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Political regime

In late 20-s and 30-s the centre of gravity was removed to party, extreme and punitive bodies. The Party played chief politic and mobilising role. 1928-1929 crisis revealed a weak mobilising preparedness of some party organisation for conducting "tough policy". For the NEPNEP (New Economic Policy) peaceful years the so-called "tail" community spirit became rather popular. In 1929 departments of OGPU (predecessor of infamous KGB) marked multiple cases at production units, plants etc. when communists and the Young Communist League (YCL) members were leaders of the malcontents, appeared with claims (usually to reconsider norms, tariffs and rates of wages) on behalf of the workers, agitated to go on strike, boycotted works meetings and agitated the workers to boycott them.

During "peaceful" years of NEP many of the party organisations separated from the multitude. In case of strike those party cells showed full perplexity. That could be explained also by their low educational level.

On the other hand, development of market relations in rather strict borders of their administrative management created a good soil for corruption of the party and administrative apparatus. In late 20-s many facts of corruption among party administration were revealed.

The Party was loosing authority in the eyes of people. In the second half of the 20-s the process of workers' dropout from the party began. During 1925-1927 87000 party members retired including 52000 machine workers.

The party comb-outs (1933, 1935-1936, "the great terror" of 1937-1938) were practically the same. Their objectives were:
1. Disposal of morally "decomposed" members.
2. Suppression in embryo of parochial, secession, opposition social spirits.
3. Abating social tension by means of punishment of concrete participants of certain negative actions.
But on the whole in the 30-s the party manpower remained the same, and even increased considerably as compared with the 20-s.

Since late 20-s intraparty regime gets more and more severe, the remains of the party democracy fizzle out. For instance, beginning with 1928 practice of verbatim dissemination from party plenums was discontinued. In 1929 the Izvestiya magazine (Party news) was closed. Practice of cooptation and polling by lists becomes regular one.

Having increased quantitatively, the monolithic party urged to control the whole society, to mobilise every citizen's efforts for a double-quick modernisation of the country. In 1930-1932 in all industrial production units party committees were set up, even shop cells practically in every large-scale shop of each production unit. Party cells in collective-farms, in tractor stations. The Young Comsomol League functioned under the strict party control.

In conditions of concentrating real political power in party committees, in extraordinary, and sometimes in vindicatory bodies the Soviets carried out mainly economic, cultural and organisational functions.

Persecutions - the tragic page of Russian history. In the second part of the 30-s a series of legal processes were held over former leaders of intraparty opposition. Accusations: counter-revolutionary, anti-soviet activity, acts of sabotage, terrorism etc. Tortures and excruciating were the basic means of getting the "confession".

The tough policy of 30-s was genetically connected with the chosen model of industrialisation, where constant operative control was carried out from Moscow. This model was rather convenient at the time. Construction and functioning of a comparatively small number of key objects was controllable from Moscow. It was possible to supply modern equipment to those not numerous objects, and to introduce approved newalties of
the world science and technology there. But this model could be effective only on condition that all the commands and recommendations from the centre would be fulfilled correctly and reliably. This led to inevitable development of "subsystem of fear". Besides, super centralisation of resources on a few certain directions meant super derogation of other sections. As a result there always existed a threat of protest from "stepsons of economic development". In order to suppress this would-be protest, the whole punitive and informant system was created.

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