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Review of the political state of the USSR
Review of the political and economic state of the USSR for November ‐ December 1923
The internal situation of the USSR in the reporting period (November and December 1923) is depicted as follows.
In the mood of the workers, a certain improvement was created by the struggle against delayed wages, which affected the decrease by the end of the period both in the number of discontent and unrest at enterprises (Moscow), and in the strike movement in the Union of Republics. However, the beginning of the decline in workers in industry and the associated increase in unemployment create a general depressed mood among workers and weaken interest in political events.
The mood of the peasantry in most provinces is characterized by dissatisfaction caused by the abnormalities of the unified tax campaign and the state of the ʺscissorsʺ. On this basis, even outbreaks of kulak‐peasant uprisings were noted in individual volosts of Tersk, Priamurskaya and Zabaikalskaya provinces. and in general, the revival of the declining banditry is possible. In this respect, the position of the Central and industrial regions is more satisfactory in view of the favorable level of grain prices here, which made it possible for the peasantry to pay the tax in money.
In November, the Red Army is going through a difficult financial situation mainly due to the catastrophic state of its clothing supply. On this basis, there is an increase in discontent and demobilization tendencies, and in some places anti‐Soviet agitation.
The activities of anti‐Soviet parties are still weak. The period under review was marked by the further destruction of the Menshevik apparatus, which manifested itself in the disclosure of a number of underground printing houses (Petrograd, Moscow, Tula) and the arrest of a number of active Socialist‐Revolutionary workers. Some increase in activity is observed among anarchists. Attention is drawn to the emergence of a new type of Black‐Hundred counterrevolutionary organization (Ural, Tula Gubernia) and the intensified mailing of appeals to Russia, mainly to the southeastern provinces.
In the national movement in the East of the Republic, attention is drawn to the Transcaucasus and the North Caucasus, where there are a number of economic and political factors that make it possible to involve local peoples in the counter‐revolutionary movement. This is especially serious given the interest in local movements and their inspiration from abroad (Turkey, England). In Turkestan, similar aspirations of the British and Persians towards the Turkmens are symptomatic. With regard to the eastern outskirts, further implementation of the measures on the national question outlined by the 12th Party Congress is necessary. Mistakes here can have dire consequences.
The main factor determining the mood and economic situation of the workers is the layoffs made in almost all industries. The previously observed discontent on the basis of non‐normality with the payment of wages in Moscow is definitely and sharply declining. However, on the ground, this phenomenon still plays a significant role in determining the political mood of workers. In the movement of the number of strikes, November is the month with the highest number of strikes, but this should be attributed in large part to October, taking into account the delay in information from the provinces. In December, the number of strikes decreases significantly, while in Moscow it is both in November and in December less than in previous months (see the appendix table on strikes).
The crisis experienced by industry in the reporting period caused a massive layoff of workers, which was one of the most important moments that negatively influenced the mood of the workers. The reduction affected the most important industries in the following way.
Metalworking industry. In Moscow, workers are being laid off at factories: the former Mikhelson im. Ilyich, Dynamo (it is planned to fire 600 workers, that is, 50%), Mashinostroitel, Krasnaya Presnya, the Ustinsky nail‐making plant, and the private plant Pirvits; the iron foundry mechanical workshops of Glavzemkhoz were closed and the 3rd aircraft repair plant, which was under the jurisdiction of the Moscow‐Kursk railway, was closed. In Petrograd, reductions were made at the Proletarsky plant, the Mint, the plant named after. Egorov (35%) and it is planned to dismiss 700 workers of the Putilov plant. At the Krasnoye Sormovo plant, Nizhny Novgorod province. 1,500 workers are being cut; in Vyksa u. ‐ 2000 workers, at the Shipyard ‐ 300 workers and it is planned to lay off at the wellequipped Telephone Plant named after Lenin, former Siemens and Halske 42... In the Ural region, metal plants were closed: ʺNytvaʺ of the Perm Mining Trust, Botkinsky in the Sarapulsky District, Kyshtmsky Dynamite in the Yekaterinburgsky District; the Yuzhno‐
Kamsky metallurgical plant has been mothballed and the VerkhneSerginsky plant will be mothballed and the Pashkovsky plant in the Perm region will be closed. At the Bryansk state plant, 2,500 workers are to be laid off and the General Labor mechanical foundry is expected to be closed. In Ryazan, the Selmash plant No. 1 was closed. At the Tsaritsyn gun plant ʺBarricadesʺ 400 workers are dismissed; at the Marksstadt machine‐building plant of Nemkommuna ‐ 75% of the workers; in Odessa, the staff of Selmashtrest and electrical plants are being reduced. Rumors of upcoming layoffs due to the difficult financial situation created a depressed mood of workers at a number of factories: Kharkov steam locomotive, Kiev nail,
Mining. 2,000 workers are dismissed at the Chelyabinsk mines (40% of the total); due to the lack of coal sales, the administration of the mines stopped the operation of open‐pit No. 1 with a coal reserve of 8 million poods. In spite of the plight of the workersʹ mines, they refrain from demonstrations for fear of being cut. The Tomsk mining industry is also undergoing a massive reduction due to the accumulation of a large stock of coal that has no market.
