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Unit 3: The New Economic Policy and the Construction of Socialism ( )

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1 Unit 3: The New Economic Policy and the Construction of Socialism (1921-1927)

2 I. The Establishment of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (RSFSR) 1918
The first Soviet constitution, adopted in July, 1918, created the RSFSR. Later, it was one of the 15 republics of the Soviet Union.

3 The Establishment of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR / CCCP)
December 30, 1922 – the USSR was created as a federation of Russia, Ukraine, Byelorussia, and Transcaucasia. By the end of WWII, 15 republics constituted the USSR.

4 The Soviet Union Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (RSFSR)
2. Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR) 3. Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (UkSSR)

5 The Soviet Union 4. Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic (GSSR)
5. Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic (ArSSR) 6. Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (MSSR)

6 The Soviet Union 7. Azeri Soviet Socialist Republic (AzSSR)
8. Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (UzSSR) 9. Kirgiz Soviet Socialist Republic (KgSSR)

7 The Soviet Union 10. Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic (TjSSR)
11. Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic (TuSSR) 12. Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (KzSSR)

8 The Soviet Union 13. Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic (ESSR)
14. Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic (LvSSR) 15. Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic (LtSSR)

9 II. The Bolshevik Leadership (1917-1924): Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin) (1871-1924)
“Without a revolutionary theory there cannot be a revolutionary movement.” “Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country.” “The history of all countries shows that the working class exclusively by its own effort is able to develop only trade-union consciousness.” “Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in ancient Greek republics: Freedom for slave owners.” “Our program necessarily includes the propaganda of atheism.”

10 Lev Davidovich Bronstein (Trotsky) (1879-1940)
Born in Ukraine Sided with the Mensheviks against Lenin in the party split (1903) Joined the Bolsheviks in 1917 and became its #2 man. “Permanent Revolution” Was Foreign Minister and formed the Red Army Opposed the NEP – too many concessions to capitalism - favored rapid industrialization “Comrade Trotsky is distinguished not only by outstanding ability. He is personally perhaps the most capable man in the present C.C., but he has displayed excessive self-assurance and shown excessive preoccupation with the purely administrative side of the work.” – Lenin

11 Yevgeny Preobrazhensky (1886-1937)
Together with Bukharin, he wrote the “ABC of Communism” (1919) An opponent of NEP, he was an ally of Trotsky’s and one of the leaders of the Left. Called for rapid industrialization and economic planning. Developed the theory of “primitive socialist accumulation.”

12 Georgy Pyatakov ( ) Along with Trotsky and Preobrazhenksy, favored rapid industrialization and opposed the NEP. “He is unquestionably a man of outstanding will and outstanding ability, but shows far too much zeal for administrating and the administrative side of the work to be relied upon in a serious political matter.” – Lenin

13 Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin (1888-1938)
Became a member of the Bolshevik Party in 1906. Important Marxist theoretician – editor of Pravda. Co-wrote the ABC of Communism (1920) with Evgeniy Preobrazhensky. During the Civil War, Bukharin was a Left-wing communist - opposed Brest-LitovskTreaty - favored War Communism on theoretical grounds Changed his position and along with Lenin became a big advocate of the NEP and slow pace of industrialization. Promoted worker-peasnat alliance Executed in 1938. “Bukharin is not only a most valuable and major theorist of the Party; he is also rightly considered the favorite of the whole Party, but his theoretical views can be classified as fully Marxist only with the great reserve, for there is something scholastic about him (he has never made a study of dialectics, and, I think, never fully appreciated it).” - Lenin

14 Grigory Zinoviev ( ) Real name - Ovsei-Gershon Aronovich Radomyslsky. Born in Ukraine. A member of the Bolshevik Party since 1903. One of Lenin’s closest associates – but he opposed the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917. - Stalin will use this against him. Chairman of the Comintern, 1919. Head of the Leningrad branch of the CP. Allied with Stalin vs. Trotsky / Stalin turned against Zinoviev and Kamenev after they eliminated Trotsky. Executed in 1936. “The October episode with Zinoviev and Kamenev was, of course, no accident, but neither can the blame for it be laid upon them personally, any more than non-Bolshevism can upon Trotsky.” - Lenin

15 Lev Borisovich Rosenfeld (Kamenev) (1883-1936)
A member of the Bolshevik Party from 1903. Close associate of Zinoviev’s. Together with Zinoviev, voted against armed Bolshevik seizure of power in October, 1917. Was head of the Moscow branch of the CP. After Lenin’s death, his life/career followed the same path as Zinoviev’s. “The October episode with Zinoviev and Kamenev was, of course, no accident, but neither can the blame for it be laid upon them personally, any more than non-Bolshevism can upon Trotsky.” - Lenin

