Illustreations and Maps

An illuminating description of how the Soviet Union solved the intricate problems raised by the presence within its borders of an enormous number of different nationalities at various stages of development, assuring them unhampered economic and cultural growth. The author shows how the principle of the right of self-determination of nations was fukfilled as a result of the Revolution in November, 1917.




I The Guiding Principle

II Industrial Centres in Backward Regions

III Agricultural Reconstruction in Backward Regions

IV Changes in Leading Republics

V Cultural Achievements

VI The Development of Communist Organisations


“Imperialism is the period of an increasing oppression of the nations of the whole world by a handful of ‘great’ nations; the struggle for a Socialist international revolution against Imperialism is therefore impossible without the recognition of the rights of nations to self-determination. ‘No people oppressing other peoples can be free’ (Marx and Engels). No proletariat reconciling itself to the least violation by ‘its’ nation of the rights of other nations can be Socialist.”

Lenin: The Imperialist War.

The present is a period of increasing oppression by the great so-called civilised countries of the world of the smaller and so-called backward countries, an oppression accompanied by endless brutalities and barbaric tortures inflicted in the name of “culture” upon the “heathen.” At such a time this book will be as a great inspiration to all anti-Imperialists to redouble their efforts in the great task of liberating the oppressed peoples from capitalist bondage.

The reader will quickly realise that solving the National problem in the Soviet Union was no easy task and could only have been fulfilled by a strict adherence to the line laid down by Marx and Lenin. To have deviated from this line would have brought disaster to the solution of the problem, and therefore the C.P.S.U. was forced to carry on a campaign not only against tendencies towards “great-power” chauvinism which could not understand the cultural and economic needs of the former oppressed nationalities, but also against tendencies towards petty- bourgeois nationalism which failed to see the place of the national struggle in the international class struggle of the proletariat.

The correctness of attitude of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union can be gauged by the tremendous success of the progress in industrialisation, and of socialist construction in agriculture in these autonomous regions. In reading of these colossal achievements the reader will be struck by a difference between the Soviet solution of the question of self-determination and the solution adopted by the “great” Powers dominating the League of Nations. If, by some chance or other, the reader knows nothing of the ramification of British Imperialism, I would advise him to study the statements of our comrades, who have been “on trial” in Meerut, India, on a charge of conspiracy against the King, the majority of whom (eighteen) have been kept in jail since March, 1929.

But let us see how the small European national minorities are treated after the “civilisation” process of 1914-18. In Poland the national minorities comprise about 40 per cent of the entire population. A number of districts are inhabited chiefly by Ukrainians, White Russians and Germans; they have no national rights. The policy of Polish Fascism towards these minor nationalities is to ruin them as a preliminary to their assimilation into the Polish population in the districts.

The land of the Ukrainian and White Russian peasants has been expropriated and subdivided among the Polish militarists, and thereby erecting a reliable bulwark along the U.S.S.R. border in the event of an attack on the Soviet Union.

The brutalities perpetrated by the Polish Fascists in the campaign of “pacification” were so atrocious that members of the British Parliament protested to the League of Nations.

The following is a short excerpt from that protest:–

“Punitive expeditions were sent to 700 villages. Hundreds of peaceful citizens and children were subjected to beatings; thousands of people were imprisoned, a large number of libraries, union headquarters and co-operative stores were robbed and destroyed.... During the last elections the Ukrainians were terrorised to such an extent that they did not dare to take advantage of their right to vote....

"From 1920 to 1925 the Ukrainians lost 2,607 schools. Out of 1,000 Ukrainian students, only 79 can attend schools conducted in their own language; 921 are compelled to attend either Polish or two-language schools. In 1925, 84 per cent of all the schools in the Ukraine were Polish....

"It has been proven that 200,000 hectares of the cultivated land in Eastern Galicia and Poland have been handed over to Polish colonists. Polish agricultural unions received 79 million zloties during the current year, while the Ukrainian agricultural unions, whose number is close to 3,000 received nothing.”

One would have to be quite naive to expect the League of Nations to appear as the champion of oppressed national minorities in general, and of those in Poland, in particular. The League of Nations is itself an Imperialist device for oppressing and deluding the national minorities in the colonial and semi-colonial countries. No further proof is required than the attitude taken by the League of Nations on the question of the military occupation of Manchuria by Japan, the seizure of Bessarabia by Rumania, etc. These instances prove the Imperialist nature of the League of Nations beyond doubt.

Here is some evidence characterising the role of the League of Nations in solving the national problem, evidence provided by the European national minorities themselves. The fourth "All-European Congress of Minorities” (of the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois parties) thus summarised the activity of the League of Nations in “solving” the national problem:

“Forty million people belonging to the national minorities are losing confidence in the League of Nations as a guardian of minority rights; to date the League of Nations, because of the methods it applies, has done nothing to effect a solution of the ‘minorities’ problem.”

The oppression of White Russians and Ukrainians in Poland is the most vivid example of the frightful lawlessness and derision in which the bourgeoisie of any capitalist country subjects its minor nationalities. In France, the bourgeoisie persecutes the Alsatians and deprives them of their national identity; the same thing is true of the southern Tyrolese and the Slavonians in Italy; of the Flemings and the Germans in Belgium; of the Catalonians and the Basques in Spain; of the Negroes in the U.S.A., etc., etc. It is significant that this oppression of weak nationalities is practised even in countries where some of these nationalities are officially recognised as “nations of the State.” In Czecho-Slovakia for instance, where the Slovaks comprise about 15 per cent, and the Czechs 40 per cent of the population, the persecution of the Slovaks has become so unbearable that they have literally fled from the country in great numbers; in 1930 about 68 per cent of all the emigrants from Czecho-Slovakia were Slovaks.

But all this is as nothing compared to the national oppression and horrible exploitation practised by the capitalist States towards their colonies and semi-colonies.

The colonies and semi-colonies are very important purveyors of raw materials for capitalist industry, are profitable places for the investment of capital, lucrative sources of cheap labour-power, and markets for the products of the home country. It is to the interest of Imperialism to retard the economic and cultural development of the colonies and semi-colonies, because this retardation makes it easier for the capitalist to exploit these peoples, to obtain raw materials and markets for the industries of the “mother country.”

In describing the labour of the negroes in the French African colonies, a French journalist, Albert Londres, writes as follows:

“Suddenly the forests re-echoed with shrieks coming from hundreds of throats: ‘a-a-a-a... a-a-a.’ Hundreds of naked negroes were straining every fibre to pull up the roots. The foreman rhythmically lashed his whip bellowing commands at intervals.... The taut muscles of these human bodies seemed never to relax as these natives made superhuman efforts to cope with the drudgery assigned them. The blows of the whip rained down upon their defenceless backs and faces, with the blood dripping to their feet.”

The planters’ representative who recruits labour-power in the province of Chad, Africa, writes to the Governor of the province:

“According to your instructions the chieftains of the tribes were ordered to deliver up the people after the arrival of the physician. But I must inform you that the chieftains were the only ones left in the village – the rest of the population had fled before our arrival. This, despite the fact that I had taken every precaution to tell them that it was just a matter of giving them a medical examination.... At the end of November I witnessed here the recruiting of labourers. I saw soldiers dragging along natives by ropes securely tied around their bodies....”

The following inquiry speaks of the results consequent upon this system of capitalist exploitation of colonial peoples:

“In the French African Colonies, near the Equator, negroes were forced to do railroad construction work for 1 to 2¼ francs per day, under the most inhuman conditions, and without any medical aid. The mortality among the workers reached terrific proportions; by April, 1929, about 25,000 deaths had been registered, which was about 82 per cent of the workers.”

In that huge graveyard the British Empire, millions of people in the colonial and semi-colonial countries are subjected to similar horrors; “forced” labour and “recruiting” are applied to entire populations. Let the International Labour Office explain the process:

“As soon as the demand for labour exceeds the voluntary supply, the adoption of the method of compulsion – no matter by what means – becomes an imperative necessity and creates a state of mind, which sweeps away all humanitarian considerations.”

The position of the black people in South Africa, with the restriction of movements by pass-laws (Master and Servants’ Acts) and the confiscation of the land, is no secret. In South Africa 6 million black people live on the “reservation” lands, consisting of 40 million acres, while 1½ million Whites occupy 260 million acres of the best land.

India has now “enjoyed” 150 years of British rule with its incidental acts of barbarity. On the North-West Frontier thousands and thousands of bombs have been dropped during the last few years. In India and Burma thousands and thousands I have been killed by the armed forces of the Crown; while millions have died each year of starvation and disease. The whole development of India’s natural resources, agriculture and industries, has been retarded by the forces of British Imperialism. It is well here to quote from a speech of the late Joynson Hicks, in October, 1925:

“We did not conquer India for the benefit of the Indians. I know in Missionary meetings it is said that we conquered India to raise the level of the Indians. That is cant! We conquered India as the outlet for the goods of Great Britain.

“We conquered India by the sword, and by the sword we should hold it....

“I am interested in Missionary work of that kind, but I am not such a hypocrite as to say, ‘that we hold India for the Indians.’ We hold it as the finest outlet for British goods in general, and for Lancashire cotton goods in particular.”

By the sword does Imperialism conquer and hold down the toiling millions of the colonial countries.

Of India Marx wrote in 1853:

“The whole series of civil wars, invasions, conquests and famine which India seems to have undergone in rapid succession may appear complicated and destructive; but were, in reality, confined to its surface. England, on the other hand has pulled down the entire structure of the Indian social order, without any sign of rebuilding being visible. This loss of an old world without the gain of a new one lends a tragic touch to the present misery of the Indians. Herein differs India to-day, under the British rule, from its old tradition – from the history of its past.”

The recent Simon Commission was forced to comment thus on the terrible poverty of the Indian people: – “The contrast remains startling, even after allowing for the difference between the range of needs to be satisfied.”

Similarly, Professor K. T. Shah says: – “The average Indian income is so small that it is quite insufficient to meet even the primary wants of man – of food, clothing and shelter.... The average Indian income is just enough to feed two men in every three of the population (or give all of them two, in the place of three, meals they need), on condition that they all consent to go naked, live out of doors all the year round, have no amusement or recreation, and want nothing else but food, and that the lowest, the coarsest and least nutritious” (K. T. Shah and Khambatla: The Wealth and Taxable Capacity of India, pp. 253).

Thus can we see the workings of Imperialism in India, with its agrarian population of some 250,000,000, who depend on agriculture for a livelihood; and this huge population existing on the verge of starvation; inadequate and antiquated methods of production; lack of irrigation; practically no development of its natural mineral resources and a studied programme in the retarding of industry.

If we compare the ramification of Imperialism with the methods adopted by the Soviet Union to develop and solve the National question, then the reader will see that only by the complete abolition of the capitalism system will the oppressed peoples be made free.

Readers will be struck by the huge industrial development in the various countries of the U.S.S.R., which, prior to the October revolution, were in a similar position under Czarism to the colonial countries under British Imperialism; and the mighty efforts now being made to harness the mineral and other natural resources in order to develop free and cultured peoples. Compare these efforts with the deliberate attempts of the British Imperialist to strangle Indian industry. What more striking contrast could be found than the fact that out of a total population of some 350,000,000 people, there are only one and a half million factory workers?

The facts relating to the Socialist construction in agriculture, and the millions of pounds now being expended in order that these people may live a more natural life, enjoying all the methods of modern science applied to agriculture, can be compared with the deplorable state of Indian agriculture, which has been completely neglected by British Imperialism; so much so that during the nineteenth century it was estimated that over 30,000,000 died of famine. And even now only 3 per cent of the Indian Budget is appropriated for irrigation, whilst 25 per cent is earmarked for military purposes. True, there has been an increase in the acreage under irrigation since the beginning of the twentieth century. True also is the fact that the surplus accruing is appropriated by Imperialism in the form of irrigation taxes and other dues, to such an extent that the placing of British capital in irrigation schemes becomes a first-class investment. “The total capital outlay on irrigation and navigation work, including works under construction, amounted at the end of the year 1927-28 to Rs. 115.3 crore. The gross revenue was Rs. 12.1 crore, and the working expenses were Rs. 4.7 crores. The net return on capital is therefore 6.4 per cent!” (India in 1927-28, pp. 112.)

The solving of the National problem in U.S.S.R. does not mean, as in Poland, the assimilation of the National Minorities, but the economic and cultural development of the National Minorities to a higher stage; therefore, parallel with the development of their natural and economic resources runs the cultural development and the elimination of illiteracy. The reader will gather from the pages of this book that this does not mean the suppression of national languages, but on the contrary, in many cases, the introduction of a new national literature. It is claimed that by 1933 illiteracy in the Soviet Union will be completely obliterated!

In the British Empire the classical examples of the process of “civilisation,” the statistics of illiteracy, give a complete condemnation of Imperialism. Let us take the Government figures of the 1921 census of India alone, and we find these startling facts: –

Able to read and write Unable to read and write
Men 19,841,438 142,623,691
Women 2,782,213 150,807,889
Total 22,623,651 293,431,580

Here then is a testimony to the cultural development of the people of India, who, despite their ancient culture are still illiterate after 150 years of Christian civilisation, with all the concomitants which accompany the capitalist economic system of society.

The National bourgeoisie, in league with the Imperialists and the “Socialist” parties led by the Second International, sanctions and justifies “in principle” the “civilising” role of Imperialism in the colonies. The height of cynicism and treacherous baseness in this respect was reached in the resolution of the Brussels Congress of the Second International (1928). Touching upon the role of Imperialism in the colonies, the resolution reads:

“In these districts, the application of modern means of production and transport is still exclusively under foreign domination. The immediate withdrawal of it would mean not a step forward towards National culture, but a return to primitive barbarism.”

Surely such sentiments require no comment.

Exploitation and national oppression of colonial peoples, of national minorities and weak nations have considerably increased within the last few years because of the sharpening of the world crisis. Capitalism is endeavouring to find here a way out of the clutches of the crisis.

