Redpill me on the Soviet famine of 1932-1933

Was it an act of god? Was it incompetence? Was it deliberate? If it was deliberate, who was responsible and why did they do it? Was it ideology or morbid pragmatism? Arguments backed by reliable sources welcome.

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kulaks hoarded grains and people starved

I believe that was Povolzhye

Massive population redistribution from rural to urban areas in the aftermath of the revolution was a huge contributing factor to the increased rate of industrial production, as well as consumption. Agricultural, transportation, and industrial infrastructure improvements allowed for a higher rate of caloric intake in major population centers, requiring the need for a new bureaucratic management of existing and projected agricultural holdings. The elimination and restructuring of agricultural properties was necessary as a fundamental part of asserting the new political body and its social apparatuses. This, however, required a recycling of old functionaries and landholders who were privy to the efficient management of land, most primarily the class that would be known as the kulaks - who would have to serve as a mediatory body for the material plan of the AgriKom, given the dearth of practical informations conceived from the period of war communism, minus the newly reorganized Red Army asserting that to secure operational range contingent with the expectation of future conflict required an expansive reevaluation of domestic infrastructure priorities, with a transport and communications taking a seat along with motorized and mechanized columns for joint successive operations. This also entailed an enjoinment towards farming development and transport. The kulak class retained a great deal of its antagonistic character, as a middling bureaucracy left untouched by their being the caretakers of the domestic agriculture for many years, and the reshuffling of bureaucratic authorities in collectivization effectively separated them from class bargaining and authority over what had been their land holdings. The increasing reluctance of the kulak class as mediators to agriculture combined with a poor drought and weather conditions, massive pressure from a developing professional military in all stratums, urban consumption on a major rise, and the state pressure to subdue and debase a hostile force to central authority combined to create a calamity. I comment not on the death toll or the extolled "empiricisms" of the famines which are trotted out as necessary rejections of the communist idea, but that in the haste of the state to meet the demands of the professional army as well as urban population and the misassessment of the state of class hostilites within the soviet bureaucracy combined to create a wholly untenable situation, through which no potentially beneficial conception might be made.

Kulaks destroyed literally millions of tons of crops rather then sell them to the soviets.

Please tell me what would happen from that except a famine.

Can we get some more sources in here? Thanks

kulaks got spooked by ebil commies collectivizing dem toothbrushes so they slaughtered their beasts of burden and then happily starved to death

the end.

Kulaks were hoarding grain during a famine, & instead of giving the grain to the Soviets, they destroyed it.

There ya go.

The quotes on military-industrial infrastructure come from statements in the 1929 field regulations guide and the 1936 field guide of the Red Army, drawn in conjunction with the development of a military economy co-sphere, established at the RKKA academy military-scientific society in the tenure of Triandafillov and Frunze. Population data from the soviet state census. The other correlations are original or stem from common historicity. Don't have the caloric intake aggregate chart - I'm sure one of the ☭TANKIE☭s has it.

If there was foul play from the government’s part, wouldn’t that put into doubt their official statistics? Is there some reliable third-party confirming the numbers weren’t fudged?

Depends who you ask.
Tankies: the evil capitalist kulaks hoarding grain literally caused a massive famine that killed millions
Holla Forumstards: The Jewish Bolshevik Communists took away all the food and watched innocent Ukrainians starve cuz lol

What really happened is a bit of both; kulaks not liking collectivization and collectivization at the hands of the Soviets being botched as fuck. It shouldn't have happened

This was partially the reason for the huge delays in the release of the 1937 census, precisely so that perhaps the worst of the data correlations could be mitigated and Stalin' claim of rapid growth would be realized and vindicated. That said, the release came under scrutiny and the censorious eyes of the Stalin clique. The committee for the collection of statistics was lauded in the end for having collected appreciable results on the casualties and shifts in demographics. There remained a large population growth, although whose rate of growth was much smaller than that predicted at the All-Union Congress, thus the census came under attack from the organs of representative symbolic power (Pravda, varying organizations of state and union, etc.) for having tampered with the numbers for "recording multiple deaths" and "saboteurs work to understate the population growth". The Soviet state under Stalin was thus one of the foremost critics of the conducting of the census, largely vindicating its methodology and parceling of suspicion of state collusion. This said, there still exists extraneous data on the human catastrophe of the famine time that surely renders more correlatively the drops in growth with both the severe impact of the missteps in a floundering state bureaucracy predicated on representative control, the deliberate propagandizing of western anti-bolshevik elements, the actual saboteurs work done by the displaced and hostile kulak class, and the immense growth in urban population requiring more of the civilian transport infrastructure than could be requisitioned or effectively managed given the communicative structure and stringent and exhaustive political maneuvering and control by the Stalin clique

