Famine in Russia

Never dreamed that Stolypin

In the article "The leaders of the hunger" Sergey Tikhonov has convincingly shown that, based on the economic indicators of hunger in 1933 was not to be. However, the famine was — and this is an objective reality, confirmed by numerous documents. Reality is a strange and mysterious.

Another no less mysterious objective reality — that this was the last famine in Russian history (not counting 1946 — but agree that there were special reasons).

Russia has always hungry. Starved for the prince of Kiev, at the Moscow tsars, under the emperors. Go hungry every three to four years hard time in 10-15 years is very strong, and at times dramatically. Hundreds of thousands of peasant children were swollen from hunger every spring regardless of the crop. It always has been.

Moreover, in contrast to Western countries, where the development of farming technologies and means of communication hunger strike became more rare and weak, Russia, since the XIX century, the hungry more often and stronger. That's how things were in 1913, according to the dictionary Brockhaus and Efron:

"During the twentieth century. Samara Province starving eight times, Saratov — nine. Over the past 30 years, the largest hunger strike relate to 1880 (the Lower Volga region, part of the lakeside and Novorossiysk province) and 1885 (New Russia and some of the non-black counties from Kaluga to Pskov), then followed by famine in 1891 famine 1892 . the central and south-eastern provinces, hunger strikes in 1897 and 1898. approximately in the same area, in the twentieth century. famine in 1901 in 17 provinces of the center, south and east, the hunger strike in 1905 (22 provinces, including four non-black, Pskov, Novgorod, Vitebsk, Kostroma), opening a whole series of hunger strikes: 1906, 1907, 1908 and 1911 . (Mainly eastern, central province, the New Russia). "

After the revolution, it has not improved: in addition to the disaster of 1921-1922. hunger almost every year hit any part of the country. And the poor go hungry every year, regardless of the crop. Russia gravitated over like a bad luck, do not let it get out of a hungry existence.

And bad luck really gravitated. Name him, the Russian agricultural sector.

The arithmetic of poverty

How much do you think it was poor in the villages of the Russian Empire? I asked about this a lot, and only one person gave the correct answer. Called twenty percent, thirty, forty … No way!

The poor in the Russian Empire was considered farming, which took no more than 5 acres of land (1 tithe — 1.1 ha), not more than one horse and one cow. Let's now a little math. Take the average allotment: for ease of calculation — 4.5 tithing. Suppose that the farmer no more plants and sows, except the bread (which is in fact, of course, not true). The average yield for the country as a good year — about 50 pounds per acre. Since most farms applied the three-field, one-third of the land is left fallow. Total cumulative harvest — 150 pounds. Of these, 36 pounds should be left to the seed (12 pounds per acre). It remains 114 pounds.

On average, each farm had five eaters. According to the "hungry" standards (as it was calculated in the Civil War rations for farms) per person per year should account for 12 pounds of bread. For five people it will be 60 pounds. The harvest is 54 pounds. Further, 18 pounds falls on a horse, 9 — a cow. It remains to 27 pounds. Since they have to pay taxes, somehow feed sheep and even a little bird. Oh no insurance stocks speech anymore.

This is — the upper limit of the well-being of poor peasants. In reality, many of them, and plots were smaller and yields lower. On the eve of the war in cultivated crop farms, apply the latest advances agronomy, was 130-150 pounds per acre, a well-off peasant who had many cattle, which means that a lot of manure — 70 pounds, middle peasants — 50 pounds, poor peasants — 35 pounds or less . Who wants to can spend the same calculation power of the family, based on the yield of 35 pounds, but without a horse or a cow.

So: on the eve of 1917 in the Russian Empire poor peasants was 75%. The same ratio remained even after the revolution, except that the Bolshevik government withdrew the poor slyly into three categories: laborers (already quite poor), actually poor and lower-middle peasants. About 30% of households were horseless, about 25% were cows, 35% were plowing equipment (who do not know — it's plow, plow is rare, and a simple harrow).

In the 1927/28 financial year from agricultural tax in view of the extreme weakness were released 38% of poor peasants (especially because of their kopecks State was not any sense), and lower-middle peasants, accounting for 33%, contributed only 6% of all payments. Moreover, unable to feed themselves from the land, not less than half of all households buy bread. The main buyer of Russian bread was a Russian peasant.

So please answer the readers of "Expert", economists and businessmen, that with all of this be done?