However, the national liberation movement is also growing, and is adopting the slogans of the Communist International and of its Parties with increasing frequency, as it becomes more and more convinced that it will achieve national self-determination only after it has rid itself of Imperialist domination, only after it has rid itself of “its own” and its alien bourgeoisie.

The policy pursued by the victorious proletarian revolution in the U.S.S.R. towards the once-subjected nationalities – the policy of extending to them all the advantages of Soviet rule – proves that only thus can the oppressed peoples secure freedom and self-determination.

In the following pages we shall be able to see the results of the efforts of the U.S.S.R. in freeing the National Minorities, believing as they do in the Socialist axiom of Marx and Engels: “No people oppressing other peoples can be free.”

P. Glading.


The thirteenth and fourteenth anniversaries of the existence of the proletarian dictatorship in the U.S.S.R. were marked by the tenth anniversary of the establishment of a number of national republics and districts of the Soviet Union. The results of these anniversary celebrations show very clearly what tremendous successes our Party has achieved by means of its national policy. Only under the dictatorship of the proletariat, only with the active assistance of the proletariat of the advanced nationalities, only by following the general Party line and consistently realising a Leninist national policy could the formerly oppressed and backward nationalities of the Soviet Union achieve complete success in reconstructing and in thoroughly developing their economy and culture, and thus entering upon the broad road of socialist reconstruction.

Moved forward by its achievements in industrialising its national economy and collectivising its villages, our country has entered the period of Socialism. The kulak is being liquidated as a class on the basis of mass collectivisation. This year we are completing the foundation of socialist economy by embarking the rural masses upon socialised farming on a large scale.

All these achievements in socialist construction in our country were made possible only because of the consistent realisation of the general Party line, only owing to the fraternal co-operation of all nationalities of the Soviet Union, and to the “correct relationship between the proletariat of the former dominant nation and the peasantry of the formerly oppressed nationalities.” (Stalin Report at the Twelfth Party Congress.) This is why it is so important to see how the national policy of our Party has been carried out in practice in the national republics and regions.

The guiding principle of the national policy of the Communist Party, as our programme points out, “is the policy of drawing together the proletarians, as well as the semi-proletarians, of the various nationalities, for the purpose of waging a joint struggle for the overthrow of the landlords and the bourgeoisie.” This general task requires that “in order to overcome the distrust felt by the working masses of the oppressed countries towards the proletariat of states which used to oppress those countries, it is necessary to abolish all and sundry the privileges enjoyed by any national group, and to establish complete equality before the law for all nationalities, and to recognise the right of colonies and subject nations to separation.” (The Programme of the C.P.S.U.)

These tasks enumerated in the “Programme of the C.P.S.U.” find their complete practical solution in the Soviet Union not only in the creation of a number of republics and regions where formerly oppressed nations now build independently a new economic and cultural life, but also in the manifold assistance given to the economic and cultural development of nationalities, which, because they are scattered over the entire Union, are not incorporated into separate territorial units.

The October Revolution made independent, economic and cultural development possible not only for nationalities like the Kazaks, Uzbeks, Bashkirs, Tartars, Yakuts, Karels, Udmurts, Chuvashes, White Russians, Muldavians and others, who have their own State units; but also for the Jews, Poles, Letts, Estonians and other nationalities who, like the other nationalities were doomed to extinction and assimilation by the policy of the autocratic Tsarist Government.

But the problem of the victorious proletariat is not only to offer formerly oppressed nationalities the rights and possibilities of economic and national-cultural development. The chief task of the victorious proletariat is – and this is very important – to eliminate the capitalist stage of this development; to direct it along socialist lines, to assist the backward nationalities in overcoming their backwardness and overtaking the more advanced sections of the Union. Defining this task, Comrade Stalin said at the Seventh Party Congress:

“The essence of the national question of the R.S.F.S.R. consists in the minor nationalities overcoming the backwardness (economic, political and cultural) which they have inherited from the past, in order to make it possible for the backward peoples to overtake Central Russia in a political, cultural and economic sense.”

This is possible only when a close, political union is established between all the nationalities of the Soviet Union for the common struggle against the combined forces of the capitalist world. Hence we have the Party directive included in our programme to unite all national republics into one close, unified, State Union, with the more advanced nationalities assisting the backward nationalities.

“The National Soviet Republics, having freed themselves of their ‘own’ and of the ‘alien’ bourgeoisies can defend their existence and conquer the united forces of imperialism only when united into one close State Union. If they do not unite they will fail to conquer.” (From the Resolution on the National Question, Sixteenth Party Congress.) “The task of the Party consists in helping the toiling masses of other non-Great Russian nations to overtake Central Russia which has gone far ahead of them.” {Ibid.).

It is a well-known fact that the first directive of the Party has been fulfilled. The ten years’ existence of a number of Soviet Republics and regions, united into one system, the U.S.S.R., bears witness to this fact.

But how is the second task progressing; with the assistance of the proletariat of the entire Union to raise the backward national regions to the level of the more advanced districts? – and thereby to eliminate all inequalities, to reconstruct the economy of the backward national regions on a socialist basis, and to overtake and surpass, in a technical and economical sense, the most advanced capitalist countries?

To answer this question which determines the practical realisation of the Leninist national policy we must review the development of the main branches of the economic and cultural reconstruction of the national republics and regions which recently celebrated their tenth anniversary.

“National inequality... rested on economic inequality historically formed. This inequality expressed itself first of all in the borderland countries of Russia (particularly Turkestan)... which were forced to supply all kinds of raw materials to be manufactured in Central Russia. This was the cause of their constant backwardness. It hampered the rise and development of a proletariat within these oppressed nations. The proletarian revolution on the western borderlands inevitably had to grapple with these shortcomings and its primary task was therefore to organise planned industry in these borderlands...” (From the Resolutions on the National Question adopted at the Tenth Party Congress.)

In this regard the proletariat of the backward districts was most in need of aid from the proletariat of the advanced Soviet districts.

Having this in view, the Twelfth Party Congress decided:

“This aid (to the backward national districts – P.R.) must, first of all be expressed by taking practical measures to organise industrial centres in the republics of the formerly oppressed nations, and in attracting the greatest possible number of local workers to these industries.”

The solution of these tasks was very difficult during the restoration period because of our extremely limited resources. Yet even during that period some progress in industrial construction could be recorded. It was set in full swing, however, only during the reconstruction period, particularly in connection with the Five Year Plan. The following is one of the directives laid down by the Party in defining the tasks of the Five Year Plan:

“To pay particular attention to raising the economic and cultural level of the backward peoples inhabiting the border countries... and accelerating their rate of development.” (From the Resolutions of the Fifteenth Party Congress.)

The results of the first decade of socialist construction in several national republics and districts show that the Party has achieved tremendous successes in the solution of these primary tasks. Take for instance:

Kazakstan. Although possessing immense industrial possibilities, this country was condemned to relentless exploitation and oppression by the colonising policy of the autocracy. The small industrial enterprises which existed in Kazakstan prior to the Revolution did not play an important economic part and were used as a means of even further oppressing the native population.

Only with the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat has industrial construction begun to develop in Kazakstan. Investments in the non-ferrous metal industry (Reder, Karsakpai, Turlan known for its lead) for 1927-28 and 1928-29 reached 33 million rubles – investments in the non-ferrous metal industry under the Five-Year Plan total 243 million rubles... Northeastern Kazakstan is becoming the centre of the non-ferrous metal industry of the entire Soviet Union. Investments in the oil industry (Emba oil) for the same two years amounted to 12.5 million rubles. The phosphorus, salt and rubber industries are highly developed in Kazakstan. Tens of millions of rubles are being invested in the Aktuybinsk chemical combine alone. The coal resources of the Republic are being worked for the first time; the Karaganda coal mines have already produced the first shipment of coal for Soviet industry, and should play an important part in the solution of the Urals-Kuzbas problems.

At the same time the question of railroad transportation in Kazakstan is rapidly approaching its solution. Traversing all Kazakstan – “the country of desolate steppes and no roads” – the Turk-Sib railroad, 1,452 kilometres long has already been laid. Another 2,000 kilometres Kazakstan railroad is being built, which, with a number of branch lines, will, in the near future, connect the basic industrial and agricultural districts of that republic. The total length of new railroad constructed in Kazakstan will be 7,000 kilometres by the end of the Five-Year Plan. On the whole, the Five-Year Plan calls for an investment of 345.7 million rubles in the Kazakstan industries. As a result of these capital investments, the basic capital of the Kazakstan industry will increase more than 500 per cent, while the average increase in the basic capital of the entire industry of the U.S.S.R. will not be quite 300 per cent.

Let us take Dagestan. Prior to the Revolution there was only one industrial enterprise in Port-Petrovsk (Makhach-Kala), Dagestan – a mill manufacturing cheap cotton. At the present lime there are several large industrial centres in the Republic; a mechanised glass factory, “Dagogni,” with production valued at 4 million rubles per annum; a wool-washing factory and a wool-weaving mill; three canneries, and a number of smaller enterprises (chemical, nail, leather and other factories). The value of industrial production per year amounts to 15 million rubles. Besides this, the construction of the Gergebil Hydro-electric Power Station has already been commenced, and preparations are being made for the construction of a giant electric plant, Sulokges. The total capital to be invested in industry in Dagestan under the Five-Year Plan is 45 million rubles. At the beginning of the Five-Year Plan the basic capital of the Dagestan industries was calculated to be 9.5 million rubles; by the end of the Five-Year Plan this basic industrial capital will reach 47.5 million rubles. Thus, the increase of the basic capital will be more than 400 per cent.

The Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. This “first jewel in the crown of the Russian Tsar” was of no industrial significance prior to the Revolution, and the attitude towards the prospective industrial development of the Crimea was sceptical and not encouraging for it was considered a pity to becloud “the jewel” with factory soot. The only industries which the Russian bourgeoisie fostered in the Crimea were the food and tobacco industries. With the Revolution the immense potentialities of the Crimean mining industry became realities. The construction of the Kerch metallurgical giant and of a metal works laid the foundations for the development of large-scale industry in the Republic. The sulphur-refining mill and sulphur plant at Chekurkayash and the cement factory in Kharadag are the first steps in this direction. Besides this the canning industry is rapidly developing there. The Five-Year Plan intends to bring capital investments in the Crimean industry up to 173.6 million rubles, the main part of which will be invested in new metallurgical construction. The basic capital of Crimean industry will thus be more than quadrupled.

Yakutiya. The vastness of this territory (15 per cent of the entire territory of the U.S.S.R.), the practically complete absence of any means of communication and transport, its severe climatic conditions, the sparsity of its population, its lack of specialists and skilled labour all contributed to retard its development. Nevertheless, due to the efforts of the Party and the Soviet power, industrial construction in Yakutiya has made important strides. Three saw mills and one leather factory have been built; the Saganur and Kangal coal mines are now being worked. The further development of industry in Yakutiya as well as the rest of its economy depends on the solution of the transportation problem. The Five-Year Plan provides that the major capital invested, in fact, 99 per cent of all investments should be for transportation. The basic industrial fund in Yakutiya was calculated to be 0.4 million rubles in 1928. Under the first Five-Year Plan 20 million rubles will be invested in transportation and industrial construction. The basic capital of industry and transportation will therefore increase more than twentyfold.

The Republics of Central Asia. These Republics comprise one complete economic unit in which the cotton industry predominates. That is why the development of industrial construction in the Republics of Central Asia is concentrated primarily in the textile and cotton manufacturing industries. It is expected that under the first Five-Year Plan 97.5 million rubles will be invested in the development of the cotton industry (75 million rubles in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, 18.8 million rubles in Turkmenistan and about 4 million rubles in Kirgizia). Already several large cotton manufacturing enterprises have been put into operation or are being finished in the cotton districts of Central Asia; two spinning and weaving combines in Ashkhabad and erFergana, several butter-making factories in Samarkand, Kashta- Kurgan, Fergana and Charju; a second and a third factory of the cotton manufacturing combine in Fergana; a number of large cotton cleaning factories, etc., etc. In short, we have already made considerable progress in fulfilling the Party directives with regard to building up the cotton manufacturing industry in the cotton growing districts; the completion of the first Five-Year Plan will multiply these achievements considerably.

Simultaneously, other branches of industry are springing up in Central Asia. For the first time great efforts are being made to exploit the oil wealth of this region. In 1929-30 the output of oil in Uzbekistan reached 41,000 tons; by the end of the first Five-Year Plan it will reach 400,000 tons.

The coal mining industry is also developing. A paper factory using reed as its raw material with a contemplated output of 5,000 tons of paper, and a large beet-sugar factory are under construction in Kirgizia.

Much is being done in the way of railroad construction in Central Asia. Stalinabad is already connected with the Central Asia railroad and a number of other railroad lines are being built, die total new trackage reaching 2,000 kilometres.

In 1927-28 the basic capital invested in the industries of the Republics of Central Asia was 104 million rubles. Under the Five-Year Plan the total sum of capital investments in the industry of Central Asia will reach 466 million rubles. Thus, the increase in the basic industrial capital will amount to almost 400 per cent.

These successes recorded in industrial construction in the Soviet Republics of Central Asia are all the more significant because, prior to the Revolution, Central Asia had no important industry whatever. All its new industrial centres are the achievements of the victorious proletariat, leading millions belonging to formerly oppressed nationalities to a new life.

Chuvashia. In 1931 there were in all about twenty-nine industrial enterprises in Chuvashia, primarily lumber and food concerns; their basic capital was estimated to be about a million rubles.

In 1927-28 the number of enterprises large enough to enter the census in Chuvashia rose to thirty-two, with a basic capital of 87 million rubles. The main trend of industrial development of the Republic is still towards the lumber and food industries. Simultaneously, the basic chemical industry and the non-ore mineral industries are making headway. The building of the Burnat phosphorite plant, the approximate cost of which is estimated at 1.8 million rubles, has begun; as has the preparatory work for the construction of a large clinker factory. According to the Five-Year Plan there will be a general increase in the basic industrial capital of 800 per cent, with a capital investment of about 80 million rubles.

