The successes of socialist industrialisation of the U.2S.S.R. and collectivisation of agriculture brought about a fundamental change in the balance of the types of economic structure and class forces in the U.S.S.R., in favour of socialism and to the detriment of capitalism. Up to the second half of 1929 the decisive onslaught against the capitalist elements had taken place primarily in the towns. On passing to all-round collectivisation and the elimination of the kulaks as a class, this onslaught embraced the countryside, too, thereby acquiring a universal character. The general advance of socialism along the whole front had commenced. As a result of the swing of the bulk of the peasant masses towards socialism, the capitalist form of economy was deprived of its base in the shape of small commodity production and began to perish. By 1930 the socialist sector already held the levers of the development of the entire national economy in its hands. It then not only occupied completely the dominating position in industry but also began to play the decisive role in agriculture. This was evidence that the U.S.S.R. had entered the period of socialism.
Entry into the period of socialism did not yet mean the end of the transitional period, since the task of building a socialist society had not been fully accomplished. But this was already the last stage of the transitional period. At the beginning of N.E.P. there was some revival of capitalism, but now the last stage of N.E.P. had commenced—the stage of the complete elimination of the capitalist element in the country.
The advance of socialism along the whole front was accompanied by a sharpening of the class struggle, in the course of overcoming enormous difficulties. These difficulties were connected with the fundamental reconstruction of industry and agriculture and with the technical reorganisation of the entire national economy. Reconstruction in agriculture was impossible without the simultaneous reorganisation of the old economic structure, without collectivisation of the peasant farms and without uprooting capitalism in the countryside. The advance of socialism inevitably evoked the desperate resistance of the dying .exploiting classes who undertook wrecking, sabotage; diversions and terror with the support of the capitalist environment. The difficulties of socialist construction differ fundamentally from those inherent in a capitalist economy. Crises and unemployment, which cannot be overcome within the framework of capitalism, are inherent in capitalist economy. The difficulties of socialist construction are those of growth, upsurge and advance, and they accordingly contain within themselves the possibility of being surmounted.
With the completion of the first Five-Year Plan in the U.S.S.R. the foundations of a socialist economy, in the form of socialist industry and large-scale collective agriculture equipped with modern techniques, had been laid. The capitalist elements in industry had been eliminated. Collectivisation in the principal agricultural districts of the country had in the main been carried out, and the kulaks had been routed although not yet finished with. The transition to Soviet trade—trade without capitalists—had been completed. Private trade had been completely squeezed out by State, co-operative and collective farm trade.
At the beginning of the second Five-Year Plan the U.S.S.R. ceased to have a mixed economy. Of the five economic sectors in the national economy, three—the private economy of capitalism, State capitalism and patriarchal economy—no longer existed. The small commodity sector had been relegated to a secondary position, and the socialist sector had become the completely predominant and only commanding force in the entire national economy, This meant that the Soviet Government was now based, both in the town and in the countryside, on socialist foundations.
In the second Five-Year Plan the technical reconstruction of the entire national economy was completed. The U.S.S.R. became an economically independent country providing its economy and its defence requirements with the necessary technical equipment, Numerous cadres, successfully mastering the new techniques, had developed in all branches of the national economy.
“As a result of the successful fulfilment of the second Five-Year Plan ... the main historic task of the second Five- Year Plan—the final elimination of all exploiting classes, of all the causes giving rise to the exploitation of man by man and the division of society into exploiters and exploited-was accomplished. The most difficult task of the socialist revolution has been carried out the collectivisation of agriculture has been completed and the collective farm system finally consolidated." (The C.P.S.U. in Resolutions and Decisions of its Congresses, Conferences and Central Committee Meetings, seventh Russian edition, Pt. 2, p. 879.)
With the completion of collectivisation capitalism had been uprooted from the economy. The differentiation of the peasantry and the rebirth of capitalist elements had ceased.
The main contradiction of the transitional period—the contradictions between growing socialism and the overthrown, but still at the outset strong, capitalism, with its basis in small commodity production—had been overcome. The question “who will beat whom?" had been decided in favour of socialism. The purpose of N.E.P., the victory of the socialist forms of ‘economy, had been achieved, Lenin has said that N.E.P. was being introduced in earnest and for a long time, but not for ever, and that N.E.P. Russia would become Socialist Russia. Lenin’s scientific foresight had been fully vindicated. The victory of socialism denoted the end of the transitional period, the end of N.E.P.
