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CHAPTER XXVII : THE MATERIAL PRODUCTION BASIS OF SOCIALISM
Main Features of the Material Production Basis of Socialism
The material production basis of socialism is large-scale machine production in all branches of the national economy. This is based on the highest technique and the labour of workers who have been freed from exploitation.
Socialist production is integrated by social ownership of the means of production, and develops in a planned way in the interests of the whole of society. Its development does not encounter those obstacles which are caused by private ownership of the means of production.
Socialist production is the largest and most concentrated production. Under socialism, large-scale production has undivided predominance in agriculture as well as in industry, whereas under capitalism small-scale individual peasant farmers are numerically predominant in agriculture. Socialism is free from the contradictions and restrictions in the application of machine techniques which are characteristic of capitalism.
In bourgeois society machinery is an instrument of exploitation and is only introduced when it increases the profits of the capitalists by means of economies in the wage bill. In socialist society machinery is used wherever it brings about a saving of labour for society, lightens the labour of the workers and peasants, and promotes an increase in the welfare of the people. In socialist society there is no unemployment, consequently machines cannot be the rival of the working people. Hence the working people eagerly welcome the use of machines in industry.
As a result of the elimination of private ownership of the means of production, all the achievements of modern science and technique become, under socialism, the property of the whole of society. In seeking to satisfy the constantly growing needs of the mass of the people, socialist production requires uninterrupted development and perfection of techniques; old techniques must be replaced by new, and they in turn by newer ones. Hence the necessity for systematic work to produce, master and introduce into industry new machinery, mechanisms, appliances and apparatus, new types of material and advanced technology. The Socialist State, which concentrates in its hands the basic means of production and accumulation, can make large-scale capital investments in the national economy to ensure uninterrupted technical progress, and can carry out capital construction on a large scale and at a speed which is not possible for capitalism.
Socialism ensures the systematic introduction of modern machine techniques in all branches of production, including agriculture.
In socialist society the position of the workers in production is fundamentally changed. Freed from exploitation, the labour of the workers, the collective farmers and the intelligentsia is the very foundation of socialist society. The working people work for themselves, for society, and not for the exploiters. They are therefore profoundly interested in perfecting production, using the highest techniques and most efficiently utilising existing techniques. At the same time socialism brings about a constant and rapid rise of the general cultural level and technical skill of the workers. All this gives rise to the creative activity of the working people in developing production, perfecting techniques and improving technology and the organisation of labour.
In contrast to capitalism, socialism secures the uninterrupted and rapid growth of the productive forces.
Socialist industry is a highly concentrated and technically advanced industry, organised on the basis of social ownership. It plays a leading role in the national economy, equipping all sectors of the economy with modern techniques. This is achieved by the more rapid growth of the branches producing the means of production, and a high level of development of the engineering industry. Heavy industry is the comer-stone of socialist economy. Industry plays a major role in securing the growth of national consumption. The light and food industries, equipped with modem techniques, increase the output of goods for the population from year to year.
The basic productive stocks of industry in the U.S.S.R. had grown to more than double the 1940 level by 1954, and to 24 times the 1913 level. Gross production of large-scale industry in 1954 had increased (in comparable prices) 35-fold compared to 1913. Compared with 1940, total industrial production had increased more than 2.8-fold by 1954, and nearly 4fold in the engineering and metal-working industry. Production of various major branches of heavy industry had risen between 1913 and 1954 in the following way: coal from 29 million tons to 347 million tons, oil from 9 million tons to 59.3 million tons, steel from 4,200,000 tons to 41,400,000 tons, cement from 1/ million tons to 19 million tons, electricity output from 1.9 milliard kW/hrs. to 149 milliard kW/hrs.
Socialist industry is the most concentrated industry, in the world. Under socialism, concentration of production is carried out in a planned way, and is accompanied by a general advance of the national economy in the interests of the whole of society. Under capitalism, on the contrary, concentration takes place unplanned, and is accompanied by the ruin and destruction of small-scale and middling enterprises and by the establishment of the domination of monopolies.