The increase in the basic capital in other Republics and regions of the Union which are marking their tenth anniversary is no less significant. As a result of the capital investments, falling under the Five-Year Plan, the basic industrial capital has increased 442 per cent in White Russia; 302 per cent in the Trans-Caucasian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (excluding the Azerbaijan oil fields); in Buryato-Mongolia, 967 per cent; in Karelia, 306.2 per cent; in the Mariy district, 589.5 per cent, etc.

The basic industrial capital in the national Republics of the Soviet Union increased on the average 350 per cent during the Five-Year Plan. The proportion of the basic industrial capital of the backward national Republics in the All-Union industrial fund increases accordingly. In 1928 the proportion of the basic industrial capital of Kazakstan was 0.9 per cent of the total fund of the Union, but in 1933 it will reach 1.8 per cent, that is it will be doubled. The proportion of the basic industrial capital in the Republics of Central Asia will also be double, reaching 3 per cent of the basic industrial capital of the entire industry of the U.S.S.R. A considerable increase in the proportion of the basic industrial capital of the national regions to the total industrial capital of the entire Soviet Union is also to be observed in other Republics.

Even these incomplete figures of the growth of industrial construction in the backward national districts bear witness to the fact that the Party decision to take practical steps to organise industrial centres in the Republics of what formerly were oppressed nations, are being fulfilled with Bolshevik persistency.

It stands to reason that our accomplishments in the industrial development of the backward national districts are inadequate in view of the tasks which still confront us. We have only recently begun the practical solution of the geographic allocation of industry, which means the transfer of the heavy industry to the Soviet East. We have made but a bare beginning in the construction of the Urals-Kuzbas combine, and we have only commenced to tackle in a practical way the Great Volga project. The solution of these and other problems of industrial construction under the Five-Year Plan will greatly increase the tempo of industrialisation of the backward national regions, which is the main prerequisite for abolishing their inequality and placing them among the advanced regions of the Soviet Union. However, even at the present stage of progress the backward national Republics and regions are throwing off their backwardness and are gradually approaching the economic and cultural level of the more advanced districts of the Soviet Union.

The characteristic features of the industrial development of these backward national regions, is, as was shown above, the growth of their basic industrial capital, which far exceeds the average growth of such capital throughout the rest of the Union. The average growth of industrial capital throughout the U.S.S.R. reached 289 per cent, the average growth of such capital in the backward national Republics reaches 350 per cent and in some cases even 1,000 per cent.

These figures prove once more the consistency of the Party in its national policy. Only a victorious proletariat, steadfastly assisting the formerly oppressed nationalities in developing their economy and culture, can lead the backward nations out of their centuries-old ignorance and oppression to the broad daylight of socialist reconstruction.

The review of industrial construction in the backward national regions shows that we have made very important progress in creating industries in those districts. In the light of that progress the “Left” grumblings of the nationalists of the type of Sadvonasov (Kazakstan) and Ishmangulov (Central Asia) about “over-industrialising” the national districts become empty mutterings indeed!

Only a persistent fight against counter-revolutionary Trotskyism, against the “Right” deviation, the chief danger, against the “Left” opportunists and the conciliators, assured for the Party the achievements of the industrial construction in the backward national regions which we mentioned above. It is by these very means that the general problem of industrialising the Soviet Union is being solved. The backward national districts play an important part in the industrialisation of the Soviet Union, because, by fulfilling their industrial construction programme, they are fulfilling a very definite function in the general national economy of the U.S.S.R., while the lamentation of the “Rights” (that the tempo of industrialisation adopted by the Party is “too taxing”) and the clamour of the “Lefts” (about “over-industrialisation”) threatened to jeopardise the success of the plan.

The struggle for the general Party line in industrial construction in the national districts also met with great opposition on the part of nationalist elements. The Great Russian chauvinists denied the necessity of industrialising the national regions, considering them mere agrarian appendages to the central industrial regions. The local nationalists, idealising the backwardness of the national districts, joined hands with the Great Russian chauvinists in their struggle against the development industrially of these backward regions.

With Bolshevik firmness the Party quelled all attempts on the part of the Great Russian chauvinists as well as of the local nationalists to distort or cripple Lenin’s national policy. Our accomplishments in the field of industrial construction in the national regions are the best indication of the correctness of that policy.



This describes in a few words how the Party fulfilled the first part of the directive of the Twelfth Congress calling for the construction of industrial centres in the backward national regions. But, was there a concomitant solution of the second part of the task as formulated by the Congress? – “to work these newly created industrial centres with a maximum amount of labour recruited from the local population.” In other words, was the industrial construction in the backward national districts coordinated with the creation of new proletarian cadres from the natives of these backward districts?

The creation of cadres of the proletariat taken from the native population of the backward national regions is one of the principal preconditions of their socialist re-education. The success of the struggle against the remnants of national oppression, and for the establishment of actual equality of opportunity; the struggle for a culture, socialist in essence and national in form; the struggle for the socialist reconstruction of agriculture, etc. –  all these present problems of national policy, the solution of which is closely intertwined and dependent on the solution by the Party of the task of creating proletarian cadres out of the local population of the national regions.

The importance of this task, frequently stressed by the Party, should be understood by everybody; in a number of national Republics and districts we have scored considerable achievements in this respect. However, these achievements are still not sufficient. Let us consider in detail the problem of creating cadres of national proletarians in the individual Republics.

White Russia. According to the data of the Supreme Council of National Economy of the U.S.S.R., for 1929-30 47,889 people were employed in the industries of White Russia. Of these 45.9 per cent were White Russians, 36 per cent Jews, 10.7 per cent Russians. If we bear in mind the relative proportion of the native population of White Russia – the White Russian population of the Republic is 81 per cent, the Jewish population 8.1 per cent, and the Russian 7.7 per cent – we can readily see the disproportion in the representation of these nationalities in industry. The recruiting of White Russians into industry lags very far behind; 45.9 per cent of the White Russian population is employed in industry, whereas it constitutes 81 per cent of population. True, in certain branches of industry the percentage of White Russians is much higher, even approaching the normal rate. Thus, for instance, in the peat industry there are 77.9 per cent White Russians; in the ceramic industry, 76.6 per cent; in the paper industry, 69.1 per cent; in the textile industry, 61.2 per cent; in the woodworking industry, 64 per cent. But, in the printing, footwear, leather and needle trades there are very few White Russian workers; from about 14 per cent in the needle trades to about 49 per cent in the leather industry. In the metal industry there are only 46.8 per cent White Russians.

Many industrial branches in White Russia grew out of the Kustar or home industry. This left its imprint on the national composition of the proletariat. The Jews, the predominant majority of whom lived in the cities of White Russia, occupied the central place in all forms of Kustar production. As this production was being transformed into an industry, the majority of the Jews, former Kustars, naturally gravitated towards that industry. In the needle trades they comprise 78.5 per cent; in the printing trade, 73.3 per cent; in the footwear industry, 70.1 per cent; in the leather industry, 57.1 per cent; in the metal industry, 33.3 per cent. This process of attracting the Jews into industry should be considered a positive advance, for only the proletarian Revolution made it possible for working Jews to engage without discrimination in productive industrial labour.

The White Russians occupy a conspicuous place in the following newly-created industries of White Russia; the glass, paper and railway transportation. Because of the prospects of a further rapid growth of new branches of industry in White Russia, the above circumstances will help to increase the proportion of White Russian workers in industry, and will undoubtedly remove the present discrepancy between their proportion in the population and in industry.

It is significant that the process of recruiting the native nationalities of White Russia into industry takes in not only unskilled labour, but highly skilled as well. The administrative staff of industrial enterprises in White Russia (directors, managers of shops, foremen, etc.) consists of .35-2 per cent of White Russians, 42.8 per cent of Jews, 2.8 per cent of Poles and 4.7 per cent of Letts.

All of the above tends to prove that the Party organisation of White Russia is on the right path in creating native industrial cadres and has achieved considerable success.

We have also made great progress in this direction in Kazakstan. In 1929-30, 164,000 workers were employed in the industries of Kazakstan. Out of these 34 per cent were Kazaks. It is interesting to study the gradual process of creating native proletarian cadres in Kazakstan. In 1926-27, out of 46,000 industrial workers, 16 per cent were Kazaks. In 1927-28, out of 64,000 workers, 19 per cent were Kazaks. In 1928-29, out of 91,000 workers, 32 per cent were Kazaks. These figures show the wide gap which still must be bridged before the native proletariat of Kazakstan will correspond in number to the proportion of natives to the entire population.

In some branches of Kazakstan industry, however, Kazaks hold a dominating position numerically. In the Baikonur coal mines, for instance, the Kazak workers comprised 57.7 per cent; in the Karsakpai copper smelting plant, 53 per cent; at “Emba- oil”, 52.2 per cent; in the Jezkazgon copper mines; 44.4 per cent of the total number of workers; but in other large enterprises like the Turkestan-Siberian railroad (Turksib), and the Reder silver-lead combine, the proportion of the Kazak workers is extremely small: on the Turk-Sib 19.5 per cent of the employees are natives; on the Reder, 19 per cent.

While recruiting Kazak workers into industry, an attempt is also being made to replenish workers’ cadres from among the other eastern nationalities inhabiting Kazakstan. In fifty-two enterprises investigated in Kazakstan only about 2 per cent of the total number of workers belong to the eastern nationalities (Uzbeks, Dungan, Uygurts, etc.). This percentage is very small if you consider that the eastern nationalities make up over 8 per cent of the Kazakstan population.

Despite the scanty absorption of Kazaks into some branches of industry, considerable progress has been made in the general direction of this work in Kazakstan, if we take into consideration only the quantitative indices. The qualitative composition of the Kazak workers being drawn into industry is much inferior. The majority of them are unskilled. In the fifty-two enterprises recorded by the census, only 20 per cent of the total number of skilled workers are Kazaks. In the Emba oil fields only 7.9 per cent of the Kazak workers are skilled; on the Turk-Sib, 3.4 per cent; in Karsakpai, 26.4 per cent. This enormous slowness in creating native proletarian cadres demands careful study and strenuous efforts must be made to take it up. The Soviet and Party organisations of Kazakstan are now working on that problem, and the gap will be bridged in the very near future, first because a number of study courses have now been organised to raise the skill of the Kazak workers, and secondly because educational work of this kind is constantly going on directly in the various enterprises.

The process of recruiting proletarian cadres from among the native population in the other national Republics and regions marking their tenth anniversary may be briefly described as follows:

Dagestan. Prior to the Revolution there were only about 700 industrial workers here. Now their number has increased to about 8,000, 84 per cent of whom are workers from the various nationalities of Dagestan, native mountaineers (Avarians, Darginians, Tuyrks, Kumukhs, and others).

Uzbekistan. During the last two years, the number of the proletariat alone in the Republic increased by 5,000. In 1929-30, according to the data of the S.C.N.E. of the U.S.S.R., the total number of workers in Uzbekistan was 19,809. Out of these 52.7 per cent were natives. However, a decrease in the percentage of native workers in some enterprises has been noted lately. Thus, for instance, at a Fergana factory, there were 62.5 per cent native workers in May, 1930; in August of the same year the percentage fell to 51 per cent. It is important to harp on the rapid elimination of these slow tempoes of creating proletarian cadres out of the local population. For the year 1928-29, the proportion of the national proletariat increased only 0.3 per cent, while the total number of industrial workers increased considerably more.

Turkmenistan. In January, 1930, there were 5,359 workers and employees in the industries subject to census, whereas in 1922-23 there had been only 200-300. Of these 18.7 per cent were Turkomens. In such branches of industry as the cotton cleaning factories, silk and cotton mills, and filatures, the number of Turkomens ranges between 30 and 42 per cent (cotton cleaning factories 42.7 per cent, cotton mills 30.3 per cent, filatures 39.8 per cent). But in the manufacture of iron and steel products, and in the printing and other industries of Turkmenistan, the percentage of native workers is very low indeed, not exceeding 5 per cent.

The Tartar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1927-28 there were about 11,000 workers in Tartaria. By January, 1931, their number had increased to 18,000, an increase of about 70 per cent. But the increase of Tartar cadres of workers is not commensurate. In 1927-29 they constituted 26.1 per cent. By January, 1931, the percentage rose to 30, an increase of 4 per cent. In railroad transportation 12 per cent of the workers are Tartar. In the textile industry the number of Tartar workers tends to decrease; on 1st April, 1930, 30.3 per cent of the workers in the textile industry were Tartars, but early in October of the same year their number receded to 27.2 per cent.

Chuvashia. According to the figures of the Chuvash Council of National Economy there were about 680 Chuvashians in a total of 1,580 industrial workers in the Republic on 1st January, 1930; that is about 43.1 per cent. The growth of the industries of the Republic demands many new cadres of workers. These new workers come primarily from among the Chuvashians. The study courses organised in Chuvashia to prepare skilled workers had graduated 1,035 students by October, 1930; 98 per cent of these were Chuvashians.

The very significant figures of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions, which go into the dynamics of the increase in cadres of national proletarians in the national Republics and regions will give us a lucid picture of this increase without stopping to consider each individual region. On 1st January, 1929, over 200,000 native workers were employed in the industries subject to census, in the Trans-Caucasian Republics, in Central Asia, Tartaria, Dagestan, Kazakstan and Bashkiria. Eight years ago, in January, 1924, there were only 100,000 of them, that is, the number of native workers has doubled.

All the above figures and computations corroborate the fact that we have made considerable progress in fulfilling the directive of the Party “to draw the greatest number possible of the local population” into the industries of the backward national regions. But the results so far obtained are by no means adequate. Our shortcomings in this work of creating proletarian cadres out of the native population such as the slow rate of growth of the national proletariat in proportion to the growth of the general industrial population, the small percentage of native workers who are skilled, as well as the actual decrease in the number of native workers noted in some branches of industry in some national Republics must be fought to a finish. The local Party and Soviet organisations must continue to fight against the chauvinistic attitude of the Great Russian economic leaders who underestimate the importance of creating native proletarian cadres. The prospects of the further industrial development of the national districts will undoubtedly bring to the fore the question of raising the native proletariat to a higher level.