no, collectivization was necessary if the ussr was to become industrialized. similar famines struck many other nations as they rapidly industrialized, unfortunately for ukraine the region was prone to severe weather both wet and dry, that both events occurred simultaneously is unfortunate but to historically, to be expected.

An interesting take, tho the military stake in it seems rather thin.

About the collectivization, the big idea is that it was necessary to increase production to cope with the countryside exodus into the cities and decreased mortality rates from development, as you said. However, nowadays, I often read that small family plots are often more productive than large, supposedly non-mechanized landholdings, which contradicts the main idea behind collectivization. I'm guessing this is explained by the USSR's conditions at the time? Namely, the farmer population being extremely spread out over immense distances in tiny villages, and the very small rate of mechanization, so collectivization should immensely cut down on transportation, logistics and mechanization costs. Am I right in this assumption?

Lastly, let's face it. All talks about the early 30s famine boils down to "did Stalin keep over-requisitioning grain despite knowing farmers couldn't produce enough to feed themselves?"

The military background was mostly for the context of the development and its stakes, not only with regards to the formalistic socialism of the Stalin group, but also the enjoinments of an intensely militarized post-war society that characterized the new professional military and the effects this might have had on the communicative disconnections between civilian, military, and agricultural bureaucracies in the haste to industrialize both urban and rural centers.

Several points are to be made on the rate of production within the rural areas prior to initial collective projects: First being that the effects of the NEP in revitalizing the sparse post-civil war economy effectively stratified the union into its constituent parts, both greater in economic autonomy and (as some of the later suppressions of auxiliary communist parties and officials would suggest) social autonomy. The non-hierarchical composition of this first phase of economic development, coupled with the lack of effective motor or mechanized transit, allowed for metered local production without major accumulation or exchange of capital. This would suggest, as you said, that the rate of production would be higher than that of the non-industrialized collective, given the character of local exchange and consumption, certainly greater than that of a collective subject to inter-republic requisitions and central bureaucracy.

However, this brings about the second point: The rapid industrial developments of many of these farms. This certainly is not a point to assert the fraudulence of the kulak class for hiding grain aggregates or totals, but rather that the inclusion of major reconstructive and modernization projects which accompanied the introduction of collective farming, as well as developments in transport infrastructure minimized logistical inefficiencies and also removes a number of extraneous potential particularities that could have clouded the ability to effectively and cumulatively comment on the successes and failures of industrial collectivization.

Third, with the first two points in mind having effectively cleared the slate of historicity and technological development, we approach the bureaucratic amalgam that predicated all forms of production in the new Soviet Union, beset by formalist censure and issues from deontology to the meter of organization and intersectional mediatory bodies - the process was a mess, from which a great number of antagonizing dictums were conceived as a result of political maneuver and abstract theoretical posturing, all flavored with the insistence that the representative bodies of the state and its subsidiary unions and apparatuses were the socialist corpus of the proletarian body. This, of course, becomes a critique of the disassociated representation of the body of soviet citizens becoming effectively a new hierarchical body, whose founding myth is the sublimation of the civil war and socialist fervor into a structured ideological edifice. This comes with the caveats of inflated state productive quotas, clashing with a displaced capitalist class, as well as the distributive and constructive inefficiencies of rapid development in rural spaces. The end result of course being the tragic coming of the famines.

What this leaves us with is the question, and surely one could hedge a riskier interpretation with the displacement and passage of time, that the modern leftist question is not that of the hostile body - that of the kulak and its class characteristics - but much more of concern is that of the state apparatus - how the soviet body could be so ignominiously derelict of its universal trajectory, how could organized bodies of revolutionary communists find themselves sutured to abusive policy and bureaucratic minutiae, and how could a leader have ordered such!