By 1936, socialist forms of economy accounted for 98.7 per cent of all the means of production, including 99.95 per cent in industry and 96.3 per cent in agriculture. Between 1923-4 and 1936 the share of the socialist forms of economy had increased as follows: in gross industrial production from 76.3 to 99.8 per cent, in gross agricultural production (including the personal subsidiary economy of the collective farmers) from 1.5 to 97.7 per cent, in retail trade turnover from 43 to 100 per cent and in the national income from 35 per cent in 1924-5 to 99.1 per cent in 1936.
Thus, as a result of the transitional period in the U.S.S.R., the victory of socialism was ensured, This was made possible because there had been found in the Soviet Union such a social force as the alliance of the working class and the peasantry, which united the overwhelming majority of society. The working class in alliance with the peasantry used the law of the necessary correspondence of production relations to the character of the productive forces for the purpose of overthrowing the old bourgeois relations of production and creating new socialist relations of production throughout the national economy. The resistance of the bourgeoisie, whose interests ran contrary to this law, was broken.
During the transitional period in the U.S.S.R. the most progressive of all modes of production which have so far existed in history was consolidated. This was the socialist mode of production. The new powerful productive forces of industry and agriculture were developed. Thereby the material conditions for the complete victory of socialist production-relations and for their consolidation throughout the national economy had been created. In turn, socialist relations of production, victorious in both town and countryside, opened a wide field for the development of the productive forces, and secured the necessary conditions for the uninterrupted and rapid growth of production. The building of socialism was the only way to eliminate the age-long technical and economic backwardness of Russia, to save the country from foreign bondage and. ensure its national independence. In the shortest possible period history, the U.S.S.R. had become a mighty industrial and collective farm Power. The working class, the working people of the U.S.S.R., under the leadership of the Communist Party, had built a socialist society and translated into reality the hopes of many generations of labouring people.
Socialism is a system based on social ownership of the means of production in its two forms—State (public) and co-operative or collective farm property. In this system there is no exploitation of man by man; The national economy is developed in a, planned way, for the purpose of completely satisfying the growing needs of the working people by means of an uninterrupted growth of production on the basis of advanced techniques and realisation of the principle of distribution according to work.
The victory of socialism in the U.S.S.R. was the most profound revolutionary transformation in the history of mankind.
The construction of a socialist economy in the U.S.S.R. brought about radical changes in the class structure of society. Under socialism there are no exploiting classes. Socialist society consists of two friendly toiling classes—the working class and the peasantry, and also the intelligentsia who are completely rooted in these classes.
In pre-revolutionary Russia, in 1913, manual and clerical workers accounted for 16.7 per cent of the population, small commodity producers (peasants and handicraftsmen) 65.1 per cent, exploiting classes 15.9 per cent (including kulaks 12.3 per cent), and others (students, pensioners, the army, etc.) 2.3 per cent.
By 1937, in the U.S.S.R. manual and clerical workers accounted for 34.7 per cent of the population, collective farm peasantry and co-operative handicraftsmen 55.5 per cent, students, pensioners, the army and others, 4.2 per cent. Individual peasant farmers and handicraftsmen not working in co-operatives, that is, self-employed persons in small commodity production, accounted for only 5.6 per cent of the population. The exploiting classes, the landowners and bourgeoisie, had been eliminated during the transitional period.
The victory of socialism fundamentally changed the character and position of the working class, the peasantry and the intelligentsia.
The working class had ceased to be a class deprived of the means of production, which sold its labour-power and was exploited by the capitalists. It was converted into a completely new class, which had never existed in history up till then, owning the means of production in common with the whole of the people, and freed from exploitation. The life of the working class in the U.S.S.R. is based on State (public) ownership and on socialist labour. It is the advanced class of society and the leading force in its development. Accordingly, the State guidance of society (the dictatorship) belongs in the U.S.S.R., to the working class.