(4) Right. – Usbek farmer learning to drive tractor.
(5). – Siberian boatmen on the Lena River.


The backward national Republics and districts of the Soviet Union are agricultural peasant countries in economic structure and in the composition of the population. Up to the October Revolution, many of the inhabitants lived in a semi-feudal, patriarchal system of society. The task of the proletarian dictatorship was, and is, to direct the development of the backward national regions and Republics along socialistic lines, with the assistance of the proletariat of the advanced regions of the Union, and to eliminate the capitalist stage of development.

We have shown above how this task is being solved in the field of industrial construction. The solution of this problem in the field of agriculture is even more important and presents even greater difficulties. The solution of this problem in the sphere of agriculture demanded:

First, to abolish all semi-feudal and patriarchal relationships, thus freeing the toiling peasantry from the exploitation of and dependence upon the local and immigrant landowners – kulaks and semi-feudal lords.

Second, to strengthen the social and economic position of the toiling peasantry, providing them with “land out of a free State fund” (resolution of the Twelfth Party Congress), and at the expense of the landowners and semi-feudal lords.

Third, to organise the poor and middle peasantry of the national districts for an active struggle against the semi-feudal lords and kulaks, by the enforcement of the land and water utilisation reforms, the restriction, dispossession and isolation of the kulaks; the strengthening of the influence of the proletariat, and of the various producers’, sellers’ and consumers’ co-operatives, thus preparing to change the agriculture of the national districts “from small-scale agriculture to the planned, collectivised cultivation of the land” (from the resolution of the Tenth Party Congress).

The methods, tempoes and forms used to bring about this change differed in every district according to the special circumstances of each district, such as the level of its agricultural and cultural development; but their single purpose was to solve the fundamental problem of creating the necessary conditions for the socialist reconstruction of agriculture in the national districts, for their transition “from small-scale agriculture to planned, collectivised cultivation of the land.”

It goes without saying that the solution of this fundamental problem included the solution of such closely allied problems as increasing the area sown, settling the nomadic and semi-nomadic peoples, the specialisation of agricultural districts (technical crops, grain, cattle-breeding), increasing the net and commodity production of agriculture, etc.

What achievements have we accomplished in the struggle for the socialist reconstruction of agriculture in the national districts?

In evaluating the successes in each national Republic or region, the economic and cultural level and the special living conditions of each region concerned must be given due consideration; for the tempo and the method of socialist reconstruction of agriculture in any given region depends on these things. During the spring of 1930 this fundamental rule was disregarded in many national Republics and regions. Ignoring the principle of voluntary action in building collectives, the leaders, in their eagerness to swell the collectivisation figures, attempted to create collective farms by force in regions where the necessary preconditions for their existence were not yet ripe. Comrade Stalin gave an excellent characterisation of this type of “collectivisation.” All Party decisions emphasised the fact that the methods of socialist reconstruction in the backward national regions must conform strictly to their cultural and economic peculiarities. Moreover, the Party demanded that the whole attention of the local Party organisations in the backward national districts must be centred, first, on preparing a mass collective farm movement by adopting the necessary measures, and that then only mass collectivisation should follow, and with it the liquidation of the kulak as a class. The fulfilment of this Party task, the exposing of “Right” opportunism that tried to retard and undermine collective farm construction in general and that of the national regions in particular (on the plea that they were backward and therefore not ready for collective farming), and the simultaneous rectification of all “Left” excesses, has helped the collective farm movement in all regions to acquire a genuinely voluntary mass character and to achieve considerable success.

In order to give a correct estimate of the extent of this success, which varies greatly in the different national regions, it is important, first of all, to examine several general results.

On 20th September, 1931, collectivisation embraced 40 per cent of all peasant households in Georgia; in Uzbekistan, 66.7 per cent; in Turkmenistan, 56.7 per cent; in Tajikistan, 28.5 per cent; in the Tartar Republic, 62.3 per cent; in Bashkiria, 66.7 per cent; in Chuvashia, 41.5 per cent; in the Mariy region, 42.5 per cent; in the Komi region, 56.1 per cent; in Kazakstan, 62.5 per cent; in Kirgizia, 51.3 per cent; in Buryato-Mongolia, 68 per cent; in Armenia, 32.2 per cent; in Dagestan, 20 per cent. A number of national districts (the Crimea, Adygeya, Moldavia, the German Volga Republic and others) have, in the main, completed their collectivisation.

The tremendously increased collectivisation of the national regions was accompanied by increase in the sown area.

In 1929 the sown area in the Trans-Caucasian Republics was 207 per cent of pre-war, in Kazakstan 135 per cent, in Turkmenistan 115 per cent, in Dagestan 136 per cent, in Tartaria 103 per cent, in Buryato-Mongolia 117 per cent. True enough in some Republics the increase in the sown area was not as great as in others. In Uzbekistan, for instance, the total sown area has not yet reached the 1916 level. However, in Uzbekistan a tremendous area is planted with raw material crops such as cotton, which compensates, to a large degree, for the lack of growth of the general sown area. Thus the cotton area in Uzbekistan was extended to 158 per cent of the pre-war area.

The growth of the collective farm movement brought about an even greater increase in the sown areas: “Last year’s 24 million hectares of peasant sown land increased to 35 million hectares of collective-farm sown land this year” (Spring, 1930). So said Comrade Yakolvev at the Sixteenth Party Congress.

The pre-war sown area is left far behind, and has ceased to be taken as a criterion for even the most backward national regions. But the achievements of this socialist reconstruction in the agriculture of the national regions are not fully brought out by a mere array of quantitative data showing the progress of collectivisation and the growth of the sown area. It is important for us to find out in what direction the collective farm movement in the national regions is developing; what it holds for the peasantry of the national regions; and to what degree the statement of Stalin that “collective farming is the only means for the peasants to escape poverty and ignorance” is being vindicated.

As a result of rectifying the “Leftist” excesses which at the beginning found their way into the mass collective farm movement among the peasants, and also in consequence of the ocular demonstration of the practical advantages of organised collective farming we experienced a great increase in the number of collective farms.

The above figures prove this conclusively. Moreover, it is important to note that the growth of collective farms in the majority of national regions is taking the form of organised artels – the basic form of collective farming. In Uzbekistan 94 per cent of the collective farms work as artels, 5.7 per cent as cooperative agricultural societies, and 0.3 per cent as communes; in Chuvashia (according to figures now out of date) out of 830 collective farms 781 work as artels; 85 per cent of the collective farms in Turkmenistan are in artels. The same is true of other national regions.

This confirms once more the correctness of the opinion held by the Party that at the present stage the chief form of collective farming should be the agricultural artel.

As to the effect of collectivisation on the material well-being of the toiling peasants, this can be judged from the scores of articles and news items concerning the growth of various collective farms which crowd the columns of our daily press. To avoid repetition, let us enumerate only a few of the more characteristic bits of information culled from a copious research study.

An investigation of about a hundred collective farms in Bashkiria, Uzbekistan and Kazakstan revealed the following facts: the average income of the collective farmer is two or three times that of the individual farmer, and amounts to about 1,200 rubles in the grain districts and 2,000 rubles in the cotton districts.

Last year a number of collective farms in Chuvashia which almost doubled their income of the previous year, set to work on the very important task of building collectivised cattle sheds, organising communal kitchens, etc. The income of the middle peasant in these collective farms exceeds 1,000 rubles.

An investigation was made of fourteen collective farms covering 624 holdings in Karelia. Before they were united into collective farms, the sown area of these holdings was 517 hectares; now it equals 1,034 hectares. The majority of the collective farms have adopted the manifold crop rotation system as a result of which about 90 per cent of the arable soil is always under cultivation. Before entering the collective farm the holdings of the poor peasants yielded an average income of 320 rubles: in the collective farms these incomes rose to 680 rubles. The income of the middle peasant before entering the collective farm was a bare 405 rubles; now in the collective farm such a holding yields an income of 1,260 rubles.

There is no need to multiply examples of this type for the advantages of collective farming are already indisputable and obvious to everybody. In the national regions these advantages are even greater because the backwardness of the individual peasant holding there is much more pronounced than in the adjacent Russian regions. Of course, there are enough collective farms where the picture is not so rosy, due to poor organisation of labour and the absence of piece-work. But this cannot detract from the general importance of collectivisation as the only way out of ignorance and poverty.

The construction of machine and tractor stations and State farms also plays an important part in the socialist transformation of agriculture in the national regions.

Machine and tractor stations are the most important lever in aid of the national policy of the Party. They are among the strongest conductors of proletarian influence on the national masses. They ride roughshod over all archaic economic and social survivals and uproot traces of all backwardness; they draw millions of peasants into a new life, and finally they show clearly the consistency of the Party in its endeavour to equip the toiling peasantry technically and to wean away the national regions from the wooden plough to the iron tractor.

Only six or seven years ago, not to mention the pre-revolutionary period, the wooden plough was the chief agricultural implement in these backward national regions. Even the metal plough was a comparatively rare sight in many places. But in the autumn of 1931 we had 326 machine and tractor stations in national districts out of 1,227 throughout the entire Union. Forty-eight machine and tractor stations are located in Uzbekistan, ten each in Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, twenty-four in the Trans-Caucasian Republics, twenty-seven in the White Russian S.S.R., five in Dagestan, forty-four in Kazakstan, eight in Kirigisia, seventeen in the Tartar Republic, fourteen in the Crimea, sixteen in Bashkiria, four in Chuvashia, one in Buryato- Mongolia, etc.

The machine and tractor stations play a most important part in the reconstruction of agriculture in the national regions. One has to see them in action to be able fully to realise their importance. Suffice it to say that, as a rule, two or three months after a machine and tractor station has been set up in any district, the neighbouring villagers literally flock into the collective farms. In the great majority of districts supplied with machine and tractor stations collectivisation is in the main completed; regions such as Merv, Bayramal and Charjuy (Central Asia) are definite proof of this.

In discussing the achievements of the machine and tractor stations, Comrade Stalin said: “Such is the road – from the wooden plough to the iron tractor – travelled by the peasant economy of our country. Let all men take notice that the working class of the Soviet Union has definitely and firmly resolved to provide the re-equipment of its ally, the toiling peasantry” (Pravda, 28th October, 1931.)

For the national regions this re-equipment means a revolution in their backward patriarchal mode of living based on age-long oppression by their own and foreign exploiters.

The organisation of State farms is also very important in the socialist reconstruction of the backward national regions. The effect of the State farms on the reconstruction of agriculture in the semi-nomadic regions was likened to “magic and witchcraft” by one of the Central Asiatic newspapers. The appropriateness of this comparison is debatable – for miracles and sorcery are no concern of ours. But the fact that the State farms have literally transformed the economy of the national regions is beyond dispute.

The State farms, organised principally on land which had remained uncultivated for centuries, changed these areas into cultural oases in a comparatively short time. These oases became economic and cultural centres for the surrounding districts. Thus the Kokpekty State Farm (Kazakstan) has 50,000 head of cattle, a million hectares of land available for pasturage and cultivation, and about fifty tractors. Only two years ago this was a barren steppe, rarely traversed even by the carts of the nomadic tribes. Now we find immense cultural and economic activity there; the State farm employs upwards of 4,000 workers of whom 60 per cent are Kazaks – erstwhile nomads.

Already about 250 such huge State farms have sprung up alongside the cotton plantations in the national regions, not counting the minor State farms of only local importance. Over 70 of these 250 State farms belong to the “Zernotrest” (Grain Trust); over 100 to the “Skotovod” (Cattle Breeding Trust); about 80 to the “Ovtsevod” (Sheep Raising Trust).

State farms play a particularly important part in the development of technical crops and cattle breeding in the national regions.

The specialisation of agricultural areas which was introduced only after the establishment of the Soviet power, not only transforms the backward national regions into very rich farming districts generally, but develops their agriculture in accordance with their several natural peculiarities and the needs of industry for raw materials. Cotton in Central Asia and in the Republics of Trans-Caucasia, other raw material plants as well as tobacco on the Caucasian shore of the Black Sea, Kendir, Kenaf and others – such cultivation of raw materials for industry must take first place in the respective national regions and replace the grain crops there. The demand for grain in the national regions must be met by shipments from the special grain districts. The State farms are called to play an important part in this specialisation of the agricultural districts of the national Republics and regions as they must give the initiative in organising collective farms, in supplying technical aid as well as in cultivating the most desirable of crops. The State cotton plantations of Central Asia are, on the whole, coping well with this task and are becoming the central point in the struggle for the cotton independence of our country.

The State farms are facing an equally important and a complicated problem in the development of cattle-breeding; for they are becoming pivotal points in the struggle for the solution of the cattle-breeding problem. For various reasons (natural disasters, foot-and-mouth disease, the malicious killing off of cattle by kulaks, etc.) the number of cattle considerably decreased in many national regions. Because of this livestock breeding became an acute problem in those parts. What have the State farms done towards the solution of this problem?

This year the number of cattle in the Sheep Trust increased to 7,400 thousand, in the Cattle Raising Trust to 2,800 thousand head of cattle. However, these are just the first beginnings, laying only the foundation for the solution of the problem.

In the backward national regions, the livestock raising problem is closely connected with the effort to settle the nomads. The nomad mode of life which, prior to the Revolution, predominated in Kazakstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and in a number of other national regions, was a source of special exploitation of the poor and middle strata of the nomads by the Bais.* Even pre-Revolution statistics showed that up to 50 per cent of the nomadic families were virtually farm labourers for the large cattle breeders – the Bais. Now, nomadic life has been dealt a decisive blow. The collective farms, the State farms, the machine and tractor stations, the hay-cutting machines – all these new methods employed to reconstruct agriculture, which were introduced into the national regions by the dictatorship of the proletariat, delivered hundreds and thousands of poor and middle peasants from the hardships of their former nomadic existence. In Kazakstan alone about 200,000 people, formerly nomads, will settle on the State farms within the next few years.

