A few things of note that stand out in this article on the collectivization of farms following the revolution are the thinking of the central committee and Stalin that they lost control of the process. In the rural country side the obvious discord or disconnect showed in thinking and actions of the rural cadres and even those sent from the city to help in the collectivization of farms who made up the group known as 25,000ers. The brutal treatment of rural peasant by the cadres and the 25,000ers created a class system within itself. Stalin realized the danger in these practices and impressed the need to stop using such tactics in fear of possible civil war. He stated, “Collective farms must not be established by force. That would be foolish and reactionary. The collective-farm must rest on the active support of the main mass of the peasantry”1). He acknowledged that while artel production is socialized, that small plots for vegetables, dwelling houses, small livestock and poultry and even some dairy cow are not socialized ”2). The very ideals socialism is to correct is what is happening in these rural areas, with new class distinctions appearing.
Another point that is of interests is that during this collectivization movement taking place, “wholesale closing of churches and the desecration of religious object” took place as well.3) The closing of markets happened at this same period also. Perhaps the reason behind this action is to limit the place where people could congregate and discuss the current events taking place. It also directed people to the only source of support—the state. Even Stalin commented on this “I say nothing of those “revolutionaries”—save the mark!—who begin the work of organizing artels by removing the bells from the churches. Just imagine, removing the church bells—how r-r-revolutionary!”4). However, of note, is that a lack of places of worship did not stop the people from using religion as a tool against the state. Old women trying to prevent ones from joining the collective farm used such teachings as tying the collective farm to the anti-Christ. Did this have any effect with the efforts of the socialist? “Based on an apocalyptic mind-set and on reasoning unchanged from the days of the schism, the rumors confounded the activities of the 25,000ers at every step”.5)
How far the revolution deviated from Marx thinking on socialism based on the actions during this time. Individuals forced to accept socialism. Should not have they simply drawn to it as far better than their current situation? Obvious class distinctions among even the peasants and those sent to begin the collectivization of farms goes completely against Marxism. Actively stamping out religion, something that would just eventually go away on its own according to Marx due to the fact socialism is the solution to what religion fulfills in the masses.
- Stalin, J. V., Dizzy With Success) Pravda no. 60, 1930, p. 485 [↩]
- Stalin, J. V., Dizzy With Success) Pravda no. 60, 1930, p. 488 [↩]
- Daniels, Robert V., ed. The Stalin Revolution: Foundations of the Totalitarian Era.) Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1997, p. 112 [↩]
- Stalin, J. V., Dizzy With Success) Pravda no. 60, 1930, p. 490 [↩]
- Daniels, Robert V., ed. The Stalin Revolution: Foundations of the Totalitarian Era.) Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1997, p. 119 [↩]