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Stalin- Transcripts from Soviet Archives
From the speech of JV Stalin at the first congress of collective farmers‐shock workers. 19 February 1933
A source: The tragedy of the Soviet village. Collectivization and dispossession. Documents and materials Volume 3. End of 1930 ‐ 1933. Moscow ROSSPEN 2000. Pp. 705‐706
Archive: Stalin I.V. Op. T. 13.S. 243, 245‐247, 251‐252.
... They say that the path of the collective farms is the correct path, but it is difficult. This is only partly true. Of course, there are difficulties along the way. A good life doesnʹt come for free. But the fact is that the main difficulties have already been overcome, and the difficulties that are facing you are not even worth talking about seriously. In any case, in comparison with the difficulties experienced by the workers 10‐15 years ago, your present difficulties, collective farmer comrades, seem like a childʹs play.
... What have we achieved on the new path, on our collective farm path, and what do we think to achieve in the next 2 ‐ 3 years? ..
... We have achieved that we have helped the millions of poor people to enter the collective farms. We have achieved that by entering the collective farms and using there the best land and the best implements of production, the millions of the poor have risen to the level of the middle peasants. We have achieved that the millions of the poor, who used to live from hand to mouth, have now become middle peasants on collective farms, become well‐to‐do people. We succeeded in undermining the stratification of the peasants into poor peasants and kulaks, defeated the kulaks and could the poor peasants become masters of their labor within the collective farms, become middle peasants ...
... By deploying collective farm construction, we achieved that we destroyed this mess and injustice, broke the kulak bondage, all this mass of the poor was drawn into collective farms, gave them a secure existence there and raised them to the level of middle peasants who could use collective farmland, benefits collective farms, tractors, agricultural machines.
What does it mean? This means that at least 20 million of the peasant population, at least 20 million of the poor, were saved from poverty and ruin, saved from kulak bondage and, thanks to the collective farms, turned into wealthy people.
This is a great achievement, comrades. This is such an achievement, which the world has not yet known and which has not yet been achieved by any state in the world ...
Here are the practical, obligatory results of collective‐farm development, the results of the peasantry taking the path of collective farms.
But this is only the first step, our first achievement on the path of collective farm development.
It would be wrong to think that we should stop at this first step, at this first achievement. No, comrades; we cannot stop at this achievement. In order to move further and finally strengthen the collective farms, we must take the second step, we must achieve a new achievement. What is this second step? It consists in raising the collective farmers even higher. It consists in making all collective farmers prosperous. Yes, comrades, well‐to‐do. (Prolonged applause.)
... Now a few words about women, about collective farmers. The womenʹs question on collective farms is a big question, comrades. I know that many of you underestimate women and even laugh at them. But this is a mistake, comrades, a serious mistake. Itʹs not just that women make up half of the population. The point is, first of all, that the collective farm movement has promoted a number of remarkable and capable women to leading positions. Look at the Congress, at its composition, and you will see that women have long since advanced from the backward to the advanced. Women on collective farms are a great force. To keep this power under wraps is to allow crime. Our responsibility is to push women forward on the collective farms and to use this force in action.
Of course, in the recent past, the Soviet government had a small misunderstanding with the collective farmers. It was about a cow. But now the cow deal is settled, and the misunderstanding has disappeared. ( Prolonged applause.) We have achieved that the majority of collective farmers already have a cow per yard. Another year or two will pass, and you will not find a single collective farmer who does not have his own cow. We Bolsheviks will try to ensure that all collective farmers have a cow each. ( Prolonged applause.)