UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A study of the significance of the Chinese People's Communes in the Sino-Soviet dispute Marson, Derek Brian 1964

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A STUDY OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CHINESE PEOPLE«S COMMUNES IN THE SINO-SOVIET DISPUTE  by D. B. MAR SON B.A., U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1 9 6 2  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS  i n the Department of Political  Science  We accent-^this t h e s i s as conforming to the  required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1964  ABSTRACT With  the  introduction  People*s Republic dispute and  arose  of  between  the Communist  death  of  the  which  often  economic attempt  laid  by  challenge  to  to  communes  Chinese party"  groups  the  which  turned  within Besides  policies commune nant  in  the  over  controversy of  the  ignored  had  many  to  the  of  and pragmatic  embodied  a l l  and  thus  an  pre-  of  constituted the  the  Soviet  a few months Moreover, the  Chinese  support  and  by  the "anti-  Soviet  the  involved  a  rejection  before  because  in  Union.  specific  from a t h e o r e t i c a l dispute  being  the  Soviet Union  realize  the p r i n c i p l e s  separate  Union  following  communes  light  leaders  the  Soviet Union had forsaken  ideological  opposing  in  the  into  a  concrete  parties.  an i d e o l o g i c a l d i s p u t e  to f o l l o w d u r i n g  issues  the  Soviet  Communism,  p o l i c i e s of  e x i s t e d both w i t h i n  the dispute  struggle  the  of  in  ideological  considerations  to  introduced.  given  the  years  the  fathers  The p e o p l e ' s  Soviet  were  and were  communes w a s  the  "revisionist"  communes  parties, party,  by  of  the of  ideological  T h i s was e s p e c i a l l y t r u e of  Party  increase production  the  Party In  communists  t o Communism  drive  China.  down b y  Chinese  communes  p o l i c y which l a r g e l y  subordinated  the  people*s  a far-reaching  1958,  the Communist  considerations.  requisites their  of  upon a d o m e s t i c  directives  in  the  the Communist  Party  Stalin,  embarked  China  of  the  transition  also related Sino-Soviet  directly  dispute.  over  the  t o Communism, to The  the  more  military  correct the predomi-  significance detrimental Communism  the  support  the  for  link;  the  In raised  the  a broader  important  particularly transition  their and  the  existence  of  two  parties,  s i t u a t i o n was e s p e c i a l l y since the  C.P.S.U.  was a t  the  same  sympathy w i t h  the  "revisionist"  Soviet  1 l  s  Peng  time  support  Union. the  commune  controversy  of  also  authority,  domestic p o l i c y during  remains  determined  commune p r o g r a m a s  soon as economic  s i n c e the C . P . S . U .  continues  t o be  the f a c t  strongly that  the  the  Communist  as d i f f e r e n c e s  in  commune  over  the the  the  proceed  conditions  society, i t commune the  issue i s  the  can  be  parties.  related  communes w i l l  and  controversy  two  Sino-Soviet  remain between  to  t o make a m o r e  contended by  i s s u e s of  the debate  world.  of  i s s u e s embodied  t h e more p r e d o m i n a n t that  of  Marshall  the Chinese p a r t y  continue  image  Communism.  will  Communist  the  the  f a c t i o n of  questions  the  as long  latter  perspective,  expected that  suggests  and  controversy  more l i b e r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n  Moreover,  the w o r l d ' s  issues concerning i d e o l o g i c a l  over  to  Since  allow,  the  anti-commune  of  on  such l i n k ;  factions within  and Chang W e n - t i a n ,  policy  one  such l i n k ,  commune  a f a c t i o n more i n  foreign  provided  communes  another  other in  with  of  and p r o - C h i n e s e  significant  for  communes  effect  the  Teh-huai  the  provided  pro-Soviet provided  of  to  dispute, continue  two g i a n t s  of  the  In p r e s e n t i n g  t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of  the requirements for an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y  of  B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and mission for extensive purposes may  study,  I f u r t h e r agree that per-  copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y  be granted by the Head of my Department or  his representatives,  I t i s understood that copying or  c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be without my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n .  Department of  \ okc.  The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver 8 , Canada  by publi-  allowed  TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. II.  PAGE THE PEOPLE'S COMMUNES:  AN INTRODUCTION . . .  1  THE IDEOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS OF THE DISPUTE: 8  THE COMMON IDEOLOGY  8  Marx  8  The Concept of Communism  III.  Engels  Ik  Lenin's Concept of S o c i a l i s m and Communism.  19  Lenin i n the P o s t - R e v o l u t i o n a r y Phase . . . S t a l i n ' s Succession and H i s Path t o Communism  23  THE DIALOGUE OF A DISPUTE:  THE BEGINNINGS $k  OF THE COMMUNE CONTROVERSY The E a r l y Experiments:  Spring 1958 . . . »  The Development of C o l l e c t i v e Farm Theory . THE UNVEILING OF THE COMMUNES: SIN0-SOVIET  75  CONFRONTATION  86  The Chinese Party Congress  86  Khrushchev a t the B u l g a r i a n Party Congress.  89  P u b l i c U n v e i l i n g of the "People's Communes"  93  C o n f r o n t a t i o n over the Communes: J u l y 1958  96  August 1958 . . . . . . .  99  Commune Upsurge: V.  6k 65  The Reform o f S o v i e t A g r i c u l t u r e IV.  37  THE COMMUNE RESOLUTION AND. SOVIET REACTION. .  113  Communes i n the Chinese Press The S o v i e t Response t o the Communes  105  . . . .  118  CHAPTER  PAGE The  Part-Supply  Continuing  Soviet  The B e g i n n i n g VI.  THE C H I N E S E The  of  Reaction  12*+  Retreat  127  RETREAT  129 130  Continuing  Soviet  Displeasure  138  Mikoyan  the U.  S  139  in  Party Reaction  THE T W E N T Y - F I R S T TEMPORARY TRUCE Chou  lM+  AFTERMATH:  lk6 167  Questions  173  Congress  177  21st  Economic  Commune C o n s o l i d a t i o n  . . . .  Speech  on E c o n o m i c  Post-Congress  Spring  t h e Commune  C O N G R E S S AND THE  Chinese Reaction to The  to  En-Lai*s Congress  Pavel Yudin  VIII.  122  Lushan R e s o l u t i o n  German VII.  System  and  A i d Agreement Soviet  .  .  Acceptance:  1959  185  R I F T OVER THE COMMUNES I N THE C H I N E S E COMMUNIST P A R T Y AND S O V I E T INVOLVEMENT (SUMMER 1959) The  Anti-Commune  Communist Economic within  Element  within  the  Unrest  Party  205  P o s i t i o n of  the  The  Intra-Party  Debate  of  P.L.A  Soviet  over  208 the  Criticism  Communes The A u g u s t C e n t r a l C o m m i t t e e Lushan:  Chinese lyk  The  The R e n e w a l  19^  Party  D i s l o c a t i o n and M o u n t i n g the  179  Peng T e h - h u a i ' s  Communes of  .  .  216  the 223  Meeting Attack  at 225  CHAPTER  PAGE Soviet Involvement with Peng Teh-huai . . . . 228 The Lushan Aftermath: Soviet Experience  IX.  The Debate over ...  THE ANT I-RIGHT I ST CAMPAIGN AND THE OCTOBER CELEBRATIONS (FALL 1959)  X.  231 2^0  . . . . o  The Cult of Mao  2k2  Tenth Anniversary Speeches  2^5  THE NEW UPSURGE OF COMMUNES AND THE CONTINUING 253  POLEMICS  The Tightening Up of the Rural Communes . . . 253 The Introduction of Polemics: the Urban Communes Growing Sino-Soviet Winter and. . , 257 Spring 1959-1960 261  XI.  Lenin Anniversary Statements on the Transition to Communism  26k  The Confrontation at Bucharest  272  WITHDRAWAL OF TECHNICAL EXPERTS AND THE 275  EVOLUTION OF THE COMMUNE SYSTEM Further Retreats i n Commune Policy  . . . . . 278  The Ninth Plenum of the Central Committee . . 2 8 l XII.  THE DEVELOPING DEBATE:  I96O-62  The i960 Moscow Conference  286 286  The 22nd Congress of the C.P.S.U.: The Soviet Path to Communism  29*+  The 22nd Congress of the C.P.S.U  296  Post-Congress Polemics  305  . .  Khrushchev s Central Committee Report on Agriculture March 1962 OPEN DISPUTE (1963) 1  XIII.  307 31*f  Iv CHAPTER XIV.  PAGE THE  SIGNIFICANCE  OF T H E COMMUNES TO  CHINA  324  AND THE C . P . C Domestic  Considerations  International Ideological XV.  Consideration  and  Relating the  to  Involving  Questions  Relating  BIBLIOGRAPHY  IN  333  PERSPECTIVE  Socialist  Transition  Questions  Conclusion  331  Considerations  THE COMMUNE CONTROVERSY Issues  324  . . .  3^9  Construction  t o Communism Ideological  to  the Wider  352  Authority  .  38I  Dispute  .  385  .  391 39I+  4  CHAPTER I THE PEOPLE'S COMMUNES:  AN INTRODUCTION  O f f i c i a l l y i n t r o d u c e d i n t o China In August  1958,  of  the People's Commune superseded the c o l l e c t i v e farm as the b a s i c u n i t i n the Chinese c o u n t r y s i d e .  The communes were  formed by b r i n g i n g together about t w e n t y - f i v e c o l l e c t i v e farms, each c o n t a i n i n g about 200 f a m i l i e s , under one administration;  central  the c o l l e c t i v e becoming the sub-unit of the  commune known as the p r o d u c t i o n b r i g a d e .  In n e a r l y every  case, the commune, with i t s p o p u l a t i o n of about 20,000 corresponded almost e x a c t l y g e o g r a p h i c a l l y to the or Hsiang, the u n i t of l o c a l government;  township  and the commune  took over the f u n c t i o n of l o c a l government.  There are  now  about 24,000 of these r u r a l people's communes i n China. While becoming the b a s i c governmental  u n i t of Chinese  s o c i e t y , the commune a l s o became the b a s i c economic and unit.  social  The communes assumed c o n t r o l over the s c h o o l s ,  i n d u s t r i e s , banks, and f a c t o r i e s w i t h i n t h e i r c o n f i n e s , and became r e s p o n s i b l e f o r c o o r d i n a t i n g a l l economic p r o d u c t i o n and d i s t r i b u t i o n .  Two  of the e n t i r e l y new  f e a t u r e s which were  i n t r o d u c e d along with the communes were the p u b l i c  dining  h a l l s and the people's m i l i t i a , which i n t r o d u c e d a m i l i t a n c y not experienced before i n Chinese l i f e and r e s u l t e d i n peasant l i f e becoming t i g h t l y d i s c i p l i n e d and h i g h l y  collectivized.  2 In g e n e r a l ,  the whole l i f e p r o c e s s was  m i l i t a r y l i n e s , and Party  apparatus.  organized along  came under the constant c o n t r o l of  Another new  f e a t u r e was  the  introduction  of a c e r t a i n degree of " f r e e supply" which was f o r wages, with a r e s u l t a n t r e d u c t i o n and  a move towards e q u a l ! t a r i a n i s m  commodities.  Intimately  the  substituted  i n material  incentive  i n d i s t r i b u t i o n of  connected with these p o l i c i e s was  the a b o l i t i o n of the p e a s a n t s  small p r i v a t e p l o t s , and  1  the  c o l l e c t i v i z a t i o n of n e a r l y a l l of the remaining p r i v a t e property  i n c l u d i n g l i v e s t o c k , implements and  personal  effects. In the  i n some cases,  s p r i n g of i960 the country*s urban areas  were a l s o transformed i n t o a network of communes, sometimes centered around an i n d u s t r i a l complex, and  sometimes taking  i n a c e r t a i n area of a c i t y with a l l i t s d i v e r s e f a c t o r i e s and  enterprises.  In some cases, workers were f o r c e d  change t h e i r place  of r e s i d e n c e  place  i n general  of work, but  to somewhere c l o s e r to t h e i r  the changeover to communes i n  the c i t i e s i n v o l v e d more of an a d m i n i s t r a t i v e s o c i a l change.  change than a  I n i t i a l l y i n the c i t i e s too, communal d i n i n g  h a l l s were set up and supply b a s i s .  to  commodities r a t i o n e d  Nurseries  out on a p a r t i a l  and homes f o r the aged were a l s o  e s t a b l i s h e d i n the urban communes, as they had r u r a l counterparts.  This r e s u l t e d i n most women being f r e e d  from general household d u t i e s , allowing the urban labour  been i n t h e i r  f o r c e by many m i l l i o n s .  the State  to augment  In a c t u a l s i z e , the  urban communes are c o n s i d e r a b l y l a r g e r on the average the  than  r u r a l communes, having a membership of approximately  50,000 persons each. cludes an e n t i r e  In some cases, then, the commune i n -  town.  China i s thus, now d i v i d e d i n t o b a s i c u n i t s known as communes. are  These communes, the Communist P a r t y d e c l a r e s ,  the socio-economic u n i t s which -will c a r r y the n a t i o n  through the p e r i o d of t r a n s i t i o n to communism, and which w i l l continue to form the b a s i c u n i t s of s o c i e t y when pure communism i s reached.  As China approaches nearer to  communism, the communes, i t i s s a i d , w i l l evolve both to a h i g h e r stage of p r o p e r t y r e l a t i o n s and to a h i g h e r p r i n c i p l e of d i s t r i b u t i o n .  Ultimately, a l l c o l l e c t i v e property w i l l  become p r o p e r t y of the "whole people", and s o c i e t y w i l l be based on the p r i n c i p l e of "from each a c c o r d i n g to h i s abilities;  to each according t o h i s needs".  The Chinese road  to communism i s , then, through the People's Communes. A number of observers of the Chinese scene have made short s t u d i e s of the Chinese communes themselves, and a few have made a somewhat l i m i t e d a n a l y s i s of t h e i r wider s i g n i f i c a n c e w i t h i n the communist b l o c .  The most comprehen-  s i v e study of the i n i t i a l i n t r o d u c t i o n of the communes and of t h e i r e f f e c t on C h i n e s e - S o v i e t r e l a t i o n s was conducted by D. S. Z a g o r i a i n a chapter of h i s book The S i n o - S o v i e t C o n f l i c t , w r i t t e n i n 1961.  However, most of the r e l i a b l e  [  k evidence  concerning  the r o l e of the communes w i t h i n the  t o t a l d i s p u t e has appeared s i n c e Z a g o r i a c o l l e c t e d h i s i n f o r m a t i o n , thus a l l o w i n g a new and f u l l a n a l y s i s to be made.  Especially  lacking  i n the p r e v i o u s  short s t u d i e s of  the Chinese communes has been the question of t h e i r h i s t o r i c a l and i d e o l o g i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e w i t h i n the framework of the communist i d e o l o g y .  F o r t h i s reason,  the present  study i n c l u d e s a p r e l i m i n a r y d i s c u s s i o n of the i d e o l o g i c a l foundations  of the Sino-Soviet d i s p u t e over the communes,  and a h i s t o r i c a l survey o f the r e l e v a n t p o l i c i e s of L e n i n and Stalin.  Without t h i s i d e o l o g i c a l - h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e ,  the r e a l s i g n i f i c a n c e f u l l y appreciated.  of the Chinese communes cannot be  There i s a strong tendency of w r i t e r s  to d i s r e g a r d p u r e l y i d e o l o g i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s when d e a l i n g with the r e l a t i o n s between China and the Soviet Union, laying  the causes of d i s p u t e s o l e l y to such things as  d i f f e r i n g n a t i o n a l i n t e r e s t s and power p o l i t i c s . b e l i e v e , i s not the case.  Such, I  Although i t may be tempered by  these c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , i d e o l o g y s t i l l maintains  an enormous  i n f l u e n c e on p o l i c y w i t h i n the communist b l o c ;  t h i s being  e s p e c i a l l y true i n the Chinese case. obvious c h a r a c t e r i s t i c  Despite  t h i s f a c t , the  of the commune d i s p u t e was that i t was  c a r r i e d on i n i d e o l o g i c a l language with constant to the common i d e o l o g y of Marxist-Leninism. an understanding  reference  Thus,  of the i d e o l o g i c a l foundations  without  of the debate,  4  5 it  i s impossible  to gauge how  f a r each s i d e was d e v i a t i n g ,  i f at a l l , from the teachings of the i d e o l o g y of M a r x i s t Leninism,  and how  much t h i s d e v i a t i o n was  caused by  non-  i d e o l o g i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s such as n a t i o n a l i n t e r e s t . From the evidence  gathered  i t w i l l be  the i n t r o d u c t i o n of the communes r e s u l t e d i n an  shown that ideological  d i s p u t e between the l e a d e r s h i p of the two p a r t i e s over  the  c o r r e c t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of M a r x i s t - L e n i n i s m  In r e g a r d to the  question of the proper road and  speed f o r the  vance of communism.  the proper  The i n t e n s i t y of the d i s p u t e , and  importance attached to i t by both  factions within  while the o r i g i n of the d i s p u t e w i l l be shown  to be a r e s u l t of S o v i e t i d e o l o g i c a l r e v i s i o n i s m and vatism.  the  s i d e s , w i l l be shown to be  a d i r e c t r e s u l t of the e x i s t e n c e of opposing both p a r t i e s ;  ad-  From the evidence  presented,  conser-  i t w i l l a l s o be shown  that the dispute over the communes widened i n t o a d i s p u t e over the question of the i d e o l o g i c a l a u t h o r i t y of the S o v i e t Union with regard to domestic c o n s t r u c t i o n and domestic p o l i c y i n other communist n a t i o n s , and  the binding nature  of "Soviet  experience" i n the t r a n s i t i o n to communism. The m i l i t a r y i m p l i c a t i o n s of the communes w i l l shown to be one d i r e c t l i n k with the more predominant of  the Sino-Soviet d i s p u t e — t h e  be  aspect  question of bloc f o r e i g n  p o l i c y and of v i o l e n t r e v o l u t i o n .  The  economic and  organiza-  t i o n a l aspects of the communes w i l l be shown to have s i m i l a r  6 relevance to the wider d i s p u t e , i n so f a r as they a f f e c t the image of communism i n the Western world.  The s i g n i f i c a n c e  of the communes i n terms of Chinese l e a d e r s h i p of the underdeveloped  n a t i o n s w i l l a l s o be e l a b o r a t e d upon, and t h e i r  i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r the f u t u r e i n the l i g h t of the S l n o - S o v i e t r i f t , w i l l be  suggested.  The major sources used i n t h i s study have been: p u b l i s h e d works of Marx, E n g e l s , L e n i n , and S t a l i n ;  the  official  documents and speeches p u b l i s h e d by the F o r e i g n Languages P u b l i s h i n g House i n the S o v i e t Union, and the F o r e i g n Languages Press i n China;  the t r a n s l a t i o n s of the Soviet  press and Party j o u r n a l s as c o l l e c t e d i n Soviet Press T r a n s l a t i o n s and Current D i g e s t of the Soviet P r e s s :  the t r a n s l a t i o n s  of the Chinese press and Party j o u r n a l s as c o l l e c t e d i n the Peking Review, Current Background. E x t r a c t s from China Mainland Magazines. Survey of China Mainland Scene;  the China  P r e s s , and Current  Q u a r t e r l y and Soviet Survey;  The New York  Times and numerous secondary sources i n c l u d e d i n books and a r t i c l e s both  on the communes as such, and on communist  ideology. One  of the g r e a t e s t problems i n studying the  r e l a t i o n s between China and the S o v i e t Union from the source m a t e r i a l a v a i l a b l e to the Western researcher has been the n e c e s s i t y of undertaking  c o n s i d e r a b l e i n t e r p o l a t i o n and i n t e r -  p r e t a t i o n because of the v e i l e d language used i n the communist  7 world. has  However,  evolved  need  to  to  s i n c e 19o3,  the  stage  undertake Moreover,  between  the R u s s i a n s  the  past which  guessed  at,  and  interpretation and C h i n e s e necessary  of  the  commune  have  study  Then  dispute  Finally,  dispute.  that  of  documents  data  1957  Soviet any  and a r t i c l e s of  into  three  the  examination  of  two p a r t i e s  an a n a l y s i s  of  and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n is  valid  the  made.  and c o n t i n u i n g  controversy  only  more  "hindsight"  organized  between  writing.  commune  or  i s with  this  the  events  the  a detailed  in  the  make a much  thus  exchanges  on  unknown,  parties  longer  public  cast light  completely to  the  no  speeches i n  been  is  in  is  two and  main  sections.  i d e o l o g i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e  beginning  from  It  argument,  the polemics  scholar  the  a r t i c l e s and  interpretation  The  outlined.  were  the  past  between  facts revealed  before  press.  of  and C h i n e s e have  allow  pre-1963 p e r i o d  First,  the  split  open p u b l i c  "decoding"  present.  in  of  the  considered  through the is in  the h i s t o r y  is  of  the  undertaken,  until  chief  the  trends  presented, the  is  and  context  of  date  of  emerging the the  total  CHAPTER  II  THE I D E O L O G I C A L F O U N D A T I O N S OF THE  DISPUTE:  THE COMMON I D E O L O G Y From rift  over  question  the of  the  its  communes  concerned with  regard  directly  transition  period.  to  ideological perspective,  it  is  to which both the  ultimate  and  Marxist-Leninist The w o r k s  of  a l s o be  Soviet Union  of  of  of  ideology,  and  the  this  and w i l l  Chinese  ideological contribution of  broad  post-  put  the  dispute  to  examine  (the  and w i t h  common  dealt  to  The w r i t i n g s  of  the Communist  "enriches  of  with  transition  Party  with  regard  components  Communist  the  subscribe)  goal.  be  the  since both  the in  to  turn.  communism  Party  of  recognize and  the  that  augments  the  Marxist-Leninism"." ' 1  I. Nowhere Utopia  c l a i m to  the main  Stalin dealing with considered  to  Sino-Soviet  necessary  communism,  reaching  Lenin form  the  Marxist-Leninism  disputants goal  the  in  order  Engels  science  communism, in  to  Stalin's  view,  Therefore,  p r e s c r i b e d means  Marx,  will  is  theoretical foundations  ideology  the  of  the  revolutionary into  an i d e o l o g i c a l p o i n t  MARX  does Marx d i s c u s s i n d e t a i l the  towards w h i c h he  claims  the w o r l d  ^•People's D a i l y . October T r a n s l a t i o n s . 1Q52, p. if32.  30,  1952;  is  communist  inexorably Soviet  Press  9  advancing.  Neither  does he l a y down i n d e t a i l the exact  c o n s t r u c t i o n of the immediate p o s t - r e v o l u t i o n a r y  society,  which, under the d i c t a t o r s h i p of the p r o l e t a r i a t , i s the t r a n s i t i o n a l phase between c a p i t a l i s m and communism. H i s c h i e f concern i n h i s w r i t i n g s i s to analyze h i s t o r y d i a l e c t i c a l l y , and to i n f l u e n c e the p r o l e t a r i a t to become conscious of i t s h i s t o r i c a l m i s s i o n  to overthrow world  c a p i t a l i s m through v i o l e n t r e v o l u t i o n . the immediate t a s k s — t h e  H i s d i s c u s s i o n s of  o r g a n i z a t i o n of the workers of the  world, and the overthrow of e x p l o i t a t i v e c a p i t a l i s m as represented  by the b o u r g e o i s i e — a r e  exhaustive s i n c e these  p e r t a i n to the p r a c t i c a l a f f a i r s of the moment; only passing  references  but g e n e r a l l y  are ever made i n h i s w r i t i n g s to the  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the p o s t - r e v o l u t i o n a r y phases. r e s u l t of t h i s f a c t , i t was l e f t  to the i d e o l o g i c a l h e i r s of  M a r x — L e n i n , S t a l i n , Khruschev and Mao to f i l l and  general  As a  t h e o r e t i c a l framework.  i n the loose  T h i s l a c k of a d e t a i l e d  c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n by K a r l Marx of the p e r i o d of the t r a n s i t i o n to communism, and of communism i t s e l f , has r e s u l t e d , during the current century,  i n considerable  dispute  among  Marxists  as to the " c o r r e c t " course to f o l l o w now that a number of n a t i o n a l r e v o l u t i o n s have been s u c c e s s f u l . controversy The  i s one m a n i f e s t a t i o n  of t h i s  The commune  dispute.  Concept of Communism In one of Marx's very e a r l y w r i t i n g s - - h i s posthumously  p u b l i s h e d Economic and P h i l o s o p h i c Manuscripts, the f a t h e r of  10  modern communism provides  considerable  nature of h i s t h i n k i n g i n regard Utopia.  He  also provides,  to the f u t u r e  the  communist  i n t h i s work, an a n a l y s i s of  human c o n d i t i o n , which serves t i o n of the i d e a l s o c i e t y . human c o n d i t i o n as one  insight into  as a f o u n d a t i o n  In g e n e r a l  the  f o r h i s concep-  terms, Marx saw  the  of s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n , of domination  by  the m a t e r i a l world, of human debasement through s l a v i s h acquisitiveness;  and he  saw  capitalist  s o c i e t y as the  stage of t h i s a l i e n a t i o n — o f t h i s dehumanization.  highest  The  workers,  he argued, were t r e a t e d as l i t t l e more than animals or machines by the e x p l o i t a t i v e c a p i t a l i s t s and had  reached  lowest depths to which mankind could s i n k .  Soon, he  they would r i s e up a g a i n s t  overlords,  their capitalist  claimed,  smash the s o c i o - e c o n o m i c - p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e and f r e e  the  whole of mankind from the bonds of m a t e r i a l i s m — c r e a t i n g the long run a new was  kind of s o c i e t y i n which  the  in  self-alienation  transcended. The  most comprehensive o u t l i n e of f u t u r e  society  made by Marx appears i n h i s C r i t i q u e of the Gothe Program which was  w r i t t e n i n I875.  Here Marx c l e a r l y d e f i n e d the  stages of the p o s t - r e v o l u t i o n a r y p r i n c i p l e s of p r o d u c t i o n C l e a r l y separating  stage and  outlined  two  the  and d i s t r i b u t i o n o p e r a t i v e i n each.  the two  d i s t i n c t stages and  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , Marx d e c l a r e d  that:  their  11 Between c a p i t a l i s t and communist s o c i e t y l i e s the p e r i o d of r e v o l u t i o n a r y t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of the one Into the other. There corresponds to this also a p o l i t i c a l transition period i n which the s t a t e can be nothing but the r e v o l u t i o n a r y d i c t a t o r s h i p of the p r o l e t a r i a t . 2 Marx p o i n t e d out that s i n c e the new  s o c i e t y emerges from  the  o l d , i t must n e c e s s a r i l y undergo a t r a n s i t i o n a l phase i n which a l l the v e s t i g e s of c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y are overcome. In the f o l l o w i n g passage, he o u t l i n e d t h i s i n t e r m e d i a t e  stage:  What we have to d e a l with here i s a communist s o c i e t y , not as i t developed on i t s own f o u n d a t i o n s , but, on the c o n t r a r y , as i t emerges from c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y ; which i s thus i n every r e s p e c t , economically, m o r a l l y and i n t e l l e c t u a l l y , s t i l l stamped with the birthmarks of the o l d s o c i e t y from whose womb i t emerges. A c c o r d i n g l y , the i n d i v i d u a l producer r e c e i v e s back from s o c i e t y - a f t e r the deductions have been made - e x a c t l y what he g i v e s to i t . What he has given to i t i s h i s i n d i v i d u a l quantum of l a b o u r . 3 What t h i s means i n a c t u a l p r a c t i c e , then, i s equal shares the t o t a l p r o d u c t i o n f o r equal labour c o n t r i b u t e d : . . . the s o c i a l working day c o n s i s t s of the sum of the i n d i v i d u a l hours of work; the i n d i v i d u a l labour time of the i n d i v i d u a l producer i s the p a r t of the s o c i a l labour day c o n t r i b u t e d by him, h i s share i n i t . He  p  K. Marx, C r i t i q u e of the Gotha Program (Moscow, F.L.P.H., 1 9 ^ 7 ) , p. 3 9 . 3  I b i d . . p.  2k.  of  12 r e c e i v e s a c e r t i f i c a t e from s o c i e t y t h a t he has f u r n i s h e d such and such an amount of labour ( a f t e r deducting h i s labour f o r the common fund) and with t h i s c e r t i f i c a t e he draws from the s o c i a l stock of means of consumption as much as c o s t s the same amount of l a b o u r . The same amount of labour he has g i v e n to s o c i e t y I n one form, he r e c e i v e s back i n another.^In  the f i r s t  stage of communist s o c i e t y , then, equal labour  begets equal r i g h t to the s o c i a l products of s o c i e t y as a whole.  But equal r i g h t i n t h i s sense i s s t i l l  r i g h t " according t o Marx.  "bourgeois  T h i s i s because although an  equal s t a n d a r d — l a b o u r — i s l a i d down, "the r i g h t of the producers i s p r o p o r t i o n a l to the labour they supply."^ " n a t u r a l " i n e q u a l i t i e s come i n t o p l a y even here.  Thus  No matter  whether labour i s computed on a time b a s i s or an i n t e n s i t y b a s i s , some men w i l l c o n t r i b u t e g r e a t e r amounts of labour because they are stronger or i n t e l l e c t u a l l y s u p e r i o r to o t h e r s , and w i l l t h e r e f o r e "earn" more s o c i a l products than others.  Moreover, some men have wives and f a m i l i e s to support  w h i l e some do not, and some have more c h i l d r e n than o t h e r s ; t h e r e f o r e w h i l e two men may c o n t r i b u t e equal labour and r e c e i v e equal p o r t i o n s of commodity p r o d u c t i o n , one w i l l be r i c h e r than the o t h e r — d u e finds himself i n .  