Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Videos of Gus Hall

Sent to you via Google Reader

LAPD vs. Chris Dorner: The real state of the union

Sent to you via Google Reader

Excellent, politicaaly correct look at Dorner.

Christopher Dorner: The Defector Who Went Out With A Bang

Sent to you via Google Reader

A defector from cop tyranny to what?  Not solidarity or collective action and exposure.

Dorner died after making a stand as another outraged and affronted and dissappointed former recipient of trust by the capitalist state.

He was no Bradley Manning or Daniel Ellsberg or Phillip Agee: men who exposed the masters they once followed.  Dorner's exposures were the small change of hurt feelings and exclusively individualist self-importance.

02 13 13

In State of the Union, Obama Misleads on Foreign Policy

Sent to you via Google Reader

Christopher Dorner is Dead: Is He Your Hero or Anti-Hero? Is He Your Villain? Why?

Sent to you via Google Reader

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Trotsky on Dorner

For Grynszpan: Against Fascist Pogrom Gangs and Stalinist Scoundrels
 Leon Trotsky

Source: Socialist Appeal [New York], 14 February, 1939.
Translated: Socialist Appeal.
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters.
Public Domain: Leon Trotsky Internet Archive 2005. This work is completely free to copy and distribute.

It is clear to anyone even slightly acquainted with political history that the policy of the fascist gangsters directly and sometimes deliberately provokes terrorist acts. What is most astonishing is that so far there has been only one Grynszpan. Undoubtedly the number of such acts will increase.

We Marxists consider the tactic of individual terror inexpedient in the tasks of the liberating struggle of the proletariat as well as oppressed nationalities. A single isolated hero cannot replace the masses. But we understand only too clearly the inevitability of such convulsive acts of despair and vengeance. All our emotions, all our sympathies are with the self-sacrificing avengers even though they have been unable to discover the correct road. Our sympathy becomes intensified because Grynszpan is not a political militant but an inexperienced youth, almost a boy, whose only counselor was a feeling of indignation. To tear Grynszpan out of the hands of capitalist justice, which is capable of chopping off his head to further serve capitalist diplomacy, is the elementary, immediate task of the international working class!

All the more revolting in its police stupidity and inexpressible violence is the campaign now being conducted against Grynszpan by command of the Kremlin in the international Stalinist press. They attempt to depict him as an agent of the Nazis or an agent of Trotskyists in alliance with the Nazis. Lumping into one heap the provocateur and his victim, the Stalinists ascribe to Grynszpan the intention of creating a favorable pretext for Hitler’s pogrom measures. What can one say of these venal “journalists” who no longer have any vestiges of shame? Since the beginning of the socialist movement the bourgeoisie has at all times attributed all violent demonstrations of indignation, particularly terrorist acts, to the degenerating influence of Marxism. The Stalinists have inherited, here as elsewhere, the filthiest tradition of reaction. The Fourth International may, justifiably, be proud that the reactionary scum, including the Stalinists, now automatically links with the Fourth International every bold action and protest, every indignant outburst, every blow at the executioners.

It was so, similarly, with the International of Marx in its time. We are bound, naturally, by ties of open moral solidarity to Grynszpan and not to his “democratic” jailers, or the Stalinist slanderers, who need Grynszpan’s corpse to prop up, even if only partially and indirectly, the verdicts of Moscow justice. Kremlin diplomacy, degenerated to its marrow, attempts at the same time to utilize this “happy” incident to renew their machinations for an international agreement among various governments, including that of Hitler and Mussolini, for a mutual extradition of terrorists. Beware, masters of fraud! The application of such a law will necessitate the immediate deliverance of Stalin to at least a dozen foreign governments.

The Stalinists shriek in the ears of the police that Grynszpan attended “meetings of Trotskyites.” That, unfortunately, is not true. For had he walked into the milieu of the Fourth International he would have discovered a different and more effective outlet for his revolutionary energy. People come cheap who are capable only of fulminating against injustice and bestiality. But those who, like Grynszpan, are able to act as well as conceive, sacrificing their own lives if need be, are the precious leaven of mankind.

In the moral sense, although not for his mode of action, Grynszpan may serve as an example for every young revolutionist. Our open moral solidarity with Grynszpan gives us an added right to say to all the other would-be Grynszpans, to all those capable of self-sacrifice in the struggle against despotism and bestiality: Seek another road! Not the lone avenger but only a great revolutionary mass movement can free the oppressed, a movement that will leave no remnant of the entire structure of class exploitation, national oppression, and racial persecution. The unprecedented crimes of fascism create a yearning for vengeance that is wholly justifiable. But so monstrous is the scope of their crimes, that this yearning cannot be satisfied by the assassination of isolated fascist bureaucrats. For that it is necessary to set in motion millions, tens and hundreds of millions of the oppressed throughout the whole world and lead them in the assault upon the strongholds of the old society. Only the overthrow of all forms of slavery, only the complete destruction of fascism, only the people sitting in merciless judgment over the contemporary bandits and gangsters can provide real satisfaction to the indignation of the people. This is precisely the task that the Fourth International has set itself. It will cleanse the labor movement of the plague of Stalinism. It will rally in its ranks the heroic generation of the youth. It will cut a path to a worthier and a more humane future.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ratio of misery

3 years of high unemployment: US gov't won't act to create jobs

Real U.S. unemployment levels remain largely unchanged in the first month of 2013 from where they bottomed out at the opening of 2010. At the same time production has slowed further in recent months.

While the government has done nothing to create more jobs or increase production, the Federal Reserve continues to pump money into the banks, stock prices are high and government regulations are laying the basis for another round of high-risk housing loans to saddle more working people with debt.

With nearly 23 million workers out of full-time jobs, employment continues to stagnate. According to government figures, 7.9 percent of the workforce was jobless last month, an increase of 0.1 percent from December. And another 6.5 percent were either forced to accept part-time hours or excluded from the workforce as too "discouraged" to be counted.

Measuring the actual levels of joblessness is more accurately revealed in the employment to population ratio—a straight percentage of the total population that is employed—which unlike the official employment rate doesn't lift "discouraged" workers out of the official workforce. In January the ratio measured 58.6 percent, virtually unchanged from 58.5 percent one year ago. In fact, these figures have hovered around this point over the past three years, after a sharp decline of 5 percentage points between 2007 and the beginning of 2010.

Nearly 40 percent of all jobless workers have been unemployed for six months or longer. Millions no longer receive unemployment compensation payments and many more will see them cut off over the coming months.

President Barack Obama disbanded his administration's jobs council Jan. 31, two years after setting it up. Chaired by General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt, the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness met only four times since its inception—the last time in January 2012.

Instead of hiring additional workers, the bosses' drive is to boost productivity of those with jobs through speedup, expanded hours and attacks on working conditions. But this drive appears to be hitting some temporary limits. In the U.S., eurozone and Japan labor productivity growth is "virtually stalling," reported the Conference Board business research group. U.S. labor productivity growth in 2012 dropped to 0.2 percent for the year, down from 0.8 percent in 2011, according to board.

At the same time the U.S. gross domestic product—which measures total goods and services produced—shrank 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, its first decline in three years. "For the whole year, economic activity expanded only 2.2% in 2012," reported the Wall Street Journal, "a fairly meager pace that may be repeated in 2013." Exports in the fourth quarter declined 5.7 percent.

The Federal Reserve's current "quantitative easing" measure—the third such endeavor since November 2008—purchases $40 billion a month of mortgage-backed securities from U.S. banks and $45 billion of U.S. government bonds. The scheme, which amounts to printing money, has the stated goal of lowering mortgage costs and spurring lending, new construction and jobs.

While it has done nothing to "stimulate" production or drive down unemployment levels, it has stimulated stock prices and inflationary pressures, which in the long term could have ruinous consequences for working people. Among its real aims is to shore up banks "too big to fail" and lower the value of the dollar relative to other currencies, making U.S. exports more competitive in the world market.

In continuing this program, the Federal Reserve acknowledged its negligible impact. It said the "growth in economic activity paused because of weather-related and other transitory factors," reported the Financial Times.

Housing construction has risen along with a modest increase in construction employment, a possible product of quantitative easing policies. Subprime mortgages with rates that adjust interest rates higher, are also increasing—up 7 percent last month to their highest level since May 2011. "The Obama administration wants banks to step up approval of such low-income mortgages" and is using its powers under the Community Reinvestment Act to lay the basis to spur this along, reported Investor's Business Daily Jan 24.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

"To live long enough to see the next socialist revolution.... to actively prepare it today"

An Interview with Irina Malenko, Author of Sovietica

Irina Malenko, the author of Sovietica, is interviewed by SYU, the Sinhala-language magazine of the Socialist Youth Union of Sri Lanka. The interview will be published in SYU soon.
Comrade Irina, we welcome you. At SYU, the magazine of the Socialist Youth Union of Sri Lanka, we thought of having a special kind of conversation with you.
You are no stranger to our country and its youth. They know you because of your book, Sovietica. The translated sections excerpted from your book were published here. We thought that, in our discussion, you could tell our youth about the life of a Soviet schoolgirl and a Soviet university student. In short, we thought of talking about your childhood, school life and the youth in that vast country, the Soviet Union.

First, before that, we would like to know about you, and about your present life and activities.

My name is Irina Malenko. I am forty-five years old. I was born in Tula, USSR and I lived in the Soviet Union until I was twenty-two. I graduated from the Institute of History and Archives in Moscow, and then I immigrated to the Netherlands because of personal circumstances. I lived there for eight years, graduated from Leiden University with a degree in Slavonic languages and literature, and then I moved to Ireland in search of work.

I still live in Ireland at present.  I am translator/interpreter and a political activist. In 1999 I started writing, not as a paid writer, but as a response to the call of my heart - first,  reports for various Russian web sites, then my own articles and finally, my novel, Sovietica, in 2009). I am proud to call myself a Communist and a Soviet woman.

Q - You were born in Soviet Union. You grew up there. If you can, please describe your childhood and your family. Also, talk about Soviet society when you were a child.

If I were to say that my childhood was very happy, this would not be something unusual. Most people of my generation who grew up in the USSR can tell you a similar story. I was born as the only child of my parents when they were still very young. My mother was twenty-one and a student, my father was twenty-five and a post-graduate student. Later on, he became a professor and my mother became head of a department at a large factory. She is an engineer by profession.

If I look deeper into the history of my family, we have been of working-class background for many generations. All my ancestors were metalworkers and gunsmiths who worked for the state and were proud of it. My mother's generation is the first generation that got a university education. Before the Revolution my grandmother's brother had to start working in a plant at age nine, to help the family.

For my generation things like that were something from a distant past. We did not have to worry about our present or our future. All that was required from us was to study hard. Children had ten years' compulsory education (primary and secondary school) from the age of seven. Children were often called "the only privileged class in the Soviet Union."

All our education was completely free and of very good quality. We also had various after-school clubs, could play sports or learn to play musical instruments absolutely free of charge. There were special things for children, like children's summer camps, children's cafes, children's railroads, children's stations for nature lovers (where kids could practice gardening) etc. etc. Too many things to name in a short interview!

My parents got divorced when I was only two years old, and my mother moved back to her parents. Until I was seventeen, I was living in the same house with my mother, my grandparents and my uncle (my mother's youngest brother). My grandparents were retired factory workers. My uncle who was (and still is!) my best friend – is an economist.

Our life was very secure, safe, in a quiet, non-stressful environment, absolutely free of drugs, with virtually no crime. There was quite a lot of social control: if somebody was doing something wrong, his colleagues or neighbors would set him right. Every adult was in employment, except for disabled people, family care providers — if they wished to stay at home — and retired people.  Retirement age was fifty-five for women and sixty for men.

Soviet people were also the most literate people in the world. All art was very easy to access. Libraries were free of charge. Books, theater plays, concerts, museums, and exhibitions were extremely cheap.

We had a guaranteed right to housing, the right to have a job, and the right to have a paid holiday. Housing costs were extremely low. People paid only for water and electricity, just three or four percent of their wages in total. The state would give people apartments free of charge, for life, and their children could stay to live there, but you were not allowed to sell it. Public transport was extremely cheap too, as well as food. Children' clothes and shoes were subsidized by the state. Schoolbooks were supplied free of charge.

I can go on and on about our life...I tried to describe it in as much details as possible in my book, Sovietica, because today's young generation already doesn't know many of these things. They find it hard to believe.

The main thing about our upbringing was that we were taught from an early age before doing anything to think how our actions will affect the others around us, to take others into consideration. This is what I am still doing today, despite the fact that I now live in a capitalist society. This is just the way I am, as a Soviet person.

Q - In our country, Sri Lanka, it is very common that, besides parent and children, the grandparents of the children also live together in the same house. Even though the relations among neighbors are declining greatly in urban areas, that is not the case in village areas. They still maintain a close relation with neighbors and the community. How was your family in this regard? What was the nature of relations among peoples in your home area when you were a child? We think that there must have been a grandmother or a grandfather who taught you many stories, who encouraged your writing ability so much!

Yes, it was very much the same way in the Soviet Union! Most people lived together in an extended family, several generations in the same house, and it was great, especially for the kids! My grandparents played a vital role in my upbringing, both of them.

My grandmother spent the most time with me because she was a housewife already at that stage (after her factory work). She was a quiet woman with a strong personality whom we all listened to, even though she never raised her voice to us. She was patient, intelligent, with a strong set of moral values, and we all tried to live up to the standards that she brought us up with. She would read me stories and sing songs from my early age.

My grandfather stopped working when I was three. He would look after the house, do all repairs, work in the vegetable plot that we had. He would also make up stories for me and take me to pick mushrooms in the forest and to fish. He and my uncle were a good replacement for my father, so that I did not miss a male role model in my environment.

Neighbors were also very important. There was a family in our street with six children (the family of my best friend). Their mother worked full time, and they did not have grandparents, their father was doing his own things. The kids were often in the street by themselves. But the whole street looked after them. In the West, where I live now, neighbors would just call social workers, and the social workers would come and try to take these children away from their parents, thereby destroying their lives. This is what happens under capitalism, and this is what they call "care"! But it was in the Soviet Union that people really did care. They would give those kids food, sometimes clothes and would keep an eye on them.

And today all these six kids are doing fine. They all have their own families. They all work. I often wonder what would have happened to them if they had grown up under capitalism. I think they were very lucky that they didn't! We all were lucky, extremely lucky!

As for writing, I decided to become a writer at the age of five, when I was already able to read and wrote my first "book" (about adventures of a little girl called Vika – a compilation of the stories told to me by the sister of my grandmother who spent all her weekends with us and was also a very important person in my life). The very first book that I read was Uncle Tom's Cabin - and it is since then I have a burning feeling of the need to fight for justice.

Q - Did you attend a pre-school? What kind of a place it was for kids? What were the attitudes of the teachers to the kids?

Yes, I did, for a while, when I was three or four years old, and my mother started her first job. The pre-school place belonged to her factory. She paid a certain percentage of her wages for my full time stay there (from 8 AM till 6 PM, including three hot meals per day). It was a very warm and cozy place; the teachers were trying to teach us how to be part of the group and also the main political things about our country. Also we had music lessons, a lot of toys and a lot of outings to the park. My only problem was that I was a very shy child and found it difficult to make friends. This eventually led to the offer of my grandparents to look after me full-time rather than me going to the pre-school, when I was five.

Q - In your childhood days what things were available to children in Soviet Union? Talk about storybooks, cartoons, kid's movies and sports available to you? How were kids protected? Here, in Sri Lanka, we experience horrible level of child abuse, and it's growing at alarming rate.

Everything was available! We had whole publishing houses working specially on children's books; there was an enormous amount of cartoons and feature films produced especially for children; there were daily radio and TV programs for kids, also weekly programs that we were all waiting for, such as "Visiting the Fairy-Tale" with a new fairy tale feature film every week.

All sports clubs were fully free of charge. Kids were encouraged to attend them, and the best ones were selected to go to sports schools, that is why the USSR was so strong at sports at the Olympics, because of the wide base for sports for everybody. I was shocked to see in a film that the father of the US figure skater Tai Babilonia was forced to have three jobs in order to pay for her skating lessons! In the cinema there were special kids mornings, with kids films shown and tickets with discounts; often the whole classes attended them.

We also had Pioneer's Palaces for various after school activities, in accordance with your own interests. All kids got swimming lessons as part of the school program. The state would heavily subsidize all things for children, including clothes, books, toys, childcare, you name it. And that is why for most people - having children was a joy and not a burden. The only thing that limited family size was the sizes of the apartment.

As for protection of kids, child abuse was virtually unheard of, and not because "it was not reported," but because the vast majority of the adults were mentally healthy people and would not even get an idea to harm a child. We were told by our parents not to take sweets from strangers and not to go anywhere with strangers, but no one ever approached us with anything like that; and I would play with my friends the whole day outside, without much supervision. There was only one case of a child murder in my city (500,000 inhabitants!) in twenty years, and it was done by the child's mentally disturbed mother. There were no homeless kids. Every child went to school, and if a child was wandering streets alone, the first adult would ask him where his parents were and what was he doing there and then bring him home.

Q - How was your school life? What kind of a school was it? In our country there is a big competition for getting a child into a 'popular' or a 'leading' (which means schools better facilitated and privileged) school. In the Soviet era, was there a big competition among children? How was the after-school private-tutoring classes system?

In the USSR there was only one school system, the same school for everybody, so there was no competition for entering different types of schools. At first, only eight years' schooling was compulsory, and then ten years became compulsory. Some children could leave school after eight years, if they wished, but then they would go to a college where they would learn a trade and they would still complete the very same ten years school program within their college.

It was a system where really and truly all children, regardless of their background and their abilities, received the same opportunities. The only different type of schools was special schools for disabled children with special needs. There were also schools where one subject was studied more in depth than the rest – math schools or foreign language schools, for children who wished to go there.

The only competition that we had as children, was to get the best marks - between the groups within the class . We were usually divided into three or four "links," groups of four or five kids, each with its own elected leader. Usually the best pupils would help the weakest ones after lessons with their homework. That worked fine, instead of any private tutoring. The best pupils saw it as their duty to help the weakest ones.

