Magnitogorsk: semi-realized city

Magnitogorsk_steel_production_facility_1930s

Magnitogorsk Steel Production Facility 1930, courtesy of wikicommons

 

The city of Magnitogorsk was founded as a center of industrialization, however even as it failed on many fronts it was a progressive center of industrialization. In the 1930’s the Soviet Union was in need of industry, and so the plan to create industrial cities was implemented. Detailed in the article Peopling Magnitostroi: The Politics of Demography by Stephen Kkotkin is the reasoning, creation and outcome of Magnitogorsk as both an industrial city and as a “factory for remaking people”.… Read the rest here

The Process of “Peopling” in Industrialization

Stephen Kotkin’s article Peopling Magnitostroi explores the industrialization period of the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, specifically regarding the newly built industrial city of Magnitostroi. Located in a remote area of the steppe, the soviet regime mobilized and recruited the masses to come and work at this factory center. The workers sent there – a mix of skilled workers, unskilled peasants or exiled kulaks, and seasonal workers, otkhodniki, were overall reluctant to go there, especially those sent there from other factories in the cities.… Read the rest here

The Psychopolitics of a Metallurgic Mecca: Social and Demographic Transformations

"For the Industrial Plan; for completing a five-year plan in only four; against religion" Yurij Pimenov, 1930 (http://en.doppiozero.com/materiali/interviste/putin-and-russian-spirit-interview-with-gian-piero-piretto)

“For the Industrial Plan; for completing a five-year plan in only four” Yurij Pimenov, 1930 (source)

The construction of the Magnetostroi, an envisioned beacon of industrial prowess and microcosm of the idealized egalitarian society, was an enormous undertaking by the Soviet government in the 1930s that engendered massive paradigmatic shifts in demographics, economics, and the relationship between central authority and the proletarian masses. The frequently irrational ambition of the Bolshevik government sparked a variety of obstacles that were often met with rather paradoxical schemes in an attempt to rapidly and efficiently allocate human resources.… Read the rest here

Power of the Masses: How Regional Government Organs Shaped Collectivization in the USSR

Though at first Stalin and the Central Committee argued that it was necessary to collectivize and mobilized the 25,000ers in order to promote controlled collectivization in the countryside, collectivization in rural areas often became controlled by local government organs. The 25,000ers themselves were not influential in these regions because these “rural offices” outnumbered them.1 Further, when members of the 25,000 attempted to provide feedback to the Central Committee’s Department of Agitation and Mass Campaigns regarding unclear government policies on the gathering of seeds for sowing , they were often rejected from the party.… Read the rest here

The slow grind of collectivization under a tractors tire.

Famine is a dire problem to every state of the world, no matter its size or power. All nations must take pause when they are confronted with the starvation of their people. Soviet Russia in the early 1930s was no different. Josef Stalin saw the problem of producing enough food to feed the massive country as one that the state could solve through collectivization and industrialization of farms. Like the revolutionaries before him Stalin found the way forward would be grounded in scientific knowledge and statistics.… Read the rest here

Problems with Collectivization

The goal of collectivization in the Soviet Union was to consolidate individual land and labors into collective farms. Stalin stated collectivization was politically necessary, Stalin also stated that collectivization needed to be gradual and voluntary, two things it was not. The landless peasants were meant to benefit the most form collectivization, since they were to be given an equal share of the profits. The problem was most peasants were not landless and they did not want to have to give up their lands and sell their harvest at the minimal price, and most peasants were forced into collectivization against their will.… Read the rest here

Collectivization: No.

In Stalin’s drive for collectivization, we see the difference between “intent” and “reality”. Stalin put too much faith in workers, the proletariat, to successfully carry out collectivization. Although Stalin at first labeled collectivization as a political necessity that must be brought about gradually, the actual process was anything but gradual. What was meant to be a revolution built from the ground up incurred little more than destruction, and was wholly brought about from the top to the bottom, which is the exact opposite of Marxist ideology.… Read the rest here

Is Collectivization Possible?

Collectivization was initially meant to be a revolution that would modernize and stabilize agriculture while simultaneously result in the destruction of the old order. However, these grand goals were never quite achieved, but why? Was the plan for collectivization just pushed onto an unprepared population to fast and to soon? Stalin laid out a persuasive argument as to why collectivization was a political necessity. Between the growing danger of the kulaks, the need for a stable grain procurement to avoid breakdown in the relations of the working class, and the need to maintain high industrialization the message of immediacy for this change toward collectivization was sent throughout the country.… Read the rest here

Collectivization as a Revolution at what Costs?

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.… Read the rest here

The Realities of Collectivization

In 1928, Joseph Stalin addressed the need for collectivization of grain farms and the procurement of grain from villages throughout the Soviet countryside. His speech, “Grain Procurements and Prospects for Development of Agriculture,” attacks villages throughout Siberia who refused to relinquish their surplus grain to the State. He cites the grain shortage occurring throughout the country, and states, “The effect will be that our towns and industrial centres, as well as our Red Army, will be in grave difficulties; they will be poorly supplied and will be threatened with hunger.… Read the rest here