The peasantry from being a class of small scattered producers, whose life was based on private property, personal labour and primitive techniques, exploited by landowners, kulaks, merchants and usurers, had become a completely new class, the like of which history had not known. The peasantry in the U.S.S.R. has been freed from exploitation. Its work and its fortunes are bound up with social, co-operative and collective farm property, collective labour and modern techniques. The peasantry, in close alliance with the working class and under its leadership, participates in the administration of the Soviet State, which is a Socialist State of workers and peasants.
The victory of socialism in the U.S.S.R. completely ended the exploitation of the countryside by the town and the ruin of the peasantry. In this way the age-long antithesis of town and country was abolished. The town, which under capitalism was the centre of exploitation of the countryside, became under socialism a centre of economic, political and cultural assistance to the countryside. The vast help extended to the peasantry by the socialist town in eliminating the landowners and kulaks, and in the systematic supplying of the peasantry and collective farms with tractors and other machines, strengthened the alliance of the working class and peasantry.
With the aid of the socialist town, the countryside acquired new powerful productive forces. The bond between industry and agriculture became ever stronger. The contradictory interests of town and countryside disappeared. Not even a trace remained of the past distrust and even hatred of the countryside for the town. Both the town and the country began to develop on a socialist basis. The interests of the workers and peasants have common ground in strengthening the socialist system and building communism.
A new intelligentsia had been born in the U.S.S.R. joined by that section of the old intelligentsia which united itself with the people after the revolution. In bourgeois society, the intelligentsia is mainly drawn from the propertied classes. It serves the capitalists, is exploited by them and itself helps to exploit the workers and peasants. Under capitalism a considerable section of the intelligentsia is either compelled to engage in unskilled work or falls into the ranks of the unemployed. In the U.S.S.R. by far the greater part of the intelligentsia comes from the working class and the peasantry. The Soviet intelligentsia does not know exploitation. It serves the working people and the cause of socialism, and has every opportunity for the fruitful employment of its knowledge. Under socialism the intelligentsia is, together with the working class and the peasantry, an equal member of society, actively participating in the administration of the country. In 1937 the Soviet intelligentsia numbered 9.6 million people, and when the families of the intelligentsia are included, it accounted for approximately 13-14 per cent of the population of the U.S.S.R.
With the victory of socialism in the U.S.S.R., the age-long antithesis of mental and physical labour was done away with. The conditions in which a considerable section of the workers by brain helped the ruling classes to exploit the manual workers, were ended. Under socialism the workers and heads of enterprises are a single working collective, interested in the growth of production. The monopoly of education held by the propertied classes has been abolished. Science is used in the interest of the entire people, and education is a possession of the workers and peasants.
The victory of socialism created all the necessary conditions for the masses of the people to lead a prosperous cultured life. In accordance with the basic economic law of socialism the living standards of the working class, the peasantry and the intelligentsia, were considerably raised during the transitional period. Unemployment and want vanished. In the countryside, propertyless peasants no longer existed. The real wages of manual and clerical workers went up, as also did the real income of the peasantry. A cultural revolution was carried out in the country. With the completion of the first two Five-Year Plans universal compulsory elementary education in the languages of the nationalities of the U.S.S.R. was achieved. The network of educational institutions grew up on a huge scale throughout the country. The number of specialists, in various branches of the economy and of culture, multiplied several times over. Throughout the country the training of cadres developed on a wide scale and there was a huge increase in the network of educational institutions.
The national income of the U.S.S.R., which belongs entirely to the working people, increased, in fixed prices, more than 4½-fold by 1937 compared with 1913. Output of consumer goods by large-scale industry increased by 1937 nearly 6-fold compared with 1913. In the second Five-Year Plan alone, the real wages of manual and clerical workers were doubled.
The number of pupils in elementary and secondary schools increased from 7.9 million in 1914 to 29.6 million in 1937, and the number of students in higher educational institutions from 117,000 to 547,200. The print of books increased from 86,700,000 copies to 673,500,000 copies. Newspaper daily circulation increased from 2,700,000 to 36,200,000.
In accordance with the principles of the socialist system, Soviet power put an end to the oppressed position of women. In the U.S.S.R. woman have in practice, equal rights with man in all spheres of economic, cultural, social and political life. Women receive equal pay for equal work. The victory of socialism introduced millions of women to skilled work. During the Five-Year Plans a great number of women rose to executive posts. A fundamental transformation in the position-of women in the countryside took place with the victory of the collective farms, which abolished the former inequality of women in the individual peasant economy. Women acquired the opportunity to stand on an equal footing with men and to occupy an honourable place in the social economy of the collective farms. The victory of socialism emancipated women from their semi-slave condition in a number of the national regions, where feudal and patriarchal traditions still survived. The women of the national regions together with the women of the entire country became active builders of socialism.
