MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE



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Who controlled the market wheat?

The supply of market wheat had to be guaranteed to ensure that the rapidly expanding cities could be fed and that the country could be industrialized.

Since most of the peasants were no longer exploited by the landowners, they consumed a large part of their wheat. The sales on extra-rural markets were only 73.2 per cent of what they were in 1913.

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Ibid. , p. 17.

But the source of commercial grain had also undergone tremendous change. Before the revolution, 72 per cent of the grain had come from large exploitations (landowners and kulaks). In 1926, on the other hand, the poor and middle peasants produced 74 per cent of the market wheat. In fact, they consumed 89 per cent of their production, bringing only 11 per cent to market. The large socialist enterprises, the kolkhozy (collective farms) and the sovkhozy (state farms) only represented 1.7 per cent of the total wheat production and 6 per cent of the market wheat. But they sold 47.2 per cent of their production, almost half of their harvest.

In 1926, the kulaks, a rising force, controlled 20 per cent of the market wheat.

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Stalin, On the Grain Front. Leninism,  p. 59.

According to another statistic, in the European part of the USSR, the kulaks and the upper part of the middle peasants, i.e. about 10 to 11 per cent of families, made 56 per cent of the sales in 1927--1928.

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Davies,  op. cit. , p. 27.

In 1927, the balance of forces between the socialist economy and the capitalist economy could be summed up as follows: collectivized agriculture brought 0.57 million tonnes of wheat to market, the kulaks 2.13 million.

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Stalin, Problems of Agrarian Policy in the U.S.S.R. Leninism,  p. 155.

The social force controling the market wheat could dictate whether workers and city dwellers could eat, hence whether industrialization could take place. The resulting struggle became merciless.



next up previous contents index
Next: Towards confrontation Up: From rebuilding production Previous: New class differentiation



Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995