For orientation to the last piece, I'll echo the concerns of Althusser on the Stalin legacy as a whole: “I shall not evade the most burning issue: it seems to me that either the whole logic of ‘supersession’ must be rejected, or we must give up any attempt to explain how the proud and generous Russian people bore Stalin’s crimes and repression with such resignation; how the Bolshevik Party could tolerate them; not to speak of the final question – how a Communist leader could have ordered them.”

Not only did they hoard grain, but they slaughtered millions of animals. There's also the fact that there was a natural drought.

This is one hundred percent true, though the aggressive state policy of requisitioning grain in the attempt to levy influence and deprive the kulak class of their productive capacity rendered a great deal more harm than good, as a direct response to the malicious destruction or illegal export of agricultural staples and supplies.

Holodomirage is fake news.

As much as it pains me, in light of the long polemics above, to say so - this is most probably correct. Though the Stalinist response has always been to deny the nature of deliberate genocide that would implicate some horribly malevolent pathology in the fabric of the soviet regime. There is little to suggest deliberate starvation, rather than as Tottle says in his book -that the bureaucratic inadequacies would be better attributed to error in planning and statistical oversights. This, of course, is not absolving the miserable performance of the state in response to the amalgam of displaced landowners and kulaks, but it does secure the state against accusations of malign and targeted democide for ethnic or national antagonisms - though of course these feelings did exist within the soviet state, owing, as Lenin had talked about, to an acute "Russian chauvinism" pervading the party as a result of the reconciliation or sublimation of other leftist tendencies (such as the Left SR's, Narodniks, etc.) into the party, whose socialist projection upon the Ukraine and constituent republics situations was largely accusatory of national-socialist inclinations for their desire to function as autonomous bodies within a larger Union framework. I can link some of Lenin' critiques of Stalin in this regard or on the matter of the pathology of "Great Russian Chauvinism" which formed the basis for a great number of 'holodomor' accusations in the west, if anyone would like.

I think the situation would have been much worse if collectivization didn't happen. The term kulak were giving to people decades ago for hoarding grain, and this did was the case because it was more profitable to hoard rather than saturate the grain market. They knew a famine situation would happen so they tried to capitalize on it, but papa Stalin prevented that from happening and eventually ended the pericardial famine entirely. If this situation happened in another capitalist country it would had just been played off as the government breaking up a monopoly or something.and giving the capitalist a slap on the wrist instead of jail sentence (gulag.)

On the etymology of Kulak, it was one of a tripartite division of income amongst the peasant class, describing reliance on the sale of wage labor and/or the requirement to lease land and pay levy to work.

On the processes of collectivization, the initial grain requisitions and agricultural appropriations were a distinct attempt to pacify the Kulak class and deprive them of their significant productive control in all localities across the nation. The Ukraine, being an area of particular agitation, preferred the continued truncated exchange permitted prior to 1929 under the initial economic policies of the post war era. To account for increased internal movement of demographics to industrial centers, collectivization was a necessary step to establish mechanized agricultural production - the issue, of course, being that the ubiquitous class presence of the kulak and its deliberate abnegation of authority conceived a new soviet policy that was wholly recalcitrant on the manner. Stalin instigated a spiteful hostility against the class which did not account for the sheer productive capacity that the Kulak class had control of, and the deliberate and rapid incremented collectivization prompted domestic conflict in regards to their resistance to collective organization. The response of the AgriKom, to ply and confiscate surplus grain stores and holdings, intensifies the amalgam of Kulak resistance and now enters the face of the NKVD and internal services - setting a precedent of irreconcilable violence and alternating cycles of reprisal and refusal, by the state and Kulak class, respectively.

My point is that the hierarchical disposition of Soviet bureaucracy under Stalin, as well as the truculence of the hostile Kulak class, in conjunction with other ongoing issues of union autonomy and organization, placed a massive deadweight upon the productive capacity of the collectivized agricultural base, one which exacerbated the already dire drought conditions. There was no organized corpus of the kulak class, besides those supposed necessarily by Stalin and his confidants, so what became a horrible internecine event of self-reproductive violence

Thanks for the insight, you make some quality post. Hope I see you here again.

Just look for pedantic philosophy posting or in /theory/ , I'm pretty much always there