A large staff reduction was carried out at the Skopinsky goscopes in Ryazan province. A significant reduction in staff is being made in the Kochkar gold‐ore district of the Tomsk province.
Textile industry. All textile factories are undergoing large redundancies, especially in Moscow. At the Orekhovo‐Zuevsky factories (26,000 workers), 5% are reduced, at the SobolevoShchelkovo mill of the Bogorodsko‐Shchelkovsky trust, the Yaroslavl mill at the Dmitrovsky district. (12%), at the ʺProletarian Victoryʺ (20%), the factory ʺLiberated Laborʺ them. Alekseev (25%), Prokhorovskoy convent (18%) and a number of others. In Moscow, a number of textile factories have been closed (Sviblovskaya fine cloth factory, a wool spinning mill with 300 workers and one private wool weaving factory) and it is planned to close factories: Danilova (Weaving), Livere former Givartovsky (more than 600 workers) and Rudzutak Flax‐Jute factory »Bogorodsky u. In addition, reductions were made at a number of textile factories in other provinces.
Railway transport. In many areas there is a massive reduction of railway workers. In some places, up to 60% of workers are reduced (the main workshops of the Belarusian‐Baltic railway in Moscow, Tatrespublika). In the Nizhny Novgorod province. reduced by more than 30%. In the Tambov province. 1615 railway workers were dismissed, in Kaluga ‐ 5000. The reduction of transport workers was noted, in addition, in Oryol, Nizhny Novgorod, Kaluga, Petrograd, Severo‐Dvinskaya, Cherepovets provinces, on the RyazanUralskaya railway. d., in Siberia and the Ural region.
Chemical industry. Partial closure and staff reductions are underway at the 2nd state‐owned plant ʺRed Bogatyrʺ in Moscow (700 workers out of 3000). It is planned to liquidate the ʺProvodnikʺ plant (25% of the total number of 600 workers has already been reduced). In the glass industry, a number of factories were closed (3 faience and porcelain factories in Novgorod province, a factory in Samara province, and a factory in Penza was partially closed). Other industries. The dismissal of workers was carried out, in addition, in the leather industry (the provinces of Orel, Poltava, Belarus, Ural region), in the forest (Gomel, Bryansk, Belarus and Siberia), in the food industry (in Petrograd, Poltava, Gomel, Tomsk provinces), in the printing (Moscow, Voronezh, Simbirsk, Saratov, Novonikolaevskaya) and 10 other provinces in various industries.
At the same time, working hours are being reduced at a number of enterprises. At the textile factory ʺRenewed fiberʺ OrekhovoZuevsky u. (1250 workers) work is done 3 days a week. At the
Moscow factories (the tannery ʺKrasny Kozhevnikʺ formerly of Bakhrushin and the factories ʺDukatʺ and ʺKrasnaya Zvezdaʺ are tobacco factories) and the private Petrovsky conservatory, work is done part‐time. The working day at the ʺManometrʺ plant, the former Gagental Valve Trust (400 workers), was reduced by 3 hours. Textile factories in the Poltava province. work 4 days a week, garment factories in Belarus ‐ 2‐3 days.
The consequence of the complete and partial closure of enterprises and the reduction, as well as the end of seasonal work (in peat extraction, construction, etc.)
and the influx of peasants from the semi‐starving provinces of the North and Northwest, is a strong increase in unemployment in recent years. The following table illustrates this growth.
Number of unemployed
there is no data
In addition, the growth of unemployment is noted by other provinces: Oryol, Pskov, Orenburg, Armenia, Saratov, Novo Nikolaev, Penza, Amur, Crimea, Belarus, Ryazan, Poltava, Volyn, etc.
Some places report unrest and unrest among the unemployed. In Belarus, cases of murmur among the unemployed have become more frequent, often turning into excesses. There are rumors among them that all that remains is to go to the gangs, otherwise they will have to die of hunger. Fermentation intensified with the massive reduction of railway workers on the Western Railway. e. In Kharkov, a group of unemployed, having gathered at the labor exchange, went to the VUTSIK with the slogan ʺDown with hunger and cold.ʺ
A characteristic feature of Moscow and its province is a sharp drop in the number of discontent over delayed wages. At the same time, the number of discontent on the basis of low rates in Moscow and in the provinces, especially in heavy industry, does not decrease. Delayed wages are still widespread almost everywhere in the province.
In Moscow, the number of grievances due to salary delays in December is 4 times less than in October: October ‐ 95, November ‐ 43, December ‐ 24. Among the largest enterprises, where there was a delay in the payment of wages, it should be noted: in Moscow there are railroad car factories ʺ Revolutionary base ʺthem. Trotsky and Sokolnichesky mechanical engineering, in Nizhegorodskaya ‐ ʺKrasnoe Sormovoʺ (12,500 workers), ʺEngine of the revolutionʺ, ʺNizhegorodsky machine builderʺ, ʺKrasnaya Etnaʺ; the largest enterprises of the Ural region, Bryansk, Yekaterinoslav, Kharkov ‐ the factories ʺHammer and Sickleʺ, Parokhomovsky, Chupakovsky; factories of Petrograd, Karelia, Crimea, Akmola province. and others. Of the mining enterprises where salaries were delayed, it should be noted: Uraloblast, Donbass, Don province., Bashrespublika, Azerbaijan, Altai. On railway transport, salary delays occurred in the provinces: Petrograd, Cherepovets, SeveroDvinsk, Donbass, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, etc.; in the timber industry ‐ Petrograd, Karelia, Bryansk, Belarus, Volyn, Penza, Krasnoyarsk and Gomel provinces. and in a number of other provinces in almost all industries.