In 1936, 42 per cent of the numbers accepted into higher educational institutions were women, and 48 per cent of those accepted into technical colleges. The proportion of women students in industrial higher educational institutions in 1935, was seven times higher than in Germany, ten times higher than in Great Britain and twenty times higher than in Italy. The number of women doctors in the U.S.S.R. in 1940 was forty times greater than in 1913. Whereas in 1913, 9.7 per cent of the doctors were women, by 1940 the figure was about 60 per cent.
With the victory of socialism and the abolition of exploitation of man by man, there ceased to exist in the U.S.S.R. antagonistic classes and. irreconcilable class contradictions. Class relations in socialist society are characterised by the indestructible friendship and comradely co-operation of the working class, peasantry and intelligentsia. Class differences between the working class and the peasantry and equally between these classes and the intelligentsia are being gradually effaced. Capitalist society is rent by class and national antagonisms which deprive it of stability. Socialist society, which does not know class and national antagonisms, is distinguished by its monolithic and stable character. The complete predominance in the U.S.S.R. of social ownership and the socialist economic system provided the economic basis on which such powerful motive forces of social development as the moral and political unity of Soviet society, the friendship of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. and Soviet patriotism developed. These driving forces interact to an enormous extent on the economy, and accelerate its development.
The fundamental changes which took place in the socialist economy and class structure of the U.S.S.R. were expressed in the State superstructure. The Soviet State passed through two main phases of development. The first phase relates to the period from the October Revolution up to the elimination of the exploiting classes. The State in this period repressed the overthrown classes and defended the country against attacks from outside. The State also exercised economic, organisational, cultural and educational functions, but these were not yet fully developed. In the second phase of development, the Soviet State faced the task of organising a socialist economy throughout the country and of eliminating the last remnants of the capitalist elements. The function of repressing the exploiters disappeared, and its place was taken by the protection of socialist property. The function of military defence of the country from the capitalist environment remained. The creation of the socialist basis ensured the full development of the economic, organisational, cultural and educational functions of the machinery of State.
Marking the completion of the changes which, had taken place, a new Constitution of the U.S.S.R. was adopted in 1936. This put the legislative seal to the principles and basic foundations of socialism. It does not confine itself to laying down the formal rights of citizens, but gives pride of place to the effective guarantee of these rights. Thus the Constitution of the U.S.S.R. does not simply proclaim the right of the working people to work, leisure, material security in old age, and in case of sickness and disability, and to education. The reality of these rights is ensured by the socialist planned system of national economy, by the elimination of unemployment, the eight-hour working day, annual paid holidays for workers and employees, social insurance for manual and clerical workers at the expense of the State, provision for the working people of a broad network of sanatoria and rest homes, State protection of the interests of mother and child, universal compulsory elementary education, free seven-year education, State stipends to students and other material benefits, etc. Thus the victory of socialism in the U.S.S.R. created a firm economic base which guaranteed the actual realisation of the rights of the working people. This reflects the genuine socialist democracy of Soviet society and of the Constitution of the U.S.S.R.
In abolishing every kind of exploitation, socialism also roots out the causes which give rise to national oppression. The socialist system does away with the political, economic and cultural inequality of nations and secures the economic and cultural growth of all peoples without exception.
“Whereas private property and capital inevitably disunite people, foment national strife and intensify national oppression, collective property and labour just as inevitably unite people, strike at the root of national strife and abolish national oppression. The existence of capitalism without national oppression is just as inconceivable as the existence of socialism without the liberation of the oppressed nations, without national freedom." (Stalin, “The Immediate Tasks of the Party in the National Question", Works, English edition, 1953, vol. v, p. 20.)
The political inequality of nations, and the system of national oppression and colonial exploitation were abolished in the U.S.S.R. with the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat. There remained the further task of wiping out the economic inequality of the nationalities and of putting an end to the economic and cultural backwardness inherited from the past, of a number of peoples. This task could only be carried out on the basis of socialist construction.