* Bais – rich peasant, kulak: cf., the Gaelic “Boaire,” the “lord of cattle.”

But the problem of settling the nomads is being solved not only by establishing State farms and collective farms and machine and tractor stations; broadly conceived industrial construction which is to transform the entire economic life of these backward national regions is no less important a factor in the solution of the problem.

These are, in brief, our general achievements in the struggle for the collectivisation of agriculture in the national regions, for its transformation “from small-scale agriculture to planned, collectivised cultivation of the land.” To show clearly how all these achievements affect the national regions and how they change their economic and social mode of living, let us consider the main processes in the development and reconstruction of agriculture in some Republics and regions which have celebrated their tenth anniversary.



Before the Revolution, most of the land of White Russia was in the hands of large landowners and kulaks. According to 1916 data 40.7 per cent of all land in White Russia was concentrated in the hands of the rich landlords; 18.3 per cent in the hands of the rich kulaks (owning about 50 desyatines or 135 acres). Only 34.4 per cent of the land fell to the lot of the peasantry. Again up to 50 per cent of this land was in the hands of the village kulaks. The poor and middle peasants tilled primarily rented land.

The proletarian Revolution gave about 1,300 thousand hectares of land to the toiling peasantry of White Russia. This encouraged the rapid development of agriculture there. The sown area increased 28.8 per cent in 1928 as compared with 1916. The area under technical crops increased 48.2 per cent. At the same time cattle breeding also noticeably increased. In 1928, the number of heads of cattle increased 37 per cent as compared with 1916.

But the general growth of White Russian agriculture was not accompanied by a corresponding increase in its commodity products until 1930. The chief reason for this was the system of small farm holdings advocated by the White Russian national democrats and “Right” opportunists (the Prishchepovshchina). After overcoming these counter-revolutionary opportunist tendencies, White Russia entered on the road to collectivisation which quickly won the key position in the development of agriculture. In 1927-28 the socialised sector of agriculture comprised only 2 per cent; by the tenth anniversary of Soviet White Russia, it had risen to 17.1 per cent. On 20th September, 1931, that figure was 48.5 per cent.

With the growth in the socialisation of agriculture, gross and commodity production likewise increased greatly. In 1930 the socialised sector contributed 25 per cent of all grain collections. The gross production of agriculture in 1929-30 increased 7.6 per cent in comparison with pre-war production. The gross production of agriculture per capita increased accordingly; in 1926- 27 production in sectors worked individually was about 144 rubles; in 1927-28, 150 rubles; in 1928-29, 156 rubles; in the collective farm sector the increase is much greater: in 1927-28, 224 rubles; in 1928-29, 260 rubles; in 1930, up to 300.

The colonisation policy of the Russian Tsars condemned the Kazak nation, numbering almost four millions to assimilation and extinction. The method most frequently employed to effectuate this policy was to dispossess the toiling Kazaks of the best lands and to settle them in the arid steppes, peopling the vacated lands with Russian settlers, and to introduce a veritable hell of exploitation of the toiling Kazaks through extortionately high taxes and all kinds of indirect exaction. This gave encouragement to the nomadic form of life so advantageous to the Bais and large semi-feudal owners.

Prior to the Revolution the Kazaks who had been crowded out to the arid steppes did not till the land. Their chief occupation was nomadic cattle breeding of a primitive natural kind. But it was exclusively the semi-feudal and the Bais elements of the Kazak who led an independent nomadic life. The poor and middle families were in the main either directly or indirectly dependent on the “Nomadic Lords” – the Bais. Patriarchal society and the Government sanctioned this deprivation of the rights of the poor and middle classes, creating even more favourable conditions for the exploitation by the Bais.

The proletarian dictatorship smashed this system of oppression of the toiling Kazaks by their own exploiters and those that came from other regions. Up to 1925 all measures taken by the Party and the Soviet Government in the Kazak village were in the main directed against the inequality in the position of the toiling Kazaks as compared to the Russian settlers, and in favour of a complete reconstruction of the economic relationships in the Kazak village.

The year 1925 was a memorable one in Kazakstan, for, in that year important measures were taken to liberate the toiling Kazaks from the Bais slavery. These measures consisted mainly in the confiscation of the property of the rich Bais and the semi-feudal lords. As a result of this confiscation 14,000 individual poor and middle holdings were organised, the exploiting domination of the leading Bai came to an end, the village poor were invited to take an active part in reconstruction and the social status of the middle peasant, and the mainstay of the village was elaborated. But the main results achieved by the confiscation were, first, sounding of the death knell of the rich Bais, whose loss of power destroyed the very basis of this domination; and second, taking the first steps towards the re-moulding of the Kazak village along socialist lines. As a result of this confiscation 639 collective farms were organised and consolidated. These collective farms laid a firm basis for the further development of collectivisation in Kazakstan.

At the same time great efforts were made to convert the Kazaks from a nomadic to a settled mode of life, to supply them with land, etc. Finally, the technical agriculture-equipment of the Republic improved continuously. By 1931, 2,945 tractors had been brought into Kazakstan; the value of other agricultural machinery imported exceeded two million rubles.

All these and a number of other measures taken resulted in the rapid growth of agriculture in Kazakstan. They have also created a favourable ground for the development of collectivisation and for the socialist reconstruction of the peasant economy of the Republic. By the tenth anniversary of Kazakstan its sown area was 4,344,000 hectares as against a little over three million in 1916. In 1930 almost 40 per cent of the Kazak land was held by permanent settlers. By 1931, 30 per cent of the population of the Republic and 50 per cent of the sown area were organised into 6,144 collective farms; by 20th September, 1931, 62.5 per cent of the Kazak households were organised into collective farms. The gross production of agriculture has also considerably increased, having reached 2,213,000 tons.

Because of the ruthless destruction of cattle by the White Guards during the Civil War, the loss of cattle due to elemental disasters, foot-and-mouth disease, and also because of the malicious killing off of cattle by the rich Bais and kulaks, a considerable decrease in the number of cattle took place. However, this decrease is being rapidly remedied. Supreme efforts are now bent on reorganising cattle breeding. The development of cattle breeding in the last four years has not only re-established the pre-war number of cattle, but increased it considerably. The sixty- one cattle-breeding State farms and the 1,500 cattle-breeding collective farms with a total number of cattle amounting to two million heads are the main reliance in the reorganisation of cattle breeding.

Rural life in Kazakstan is changing, as is every other phase of its economic being. The country is being reconstructed socialistically, which opens up before the Kazak nation great perspectives of economic and cultural development.

During the Imperialist and Civil Wars the agriculture of Dagestan declined considerably. The sown area of the Republic, due to the destruction of numerous villages, and the laying waste of the irrigation systems, decreased from 346,000 hectares in 1914 to 114,000 hectares in 1923. The number of cattle also fell off considerably.

This sharp recession in agriculture is being liquidated rapidly. In 1930 cattle breeding reached 93 per cent of the pre-war level, but the cultivation of land was still lagging, and only 82 per cent of the sown area was restored. This retardation can be explained by a decided change in the character of its agriculture; for the planting of technical crops, particularly cotton, has grown apace. The area sown to cotton reached 23,690 hectares in 1930 as against 300 hectares in 1927, while that under kenaf reached 17,000 hectares as against 3,800 in 1927. All in all, the technical crops increased almost 400 per cent as compared with pre-war figures. During 1931 agriculture in Dagestan made great strides. The sown area exceeded the pre-war area by 375,000 hectares; the number of cattle also exceeded the pre-war figure.

The rapid growth of agriculture in Dagestan goes hand in hand with its socialist reconstruction, its technical re-equipment, the restoration of the old irrigating systems and the construction of new ones.

Prior to and during the first years of the Revolution the antediluvian wooden plough reigned supreme in Dagestan. Now it can be met with only in remote mountain villages. Five machine and tractor stations were set up in the Republic. Tractors exceeding 11,000 horse power are already working in the fields of Dagestan.

The irrigation system is one of the chief factors on which the prosperity of its agriculture depends. Besides the restoration of the pre-Revolution irrigation system great progress was made in creating new irrigation systems. The Sulak Canal, the Jengutay, and a number of other irrigation systems are already completed. The development of the Terek River which assures an irrigation area of 300,000-400,000 hectares, and that of the Samur River which will irrigate the rich valleys of Southern Dagestan, with their arid sub-tropical climate are the first steps planned to improve the water supply.

The entire growth of agriculture in Dagestan was made possible only by its socialist reconstruction. About half of the sown area of the Republic is in the hands of the collective and State farms. They also are the pioneers in developing technical crops, 72.6 per cent of the cotton sown and 77.5 of the kenaf sown belonging to the collective and State farms.

The further socialist reconstruction of agriculture in Dagestan is closely connected with the land irrigation reform which began in 1928, and is to take seven years.

The main objects of this reform are to deprive the landowners and churches of their land. Over 250,000 hectares of land are thus being retrieved. Then additional land will be apportioned to the village poor, which will guarantee further collective and State farm construction.

Let us take finally the Tartar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1923 agriculture in this Republic was completely ruined. The area sown to winter crops was about 60 per cent of that of 1916, the number of heads of draft animals fell from 487,000 to 237,000 and that of horned cattle from 549,000 to 285,000.

Great assistance from the entire U.S.S.R. and the utmost efforts of all the workers and toiling peasants of the Tartar Autonomous S.S.R. were necessary to restore the agriculture of the Tartar Republic and assure its further development. The figures denoting the capital investments in the agriculture of the Tartar Republic speak volumes. The last four years alone saw the following increasingly large capital investments: – 1927-28, 4,606,000 rubles; 1928-29, 7,263,000 rubles; 1929-30, 17,413,000 rubles; 1931, 52,284,000 rubles. The technical equipment of agriculture in the Republic is also increasing. In 1920 there were about 176,000 ploughs; in 1927, there were 201,000; in 1930, 260,000; seventeen tractor stations having 2,500 tractors were organised; complicated agricultural machinery, and implements worth many hundreds of thousands of rubles were brought in.

All this accelerated the rapid growth of agriculture in Tartaria. In 1927 its sown area reached 2,033,000 hectares; that is, it exceeds the pre-war area; in 1930, 2,823,000 hectares were sown. In 1927 the number of cattle also exceeded the pre-war figure; there were 521,000 draft animals and 720,000 heads of horned cattle; in 1930 the number of big horned cattle was 814,000 heads; that of draft animals, 542,000 heads.

The growth of agriculture in Tartaria, like that in all other Republics, is closely dependent on its socialist reconstruction; its change from small-scale agriculture to planned, socialised economy. On the tenth anniversary of the Republic, 15 per cent of all its farms were organised in collectives; by the autumn of 1930 this figure rose to 25 per cent, and by 20th September, collectivisation had reached 62.3 per cent. The construction of State farms was greatly developed.

Approximately the same picture of rapid development and socialist reconstruction can be observed in all the other national Republics and regions which are celebrating their tenth anniversary. Therefore we shall not discuss them separately, particularly since we pointed out at the beginning of the chapter that there were numerous general factors illustrating the growth and the socialist reconstruction of the agriculture of the national regions.

At the Twelfth Party Congress, Comrade Stalin said:

“Wherein lies the class essence of the national question? What is the national question? The class essence of the national question consists in defining the mutual relationships – I am speaking about our Soviet conditions – in defining the correct relationship between the proletariat of the former dominating nation and the peasantry of the formerly oppressed nationalities.”

The data given above on the development and socialist reconstruction of agriculture prove most convincingly that in this field of economic life, so decisive for the national regions, the Party has carried out and will continue to carry out the correct Leninist policy; that the Party correctly defined the relationship between the proletariat of the advanced regions of the Union and the peasantry of the backward regions. The quintessence of these relations in the field of agriculture amount to this; that the proletariat, under the leadership of the Party, helped the backward nationalities in various ways to restore their agriculture, which had been ruined by Tsarist oppression and war, and, in many districts, assisted them in overtaking the advanced regions of the U.S.S.R. and in steering agriculture from “small-scale farming to planned, collectivised cultivation of the land,” to the path of socialist development, eliminating the capitalist stage in this development.

As a result of our achievements under the Five-Year Plan of socialist construction in the U.S.S.R., of which the development of industry and agriculture in the backward national Republics is part, “the conditions for accelerating the change of the more backward regions, like the national regions of the Soviet East, to socialist development are now considerably improved” (from a resolution of the December Plenum of the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission of the C.P.S.U. on Soviet elections, 1930).

The acceleration of this change in agriculture is conditioned, as stated in the decisions of the Party Central Committee “on the further rates of collectivisation and the strengthening of the collective farms” as follows: in 1932 to complete collectivisation in the main in the grain districts of Kazakstan and Bashkiria as well as in the cotton districts of Central Asia, Kazakstan and Trans-Caucasia; to complete in the main the collectivisation in the other districts of the U.S.S.R. including the consuming districts by 1932-33.

The rapid socialist reconstruction of the entire U.S.S.R. and the achievements of the Party in the socialist development of the economy of the national Republics guarantees the fulfilment of the Party directive.

The agricultural and industrial backwardness of the national districts is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.


The proletariat of the U.S.S.R. under the leadership of the Party is accomplishing its historic mission with Leninist consistency and perseverance – its mission of helping the backward nationalities to overtake the advanced nations of the Soviet Union, and, passing by the capitalist stage of development, to arrive at “Communism through a definitely graduated development” (Lenin).

The culture of the nations of the U.S.S.R., national in form and socialist in essence, is developing rapidly – with the achievement of socialist construction in industry leading the procession.