In the provinces, wages are often delayed by 2‐3 months (Chupakovsky and Parakhomovsky plants in Kharkov province, metallurgical plants in the Ural region, individual enterprises in Yekaterinoslav, Bryansk and other provinces). In the fisheries of Dagestan, the delay in wages reaches 3‐4 months.
A number of phenomena characteristic of the reporting period characterize the desire of economic bodies to actually reduce real wages. This is evidenced by the growth of discontent on the basis of an increase in the production rate (8 in October 19 in November), non‐issuance of special and overalls (12 in October 22 and 20 in November and December ‐ in Moscow) and the cancellation of the issuance of additional food for the harmfulness of work (a phenomenon noted almost for the first time at 16 enterprises in November, mainly among printers). The same phenomenon is noted in a number of provinces of the Republic.
The number of enterprises with dissatisfaction with low rates in Moscow is also slightly increasing (17 in October 22 and 21 in January and December). Particularly acute discontent is caused by the lowering of the categories, as well as the rates for certain jobs, which cause the most acute unrest noted in Moscow: at the textile factories ʺVigon‐yarnaʺ, the former Danilovskaya named after. Kalinin, ʺWool‐Suknoʺ, at the ʺHammer and Sickleʺ metal plant, formerly Gujon, where this was the reason for the strike of workers of two workshops, car workshops of the Kursk railway, which lasted more than a month. and some others.
Dissatisfaction on the basis of low rates is most widespread in transport (here 10 strikes were held on this basis in November), in the textile industry (a number of factories in Moscow and IvanovoVoznesensk province), in metallurgical (Gostormoznaya plants in Moscow, Kazan powder, Dal‐ plant in Primorye, Bryansk and Nizhny Novgorod factories) and other industries in a number of provinces (Petrograd, Kiev, Tambov, Yekaterinoslav, Oryol, Ryazan, Donskoy, Yaroslavl, Vitebsk, Tatrespublika, KabardinoBalkarian, Karelia, Volynsk, Novgorodskaya, Tsarskolaevskaya , Tomsk).
The actual decrease in wages is also in line with the increase in the working day, sometimes up to 12:00. Workers of the Yegoryevsk mines in Novonikolaevskaya province. work for 12‐14 hours, at the Aktobe power plant ‐ 10 hours, at the fuel storage st. Eagle Southeast Railway etc. ‐ 12 hours. The same is observed among the railway workers of the Novocherkassk district of the Don province. (12 hour working day) and at some factories in the Altai and Ural provinces. Administration
The administration occupies a significant place among the causes of worker discontent. In Moscow in the reporting period, there was a significant increase in the number of discontent for this reason (in October ‐ 12, in November ‐ 46 and in December ‐ 19). The workers are most worried about the mismanagement, negligence and abuse of the administration, noted in many enterprises in Moscow and the provinces.
The mismanagement of the administration took place in the Ural region in the Kochkar gold mine, due to which several mines were flooded with water. The Pavlovsk factory was also destroyed there. Due to the mismanagement of the administration of the Tomsk mines, the furnaces produce completely burnt coke, crumbling into fines, turning into slag and unsuitable for use. Administration and specialists of Grozneft in the Chechen region. mismanaged, criminally and negligently treat the case for personal gain; the power plant manager visits work no more than 5 times a month, does not supervise the work, and gets drunk. Due to the mismanagement of the Azneft (Azerbaijan) commodity management administration, a loss of 6,000 chervonets was caused. A lot of cases of mismanagement were noted at the Zlatoust plant in the Ural region. The workers of the ʺMagnezitʺ plant (Ural region) intend to take out the head of the mine shop in a wheelbarrow for mismanagement. Mismanagement was noted at the Kuteysky agricultural plant (Karelia), at the Kavtsink plant in the Tatrespublika, at the Sverdlovsk glass plant in the Cherepovets province, at the Soyvolov paper and cardboard factory in Petrograd, at the Ai‐Badul state ministry plant (Akmola forestry). Kuban‐Black Sea region, at the Tersk steam mill in Omsk province, at the leatherette factories of the Tatrespublika, etc.
Negligence of the administration was noted: at textile factories in Moscow (silk‐weaving factory ʺKrasnaya Rozaʺ, formerly Zhiro), Bryansk, Ivanovo‐Voznesenskaya, Petrogradskaya (Nevskaya paper‐spinning mill); on railway transport ‐ in Novonikolaevskaya province, Uraloblast, in Kemrudnik, Tomsk province. and oil fields of Chechnya.
Abuses of the administration were noted: at the Vladimir machinegun plant, at the Anjensko‐cloth factory of the Tambov province, on railway transport ‐ in the Don province. (the administration of the UCHTPO of the Novocherkassk district sells inventory without any control), in the Akmola province, where the head of the PetroKokchetav line appropriated the workersʹ money. The same was noted at the leather factories of the Tambov lips. and Altai and at the cement plant of the Tomsk province.
