Presentation on theme: " Decline of industry and agriculture Social leveling – landowners and the better-off flee Peasants got the land and retreated to a communal lifestyle."— Presentation transcript:
Decline of industry and agriculture Social leveling – landowners and the better-off flee Peasants got the land and retreated to a communal lifestyle ▪ Still subject to taxes and expropriations of grain Great suffering by workers, who made up the armies ▪ Factories closed, industries wiped out ▪ Workers returned to the countryside and the farms Bolsheviks in charge but remain paranoid, feel enemies are waiting to pounce 1920 Bolshevik “Democratic opposition” – objections to bureaucratization, demands for democracy within the party and for worker control of the workplace 1921 Kronstadt uprising – sailors demand soviets without Bolsheviks, free elections, freedom for workers and peasants 10 th. Party Congress: Far-reaching decision to outlaw factions within the Party Reaching out to minorities: Stalin becomes Commissar of Nationalities
Abandon war communism Government enterprises must show a profit Free trade in grain; tax rather than expropriation Encourage small-scale private enterprise Mining, banking, foreign trade under govt. control Primacy of the Party Government subordinated, soviets lose influence Central Committee makes all major decisions Party controls key citizen organizations ▪ Labor union branches at every workplace ▪ Komsomol, the Communist youth league Lenin uses show trials to repress dissidence and demonstrate “correct” line Arrested and imprisoned members of Cadet Party 1922 - two dozen Socialist Revolutionaries placed on trial ▪ Gregory Pyatakov sat as chief judge ▪ Central committee members were sentenced to death. But all the sentences were commuted.
Russia imported most of its heavy equipment, including railroad engines, and most machinery Expense drained domestic budget Wild fluctuation in industrial and agricultural prices; high inflation Economy stabilized by 1924. Currency based on gold. Private enterprise accounts for more than 50% of national income Social class distinctions; wealth amidst poverty “NEPmen,” traders who sold goods to farmers and produce to city dwellers (above photograph) Citizens free to change jobs; skilled much better pay than unskilled Opportunities for the better-educated in government work Wages low, unemployment major factor Large rural population too large – 80 percent of Russians live on farms People from countryside flock to cities for jobs
Weak Government authority outside cities Farmers isolated, farming is primitive Farms small, land has been excessively divided Primitive growing practices Use food for their own needs, sell what’s left to the cities Bolshevik ideology clashes with peasant practices Enraged by peasants pricing based on supply & demand Exaggerated view of class distinctions. Kulaks (“wealthy” farmers) are compared to NEPmen (photo shows Kulaks being dispossessed) Kulaks feared for their political power Bolsheviks want more efficient, large-scale communal farming Two obstacles: insufficient machinery and a hostile rural population
Bolsheviks appalled at Russia’s backwardness, anxious to advance culture: Material aspects, including hygiene and electrification Science, engineering and the arts Scientists and professors highly valued They establish laws of nature, much like Marx established laws of society Writers, musicians, painters valued because they can help spread the gospel Censorship relatively light-handed Commissariat for Enlightenment had lists of banned books Many artists fled, but those who remained got remarkably free rein; the Avant-garde flourished (graphic part of 1905-1930 Russian Avant-garde exhibit) Exception: Newspapers and writings by competing socialist factions – Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries – are strictly censored
Criminal Code of 1922 formalizes the “revolutionary justice” of war communism Art. 45: “socialist conception of justice” Art. 46: “crimes…against the regime” Art. 47: “harm to the interests of the State or the toilers [even when not directed at either] Art. 58-1 “…directed towards the overthrow, undermining or weakening of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Soviets…” Art. 58-7: “…undermining of state industry…by working against their normal activities…” Art. 58-13: “Any act or active struggle against the working class Heaviest penalties for “counter-revolutionary” rather than ordinary crimes Concept of “wrecking”
1922 – Lenin incapacitated (dies in 1924) Stalin, Zinoviev and Kamenev in ruling “troika” (triumvirate) But real struggle is between Stalin and Trotsky Trotsky War hero, popular with military, lower levels of bureaucracy, students Abrasive, doctrinaire Backs leftist economics, pushes to tax peasants and force industrialization An “internationalist” – Communism first requires a world revolution Stalin Commissar for Nationalities 1922 – Chairman of Communist Party Central Committee, in charge of Party bureaucracy Excellent politician, coalition builder, practical-minded Counseled by Bukharin to go easy on peasants and workers Sees world revolution as wildly premature Championed “socialism in one country” – Russia can go it alone
1923 – “Left Opposition”: Trotsky, Serebryakov, Piatakov, Smirnov, Radek... Circulates “Letter of the 46”Letter of the 46 Criticizes bureaucratization, lack of democracy within the Party, top-down decision-making Claims regime farther away from “worker’s democracy” than before 1923 – Trotsky calls for purge of bureaucrats Hostile reception by triumvirate and others: is Trotsky splitting the Party? 1924 – 13 th. Party Conference – majority condemns Left Opposition Stalin and Zinoviev attack Trotsky for factionalism Trotsky Contradicts NEP, argues against Stalin’s “Socialism in one country.” ▪ Demands more pressure on “kulaks” and “capitalists” ▪ Endorses forced industrialization ▪ Criticizes Zinoviev and Kamenev in 1917 (they said Revolution premature) Left Opposition censured, Trotsky booted from post as War Commissar
1924 – Full members of Politburo (top of the Party Central Committee) Stalin, Bukharin, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Rykov, Tomsky, Trotsky Bukharin allies with Stalin, becomes chief promoter of NEP Urges relaxations against “Kulaks” 1924-25 – opposition develops. Includes “Zinovievists” and “Trotskyists.” Zinoviev and Kamenev form New Opposition Accuse Stalin of becoming a dictator, argue for democracy in the Party Criticize “Kulakization” – rich farmers – say it’s a retreat Endorse concept of world revolution 1925 – Party Congress repudiates the New Opposition Kamenev reduced to candidate member of Politburo United Opposition forms – Kamenev and Zinoviev ally with Trotsky, Muralov, Pyatakov, Radek, Smirnov, Bakayev…
December 1927 – 15 th. Party Congress Trotsky, Zinoviev expelled from Party CC (Central Committee) Recommended for expulsion: Kamenev, Pyatakov, Radek, Smirnov… They attempt a demonstration – supporters arrested Zinovievists capitulate Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bakayev readmitted, later gain Party posts Trotskyists refuse to capitulate Trotsky gets internal exile, then deported to Europe in 1929 ▪ First in Turkey, then France in 1933, Norway in 1935 Norway, finally Mexico in 1937 Radek exiled to Siberia ▪ Capitulates in 1929, readmitted to the Party But it’s not over until the “rude Georgian” sings...
1928 – Peasants hoard grain, demand better prices Stalin changes course to the Left ▪ Like Trotsky, demands expropriations ▪ Endorses forced collectivization and rapid industrialization Bukharin, a moderate, opposes these moves. Supported by Rykov and Tomsky. 1929 – they publish the “Platform of the Three” Accuse Stalin of “military-feudal exploitation of the peasantry” Warn of rupture between peasants and workers Suggest incentives rather than coercion Want to expand and improve NEP Stalin and supporters criticize the three and their followers as “Right Deviationists” who are defending capitalism 1930-31 political campaign against the Rightists Rightists lose influence, capitulate The “rude Georgian” is now the de-facto Dictator of the USSR