“We are a land of the most concentrated industry. This means that we can build our industry on the basis of the best technique and thereby secure an unprecedented productivity of labour, an unprecedented rate of accumulation. (Stalin, “The Tasks of Business Executives, Works, English edition, 1954, vol. XIII, pp. 35-6.)
In the conditions of socialism the combination of production is extensively developed. This enables raw materials and fuel supplies to be more fully utilised, reduces transport overheads and speeds up the production process.
In 1940, 71 per cent of all workers, and 84 per cent of all output in the industry of the U.S.S.R., were concentrated in enterprises with an annual output exceeding 5 million roubles in value (m fixed 1926-7 prices). By 1954, these figures had risen to 80 percent of all workers and 92 per cent of all industrial output.
Comparing data on the concentration of industry in the U.S.S.R. and in the U.S.A. (for the sake of comparison, the classification according to the numbers of manual and clerical workers is taken in both cases) it will be seen that in the manufacturing industries of the U.S.S.R. in 1954, 64 per cent of all workers and 72 per cent of all industrial output were concentrated in enterprises employing more than 1,000 workers; in the manufacturing industries of the U.S.A. in 1952, 33 per cent of workers and about 36 per cent of industrial output were concentrated in similar enterprises.
Owing to the fact that social ownership of the means of production prevails in socialist society, especially favourable conditions have been created for the application of specialisation and co-operation of industry.
Specialisation of industrial production is the concentration of enterprises on a particular type of product, on separate parts and components or on separate operations in the manufacture of a product. Specialisation reflects the planned utilisation by society of the advantages of the division of labour between different enterprises. It enables highly productive equipment to be introduced as well as standardisation and mass production methods, which secure a considerable rise in the productivity of labour.
The co-operation of industrial enterprises under socialism is the planned establishment of permanent productive connections between enterprises which participate jointly in the manufacture of a given product, but are economically independent of one another. Co-operation of enterprises within the limits. of the same economic region, which avoids long transport hauls, is of great importance. Planned co-operation of enterprises is an important factor in the growth of productivity of social labour. Socialist society sets itself the task of extensively applying specialisation and co-operation as the most expedient forms of the organisation of production.
The development of industry and its technical re-equipment are accompanied by an increase in the numbers of the working class and a rise of the cultural and technical level of the workers. The introduction of new techniques increases the numbers and proportion of skilled workers and decreases the numbers and proportion of unskilled, manual workers. The number of engineering and technical workers is constantly on the increase. In the U.S.S.R., a powerful and technically advanced transport system has come into existence. As defined by Marx, transport is the fourth branch of material production (after the extractive industries, manufacturing industries and agriculture). It unites all branches of the national economy and the economic regions of the country, playing an important role in the production process and in the distribution of material wealth.
The function of transport increases in a planned socialist economy, developing at a high rate and characterised by its many-sided links with different branches of production and economic regions. In outlining the function of the railways, Lenin pointed out that they are, “one of the manifestations of the very dear link between town and country, between industry and agriculture, on which socialism is wholly based". (Lenin, “Closing remarks in the debate on. the Report on Immediate Tasks", April 29, 1918, Works, Russian edition, vol. XXVII, p. 277.)
The concentration of all forms of transport (rail, water, road and air) in the hands of society, has eliminated competition between the various forms of transport which is characteristic of capitalism. It has opened the way to the planned co-ordination of their work. A unified transport system, on a countrywide scale, has been created in the US.S.R. combining and planning all forms of transport.
The unified transport system under socialism is built on the basis of advanced transport technique: general introduction of the latest types of high-capacity rolling-stock, mechanisation of loading and unloading operations, perfection of the permanent way, etc.
The basic productive stocks of transport in the U.S.S.R. had increased 7-fold by 1954 compared with 1913. Freight turnover of all forms of transport had increased almost 9-fold, and rail-freight turnover 13-fold, by 1954 compared with 1913.
The socialisation of the formerly scattered peasant economy, and the setting-up of collective and State farms, made possible the widespread use of machinery and the introduction of advanced agricultural technique: it created the conditions for a big increase in agricultural production.