The Tenth Party Congress in defining the next tasks of the Party on the national question, pointed out that the most important of these tasks “consists in assisting the toiling masses of the nationalities other than Great Russian to develop their own press, schools, theatre, clubs and other educational institutions in their native tongues: to establish study courses and schools in their own language for general educational, trade and technical purposes.”

The Party had to solve this problem under extremely difficult circumstances. The majority of the nations of the Soviet Union, ruined and neglected nationally by the Tsar’s Government, did not possess the necessary cultural forces for the development of their national cultures. The population of the national districts was almost totally illiterate; many nationalities did not even have a written language of their own.

While it was the policy of Tsarism to retard the growth of productive forces in the field of economic construction in the national districts, in “cultural” matters the Tsars did their utmost to perpetuate the mental darkness and crass ignorance of the “natives.” One of the chief methods of stunting the cultural development of the oppressed nationalities was to prohibit schools, press and other cultural institutions in the mother tongue of the nations concerned.

“The development and improvement of the native dialects and the development of cultural education among the native population through these means, do not enter into the plans of the Government.” Thus wrote the Tsar’s Department of Public Education. The Seventh Congress of Noblemen held in 1911, expressed the ideas of the autocratic black-hundreds more frankly:

“The Russian State school must be Russian and nationalistically patriotic. A patriotic school cannot be foreign in nature. The Russian language must uncompromisingly dominate; all education must be carried on in Russian. Russia is a conglomeration of different nationalities; why should we deliberately create race separatism to which each nationality is prone? It behoves us noblemen to say that the school must be Russian – and Russian for Russians.”

No wonder therefore that in the majority of cases we had to begin their cultural development with the A.B.C., by doing the most rudimentary work to set up cultural institutions in their mother tongues. All this was attended with many difficulties.

And yet, with the active assistance of the proletariat of the advanced nationalities, the backward national Republics and regions of the Union surmounted these difficulties and made great strides in the development of the various phases of culture, all national in form. The achievements recorded in economic and cultural reconstruction during the last ten years in a number of national districts are convincing proof of this.

Most of the oppressed nationalities of the Union were well- nigh completely illiterate prior to the October Revolution. The data of the 1897 census illustrated this point quite well. Only 10.13 per cent of the total population of Ukraine was literate; in Armenia, 4.7 per cent; White Russia, 11 per cent; Georgia, 12, per cent; Tartaria, 8.10 per cent; of Kazaks, 2 per cent; Uzbeks, 1 per cent; Chuvashians, 5 per cent; Mariys, 3 per cent; Karelians, 10 per cent; Tajiks, 0.5 per cent; Yakuts, 0.5 per cent, etc., etc. These data are far from accurate since we do not have the tabulated material underlying the census. The average percentage was obtained from the reports made for each department, which were far from objective and contained gross exaggerations. But even these data present a clear enough picture of the impenetrable darkness in which the monarchy kept these oppressed nationalities. We must add that the 1897 census defined literacy as the ability to sign one’s name. Furthermore, only the propertied strata of society in the national districts were extended the “privilege” of becoming literate.

The literacy situation among the oppressed nationalities remained practically unchanged from 1897 to 1916-1917. The fragmentary data of individual departments (local censuses) do not change in the main the picture of the census of 1897. Real efforts to increase the literacy of the backward national regions date from after the October Revolution. The census of 1926 shows important progress in this direction. By 1930 literacy in the national regions had attained even higher levels; in the Ukraine, 71.3 per cent; White Russia, 69 per cent; Trans-Caucasian Republic, 52.1 per cent; Turkmenistan, 24.5 per cent; Uzbekistan, 19.4 per cent.

Of course these achievements in making the population of the national districts literate cannot be considered sufficient, particularly in regard to the eastern Republics and districts where literacy is still on a very low level. However, in comparison with pre-revolutionary times the present level is infinitely higher. By 1933 illiteracy will have been wiped out in all national districts. It must be added that the various nationalities are being made literate in their native tongues.

We have also accomplished much in educating children of school age in the national districts. In 1915 only 30 per cent of the children of school age in present-day White Russia were attending school; in Trans-Caucasia (excluding Armenia and Georgia), 22 per cent; in Armenia, 12 per cent; and in Georgia, 44 per cent. In the departments of present-day Uzbekistan 2.8 per cent; in present-day Turkmenistan, 1.4 per cent; in the Ufa department (Bashkiria), 39 per cent; in the departments of present-day Kazakstan, 19 per cent; in Dagestan, 6 per cent, etc. But 1927-28 shows the following percentages: – White Russia, 80.2 per cent; Azerbaijan, 68.9 per cent; Armenia, 89 per cent; Georgia, 83 per cent; Uzbekistan, 27.6 per cent; Turkmenistan, 31.3 per cent; Bashkiria, 58.1 per cent; Dagestan, 39.6 per cent; Kazakstan, 42 per cent; Tartaria, 63 per cent; the Crimea, 48 per cent. At the present time general compulsory elementary education is being introduced in all national districts with the intention of completing its introduction even in the most backward districts by 1931–32.

The number of children in schools in 1927-28 is particularly significant when we bear in mind that prior to the Revolution, only children of Russian colonists attended school in the national districts. In Turkestan, for instance, 98 per cent of the students were children of Russian officials, traders and kulak colonists. Tsarism needed a totally illiterate submissive mass of natives, and its school policy was wholly subordinated to this need. The native languages were barred from the national schools for the same reasons; instruction was imparted in Russian exclusively. “There can be no talk, no thought even of raising the native dialects to literary languages which could be taught in the schools,” boasted an official statement of the Department of Public Education. “It would be quite absurd to entertain any such idea.”

The October Revolution smashed this system of “cultural” oppression of the nationalities. Education in all elementary schools, with rare exception, is carried on in the native tongue; 93.5 per cent of the Ukrainian, 98.1 per cent of Georgians, 96.9 per cent of the Uzbeks, 95.5 per cent of the Turkish, 95.7 per cent of the Tartar students, etc., are studying in their native languages.

It is somewhat more difficult to introduce the native language in the secondary schools; here the percentage of education in the native language vacillates between 14 and 70 per cent, occasionally reaching 90 per cent. This is due to the lack of teachers trained to instruct in the secondary schools of these local nationalities. It is also due to the fact that some Party organisations did not pay enough attention to the struggle for the practical nationalisation of teaching in the schools, particularly the secondary schools. Here, we still have a great deal of work to do. The success of this work depends on the success we have in preparing a teaching staff taken from among the native population.

We have also made considerable progress in comparison with pre-Revolutionary times, in attracting formerly oppressed nationalities to the intermediary trade and technical schools, and the higher specialised educational institutions. But these achievements do not satisfy us as they do not meet the demands of the economic and cultural development of the national Regions and Republics. However, if we compare them with what we had prior to the Revolution, the result is astounding.

The exceedingly sparse technical and higher specialised educational institutions of Tsarist Russia reached only a very few members of the backward nations, and those belonged exclusively to the upper strata of the semi-feudal native aristocracy. According to the data of the Department of Public Education for 1911, “there were only about twenty natives in the non-classical schools of Central Russia.” Only a few hand-picked individuals succeeded in entering the universities. This was the situation not only in the central districts, but also in the national districts. For instance, not a single Tartar was matriculated in the Kazan University for many years, and it was only during the last few years before the war that occasionally a native could be seen in the student body.

The proletarian revolution which is a strong advocate of secondary, trade-technical and specialised higher education has not only opened wide the doors to the formerly oppressed nationalities, but has taken special measures to draw them into these schools. According to the 1927-28 figures, 40 per cent of the students in trade-technical educational institutions of the U.S.S.R. came from the national districts. The percentage of native students in the trade-technical schools in the national Republics and Regions was much higher; in Trans-Caucasia, 78 per cent (Armenians, Georgians, Turks); in Uzbekistan, 55 per cent (Uzbeks, Turkmens, Tajiks, Kazaks and Kirgizes); in Turkmenistan, 48 per cent (Turkomans, Uzbeks, Kazaks and Kirgizes); in White Russia, 57 per cent. We are also quite successful in attracting formerly oppressed nationalities to the higher schools. During the same year 1927-28, 41 per cent of the attendance at the higher educational institutions of the U.S.S.R. were of non-Russian nationality. In the higher educational institutions of White Russia, 61 per cent were White Russian students; in the higher educational institutions of Trans-Caucasia, 76 per cent were Armenians, Georgians and Turks; in the higher educational institutions of Uzbekistan up to 10 per cent were Uzbeks, Turkomans, Tajiks, Kazaks and Kirgizes.

The abundance of statistics cited should not tire the reader because each figure represents a fraction of the solution of that great historic problem which the Party and the U.S.S.R. proletariat are solving, this liberation of the native cultures of the formerly oppressed nationalities. The pertinent figures have changed considerably of late. A great number of students from the backward nationalities are now attending the trade and technical schools. But even the present figures do not satisfy us, particularly as far as they relate to the enrolment of the eastern peoples, those of Central Asia especially. Suffice it to say that the percentage of students of native stock in the higher educational institutions of Uzbekistan and Turkmania is less than 50. Besides, native attendance in the trade-technical and higher schools leaves also much to be desired. Enough work remains to be done there too, not only during the first, but also the second Five-Year Plan.

The main condition for the economic and cultural development of the backward nationalities is the creation of a press in their own language. Here, as in all other fields of cultural endeavour, our heritage from the Tsar’s Government was reduced to the pitiable remains that had escaped its policy of Russification and assimilation.

According to data for 1931, non-periodical literature in pre-Revolutionary Russia was published in twenty-four languages, including seventeen occasionally published books and pamphlets in the Abkhaz, Avat, Chinese, Osetin, Tajik and Yakut languages. A goodly portion of this literature, up to 30 per cent, was religious books; textbooks accounted for 8 per cent; popular scientific literature, 10 per cent. Now non-periodic literature in the Soviet Union is published in seventy-three languages. Many nationalities (Komi, Tsents, Kara-Kalpaks, Voguls, Chukots, Khakas and others) have acquired a written language only since the Revolution. This national literature consists mainly of textbooks and mass political and popular scientific books.

National publishing houses established during the years of the Revolution, satisfied in the national Regions and Republics in 1927-28 most of the urgent needs of their districts for literature in the native languages. By the Fifteenth Party Congress there were thirty-four national publishing houses, and almost 4,800 million printed pages of literature in national languages. Yet during that period very few national publishing houses became strong enough to meet all the demands for national literature. They were assisted by a special publishing house in Moscow, the Centroizdat, which published about 1,296 million printed pages in 1930. Besides this, Centroizdat did great work in creating a written language for nationalities which did not have any. It also strengthened the production base of the local national publishing houses. By 1931 these houses had accumulated sufficient strength with an adequate base for developing its work that they could dispense with the aid of Centroizdat. Suffice it to say that in 1929-30 the national publishing houses issued nearly 15,000 publications in various languages with a total of about sixteen billion of printed pages. In this connection and for the purpose of developing still further the publication of national literature locally, the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. decided to liquidate the Centroizdat in Moscow and transfer the publishing of national literature to the local publishing houses of national literature, the only exception being the national minorities which have no publishing houses of their own, and some nationalities whose publishing houses are not yet strong enough to work independently.

But the growth of the publishing business in the national languages cannot be judged only by the number of books published in these languages. The improvement in the contents of this national literature is even more indicative of the success achieved by the national publishing houses. Their outstanding triumph is the publication of classic Marxist-Leninist literature; in 1931, sixty-seven editions of the six-volume collection of Lenin were published in the different languages of the various nationalities of the U.S.S.R.; many national publishing houses (Armenian State Publishing House, Georgian State Publishing House, White Russian State Publishing House, etc.) have already begun to publish the complete collection of works of Lenin. Questions of Leninism, by Stalin, has been published in a number of languages. The publication of Marx and Engels in the national language has already begun. These achievements are important not only as indicative of the cultural development of the nationalities themselves. We must bear in mind that a number of nationalities of the Soviet Union developed a written language only after the October Revolution; the lack of suitable terminology and the complicated sentence structure make it very difficult to translate these classics. We are managing to overcome these difficulties only because of our great achievements in developing the national languages.

No less significant are our achievements in developing a national periodic press. Prior to the Revolution, not more than twenty to twenty-five newspapers were published in Russia in the languages of the oppressed nationalities. Now there is no nationality (except the northern peoples and some eastern peoples, whose language was only recently reduced to writing) that does not have its own newspaper. In May, 1931, the number of their newspapers reached 700 as against 349 the preceding year. The quality of the national newspapers is also improving. In the majority of cases they already manage to assist the Party in developing a socialist offensive all along the front.

It stands to reason that the growth of the national press in quality as well as quantity satisfies us only relatively, as one of the indices gauging the solution of the national problem under the proletarian dictatorship. But the national press as such is still in need of much improvement in quantity and quality. The percentage of translated literature is too high, cadres of national editors and authors develop too slowly, there are too many political mistakes both in its non-periodic and its periodic press, and finally, the number of national newspapers and the number of publications appearing in the national literature far from satisfies us. We have still a great deal of work ahead of us in that direction. The success of this work depends on the creation of writers and editors taken from among the formerly oppressed nationalities.

Another great task facing us is the development of belles-lettres and art among the U.S.S.R. nations. But even in these branches we have already achieved some measure of success. Prior to the Revolution, the majority of the backward nationalities had no belletristic literature at all, or it existed only in embryo. The Revolution has brought to life the creative power of the nations of the U.S.S.R. to express themselves in belles-lettres and has opened up vistas of a great future for them.

The development of belletristic literature in the national districts is accompanied by a continually growing inflowing of proletarian literature which will occupy a predominant position in the near future. Prior to the Revolution the oppressed nations of Russia had no national theatre unless the Ukrainian opera in Kiev and a few Armenian, Georgian and Tartar theatres which led a miserable existence be accounted such. The All-Union Olympiad of national theatres which took place in the summer of 1930 showed what great progress we had made in developing the theatrical art in the national Republics and Regions. The Uzbek Dramatic Theatre, the Tuyrk Artistic Theatre, the Bashkir State Theatre, the White Russian First State Theatre, the Tartar Theatre, the Academic State Theatre of Georgia, named after Rustaveli, and the Mariy Theatre received well-deserved praise and awards.

