next up previous contents index
Next: The kolkhozy surpass Up: The first wave Previous: The first wave

The kulak

The bourgeoisie has always maintained that the Soviet collectivization `destroyed the dynamic forces in the countryside' and caused a permanent stagnation of agriculture. It describes the kulaks as individual `dynamic and entrepeneurial' peasants. This is nothing but an ideological fable destined to tarnish socialism and glorify exploitation. To understand the class struggle that took place in the USSR, it is necessary to try to have a more realistic image of the Russian kulak.

At the end of the nineteenth century, a specialist on Russian peasant life wrote as follows:

`Every village commune has always three or four regular kulaks, as also some half dozen smaller fry of the same kidney .... They want neither skill nor industry; only promptitude to turn to their own profit the needs, the sorrows, the sufferings and the misfortunes of others.

`The distinctive characteristic of this class ... is the hard, unflinching cruelty of a thoroughly educated man who has made his way from poverty to wealth, and has come to consider money-making, by whatever means, as the only pursuit to which a rational being should devote himself.'


Stepniak,  quoted in Webb,   op. cit. , pp. 563--564.

And É. J. Dillon,  from the U.S., who had a profound knowledge of old Russia, wrote:

`And of all the human monsters I have ever met in my travels, I cannot recall so malignant and odious as the Russian kulak.'


Dillon,  quoted in Webb,   op. cit. , p. 565.

Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995