By Hugh D. Hudson
This ebook combines social and institutional histories of post-revolutionary Russia, concentrating on the key police and their evolving courting with the peasantry within the interval major as much as collectivization. in keeping with an research of Cheka/OGPU studies, the publication argues that initially the police didn't basically reply to peasant resistance with strength; fairly, in addition they listened to peasant voices. The police believed that compromise was once attainable, and that the peasants should be confident to paintings in the Bolshevik build of nation and society. As time went on, in spite of the fact that, neighborhood police brokers more and more observed themselves engaged in a warfare with the peasantry over keep watch over of grain and domination of neighborhood organs of energy. because the concentration shifted from goal monetary components to the putative effect of the kulaks, the single answer grew to become to damage the peasantry.
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Extra info for Peasants, Political Police, and the Early Soviet State: Surveillance and Accommodation under the New Economic Policy
20 ● Peasants, Political Police, the Early Soviet State conflict within the village itself, a conflict aggravated by the new government. In the spring of 1918, in connection with the growing problem of provisioning the towns, intravillage tensions sharply increased. In Moscow and St. Petersburg the bread ration for a worker had fallen to between 50 and 100 grams a day. The rural poor were also going hungry. 34 The revolution had become a war for bread. In the meantime, for a good part of the peasantry the thirst for additional land remained unquenched.
The political police were tasked with providing the basis for meeting that crucial responsibility, and it is to the police reports that we must now turn. 1 A general peasant uprising, the bête noire of governments in Russia since the seventeenth century, was understood by the party to threaten the very existence of the regime. 2 The first compromise was the replacement of razverstka, the Bolshevik method of grain procurement, with a fixed food-supply tax ( prodnalog) at the 10th Party Congress in March 1921.
82 Once more, the peasants emerged from police reports not simply as uncivilized, ignorant supporters of kulaks, but as rational actors seeking means to negotiate among conflicting political and economic demands. Economic concerns were not the only foundation for peasant dissatisfaction, the political police informed the party leadership. The police also reported peasant discomfort over growing rumors of war. 86 One of the more intriguing reports, one that indicated the mixed reaction of peasants to signs of authority, came from Volga region.