Finally, the greatest achievement in the cultural reconstruction of the national districts is the Latinisation of the alphabets of the eastern peoples, and of some of the northern and north-eastern peoples. The old script used by these peoples was based either on the religious Arabic alphabet, accessible only to the narrow circle of the propertied class, on the Lam hieroglyphics (Buryato- Mongolia) or on the Russian alphabet which failed to give expression to the phonetic peculiarities of the national languages (Karelian, Yakut and others). The introduction of the Latinised alphabet put an end to these artificially created obstacles in the path of the cultural development of the backward nations. It simplified their written language and made it available for the broad masses.

A better understanding of the achievements in cultural reconstruction in the national regions which are stated here in the most general terms, may be had if we study separately the cultural development of each Republic and Region which has celebrated its tenth anniversary.

Soviet White Russia was 75 per cent illiterate under the Tsar. Rural localities had very few church or parish schools. There was not a single higher educational institution in this land; there were no publishing houses, no theatres, and not a single national school. We must add that at the time Soviet White Russia was created even the scanty heritage from the Russian Empire (the church and parish schools and the few secondary schools in the towns) had been destroyed, except a handful which were half empty and without teaching staffs.

Now universal primary schools in the native language have been introduced. In 1931 the illiteracy of the adult population between the ages of 18-45 was liquidated. Thirty technicums preparing qualified workers for economic and cultural construction were organised. There are thirty-five trade-technical schools and twenty-seven industrial workshops preparing qualified workers for industry and agriculture. There are twelve educational institutions of university rank, including an Agricultural Academy and a veterinary institute which are renowned throughout the entire Union. An Academy of Science was organised where the entire scientific activity of the Republic is concentrated. Fifty-five printed newspapers and over one hundred manifold newspapers are published in the Republic; the circulation of the central newspapers alone reaches 300,000 copies per issue; 80 per cent of non-periodic literature is published in the White Russian language. Over one hundred community houses, more than 800 village reading-rooms and dozens of workers’ clubs and red corners were organised. There are three State theatres (one Jewish), four travelling theatres, etc.

White Russia required much assistance from the U.S.S.R. as a whole, both in personnel and funds, before these cultural institutions working primarily in the White Russian language could be set up. To illustrate the extent of this assistance, suffice it to mention that, the U.S.S.R. Government assigned fifty million rubles for universal primary schools in White Russia. The construction of the State University in Minsk – costing about ten million rubles – was also financed out of the All-Union budget.

Culture in Tsarist Trans-Baikalia – present-day Buryato- Mongolia – was on a far lower plane than even White Russia. The Public School Department gave out the following figures for school attendance in Buryato-Mongolia for 1915: – Over 24,000 Russian children or 95 per cent of all the Russian children, and 194 Buryat children, or about 2 per cent of the Buryat native population, were attending school. In 1916 present-day Buryato- Mongolia had 48 Buryat schools. In these schools Buryat children were accepted on condition that they first be baptised. Not a word was said of course about teaching these children in the native language or teaching Buryat literature. They did not have a single secondary technical-trade school.

What cultural achievements have we attained in Buryato- Mongolia on its tenth anniversary? In 1931 the total number of schools was 647, of which 285 are Buryat schools; the total number of students exceeds 50,000, including 19,000 Buryat students. This year universal primary schools are being introduced in the Republic; even now the percentage of children between 8 to 11 years in schools reaches 97.6 per cent. Prior to the Revolution the Buryat population was entirely illiterate. The Lamas* who used Tibet characters were the only exception. Now the percentage of literacy of the Buryat population is as high as 40 per cent, and among the Russian population 50 per cent; in some villages (the Bakhan, for instance) illiteracy has been completely done away with. There are thirty-seven schools in the Republic for the peasant youth, sixteen of which are Buryat schools. There are ten technicums and two workers’ faculties. About 50 per cent of the total number of students in the secondary schools, technicums and workers’ faculties (about 8,500 in all) are Buryats. In various higher educational institutions, technicums, and workers’ faculties outside of Buryato-Mongolia over a thousand additional Buryat students are enrolled.

* Lamas; local clergy and monks.

Prior to the Revolution there was no mass educational system in Buryato-Mongolia. Now there are 113 village reading-rooms and nine clubs there. A Buryato-Mongolian publishing house was organised which published about 11,200 printed pages in the Buryat language, and about 1,600 printed pages in the Russian language; eleven printed newspapers are being published; nine of them are district papers and six factory printed newspapers. The majority of the newspapers are in the Buryat language. A Buryato-Mongolian theatre was organised for the first time. Higher pedagogical and agricultural schools are being prepared.

The introduction of the Latin script is also considered a great revolutionary achievement in Buryato-Mongolia. The kulaks and the Lamas had exclusive knowledge of the old Buryato-Mongolian alphabet. This made the cultural development of the country very difficult. The new Latinised alphabet simplifies the written language and makes it accessible to the broad masses. The introduction of the Latinised alphabet was begun in 1930. Despite the opposition of the Lamas and a part of the conservative teachers it is spreading very rapidly. In May, 1931, about 22,000 people were receiving instruction in the new alphabet. By 1932 the political and educational systems will be using the Latinised alphabet throughout.

When the Udmurt Autonomous Region was established (in 1920) only 22 per cent of the population was literate, and only 15 per cent of these were Udmurts. Before the Revolution the Udmurts received no instruction in their own language; the Udmurt students were even prohibited from conversing in their own language at school. There was no national press except the church missionary press.

Before its tenth anniversary the Region began to introduce universal primary schools. In January, 1931, 98.6 per cent of the children of school age were attending school. Complete liquidation of illiteracy (in the cities up to fifty years; in the country up to forty years) is becoming a fact; already the literacy of the entire population has risen to 60 per cent; the literacy of the Udmurts to about 40 per cent. Twelve technicums have been organised; a higher technical educational institution will be established in the near future at the Izhevsk plant, while 450 Udmurts are being educated in the higher educational institutions of the U.S.S.R. A national press has been organised, and during the past ten years about 300 publications, mainly textbooks, have appeared. Belletristic talent is encouraged; forty-seven Udmurt writers have already created much of great literary value.

Dagestan. To describe the cultural achievements of Dagestan we shall quote an excerpt from the address of the Dagestan Government and the Party Committee, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Republic:

“In the place of the eighty-two pre-revolutionary schools, which served the privileged classes only and in which about 4,667 students were instructed in the Russian language exclusively (for the purposes of Russification), Dagestan has now, on its tenth anniversary, 928 primary schools, in which over 80,000 children are studying in their own language; nineteen schools for the collective farm youth, four workers’ faculties, eighteen technicums with over 8,000 students attending, 70 per cent of whom are local mountaineers; over 1,500 Dagestan students are studying in the higher educational institutions of the Soviet Union; courses for agricultural workers are also given at the Dagestan Soviet Party School, at the Workers’ University, a number of factory schools, and at the Scientific Research Institute; eight newspapers in the languages of the predominating peoples of Dagestan, and over a million books are being published in their native languages, and in the new Dagestan alphabet. A national theatre was created and other innumerable achievements in the developing of the national culture and the education of the masses of Dagestan could be enumerated.”

Comrade Goloshchenin draws an even brighter picture of the sweep of the cultural development among the backward national districts in Kazakstan: “In 1915 there were 89,500 pupils in the elementary schools of Kazakstan, 13,000 of whom were Kazaks. The school system counted only 1,825 units. This year (1930) we have 8,834 primary schools, 3,454 of which are Kazak, and 2,135 are schools of the national minorities. We have 268 schools of a higher type, two workers’ faculties, four technicums, six universities and institutes, and seventy-five technical-trade and factory schools. The school system enumerated above has 63,291 students, 52 per cent of whom are Kazaks, not counting schools of a higher type about which we have no data; 4,064 students graduated from the higher educational and other specialised educational institutions (including those outside of Kazakstan); 44,207 students are studying in those institutions, 49.7 per cent of whom are Kazaks.”

Before the Revolution two Alash-Ordyn newspapers and one magazine of the same tendency were published in Kazakstan. Now we have seventeen Kazak newspapers with a total circulation of 2,416,000 copies and three Kazak magazines. As a result of the reorganisation now going on, the number of newspapers will increase considerably. Of the fifty-six district newspapers, twenty-four will be in the Kazak language, two in other eastern languages, seven newspapers in mixed languages, and the rest in Russian.

In 1921 only three books, totalling 7,500 copies were published in the Kazak language. This year, 284 books, representing a total of 2,500,000 copies, were published in the Kazak language. During these years there were 704 books published, representing fifty-five million copies. During this period also nine volumes of selections from the works of Lenin and works on Lenin, with a sale totalling 40,000 copies, were translated into the Kazak language. There are over ninety-six clubs and libraries in Kazakstan, ninety-nine red uyrts (tents), and 539 village reading-rooms. Kazakstan has its own State theatre, and has published some fiction and any number of songs in the Kazak language. Thus, the precept of Lenin and the directive of the Party, “to develop the national press, school, theatre, clubs and other cultural educational institutions in the native language, to organise and develop an extensive system of universal education and technical-trade schools and lecture courses,” is being carried out in Kazakstan. What has been accomplished so far is hardly adequate to permit the national culture fully to flourish. The Socialist content of this culture is particularly deficient. However, great strides have been made and further development is assured.

Examples of this kind are numerous, but those given will suffice to convince anyone of the tremendous progress we have made in raising the culture of the backward national districts.

Of course, much, very much is still left undone. We are only beginning the great task of creating cadres of specialists from the natives of the backward national districts. In some places we have not yet succeeded in overcoming the difficulties of creating national schools, particularly secondary schools. We still have much work to do in developing the publishing business and in stirring artistic creativeness to action, etc., etc. It will be particularly difficult to overcome the opposition of the Great Russian chauvinists and the various local nationalists who have used, and are now using all the means available to counteract the realisation of the policy of the Party concerning the cultural development of the national Republics and Regions.

But these and a number of other tasks before us we shall solve on the basis of the great achievements which the proletarian dictatorship has behind it in creating a new culture for the various nations of the U.S.S.R., a culture national in form and socialist in content. This means that the work will go on at an increased pace, and it will be less difficult for us to overcome obstacles arising in the growth.

“Those who deviate in the direction of Great Russian jingoism are completely mistaken if they think that the period of the construction of Socialism in the U.S.S.R. is the period of decay and liquidation of national cultures. Matters are exactly the other way round. In reality, the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the building of Socialism in the U.S.S.R. is the period in which national culture, Socialist in content and national in form, flourishes. Apparently, they don’t understand that the development of national cultures must proceed with redoubled strength after the introduction and establishment of general compulsory elementary education in the respective national languages. They fail to understand that only if the national cultures develop will it be possible really to draw the backward nationalities into the cause of Socialist construction.” (Political Report to the Sixteenth Party Congress, by J. Stalin, page 170.)

These words of the Party leader are confirmed by the development of Socialist construction in our country and illustrated by the facts and figures given above. The Department of Public Education under the Tsar, looking for something better to do, planned the introduction of universal primary education and stated that the process would require 125 years, with an annual expenditure of 76 million rubles.

Under Tsarism even these niggardly plans seemed “optimistic.” The October Revolution showed that what was unattainable under capitalism can become a reality under the dictatorship of the proletariat. The existence of universal primary education in the majority of backward national districts when the fourteenth anniversary of the proletarian Revolution was celebrated is best proof of this.

All these achievements of Socialist construction on the economic and cultural fronts increased the political activity of the workers of the formerly oppressed nationalities, and hastened the absorption of native workers into the Soviet Government institutions of these national districts.

The Tenth Party Congress thus defines the above task: “It is the task of the Party to assist the masses of the nations other than the Great Russian nation to develop and strengthen the courts of justice, the administration, the economic and Government organisations, which are to be staffed by people taken from the local population, people who know the mode of life and the psychology of this population, and who will conduct the work in their native language.”

How well we coped with that problem in the individual Republics during 1930 can be seen from the following figures: 37.2 per cent of the Republic and district workers of Azerbaijan were natives; in Armenia, 94.9 per cent; in Bashkiria, 12 per cent; in White Russia, 60.7 per cent; in Georgia, 66 per cent; in Kazakstan, 14 per cent; in the German Volga Republic, 39 per cent; in Tartaria, 36.8 per cent; in Tajikistan, 21.2 per cent; in Uzbekistan, 22.2 per cent; in Chuvashia, 48.8 per cent. We must also remember that these figures are the average for the Republic and district apparatus. But if we take the district apparatus alone, it has a much larger number of native workers; in Azerbaijan, 69 per cent; in Bashkiria, almost 20 per cent; in White Russia, 72 per cent; in Georgia, 80.8 per cent; in Kazakstan, 42.4 per cent; in Uzbekistan, 41.6 per cent; in Chuvashia, 20 per cent; in Tartaria, 60.1 per cent.

We have been much more successful in absorbing native workers into the elective staffs of the administrative organisations. In the majority of Republics and Regions, the percentage of the native population in the elected organisations is at least 95 per cent in the village Soviets, and 91 per cent in the district executive committees. However, this is only part of our task. We must strive for the same percentage of natives in the general administrative apparatus of the national districts.

The growth of political activity on the part of the toiling population of the national Republics and Regions is a reliable guarantee that this task will be solved in the near future. This growth can be illustrated by the statistics on the participation of the toiling population of the national Republics in the elections of the Soviets.

In 1927, 47.7 per cent of the electors participated in the elections to the Soviets in White Russia. But in the election campaign in 1929 this percentage increased to 60 per cent. In the 1927 election campaigns in the Trans-Caucasian S.F.S.R., 54.3 per cent of electors participated; in 1929, 69.2 per cent. The number of people participating in elections in Uzbekistan increased from 48 per cent in 1927 to 60 per cent in 1929. In Turkmenistan from 41.5 per cent in 1927 to 70 per cent in 1929.