What to do with the extra people?

The main problem of the Russian agrarian sector — the microscopic size of farms and their extreme weakness — there was, of course, not in the 1920s. It was formed in the two centuries of the slave system and the reform was enshrined in 1861. In its own way the authors were right. They were placed in the most favorable conditions for the large landed estates, giving them land, money (ransom), and any number of cheap labor to those produced marketable grain. Peasants were simply abandoned to their fate, and even sought indemnity payments for the land, no offsetting two centuries of slave labor. The reform was frankly Anglo-Saxon type, that is, by law of the jungle: the weak die, the strong will remain.

What could the peasants to oppose this state of affairs? They could not defend themselves, or had to submit and get to grips with each other in a fierce battle for life or try to survive all together. Russian village chose the latter, maintaining the same community-based orders. Available crumbs land was divided at all. Plus the desire to get big and put on a tremendous infant mortality (in 1913, a quarter of infants dying before reaching one year) stimulated a high birth rate. In the early twentieth century in the village, according to various estimates, there were between 20 million to 32 million extra people. If you take the average figure — one-sixth of the population.

This was a major disaster Russian agricultural sector: the size of the smallest farms, 25 (average) million of excess population and the community, for which the Russian peasantry clung frantically to survive. By the early twentieth century in Russia began colossal agrarian unrest: brought to the loss of the instinct of self-preservation peasants began to plunder the landlords, which have seen their main enemies.

It was then conceived the Saratov Governor, who soon became the prime minister, his agrarian reform.

Stolypin understood that the dream of a peasant — a section of the landed estates — not only does not benefit Russian agricultural sector, but will drive him even deeper into the quagmire. With the landowners were fine, the largest of them walked confidently to prosperity. Now we have to 15 million small farms to make … say, one million large and medium-sized couple of million and leave it at that.

How to do it? Yes very easy: it is necessary to destroy the communal ownership of land, give land to the peasants in the property and provide all the natu
ral flow of things. In his famous speech in the Duma, Prime Minister said: "It is necessary to enable capable, hard-working peasant, that is salt of the earth Russian, freed from the clutches of those from those of present conditions of life, in which he currently resides. We have to give him the opportunity to be strengthened with a fruit of their labors and make them an integral property of the owner … Such a host government is obliged to give advice, help loan, that is money. "

And the question is: how many of them were among the rural population, these strong, capable of growing peasants? Very soon it became clear after the Stolypin reforms part of the farms went into the lead, and they were about 5%. And the others? Or someone thinks the peasants do not understand what their doom?

The village is literally howled. The general opinion expressed Fishing parish of St. Petersburg County: "According to the farmers, the law of the State Duma will not be approved, as it bends to the detriment of the poor and needy farmers. We see that every householder can stand out from the community and get into their own land: and we feel that way all young widow and all the descendants of present-day population. After all, the land belongs to the whole community in general, it is not only the modern structure, but also their children and grandchildren. "

Letters to the State Duma were hundreds and thousands, and all against the reform. It did not help. Reform started in addition to the will of most of the population and led to what was to result when a number of people condemned to death. What happened to the country in ten years, can not be called a coup. Would be wrong to call and revolution. The most accurate definition — volume explosion. And the first thing done in the village — and lived there as many as 80% of the population (and you thought how much?) — It finished off last landed estates and canceled the Stolypin reforms.

The reason is very simple: no one wants to die.

Where will the government go?

This Selianski paradise and inherited the new government: 25000000 smallest farms, of which a good half are unable to feed themselves, permanent or for one year does not leave the country and famine farming culture at the level of Kievan Rus, horse, plow, harrow, scythe, sickle …

The problem was the same: to bring the country out of the impasse, it is necessary to create a large-scale farms in rural areas, while maintaining alive the maximum number of people. It is desirable to everyone. But how?

By 1927, when industrialization plans took shape at the end of the tunnel began to dawn light. It was clear what to do with unwanted people. Developing industry, the humanitarian sector, the service industry will absorb the surplus labor force in the next 10-15 years. However, the 10-15 years old also need to somehow survive, but this is, as they say, is not a problem, and the problem.

Yes, but what to do with the village? Which way to create these very large farms? It is not clear what options will be, but it is clear what will not work. The new landlord will not accept Russian village. Burn, kill — but it will not accept. And the government why is it needed? To ten years to impose himself on the neck of farmers' lobby, which is under the threat of hunger will be year after year to pump in his pocket the state budget? That's just not enough of it and the Soviet government, especially in the midst of the "bread wars" (talk about them another time)!