merely  to the circumstances he  Bourgeois r i g h t s , then, s t i l l  remain.  "But these d e f e c t s are i n e v i t a b l e , i n the f i r s t phase of  I b i d . , p. 25* Loc. c i t .  13 communist emerged  s o c i e t y , " Marx argued,  after In  bourgeois  prolonged  time,  pangs  Marx d e c l a r e d ,  society w i l l  the p r o l e t a r i a t ,  birth  "as i t  be  .  from  the  . has  just  capitalist  last  swept away by  a n d a new a n d f i n a l  .  society."  vestiges  the  of  dictatorship  stage w i l l  6  be  of  ushered  in:  In a h i g h e r phase of communist s o c i e t y , a f t e r the e n s l a v i n g s u b o r d i n a t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l s under d i v i s i o n of l a b o u r , and t h e r e w i t h a l s o the a n t i t h e s i s between m e n t a l and p h y s i c a l l a b o u r h a s vanished; a f t e r l a b o u r h a s c e a s e d t o be a means o f l i f e and h a s become i t s e l f t h e p r i m a r y n e c e s s i t y of l i f e ; a f t e r the p r o d u c t i v e f o r c e s have a l s o i n c r e a s e d w i t h the a l l - r o u n d development o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l , and a l l t h e s p r i n g s o f c o - o p e r a t i v e w e a l t h f l o w more abundantly—only then can the narrow h o r i z o n of bourgeois right be f u l l y l e f t b e h i n d and s o c i e t y i n s c r i b e on i t s banners; from each a c c o r d i n g to h i s a b i l i t y , to each a c c o r d i n g to h i s needs.7 From of  this  description,  production,  consumption determined citizens, all  the  men p r o d u c e  link  Whereas  amount o f  now n e e d  is  seen that  in  guiding  both  according  required  the  social  the  between p r o d u c t i o n  prerequisites  is  principles  change. the  it  amount of commodities  guiding to  their  factor  is  out,  to a f a i r l y  impressive  lower  of  in  p r a c t i c e the  stage  Ibid.,  p.  26.  Ibid.,  p.  27.  labour  is  are  and  formerly  distributed  to  distribution, Thus  the  superseded.  t h e new p r i n c i p l e  and consumption and add,up  introduced  in  stage  production  abilities.  and consumption before  the higher  of  also forthrightly  remain  direct The  production pointed  list—suggesting  communism w i l l  and  in  that  Ik e x i s t e n c e f o r some c o n s i d e r a b l e t h e s i s between town and i n the l i s t , but t h i s question  length  country i s not  i t i s evident  of time.  The  anti-  s p e c i f i c a l l y mentioned  from other passages devoted to  that i t i s i n c l u d e d as an i n t e g r a l p a r t of  a b o l i t i o n of the d i v i s i o n of  the  labour.  Thus, Marx's C r i t i q u e of the Gotha Program, w i t h i n a few paragraphs, g i v e s the most s u c c i n c t general  summary of  the p o s t - r e v o l u t i o n a r y phases to be found i n Marx's extensive w r i t i n g s .  Here, however, he was  more concerned  with e l u c i d a t i n g general p r i n c i p l e s and p r e r e q u i s i t e s , and was  t h e r e f o r e not  other  as s p e c i f i c i n d e t a i l as he was  s c a t t e r e d passages i n other works. II.  ENGELS  Engel's most comprehensive treatment of r e v o l u t i o n a r y s o c i e t y i s to be found i n h i s  of Marxism produced by e i t h e r men. Anti-Duhring  are E n g e l s '  exposition  P a r t i c u l a r l y valuable  in  d i s c u s s i o n s of the State i n f u t u r e  communist s o c i e t y , of the d i v i s i o n of labour, and  post-  Anti-Duhring.  which l a y s out perhaps the most s t r a i g h t - f o r w a r d  value  i n certain  of the d e - a l i e n a t i o n of  of commodity  man.  In r e l a t i o n to the f u t u r e of the s t a t e as  such,  Engels expounded i n Anti-Duhring  h i s famous p r i n c i p l e of  withering  declared  away of the s t a t e .  He  that:  the  when a t l a s t i t becomes t h e r e a l r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of t h e whole o f s o c i e t y i t r e n d e r s i t s e l f u n necessary . . . . The f i r s t a c t by v i r t u e o f which the state r e a l l y c o n s t i t u t e s I t s e l f the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of t h e whole of s o c i e t y - t h e t a k i n g p o s s e s s i o n o f t h e means o f p r o d u c t i o n i n t h e name o f s o c i e t y - t h i s i s a t t h e same time, i t s l a s t independent a c t as a s t a t e . S t a t e i n t e r f e r e n c e i n s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s becomes, i n one domain a f t e r a n o t h e r , s u p e r f l u o u s , a n d then dies out of i t s e l f ; t h e government o f persons i s replaced by the administration of t h i n g s , and by the conduct of processes of production. The s t a t e i s n o t a b o l i s h e d . It dies out.8 Thus,  as i n the plans  Marx i n h i s The C i v i l tion  apparatus  co-ordination latter of  War i n F r a n c e )  eventually  concerns  and p l a n n i n g ,  regard,  production  o f t h e P a r i s Commune ( d i s c u s s e d b y  Engels gives  upon a d e f i n i t e  noted  place  plan,  and r e l a t e d earlier  according  social relations  specifically relate  p.  Engels,  stages  389. 9  I M d . , P. 387.  In this  of  o f t h e community i s  regulated  administration.  o f communism,  (Moscow,  anarchy production  The c o e r c i v e  the process  Anti-Duhring  economic  "thesocial  production  a s such a r e n o t .  g i v e s way t o a system o f economic  ^F.  that  administra-  with  tasks.  t o t h e needs  but  and lower  only  to a social regulation  o f each i n d i v i d u a l . E c o n o m i c  the higher  the central  itself  and  does Engels  T  state Nowhere  of dying  out t o  a n d one c a n o n l y  F.L.P.H.,  195*0,  16 surmise that actual to  the dying  achievement  of  the  the h i g h e r  state coincides with stage and i s  a  the  precondition  i t . In  tion  of  phase,  two s e p a r a t e  the  "value"  Engels  be t h e  Engels  determining  product  due  "price"  of  to  commodities i n  factor  if  o n e man m a k e s a  average  number  then both  this w i l l  of  their  labour  of  de-alienation.  demand t h a t  in  despoiled i t .  of  labour  identity  of  the  to  of  and another three  In  Thus  two  labour  question  the  hours,  before  and  as wide  that  the the  of  related  to recover f o r  the  matter  Owen  man  the  division  of  a r r i v a l of  independently Marx,  from the machinery,  of  he p o i n t e d  system does not a change  of  for  a possible  the  conditions necessary for  Quoting  the whole  the  labourer.  be g i v e n  be m a i n t a i n e d  will social  therein.  both F o u r i e r  Engels noted  labourer.  the motion  t h e workman but  labour  e s t a b l i s h e d the  division  "since  order  amount of  embodied  s o c i e t y , and  each i n d i v i d u a l  confusing  exclusively according  d e t a i l the  He l a u d e d  occupation, in  machine age h a d  the  lower  stated that  be v a l u e d a t  future  a t t r a c t i v e n e s s he found i n labour  also  hours  also discussed in  of  of  four  "cost" to  division  variation  He  determina-  actual labour-time  e s t a b l i s h i n g the  labour-hours  shoe i n  somewhat  be d e t e r m i n e d  shoes w i l l  be  Engels  their  in  that  the  communism's  Marx's  emphasized  commodities w i l l  the  man's  some o f  each i n d i v i d u a l .  to  hours,  of  discussions concerning  c l e a r e d up  explanations.  and  of  out  the  the out  proceed persons  that from can  17  take place at any time without an interruption of the 10  work . . . ."  Thus, men can interchange occupations at  w i l l i n the future society without jeopardizing the productivity of labour. Turning finally to the question of the development and de-alienation of man, Engels declared that in communist society: productive labour instead of being a means of subjugating men, w i l l become a means of their emancipation, by offering each individual the opportunity to develop a l l his faculties, physical and mental, in a l l directions, and develop them to the f u l l - in which, therefore, productive labour w i l l become a pleasure instead of a burden.11 Thus, man i s to find true freedom within the classless society of communism;  and creative, productive labour i s  to be a joy i n i t s e l f , since through i t man w i l l find a vehicle of self-expression. With the seizing of the means of production, Engels argued, the domination of man by his material world ceases. At the same time: The struggle for individual existence disappears. Then, for the f i r s t time man in a certain sense is f i n a l l y marked off from the rest of the animal kingdom, and emerges from mere animal  ^ I b i d . . p. 409, quoting from Capital. i:L  Ibid. , p. 408.  18 c o n d i t i o n s o f e x i s t e n c e i n t o r e a l l y human ones. The w h o l e s p h e r e o f t h e c o n d i t i o n s of l i f e w h i c h e n v i r o n man, and have h i t h e r t o r u l e s man, now comes under t h e d o m i n a t i o n a n d c o n t r o l o f m a n , who f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e becomes t h e r e a l , c o n s c i o u s l o r d of n a t u r e , b e c a u s e h e i s n o w b e c o m e m a s t e r o f h i s own social organization.12 Engels  concluded with  man w i l l of  be t h e master  the proclamation  that  o f h i s own d e s t i n y ,  from  henceforth  and t h e  a t r u l y human e x i s t e n c e w i t h i n a c l a s s l e s s ,  moulder  communist  society: O n l y f r o m t h a t t i m e w i l l man h i m s e l f , w i t h f u l l c o n s c i o u s n e s s make h i s own h i s t o r y . . . . I t i s t h e a s c e n t o f man f r o m t h e kingdom of n e c e s s i t y t o the kingdom of freedom.13 Thus, to  i n these f i n a l  the o r i g i n a l  theme  few passages Engels  l a i d d o w n b y M a r x i n h i s 18M+  scripts—the  ultimate  his  material  environment  through  communism,  setting free  of humanity  so t h a t  i t  potential  through  environment.  with nature  overcoming  of man's  man's  The c o m m u n i s t  and the  may d e v e l o p  inner  its  needs  !  Ibid.. Loc.  p.  cit.  393-  from final  a l l i t s human natural  are  man, i n h a r m o n i o u s  and h i s f e l l o w man, r e a l i z e s h i s f u l l  potential.  Manu-  alienation  creative interaction with  I n communism,  and f u l f i l l e d .  returns  liberated, intercourse human  19 III.  LENIN'S In  CONCEPTION immediately  1917,  power  in  State  and R e v o l u t i o n  Marx and  the  on t h e the  and  Soviet Union,  Lenin wrote h i s  i n which he  summed  two p h a s e s  of  post-revolutionary  also  questions  communism.  writings, Program,  dictatorship  added h i s  of  the nature  very  carefully  and p a r t i c u l a r l y  over  his  Concerning  the  upheld  lower  length  phase  of  the n e c e s s i t y of  equal basis according  and a d d i n g  to work performed.  to of  In a  the  number  Marx's  of  the  outlined  by  Gotha comments. Marx,  commodities He  of  socialism  numerous  distributing  The  proletariat  over  Critique  communism  seized  teachings  the  own i n t e r p r e t a t i o n  concerning  Marx at  the  society.  L e n i n went  quoting  COMMUNISM  well-known  up  the  he  AND  the B o l s h e v i k s  of  important  Lenin  before  nature  process, of  OF S O C I A L I S M  suggested  on  an  that:  I t i s u n a v o i d a b l e i n the f i r s t phase of communism; f o r i f we a r e n o t t o i n d u l g e i n u t o p i a n i s m , we m u s t n o t t h i n k t h a t h a v i n g o v e r t h r o w n c a p i t a l i s m p e o p l e w i l l a t once l e a r n to work f o r s o c i e t y w i t h o u t any s t a n d a r d of r i g h t : and i n d e e d the a b o l i t i o n of c a p i t a l i s m does not i m m e d i a t e l y c r e a t e the economic p r e m i s e s f o r such a change. And t h e r e i s a s y e t no o t h e r standard than that of 'bourgeois r i g h t ' . l ^ Lenin reiterated retained  there  continue  in  the  state  F.L.P.H.  the  will  fact be  existence.  complete  V.  I.  19^7),  that  a continuing "For  communism  Lenin, P. 205.  while  the is  bourgeois need f o r  rights  the  state  complete w i t h e r i n g  are to  away  necessary."  Selected Works,  vol.  II  (Moscow,  of  20 Lenin then passes on to a d i s c u s s i o n of the 'complete communism . 1  He suggests  that u n t i l t h i s stage i s achieved  " s o c i a l i s t s demand the s t r i c t e s t c o n t r o l by s o c i e t y and by the s t a t e of a measure of labour and the measure of consumption.""^  He d e c l a r e s that "the whole of s o c i e t y w i l l  have become a s i n g l e o f f i c e and a s i n g l e f a c t o r y , with  16* e q u a l i t y of labour and e q u a l i t y of pay."  During  time, economic p r o d u c t i o n w i l l i n c r e a s e immensely,  this thus  l a y i n g the foundations f o r the t r a n s i t i o n to pure communism: "The  economic b a s i s f o r the complete w i t h e r i n g away of the  s t a t e i s such a high development of communism that the a n t i -  17 t h e s i s between mental and p h y s i c a l labour d i s a p p e a r s . " ' Thus, s o c i a l abundance i s r e a f f i r m e d as a p r e c o n d i t i o n to communism.  But Lenin makes no estimate  of the p e r i o d r e q u i r e d  to achieve t h i s abundance and the necessary  other p r e r e q u i s i t e s  to the higher stage of communism. He d e c l a r e s t h a t : how r a p i d l y t h i s development w i l l proceed, how soon i t w i l l reach the p o i n t of breaking away from the d i v i s i o n of l a b o u r , of removing the a n t i t h e s i s between mental and p h y s i c a l labour, of transforming labour i n t o 'the prime n e c e s s i t y of l i f e * - we do not and cannot know.l8 Ror can one p r e d i c t "the s p e c i f i c forms of the w i t h e r i n g away" since there i s no b a s i s upon which such a p r e d i c t i o n  ^ I b i d . , p. 207. " ^ I b i d . . p. 210 (*the emphasis i s mine). 1 7  I b i d . , p. 206.  18,Loc. c i t .  21 can be made.  These questions are l e f t f o r the f u t u r e .  N e v e r t h e l e s s , the g e n e r a l p r i n c i p l e s under which f u t u r e s o c i e t y w i l l operate are known, as are the g e n e r a l prer e q u i s i t e s , one of which Is that "the n e c e s s i t y of observing the simple, fundamental r u l e s of human i n t e r c o u r s e w i l l become a h a b i t . ""^  The other p r e r e q u i s i t e s o u t l i n e d by Marx  were r e i t e r a t e d and upheld by Lenin. Summation of E n g e l s , Marx and L e n i n We are now i n a p o s i t i o n to sum up the t h e o r e t i c a l foundations of M a r x i s t - L e n i n i s m on the questions of s o c i a l i s m and communism, as t h i n g s stood on the eve of the Soviet Revolution.  A l l the i d e o l o g y that has developed  since  then has been l i n k e d with experience r a t h e r than with pure and simple, and belongs  i n another  category.  theory  From  the s c a t t e r e d r e f e r e n c e s made by Marx, Engels and Lenin to the p o s t - r e v o l u t i o n a r y t r a n s i t i o n to communism, the f o l l o w i n g general p i c t u r e can be b u i l t up. First two d i s t i n c t  of a l l , p o s t - r e v o l u t i o n a r y s o c i e t y i s seen as s t a g e s — s o c i a l i s m and  communism—differentiated  c h i e f l y by the d i f f e r e n t p r i n c i p l e of d i s t r i b u t i o n o p e r a t i v e i n each stage.  In the f i r s t  stage i t i s "equal pay f o r  equal work" and i n the communist stage i t i s "from each according to h i s a b i l i t i e s ;  I b i d . , p. 211.  to each according t o h i s needs."  22 The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the f i r s t followingJ  stage are the  the d i c t a t o r s h i p of the p r o l e t a r i a t n a t i o n a l i z e s  a l l the instruments  of p r o d u c t i o n and a b o l i s h e s p r i v a t e  property, including land;  the p r i n c i p l e of equal pay f o r  equal work i s i n t r o d u c e d ;  i n h e r i t a n c e r i g h t s are a b o l i s h e d ;  schools are opened to a l l c h i l d r e n f r e e of charge; people's m i l i t i a r e p l a c e s the standing army; banking  are n a t i o n a l i z e d ;  a  c r e d i t and  c o - o p e r a t i v e farming i s e s t a b l i s h e d  i n the r u r a l areas;  f a c t o r i e s are r u n d e m o c r a t i c a l l y by the  workers themselves;  true democracy along the l i n e s of the  P a r i s Commune i s i n t r o d u c e d ;  job m o b i l i t y i s i n t r o d u c e d ;  and c e n t r a l economic planning i s undertaken by the s t a t e . ,  f  In order t o e s t a b l i s h the p r e - r e q u i s i t e s f o r the advance t o the higher stage of communism, the s o c i a l i s t towards the f o l l o w i n g g o a l s :  s o c i e t y works  the a b o l i t i o n of the d i f f e r e n c e s  between mental and manual labour ( p a r t l y through mobility);  occupation  the a b o l i t i o n of the d i f f e r e n c e s between town  and country (through an i n t e g r a t i o n of a g r i c u l t u r e and i n d u s t r y , and through  a d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n of p o p u l a t i o n ) ;  the achievement of m a t e r i a l abundance; proper  s o c i a l conduct  the establishment of  as i n g r a i n e d h a b i t ;  the establishment  of labour as a human n e c e s s i t y and working according to a b i l i t y as a s o c i a l r u l e ; away of the s t a t e . fulfilled,  and f i n a l l y , the gradual w i t h e r i n g  When these p r e r e q u i s i t e s have been  s o c i e t y enters the h i g h e r stage of communism  where the p r i n c i p l e "from each according to h i s a b i l i t i e s ;  23 to each according to h i s needs", i s put i n t o e f f e c t .  As  has  a l r e a d y been p o i n t e d out, Marx, Engels and L e n i n were not more s p e c i f i c than t h i s , because they claimed that any f u r t h e r d e t a i l s would only be s p e c u l a t i v e . suggested  that d e t a i l e d s t r u c t u r e during the  Moreover, they transition  p e r i o d might vary from country to country, depending on  local  c o n d i t i o n s , and so s p e c i f i c forms and p o l i c i e s c o u l d not be l a i d down on a b l a n k e t b a s i s .  In other words, while the  p r i n c i p l e s and the g o a l s were u n i v e r s a l , means of a c h i e v i n g them might d i f f e r somewhat from p l a c e to p l a c e . IV.  LENIN IN THE  POST-REVOLUTIONARY PHASE  F o l l o w i n g the v i c t o r y of the October R e v o l u t i o n i n 1917,  i t became necessary f o r Lenin as l e a d e r of h i s Party  to begin to put i n t o p r a c t i c e the teachings of Marxism.  At  the same time, Lenin continued to serve as the f o n t of i d e o l o g i c a l wisdom, f u r t h e r developing the ideas of Marx and Engels as he went along.  Experience was  crystallized  into ideology. Almost immediately, f i n a n c e , and i n d u s t r y was p r o d u c t i o n was state.  n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of banking,  put i n t o e f f e c t , and the means of  step-by-step gathered i n t o the hands of the  As f a r as l a n d was  government promulgated  concerned,  i n e a r l y 1918  a decree that a l l l a n d was  p r o p e r t y of the whole people, to be used by those  the to be who  "the  2k cultivate i t . "  While most of the land was  to be  up f o r use by a l l the peasants, l a r g e e s t a t e s and  divided "lands  with h i g h l y developed forms of c u l t i v a t i o n " were to be 21 " c u l t i v a t e d e x c l u s i v e l y by the s t a t e , or by the  communities"  and  retained  a l l the l i v e s t o c k and equipment thereon was  f o r s t a t e use.  These l a r g e e s t a t e s were not to be d i v i d e d  f o r peasant use, but were to be turned farms. was  up  i n t o model s t a t e  As f a r as the r e s t of the l a n d was  concerned,  there  to be no r e s t r i c t i o n on the forms of land tenure--be i t  i n d i v i d u a l , co-operative land could no co-operative carried  or communal.  Once d i s t r i b u t e d , the  longer be bought or s o l d , so that only by a pooling  of land c o u l d l a r g e s c a l e farming  be  out. Thus, although the land had  been n a t i o n a l i z e d by  decree, de f a c t o 'ownership* remained with the i n d i v i d u a l peasants.  But  Regulations and  on February 1^,  1919,  a decree e n t i t l e d  Concerning the S o c i a l i s t i c A g r a r i a n  the Measures f o r Organizing  B a s i s , " was  A g r i c u l t u r e on a  i s s u e d , s e t t i n g out Lenin's p l a n to  change over to c o l l e c t i v e farming.  I b i d . , p.  236.  I b i d . , p.  237-  "The  Arrangement Socialistic gradually  I t proclaimed t h a t :  25 For the purpose of d e s t r o y i n g a l l e x p l o i t a t i o n of man by man; of o r g a n i z i n g r u r a l economy on the b a s i s of S o c i a l i s m and with the a p p l i c a t i o n of a l l improvements i n science and technique; of educating the t o i l i n g masses i n the s p i r i t of S o c i a l i s m ; of b r i n g i n g about a l l i a n c e between the p r o l e t a r i a t and the ' v i l l a g e poverty i n t h e i r s t r u g g l e against c a p i t a l , i t i s necessary to pass from the i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c forms of l a n d e x p l o i t a t i o n to c o l l e c t i v e forms. Large S o v i e t e s t a t e s , r u r a l communes, group a g r i c u l t u r e and a l l other forms of c o l l e c t i v e use of the land are the best forms f o r a c h i e v i n g t h i s o b j e c t , and t h e r e f o r e a l l forms of i n d i v i d u a l use of the land should be regarded as merely temporary and doomed to destruction.22 1  Thus, i n d e c l a r i n g the need f o r "the i n t r o d u c t i o n of tive principles  collec-  i n the use of l a n d , r a t h e r than i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c  ones" the Soviet Government set out three s p e c i f i c forms of collective  a g r i c u l t u r e which were p e r m i s s i b l e :  e s t a t e s , r u r a l communes, and The  Soviet e s t a t e s were roughly  modern Soviet s t a t e farms. i t s e l f , and  agricultural  Soviet  associations.  equivalent  to the  They were managed by the s t a t e  the people working on the e s t a t e s assumed the  same s t a t u s as urban p r o l e t a r i a n s , since they were p a i d wages f o r t h e i r work d i r e c t l y by the s t a t e .  The  thyis designed as models which embodied pure  Soviet  estates  socialist  principles. The  r u r a l communes were a form of c o l l e c t i v e farm  which were organized  (New  by the s t a t e , "and embodied a lower l e v e l  Quoted i n C. Basvolsky, The Economics of Communism York, Macmillan, 1 9 2 1 ) , p. 7 2 .  26 of s o c i a l i s m than the and  Soviet e s t a t e s , i n s o f a r as implements  equipment were c o l l e c t i v e l y , r a t h e r than s t a t e owned.  Designed p r i m a r i l y f o r the  " v i l l a g e poverty" who  returned from the c i t i e s to the countryside  had  recently  and had no  land  to c u l t i v a t e , these communes were aided i n the beginning  by  a huge b i l l i o n r u b l e loan fund on which they c o u l d draw. Everything  i n the commune was  were '"permitted  owned c o l l e c t i v e l y , and members  to keep c e r t a i n f i x e d amounts of the  products they produce as compensation f o r t h e i r Everything  e l s e produced had  although everything by the s t a t e .  Any  the improvement and Generally,  c o u n c i l , and  toil."^  to be d e l i v e r e d to the s t a t e ,  above the commune's quota was such p r o f i t s had extension  each commune was  by law to be  paid f o r "used f o r  of the communal e s t a t e s . "  managed by a small e l e c t e d  a l l the communes w i t h i n a county or a  were organized  food  i n t o groups or l o o s e f e d e r a t i o n s .  province Thus,  these r u r a l communes were h i g h l y e q u a l i t a r i a n i n that a l l members r e c e i v e d an equal share of t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e Moreover, there was l a n d was owned.  no p r i v a t e property  production  as such, since  s t a t e owned, and a l l other p r o p e r t y was  the  communally  They were, t h e r e f o r e , of a r e l a t i v e l y advanced  socialist  character.  The  t h i r d form of c o l l e c t i v e a g r i c u l t u r e e s t a b l i s h e d  i n the r u r a l areas was  the a g r i c u l t u r a l a s s o c i a t i o n i n which  27 the  i n d i v i d u a l peasant  l a n d and i m p l e m e n t s , retaining  de f a c t o  collective norms  voluntarily  putting  them i n t o  ownership  over  p r o d u c t i o n was "made  existing for  division."  loaned  the whole  The r e m a i n d e r ,  the  association his  a common p o o l ,  them.  Distribution  among m e m b e r s the  of  according  country  at  i f  was t u r n e d  any,  but  time  the to  of  the  over  to  the  state. By January of in  the form of  approximately  1920  Soviet  estates,  and r o u g h l y  communes  and a g r i c u l t u r a l a s s o c i a t i o n s .  the  remained  land  in  the form of  of  the  2.5$  in  9$  Thus,  l a n d was rural  nearly  individual holdings  90$  of  "loaned"  25 to  the p e a s a n t s by the On D e c e m b e r  Congress making  of  communes.  He  is  one;  communism."  1919,  k,  y  Lenin addressed  A g r i c u l t u r a l Communes  a number  a great  state.  of  important  observed it  that  is  However,  First  and A g r i c u l t u r a l A r t e l s ,  statements concerning "the  name  associated with he  the  emphasized  'agricultural the  2  5  Ibid.,  p.  82. 83.  commune*  conception  that:  . . . i t has f r e q u e n t l y happened t h a t the communes h a v e o n l y s u c c e e d e d i n p r o v o k i n g an a t t i t u d e o f h o s t i l i t y , and t h e word 'commune* h a s e v e n a t t i m e s become a c a l l t o f i g h t communism. And t h i s happened o n l y w h e n s t u p i d a t t e m p t s w e r e made t o d r i v e t h e p e a s a n t s i n t o t h e communes b y f o r e e . The  I b i d . , p.  the  of  28  absurdity of this was so obvious that the Soviet government long ago forbade it.26 He urged a l l those attending the congress to see that a l l vestiges of coercion be stamped out.  Lenin noted that  "Communism i s the highest state of the development of Socialism, when people work because they realize the necessity of working for the common good," and urged a l l commune members to give free labour and assistance to the surrounding peasantry—to labour i n a communist "subbotnik" 27 spirit. ' During these f i r s t years following the revolution, nearly every organization that sprang up began to adopt the name "commune".  In the summer of 1919, in a pamphlet  entitled "A Great Beginning", Lenin criticised this practice, declaring that: every enterprise that i s started by communists, or which they help to start, i s very often at once declared to be a 'commune, and very often i t i s forgotten that this honourable t i t l e must be won by prolonged and persistent effort, must be won by practical achievement in genuine communist construction.28 1  He referred to the fact that the government had decided to change the name of "consumers communes" to a less extravagant 1  t i t l e , and urged other organizations toi 26  Lenin, op. c i t . , p. 5^1 •  27-Ibid. , p. 28  'Ibid. , p. 500.  29 F i r s t show that you are capable of working g r a t i s i n the i n t e r e s t s of s o c i e t y , i n the i n t e r e s t s of a l l the t o i l e r s , show that you are capable of "working i n a r e v o l u t i o n a r y s t y l e * , that you are capable of r a i s i n g the p r o d u c t i v i t y of l a b o u r , of o r g a n i z i n g i n an exemplary manner, and then put your hand out f o r the honorable t i t l e of 'commune'129 At the same time, he d e c l a r e d that not enough a t t e n t i o n was being g i v e n to the kind of exemplary u n i t s he had d e s c r i b e d .  These "young shoots of Communism" he  exclaimed, "should be nursed with much more c a r e . "  He  r e f e r r e d e s p e c i a l l y to those s o c i a l i s t c r e a t i o n s which f r e e d women from being "a domestic  slave".  He d e c l a r e d that "the  r e a l emancipation of women, r e a l Communism, w i l l only begin when a mass s t r u g g l e . . . i s s t a r t e d a g a i n s t t h i s p e t t y domestic  economy, or r a t h e r when i t i s transformed on a  mass s c a l e i n t o l a r g e - s c a l e S o c i a l i s t economy".^ He urged communists to g i v e a l l support p o s s i b l e to the establishment and maintenance of " p u b l i c d i n i n g rooms, creches, kindergartens"—examples  of "communist shoots" which f r e e women  from household drudgery.  In a wider sphere he lauded the  "communist shoots" of "exemplary p r o d u c t i o n , exemplary communist subbotniks, exemplary care and c o n s c i e n t i o u s n e s s i n p r o c u r i n g and d i s t r i b u t i n g every pod of g r a i n , exemplary d i n i n g h a l l s . . . " and so on.  " A l l these," he s a i d , "are  the young shoots of communism;  and nursing these shoots  y  3  Loc. c i t .  °lbid., p. 4 9 8 .  30 should be our common and primary duty . . . with the support of the p r o l e t a r i a n s t a t e , these young shoots of Communism w i l l not w i t h e r ;  they w i l l grow and blossom i n t o  complete  31 Communism."  