Socialist agriculture in the U.S.S.R. is based on social ownership and is the largest in the world and highly mechanised. It consists of agricultural enterprises—collective farms, machine and tractor stations and State farms.
The size of collective farms has been greatly increased as a result of the amalgamation carried out in 1950-1 by decision of general meetings of the collective farmers. On January I, 1955, the country had 89,000 collective farms, instead of the 254,000 existing on January I, 1950. Whereas before the amalgamation each collective farm had an average of 1,470 acres of plough land, at the beginning of 1955 each had 4,870 acres of ploughland.
The machine and tractor stations have provided the collective farms with the material and technical basis of large-scale machine production. The Soviet State has created a complex system of machine and tractor stations in the grain, flax, cotton, sugar-beet and market gardening areas. Special machine and cattle-breeding stations have been set up for the mechanisation of arduous work in cattle-breeding, and meadow amelioration stations for the mechanisation of land drainage and improvement of meadows and pastures. The first electrified machine and tractor stations have been set up, which use electricity on a large scale in collective farming. All M.T.S., depending on the type of production of the collective farm, have appropriate agricultural machinery and qualified specialist personnel. On January I, 1955, there were about 9,000 M.T.S. and other specialised stations in the U.S.S.R., servicing the collective farms and providing a high level of mechanisation of agricultural production.
In the agriculture of the U.S.S.R. an important role is played by large State enterprises—the State farms, which are equipped with the latest techniques. On January I, 1955, there were more than 5,000 State farms— grain-growing, livestock (meat and dairy, pig, sheep, poultry and horse farms), cotton-growing and other types of farms.
Socialist industry has equipped agriculture with advanced techniques. To meet the peculiarities of agriculture there has been brought into being on the basis of tractor-power a wide range of machinery for carrying out the main agricultural operations for a series of major crops: ploughing, sowing, row-tillage and harvesting.
On July 1, 1955, there were in Soviet agriculture more than 1,400,000 tractors (in terms of 15 h.p. units), 350,000 grain harvesters, more than 450,000 lorries and many other agricultural machines. The mechanisation of agricultural operations had as a consequence increased.
The introduction of machinery has fundamentally altered the structure of power resources in agriculture. In 1916 draught cattle accounted for 99.2 per cent, and mechanical power only 0.8 per cent of all power resources in agriculture. In 1940 draught cattle accounted for 22 per cent and mechanical power 78 per cent of power resources; while by the beginning of 1955, they accounted for 7 per cent and 93 per cent respectively (including tractors 33 per cent, lorries 39 per cent; combine motors 15 per cent, electricity plant 4 per cent and other forms of motive power IO per cent).
The socialist transformation of agriculture has eliminated the primitive, centuries-old, three-field system and has made possible the application of new, most advanced systems in agriculture. The main features of these systems are the general introduction of the latest techniques and the achievements of agronomy, correct crop rotations with the widespread cultivation of fodder, vegetable and technical crops, the use of artificial and organic fertilisers, irrigation of dry regions, draining of marshes, etc.
The proper operation of socialist agriculture presupposes a definite specialisation of agricultural enterprises. Specialisation of socialist agricultural enterprises takes the form of planned selection for each enterprise, depending on the natural and economic peculiarities of a particular district or zone, of the main branches of production, and together with them the development of supplementary branches. Thus specialisation does not reject, it presupposes the development of mixed farming with proper combination of the main and supplementary branches. Such farming makes possible the most productive use of land and labour-power.
Alongside the enlargement of the scale and the technical re-equipment of agriculture, there takes place the training of new cadres of agricultural workers who have mastered modern advanced techniques and agronomic science. In the U.S.S.R. agronomic scientific achievements have become the property of the broad masses of the peasantry for the first time in history. The mass introduction of new techniques has called into being new categories of workers in mechanised agriculture: tractor and combine operators, drivers, mechanics, operators of threshers, flax-pullers, cotton harvesters and other machines. The collective farm system has produced numerous skilled directors and organisers of production-collective farm chairmen, team leaders, agronomists and livestock specialists, heads of farm sections and others.
