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About Russia, Its Revolutions, Its Development and Its Present


Michal Reiman

The author analyzes modern Russian history from a new perspective. Due to the ideological heritage of the XIXth and XXth centuries, the social settings of the sociopolitical history of the USSR (1917–1945) have not been fully identified. Detailed examination of ideological and political concepts shows that the revolution of 1917 became not a middle class, proletarian movement, but rather a plebeian one. The misjudgment by the new power enabled growth but caused tremendous losses of human lives and material damages. Socialization of economy and strict centralization led to a new social structure and established terror as an instrument for social reorganization. WWII revealed the necessity of a correction of these developments, but the events of the Cold War circumvented any further considerations.

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3. The NEP Crisis and Suppressing of the Left Opposition


The Year 1925 and Crush of Soviet Industrial Planing The Fourteenth Congress of VKS/b came to an end on New Year’s Eve 1925, without having discussed in detail how to overcome the ongoing NEP crisis� Fac- tual solutions were sought only later, with the emphasis instead on making sure the opposition’s defeat was lasting� Proposed changes to the economic policy remained within the remit of a commission headed by Rykov, who regarded the crisis as the result of mistaken practical economic measures� He stressed the fail- ure of foreign trade, for which revenues had come in approximately 600 million rubles lower than the estimate, a drop of one-third� In his mind, at moments like this the country was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy� Grain exports were re- duced from 782 (originally 1000) million to 600 million puds, and a 200 million pud grain shortage—3�2 million tons—ensued� Industrial goods were lacking, their quality was poor, and selection was limited, prompting little interest among peasants in selling their excess grain� The government was forced to scale back its original plans� Rykov insisted on rapid industrialization, but at a pace in keeping with the country’s capabilities� This scaling back was accompanied by reduced wages, lower social expenditures and less money spent on home construction�57 But Rykov defended the govern- ment against criticism over the delays in building up industry, stating his prefer- ence for developing sectors that would provide economic independence for the country, while hesitating to support...

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