0  R e a l l y there are two types of s o - c a l l e d  communist shoots, then.  One type r e l a t e s to the development  of the s o c i a l l y c o n s c i o u s , s e l f l e s s communist man, and the other r e l a t e s to o r g a n i z a t i o n a l forms such as p u b l i c  dining  h a l l s , which a p p a r e n t l y w i l l be u n i v e r s a l i n the h i g h e r stage of communism. Tempered mainly by a c t u a l experience i n c o n s t r u c t i n g a s o c i a l i s t s o c i e t y , L e n i n wrote a number of a r t i c l e s i n the p e r i o d between 1917  and 1923,  i n which he took a much more  r e a l i s t i c view of the t r a n s i t i o n to communism than was evident i n some of h i s e a r l i e r w r i t i n g s .  I n 1918,  f o r example, i n  an I z v e s t i a a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d "Immediate Tasks of the Soviet Government", L e n i n took to task those who take Engels at h i s word and want to "leap, from the kingdom of n e c e s s i t y i n t o the kingdom of l i b e r t y . "  These people, he s a i d , have read  a l l about s o c i a l i s m i n books, but "have never  seriously  understood i t , have never stopped to t h i n k that by 'leap* the teachers of s o c i a l i s m mean changes i n world h i s t o r y , and that leaps of t h i s k i n d extended more."  over periods of t e n years or even  I n the f o l l o w i n g year, faced with famine and a  32  3 1  3 2  I b i d . , p. *+99I b i d . , p. 388.  31 f a l t e r i n g economy, Lenin observed that "we a s o c i a l i s t system now--God grant  that i t may  i n our c h i l d r e n ' s time, or perhaps i n our time."  Thus,Lenin was  3 3  cautioning  leap i n t o s o c i a l i s t forms before  cannot e s t a b l i s h  against  be  established  grandchildren's any  the time was  reckless  r i p e , and  was  warning that the t r a n s i t i o n p e r i o d might take s e v e r a l generations.  In the same v e i n he wrote i n the Communist  I n t e r n a t i o n a l i n the autumn of 1919  that:  S o c i a l i s m means the a b o l i t i o n of c l a s s e s . . . . In order to a b o l i s h c l a s s e s one must . . . a b o l i s h the d i f f e r e n c e between working man and peasant, one must make them a l l workers . . . . This task . . . can only be solved by the organizat i o n a l r e c o n s t r u c t i o n of the whole economy, by a t r a n s i t i o n from i n d i v i d u a l , d i s u n i t e d p e t t y commodity production to l a r g e s c a l e s o c i a l e n t e r p r i s e . This t r a n s i t i o n must of n e c e s s i t y be extremely protracted.3*+ As L e n i n accumulated more and more experience i n the actual administering  of a s t a t e , he became more and more  emphatic that a s t a t e can only evolve very slowly, and small increments, towards the d i s t a n t communist U t o p i a . r e a l i z e d the n e c e s s i t y of making temporary compromises of taking one forward.  step backward i n order to take two  3 3  Communism was  I b i d . , p. 5*+5-  3 L f  I b i d . , p.  532.  abandoned and  He and  steps  In h i s book L e f t Wing Communism, w r i t t e n i n  j u s t before War  by  the l i b e r a l  1920 New  Economic P o l i c y i n t r o d u c e d , Lenin quoted E n g e l s passage which c r i t i c i s e d  1  w e l l known  the B l a n q u i s t s f o r wanting t o  achieve communism overnight without compromises or going through  entering i n t o  temporary  i n t e r m e d i a t e way s t a t i o n s :  E n g e l s had r i d i c u l e d the B l a n q u i s t s because "they imagine that merely because they want t o s k i p the intermediate s t a t i o n s and compromises, that s e t t l e s the matter . . . and once they come to the helm, 'Communism w i l l be i n t r o d u c e d t h 1  day a f t e r tomorrow."- ^ 5  In 1921, Lenin i n t r o d u c e d the New  Economic P o l i c y , admitting that "we made the mistake of d e c i d i n g t o change over d i r e c t l y to communist production and  distribution." ^ 3  On October l*+th, 1921, Lenin wrote a most  important  a r t i c l e i n commemoration of the October R e v o l u t i o n ' s Fourth Anniversary. first,  In this a r t i c l e ,  Lenin made two key p o i n t s :  that the t r a n s i t i o n to communism i s an u n r e l e n t i n g  s t r u g g l e which does n o t come to a h a l t at any p a r t i c u l a r stage;  and second, that intermediate stages are v i t a l l y  necessary, and that i t i s a mistake  to race through  these  stages without regard f o r o b j e c t i v e f a c t o r s . On the f i r s t  3  p o i n t Lenin d e c l a r e d :  ^ I b i d . , p. 606.  L e n i n , Works, v o l . 33, P. *+0: speech to Second Congress of Committees f o r P o l i t i c a l Education; cited i n Abramovitch. The S o v i e t R e v o l u t i o n (New York I n t e r n a t i o n a l 3 6  Press, 1962), p. 220.  33 We have consummated, the bourgeois-democratic r e v o l u t i o n as nobody has done b e f o r e . We are advancing towards the S o c i a l i s t r e v o l u t i o n , c o n s c i o u s l y , d e l i b e r a t e l y and unswervingly, knowing that i t i s not separated from the bourgeois-democratic r e v o l u t i o n by a Chinese w a l l , and knowing that ( i n the l a s t a n a l y s i s ) s t r u g g l e alone w i l l determine how f a r we s h a l l advance, what p o r t i o n of t h i s immense, l o f t y task we s h a l l accomplish, and to what extent ->„ we s h a l l succeed i n c o n s o l i d a t i n g our v i c t o r i e s . ^ ' On the l a t t e r p o i n t , L e n i n admitted that immediately  following  the r e v o l u t i o n , the Communists had been c a r r i e d away by own  enthusiasm.  their  He c h a r a c t e r i z e d the p o s t - r e v o l u t i o n a r y  euphoria i n the f o l l o w i n g  way:  Borne along on the c r e s t of the wave of enthusiasm, r o u s i n g f i r s t the p o l i t i c a l enthusiasm and then the m i l i t a r y enthusiasm of the people, we reckoned that by d i r e c t l y r e l y i n g on t h i s enthusiasm we would be able to accomplish economic tasks j u s t as great as the p o l i t i c a l and m i l i t a r y tasks we had accomplished. We reckoned - or perhaps i t would be t r u e r to say that we presumed without reckoning c o r r e c t l y - on being able to organize the s t a t e production and s t a t e d i s t r i b u t i o n of products along Communist l i n e s i n a small peasant country by order of the p r o l e t a r i a n state.38 But t h i s enthusiasm merely l e d to a s u b j e c t i v e e v a l u a t i o n of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s and caused the communists to make s e r i o u s e r r o r s by pushing forward towards s o c i a l i s m too f a s t . Lenin, admitting h i s mistakes, noted that "experience has proved that we were wrong."  L i k e the B l a n q u i s t s who  wanted  to introduce communism p r a c t i c a l l y overnight, the Russian  3  ' L e n i n , O P . c i t . . p.  3 8  I b i d . , p. 7 5 2 .  7 7. k  communists had been overzealous i n t h e i r d e s i r e to reach s o c i a l i s m and communism as soon as p o s s i b l e .  Crystallizing  experience i n t o an i d e o l o g i c a l framework, Lenin drew the following conclusion: I t t r a n s p i r e s that a number of t r a n s i t i o n a l stages are necessary - s t a t e c a p i t a l i s m and S o c i a l i s m - i n order to prepare by many years of e f f o r t f o r the t r a n s i t i o n to Communism. Not d i r e c t l y r e l y i n g on enthusiasm, but aided by enthusiasm engendered by the great r e v o l u t i o n , and on the b a s i s of p e r s o n a l i n t e r e s t , p e r s o n a l i n c e n t i v e , and business p r i n c i p l e s , we must f i r s t set t o work i n t h i s small-peasant country to b u i l d s o l i d l i t t l e gangways to S o c i a l i s m by way of s t a t e c a p i t a l i s m . Otherwise, we s h a l l never get to Communism. That i s what experience, what the o b j e c t i v e course of the development of the r e v o l u t i o n has taught us.39 Sometime e a r l i e r , Lenin had taken p r e v e n t i v e a c t i o n a g a i n s t being l a b e l l e d a B l a n q u i s t by suggesting that the three months which t r a n s p i r e d before the communists took measures i n the r u r a l areas allowed enough time f o r the Party to make the necessary " d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of c l a s s e s " and the necessary compromises.  Had the P a r t y gone ahead Immediately to  s o c i a l i z e the r u r a l areas, then " t h i s would have been a B l a n q u i s t d i s t o r t i o n of Marxism, t h i s would have been an attempt  on the p a r t of a m i n o r i t y to impose i t s w i l l on the  m a j o r i t y , t h i s would have been a t h e o r e t i c a l a b s u r d i t y . . .  -^Loc. c i t . ^°Lenin, Works, v o l . 2 8 , p. 2 8 l ; quoted v i t c h , op. c i t . , p. 2 2 0 .  i n Abramo-  35 Despite t h i s defense by Lenin, however, i t was c l e a r from h i s own admissions  that h i s War Communism p o l i c i e s were g u i l t y of  Blanquist-like  tendencies.  Lenin touched on the question of s o c i a l i s t  organiza-  t i o n a l forms i n the r u r a l areas, i n an a r t i c l e w r i t t e n s h o r t l y before h i s death.  In "On Co-operation",  Lenin r e -  emphasized the need to i n t r o d u c e c o l l e c t i v e forms i n t o Soviet s o c i e t y , and e s p e c i a l l y i n the r u r a l areas.  He  d e c l a r e d t h a t , " I f the whole peasantry were organized i n c o - o p e r a t i v e s . we would be standing f i r m l y with both  feet  hi* on the s o i l of S o c i a l i s m . " establishment  But the p r e r e q u i s i t e to the  of c o - o p e r a t i v e s on a u n i v e r s a l b a s i s  through-  out the country was, he s a i d , "a complete c u l t u r a l r e v o l u t i o n " , which i n t u r n r e s t e d on the wiping  out of i l l i t e r a c y and a k?  g r e a t e r development "of the m a t e r i a l means of p r o d u c t i o n . " The b a s i s of S o c i a l i s t r u r a l o r g a n i z a t i o n was to be, nevert h e l e s s , the c o - o p e r a t i v e .  He makes no mention of the  appropriate o r g a n i z a t i o n a l forms i n the higher stage of communism, however;  but the commune and the s t a t e farm were  s t i l l considered to be higher forms than the c o - o p e r a t i v e s , and s u p e r i o r i f they could be achieved. had  F o r Lenin,  experience  shown that the communist Utopia was a long way o f f : ^ L e n i n , op. c i t . . p. 835 (*the emphasis i s mine), ko Loc. c i t .  36 The r e - e d u c a t i o n of the small l a n d h o l d e r s , the reshaping of t h e i r e n t i r e psychology and h a b i t s w i l l take generations . . . . When I say i t w i l l take generations, I do not mean i t w i l l take c e n t u r i e s . . . but you understand v e r y w e l l that t h i s must be reckoned . . . at l e a s t i n decades.*+3 While l a y i n g out guiding p r i n c i p l e s , Lenin little  had  to say about the d e t a i l e d form and s t r u c t u r e of  f u t u r e communist s o c i e t y :  Lenin, l i k e Marx, was  concerned with the immediate tasks at hand. reason that pure communism was  more  For the  very  s t i l l a thing of the d i s t a n t  f u t u r e , Lenin remained s t r i c t l y " s c i e n t i f i c " i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n s of the ultimate Utopia, and r e f u s e d to d e s c r i b e more than the general o p e r a t i v e p r i n c i p l e s .  Such things as the  ultimate s o c i a l u n i t s of f u t u r e communist s o c i e t y were l e f t f o r f u t u r e generations  to determine.  Like Marx, Lenin  was  more deeply concerned i n h i s w r i t i n g s with matters immediately at hand than with i d l e t h e o r i z i n g about the d e t a i l e d s t r u c t u r e of f u t u r e s o c i e t y . Moreover, whereas i n h i s e a r l i e r w r i t i n g s Lenin emphasized the n e c e s s i t y of maintaining  the momentum of  the r e v o l u t i o n , i n the p o s t - r e v o l u t i o n a r y p e r i o d Lenin  placed  much more s t r e s s on the n e c e s s i t y f o r pragmatism and f o r a long prolonged  s t r u g g l e before communism could be  realized.  In the l i g h t of Soviet experience he warned against t r y i n g to  ^ L e n i n , Works, v o l . 28, v i t c h , O P . c i t . , p. 221.  p. 281;  quoted i n Abramo-  37 leap forward nature  towards communism, and emphasized the gradual  of the t r a n s i t i o n to communism. Since Lenin's a t t i t u d e towards the p o s t - r e v o l u t i o n a r y  phase underwent important experience,  changes i n the l i g h t of a c t u a l  Lenin can s e l e c t i v e l y be quoted to support  " r a d i c a l " and "pragmatic"  both  views on s o c i a l i s t c o n s t r u c t i o n  w i t h i n the communist world.  T h i s s i t u a t i o n has important  b e a r i n g on the c u r r e n t i d e o l o g i c a l d i s p u t e between the l e a d e r s of the S o v i e t and Chinese p a r t i e s , s i n c e both are able to p a r t i a l l y  j u s t i f y t h e i r p o s i t i o n s by r e f e r e n c e to  Lenin. V.  STALIN'S SUCCESSION, AND HIS PATH TO COMMUNISM F o l l o w i n g Lenin's death i n 1923, S t a l i n assumed the  p o s i t i o n of supreme i n t e r p r e t e r of Marxist-Leninism, and Pope of the world communist movement.  And i n h i s l i f e t i m e  he c o n s c i o u s l y advanced the S o v i e t Union along the path of communism',  sometimes at enormous human s a c r i f i c e .  In January of 1926, S t a l i n d i s c u s s e d i n h i s work "Concerning  Questions  of Leninism",  the question of  "permanent r e v o l u t i o n " i n a domestic s i t u a t i o n , a question which i n v o l v e d the whole i s s u e of the speed of t r a n s i t i o n to communism and the question of the v a r i o u s stages along the way.  S t a l i n pointed out that Lenin himself was an advocate  of permanent r e v o l u t i o n i n s o f a r as i t a p p l i e d to maintaining the momentum of r e v o l u t i o n a r y domestic change. suggested  that:  Stalin  38 I t should be born i n mind that the i d e a of the growing over of the bourgeois-democratic r e v o l u t i o n i n t o the s o c i a l i s t r e v o l u t i o n , propounded by Lenin as long ago as 1905, i s one of the forms of embodiment of Marx's theory of permanent r e v o l u t i o n . ^ He noted that L e n i n had d e c l a r e d i n 1905 for  uninterrupted r e v o l u t i o n .  . . ."  J  t h a t , "we  stand  We s h a l l not stop halfway  On another occasion s h o r t l y before h i s death,  Lenin had r e i t e r a t e d t h i s b e l i e f that the p o s t - r e v o l u t i o n a r y phases occur  i n uninterrupted  s u c c e s s i o n , S t a l i n noted.  t h i s occasion L e n i n had s a i d of the bourgeois revolutions:  "the f i r s t  and s o c i a l i s t  grows over i n t o the second.  second i n p a s s i n g , solves the questions  On  The  of the f i r s t .  S t r u g g l e , and s t r u g g l e alone, decides how f a r the second  1+6 succeeds i n outgrowing the f i r s t . " support  S t a l i n thus gave h i s  too, to the i d e a that the process  of the e v o l u t i o n  towards ultimate communism must never be h a l t e d , and must proceed by constant  struggle.  And indeed,  c o l l e c t i v i z a t i o n of the peasantry 1929  Stalin's forced  i n the years f o l l o w i n g  proved that he p r a c t i c e d what he preached. One b r i e f , but s i g n i f i c a n t , reference by S t a l i n to  the a c t u a l u l t i m a t e s o c i a l u n i t s of f u t u r e s o c i e t y , occurred J.  S t a l i n , Works, v o l . 8 (Moscow F.L.P.H. 1951+), p. 20.  'Lenin, S e l e c t e d Works, p. 1+1+2. Lenin, Works, v o l . 27, p. 26.  39 i n the same year as h i s "Concerning Questions of L e n i n i s m " — 1926.  In a speech at the P a r t y ' s F i f t e e n t h Congress,  replying  to c r i t i c i s m s by Z i n o v i e v , S t a l i n undertook a d i s c u s s i o n of E n g e l s ' The P r i n c i p l e s of Communism.  One  of the twelve  measures l a i d down by Engels as the necessary program of the d i c t a t o r s h i p of the p r o l e t a r i a t was  the f o l l o w i n g :  E r e c t i o n of great palaces on the n a t i o n a l e s t a t e s to serve as common homes f o r communes of c i t i z e n s which engage both i n i n d u s t r y and a g r i c u l t u r e , and which combine the advantages of both urban and r u r a l l i f e , without the one-sidedness and disadvantages of e i t h e r . ^ ? In h i s comment on t h i s item, S t a l i n claimed that  "this  e v i d e n t l y r e f e r s t o a l a r g e s c a l e s o l u t i o n of the housing problem",  and observed that the government was  c a r r y i n g out  housing c o n s t r u c t i o n as f a s t as i t s resources would allow. But, of course, the s i g n i f i c a n c e of E n g e l s ' program went f a r beyond any mere s o l u t i o n to the housing q u e s t i o n . concerned with the question of merging  I t was  town and country, and  with the u l t i m a t e s o c i a l u n i t s of communist s o c i e t y .  In f a c t ,  Engels* d e s c r i p t i o n of the "great p a l a c e s " i s borrowed d i r e c t l y from F o u r i e r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of the f u t u r e d e c e n t r a l i z e d communistic  s o c i e t y which Engels lauded i n h i s "On the Housing  Question".  Thus, i t would seem evident that at t h i s time  S t a l i n was f a r too concerned with matters at hand to be too concerned about r e s o l v i n g the c i t y - c o u n t r y antagonisms about the f u t u r e communal s o c i e t y .  or  ho 1928  In  S t a l i n put forward a new  a g r a r i a n law to  supersede the p r e v i o u s one passed i n 1922—not long before Lenin d i e d .  The new  law i n e f f e c t made i t compulsory f o r  a l l peasants to j o i n c o l l e c t i v e s .  Throughout  1929  enforced  c o l l e c t i v i z a t i o n took place throughout the country, i n the f a c e of widespread r e s i s t a n c e and at a t e r r i b l e l o s s of human l i f e ,  e s p e c i a l l y of the kulak c l a s s .  Although the  c o e r c i v e and o f t e n b r u t a l t a c t i c s of the a u t h o r i t i e s succeeded i n f o r c i n g the l a r g e m a j o r i t y of peasants i n t o co-operatives within a l i t t l e  over a year, economic  chaos  was  a l s o a necessary r e s u l t : (The peasants) worked on the c o l l e c t i v e farms without any r e a l d e s i r e f o r achievement. Sowing and h a r v e s t i n g were c a r r i e d out l a z i l y , c a r e l e s s l y and l a t e i n the season; agricultural machinery was kept i n poor r e p a i r ; the l o s s e s s u f f e r e d i n animal husbandry, f o r l a c k of s k i l l e d and devoted p e r s o n n e l , were p a r t i c u l a r l y large . . . . The l o s s e s i n l i v e s t o c k were so extensive that i t took R u s s i a more than a g e n e r a t i o n to recover . . . . The g r a i n h a r v e s t s , too, were d i s a s t e r o u s l y p o o r . 8 L  With the n a t i o n ' s economy threatened, S t a l i n i s s u e d an a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d "Dizzy with Success" i n which he reprimanded cadres who  cynically  got c a r r i e d away with enthusiasm and  p r a c t i c e d c o e r c i o n to f o r c e the peasants i n t o c o l l e c t i v e s . This was  on March 2,  1930.  On March 15,  j u s t two weeks l a t e r ,  the  P a r t y C e n t r a l Committee i s s u e d an order r e l a x i n g somewhat  the  s t r i c t s o c i a l i z a t i o n of p r o p e r t y .  Abramovitch, on. c i t . ,  p.  I t "countermanded  3 0. L  the  hi s o c i a l i z a t i o n of d w e l l i n g s , small l i v e s t o c k , p o u l t r y , and  1+9 d a i r y c a t t l e whose products were not intended f o r s a l e .  '  The  f o l l o w i n g summer, however, c o l l e c t i v i z a t i o n was stepped up again and the remaining collectives.  peasants g r a d u a l l y f o r c e d i n t o  On the h e e l s of t h i s harsh  came a nationwide  collectivization  famine which brought death to m i l l i o n s i n  1932 and 1933At the 17th P a r t y Congress i n January 1 9 3 , k  addressed  Stalin  a c o n s i d e r a b l e p a r t of h i s "Report on the Work of  the C e n t r a l Committee" t o the theory and p r a c t i c e of a g r i c u l t u r a l c o - o p e r a t i o n , d i s c u s s i n g i n some d e t a i l the f u t u r e of the c o l l e c t i v e s and the communes. r e p r e s e n t s by f a r the most important  This discussion and d e t a i l e d c o n s i d e r a -  t i o n of the c o - o p e r a t i v e question undertaken by S t a l i n w i t h i n h i s l i f e t i m e , and i s f o r t h i s reason of p a r t i c u l a r ideological  significance.  In g e n e r a l , S t a l i n was s t r i k i n g out a t the " L e f t i s t p e t t y bourgeois  c h a t t e r " w i t h i n the p a r t y which favoured the  a b o l i t i o n of money, the i n t r o d u c t i o n of d i r e c t commodity exchange, and the a g r i c u l t u r a l communes.  Devoting  p a r t of the d i s c u s s i o n to the merits of a r t e l s  the g r e a t e r  (collectives)  as opposed to communes, S t a l i n noted that the Party had been a b s o l u t e l y c o r r e c t i n transforming the communes which remained from the p e r i o d of War Communism, i n t o a r t e l s during  L f 9  I b i d . , p. 3 l k  k2 the 1929 c o l l e c t i v i z a t i o n d r i v e .  He emphasized that under  c o n d i t i o n s p r e v a i l i n g i n the Soviet Union i n 1 9 3 , the L  a r t e l was the most appropriate for  form of c o l l e c t i v e a g r i c u l t u r e  the r u r a l areas, because i t combined p u b l i c with p r i v a t e  i n t e r e s t , and a t the same time taught the peasants to appreciate  collective l i f e .  commune, S t a l i n pointed  Contrasting  t h i s with the  out t h a t :  U n l i k e the a r t e l , where only the means of p r o d u c t i o n are s o c i a l i z e d , the communes, u n t i l r e c e n t l y , s o c i a l i z e d not only the means of p r o d u c t i o n , but a l s o the appurtenances of l i f e of every member of the commune; that i s to say, the members of a commune, u n l i k e the members of an a r t e l , d i d not i n d i v i d u a l l y own p o u l t r y , ^ small l i v e s t o c k , a cow, g r a i n or household l a n d . 5  In other words, i n the commune a l l p r i v a t e ownership was abolished  and e v e r y t h i n g  was owned i n common—except the  l a n d , which was owned l e g a l l y by the s t a t e .  In the a r t e l ,  p r i v a t e i n c e n t i v e was r e t a i n e d and a small amount of p r i v a t e ownership t o l e r a t e d .  S t a l i n noted that the h i g h e r degree  of s o c i a l i z a t i o n i n the communes had r e s u l t e d i n p r i v a t e i n t e r e s t being e c l i p s e d by p u b l i c i n t e r e s t " i n the p u r s u i t of petty-bourgeois e q u a l i z a t i o n " .  He suggested that the l a c k  of i n d i v i d u a l ownership and i n i t i a t i v e i n the communes was responsible and  f o r t h e i r l a c k of p o p u l a r i t y among the peasants,  argued that the few communes l e f t had had to permit  i n d i v i d u a l ownership of l i v e s t o c k , and ease up on t h e i r  s t a l i n , Report to the 17th Congress (Moscow, F.L.P.H. 1951), P. 95.  k  p o l i c i e s of s t r i c t e q u a l i z a t i o n , i n order to save  3  themselves  from complete c o l l a p s e , and i n the process t h e r e f o r e becoming artels. it  "There i s , " he s a i d , "nothing bad i n t h i s , because  i s necessary i n the i n t e r e s t s of the sound development of  51 the c o l l e c t i v e movement. expressed  xw  However, S t a l i n very c l e a r l y  the view that the commune was d e f i n i t e l y a h i g h e r  s o c i a l i s t s o c i a l u n i t than the a r t e l , but that i t was premature to i n t r o d u c e i t at the present stage: This does not mean, of course, that the commune i s not needed at a l l , and that i t no longer r e p r e s e n t s a higher form of the c o l l e c t i v e - f a r m movement. No, the commune i s needed, and of course, i t i s a h i g h e r form of the c o l l e c t i v e farm movement.52* But the f u t u r e commune, he suggested could only a r i s e "on the b a s i s of a more developed of products . . . . developed  technique and of an abundance  The f u t u r e communes w i l l a r i s e out of  and prosperous  artels.""  0  Because the communes  were i n t r o d u c e d before the m a t e r i a l foundations had a r i s e n , they had been compelled  to i n t r o d u c e r i g i d e q u a l i t a r i a n i s m ,  S t a l i n argued—and t h i s eventually resulted In their f a i l u r e . Thus, the f o l l o w i n g c o n d i t i o n s were necessary before a r t e l s could be transformed i n t o communes:  p. 96. ^ Ibid 2  5 3  (*the emphasis i s mine).  I b i d . , p. 97.  The f u t u r e a g r i c u l t u r a l commune w i l l a r i s e when the f i e l d s and farms of the a r t e l are r e p l e t e with g r a i n , with c a t t l e , with p o u l t r y , with vegetables and a l l other produce; when the a r t e l s have mechanized l a u n d r i e s , modern d i n i n g rooms, mechanized b a k e r i e s e t c . . . . the f u t u r e commune w i l l a r i s e on the b a s i s of a more developed technique and of a more developed a r t e l , on the b a s i s of an abundance of p r o d u c t s . 5 k  The f i n a l , and perhaps most important p r e r e q u i s i t e l a i d down by the Soviet l e a d e r was  that the t r a n s i t i o n to communes  must be v o l u n t a r y and "must proceed g r a d u a l l y to the extent that a l l the c o l l e c t i v e farmers become convinced that such 55  a t r a n s i t i o n i s necessary. ^ I t was  on the question of e q u a l i z a t i o n of income  that S t a l i n most f e r v e n t l y opposed the War Perhaps the main reason f o r t h i s f a c t was  Communism communes. that S t a l i n  was  c o n t i n u i n g the c a p i t a l i s t p o l i c y of p r o v i d i n g some occupations with much h i g h e r s a l a r i e s than o t h e r s — s o m e t h i n g  quite a l i e n  to M a r x i s t n o t i o n s of equal wages f o r equal labour time. e q u a l i z a t i o n of income i n the communes was  an attempt  The  to  implement the p r i n c i p l e of "from each according to h i s abilities;  to each according to h i s work" which was  to p r e v a i l i n the s o c i a l i s t stage.  supposed  Thus, i t represented a  challenge to S t a l i n ' s i n c e n t i v e p o l i c i e s , and a reminder Marxist  orthodoxy.  7  Loc. c i t  ^Loc. c i t  of  h5 Answering  "those who  t h i n k that i n d e c l a r i n g the  a r t e l to be the fundamental form of the c o l l e c t i v e - f a r m movement the P a r t y has d r i f t e d away from S o c i a l i s m , "  Stalin  s k i r t e d the v i t a l question of labour wage e q u a l i t y by charging that " e q u a l i z a t i o n i n the sphere of requirements and i n d i v i d u a l l i f e a b s u r d i t y worthy he changed for  i s a p i e c e of r e a c t i o n a r y p e t t y - b o u r g e o i s  of a p r i m i t i v e sect of a s c e t i c s . ^  Thus  the q u e s t i o n from one based on r e l a t i v e remuneration  work, to one of human n e e d s — w h i c h  a l l r e c o g n i z e d as unequal.  Marx, Engels and L e n i n  As has been noted p r e v i o u s l y , a l l  three men had accepted the n e c e s s i t y of "equal pay f o r equal work" i n the f i r s t  stage, d e s p i t e t h e i r  that human needs d i f f e r e d .  Only i f those who  realization d i d more work  were not recompensed more, c o u l d " e q u a l i t a r i a n i s m " be f a i r l y charged. arguments,  But i t was  c l e a r , despite h i s i d e o l o g i c a l  that S t a l i n opposed  " e q u a l i t a r i a n i s m " f o r the v e r y  p r a c t i c a l reason that i t dampened i n i t i a t i v e and slowed production: There can be no doubt that the c o n f u s i o n i n the minds of c e r t a i n P a r t y members concerning Marxian S o c i a l i s m and t h e i r i n f a t u a t i o n with the e q u a l i t a r i a n tendencies of the a g r i c u l t u r a l communes, are as l i k e as two peas to the petty-bourgeoise views of our L e f t i s t blockheads, who at one time i d e a l i z e d the a g r i c u l t u r a l communes to such an extent that they even t r i e d to set up communes i n f a c t o r i e s , where s k i l l e d and u n s k i l l e d workers, each working at h i s trade, had to p o o l t h e i r  ^ I b i d . , p. 6  98.  K6 wages i n a common out e q u a l l y . You t i l e equalitarian blockheads caused Although,  fund, which was then shared know what harm these i n f a n e x e r c i s e s of our l e f t our industry.57 ,  t  as S t a l i n says, t h i s wage e q u a l i z a t i o n may  impeded p r o d u c t i o n , n e v e r t h e l e s s i t was sound, s i n c e Engels had  have  ideologically  s p e c i f i c a l l y emphasized i n A n t i -  Duhring that i n S o c i a l i s t s o c i e t y s k i l l e d workers would get no more than u n s k i l l e d ( s i n c e s o c i e t y absorbs the cost of the t r a i n i n g which gives them the added s k i l l ) . Despite h i s extensive d i s c u s s i o n of the commune question, S t a l i n made no r e f e r e n c e to the f u t u r e of the s t a t e farm, nor to the u n i t , i f any,  that might supersede  the f u t u r e communes.  