Methods of Technical Progress in a Socialist Economy
The main directions of technical progress in a socialist economy are: the perfecting of instruments of production and technological processes, mechanisation and automation of labour processes, electrification of the national economy and widespread use of chemicals in production, and the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes.
Under socialism mechanisation of labour processes plays a tremendous role in technical progress.
The basis of technical progress lies in improving the instruments of production in such a way as to raise the productivity of machinery, making it work more economically and reliably, lengthen its useful life, increase the automation of controls, and lower the expenditure of metal and other materials in the production of the machines. Improving the instruments of production is inseparably connected with improving the technological processes, methods of processing and utilising raw and other materials, the introduction of new types of raw and other materials, the application of high and very high speeds, pressures and temperatures.
Socialism offers wide opportunities for constantly improving the instruments of production and technological processes. The development of the material and industrial basis of socialism is impossible without a determined struggle against technical hitches and routinism; it requires the speedy, wide-scale introduction into industry of all the achievements of Soviet and foreign advanced science and techniques.
During the years of Soviet Power an extensive network of scientific research institutes and designing organisations has been established, and workers’ inventions and the mass movement of innovators in production have been given wide support.
Soviet technologists are successfully solving a series of new technical problems in the field of designing new machinery and mechanisms for all branches of industry. Soviet designers have created, for instance, such machines as mining combines, numerous agricultural machines (potato-planting and potato-lifting machines flax-picking combines, beet-lifting combines), new types of modern machinery in the field of energetics, powerful building mechanisms, several new types of metal-cutting lathes and so on.
An important factor in technical progress is the utmost utilisation of the scientific and technical achievements of foreign countries. In a number of cases the machinery that is made in Soviet enterprises is not up to the standard of the foreign types produced abroad. The advantages of the socialist system provide every opportunity for accelerating technical progress, for overcoming the backwardness that exists in some sectors of industry, so as to surpass the scientific and technical achievements in the capitalist countries as quickly as possible.
Mechanisation is the replacement of manual labour by labour effected with the aid of machinery. The consistent mechanisation of labour operations is an economic necessity under socialism. The uninterrupted and rapid growth of socialist production is possible only by means of the constant perfecting of techniques and the all-round mechanisation of labour processes. Mechanisation of the main and most arduous production processes is being consistently carried out in all branches of the national economy in the U.S.S.R.
In the industry of the U.S.S.R. mechanisation has reached a high level. In the coal industry, where heavy manual labour was the universal rule before the revolution, mechanisation on the basis of general introduction of coal-cutters, electrical means of transport and loading devices, amounted already in 1940 to 94.8 per cent for cutting and stripping operations, 90.4 per cent for conveying operations, 58.4 per cent for hauling operations, and 86.5 per cent for loading into rail wagons. In the post-war years the mechanisation of cutting, stripping and conveying, as well as of underground transport and loading into rail wagons, has been fully completed. Great successes have also been achieved in mechanising other branches. Thus, for example, in the construction of hydro-electric stations such outstanding achievements of Soviet technology as the new powerful excavators, bulldozers, earth-diggers and other machines are being used. The 494 cubic-foot walking excavator of the Urals Machinery Works can scoop up more than 88 million cubic feet of earth a year, replacing the physical labour of 7,000 workers.
By 1954 autumn and spring ploughing operations in the collective farms had been almost completely mechanised; winter sowings 95 per cent, spring sowings 88 per cent. Sowings of cotton, sugar-beet and other industrial crops had been almost fully mechanised. Over 40 per cent of the area in the collective farms sown to potatoes was planted by the machine and tractor stations. Of all the grain crops 82 per cent was harvested by combines of the sunflower crop—3 percent. The mechanisation of the main field work on the collective farms is almost complete. In the State farms the most important agricultural work is performed in the main by machinery. However, the existing achievements in the field of mechanisation of agriculture are not sufficient from the viewpoint of satisfying society’s growing requirements for agricultural produce. The expenditure of human labour per unit of output in collective and State farms is still high. There is a need for further wide development of mechanisation in cattle-breeding, vegetable cultivation, horticulture, transporting, loading and unloading of agricultural products, irrigation works and drainage of marsh lands.
