Collectivization of Agriculture: Towards a "Communist Paradise"
Lenin's way of the agricultural sector
The theme of the forcible unification of peasants into collective farms and the barbarous dispossession of wealthy landowners, whom they would call farmers overseas and who would be respected members of society there, still stirs the minds of historians. And this is quite natural - the collectivization of agriculture, perhaps one of the darkest pages in the history of the Country of the Soviets. At the dawn of a newly formed socialist state, the majority of members of the party and nomenklatura elders faithfully followed the thesis of their main ideologue and inspirer that small-scale peasant farms give birth to capitalism and are its basic element. The collectivization of agriculture best fit the ideology of Marxism-Leninism and contributed to the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the agro-industrial sector of the newborn communist country.
Most of the population of the USSR at that time was represented mainly by peasants. You can even say that the Bolsheviks for their political and economic experiments went to an agrarian country. And the Soviet government considered as one of its main tasks the suppression of the independent agricultural activity of the peasantry, which fully corresponded to the ideological principles of socialism in their understanding. Collectivization of agriculture also fully corresponded to the spirit of economic reforms of that time, which provided for strict centralization and joint responsibility. In other words, the country gradually began to turn into a huge strict-labor labor camp.
Collectivization of agriculture in its initial stage was carried out quite liberally and even somewhat sluggishly. At first, the creation of a few isolated communes was sporadic. The Bolshevik government, supporting and encouraging such initiatives, did not rush to force the peasantry to unite their farms. The reasons for this are quite simple: in the first years after the October Revolution, the fate of Soviet power was shrouded in thick fog with very vague prospects.which created an extremely unfavorable environment for such drastic measures. Another factor determining the liberality so uncharacteristic of the communists was that the peasantry, which won the right of private land ownership, was one of the main driving forces of the revolution.
Economic reasons for collectivization
However, after a very short period of time, the authorities rejected all liberality. The main reasons for the collectivization of agriculture, in addition to the ideologies mentioned above, were of an economic nature. The Soviet state, in order to stand on its own feet, needed to be industrialized, for the realization of which currency reserves were urgently needed. And the Bolsheviks considered the export of grain the shortest way to get them. In order to control this strategically important raw material, the government of a young socialist country took such radical administrative measures. The complete collectivization of agriculture, which began in 1927, ended in a memorable 1937, when the whole country was essentially a single forced labor camp, and the peasants did not have passports and were not given a pension.A characteristic feature of that time was the massive organization of private agricultural associations (now they would be called agrofirms) not controlled by the Soviet state. This form of cooperation prevented not only total centralization, but also ran counter to the communist ideology.
Stalin's course towards a “bright future”
In 1927, the deafening fiasco of the NEP became apparent even for the leaders of the world proletariat. In December of the same year, the Fifteenth Congress of the CPSU (b) was held, at which the head of state, I. V. Stalin, declared the course of general collectivization, which was then the only possible way of replenishing the treasury. From this point on, the collective farms were to become a loyal and reliable stronghold of the totalitarian regime. We must pay tribute to some influential party members who have such a policy has not won support. They were well aware of the consequences of forced collectivization. The leader had dealt with them in his favorite style and with his characteristic frankness. A slender party line was purged of unreliable elements, as a result of which about fifteen percent of the Communists were deprived of party cards and exiled to Siberia.
Grin of Soviet collectivization
The meaning of this radical-managerial event was to completely reform the structure of agricultural production. Almost all products manufactured by collective farms were state property — the Motherland needed resources to prepare for a big war. The well-to-do peasants, who did not want to join the collective farms, were repressed, and their property was divided between the state and the scammer. The main indicator of the effectiveness of collective farms was considered the amount of grain delivered to the country. Local authorities, in order to demonstrate their usefulness and loyalty to the regime, forcibly took away from the peasants not only bread, but also vegetables, fruits, cereals and other products. The results of such a predatory policy of the Bolsheviks were an incredible famine and millions of innocently repressed.