16 Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (Stalin) (1879-1953)
Born in Georgia Earned a scholarship to a Jesuit seminary in Tblisi to enter the priesthood. Quit in 1899. Member of the Bolshevik Party from 1903. Was one of Lenin’s most loyal and favorite colleague. Was Commissar of Nationalities when Bolsheviks seized power. Became head of the Party in 1922. “Stalin is too rude and this defect, although quite tolerable in our midst and in dealing among us Communists, becomes intolerable in a Secretary-General. That is why I suggest the comrades think about a way of removing Staling from that post and appointing another man in his stead who in all other respects differs from Comrade Stalin in having only one advantage, namely, that of being more tolerant, more loyal, more polite, and more considerate to the comrades, less capricious, etc.” – Lenin’s “Testament”

17 III. The Socialist Debate
Many factors contributed to the debates about socialist construction: The difficulties experienced during war communism Hardships and policy errors that led to the Kronstadt and Tambov uprisings Russia’s backwardness Failure of worldwide revolution, especially in Germany The need to industrialize and create a larger working class – the backbone of the “dictatorship of the proletariat” Lenin’s death (1924) As a result of the first four, Lenin decided to implement the NEP.

18 The New Economic Policy (NEP)
A compromise, a “temporary” retreat from socialism by allowing and promoting capitalist policies. What resulted was a mixed economy: The state would control the “commanding heights”: - all heavy industry - the transportation system - communication system - central banking system - foreign trade All small-scale businesses (20 workers or less) and most of the agrarian sector and domestic commerce would revert to private interests. - Market relations would determine much of the economic activity in the country. The state would implement a progressive tax policy. - Hiring labor was permitted. Lenin and Bukharin came to view NEP less as a temporary retreat and more as a unique path to socialism in a backward, peasant country that Russia was.

19 The New Economic Policy (NEP)
Private Enterprises constituted 88.5% of the economy but only 12.4% of the labor force. State Enterprises – 11.5% of the economy but 84.1% of the labor force. 100 million peasants benefited from agrarian reforms that resulted in 25 million small land holdings. - Grain requisitioning was replaced with a “tax in kind” – peasants could keep and sell on the free market what remained after the payment of the tax thus giving them incentive to produce more. - Gradually the tax in kind was eliminated and replaced by a monetary tax. - Lenin initiates the NEP with his “Tax in Kind” article in May, 1921.

20 The New Economic Policy (NEP)
Overall, NEP was a success. By 1928, the amount of land under cultivation exceeded that of pre-war levels. Industrial output reached pre-war levels. “NEPmen” – small businessmen – prospered as did “Kulaks” – prosperous peasants. The prosperity of certain classes, the obvious concessions to private enterprise, the slow pace of industrialization and tenuous influence that the Communist Party had in the countryside worried many in the Party. When Lenin died, the debates began.

21 Lenin’s Death, January 1924 Lenin’s death led to a power struggle within the Communist Party.

22 The Left vs. The Right Positions
Issues: Revolutionary Tradition Industrialization 3. The Agrarian Question 4. Permanent Revolution vs. Socialism in One Country

23 The Left vs. The Right Opposition: 1. Revolutionary Tradition
“Revolutionary-Heroic” Favored the daring coup that brought the party to power. Heroically defended the revolution during the Civil War and Foreign Intervention De-radicalization of Bolshevism degenerates into Social Democracy (“Bernsteinism”) Revolutionary-idealists “Cautious-Moderate” Supported the major concessions to Germany in Brest-Litovsk Supported the NEP / pragmatists Lenin intended NEP to be adopted “seriously and for a long time.” What made concessions to capitalism acceptable was that it was done under the guidance of the Communist Party (dictatorship of the proletariat)

24 The Left vs. The Right Opposition: 2. Industrialization
Industrialization was necessary – essential to the survival of socialism and the USSR Economic planning focusing on industrial production at the expense of consumer goods Rapid industrialization necessary for quicker socialist transformation Industrialization was necessary but at a pace that Soviet society could handle – no more shocks In the early stage of Soviet socialism, a state-regulated market was desired.

25 The Left vs. The Right Opposition: 2. How to Finance Industrialization
The USSR did not / could not have colonies to exploit for economic benefit like the advanced capitalist countries had / have. (primitive capitalist accumulation) The state sector would not produce enough profits/surplus to finance industrialization in the early stages. Peasants needed to be “squeezed.” (primitive socialist accumulation). Goods would not be confiscated but accumulation would occur as a result of a discriminatory pricing system. - industrial goods would be priced higher than agricultural goods. Accumulation in the Soviet economic reality would not occur for long without accumulation in the peasant economy. Discriminatory pricing that burdens the peasants is counterproductive because they are the majority of the population and its their prosperity that should be encouraged. Only prosperous peasants will have a surplus to offer Soviet industrialization. According to Bukharin, 3 sources of industrialization: Growing profitability of Soviet state industries Revenues from progressive tax Voluntary savings in Soviet banks / lending and credit institutions

