MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE



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Kulak rumors and indoctrination

Kulak authority was based to a great extent on the cultural backwardness, illiteracy, superstition and medieval religious beliefs of the majority of peasants. Hence, the kulak's most powerful weapon, also the most difficult to confront, was rumor and indoctrination.

In 1928--1929, identical rumors were found throughout the Soviet territory. In the kolkhoz, women and children would be collectivized. In the kolkhoz, everyone would sleep under a single gigantic blanket. The Bolshevik government would force women to cut their hair so that it could be exported. The Bolsheviks would mark women on the forehead for identification. They would Russify local populations.

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Viola,  op. cit. , p. 154.

All sorts of other terrifying `information' was heard. In the kolkhozy, a special machine would burn the old so that they would not eat any more wheat. Children would be taken away from their parents and sent to crèches. Four thousand women would be sent to China to pay for the Chinese Eastern Railway. The kolkhozians would be the first ones sent in a war. Then a rumor announced that soon the White Armies would return. Believers were told about the next coming of the Anti-Christ and that the world would end in two years.

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Viola,  op. cit. , p. 154. Davies,  op. cit. , pp. 212--213.

In the Tambov okrug, the kulaks carefully mixed rumor and political propaganda. They said that

`(S)etting up the kolkhozy is a kind of serf labour (barshchina) where the peasant will again have to work under the rod ...; the Soviet government should enrich the peasants first and then push through the establishment of kolkhozy, and not do what it is doing now, which is to try to make a rich farm out of ruined farms which have no grain.'

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Davies,  op. cit. , p. 221.

Here we see the budding alliance between the kulaks and Bukharin:  the kulaks did not openly oppose Soviet power nor even the kolkhozy: but, the peasants should first be allowed to enrich themselves, and we can always see later about collectivization. Just as Bukharin  spoke of the `feudal exploitation of the peasantry', the kulaks denounced `serfdom'.



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Next: What should be Up: `Dekulakization' Previous: `Dekulakization'



Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995