The elections to the Soviets in 1931 proved the progressive political activity of the toiling masses of the national Republics and Regions. The average percentage of electors participating in this election was 87 per cent for the districts, and was nowhere lower than 65 per cent.

This growth of the political activity of the formerly oppressed and disenfranchised nations is the best proof of the correctness of the national policy of the C.P.S.U. and an infallible token assuring the complete solution of the problem of absorbing the native population into the administrative apparatus of the national districts.

Parallel with this, the problem of conducting the work of all Government and administrative organisations in the native language of the national districts will likewise be solved. To date, we have done very little in that direction. It is true that the courts of justice and a majority of the smaller Governmental organisations function in the native language of the masses. However, a great number of Republic and Region organisations are still using the Russian language.

Here much work must yet be done. It is necessary to overcome the conservatism and the Great Russian chauvinism of a considerable part of the workers in the Republic and Region apparatus. It is necessary to replace these old-time officials by fresh forces from the local nationalities. This can be done without particular difficulty because of the cultural achievements we already have attained in the national districts.

Thus, we are only approaching the solution of the task of absorbing native workers into the administrative and Government organisations in the national districts. We have all the necessary pre-requisites for the complete and successful solution of this problem. These pre-requisites must be fully taken advantage of to fulfil in the near future the directives concerning the absorption of the native into all the administrative and Government organisations. This is one of the most important problems of the national policy of the Party.


The deciding factor in fulfilling the Leninist national policy of the Party, the most important condition necessary for the success of this policy in all branches of construction is the organisation of strong, politically consistent, Communist organisations composed of local proletarian and semi-proletarian elements.

“One of the fundamental tasks of the Party is to raise and develop young Communist organisations in the national Republics and Regions consisting of proletarian elements of the local population, to help them stand on their own feet, to give them a real Communist education, and to create truly internationalist cadres however few they be. The Soviet Government will be strong in the Republics and Regions only when hard-working earnest Communist organisations will take root there.”

The realisation of this directive concerning the backward national districts from the fourth national conference of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. was rendered difficult by the paucity of proletarians and, in places, by the utter lack of them, particularly of native stock; also by the inadequate class-consciousness of the poor peasants and agricultural workers of the local population during the first few years of the Revolution and particularly by the patriarchal relationships and the bourgeois nationalist elements.

The weak Party organisations, weak both in quality and quantity during the first few years after the October Revolution, could not cope with these difficulties alone. Only through the active assistance of the entire C.P.S.U. and the growth of Socialist construction in the national districts could these Bolshevik organisations be established.

The process was a long one and necessitated a struggle against all Party deviation on questions of general and national policy and against all kinds of anti-Party groupings. Out of this struggle real Communist cadres crystallised and emerged well trained. These were Communist cadres capable of correctly directing Socialist construction in the national districts.

We have now made quite considerable progress in raising strong ideologically, well-grounded Bolshevik organisations in the various national Republics and Regions. The wide extent of Socialist construction in the national districts and the direct growth of Party organisations moulded from the best elements of the national proletariat, of collective farmers, of agricultural workers and the poor and middle peasantry prove the above statement.

In 1922, judging from the data of the Party census, Great Russians constituted 72 per cent of the Party membership; in 1927, this percentage decreased to 65 per cent, and in 1930, according to rather meagre data, to 64 per cent. If we bear in mind that the growth of the Party was paralleled by a growth in the absolute number of Great Russians, it will be obvious that the Party is rapidly filling its ranks with new members taken from the formerly oppressed nationalities. To illustrate this further we shall cite a few figures on the growth of some of the national Party organisations from January, 1927, to January, 1930. In January, 1927, the White Russian Communist Party had 25,291 members and candidates; in July, 1928, it had 31,713; in January, 1930, 36,308; of the latter the White Russians in the Party made up 44.6 per cent as against 33.9 per cent in 1927. The growth of the Communist Party in Uzbekistan can be traced by the following figures: – January, 1927, 26,819; July, 1928, 35,087; January, 1930, 42,224. In January, 1930, 45 per cent of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan came from the native nationalities as against 18.5 per cent in 1927. The Kazakstan Party organisation increased by 13,378 members from January, 1927, to 1930, totalling 43,881 members and candidates in January, 1930; 28 per cent of these were Kazaks as against 15.9 per cent in 1927. The Party organisation of Yakutia had 1,443 members and candidates in January, 1930, against 809 in 1927. The number of Yakuts in the Party increased from 21.4 per cent in 1927 to 31.7 per cent in 1930. The Chuvash Party organisation had 2,695 members and candidates in 1927; 3,036 in July, 1928; and 3,357 members in January of 1930. Of these 59.4 per cent were Chuvashes against 46.3 per cent in 1927. The Communist Party of Georgia had 34,705 members and candidates in January, 1930, as against 27,966 in January, 1927. Of these 48.7 per cent were Georgians in 1927, as against 53.3 per cent in 1930. The Party organisation in Tartaria added 17,723 members between 1927 and 1930, while the percentage of Tartar Communists rose from 29.4 to 33.9.

Thus we have not only an absolute increase in the national Party organisation, but also an increase in the number of native Party members. For the last year and a half the general growth of the C.P.S.U., was accompanied by a similar growth of its national branches.

Unfortunately, we have no data about the number of native Communists in the separate national Party organisations for the same period of time. But if we bear in mind the rapid development of industry in the national districts for the last year and a half, and the corresponding growth of the national proletariat it will be obvious that the national composition of these Party organisations must have increased considerably. The general national composition of the Party proves that. Thus, on 1st July, 1931, only 52 per cent of the C.P.S.U. membership were Great Russians.

What social groups are swelling the ranks of the Communist organisations in the national districts? Here are a few figures in answer to this question.

In White Russia the number of industrial workers in the Party increased 8,402 from January, 1927, to January, 1930; the number of farm labourers and agricultural workers rose 561; peasants 1,401; miscellaneous, 653. In January, 1930, industrial workers comprised 41.3 per cent of the Communist Party of White Russia; farm labourers and agricultural workers, 3.5 per cent; peasants, 9.6 per cent; miscellaneous, 45.6 per cent.

During the same period the Communist Party of Georgia increased by 6,379 industrial workers, 406 farm labourers and agricultural workers, 883 peasants and 70 miscellaneous; industrial workers comprised 39 per cent of the Party membership in January, 1930; farm labourers, 2.4 per cent; peasants, 22.5 per cent; others, 36.1 per cent.

The number of industrial workers in the Communist Party of Uzbekistan increased 7,527, and comprised 31.7 per cent of the Party membership. The number of farm labourers and agricultural workers increased by 2,949 (8.6 per cent); peasants, by 3,104 (18.6 per cent); others, 1,825 (41.1 per cent).

The Tartar Party organisation added 2,810 workers to its membership from 1927 to 1930, of which farm labourers constituted 379; peasants 2,208; and others, 1,003. January, 1930, the workers comprised 27.3 per cent of the population; the farm labourers, 3.2 per cent; peasants, 21.5 per cent; others, 48 per cent.

For the same period of time the number of miscellaneous workers in the Kazakstan Party decreased 650 members (their percentage in the organisation decreased from 54.3 in 1927 to 36 per cent in January, 1930), and the number of industrial workers increased by 4,937; the number of farm labourers and agricultural workers, by 3,846; the number of peasants, by 5,345.

Chuvashia presents approximately the same picture. The number of miscellaneous was decreased by 100; the number of industrial workers, farm labourers and peasants increased by 762 (the number of industrial workers increased by 391). Therefore, the increase in the national Party organisations is primarily traced to the heavy influx of industrial workers into their ranks. The number of farm labourers and agricultural workers in the Party has also considerably increased. The percentage of miscellaneous workers is still very great in the Party. For the last year and a half the situation has changed considerably for the better. According to approximate data the great majority of the new Party members in the national districts came from the industrial workers and collective farmers. Still we have much work ahead of us in improving the social composition of the national Party organisations.

Side by side with the quantitative increase in the national Party organisations and the increase in the number of natives (industrial workers and collective farmers), they are exhibiting ideological and political improvement along Bolshevik lines.

In fighting with the Party against the Trotskyists, against the “Right” opportunists, and the conciliators, the national Party organisations acquired rich ideological and political experience. In fighting for the Leninist principles of the general Party line, they have increased their Bolshevik vigilance and hardened their irreconcilable attitude towards any manifestation of anti-Party deviations or vacillations. It is a well-known fact that the Trotskyists and the “Right” opportunists repeatedly made attempts to find support in their struggle against the Party among some of the national Party organisations. However, the Party organisations in their majority remained true to the general Party line and administered a well-deserved Bolshevik rebuff to all anti-Party attempts of the opportunists of all colours and shades; only a few corrupt elements, alien to the Party, joined the opposition ranks of the opportunists.

The fact that the national Party organisations under the Leninist leadership of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. liquidated the “Right” and “Left” opportunistic attempts to undermine the collective farm construction in a comparatively short period of time is the best proof of the growth of the Bolshevik ideological and political growth of the national Party organisations. They succeeded in making the historic articles of Comrade Stalin on collectivisation and the corresponding decisions of the Party a real militant programme of action, and because of it achieved the success in collectivisation illustrated above.

It is true that isolated capitalistic elements even now attempt to undermine Socialist construction in some national Party organisations through “Left” prescriptions and excesses and through open “Right” tactics. Such, for instance, arc the recently exposed “Right” opportunistic distortions in collective farm construction in the Mordva district, and the “Leftist” attempts to introduce the principle of equal distribution in the collective farm harvests of Kazakstan. However, the Party organisations of the national districts now quickly discover this kind of opportunistic distortion and they check it immediately.

Naturally all this does not mean that the struggle against opportunism, particularly “Right” opportunism as the chief danger at the present stage of construction, ceased to be a problem in each national Party organisation. Only a rank opportunist can approach the question in that manner. The Socialist offensive along the entire front calls forth brutal resistance by the class enemies and its agents within the Party in the form of “Right” and “Left” opportunists. To unmask these agents of the class enemy and expose them in time is still the chief task of all Party organisations.

The struggle of the national Party organisations against the nationalist deviations is no less significant. Great Russian chauvinism, screening itself behind “internationalist slogans,” is attempting to start a movement to liquidate the national Republics and Regions. The local nationalism which strives to separate the national Republics from the Soviet Union has considerably complicated Socialist construction in the national districts. Both these deviations had considerable influence in the Party organisations of the national districts and during the last few years they have found expression in direct counter-revolutionary national organisations. Such were the Sultangaleevshchina in Tartaria and Milli-istiklanovshchina in Uzbekistan, National Democracy in White Russia, etc., etc. The national Party organisations have considerably improved their internationality in exposing and liquidating these survivals of national-opportunist influence in their ranks.

Finally, a vigorous struggle against all the kinds of anti-Party groupings which were widespread in the national districts, particularly in the eastern national districts, has played a great part in the Bolshevik ideological and political development of the national Party organisations. Groupings like the Imanganovshchina in Uzbekistan and Sadvokassovshchina in Kazakstan were exposed and expelled.

About six or seven years ago the forming of groupings was usual and general in the national Party organisations; now they are neither so frequent nor so large as they were. It is true that incurable group-mongers still keep a number of Party organisations in a state of ferment. This has been particularly noticeable lately in the Trans-Caucasian Party organisation, but these groups are now no longer a mass phenomenon. On the other hand, the national Party organisations are so strong that they expose them comparatively quickly and consistently from every angle.

This process of Communist education of the national Party organisations inaugurated and led by the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. which assisted the national districts with leadership and cadres of consistent Bolshevik leaders, is accompanied by a rapid growth of really international Bolshevik cadres of active Party members from among the native nationalities. Even now there is a nucleus of leading Party workers in all national Party organisations consisting primarily of local Party workers. Moreover, some of them went through not only the practical but also the theoretical school of Bolshevism. Graduates from Communist higher educational institutions, Soviet Party schools and Institutes of Red Professors are frequently met with now in the Party organisations of even the most backward national districts.

Can we say, however, on this basis that the Marxist-Leninist education imparted in the national Party organisations is on the high plane that it should be and that no fundamental improvement is needed here? Such an assertion would be a grave political error. We have achieved much in creating true national Party organisations, and in giving them international education. But these successes are far from solving our problem. Besides, we must bear in mind that not only the party, but the national Party organisations have also grown by taking in the best elements of collective farm workers during the last few years. But these new Party members have no Bolshevik training and must needs be given a thorough Bolshevik education. All this accentuates the problems of Marxist-Leninist education in the national Party organisations. They must be classed among the deciding factors in raising the fighting ability of the Party organisations and winning further victories on the Socialist reconstruction front.

“Can we,” said Comrade Lenin, at the Second Congress of the Comintern, “recognise as correct the assertion that the capitalist stage of development of national economy is inevitable for those backward nationalities which are now freed? We answered this question in the negative. If the victorious revolutionary proletariat carried on systematic propaganda among them, and if the Soviet Government assures them with all the means at its disposal, it will be incorrect to suppose that the capitalist stage of development is inevitable for the backward peoples; for, arriving at Communism with the help of the proletariat of the most advanced countries and through definite degrees of our development they will avoid the capitalist stage of development.”

The results illustrated here from the development of the Soviet national Republics and Regions during the first decade of their existence, prove definitely the unfailing truth of Lenin’s words. Under the dictatorship of the proletariat the backward and formerly oppressed peoples of Russia were given the opportunity to develop independent, national States. With the assistance of the proletariat of the advanced nations they have already eradicated a considerable amount of that backwardness in economics and culture which had given rise to their gross inequality. They are now entering the ranks of the advanced nations of the Union, and, skipping the capitalist stage of development, have entered the period of Socialism together with the rest of the Soviet Union.

Click here to return to the index of archival material.