26 The Left vs. The Right Opposition: 3. The Agrarian Question
Called for the rapid transition to collective farms - like large state industries, collective farms produce more and are more efficient Suicidal for the Party to encourage private landholding Kulaks should be suppressed. Soviet policy should favor poorest peasants “Primitive socialist accumulation” implied conflict with the peasantry Agrarian overpopulation would be solved by increased industrialization and urban migration Opposed a “second” expropriation of the kulaks (the first during the Civil War) Although the kulaks are inclined towards capitalism, in the early stages, all peasants must be supported Favoring the poor peasants will lead to “wretched socialism.” The important strata were the middle peasants – Soviet Government must guarantee its loyalty because it constituted 51% of the peasantry. “We must say to the entire peasantry, to all its strata: enrich yourselves, accumulate, develop your country.” – Bukharin Agrarian overpopulation would be solved by creating more work in the countryside / more land under cultivation

27 The Left vs. The Right Opposition: 4. Permanent Revolution vs
The Left vs. The Right Opposition: 4. Permanent Revolution vs. Socialism in One Country Socialism in the Soviet Union will not survive or will become mutated unless there are revolutions in advanced capitalist countries. Foreign policy must aggressively export revolution. Class war against the NEPmen and the kulaks, the enemies of socialism, must be promoted Revolution in advanced capitalist countries is not on the horizon. The CPSU must focus on building and strengthening socialism in the USSR. Class war should not be forgotten but must be “fought” differently: - State socialist enterprises should compete with private enterprises on the market and use the market to bury capitalism! “Smychka” – alliance of workers and peasants

28 …and the WINNER of the political struggle….
With the exception of the theory of “Socialism in One Country” (which Bukharin actually developed first), Stalin contributed nothing new theoretically to the debates. He won the power struggle vs. Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev by manipulating the Party and appointing his supporters to key posts. After he consolidated power, he completely took the positions of the Left Opposition. COMRADE JOSEPH STALIN!!

29 The Soviet Union and Industrialization
The Soviet Union was the first non-capitalist country to industrialize. There were no blue prints and no precedents. The other challenging aspect about Soviet industrialization was that it took place in an overwhelmingly agrarian country and had to stay within the parameters of Marxist teachings.

30 IV. Soviet Foreign Policy 1921-1941
Introduction In spite of temporary successes in Hungary and Bavaria, communist revolutions outside of Russia failed. Conversely, the capitalist countries did not see the destruction of the Bolshevik Government by the White movement either. Both the Soviets and the outside world had to reconcile each other’s existence.

31 IV. Soviet Foreign Policy 1921-1941
During most of the 1920’s the Soviet Union followed a contradictory foreign policy of: a. trying to win official recognition from as many countries as possible b. supporting the Third Communist International (Comintern) - established in 1919 with Zinoviev as its chairman, it was established to function as the “steering committee of the international revolution.” - all Communist Parties were suppose to follow the line that the CPSU established for them

32 IV. Soviet Foreign Policy 1921-1941
Winning Recognition – 1920’s April 16, 1922 – Treaty of Rapallo - with Germany - economic cooperation and secret military relations - lasted until Hitler’s advent to power in 1932 – The Soviet Union won diplomatic recognition from: - Great Britain, France, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Greece, Mexico and China 1920’s – The Soviet Union concluded treaties of “neutrality and friendship” with: - Turkey, Persia (Iran), Afghanistan

33 IV. Soviet Foreign Policy 1921-1941
Winning Recognition – Relations with China 1927 – Stalin directed the Chinese Communist Party to support the nationalist Kuomintang in a “united front.” When Kuomointang leader Chiang Kai-shek consolidated victory, he turned against the Communists and massacred them in Shanghai. When the Communists retaliated, on orders from Moscow, with a rebellion in Canton, they were crushed. Nonetheless, the CPSU maintained its influence over the Chinese Communist Party until the Sino-Soviet split in 1960.

34 IV. Soviet Foreign Policy 1921-1941
B. Soviet Foreign Policy in the 1930’s The Soviets, threatened by the rise of Japanese militarism in the East and Nazi Germany in the West, pursued a policy of “collective security” with non-Fascist countries. - “Popular Front” policy. The CPSU instructed the Comintern to pursue policies of good relations between western capitalist countries and the USSR. - Communist revolution was taken off the agenda.

35 IV. Soviet Foreign Policy 1921-1941
The Soviet Union was accepted into the League of Nations Concluded non-aggression treaties with Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Finland and France. United States recognized the USSR 1934 – Soviet Union signed treaties establishing normal relations with Czechoslovakia and Romania. - A Soviet-French-Czech alliance pledged support to Czechoslovakia in the event it was attacked. During the 1930’s the Soviets were consistently more interested in beating back Fascist aggression. The Western Powers were not so enthusiastic.

36 IV. Soviet Foreign Policy 1921-1941
C. The Spanish Civil War

37 IV. Soviet Foreign Policy 1921-1941
D. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (Nazi-Soviet Pact, August 1939)

38 Soviet Foreign Ministers: 1918-1941
Georgy Chicherin Maxim Litvinov Vyacheslav Molotov ( ) ( ) ( )

39 The Germans Capture Stalin’s Son Yakov Dzhugashvili


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