Stephen, pick it up wherever you want to.
Suppose that you do not have available for you, a very large population
of immigrants who come to you as cheap labor and are willing to
work wherever you want them to work in order to assimilate into
American society. But, you want the same kind of mass industrialization
factory labor as quickly as possible, and as large as possible.
The Soviet model is a different model than the American model
and the Soviet one involves the State being able to command its
people and to send them wherever it wants to send them, wherever
it needs them and to treat them as a large, cheap mass of labor
available for industrialization. Many of the Soviet people
voluntarily moved to the construction sites and to the factories
because the seek a better way of life, because there is opportunity
for them. Many of them are departed to these places or used
as prison labor, arrested and sent to construction sites as punishment.
So, so side by side on the Soviet construction sites and factories,
you have people who are there because it is a dream for a better
way of life for them and people are there because they have
been arrested or deported as punishment to this particular site.
Without this mass mobilization using force of labor power
in the Soviet case, it is very difficult to imagine the kind of
scale magnitude industrialization that they have. So, it is indispensable
to the Soviet industrialization project that they use force labor
and that the State commands labor and moves it wherever it wants,
whenever it wants it, on whatever terms it decides. Almost
all the Soviet major factories and construction sites are the
1930 Stalin era, especially the ones with imported technology,
involve large degrees of what we would consider to be forced labor,
but, they also involved large degrees of what we would consider
to be voluntary labor, and this is a paradox of the Soviet development.
I heard a lot of this word "kulak" , which I didn't know about.
You might give a short lesson in collectivism and who these kulaks
were who might be coming in. Talk about that.
The main source of labor power in the Soviet case is going to
have to come from the villages. It is a peasant country,
where approximately 80% of the population lives in rural locales
as late as the early 1930's. Many of these people, especially
the young ones, were attracted to the city life and to the opportunities
represented in the city, either education or employment.
However, the Soviet government embarks on what they call collectivization,
which is a project of political control over the villages by the
government. In part, it is related to an economic
model that there can't be private property, that there can't be
peasant control. Although, whether to give the harvest over
to the State or not, in part it is economic, mostly it is political.
The economic model of large scale industrial-like farms, on the
one hand and the political model of state control over the countryside
and its resources and what it has to offer for the industrialization
program especially. Labor power is a critical element in
this equation, so, many people under the guise of class warfare
and fighting something called the Kulaks, or the better off peasants,
are rounded up and deported ,or, they flee beforehand, in a way
de-Kulak-izing themselves. They are either deported to these
construction sites or they go to these construction sites on their
own fleeing what in many case be a deportation in advance, expecting
a deportation and fleeing. These so called Kulaks, peasants,
who are suppose to be the better off peasants, are all kinds of
peasants, including poor peasants. They go from construction
site to construction site, in many cases like immigrants, who,
in some ways they are convoyed that way, from construction site
to construction site under armed guard. In other cases,
they travel on their own volition seeking a better way of life.
The main point is that the countryside supplies the vast amount
of new labor for the factories, for the construction sites in
the urban areas. So, not only is political control achieved over
the village, but, a huge supply of labor is available for
factories, including factories in distant, far off places, difficult
places to live, places people would not necessarily volunteer
to go to live. So, the countryside supplies the labor power
for the Soviet industrialization, mostly through force, mostly
through state moving the peasants there, but, in many ways the
peasants move themselves.