Among the population of the national regions of Russia, about 25 million people were living in a pre-capitalist stage of development, of whom 6 million people were cattle-breeding tribesmen who had not yet passed over to agriculture or outlived the patriarchal-clan system. It was necessary to help the peoples of the national regions to emancipate themselves from numerous survivals of feudal and patriarchal society, to root out the remnants of the colonising elements and to give these peoples the opportunity of building a socialist economy.
As has already been shown above, backward countries in throwing off the yoke of imperialism are able, with the assistance of the advanced countries of proletarian dictatorship, to move gradually on to the path of socialist construction, omitting the stage of capitalist development. In the Soviet Union, peoples of the formerly backward regions of Russia took such a path of non-capitalist development. With the all-round assistance of the Russian and other peoples of the U.S.S.R., the peoples of the national regions accomplished the greatest leap forward from patriarchal and feudal forms of economy to socialism, omitting the capitalist path of development. The development of the peoples of Central Asia, some of the Transcaucasian peoples, a number of the Northern nationalities, and others, took place in this way. The construction of socialism in the U.S.S.R. was accompanied by the most careful consideration for the special economic conditions, historical background, way of life and culture, of each individual people.
In the U.S.S.R. the real economic and cultural inequality of the various nationalities, the inequality between Central Russia, which was moving forward, and the national regions which were lagging behind and which was inherited from the bourgeois landowning system, was abolished. The former national regions of Tsarist Russia were transformed from colonies and semi-colonies into independent and developed States-Soviet Socialist Republics. In the formerly backward national republics and regions, large-scale socialist industry was created, the collective farm system was consolidated, numerous national cadres of the working class (including skilled workers) were trained, and a national intelligentsia grew up. The powerful economic advance of the national regions was accompanied by a rapid growth of the living standards and cultural level of the working people.
While there was a general high speed of industrial growth in the U.S.S.R., the industry of the national republics grew with particular rapidity. In the U.S.S.R. as a whole, gross output of large-scale industry had increased by 1940 almost 12-fold compared with 1913. In the Kazakh S.S.R. it had increased 20-fold, in the Georgian S.S.R. 27-fold, in the Kirghiz S.S.R. 153-fold and in the Tadjik S.S.R. 308-fold.
Under Soviet power forty-eight nationalities acquired a written alphabet for the first time. Before the revolution a large majority of the population of the national regions was illiterate. As a result of the socialist revolution, the overwhelming majority of the population of the national republics had already become literate by 1939. The number of pupils in elementary and secondary schools had increased by 1940 as compared with 1914-15 as follows: Azerbaidjan S.8.R. 9-fold, Armenian S.S.R. 9.4-fold, Kazakh S.S.R. 10.9-fold, Turkmenian S.S.R. 35-fold, Kirghiz S.S.R. 47-fold, Uzbek S.S.R. 73-fold, and Tadjik S.S.R. 822fold.
The building of socialism fundamentally changes the nature of nations. As a result of the revolutionary transformation of social relations, there appear in place of the bourgeois nations, of which capitalist society consists, new socialist nations, formed on the basis of the old bourgeois nations. Whereas capitalism divides nations into classes and groups with contradictory interests, socialism unites nations on the basis of social ownership and unity of interest. Each socialist nation is monolithic, consisting of working people led by the working class.
The victory of socialism strengthened the unity of economic and political interests of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. and brought about a flowering of their cultures—national in form, socialist in content.
The Soviet Union is a stable and vigorous multi-national State, based on the brotherly co-operation of the peoples and a model of the solution of the national question.
With the victory of socialism, the U.S.S.R. entered a new period of its development, that of the completion of the building of socialism and of gradual transition from socialism to communism.
Communism is a social system in which there are no classes or class distinctions, all the means of production are public property, the level of the productive forces ensures an abundance of products and the guiding principle of social life is “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs".
Socialism and communism are two phases of one and the same communist social and economic formation. Socialism is the lower phase of the communist formation, while communism is the more mature phase, the highest phase of this formation. The development of socialism creates the material production basis of communism, an abundance of products, and an enormous rise in the living standards and cultural level of the people. Thus the completion of the socialist stage of development of society means at the same time the effecting of a gradual transition to communism. The whole people— the working class, the peasantry and the intelligentsia—are profoundly interested in the creation of communist society, are active builders of communism, which denotes the greatest material and cultural flowering of society. Since under socialism there are no classes and social groups whose interests run contrary to communism, the transition to communism takes place gradually, without social revolution.
