MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE



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Remarkable results

Despite the major upheavals provoked by collectivization, the 1930 harvest was excellent. Good climactic conditions had contributed, and these might have led the Party into under-estimating the difficulties still to come.

Grain production amounted to, depending on the figures, between 77.2 and 83.5 million tonnes, compared to 71.7 in 1929.

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Ibid. , p. 419.

Thanks to national planning, mechanized agriculture, particularly of cotton and beets, rose by 20 per cent. However, because of the slaughter of a large number of animals, animal production decreased from 5.68 million rubles to 4.40, a drop of 22 per cent.

In 1930, the entire collective sector (kolkhozy, sovkhozy and individual plots of kolkhozians) generated 28.4 per cent of the gross agricultural production, compared to 7.6 per cent the previous year.

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Ibid. , pp. 337--339.

Grain delivery to the cities increased from 7.47 million tonnes in 1929--1930 to 9.09 million in 1930--1931, i.e. 21.7 per cent. But, given the tremendous development of industry, the number of people receiving bread rations increased from 26 to 33 million, i.e. 27 per cent.

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Ibid. , pp. 360--361.

The consumption of agricultural products slightly decreased in the countryside, passing from 60.55 rubles per person in 1928, to 61.95 in 1929, and to 58.62 in 1930. But the consumption of industrial products passed from 28.29 rubles in 1928, to 32.30 the next year, and to 32.33 in 1930. The total consumption of the rural population evolved from an index of 100 in 1928, to 105.4 in 1929, and to 102.4 in 1930. The standard of living in the countryside therefore slightly increased, while it had decreased similarly in the city. The total consumption per person in the city evolved from 100 in 1928, to 97.6 in 1929, and to 97.5 the following year.

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Ibid. , pp. 369--370.

These figures contradict the accusations made by Bukharin  and the right wing, according to whom Stalin had organized `the feudal-bureaucratic exploitation' of the peasantry: the entire working population made enormous sacrifices to build socialism and to industrialize, and the sacrifices asked of the workers were often greater than the sacrifices asked of the peasants.

To feed the cities and succeed with the industrialization, the Soviet state followed a policy of extremely low prices for grain. But in 1930, peasant revenues considerably increased from sales on free markets and from seasonal work. As Davies  wrote:

`The state secured essential supplies of agricultural products at prices far below the market level. But, taking collections and market sales together, the prices received by the agricultural producer increased far more rapidly than the prices of industrial goods. The terms of trade turned in favour of agriculture.'

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Ibid. , p. 369.

`The centralized control of agricultural production seemed to have had some success in its primary aim of securing food supplies for the urban population and agricultural raw materials for industry.'

.

Ibid. , p. 371.



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Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995