Only in the last school years some children would get private tutoring in order to pass entrance exams to the university - if they felt they were not good enough in the subject. I took private tutoring in French in my last school year for a couple of months. But, unlike in the capitalist West, private tutoring was not encouraged.
School life was full of events. We spent a lot of time together, not just in the classroom, but also at various outings and working in the field, helping to harvest vegetables on the collective farm for a day or having a subbotnik, cleaning up the school's gardens.

Our upbringing was political as well. In the first grade we all became "October Children," with a special badge and a code of behavior. In the third grade we became Pioneers, with a red tie and a badge. We took the pledge of a Young Pioneer at the Red Square in Moscow where our school brought us especially for this occasion, and I will never forget this day and how we visited Lenin's Mausoleum.

When we became fourteen, we could join the Komsomol (Communist Youth League, for young people between fourteen and twenty-eight), and most of us did. To join it, you had to be accepted first on the school level and then to pass a sort of test on the district level. It was a very exciting day when I got my membership card. We would also learn how to work. In the ninth grade we had four weeks of work at a real factory during the summer, for which we were paid. We only worked four or five hours per day. The idea was to teach us a trade before we even left school.

And, last but not least, we were taught how to defend our Motherland: the last two years at school we had a basic military training.

Q - Merely passing exams is not enough to educate a person. How did your school support you in creating a Soviet personality? How did righteous attitudes about life, about mankind, about nature, and about other people become  rooted in you by your school and your society?

In Soviet schools,
from an early age, we got many lessons in patriotism. War veterans and even one lady who met Lenin in her youth would come to our school to talk to us and to tell us their stories. We also had Great Patriotic War games and singing and marching competitions. Children in Soviet schools would look after elderly lonely people and help them after school with their housekeeping, shopping, cleaning and other tasks. This movement was called "Timurovtsy, " followers of Timur, after the famous children's book Timur and His Team by Arkady Gaidar.

Older children within the school would look after younger ones, visiting them weekly and doing various tasks with them (they were called leaders or guides). Once a week we had a class hour - an hour after lessons where we had discussions on various topics of human life and attitude to it. Working together as a class and helping on the collective farms during the harvest time also helped to shape our spirit. The school would bring us up with respect for other people's work. For example, we were taught to never throw a piece of bread on the ground, because bread is the fruit of other people's hard work. Also, all the schoolbooks on literature were full of positive examples of behavior for us.

As for nature, we had Young Naturalists groups that would look after local forests and parks. Some schools had "a living corner" where animals lived and children were taught to look after them. If any young Pioneer or Komsomol member did something wrong, the typical way to deal with it was to discuss his or her behavior by the whole class, and the whole class would decided on what measures to take to amend his ways, and voted for those measures democratically.

Q - The capitalist system not only destroys children physically by diseases and wars, but also it makes the children miserable by invading their minds. It trains them to judge everything according to market theory and practice. Give us a few examples used by the Soviet system to create righteous attitudes in youth?

Attitudes such as "making money," "making a profit," "everything has its price" etc. were considered to be deeply disgusting. Not only in Soviet films and books were those with such attitudes to life ridiculed, in real life too, we were taught to help others around us without expecting anything in return.
To offer somebody money, after he or she has helped you, was considered to be an insult. I still can't do it even now, even when I do need money in this capitalist life: I just cannot take it from somebody who needs it himself, and I actually love helping people "for free." It makes me feel happy, knowing that I made their life a little bit easier by helping - more than any financial reward. This set of values I received both from my family and my school.

Q - Today the safety of young women is a huge problem in most countries. How was it in Soviet Russia?

Oh, it was very safe. The attitude to women was different. Our society (and women themselves, indeed) did not tolerate sexism. Boys were brought up with the idea that a woman is not just an equal person, but also somebody they had to help and to be gentle and respectful with, since boys and men are physically stronger.

Crimes such as sexual assault and rape were extremely rare and if they did occur, often they were punished by death after a trial (we did have capital punishment for major crimes in the USSR).

Moreover, there was no pornography. It was illegal to bring it from abroad, and nothing of pornographic nature was ever shown on TV and in the films. When I was confronted with it for the first time in the Netherlands where I moved to live after my graduation, I was crying for many years. I felt personally humiliated when I saw that such things were available for sale and I could not (and I still cannot, even after twenty-three years) understand how Western women who are supposed to be free and liberated, tolerate this enormous, overall, non-stop humiliation of us all in capitalist society and do not even protest against it.

Humiliation of women, along with attacks on them, started in the last years of the USSR, under Gorbachev, around 1988-1989. It was directed from above, by allowing "erotic" scenes in the films and "erotic" magazines. Our girls were bombarded by messages about how "cool" the life of a prostitute was - and that too, came from the Gorbachev-led traitors group of party leaders. And it was deeply shocking to us.

Here is a small extract from my book on the subject of the safety of the Soviet streets in comparison with Russia today:

.. When I was six, mum brought me to Moscow; she managed to get tickets for the American ice show «Holiday on Ice». We returned home after that show with the night stop train. The carriages were empty; I slept in my mum's lap almost the whole way. Then we walked home across the whole city at 4 A.M.! The summer night was marvelous – warm and quiet. It was so fantastic, and nobody was afraid of anything or anyone.

Sometimes we came across occasional passers-by, courting couples or workers returning from the night shift, and no one had the idea of attacking someone for some infamous purpose. It is only now, under capitalism, that those «liberated» democratic apes really do not understand: how could one miss such a chance and not rape or rob a woman with a child, if they happened to be in your way alone in the evening? As one film critic said recently, completely seriously, «a transition took place in our society, from the Soviet mentality to the norm»!" - that is, the capitalist norm!

Recently, I came across this little story on Internet: "1983, a student party in Moscow. One of the foreign students who is from a rich family, is drunk and begins to berate our country and its traditions. The complaints of this person were of such nature: 'Here I am, already drunk and enjoying myself and now I want a woman. I have a lot of money (he gets it out of his pocket and shows to others). In any normal country, it would be enough just to flick my fingers, and I would get what I want, but in the Soviet Union, if I offer money to a woman on the street or here in the student house, I can only get a slap in the face - in fact, you all are crazy!'
Nobody wanted to argue with him, everybody just laughed at this clown. That was when I felt an enormous pride for my country and for our women. And I was proud that, of all the countries in Europe and the Americas, our country is the most normal one.
I think this piece really says it all - not only the Soviet attitude to women, but also the moral norms of our women themselves.

Q - Love is one of the most important things affecting the life of youth. What were the attitudes of your society to love? How did wealth, job, religion, skin color, nationality, and so forth, affect love in Soviet society?

Yes, in our society love was very important too. We were brought up with the idea that love is a pure and unconditional feeling and that one should marry only out of love. Love was seen as a serious feeling, and "to try different small loves in search of a big one," as people in Holland say, for example, was just not on in the USSR's system of values.

The main ideal was expressed by Nikolai Chernyshevsky, a famous Russian revolutionary and writer, "Die, but do not give a kiss without love!" In the Soviet view of love, no wealth, no sort of job the person was doing, no nationality or skin color or religion mattered. Every fourth marriage in the USSR was between people from different ethnic background. There were even the most unusual combinations, such as a Jewish girl and a Kirghiz boy, an Estonian girl and a Vietnamese boy etc.

I remember being on a train with a child of such a mixed marriage. I asked him: "Who is your father?" "An Uzbek" "And your mother?" "Ukrainian". "And you?" "And I am Russian!" I was brought up in the environment where it was perfectly natural and normal to date somebody who was of a different ethnic and even racial background. The only thing difficult to accept for people was somebody dating a foreigner, because that was seen by some as a betrayal of the country as it implied that you wanted to emigrate to the capitalist world.

My first boyfriend was Ethiopian fellow student, so sometimes I had a hard time because of that. But I never even for a moment thought about his religion (he was a Muslim), it was completely unimportant to me. My ideal was to meet a revolutionary from another country and together with him to build a better world.
I took it very seriously - I learnt a lot about his culture, even took private lessons to learn his language, although he spoke Russian well. Unfortunately, my boyfriend was not a revolutionary, but I realized it only later. And that was the main reason for our break-up - that he was not a revolutionary. That was the most important thing for me as a Soviet girl.

When I was getting married - to a young man from the Caribbean - my family truly took him to heart and no one ever questioned my choice. He received the warmest possible welcome. Later on, when I brought my daughter back to my country as a baby -- she was a mixed- race child, her father was of Black and Latin American Indian origin -- everybody just admired her. People lovingly named my Alisa "The Friendship of the Nations". I never heard a bad word from anybody there about her because she wasn't a pure Russian.

Q - What were your hopes and dreams when you were in school? Did you and your friends have Dream Personalities? For example, today,  Harry Potter, Britney Spears, Ronaldo, and so forth.
Yes, of course, we did. We were aiming to become like famous revolutionaries or war heroes. I wanted to be like Zoya Kosmodemianskaya, our WWII partisan hero who was hanged by the Nazis at the age of eighteen.

Yes, we did like pop-stars and actors too, but for most of us they were not our ideal heroes. As a young girl I loved to watch movies from different countries where a hero was fighting against injustice, such as "Zorro," but it was the hero of the film that I admired, not the actor who was playing him.

Revolutionaries were my real heroes, people like Che Guevara, like Patrice Lumumba. I would dream not just to marry somebody like them, but to become like them myself too!

Q - Youth have a special interest in sports, fashion and music. In your school life and then in your university life, how did you and your friends participated in sports, fashion and music?

As I already mentioned, all places where you could practice a sport, were completely free of charge for everybody. Also, training up to the highest, Olympic level was free of charge. At school all kids were expected to pass certain sport targets in running, swimming, skiing etc.,  the so-called "Norms of Readiness for Labor and Defense."

Fashion wasn't that important for me. I preferred books and music records, but for other girls fashion was important. The only thing you were not allowed to do, was to use makeup when you were still in secondary school, because you were still a child and school was not the place to show off your outfits, except for when we had a school disco. For a disco you could wear make-up and any fashionable dress. Most of our girls could sew their own dresses, and we were getting proper sewing lessons at school too.

And I already mentioned the school disco. It wasn't just Soviet music we were listening too, we were also listening the best of pop-music from different countries in different languages. It was available through radio and TV.

Q - Explain the Soviet education system and your university life, based on your experiences? What facilities were given you? How were your university teachers?

The Soviet education system was very straightforward. Ten years of the same state school for everybody. Three years of primary and seven years of secondary, with no exams in between them and all children remaining in the same class until at least the eighth grade. After the eighth grade we had four exams, but they would not determine who would go further and who would leave the school. It was up to the child and his parents to decide this.

Some children were not academically inclined and were keen to learn a trade after the eighth grade. But even they had to complete the full ten-year secondary school program within their chosen professional school.

Some weaker pupils just stayed at school until the end of the tenth grade, despite their exam results. No problem. After the tenth grade we all had final exams. The average grade point on them was important for your entrance exam to university, if you chose to go to university. Seven in total, all the same for everybody.

There was usually "The Last School Bell" party before the exams and the final farewell party after the exams. In my case we went to the local amusement park, which was open the whole night for the occasion, and we all - school leavers from all the schools in the city - could use all the amusement rides for free on that night. Nobody was drunk, there was no disorder, and it was the most memorable and enjoyable night. After that you had a month's break. Then some of us went straight to work and some continued to study.

The universities had entrance exams system (four in total), based on the school program. University studies were five years for everybody (no such thing as "Bachelor" and "Master"), six years for future doctors. All university studies were fully free of charge and we would even get a stipend (grant) from the state: around forty rubles, more in some universities and more for excellent students who passed their exams with A marks, for the whole following term after that.

To give you an idea how much it was, a place in a room in student housing (usually two or three people in a room) cost twenty-four rubles for the whole year, including all electricity and water and other utility bills and even the use of furniture, tea kettle and bedding, which was laundered and changed free of charge for us every two weeks! The study books you could just borrow in the university library totally free of charge for the whole term. What else would you need to study properly without worries - in such conditions?
The professors treated us almost like colleagues when we were students, and they were already preparing us for a research work during studies, if we chose to do that. Student life was truly the most beautiful, the most fantastic years of my life. I was living in Moscow, three hours journey away from my home, in student housing, and I made great friends during those years.

Q - What kind of attitude did you have about employment after the education? Were the jobs available? Were you satisfied about the jobs available?

First of all, we knew that our future employment was secure. There was no need to worry about that. Everybody got a place offer at the end of his or her studies, and if it was in another city, the employer was supplying you with housing as well. You didn't have to accept the first place you were offered, you could argue for another one or also to arrange with the employer yourself that he would take you after graduation. The only condition was to work for three years at the same place after your assignment. That was a very small price to pay for five years of a fully free university education!

The main thing is that nobody was unemployed, and that was so natural for us that we did not fully appreciate it at that time. The salaries of all beginners were more or less the same, regardless of where they were sent. I got a place in my home city, which was very convenient for me.

But I wanted to do post-graduate studies. I worked for three months and then asked my employer to give me a leave for the entrance exams to the post-graduate course, which he did. I passed these exams and had a choice of two different postgraduate places One of them was the dream of my life! But, by then, the country started disintegrating, and I left...

Q - How do you compare the qualities and behavior of Soviet youth then and today's Russian youth and the social environment that they live in?

To put it plainly, the difference is shocking. I think you know yourself what youth is like under the evil spell of capitalism, so that I don't have to describe to you the damaged nature of far too many of them. I have tried to describe in this interview what Soviet youth was like. Young Russians of today and the Soviet young people - it even feels like two completely different nations.

The sad thing is that the majority of today's Russian youth, brainwashed by today's poor-quality education and the capitalist media, virtually knows nothing about life in the USSR or Soviet values anymore. The good thing, though, is that more and more young people are starting to think about our tragic reality of today. Sooner or later most of them find their way to our Soviet roots and start looking for answers.

The interest in socialism and the USSR today is incomparably higher than it was ten or even five years ago, and it is growing rapidly. I can honestly say that I met some young Communists in Russia and other former Soviet republics in the last few years who made me believe in a bright future for our country again!

Q - In your young age did you enjoy your life? Did you and your generation get opportunities to study, travel, music, parting, playing etc. without any discrimination?

I most certainly did, and how! Really, all roads in life were open for us. I already spoke of education, sport and leisure. The same applies to travel. Ours was the biggest country in the world; it would take a lifetime to visit all its places, with all their rich cultural variety. The train and plane tickets were very affordable, and students and school children paid half-price as well. The public transport net system was wide and well-developed.

Usually when you mention USSR and travel, the first response you get: "But you could not travel abroad!" This is not entirely true either. You could travel abroad, but the process was long, you would have to go through a few interviews, to make sure that you would represent our country abroad in a proper manner and behave with dignity.

And, after all, if I was given the choice: to travel abroad (only for a few people because at present less than ten percent of Russians in the capitalist Russia can afford it!) or to enjoy free education, healthcare, no unemployment, safety for women and many more other advantages of socialism, it is clear what choice I would make!

And the longer I live and compare my youth with the reality of today, both in Russia and in the West, the more I realize how enormously lucky we were that we had the opportunity to experience Soviet socialist life! As I say in my book, "If I were asked to describe capitalism in one word, I would probably choose the word "bestiality." This fully applies to post-Soviet Russia and its spiritual mentor – the so-called "developed" countries. If I were asked to describe socialism in one word, I would choose the word "inspired." That is what we experienced during the Soviet era: if not every day, then at least very often."

Q - How did Soviet society treat and mold girls? What kind of moral and social ethics and behavior were used to shape you?

Soviet girls were brought up with self-respect and dignity. These were the two qualities most valued in us by society. The vast majority of girls did not smoke or drink alcohol - not because somebody forced them not to, but because it was considered to be disgusting in itself.

Drugs were unheard of - both for girls and boys. Teenage pregnancies were extremely rare. In my generation there were girls who were so innocent that even at the age of seventeen they still thought you could get pregnant from kissing. We were brought up in the idea of saving yourself for one very special person, even though none of us was in any way religious.

To us, this was simply a question of dignity, which was more important than anything else. I am not saying that everybody lived up to this, but this was our ideal. Society treated us with respect. It took care of our health by annual, full health check-ups at school and at work (again, for both men and women). We were seen not only as future mothers, but also as equal partners in the workplace and in studies. Western society struck me as extremely sexist when I was first confronted with it.

In the USSR I never felt tension between boys and girls. Soviet boys and girls could perfectly be just friends. International Women's Day, which is still celebrated in Russia today, only now with a different angle, was not like Mother's Day in the West. It was not just about motherhood. It was a celebration of women's contribution to our society, a celebration of our equality. This wasn't a Western feminist kind of equality -- bordering on hatred of men. We were equal, but special - this is how we were seen by the majority of our men. It was a nice feeling to be a girl in the USSR.

Q - What is your dream today?
To live long enough to see the next socialist revolution! Not just to see it, but to participate in it actively. Not just wait for it in order to participate in it, but to actively prepare it today!

Original article posting here.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

National question in Stalin's USSR



Illustrations and Maps

An illuminating description of how the Soviet Union solved the intricate problems raised by the presence within its borders of an enormous number of different nationalities at various stages of development, assuring them unhampered economic and cultural growth. The author shows how the principle of the right of self-determination of nations was fulfilled as a result of the Revolution in November, 1917.




I The Guiding Principle

II Industrial Centres in Backward Regions

III Agricultural Reconstruction in Backward Regions

IV Changes in Leading Republics

V Cultural Achievements

VI The Development of Communist Organisations

"Imperialism is the period of an increasing oppression of the nations of the whole world by a handful of 'great' nations; the struggle for a Socialist international revolution against Imperialism is therefore impossible without the recognition of the rights of nations to self-determination. 'No people oppressing other peoples can be free' (Marx and Engels). No proletariat reconciling itself to the least violation by 'its' nation of the rights of other nations can be Socialist."

Lenin: The Imperialist War.

The present is a period of increasing oppression by the great so-called civilised countries of the world of the smaller and so-called backward countries, an oppression accompanied by endless brutalities and barbaric tortures inflicted in the name of "culture" upon the "heathen." At such a time this book will be as a great inspiration to all anti-Imperialists to redouble their efforts in the great task of liberating the oppressed peoples from capitalist bondage.