In socialist economy, complex mechanisation is being constantly extended. Complex mechanisation means mechanisation of all the stages of the production process which are connected with each other, including both the main and also the auxiliary stages, and is based on a system of mutually complementary machines. It eliminates interruptions in the chain of mechanisation of production. As a result of complex mechanisation a system of machinery covering the whole production process comes into being.
The highest stage of mechanisation is the automation of production, which is the use of self-regulating automatic machines. Closely connected with automation is the system to telemechanics, which is the remote management and control of the working of machines. Where the entire complex of machinery covering a production process as a whole is self-regulated, there is an automatic system if machinery. An automatic system of machinery carries out all the production processes required for the working up of raw material into the finished product, without direct human interference, and only requires supervision by the worker.
During the post-war years definite successes in regard to automation of production processes have been achieved in a number of branches of industry in the U.S.S.R. In the enterprises of the ferrous metallurgical industry of the U.S.S.R., 95 per cent of all pig-iron is smelted in blast-furnaces with automatic regulation of the heat blast and about 90 per cent of all open-hearth steel is smelted in furnaces equipped with automatic thermal regulation. In heavy metallurgy, automation of blast and open-hearth furnaces has increased their productivity 7-10 per cent and brought about a 6 per cent reduction in fuel consumption. In the engineering industry the stock of automatic and semi-automatic metal-working lathes, automatic forge pressers and also automatically-controlled gauging instruments increases year by year. The use of automatic equipment in the chemical, paper, oil-refining and other industries is increasing. Automatic systems of machinery in the U.S.S.R. take the form of automatised lines of machine tools and other mechanisms and of completely automatised enterprises.
The wide use of mechanisation in socialist economy is the basis for the rapid growth in labour productivity and increasingly reduces the gap between physical and mental labour.
Reconstruction of all branches of the economy on the basis of large-scale machine production and the systematic mechanisation of the productive processes is closely bound up with electrification. Electricity is the technical basis of modern large-scale production.
Socialism ensures the planned introduction of electricity into all sectors of the national economy. Electrification under socialism is characterised in the first place by centralisation of electric power output and concentration of capacity in large electricity stations, and by rapid development of high-voltage electric transmission lines combining separate stations into powerful regional or interregional systems, with the perspective of a unified high voltage net-work covering the entire country; secondly, by widespread construction of hydroelectric stations and the systematic raising of their share in total electricity output (which is a most important means of improving the power balance of the country); thirdly, by thermal power stations for large towns and industrial centres.
Electrification of industry changes the appearance of factories and mills. Instead of a central generator with a complex transmission system, individual electric drive has been introduced into almost all enterprises. Electrification of the working machinery provides the power basis for complex: mechanisation and automation. With the application of electricity, new branches of industry have sprung up—electro-metallurgy of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, electrochemistry and also new methods of metal-working.
The construction of powerful hydro-electric stations on the Volga, Dnieper, Don, Kama, Angara, Irtysh, Ob and other rivers which has been undertaken in the fifth Five-Year Plan is of great importance for the further electrification of the U.S.S.R. Some of these schemes are the largest in the world. Their construction is making possible the complex solution of the problem of obtaining cheap electric power on an enormous scale of the widespread development of electrification in agriculture and transport, of the creation of new industries depending on electric power, improvement of navigation, etc.
