MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE



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The 25,000 and the organization of agricultural production

But the essential contribution of the 25,000 in the countryside was the introduction of a completely new system of production management, way of life and style of work.

The poor peasants, on the frontline for collectivization, did not have the slightest idea about the organization of collective production. They hated their exploitation and, for that reason, were solid allies of the working class. But as individual producers, they could not create a new mode of production: this is one of the reasons that the dictatorship of the proletariat was necessary. The dictatorship of the proletariat expressed itself through the ideological and organizational leadership of the working class and of the Communist Party over the poor and middle peasants.

The workers introduced regular work days, with morning roll call. They invented systems of payment by piecework and wage levels. Everywhere, they had to introduce order and discipline. Often, a kolkhoz did not even know its borders. There was no inventory of machinery, tools or spare parts. Machines were not maintained, there were no stables, nor fodder reserves. The workers introduced production conferences where the kolkhozians exchanged practical knowledge, they organized Socialist Competition between different brigades, and they set up workers' tribunals where violations of rules and negligence were judged.

The 25,000 workers were also the living link between the proletariat and the kolkhozian peasantry. At the request of `their' worker, large factories would send agricultural equipment, spare parts, generators, books, newspapers and other items impossible to find in the countryside. Worker brigades came from the city to do certain technical or reparatory tasks or to help with the harvest.

The worker also became schoolmaster. He taught technical knowledge. Often, he had to accomplish accounting tasks while training, on the job, new accountants. He gave elementary political and agricultural courses. Sometimes he looked after literacy campaigns.

The contribution of the 25,000 to collectivization was enormous. During the twenties, `Poverty, illiteracy and a chronic predisposition to periodic famine characterized much of the rural landscape'.

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Ibid. , p. 172.

The 25,000 helped elaborate the organizational structures of socialist agriculture for the next quarter century to come. `(A) new system of agricultural production was indeed established, and this, although not without its problems, did end the periodic crises which characterized earlier market relations between the cities and the countryside'.

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Ibid. , p. 216.



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Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995