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Journal Title: Victorious socialist construction in 
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F 7 36 



Victorious Socialist Construction in the 
Soviet Union 

By WM. Z. FOSTER 

I. The Decay of Capitalism and the Advance of 

Socialism 

The most important political fact of our times is that while 
the world capitalist system is plunging deeper and deeper into 
economic and political crisis the building of Socialism in the 
Soviet Union is going ahead with tremendous success. The 
old world system of capitalism, breeder of war, poverty, ig- 
norance and oppression, is played out historically and is in 
decay: the new world system of Socialism, which will emanci- 
pate humanity, is being born. The world is travelling rapidly into 
a profoundly revolutionary transformation, economically, politi- 
cally and socially. 

(a) The World Crisis of Capitalism 

The deepening world crisis of capitalism is both economic 
and political. Thousands of factories are shut down in the 
various countries, with at least 15,000,000 totally unemployed 
and as many more working only part time. The capitalists 
cannot keep in operation their privately owned system of in- 
dustry. The basic reason for this is their inability to dispose 
of the great masses of commodities which the workers produce, 
but which the workers, robbed of a large part of the fruits of 
their toil, cannot buy back. The crisis arises out of the insoluble 
capitalist problem of markets,— the great and growing disparity 
between the productive forces of society (mines, mills, etc.) and 
declining ability of the capitalist markets to absorb the products 
of the industries. Although hundreds of millions of toilers, who 
are willing to work and to produce, hunger and suffer for the 

[3] 



4 VICTORIOUS SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 

necessities of life, capitalist industry, based upon production for 
profit, closes down from "over-production." 

The capitalist economic crisis produces far-reaching political 
effects, which threaten (and which will eventually destroy) the 
whole capitalist system. The capitalists try (by fierce local com- 
petition and by capturing the world market) to dispose of the 
mountains of general commodities and surplus capital that they 
have exploited out of the workers. To carry this on they speed- 
up the workers beyond human endurance and slash the wages 
of their workers ; they ruthlessly exploit the colonial peoples, and 
they come into violent collision with the market-grabbing cap- 
italists of other countries. The general result is an intensifica- 
tion of class antagonisms and national conflicts in all directions. 
The workers, under the attacks of the capitalists upon their living 
standards, organizations, etc., become radicalized and develop 
revolutionary counter-attacks ; the colonial peoples organize anti- 
imperialistic revolutions; and the capitalist governments fly at 
each other's throats and prepare for war against one another, and 
especially against the Soviet Union. 

The American crisis has greatly sharpened the general world 
crisis of capitalism. The wholesale shutdown of American in- 
dustry, throwing out of work at least 6,000,000 workers and 
with many more in prospect, has dealt the shaky capitalist system 
of the world a deadly blow. It has also drastically refuted the 
propaganda of those capitalistic elements who have tried to main- 
tain that American capitalism had found the secret of permanent 
"prosperity" and that it had become immune to crisis and decay. 
In order to try to liquidate the crisis, the capitalists, with the as- 
sistance of their social fascist tools of the American Federation 
of Labor and the Socialist Party, are cutting the wages of the 
workers, speeding them up, instituting a growing regime of 
fascist terrorism in this country, extending military subjugation of 
Latin-America, and entering into a ferocious competition against 
England, France, etc., to increase exports. Such is the program 
of Hoover's National Business Council. All of this can only 
provoke bigger and more bitter struggles of American workers 
against the employers, strong movements of revolt in Latin- 



IN THE SOVIET UNION 



American countries, and a tremendous sharpening of the world 
rivalries of the various imperialist powers. 

International capitalism now finds itself in a most serious 
and increasingly difficult situation. Paralyzed industries, mass 
unemployment, broad and sweeping strikes in the industrial lands, 
increasing revolutionary movements in China, India, and other 
colonial and semi-colonial countries ; enormous sharpening of the 
war danger. On all sides the capitalists prepare for war. Great 
Britain and the United States, struggling for world control, have 
for several years past been on the verge of open hostilities. Nor 
can this dangerous situation be obscured by the officially inspired 
pacifist propaganda. The various "peace" gatherings and ''disarm- 
ament" conferences of the capitalist governments are only so many 
maneuvering places for the various imperialist powers against 
each other, and first of all against the Soviet Union. 

But, although capitalism goes deeper into crisis, it will not fall 
of its own weight. The capitalists will set up systems of fascism 
and try to hold the workers in subjection by open violence. They 
will seek to smash back the Soviet Union, advance guard of the 
revolution. They will try to find an outlet for their multiplying 
difficulties by making savage war against each other. Capitalism 
will not automatically collapse ; it cannot be defrayed simply by the 
operation of economic forces. It will prolong its existence by one 
means or another, even though hundreds of millions are impo- 
verished, until the workers by a supreme political act give it its 
deathblow. Already the toiling masses begin to take the offensive 
internationally against capitalism. That is the real meaning of 
the great surge forward in the Soviet Union, the developing work- 
ers counter-offensive in the industrial countries, the revolutionary 
upheavals in India and China. With the sharpening of the crisis 
of world capitalism, the masses will take on more and more mili- 
tancy. Inspired by the great victories in the Soviet Union, and 
steeled by their own grievances, they will attack capitalism with 
increasing sharpness. The world stands before important revolu- 
tionary struggles. In these capitalism will surely break in some 
of its weakest links. And certainly, before most of us realize it, 
the workers will smash the power of capitalism on a world scale 
and set about building the revolutionary society of the workers. 



6 VICTORIOUS SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 

(b) Growth of Socialism in the Soviet Union 

In glaring and significant contrast to world capitalism dropping 
deeper into crisis, Socialism is now experiencing the most astound- 
ing growth and development in the Soviet Union. The world has 
never seen before such a tremendous expansion and advancement 
of industry, reorganization and extension of agriculture, and un- 
paralleled raising of the standards of the working masses. 

The building of industry in the Soviet Union proceeds at an 
unheard of pace. Great factories are being built and new manu- 
facturing centers established on all sides. The Soviet Union is 
being transformed almost overnight into an industrial country. 
Even the capitalist press of the world, hostile though it is, is 
teeming with amazing stories of the colossal size and success of 
the Soviet Government's Five-Year Plan of Socialist Construction 
In all other countries industry is stagnant; in the Soviet Union 
it flourishes like a bay tree. 

Nor is the Soviet Union experiencing a temporary industrial 
"boom." It is a constant upward trend, ever increasing in speed 
and volume. Soviet industry is not limited by the problem of 
markets, with resultant crises and paralysis of industry, as is 
capitalism. The Russian workers get the full product of their 
labor, minus the minimum necessary for the administration of 
the country and the expansion of the industries to meet the 
rising standards of the workers. There is no surplus for which 
markets must be found on pain of stagnation and unemployment. 
The door is open to practically unlimited industrial expansion 
and social progress. 

Soviet agriculture is also advancing at a pace which is even 
more striking in some respects than that of industry. The whole 
primitive system of agriculture is being mechanized, reconstructed, 
and developed upon a Socialist basis and the masses of peasantry 
are being won oyer to Socialism. In all other countries agri- 
culture is in chronic crisis, with a rapidly deepening misery for 
hundreds of millions of peasants and agricultural workers. But 
in the Soviet Union it is going into a period of unequalled pros- 
perity. The capitalist press of the world is compelled to betray 
even more astonishment at the revolution in agriculture in the 
Soviet Union than at the tremendous industrial upswing. 



IN THE SOVIET UNION 



Simultaneously with the vast development of industry and 
agriculture goes a great improvement in the conditions of the 
workers. Wages steadily increase, while they decline in all cap- 
italist countries. Unemployment, the curse of the capitalist world, 
is being rapidly wiped out in the Soviet Union by the introduction 
of the 7-hour day and the drawing of armies of workers into 
the newly built industries. Vast projects of education and gen- 
eral cultural development of the working masses are in course 
of application. Throughout the capitalist world, with its deepen- 
ing crisis and attacks upon the workers' standards, the living and 
working conditions of the workers are constantly on the decline. 
But in the Soviet Union, with its great success in Socialist con- 
struction, these standards are rapidly rising in all phases. The 
revolutionary significance of this will not be lost upon the world's 
workers. 