In the four years of the fifth Five-Year Plan, powerful hydro-electric stations, equipped with the very latest techniques, began to operate: Tsimlyansk, with a capacity of 164,000 kilowatts, Gyumush—224,000 kilowatts, Upper Svir—160,000 kilowatts, Mingechaur—357,000 kilowatts, the first section (126,000 kilowatts) of the Kam, whose total capacity will be 500,000 kilowatts, and others. In the same period large thermal electric stations began to operate: Mironovskaya with a capacity of 400,000 kilowatts, Slavyanskaya—200,000 kilowatts, Yuzhny Kuzbas—400,000 kilowatts, the first section (300,000 kilowatts) of Cherepetskaya, which is now being expanded to 600,000 kilowatts, and a number of others. The new Kuibyshev, Gorky, Kakhovka and other powerful hydro-electric stations were providing current for industry in 1955. The capacity of the hydro-electric stations under construction in the U.S.S.R. will be twice that of all the Soviet hydro-electric stations that were operating at the beginning of 1954.
In the post-war years there has been a process of introduction of electricity into agriculture. By the beginning of 1955 the capacity of rural power stations had increased 6-fold compared with 1940, and 40 per cent of all collective farms were using electric power. The mechanisation of threshing operations, as well as a number of production processes in livestock farming, is taking place in many collective and State farms, on the basis of electricity (preparation of fodders, water supply, milking, sheep-shearing, etc.).
The progress of modern, techniques is also reflected in the ever-growing development of chemistry and in the application of chemical methods of treating matter. Chemical methods imply the speeding up of production processes, the fullest utilisation of raw materials and the creation of new types of raw materials. The chemical industry in the U.S.S.R. has become a powerful factor in the technical development of the entire national economy. Modern chemical production is, as a rule, automatised. It is carried on uninterruptedly in closed apparatus, with automatic control and regulation and without direct human interference. Chemistry is a most important prerequisite for raising crop yields. The creation of an abundance of consumer goods is linked with the widespread use of chemicals in agriculture. The climax of the contemporary stage of technical development was the discovery of methods of obtaining and using atomic energy. The Soviet Union is the first country to utilise atomic energy for peaceful purposes. The U.S.S.R. was the first country in the world to operate an industrial electric station by means of atomic energy, with a useful capacity of 5,000 kilowatts.
The Location of Socialist Production
Under socialism a new location of production takes shape and, with it, a new system of communications between branches of production and regions of the country.
In bourgeois society competition and the hunt for profit lead to the unequal and irrational location of production. Industry is concentrated without plan in a small number of centres while vast territories, particularly the colonial regions, are condemned to industrial backwardness. Under socialism the location of industry takes place in a planned way for the purpose of raising the productivity of social labour, increasing the strength of the Socialist State and raising the living standards of the working people.
In locating socialist industry, the Soviet State bases itself on the following principles which are determined by the economic laws of socialism.
First, production to be sited as close as possible to the sources of raw materials and to the regions consuming industrial and agricultural output. In sketching out the basis for a plan for re-organising industry and for the general economic revival of the country, Lenin pointed out:
“This plan must include rational location of industry in Russia, from the point of view of the proximity of raw materials and the possibility of reducing wastage of labour to the limit in passing from the processing of the raw material, through all the subsequent stages of processing the semi-finished product, right up to the receipt of the finished product." (Lenin, “Draft Plan for Scientific and Technical Work", Works, Russian edition, vol. XXVII, p. 288.)
Location of production in this way makes possible the better utilisation of natural resources and the elimination of irrational hauls; it provides a considerable economy in labour for society as a whole, and accelerates the rate of growth of the national economy.
Secondly, the planned territorial division of labour between economic regions, combined with complex economic development within these regions, taking into account the natural conditions of each region and the economic expediency of producing particular industrial goods and agricultural products. The complex development of economic regions which takes into account the needs of each region for fuel, building materials, mass-produced products of light industry and foodstuffs, reduces abnormally long and other irrational hauls, and promotes the use of local raw material resources.
Thirdly, the planned location of industry throughout the territory of the country, securing the formation of new towns and industrial centres in formerly backward agrarian districts and thereby bringing agriculture and industry closer together. This helps to abolish the essential distinction between town and country.
Fourthly, the elimination of the real economic inequality of peoples and the rapid development of the economy of formerly backward national regions. This is the material foundation for strengthening the friendship and cooperation of the peoples.