The reader will quickly realise that solving the National problem in the Soviet Union was no easy task and could only have been fulfilled by a strict adherence to the line laid down by Marx and Lenin. To have deviated from this line would have brought disaster to the solution of the problem, and therefore the C.P.S.U. was forced to carry on a campaign not only against tendencies towards "great-power" chauvinism which could not understand the cultural and economic needs of the former oppressed nationalities, but also against tendencies towards petty- bourgeois nationalism which failed to see the place of the national struggle in the international class struggle of the proletariat.

The correctness of attitude of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union can be gauged by the tremendous success of the progress in industrialisation, and of socialist construction in agriculture in these autonomous regions. In reading of these colossal achievements the reader will be struck by a difference between the Soviet solution of the question of self-determination and the solution adopted by the "great" Powers dominating the League of Nations. If, by some chance or other, the reader knows nothing of the ramification of British Imperialism, I would advise him to study the statements of our comrades, who have been "on trial" in Meerut, India, on a charge of conspiracy against the King, the majority of whom (eighteen) have been kept in jail since March, 1929.

But let us see how the small European national minorities are treated after the "civilisation" process of 1914-18. In Poland the national minorities comprise about 40 per cent of the entire population. A number of districts are inhabited chiefly by Ukrainians, White Russians and Germans; they have no national rights. The policy of Polish Fascism towards these minor nationalities is to ruin them as a preliminary to their assimilation into the Polish population in the districts.

The land of the Ukrainian and White Russian peasants has been expropriated and subdivided among the Polish militarists, and thereby erecting a reliable bulwark along the U.S.S.R. border in the event of an attack on the Soviet Union.

The brutalities perpetrated by the Polish Fascists in the campaign of "pacification" were so atrocious that members of the British Parliament protested to the League of Nations.

The following is a short excerpt from that protest:–

"Punitive expeditions were sent to 700 villages. Hundreds of peaceful citizens and children were subjected to beatings; thousands of people were imprisoned, a large number of libraries, union headquarters and co-operative stores were robbed and destroyed.... During the last elections the Ukrainians were terrorised to such an extent that they did not dare to take advantage of their right to vote....

"From 1920 to 1925 the Ukrainians lost 2,607 schools. Out of 1,000 Ukrainian students, only 79 can attend schools conducted in their own language; 921 are compelled to attend either Polish or two-language schools. In 1925, 84 per cent of all the schools in the Ukraine were Polish....

"It has been proven that 200,000 hectares of the cultivated land in Eastern Galicia and Poland have been handed over to Polish colonists. Polish agricultural unions received 79 million zloties during the current year, while the Ukrainian agricultural unions, whose number is close to 3,000 received nothing."

One would have to be quite naive to expect the League of Nations to appear as the champion of oppressed national minorities in general, and of those in Poland, in particular. The League of Nations is itself an Imperialist device for oppressing and deluding the national minorities in the colonial and semi-colonial countries. No further proof is required than the attitude taken by the League of Nations on the question of the military occupation of Manchuria by Japan, the seizure of Bessarabia by Rumania, etc. These instances prove the Imperialist nature of the League of Nations beyond doubt.

Here is some evidence characterising the role of the League of Nations in solving the national problem, evidence provided by the European national minorities themselves. The fourth "All-European Congress of Minorities" (of the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois parties) thus summarised the activity of the League of Nations in "solving" the national problem:

"Forty million people belonging to the national minorities are losing confidence in the League of Nations as a guardian of minority rights; to date the League of Nations, because of the methods it applies, has done nothing to effect a solution of the 'minorities' problem."

The oppression of White Russians and Ukrainians in Poland is the most vivid example of the frightful lawlessness and derision in which the bourgeoisie of any capitalist country subjects its minor nationalities. In France, the bourgeoisie persecutes the Alsatians and deprives them of their national identity; the same thing is true of the southern Tyrolese and the Slavonians in Italy; of the Flemings and the Germans in Belgium; of the Catalonians and the Basques in Spain; of the Negroes in the U.S.A., etc., etc. It is significant that this oppression of weak nationalities is practised even in countries where some of these nationalities are officially recognised as "nations of the State." In Czecho-Slovakia for instance, where the Slovaks comprise about 15 per cent, and the Czechs 40 per cent of the population, the persecution of the Slovaks has become so unbearable that they have literally fled from the country in great numbers; in 1930 about 68 per cent of all the emigrants from Czecho-Slovakia were Slovaks.

But all this is as nothing compared to the national oppression and horrible exploitation practised by the capitalist States towards their colonies and semi-colonies.

The colonies and semi-colonies are very important purveyors of raw materials for capitalist industry, are profitable places for the investment of capital, lucrative sources of cheap labour-power, and markets for the products of the home country. It is to the interest of Imperialism to retard the economic and cultural development of the colonies and semi-colonies, because this retardation makes it easier for the capitalist to exploit these peoples, to obtain raw materials and markets for the industries of the "mother country."

In describing the labour of the negroes in the French African colonies, a French journalist, Albert Londres, writes as follows:

"Suddenly the forests re-echoed with shrieks coming from hundreds of throats: 'a-a-a-a... a-a-a.' Hundreds of naked negroes were straining every fibre to pull up the roots. The foreman rhythmically lashed his whip bellowing commands at intervals.... The taut muscles of these human bodies seemed never to relax as these natives made superhuman efforts to cope with the drudgery assigned them. The blows of the whip rained down upon their defenceless backs and faces, with the blood dripping to their feet."

The planters' representative who recruits labour-power in the province of Chad, Africa, writes to the Governor of the province:

"According to your instructions the chieftains of the tribes were ordered to deliver up the people after the arrival of the physician. But I must inform you that the chieftains were the only ones left in the village – the rest of the population had fled before our arrival. This, despite the fact that I had taken every precaution to tell them that it was just a matter of giving them a medical examination.... At the end of November I witnessed here the recruiting of labourers. I saw soldiers dragging along natives by ropes securely tied around their bodies...."

The following inquiry speaks of the results consequent upon this system of capitalist exploitation of colonial peoples:

"In the French African Colonies, near the Equator, negroes were forced to do railroad construction work for 1 to 2¼ francs per day, under the most inhuman conditions, and without any medical aid. The mortality among the workers reached terrific proportions; by April, 1929, about 25,000 deaths had been registered, which was about 82 per cent of the workers."

In that huge graveyard the British Empire, millions of people in the colonial and semi-colonial countries are subjected to similar horrors; "forced" labour and "recruiting" are applied to entire populations. Let the International Labour Office explain the process:

"As soon as the demand for labour exceeds the voluntary supply, the adoption of the method of compulsion – no matter by what means – becomes an imperative necessity and creates a state of mind, which sweeps away all humanitarian considerations."

The position of the black people in South Africa, with the restriction of movements by pass-laws (Master and Servants' Acts) and the confiscation of the land, is no secret. In South Africa 6 million black people live on the "reservation" lands, consisting of 40 million acres, while 1½ million Whites occupy 260 million acres of the best land.

India has now "enjoyed" 150 years of British rule with its incidental acts of barbarity. On the North-West Frontier thousands and thousands of bombs have been dropped during the last few years. In India and Burma thousands and thousands I have been killed by the armed forces of the Crown; while millions have died each year of starvation and disease. The whole development of India's natural resources, agriculture and industries, has been retarded by the forces of British Imperialism. It is well here to quote from a speech of the late Joynson Hicks, in October, 1925:

"We did not conquer India for the benefit of the Indians. I know in Missionary meetings it is said that we conquered India to raise the level of the Indians. That is cant! We conquered India as the outlet for the goods of Great Britain.

"We conquered India by the sword, and by the sword we should hold it....

"I am interested in Missionary work of that kind, but I am not such a hypocrite as to say, 'that we hold India for the Indians.' We hold it as the finest outlet for British goods in general, and for Lancashire cotton goods in particular."

By the sword does Imperialism conquer and hold down the toiling millions of the colonial countries.

Of India Marx wrote in 1853:

"The whole series of civil wars, invasions, conquests and famine which India seems to have undergone in rapid succession may appear complicated and destructive; but were, in reality, confined to its surface. England, on the other hand has pulled down the entire structure of the Indian social order, without any sign of rebuilding being visible. This loss of an old world without the gain of a new one lends a tragic touch to the present misery of the Indians. Herein differs India to-day, under the British rule, from its old tradition – from the history of its past."

The recent Simon Commission was forced to comment thus on the terrible poverty of the Indian people: – "The contrast remains startling, even after allowing for the difference between the range of needs to be satisfied."

Similarly, Professor K. T. Shah says: – "The average Indian income is so small that it is quite insufficient to meet even the primary wants of man – of food, clothing and shelter.... The average Indian income is just enough to feed two men in every three of the population (or give all of them two, in the place of three, meals they need), on condition that they all consent to go naked, live out of doors all the year round, have no amusement or recreation, and want nothing else but food, and that the lowest, the coarsest and least nutritious" (K. T. Shah and Khambatla: The Wealth and Taxable Capacity of India, pp. 253).

Thus can we see the workings of Imperialism in India, with its agrarian population of some 250,000,000, who depend on agriculture for a livelihood; and this huge population existing on the verge of starvation; inadequate and antiquated methods of production; lack of irrigation; practically no development of its natural mineral resources and a studied programme in the retarding of industry.

If we compare the ramification of Imperialism with the methods adopted by the Soviet Union to develop and solve the National question, then the reader will see that only by the complete abolition of the capitalism system will the oppressed peoples be made free.

Readers will be struck by the huge industrial development in the various countries of the U.S.S.R., which, prior to the October revolution, were in a similar position under Czarism to the colonial countries under British Imperialism; and the mighty efforts now being made to harness the mineral and other natural resources in order to develop free and cultured peoples. Compare these efforts with the deliberate attempts of the British Imperialist to strangle Indian industry. What more striking contrast could be found than the fact that out of a total population of some 350,000,000 people, there are only one and a half million factory workers?

The facts relating to the Socialist construction in agriculture, and the millions of pounds now being expended in order that these people may live a more natural life, enjoying all the methods of modern science applied to agriculture, can be compared with the deplorable state of Indian agriculture, which has been completely neglected by British Imperialism; so much so that during the nineteenth century it was estimated that over 30,000,000 died of famine. And even now only 3 per cent of the Indian Budget is appropriated for irrigation, whilst 25 per cent is earmarked for military purposes. True, there has been an increase in the acreage under irrigation since the beginning of the twentieth century. True also is the fact that the surplus accruing is appropriated by Imperialism in the form of irrigation taxes and other dues, to such an extent that the placing of British capital in irrigation schemes becomes a first-class investment. "The total capital outlay on irrigation and navigation work, including works under construction, amounted at the end of the year 1927-28 to Rs. 115.3 crore. The gross revenue was Rs. 12.1 crore, and the working expenses were Rs. 4.7 crores. The net return on capital is therefore 6.4 per cent!" (India in 1927-28, pp. 112.)

The solving of the National problem in U.S.S.R. does not mean, as in Poland, the assimilation of the National Minorities, but the economic and cultural development of the National Minorities to a higher stage; therefore, parallel with the development of their natural and economic resources runs the cultural development and the elimination of illiteracy. The reader will gather from the pages of this book that this does not mean the suppression of national languages, but on the contrary, in many cases, the introduction of a new national literature. It is claimed that by 1933 illiteracy in the Soviet Union will be completely obliterated!

In the British Empire the classical examples of the process of "civilisation," the statistics of illiteracy, give a complete condemnation of Imperialism. Let us take the Government figures of the 1921 census of India alone, and we find these startling facts: –

Able to read and write Unable to read and write
Men 19,841,438 142,623,691
Women 2,782,213 150,807,889
Total 22,623,651 293,431,580

Here then is a testimony to the cultural development of the people of India, who, despite their ancient culture are still illiterate after 150 years of Christian civilisation, with all the concomitants which accompany the capitalist economic system of society.

The National bourgeoisie, in league with the Imperialists and the "Socialist" parties led by the Second International, sanctions and justifies "in principle" the "civilising" role of Imperialism in the colonies. The height of cynicism and treacherous baseness in this respect was reached in the resolution of the Brussels Congress of the Second International (1928). Touching upon the role of Imperialism in the colonies, the resolution reads:

"In these districts, the application of modern means of production and transport is still exclusively under foreign domination. The immediate withdrawal of it would mean not a step forward towards National culture, but a return to primitive barbarism."

Surely such sentiments require no comment.

Exploitation and national oppression of colonial peoples, of national minorities and weak nations have considerably increased within the last few years because of the sharpening of the world crisis. Capitalism is endeavouring to find here a way out of the clutches of the crisis.

However, the national liberation movement is also growing, and is adopting the slogans of the Communist International and of its Parties with increasing frequency, as it becomes more and more convinced that it will achieve national self-determination only after it has rid itself of Imperialist domination, only after it has rid itself of "its own" and its alien bourgeoisie.

The policy pursued by the victorious proletarian revolution in the U.S.S.R. towards the once-subjected nationalities – the policy of extending to them all the advantages of Soviet rule – proves that only thus can the oppressed peoples secure freedom and self-determination.

In the following pages we shall be able to see the results of the efforts of the U.S.S.R. in freeing the National Minorities, believing as they do in the Socialist axiom of Marx and Engels: "No people oppressing other peoples can be free."

P. Glading.


The thirteenth and fourteenth anniversaries of the existence of the proletarian dictatorship in the U.S.S.R. were marked by the tenth anniversary of the establishment of a number of national republics and districts of the Soviet Union. The results of these anniversary celebrations show very clearly what tremendous successes our Party has achieved by means of its national policy. Only under the dictatorship of the proletariat, only with the active assistance of the proletariat of the advanced nationalities, only by following the general Party line and consistently realising a Leninist national policy could the formerly oppressed and backward nationalities of the Soviet Union achieve complete success in reconstructing and in thoroughly developing their economy and culture, and thus entering upon the broad road of socialist reconstruction.

Moved forward by its achievements in industrialising its national economy and collectivising its villages, our country has entered the period of Socialism. The kulak is being liquidated as a class on the basis of mass collectivisation. This year we are completing the foundation of socialist economy by embarking the rural masses upon socialised farming on a large scale.

All these achievements in socialist construction in our country were made possible only because of the consistent realisation of the general Party line, only owing to the fraternal co-operation of all nationalities of the Soviet Union, and to the "correct relationship between the proletariat of the former dominant nation and the peasantry of the formerly oppressed nationalities." (Stalin Report at the Twelfth Party Congress.) This is why it is so important to see how the national policy of our Party has been carried out in practice in the national republics and regions.

The guiding principle of the national policy of the Communist Party, as our programme points out, "is the policy of drawing together the proletarians, as well as the semi-proletarians, of the various nationalities, for the purpose of waging a joint struggle for the overthrow of the landlords and the bourgeoisie." This general task requires that "in order to overcome the distrust felt by the working masses of the oppressed countries towards the proletariat of states which used to oppress those countries, it is necessary to abolish all and sundry the privileges enjoyed by any national group, and to establish complete equality before the law for all nationalities, and to recognise the right of colonies and subject nations to separation." (The Programme of the C.P.S.U.)

These tasks enumerated in the "Programme of the C.P.S.U." find their complete practical solution in the Soviet Union not only in the creation of a number of republics and regions where formerly oppressed nations now build independently a new economic and cultural life, but also in the manifold assistance given to the economic and cultural development of nationalities, which, because they are scattered over the entire Union, are not incorporated into separate territorial units.

The October Revolution made independent, economic and cultural development possible not only for nationalities like the Kazaks, Uzbeks, Bashkirs, Tartars, Yakuts, Karels, Udmurts, Chuvashes, White Russians, Muldavians and others, who have their own State units; but also for the Jews, Poles, Letts, Estonians and other nationalities who, like the other nationalities were doomed to extinction and assimilation by the policy of the autocratic Tsarist Government.

But the problem of the victorious proletariat is not only to offer formerly oppressed nationalities the rights and possibilities of economic and national-cultural development. The chief task of the victorious proletariat is – and this is very important – to eliminate the capitalist stage of this development; to direct it along socialist lines, to assist the backward nationalities in overcoming their backwardness and overtaking the more advanced sections of the Union. Defining this task, Comrade Stalin said at the Seventh Party Congress:

"The essence of the national question of the R.S.F.S.R. consists in the minor nationalities overcoming the backwardness (economic, political and cultural) which they have inherited from the past, in order to make it possible for the backward peoples to overtake Central Russia in a political, cultural and economic sense."

This is possible only when a close, political union is established between all the nationalities of the Soviet Union for the common struggle against the combined forces of the capitalist world. Hence we have the Party directive included in our programme to unite all national republics into one close, unified, State Union, with the more advanced nationalities assisting the backward nationalities.

"The National Soviet Republics, having freed themselves of their 'own' and of the 'alien' bourgeoisies can defend their existence and conquer the united forces of imperialism only when united into one close State Union. If they do not unite they will fail to conquer." (From the Resolution on the National Question, Sixteenth Party Congress.) "The task of the Party consists in helping the toiling masses of other non-Great Russian nations to overtake Central Russia which has gone far ahead of them." {Ibid.).

It is a well-known fact that the first directive of the Party has been fulfilled. The ten years' existence of a number of Soviet Republics and regions, united into one system, the U.S.S.R., bears witness to this fact.

But how is the second task progressing; with the assistance of the proletariat of the entire Union to raise the backward national regions to the level of the more advanced districts? – and thereby to eliminate all inequalities, to reconstruct the economy of the backward national regions on a socialist basis, and to overtake and surpass, in a technical and economical sense, the most advanced capitalist countries?

To answer this question which determines the practical realisation of the Leninist national policy we must review the development of the main branches of the economic and cultural reconstruction of the national republics and regions which recently celebrated their tenth anniversary.

"National inequality... rested on economic inequality historically formed. This inequality expressed itself first of all in the borderland countries of Russia (particularly Turkestan)... which were forced to supply all kinds of raw materials to be manufactured in Central Russia. This was the cause of their constant backwardness. It hampered the rise and development of a proletariat within these oppressed nations. The proletarian revolution on the western borderlands inevitably had to grapple with these shortcomings and its primary task was therefore to organise planned industry in these borderlands..." (From the Resolutions on the National Question adopted at the Tenth Party Congress.)

In this regard the proletariat of the backward districts was most in need of aid from the proletariat of the advanced Soviet districts.