As the foundation for this revolutionary building of Socialism, 
the Russian workers, with the great proletarian fighter, Lenin, at 
their head, smashed the czarist and capitalist governments in 1917, 
set up their own Soviet Government, expropriated the capitalists, 
nationalized the industries and land, and defended the revolution 
in the teeth of a hostile capitalist world. Under the leadership of 
their great Communist Party, and through their trade unions, co- 
operatives, etc., they are now making tremendous strides in the 
construction of the new Socialist order, soon to be the new world 
system of society. 

The Russian Revolution is the greatest political achievement 
in history. It is the result of the exercise of the most concentrated 
intelligence, dogged courage, and systematic organized effort ever 
put forth in the whole course of human society. It is the opening 
of a new era in human development, the beginning of an alto- 
gether higher order of social life. American workers, exploited 
by American imperialism and now exposed to the full rigors of 
the growing world crisis of capitalism, will do well to learn what 
is now taking place in the Soviet Union. The following pages 
will at least give an inkling of these world-shaking developments. 



■** 



II. Phenomenal Growth of Socialist Industry, 
Agriculture, and Well-Being of the Workers 

(a) An Unparalleled Industrial Development 
During the early part of 1921 the Russian workers, after hav- 
ing successfully defended their revolution in armed struggle 
against the capitalist world, began to turn their energies to the 
rehabilitation and development of the antiquated and wrecked 
industries. Seven years of imperialist world war and civil war, 
capitalist blockade, counter-revolutionary sabotage, etc., had played 
havoc with these industries. Production had fallen almost to zero. 
By the end of 1920 there was being produced, in comparison with 
the pre-war figures: coal 26%, metal ore 1%, metal products 4% • 
textiles 12%, etc. Only 1,000,000 workers were employed in 
industry, as against 2,500,000 in 1917, and their product was 
only 20% of 1913. They received but 25% of pre-war wages. 

Jt was an appalling prospect, with the country a prey to famine 
and pestilence, blockaded by the capitalist powers, and the workers 
totally inexperienced in the management of industry. But with 
heroic courage and in the face of immeasurable difficulties the 
workers carried through the rebuilding of the shattered indus- 
tries. By the end of 1927 this period of reconstruction prac- 
tically ended, and early in 1928 production in general averaged 
about 120 per cent of pre-war, as against England's 90 per cent. 
and Germany's 104 per cent. 

Then began the present period of intensive Socialist develop- 
ment. The Soviet Government, October 1, 1928. launched it< 
world famous Five- Year Plan of Socialist Construction. 
This is the greatest plan of general development ever put 
forward in any country. The New York Herald (Paris Edition), 
Jan. 2, 1930, says typically of it: 

"No more ambitious economic effort has ever before 
been undertaken on so large a scale in human history. The 
plan aims to accomplish in half a decade an amount of 
industrialization which other nations — even a country as 

[8] 



IN THE SOVIET UNION 9 

richly endowed by nature as the United States — took a 
generation or two to achieve." 

Frazier Hunt, Hearst correspondent, reflecting the general 
capitalist amazement at the gigantic developments in the Soviet 
Union, says (New York American, Jan. 14, 1930) : 

••Japan, westernizing and industrializing herself 50 years 
ago, was doing child's play compared to what the Soviet 
Union is doing today." 

The figures and scope of this vast plan stagger the imagina- 
tion. In the five years, from October, 1928, to October, 1933, 
the total Government budget for industry and agriculture is 86 
billion roubles or about 45 billion dollars, a rouble being worth 
about 52 cents. This involves the building of great power plants, 
metal works, chemical factories, railroads, and factories of all 
kinds in every corner of the country, as well as a profound re- 
organization and mechanization of agriculture, and extensive rais- 
ing of the living and cultural standards of the workers and peasant 
masses. 

As for the industrial phase of the program, it calls for a gen- 
eral increase over present production to 266% by October, 1933, 
the cutting of production costs by 35%, and factory prices by 
25%. The total capital investment in industry will jump from 
gy 2 billions to 21^ billion roubles. The yearly increase in in- 
dustrial output is to be about 20%, as against 7% to 10%, the 
highest rate ever achieved by capitalist countries. Industrial out- 
put per worker annually will increase from 3000 to 5900 roubles. 
The main weight of the Five- Year Plan is directed towards 
building the basic industries, thus to lay a real foundation beneath 
Russian industry and to make it practically independent of cap- 
italist world economy. Electrical power production will be in- 
creased by 32 gigantic plants, from 5 billion to 22 billion kwh, 
an eleven-fold increase over 1913. The output of the chemical 
industry will be increased from 650 million roubles annually to 
over 2 billion, or 100 million more than the great German 
chemical industry. Coal production will be jumped up to 230%, 



io VICTORIOUS SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 

bringing the Soviet Union, with 70 million tons, to fourth place as 
a coal^ producing country. Pig iron production will leap from 
y/2 million tons to 10 million, making the Soviet Union the third 
country in this respect. The railways will be lengthened from 
59,000 kilometers to 90,000, etc., etc. 

Individual items in this immense industrial program are the 
great Dnieperstroy electrical plant, the biggest in the world; the 
great Stalingrad tractor plant, with a capacity of 40,000 per year 
or one tractor each six minutes, with another being planned for 
Kharkof , costing one billion roubles and to produce not less than 
500,000 tractors per year ; the Nijni-Novgorod automobile plant, 
with a yearly output of 140,000 machines; the great Volga- Don 
ship canal ; the Turkestan-Siberia Railroad, and innumerable new 
oil projects, steel mills, textile factories, etc. These industries are 
just beginning to scratch the surface of the matchless natural 
resources of the Soviet Union. 

The announcement of this unprecedented industrial program 
was greeted with scorn by capitalist "experts" throughout the 
world, and especially by those tools of the capitalists, the social- 
democrats, or more properly, social-fascists. They denounced as 
more than ridiculous the idea of the hated Bolsheviks being able 
to realize such an immense project. The proposed rate of 20% 
increase yearly in industrial production was declared fantastic 
and the whole Five- Year Plan was condemned as a fake rigged 
up for cheap propaganda purposes. 

But again these capitalist elements, as always, totally under- 
estimated the revolutionary energy and ability of the workers. 
The first year of applying the Five- Year Plan was an overwhelm- 
ing success, so much so that the whole capitalist world could not 
ignore it. More than that, all the figures for the plan had to be 
drastically revised upward. Instead of accomplishing only the 
planned 21% increase in production, actually the increase was 
24%. Similar plus figures were achieved in practically all the 
kep points of Soviet economy. Now the slogan of the Communist 
Party, the great Party of the Russian workers, is "Complete the 
Five-Year Plan in Four Years." All preliminary reports of 
progress achieved in the first months of the present year indicate 
that even the new goal will be accomplished. So rapid is the 



IN THE SOVIET UNION 



11 



growth that in the current year the products of industry will 
exceed those of last year by about 3 billion roubles. 

The following figures indicate how greatly the tempo of develop- 
ment exceeds that foreseen by the original Five- Year Plan : 



5- Fear Plan 
for year 1929-30 
Increase in total industrial output 21% 

Investment in industries 2,800,000,000 roubles 

Production of : 

'Coal 41,000,000 tons 

Petroleum 14,800,000 " 

Steel 5,200,000 " 

Tractors 25,000 units 

Agricultural Machinery 307,000,000 roubles 



Revised Figures 
for year 1929-30 
32% 
3,600,000,000 

47,000,000 

16,100,600 

6,100,000 

41,000 

406,000,000 



The new Russian industries are being built according to the 
latest technique and with amazing rapidity. Usually they are 
constructed on the American or German systems. The old fac- 
tories and plants are being either demolished outright or funda- 
mentally rebuilt. The construction work is being carried out upon 
a gigantic scale. Thus on 13 great jobs, costing 523 million roubles 
there are employed 193,000 workers. The work goes ahead with 
incredible speed, the whole country being in a fervor of building. 
On the vast Dnieperstroy power plant job the fastest American 
records for building massive concrete work were far surpassed. 
The Stalingrad plant has been built several months ahead of 
schedule and at 20% less than American costs. 

