“Do you understand how solid collectivization turned out? In an agricultural country, the most active, most able-bodied part of the population has been declared enemies and destroyed. ” So about the process of collectivization in the 30s of the last century in an interview with the magazine Snob, said the former director of the State Archives, Sergey Mironenko. He explained that during the years of collectivization, about 10 million peasants were expropriated and deported to the steppes and forests, having lost their homes and property. Was collectivization a futile and cruel process, or did it contribute to the economy of the USSR? The site diletant.media asked the experts.
Andrei Zubov, Doctor of Historical Sciences
Not. Collectivization did not pursue any economic benefit at all. Her only task, and Stalin spoke about this quite frankly, was to break freedom, and, accordingly, the political backbone of the peasantry. The era of the NEP again made the farmer throughout the USSR a major figure. He produced bread, in general, products were mainly produced by private farms or really voluntary cooperatives that existed even before the revolution, when people for the common interest united in cooperation. Stalin clearly understood that if such a tendency continues to develop, the power will go from him to those who feed Russia, because, of course, political parties and movements will be created by peasants, and this cannot be suppressed. Therefore, he decided, in spite of the fact that it was economically pernicious for the country, to make all food producers hired workers who have no rights to the fruits of their labor. Hunger was the result of such a decision, and it was also a means to force the peasants to subjugate, because revolts spread throughout the country, thousands of communists were killed by peasants who did not want to give up their property. As a result, Stalin won, but the price of this victory is still felt by us. The richest country, whose main exports were not oil and gas, but agricultural products, became dependent on imported products. We have never been able to rise to such a level of food independence as it was until 1929.
Therefore, it was a purely political decision for the sake of the struggle for power, and Stalin impassively sacrificed most of the population of the Soviet Union and destroyed the rural economy in order to preserve the power of the communists over Russia. It must be said that Stalin himself was well aware that this was the most dangerous period in his life.
Winston Churchill recalled that he asked Stalin when he arrived in Moscow in 1942: “Was it scary when Hitler attacked the Soviet Union? This was probably the worst moment in your life? ”And Stalin replied:“ No, the worst moment in my life is collectivization. That's when everything was decided. "
Igor Bunin, President of the Center for Political Technologies, political scientist
Within the framework of the Soviet paradigm, the benefits were, within the framework of social development, of course not. Even within the framework of the Stalinist paradigm, more precisely, because he completely subjugated the country to himself, removing what could psychologically oppose him. But economically and socially, within the framework of normal development, it was, of course, terrified. Millions of people died, the village was destroyed, in fact, and we are still reaping the fruits of this collectivization.
Kirill Alexandrov, historian, journalist
Collectivization was an economic, social, economic and financial catastrophe. But first of all, a human catastrophe, because collectivization is estimated at several millions of human lives. It cannot be considered separately from the fate of the dispossessed, mass mortality of the dispossessed at the stages of deportation and the Holodomor of 1933. Only the number of victims of the Holodomor is defined in 7 million human lives. If we add the dispossessed to this, then we will get 8 million victims, which exceeds the number of victims of the Nazi occupation.
The economic consequences of collectivization for the economy were also catastrophic, but all this is insignificant compared to the catastrophe that claimed real human lives. So to talk about any benefit is meaningless.
Alexander Yushchenko, a State Duma deputy from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation
In order to assess collectivization and understand its causes, one must live at that time, and not give unfounded and one-sided assessments after 80 years. Then the civil war ended, the young country won the hardest war against the whole "European Union", which was going to the young republic, many wealthy people emigrated from the country, taking out their capital. The country understood that if we did not strengthen our economy and agriculture, we would be crushed. Therefore, it was built about 7 thousand industrial enterprises, built a huge number of factories, laid the foundations of industry. As for agriculture, the authorities understood that small-scale production would not be able to feed the country, and even more so the army, which understood that there would be a war today or tomorrow in which they would try to crush our country.
Of course, collectivization did not go on without excesses, sometimes tragically, there were Tambov revolts, not every private owner was ready to give up his cow, but in the process it turned out that our army in 1945 numbered 5 million people, in 1946 - eleven people. How to feed such a mob?
Of course, collectivization was hard, but the collective economy showed its advantage over the private one.