Having this in view, the Twelfth Party Congress decided:

"This aid (to the backward national districts – P.R.) must, first of all be expressed by taking practical measures to organise industrial centres in the republics of the formerly oppressed nations, and in attracting the greatest possible number of local workers to these industries."

The solution of these tasks was very difficult during the restoration period because of our extremely limited resources. Yet even during that period some progress in industrial construction could be recorded. It was set in full swing, however, only during the reconstruction period, particularly in connection with the Five Year Plan. The following is one of the directives laid down by the Party in defining the tasks of the Five Year Plan:

"To pay particular attention to raising the economic and cultural level of the backward peoples inhabiting the border countries... and accelerating their rate of development." (From the Resolutions of the Fifteenth Party Congress.)

The results of the first decade of socialist construction in several national republics and districts show that the Party has achieved tremendous successes in the solution of these primary tasks. Take for instance:

Kazakstan. Although possessing immense industrial possibilities, this country was condemned to relentless exploitation and oppression by the colonising policy of the autocracy. The small industrial enterprises which existed in Kazakstan prior to the Revolution did not play an important economic part and were used as a means of even further oppressing the native population.

Only with the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat has industrial construction begun to develop in Kazakstan. Investments in the non-ferrous metal industry (Reder, Karsakpai, Turlan known for its lead) for 1927-28 and 1928-29 reached 33 million rubles – investments in the non-ferrous metal industry under the Five-Year Plan total 243 million rubles... Northeastern Kazakstan is becoming the centre of the non-ferrous metal industry of the entire Soviet Union. Investments in the oil industry (Emba oil) for the same two years amounted to 12.5 million rubles. The phosphorus, salt and rubber industries are highly developed in Kazakstan. Tens of millions of rubles are being invested in the Aktuybinsk chemical combine alone. The coal resources of the Republic are being worked for the first time; the Karaganda coal mines have already produced the first shipment of coal for Soviet industry, and should play an important part in the solution of the Urals-Kuzbas problems.

At the same time the question of railroad transportation in Kazakstan is rapidly approaching its solution. Traversing all Kazakstan – "the country of desolate steppes and no roads" – the Turk-Sib railroad, 1,452 kilometres long has already been laid. Another 2,000 kilometres Kazakstan railroad is being built, which, with a number of branch lines, will, in the near future, connect the basic industrial and agricultural districts of that republic. The total length of new railroad constructed in Kazakstan will be 7,000 kilometres by the end of the Five-Year Plan. On the whole, the Five-Year Plan calls for an investment of 345.7 million rubles in the Kazakstan industries. As a result of these capital investments, the basic capital of the Kazakstan industry will increase more than 500 per cent, while the average increase in the basic capital of the entire industry of the U.S.S.R. will not be quite 300 per cent.

Let us take Dagestan. Prior to the Revolution there was only one industrial enterprise in Port-Petrovsk (Makhach-Kala), Dagestan – a mill manufacturing cheap cotton. At the present lime there are several large industrial centres in the Republic; a mechanised glass factory, "Dagogni," with production valued at 4 million rubles per annum; a wool-washing factory and a wool-weaving mill; three canneries, and a number of smaller enterprises (chemical, nail, leather and other factories). The value of industrial production per year amounts to 15 million rubles. Besides this, the construction of the Gergebil Hydro-electric Power Station has already been commenced, and preparations are being made for the construction of a giant electric plant, Sulokges. The total capital to be invested in industry in Dagestan under the Five-Year Plan is 45 million rubles. At the beginning of the Five-Year Plan the basic capital of the Dagestan industries was calculated to be 9.5 million rubles; by the end of the Five-Year Plan this basic industrial capital will reach 47.5 million rubles. Thus, the increase of the basic capital will be more than 400 per cent.

The Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. This "first jewel in the crown of the Russian Tsar" was of no industrial significance prior to the Revolution, and the attitude towards the prospective industrial development of the Crimea was sceptical and not encouraging for it was considered a pity to becloud "the jewel" with factory soot. The only industries which the Russian bourgeoisie fostered in the Crimea were the food and tobacco industries. With the Revolution the immense potentialities of the Crimean mining industry became realities. The construction of the Kerch metallurgical giant and of a metal works laid the foundations for the development of large-scale industry in the Republic. The sulphur-refining mill and sulphur plant at Chekurkayash and the cement factory in Kharadag are the first steps in this direction. Besides this the canning industry is rapidly developing there. The Five-Year Plan intends to bring capital investments in the Crimean industry up to 173.6 million rubles, the main part of which will be invested in new metallurgical construction. The basic capital of Crimean industry will thus be more than quadrupled.

Yakutiya. The vastness of this territory (15 per cent of the entire territory of the U.S.S.R.), the practically complete absence of any means of communication and transport, its severe climatic conditions, the sparsity of its population, its lack of specialists and skilled labour all contributed to retard its development. Nevertheless, due to the efforts of the Party and the Soviet power, industrial construction in Yakutiya has made important strides. Three saw mills and one leather factory have been built; the Saganur and Kangal coal mines are now being worked. The further development of industry in Yakutiya as well as the rest of its economy depends on the solution of the transportation problem. The Five-Year Plan provides that the major capital invested, in fact, 99 per cent of all investments should be for transportation. The basic industrial fund in Yakutiya was calculated to be 0.4 million rubles in 1928. Under the first Five-Year Plan 20 million rubles will be invested in transportation and industrial construction. The basic capital of industry and transportation will therefore increase more than twentyfold.

The Republics of Central Asia. These Republics comprise one complete economic unit in which the cotton industry predominates. That is why the development of industrial construction in the Republics of Central Asia is concentrated primarily in the textile and cotton manufacturing industries. It is expected that under the first Five-Year Plan 97.5 million rubles will be invested in the development of the cotton industry (75 million rubles in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, 18.8 million rubles in Turkmenistan and about 4 million rubles in Kirgizia). Already several large cotton manufacturing enterprises have been put into operation or are being finished in the cotton districts of Central Asia; two spinning and weaving combines in Ashkhabad and erFergana, several butter-making factories in Samarkand, Kashta- Kurgan, Fergana and Charju; a second and a third factory of the cotton manufacturing combine in Fergana; a number of large cotton cleaning factories, etc., etc. In short, we have already made considerable progress in fulfilling the Party directives with regard to building up the cotton manufacturing industry in the cotton growing districts; the completion of the first Five-Year Plan will multiply these achievements considerably.

Simultaneously, other branches of industry are springing up in Central Asia. For the first time great efforts are being made to exploit the oil wealth of this region. In 1929-30 the output of oil in Uzbekistan reached 41,000 tons; by the end of the first Five-Year Plan it will reach 400,000 tons.

The coal mining industry is also developing. A paper factory using reed as its raw material with a contemplated output of 5,000 tons of paper, and a large beet-sugar factory are under construction in Kirgizia.

Much is being done in the way of railroad construction in Central Asia. Stalinabad is already connected with the Central Asia railroad and a number of other railroad lines are being built, die total new trackage reaching 2,000 kilometres.

In 1927-28 the basic capital invested in the industries of the Republics of Central Asia was 104 million rubles. Under the Five-Year Plan the total sum of capital investments in the industry of Central Asia will reach 466 million rubles. Thus, the increase in the basic industrial capital will amount to almost 400 per cent.

These successes recorded in industrial construction in the Soviet Republics of Central Asia are all the more significant because, prior to the Revolution, Central Asia had no important industry whatever. All its new industrial centres are the achievements of the victorious proletariat, leading millions belonging to formerly oppressed nationalities to a new life.

Chuvashia. In 1931 there were in all about twenty-nine industrial enterprises in Chuvashia, primarily lumber and food concerns; their basic capital was estimated to be about a million rubles.

In 1927-28 the number of enterprises large enough to enter the census in Chuvashia rose to thirty-two, with a basic capital of 87 million rubles. The main trend of industrial development of the Republic is still towards the lumber and food industries. Simultaneously, the basic chemical industry and the non-ore mineral industries are making headway. The building of the Burnat phosphorite plant, the approximate cost of which is estimated at 1.8 million rubles, has begun; as has the preparatory work for the construction of a large clinker factory. According to the Five-Year Plan there will be a general increase in the basic industrial capital of 800 per cent, with a capital investment of about 80 million rubles.

The increase in the basic capital in other Republics and regions of the Union which are marking their tenth anniversary is no less significant. As a result of the capital investments, falling under the Five-Year Plan, the basic industrial capital has increased 442 per cent in White Russia; 302 per cent in the Trans-Caucasian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (excluding the Azerbaijan oil fields); in Buryato-Mongolia, 967 per cent; in Karelia, 306.2 per cent; in the Mariy district, 589.5 per cent, etc.

The basic industrial capital in the national Republics of the Soviet Union increased on the average 350 per cent during the Five-Year Plan. The proportion of the basic industrial capital of the backward national Republics in the All-Union industrial fund increases accordingly. In 1928 the proportion of the basic industrial capital of Kazakstan was 0.9 per cent of the total fund of the Union, but in 1933 it will reach 1.8 per cent, that is it will be doubled. The proportion of the basic industrial capital in the Republics of Central Asia will also be double, reaching 3 per cent of the basic industrial capital of the entire industry of the U.S.S.R. A considerable increase in the proportion of the basic industrial capital of the national regions to the total industrial capital of the entire Soviet Union is also to be observed in other Republics.

Even these incomplete figures of the growth of industrial construction in the backward national districts bear witness to the fact that the Party decision to take practical steps to organise industrial centres in the Republics of what formerly were oppressed nations, are being fulfilled with Bolshevik persistency.

It stands to reason that our accomplishments in the industrial development of the backward national districts are inadequate in view of the tasks which still confront us. We have only recently begun the practical solution of the geographic allocation of industry, which means the transfer of the heavy industry to the Soviet East. We have made but a bare beginning in the construction of the Urals-Kuzbas combine, and we have only commenced to tackle in a practical way the Great Volga project. The solution of these and other problems of industrial construction under the Five-Year Plan will greatly increase the tempo of industrialisation of the backward national regions, which is the main prerequisite for abolishing their inequality and placing them among the advanced regions of the Soviet Union. However, even at the present stage of progress the backward national Republics and regions are throwing off their backwardness and are gradually approaching the economic and cultural level of the more advanced districts of the Soviet Union.

The characteristic features of the industrial development of these backward national regions, is, as was shown above, the growth of their basic industrial capital, which far exceeds the average growth of such capital throughout the rest of the Union. The average growth of industrial capital throughout the U.S.S.R. reached 289 per cent, the average growth of such capital in the backward national Republics reaches 350 per cent and in some cases even 1,000 per cent.

These figures prove once more the consistency of the Party in its national policy. Only a victorious proletariat, steadfastly assisting the formerly oppressed nationalities in developing their economy and culture, can lead the backward nations out of their centuries-old ignorance and oppression to the broad daylight of socialist reconstruction.

The review of industrial construction in the backward national regions shows that we have made very important progress in creating industries in those districts. In the light of that progress the "Left" grumblings of the nationalists of the type of Sadvonasov (Kazakstan) and Ishmangulov (Central Asia) about "over-industrialising" the national districts become empty mutterings indeed!

Only a persistent fight against counter-revolutionary Trotskyism, against the "Right" deviation, the chief danger, against the "Left" opportunists and the conciliators, assured for the Party the achievements of the industrial construction in the backward national regions which we mentioned above. It is by these very means that the general problem of industrialising the Soviet Union is being solved. The backward national districts play an important part in the industrialisation of the Soviet Union, because, by fulfilling their industrial construction programme, they are fulfilling a very definite function in the general national economy of the U.S.S.R., while the lamentation of the "Rights" (that the tempo of industrialisation adopted by the Party is "too taxing") and the clamour of the "Lefts" (about "over-industrialisation") threatened to jeopardise the success of the plan.

The struggle for the general Party line in industrial construction in the national districts also met with great opposition on the part of nationalist elements. The Great Russian chauvinists denied the necessity of industrialising the national regions, considering them mere agrarian appendages to the central industrial regions. The local nationalists, idealising the backwardness of the national districts, joined hands with the Great Russian chauvinists in their struggle against the development industrially of these backward regions.

With Bolshevik firmness the Party quelled all attempts on the part of the Great Russian chauvinists as well as of the local nationalists to distort or cripple Lenin's national policy. Our accomplishments in the field of industrial construction in the national regions are the best indication of the correctness of that policy.



This describes in a few words how the Party fulfilled the first part of the directive of the Twelfth Congress calling for the construction of industrial centres in the backward national regions. But, was there a concomitant solution of the second part of the task as formulated by the Congress? – "to work these newly created industrial centres with a maximum amount of labour recruited from the local population." In other words, was the industrial construction in the backward national districts coordinated with the creation of new proletarian cadres from the natives of these backward districts?

The creation of cadres of the proletariat taken from the native population of the backward national regions is one of the principal preconditions of their socialist re-education. The success of the struggle against the remnants of national oppression, and for the establishment of actual equality of opportunity; the struggle for a culture, socialist in essence and national in form; the struggle for the socialist reconstruction of agriculture, etc. –  all these present problems of national policy, the solution of which is closely intertwined and dependent on the solution by the Party of the task of creating proletarian cadres out of the local population of the national regions.

The importance of this task, frequently stressed by the Party, should be understood by everybody; in a number of national Republics and districts we have scored considerable achievements in this respect. However, these achievements are still not sufficient. Let us consider in detail the problem of creating cadres of national proletarians in the individual Republics.

White Russia. According to the data of the Supreme Council of National Economy of the U.S.S.R., for 1929-30 47,889 people were employed in the industries of White Russia. Of these 45.9 per cent were White Russians, 36 per cent Jews, 10.7 per cent Russians. If we bear in mind the relative proportion of the native population of White Russia – the White Russian population of the Republic is 81 per cent, the Jewish population 8.1 per cent, and the Russian 7.7 per cent – we can readily see the disproportion in the representation of these nationalities in industry. The recruiting of White Russians into industry lags very far behind; 45.9 per cent of the White Russian population is employed in industry, whereas it constitutes 81 per cent of population. True, in certain branches of industry the percentage of White Russians is much higher, even approaching the normal rate. Thus, for instance, in the peat industry there are 77.9 per cent White Russians; in the ceramic industry, 76.6 per cent; in the paper industry, 69.1 per cent; in the textile industry, 61.2 per cent; in the woodworking industry, 64 per cent. But, in the printing, footwear, leather and needle trades there are very few White Russian workers; from about 14 per cent in the needle trades to about 49 per cent in the leather industry. In the metal industry there are only 46.8 per cent White Russians.

Many industrial branches in White Russia grew out of the Kustar or home industry. This left its imprint on the national composition of the proletariat. The Jews, the predominant majority of whom lived in the cities of White Russia, occupied the central place in all forms of Kustar production. As this production was being transformed into an industry, the majority of the Jews, former Kustars, naturally gravitated towards that industry. In the needle trades they comprise 78.5 per cent; in the printing trade, 73.3 per cent; in the footwear industry, 70.1 per cent; in the leather industry, 57.1 per cent; in the metal industry, 33.3 per cent. This process of attracting the Jews into industry should be considered a positive advance, for only the proletarian Revolution made it possible for working Jews to engage without discrimination in productive industrial labour.

The White Russians occupy a conspicuous place in the following newly-created industries of White Russia; the glass, paper and railway transportation. Because of the prospects of a further rapid growth of new branches of industry in White Russia, the above circumstances will help to increase the proportion of White Russian workers in industry, and will undoubtedly remove the present discrepancy between their proportion in the population and in industry.

It is significant that the process of recruiting the native nationalities of White Russia into industry takes in not only unskilled labour, but highly skilled as well. The administrative staff of industrial enterprises in White Russia (directors, managers of shops, foremen, etc.) consists of .35-2 per cent of White Russians, 42.8 per cent of Jews, 2.8 per cent of Poles and 4.7 per cent of Letts.

All of the above tends to prove that the Party organisation of White Russia is on the right path in creating native industrial cadres and has achieved considerable success.

We have also made great progress in this direction in Kazakstan. In 1929-30, 164,000 workers were employed in the industries of Kazakstan. Out of these 34 per cent were Kazaks. It is interesting to study the gradual process of creating native proletarian cadres in Kazakstan. In 1926-27, out of 46,000 industrial workers, 16 per cent were Kazaks. In 1927-28, out of 64,000 workers, 19 per cent were Kazaks. In 1928-29, out of 91,000 workers, 32 per cent were Kazaks. These figures show the wide gap which still must be bridged before the native proletariat of Kazakstan will correspond in number to the proportion of natives to the entire population.

In some branches of Kazakstan industry, however, Kazaks hold a dominating position numerically. In the Baikonur coal mines, for instance, the Kazak workers comprised 57.7 per cent; in the Karsakpai copper smelting plant, 53 per cent; at "Emba- oil", 52.2 per cent; in the Jezkazgon copper mines; 44.4 per cent of the total number of workers; but in other large enterprises like the Turkestan-Siberian railroad (Turksib), and the Reder silver-lead combine, the proportion of the Kazak workers is extremely small: on the Turk-Sib 19.5 per cent of the employees are natives; on the Reder, 19 per cent.

While recruiting Kazak workers into industry, an attempt is also being made to replenish workers' cadres from among the other eastern nationalities inhabiting Kazakstan. In fifty-two enterprises investigated in Kazakstan only about 2 per cent of the total number of workers belong to the eastern nationalities (Uzbeks, Dungan, Uygurts, etc.). This percentage is very small if you consider that the eastern nationalities make up over 8 per cent of the Kazakstan population.

Despite the scanty absorption of Kazaks into some branches of industry, considerable progress has been made in the general direction of this work in Kazakstan, if we take into consideration only the quantitative indices. The qualitative composition of the Kazak workers being drawn into industry is much inferior. The majority of them are unskilled. In the fifty-two enterprises recorded by the census, only 20 per cent of the total number of skilled workers are Kazaks. In the Emba oil fields only 7.9 per cent of the Kazak workers are skilled; on the Turk-Sib, 3.4 per cent; in Karsakpai, 26.4 per cent. This enormous slowness in creating native proletarian cadres demands careful study and strenuous efforts must be made to take it up. The Soviet and Party organisations of Kazakstan are now working on that problem, and the gap will be bridged in the very near future, first because a number of study courses have now been organised to raise the skill of the Kazak workers, and secondly because educational work of this kind is constantly going on directly in the various enterprises.

