This Is Democracy

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Achievement of Socialist Soviet Union

Soviet mode of governance

The capitalists have spread so many lies about the Soviet regime. For them it is dictatorship over people and people won’t have any rights. Let us see how blatant these lies are.

Few days after revolution of 1917, Com Lenin told Russian people as follows:

“Comrades, working people! Remember that now you yourselves are at the helm of state. No one will help you if you yourselves do not unite and take into your hands all affairs of the state. Your Soviets are from now on the organs of state authority, legislative bodies with full powers.”

“Rally around your Soviets. Strengthen them. Get on with the job yourselves; begin right at the bottom, do not wait for anyone.” (Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 26, p 298)

As for elections, anyone can stand for election for Soviets (local parliaments) and Supreme Soviet (central parliament). People shall elect those they deem fit and the elected shall represent the people in the soviets. The elected could be a worker working in a factory or even a milkmaid working in a farm. L. Sysoyeva was a milkmaid in a collective farm. People of her constituency selected her as their representative for the Supreme Soviet.

The people can recall their elected representatives if they commit even a small breach of confidence and elect another representative immediately. This rule was not just in paper but was also in force. Many thousands of local soviet representatives and few hundreds of Supreme Soviet representatives were recalled in the history of Soviet Union.

Similarly we can mention another fact to comprehend how wide the democracy was in Soviet Russia. New draft constitution of Soviet Union was circulated among the people for deliberation for 4 months. More than 14 crore people participated in this deliberation. In Moscow alone, 50 lakh people discussed it. The draft committee received 4 lakh suggestions. During the consultation, Pravda news paper received 30,150 letters from its readers. Whether Soviet Union, which consulted its people on its laws, is democratic or countries selling even their priceless mineral resources for a pittance without consulting people, are democratic?

Universal Housing

In Soviet Russia, the government had provided housing for all at a very reasonable rent. Rent is calculated at 4% of the highest salary earned by any member of the family. If the highest salary is 4000 rupees, the rent is only 160 rupees. There is much malicious propaganda saying no one in Soviet Russia is permitted to build their own house. But the fact is the government itself gave loan up to 60% of the cost to build apartment complexes. We can repay the loan in 10-15 years. But the important fact to note is that one can own only one home.

Akilan has also written about this issue of housing. He writes, “As for the housing is concerned, my observation is this. There were no one homeless either in urban or in rural areas staying in streets. Some may not have received comfortable house. But it is important to note that all have got shelter just like they all get food and clothing” (Ibid. pg 61)

(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 developments.

Translated by : Nesan


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