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Towards confrontation

To accrue sufficient assets for industrialization, the State had paid a relatively low price for wheat since the beginning of the twenties.

In the fall of 1924, after a quite meager harvest, the State did not succeed in buying the grain at a fixed rate. The kulaks and private merchants bought the grain on the open market, speculating on a price hike in the spring and summer.

In May 1925, the State had to double its buying prices of December 1924. That year, the USSR had a good harvest. Industrial development in the cities increased the demand for grain. Buying prices paid by the State remained high from October to December 1925. But since there was a lack of light machinery products, the better-off peasants refused to sell their wheat. The State was forced to capitulate, abandoning its plans for grain exports, reducing industrial equipment imports and reducing industrial credit.


Davies,  op. cit. , pp. 29--30.

These were the first signs of a grave crisis and of a confrontation between social classes.

In 1926, the grain harvest reached 76.8 million tonnes, compared to 72.5 the previous year. The State bought grain at a lower price than in 1925.


Ibid. , pp. 31, 419.

In 1927, the grain harvest fell to the 1925 level. In the cities, the situation was hardly positive. Unemployment was high and increased with the arrival of ruined peasants. The differences between worker and technician salaries increased. Private merchants, who still controlled half the meat sold in the city, blatantly enriched themselves. The Soviet Union was once again threatened with war, after London's decision to break diplomatic ties with Moscow.

Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995