The process of recruiting proletarian cadres from among the native population in the other national Republics and regions marking their tenth anniversary may be briefly described as follows:

Dagestan. Prior to the Revolution there were only about 700 industrial workers here. Now their number has increased to about 8,000, 84 per cent of whom are workers from the various nationalities of Dagestan, native mountaineers (Avarians, Darginians, Tuyrks, Kumukhs, and others).

Uzbekistan. During the last two years, the number of the proletariat alone in the Republic increased by 5,000. In 1929-30, according to the data of the S.C.N.E. of the U.S.S.R., the total number of workers in Uzbekistan was 19,809. Out of these 52.7 per cent were natives. However, a decrease in the percentage of native workers in some enterprises has been noted lately. Thus, for instance, at a Fergana factory, there were 62.5 per cent native workers in May, 1930; in August of the same year the percentage fell to 51 per cent. It is important to harp on the rapid elimination of these slow tempoes of creating proletarian cadres out of the local population. For the year 1928-29, the proportion of the national proletariat increased only 0.3 per cent, while the total number of industrial workers increased considerably more.

Turkmenistan. In January, 1930, there were 5,359 workers and employees in the industries subject to census, whereas in 1922-23 there had been only 200-300. Of these 18.7 per cent were Turkomens. In such branches of industry as the cotton cleaning factories, silk and cotton mills, and filatures, the number of Turkomens ranges between 30 and 42 per cent (cotton cleaning factories 42.7 per cent, cotton mills 30.3 per cent, filatures 39.8 per cent). But in the manufacture of iron and steel products, and in the printing and other industries of Turkmenistan, the percentage of native workers is very low indeed, not exceeding 5 per cent.

The Tartar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1927-28 there were about 11,000 workers in Tartaria. By January, 1931, their number had increased to 18,000, an increase of about 70 per cent. But the increase of Tartar cadres of workers is not commensurate. In 1927-29 they constituted 26.1 per cent. By January, 1931, the percentage rose to 30, an increase of 4 per cent. In railroad transportation 12 per cent of the workers are Tartar. In the textile industry the number of Tartar workers tends to decrease; on 1st April, 1930, 30.3 per cent of the workers in the textile industry were Tartars, but early in October of the same year their number receded to 27.2 per cent.

Chuvashia. According to the figures of the Chuvash Council of National Economy there were about 680 Chuvashians in a total of 1,580 industrial workers in the Republic on 1st January, 1930; that is about 43.1 per cent. The growth of the industries of the Republic demands many new cadres of workers. These new workers come primarily from among the Chuvashians. The study courses organised in Chuvashia to prepare skilled workers had graduated 1,035 students by October, 1930; 98 per cent of these were Chuvashians.

The very significant figures of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions, which go into the dynamics of the increase in cadres of national proletarians in the national Republics and regions will give us a lucid picture of this increase without stopping to consider each individual region. On 1st January, 1929, over 200,000 native workers were employed in the industries subject to census, in the Trans-Caucasian Republics, in Central Asia, Tartaria, Dagestan, Kazakstan and Bashkiria. Eight years ago, in January, 1924, there were only 100,000 of them, that is, the number of native workers has doubled.

All the above figures and computations corroborate the fact that we have made considerable progress in fulfilling the directive of the Party "to draw the greatest number possible of the local population" into the industries of the backward national regions. But the results so far obtained are by no means adequate. Our shortcomings in this work of creating proletarian cadres out of the native population such as the slow rate of growth of the national proletariat in proportion to the growth of the general industrial population, the small percentage of native workers who are skilled, as well as the actual decrease in the number of native workers noted in some branches of industry in some national Republics must be fought to a finish. The local Party and Soviet organisations must continue to fight against the chauvinistic attitude of the Great Russian economic leaders who underestimate the importance of creating native proletarian cadres. The prospects of the further industrial development of the national districts will undoubtedly bring to the fore the question of raising the native proletariat to a higher level.

(4) Right. – Usbek farmer learning to drive tractor.
(5). – Siberian boatmen on the Lena River.


The backward national Republics and districts of the Soviet Union are agricultural peasant countries in economic structure and in the composition of the population. Up to the October Revolution, many of the inhabitants lived in a semi-feudal, patriarchal system of society. The task of the proletarian dictatorship was, and is, to direct the development of the backward national regions and Republics along socialistic lines, with the assistance of the proletariat of the advanced regions of the Union, and to eliminate the capitalist stage of development.

We have shown above how this task is being solved in the field of industrial construction. The solution of this problem in the field of agriculture is even more important and presents even greater difficulties. The solution of this problem in the sphere of agriculture demanded:

First, to abolish all semi-feudal and patriarchal relationships, thus freeing the toiling peasantry from the exploitation of and dependence upon the local and immigrant landowners – kulaks and semi-feudal lords.

Second, to strengthen the social and economic position of the toiling peasantry, providing them with "land out of a free State fund" (resolution of the Twelfth Party Congress), and at the expense of the landowners and semi-feudal lords.

Third, to organise the poor and middle peasantry of the national districts for an active struggle against the semi-feudal lords and kulaks, by the enforcement of the land and water utilisation reforms, the restriction, dispossession and isolation of the kulaks; the strengthening of the influence of the proletariat, and of the various producers', sellers' and consumers' co-operatives, thus preparing to change the agriculture of the national districts "from small-scale agriculture to the planned, collectivised cultivation of the land" (from the resolution of the Tenth Party Congress).

The methods, tempoes and forms used to bring about this change differed in every district according to the special circumstances of each district, such as the level of its agricultural and cultural development; but their single purpose was to solve the fundamental problem of creating the necessary conditions for the socialist reconstruction of agriculture in the national districts, for their transition "from small-scale agriculture to planned, collectivised cultivation of the land."

It goes without saying that the solution of this fundamental problem included the solution of such closely allied problems as increasing the area sown, settling the nomadic and semi-nomadic peoples, the specialisation of agricultural districts (technical crops, grain, cattle-breeding), increasing the net and commodity production of agriculture, etc.

What achievements have we accomplished in the struggle for the socialist reconstruction of agriculture in the national districts?

In evaluating the successes in each national Republic or region, the economic and cultural level and the special living conditions of each region concerned must be given due consideration; for the tempo and the method of socialist reconstruction of agriculture in any given region depends on these things. During the spring of 1930 this fundamental rule was disregarded in many national Republics and regions. Ignoring the principle of voluntary action in building collectives, the leaders, in their eagerness to swell the collectivisation figures, attempted to create collective farms by force in regions where the necessary preconditions for their existence were not yet ripe. Comrade Stalin gave an excellent characterisation of this type of "collectivisation." All Party decisions emphasised the fact that the methods of socialist reconstruction in the backward national regions must conform strictly to their cultural and economic peculiarities. Moreover, the Party demanded that the whole attention of the local Party organisations in the backward national districts must be centred, first, on preparing a mass collective farm movement by adopting the necessary measures, and that then only mass collectivisation should follow, and with it the liquidation of the kulak as a class. The fulfilment of this Party task, the exposing of "Right" opportunism that tried to retard and undermine collective farm construction in general and that of the national regions in particular (on the plea that they were backward and therefore not ready for collective farming), and the simultaneous rectification of all "Left" excesses, has helped the collective farm movement in all regions to acquire a genuinely voluntary mass character and to achieve considerable success.

In order to give a correct estimate of the extent of this success, which varies greatly in the different national regions, it is important, first of all, to examine several general results.

On 20th September, 1931, collectivisation embraced 40 per cent of all peasant households in Georgia; in Uzbekistan, 66.7 per cent; in Turkmenistan, 56.7 per cent; in Tajikistan, 28.5 per cent; in the Tartar Republic, 62.3 per cent; in Bashkiria, 66.7 per cent; in Chuvashia, 41.5 per cent; in the Mariy region, 42.5 per cent; in the Komi region, 56.1 per cent; in Kazakstan, 62.5 per cent; in Kirgizia, 51.3 per cent; in Buryato-Mongolia, 68 per cent; in Armenia, 32.2 per cent; in Dagestan, 20 per cent. A number of national districts (the Crimea, Adygeya, Moldavia, the German Volga Republic and others) have, in the main, completed their collectivisation.

The tremendously increased collectivisation of the national regions was accompanied by increase in the sown area.

In 1929 the sown area in the Trans-Caucasian Republics was 207 per cent of pre-war, in Kazakstan 135 per cent, in Turkmenistan 115 per cent, in Dagestan 136 per cent, in Tartaria 103 per cent, in Buryato-Mongolia 117 per cent. True enough in some Republics the increase in the sown area was not as great as in others. In Uzbekistan, for instance, the total sown area has not yet reached the 1916 level. However, in Uzbekistan a tremendous area is planted with raw material crops such as cotton, which compensates, to a large degree, for the lack of growth of the general sown area. Thus the cotton area in Uzbekistan was extended to 158 per cent of the pre-war area.

The growth of the collective farm movement brought about an even greater increase in the sown areas: "Last year's 24 million hectares of peasant sown land increased to 35 million hectares of collective-farm sown land this year" (Spring, 1930). So said Comrade Yakolvev at the Sixteenth Party Congress.

The pre-war sown area is left far behind, and has ceased to be taken as a criterion for even the most backward national regions. But the achievements of this socialist reconstruction in the agriculture of the national regions are not fully brought out by a mere array of quantitative data showing the progress of collectivisation and the growth of the sown area. It is important for us to find out in what direction the collective farm movement in the national regions is developing; what it holds for the peasantry of the national regions; and to what degree the statement of Stalin that "collective farming is the only means for the peasants to escape poverty and ignorance" is being vindicated.

As a result of rectifying the "Leftist" excesses which at the beginning found their way into the mass collective farm movement among the peasants, and also in consequence of the ocular demonstration of the practical advantages of organised collective farming we experienced a great increase in the number of collective farms.

The above figures prove this conclusively. Moreover, it is important to note that the growth of collective farms in the majority of national regions is taking the form of organised artels – the basic form of collective farming. In Uzbekistan 94 per cent of the collective farms work as artels, 5.7 per cent as cooperative agricultural societies, and 0.3 per cent as communes; in Chuvashia (according to figures now out of date) out of 830 collective farms 781 work as artels; 85 per cent of the collective farms in Turkmenistan are in artels. The same is true of other national regions.

This confirms once more the correctness of the opinion held by the Party that at the present stage the chief form of collective farming should be the agricultural artel.

As to the effect of collectivisation on the material well-being of the toiling peasants, this can be judged from the scores of articles and news items concerning the growth of various collective farms which crowd the columns of our daily press. To avoid repetition, let us enumerate only a few of the more characteristic bits of information culled from a copious research study.

An investigation of about a hundred collective farms in Bashkiria, Uzbekistan and Kazakstan revealed the following facts: the average income of the collective farmer is two or three times that of the individual farmer, and amounts to about 1,200 rubles in the grain districts and 2,000 rubles in the cotton districts.

Last year a number of collective farms in Chuvashia which almost doubled their income of the previous year, set to work on the very important task of building collectivised cattle sheds, organising communal kitchens, etc. The income of the middle peasant in these collective farms exceeds 1,000 rubles.

An investigation was made of fourteen collective farms covering 624 holdings in Karelia. Before they were united into collective farms, the sown area of these holdings was 517 hectares; now it equals 1,034 hectares. The majority of the collective farms have adopted the manifold crop rotation system as a result of which about 90 per cent of the arable soil is always under cultivation. Before entering the collective farm the holdings of the poor peasants yielded an average income of 320 rubles: in the collective farms these incomes rose to 680 rubles. The income of the middle peasant before entering the collective farm was a bare 405 rubles; now in the collective farm such a holding yields an income of 1,260 rubles.

There is no need to multiply examples of this type for the advantages of collective farming are already indisputable and obvious to everybody. In the national regions these advantages are even greater because the backwardness of the individual peasant holding there is much more pronounced than in the adjacent Russian regions. Of course, there are enough collective farms where the picture is not so rosy, due to poor organisation of labour and the absence of piece-work. But this cannot detract from the general importance of collectivisation as the only way out of ignorance and poverty.

The construction of machine and tractor stations and State farms also plays an important part in the socialist transformation of agriculture in the national regions.

Machine and tractor stations are the most important lever in aid of the national policy of the Party. They are among the strongest conductors of proletarian influence on the national masses. They ride roughshod over all archaic economic and social survivals and uproot traces of all backwardness; they draw millions of peasants into a new life, and finally they show clearly the consistency of the Party in its endeavour to equip the toiling peasantry technically and to wean away the national regions from the wooden plough to the iron tractor.

Only six or seven years ago, not to mention the pre-revolutionary period, the wooden plough was the chief agricultural implement in these backward national regions. Even the metal plough was a comparatively rare sight in many places. But in the autumn of 1931 we had 326 machine and tractor stations in national districts out of 1,227 throughout the entire Union. Forty-eight machine and tractor stations are located in Uzbekistan, ten each in Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, twenty-four in the Trans-Caucasian Republics, twenty-seven in the White Russian S.S.R., five in Dagestan, forty-four in Kazakstan, eight in Kirigisia, seventeen in the Tartar Republic, fourteen in the Crimea, sixteen in Bashkiria, four in Chuvashia, one in Buryato- Mongolia, etc.

The machine and tractor stations play a most important part in the reconstruction of agriculture in the national regions. One has to see them in action to be able fully to realise their importance. Suffice it to say that, as a rule, two or three months after a machine and tractor station has been set up in any district, the neighbouring villagers literally flock into the collective farms. In the great majority of districts supplied with machine and tractor stations collectivisation is in the main completed; regions such as Merv, Bayramal and Charjuy (Central Asia) are definite proof of this.

In discussing the achievements of the machine and tractor stations, Comrade Stalin said: "Such is the road – from the wooden plough to the iron tractor – travelled by the peasant economy of our country. Let all men take notice that the working class of the Soviet Union has definitely and firmly resolved to provide the re-equipment of its ally, the toiling peasantry" (Pravda, 28th October, 1931.)

For the national regions this re-equipment means a revolution in their backward patriarchal mode of living based on age-long oppression by their own and foreign exploiters.

The organisation of State farms is also very important in the socialist reconstruction of the backward national regions. The effect of the State farms on the reconstruction of agriculture in the semi-nomadic regions was likened to "magic and witchcraft" by one of the Central Asiatic newspapers. The appropriateness of this comparison is debatable – for miracles and sorcery are no concern of ours. But the fact that the State farms have literally transformed the economy of the national regions is beyond dispute.

The State farms, organised principally on land which had remained uncultivated for centuries, changed these areas into cultural oases in a comparatively short time. These oases became economic and cultural centres for the surrounding districts. Thus the Kokpekty State Farm (Kazakstan) has 50,000 head of cattle, a million hectares of land available for pasturage and cultivation, and about fifty tractors. Only two years ago this was a barren steppe, rarely traversed even by the carts of the nomadic tribes. Now we find immense cultural and economic activity there; the State farm employs upwards of 4,000 workers of whom 60 per cent are Kazaks – erstwhile nomads.

Already about 250 such huge State farms have sprung up alongside the cotton plantations in the national regions, not counting the minor State farms of only local importance. Over 70 of these 250 State farms belong to the "Zernotrest" (Grain Trust); over 100 to the "Skotovod" (Cattle Breeding Trust); about 80 to the "Ovtsevod" (Sheep Raising Trust).

State farms play a particularly important part in the development of technical crops and cattle breeding in the national regions.

The specialisation of agricultural areas which was introduced only after the establishment of the Soviet power, not only transforms the backward national regions into very rich farming districts generally, but develops their agriculture in accordance with their several natural peculiarities and the needs of industry for raw materials. Cotton in Central Asia and in the Republics of Trans-Caucasia, other raw material plants as well as tobacco on the Caucasian shore of the Black Sea, Kendir, Kenaf and others – such cultivation of raw materials for industry must take first place in the respective national regions and replace the grain crops there. The demand for grain in the national regions must be met by shipments from the special grain districts. The State farms are called to play an important part in this specialisation of the agricultural districts of the national Republics and regions as they must give the initiative in organising collective farms, in supplying technical aid as well as in cultivating the most desirable of crops. The State cotton plantations of Central Asia are, on the whole, coping well with this task and are becoming the central point in the struggle for the cotton independence of our country.

The State farms are facing an equally important and a complicated problem in the development of cattle-breeding; for they are becoming pivotal points in the struggle for the solution of the cattle-breeding problem. For various reasons (natural disasters, foot-and-mouth disease, the malicious killing off of cattle by kulaks, etc.) the number of cattle considerably decreased in many national regions. Because of this livestock breeding became an acute problem in those parts. What have the State farms done towards the solution of this problem?

This year the number of cattle in the Sheep Trust increased to 7,400 thousand, in the Cattle Raising Trust to 2,800 thousand head of cattle. However, these are just the first beginnings, laying only the foundation for the solution of the problem.

In the backward national regions, the livestock raising problem is closely connected with the effort to settle the nomads. The nomad mode of life which, prior to the Revolution, predominated in Kazakstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and in a number of other national regions, was a source of special exploitation of the poor and middle strata of the nomads by the Bais.* Even pre-Revolution statistics showed that up to 50 per cent of the nomadic families were virtually farm labourers for the large cattle breeders – the Bais. Now, nomadic life has been dealt a decisive blow. The collective farms, the State farms, the machine and tractor stations, the hay-cutting machines – all these new methods employed to reconstruct agriculture, which were introduced into the national regions by the dictatorship of the proletariat, delivered hundreds and thousands of poor and middle peasants from the hardships of their former nomadic existence. In Kazakstan alone about 200,000 people, formerly nomads, will settle on the State farms within the next few years.

* Bais – rich peasant, kulak: cf., the Gaelic "Boaire," the "lord of cattle."

But the problem of settling the nomads is being solved not only by establishing State farms and collective farms and machine and tractor stations; broadly conceived industrial construction which is to transform the entire economic life of these backward national regions is no less important a factor in the solution of the problem.

