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Food aspect of the Soviet agrarian policy in the conditions of folding of the New Economic Policy (1928 1929)



andry VASILYEV

FOOD ASPECT of the SOVIET AGRARIAN POLICY in the conditions of FOLDING of the New Economic Policy (1928 - 1929)

The Nepovsky agrarian and food policy of the 1920th long time was considered not critically and as absolutely self-sufficient phenomenon. Therefore attempts to noncritical apply its experience in the second half of the 1980th - in the 1990th did not yield the expected positive result.

The agrarian and food policy of NEP for a long time was analyzed without any criticism, and was considered as absolutely self-sufficient phenomenon. That is why the noncritical attempts to apply its experience in the second half of 1980s - 1990s have not given expected positive result.

food issue, crisis of grain-collections, agrarian and food policy, folding of the New Economic Policy, state deliveries of food, food problem, crisis of grain procurements, agrarian-food policy, phaseout of NEP (New Economic Policy), state deliveries of foodstuffs.

Folding of the New Economic Policy took place in 1928 — 1929 and was a consequence of change of the Soviet agrarian policy and its food aspect in connection with the begun socialist industrialization, strengthening of defense capability of the country. It was possible to solve a problem of industrialization only at the expense of the material supplies taken from the village through taxes and the price policy of artificial significant understating of the prices of agricultural products and their overestimate on manufactured goods.

After a harvest of 1927 the grain procurement campaign of 1927/1928 was broken as peasants refused to sell grain to the state at again established prices which were 5 times lower than market. There was an acute food crisis. In 1928 the rationing system of distribution of products in the cities with the growing working class was introduced. And export of grain due to which the equipment for the plants under construction was imported in 1927/28 economic year was reduced more than by 8 times in comparison with predydushchim1. Also emergency measures against saboteurs of grain-collections did not become a panacea. The Stalin country leaders saw an exit from current situation in transfer of the village to a way of collectivization of agriculture.

In a historiography there is debatable a question of the reasons of folding of the New Economic Policy. The analysis of state of the economy at a boundary of the 20-30th of the XX century, the accruing crisis phenomena of this period shows that objectively there was a need for cardinal changes of the principles of its functioning and management. But in estimates of crisis in a historiography of the Soviet and Post-Soviet period the attention was concentrated on a political perspective, especially on the purposes and problems of inner-party race for power. The negative phenomena in agrarian and food policy are represented as the reason and means of the played card of personal imperious ambitions.

For the solution of an objective it is necessary to weigh that represents transition to the forced construction of socialist economy. Whether there was an urgent need of creation of the advanced powerful industry for national security and the long-term prospects of development of society, or

1 L.N. Zharova, I.A. Mishina. History of the Fatherland. 1900 — 1940 — M.: Education, 1992, p. 278, 281.

VASILYEV

Andrey

Anatolyevich — to. and. N, the associate professor of economic and political history of Russia andrey SGSEU — 231 @ mail. ru

this radical forcible aspiration to realize program party tasks to please to personal imperious ambitions and following to dogmatic party plans of the state construction? What conclusions to recognize as valid concerning transition to the collective system of the organization of country work (not to confuse with assessment of rigid methods of association in collective farms)? Whether there was it the necessary, but very disease process demanding demolition of all social structure of the village, outlook, or achievement of a political goal of the party management was its only purpose — to destroy the strong owner on the earth, ready to firmly advocate the interests and remaining the main internal political opponent of the Bolshevist power?

Comprehensive objective assessment of potential of nepovsky agrarian and food policy, its opportunities of further increasing commodity production and ability to provide stable and sufficient supply of the state and industrial centers with food and raw materials has to become required result.

It is incorrect to consider crises of grain-collections initially as result of a political conflict of the state and the prosperous peasantry. It is a unilateral view of a problem which inevitably leads to incorrect understanding of causes and effects. In this case scientific search will come down to fruitless definition guilty of this opposition. Fruitless it because there are two truths, and is required to find the truth.

There will be a set of various documents confirming the different points of view. Today several collections of the archival documents confirming taxation burdens for the peasant on drastic administrative and repressive measures concerning it, about methods of political control over the village are published. However concentration on political aspect, by methods of impact of the state on the peasant does not bring closer to the answer to a question of potential, advantages and weaknesses of the New Economic Policy.

Certainly, against the background of the arising difficulties in economy and the accruing crisis phenomena in the national economy also political unresolved affairs became aggravated, but they were a consequence. When as a result of crisis of grain-collections there was a question of fight against a fist as the main responsible for boycott of the state deliveries, the conflict of economic interests, but not ideological and political disagreements became a starting point. But also the failure of grain-collections in 1927/28 caused by establishment by the state of lower prices of bread has deeper, complex reasons. By this time crisis of all economic policy was about to happen.

Decrease in state prices of bread was caused by especially economic problems of diversification of agricultural production, increase in market capacity, good for the peasant, due to growth of supply of expensive raw materials for the industry as opposed to cheap grain and, respectively, increase in profitability of the country yard. In the second half of the 1920th in agriculture the problem of development of production specialization ripened. Universal sowing of bread did not allow to provide national economy with necessary raw products of agricultural production, did not create opportunities for export expansion. The goods turnover development mechanism as the good harvest of grain crops generated a surplus of the offer was suppressed and led to considerable reduction of prices of bread and other food products. And in lean years the sharp reduction by the peasant of deliveries of products to the market involved emergence of deficiency and the speculative prices. The similar scenario took place because the peasant conducted semi-subsistence economy. His attachment to the market was discrete. Therefore the behavior algorithm when the peasant at emergence of tension with deliveries of food did not hurry to satisfy demand was developed, expecting increase in prices.