Besides this, the location of socialist industry takes into account the interests of strengthening the defensive capacity of the Socialist State, which determines the need for a particularly rapid growth of numerous branches of industry in the interior of the country.
During the years of Soviet power much work was done to eliminate the unequal location of production inherited from capitalism.
The siting of industry close to raw material resources was reflected above all in the rapid development of the eastern regions of the country and the creation of new fuel and metallurgical bases, new centres of engineering and light industry, in the Urals, Western Siberia, Central Asia and Kazakhstan. The newly-created industrial areas have become economic and cultural centres, changing the whole character of these districts and regions. The creation of a powerful industrial base in the East was one of the most important factors in the victory of the Soviet Union in the great Patriotic War.
During the Patriotic War and post-war years, industry was still further developed in the eastern districts-the Volga region, the Urals, Siberia, the Far East, the Kazakh S.S.R. and the Union Republics of Central Asia.
In 1954 approximately one-third of the country’s entire industrial output was produced in these regions: more than 60 per cent of the total oil, over half the total steel and rolled metals, almost half the total coal and more than 40 per cent of the output of electrical power. While total industrial output in the U.S.S.R. had increased 2.8 times in 1954 compared with 1940, the total industrial output in the eastern areas had increased four times.
In the Uzbek Kazakh, Kirgiz, Turkmenian and Tadjik Soviet Republics, with population of less than 20 million, electric power output in 1954 was a little over four times as great as in the Eastern countries bordering on the U.S.S.R.—Turkey, Persia, Afghanistan and Pakistan combined, with a population of more than 130 million.
The development of socialist industry in a number of economic regions which formerly had no industry has meant that the old division between industrial and agrarian regions belongs essentially to the past. Important changes have taken place in the location of agricultural production in the U.S.S.R., testifying to the fact that the former one-sided specialisation of agriculture of pre-revolutionary Russia has been successfully eliminated. A powerful gram base has been created m the eastern regions of the U.S.S.R., agricultural crops have been pushed far to the north, and food producing areas have grown up around the towns and industrial centres.
In spite of the successes achieved, there are still serious shortcomings in the location of socialist industry. Thus, new enterprises are still not infrequently built m the old industrial areas without taking into account the supply of local raw materials and fuel for these enterprises. At the same time there is a serious lag in the development of industrial construction in the east of the country, particularly in Siberia, the Far East, Central Asia and Kazakhstan, where there are adequate resources of raw materials and power.
One of the most important factors in the further progress of socialist economy is the elimination of these shortcomings and the improvement of the location of industry.
Socialist location of production ensures the most effective utilisation of the natural wealth and labour resources of the country and makes it possible to raise the productivity of social labour, accelerate the growth of production and strengthen the economic might of the U.S.S.R.
(1) Large-scale machine production, embracing all branches of national economy and based on advanced technique and the labour of workers free from exploitation, is the material production basis of socialism. In socialist economy, machinery serves to economise and lighten the labour of workers and peasants and to raise the living standards of the people. Socialist industry in the US.S.R. is the most highly concentrated in the world, technically advanced and centralised on a country-wide scale. It serves as a basis for the development of all branches of the economy. Socialist agriculture is the largest in the world and highly mechanised.
(2) The material production basis of socialism rests on the latest achievements of modern advanced science and technique. Socialism eliminates inequalities in the use of machine techniques between different branches and processes of production which are natural to capitalism, and ensures the consistent application of new techniques in all branches of the national economy. The chief lines of development of technique under socialism are perfecting of the instruments of production and improvement of technological processes, mechanisation and automation of labour processes, electrification of the national economy, wide use of chemicals and the application of atomic energy for peaceful purposes.
(3) Socialism has secured the planned and rational location of production, siting it close to the sources of raw materials and consuming regions, has overcome the economic backwardness of the national regions and has brought industry and agriculture closer together. Socialist location of production makes possible the efficient utilisation of natural and labour resources, leads to enormous economies in the transport of raw materials and finished products, and is an important factor in accelerating the growth of socialist production and strengthening the defensive capacity of the country.