Therefore, although  d e f i n i t e l y designated  to succeed  ( i n c l u d i n g the s t a t e farm) was  the commune  the a r t e l , n e i t h e r form  o f f i c i a l l y designated  the ultimate g o a l of the c o l l e c t i v i z a t i o n process. while answering many questions, the 17th some important  was  as Thus,  Congress s t i l l  left  ones unanswered.  The next P a r t y Congress, which d i d not convene u n t i l 1939,  was  a l s o a s i g n i f i c a n t one i n terms of the development  of the communist i d e o l o g y on questions of the advance to communism.  In h i s r e p o r t to t h i s 18th  Congress, S t a l i n  d i s t i n g u i s h e d two d e f i n i t e stages In the S o v i e t advance thus far. ^ I b i d . , p. 7  102.  L  7  The f i r s t phase was the p e r i o d from the October R e v o l u t i o n to the e l i m i n a t i o n of the e x p l o i t i n g c l a s s e s ; . . . . The second phase was the p e r i o d from the e l i m i n a t i o n of the c a p i t a l i s t elements i n town and country to the complete v i c t o r y of the s o c i a l i s t economic system and the adoption of the new constitution.58 I m p l i c i t i n t h i s a n a l y s i s was Union had  the c l a i m that the  achieved s o c i a l i s m ;  and was  now  Soviet  setting i t s sights  on communism: As you see, we have now an e n t i r e l y new s o c i a l i s t state . . . . But development cannot stop there. We are moving ahead towards Communism.59 Thus, Soviet stage, and  s o c i e t y had  i t s duty now  b a s i c a l l y a r r i v e d at the was  socialist  to prepare f o r the t r a n s i t i o n to  the higher stage. The  l a s t major work w r i t t e n by S t a l i n was  his  Economic Problems of S o c i a l i s m i n the U.S.S.R. which i n 1952,  published he  s h o r t l y before h i s death.  was  In t h i s work  took as h i s main t h e s i s the problems of the t r a n s i t i o n to  communism, and  l a i d down three major p r e r e q u i s i t e s to be  achieved before Soviet s o c i e t y could go over to communism. The  f i r s t p r e r e q u i s i t e o u t l i n e d by S t a l i n was  continuous expansion of a l l s o c i a l production" create  to ensure "a i n order to  the necessary foundation of m a t e r i a l abundance.  Secondly, he deemed i t necessary:  5®J. S t a l i n , Report to the 18th F.L.P.H., 195D, p. 8^+7 ^ I b i d . , p. 9  93.  Congress (Moscow  kQ by means o f gradual t r a n s i t i o n s c a r r i e d out to the advantage of the c o l l e c t i v e farms, and, hence of a l l s o c i e t y , to r a i s e c o l l e c t i v e - f a r m p r o p e r t y to the l e v e l of p u b l i c p r o p e r t y , and a l s o by means of g r a d u a l t r a n s i t i o n s , to r e p l a c e commodity c i r c u l a t i o n by a system o f products exchange, under which the c e n t r a l government, or some other socio-economic center might c o n t r o l the whole product of s o c i a l production i n the i n t e r e s t s of s o c i e t y . ° 0 On the question of the c o l l e c t i v e farms,  S t a l i n emphasized  that a t the present and i n the near f u t u r e , they would continue  to be the c o r r e c t u n i t s of Soviet a g r i c u l t u r e .  "But,"  he added, i t would be unpardonable b l i n d n e s s not to see at the same time that these f a c t o r s ( c o l l e c t i v e p r o p e r t y and commodity c i r c u l a t i o n ) are a l r e a d y beginning t o hamper the powerful development of our p r o d u c t i v e f o r c e s , s i n c e they c r e a t e o b s t a c l e s to the f u l l e x t e n s i o n of government planning.61 He concluded  that:  In order t o r a i s e c o l l e c t i v e farm p r o p e r t y to the l e v e l o f p u b l i c p r o p e r t y , the surplus c o l l e c t i v e - f a r m output must be excluded from the system of commodity c i r c u l a t i o n and i n cluded i n the system o f products exchange between s t a t e i n d u s t r y and the c o l l e c t i v e farms.62 No mention at a l l was made by S t a l i n about the i n t r o d u c t i o n of communes.  Communism c o u l d be a t t a i n e d , i f accomplishment  of the t h i r d task was r e a l i z e d :  J . S t a l i n , Economic Problems of S o c i a l i s m i n the U.S.S.R. (New York, I n t e r n a t i o n a l P u b l i s h e r s , 1952), p. 51. 5 0  6 l  6 2  I b i d . , p. 52. I b i d . , p. 69.  1+9 to ensure such a c u l t u r a l advancement of s o c i e t y as w i l l secure f o r a l l members of s o c i e t y , the a l l - r o u n d development of t h e i r p h y s i c a l and mental a b i l i t i e s , so that members of s o c i e t y may be i n a p o s i t i o n to r e c e i v e an education s u f f i c i e n t to enable them to be a c t i v e agents of s o c i a l development, and i n a p o s i t i o n to f r e e l y choose t h e i r occupations, and not be t i e d a l l t h e i r l i v e s , owing t o the e x i s t e n c e of the d i v i s i o n of l a b o u r , to some one occupation.°3 In concrete terms, i n order to achieve t h i s end, S t a l i n p r e s c r i b e d the eventual shortening of the working day to f i v e hours and compulsory p o l y t e c h n i c t r a i n i n g i n s e v e r a l occupations f o r a l l .  Thus, he was advocating  positive  p r a c t i c a l steps which would achieve the c o n d i t i o n of occupat i o n a l m o b i l i t y advocated  by Engels and Marx as a n e c e s s i t y  f o r c r e a t i v e human development. C l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d with the question of o c c u p a t i o n a l m o b i l i t y and the d i v i s i o n of labour, are the questions of the a n t i t h e s i s between town and country, and between mental and manual labour.  S t a l i n s c l a i m was that the a c t u a l a n t i t h e s i s 1  between these elements had a l l but disappeared, since a l l c i t i z e n s — p e a s a n t , i n d u s t r i a l worker, manager and l a b o u r e r — were working i n harmony towards a common g o a l . " d i s t i n c t i o n s " now remained.  Only  S t a l i n r e c a l l e d that Engels  had p r e d i c t e d that with the a b o l i t i o n of the a n t i t h e s i s between town and country "the great towns w i l l p e r i s h " , but discounted Engels* statement.  On the c o n t r a r y , he argued, great towns  I b i d . , p. 53.  50 w i l l a r i s e i n the countryside and " t h i s w i l l f a c i l i t a t e the c u l t u r a l progress of the n a t i o n and w i l l tend to even up c o n d i t i o n s of l i f e i n town and country.  6k  As t o the remaining " d i s t i n c t i o n s " between town and country and mental and manual l a b o u r , S t a l i n maintained some d i s t i n c t i o n s would never d i s a p p e a r :  that  "Some d i s t i n c t i o n s ,  even i f i n e s s e n t i a l , w i l l c e r t a i n l y remain, owing t o the difference  between the c o n d i t i o n s of work i n i n d u s t r y  and i n  a g r i c u l t u r e , " and because "the c o n d i t i o n s of labour of the  65 managerial s t a f f s and those of the workers are not i d e n t i c a l . " The  most s e r i o u s  remaining " d i s t i n c t i o n " i n the former case  was the d i f f e r e n c e and  between s t a t e  ownership i n the towns  the remaining c o l l e c t i v e ownership i n the farms of the  r u r a l areas. "that  " I t t h e r e f o r e cannot be denied," S t a l i n  stated,  the disappearance of t h i s e s s e n t i a l d i s t i n c t i o n  between a g r i c u l t u r e importance to us."  and i n d u s t r y  must be a matter of paramount  But S t a l i n ' s s o l u t i o n was not "simply  to n a t i o n a l i z e c o l l e c t i v e - f a r m property, to p r o c l a i m i t p u b l i c p r o p e r t y . " He d e c l a r e d that "conversion i n t o state property i s not the only, or even the best form of n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n , but the most n a t u r a l  i n i t i a l form of n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n . ^ '  In the f u t u r e when most of the s t a t e s are s o c i a l i s t ,  6¥; r  6 5  I b i d . . p. 23  I b i d . , p. 25-  66 I b i d . . p. 2k. 6 7  lbid.,  p. 65.  ty  the s t a t e  51 as such w i l l d i e away, he argues, and "the h e i r of p u b l i c p r o p e r t y w i l l then not be the s t a t e , which w i l l have d i e d away, but s o c i e t y i t s e l f , i n the shape of a c e n t r a l , d i r e c t i n g economic b o d y . " ^ However, S t a l i n d i d oppose the p l a n put forward by some economists to s e l l the state-owned "basic implements of p r o d u c t i o n " c o n t r o l l e d by the Machine Tractor the c o l l e c t i v e s .  S t a t i o n s , to  He claimed that t h i s would be a step  backward from communism, r a t h e r  than a step towards i t ,  since the s t a t e property would be transformed i n t o l e s s socialistic  c o l l e c t i v e property:  Can i t be s a i d that such a status would f a c i l i t a t e the e l e v a t i o n of c o l l e c t i v e - f a r m p r o p e r t y to the l e v e l of p u b l i c p r o p e r t y , so that i t would expedite the t r a n s i t i o n of our s o c i e t y from s o c i a l i s m to communism? Would i t not be t r u e r to say that such a status could only d i g a deeper g u l f between c o l l e c t i v e - f a r m p r o p e r t y and p u b l i c p r o p e r t y , and would not b r i n g us any nearer communism, but, on the c o n t r a r y , remove us f a r t h e r from i t ? 6 9 Hence, i t would appear that S t a l i n s t i l l intended t o s o c i a l i z e the l e s s e r t o o l s and implements owned i n d i v i d u a l l y w i t h i n the c o l l e c t i v e s , and t o u l t i m a t e l y n a t i o n a l i z e the c o l l e c t i v e l y owned, implements, machinery and animals as w e l l .  T h i s would  i n v o l v e going through the commune stage, but the Soviet leader made no e x p l i c i t r e f e r e n c e  to f u t u r e  i s not e n t i r e l y c l e a r whether S t a l i n ' s plan hoc, c i t . 6 9  I b i d . . p. 6 8 .  s o c i a l units.  It  to take c o n t r o l  over a l l c o l l e c t i v e - f a r m commodity exchange was  meant to  obviate the need to adopt h i g h e r s o c i a l u n i t s i n the f u t u r e , but t h i s cannot r u l e out as a p o s s i b i l i t y . I t i s with the long i d e o l o g i c a l and  historical  background o u t l i n e d , that the Sino-Soviet d i f f e r e n c e s over the Chinese People's  Communes arose.  As can r e a d i l y  be  seen, the communes of China n e c e s s a r i l y i n v o l v e d v e r y extensive i d e o l o g i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r the e n t i r e communist movement s i n c e they were concerned with the c o r r e c t road to communism, and with the d i s c o v e r y of the f a s t e s t method of a c h i e v i n g the p r e r e q u i s i t e s to communism.  Moreover, the  i n t r o d u c t i o n of the communes i n China cannot be viewed i n i s o l a t i o n , but only as a c o n t i n u a t i o n of a long h i s t o r i c a l debate w i t h i n the communist movement—and with  special  s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r the Communist Party of the Soviet Union which had  experienced  s e v e r a l decades of d i s p u t e over  f u t u r e of c o l l e c t i v e s and communes, and which was  the  s t i l l in  progress when the communes were introduced. Even before the i n t r o d u c t i o n of the communes, the Chinese had become a p a r t y to the c o n t r o v e r s i e s over t i o n a l measures, o c c u r r i n g i n the Soviet Union.  transi-  Thus, with  the p u b l i c a t i o n of S t a l i n ' s Economic Problems of S o c i a l i s m , the Chinese p l a c e d themselves i n l i n e with S t a l i n i n the controversy by supporting h i s b a s i c theses. noted that the  article:  People's D a i l y  53 throws much l i g h t on the b a s i c problems i n the economics of s o c i a l i s m and p o i n t s the way to the t r a n s i t i o n from s o c i a l i s m to communism. In t h i s work, Comrade S t a l i n systematizes the experience gained i n the c o n s t r u c t i o n of s o c i a l i s m i n the U.S.S.R. and i n the world r e v o l u t i o n a r y movement and he enriches and augments the science of Marxism-Leninism.70 The  People's D a i l y f u r t h e r noted that S t a l i n was p o i n t i n g  the way f o r the whole communist movement, not j u s t the Soviet Union: I t Is beyond doubt that Comrade S t a l i n ' s t h e o r e t i c a l c o n t r i b u t i o n to a l l these questions i s of extremely important s i g n i f i c a n c e , not only f o r the economic c o n s t r u c t i o n of the U.S.S.R., but a l s o f o r the economic c o n s t r u c t i o n of China and the other c o u n t r i e s of the people's democracies.71 Thus I t was i n e v i t a b l e that with the f a l l of S t a l i n , and the r e v e r s a l of some of h i s a g r i c u l t u r a l and c o l l e c t i v e - f a r m p o l i c i e s , the Chinese, as supporters pronouncements should leadership  of S t a l i n ' s i d e o l o g i c a l  come i n t o c o n f l i c t with the new CPSU  over domestic i s s u e s .  As an independent e n t i t y ,  China remained a proponent of S t a l i n i s t orthodoxy, out of the c o n t r o l of the CPSU l e a d e r s and a thorn i n t h e i r s i d e s .  7°Ppnnle's D a i l y . October 3 0 , 1 9 5 2 ; T r a n s l a t i o n s . 1952, p. H-32. 7 1  Loc. c i t .  Soviet Press  CHAPTER I I I THE DIALOGUE OF A DISPUTE: THE BEGINNINGS OF THE COMMUNE CONTROVERSY On August 29, 1958 an enlarged  s e s s i o n of the  Chinese Communist Party's P o l i t b u r o passed a r e s o l u t i o n supporting  the establishment  of "Peoples Communes"  throughout  the r u r a l areas of the n a t i o n , and p r o v i d i n g a t h e o r e t i c a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r the i n t r o d u c t i o n of t h i s new s o c i a l u n i t of Chinese s o c i e t y . U n t i l the r e s o l u t i o n was o f f i c i a l l y published on September 10, no comment of any kind had appeared i n the Soviet press regarding  the communes, d e s p i t e the f a c t that  some p r o v i n c e s were already completely end  "eommune-ized" by the  of August when the p a r t y r e s o l u t i o n was passed, and  d e s p i t e the f a c t that the communes had been i n i t i a t e d i n some areas as f a r back as A p r i l , and had been e x t e n s i v e l y p u b l i c i z e d i n the Chinese p r e s s .  This apparently  purposeful  p o l i c y of the Soviet p a r t y h i e r a r c h y to ignore the commune movement i n i t s e a r l y stages i s i n i t s e l f s i g n i f i c a n t and suggests (the p o s s i b i l i t y ) t h a t the C.P.S.U. was p r i v a t e l y seeking  t o dissuade the Chinese l e a d e r s from continuing  experiments. eo-operative  C e r t a i n d i s c u s s i o n s concerning  their  the f u t u r e of  farms i n the Soviet Union d i d take place i n the  spring and summer of 1958 a t the same time that communes were beginning  to be s e t up i n v a r i o u s p a r t s of the People's  55 R e p u b l i c , but these d i s c u s s i o n s were a p p a r e n t l y aimed a t q u e l l i n g o p p o s i t i o n to Premier Khrushchev's p l a n to d i s s o l v e the Machine and T r a c t o r S t a t i o n s and s e l l t h e i r a s s e t s t o the c o l l e c t i v e s .  Whether these d i s c u s s i o n s have d i r e c t , or  only i n d i r e c t , bearing on the Chinese communes depends l a r g e l y on whether the Soviet l e a d e r s had advance knowledge of Mao's i n t e n t i o n to depart from the path of the S o v i e t Union i n a g r i c u l t u r a l development. a l s o important  In t h i s regard, i t i s  t o e s t a b l i s h the date of the Chinese Communist  Party's switch i n p o l i c y i n regard to the development of the co-operatives. By 1957, succeeding  a g r i c u l t u r e i n China had gone through the  stages of Land R e d i s t r i b u t i o n , Mutual A i d Teams,  Lower Stage C o - o p e r a t i v e s , and Higher  Stage Co-operatives,  thus b r i n g i n g i t i n e i g h t years to the approximate stage of c o l l e c t i v i z a t i o n achieved i n the Soviet Union i n 1933, and more or l e s s r e t a i n e d ever s i n c e .  F o l l o w i n g a s i m i l a r move  i n the Soviet Union, some Chinese co-operatives amalgamated i n 1957 i n t o l a r g e r u n i t s of over 1,000 f a m i l i e s each. However, i n g e n e r a l , the co-operatives f o r the most p a r t r e t a i n e d a membership of approximately and taking i n a s i n g l e v i l l a g e . 1957 Mao Tse-tung suggested  100 to 300 f a m i l i e s ,  Moreover, as l a t e as June  that i t would take f i v e years or  more t o " c o n s o l i d a t e the co-operatives and end these arguments  56 about t h e i r not having any s u p e r i o r q u a l i t i e s . " " ' 1  on September Ik,  Furthermore,  three months l a t e r , the C e n t r a l Committee  passed a r e s o l u t i o n s t a t i n g  that:  Experiences i n d i f f e r e n t l o c a l i t i e s during the past few years have proved that l a r g e c o l l e c t i v e s and l a r g e teams are g e n e r a l l y not adaptable to the present p r o d u c t i o n c o n d i t i o n s . . . a l l those that are too b i g and not w e l l managed should be d i v i d e d i n t o smaller u n i t s i n accordance with the wishes of the members. Henceforth, a c o l l e c t i v e should g e n e r a l l y be the s i z e of a v i l l a g e with over a thousand households . . . . A f t e r the s i z e of the c o l l e c t i v e s and p r o d u c t i o n teams has been decided upon, i t should be p u b l i c l y announced that t h i s o r g a n i z a t i o n w i l l remain unchanged i n the next ten years.2 Yet s i x months l a t e r Mao first  h i m s e l f helped i n i t i a t e  the  communes i n the p r o v i n c e of Honan. The testimony of the Honan p a r t y s e c r e t a r y i n an  a r t i c l e p u b l i s h e d i n Red F l a g on September 16,  1958  casts  some l i g h t on the events preceding the establishment of the first  communes: When c o - o p e r a t i o n of the advanced type was achieved i n Honan i n 1956, there were a l together 26,211 co-ops, each having an average membership of 358 households, and 808 co-ops embracing over one thousand  Mao Tse-tung, On the C o r r e c t Handling of C o n t r a d i c t i o n s Among the People (Peking, F o r e i g n Languages Press, X  I960), p. 35.  ^People's Handbook f o r 1958 (Peking, 1958); cited i n Choh-Ming L i , "Economic Development," China Q u a r t e r l y ,  no. 1,  January-March I960, p. ^3.  57 f a m i l i e s each. With the i n i t i a l overhaul i n the Spring of 1957, the co-ops i n the whole province became c o n s o l i d a t e d i n the main and many l a r g e co-ops f a r e d comparatively w e l l . C l o s i n g t h e i r eyes t o t h i s s i t u a t i o n and y i e l d i n g to the demand of a s m a l l number of w e l l - t o - d o middle peasants, a few r i g h t i s t o p p o r t u n i s t s w i t h i n the Honan p r o v i n c i a l Communist P a r t y committee, however, i n d i s c r i m i n a t e l y t r i e d t o compel a l l the l a r g e co-ops t o s p l i t up.3 As a r e s u l t , the number of co-ops i n Honan i n c r e a s e d t o 5*+,000 each averaging 180 households with the s m a l l e s t c o n t a i n i n g l e s s than 3 0 . 3 A The  dismantling  of the l a r g e c o l l e c t i v e s was of  course i n l i n e with the Party's  September 2h d i r e c t i v e .  It  must be presumed that Pan Fu-sheng's e r r o r then, was i n f o r c i n g even h i g h l y s u c c e s s f u l l a r g e c o l l e c t i v e s to reduce t h e i r s i z e , and i n succumbing to pressure to r e l a x c o l l e c t i v i z a t i o n . according  from the peasantry  The r e s u l t of h i s e r r o r ,  t o the Honan D a i l y ( J u l y k,  1958) was that  "land-  l o r d s , r i c h peasants, c o u n t e r - r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s , bad elements, and well-to-do  middle peasants accustomed to c a p i t a l i s t ways  of t h i n k i n g applauded and a g i t a t e d f o r withdrawal from t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e s saying  'big co-operatives  w i l l t u r n i n t o small  %ote: I n 1957 during the A n t i - R i g h t i s t campaign, Pan Fu-sheng a l t e r n a t e member of the C e n t r a l Committee and f i r s t s e c r e t a r y of the Honan p r o v i n c i a l committee, was 'exposed and removed from o f f i c e f o r ' r i g h t opportunist mistakes*. W u Chih-pu, "From A.P.C.s t o People's Communes," Red F l a g , no. 8, September 16, 1958; People's Communes i n China (Peking, F.L.P., 1958), p. 26-*+7. 3A  58 c o - o p e r a t i v e s , then i n t o mutual a i d teams and back i n t o 1  i n d i v i d u a l farms. from t h i s was  The l e s s o n that the Party was  that as soon as p o l i t i c a l pressure  to draw was  r e l e a s e d , the peasants would spontaneously r e v e r s e the course of c o l l e c t i v i z a t i o n .  The choice was e i t h e r to push forward,  or be d r i v e n back. Wu Chih-pu, the new Honan p r o v i n c i a l s e c r e t a r y , suggests the course decided upon:  "As i t was,  spontaneous  merger of a g r i c u l t u r a l co-ops began i n Honan as e a r l y as the s p r i n g of 1958,  so that by the time of the wheat harvest the  e x i s t i n g co-ops were amalgamated  i n t o 30,000 or more."'  In a c t u a l f a c t , the merger was f a r from 'spontaneous*. In r e a l i t y , Mao  Tse-tung had announced t h i s p o l i c y of combining  the co-ops i n t o l a r g e r u n i t s at a conference of members of the C e n t r a l Committee Chengtu i n March.  and r e g i o n a l p a r t y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s at At the same time the C e n t r a l  Committee  a l s o i n i t i a t e d i t s p o l i c y of i n d u s t r i a l d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n which was to p l a y a v i t a l r o l e i n the establishment of the communes. ^Honan D a i l y . J u l y , 1958; August 29, 1958, p. 26.  Current Background, no.  k  515,  ^Wu-Chih-pu, O P . c i t . , p. 3 » k  ^People's D a i l y , e d i t o r i a l , August 29, 1959; rep r i n t e d as Appendix to Report on Adjusting the Ma.lor Targets of the 1959 Economic Plan (Peking, F.L.P., 1959), PP. 3 1 - k 6 7  59 Commenting on the s i t u a t i o n i n Honan, Wu Chih-pu revealed that: Some of the l a r g e co-ops took another s t r i d e forward l a s t s p r i n g . They developed i n d u s t r i a l and a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n simultaneously, merged the farming, h a n d i c r a f t , supply and marketing, and c r e d i t co-ops i n t o one, s e t up t h e i r own secondary s c h o o l s , t r a i n e d l a r g e numbers of l e a d i n g personnel and a c t i v i s t s who are both s o c i a l i s t minded and p r o f e s s i o n a l l y competent, and gained adequate experience i n the management of l a r g e s c a l e production. This was i n essence the people's commune i n the bud, d i s p l a y i n g a s t i l l g r e a t e r s u p e r i o r i t y over the small co-ops.7 In mid-winter, Mao Tse-tung h i m s e l f had made a tour of the southern p r o v i n c e s .  During  t h i s tour Mao inspected  the s i t e s of the tremendous i r r i g a t i o n and f l o o d c o n t r o l p r o j e c t s , being b u i l t by the mass peasant army of over 100 m i l l i o n throughout the r u r a l areas i n the winter months. This s u c c e s s f u l campaign by the Party to m o b i l i z e the nation's greatest resource--manpower--no doubt convinced Mao that a new form of s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n must be created i n China to e x p l o i t f u l l y the labour p o t e n t i a l of the 500 m i l l i o n Chinese peasants. Following  t h i s tour a Supreme State Conference was  h e l d i n February, presumably to d i s c u s s the new surge  forward  i n the c o u n t r y s i d e .  of t h i s  conference  The only c l u e to the proceedings  appeared i n an oblique reference i n the People's  D a i l y on June 11,  1958.  In the a r t i c l e i n question i t i s  stated t h a t : Wu Chih-pu, O P . c i t . , p. 33*  6o At a Supreme State Conference i n February t h i s year, Chairman Mao mentioned a c r i t i c i s m made by a f r i e n d against the Communist p a r t y , saying that the Communist P a r t y 'loves grandeur and achievement, wants quick r e s u l t s and p r o f i t , b e l i t t l e s the past, and b e l i e v e s b l i n d l y i n the f u t u r e * . Chairman Mao r e p l y i n g to the c r i t i c i s m s a i d the Communist Party was j u s t l i k e t h a t — that i t loved the grandeur of S o c i a l i s m , wanted quick r e s u l t s i n S o c i a l i s m , b e l i t t l e d the past, and b e l i e v e d b l i n d l y i n the future.8 From t h i s r e f e r e n c e  i t i s evident  that the subject  c o n s i d e r a t i o n at the conference was and  the speed and forms t h e r e o f .  socialist  r e f e r r e d to c r i t i c i s m s  made by persons w i t h i n the country or without.  was  construction,  I t i s d i f f i c u l t to a s c e r t a i n  whether these remarks by Chairman Mao  d i s t i n c t p o s s i b i l i t y that the  under  There i s a  ' f r i e n d * r e f e r r e d to by  Mao  Khrushchev, or some other high Soviet o f f i c i a l at  the  November 1957  conference of communist p a r t i e s i n Moscow, j u s t  three months e a r l i e r .  I t i s known from subsequent d i s c l o s u r e s  by both sides that a c o n s i d e r a b l e  amount of mutual c r i t i c i s m  and disagreement took place between Mao  and Khrushchev at  t h i s meeting i n November when the i n t e r n a t i o n a l l i n e of communist movement was that the question  hammered out, and i t i s a l s o thought  of Soviet trade c r e d i t s and Soviet a i d to  China were a l s o discussed representatives  of the two  i n p r i v a t e t a l k s between the countries.  Thus, i t i s d i s t i n c t l y  p o s s i b l e that the remarks and c r i t i c i s m s to which Mao were made during  the  these n e g o t i a t i o n s .  refers  This i s e s p e c i a l l y so  ^Quoted i n D. S. Zagoria, The Sino-Soviet C o n f l i c t (Princeton, P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1962), p. 89.  61 In the l i g h t of the f a c t that no new  loans were forthcoming  from the n e g o t i a t i o n s . From 1956 onward the r e c e i p t of loans from the USSR have been n e g l i g i b l e . In f a c t they have been s y s t e m a t i c a l l y outweighed by heavy repayments. T h i s state of a f f a i r s i s r e f l e c t e d i n the growing Chinese export s u r p l u s i n SinoSoviet trade o b v i o u s l y connected with the s e r v i c i n g of o l d debts; by 1957 exports to the USSR were h a l f as l a r g e again as imports.9 I t has been argued by many that the S o v i e t Union was  i n no  p o s i t i o n to advance loans and a i d to China at t h i s time s i n c e the Russians were deeply committed to a i d programs In Europe, sparked by the u p r i s i n g s i n Poland and Hungary the year before.  But whatever the reason, the S o v i e t Union  failed  to provide the Chinese with the economic boost they needed, e s p e c i a l l y i n view of the poor h a r v e s t , l e a v i n g the Chinese no choice but to u t i l i z e the resources of manpower i n order to r a i s e themselves by t h e i r own  b o o t s t r a p s , and to organize  t h e i r s o c i e t y along the l i n e s most s u i t e d t o d i r e c t c o n t r o l peasant labour i n the r u r a l areas.  and  At the time of  the Moscow Conference, the C e n t r a l Committee had a l r e a d y i s s u e d the September 2k d i r e c t i v e s e v e r a l weeks b e f o r e , to mobilize the vast peasant armies f o r the massive campaign to b u i l d dams, c a n a l s , r e s e r v o i r s , and d i t c h e s throughout  the c o u n t r y - s i d e ;  winter irrigation  thus, there i s a l s o  A. Zauberman, "The Economic Aspect," The Chinese Communes (New York, I n s t i t u t e of P a c i f i c R e l a t i o n s , i 9 6 0 ) , P.  65.  62 the p o s s i b i l i t y that t h i s p o l i c y of mass m o b i l i z a t i o n r e m i n i s c e n t of the S t a l i n era i n the S o v i e t Union, came under f i r e i n d i s c u s s i o n s with the S o v i e t l e a d e r s . I t i s important to e s t a b l i s h whether Khrushchev the author of the remarks to Mao,  was  s i n c e t h i s would e s t a b l i s h  the o r i g i n of the dispute over a g r i c u l t u r a l p o l i c y i n China, and the c o r r e c t road of b u i l d i n g s o c i a l i s m i n communist countries.  I t would a l s o add a new  s i g n i f i c a n c e to a r t i c l e s  and pronouncements i n the p r e s s of both c o u n t r i e s i n the e a r l y months of 1958. Congress  At the second s e s s i o n of the E i g h t h N a t i o n a l  of the Chinese Communist Party i n May  1958  for  i n s t a n c e , L i u Snao-chi i n c l u d e d i n h i s r e p o r t on b e h a l f of the C e n t r a l Committee the f o l l o w i n g  statement:  R e f e r r i n g to the mass m o b i l i z a t i o n of r u r a l labour over the winter months, L i u s t a t e d : During t h i s great movement i n which hundreds of m i l l i o n s of people were m o b i l i z e d , i t i s i n e v i t a b l e that there should be some d e f e c t s i n our work even while great successes are being scored and that as we advance we should meet with some d i f f i c u l t i e s . . . . Some people c r i t i c i z e us f o r 'craving greatness and success', f o r seeking 'quick success and i n s t a n t b e n e f i t s ' . What they say about us i s r i g h t ! And shouldn't we crave greatness f o r our 600 m i l l i o n people and the success of s o c i a l i s m ? Should we r a t h e r crave smallness and court f a i l u r e , r e j e c t success and b e n e f i t s , and r e s t content with l a g g i n g behind and doing nothing?10  L i u Shao-chi, "Report on the Work of the C e n t r a l Committee," Second Session of the E i g h t h N a t i o n a l Congress of the Communist P a r t y of China (Peking F.L.P., 1958), p. h$.  