Pavel Yudin 1948

October Socialist Revolution and the Building of Communism in the U.S.S.R.

Written: By Pavel Yudin, 1948;
Source: For a Lasting Peace, for a People's Democracy! Vol. 2, no. 21; November 1, 1948;
Transcribed: David Adams, March 2022.

The Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia has been crowned with historical victories.

These victories are characterised by the fact that socialist society has been built in the U.S.S.R., Socialism has achieved such successes that Soviet society is now entering a new phase of its development—is advancing towards the completion of socialist construction and the gradual transition from Socialism to Communism.

Despite the fact that it had to withstand an incredibly bitter war against German fascism and its satellites, the Soviet Union has made such remarkable progress in the post-war development of its productive forces that it has advanced considerably along the pathway to Communism.

These post-war economic successes of the Soviet Union once again testify to the enormous superiority of Socialism over capitalism.

The oldest capitalist countries such as Britain, France, Italy and others are still trying to rid themselves of the stranglehold of economic chaos, are still floundering in the acute contradictions arising from the war. Meanwhile, the Soviet State is advancing steadily and at an ever increasing pace. The volume of industrial production has already exceeded the pre- war 1940 level, and agriculture likewise has reached the pre- war level.

The U.S.S.R, and the new democracies, preserving their national independence and sovereignty, are steadily marching onward to economic prosperity and an improved standard of living.

The peoples of Europe and the United States, the peoples of the colonial and dependent countries are aware that only in those countries where the working class is at the helm, where economy is developing according to plan in the interests of the working people, that only there is it possible to have a clear perspective and confidence in the morrow.

The building of Communism in the U.S.S.R. and the transition of the new democracies to the path of Socialist construction show that Socialism is on the order of the day not only in those countries where it is in the process of being built, but also in the countries at present rent by the economic and political contradictions of capitalism. The fundamental truth of our era is that today all roads lead to Communism.

Capitalism has outlived itself and is a dying social system. Socialism and Communism represent the new advancing social system that brings with it emancipation from exploitation and all oppression, and the flourishing of the material and spiritual values of the peoples.

The October Socialist Revolution opened the way to Socialism; it marked a turning point in the history of mankind. Comrade Stalin theoretically elaborated the question of building a complete Communist society in one single country namely in the Soviet Union, since the Soviet Union possesses all the necessary conditions for this in view of its economic and social development and its natural resources.

At the Eighteenth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks) in 1939, and later, after World War Two, in February 1946, Comrade Stalin stated that the productive forces of the land of Socialism must reach a level that will enable the U.S.S.R. to produce annually 50 million tons of pig iron, up to 60 million tons of steel, 500 million tons of coal and 60 million tons of oil. At the same time, the other branches of the national economy will be developed accordingly. The attainment of this level in the development of the productive forces will mean the solving of all the main economic problems connected with the transition to a Communist society in the U.S.S.R.

The volume of industrial production at the end of the first post-war Five-Year Plan which according to all data, will be completed ahead of schedule, that is, in 1949 (instead of 1950 according to the Plan), will give the reader an idea of how the Soviet Union is advancing toward the above mentioned level.

Output in the basic branches of industry by the end of the first post war Five-Year Plan is scheduled as follows: pig iron—19,500,000 tons, steel—25,400,000 tons, rolled steel— 17,800,000 tons, coal—250,000,000 tons, oil—35,400,000 tons, electric power—82 billion kilowatt hours. The productivity of labour of Soviet workers for the same period, that is, between 1946-1950 will increase by 36 per cent compared to the pre-war 1940 level.

This means that at the end of the post-war Five-Year Plan, industrial output in the U.S.S.R. will register a 50 per cent increase over the pre-war 1940 level, and in certain branches will be considerably more. For example, in 1950, double the number of machines and equipment will be produced compared with before the war, the number of machine toots will be increased to 1,300,000, approximately 30 per cent more than the number produced in the United States in 1940; the output of electric power will increase by 70 per cent, coal output by more than 50 per cent.

During the first three years of the Plan, agriculture made great strides forward, and reached the pre-war level in grain yields. By the end of the Plan the gross output of agriculture is scheduled at 30 per cent over the 1940 figure, with an annual grain crop amounting to 130 million tons.

During the Five-Year Plan period, agriculture will receive some 350,000 tractors and considerable quantities of other highly productive agricultural machinery to the value of 4,500 million rubles. Some 950 new machine and tractor depots will be built in the countryside during this period.

The following figures give an idea of the scale and rate at which personnel is being trained during this Five-Year Plan period. By 1950 there will be 2,000,000 students attending higher educational institutions and technical colleges, while approximately another 2,000,000, having completed their studies, will be leaving by then. A total of 4,500,000 young workers will be trained in the State vocational schools. Moreover, about 19,0190,000 workers of varying qualifications will be trained directly at the bench. Another fact to be borne in mind is that in 1950 something like 32,000,000 pupils will be attending elementary and secondary schools in the Soviet Union. Then there is the vast network of various correspondence courses, evening schools, universities and technical colleges, not to mention the independent study practised on a wide scale among the population.