These are, in brief, our general achievements in the struggle for the collectivisation of agriculture in the national regions, for its transformation "from small-scale agriculture to planned, collectivised cultivation of the land." To show clearly how all these achievements affect the national regions and how they change their economic and social mode of living, let us consider the main processes in the development and reconstruction of agriculture in some Republics and regions which have celebrated their tenth anniversary.



Before the Revolution, most of the land of White Russia was in the hands of large landowners and kulaks. According to 1916 data 40.7 per cent of all land in White Russia was concentrated in the hands of the rich landlords; 18.3 per cent in the hands of the rich kulaks (owning about 50 desyatines or 135 acres). Only 34.4 per cent of the land fell to the lot of the peasantry. Again up to 50 per cent of this land was in the hands of the village kulaks. The poor and middle peasants tilled primarily rented land.

The proletarian Revolution gave about 1,300 thousand hectares of land to the toiling peasantry of White Russia. This encouraged the rapid development of agriculture there. The sown area increased 28.8 per cent in 1928 as compared with 1916. The area under technical crops increased 48.2 per cent. At the same time cattle breeding also noticeably increased. In 1928, the number of heads of cattle increased 37 per cent as compared with 1916.

But the general growth of White Russian agriculture was not accompanied by a corresponding increase in its commodity products until 1930. The chief reason for this was the system of small farm holdings advocated by the White Russian national democrats and "Right" opportunists (the Prishchepovshchina). After overcoming these counter-revolutionary opportunist tendencies, White Russia entered on the road to collectivisation which quickly won the key position in the development of agriculture. In 1927-28 the socialised sector of agriculture comprised only 2 per cent; by the tenth anniversary of Soviet White Russia, it had risen to 17.1 per cent. On 20th September, 1931, that figure was 48.5 per cent.

With the growth in the socialisation of agriculture, gross and commodity production likewise increased greatly. In 1930 the socialised sector contributed 25 per cent of all grain collections. The gross production of agriculture in 1929-30 increased 7.6 per cent in comparison with pre-war production. The gross production of agriculture per capita increased accordingly; in 1926- 27 production in sectors worked individually was about 144 rubles; in 1927-28, 150 rubles; in 1928-29, 156 rubles; in the collective farm sector the increase is much greater: in 1927-28, 224 rubles; in 1928-29, 260 rubles; in 1930, up to 300.

The colonisation policy of the Russian Tsars condemned the Kazak nation, numbering almost four millions to assimilation and extinction. The method most frequently employed to effectuate this policy was to dispossess the toiling Kazaks of the best lands and to settle them in the arid steppes, peopling the vacated lands with Russian settlers, and to introduce a veritable hell of exploitation of the toiling Kazaks through extortionately high taxes and all kinds of indirect exaction. This gave encouragement to the nomadic form of life so advantageous to the Bais and large semi-feudal owners.

Prior to the Revolution the Kazaks who had been crowded out to the arid steppes did not till the land. Their chief occupation was nomadic cattle breeding of a primitive natural kind. But it was exclusively the semi-feudal and the Bais elements of the Kazak who led an independent nomadic life. The poor and middle families were in the main either directly or indirectly dependent on the "Nomadic Lords" – the Bais. Patriarchal society and the Government sanctioned this deprivation of the rights of the poor and middle classes, creating even more favourable conditions for the exploitation by the Bais.

The proletarian dictatorship smashed this system of oppression of the toiling Kazaks by their own exploiters and those that came from other regions. Up to 1925 all measures taken by the Party and the Soviet Government in the Kazak village were in the main directed against the inequality in the position of the toiling Kazaks as compared to the Russian settlers, and in favour of a complete reconstruction of the economic relationships in the Kazak village.

The year 1925 was a memorable one in Kazakstan, for, in that year important measures were taken to liberate the toiling Kazaks from the Bais slavery. These measures consisted mainly in the confiscation of the property of the rich Bais and the semi-feudal lords. As a result of this confiscation 14,000 individual poor and middle holdings were organised, the exploiting domination of the leading Bai came to an end, the village poor were invited to take an active part in reconstruction and the social status of the middle peasant, and the mainstay of the village was elaborated. But the main results achieved by the confiscation were, first, sounding of the death knell of the rich Bais, whose loss of power destroyed the very basis of this domination; and second, taking the first steps towards the re-moulding of the Kazak village along socialist lines. As a result of this confiscation 639 collective farms were organised and consolidated. These collective farms laid a firm basis for the further development of collectivisation in Kazakstan.

At the same time great efforts were made to convert the Kazaks from a nomadic to a settled mode of life, to supply them with land, etc. Finally, the technical agriculture-equipment of the Republic improved continuously. By 1931, 2,945 tractors had been brought into Kazakstan; the value of other agricultural machinery imported exceeded two million rubles.

All these and a number of other measures taken resulted in the rapid growth of agriculture in Kazakstan. They have also created a favourable ground for the development of collectivisation and for the socialist reconstruction of the peasant economy of the Republic. By the tenth anniversary of Kazakstan its sown area was 4,344,000 hectares as against a little over three million in 1916. In 1930 almost 40 per cent of the Kazak land was held by permanent settlers. By 1931, 30 per cent of the population of the Republic and 50 per cent of the sown area were organised into 6,144 collective farms; by 20th September, 1931, 62.5 per cent of the Kazak households were organised into collective farms. The gross production of agriculture has also considerably increased, having reached 2,213,000 tons.

Because of the ruthless destruction of cattle by the White Guards during the Civil War, the loss of cattle due to elemental disasters, foot-and-mouth disease, and also because of the malicious killing off of cattle by the rich Bais and kulaks, a considerable decrease in the number of cattle took place. However, this decrease is being rapidly remedied. Supreme efforts are now bent on reorganising cattle breeding. The development of cattle breeding in the last four years has not only re-established the pre-war number of cattle, but increased it considerably. The sixty- one cattle-breeding State farms and the 1,500 cattle-breeding collective farms with a total number of cattle amounting to two million heads are the main reliance in the reorganisation of cattle breeding.

Rural life in Kazakstan is changing, as is every other phase of its economic being. The country is being reconstructed socialistically, which opens up before the Kazak nation great perspectives of economic and cultural development.

During the Imperialist and Civil Wars the agriculture of Dagestan declined considerably. The sown area of the Republic, due to the destruction of numerous villages, and the laying waste of the irrigation systems, decreased from 346,000 hectares in 1914 to 114,000 hectares in 1923. The number of cattle also fell off considerably.

This sharp recession in agriculture is being liquidated rapidly. In 1930 cattle breeding reached 93 per cent of the pre-war level, but the cultivation of land was still lagging, and only 82 per cent of the sown area was restored. This retardation can be explained by a decided change in the character of its agriculture; for the planting of technical crops, particularly cotton, has grown apace. The area sown to cotton reached 23,690 hectares in 1930 as against 300 hectares in 1927, while that under kenaf reached 17,000 hectares as against 3,800 in 1927. All in all, the technical crops increased almost 400 per cent as compared with pre-war figures. During 1931 agriculture in Dagestan made great strides. The sown area exceeded the pre-war area by 375,000 hectares; the number of cattle also exceeded the pre-war figure.

The rapid growth of agriculture in Dagestan goes hand in hand with its socialist reconstruction, its technical re-equipment, the restoration of the old irrigating systems and the construction of new ones.

Prior to and during the first years of the Revolution the antediluvian wooden plough reigned supreme in Dagestan. Now it can be met with only in remote mountain villages. Five machine and tractor stations were set up in the Republic. Tractors exceeding 11,000 horse power are already working in the fields of Dagestan.

The irrigation system is one of the chief factors on which the prosperity of its agriculture depends. Besides the restoration of the pre-Revolution irrigation system great progress was made in creating new irrigation systems. The Sulak Canal, the Jengutay, and a number of other irrigation systems are already completed. The development of the Terek River which assures an irrigation area of 300,000-400,000 hectares, and that of the Samur River which will irrigate the rich valleys of Southern Dagestan, with their arid sub-tropical climate are the first steps planned to improve the water supply.

The entire growth of agriculture in Dagestan was made possible only by its socialist reconstruction. About half of the sown area of the Republic is in the hands of the collective and State farms. They also are the pioneers in developing technical crops, 72.6 per cent of the cotton sown and 77.5 of the kenaf sown belonging to the collective and State farms.

The further socialist reconstruction of agriculture in Dagestan is closely connected with the land irrigation reform which began in 1928, and is to take seven years.

The main objects of this reform are to deprive the landowners and churches of their land. Over 250,000 hectares of land are thus being retrieved. Then additional land will be apportioned to the village poor, which will guarantee further collective and State farm construction.

Let us take finally the Tartar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1923 agriculture in this Republic was completely ruined. The area sown to winter crops was about 60 per cent of that of 1916, the number of heads of draft animals fell from 487,000 to 237,000 and that of horned cattle from 549,000 to 285,000.

Great assistance from the entire U.S.S.R. and the utmost efforts of all the workers and toiling peasants of the Tartar Autonomous S.S.R. were necessary to restore the agriculture of the Tartar Republic and assure its further development. The figures denoting the capital investments in the agriculture of the Tartar Republic speak volumes. The last four years alone saw the following increasingly large capital investments: – 1927-28, 4,606,000 rubles; 1928-29, 7,263,000 rubles; 1929-30, 17,413,000 rubles; 1931, 52,284,000 rubles. The technical equipment of agriculture in the Republic is also increasing. In 1920 there were about 176,000 ploughs; in 1927, there were 201,000; in 1930, 260,000; seventeen tractor stations having 2,500 tractors were organised; complicated agricultural machinery, and implements worth many hundreds of thousands of rubles were brought in.

All this accelerated the rapid growth of agriculture in Tartaria. In 1927 its sown area reached 2,033,000 hectares; that is, it exceeds the pre-war area; in 1930, 2,823,000 hectares were sown. In 1927 the number of cattle also exceeded the pre-war figure; there were 521,000 draft animals and 720,000 heads of horned cattle; in 1930 the number of big horned cattle was 814,000 heads; that of draft animals, 542,000 heads.

The growth of agriculture in Tartaria, like that in all other Republics, is closely dependent on its socialist reconstruction; its change from small-scale agriculture to planned, socialised economy. On the tenth anniversary of the Republic, 15 per cent of all its farms were organised in collectives; by the autumn of 1930 this figure rose to 25 per cent, and by 20th September, collectivisation had reached 62.3 per cent. The construction of State farms was greatly developed.

Approximately the same picture of rapid development and socialist reconstruction can be observed in all the other national Republics and regions which are celebrating their tenth anniversary. Therefore we shall not discuss them separately, particularly since we pointed out at the beginning of the chapter that there were numerous general factors illustrating the growth and the socialist reconstruction of the agriculture of the national regions.

At the Twelfth Party Congress, Comrade Stalin said:

"Wherein lies the class essence of the national question? What is the national question? The class essence of the national question consists in defining the mutual relationships – I am speaking about our Soviet conditions – in defining the correct relationship between the proletariat of the former dominating nation and the peasantry of the formerly oppressed nationalities."

The data given above on the development and socialist reconstruction of agriculture prove most convincingly that in this field of economic life, so decisive for the national regions, the Party has carried out and will continue to carry out the correct Leninist policy; that the Party correctly defined the relationship between the proletariat of the advanced regions of the Union and the peasantry of the backward regions. The quintessence of these relations in the field of agriculture amount to this; that the proletariat, under the leadership of the Party, helped the backward nationalities in various ways to restore their agriculture, which had been ruined by Tsarist oppression and war, and, in many districts, assisted them in overtaking the advanced regions of the U.S.S.R. and in steering agriculture from "small-scale farming to planned, collectivised cultivation of the land," to the path of socialist development, eliminating the capitalist stage in this development.

As a result of our achievements under the Five-Year Plan of socialist construction in the U.S.S.R., of which the development of industry and agriculture in the backward national Republics is part, "the conditions for accelerating the change of the more backward regions, like the national regions of the Soviet East, to socialist development are now considerably improved" (from a resolution of the December Plenum of the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission of the C.P.S.U. on Soviet elections, 1930).

The acceleration of this change in agriculture is conditioned, as stated in the decisions of the Party Central Committee "on the further rates of collectivisation and the strengthening of the collective farms" as follows: in 1932 to complete collectivisation in the main in the grain districts of Kazakstan and Bashkiria as well as in the cotton districts of Central Asia, Kazakstan and Trans-Caucasia; to complete in the main the collectivisation in the other districts of the U.S.S.R. including the consuming districts by 1932-33.

The rapid socialist reconstruction of the entire U.S.S.R. and the achievements of the Party in the socialist development of the economy of the national Republics guarantees the fulfilment of the Party directive.

The agricultural and industrial backwardness of the national districts is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.


The proletariat of the U.S.S.R. under the leadership of the Party is accomplishing its historic mission with Leninist consistency and perseverance – its mission of helping the backward nationalities to overtake the advanced nations of the Soviet Union, and, passing by the capitalist stage of development, to arrive at "Communism through a definitely graduated development" (Lenin).

The culture of the nations of the U.S.S.R., national in form and socialist in essence, is developing rapidly – with the achievement of socialist construction in industry leading the procession.

The Tenth Party Congress in defining the next tasks of the Party on the national question, pointed out that the most important of these tasks "consists in assisting the toiling masses of the nationalities other than Great Russian to develop their own press, schools, theatre, clubs and other educational institutions in their native tongues: to establish study courses and schools in their own language for general educational, trade and technical purposes."

The Party had to solve this problem under extremely difficult circumstances. The majority of the nations of the Soviet Union, ruined and neglected nationally by the Tsar's Government, did not possess the necessary cultural forces for the development of their national cultures. The population of the national districts was almost totally illiterate; many nationalities did not even have a written language of their own.

While it was the policy of Tsarism to retard the growth of productive forces in the field of economic construction in the national districts, in "cultural" matters the Tsars did their utmost to perpetuate the mental darkness and crass ignorance of the "natives." One of the chief methods of stunting the cultural development of the oppressed nationalities was to prohibit schools, press and other cultural institutions in the mother tongue of the nations concerned.

"The development and improvement of the native dialects and the development of cultural education among the native population through these means, do not enter into the plans of the Government." Thus wrote the Tsar's Department of Public Education. The Seventh Congress of Noblemen held in 1911, expressed the ideas of the autocratic black-hundreds more frankly:

"The Russian State school must be Russian and nationalistically patriotic. A patriotic school cannot be foreign in nature. The Russian language must uncompromisingly dominate; all education must be carried on in Russian. Russia is a conglomeration of different nationalities; why should we deliberately create race separatism to which each nationality is prone? It behoves us noblemen to say that the school must be Russian – and Russian for Russians."

No wonder therefore that in the majority of cases we had to begin their cultural development with the A.B.C., by doing the most rudimentary work to set up cultural institutions in their mother tongues. All this was attended with many difficulties.

And yet, with the active assistance of the proletariat of the advanced nationalities, the backward national Republics and regions of the Union surmounted these difficulties and made great strides in the development of the various phases of culture, all national in form. The achievements recorded in economic and cultural reconstruction during the last ten years in a number of national districts are convincing proof of this.

Most of the oppressed nationalities of the Union were well- nigh completely illiterate prior to the October Revolution. The data of the 1897 census illustrated this point quite well. Only 10.13 per cent of the total population of Ukraine was literate; in Armenia, 4.7 per cent; White Russia, 11 per cent; Georgia, 12, per cent; Tartaria, 8.10 per cent; of Kazaks, 2 per cent; Uzbeks, 1 per cent; Chuvashians, 5 per cent; Mariys, 3 per cent; Karelians, 10 per cent; Tajiks, 0.5 per cent; Yakuts, 0.5 per cent, etc., etc. These data are far from accurate since we do not have the tabulated material underlying the census. The average percentage was obtained from the reports made for each department, which were far from objective and contained gross exaggerations. But even these data present a clear enough picture of the impenetrable darkness in which the monarchy kept these oppressed nationalities. We must add that the 1897 census defined literacy as the ability to sign one's name. Furthermore, only the propertied strata of society in the national districts were extended the "privilege" of becoming literate.

The literacy situation among the oppressed nationalities remained practically unchanged from 1897 to 1916-1917. The fragmentary data of individual departments (local censuses) do not change in the main the picture of the census of 1897. Real efforts to increase the literacy of the backward national regions date from after the October Revolution. The census of 1926 shows important progress in this direction. By 1930 literacy in the national regions had attained even higher levels; in the Ukraine, 71.3 per cent; White Russia, 69 per cent; Trans-Caucasian Republic, 52.1 per cent; Turkmenistan, 24.5 per cent; Uzbekistan, 19.4 per cent.

Of course these achievements in making the population of the national districts literate cannot be considered sufficient, particularly in regard to the eastern Republics and districts where literacy is still on a very low level. However, in comparison with pre-revolutionary times the present level is infinitely higher. By 1933 illiteracy will have been wiped out in all national districts. It must be added that the various nationalities are being made literate in their native tongues.

We have also accomplished much in educating children of school age in the national districts. In 1915 only 30 per cent of the children of school age in present-day White Russia were attending school; in Trans-Caucasia (excluding Armenia and Georgia), 22 per cent; in Armenia, 12 per cent; and in Georgia, 44 per cent. In the departments of present-day Uzbekistan 2.8 per cent; in present-day Turkmenistan, 1.4 per cent; in the Ufa department (Bashkiria), 39 per cent; in the departments of present-day Kazakstan, 19 per cent; in Dagestan, 6 per cent, etc. But 1927-28 shows the following percentages: – White Russia, 80.2 per cent; Azerbaijan, 68.9 per cent; Armenia, 89 per cent; Georgia, 83 per cent; Uzbekistan, 27.6 per cent; Turkmenistan, 31.3 per cent; Bashkiria, 58.1 per cent; Dagestan, 39.6 per cent; Kazakstan, 42 per cent; Tartaria, 63 per cent; the Crimea, 48 per cent. At the present time general compulsory elementary education is being introduced in all national districts with the intention of completing its introduction even in the most backward districts by 1931–32.