63 C l e a r l y , t h i s i s a r e f e r e n c e to the same statement which r e v e a l e d at the State Conference i n February. choice of words i t would appear  Mao  From L i u ' s  that the r e p l y i s d i r e c t e d  at persons o u t s i d e of China, and i t s r e p e t i t i o n by L i u makes it  c l e a r that t h i s c r i t i c i s m came from a person of high  enough s t a t u r e to o u t r i g h t l y c h a l l e n g e Chinese p o l i c y . Obviously no non-Party person w i t h i n China would have the p r e s t i g e and power to warrant such s e r i o u s c o n s i d e r a t i o n by both Mao  and L i u ;  the importance attached to t h i s  criticism  of P a r t y p o l i c y can best be e x p l a i n e d by the f a c t that i t came from the l i p s of an important Soviet l e a d e r , and by the f a c t that i t gave ammunition and support to the r i g h t wing elements i n the Chinese communist p a r t y who  L i u revealed  were i n o p p o s i t i o n to the g e n e r a l l i n e of " b u i l d i n g by e x e r t i n g our utmost e f f o r t s and p r e s s i n g ahead  socialism  consistently  to achieve g r e a t e r , f a s t e r , b e t t e r and more economical r e s u l t s , " put forward i n September  1957'  I f indeed the o r i g i n a t o r of the c r i t i c i s m of the general l i n e was N. S. Khrushchev, with Mao,  i n h i s November t a l k s  then the Soviet P a r t y no doubt kept c l o s e watch on  the domestic developments  i n China i n succeeding months, and  c o n s c i o u s l y s t u d i e d the events which l e d to the emergence of the communes i n People's China.  Moreover,  i t would appear  c e r t a i n that the Chinese were keeping c l o s e l y informed of domestic developments  i n the S o v i e t Union, a l s o , since  6h Khrushchev was  s i m i l a r l y contemplating important reforms i n  Soviet a g r i c u l t u r e . The E a r l v Experiments: As has  Soring  1958  been noted p r e v i o u s l y , the Chinese  C e n t r a l Committee met  i n Chengtu i n March of 1958  a d i r e c t i v e r e v e r s i n g the September Ik previous F a l l , co-operatives was  and  ordering  a gradual  Party's and  issued  d i r e c t i v e of the amalgamation of  i n t o large scale co-operatives.  the  This i n i t s e l f  not n e c e s s a r i l y a departure from Soviet p o l i c y , s i n c e the  same process had  been i n i t i a t e d i n the Soviet Union a f t e r  S t a l i n ' s death, and was During A p r i l Mao  still  continuing.  himself  spent some time i n Honan  and Hopeh presumably i n i t i a t i n g and i n combining the two  overseeing  the experiment  p o l i c i e s of d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n and  c o l l e c t i v e s i n t o a concrete  large  form:  The Communist P a r t y committees at v a r i o u s l e v e l s i n the province undertook to set up on a t r i a l b a s i s some l a r g e co-operatives of s e v e r a l thousand households each, among them the 9,369household Weihsing (Sputnik) Co-op i n Chayashan, Suiping county, formed (on A p r i l 20) out of 27 smaller co-ops . . . . In the course of the merger of the small co-ops, energetic e f f o r t s were made to b u i l d i n d u s t r y , organize community canteens, n u r s e r i e s , kindergartens, homes f o r the aged, and other welfare s e r v i c e s ; p l o t s of land r e s e r v e d f o r p r i v a t e use were turned over to the co-op and s o c i a l i s t co-operation was developed on a vast s c a l e . „In the c i t i e s too, an i n c r e a s i n g number of f a c t o r i e s were b u i l t and more community s e r v i c e s and w e l f a r e facilities initiated. This was, i n essence, already the s t a r t of the movement f o r people's communes . . . . Only a f t e r Comrade Mao Tse-tung gave h i s d i r e c t i v e regarding the people's communes  d i d they (the people) begin t o see t h i n g s c l e a r l y , r e a l i z e the meaning of t h i s new form of o r g a n i z a t i o n that had appeared i n the vast r u r a l and urban areas, and f e e l more c o n f i d e n t and determined to take t h i s path.11 The Reform of Soviet A g r i c u l t u r e At approximately the same time that s e l e c t e d Chinese Party l e a d e r s were meeting i n Chengtu to i n i t i a t e the p o l i c i e s that would r e s u l t i n the formation  of the communes,  a nationwide d i s c u s s i o n was t a k i n g place i n the Soviet Union over the p r o p o s a l by the CPSU to reorganize the state-owned Machine T r a c t o r S t a t i o n s and s e l l t h e i r t r a c t o r s and machinery to the c o l l e c t i v e farms.  T h i s proposal  arose  out of Khrushchev's p o l i c y o f g i v i n g the peasants more i n c e n t i v e s i n order to encourage i n c r e a s e d In Marxist  production.  eyes, such a p o l i c y , based on expediency r a t h e r  than Ideology i s r e t r o g r e s s i v e , and a number of Soviet economists and p a r t y members s a i d as much during the debates on the p r o p o s a l . ( i . e . property  To many, the s e l l i n g of s t a t e  of the whole people) to the c o l l e c t i v e farms  was a step away from the Communist g o a l , since to Marxist  property  theory,  the avowed aim i s to g r a d u a l l y  a l l the means of p r o d u c t i o n of the whole people. s i m i l a r proposals  according  i n t o state property:  In f a c t , i n 1952,  transform property  S t a l i n had r e j e c t e d  as r e t r o g r e s s i v e f o r t h i s very reason.  "Wu Chih-pu, op. c i t . , p. 3*+.  66 In the debate over the r e o r g a n i z a t i o n of the M.T.S., both Khrushchev  and l e a d i n g P a r t y t h e o r e t i c i a n s took up the  whole q u e s t i o n of the t r a n s i t i o n to communism and  attempted  to provide t h e o r e t i c a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n , w i t h i n the framework of M a r x i s t - L e n i n i s m , f o r the P a r t y p o l i c y .  In doing so,  they adopted p o s i t i o n s on a number of important  theoretical  questions which were to form the center of the commune controversy i n the succeeding months.  Some of the comment  had bearing on the exact s u b j e c t of communes, which meant that the CPSU took an i d e o l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n on the communes immediately p r i o r to the time that the f i r s t o f f i c i a l l y e s t a b l i s h e d i n Honan. however, that the new  one  was  ( I t should be noted,  u n i t i n China was not o f f i c i a l l y  termed  12 a "commune" u n t i l June of 1958.  )  Thus, the Chinese set  up t h e i r communes f u l l y knowing that the Russians had  just  adopted a p u b l i c p o s i t i o n concerning t h e i r appropriateness at the c u r r e n t stage of the road to communism.  I t i s not  e q u a l l y d i s c e r n i b l e from a v a i l a b l e evidence, whether the CPSU was  f u l l y aware at t h i s p a r t i c u l a r moment of the Chinese  experiments  or i n t e n t s .  I f the Soviet l e a d e r s were indeed  f u l l y informed of the Chinese i n t e n t , then the a r t i c l e s i n the Soviet p r e s s and j o u r n a l s take on added s i g n i f i c a n c e .  In  e i t h e r case, the r e o r g a n i z a t i o n of the M.T.S. proved to be " L o n g L i v e the People's Communes," People's D a i l y . August 29,,1959; r e p r i n t e d i n Report on A d j u s t i n g the Major Targets of the 1959 Economic Plan (Peking, F.L.P., 1959), P. hi. 12  67 the occasion f o r the Communist Party of the S o v i e t Union to make i t s views known concerning  c o l l e c t i v e s , communes and  the t r a n s i t i o n to communism. In h i s speech on March 27  to the Supreme S o v i e t ,  Khrushchev d i s c u s s e d i n d e t a i l the question of the  transi-  t i o n to communism, from both a t h e o r e t i c a l and from a p r a c t i c a l p o i n t of view.  From the o u t s e t , he s t r e s s e d the importance  of i n c r e a s i n g p r o d u c t i o n and emphasized that h i s l i b e r a l a g r i c u l t u r a l p o l i c i e s designed  to achieve t h i s end had been  opposed by the more dogmatic element w i t h i n the Party, (which had been l e d by Molotov, Shepilov, Malenkov,  Kaganovitch  and Bulganin, who  were ousted from the p o l i t b u r o i n the  summer of 1957).  Khrushchev p o i n t e d out t h a t :  In o r g a n i z i n g the nationwide s t r u g g l e f o r a sharp advance i n a g r i c u l t u r e , the Communist P a r t y i s guided by the programmatic p r i n c i p l e s of Marxist-Leninism concerning the enormous importance of a g r i c u l t u r a l production and of c r e a t i n g an abundance of food, without which the t r a n s i t i o n to communism i s i n c o n c e i v a b l e . The Party d e l i v e r e d a s h a t t e r i n g blow to the c o n s e r v a t i v e s and dogmatists d i v o r c e d from l i f e who r e s i s t e d the Party's L e n i n i s t l i n e and opposed implementation of such major measures as developing the v i r g i n and i d l e lands, i n c r e a s i n g l i v e s t o c k p r o d u c t i v i t y and c o n s i s t e n t l y applying the p r i n c i p l e of the m a t e r i a l stake of the farmers i n the development of the communal economy.13  N . S. Khrushchev, "On F u r t h e r Developing the C o l l e c t i v e Farm System and Reorganizing the M.T.S.," Pravda, March 28, 1958; Current Digest of the Soviet Press, v o l . X, no. 13, p. 6. 13  68 Turning  to the c o l l e c t i v e farms as such, Khrushchev  propounded the view that they had not yet reached t h e i r p o t e n t i a l as an o r g a n i z a t i o n a l form, and  that with h i s  proposed r e o r g a n i z a t i o n of the Machine T r a c t o r t h e i r productiveness  full  Stations,  would be v a s t l y i n c r e a s e d .  Thus, he  made the d e c l a r a t i o n t h a t : An i n c r e a s e i n a g r i c u l t u r a l production depends on f u r t h e r strengthening the c o l l e c t i v e farms, improving the o r g a n i z a t i o n of t h e i r work and r e i n f o r c i n g t h e i r m a t e r i a l and t e c h n i c a l base . . . . Amalgamation of the c o l l e c t i v e farms was an important step i n the development of the c o l l e c t i v e farm system. This measure opened up favourable o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r more r a t i o n a l use of equipment and manpower resources and f o r advancing the c o l l e c t i v e farm economy. But because of s e r i o u s shortcomings i n the management of a g r i c u l t u r e , t h i s measure alone could not assure a r a d i c a l turning p o i n t i n the development of c o l l e c t i v e farm production . . . Now . . . i t i s time to t h i n k about making r a d i c a l changes i n the p r o v i s i o n of t e c h n i c a l and p r o d u c t i o n s e r v i c e s to the c o l l e c t i v e farms.ih B a s i c a l l y then, Khrushchev's main theses i n these passages were t h a t (a) the most important task i s to create m a t e r i a l abundance, which i s the primary p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r the achievement of communism i n a s o c i a l i s t n a t i o n ; m a t e r i a l abundance can be most q u i c k l y achieved  by the  of m a t e r i a l i n c e n t i v e s and through mechanization; c o l l e c t i v i z a t i o n i n t o bigger value and production  (b) use  (c) f u r t h e r  u n i t s has l i m i t e d p r a c t i c a l  (d) i d e o l o g y must take second place to  increased  i f communism i s to be reached i n the shortest time.  I b i d . , p.  8.  The  S o v i e t premier then went on to d i s c u s s the  problems i n M a r x i s t - L e n i n i s t  theory r a i s e d by the proposed  p o l i c y , and s p e c i f i c a l l y the question of s o c i a l i s t ownership. reorganizing  of the d i f f e r e n t forms  I t should be remembered that i n  the M.T.S., Khrushchev was r e v e r s i n g the  p o l i c y e x p l i c i t l y l a i d down i n 1952 by S t a l i n h i m s e l f .  Thus,  Khrushchev was f o r c e d t o come t o g r i p s w i t h , and r e f u t e , the i d e o l o g i c a l arguments presented by S t a l i n f o r the r e t e n t i o n of the Machine T r a c t o r  S t a t i o n s i n the hands of the s t a t e .  S t a l i n s most formidable argument had been that the s e l l i n g f  of s t a t e machinery t o the c o l l e c t i v e farms would c o n s t i t u t e a backward step,  since c o l l e c t i v e property  of s o c i a l i s t property people.  than property  was a lower form  belonging t o the whole  Khrushchev was thus f o r c e d to defend h i s M.T.S.  p o l i c i e s against  those who upheld the i d e o l o g i c a l v a l i d i t y  of S t a l i n ' s stand, made only a few years before i n 1952. Khrushchev o u t l i n e d t h e i r arguments i n the f o l l o w i n g passage: Some comrades, p r i m a r i l y among the economists, h e l d that with the r e o r g a n i z a t i o n of the M.T.S. a vagueness would a r i s e i n c e r t a i n t h e o r e t i c a l questions, i n p a r t i c u l a r the question of two forms of ownership. Proceeding from the premise that the t r a n s i t i o n t o communism r e q u i r e s the comprehensive strengthening of p u b l i c ownership and r a i s i n g c o l l e c t i v e farm co-operative property to the l e v e l of p u b l i c property, they expressed the f e a r that the planned r e o r g a n i z a t i o n of the M.T.S. would c o n t r a d i c t M a r x i s t - L e n i n i s t theory and that the s a l e of machinery to the c o l l e c t i v e farms might weaken p u b l i c ownership. The question was a l s o r a i s e d as to which form of s o c i a l i s t a g r i c u l t u r e b e t t e r corresponds to the tasks of b u i l d i n g communism, c o l l e c t i v e or s t a t e farming? Since the s t a t e farm i s based on p u b l i c ownership, should not the c o l l e c t i v e farms be converted to the s t a t e farm form of economy?l5 I b i d . , p. 11.  This argument concerning  the gradual t r a n s i t i o n towards  ownership of the whole people  i s a key one, i d e o l o g i c a l l y ,  and proved to be one of the c e n t r a l i s s u e s i n the Sino-Soviet d i s p u t e over the communes.  Khrushchev's p o s i t i o n on t h i s  question i s thus an important  f a c t o r being taken i n t o  account.  He assumed the p o s i t i o n that the importance of transforming  c o l l e c t i v e p r o p e r t y i n t o p u b l i c property  not be o v e r - s t r e s s e d .  While conceding  should  that Lenin had  d e c l a r e d p u b l i c p r o p e r t y to be the h i g h e s t form of property, he  suggested  that Lenin had "never counterposed  p r o p e r t y and co-operative p r o p e r t y . "  public  Instead, "he s t r e s s e d  that both forms of property are s o c i a l i s t , and both  serve  the i n t e r e s t s of the people and the common a i m — t h e b u i l d i n g of communist s o c i e t y . "  Thus, he concluded  that there was  no need to view c o l l e c t i v e and s t a t e property as a n t a g o n i s t i c , and that c o l l e c t i v e p r o p e r t y would g r a d u a l l y evolve towards p u b l i c p r o p e r t y anyway i n the n a t u r a l course of events: Of course, there are d e f i n i t e d i f f e r e n c e s between c o l l e c t i v e farm co-operative property and p u b l i c p r o p e r t y , but these are merely the d i f f e r e n t forms of development of one and the same t h i n g , namely, the s o c i a l i s t mode of production. The only d i f f e r e n c e i s that p u b l i c property has a higher and c o l l e c t i v e farm p r o p e r t y a lower degree of socialization. This means that i t i s a matter of g r a d u a l l y r a i s i n g the l e v e l of s o c i a l i z a t i o n of c o l l e c t i v e farm property and thus r a i s i n g i t to the l e v e l of p u b l i c property. How i s t h i s to be done? Only by f u r t h e r developing both p u b l i c , s t a t e p r o p e r t y and c o - o p e r a t i v e , c o l l e c t i v e - f a r m property. The measures planned f o r f u r t h e r developing the c o l l e c t i v e farm system and r e o r g a n i z i n g the M.T.S. w i l l assure the expansion  71 of c o l l e c t i v e farm p r o p e r t y and i t s c l o s e s t approximation to p u b l i c property.16 •In other words, Khrushchev de-emphasized  the d i f f e r e n c e  between c o l l e c t i v e and s t a t e ownership, and p l a c e d the t a s k of r a i s i n g p r o d u c t i o n over the t h e o r e t i c a l requirement of moving towards state ownership.  And d e s p i t e h i s fancy  M a r x i s t - L e n i n i s t footwork, h i s main point remained  implicit—  that a movement towards state ownership of a g r i c u l t u r e , or r e t e n t i o n of state-owned M.T.S. wouldn't r a i s e p r o d u c t i o n . In s h o r t , pragmatism must take precedence over i d e o l o g y . I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note i n t h i s r e g a r d , a comment made by L i u Shao-chi a month l a t e r at the Chinese P a r t y Congress i n which he took the opposite view, saying that "some people say that i d e o l o g i c a l and p o l i t i c a l work can produce n e i t h e r g r a i n nor c o a l nor i r o n . wood f o r the t r e e s . "  This i s l i k e f a i l i n g to see the  These two statements of p o s i t i o n form  an important p o i n t of departure i n the Sino-Soviet d i s p u t e , one s t r e s s i n g m a t e r i a l i n c e n t i v e , the other i d e o l o g y , i n the s t r u g g l e to r a i s e production. Continuing h i s argument, Khrushchev goes on: One wonders how i t can be assumed that the development of c o l l e c t i v e farm ownership c o n t r a d i c t s the i n t e r e s t s of b u i l d i n g s o c i a l i s m , that t h i s ownership can be used against our s t a t e , against the working  Loc. c i t  72  class. Only those people can t h i n k t h i s who l a g h o p e l e s s l y behind l i f e . 1 7 * It i s interesting  to note that Khrushchev r e f e r s i n  t h i s paragraph t o the b u i l d i n g building  of s o c i a l i s m  r a t h e r than the  of communism, which i s the stage i n which the S o v i e t  Union i s purported to be.  T h i s may be a c l u e to the f a c t  that Khrushchev was a l s o d i r e c t i n g  h i s remarks to the  Chinese, who l i k e the other members of the communist b l o c , are  considered to be s t i l l i n the stage of b u i l d i n g The  socialism.  s e l l i n g of s t a t e equipment to the c o l l e c t i v e  farms w i l l r e s u l t i n an i n c r e a s e i n p r o d u c t i o n of f o o d s t u f f s , the  Soviet l e a d e r c o n t i n u e s : Does t h i s c o n t r a d i c t the tasks of b u i l d i n g a communist s o c i e t y ? No, . . . f o r i t speeds the progress of our country towards communism. The i n d i v i s i b l e funds of the c o l l e c t i v e farms w i l l i n c r e a s e , the l e v e l of s o c i a l i z a t i o n of c o l l e c t i v e farm p r o d u c t i o n w i l l be h i g h e r and i n t e r - c o l l e c t i v e farm t i e s w i l l grow, this w i l l be a major c o n d i t i o n f o r the f u r t h e r development of c o l l e c t i v e farm property and w i l l h e l p i t grow i n t o p u b l i c property.1°  Developing t h i s p o i n t i n another p a r t of h i s address he suggested t h a t : . . . the c o l l e c t i v e farms are u n i t i n g t h e i r e f f o r t s t o solve problems that f a l l outside the framework of i n d i v i d u a l farms and are b u i l d i n g i n s t a l l a t i o n s that are e s e n t i a l l y of  I b i d . , p. ih (*the emphasis i s mine) Loc.  cit.  73 a public nature. Here i t i s not d i f f i c u l t to see e l e m e n t s of t h e development of c o l l e c t i v e ,Q farm co-operative property i n t o public property. y  From a p u r e l y hardly still  convincing:  the  property  c o l l e c t i v e property  thousand f a m i l i e s , differences  scale  still that  w o u l d be i n i t i a t e d t o ownership  in  suggested that retained d i d he units  the  most,  A t no p o i n t  as a s o c i a l  unit,  the  the  p o s s i b i l i t y of  evolving  Communism, denied  the  in  the  n e c e s s i t y to g r a d u a l l y the  people.  Answering  t h o s e who w e r e m a i n t a i n i n g  communist  de-emphasized  the d i f f e r e n c e s  t h e r e was no v i t a l n e c e s s i t y t o  Ibid.,  p.  12  Soviet  between the  point  the  commune  to  the  that  revolution.  of  the  to  owner-  state during  leader  two and  change  the  switch over  than c o l l e c t i v e farms  c o n s t r u c t i o n , the  be  A t no  principle  the whole  of  he  Soviet Union i n  immediately following  system which embodies  into  c o l l e c t i v e s would  even mention  he  program  Rather,  communism.  War  The  does  formal  future.  is  few  transform c o l l e c t i v e ownership  the foreseeable  is  c o l l e c t i v e s on  t r a n s i t i o n to  of  a  property.  a party-initiated,  f a r m s were more a p p r o p r i a t e  that  at  persists.  analysis  Khrushchev c i t e s  the  s t a t e farm  period  this  throughout  Moreover,  s h i p by  view,  means p u b l i c  that were experimented w i t h  period  that  owned b y ,  and b y no  Khrushchev suggest  state  of  between r i c h c o l l e c t i v e s and poor  a nationwide  the  Marxist point  the  again  declared  relations  7k of production  from a c o l l e c t i v e to a s t a t e form.  that u n t i l the c o l l e c t i v e s had o u t l i v e d t h e i r  He argued  usefulness,  they would be r e t a i n e d , and that t h i s usefulness  was l i k e l y  to continue i n t o the i n d e f i n i t e f u t u r e : N a t u r a l l y i t i s impossible mechanically to equate the s t a t e farms and the c o l l e c t i v e farms. The s t a t e farms are s t a t e e n t e r p r i s e s with a higher l e v e l of s o c i a l i z a t i o n and o r g a n i z a t i o n of p r o d u c t i o n . . . . But does t h i s mean that one form should change i n t o another? This question c o u l d only a r i s e under c o n d i t i o n s where one of these forms had exhausted i t s p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r f u r t h e r development and f o r i n c r e a s i n g p r o d u c t i o n . But can i t be s a i d that the c o l l e c t i v e farms have exhausted their p o s s i b i l i t i e s ? The experience of s o c i a l i s t p r o d u c t i o n shows that both the c o l l e c t i v e farms and the s t a t e farms have i n e x h a u s t i b l e (emphasis added) r e s e r v e s f o r advancing p r o d u c t i o n . 2 0 The  l a s t sentence of Khrushchev's argument i s e s p e c i a l l y  s i g n i f i c a n t since i t suggests that the s t a t u s quo as regards the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l forms of s o c i a l i s m w i l l remain r i g h t through the p e r i o d of b u i l d i n g communism. to note i n t h i s regard  I t i s important  that the Soviet leader emphasises the  f a c t that the c o l l e c t i v e s i n t h e i r present  form have v i r t u a l l y  u n l i m i t e d p o t e n t i a l i n terms of production  development.  According  to Marxist  theory,  the production  r e l a t i o n s , or  o r g a n i z a t i o n forms of the process of p r o d u c t i o n , change when they have o u t l i v e d t h e i r u s e f u l n e s s ; say, when the s u p e r s t r u c t u r e of the productive  forces.  I b i d . , p. Ik.  can only that i s to  r e s t r i c t s the f u r t h e r expansion  In other words, changes i n the  75 o r g a n i z a t i o n of the productive  f o r c e s can only occur when  o b j e c t i v e c o n d i t i o n s demand i t ; a new  economic super-  s t r u c t u r e cannot be a r b i t r a r i l y imposed. c o l l e c t i v e s had become one  Whether or not  r e a l l y o u t l i v e d t h e i r u s e f u l n e s s , was  of the key arguments i n the dispute  i n t r o d u c t i o n of the communes i n China. Khrushchev, the Soviet view was  the  to  over the  In t h i s speech  firmly established:  c o l l e c t i v e s would serve f o r many years to come.  by  the  Later,  the Chinese were to argue d i f f e r e n t l y . The Development of C o l l e c t i v e Farm Theory In the f o l l o w i n g weeks a r t i c l e s by l e a d i n g  economists  and t h e o r e t i c i a n s appeared i n Soviet newspapers, magazines and  j o u r n a l s , f u r t h e r expanding the case put forward  Khrushchev at the s e s s i o n of the Supreme S o v i e t . a r t i c l e s by comrades Leontyev, Glotov p a r t i c u l a r importance.  and  by  The  S t r u m i l i n were of  In these a r t i c l e s , not only were  Khrushchev*s p o l i c i e s given f u r t h e r i d e o l o g i c a l support, but a l s o e x p l i c i t r e f e r e n c e s were made to communes as a form of s o c i a l i s t organization. the I n t r o d u c t i o n  Thus, the S o v i e t a t t i t u d e towards  of communes i n t o s o c i a l i s t s o c i e t y  s p e c i f i c a l l y s p e l l e d out l e s s than a month before experimental communes were organized Honan on A p r i l  by Mao  was  the  first  Tse-tung i n  20.  Leontyev*s a r t i c l e which appeared i n the A p r i l 7 e d i t i o n of Pravda, the party newspaper, was  entitled  "For  76 a Mighty Upsurge of the S o c i a l i s t Economy" and d e a l t mainly with the methods by which the c o l l e c t i v e farm economy would g r a d u a l l y evolve i n t o a form more c l o s e l y a k i n to that of the s t a t e farm, while at the same time p r a i s i n g the party's p o l i c i e s i n a g r i c u l t u r e as being i d e o l o g i c a l l y c o r r e c t . Can one imagine more v i v i d and so to speak, more t a n g i b l e proof of the strength and v i t a l i t y of the M a r x i s t - L e n i n i s t p r i n c i p l e s of b u i l d i n g a s o c i a l i s t economy, p r i n c i p l e s c r e a t i v e l y a p p l i e d by the Party at the present stage of the advance towards communism? . . . . In improving the methods of guiding economic c o n s t r u c t i o n the Communist Party i s r e s o l u t e l y c a s t i n g aside dogmatic concepts that hamper the s u c c e s s f u l advance to communism.21 Of course, one of these b a s i c s o - c a l l e d "dogmatic concepts" to which the w r i t e r was r e f e r r i n g was the t h e s i s put forward by S t a l i n i n h i s work Ecpnomic Problems of S o c i a l i s m i n the U.S.S.R., that c o l l e c t i v e farm property was already  beginning  to " r e t a r d the powerful development of our productive f o r c e s " , and would do so i n c r e a s i n g l y as time wore on. T h i s , of course, was the t h e s i s p u b l i c l y proclaimed by the Chinese Communists l a t e r , i n defence of t h e i r i n t r o d u c t i o n of the communes. Leontyev f u r t h e r developed Soviet theory  regarding  the development of the c o l l e c t i v e farms, and t h e i r r o l e i n the t r a n s i t i o n t o communism, arguing  that:  L. Leontyev, "For Mighty Upsurge of S o c i a l i s t Economy," Pravda, A p r i l . 7 , 1958; Current Digest of the Soviet Press, v o l . X, no. 15, p. 31.  77 L i f e has shown that the r a i s i n g of c o l l e c t i v e farm p r o p e r t y to the l e v e l of p r o p e r t y belonging to the whole people proceeds through the development, growth and i n c r e a s e of both s t a t e and c o - o p e r a t i v e p r o p e r t y ; moreover, t h i s takes p l a c e through expansion of the sphere of commod i t y c i r c u l a t i o n as a r e s u l t of g r e a t e r marketed p r o d u c t i o n by the c o l l e c t i v e farms, on the one hand, and the f r e e s a l e of machinery to the c o l l e c t i v e farms on the other. It i s no longer p o s s i b l e to deny t h a t the b r i n g i n g of the two forms of s o c i a l i s t p r o p e r t y c l o s e r together i s not being accompanied by a c o n t r a c t i o n of the sphere of value r e l a t i o n s but an expansion of t h i s sphere . . . . The advance of the s o c i a l i s t economy to communism i s connected with ever f u l l e r and wider use of the law of value and the value c a t e g o r i e s based on i t - p r i c e s , money, e t c . 2 2 In s h o r t , by t a k i n g one  step backward i d e o l o g i c a l l y ,  Soviet Union would move two e v o l u t i o n to communism. through  steps forward i n the  the  long-term  The road to communism d i d not l i e  a s t r u c t u r a l r e v o l u t i o n i n S o v i e t s o c i e t y , but  through  i n c r e a s e d p r o d u c t i o n , whence s t r u c t u r a l changes would g r a d u a l l y and n a t u r a l l y evolve. I t i s noteworthy t h a t not only S t a l i n * s  teachings  on c o l l e c t i v e versus s t a t e p r o p e r t y i s negated, but a l s o h i s teaching concerning circulation.  S t a l i n had  the connected  matter  of commodity  s t r e s s e d i n h i s Economic Problems  of S o c i a l i s m that i n the f u t u r e commodity c i r c u l a t i o n would g r a d u a l l y decrease  and be r e p l a c e d by d i r e c t b a r t e r and  exchange.  1  Leontyev s  a r t i c l e argues f o r e x a c t l y the o p p o s i t e —  the i n c r e a s e i n commodity c i r c u l a t i o n and g r e a t e r use of the  Loc. c i t  78 law of v a l u e .  