Duranty, the New York Times correspondent, speaking of 
the new proposal to build the largest steel plant in Europe, says : 
"So vast are the present schemes and so great the apparent dif- 
ficulties that it all sounds like madness." But the tempo of indus- 
trialization becomes faster and faster in spite of all obstacles. 
Never has the world seen the like. The success is undeniable. 
John Calder, American engineer on the Stalingrad plant, declares 
that "no one should doubt but that the 5- Year Plan will be suc- 
cessful." 

A maze of problems confront the Russian workers in this 



12 VICTORIOUS SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 

unprecedented task. But, undaunted, they batter through them. 
One of the most vital of these problems now is to find sufficient 
engineers, technicians, and skilled workers to build and operate 
the new industries. This thorny problem is being resolutely 
a::d successfully attacked. The government economic organs, the 
schools, universities, trade unions, etc., are carrying on an enor- 
mous campaign of industrial education and are turning out a verit- 
able army of skilled workers of all degrees. The government 
program calls for the development in the coming four years of 
85,000 full trained engineers (present force 30,000) ; 1 10,000 
technical school graduates (present force 40,000), and 3,000,000 
skilled workers. Vast numbers of workers are being rapidly 
trained and promoted to key industrial positions. Only a small 
percentage of the skilled help, engineers and workers, will come 
from abroad. As an example of the gigantic industrial educa- 
tional work now (Jan. 1930) taking place — there are this winter 
300,000 workers being trained for work in the building trades next 
summer. In all the capitalist countries the employers, confront- 
ing stagnant industries, are throwing millions of trained workers 
out of work ; but in the forward-marching Soviet Union workers 
are being trained and drawn into the industries by millions. 

The Soviet Union is (or rather was two years before) at about 
the same stage of industrial development as the United States of 
50 years ago. But Mishutin, a Russian economist, esimates that 
at its present rate of development the Soviet Union will surpass 
the United States within 15 years. The 5-Year Plan is only a 
starter; it will be followed by far greater plans of development. 
The slogan of the Communist Party is "In technics and economics 
we must overtake and pass the leading capitalist countries." Stalin, 
the General Secretary of the Communist Party and its present 
great leader, says : 

"We are going full steam ahead to Socialism on the 
path of industrialization and we are leaving behind our 
century old backwardness. We shall become a metal pro- 
ducing country, a country of automobiles and tractors. 
Then let the capitalists, who boast of their civilization, try 
to catch us. Then we will see which countries are back- 
ward and which progressive." 



IN THE SOVIET UNION 



(b) The Revolution in Agriculture 

The success of the Five-Year Plan in the Soviet Union has been 
even more spectacular in agriculture than in industry. Primitive 
Russian agriculture, under the direct lead of the Workers" Gov- 
ernment, is fairly leaping ahead from its antiquated methods of 
1000 years ago to the most advanced farming system in the world. 
The present reorganization and development of Russian agricul- 
ture constitutes the swiftest and greatest advance ever made by 
the farming industry at any period in human history. The much- 
vaunted mechanization of American agriculture cannot be com- 
pared with it. Again we find the comparison, deadly for cap- 
italism — while the agricultural situations in all capitalist countries 
are in constant crisis and the masses sink deeper and deeper into 
poverty, in the Soviet Union agriculture flourishes and prospers 
at an unheard of rate. 

Although the 5-Year Plan has its economic center of gravity 
in industry, especially heavy industry, it also provides for a huge 
program of reorganizing and advancing agriculture. This in- 
volves mechanizing the industry upon a gigantic scale, combining 
and reorganizing the producing units from a petty individual basis 
to great collective and state farms, raising the productivity of the 
soil by fertilizers, bringing in new crops and farming systems, 
developing new methods of stock raising, etc., etc. In furtherance 
of this revolutionary program the Government, as part of the 
general 5-Year Plan, proposes to spend in agriculture, by October, 
1933, approximately 23 billion roubles (11% billion dollars). 

Among the major items of this program are: 43^ billions for 
agricultural machinery, including 180,000 tractors (by 1938 it 
is expected to have 1 million tractors in the field), iy 2 billion to 
develop industries (canning factories, dairies, etc.) using agri- 
cultural products; such a great increase in the use of fertilizer 
phosphates, nitrates, and lime, that it will overtop the use of these 
in the Unites States ; an increase of the land under cultivation by 
22 j/ 2 % ; the vast extension of cotton planting, etc. And all this to 
be linked up with the reorganization of 27 million hectares of 
land (a hectare is 2V2 acres) upon the basis of state farms (5 



14 



VICTORIOUS SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 



million) and collective farms (22 million). The fertility of the 
soil will be greatly improved and total production increased by at 
least 35^ %. 

This was the original plan, and, as usual, it was scoffed at by 
the capitalistic sceptics. But in practice it has been far exceeded, 
even more so than in the case of industry. The building of state 
and collective (cooperative) farms, supposedly the knottiest part 
of the problem, has gone ahead at a fabulous pace. The poor and 
middle peasants, catching the spirit of the new program, have 
literally rushed in great masses into the new modern farming 
units. Stalin says : "The collective farm movement has been 
transformed into a movement of millions of the main mass of the 
peasantry." The great difficulty now lies in giving the new col- 
lectives the necessary machinery and leadership. In the latter 
respect the trade unions are especially helping by sending many 
thousands of their workers onto the land to aid the peasants to 
handle their new machines and to build their organizations. 
The Red Army is sending similar contingents of helpers. Whole 
villages are joining en masse. Entire districts have already been 
reorganized upon the new basis. The program was exceeded in 
all other respects — thus in the year ending October, 1930, there 
will be 11,000 tractors produced instead of the 5,000 planned. 
In 18 months the great Stalingrad tractor works will begin to 
produce at the rate of 45,000 per year. By the end of 5 years 
there will be 300,000 tractors at work instead of the planned 180,- 
000 — at the time of the revolution there were only 500 in all 
Russia. And so in all phases of the program. 

By the end of the first year, October, 1929, the state and 
collective farms expanded, instead of the 7% and 94% provided 
for in the 5- Year Plan,- no less than 28% and 200% respectively. 
And now the movement goes faster than ever. By the end of this 
year such great, districts as the Lower and Central Volga and 
the Northern Caucasus will be entirely collectivized. Now the 
slogan goes out to complete the 5-Year Plan on the farms in two 
more years. The following official figures give an idea of the 
tremendous scope and speed of this great agricultural develop- 
ment. 



IN THE SOVIET UNION 15 

State Farms Collectives 

1928 1,425,000 hectares 1928 1,390,000 hectares 

1929 1,816,000 " 1929 4,262,000 " 

1930 3,380,000 " 1930 15,000,000 " 

Even the hostile capitalist press, accustomed though it is to 
belittle and misrepresent the Soviet Government, cannot entirely 
blink these great achievements. Below are a couple of typical 
comments : 



"The world is used to surprises from Soviet Russia, 
but nothing is so sensational as the extraordinary growth 
of the collective agricultural undertakings." 

Chicago Daily News. 

"The agrarian policy of the Kremlin has had a splendid 
start. It would really seem that Socialism is winning the 
backward Russian village." New York Times. 