The number of children in schools in 1927-28 is particularly significant when we bear in mind that prior to the Revolution, only children of Russian colonists attended school in the national districts. In Turkestan, for instance, 98 per cent of the students were children of Russian officials, traders and kulak colonists. Tsarism needed a totally illiterate submissive mass of natives, and its school policy was wholly subordinated to this need. The native languages were barred from the national schools for the same reasons; instruction was imparted in Russian exclusively. "There can be no talk, no thought even of raising the native dialects to literary languages which could be taught in the schools," boasted an official statement of the Department of Public Education. "It would be quite absurd to entertain any such idea."

The October Revolution smashed this system of "cultural" oppression of the nationalities. Education in all elementary schools, with rare exception, is carried on in the native tongue; 93.5 per cent of the Ukrainian, 98.1 per cent of Georgians, 96.9 per cent of the Uzbeks, 95.5 per cent of the Turkish, 95.7 per cent of the Tartar students, etc., are studying in their native languages.

It is somewhat more difficult to introduce the native language in the secondary schools; here the percentage of education in the native language vacillates between 14 and 70 per cent, occasionally reaching 90 per cent. This is due to the lack of teachers trained to instruct in the secondary schools of these local nationalities. It is also due to the fact that some Party organisations did not pay enough attention to the struggle for the practical nationalisation of teaching in the schools, particularly the secondary schools. Here, we still have a great deal of work to do. The success of this work depends on the success we have in preparing a teaching staff taken from among the native population.

We have also made considerable progress in comparison with pre-Revolutionary times, in attracting formerly oppressed nationalities to the intermediary trade and technical schools, and the higher specialised educational institutions. But these achievements do not satisfy us as they do not meet the demands of the economic and cultural development of the national Regions and Republics. However, if we compare them with what we had prior to the Revolution, the result is astounding.

The exceedingly sparse technical and higher specialised educational institutions of Tsarist Russia reached only a very few members of the backward nations, and those belonged exclusively to the upper strata of the semi-feudal native aristocracy. According to the data of the Department of Public Education for 1911, "there were only about twenty natives in the non-classical schools of Central Russia." Only a few hand-picked individuals succeeded in entering the universities. This was the situation not only in the central districts, but also in the national districts. For instance, not a single Tartar was matriculated in the Kazan University for many years, and it was only during the last few years before the war that occasionally a native could be seen in the student body.

The proletarian revolution which is a strong advocate of secondary, trade-technical and specialised higher education has not only opened wide the doors to the formerly oppressed nationalities, but has taken special measures to draw them into these schools. According to the 1927-28 figures, 40 per cent of the students in trade-technical educational institutions of the U.S.S.R. came from the national districts. The percentage of native students in the trade-technical schools in the national Republics and Regions was much higher; in Trans-Caucasia, 78 per cent (Armenians, Georgians, Turks); in Uzbekistan, 55 per cent (Uzbeks, Turkmens, Tajiks, Kazaks and Kirgizes); in Turkmenistan, 48 per cent (Turkomans, Uzbeks, Kazaks and Kirgizes); in White Russia, 57 per cent. We are also quite successful in attracting formerly oppressed nationalities to the higher schools. During the same year 1927-28, 41 per cent of the attendance at the higher educational institutions of the U.S.S.R. were of non-Russian nationality. In the higher educational institutions of White Russia, 61 per cent were White Russian students; in the higher educational institutions of Trans-Caucasia, 76 per cent were Armenians, Georgians and Turks; in the higher educational institutions of Uzbekistan up to 10 per cent were Uzbeks, Turkomans, Tajiks, Kazaks and Kirgizes.

The abundance of statistics cited should not tire the reader because each figure represents a fraction of the solution of that great historic problem which the Party and the U.S.S.R. proletariat are solving, this liberation of the native cultures of the formerly oppressed nationalities. The pertinent figures have changed considerably of late. A great number of students from the backward nationalities are now attending the trade and technical schools. But even the present figures do not satisfy us, particularly as far as they relate to the enrolment of the eastern peoples, those of Central Asia especially. Suffice it to say that the percentage of students of native stock in the higher educational institutions of Uzbekistan and Turkmania is less than 50. Besides, native attendance in the trade-technical and higher schools leaves also much to be desired. Enough work remains to be done there too, not only during the first, but also the second Five-Year Plan.

The main condition for the economic and cultural development of the backward nationalities is the creation of a press in their own language. Here, as in all other fields of cultural endeavour, our heritage from the Tsar's Government was reduced to the pitiable remains that had escaped its policy of Russification and assimilation.

According to data for 1931, non-periodical literature in pre-Revolutionary Russia was published in twenty-four languages, including seventeen occasionally published books and pamphlets in the Abkhaz, Avat, Chinese, Osetin, Tajik and Yakut languages. A goodly portion of this literature, up to 30 per cent, was religious books; textbooks accounted for 8 per cent; popular scientific literature, 10 per cent. Now non-periodic literature in the Soviet Union is published in seventy-three languages. Many nationalities (Komi, Tsents, Kara-Kalpaks, Voguls, Chukots, Khakas and others) have acquired a written language only since the Revolution. This national literature consists mainly of textbooks and mass political and popular scientific books.

National publishing houses established during the years of the Revolution, satisfied in the national Regions and Republics in 1927-28 most of the urgent needs of their districts for literature in the native languages. By the Fifteenth Party Congress there were thirty-four national publishing houses, and almost 4,800 million printed pages of literature in national languages. Yet during that period very few national publishing houses became strong enough to meet all the demands for national literature. They were assisted by a special publishing house in Moscow, the Centroizdat, which published about 1,296 million printed pages in 1930. Besides this, Centroizdat did great work in creating a written language for nationalities which did not have any. It also strengthened the production base of the local national publishing houses. By 1931 these houses had accumulated sufficient strength with an adequate base for developing its work that they could dispense with the aid of Centroizdat. Suffice it to say that in 1929-30 the national publishing houses issued nearly 15,000 publications in various languages with a total of about sixteen billion of printed pages. In this connection and for the purpose of developing still further the publication of national literature locally, the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. decided to liquidate the Centroizdat in Moscow and transfer the publishing of national literature to the local publishing houses of national literature, the only exception being the national minorities which have no publishing houses of their own, and some nationalities whose publishing houses are not yet strong enough to work independently.

But the growth of the publishing business in the national languages cannot be judged only by the number of books published in these languages. The improvement in the contents of this national literature is even more indicative of the success achieved by the national publishing houses. Their outstanding triumph is the publication of classic Marxist-Leninist literature; in 1931, sixty-seven editions of the six-volume collection of Lenin were published in the different languages of the various nationalities of the U.S.S.R.; many national publishing houses (Armenian State Publishing House, Georgian State Publishing House, White Russian State Publishing House, etc.) have already begun to publish the complete collection of works of Lenin. Questions of Leninism, by Stalin, has been published in a number of languages. The publication of Marx and Engels in the national language has already begun. These achievements are important not only as indicative of the cultural development of the nationalities themselves. We must bear in mind that a number of nationalities of the Soviet Union developed a written language only after the October Revolution; the lack of suitable terminology and the complicated sentence structure make it very difficult to translate these classics. We are managing to overcome these difficulties only because of our great achievements in developing the national languages.

No less significant are our achievements in developing a national periodic press. Prior to the Revolution, not more than twenty to twenty-five newspapers were published in Russia in the languages of the oppressed nationalities. Now there is no nationality (except the northern peoples and some eastern peoples, whose language was only recently reduced to writing) that does not have its own newspaper. In May, 1931, the number of their newspapers reached 700 as against 349 the preceding year. The quality of the national newspapers is also improving. In the majority of cases they already manage to assist the Party in developing a socialist offensive all along the front.

It stands to reason that the growth of the national press in quality as well as quantity satisfies us only relatively, as one of the indices gauging the solution of the national problem under the proletarian dictatorship. But the national press as such is still in need of much improvement in quantity and quality. The percentage of translated literature is too high, cadres of national editors and authors develop too slowly, there are too many political mistakes both in its non-periodic and its periodic press, and finally, the number of national newspapers and the number of publications appearing in the national literature far from satisfies us. We have still a great deal of work ahead of us in that direction. The success of this work depends on the creation of writers and editors taken from among the formerly oppressed nationalities.

Another great task facing us is the development of belles-lettres and art among the U.S.S.R. nations. But even in these branches we have already achieved some measure of success. Prior to the Revolution, the majority of the backward nationalities had no belletristic literature at all, or it existed only in embryo. The Revolution has brought to life the creative power of the nations of the U.S.S.R. to express themselves in belles-lettres and has opened up vistas of a great future for them.

The development of belletristic literature in the national districts is accompanied by a continually growing inflowing of proletarian literature which will occupy a predominant position in the near future. Prior to the Revolution the oppressed nations of Russia had no national theatre unless the Ukrainian opera in Kiev and a few Armenian, Georgian and Tartar theatres which led a miserable existence be accounted such. The All-Union Olympiad of national theatres which took place in the summer of 1930 showed what great progress we had made in developing the theatrical art in the national Republics and Regions. The Uzbek Dramatic Theatre, the Tuyrk Artistic Theatre, the Bashkir State Theatre, the White Russian First State Theatre, the Tartar Theatre, the Academic State Theatre of Georgia, named after Rustaveli, and the Mariy Theatre received well-deserved praise and awards.

Finally, the greatest achievement in the cultural reconstruction of the national districts is the Latinisation of the alphabets of the eastern peoples, and of some of the northern and north-eastern peoples. The old script used by these peoples was based either on the religious Arabic alphabet, accessible only to the narrow circle of the propertied class, on the Lam hieroglyphics (Buryato- Mongolia) or on the Russian alphabet which failed to give expression to the phonetic peculiarities of the national languages (Karelian, Yakut and others). The introduction of the Latinised alphabet put an end to these artificially created obstacles in the path of the cultural development of the backward nations. It simplified their written language and made it available for the broad masses.

A better understanding of the achievements in cultural reconstruction in the national regions which are stated here in the most general terms, may be had if we study separately the cultural development of each Republic and Region which has celebrated its tenth anniversary.

Soviet White Russia was 75 per cent illiterate under the Tsar. Rural localities had very few church or parish schools. There was not a single higher educational institution in this land; there were no publishing houses, no theatres, and not a single national school. We must add that at the time Soviet White Russia was created even the scanty heritage from the Russian Empire (the church and parish schools and the few secondary schools in the towns) had been destroyed, except a handful which were half empty and without teaching staffs.

Now universal primary schools in the native language have been introduced. In 1931 the illiteracy of the adult population between the ages of 18-45 was liquidated. Thirty technicums preparing qualified workers for economic and cultural construction were organised. There are thirty-five trade-technical schools and twenty-seven industrial workshops preparing qualified workers for industry and agriculture. There are twelve educational institutions of university rank, including an Agricultural Academy and a veterinary institute which are renowned throughout the entire Union. An Academy of Science was organised where the entire scientific activity of the Republic is concentrated. Fifty-five printed newspapers and over one hundred manifold newspapers are published in the Republic; the circulation of the central newspapers alone reaches 300,000 copies per issue; 80 per cent of non-periodic literature is published in the White Russian language. Over one hundred community houses, more than 800 village reading-rooms and dozens of workers' clubs and red corners were organised. There are three State theatres (one Jewish), four travelling theatres, etc.

White Russia required much assistance from the U.S.S.R. as a whole, both in personnel and funds, before these cultural institutions working primarily in the White Russian language could be set up. To illustrate the extent of this assistance, suffice it to mention that, the U.S.S.R. Government assigned fifty million rubles for universal primary schools in White Russia. The construction of the State University in Minsk – costing about ten million rubles – was also financed out of the All-Union budget.

Culture in Tsarist Trans-Baikalia – present-day Buryato- Mongolia – was on a far lower plane than even White Russia. The Public School Department gave out the following figures for school attendance in Buryato-Mongolia for 1915: – Over 24,000 Russian children or 95 per cent of all the Russian children, and 194 Buryat children, or about 2 per cent of the Buryat native population, were attending school. In 1916 present-day Buryato- Mongolia had 48 Buryat schools. In these schools Buryat children were accepted on condition that they first be baptised. Not a word was said of course about teaching these children in the native language or teaching Buryat literature. They did not have a single secondary technical-trade school.

What cultural achievements have we attained in Buryato- Mongolia on its tenth anniversary? In 1931 the total number of schools was 647, of which 285 are Buryat schools; the total number of students exceeds 50,000, including 19,000 Buryat students. This year universal primary schools are being introduced in the Republic; even now the percentage of children between 8 to 11 years in schools reaches 97.6 per cent. Prior to the Revolution the Buryat population was entirely illiterate. The Lamas* who used Tibet characters were the only exception. Now the percentage of literacy of the Buryat population is as high as 40 per cent, and among the Russian population 50 per cent; in some villages (the Bakhan, for instance) illiteracy has been completely done away with. There are thirty-seven schools in the Republic for the peasant youth, sixteen of which are Buryat schools. There are ten technicums and two workers' faculties. About 50 per cent of the total number of students in the secondary schools, technicums and workers' faculties (about 8,500 in all) are Buryats. In various higher educational institutions, technicums, and workers' faculties outside of Buryato-Mongolia over a thousand additional Buryat students are enrolled.

* Lamas; local clergy and monks.

Prior to the Revolution there was no mass educational system in Buryato-Mongolia. Now there are 113 village reading-rooms and nine clubs there. A Buryato-Mongolian publishing house was organised which published about 11,200 printed pages in the Buryat language, and about 1,600 printed pages in the Russian language; eleven printed newspapers are being published; nine of them are district papers and six factory printed newspapers. The majority of the newspapers are in the Buryat language. A Buryato-Mongolian theatre was organised for the first time. Higher pedagogical and agricultural schools are being prepared.

The introduction of the Latin script is also considered a great revolutionary achievement in Buryato-Mongolia. The kulaks and the Lamas had exclusive knowledge of the old Buryato-Mongolian alphabet. This made the cultural development of the country very difficult. The new Latinised alphabet simplifies the written language and makes it accessible to the broad masses. The introduction of the Latinised alphabet was begun in 1930. Despite the opposition of the Lamas and a part of the conservative teachers it is spreading very rapidly. In May, 1931, about 22,000 people were receiving instruction in the new alphabet. By 1932 the political and educational systems will be using the Latinised alphabet throughout.

When the Udmurt Autonomous Region was established (in 1920) only 22 per cent of the population was literate, and only 15 per cent of these were Udmurts. Before the Revolution the Udmurts received no instruction in their own language; the Udmurt students were even prohibited from conversing in their own language at school. There was no national press except the church missionary press.

Before its tenth anniversary the Region began to introduce universal primary schools. In January, 1931, 98.6 per cent of the children of school age were attending school. Complete liquidation of illiteracy (in the cities up to fifty years; in the country up to forty years) is becoming a fact; already the literacy of the entire population has risen to 60 per cent; the literacy of the Udmurts to about 40 per cent. Twelve technicums have been organised; a higher technical educational institution will be established in the near future at the Izhevsk plant, while 450 Udmurts are being educated in the higher educational institutions of the U.S.S.R. A national press has been organised, and during the past ten years about 300 publications, mainly textbooks, have appeared. Belletristic talent is encouraged; forty-seven Udmurt writers have already created much of great literary value.

Dagestan. To describe the cultural achievements of Dagestan we shall quote an excerpt from the address of the Dagestan Government and the Party Committee, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Republic:

"In the place of the eighty-two pre-revolutionary schools, which served the privileged classes only and in which about 4,667 students were instructed in the Russian language exclusively (for the purposes of Russification), Dagestan has now, on its tenth anniversary, 928 primary schools, in which over 80,000 children are studying in their own language; nineteen schools for the collective farm youth, four workers' faculties, eighteen technicums with over 8,000 students attending, 70 per cent of whom are local mountaineers; over 1,500 Dagestan students are studying in the higher educational institutions of the Soviet Union; courses for agricultural workers are also given at the Dagestan Soviet Party School, at the Workers' University, a number of factory schools, and at the Scientific Research Institute; eight newspapers in the languages of the predominating peoples of Dagestan, and over a million books are being published in their native languages, and in the new Dagestan alphabet. A national theatre was created and other innumerable achievements in the developing of the national culture and the education of the masses of Dagestan could be enumerated."

Comrade Goloshchenin draws an even brighter picture of the sweep of the cultural development among the backward national districts in Kazakstan: "In 1915 there were 89,500 pupils in the elementary schools of Kazakstan, 13,000 of whom were Kazaks. The school system counted only 1,825 units. This year (1930) we have 8,834 primary schools, 3,454 of which are Kazak, and 2,135 are schools of the national minorities. We have 268 schools of a higher type, two workers' faculties, four technicums, six universities and institutes, and seventy-five technical-trade and factory schools. The school system enumerated above has 63,291 students, 52 per cent of whom are Kazaks, not counting schools of a higher type about which we have no data; 4,064 students graduated from the higher educational and other specialised educational institutions (including those outside of Kazakstan); 44,207 students are studying in those institutions, 49.7 per cent of whom are Kazaks."

Before the Revolution two Alash-Ordyn newspapers and one magazine of the same tendency were published in Kazakstan. Now we have seventeen Kazak newspapers with a total circulation of 2,416,000 copies and three Kazak magazines. As a result of the reorganisation now going on, the number of newspapers will increase considerably. Of the fifty-six district newspapers, twenty-four will be in the Kazak language, two in other eastern languages, seven newspapers in mixed languages, and the rest in Russian.

In 1921 only three books, totalling 7,500 copies were published in the Kazak language. This year, 284 books, representing a total of 2,500,000 copies, were published in the Kazak language. During these years there were 704 books published, representing fifty-five million copies. During this period also nine volumes of selections from the works of Lenin and works on Lenin, with a sale totalling 40,000 copies, were translated into the Kazak language. There are over ninety-six clubs and libraries in Kazakstan, ninety-nine red uyrts (tents), and 539 village reading-rooms. Kazakstan has its own State theatre, and has published some fiction and any number of songs in the Kazak language. Thus, the precept of Lenin and the directive of the Party, "to develop the national press, school, theatre, clubs and other cultural educational institutions in the native language, to organise and develop an extensive system of universal education and technical-trade schools and lecture courses," is being carried out in Kazakstan. What has been accomplished so far is hardly adequate to permit the national culture fully to flourish. The Socialist content of this culture is particularly deficient. However, great strides have been made and further development is assured.