One of the reasons for the sharp discontent of the workers is the excessive provision of the administration, its drunkenness and rudeness. The excessive provision of the administration worries the workers of the Zamoskvoretsky tram fleet (1,300 workers), where bonuses were to be issued to the administration; if extradited, workers threatened to strike. At the Moscow textile factory of the Monino‐Timonovskaya Worsted Trust, the administration issued 300 bonuses to two specialists 75 ducats each. Dissatisfaction with the high rates of the administration was noted at the mines of Donbass, a glass plant in Penza province, at the Dux aircraft plant in Moscow (1,100 workers), at the Vitebsk tannery and at the Petrograd plant “Solomit” (where the administration receives a 2550% increase in salary, while the workers, while the plant was parked, refused to receive salaries, just to start up the plant).
In the reporting period, there was an increase in cases of rough treatment of workers by the administration: at the Moscow textile factories of fine cloth. Taratuta, Mossukno and f‐ke them. Chicherin, at the metal factories ‐ in Moscow ʺKotlo‐Apparatʺ formerly Dangauer and Kaiser (workers demand the removal of the director ‐ a member of the RCP for his rudeness), at the ʺKrasnaya Etnaʺ plant in the Nizhny Novgorod province. and an agricultural plant of the Krasnoyarsk province, at the Guryevsky plant of the Tomsk province, at the factories of the Nizhne‐Tagil district of the Ural region, at the Kolyvan grinding factory of the Altai province, at the sugar factory of the Chernigov province. (Nezhinsky district), at the ʺStrelnieksʺ printing house in Moscow, at the leather factories of the Tatrespublika and Vyatka gubernia, at the Sewing Factory No. 4 named after Smirnova, at the state‐owned plants ʺKley‐Utilʺ No. 7, ʺZhirkostyʺ in Moscow, at the Lytkarinsky quarries (Moscow), at the Petrogradsky Nevsky Shipbuilding Plant,
In addition, in a number of industries in many provinces there were dissatisfaction with the administration for various reasons (Vologda, Podolsk, Smolensk, Nizhny Novgorod, Ryazan, etc.).
Discontent in Moscow
Strikes across the USSR
if‐ honor under‐ powers
The above table shows the general movement of grievances and strikes across the Republic. The growth of discontent in Moscow in November (in October ‐ 116, in November ‐ 178) and their decrease in December (in November 178, in December 166) correspond to the growth and decrease of strikes in the same months in the USSR (in October 47, in November 59, on December 20). (Some discrepancy between the figures for August and September is caused by the increased intensity of information from the factories due to the aggravation of discontent).
Of the total number of November strikes, only 3 in private enterprises, the rest are distributed as follows: 21 in transport, 11 in the metallurgical industry, 4 in mining, 4 in construction, 19 in other industries. The main reasons for strikes are still the delayed payment of wages (31 strikes) and low rates (20 strikes).
Transport strikes took place in the Petrograd area (10 strikes), Murmansk (4), Siberia and the Far East Military District (5). The strikes at the Petrogradsky junction covered some of the NKPS security teams, various services, traction service sections, one conductor brigade; one of the strikes took place among the water workers and was caused by the issuance of gold loan bonds (crew of 5 steamers) on account of the salary. The strikes in the Murmansk region mainly covered auxiliary services ‐ construction artels and fuel development. All transport strikes lasted for several hours and were quickly eliminated. However, the mood was still unstable. In December, railroad strikes fall from 21 to 3.
The most serious were the strikes among the miners. In the Donbass, in early November, a strike took place at the Paramonovsky mine of the Shakhtinsky district, which resulted in a march of 5,000 workers in the town of Shakhty with the aim of freeing the instigators of the October strikes (more details were reported in the SeptemberOctober review). In the Don region. 3,000 workers went on strike at the Mirovaya Kommuna mine. The strike caused ferment in neighboring mines, where there was campaigning to join the strike before full salaries were paid. Particularly embittered by the workers was the threat of prejudice [the] coma to put machine guns against the strikers.
Of the most significant strikes during this period: at the Vigoneyarna factory (250 people) and the Hammer and Sickle factory (workers in two workshops) on the basis of a reduction in wages; at the Druzhnogorsk plant of the Petrograd province. (350 people), at the plant. Artem, Ekaterinoslavskaya province. (foundry), at the Alapaevsky plant of the Ural region (100 people), at the 1 May metal plant in Tver (80 people), at the Pobedinskiye mines of Ryazan province. (5 mines went on strike for three days, demanding the payment of wages in gold terms, improving living conditions, lowering the production rate, fixing tracks and trolleys ‐ some of the workersʹ demands were satisfied); at the factories of Lyudinovsky, Pesochinsky and Vaitoshevsky (the latter has more than 1000 workers), Bryansk province. and in the Vacho‐industrial region of the Vladimir province. (mass strike on the basis of low rates, lasting several days). The most significant railway strike was the strike of the Kazan railway workshops in Moscow with the participation of 1,400 workers.