Thus, the new Soviet l i n e embodied an almost  complete r e v e r s a l of the S t a l i n i s t p o s i t i o n , and f a r - r e a c h i n g compromises i n i d e o l o g y i n order to s t i m u l a t e p r o d u c t i v e n e s s . From a dogmatic M a r x i s t p o i n t of view, these p o l i c i e s were i d e o l o g i c a l heresy. The  second  of the two a r t i c l e s d e f i n i n g S o v i e t  p o l i c y concerning the a p p r o p r i a t e a g r i c u l t u r a l u n i t s i n the p e r i o d of the t r a n s i t i o n to communism appeared  i n the March 25  e d i t i o n of the L i t e r a r y Gazette and d e a l t more s p e c i f i c a l l y with the commune as an a l t e r n a t i v e to the c o l l e c t i v e . author, Academician  S. S t r u m i l i n , a l e a d i n g S o v i e t  The  economist,  makes h i s main p o i n t s i n the f o l l o w i n g passage: To t h i s day we do not regard the c o l l e c t i v e farm as the h i g h e s t rung of s o c i a l i s t collectivization. I t was assumed that the c o l l e c t i v e farm was a stage i n the t r a n s i t i o n to the a g r i c u l t u r a l commune - i . e . the stage immediately preceding the commune. However, since the communist p r i n c i p l e of d i s t r i b u t i o n presupposes i n e x h a u s t i b l e sources of abundance, i t would be sheer a b s u r d i t y to begin applying t h i s p r i n c i p l e with the c o l l e c t i v e farm countrys i d e , i . e . the most backward s e c t o r of the s o c i a l i s t economy. Therefore t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of the a r t e l i n t o a commune has been, of course, precluded i n p r a c t i c e f o r an e n t i r e l y i n d e f i n i t e p e r i o d . The idea that the presentday c o l l e c t i v e farm should i n time t u r n i n t o an independent producer-and-consumer commune seems to me fundamentally untenable.23  S . S t r u m i l i n , "On the R i g h t Track," L i t e r a r y Gazette, March 25, p. 2;, Current Digest of the S o v i e t P r e s s v o l . X, no. 15, p. 25. J  79 He a l s o r e j e c t e d the p o s s i b i l i t y of transforming  the  c o l l e c t i v e s i n t o s t a t e farms, and advocated i n s t e a d a gradual  e v o l u t i o n of the c o l l e c t i v e farms i n t h e i r  present  d i r e c t i o n , towards a form more s i m i l a r to s t a t e farms, but not the same: I t would be wrong to o r i e n t ourselves towards t u r n i n g the c o l l e c t i v e farms i n t o s t a t e farms. But to d i r e c t the development of the c o l l e c t i v e farm system towards p o s s i b l y coming c l o s e r to more p r o g r e s s i v e forms of the Soviet economy, towards b r i n g i n g the c o l l e c t i v e farms c l o s e r to the s t a t e farms i n the o r g a n i z a t i o n of labour, seems the most n a t u r a l path of the c o l l e c t i v e f a r m s f u r t h e r development. 241  Here, the Soviet view was l a i d squarely repudiating  on the l i n e ,  the idea that the commune could be  completely  introduced  u n t i l abundance had been achieved, and r e j e c t i n g the idea that such a form would be i n t r o d u c e d  i n the f o r e s e e a b l e  f u t u r e , even i n the Soviet U n i o n — t h e most advanced n a t i o n i n the communist b l o c .  economically  Moreover, the  strength of the S o v i e t c o n v i c t i o n i s c l e a r l y and e x p l i c i t l y r e v e a l e d by the strong language used;  the i n t r o d u c t i o n of  communes was completely out of the question.  Moreover, the  f u t u r e development of the c o l l e c t i v e s was c l e a r l y l a i d out-they would come g r a d u a l l y c l o s e r to the state farm form, that i s to say nearer to ownership by the whole people, but would c e r t a i n l y not change over i n t o communes.  I b i d . , p.  26.  80 The  t h i r d a r t i c l e i n the s e r i e s on the f u t u r e of  a g r i c u l t u r a l development, was I t was  probably  the most s i g n i f i c a n t .  w r i t t e n by I . Glotov, and appeared i n the  j o u r n a l of the C e n t r a l Committee, Kommunist. the  official April  edition. A f t e r d e a l i n g with S t a l i n ' s t h e s i s that the s a l e of the M.T.S. a s s e t s to the c o l l e c t i v e farms would be a r e t r o g r e s s i v e step and would only remove the S o v i e t Union f a r t h e r from communism, Glotov turned h i s a t t e n t i o n to the whole question of the f u t u r e of the c o l l e c t i v e farms: W i l l c o l l e c t i v e farm p r o p e r t y go through the stage of s t a t e p r o p e r t y belonging to the whole people, or i s t h i s stage not necessary f o r i t ? On the road to communism w i l l the c o l l e c t i v e farms i n t h e i r present form of a g r i c u l t u r a l a r t e l s grow over i n t o communes, or i s the process of r a i s i n g c o l l e c t i v e farm p r o p e r t y to the l e v e l of property belonging to the whole people, of communist p r o p e r t y , not connected with a stage of the a r t e l ' s growing over i n t o a commune? Such questions a r i s e among many comrades. I t must be s a i d that the c o r r e c t answer to these questions can be given only by l i f e i t s e l f , by the p r a c t i c a l experience of m i l l i o n s of S o v i e t men and women b u i l d i n g communism i n i t s f u l l concreteness and a l l i t s d e t a i l s . They have never s a i d that they would adhere once and f o r a l l to (any) set form methods and ways i n accomplishing the t a s k s of communist construction.25 This passage sets up the stage f o r the of  'negation'  the communes as a u s e f u l form i n the task of communist  I. Glotov, "Reorganization of the M.T.S. and C o l l e c t i v e Farm P r o p e r t y , " Kommunist. no. 5, A p r i l 1958, pp. 38-54: Current Digest of the Soviet Press, v o l . 10, no. 15, p. 22.  c o n s t r u c t i o n , and t i e s i n with S t r u m i l i n s c a r e f u l f  81 assertion  that " i t was assumed ( p r e v i o u s l y ) that the c o l l e c t i v e farm was a stage i n the t r a n s i t i o n to the a g r i c u l t u r a l implying that the assumption  commune,"  has now been proven f a l s e , i n  the l i g h t of S o v i e t experience.  Of course, the nature of  Glotov's a s s e r t i o n concerning the f i n d i n g of the c o r r e c t i d e o l o g i c a l road only through  experience i s most u s e f u l as a  t o o l f o r the S o v i e t s s i n c e i t means that they are not t i e d to unbending i d e o l o g y .  However, at the same time, i t does mean  that the Soviet Union a r b i t r a r i l y s e t s i d e o l o g i c a l  standards  f o r the r e s t of the S o c i a l i s t c o u n t r i e s as i t progresses ahead of the others along the communist road.  And t h i s of  course, i s one of the c h i e f sources of the f r i c t i o n i n the d i s p u t e over the communes: precedence  Soviet 'experience  over the i d e o l o g i c a l 'assumptions'  1  takes  to which the  Chinese s u b s c r i b e . Having  c l e a r e d the way i d e o l o g i c a l l y f o r the need  to be guided by 'experience' ( i . e . expediency)  i n the process  of e v o l v i n g to communism, Glotov banishes the commune from ideological  orthodoxy:  Does t h i s mean that the c o l l e c t i v e farms w i l l come t o communism i n the form of a g r i c u l t u r a l a r t e l s or w i l l they grow over i n t o communes, e n t e r p r i s e s a l s o based on group p r o p e r t y , but which a p p l y the p r i n c i p l e 'From each according to h i s a b i l i t i e s , to each according t o h i s needs'? E v i d e n t l y such a commune i s u n l i k e l y under s o c i a l i s m f o r the economic c o n d i t i o n s at t h i s stage d i f f e r from the economic c o n d i t i o n s under communism p r e c i s e l y i n that they are not r i p e as y e t f o r the a p p l i c a t i o n of the communist p r i n c i p l e of d i s t r i b u t i o n . And under  82 communism a commune, as a c o l l e c t i v e of owners of group p r o p e r t y , i s o b v i o u s l y s e n s e l e s s . The commune proved t o be unviable a t the dawn of the c o l l e c t i v e farm system. I t i s a l s o uns u i t a b l e d u r i n g the p e r i o d of t r a n s i t i o n from s o c i a l i s m to communism.26 In t h i s short statement, Glotov r e j e c t e d the commune o u t r i g h t , even as a u n i t of f u t u r e communist s o c i e t y , thus throwing the commune concept on the Russian's i d e o l o g i c a l scrapheap.  I t should be noted, too, that Glotov's i d e o l o g i c a l  a s s e r t i o n s are of such a nature as to be d i r e c t e d at the communist movement as a whole and not merely the Soviet Union.  Here, he i s not j u s t p r e s c r i b i n g f o r the Soviet  Union, but i s making i d e o l o g i c a l pronouncements of a g e n e r a l nature, a p p l i c a b l e to the communist movement as a whole. Since the a r t i c l e appeared i n the C e n t r a l Committee's t h e o r e t i c a l j o u r n a l , i t can be s a f e l y concluded that pronouncement concerning communes and f u t u r e  this  development  of the c o l l e c t i v e farm system represented the f o r m u l a t i o n of the new p a r t y l i n e i n the aftermath of the M.T.S. debates. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that although Glotov mentioned  the f a c t the "commune proved to be unviable a t  the dawn of the c o l l e c t i v e farm system," he d i d not quote S t a l i n ' s 193*+ r e p u d i a t i o n of the communes i n support of t h i s case against the commune. anomalous s i t u a t i o n .  There are two reasons f o r t h i s  The f i r s t i s that the p a r t y had j u s t  f i n i s h e d r e j e c t i n g S t a l i n ' s arguments a g a i n s t the t r a n s f e r  I b i d . , p. 25.  83 of the M.T.S. equipment to the c o l l e c t i v e s , and was h a r d l y i n a . p o s i t i o n to use him as an i d e o l o g i c a l a u t h o r i t y I n the f i e l d of a g r i c u l t u r e .  The second reason i s that w h i l e S t a l i n  r e j e c t e d the commune i d e a i n 1 9 3 > he by no means r u l e d i t k  out i n the f u t u r e .  In f a c t , he f u l l y supported the n o t i o n  that the c o l l e c t i v e s would evolve i n t o communes when the time was r i p e ;  and h i s suggestions i n the years  immediately  before h i s death that the c o l l e c t i v e s were beginning to hamper f o r c e s of p r o d u c t i o n , seemed to i n d i c a t e that he thought the communes might not be f a r o f f .  And since  Glotov*s purpose was to r u l e out the communes a l t o g e t h e r i d e o l o g i c a l l y , to quote S t a l i n , was to court d i s a s t e r . Commenting on the prematurity and the apparent f a i l u r e of the a g r i c u l t u r a l commune, S t a l i n had suggested three reasons f o r i t s l a c k of success:  a shortage of  products, a too-low l e v e l of technology, and an e g a l i t a r i a n i s m f o r c e d on the communes by s c a r c i t y . The present a g r i c u l t u r a l commune arose on the b a s i s of an underdeveloped technology and a shortage of products. T h i s r e a l l y e x p l a i n s why i t p r a c t i c e d e g a l i t a r i a n i s m and showed l i t t l e concern f o r the i n d i v i d u a l , everyday i n t e r e s t of i t s members—as a r e s u l t of which i t i s now being compelled to assume the s t a t u s of the a r t e l , i n which the i n d i v i d u a l and the p u b l i c i n t e r e s t of the c o l l e c t i v e farmers are n a t i o n a l l y combined . . . . P r a c t i c e has shown that the communes would c e r t a i n l y have been doomed had they not abandoned e g a l i t a r i a n i s m . 7 2  J . S t a l i n , Report to the Seventeenth Congress of the C.P.S.U. ( T O (Moscow, F.L.P.H. , 1 9 5 D , p. 98.  8k  This l a s t statement was  to be a foreshadowing of events i n  People's China more than twenty-five i t was for  t h i s a s s e r t i o n , along with  years  later.  the formulated  the implementation of the commune o u t l i n e d by  Moreover, prerequisites Stalin,  t h a t prevented the Chinese too from m o b i l i z i n g S t a l i n ' s works i n support of t h e i r commune program. why  S t a l i n was  This  explains  never r e f e r r e d to f o r support by e i t h e r s i d e  i n the controversy  over the communes.  O u t l i n i n g the s p e c i f i c c o n d i t i o n s under which the commune as a s o c i a l u n i t c o u l d a r i s e i n S o c i a l i s t s o c i e t y , S t a l i n had  a s s e r t e d i n h i s 17th  Congress speech, t h a t :  The f u t u r e commune w i l l a r i s e on the b a s i s of a more developed technology and of a more developed a r t e l , on the b a s i s of an abundance of products. When w i l l that be? Not soon of course. But i t w i l l be. I t would be c r i m i n a l to a c c e l e r a t e a r t i f i c i a l l y the process of t r a n s i t i o n from the a r t e l to the f u t u r e commune. That would only confuse the whole i s s u e and would f a c i l i t a t e the work of our enemies. The t r a n s i t i o n from the a r t e l to the f u t u r e commune must proceed g r a d u a l l y , to the extent that a l l the c o l l e c t i v e farmers become convinced that such a t r a n s i t i o n i s necessary.28 C l e a r l y , the Chinese communists c o u l d not hope to c l a i m i n 1958  that they had f u l f i l l e d S t a l i n ' s c o n d i t i o n s .  Even with the bumper harvest  of that year, China  remained i n the same c o n d i t i o n s of poverty  still  that c h a r a c t e r i z e d  the Soviet Union at the time the a g r i c u l t u r a l communes were disbanded there.  Thus, by i n t r o d u c i n g the communes i n t o the  I b i d . , p.  97.  85 Chinese s o c i a l system,  the Chinese found themselves i n the  p o s i t i o n of f l y i n g i n the f a c e o f , not only the contemporary Soviet l e a d e r s , but a l s o of Joseph S t a l i n , the man who seemingly claimed so much of Mao's i d e o l o g i c a l a l l e g i a n c e and respect. N e v e r t h e l e s s , the Chinese communists, a p p a r e n t l y o b l i v i o u s to these c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , I n i t i a t e d the f i r s t experimental communes i n m i d - A p r i l i n Honan, with a view t o advancing the r e v o l u t i o n i n China to y e t another stage.  CHAPTER IV THE UNVEILING OF THE COMMUNES: SINO-SOVIET CONFRONTATION The Chinese P a r t y Congress The most important event i n the month f o l l o w i n g the establishment of the f i r s t was the meeting  experimental communes i n Honan  of the 8th N a t i o n a l Congress  of the Chinese  Communist Party which had l a s t met i n October 195°.  At  the 1956 s e s s i o n , r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of f r a t e r n a l p a r t i e s from n e a r l y every country i n the world were i n v i t e d to a t t e n d the proceedings, and were even i n v i t e d to address the Congress. I t was here f o r i n s t a n c e that Anastas Mikoyan made an important speech r e g a r d i n g Soviet a i d to China and a number of other aspects of S i n o - S o v i e t r e l a t i o n s .  But, s i g n i f i c a n t l y ,  at the 1958 Congress no o u t s i d e observers were i n v i t e d to attend the s e s s i o n s and to r e c o r d the d e l i b e r a t i o n s .  Even  i n the Soviet Union, the only r e p o r t s of the Congress were those i s s u e d by the New China News Agency.  E v i d e n t l y , not  even the Soviet Union had been i n v i t e d to be represented at the Congress" c l o s e d s e s s i o n s .  C l e a r l y t h i s c u r t a i n of  secrecy which was drawn over the proceedings of the Congress was not without purpose, and s t r o n g l y suggested that the communes were among the t h i n g s d i s c u s s e d behind c l o s e d doors. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g i n t h i s regard that although Mao Tse-tung addressed the Congress, h i s speech was not p u b l i s h e d along with those of L i u Shao-chi and Tan C h e n - l i n .  87 I t would appear l i k e l y that Mao  d e a l t at some length  with the communes i n h i s address, since the experiment been underway f o r s e v e r a l weeks, and Mao  had  returned from h i s month i n v a r i o u s provinces initiation.  It i s interesting  only  had  just  overseeing  their  to note that nowhere i n the  r e p o r t of the C e n t r a l Committee to the Congress was any d i r e c t mention of the communes (indeed remembered that the name 'commune' was  there  i t should  be  not a p p l i e d by  C e n t r a l Committee u n t i l a month l a t e r ) .  Nor  was  i n d i c a t i o n i n the speech by Tan C h e n - l i n on the  there  the any  National  Program For A g r i c u l t u r a l Development, that a r e v o l u t i o n a r y new  movement was  underway i n c e r t a i n r u r a l areas.  A number  of important i d e o l o g i c a l and domestic p o l i c y p o i n t s were made i n these speeches, however, and a number of references  made, which i n the l i g h t  oblique  of subsequent events,  can be seen as p e r t a i n i n g to the impending i n t r o d u c t i o n of the communes on a nationwide s c a l e . foundation  was  Moreover, the  l a i d f o r s u b s t a n t i a t i n g the Party's  ideological new  p o l i c y of l e a p i n g forward i n economic c o n s t r u c t i o n and the coming f u l l - f l e d g e d dispute  for  over the communes.  Perhaps the most important p r i n c i p l e l a i d down at the Congress was  the p r i n c i p l e of "uninterrupted  which l a i d the i d e o l o g i c a l foundation leap forward, and  revolution",  f o r both the economic  more d i r e c t l y , the people's commune.  Shao-chi expressed the concept i n these words:  Liu  88 Marx, Engels and Lenin o f t e n p o i n t e d out that the watchword of the working c l a s s should be "uninterrupted r e v o l u t i o n . In p u t t i n g forward new r e v o l u t i o n a r y tasks i n good times, so that there i s no halfway h a l t i n the r e v o l u t i o n a r y advance of the people, the r e v o l u t i o n a r y f e r v o u r of the masses w i l l not subside with i n t e r r u p t i o n s of the r e v o l u t i o n , and P a r t y and s t a t e f u n c t i o n a r i e s w i l l not r e s t content with the successes won and grow arrogant or a p a t h e t i c , the C e n t r a l Committee of the Communist P a r t y and Comrade Mao Tse-tung have always guided the Chinese r e v o l u t i o n by t h i s M a r x i s t - L e n i n i s t theory of u n i n t e r r u p t e d r e v o l u t i o n . ! 1  T h i s was the f i r s t 1  uninterrupted  time that Mao Tse-tung*s theory of  revolution  1  had been p u b l i c l y expressed,  i n d i c a t i n g that i t was meant to set the t h e o r e t i c a l foundat i o n f o r the r a d i c a l p o l i c y changes that were being introduced.  In the f o l l o w i n g months, the theory was to form  the t h e o r e t i c a l core Soviet comrades.  of the Chinese dialogue with  their  In a c t u a l f a c t , although L i u claimed the  p r i n c i p l e to have been advanced by the f a t h e r s of communism, l a t e r i t was claimed Leninism".  to be a " c r e a t i v e a d d i t i o n to M a r x i s t -  I t i s true that Marx, Engels and Lenin  uninterrupted  advocated  r e v o l u t i o n but not e x a c t l y i n the sense that  Mao was seeking  to use i t .  They had used the concept to  apply to the p e r i o d of r e v o l u t i o n i n a country before the working c l a s s ( t h e communist p a r t y )  seized power, and to the  p e r i o d of t r a n s i t i o n from bourgeois r e v o l u t i o n to s o c i a l i s t  L i u Shao-chi, "Report on the Work of the C e n t r a l Committee," Second Session of the E i g h t h N a t i o n a l Congress of the Communist P a r t y of China (Peking, F.L.P., 1 9 5 8 ) , P. 3 9 .  89 revolution,  w h i l e Mao w a s e x t e n d i n g  the  of  advance  this  s o c i e t y from s o c i a l i s m to  concept the  to  include  communist  Utopia. It this  is  principle  l i k e l y no c o i n c i d e n c e t h a t in  Soviet Union for from l a t e r  the  months  charges  Mao h a d b e e n i m p r e s s e d b y of  life  become  in  the  Soviet  the  advance  of R u s s i a n the  Soviet Union  convinced that  the  following his  t h e Moscow c o n f e r e n c e .  Chinese  revolution towards  the  Mao h a d visit  It  to  would  the  seem c l e a r  "conversatism"  increasing  during  formulated  his  "bourgeoisization"  visit  there  and  "modern r e v i s i o n i s t s " were  to a h a l t  in  communism i n  the  that  domestic arena;  a non-material  had  bringing that  s e n s e was  non-existent. The m e s s a g e b e h i n d M a o ' s t h e P a r t y m u s t move t h e n a t i o n communist development. in  the  make-up  Hinting  of Chinese  new p r i n c i p l e was  into that  the next big  society, Liu  stage  clear: of  changes were  Shao-chi  due  declared:  The f a c t i s t h a t t h e g r o w t h of t h e s o c i a l productive forces calls for a socialist r e v o l u t i o n and t h e s p i r i t u a l e m a n c i p a t i o n o f the p e o p l e ; the v i c t o r y of the r e v o l u t i o n and e m a n c i p a t i o n i n t u r n spurs a l e a p f o r w a r d i n the s o c i a l p r o d u c t i v e f o r c e s ; and t h i s i n t u r n i m p e l s a p r o g r e s s i v e change i n the s o c i a l i s t r e l a t i o n s of p r o d u c t i o n and an advance i n man's ideology. In t h e i r ceaseless struggle to t r a n s form nature, the people are continuously t r a n s f o r m i n g s o c i e t y and themselves.2  2  Ibid.,  p.  32.  90  Since a so-called leap forward i n production had already occurred over the winter and spring months, the Chinese leaders were already in an ideologically consistent position to argue for a change i n production relations. Calling for a revolutionary upsurge i n building socialism, Liu noted that already Chinese society was in revolutionary ferment: In city and countryside people vie with each other to join in a l l kinds of voluntary labour. In building Irrigation works the peasants in many places have thrown aside the age-old narrow-minded idea of only looking after their native places . . . . Many enterprises, organizations, schools, army units and individuals have taken the initiative i n coordinating their activities with those of others so as to promote the progress of a l l concerned. A l l this i s , as Lenin said, the actual beginning of communism, the beginning of a change which i s of world historic significance!3 As a corollary to the 'permanent revolution* formula, Liu put forward the party's general line for socialist construction:  of achieving "greater, faster, better and more  economical results," which had been passed by the Central Committee the previous September.  The communes were later  said to have resulted from this ordered speed up in the tempo of construction since new organizational forms were needed to make better use of rural labour.  Thus, Liu's  arguments supporting the increase in" tempo can also be seen as arguments supporting the necessity of introducing the communes. He asserts that: Ibid., p. 2 8 .  91 Some people do not r e c o g n i z e the importance of i n c r e a s i n g the speed of c o n s t r u c t i o n . . . . Some say that speeding up c o n s t r u c t i o n makes people f e e l 'tense', and so i t ' s b e t t e r to slow down the tempo. But are things not going t o get tense i f the speed of c o n s t r u c t i o n i s slowed down? S u r e l y one should be able t o see that a r e a l l y t e r r i b l y tense s i t u a t i o n would e x i s t i f more than 600 m i l l i o n people had t o l i v e i n poverty and c u l t u r a l backwardness f o r a prolonged p e r i o d , had to exert t h e i r utmost e f f o r t s j u s t t o eke out a bare l i v i n g , and were unable to r e s i s t n a t u r a l c a l a m i t i e s e f f e c t i v e l y , unable to put a quick stop to p o s s i b l e f o r e i g n aggression and u t t e r l y unable to master t h e i r own fate.*+ Quite c l e a r l y , h i s argument i s that i f s u b s t a n t i a l progress i s not made by the regime i n a f a i r l y short time, peasant unrest might p o s s i b l y become widespread i t s existence.  and t h r e a t e n  The experience of 1957, e s p e c i a l l y during  the Hundred Flowers p e r i o d , had shown the p a r t y q u i t e c l e a r l y and unmistakenly that a l o t of resentment beneath  and unrest l a y  the s u r f a c e of the s o c i e t y which would s p r i n g t o  the f o r e as soon as c o n d i t i o n s were r i g h t .  During the  f i r s t f i v e year p l a n , a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n had i n c r e a s e d by l e s s than %  per year, h a r d l y keeping ahead of p o p u l a t i o n  g r o w t h — i n order to j u s t i f y the peasants' s a c r i f i c e s i n terms of i n c r e a s e d work and r e g i m e n t a t i o n , the p a r t y would have to step up p r o d u c t i o n and produce more r e s u l t s . alternative,  The  i m p l i e d L i u Shao-chi, was to r i s k peasant up-  r i s i n g s such as those of a minor nature, which occurred i n some areas i n 1957*  I b i d . , p. kh.  The Industry  t h i r d major p r o p o s a l  made by L i u was that  should be d e c e n t r a l i z e d and placed  c o n t r o l i n order output.  under l o c a l  to i n c r e a s e l o c a l i n i t i a t i v e and i n c r e a s e  This move was an important one i n the move towards  the communes, s i n c e one of the outstanding  f e a t u r e s of the  communes was to be that they combined both i n d u s t r y and a g r i c u l t u r e , and became the b a s i c a d m i n i s t r a t i v e as w e l l as the b a s i c s o c i a l and economic u n i t s of Chinese s o c i e t y . Thus, the Party Congress, which met f o r n e a r l y three weeks, while not p u b l i c l y I s s u i n g any statement concerning  the commune experiment, d i d l a y the t h e o r e t i c a l  and i d e o l o g i c a l foundation provided  f o r t h e i r i n t r o d u c t i o n , and  the opening challenge  to the Soviet p o l i c y of  gradualism and conservatism i n a g r i c u l t u r e and i d e o l o g y . On June 1, an a r t i c l e appeared i n Red F l a g under the authorship  of Mao Tse-tung, and c a l l e d "Introducing  Co-operative".  a  Here Mao made h i s famous a s s e r t i o n t h a t :  Apart from t h e i r other c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , China's 600 m i l l i o n people a r e : f i r s t of a l l poor and second "blank". This seems l i k e a bad t h i n g , but i n f a c t i t ' s a good t h i n g . Poor people want change, want t o do t h i n g s , want r e v o l u t i o n . A c l e a n sheet of paper has nothing on i t , so that the newest and most b e a u t i f u l words can be w r i t t e n and the newest and most b e a u t i f u l p i c t u r e s p a i n t e d on i t . 5  e.  Mao Tse-tung, "Introducing a Co-operative," Red F l a g . no. 1, 1958; Peking Review, no. 15, 1958, p. 6. y  93 Moreover, he went on, "throughout the country the communist s p i r i t i s surging forward."  However, no e x p l i c i t  reference  to the experiments i n Honan was made, even though In r e t r o spect i t can be seen that Mao o b v i o u s l y had the communes i n mind when he made these remarks. Khrushchev at the B u l g a r i a n  Party Congress  A few days l a t e r , a t the B u l g a r i a n p a r t y  congress,  i t was the S o v i e t l e a d e r ' s turn to s t a t e h i s views. opening remarks were c l e a r l y intended suggesting  that they should  His  f o r the Chinese,  co-operate i n the Soviet  f o r economic i n t e g r a t i o n of the b l o c .  plan  (A conference of bloc  members had met a few weeks p r e v i o u s l y and was scheduled to d i s c u s s t h i s matter again w i t h i n another few weeks.) d i s t r e s s over the Chinese determination  Soviet  to b u i l d an independent  economy was evident, and i t i s c l e a r that part of the dismay over the Chinese leap forward and the communes stemmed from the f a c t that these moves were r e l a t e d to the Chinese d r i v e f o r economic independence.  In h i s speech, Khrushchev t o l d  h i s audience t h a t : I t goes without saying that each s o c i a l i s t country decides independently on i t s forms of co-operation with the other s o c i a l i s t countries. There i s not and cannot be any pressure whatsoever i n t h i s respect.° However, could the r i c h o p p o r t u n i t i e s of the s o c i a l i s t c o u n t r i e s be e x p l o i t e d to the f u l l i f each country acted i n i s o l a t i o n This statement would suggest that pressure had indeed been a p p l i e d on the C h i n e s e — p e r h a p s i n the form of withholding economic a s s i s t a n c e .  9  k  stewed i n i t s own j u i c e as the saying goes? I f the s o c i a l i s t c o u n t r i e s were to a c t a t c r o s s purposes, c o u l d a r e l i a b l e defence of the gains of s o c i a l i s m be assured under present i n t e r n a t i o n a l c o n d i t i o n s ? Of course not . . . . Only the s o l i d a r i t y of the s o c i a l i s t c o u n t r i e s and the strengthening of a l l - r o u n d co-operation and f r a t e r n a l a i d can assure a g e n e r a l i n c r e a s e i n the s o c i a l i s t economy and the advancing of the f o r m e r l y underdeveloped c o u n t r i e s to the l e v e l of the advanced.7 The  attempt by the Soviet Union to coerce and persuade the  Chinese to enter the Soviet economic o r b i t had met with no success at the May COMECON meeting i n Moscow, and t h i s should be borne i n mind as a c o n t r i b u t i n g f a c t o r to the subsequent commune  controversy.  