Examples of this kind are numerous, but those given will suffice to convince anyone of the tremendous progress we have made in raising the culture of the backward national districts.

Of course, much, very much is still left undone. We are only beginning the great task of creating cadres of specialists from the natives of the backward national districts. In some places we have not yet succeeded in overcoming the difficulties of creating national schools, particularly secondary schools. We still have much work to do in developing the publishing business and in stirring artistic creativeness to action, etc., etc. It will be particularly difficult to overcome the opposition of the Great Russian chauvinists and the various local nationalists who have used, and are now using all the means available to counteract the realisation of the policy of the Party concerning the cultural development of the national Republics and Regions.

But these and a number of other tasks before us we shall solve on the basis of the great achievements which the proletarian dictatorship has behind it in creating a new culture for the various nations of the U.S.S.R., a culture national in form and socialist in content. This means that the work will go on at an increased pace, and it will be less difficult for us to overcome obstacles arising in the growth.

"Those who deviate in the direction of Great Russian jingoism are completely mistaken if they think that the period of the construction of Socialism in the U.S.S.R. is the period of decay and liquidation of national cultures. Matters are exactly the other way round. In reality, the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the building of Socialism in the U.S.S.R. is the period in which national culture, Socialist in content and national in form, flourishes. Apparently, they don't understand that the development of national cultures must proceed with redoubled strength after the introduction and establishment of general compulsory elementary education in the respective national languages. They fail to understand that only if the national cultures develop will it be possible really to draw the backward nationalities into the cause of Socialist construction." (Political Report to the Sixteenth Party Congress, by J. Stalin, page 170.)

These words of the Party leader are confirmed by the development of Socialist construction in our country and illustrated by the facts and figures given above. The Department of Public Education under the Tsar, looking for something better to do, planned the introduction of universal primary education and stated that the process would require 125 years, with an annual expenditure of 76 million rubles.

Under Tsarism even these niggardly plans seemed "optimistic." The October Revolution showed that what was unattainable under capitalism can become a reality under the dictatorship of the proletariat. The existence of universal primary education in the majority of backward national districts when the fourteenth anniversary of the proletarian Revolution was celebrated is best proof of this.

All these achievements of Socialist construction on the economic and cultural fronts increased the political activity of the workers of the formerly oppressed nationalities, and hastened the absorption of native workers into the Soviet Government institutions of these national districts.

The Tenth Party Congress thus defines the above task: "It is the task of the Party to assist the masses of the nations other than the Great Russian nation to develop and strengthen the courts of justice, the administration, the economic and Government organisations, which are to be staffed by people taken from the local population, people who know the mode of life and the psychology of this population, and who will conduct the work in their native language."

How well we coped with that problem in the individual Republics during 1930 can be seen from the following figures: 37.2 per cent of the Republic and district workers of Azerbaijan were natives; in Armenia, 94.9 per cent; in Bashkiria, 12 per cent; in White Russia, 60.7 per cent; in Georgia, 66 per cent; in Kazakstan, 14 per cent; in the German Volga Republic, 39 per cent; in Tartaria, 36.8 per cent; in Tajikistan, 21.2 per cent; in Uzbekistan, 22.2 per cent; in Chuvashia, 48.8 per cent. We must also remember that these figures are the average for the Republic and district apparatus. But if we take the district apparatus alone, it has a much larger number of native workers; in Azerbaijan, 69 per cent; in Bashkiria, almost 20 per cent; in White Russia, 72 per cent; in Georgia, 80.8 per cent; in Kazakstan, 42.4 per cent; in Uzbekistan, 41.6 per cent; in Chuvashia, 20 per cent; in Tartaria, 60.1 per cent.

We have been much more successful in absorbing native workers into the elective staffs of the administrative organisations. In the majority of Republics and Regions, the percentage of the native population in the elected organisations is at least 95 per cent in the village Soviets, and 91 per cent in the district executive committees. However, this is only part of our task. We must strive for the same percentage of natives in the general administrative apparatus of the national districts.

The growth of political activity on the part of the toiling population of the national Republics and Regions is a reliable guarantee that this task will be solved in the near future. This growth can be illustrated by the statistics on the participation of the toiling population of the national Republics in the elections of the Soviets.

In 1927, 47.7 per cent of the electors participated in the elections to the Soviets in White Russia. But in the election campaign in 1929 this percentage increased to 60 per cent. In the 1927 election campaigns in the Trans-Caucasian S.F.S.R., 54.3 per cent of electors participated; in 1929, 69.2 per cent. The number of people participating in elections in Uzbekistan increased from 48 per cent in 1927 to 60 per cent in 1929. In Turkmenistan from 41.5 per cent in 1927 to 70 per cent in 1929.

The elections to the Soviets in 1931 proved the progressive political activity of the toiling masses of the national Republics and Regions. The average percentage of electors participating in this election was 87 per cent for the districts, and was nowhere lower than 65 per cent.

This growth of the political activity of the formerly oppressed and disenfranchised nations is the best proof of the correctness of the national policy of the C.P.S.U. and an infallible token assuring the complete solution of the problem of absorbing the native population into the administrative apparatus of the national districts.

Parallel with this, the problem of conducting the work of all Government and administrative organisations in the native language of the national districts will likewise be solved. To date, we have done very little in that direction. It is true that the courts of justice and a majority of the smaller Governmental organisations function in the native language of the masses. However, a great number of Republic and Region organisations are still using the Russian language.

Here much work must yet be done. It is necessary to overcome the conservatism and the Great Russian chauvinism of a considerable part of the workers in the Republic and Region apparatus. It is necessary to replace these old-time officials by fresh forces from the local nationalities. This can be done without particular difficulty because of the cultural achievements we already have attained in the national districts.

Thus, we are only approaching the solution of the task of absorbing native workers into the administrative and Government organisations in the national districts. We have all the necessary pre-requisites for the complete and successful solution of this problem. These pre-requisites must be fully taken advantage of to fulfil in the near future the directives concerning the absorption of the native into all the administrative and Government organisations. This is one of the most important problems of the national policy of the Party.


The deciding factor in fulfilling the Leninist national policy of the Party, the most important condition necessary for the success of this policy in all branches of construction is the organisation of strong, politically consistent, Communist organisations composed of local proletarian and semi-proletarian elements.

"One of the fundamental tasks of the Party is to raise and develop young Communist organisations in the national Republics and Regions consisting of proletarian elements of the local population, to help them stand on their own feet, to give them a real Communist education, and to create truly internationalist cadres however few they be. The Soviet Government will be strong in the Republics and Regions only when hard-working earnest Communist organisations will take root there."

The realisation of this directive concerning the backward national districts from the fourth national conference of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. was rendered difficult by the paucity of proletarians and, in places, by the utter lack of them, particularly of native stock; also by the inadequate class-consciousness of the poor peasants and agricultural workers of the local population during the first few years of the Revolution and particularly by the patriarchal relationships and the bourgeois nationalist elements.

The weak Party organisations, weak both in quality and quantity during the first few years after the October Revolution, could not cope with these difficulties alone. Only through the active assistance of the entire C.P.S.U. and the growth of Socialist construction in the national districts could these Bolshevik organisations be established.

The process was a long one and necessitated a struggle against all Party deviation on questions of general and national policy and against all kinds of anti-Party groupings. Out of this struggle real Communist cadres crystallised and emerged well trained. These were Communist cadres capable of correctly directing Socialist construction in the national districts.

We have now made quite considerable progress in raising strong ideologically, well-grounded Bolshevik organisations in the various national Republics and Regions. The wide extent of Socialist construction in the national districts and the direct growth of Party organisations moulded from the best elements of the national proletariat, of collective farmers, of agricultural workers and the poor and middle peasantry prove the above statement.

In 1922, judging from the data of the Party census, Great Russians constituted 72 per cent of the Party membership; in 1927, this percentage decreased to 65 per cent, and in 1930, according to rather meagre data, to 64 per cent. If we bear in mind that the growth of the Party was paralleled by a growth in the absolute number of Great Russians, it will be obvious that the Party is rapidly filling its ranks with new members taken from the formerly oppressed nationalities. To illustrate this further we shall cite a few figures on the growth of some of the national Party organisations from January, 1927, to January, 1930. In January, 1927, the White Russian Communist Party had 25,291 members and candidates; in July, 1928, it had 31,713; in January, 1930, 36,308; of the latter the White Russians in the Party made up 44.6 per cent as against 33.9 per cent in 1927. The growth of the Communist Party in Uzbekistan can be traced by the following figures: – January, 1927, 26,819; July, 1928, 35,087; January, 1930, 42,224. In January, 1930, 45 per cent of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan came from the native nationalities as against 18.5 per cent in 1927. The Kazakstan Party organisation increased by 13,378 members from January, 1927, to 1930, totalling 43,881 members and candidates in January, 1930; 28 per cent of these were Kazaks as against 15.9 per cent in 1927. The Party organisation of Yakutia had 1,443 members and candidates in January, 1930, against 809 in 1927. The number of Yakuts in the Party increased from 21.4 per cent in 1927 to 31.7 per cent in 1930. The Chuvash Party organisation had 2,695 members and candidates in 1927; 3,036 in July, 1928; and 3,357 members in January of 1930. Of these 59.4 per cent were Chuvashes against 46.3 per cent in 1927. The Communist Party of Georgia had 34,705 members and candidates in January, 1930, as against 27,966 in January, 1927. Of these 48.7 per cent were Georgians in 1927, as against 53.3 per cent in 1930. The Party organisation in Tartaria added 17,723 members between 1927 and 1930, while the percentage of Tartar Communists rose from 29.4 to 33.9.

Thus we have not only an absolute increase in the national Party organisation, but also an increase in the number of native Party members. For the last year and a half the general growth of the C.P.S.U., was accompanied by a similar growth of its national branches.

Unfortunately, we have no data about the number of native Communists in the separate national Party organisations for the same period of time. But if we bear in mind the rapid development of industry in the national districts for the last year and a half, and the corresponding growth of the national proletariat it will be obvious that the national composition of these Party organisations must have increased considerably. The general national composition of the Party proves that. Thus, on 1st July, 1931, only 52 per cent of the C.P.S.U. membership were Great Russians.

What social groups are swelling the ranks of the Communist organisations in the national districts? Here are a few figures in answer to this question.

In White Russia the number of industrial workers in the Party increased 8,402 from January, 1927, to January, 1930; the number of farm labourers and agricultural workers rose 561; peasants 1,401; miscellaneous, 653. In January, 1930, industrial workers comprised 41.3 per cent of the Communist Party of White Russia; farm labourers and agricultural workers, 3.5 per cent; peasants, 9.6 per cent; miscellaneous, 45.6 per cent.

During the same period the Communist Party of Georgia increased by 6,379 industrial workers, 406 farm labourers and agricultural workers, 883 peasants and 70 miscellaneous; industrial workers comprised 39 per cent of the Party membership in January, 1930; farm labourers, 2.4 per cent; peasants, 22.5 per cent; others, 36.1 per cent.

The number of industrial workers in the Communist Party of Uzbekistan increased 7,527, and comprised 31.7 per cent of the Party membership. The number of farm labourers and agricultural workers increased by 2,949 (8.6 per cent); peasants, by 3,104 (18.6 per cent); others, 1,825 (41.1 per cent).

The Tartar Party organisation added 2,810 workers to its membership from 1927 to 1930, of which farm labourers constituted 379; peasants 2,208; and others, 1,003. January, 1930, the workers comprised 27.3 per cent of the population; the farm labourers, 3.2 per cent; peasants, 21.5 per cent; others, 48 per cent.

For the same period of time the number of miscellaneous workers in the Kazakstan Party decreased 650 members (their percentage in the organisation decreased from 54.3 in 1927 to 36 per cent in January, 1930), and the number of industrial workers increased by 4,937; the number of farm labourers and agricultural workers, by 3,846; the number of peasants, by 5,345.

Chuvashia presents approximately the same picture. The number of miscellaneous was decreased by 100; the number of industrial workers, farm labourers and peasants increased by 762 (the number of industrial workers increased by 391). Therefore, the increase in the national Party organisations is primarily traced to the heavy influx of industrial workers into their ranks. The number of farm labourers and agricultural workers in the Party has also considerably increased. The percentage of miscellaneous workers is still very great in the Party. For the last year and a half the situation has changed considerably for the better. According to approximate data the great majority of the new Party members in the national districts came from the industrial workers and collective farmers. Still we have much work ahead of us in improving the social composition of the national Party organisations.

Side by side with the quantitative increase in the national Party organisations and the increase in the number of natives (industrial workers and collective farmers), they are exhibiting ideological and political improvement along Bolshevik lines.

In fighting with the Party against the Trotskyists, against the "Right" opportunists, and the conciliators, the national Party organisations acquired rich ideological and political experience. In fighting for the Leninist principles of the general Party line, they have increased their Bolshevik vigilance and hardened their irreconcilable attitude towards any manifestation of anti-Party deviations or vacillations. It is a well-known fact that the Trotskyists and the "Right" opportunists repeatedly made attempts to find support in their struggle against the Party among some of the national Party organisations. However, the Party organisations in their majority remained true to the general Party line and administered a well-deserved Bolshevik rebuff to all anti-Party attempts of the opportunists of all colours and shades; only a few corrupt elements, alien to the Party, joined the opposition ranks of the opportunists.

The fact that the national Party organisations under the Leninist leadership of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. liquidated the "Right" and "Left" opportunistic attempts to undermine the collective farm construction in a comparatively short period of time is the best proof of the growth of the Bolshevik ideological and political growth of the national Party organisations. They succeeded in making the historic articles of Comrade Stalin on collectivisation and the corresponding decisions of the Party a real militant programme of action, and because of it achieved the success in collectivisation illustrated above.

It is true that isolated capitalistic elements even now attempt to undermine Socialist construction in some national Party organisations through "Left" prescriptions and excesses and through open "Right" tactics. Such, for instance, arc the recently exposed "Right" opportunistic distortions in collective farm construction in the Mordva district, and the "Leftist" attempts to introduce the principle of equal distribution in the collective farm harvests of Kazakstan. However, the Party organisations of the national districts now quickly discover this kind of opportunistic distortion and they check it immediately.

Naturally all this does not mean that the struggle against opportunism, particularly "Right" opportunism as the chief danger at the present stage of construction, ceased to be a problem in each national Party organisation. Only a rank opportunist can approach the question in that manner. The Socialist offensive along the entire front calls forth brutal resistance by the class enemies and its agents within the Party in the form of "Right" and "Left" opportunists. To unmask these agents of the class enemy and expose them in time is still the chief task of all Party organisations.

The struggle of the national Party organisations against the nationalist deviations is no less significant. Great Russian chauvinism, screening itself behind "internationalist slogans," is attempting to start a movement to liquidate the national Republics and Regions. The local nationalism which strives to separate the national Republics from the Soviet Union has considerably complicated Socialist construction in the national districts. Both these deviations had considerable influence in the Party organisations of the national districts and during the last few years they have found expression in direct counter-revolutionary national organisations. Such were the Sultangaleevshchina in Tartaria and Milli-istiklanovshchina in Uzbekistan, National Democracy in White Russia, etc., etc. The national Party organisations have considerably improved their internationality in exposing and liquidating these survivals of national-opportunist influence in their ranks.

Finally, a vigorous struggle against all the kinds of anti-Party groupings which were widespread in the national districts, particularly in the eastern national districts, has played a great part in the Bolshevik ideological and political development of the national Party organisations. Groupings like the Imanganovshchina in Uzbekistan and Sadvokassovshchina in Kazakstan were exposed and expelled.

About six or seven years ago the forming of groupings was usual and general in the national Party organisations; now they are neither so frequent nor so large as they were. It is true that incurable group-mongers still keep a number of Party organisations in a state of ferment. This has been particularly noticeable lately in the Trans-Caucasian Party organisation, but these groups are now no longer a mass phenomenon. On the other hand, the national Party organisations are so strong that they expose them comparatively quickly and consistently from every angle.

This process of Communist education of the national Party organisations inaugurated and led by the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. which assisted the national districts with leadership and cadres of consistent Bolshevik leaders, is accompanied by a rapid growth of really international Bolshevik cadres of active Party members from among the native nationalities. Even now there is a nucleus of leading Party workers in all national Party organisations consisting primarily of local Party workers. Moreover, some of them went through not only the practical but also the theoretical school of Bolshevism. Graduates from Communist higher educational institutions, Soviet Party schools and Institutes of Red Professors are frequently met with now in the Party organisations of even the most backward national districts.

Can we say, however, on this basis that the Marxist-Leninist education imparted in the national Party organisations is on the high plane that it should be and that no fundamental improvement is needed here? Such an assertion would be a grave political error. We have achieved much in creating true national Party organisations, and in giving them international education. But these successes are far from solving our problem. Besides, we must bear in mind that not only the party, but the national Party organisations have also grown by taking in the best elements of collective farm workers during the last few years. But these new Party members have no Bolshevik training and must needs be given a thorough Bolshevik education. All this accentuates the problems of Marxist-Leninist education in the national Party organisations. They must be classed among the deciding factors in raising the fighting ability of the Party organisations and winning further victories on the Socialist reconstruction front.

"Can we," said Comrade Lenin, at the Second Congress of the Comintern, "recognise as correct the assertion that the capitalist stage of development of national economy is inevitable for those backward nationalities which are now freed? We answered this question in the negative. If the victorious revolutionary proletariat carried on systematic propaganda among them, and if the Soviet Government assures them with all the means at its disposal, it will be incorrect to suppose that the capitalist stage of development is inevitable for the backward peoples; for, arriving at Communism with the help of the proletariat of the most advanced countries and through definite degrees of our development they will avoid the capitalist stage of development."

The results illustrated here from the development of the Soviet national Republics and Regions during the first decade of their existence, prove definitely the unfailing truth of Lenin's words. Under the dictatorship of the proletariat the backward and formerly oppressed peoples of Russia were given the opportunity to develop independent, national States. With the assistance of the proletariat of the advanced nations they have already eradicated a considerable amount of that backwardness in economics and culture which had given rise to their gross inequality. They are now entering the ranks of the advanced nations of the Union, and, skipping the capitalist stage of development, have entered the period of Socialism together with the rest of the Soviet Union.

Click here to return to the index of archival material.