The question may be asked: how much time will the Soviet Union need for the productive forces to reach the level advanced by Comrade Stalin as the necessary condition, from the standpoint of the development of the productive forces, to effect the transition from Socialism to Communism.

This question can be answered quite definitely: another three or four Five-Year Plans will be needed for this. In other words, the U.S.S.R. will need another 15 or 20 years to round off the construction of Socialism and to effect the transition from Socialism to Communism.

Socialism and Communism constitute a single social- economic structure. There are no fundamental differences between them as is the case between capitalism and Socialism. The sole difference between Socialism and Communism is the extent of the economic maturity of society.

Under Communism the productive forces will reach their peak, there will be an abundance of articles of consumption and this will make it fully possible for society to realise the principle: from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. This means that under Communism each citizen will be able to satisfy all the requirements of a culturally developed person.

Capitalist society achieved vast productive possibilities and technical perfection. But now that capitalism has entered the phase of decay it is becoming more and more an obstacle, acting as a brake on technical progress.

Communism alone removes all obstacles and impediments standing in the way of the development of production, science, technique and culture, and furnishes boundless possibilities for development.

All the achievements of human genius, the benefits of centuries of scientific development, culture and technique are at the service of the people in the U.S.S.R. They will continue to serve the people in a Communist society.

The transition from Socialism to Communism will take place gradually, that is, not in the sense of tempo, but in the sense that it will be a transition without social conflicts or revolutions.

There will, of course, be certain stages in this transition, corresponding to the increased successes achieved in the development of the productive forces, technique, science and culture.

A steady and ever quickening development of the productive forces, and above all, the expansion of those branches of socialist industry producing the instruments and means of production, are an essential condition for the transition from Socialism to Communism.

When, in the course of the next three or four Five Year Plan periods, the main economic task facing the U.S.S.R. will have been accomplished. namely the task of overtaking and outstripping the principal capitalist countries in production per capita of the population—the land of Socialism will be far ahead of the United States in the total volume of industrial output. It will then be the biggest, most powerful and richest industrial country in the world.

There will be a growing abundance of all articles of consumption as the country approaches Communism. Realisation of the principle: from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs, will not be effected immediately in all spheres of consumption. This principle will be put into practice gradually, accordingly as output grows in the different branches of industry.

The principles of Soviet socialist trade, which will continue to be developed and perfected, will remain the basis for supplying the population during the transition to Communism and when entering the phase of Communism.

Consequently, the idea that with the transition to Communism, money will no longer be required, must be rejected. Money will remain and will continue its function of equivalent exchange.

The bourgeois and petty-bourgeois conception of Communism, as a purely consumer system of society in which people behave like anarchists, in which they will work only when they feel like doing so, and that all they are concerned with is gluttony, is a bourgeois parody of Communism and lacks any serious foundation.

Communism is a society of the highest development of conscious labour discipline. Lenin pointed out that under Communism, work becomes a habit. Man grows so accustomed to voluntary labour that it becomes a necessity for any healthy organism.

Even now in the U.S.S.R. work has become a matter of honour, glory, valour and heroism. The Soviet citizen cannot become reconciled to the idea of parasites living at the expense of the labour of others. Any manifestation of this is regarded as a survival of capitalism, as a lack of culture and something that discredits man. To an increasing extent, work is becoming a natural requirement of man.

Today it is clear that Communism signifies that all members of society must in equal measure work conscious for the well-being of society.

Communism signifies the complete elimination of class divisions in society. Socialism in the U.S.S.R. has already destroyed the exploiting classes but there remain the friendly classes of workers and peasants. Accordingly as Socialism develops; the differences between workers and peasants will be obliterated gradually, and will completely disappear under Communism.

The fundamental solution of this task—the creation of a classless society, and obliteration of the boundaries between the workers and peasants—will be realised simultaneously with the process of the abolition of the antithesis end difference between town and countryside.

In the U.S.S.R. the main contradiction between town and countryside has been uprooted and eliminated. A single method of production—the Socialist method—has been introduced in town and countryside. Politically, this antithesis has been completely abolished. In the sphere of culture much has been accomplished and the culture of the countryside is now on a high level.

But much remains to be done and it will take time to abolish completely the antithesis and difference between town and countryside. This will be accomplished, in the main by means of the further industrialisation and electrification of socialist agriculture, by transforming agricultural labour into one of the forms of industrial labour.

In this respect a revolution has taken place in the U.S.S.R. where the countryside has changed not only from the standpoint of its social structure but also from the point of view of technical equipment and the nature of agricultural work. On the eve of the war, in 1940, Soviet agriculture was equipped with 523,000 tractors, 182,000 combine harvesters and more than 200,000 motor vehicles.