Of the largest December strikes, it should be noted: at two factories in Moscow ‐ ʺRed Proletarianʺ former Bromley (730 people), where workers ʺItalianʺ due to low wages, high production rates and reduced overtime, and a partial strike at the Serp plant and hammer” the former Gujon (2,500 workers), where the November strike of workers in two workshops continued due to low prices. The strike was held at the Tyumen metal plant ʺHammer and Sickleʺ in the Ural region and at the Dalzavod in Primorye (40 employees). The reason for both strikes is wage arrears.
Most of the strikes lasted several hours, but not more than a month. Only at the Hammer and Sickle factory, the former Goujon, did it last more than a month with interruptions. There are almost no significant strikes in December.
Workersʹ political mood
The downsizing of staff almost everywhere created a depressed mood among workers, which manifested itself in a passive attitude towards the elections to the Soviets, which was noted at many enterprises in Moscow. At the Orekhovo‐Zuevsky factories (20,000 workers) 10‐15% of the workers came to the elections, at the Danilovskaya conurb ‐ 120 out of 1,300 workers, only 50% of the workers voted in the Trekhgornaya convent, and 40% ‐ in 16 printing houses. Not all meetings passed the lists proposed by the superior communist and professional organizations. At the former Kozhzavod Baranov, at the 4th cardolent factory ʺTechnotkanʺ, the lists of communist cells were not passed. The discontent of the workers of many Ivanovo‐Voznesensk factories is caused by the fact that the factions are drawing up lists for the Soviet; there are rumors among them that they have to vote for those they are nominating, and that there is nothing to come to the elections, as they will be held without them.
Demonstrations of anti‐Soviet workers, which took place at a number of factories, had some success: in the 39th printing house, the factory of the former Schroeder im. The All‐Russian Union of Textile Workers (1400 workers) failed the lists of the faction. The
Mensheviks distributed leaflets and appeals. In the Khamovnichesky district, in the house of teenagers and in other places in Moscow, leaflets of the RSDLP were found under the heading: “Elections to the Soviets. To all workers and workers of Russia”. The Mensheviks and Socialist‐Revolutionaries distributed leaflets among the Petrograd workers, calling for a boycott of the elections. They were especially common among railway workers.
Anti‐Soviet agitation was also carried out at a number of enterprises: in Moscow ‐ at the factory ʺHammer and Sickleʺ formerly Gujon and at ʺRuskabelʺ No. 2, in the Kiev province, in Georgia, the Tatrespublika (rumors circulated here that the money intended for payment salaries, sent by the Soviet government to Baku to liquidate the strike movement and for communist agitation in foreign countries), Ural region, Volyn and other provinces. Among the railway workers of the Ural region, anti‐Soviet elements, using the reduction of staff, say that the Soviet government is throwing workers out of factories and transport in the middle of winter, dooming them to a starving existence, that the Soviet government and the RCP have outlived their time, that German workers do not accept communist slogans and join other parties. At the Arkhangelsk sawmills, the administrative exiles try to penetrate and strengthen their influence among the workers. At Sawmill No. 3, SR literature is being distributed.
Among the transport workers in the Gomel province. and Omsk there was also anti‐Soviet agitation. In the Omsk province. pogrom agitation was carried out with a call to arms to overthrow the communists, otherwise the workers will starve to death. Among the unemployed of the Amur province. the influence of maximalists is noted.
Workersʹ dissatisfaction during the reporting period was also caused by the celebration of Christmas in the new style. On this basis, there were even breaks in work. Dissatisfaction on this basis was noted at many large enterprises in Moscow: Goznak No. 1 (5450 workers), former Givartovsky factory Livere (1600), Glukhovsky mra them. Lenin Bogorodsky u. (1400), former Tsindel (2325), Novotkatskaya factory of Serpukhovsky district. (3600), brewery
ʺThree mountainsʺ (970) and many others. conclusions
1. By the end of the reporting period, a sharp drop in general discontent among workers and a decrease in the number of strikes in the USSR were noted. This is especially evident in Moscow. At the same time, the scale of the strikes is much smaller, and there are no major strikes at all in December.
2. A significant reduction in workers in enterprises, mainly in the metalworking, textile and transport industries, and the associated increase in unemployment is becoming one of the main factors of discontent.
3. The dismissal of workers in the period under review creates the ground for anti‐Soviet agitation at enterprises and determines the noticeable passivity of workers to political life, which was clearly expressed in the past elections to the Soviets, especially in Moscow.
4. Abnormalities with delayed wages are quickly eliminated at the Center. In the provinces, the salary situation has improved, but not significantly.
5. There has been a slight increase in dissatisfaction on the basis of low rates, a decrease in the ranks and an increase in production rates, indicating the desire of economic agencies to actually reduce the level of workersʹ wages.
6. Among the reasons for the discontent of the workers, there are reasons of a purely everyday nature, arising mainly from the unsatisfactory composition of the economic administration, its excessive provision in comparison with the workers, rudeness in the treatment of workers, negligent attitude towards duties and mismanagement.
The defining moment in the mood of the peasantry in the reporting period was the collection of the single tax and the state of the ʺscissorsʺ. The course of the unified tax campaign has entered a phase when a number of provinces that are unfavorable in terms of tax delivery are being singled out due to economic and political reasons. The beneficial effect of the partial tax reduction for small farms is revealed. In the state of ʺscissorsʺ there is some improvement in the line of increasing prices for bread, however, only in certain regions.
