Peasantry and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat (Part 3: Betrayal)

“We Kolkhozniks by means of full collectivisation will liquidate kulaks as a class”

…some comrades draw the conclusion that the Party’s main task is to foment class struggle [in the countryside]. That is wrong. That is idle talk. That is not our main task now. That is a rehash of the old Menshevik songs taken from the old Menshevik encyclopedia… To foment class struggle in the countryside is not by any means the main task at present…

a) we need the alliance of the workers and the peasants not in order to preserve the peasantry as a class, but to transform and remould it in a way that will contribute to the victory of socialist construction;

b) the Soviet government’s policy of strengthening this alliance is designed not to perpetuate, but to abolish classes, to hasten the tempo of their abolition.

Today the Soviet system rests upon two heterogeneous foundations: upon united socialised industry and upon individual small-peasant economy based on private ownership of the means of production. Can the Soviet system persist for long on these heterogeneous foundations? No, it cannot.

…overlooks… a fierce class struggle, a life-and-death struggle, a struggle on the principle of “who will beat whom?”

At that time the policy of not permitting dekulakisation was necessary and correct. But now? Now things are different. Now we are able to carry on a determined offensive against the kulaks, break their resistance, eliminate them as a class and replace their output by the output of the collective farms and state farms.

Millions would flee collective farms when given the opportunity

The battlelines remain the same: rural masses who are resisting passively yet effectively; party and government more determined than ever to resolve the situation… Peasants have not confronted the army, resolute and armed to the teeth, with any army of their own, not even in the form of the armed bands and brigandage that usually go hand-in-hand with serfs’ uprisings. Perhaps this is where the peasants’ real power lies or, shall we say, is the reason for their adversaries’ lack of success. The exceptionally powerful and well-armed Soviet apparatus is quite at a loss to find any solution or victory in one or more open battles: the enemy does not congregate, is widely dispersed, and battles are sought and provoked to no avail, all have to run their course in an interminable series of tiny, even trivial operations: an unhoed field here, some hidden quintals of grain there…

Collective farms brought rural farming under the eye of the state

Semiotically, we cannot understand this modernist vision of agriculture as an isolated ideological fragment. It is always seen as the negation of the existing rural world. A kolkhoz is meant to replace a mir or village, machines to replace horse-drawn plows and hand labor, proletarian workers to replace peasants, scientific agriculture to replace folk tradition and superstition, education to replace ignorance and malokulturnyi, and abundance to replace bare subsistence. Collectivization was meant to spell the end of the peasantry and its way of life.

Massive industrialised and mono-cultural farms worked by wage labourers were good for the State and marked the end of the peasantry as a class

What is happening, for example, with this year’s grain procurements, is an absolutely fantastic, stunning victory, a victory of Stalinism.



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