The current Five-Year Plan provides for the mechanisation of agriculture on a vast scale. By 1950 tractors will plough 90 per cent of the land, and will sow 70 per cent of the winter and summer crops, and 55 per cent of the grain crop will be harvested by combines.

Rural electrification has been carried but in a big way. Whereas in 1913 the capacity of the rural power stations was a mere 2,000 kilowatts, in 1932 it was 65,900 kilowatts, in 1937- 230,000 kilowatts, in 1940-275,000 kilowatts, by 1950 the rural power stations will reach 2,269,700 kilowatts.

The rate end scale of mechanisation and electrification of agriculture are transforming agricultural labour in the U.S.S.R. into a form of industrial labour.

During the gradual transition from Socialism to Communism, the artel, collective-farm form of property in the countryside will be preserved, but the collective farms will be further developed. There will be a pronounced increase in technique. The proportion of public, state property in the form of the machine and tractor depots and State farms will be greater. The collective farms, collective-farm subsidiary establishments, and so on, will increase and play a bigger role. These developments will lead to an abundance of agricultural products and raw materials. At the same time, the outward appearance of the countryside will undergo a radical change.

The antithesis between mental and physical labour constitutes one of the deepest class contradictions in capitalist society. The ruling exploiting classes—the capitalists and landlords—have made education and mental labour their monopoly. The working people of the capitalist countries do the arduous physical labour.

Comrade Stalin pointed out that the task of doing away with this antithesis, inherent in the capitalist system, must be solved by raising the general cultural and technical level of the Soviet people to the level of engineers and technicians; to educate the whole Soviet people, so that each citizen according to his education, culture and technical knowledge would be on the level of the engineering and technical personnel. Such was the task the Bolshevik Party and Soviet Power set themselves and which they are now carrying out.

The U.S.S.R. has gone a long way towards solving this task. The monopoly of education held by the exploiters was abolished from the very first days of the October Socialist Revolution. This was a great historical gain for the peoples of Russia. All education—elementary, secondary, university— became accessible to the working people.

Whereas in 1924-25 some 10 million pupils were attending elementary and secondary schools in the U.S.S.R., 1938-39 the figure was already 32 million (secondary school pupils alone numbered 10 million in 1939).

At present there is a total of 40 million enrolled in schools and other educational institutions of the U.S.S.R. Tsarist Russia had but 91 institutes of higher education with a student body of 112,000. In the Soviet Union there were in 1946, 792 institutes attended by 653,000 students. This year, 188,000 freshmen entered Soviet universities and colleges, that is, 16 per cent more than in 1940; 360,000 students were enrolled in technical colleges, which is, 9 per cent more than in 1940. The number of students in the Soviet Union is greater than in all the countries of Europe, Japan and China, taken together.

The Stakhanovites in the U.S.S.R. are people with a high technical culture and general education. The more advanced Stakhanovites are steadily approaching the level of the engineering-technical personnel.

These processes, in the aggregate, convey an idea of the powerful advance of Soviet Socialist society towards its transformation into a society composed entirely of highly educated people.

Such, in essence, will be the outcome of the elimination of the antithesis between mental and physical labour. Society as a whole will then consist at educated people, and the division of people into categories of mental and physical workers will disappear of its own accord.

It is essential to remember, however, that the removal of the antithesis between mental and physical labour is an extremely difficult task and will require considerable time. It is a task that will be fully solved only in a developed Communist society.

Many difficulties confront us in the matter of building a Communist society in the U.S.S.R. First, world imperialism is doing and will continue to do everything in its power to prevent our forward movement. It is plain for all to see how the Anglo-American imperialists are daily plotting against the Soviet Union, preparing for war against it, how they are indulging in all the provocative methods of warmongers and how they are rallying to their side all the reactionary forces of the world.

We are still faced with a number of economic and technical difficulties of an internal nature. These difficulties have been aggravated by the Great Patriotic War. Then there are the difficulties connected with overcoming the survivals of capitalism in the minds of the people. But the U.S.S.R. was confronted with even greater difficulties in its advance to Socialism. Russia was then economically backward. Now it is a powerful industrial socialist power fully independent of the capitalist states. In the course of the Great Patriotic War the Soviet Union single handed smashed the combined forces of the Hitler bloc. Previous to World Was Two the Soviet Union stood alone, a lone rock encircled by a hostile capitalist world. Today the U.S.S.R. is not alone. Half of Europe has taken the Socialist path and the peoples of these countries have rallied around the Soviet Union.

After the First World War the imperialists found themselves without one-sixth of the earth’s surface—the U.S.S.R.; after World War Two they found themselves without half of Europe. And in the event of them unleashing a new war they will find they are missing a great deal more.

Irrespective of the difficulties that face the Soviet Union on the way to Communism, and the new democracies on the way to Socialism, they will be overcome by the combined efforts of these countries and with the support of the international proletariat. The enemy will be defeated and Socialism and Communism will be victorious.

Such are the world, historic results of the Great October Revolution, carried out under the leadership of the Party of Lenin and Stalin.