The state farms are organized directly by the Government and 
are operated by the workers upon a wage basis. They are the 
highest type of farm organization. There are now about 60 of 
these. They are usually huge in size and are veritable grain fac- 
tories. One monster is the "Gigant" in the Northern Caucasus. 
It contains 130,000 hectares (almost 300,000 acres). It surpasses 
by far the famous Campbell ranch in Montana in size, degree of 
mechanization, type of organization, quantity of products, etc. 

The collectives are cooperative farming enterprises. Their 
general evolution is in the direction of the state farm. Their 
formation is aided because the land is nationalized. The many 
small peasants combine their little holdings and set up a joint 
management. The Government works directly with them for its 
mechanization, the raising of its fertility, the introduction of new 
farming methods, etc. The benefit to the peasants is immediate 
and tremendous. This is the reason for their flocking in such 
huge numbers into the collectives. By October, 1930, there will be 
at least 100,000 of these new collective farms, embracing about 
3 million peasant homesteads. In a very short time practically 
the whole Russian agriculture will be so reorganized. 



16 VICTORIOUS SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 



This great reorganization movement is based largely upon the 
tractor. Once Lenin said, "If we had 100,000 tractors the whole 
agricultural question would be settled." Well, the tractors are 
about on hand— 45,000 are now at work in the fields and the rest 
will soon come out of the new factories— and, as Lenin so clearly 
foresaw, the problem of the peasant and the farm is rapidly 
approaching solution. 

The revolutionary significance of these agricultural develop- 
ments can hardly be overestimated. First, they give a much 
broader economic base to the Soviet economy by extending so- 
cialized industry far out into the realms of agriculture. Then, 
they link the peasantry more firmly with the workers than ever, 
which means an enormous strengthening of the Soviet Govern- 
ment in every respect, not the least being its added ability to 
protect itself from the armed attacks of the hostile capitalist 
world. They unite the city and the country. 

Especially these developments shatter the counter-revolutionary 
class of kulaks, or rich peasants. These elements have been the 
most vicious enemies of the Soviet regime. 'Controlling the pro- 
duction of a large amount of the grain, they have been able to 
seriously hamper the whole progress of Russian development. 
They have systematically tried to starve the revolution to death. 
They have practiced terrorism of the most ferocious kind in their 
efforts to stay the advancing revolution. They have re- 
lentlessly opposed the state and collective farm movement, 
seeking to block it from without, or, failing in this, to wreck 
the collectives from within. They have assassinated large num- 
bers of representatives of the Soviet Government and members of 
the Communist Party. 

But now the kulaks, long a most vital problem of the revolu- 
tion, have been overwhelmingly defeated, even more decisively 
than have the so-called NEP-men in the cities. The new collec- 
tive and state farms at once vastly increase grain production and 
bring this under control of the Government. This breaks the 
economic power of the kulaks. Besides, as the great wave for 
collectivization rolls onward it sweeps aside, like chaff, the reac- 
tionary kulaks. Formerly the policy of the Government, which 
frankly fought for the interests of the poor and middle farmers, 



IN THE SOVIET UNION 



17 



as against those of the rich farmers, was to restrict the exploitive 
practives of the latter. Now, with its great victory in collectiviza- 
tion, it is wiping out the kulaks altogether as a factor in agri- 
culture. The slogan now is for the liquidation of the kulaks. This 
is an enormous gain for the revolution. 

One of the practical fruits already of the victory in agricul- 
ture was the collection of 4 million tons more of grain this year 
than last. Also the seeded area has been increased by 13 
million hectares. This tendency to greater production will increase 
by leaps and bounds within the next few years, with consequent 
vast quantities of foodstuffs on hand to feed the workers in the 
cities and to export as pay for the immense quantities of ma- 
chinery now being imported and constructed. 

The collectivization of the farms means the winning of the 
peasantry to Socialism. The effects of this will be international 
in scope. It will be an inspiration to downtrodden peasants every- 
where, even as the growth of Socialism generally in the Soviet 
Union will steel the workers all over the world to fight against 
capitalism. Stalin thus sizes up this aspect of the situation : 

"The peasants, considered by the capitalists as manure 
for the ground for capitalism, are on all sides abandoning 
the famous banner of 'private property' and are placing 
themselves on the basis of collectives and Socialism. The 
last hope of restoring capitalism is vanishing." 

(c) The Rise of the Workers' Standards 

Throughout the capitalist world, including the United States, 
the living and working standards of the toiling masses are on the 
decline. In the Soviet Union alone are they on the rise. The 
central objective of the Russian workers now is to lay a firm 
basis for Socialism by putting forth all possible efforts to build 
the industrial and agricultural system. And in doing this they 
are not forgetting the purpose for which they have carried through 
the revolution, the improvement of the condition of the workers. 
They are making gigantic strides in this direction now, as well as 
laying the basis for further huge advances socially by the rapid 
building of industry. Before the revolution the Russian workers 



i8 VICTORIOUS SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 

were the poorest paid and worst conditioned in Europe; but at 
the end of the 5-Year Plan they will be the best. And soon after- 
ward they will catch up to and pass the economic standards of 
American workers, already on the decline. 

Wages are being rapidly raised. The 5-Year Plan calls for an 
increase of 71% in wages and a cut of 23% in living costs. This 
will give the Russian workers, all factors considered, about 209% 
of pre-war wages. No doubt these figures will be exceeded in the 
accomplishment. In the year just past real wages advanced about 
3%; the program for the coming year calls for a 15% increase. 

Hours are being systematically shortened. In 1913 the work- 
day was of 10 to 12 hours. Now it averages just a little over 7 
hours, with 6 hours for the youth and workers engaged in danger- 
ous or unhealthy occupations. Last year 450,000 workers acquired 
the 7-hour day and this year it will be extended to 700,000 
more. By October, 1933, it will be practically universal. At the 
end of the 5-Year Plan the question will be taken up of introduc- 
ing the 6-hour day. With the present system of the uninter- 
rupted working week of five days (that is, 4 days' work and 1 
day's rest) the workers now have 77 days' rest yearly, as against 
65 formerly. 

Together with these improvements, there is being developed 
a tremendous Government program of social insurance; that is, 
insurance against unemployment, sickness, death, etc. Already 
the position of the Russian workers in this respect is far better 
than that of any other working class. In the United States, for 
example, the workers have no state insurance whatever. In the 
present mass unemployment the workers are left entirely without 
resources. The 5- Year Plan calls for great increases in the sys- 
tem of social insurance. How this system grows is indicated 
by the fact that in 1925 the sum of 66 million roubles was so 
paid, whereas in the past year this jumped to 1,128,000,000 roubles 
or 17 times as much. By the end of the 5-Year Plan it will be 
increased to over 2 billion roubles, despite the practical wiping 
out of unemployment. 

Improvement of housing is going ahead rapidly. The 5-Year 
Plan calls for the spending of 4 billion roubles for building fine 
new homes for the workers to take the place of the horrible 



IN THE SOVIET UNION 



19 



shacks inherited from Czarism. Every Russian city is now the 
scene of tremendous building projects of this character. In indus- 
try, more and more care is taken of the workers' health and safety, 
the sum of 314 million roubles having been set aside for this 
purpose by the 5-Year Plan. 

There is also going ahead a tremendous program of education 
of the masses, left unlettered by Czarism and Capitalism. This is 
totally without precedent in any capitalist country. Even cap- 
italist educators have to admit its vast scope and fundamental 
character. It is one of the most outstanding features of the whole 
revolutionary situation. In 1913, out of 100 persons in Russia 
77 were illiterate. Already this figure has been cut to 46, arid by 
the end of the 5-Year Plan it will be reduced to 18. Illiteracy 
will then be completely liquidated in the industrialized sections of 
the country. The 5-Year Plan provides the gigantic sum of 
21% billion roubles for general social-cultural activities, of which 
10V2 billions are for education. The plan foresees the establish- 
ment of the compulsory education system throughout the Soviet 
Union. There is also a tremendous amount of additional educa- 
tional work carried on by the Communist Party, the trade unions, 
cooperatives, cultural societies, etc. The 5-Year Plan provides also 
for vast increases in the number of workers' libraries, cinemas, 
clubs, peoples' houses, workers' literature, radios, theatres, vaca- 
tions, excursions, camps, free medical attendance, etc. For 
example, radio sets will be increased from 300,000 to 7,000,000; 
cinemas — from 8,520 to 50,000; libraries — from 23,000 
to 34,000, with 40,000 new traveling libraries, etc. All told, it is 
the most gigantic movement of its kind in history. Capitalism 
has nothing even remotely to compare with it. It would not even 
try to put such a revolutionary program into effect. 