Do not ride and bet on a strong individual farming, which many say apologists known theorist of Agriculture Chayanova. First, by 1927 it was clear what this rate leads (this is also another time). Second, in the countryside need to really large farms, not in tens or thousands of hectares. And that landlords (of which we have already mentioned). Of course, if the government was guided by economic theory … but in the USSR, the head of state were purely practices.

That left the Soviet economy and cooperation. If the head of the Soviet government had faith as a grain of mustard seed could move mountains, it certainly would have changed the mentality of the population and covered country farm. But in reality, "agrozavody" the peasants are not attracted. This option was acceptable to the laborers who do not have any crops or farm: the farm in good working less and paid better than the fist. In a poor farm, maybe worse than a fist, but it's better than no job.

However, the farms were still too small even for the available laborers. There was only one way — cooperation of small farms.

First, the government let this process take its course, enjoying steadily increasing percentage of co-operative farms. But when, in the mid-1920s began to carry out the survey, it became clear quite unpleasant truth. According to the sample census of 1927, the number of farms, more or less involved in co-operatives, in the USSR amounted to 49.7%. But, first, cooperated mostly wealthy economy (and the problem was poor peasants), and secondly, almost all were either consumer cooperatives or credit — but the problem is that was just in the workplace. Productive cooperation united only 0.6% of households. Therefore, it was necessary to spur the process.

By the way, what is a production cooperative in the village?

Yes the farm — what else is there for you! Therefore, it is funny, when critics of the Soviet agrarian reform argue that it was necessary to put not on farms, and cooperatives. It's like, excuse me?

CJSC "farm" and its managers

If you do not cling to the terms, the collective farm as a phenomenon has been known since ancient times. It is nothing like a good old gang — the Bolsheviks only artisanal method used for cultivation. Well, the word "farm" appeared during the Civil War, when the Russian language fell upon an epidemic of acronyms and abbreviations.

This phenomenon has been a lot of forms: agricultural cooperatives, cooperative, municipality, partnership for joint cultivation of the land. They differed mainly in the degree of socialization, and coincided in the basic principles: socialization in one way or another means of production, ie land, livestock and equipment, and the prohibition of wage labor.

Collective farm — is a modified community, with the difference that the land, livestock and equipment are not divided on farms, and are used together. Thus, you can get a large farm on land that is not across the mentality, as the makers of the 1861 reform and Stolypin, and in agreement with him — if you decide on organizational matters. And more importantly — the farm community remains reluctant principle: although black piece, but to everyone. It was such a reform is not throwing out excess population of the production process — and in Russia it meant throwing and of life — and kept him and let him starve, but alive. Just something and you had that extra people to save it for a few years until it prepare for jobs in factories and construction sites.

Is it any wonder that the Bolsheviks have based their agrarian reform is industrial cooperation?

The first collective sample of the 1920s were very small and poor. In 1927, an average of one farm had about 12 yards, six or seven head of cattle, nine or ten sheep, four pigs and three or four horses. On 100 acres of crops they accounted for 13.6 horses (at the individual farmers — 18), although in reality this figure is somewhat less because in many areas plowed with oxen. Based on these figures, we can estimate the average size of farm land — about 25 acres, or two per household.

But did they have one huge advantage: these small, poor and unskilled poor economy actually cooperated! So, in 1927, 65.6% of farms were combined horseless, 26.3% one-horse, 6.5% and 1.5% dvuhloshadnyh trehloshad
nyh farms, despite the fact that no horses in the country was about 28%. That is what was required to get!

Favorites of the authorities were, of course, the commune, where socialization is maximized. However, farmers are not very welcomed by this form. In 1927, the commune was only 8.5%, 50.3% belonged to the collective agricultural marketing cooperative, and 40.2% — to partnerships for joint cultivation of the land. The border between them has been shaky since each household has lived by his own rules, but still kind of correlation was observed.

In the mid-1920s, in the communes of collectivized land by 97% in cooperatives — by 95% in tozah — by 71.5%, so that the basic means of production, as we see, the difference is small. It is not surprising: after all, all the collective — is the co-processing cooperativesland. But for agricultural these figures were already 97, 73 and 43%, respectively, for working animals — 92, 47.5 and 13% for productive livestock — 73, 23, 0. The low degree of socialization did not suit the power, how can bind at least some long-term plans with the unions so volatile? Yet, given the preferences of the peasant, as the main form recommended by collective farms, has been selected gang.

