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 Decline of industry and agriculture  Social leveling – landowners and the better-off flee  Peasants got the land and retreated to a communal lifestyle.

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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:


2  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

3  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.

4  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

5  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

6  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

7  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”

8  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

9  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

10  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…

11  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...

12  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

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