This great cultural movement affects not only the industrial 
workers but also the peasantry, especially as the latter is now 
being drawn into the collective farms and the building of So- 
cialism. The peasant's economic condition is vastly improved 
and thru the thousands of schools and other cultural institutions 
built in his villages, he is beginning to emerge from his age-long 
isolation, ignorance and superstition. One detail of the program 
will draw 5 million peasants into short courses to study improved 



2o VICTORIOUS SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 



agriculture. The sun of Socialist well-being is beginning to shine 
in even the darkest Russian villages. 

Contrast this situation of broad and rapid improvement in 
every phase of the conditions of the toiling masses in the Soviet 
Union with the wage cuts, destructive speed-up, and general 
worsening of the workers' economic and political conditions in 
all the capitalist countries, and we have a picture of a healthy 
growing world system of Socialism in the first instance, and a 
decaying capitalist world system in the other. And all the great 
cultural advance now being made in the Soviet Union is only a 
beginning. Once there is a sufficient industrial basis laid, and 
that is being accomplished at incredible speed, and we will see 
the toilers in the Soviet Union leap forward culturally in a way 
that will startle the world and be a tremendous stimulation to the 
world's workers to follow the intelligent and revolutionary exam- 
ple of the Russian workers. 



III. The Struggle for Socialist Construction 

The capitalists of the world are astounded at the scope and 
success of the 5-Year Plan. And well may be, for it represents 
an altogether higher plane of industrial and social development 
than their much-vaunted capitalist system. The 5-Year Plan 
would be quite impossible in any capitalist country. No such 
country has ever produced a plan of organized industrial and so- 
cial development, and none ever will. The 5-Year Plan is a 
sign manual of the newer and higher social order that is develop- 
ing in the Soviet Union, that is, Socialism. 

The 5- Year Plan is possible in the Soviet Union because the 
Workers' Government has developed a new economic and political 
system, which calls into play a whole series of new constructive 
social forces and technical superiorities over capitalism. These 
are now being most intensely applied and utilized in carrying 
through the 5- Year Plan. So much so, that it constitutes a ver- 
itable struggle for industrialization, a fierce conflict against the 
backward Russian industrial technique, against the remnants of 
Russian capitalism, and against the attempts of world capitalism 
to strangle Socialism in the Soviet Union. At no time since the 
most acute phases of the armed revolutionary struggle have the 
workers put forth more determined and throughly organized 
efforts than now. The carrying through of the 5- Year Plan is 
a most intense battle for Socialism. 

(a) Superior Organisation of Socialism 

One of the major advantages of the Soviet system which enable 
it to drive through to the accomplishment of the 5-Year Plan is 
its incomparably higher type of organization, socially, politically, 
and economically, than that of capitalism. Not only does the 
Supreme Economic Council immediately direct the course of the 
body of industry, but the entire complex of Soviet institutions, 
Government, trade unions, cooperatives, cultural organizations. 
etc., are all parts of one great homogenuous social machine. This 
machine, inspired and led by the Communist Party, and rooted in 
the very life and fibre of the working class, has as its great aim 

fail 



22 VICTORIOUS SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 



the organized carrying on of the whole social process in the 
interest and for the improvement of the great masses of toilers 
in the industries and on the land. This unity of organization and 
singleness of purpose make possible the complete mobilization of 
all the social forces for executing the planned national economy 
which has been the base of the Soviet system since its inaugura- 
tion. The 5-Year Plan, with its emphasis on the building of 
heavy industry, its adoption of the uninterrupted work-week, the 
5-day week and the 7-hour day, its introduction of the most mod- 
ern industrial technique, its systematic improvement of the con- 
ditions of the workers, etc., is the first outstanding example of 
such an organized planned economy. But the 5-Year Plan will 
not be the last of such. On the contrary, it will soon be followed 
by still greater and even more startling programs of social develop- 
ment. 

Compare this scientific national social organization with the 
chaos and planlessness of capitalism. The capitalist system, built 
upon the principle of private ownership and profit, is inherently 
individualistic and competitive. The individual capitalists and 
groups of capitalists grab what they can of the industries. Then, 
bitterly exploiting the workers with the aid of their government, 
they violently compete with each other in production and dis- 
tribution. Capitalists compete against capitalists, one section of 
an industry against the other sections, one industry against an- 
other industry, one country against the rest. Under such cir- 
cumstances production cannot be upon a planned basis. This 
planlessness is further emphasized by the insoluble capitalist prob- 
lem of securing markets for the commodities that have been pro- 
duced. Nor can this basic chaos of capitalism be cured by trusti- 
fication. That simply changes the forms of the competition some- 
what and intensifies the struggle between the rival capitalist com- 
binations. 

• 

Such a planned program of industrialization and raising of 
the workers' standards as embodied in the 5 -Year Plan is un- 
thinkable under capitalism ot only because economically the 

capitalist system is unable to carry through such an organized 
industrial production, but also because the very thought of carry- 
ing on production for the benefit of the actual producers is totally 



IN THE SOVIET UNION 



23 



foreign to capitalism. Capitalism is oganized for the benefit of 
the owners of the industries, the capitalist class. They look upon 
the workers as a set of god-given slaves to be exploited for then- 
interests. It is exactly in developing the social organization for 
the benefit of the workin masses instead of a parasitic owning 
class that is the very heart of the revolution. The whole capi- 
talist system represents an entirely lower stage of social deveiop- 
,nent, economically and politically. In order to make such a pro- 
gram as the 5-Year Plan possible in the United States and other 
capitalist countries, it will first require the proletarian revolution. 

(b) Fast Financial Economies 

Not only does the Soviet system plan its economy, and not only 
is it the aim of this economy to advance the conditions of the work- 
ers, but a further advantage of the Soviet system is that it is 
free of the great financial drains characteristic of capitalism, the 
untold billions raked off from capitalist industry, at the expense 
of the workers, to keep up myriads of socially useless and para- 
sitic elements. The Soviet Government is able to apply the 
whole product of industry to constructive ends. The great rake 
off of the capitalist owners, which in the United States ranges 
from 10 per cent to 30 per cent yearly of the yield of industry, is 
wiped out completely. The vast amounts which under capitalism 
would go to the capitalist owners remain in industry and pro- 
ductive use. One great thing the Russian revolution has done, 
is to show beyond all question that the capitalist, whether in his 
capacity as "owner" or "manager" of industry, is worse than use- 
less, that he is an encumbrance on social development. 

And with the abolition of the gigantic graft of the capitalists 
goes also that of the landlords. It is the brazen function of these 
individuals under capitalism to sieze upon the very earth itself 
and to force the useful producers to pay them for the privilege 
of a place to live or work. But in the Soviet Union this age loix,* 
crime is stopped. The millions and billions that under capitalism 
would be handed over to the landlords, the workers now keep. 
The land, like the industries, is owned by the Workers' Govern- 
ment, which means by the working class. 

