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The Central Committee called on 25,000 experienced industrial workers from
the large factories to go to the countryside and to help out with
collectivization. More than 70,000 presented themselves and 28,000 were
selected: political militants, youth who had fought in the Civil War,
Party and Komsomol members.
These workers were conscious of the leading rôle of the working class
in the socialist transformations in the countryside.
`(They) looked to the Stalin revolution for the final victory of socialism
after years of war, hardship, and deprivation .... They saw the
revolution as a solution to backwardness, seemingly endemic food shortages,
and capitalist encirclement.'
, p. 211.
Before leaving, it was explained to them that they were the eyes and the
ears of the Central Committee: thanks to their physical presence on the
front lines, the leadership hoped to acquire a materialist understanding
of the upheavals in the countryside and the problems of
collectivization. They were also told to discuss with the peasants
their organizational experience, acquired as industrial workers, since
the old tradition of individual work constituted a serious handicap for
the collective use of the land. Finally, they were told that they would
have to judge the Communist quality of the Party functionaries and, if
necessary, purge the Party of foreign and undesirable elements.
It was during the month of January 1930 that the 25,000 arrived on the
front line of collectivization. The detailed analysis of their
activities and of the rôle that they played can give a realistic idea
of the collectivization, that great revolutionary class struggle. These
workers maintained regular correspondence with their factories and their
unions; these letters give a precise idea of what was happening in the
Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995