As a result of the pre-war Five-Year Plans, the Soviet Union overtook all the other countries of Europe and occupied second place in the world as regards total volume of industrial output. To create the material conditions for the transition to communism it is necessary for the U.S.S.R. to catch up the most highly developed capitalist countries as regards the extent of industrial output per head of the population and achieve a further tremendous development of the productive forces. The volume of industrial output, compared with the size of the population of a country is an index of its economic might. With the victory of socialism in the U.S.S.R., the task which V.I. Lenin advanced and which was extensively dealt with in the works of J. V. Stalin—to overtake and surpass the chief capitalist countries in the economic sense, i.e., as regards volume of industrial output per head of the population— has become an important, practical task. This task was defined by the Eighteenth Congress of the Communist Party (1939) as the chief economic task of the Soviet Union. The third Five-Year Plan was an important stage on the road to communism. During the first three and a half years (1938-June 1941) the tasks of the third Five-Year Plan were successfully carried out. A new and considerable growth of industry, and above all of heavy industry, was achieved, together with a further strengthening and growth of agriculture.
The peaceful creative labour of the Soviet people in the building of communism was interrupted in 1941 by the treacherous invasion of the U.S.S.R. by Fascist Germany and its vassals.
The great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union (1941-5) was the most terrible war in Russia’s history. The war confirmed that the U.S.S.R. possessed the most stable and durable social and State structure in the world. The Soviet system proved to be not only the best form of organisation for the economic and cultural growth of a country in the years of peaceful construction, but also the best form for mobilising the entire forces of the people to repulse the enemy in time of war.
The powerful economic base for the active defence of the country, used in wartime, had been created already during the pre-war Five-Year Plans as a result of the policy of industrialisation and collectivisation.
In 1940 the U.S.S.R. produced 15 million tons of pig-iron, or almost 4 times more than in 1913; 18,300,000 tons of steel, or 4/ times more than in 1913; 166 million tons of coal, or 5/ times more than in 1913; 31 million tons of oil, or 3/ times more than in 1913; 38,300,000 tons of marketed grain, or 17 million tons more than in 1913; 2,700,000 tons of cotton, or 3/ times more than in 1913.
The socialist system enabled the U.S.S.R. to create in the shortest possible time a well co-ordinated and rapidly-growing war economy. The economic basis of the Soviet State was shown to be incomparably more durable than the economy of the enemy States. Thanks to the superiority, of planned socialist economy, the Soviet State, under unbelievably difficult conditions resulting from the temporary loss of a number of important regions of the country, was able simultaneously to carry out the maximum mobilisation and the most effective use of its material, labour and financial resources. To secure victory the Soviet State undertook on an extensive scale the construction of new factories, thereby ensuring an intensive growth of industrial output. Throughout the war, the quantity and quality of Soviet armaments rapidly increased. Despite the temporary occupation by the enemy of the most important agricultural districts, the collective and State farms supplied—without any serious interruption—the army and the country with foodstuffs, and industry with raw materials. The collective farm system survived the severe trials of war and demonstrated its vitality.
The working class, the peasantry and the intelligentsia, including Soviet women and the youth, undertook enormous sacrifices and displayed exceptional selflessness in labour. All-Union Socialist emulation yielded great results. Thanks to the growth in the productivity of labour in the heavy and above all in the defence industries, a considerable reduction in the costs of production was achieved. This enabled arms production to be greatly increased.
The moral and political unity of socialist society, the friendship of the peoples and Soviet patriotism, aroused the mass heroism of the Soviet people, at the front and in the rear. The Communist Party, guiding the defence of the country, skilfully directed the entire forces of the people to the task of defeating the enemy. The decisive superiority of socialism and the indestructible stability of the Soviet rear, ensured to the Soviet Union the economic and military victory which it won in association with its Allies in mortal combat against imperialist Germany, which disposed of the resources of many European countries, and against imperialist Japan. The Soviet people, which bore the main brunt of the war, not only defended the freedom and independence of their country and their socialist achievements, but also helped liberate the peoples of Europe from the Hitlerite yoke.
