MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE



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Weakness of the party in the countryside

It must be understood that at the beginning of socialist construction, the Bolshevik Party had little hold on the countryside.

In 1917, there were, in the whole of the USSR, 16,700 Bolshevik peasants. During the next four years of Civil War, a large number of young peasants were admitted into the Party to lead the peasant masses. In 1921, there were 185,300. But they were mostly sons of peasants who had enlisted in the Red Army. Once peace prevailed, the political ideas of these young fighters had to be checked. Lenin  organized the first verification purge, as a necessary extension of the first massive recruitment campaign. It had to be determined who corresponded to the minimal definition of a Communist. Of 200,000 peasants, 44.7 per cent were excluded.

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Ibid. , p. 13.

On October 1, 1928, of 1,360,000 party members or candidate members, 198,000 (14.5 per cent) were peasants or agricultural workers by present occupation.

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Davies,  op. cit. , p. 51.

In the countryside, there was one Party member for every 420 inhabitants, and 20,700 Party cells, one for every four villages. This small figure takes on real significance when it is compared to the `cadres' of Tsarist reaction, the Orthodox pops and other religious members at that time, as they numbered 60,000!

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Ibid. , p. 54.

The rural youth formed the greatest reserve of the Party. In 1928, there were a million young peasants in Komsomol.

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Ibid. , p. 52.

The soldiers who had served in the Red Army during the Civil War and the 180,000 sons of peasants who, each year, entered the army, where they received a Communist education, were in general supporters of the régime.

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Ibid. , p. 53.



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Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995