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Statement Issued by Communist Party regarding Collectivization: Contradictory?

Statement Issued by Communist Party regarding Collectivization: Contradictory?



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As seen in the following statement issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party: (https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/archives/e2livest.html)

Addendum to point 20, Politburo minutes no. 94 of April 20, 1931 ON FORCED COLLECTIVIZATION OF LIVESTOCK [Handwritten line:] Resolution of the Central Committee [TsK] of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) [VKP(b)], Mar 26, 1932 In many regions of our country we can observe the collectivization of cattle and smaller livestock by forcible means. This practice is a flagrant violation of repeatedly issued directives by the party's TsK, as well as of the provisions contained in the statute of the agricultural artel. The TsK VKP(b) stresses that only enemies of the kolkhozes would permit forced collectivization of livestock from individual kolkhozniks. The TsK emphasizes that forced requisition of kolkhozniks' cattle and smaller livestock is contrary to the party's political program. The goal of the party is that every member of the kolkhoz have a cow, some smaller livestock and poultry… The TsK of the VKP(b) proposes to all party, Soviet and kolkhoz organizations: 1. Cease all attempts of forced collectivization of cattle and small livestock belonging to the kolkhozniks and expel from the party those guilty of violating TsK directives; 2. Organize aid for the members of the kolkhozes who have no cattle nor small livestock to purchase and raise young animals for their own personal needs. Signed: TsK VKP(b)

The Communist Party of the Soviet Union declared that collectivization of cattle and small livestock was contrary to the goals of the Party. This was signed in 1931, during Stalin's first five year plan when he was collectivizing farms that were previously individually owned by the peasants. If the Party's goal was to impose socialism on agricultural production in the Soviet Union (that is, collectivize these farms to make them Kolkhozes and Sovkhoz), then why were they allowing the peasants to own these animals individually? Is that not contradictory?


It is.

In Soviet history there are multiple instances of badly implemented policies causing resistance from population, which sometimes resulted in government issuing statements in the spirit of "we didn't really mean to do this, it's all foreign spies'/overzealous bureaucrats'/ trotskyists' fault." In this case, global economy crisis forced Soviet government to step up their collectivization attempts. The peak of this was in the beginning of 1930 - statement issued on January 5, 1930 proclaimed that collectivization efforts are to be completed by 1932, and even sooner in the main grain-producing regions - Ukraine and lands along the Volga river. The forced collectivization caused by that led to massed peasant uprisings: by March 1930, GPU registered over 3000 incidents involving over 2000000 people in Ukraine alone, according to some researchers [1]. As a result, collectivization efforts were scaled down, and several party leaders were accused of causing the whole debacle. They later were shot as trotskyist spies.

This seesaw of first ramping up collectivization and then backing down continued until 1933, when the whole system of government control over agriculture was overhauled which led to better harvests and overall improvement in relations between government and peasants.


THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. CHARLES MANSON et al., Defendants and Appellants.

Albert D. Silverman, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, Daye Shinn, Maxwell S. Keith, Kanarek & Berlin, Irving A. Kanarek and Roger Hanson for Defendants and Appellants.

Evelle J. Younger, Attorney General, Jack R. Winkler, Chief Assistant Attorney General, S. Clark Moore, Assistant Attorney General, Norman H. Sokolow and Howard J. Schwab, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.


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