Yes, but what about the organizational issues? After all, the biggest problem of the collective farms were not even poverty. In the end, the state is a good help. Collective farms on favorable conditions, the agricultural machinery, seeds, loans, the best land, the good loans. The biggest problem was the accounting and distribution. Too many things had to be taken into account: each economy entered into a share farm with a different, a different number of consumers, there were too many different jobs — like all taken into account in the distribution of products? After all, the experience of teamwork from farmers had no! So that the main cause of death of collective farms were not the economic problems, which they still less than that of a single court, and numerous squabbles around labor participation and distribution of products. So that agrarian reform is not constrained by the reluctance of the government and even the resistance of the peasantry (the majority of the poor, even in the most problematic years, still stubbornly stood for collective), namely, as we now say, by the management.

And then the Soviet government decided on a very heavy, even desperate step. Despite the terrible shortage of staff in the industry, the collective farms were sent to the factory workers: first, 25 thousand, for which they have nicknamed "dvadtsatipyatitysyachnikami", and then still more than 100 million current "theorists great things" as not only laughed at them, saying , sent to lead the rural economy of people who can not distinguish between a bull from a cow! To hell with them, with cows, for that herders are! Instead, they knew that this brigade, a unit wage scale, the coefficient, wages. What used to be an insoluble problem for the farmer, for the worker, who had skill of collective labor, does not present any difficulties. These people per year or solved the notorious organizational issues, with the economy were the organizational period, prepare a replacement and could leave. Thus, the country received 25 thousand households and as many qualified managers.

By the beginning of the industrialization of all major decisions were taken. December 30, 1926 the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) adopted the following resolution:

"The data on the state farms show that the collective movement began to go out of crisis, in which it was in the early years of the NEP: a growing number of farms, the number of merged their population is growing marketability of collective farms, gradually improving the organization of work and production in the collective farms. In certain parts of their farms have already begun to identify advantages over small-scale peasant economy, both in terms of rationalization of the economy, and in terms of improving its profitability. This growth confirms the collective whole vitality of the collective motion, relying on the one hand, the impossibility of significant words for the village to improve their position outside the farm collectivization, and the other — on the increase in the use of sophisticated machinery in the country, creating a large technical base of agricultural production.

Increasing differentiation of the peasantry, the inability to absorb the entire surplus of the village industries, the presence of large segments of the low-power village peasants without access to individually raise their economy, the pursuit of these sections of the rural economic foothold and free yourself from the operation of a fist — all this pushes the most active layers of low-power the peasantry (especially the rural poor) to the path of collectivization of their farms.

Along with the development of mechanization, in particular of tractors farming creates due to the inability of rational use of complex and expensive agricultural machines individually important new source of collective farming on the basis of the growth of the farm. Facilitating the involvement of a collective movement, mainly in the simplest forms of machine partnerships and associations for the cultivation of the land, all the wider peasant population, mechanization of agriculture brings with it a collective construction of the necessary technical base …

…Further growth and deepening of the movement will depend, on the one hand, on the further expansion of large-scale industry, the development of the country's industrialization and technological progress the farm and on the other, the development of cooperatives and peasant population growth initiative poor and middle peasants of the village. "

As you can see, the path that goes agrarian reform defined. Now the thing is the timing. First supposed to reform gradually and voluntarily. But the gradual and will take place than voluntary collectivization, the more grief and misery fall upon the head of the same farmers — and directly, because of the "bread wars", and because of the delay of industrialization, and because of the continuation of the non-human life. If fast is organized in a cohesive force opponents of reform will generally give it to.

Forced cooperation is, of course, beneficial — but, as any violence, is fraught with sacrifices and very risky. If the government had a normal, trained and managed by the unit on the ground, it was still possible to take a risk — but it was necessary to reform, relying mainly on the local party activists: 20 years old, the poor man's origin and commitment to using his revolver and build such a mother Communism during five years.

One of the factors that led the government, in spite of everything to the limit to accelerate collectivization, were "bread of War" —of them will be discussed in the next article.

The magazine "Expert"

writer-historian Elena Prudnikova

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