The revolutionary and scientific Soviet system has wiped out 



2 4 



VICTORIOUS SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 



a whole mass of other related socially useless elements and ex- 
ploiters of the workers. The great state industrial trusts deal 
directly with each other and with the consumers through the 
cooperatives, thereby eliminating the vast armies of middlemen, 
wholesalers, jobbers, commission men and other capitalist similar 
rift' raff. The gigantic cooperative retail system knocks out the 
multitudes of petty shop keepers, each of whom picked the 
workers' pockets for his profits. Likewise, the fabulous costs 
uf selling the products of industry customary under capitalism 
(which in the United States amount to 8 billion dollars out of a 
total yearly sale of 40 billions) are cut out practically completely. 
Gone are the hordes of high pressure salesmen insurance agents, 
lawyers, brokers, advertising men, real estate sharks, stock specu- 
lators, strike-breaking agencies, and the innumerable other ragtag 
and bobtail of capitalist society. Not only has the Soviet system 
saved the vast funds wasted on these useless armies of social 
parasites, but especially it is rid of their reactionary political 
influence. 

Capitalism is still able to force some of its harmful and 
gigantic expenditures upon the Soviet 'Union, as, for example, 
the necessity for it to maintain a substantial army to defend 
itself from the enemy capitalist world. But this is only temporary. 
Militarism, and the huge waste of life and social substance that 
goes with it, will die with capitalism. When the workers of the 
various countries, following the example of the Russians, over- 
throw their capitalist systems and establish the world Soviet 
Union this will strike a death blow to the hoary institution of 
war. The workers' world society, based upon collectivism in- 
stead of individualism, upon cooperation instead of competition, 
upon production for use instead of for profit, will have no use 
for war. It will mark the beginning of the real consolidation 
and organization of the human race. 

Soviet socialized industry, which forms the overwhelming 
mass of the industry generally, is free of capitalist parasites. 
It is healthy and all its resources can be and are utilized for pro- 
moting the interests of the toilers and for the further extension 
of the industrial system. This inherent financial strength, in 
conjunction with the planfulness and proletarian aim of all Soviet 



IN THE SOVIET UNION 



25 



production, has contributed enormously to the success of the 5- 
Year Plan. It has made possible extremely rapid accumulation 
of capital. This is one of the greatest marvels of the whole Rus- 
sian situation. The world's capitalists thought it to be entirely 
out of the question to industrialize the Soviet Union without the 
aid of foreign capital, and they were doubly careful not to lend 
such capital. But the industrialization is not only taking place, 
but at an unprecedented rate, and almost entirely with Russian 
resources. So great is the success in this respect that recently 
Stalin declared that the problem of capital accumulation in the 
Soviet Union had been practically solved. 



(c) Socialist Mass Incentive 

The foregoing practical superiorities of the Socialist system 
have contributed much to the tremendous success of the 5-Year 
Plan, and the workers, with such a gigantic new industrial machine 
10 look after, are only beginning to take advantage of its huge 
resources and superiorities. But a further factor of the most vital 
significance in the success is the tremendous revolutionary in- 
centive developed among the working masses. This incentive 
expresses itself through the most determined efforts, marked by 
self-sacrifice and real heroism, to make the 5-Year Plan a success. 
So fierce is this revolutionary incentive, this mass endeavor to 
build the industries and the new society, that it lends a character 
of the very sharpest struggle to the present Socialist construction. 

Ever since the very birth of the capitalist system employers, 
trying to find an indispensable function for themselves in society 
as a justification for exploiting the workers have declared that only 
privately owned industry cultivates incentive, and that the intro- 
duction of Socialism would kill incentive and result in general 
laziness and stagnation. Their conception of incentive is for the 
capitalists owning industry to drive the enslaved workers to their 
tasks under the lash of starvation. Marx and Lenin long ago 
pointed out the utter fallacy that Socialism would kill incentive 
and the course of the Russian revolution has justified them com- 
pletely. 

In the Soviet Union, instead of incentive dying out, there 
has developed a great constructive mass incentive and effort totally 



26 VICTORIOUS SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 



unknown in the capitalist world except in the ranks of the revolu- 
tionary movement. The workers realize that they are building 
their own industry, their own country; that they are developing 
a real workers' society, one that will give them all possible ad- 
vantages of modern life, and which will not be an instrument, as 
capitalist societies are, to fatten up a lot of social parasites at the 
expense of millions of enslaved workers. This is why the Rus- 
sian workers fight and work with such boundless enthusiasm and 
inexhaustible energy. Theirs is not an individualistic incentive 
but a class incentive. It was this revolutionary incentive thai 
fired their courage to overthrow czarism and capitalism ; it steeled 
their hearts to struggle through the long bitter years of civil war, 
hunger, and pestilence ; it is now carrying them forward with 
unparalleled success and vigor in the building of socialist industry. 
Such proletarian enthusiasm and creative ability can never be 
applied to industry in capitalistic countries. 

The Russian workers' revolutionary class incentive throws 
them forward in a veritable assault against every obstacle thai 
stands in the way of developing their new society. They make 
herculean efforts to build the new industries. They ruthlessly 
sweep aside any of their leaders who falter or fail in the keen 
struggle. Thus they smashed Trotzsky when a couple of years 
ago he put forward his pessimistic theory that the workers could 
not build Socialism in one country, the Soviet Union ; and then 
during the past year they defeated Bucharin who, believing the 
obstacles too great for the workers to overcome, wanted to 
slow down the speed of the industrialization and to make con- 
cessions to the enemy kulaks. The fight against the right danger 
(the Bucharin tendency to weaken in the struggle) is prosecuted 
in every workshop and factory. 

The workers carry on a relentless self-criticism and their 
leaders do the same. The fight against bureaucratism is never- 
ending. Incompetent and unreliable elements are systematically 
weeded out of the Party and key positions of all institutions. 
From their slender resources the workers float loans to help in 
the industrialization. The last such loan was for 750,000,000 
roubles, and the workers added another 150,000,000 roubles to it. 
The Russian workers battle resolutely on for Socialism. 



IN THE SOVIET UNION 



27 



whether the weapons in hand be rifles or monkey wrenches. 
They realize that every new factory built means not only an ad- 
ditional foundation stone in their new society, but also a fortress 
to help defend it from the inevitable capitalist armed attack. It is 
this indomitable spirit of the workers above all that is making such 
a world startling success of the 5-Year Plan. 

One of the most striking of the many forms of expression of 
the prevailing tremendous working class incentive is the newly 
established "Socialist Competition." This, of course, has nothing 
in common with the destructive competition which lies at the base 
of capitalism. Through Socialist competition the workers vie 
with each other in accomplishing specific tasks in the building of 
Socialism. It is a means for bringing forth the creative spirit 
of the working masses. Thus groups of workers will challenge 
and compete against each other in a given shop, or factory against 
factory, or industry against industry, etc. Of course, with the 
highly developed protective social legislation and general free 
conditions in Russian industry, this competition has none of the 
destructive features of the speed-up in capitalist industry. The 
youth are usually the leaders in this vital movement. In 191 £, 
Lenin outlined the principles of Socialist competition, but it was 
not practically applied until last year. The increase in produc- 
tivity from this source runs from 10 per cent to 50 per cent. 
Socialist competition, expressed in many forms, now becomes 
international in scope. The various Communist Parties, revolu- 
tionary unions, etc., challenge each other to compete in fulfilling 
their revolutionary tasks. Thus the great Tregolnik rubber fac- 
tory of Leningrad, with 20,000 workers, has a competition with 
the 16,000 workers of the big Leuna chemical works in Ger- 
many. The revolutionary workers in the Leuna plant pledge 
themselves to accomplish by a given date certain important spe- 
cific tasks of the organization and education of the masses of 
workers in their works for the battle against the employers and 
the social fascists. And the Tregolnik workers, for their part, 
agree to raise their output 200 per cent instead of the 177 per 
cent called for by the 5-Year Plan; to increase the productivity 
per worker 42 per cent instead of 35 per cent ; to cut production 
costs 17 per cent instead of 10 per cent, and to finish their quota 



28 VICTORIOUS SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 

of the 5- Year Plan in 4 years. Many other international Social- 
ist competitions are now in effect. Thus at the recent meeting 
of the General Council of the Red International of Labor Unions 
the National Minority Movement of Great Britain and the Unity 
Confederation of Labor of France challenged the Trade Union 
Unity League (which accepted) to compete in building their 
membership, extending their labor journals, developing their 
work in the colonies, etc. 