In the same speech Khrushchev a l s o made a number of apparently f a v o u r a b l e r e f e r e n c e s to the c r e a t i v e i d e o l o g y of the Chinese p a r t y .  I n a h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e , these  can now be seen as a kind of l e f t - h a n d e d compliment, s t r e s s i n g the c o r r e c t n e s s of the p o l i c i e s the Chinese had f o l l o w e d i n c o l l e c t i v i z a t i o n , and l e a v i n g i m p l i e d the suggestion that to make a r a d i c a l policy switch would be wrong.  Thus Khrushchev a s s e r t e d t h a t : The Chinese Communist P a r t y and the other f r a t e r n a l p a r t i e s of the people's democ r a c i e s have , . . found unique forms f o r applying the L e n i n i s t cooperative p l a n i n p r a c t i c e ( r e f e r r i n g to mutual a i d teams  'N. S. Khrushchev, "Speech at the Seventh Congress of the B u l g a r i a n Communist P a r t y , " Pravda, June *+, 1958, pp. 1-3; Current Digest of the Soviet P r e s s , v o l . 10, no. 22, p. 8.  95 and other i n n o v a t i o n s ) , China has m a s t e r f u l l y combined the g e n e r a l t r u t h of M a r x i s t - L e n i n i s m with the concrete p r a c t i c e of r e v o l u t i o n and s o c i a l i s t c o n s t r u c t i o n i n i t s country.° Yet he took pains to s t r e s s very c l e a r l y that "the experience of your ( B u l g a r i a n ) p a r t y confirms once again t h a t whatever the n a t i o n a l f e a t u r e s , there i s no other way  to e n l i s t  the  broad peasant masses i n s o c i a l i s m except by the t e s t e d L e n i n i s t cooperative plan." Here he e x p l i c i t l y countered the Chinese argument that the communes were a product of n a t i o n a l p e c u l i a r i t i e s . H i s statement i s such as to r e a s s e r t the essence of Glotov's a r t i c l e — t h a t the path to communism charted by the CPSU i n the l i g h t of S o v i e t experience d i d not j u s t apply to the Soviet Union, but had the f o r c e of M a r x i s t dogma, b i n d i n g on a l l .  Doubtless these words by the Soviet l e a d e r were i n  the nature of a warning  to the Chinese not to proceed with  t h e i r experiments, but to remain true to the " L e n i n i s t cooperative p l a n " , and were designed to show Soviet  dis-  pleasure at the developments i n China i n r e c e n t months, without e x p l i c i t l y and openly r e f e r r i n g to the commune e x p e r i ments. However, before the month was  over the Chinese  Party's P o l i t i b u r o had committed i t s e l f even deeper, I d e o l o g i c a l l y , to a departure from the Soviet l i n e .  hoc.cit  I t was  96 i n June that the d e c i s i o n was made to adopt the name "people's communes" f o r Mao's r u r a l c r e a t i o n s .  The  s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s move cannot be overestimated, since to apply  the word 'commune' s i g n i f i e d a d e l i b e r a t e move on  the p a r t of the Chinese t o challenge ideologically.  The communes could  the Soviet Union  j u s t as w e l l have been  c a l l e d "Higher Stage C o l l e c t i v e s " by the Chinese, and much of the c o n f l i c t would have been averted. these new u n i t s as communes s i g n i f i e d  But the naming of  (a) that the Chinese  d i d not adhere to the CPSU's r e v i s i o n of Marxist  theory to  exclude the commune as the f i n a l stage of the a g r i c u l t u r a l r e v o l u t i o n , nor i t s formula r e v i s i n g the n o t i o n of the nature of the t r a n s i t i o n of s o c i a l i s t s o c i e t y to communism, and  (b) that the Chinese were c l a i m i n g to be moving one step  ahead of the S o v i e t Union on the road to the communist Utopia.  In short i t s i g n i f i e d a d i r e c t challenge  to Soviet  i d e o l o g i c a l l e a d e r s h i p and to the U.S.S.R.'s p o s i t i o n as the leading s o c i a l i s t state.  The d e c i s i o n had c l e a r l y been  made to d i r e c t l y oppose the l i n e s e t down by the CPSU only two  months b e f o r e ;  and to a s s e r t i d e o l o g i c a l independence.  P u b l i c U n v e i l i n g of the 'People's Communes' On J u l y 1, an a r t i c l e by P o l i t b u r o member Chen Po-ta i n Red F l a g f i n a l l y r e v e a l e d p u b l i c l y the term 'people's commune*, applying  i t to d e s c r i b e  the Hsukuang No. 1 Co-  operative i n Hupeh (where Mao had a l s o spent a good deal of time i n A p r i l ) which had been p u b l i c i z e d p r e v i o u s l y i n Red  97 F l a g as a new type of c o o p e r a t i v e .  According to Chen, t h i s  new people's commune was an example of what Mao was t a l k i n g about when he s a i d that the "poor and blank" Chinese people were " p a i n t i n g the newest and most b e a u t i f u l p i c t u r e s " on a c l e a n sheet of paper.  E x h a l t i n g t h i s brand new Chinese  c r e a t i o n — t h e people's commune--Chen Po-ta d e c l a r e d that i t would enable the Chinese to r e a l i z e a l l the p r e r e q u i s i t e s to communism i n r e c o r d time: Can i t be s a i d that what t h i s c o o p e r a t i v e i s doing i s a c t u a l l y an i n d i c a t i o n that our country can develop the p r o d u c t i v e f o r c e s of s o c i e t y a t a r a t e unknown i n h i s t o r y , can q u i c k l y e l i m i n a t e the d i s t i n c t i o n between i n d u s t r y and a g r i c u l t u r e , and the d i s t i n c t i o n between mental and manual l a b o u r , thereby to open a road on which our country can smoothly pass over from s o c i a l i s m to communism'? I t h i n k i t can be s a i d . 9 R e f e r r i n g to the p r e r e q u i s i t e s t o , and p r i n c i p l e s o f , communist s o c i e t y l a i d down by E n g e l s , t h e o r e t i c i a n Chen Po-ta openly proclaimed that the new people's commune, such as the one under d i s c u s s i o n , " i s c o n c r e t e l y and g r a d u a l l y realizing  such an i d e a l of the founders of s c i e n t i f i c  communism." Two weeks l a t e r i n the same P a r t y j o u r n a l , the Red F l a g e d i t o r , Chen Po-ta d i s c u s s e d the communes i n g r e a t e r d e t a i l , and a t t r i b u t e d them d i r e c t l y to the c r e a t i v e mind of Mao Tse-tung.  He suggested that t h i s new c r e a t i o n of the  ^Chen Po-ta, "New S o c i e t y , New People," Red F l a g . July 1, 1958; Current Background, no. 517, p.  98 Chinese leader was  completely c o n s i s t e n t with  since Marx and Engels had f o l l o w e d and had nation."  not  only set out  the p r i n c i p l e s to be  set down "a p r e s c r i p t i o n f o r each  Moreover, he noted that Lenin had  E a s t e r n c o u n t r i e s had those i n Europe, and expected.  Marxist-Leninism  remarked that  c o n d i t i o n s which d i f f e r e d g r e a t l y from that t h e r e f o r e d i f f e r e n t forms c o u l d  Here, of course, i s a c l e a r i n d i c a t i o n that  be  the  Chinese l e a d e r s were very much aware that the commune was d e v i a t i o n from the Soviet path, and were already  a  defending  t h e i r d e v i a t i o n on the grounds that d i f f e r e n t c o n d i t i o n s demanded d i f f e r e n t s o l u t i o n s . Chen a l s o e u l o g i z e d Mao Marxist-Leninism,  In the course of the  as an outstanding  article,  t h e o r e t i c i a n of  thus i n f l a t i n g Mao's s t a t u r e as a source  of d o c t r i n a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , and  at the same time g i v i n g  communes added i d e o l o g i c a l orthodoxy.  the  Chen noted t h a t :  Comrade Mao Tse-tung s a i d that we should s t e a d i l y and s y s t e m a t i c a l l y organize i n d u s t r y , a g r i c u l t u r e , commerce, education, and s o l d i e r s (people's armed f o r c e s ) i n t o a b i g commune, thereby to form the b a s i c u n i t s of s o c i e t y . . . . This conception of the commune i s a c o n c l u s i o n drawn by Comrade Mao Tse-tung from r e a l i s t i c l i f e . 1 0 According  to Chen, Mao's concept of the commune was  i n d u s t r y , a g r i c u l t u r e and l i f e of the members;  commerce would provide  c u l t u r e and  education  to s a t i s f y t h e i r s p i r i t u a l requirements and  that  the  material  would be  deployed  the armed f o r c e s  Chen Po-ta, "Under the Banner of Comrade Mao Tsetung," Red F l a g , no. k. J u l y 1 6 , 1958; Survey of the Chinese Mainland Press, no. I38.  99 would p r o t e c t the members u n t i l such time as " e x p l o i t a t i o n of man by man i n the world" i s e l i m i n a t e d . C o n f r o n t a t i o n Over the Communes:  J u l y 1958  Thus, with both s i d e s having taken stands over the communes, the stage was set f o r a c o n f r o n t a t i o n between Khrushchev  and Mao—and the chance  of J u l y , Khrushchev  soon came.  made an unexpected,  At the end  s e c r e t t r i p to  Peking, o s t e n s i b l y to d i s c u s s the Middle E a s t c r i s i s with Mao, and to have c o n s u l t a t i o n s over the b u i l d i n g t e n s i o n of the Formosa S t r a i t s .  The communique i s s u e d a f t e r the  meeting contained no r e f e r e n c e to anything but f o r e i g n p o l i c y , but subsequent d i s c l o s u r e s by the Soviet p a r t y have confirmed that the Chinese commune p o l i c y came under  fire  and was o f f i c i a l l y and p e r s o n a l l y discouraged by Khrushchev. In i t s l e t t e r of September 2 1 , 1963 to the Chinese government, the Soviet government r e v e a l e d the nature of Khrushchev's misgivings concerning the communes: P r e c i s e l y because the i n t e r e s t s of the Chinese people are dear to us, we were upset by the t u r n which became apparent i n the development of the Chinese n a t i o n a l economy i n 1 9 5 8 , when the l e a d e r s of the People's Republic of China proclaimed t h e i r l i n e of the "Three Red Banners", announced the "Great Leap", and began s e t t i n g up the People's Communes. Our p a r t y saw that t h i s was a road of dangerous experiments, a road of d i s r e g a r d f o r economic laws, and f o r the experience "of other s o c i a l i s t States . . . . We c o u l d not f a i l to f e e l alarmed when, with every step they took, the l e a d e r s of the People's Republic of China began t o pour abuse on the L e n i n i s t p r i n c i p l e  100 of m a t e r i a l I n c e n t i v e , abandoned the p r i n c i p l e of remunerating labour, and went over to ,, e g a l i t a r i a n d i s t r i b u t i o n i n People's Communes. Thus the communes were regarded, even i n t h e i r stage,  as being  experimental  "dangerous experiments", i n v o l v i n g a n e g a t i o n  of m a t e r i a l i n c e n t i v e and an undue emphasis on e g a l i t a r i a n i s m . It w i l l be remembered that i t was e x a c t l y f o r these l a t t e r " h e r e s i e s " that S t a l i n abandoned and v i l i f i e d Soviet communes of the 1920's.  the premature  The Soviet p a r t y a l s o  emphasized that the Chinese communes represented  a blatant  d i s r e g a r d f o r t h i s Soviet experience with communes, and s t r e s s e d that the Chinese communes were a d e v i a t i o n from the cooperative  plan l a i d down by Lenin.  R e c a l l i n g Khrushchev's 1958 c o n f r o n t a t i o n with Mao on the commune question, the conversation  the 1963 Soviet l e t t e r summed up  as f o l l o w s :  We regarded i t as our duty to t e l l the Chinese l e a d e r s i n a comradely way as e a r l y as 1958 about our doubts concerning such 'innovations'. This was s a i d p e r s o n a l l y by N i k i t a Khrushchev to Mao Tse-tung i n the summer of 1958. The head of the Soviet government pointed out that many things which the Chinese comrades regarded as the v e r y l a t e s t i n Marxist-Leninism, as a method of speeding up the b u i l d i n g of communism, had a l r e a d y been t r i e d out i n p r a c t i c e by our own people during the f i r s t years of the r e v o l u tion. I n our day, we l e a r n e d that such a form of o r g a n i z i n g peasant production d i d not j u s t i f y i t s e l f f o r many reasons. Our party accomplished  Soviet Government, A Reply t o Peking (London, Soviet B o o k l e t s , 1963), p. 12.  101 the t a s k of the s o c i a l i s t t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of a g r i c u l t u r e on the b a s i s of L e n i n ' s c o o p e r a tive plan.12 One  of  this  the  important  admonition  communes, Chinese  is  became the  Marshal  delegation  at  display  intimately  communes.  to  be  by Khrushchev,  that  Khrushchev's  things  of  the  talks,  in  time,  mind  charges  Teh-huai and  displeasure.  involved  At  and h i s  Peng  these  borne i n  concerning against  w a s a member  of  so was w i t n e s s Marshal  Internal  party  Peng  the the  to  later  opposition  to  however:  The C h i n e s e l e a d e r s t u r n e d a d e a f e a r t o o u r c o n s i d e r a t i o n s and d i d n o t take i n t o a c c o u n t t h e e x p e r i e n c e of our p a r t y and s t a t e . Moreo v e r , p e o p l e i n C h i n a b e g a n t o c a l l us c o n s e r v a t i v e s , b e l i e v i n g t h a t the " g r e a t l e a p " and t h e P e o p l e ' s Communes w o u l d p e r m i t t h e P e o p l e ' s Republic to s k i p a whole stage i n the b u i l d i n g o f a new s o c i e t y a n d go o v e r t o communism s t r a i g h t away. 13 Thus  the  Chinese  leadership  and d e c i d e d  to  new commune  policies,  against  Soviet  phase were  the  in  the  openly  proceed f u l l  very next  day  p. cit.  Moreover,  'conservatism*  to r e v o l u t i o n a r y  after  13.  radical  the  opened  charge  up a n e w  policies  content.  1958  in fact—Mao  Ibid., Loc.  as  August  Immediately  of  may.  warnings  their  i n which Russian domestic  questioned  Commune U p s u r g e :  speed ahead w i t h  come w h a t  Union  dispute  rejected Khrushchev's  his  meeting  Tse-tung  with  set  out  Khrushchev—the on a t o u r  of  102 Hopei, Honan and Shantung to i n s p e c t the communes e s t a b l i s h e d i n those p r o v i n c e s . t h i s t r i p was  I t i s almost c e r t a i n t h a t the purpose of  to check up on the progress  before the order was  of the communes  given to give the commune program  o f f i c i a l p u b l i c p a r t y support.  During  t h i s tour,  the  Communist l e a d e r , defying the warnings of Khrushchev and the S o v i e t p a r t y , gave i n s t r u c t i o n s to l o c a l o f f i c i a l s  and  cadres to proceed f u l l speed ahead with the communes throughout the r u r a l  area:  On h i s i n s p e c t i o n tour to Hopei, Honan and Shantung e a r l y i n August t h i s year, Comrade Mao Tse-tung gave f u r t h e r i n s t r u c t i o n s on the o r g a n i z a t i o n of the People's Communes, saying ' I t i s b e t t e r to run people's communes. T h e i r advantages l i e i n that they can merge i n d u s t r y , a g r i c u l t u r e , trade, c u l t u r e and education, and m i l i t a r y a f f a i r s i n t o one e n t i t y and make i t e a s i e r f o r l e a d e r s h i p . ' This was a s t i l l g r e a t e r enlightenment and i n s p i r a t i o n to the Honan people. An upsurge i n forming people's communes thus spread throughout the province.Ik In the Soviet Union, during Mao's tour of the countryside, a r t i c l e s d e a l i n g with Chinese a g r i c u l t u r e s t r e s s e d that the harvest  successes  were due  Lenin's cooperative p l a n and Union, and ignored completely movement.  to the Chinese f o l l o w i n g  the experience  of the Soviet  the s t i l l - u n o f f i c i a l commune  On August 5» f o r i n s t a n c e , while Mao  was  i n Hopei,  Wu Chih-pu, "From A.P.C.'s to People's Communes", Red Flap., no. 8, September 16, 1958; People's Communes i n China. (Peking, F.L.P., 1958), p. 3 K .  103 an a r t i c l e appeared i n V pomoshch*  politischeskomu  soobrazovaniuy. a CPSU C e n t r a l Committee j o u r n a l , l a u d i n g the Chinese successes  i n the c o n s t r u c t i o n of s o c i a l i s m and  Chinese c r e a t i v i t y i n a p p l y i n g the general tenets of Leninism  to the concrete  c o n d i t i o n s i n China.  Marxist-  However, the  a r t i c l e a l s o s t r e s s e d t h a t the best C.P.C. cadres had explained  to the peasantry "the experience  t i o n and the successes And  of the kolkhoz regime i n the U. S. S.R..  of course the S o v i e t experience  commune.  of c o l l e c t i v i z a -  i n c l u d e d f a i l u r e of the  I t i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of these a r t i c l e s i n Soviet  p u b l i c a t i o n s that the  " c o r r e c t n e s s " of the cooperative  path  r a t h e r than the i n c o r r e c t n e s s of the commune path i s s t r e s s e d , thus c r i t i c i s i n g by i m p l i c a t i o n r a t h e r than by  specific  reference. On August 18,  Pravda p u b l i s h e d an  editorial  ( s i g n i f i c a n t l y , i . e . r a t h e r than a news r e p o r t ) the successes  concerning  of the Chinese h a r v e s t , noting that  "this  year, China w i l l surpass the U.S.A. i n gross output of wheat by at l e a s t two  m i l l i o n tons, and  t h i s i s not a l i m i t .  t h e i r recent meetings with Chairman Mao,  the Chinese peasants  spoke with enthusiasm about the great p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n the cooperative  system.  inherent  Here the S o v i e t s make i t very  p l a i n that Khrushchev's a s s e r t i o n that the cooperatives the Soviet Union had  In  in  u n l i m i t e d production p o t e n t i a l , a l s o  a p p l i e d very d e f i n i t e l y to China.  Before,  i t had  been i m p l i e d ;  •^Cited 5 . z a g o r i a , The Sino-Soviet C o n f l i c t ( P r i n c e t o n , P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1962), p. 95. l n  D >  Loc. c i t . (*the emphasis i s added).  10k now i t was e x p l i c i t .  Thus, while the Chinese were c l a i m i n g  that the co-ops were hampering p r o d u c t i o n and made a new form of r u r a l u n i t necessary, the CPSU was c l a i m i n g j u s t the opposite.  I t i s indeed s i g n i f i c a n t , and a l s o  ironic,  that the e d i t o r i a l i n Pravda was s t r e s s i n g the peasant support f o r the cooperative p l a n by r e f e r e n c e to peasant r e a c t i o n to Mao*s v i s i t s with them on h i s commune tour. There i s thus an i m p l i c a t i o n i n the e d i t o r i a l , that not only i s Mao contravening M a r x i s t theory with h i s commune e x p e r i ments, but a l s o the opinions o f the "masses".  And one of the  fundamental arguments of Mao i n support of the communes was that they were the " c r e a t i o n of the masses", and were i n s t i t u t e d at t h e i r demand. pronged blow.  The e d i t o r i a l was thus a two-  Despite S o v i e t r e a c t i o n , however, Mao made  the d e c i s i o n to extend the experimental communes throughout the whole n a t i o n and make them the b a s i c u n i t of Chinese society.  i  CHAPTER V THE  COMMUNE RESOLUTION AND SOVIET REACTION  In the l a t t e r p a r t of August, the Chinese P a r t y ' s P o l i t b u r o met to give f o r m a l approval to the extension of the communes to the e n t i r e n a t i o n .  The d e c i s i o n was embodied  i n the h i s t o r i c August 29th R e s o l u t i o n "On The Establishment of People's Communes i n the R u r a l Areas", p u b l i s h e d on September 10.  T h i s r e s o l u t i o n s i g n i f i e d the beginning of  the formal i d e o l o g i c a l claims f o r the communes, and probably was the most s i g n i f i c a n t departure p o i n t i n the whole commune controversy. The r e s o l u t i o n has two main elements:  one d e s c r i b i n g  the process and p a r t i c u l a r s of s e t t i n g up communes throughout the country, and the other i n t e r m i n g l e d , p r o v i d i n g the i d e o l o g i c a l r a t i o n a l e and claims f o r the communes.  As f a r as  the commune d i s p u t e i s concerned, the l a t t e r i s , of course, by f a r the most important.  P r o v i d i n g the arguments to show  that the communes were not a r b i t r a r i l y introduced but arose out of e x i s t i n g o b j e c t i v e c o n d i t i o n s that made the previous co-ops obsolete (and t h e r e f o r e f u l f i l l i n g  the c o n d i t i o n imposed  by Marxist h i s t o r i c a l m a t e r i a l i s m ) , the r e s o l u t i o n s t a t e d t h a t : the people's communes are the l o g i c a l r e s u l t of the march of events . . . . "The b a s i s f o r the leap forward i n China's a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n , and the e v e r - r i s i n g p o l i t i c a l consciousness of the 500 m i l l i o n peasants. An unprecedented advance has been made i n a g r i c u l t u r a l c a p i t a l  106 c o n s t r u c t i o n s i n c e the advocates of the c a p i t a l i s t road were fundamentally defeated economically, p o l i t i c a l l y , i d e o l o g i c a l l y ( i . e . 1957 anti-rightist campaign). T h i s has c r e a t e d a new b a s i s f o r p r a c t i c a l l y e l i m i n a t i n g f l o o d and drought, and f o r ensuring the comparatively s t a b l e advance of a g r i c u l t u r a l production . . . . C a p i t a l construct i o n i n a g r i c u l t u r e and the s t r u g g l e f o r bumper h a r v e s t s i n v o l v e l a r g e - s c a l e c o - o p e r a t i o n which cuts a c r o s s the boundaries between c o - o p e r a t i v e s , townships and c o u n t i e s . The people have taken to o r g a n i z i n g themselves along m i l i t a r y l i n e s , working with m i l i t a n c y , l e a d i n g c o l l e c t i v e l i f e , and t h i s has r a i s e d the p o l i t i c a l consciousness of the 500 m i l l i o n peasants s t i l l f u r t h e r . . . . What a l l these t h i n g s i l l u s t r a t e i s that the a g r i c u l t u r a l c o - o p e r a t i v e with scores of f a m i l i e s or s e v e r a l hundred f a m i l i e s can-no longer meet the needs of the changing s i t u a t i o n . In the present circumstances the establishment of people's communes . . . i s the fundamental p o l i c y to guide the peasants to a c c e l e r a t e s o c i a l i s t c o n s t r u c t i o n , complete the b u i l d i n g of s o c i a l i s m ahead of time and c a r r y out the gradual t r a n s i t i o n to communism. These, then, were the b a s i c arguments presented  by  the Chinese to show that o b j e c t i v e c o n d i t i o n s demanded the i n t r o d u c t i o n of the communes.  "In such circumstances, the  people's communes were born j u s t as 'an I r r i g a t i o n c a n a l forms as the water comes' or 'a melon drops from i t s s t a l k when i t o ripens'."  T h i s was,  of course, one of the c e n t r a l p o i n t s at  i s s u e i n the commune d i s p u t e ;  the Russians c l a i m i n g (as d i d  ^ " R e s o l u t i o n on The Establishment of People's Communes In The R u r a l Areas," People's Communes i n China (Peking, F.L.P., 1958), p. 1, L i n Tieh (1st S e c r e t a r y of Hope! P r o v i n c i a l Committee), "The People's Commune Movement i n Hopei," Red F l a g , no. 9, October 1, 1958; I b i d . , p. 1+9.  107 a f a c t i o n of the C.P.C.) that the communes were prematurely, before  introduced  the o b j e c t i v e c o n d i t i o n s were r i p e , and  t h e r e f o r e that the communes had been 'imposed* from the top, c o n t r a r y to the d i c t a t e s of Marxist-Leninism  and h i s t o r i c a l  materialism. The  commune r e s o l u t i o n a l s o d e f i n e d the nature of  the new s o c i a l u n i t and showed where i t d i f f e r e d from the co-ops.  Quoting Chairman Mao, Wu Chih-pu l a t e r s t a t e d that  the commune i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d by two c h i e f c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s : i t s bigger  s i z e , and i t s more s o c i a l i s t i c nature.  s i z e * , i t was explained,  two things were meant:  By  'bigger  one, that  the communes were p h y s i c a l l y l a r g e r by at l e a s t ten times than the c o o p e r a t i v e s ,  and were "much more powerful i n terms  of manpower, l a n d , f i n a n c i a l r e s o u r c e s , strength." had  3  Secondly, "bigger  and m a t e r i a l  s i z e " meant that the communes  a much wider range of a c t i v i t i e s than the co-op: " I t  i s no longer  an o r g a n i z a t i o n d e a l i n g with a g r i c u l t u r e alone,  but a s o c i a l u n i t that has as i t s task the o v e r a l l development of a g r i c u l t u r e , f o r e s t r y , animal husbandry, side occupations and f i s h e r y , and that i n t e g r a t e s a g r i c u l t u r e , trade, c u l t u r e and education, a f f a i r s i n t o a s i n g l e whole."  industry,  and m i l i t a r y  The commune a l s o took over  the r o l e of l o c a l government, thus making i t " a t once a k  b a s i c s o c i a l u n i t and a b a s i c organ of state power." Chih-pu, "From A.P.C.*s to People's Communes," Red F l a g , no. 8, September 16, 1958; I b i d . , p. 35. **Ibid. , p. 36.  108 By "more s o c i a l i s t nature" was meant that the commune was "the best form or o r g a n i z a t i o n f o r e f f e c t i n g the t r a n s i t i o n from c o l l e c t i v e ownership to ownership by the whole people, and that i t contains  the budding of communism."  In the s p r i n g , Soviet t h e o r e t i c i a n s had i n d i c a t e d that the road to communism i n c l u d e d  a gradual e v o l u t i o n of  the c o l l e c t i v e s towards a form s i m i l a r to the s t a t e farm. However, the commune r e s o l u t i o n i n d i c a t e d that t h i s was not to occur i n China since the communes with t h e i r wide scope of a c t i v i t y were fundamentally d i f f e r e n t to the s t a t e farms. Thus, the p o l i t b u r o i n d i c a t e d  that:  a l l the b i g merged cooperatives w i l l be called, people's communes. There i s no need to change them i n t o s t a t e farms, f o r i t i s not proper f o r farms to embrace i n d u s t r y , a g r i c u l t u r e , exchange, c u l t u r e and education and m i l i t a r y a f f a i r s at the same time.5 I t should be remembered that the CPSU had a l s o r u l e d out the state farm as the ultimate reasons.  u n i t , but f o r d i f f e r e n t  In e f f e c t , the Russians had committed themselves  to the cooperative  as the most s u i t a b l e u n i t i n s o c i a l i s t  s o c i e t y , and i n the t r a n s i t i o n to communism, while the Chinese r e j e c t e d i t , and s u b s t i t u t e d the commune i n i t s p l a c e . The Chinese claimed that although the commune i n i t s i n i t i a l form was s t i l l based on c o l l e c t i v e ownership, i t  '"Resolution on the Establishment of People's Communes i n R u r a l Areas," I b i d . , p. 6.  109 •would soon evolve to the h i g h e r state-ownership by the whole people: In f a c t , c o l l e c t i v e ownership i n the people*s communes a l r e a d y c o n t a i n s some elements of ownership by the people as a whole. These elements w i l l grow c o n s t a n t l y i n the course of the continuous development of the people's communes and w i l l g r a d u a l l y r e p l a c e c o l l e c t i v e ownership.6 This a s s e r t i o n i s r e a l l y , of course, not too d i f f e r e n t  from  those made by the Soviet t h e o r e t i c i a n s some months e a r l i e r i n regard to the e v o l u t i o n of the c o l l e c t i v e s higher form of ownership,  to t h i s  and t h e r e f o r e , by i t s e l f , d i d n ' t  represent a challenge to Soviet l e a d e r s h i p . However, the r e s o l u t i o n a l s o contained a time-table f o r the changeover to ownership by the whole people, which the S o v i e t s had not fixed.  Thus, while the CPSU had assigned the changeover to  some i n d e f i n i t e f u t u r e , the Chinese were c l a i m i n g that the process would be completed w i t h i n a few y e a r s : "The t r a n s i t i o n from c o l l e c t i v e ownership to ownership by the whole people i s a process, the completion of which may take  less  t i m e — t h r e e or f o u r y e a r s — i n some places and l o n g e r — f i v e  6a or s i x years or even longer--elsewhere."  This declaration  d i d s i g n i f y a d i r e c t challenge to the CPSU s i n c e i t meant that the Chinese were attempting to achieve a h i g h e r form of s o c i a l i s t ownership (the Russians had conceded t h i s i n the spring) throughout 6  J j 2 i d . , p. 7.  6aLoc. c i.t.. T  s o c i e t y before the Russians.  In s h o r t ,  110 the Chinese were attempting to leap ahead of the Soviet comrades i n t h i s aspect of the t r a n s i t i o n to communism. The Chinese made i t e x p l i c i t , however, that even when ownership by the whole people had been achieved, the communes "are s t i l l s o c i a l i s t i n c h a r a c t e r , where the p r i n c i p l e , f r o m each according to h i s a b i l i t i e s , to each !  according to h i s work  1  prevails."  However, the Chinese  l e a d e r s a l s o suggested that "where c o n d i t i o n s permit, a s h i f t to the wage system may be made."  This l a s t point  i n d i c a t e d not the i n t r o d u c t i o n of "each according to h i s needs", but r a t h e r an in-between stage i n which a monthly wage was guaranteed d e s p i t e how many days were worked.  