Tax campaign progress
In the course of the tax campaign in the reporting period, the following points should be noted: a drop in tax receipts in November due to autumn impassability, its rise in December with the establishment of a sled route, limited by the depletion of grain resources among a significant part of the poor peasantry and in lean provinces; and, finally, the unequal rate of tax receipts in different regions, depending on the prices of bread in the local market, a level favorable for the peasantry which makes it possible to pay the tax in cash and bonds of a grain loan.
All provinces are divided into three groups in terms of tax compliance. The first includes 19 provinces (of which 8 are central), where the tax has been passed at a rate of 70% or more; in the second ‐ 10 provinces that have passed the tax in the amount of 50 to 70%; in the third, 10 provinces (3 in the North‐West, 2 in Siberia, 2 in the Far East and one each in Kirkrai, the Urals and Turkestan) that have fulfilled less than 50% of the tax.
The excessiveness of a single tax, noted in the last survey for 36 provinces, was noted in only 22 provinces in the reporting period. The decline in the number of these provinces is due in part to partial tax cuts in a number of provinces. In most of the provinces that note the excessive taxation, the economic situation of the peasantry is extremely difficult. Out of 22 provinces, only 6 provinces have a satisfactory situation, in 5 noted provinces on the basis of excessive tax excesses took place, which resulted in peasantsʹ refusal to accept salary sheets (provinces of Primorskaya, Amur, Transbaikal, Buryat Republic and the City Republic), in 4 ‐ x ‐ partial famine (Karelia, the City Republic, Vyatka province and Vitebsk).
Excessive taxation resulted in massive peasant petitions for tax cuts. In one Lebedyansky district. Tambov lips. 11,000 applications for tax cuts were filed. In Nerchinsk u. Transbaikal lips. out of 14,000 taxpayers, 12,000 have applied to reduce it. In Aktobe province. there is a massive dispatch of walkers to the center and petitions of tax commissions for tax cuts. Characteristic in this respect are the results of the tax cut. So, in the Oryol province. more than 100,000 households received benefits, and 23,000 were completely exempt from tax. In the Smolensk province. 100,000 households received benefits for a total of 500,000 poods. In the
Vologda province. the tax was reduced by 60,000 poods.
The course of the tax campaign was marked by a number of abnormalities, primarily in the apparatus itself, and then in the way the tax was collected. The apparatus was extremely compressed and far from the payers. This situation forced the peasants to stand in queues for a long time at the procurement office. In Akmola Gubernia, Azerbaijan and Crimea, peasants stood idle at tax offices and a procurement office for 6‐7 days, in Stavropol Gubernia. sometimes for several weeks. The same was noted in Petrograd Gubernia, Samara, Pskov, Bryansk, Volynsk and a number of others. In Akmola province. In some places, the tax had to be transported for 300‐400 versts, and with the liquidation of a number of offices by December 15, it will be necessary to carry it for 500 versts, which, of course, embitters the population. In some places, abuses of the tax apparatus were also noted (Terskaya, Novo Nikolaevskaya, Semipalatinskaya, Buryat oblasts). Semipalatinsk GO OGPU found
The demand for high conditionality of the grain delivered under the tax was most strongly reflected in the delivery of the tax and on the mood of the peasantry. The grain brought by the peasants was often rejected entirely and the peasants, so as not to carry it back, sold the grain right there for a pittance. In the Novonikolaevskaya province. (Kamensky u.) 45% of the grain was not accepted in this way; in the province, on this basis, tax refusals were observed. In Akmola province. weak tax revenue is due to the inadmissibility of grain due to substandard conditions. In the Omsk province. facts were noted when peasants, whose grain was rejected, brought it later and handed it over to the same office. Discontent on this basis is noted in the provinces of the Kuban‐Black Sea, Tatrespublika, Altai and Krasnoyarsk.
The impossibility of paying the tax in kind for this reason, in view of the low prices for bread, was aggravated in a number of provinces by the discrepancy between the equivalents of monetary substitution of the natural tax. In some places, the peasants had to sell 2 poods of grain to pay one pood of tax. In most cases, this situation forced the peasants to sell their livestock and often even equipment for tax payments. In the Vitebsk province. about 10,000 head of cattle passed through the Nevelsk slaughterhouse in November. In the Astrakhan province. peasants, in order to pay a tax of 100 rye units, must sell 3‐5 cows, i.e., almost all living equipment. Phenomena of the mass sale of livestock were noted in the provinces: Kursk, Petrograd, Mari, Votskaya, Georgia, Armenia, Tyumen, Akmola, Karachay‐Cherkess and Bashrespublika. The Kyrgyz population is being ruined selling their cattle for a pittance to speculative predators to pay tax. Dissatisfaction on the basis of high monetary equivalents, in addition, was observed in the Ural region, Tomsk province., The City Republic and Irkutsk.
The delivery of the tax in cash and grain loan bonds due to objective conditions (insufficient funds from the peasantry of the outlying regions, extremely low prices for grain, the rise in prices for grain loan bonds due to their speculation, etc.) did not favor all the provinces. Thus, most of the provinces that passed the tax mainly in money belong to the Center, Western Region and industrial regions of Ukraine and the Urals. On the contrary, in other regions, the need to pay taxes in cash caused a negative phenomenon for the economic situation of the peasantry, such as the massive sale of livestock and implements.