(d) The Role of the Trade Unions 
The Russian trade unions, numbering over 11,000,000 workers 
organized into 23 different industrial organizations, play a most 
vital role in the Soviet regime and especially in carrying through 
the 5-year Plan. They are the great mass organizations for 
mobilizing the working class at the point of production. 
They are foundation stones of the whole Soviet system. 
They concern themselves directly with the workers' immediate 
interests and their participation in industry. On questions of 
wages, hours, and working conditions their say is practically de- 
cisive. They also see to it that the elaborate social insurance 
system and protection for the workers in industry is properly 
extended and put into effect. They also carry on a vast cultural 
work through their maze of schools, clubs, libraries, rest homes, 
etc., etc., The trade unions are represented, officially or un- 
officially, in every stage of the Government. Thousands of their 
leaders and militants are to be found in the innumerable com- 
mittees and leading organs of the Government. They have their 
vital say on all social activities. 

In production the trade unions are a basic factor. They are 
the chief means for drawing the masses into the revolutionary 
industrial program. Although as organizations they do not di- 
rectly interfere jn the Government economic organs, they make 
up, together with the Communist Party and the economic adminis- 
tration, the "triangle" which directs the course of production in 
the factories. They are now doing a vast work in carrying 
through the 5-Year Plan. They educate the masses to the revolu- 
tionary meaning of the program; they organize the "production 
conferences" between the workers and the technical administration 



IN THE SOVIET UNION 



29 



to improve the methods of production; they are prime factors 
in setting up labor discipline; they organize the Socialist com- 
petition; they educate scores of thousands of workers in their 
schools to help satisfy the voracious demand for skilled workers 
and technicians; they are the chief vehicle for carrying forward 
the vast cultural work of the 5- Year Plan ; they serve in a hundred 
other ways to protect the interests of the workers in the industries, 
those of the unemployed workers, and to modernize and to carry 
ahead production. The great Russian trade union movement now 
has in the very center of its program the dynamic slogan : "Com- 
plete the 5-Year Plan in 4 Years." And its great task is the 
mobilization of the working masses so that this can be done. 
How insignificant the American Federation of Labor looks in 
comparison with the gigantic and revolutionary Russian trade 
unions. The A. F. of L., comprising hardly more than 10 per- 
cent of the working class and split up into 120 separate unions, 
is led by a clique of plain agents of the employers. They are 
social fascist tools of the bosses, whose sole function it is to 
hamstring the workers from struggling against their exploiters 
and to degenerate the labor movement into a mere auxiliary of 
the production apparatus and war machine of American imperial- 
ism, but the Russian unions, with a vast organization comprising 
98 per cent of the whole working class, which have helped to 
smash the capitalist system and which are a main prop of the 
revolutionary Workers' Government, are now leading the masses 
of workers militantly forward, in the teeth of the severest diffi- 
culties, to the stupendous accomplishment of the 5-Year Plan and 
the building of Socialism. Yet the corrupt, ignorant, and capi- 
talistic leaders of the A. F. of L. dare to sneer at the valiant 
Russian trade unions. Their attacks on the Soviet Union and 
on the Russian workers are only the voice of their masters, the 
American capitalist class. 



IV. An Industrial City- 



-Leningrad 



The building of Socialist industry is taking place in all parts of 
the Soviet Union. New Pittsburgs, Detroits, and Chicagos are 
being established in Kusbas (Siberia), Stalingrad, Nishni Nov- 
gorod, Donbas, Dnieperstroy, etc. The old industrial centers are 
being rebuilt and expanded and gigantic new ones are being 
created where just recently all was forest or open field. A few 
facts as to what is taking place generally in Leningrad and spe- 
cifically in some of its big factories (which the writer visited in 
January, 1930) will serve to show what is going on all over the 
Soviet Union at the present time. 

Leningrad played a decisive role in overthrowing czarism and 
capitalism. It was there that the revolution actually began. The 
revolutionary Leningrad workers fittingly are now shock troops 
in the great struggle of the working class for Socialist construc- 
tion. The whole city is a veritable bee hive of industrial growth 
and activity. Before the revolution Leningrad (then Petrograd) 
had a population of 1,900,000. By 1921 this had fallen off to 
700,000 because of the paralysis caused by the civil war, etc. 
Hut now the city has 1,800,000 people, and it is gaining at the 
rate of 100,000 per year. No American city is growing so fast 
in population or in industry. 

Leningrad, like all other cities, and all individual industries 
and factories, has its own 5-Year Plan. It calls for a tremendous 
building of the local industries and workers' culture. The city, 
which contains about 15 per cent of all Russian industry, is a big 
center for heavy metal products, marine construction, textiles, 
shoes, rubber, etc. To these plants are now being added many new 
metal industries, chemical -plants, great power stations, etc. The 
new industries, exclusive of power plants and transportation 
developments, will, under the 5-Year Plan, require a new capita! 
investment of 250 million roubles. 

In the year ending October, 1928, the total products of 
Leningrad's industries were valued at 1,383,000,000 roubles; at 
(he end of the 5-Year Plan they will amount to 3,792,000,000 
roubles, an increase of 174 per cent. General production costs 

f30] 



IN THE SOVIET UNION 



3i 



will be reduced to 70 per cent of 1928, and factory prices to 79 
per cent. To man the enlarged industries, 13,000 additional 
engineers and technicians must be developed, and at least 150,000 
skilled workers trained. Average wages are now about 100 
roubles monthly. This is 30 per cent above pre-war, not to speak 
of at least another 30 per cent that should be added to cover 
social insurance, lower rents, free medical attendance, etc. The 
general wage level is to be increased 35 per cent'of which 9 per 
cent occurs in the current year. About 35 per cent of the workers 
have the 7-hour day, 15 per cent will get it this year, and all 
will have it by 1933. 

The Leningrad workers have mobilized all their forces — Party, 
Government, trade unions, cooperatives, etc., and are surging 
ahead full steam to the accomplishment of these gigantic tasks. 
List year they increased their general industrial output 37 per 
cent. Full of fighting spirit in the face of a thousand difficulties, 
their slogan is, "Complete the 5- Year Plan in 4 Years," and they 
will do it. In some sections of their industry it will be finished 
in two or three years. In the Leningrad district the land is 
already 100 per cent collectivized. 

The whole city is aflame with enthusiasm for the 5-Year Plan. 
Many factories are decorated with great red streamers calling 
upon the workers to put militantly through the industrialization. 
In the movies the shows and news reels make war against bureau- 
cratism, sabotage, and the right danger generally. They show 
pictures and give statistics of the champion "brigades" in the 
various Socialist competitions. Everywhere goes on the most 
concentrated propaganda for industrialization. 

The city fairly seethes with optimism and fighting spirit. On 
all sides are to be seen the myriad evidences of the new revolu- 
tionary culture of the workers and their rising standards of 
living. Hundreds of great apartments are going up, to replace the 
former wooden shacks of czarism. Great "palaces of culture" — 
there are three of these in Leningrad costing over 3 million 
apiece — contain every imaginable institution for educating and 
entertaining the masses. Close by a great palace of culture they 
were building a "kitchen-factory" — that is, a great cooking estab- 
lishment to prepare hot meals of every description for the workers 



"W 



32 VICTORIOUS SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 

to take home, thus dealing another blow at housework. This 
mass cooking system tends to become general. There are schools 
galore and of every kind. In Leningrad there are 100,000 workers 
studying industrial subjects alone (not to mention other branches), 
ranging from courses to equip engineers and red factory directors 
to instruction in the elements of the skilled trades. In all this 
work the trade unions play a tremendous role. Besides their 
innumerable schools, rest houses, sanitoria, etc., they have 100 
clubs, many of them of great size and wide popularity. For such 
clubs alone the 5-Year Plan of the Leningrad trade unions calls 
for an expenditure of 26 million roubles. 