The failure of grain procurement campaign 1927/28 of represented both crisis of state regulation of agriculture, and spontaneity of free market goods turnover. The peasantry, subconsciously clinging to conservative housekeeping, in the conditions of market economy showed duality inherent in it: on the one hand, sought to trade and persistently asserted this right, and with another — with not smaller persistence did not wish to submit to the interests of the market, laws of commercial calculation. It prevented the Soviet government to develop the optimum position combining advantages of market and state regulation of agricultural production. Therefore when the government in 1927 made the decision to lower procuring price of bread with the purpose to reorient peasants on commodity production of meat and dairy products and commercial crops which cost was high in the market and which were much more favorable to country economy gained boomerang effect. The peasant in general boycotts grain procurement campaign 1927/28 of year. And the Soviet state experienced crisis of the food policy, the second for the last three business years, again. Under the threat there was a plan of export supply of bread, respectively, and the plan of purchases of the import equipment for the industry, there was an acute shortage of food in the cities. In large industrial centers began to introduce a rationing system of provisioning.

The increasing requirements of the city and the industry and the termination of growth of agricultural production led to loss of the achieved results on creation of strong trade and economic relations between the village and industrial regions. Cooperation as the organization of the voluntary joint participation of the population in economic and trade activity loses independence. Crisis of grain-collections of 1927/28 and threat of disruption of a sowing campaign of spring of 1928 pushed integration of cooperation into the system of government institutions.

Provincial executive authorities in the Volga region gave the direct order to district committees to organize immediately cooperatives for joint processing of the earth. Somewhat strengthening of process of direct submission of cooperation happened because of absence on places of clear understanding that collective farms have to represent. Therefore streamline orders — to organize through committees of mutual aid

were given

support by labor to poor man's collectives (our italics. — A.V.), to horseless owners, families of Red Army men and disabled veterans. Committees of mutual aid have to become in the village the centers promoting the organization of poor man's collectives (our italics. — A.B.)1. Thus, direct control of executive authorities of rural cooperatives begins to practice.

Expansion of administrative management was required for strengthening of financial control. Till 1928 these relations were under construction in limits of market freedoms and executions of calculations for tax and credit liabilities. But when the government made the decision to give the accelerated dynamics to creation of collective forms of managing, in proportion it increased load of the government budget for financing and supply with agricultural machinery and cars of these farms. Realization of a task of the organization poor man's se-rednyatskikh collective farms demanded from local authorities to expand "issues of returnable loans" 2. At the same time gu-bispolkoma of the Volga region especially noted that there is a delay in distribution of the credits from fund of the poor, and demanded to carry out on places immediately and completely delivery of means to destination. The credits and especially cars have to go to collective farms, poor man's and serednyatsky groups of the population, without allowing a holiday of these credits of a prosperous part of the peasantry. Local authorities and committees of mutual aid have to strengthen control over distribution creditov3. Special instructions of addressees of the credits at orders of executive power — to a lesser extent a tribute to class approach. This mandatory requirement to financial and credit institutes is strict to follow orders of the target direction of means. And the unwillingness of these organizations to follow directives of executive power has an explanation too. They sought to credit those who are guaranteed capable to pay off, that is strong country farms. But strategic problems of expanded commodity production demanded adoption of other decisions. It served one more ni1 As GAPO, t. 2, op. 4, 229, l. 284.

2 In the same place.
3 In the same place, l. 284-285.

tyyu, tying to direct public administration.

the High dependence on the state providing actually integrated such collective farms into the structure of public industries. It was necessary to recognize it and to issue legally. Such algorithm of actions affected the most part of the cooperative organizations. Therefore reduction of all cooperation to a uniform legal denominator when it becomes one of government institutions became the following logical step.

The last crisis of the New Economic Policy showed that it was not succeeded to achieve the main thing - the mechanism promoting hozyaystvennoekonomichesky interests did not start working. The equipment and the credits remained remote for poor man's and the most part of serednyatsky farms. They could take all this, but then work only for service of the debt. It meant that "bow" between the peasant and the worker still was not reached.

"Bow" of the city and the village was the key purpose of the New Economic Policy, but it was a basis of bases of the new economic policy. It was meant as all vital tasks in economy facing the Soviet state — barter restoration as incentive of development of production in all industries; the organization of the free market — the main driving force of increasing commodity production and the effective regulator of the prices and the range of the sold products. By 1927/28, problems which demanded cardinal reorganization of industrial production and hardware of agriculture ripened.

By the end of the 1920th this bows form exhausted the potential. "Such situation had two negative consequences: peasants lost interest in sale of bread to the state, and the state did not receive means from the village for reconstruction of the industry" 1. Crisis of grain-collections of 1927/28 was expression of not overcome and again accruing negative phenomena in economy, in management of the national economy.

The government for years of economic recovery in the conditions of the New Economic Policy did not manage to create the strong system of goods turnover, financing and supply. Grain procurement crisis was not only expression of contradictions of economic interests of the state and the peasantry and also the related problem of receiving currency and acquisition of the advanced import equipment and production equipment. Crisis once again showed that the existing system is not capable to bring planning and the solution of economic and economic tasks to higher qualitative basis. Because of instability of supply of bread to the state and on the market the internal goods turnover was subject to continuous fluctuations between various critical conditions, is not capable to be enshrined in the balanced provision. The offer of a large number of bread found acute shortage of the manufactured goods which are most demanded in country economy and agricultural machinery, and decrease in supply of grain and flour at once led to falling of trade in factory products to the minimum values (to sale crisis). In both cases state regulation was required.

1 Political history of Russia / Otv. edition V.V. Zhuravlyov. — M, 1998, p. 501.
Mark Jeremy
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