ʺScissorsʺ and the economic situation of the peasantry
The negative influence of the ʺscissorsʺ on the political and economic position of the peasantry is noted by all the provinces and many cited facts. During the period of the tax campaign, the influence of the ʺscissorsʺ was especially pronounced.
In Karachaevsky u. Bryansk province. peasants have to pay twice as much for factory products as they did last year.
Peasants of the Yaroslavl province. when selling flax fiber, manufactories cannot buy: instead of 20‐30 yards of chintz, which was given by the sale of flax before the war, they now receive only 10 yards. In the Altai lips. peasants for one cow receive calico only for 2‐3 shirts. In the Tsaritsyn province. the peasants are unable to acquire such essential items as salt, kerosene, matches, and saddlery. In the Voronezh province. a peasant, in order to buy a pood of salt, sells 6‐7 poods. rye. A pair of boots for a number of provinces costs 60 poods. rye or 50 poods. wheat. Similar facts are cited in almost all provinces.
Attention is drawn to the tendency observed among the peasants to reduce the area under crops due to low prices for grain. In the Karachay‐Cherkess region. peasants in some places sow only for themselves.
As a result of the payment of a single tax, low prices for agricultural products, the material situation of the peasantry in most provinces is noted as extremely difficult. This is noted in 35 provinces, of which 7 are central, all northwestern, 4 southeastern, 5 Volga provinces, 4 Far East provinces and others. In some of these provinces, peasants sell livestock to buy grain. In Nemkommun, Baikal province, Chuvash region, Novgorod province. a significant part of the peasantry on the eve of the famine. In the Buryat region. the population will go hungry after tax. The same is expected in Vitebsk, Tambov, Samara and a number of other provinces. In the rest of the provinces, the peasantry will have no surplus for further economic recovery.
In a number of provinces, the difficult economic situation of the peasantry results in partial famine, mainly of the poorest strata of the peasantry. Part of the population of Karelia is already starving; in the Murmansk province. the poor buy bread at fabulous prices; in the Pskov province. 12‐15 million poods will not be enough to feed the province. of bread; in the Arkhangelsk province. the population mixes various substitutes with bread: moss, fish bones, straw. Surrogates are used in
Rubtsovskiy. Astrakhan province. 15% of the population, the poor of the City Republic, Tambov province. and many other provinces. In the Fergana region. 487,000 were registered hungry, of whom 40% were children; children are dying of hunger and disease. Hunger begins to take on broad proportions in the provinces of Siberia and the Far East (Irkutsk, Omsk, Transbaikal,
One of the results of the plight of the peasantry is the observed desire to relocate to other, more favorable areas. Peasants of the Zyryansk region move to the Urals and Siberia due to poor harvest. A massive desire for resettlement is also noted in the provinces of Severo‐Dvinskaya, Vologda and Vitebsk. In the Irkutsk province. even well‐to‐do peasants migrate (Balagansky district). Peasants of Vyatka province. move in masses to Siberia. In Semipalatinsk province. there is a massive resettlement of peasants to other provinces due to the difficult economic situation. Due to the famine, the peasants of Karelia are migrating to Finland.
The mood of the peasantry in most provinces in connection with the collection of the single tax and its excessiveness, extremely low prices for bread and the abnormalities of the campaign during this period is unsatisfactory. This is especially true in lean provinces. The repressions used in the course of the campaign against those who did not pay taxes caused a number of excesses in a number of provinces where the kulaks were strong, resulting in mass refusals to accept salary sheets and outbreaks of uprisings in the Tver Region and the Trans‐Baikal province. and Priamurskaya lips.
Particularly acute discontent with taxes was observed in the provinces of Pskov, Tambov, Kuban‐Black Sea, Tersk, Stavropol, Astrakhan, Volyn, Azerbaijan and Georgia, Simbirsk, Armenia, the City Republic, the Bash Republic, the Ural, Omsk and all Far Eastern provinces. In relation to a number of these provinces, in order to increase the revenue of taxes, it was necessary to create sessions of national courts and confiscate the property of non‐payers. In one Stavropol province. about 6,000 people were brought to justice by arbitration. The peasantry is especially outraged by the confiscation of property, often from the poor.
The next series of facts illuminates the nature of the excesses that took place on the basis of the single tax.
Kuban‐Black Sea region In Novo‐Titarovskaya stc. In the Krasnodar department, 34 middle peasants arrested for tax failure, sitting in a punishment cell, sang religious songs and ʺGod Save the Tsar.ʺ In stts. A crowd of defaulters, armed with stakes, drove out the militia, which confiscated property from the defaulters, in the Nevinnomyssk Armavir department. In the same way, the representative of the Volost Executive Committee was driven out. The one who came to arrest the ringleaders of the executive committee was told that a crowd of 100 people, which had dispersed the police, had gone to the gang.
Tersk region in stts. Ekaterinogradskaya Mozdoksky u. a crowd of peasants, incited by their fists, recaptured the cattle taken by court verdicts and released those arrested for tax evasion. In this area, members of the RCP often refuse to pay taxes, citing natural disasters and a poor harvest. In stts. There are 11 such communists in the Soviet Union. In the area of the stts. Zolskoy, on the basis of dissatisfaction with taxes, a kulak uprising broke out, in which up to 700 Cossacks took part (for more details, see the ʺBanditryʺ section).
