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Stalin or Bukharin

As a result of conjunction of a number of circumstances by January 1928 it had been yielded 128,000,000 poods (1 pood equals to 16 kg) less than by January of 1927. Supply of cities, and the Army was under threat. The government appealed to extreme methods: for farmers, refusing to surrender wheat surplus on "firm federal price" (that is on very low price) the known 127 article (about speculation) of Criminal Code was used. The "surplus" were confiscated to the advantage of the nation, 25% of the confiscated amount was distributed among the poor and weak middling farmers on federal prices or in long-term credit.

Extraordinary measures, tax kinks caused cutting down areas under crop. Why should farmers seed up vast areas, if the yield will be taken away? Cutting down cultivated area, killing cattle, representatives of wealthy layer of farmers tried to leave their position for a lower one to avoid ruinous taxation.

Jump of market prices made production of technical crops (flax, cotton) low-payable. There was real threat of decrease in production, of, as a consequence, light industry constriction, "goods hunger" sharpening.

In its turn, accelerating process of industrialisation increased capable of paying demand for foodstuffs. Too broad gap in rates of development between industrial and agrarian sector threatened with imbalancing of the whole national economy. In 1926-1929 annual growth of industrial products was 20%. Growth of agricultural products was only 5.4% in 1926/27, 1.1% in 1927/28 and 4.4 in 1928/1929 (the analogous figures on grain were much lower). In late 1928 the country's administration had to introduce food rationing cards for a number of products. In 1929 extraordinary means were used in rural area again.

Sharpening of bread problem threatened with complete failure of industrialisation program. In November, 1929 course for accelerated collectivisation was accepted. So this was the background, on which the last intraparty battle of the 20-s took place, that is the struggle against "right deviation". The main opponents were J. Stalin and N. Bukharin.

Stalin explained the crisis of bread provision with objective reasons. He considered that unsatisfactory rate of industry development caused goods hunger, which didn't allow to get bread from farmers economically, in exchange for industrial goods. Class aspect of the problem was underlined. In that objective situation (lack of resources for harmonious development of economics, splitness of agriculture) Stalin suggested to concentrate all forces on the arterial direction - in heavy industry (at the cost of tensioning the whole economic system and other branches means redistribution), and then, having created energetic and metallurgy base, home machinetools industry, convert the whole of national economics on industrial fundament. It was supposed to organise large-scale goods collective farms in the country.

In Bukharin's understanding the crisis was caused basically with subjective reasons: a foodstuffs reserve fund hadn't been set up, growth of monetary income in the village wasn't tuned up with taxes, which sharpened goods hunger and decreased amount of bread offered in the market; correlation between procurement prices for bread and primary crops was unprofitable for the farmer. Bukharin put forward the problem of market normalisation: procurement prices for bread should be increased, bread should be partially bought overseas, taxes for the village "tops" should be increased also. He advocated for a balanced development of heavy and light industries, suggested to organise large-scaled agricultural units in grain regions, industrialisation of agriculture in other regions, but he stressed that the base of agrarian sector should be the individual farm for a long period on.

From Bukharin's point of view, one of the main mistakes was establishing wrong, unprofitable for the farmer correlation of procurement prices in agriculture. But possibilities for manoeuvring were limited here. In mid-20-s the correlation of prices was in favour of grain, and that led to the fall of primary crops production, which sharpened commodity hunger.

By the end of the five-year plan the level of national income was lower than that in pre-revolution Russia, and it was just 15% as compared with the USA one, while in 1913 this allotment was 30%. The situation in the newest branches of industry (energetic, chemical, automobile, tractor and aviation ones) was even worse: retardations here was ten times and more and there wasn't a possibility even to shorten it. When having this weak economics it was impossible to have strong Army.

The administration of the country could clearly see a perspective of stagnation, of military impotence. This made internal social explosion inevitable sooner or later, or defeat at a first war encounter.

It may seem weird, but a regular, normal economic development in late 20-s and 30-s seemed like a gamble, and "adventurous" industrial breakthrough sounded like a really realistic variant.

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