Bolsheviki Believe They Have Crossed
Great Divide on Road to Socialism
Farm Policy is Hailed
Food for People and Live Stock, Too,
Expected to Solve Chief Problems of Country
By Walter Duranty
Wireless to the New York Times
[Sunday, August 13, 1933, Front Page]
MOSCOW, Aug. 11 - "This is a year of perelom," they are
now saying in the Soviet Union, and the voices are confident, instead of
merely hopeful, as three months ago.
In Czarist Russian "perelom" meant a crisis in illness - a turning
toward recovery or death - but in modern Soviet parlance the word is
exclusively of optimistic connotation - a "change for the better".
When the Bolsheviki say that this is a year of perelom they mean
it will carry them definitely over the divide - that they are at the summit
of their long uphill struggle to build socialism and are moving down an
easier road to the promised land. The decisive factor of perelom is the
good harvest - the biggest, it is asserted, in the past thirty-five years.
Labor Solution Predicted.
The great Empress Catherine, who knew her Russia, once said,
"A single good crop atones for ten years of political errors." And
today, whether there have been errors or not, it is truer than ever that
the huge harvest will not only be a turning point in the colossal agrarian
revolution - that is, collectivization - but will solve one of the chief
problems of the Soviet industry, namely exaggerated labor turnover.
This turnover is commonly from 100 to 200 per cent annually.
The big crop is also expected to solve so-called "labor in discipline."
There is no denying that despite the real progress and industrial
achievements of the Five-Year Plan, the Soviet populace during the
past four years has had steadily less to eat. The reasons for this are
First, there is the unprecedented concentration of the national
energy, man power and money upon capital investments - that is, upon
huge basic plants, the products of which cannot be transformed into
consumers' goods for several years. Second, the peasant opposition to
collectivization caused widespread slaughter of live stock, and the
liquidation of the kulak" deprived food production of the section of the
peasants that created the biggest surplus.
Third, confusion and mismanagement attended the new collectives.
Fourth, there was the Japanese war scare, which last Spring especially
necessitated withdrawals of grain and other foodstuffs for the Far Eastern
army from peasants whose stocks were already low.
Finally, the world depression forced the Soviet Union to export more
foodstuffs for less money to meet foreign bills. All these reasons are
admitted by the Kremlin spokesmen, including Joseph Stalin, but the
Kremlin resolutely maintained that its collectivization policy as such was
correct and that, despite errors and "excesses" on certain occasions by
local authorities, it was well worth the sacrifices it involved.
The Kremlin knows its own people, and the Bolsheviki consistently
have preferred to drive policies through at any cost rather than temporize
or shilly-shally. The majority of foreign observers believe the recent
difficulties would have been less had collectivization been carried out at
a slower tempo then was originally called for by the Five-Years Plan.
M. Stalin admitted at the beginning of the year that the Communist
party made the mistake of leaving the collectives too much to their own
affords and of imagining that Socialist form implied successful Socialist
practice. Early this year there was introduced a new method of organizing
and stimulating the collectives - the political department of the tractor
This device is generally attributed to M. Kaganovich, the only man of
Jewish birth who is in the highest Communist party circles today and who
is the most intelligent of' M. Stalin's "young men". The political
has wide powers not only to punish recalcitrant peasants but to deal with
obstreperous local authorities, and from the outset of the Spring sowing it
put the collective farms to functioning with enough efficiency to profit
vastly from the favorable weather conditions.
It is already evident not only that the Soviet populace but the live
too, henceforth are assured of the essentials in their food supply - to say
nothing of the immense help and encouragement a good crop will give to
the collective farm movement as a whole. Diseases arising primarily from
malnutrition, which have been a depressing feature of the past eighteen
months, will diminish and disappear.
Last but not least, the harvest will be taken as proof that the
policy is correct and it will be dissipate doubts that had arisen not only
among certain sections of the population but in the Communist party itself.
The New York Times, Sunday, August 13, 1933, Front Page Story
Researched and transcribed from The New York Times on microfilm
by the www.ArtUkraine.com Information Service (ARTUIS)
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