Economic Growth : for Farmers, Workers and Technology

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Achievement of Socialist Soviet Union


Russian people creating a heaven on earth for working people

When Soviets captured the power, the first order signed by Com Lenin was ‘Land to the tiller’ distributing lands which were under the control of despotic feudal lords and churches to all the farmers.

Women members of a Soviet collective farm in the Smolensk region head out to the fields for haymaking after Germany began pulling troops from the area, Russia, December 2, 1942. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)

Next many developmental plans with definite deadlines were established to increase the production of the basic necessities. They were fulfilled even before their deadlines. The very first plan was to electrify the whole country, which forms 1/6th of the world land mass, within a mere 5 years. For colonial dominated India, it took 100 years to achieve this last year. Soviet Russians achieved the electrification of the world’s biggest country, before the deadline.

Many of the fundamental life requirements were made compulsory rights under law. Some of them are:

  • Free education for all, job for all after education,
  • housing for all (Before the revolution of 1917, Moscow’s total population was 18,50,000. Out of these, more than 3,50,000 people lived in wooden cottages at 15 persons in each room)
  • Free medical care of all types of illness (not only to Soviet citizens but also to the foreigners there),
  • Pension to the aged

Sowing on a collective farm on the steppes of the Ukraine, USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). Image date: ca. 1930-1940.

These fundamental rights are rights protected by law. If anyone tried to deny these rights to the people, they were given exemplary punishment.

The number of working hours had been legally fixed. It was 8 hours/day, 6 working days and 1 rest day per week for all people throughout the country. How did it become possible?

In order to increase the production, Com Lenin called on people to work free for the country on weekly rest days, instead of allowing multinationals to exploit human and mineral resources of the country as being done in our country. In Russian language, it was called ‘Subbotnic’ or rest day [Sunday is ‘Sabbatical’ for Christians, Friday for Jews & Muslims]. This was declared to be purely on voluntary basis. Only a few thousands turned up in the beginning, but soon millions participated and all the surplus wealth created became the wealth of the people.

After the demise of Com Lenin, Com Stalin was took over the responsibility of leading the country. Under his leadership, Soviet people achieved many extraordinary feats. Soviet Union was in the forefront of the world economy. Yes. It is the ‘dictatorship’ of the proletariat under the leadership of Stalin which could make such great strides of Socialism.

Collective Farms

Post revolution, Soviet Russia was lagging in food production for 4 years. There were widespread famines. In order to achieve self sufficiency in agriculture, the Soviet Government undertook projects of dam & canal building at war footing speed. Big farms run collectively by villagers were formed.

The collective farms were so big with thousands of acres of lands. The farmers working in them were given houses with a backyard garden within the collective farms. These farms competed among them in production in order to supply the country with as much crop as possible. The farms which achieved targets were honoured with country-wide publicity and awards.

How many farmers in our country can afford to go near an aeroplane? How many would have traveled inone? In Soviet Union each collective farm had a few dozen aircrafts for their use. They were given small aircrafts to transport produce from their farms to other parts of the country. But for Indian farmers, successive governments only give debt burden and empty promises.

Poland / USSR agricultural plane 1975 (Polish Aviation Museum, Cracow)

Can we imagine cotton cultivation in desert? Soviet people did realize just that. In the Uzbekistan republic of Soviet Union, they used the water from a swamp to irrigate the nearby desert, built irrigation canals and formed collective farms.

A quote from Writer Akilan about his experience in one such Uzbekistan farm is given below.

“Cotton plants were grown as tall as men. I have never seen such tall cotton plants before. So, I entered inside the field and went to pluck a pod. Immediately a farmer stopped me from plucking saying something loud. I asked my Russian writer friend to interpret what the farmer said. He interpreted “he was saying not to waste the pod as it is not yet ripe”. I was astonished. The farm had thousands of acres. I went to pluck just one pod. The farm itself is a collective one. Can someone who doesn’t treat the farm as his own intervene like that? I cannot forget that simple peasant who cared the countries property as his own. (In Soviet Country: Travelogue, Akilan, pg 52).

(… to be continued)

This is a translation of Tamil article published in vinavu in 2010. On the occasion of the 101st anniversary of the great Russian Socialist Revolution (November 7, 1917), we publish this article as five part series. We had added updated information to account for the 8 years of new develoments.

Translated by : Nesan


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