This  p r i n c i p l e had a l s o been i n s t i t u t e d i n c e r t a i n areas of the Soviet Union i n c e r t a i n wealthy c o l l e c t i v e s , and thus was not  e n t i r e l y i n the nature of an i n n o v a t i o n , although the  Soviet p a r t y had never i s s u e d an o f f i c i a l d i r e c t i v e regarding t h i s '"higher" stage of d i s t r i b u t i o n . the Chinese had made i t o f f i c i a l p o l i c y  or p o l i c y  I n s o f a r as  to encourage  this  system of d i s t r i b u t i o n , i t d i d tend to place the Chinese (on paper a t l e a s t ) ahead of the Soviet Union i n t h i s regard. But a t no time i n the commune r e s o l u t i o n d i d the p a r t y advocate the i n t r o d u c t i o n of the communist p r i n c i p l e  "to each  according to h i s needs", or even suggest the system of "part supply" which was introduced l a t e r . At the end of the h i s t o r i c commune d i r e c t i v e , the C e n t r a l Committee made abundantly c l e a r  the l i m i t s of i t s  Ill i d e o l o g i c a l c l a i m s , r e a s s e r t i n g unmistakably t h a t : At the present stage our task i s to b u i l d socialism. The primary purpose of e s t a b l i s h i n g people's communes i s to a c c e l e r a t e the speed of s o c i a l i s t c o n s t r u c t i o n , and the purpose of b u i l d i n g s o c i a l i s m i s to prepare a c t i v e l y f o r the t r a n s i t i o n to communism. I t seems that the attainment of communism i n China i s no longer a remote f u t u r e event. We should a c t i v e l y use the form of the people's communes to explore the p r a c t i c a l road of t r a n s i t i o n to Communism.7 I t i s only i n the l a s t two sentences that a challenge t o the Soviet Union's l e a d e r s h i p  c o u l d be i n f e r r e d .  Since the  U.S.S.R. i s conceded to be b u i l d i n g communism, i t i s c l e a r that the Chinese are r e i t e r a t i n g t h e i r previous stand, that the Soviet Union i s the f a r t h e s t along the road t o communism, and  i s i n f a c t a whole stage ahead.  At the same time, how-  ever, there i s an i m p l i c a t i o n i n the l a s t two sentences that the Chinese are r a p i d l y c a t c h i n g  up.  I t was almost  one year e a r l i e r that Khrushchev had a s s e r t e d that communism was no longer  exactly  i n a speech  remote i n the Soviet Union, so  the Chinese were, by t h e i r own c a l c u l a t i o n s , only one jump behind.  But the r e a l i n n o v a t i o n  i n the Chinese claims was  that the commune c o u l d be used as a p r a c t i c a l experiment to 'explore*  the road to communism.  But  c e r t a i n l y , the Chinese had not claimed to have  leaped ahead i n t o the stage of ' b u i l d i n g communism*.  Indeed,  the commune r e s o l u t i o n s p e c i f i c a l l y set out the p r e r e q u i s i t e s  7  I b i d . , p. 8 .  112 that would have to be achieved before the communist d i s t r i b u t i o n p r i n c i p l e c o u l d be i n t r o d u c e d and communism achieved: A f t e r a number of y e a r s , as the s o c i a l product i n c r e a s e s g r e a t l y , the communist consciousness and m o r a l i t y of the e n t i r e people are r a i s e d to a much h i g h e r degree, and u n i v e r s a l educat i o n i s i n s t i t u t e d and developed, the d i f f e r e n c e between workers and peasants, town and country and mental and manual labour . . . w i l l g r a d u a l l y vanish and the f u n c t i o n of the s t a t e w i l l be l i m i t e d to p r o t e c t i n g the country from e x t e r n a l a g g r e s s i o n but w i l l p l a y no r o l e i n t e r n a l l y . At that time Chinese s o c i e t y w i l l enter the e r a of communism where the p r i n c i p l e of from each according to h i s a b i l i t y and to each a c c o r d i n g to h i s needs w i l l be p r a c t i c e d . 8 The essence of the Chinese i d e o l o g i c a l c h a l l e n g e was  f o u r f o l d , then.  F i r s t , the Chinese were r e j e c t i n g the  binding f o r c e of Soviet  ' e x p e r i e n c e which had supposedly 1  proven the communes to be unworkable.  Secondly, they were  c l a i m i n g to be a second source of i d e o l o g i c a l wisdom, i n s o f a r as the people's commune was idea, d i f f e r i n g  an almost e n t i r e l y  s u b s t a n t i a l l y from the abandoned a g r i c u l t u r a l  communes i n the Soviet Union.  T h i r d l y , they were s t r i v i n g  to b r i n g about ownership by the whole people, as to c o l l e c t i v e ownership, before t h i s was Soviet Union. par  new  opposed  completed i n the  F o u r t h l y , they were s e t t i n g themselves on a  with the Soviet Union by a s s e r t i n g that communism was  longer something remote i n China;  and w h i l e conceding the  Soviet l e a d , they were claiming i n essence to be moving  I b i d . , p.  7.  no  113 f a s t e r towards communism, with that f i n a l stage even before  the p o s s i b i l i t y of reaching  the U.S.S.R.  I t was  implied  that t h e i r i n n o v a t i o n , the commune, would provide a r e v o l u t i o n a r y shortcut to the communist g o a l .  L a t e r , of  course, i n subsequent months, these claims were expanded by v a r i o u s p a r t y l e a d e r s , but these were the c h i e f c h a l l e n g e s i n v o l v e d i n the t e x t of the commune r e s o l u t i o n i t s e l f . Communes i n the Chinese Within  Press  the next few days, important  a r t i c l e s appeared  i n both Red F l a g and People's D a i l y , a m p l i f y i n g the of the r e s o l u t i o n .  content  Moreover, a number of f u r t h e r i d e o l o g i c a l  claims were advanced or i m p l i e d .  The communes were e x p l i c i t l y  t i e d to Mao's theory of u n i n t e r r u p t e d r e v o l u t i o n , f o r i n s t a n c e i£  a  Red F l a g e d i t o r i a l on September 1.  There, i t was  a s s e r t e d that the communes had been introduced so smoothly not only because the f o r c e s of production had cooperative  outgrown t h e i r  s u p e r s t r u c t u r e , but a l s o because:  the Chinese people have grasped the guiding i d e o l o g y of the Communist Party's C e n t r a l Committee, and Comrade Mao Tse-tung*s teachings on u n i n t e r r u p t e d r e v o l u t i o n . The working people want no pause i n the course of the r e v o l u t i o n and they see that the more r a p i d l y the r e v o l u t i o n advances, the more b e n e f i t s they w i l l d e r i v e . 9 Furthermore, i t was  recommended that the communes organize  along m i l i t a r y l i n e s , and i n t r o d u c e a m i l i t a r y s t y l e i n t h e i r ^"Greet the Upsurge i n Forming People's Communes," Red Flag,,, ,No. 7, September 1, 1 9 5 8 ; I b i d . , p. 1 3 .  Ilk ' b a t t l e * to r a i s e p r o d u c t i o n .  The i d e o l o g i c a l f o u n d a t i o n  f o r t h i s p o l i c y was found i n the Communist Manifesto where Marx advocated  the "establishment of i n d u s t r i a l  especially for agriculture".  armies,  The p r a c t i c a l f o u n d a t i o n was  found i n the f a c t that "the s w i f t expansion  of a g r i c u l t u r e  demands that they should g r e a t l y strengthen t h e i r (the peasants )  o r g a n i z a t i o n , a c t more q u i c k l y and with g r e a t e r  1  d i s c i p l i n e and e f f i c i e n c y , so that l i k e f a c t o r y workers and army men they can be deployed with g r e a t e r freedom and on a 10 larger scale."  As a r a t h e r ominous a d d i t i o n a l comment on  the p a r a - m i l i t a r y technique to be employed i n the communes, i t was noted that "although the o r g a n i z a t i o n of a g r i c u l t u r a l labour along m i l i t a r y l i n e s at present i s f o r waging b a t t l e s against nature and not human enemies, i t i s nonetheless not d i f f i c u l t  to transform one kind of s t r u g g l e i n t o  The communes, as a s o c i a l u n i t , were  another."  themselves  f u r t h e r s u b s t a n t i a t e d , i d e o l o g i c a l l y , by c l a i m i n g f o r them the approval of the f a t h e r s of communism, (although s p e c i f i c r e f e r e n c e s to document t h i s c l a i m were not put forward). Thus:  " i t w i l l become the b a s i c s o c i a l u n i t i n the f u t u r e  communist s o c i e t y as t h i n k e r s — f r o m many outstanding s o c i a l i s t s to Marx, Engels and L e n i n — h a d  Utopian  p r e d i c t e d on many  12 occasions." 1 0  Moreover, i t was f u r t h e r a s s e r t e d that the  I b i d . , p. Ik.  11 12  Loc. c i t .  "Hold High the Red F l a g of the People's Communes and Continue t o March On," People's D a i l y . September 3 , 1 9 5 8 ; I b i d . , p. 2 0 .  115 p a r t y had d i s c o v e r e d the s p e c i f i c road to communism: advanced  co-op, people's commune, advanced  commune ( e n t i r e l y communist i n c h a r a c t e r ) . "  "Co-op,  people's And that w h i l e  the Chinese r e v o l u t i o n was s t i l l i n the stage of b u i l d i n g s o c i a l i s m , that some aspects of the communes such as the f r e e supply of g r a i n were "the budding  sprouts of communism."  Furthermore, while i t was r e a s s e r t e d that i t would be a mistake to t h i n k that the r e v o l u t i o n was not s t i l l i n the stage of b u i l d i n g s o c i a l i s m , and a mistake to attempt too  to move  q u i c k l y or prematurely to the communist d i s t r i b u t i o n  system, i t was a l s o made abundantly c l e a r that the t r a n s i t i o n to  communism was not f a r o f f .  suggested that a f t e r ownership  While the August  resolution  of the whole people had been  achieved ( i n three to s i x years or l o n g e r ) , i t would  still  take "a number of y e a r s " to e s t a b l i s h the p r e r e q u i s i t e s f o r communism, the a r t i c l e i n People's D a i l y reduced t h i s  latter  p e r i o d to "a few y e a r s " , thus implying communism to be even more imminent i n China.  From t h i s l a t t e r f o r e c a s t , one c o u l d  conclude that there was a p o s s i b i l i t y of a c h i e v i n g communism w i t h i n t e n years i n China. At  the same time as these r a d i c a l i d e o l o g i c a l  a s s e r t i o n s were being made, other statements i n the same a r t i c l e s provided a m p l i f i c a t i o n s of some of the p r a c t i c a l  ^"Greet the Upsurge i n Forming the People's Red F l a g , no. 7 , September 1 , 1 9 5 8 ; I b i d . , p. 1 2 .  Communes,  116 reasons why the communes had been Introduced, i n d i c a t i n g that, (as i n the Soviet Union's case) the changeover from o l d forms to new was apparently considerations.  motivated p a r t l y by p r a c t i c a l  Thus, i n the f o l l o w i n g passage, there i s  no reference at a l l to i d e o l o g i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s — o n l y to the p r a c t i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n of r a i s i n g the nation's of l i v i n g .  standard  Thus,  To achieve high speed advance i n a g r i c u l t u r e , enable the countryside t o assume a new aspect at an e a r l y date, and improve the peasants* l i v i n g standards as q u i c k l y as p o s s i b l e , as f a c t s show i t i s necessary to c a r r y out l a r g e scale c a p i t a l c o n s t r u c t i o n that w i l l fundamentally change n a t u r a l c o n d i t i o n s ; to apply new farming techniques; to develop f o r e s t r y , animal husbandry, s i d e occupations and f i s h e r i e s side by side with agriculture; to b u i l d i n d u s t r i e s that w i l l serve a g r i c u l t u r e and the needs of the peasants as w e l l as b i g i n d u s t r i e s ; g r a d u a l l y c a r r y out mechanizat i o n and e l e c t r i f i c a t i o n ; t o improve t r a n s p o r t , communications and housing c o n d i t i o n s i n r u r a l areas; and s e t up e d u c a t i o n a l , h e a l t h and c u l t u r a l e s t a b l i s h m e n t s — t o do a l l t h i s i s beyond the power of an a g r i c u l t u r a l producer's cooperative c o n s i s t i n g of a few dozens or hundreds of households.lh One  of the p r a c t i c a l reasons a l s o mentioned, was  the one a t t r i b u t e d to Mao, that the d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n provided by the communes would "make i t e a s i e r f o r l e a d e r s h i p . "  It  i s presumed that t h i s means the communes would r e l i e v e the burdens on the p a r t y leaders whose task i s to d i r e c t a n a t i o n of over 6 5 0 m i l l i o n people, and place more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r economic development i n the hands of l o c a l a u t h o r i t i e s . However, another meaning might a l s o be i m p l i e d : People's D a i l y , op. c i t .  that the  117 commune system would make i t e a s i e r f o r the l e a d e r s h i p (and the p a r t y ) to c o n t r o l and i n d o c t r i n a t e the peasantry and workers.  The system of communal l i v i n g o f f e r e d by the  communes i s p a r t i c u l a r l y w e l l s u i t e d to p o l i t i c a l  and  economic c o n t r o l by a m i n o r i t y of p a r t y cadres, and to constant s u r v e i l l a n c e and i n d o c t r i n a t i o n — i n other words, totalitarian "total" control. communes was new  That t h i s aspect of the  one of the more p r a c t i c a l advantages of the  s o c i a l u n i t i n the eyes of the Chinese l e a d e r s i s not  to be denied.  T h i s i s e s p e c i a l l y apparent i n the l i g h t of  the events of the preceding two years which had i n c l u d e d numerous student s t r i k e s , the discovery of s e c r e t o r g a n i z a t i o n s advocating the overthrow widespread  peasant  of the regime,  and  c r i t i c i s m of the p a r t y and popular unrest during  15 the "Hundred Flowers" p e r i o d .  J  I t was  c l e a r i n the l i g h t  of these events that the peasants i n p a r t i c u l a r were i n need of s t r i c t p a r t y s u p e r v i s i o n and i d e o l o g i c a l a t t e n t i o n , and that permanent t i g h t c o n t r o l could only be achieved through some kind of s o c i a l u n i t l i k e the commune. communist terminology, the commune was  In  the i d e a l s o c i a l u n i t  to r a i s e the " p o l i t i c a l consciousness" of the peasantry l e a d i t to communism.  Although the argument was  never  and used  by the Chinese, Marx could have been m o b i l i z e d to support the commionization  of the peasantry.  I n h i s Eighteenth  15 -'Mao Tse-tung, On the C o r r e c t Handling of C o n t r a d i c t i o n s Among the People (Peking, F.L.P., I960), p. 59*  118  Brumaire of L o u i s Napoleon. Marx noted  that the reason  the  French peasants d i d not p l a y a r e v o l u t i o n a r y r o l e i n French h i s t o r y d e s p i t e t h e i r wretched c o n d i t i o n s and was  exploitation,  that they farmed small i n d i v i d u a l p l o t s and. never came  i n t o contact with each other, thus never being able to develop  an awareness that m i l l i o n s of others were i n the  same c o n d i t i o n — n e v e r , t h e r e f o r e , developing a c l a s s consciousness,  the p r e r e q u i s i t e to p l a y i n g a p a r t i n the  process of h i s t o r y .  Applying t h i s to the Chinese  situation,  one can see that the b r i n g i n g together of the peasants i n t o v e r y l a r g e u n i t s would (with the p a r t y ' s a s s i s t a n c e ) heighten t h e i r c l a s s consciousness,  j u s t as the b r i n g i n g  together of workers i n t o f a c t o r i e s during the r e v o l u t i o n had  served to r a i s e the p o l i t i c a l  of the working  class.  The  industrial consciousness  Soviet Response to the Communes The p u b l i c claims of the Chinese concerning  people's  communes d i d not go unanswered by the S o v i e t Union.  W i t h i n a week the Soviet l e a d e r s announced the of the party's 2 1 s t February  their  1959.  convocation  Congress to be h e l d a year e a r l y , i n  I t i s evident from the t i m i n g , and the theme  of the Congress (the b u i l d i n g of communism), that the Chinese challenge was  s e r i o u s enough to warrant an  answer from the podium of the most important m e e t i n g s — t h e Congress.  ideological  of a l l p a r t y  W i t h i n days, the i n i t i a l  Soviet  r e a c t i o n to the Chinese i d e o l o g i c a l challenge became a p p a r e n t —  119 i t was to take a p o s i t i v e approach, r e v i v i n g Khrushchev's statement of a year e a r l i e r that communism was on the h o r i z o n i n the Soviet Union.  In a Kommunist e d i t o r i a l on September 9 ,  f o r i n s t a n c e , i t was proclaimed  that:  I t i s necessary to evaluate the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the forthcoming 2 1 s t Congress of the CPSU. Our country i s i n the process of a great upsurge. The h i g h e r phase of communism i s already not a remote aim; the completion of the c o n s t r u c t i o n of s o c i a l i s m and the r e a l i z a t i o n of the gradual t r a n s i t i o n from s o c i a l i s m to communism i s the b a s i c contant of the contemporary stage of development of Soviet s o c i e t y . 1 ° At the same time, a r t i c l e s which made any mention of the communes a t a l l (which now of course completely  could h a r d l y be  ignored) o f t e n r e f e r r e d to them as "higher  type  c o o p e r a t i v e s " , r a t h e r than "people's communes" thus i n d i c a t i n g very c l e a r l y the i d e o l o g i c a l challenge inherent i n the choice of the name "commune".  One important  a r t i c l e of t h i s  type  appeared i n Problems of Economics on October 1 6 , and was e n t i t l e d "Great China B u i l d s S o c i a l i s m " .  The a r t i c l e made  i t c l e a r that the p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r a r a p i d advance to communism was a high l e v e l of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and t h i s was e x a c t l y what China d i d not have.  I t a l s o pointed out that i n  formerly underdeveloped c o u n t r i e s l i k e China, i t was not enough to i n s t i t u t e p u r e l y s o c i a l i s t p r o d u c t i o n "a c e r t a i n l e v e l of development of prbduction  relations:  forces i s also  Quoted i n D.S. Z a g o r i a , The Sino-Soviet C o n f l i c t , ( P r i n c e t o n , P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1 9 6 2 ) , p. 1 1 0 .  120 needed."  In s h o r t , " i t f o l l o w s from t h i s that the  (socialist)  t r a n s i t i o n p e r i o d has not been completed i n the C.P.R." i s noteworthy, however, that the a r t i c l e s t a t e d that "higher  It  the  type c o o p e r a t i v e s " were the best form i n China, f o r 17  the speeding up of s o c i a l i s t c o n s t r u c t i o n . ' of course,  I t i s true,  that the Russians could h a r d l y launch  a head-on  a t t a c k on the communes without i n v i t i n g a major break with the Chinese p a r t y , and  that some concessions  to the more  p r a c t i c a l Chinese a s s e r t i o n s could be made while the more f a r - r e a c h i n g i d e o l o g i c a l  claims.  undermining  I t i s perhaps  even more s i g n i f i c a n t , however, that no Soviet leader even mentioned the communes p u b l i c l y , them.  or expressed an o p i n i o n of  Thus, while the press c o u l d h a r d l y ignore them  completely,  the l e a d e r s h i p most c e r t a i n l y could show i t s  strong d i s a p p r o v a l through an obvious and prolonged T h i s s i l e n c e was  to l a s t f o r over three  silence.  years.  Perhaps the most s i g n i f i c a n t a r t i c l e to appear i n Soviet journals during t h i s p e r i o d was Philosophy  one  i n Problems of  by T. A. Stepanyan, a l e a d i n g Soviet  and a u t h o r i t y on the t r a n s i t i o n  to communism.  Stepanyan put forward an e n t i r e l y new theory—that  different  In t h i s a r t i c l e  concept i n Marxist  groups of s o c i a l i s t c o u n t r i e s would  enter communism at d i f f e r e n t  times,  and that the European  s o c i a l i s t c o u n t r i e s would be the f i r s t Loc. c i t .  philosopher  to enter the communist  state.  1o  Thus, People's China was r e l e g a t e d to a secondary-  p o s i t i o n v i s - a - v i s the other bloc members, and would have to undergo the t r a n s i t i o n to communism a t a much l a t e r date, along with the otherAsian  s o c i a l i s t countries.  I t i s clear,  of course, that t h i s new a s s e r t i o n by Stepanyan was p a r t l y Soviet r e a c t i o n to the r e f u s a l of communist China i n May t o agree t o submit to Soviet pressures  to enter i n t o economic  i n t e g r a t i o n with the r e s t of the b l o c .  However, i t was a l s o  an implied t h r e a t t h a t i f the Chinese d i d n ' t come to h e e l i d e o l o g i c a l l y , the Soviet Union would refuse t o a i d i n China's b i d t o catch up i n d u s t r i a l l y t o the more advanced  nations.  When the Chinese d i d back down somewhat i n the f o l l o w i n g months, the Russians withdrew t h i s 'law' l a i d down by Stepanyan and r e p l a c e d i t with the p r i n c i p l e that a l l the s o c i a l i s t c o u n t r i e s would enter communism And,  simultaneously.  of course, i n order f o r t h i s to occur, the advanced  s o c i a l i s t c o u n t r i e s would have to undertake l a r g e programs of a i d to enable t h e i r underdeveloped a l l i e s to catch up economically. A more obvious, p u r p o s e f u l occurred  downgrading of the Chinese  j u s t a few days l a t e r upon the proclamation of the  slogans f o r the anniversary Revolution.  c e l e b r a t i o n s of the October  P r e v i o u s l y China had been accorded a s p e c i a l  p o s i t i o n i n the slogans,  ItQg-4. c i t a  i n d i c a t i n g a more advanced s t a t e  122  than the other people's democracies. to the p o s i t i o n of the others.  Now, she was downgraded  Thus, while being d i f f e r e n -  t i a t e d before as a ' b u i l d e r of s o c i a l i s m * (as opposed to ' b u i l d i n g s o c i a l i s m ) , i n the new slogans China was now s a i d 1  19 to be ' b u i l d i n g s o c i a l i s m * l i k e the r e s t of the s a t e l l i t e s .  7  T h i s was a c l e a r i n d i c a t i o n that the Russians were attempting to s o f t - p e d a l Chinese importance,  e s p e c i a l l y as a b l o c  leader i n i d e o l o g y and s o c i a l i s t c o n s t r u c t i o n . The Part-Supply System i n the Communes In the meantime the Chinese were c o n t i n u i n g to p r e s s forward with t h e i r claims f o r the communes.  On October  1,  an e d i t o r i a l i n People*s D a i l y claimed that Mao Tse-tung had a s s e r t e d on the b a s i s of the 1958 leap forward that w i t h i n from one to three years there would be an abundance of food and c l o t h i n g i n China.  Moreover, emphasis began to be put  on the communist nature of the supply system of d i s t r i b u t i o n being i n s t i t u t e d i n the communes, and i n mid-October the p a r t y put forward the p o l i c y of "part wages, p a r t supply" f o r the r u r a l communes.  T h i s p o l i c y was put forward a f t e r  an i n t r a - p a r t y debate conducted  among other p l a c e s on the  pages of People's D a i l y during the f i r s t October.  three weeks of  Some p a r t y l e a d e r s had attacked the wage system  as bourgeois i n nature, echoing what Lenin had s a i d i n "State 1 9  I b i d . , p.  111.  20  A c o l l e c t i o n of these a r t i c l e s appears i n Current Background, no. 537*  123 and R e v o l u t i o n " , and urging the implementation supply system.  In essence t h i s demand was  of the f r e e  a demand to move  from s o c i a l i s m to communism i n terms of M a r x i s t - L e n i n i s t theory, s i n c e Lenin had a s s e r t e d t h a t the two  systems of  d i s t r i b u t i o n — t o each according to h i s work (wage system) and  to each according to h i s needs (supply system) were  the c h i e f c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the s o c i a l i s t and stages r e s p e c t i v e l y .  Other p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the debate urged  that the wage system was  the only appropriate one f o r the  s o c i a l i s t stage i n which China found i t s e l f . down i n the middle of these two the c o n s e r v a t i v e s — a n d system.  communist  schools—the  formulated  I n s o f a r as the system was  The p a r t y came Utopians  and  the part-wage, p a r t - s u p p l y p a r t - s u p p l y , i t was  a Marxist p o i n t of view a l s o p a r t l y communist, and  thus  advanced beyond the Soviet system based almost s o l e l y wages, and on "bourgeois" i n c e n t i v e .  from  on  I t i s c l e a r , however,  that from the Soviet p o i n t of view, these s o - c a l l e d buds of communism contained i n the communes were r e a l l y  artificial  buds, since they were not i n f a c t based on the p r i n c i p l e "according to need", but on mere e g a l i t a r i a n i s m . obvious  to a l l that there was  It  was  not enough food i n China,  despite the bumper h a r v e s t , to supply the needs of 650 people.  million  There i s a great d i f f e r e n c e between g i v i n g everyone  a " f r e e " bowl of r i c e , and l e t t i n g everyone eat h i s  fill.  T h i s i s the d i f f e r e n c e between e g a l i t a r i a n i s m as p r a c t i c e d i n the premature Soviet communes, and communism as envisioned by Marx. 21  Z a g o r i a , op. c i t . , p.  111.  12k  Continuing Soviet Reaction One of the most s i g n i f i c a n t occurrences of t h i s p e r i o d was the r e c a l l to Moscow of the S o v i e t Ambassador, P a v e l Yudin, i n l a t e October.  He remained i n Moscow f o r about two weeks,  r e t u r n i n g to Peking an the f i r s t week of November.  Upon h i s  r e t u r n , Yudin made two speeches i n Peking which completely ignored the communes and s t r e s s e d i n s t e a d the n e c e s s i t y of b u i l d i n g up a v a s t t e c h n o l o g i c a l and economic base before any s o c i a l i s t country could consider the t r a n s i t i o n to 21 communism.  I t i s c l e a r from the t u r n of events f o l l o w i n g  Yudin*s r e t u r n from Moscow that the Ambassador had important t a l k s with the Chinese l e a d e r s about t h i s time, b r i n g i n g back from Moscow a message and i n s t r u c t i o n s concerning the communes and Chinese  economic progress.  I t i s reasonable  to assume, i n the l i g h t of subsequent events, that the Soviet Union brought  economic pressure to bear on the Chinese i n  order to b r i n g about an i d e o l o g i c a l r e t r e a t .  I t i s interesting  to note that the Chinese had had t h e i r economic dependence on the Soviet Union underlined only a few months e a r l i e r when they had to appeal to the Russians f o r an emergency supply of t r u c k s and other equipment to cope with the enormous h a r v e s t , and other aspects of the great leap forward: In connection with the great upswing i n economic development i n 1 9 5 8 , requirements . . . f o r some types of machinery, equipment and raw m a t e r i a l s i n c r e a s e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y . Even a f t e r the s i g n i n g of the annual p r o t o c o l on trade i n 1 9 5 8 , we approached the Soviet Union to request supplementary commodity d e l i v e r i e s . . . Soviet  125 o r g a n i z a t i o n s s a t i s f i e d a l l our requests and d e l i v e r e d on schedule a l a r g e volume of equipment, raw m a t e r i a l s and v e h i c l e s . 2 2 The magnitude of t h i s emergency request the f a c t that 20,000 trucks and  can be gauged from  t r a i l e r s alone were d e l i v e r e d 23  under t h i s supplementary agreement i n August.  J  I t i s q u i t e probable t h a t , i n the l i g h t of Stepanyan s 1  a r t i c l e , the Soviet l e a d e r s i n s t r u c t e d Yudin to inform Peking that unless t h e i r i d e o l o g i c a l claims were c l a r i f i e d  and  reduced i n regard to the communes, the Soviet Union would withdraw i t s economic support  i n China's i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n  program and leave the Chinese to "stew i n t h e i r own (as Khrushchev had  i n d i c a t e d i n June at the  juice",  Bulgarian  Congress). In the Soviet Union, the p a r t y continued to the Chinese i d e o l o g i c a l o f f e n s i v e .  i t s response  Thus, i n November  two  mass movements h a i l e d as " c e l l s of the f u t u r e communist s o c i e t y " were u n v e i l e d , with the e f f e c t of showing t h a t , not to be outdone, the Russians a l s o had within their society. as the "Brigades Militia".  The  These two  "the buds of communism"  mass movements were known  of Communist Labour", and  former was  the  "People's  a mass movement of workers designed  to i n c r e a s e labour p r o d u c t i v i t y , and  to develop a "communist"  22 Statement by the Chinese Commercial Counselor i n Moscow, quoted i n 0. H o e f f d i n g , "Sino-Soviet Economic R e l a t i o n s i n Recent Years," U n i t y and C o n t r a d i c t i o n (New York, Praeger, 1962), p. 209. 2 3  Hoeffding,  loc. c i t .  126 a t t i t u d e towards work, while  the l a t t e r was a movement  designed to take over the f u n c t i o n s of p o l i c i n g the n a t i o n i n p r e p a r a t i o n f o r communism, when the p u b l i c order would be maintained not by the s t a t e , but by the "people". In the same month, Khrushchev put forward h i s T h e s i s on the Seven Year Plan i n p r e p a r a t i o n f o r the 21st Included  Congress.  i n t h i s p r e l i m i n a r y d r a f t was the f o l l o w i n g  important passage, q u i t e o b v i o u s l y meant f o r Chinese eyes: V l a d i m i r I l y i c h Lenin has taught that without m a t e r i a l i n c e n t i v e s I t i s impossible to l e a d tens and tens of m i l l i o n s of people to communism. The founders of Marxist-Leninism underlined the importance of the p r i n c i p l e of m a t e r i a l i n t e r e s t of a l l t o i l e r s i n the growth of communal