Primorskaya lips. At the conferences of peasants, the speakers were interrupted by shouts that the government wanted to destroy the peasantry and that the peasants would not surrender the tax. In Nikolsko‐Ussuriysky district the delivery of the slip sheets proceeds with great difficulty. The deputy chairman of the Pokrovsky VIK burned bread for being active in the tax campaign. In a number of volosts, peasants are expecting a coup, which is why they do not pay tax.
Amur lips. Under the influence of kulak agitation, peasants in a number of volosts categorically refused to accept salary slips. There are rumors among them that it remains to saddle the horse and go into the taiga. Anti‐tax agitators are driving around the villages of Zavitinsky district, calling to organize against the delivery of the tax. In one of the villages a brightly counter‐revolutionary resolution was passed.
Transbaikal lips. In a number of volosts, refusals to accept salary sheets were noted due to the excessive taxation (Sretensky, Aleksandrovsky and Ner‐chinsky). In the Aleksandro‐Zavodskoy parish. An uprising led by the kulaks broke out, spreading to other volosts. The same movement exists in the Amur province, where an uprising broke out in the area of st. Ippolitovka and der. Lyalichi, 40 versts northeast of Nizhne‐Ussuriysk.
Buryat region Under the influence of kulak agitation, mass refusals to accept salary slips were noted, and in one village a communist, explaining the meaning of the tax, was beaten. Similar cases were noted in the Syrdarya region, Tatrespublika, Samara province, Yekaterinburg and Penza provinces. The leading role of the kulaks in all these movements indicates their strong economic and political influence in the countryside. It is characteristic that, after appropriate pressure, the kulaks, who were the instigator of the refusal, are the first to surrender the tax. However, in the Kuban and Primorye Territories, it is definitely refraining from surrendering the tax due to hopes of an uprising and a coup. The plight of the village is used by the kulaks for their strengthening. Taking advantage of the hopeless situation of the poor and middle peasants, it buys bread and implements for a pittance (Kursk, Tambov, UralKustanai and other provinces). In the elections to the Soviets that were taking place, the kulaks strove to get into the Soviets and in some places had some success.
The partial tax cut made significantly alleviated the position of the poorest strata of the peasantry and contributed to the improvement of the political situation in the countryside. In Tomsk and Novonikolaevsk provinces. the poor, exempted from taxes, changed their attitude towards Soviet power for the better and began to actively oppose the kulaks. In the Ural and Saratov provinces. the tax cut raised the authority of the Soviet government in the eyes of the peasantry. Along with this, there is anger in the kulaks, who believe that this increases the burden of taxes on them. In addition to the above provinces, tax cuts for the poor were also noted in the provinces of Orel, Smolensk, Vologda, Akmola, Vyatka.
It should be noted, as one of the reasons for the acute discontent of the peasants, the collection of various taxes and taxation in addition to the main single tax. In Belarus, peasants especially complain about the inadequacy of paying stamp duty 301, registry office operations and passes for border volosts. In the Tomsk province. kulaks are developing agitation against the communists, who promised a single tax and instead gave a lot of taxes, such as insurance, school, volost budgets, etc. In Novgorod province. dissatisfaction caused by the patent fee from artisans, which increases the value of orders from them. In Bukeevskaya province. and Novonikolaevskaya peasants are not happy with the school tax and refuse to support schools. In the Tomsk province. there was a case of arson of a school by peasants. Discontent on the basis of various additional taxes is noted by the provinces of Ryazan (equalizing, budgetary), Krasnoyarsk (volost budget), Astrakhan and Petrograd (insurance and local tax) and Vologda. conclusions
1. In determining the political and economic position of the peasantry, the most important factors were the methods of the tax campaign and the state of the ʺscissorsʺ.
2. The methods of the current tax campaign (the requirement of high conditionality of the delivered grain, the establishment of high cash equivalents for replacing grain with money, the insufficient proximity of the receiving apparatus to taxpayers) had an extremely negative effect on the position of the peasantry in the provinces far from the center, causing a further drop in prices for agricultural products and the massive sale of livestock ...
3. The weakness of tax receipts in a number of provinces is due, along with the general difficult economic situation (especially in the northwestern, Siberian and Far Eastern provinces), precisely by these conditions of the tax campaign.
4. The possibility of paying the tax in cash was used by the peasantry in industrial areas, where there was a corresponding market for agricultural products.
5. Replacing the single agricultural tax with a monetary one, since it will be carried out at the end of the current tax campaign, will undoubtedly meet with hostile attitude among the peasantry in purely agricultural areas, where money circulation has not yet penetrated enough and the prices of agricultural products are unfavorable for the peasantry.
6. Sharp dissatisfaction with taxes in the South‐East, the Far East, Siberia and some other regions and, finally, the outbreak of kulakpeasant uprisings in Tersk, Transbaikal and Amur provinces. are symptoms of this discontent.
7. The partial tax cut, which made it easier for the poor to pass the tax, was of great political importance in the countryside, strengthening the confidence of the poorest strata of the peasantry in Soviet power and helping to free them from the influence of the kulaks.