exactly 50%—from “the best”, i.e., given the best machines, etc. This is quite arbitrary. Can’t we have it more exact? Publish standards for control? Or collect them for the scientific-technical department, etc., and publish in a bulletin?).

Account of results: top limit of bonuses. Accounts on this not provided for. Will this not virtually legalise gross abuses?

Consumers should be enlisted for standard control. Are there any examples of this? Among the co-operatives? and so on.

The draft is too sweeping, abstract, unbusiness-like; promises everything, verifies nothing.[1]



[1] Point 4 of the draft regulations on bonuses for workers and office employees, about which Lenin had his doubts, was worded as follows: “4. Standard output shall be established on the basis of technically possible output under the best technical conditions of production, provided the means and implements of production are in a normal condition. In view, however, of the general conditions prevailing in industry, a deduction should be made from this technically possible standard, but in no case more than 50 per cent, after which the actual standard of productivity, varying with the different trades, enterprises and groups, shall be fixed.”

At its meeting on February 1, 1920, the Narrow C.P.C. resolved that, the draft decision on bonuses shall be returned to the People’s Commissariat for Labour for revision in accordance with Comrade Lenin’s directions”.

A decision “On the Procedure for Endorsing Bonus Projects” was adopted by the Council of People’s Commissars on June 8 and published in Izvestia on June 10, 1920.

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