The war inflicted enormous losses on the national economy of the U.S.S.R.
The fascist invaders burned down and destroyed 1,710 towns, including a number of large industrial and cultural centres, more than 70,000 villages and hamlets, 31,850 industrial enterprises, ruined 98,000 collective farms, 1,876 State farms, 2,890 machine-tractor stations, etc. The total losses which the fascist invaders caused to the national economy of the U.S.S.R. and to Soviet citizens amounted to 679,000 million roubles at State valuation. During the war years there was a considerable reduction of civil industrial output, and agricultural production and transport suffered heavily.
Socialist society in the U.S.S.R. withstood all the trials of the exceptionally hard war. This proved the stability of the Socialist relations of production that had been established, their superiority over capitalist relations.
Any other State, even the largest capitalist State, suffering such losses, would have been inescapably thrown back scores of years, and would have been turned into a second-rate Power. But thanks to the advantages of the socialist system, the U.S.S.R. successfully coped with the most difficult task of overcoming the effects of the war. Having brought the war to a victorious conclusion, the Soviet Union was able, in the course of a few years and with its own resources, not only to reach the pre-war level of production, but even to leave it far behind. The fourth Five- Year Plan (1946-50) was successfully fulfilled. Its main tasks had been to restore the devastated areas of the country, restore the pre-war level of industry and agriculture and subsequently to surpass this level considerably.
The fourth Five-Year Plan for industry was fulfilled ahead of time.
The successful fulfilment of the fourth Five-Year Plan meant a big step forward in the economic and cultural development of Soviet society.
The further advance to communism of the U.S.S.R. formed the task of the fifth Five-Year Plan (1951-5) and of the decisions which the Communist Party and the Soviet Government adopted during those years, decisions which aimed at a new, powerful advance in industry and agriculture for the purpose of obtaining a further increase in the standard of living and culture of the Soviet people. The tasks for industry of the fifth Five-Year Plan were also fulfilled ahead of schedule.
The victory of socialism in the U.S.S.R. was of enormous international importance. It was a new and powerful blow to the world imperialist system, and shook its foundations even further. The consolidation of socialism demonstrated with full force the superiority of the socialist system of national economy over the capitalist system. Capitalism required approximately one hundred years, and feudalism about two hundred years to prove their superiority over the preceding modes of production. The socialist economic system demonstrated its indisputable superiority to capitalism already in the years of the transitional period, that is, in less than twenty years. The correctness of Marxism, as the revolutionary world-outlook of the working class, the correctness of Lenin’s theory of socialist revolution, were confirmed. This has fortified the belief of the working masses in the strength of the working class and in the final victory of socialism throughout the world.
(1) With the completion of the transitional period from capitalism to socialism in the U.S.S.R., the capitalist elements were eliminated from every sector of the economy. The socialist system became the sole system in the national economy, and the economic basis of socialist society came into being. The victory of socialism was reflected and given legislative force in the Constitution of the U.S.S.R.—the most democratic constitution in the world.
(2) Socialism is a system founded on social ownership of the means of production in its two forms: State (public), and co-operative and collective farm property. In this system there is no exploitation of man by man, the national economy develops according to a plan, for the purpose of fully satisfying the growing needs of the working people by means of an uninterrupted growth of production, and the principle of distribution according to work IS put into effect.
(3) Socialist society consists of two friendly classes, the working class and the peasants, together with an intelligentsia which is thoroughly rooted in these classes. The victory of socialism brought about a fundamental improvement in the material and cultural position of the working people. It eliminated the contradiction between town and country, between mental and physical labour, put an end to the inequality of nations and gave rise to new socialist nations.
(4) With the victory of socialism, the U.S.S.R. entered the period of the completion of the building of socialist society and of the gradual transition from socialism to communism. Thanks to the superiority of the socialist system, the U.S.S.R. won economic and military victory in the great Patriotic War. After the war, the Soviet Union restored the national economy in the shortest possible time, achieved its further powerful advance and is now successfully continuing along the road to communism. The victory of socialism in the U.S.S.R. is internationally of historic importance. It has demonstrated in deeds the superiority of socialism over capitalism.