Everywhere, in the city at large and in the factories, are 
banners, signs, pictures, and general propaganda for industrializa- 
tion, and against alcoholism and religion. In the Narvsky dis- 
trict of Leningrad, which I visited, there were formerly 71 
churches. Now there are only 18. The 53 discontinued for want 
of attendance have been turned into schools, clubs, etc. The re- 
maining 18 will shortly go the same way. Local movie news reels 
showed the peasants in the outlying country taking the bells 
out of their church towers in order to get metal for the electrifi- 
cation of their villages. War against alcoholism is carried on 
upon all fronts. The Russian workers follow the sensible system 
of legalizing the sale of alcoholic beverages and then educating 
the masses against excessive drinking. Every method 
of propaganda is used against alcoholism and with success. 
Some are very striking. For example, one can often see special 
trolley cars, ablaze with hundreds of lights, and decorated with 
pictures, statistics, etc., against alcoholism, going about the city. 
But the main battle against alcoholism is in the factories, where 
the workers themselves directly conduct the struggle. They lay 
special stress upon the fact that alcoholism is a vital enemy of 
the s-Year Plan. 

(a) The Red Putilov Works 

This great metal works, founded 125 years ago, is the nios! 
famous plant in the Soviet Union. It has long been a basic- 
center of the revolutionary movement and its workers were the 
leaders in the 1917 revolutions. It now produces heavy metal 



IN THE SOVIET UNION 



33 



machinery, locomotives, turbines, tractors, etc., lately specializing 
in tractors. The plant is a key link in the new industries of the 
Soviet Union. Its head is a former metal worker. 

The Putilov works has, of course, its 5-Year Plan. This it is 

far exceeding in practice. The plant's experience in recent years 
is a reflection of the general trials and upswing of Soviet industry. 
Before the war, in 1912, the plant employed 12,800 workers and 
produced 23 million roubles worth of products, 75 per cent of 
which were war materials. In 1921, with only 1,500 workers, pro- 
duction fell almost to zero and it was proposed to shut the place. 
i!ut now it grows rapidly. It has 14,300 workers, including all 
forces, and last year its production was valued at 48 million 
roubles, as against 32 million the year before. This year it will 
turn out 93 millions' worth and at the end of the 5-Year Plan 
(which it will finish in less than 4 years) the production value 
will be boosted to 160 millions. 

This tremendous increase in production, far outstripping even 
the great tasks set for this industry by the 5-Year Plan, is re- 
flected in every phase of its work. The 5-Year Plan calls for a 
yearly production of 100,000 tons of steel by October, 1933, but 
already last year 110,000 tons were turned out, and by 1933 the 
yearly output will be about 300,000 tons, or three times the quota 
set. The plan also calls for 10,000 tractors yearly by 1933, but 
12.000 are being built this year, and 20,000 will be the minimum 
yearly output by 1933. While making these vast extensions in pro- 
duction, it was also possible to raise wages 8 per cent and to cut 
factory costs 17 per cent. A splendid achievement all around. 

Average monthly wages in the Putilov Works are 118 roubles, 
as against 107 roubles last year and 48 in 1913. The 7-hour day 

is in effect for all workers, except the youth and workers in 
dangerous jobs, who work only 6 hours. There are 1000 women 
workers. They get the same wages as the men and they work 
at almost all occupations. The uninterrupted work week is in op- 
eration and Socialist competition is highly developed. All the 
workers are members of one union, the Metal Workers ; 3000 
of them belong to the Communist Party and 4500 to the Com- 
munist Youth. The great works are peppered everywhere with 



34 VICTORIOUS SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 

red banners carrying struggle slogans for industrialization and 
against alcoholism and religion. 

To extend the capacity of the Putilov plant the sum of 60 
million roubles is being invested. The vast works is now a maze 
of building operations. Old machinery and buildings are being 
torn out and new established — all according to the very latest in- 
dustrial tetchnique. New rolling mills, blast furnaces, loading 
docks, etc., are in construction on all sides. Much of this 
construction work is being done by American firms, with their 
engineers on the spot. But in such instances, where foreign en- 
gineers supervise the installation of machinery coming from their 
respective countries, the real burden of the directing work falls 
upon the Russian technical forces. 

In the great Red Putilov works, as in Russian factories gen- 
erally, enthusiasm and optimism reigns. This was evident on all 
sides. The whole plant was humming with industry and life. 
It was a real inspiration to see the Russian workers turning out 
the great stream of tractors, which are bringing Socialism to 
the peasants and broadening the whole base of the workers' 
society. It was a living symbol of the victory of the revolution. 



(b) An Electrical Manufacturing Plant 

One of the most interesting Leningrad factories I visited was 
engaged in producing electrical equipment, principally electric 
meters of various kinds. Built two years ago, it now employs 
1700 workers. Formerly all electrical appliances had to be im- 
ported. The plant, organized on the German system, is equipped 
with conveyors and all the latest labor saving devices. It has a 
special experimental section. At work there, among others, was 
a worker perfecting a new machine for making delicate springs. 
Incidentally the heads of this department gave me a demonstra- 
tion of the superiority of their locally made springs over those 
produced in Germany and the United States. 

Last year this plant turned out 1,900,000 roubles worth of 
products. This year its output will be at least 8 millions. The 
5-Year Plan calls for an increase to 30 millions by 1933, with 
3500 workers. But this output will be accomplished by the end 
of 1931, or in three years all told since the inauguration of the 



IN THE SOVIET UNION 



35 



5-Year Plan. An indication of the tremendous speed at which 
production is being increased is shown by the facts that the day 
before I visited the factory there were 485 meters produced; 
by two months this will be increased to 1000 daily, and in 6 months 
to 1500. Characteristically, many sections of the newly con- 
structed additional building were being filled up with conveyors 
and machinery. The red director of this plant, a former worker, 
estimated that Socialist competition increased output 20 per cent. 

Here again was the same enthusiasm, the same determination 
to far surpass the quota of the 5-Year Plan, which pessimists, 
only a year ago, declared impossible of accomplishment. There 
was the same comradely working together of department and 
plant heads with the workers — this is one of the inspiring sights 
of Russian industry. There is absolutely no slave-driving tactics 
or bureaucratic methods tolerated by the Russian workers. They 
are splendidly militant. When some department head errs by 
falling into bureaucratic practices he is brought up with a round 
turn by finding his wrong actions written up on the factory bulle- 
tin board and by being compelled to make serious answer to the 
Party and the union. Russian workers are free workers and 
they are not building the industries to in any way enslave them- 
selves. The war against bureaucratism is intransigent and never- 
ending. 

This plant is only one of a whole series of electrical manu- 
facturing works that are now being built in various sections of 
the Soviet Union as part of the general plan of establishing a 
real base under the whole industrial system. I visited another of 
these plants, this time in Moscow. It produces various kinds of 
electrical apparatus, from electric light globes to giant trans- 
formers and motors. It now employs 6500 workers. The 5-Year 
Plan calls for 11,000 workers by 1933, but it will have at least 
15,000, with corresponding increases in output. One of the 
present favorite arguments of capitalist enemies of the Soviet 
Union is that the Russian workers will not know how to operate 
the great industries which they are building with such tremendous 
speed. The nonsense of this argument is typically illustrated by 
the experience of this Moscow plant which is producing electric 
light globes so efficiently that they are being sold in the German 



36 VICTORIOUS SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 

market in competition with the products of the great German 
electrical plants. This invasion of the foreign markets by 
Soviet products is explained by the fact that the Soviet Govern- 
ment now has to export what it can in order to get the necessary 
machinery for building its industries. 

(c) A Great Shoe Factory 

The "Scorohog" shoe factory is one of the larger Lenin- 
grad plants. Built before the war, it employs 12,500 workers, 
the majority of whom are women. During the past three years its 
increase in output averaged 48 per cent per year. In the year 
ending October, 1928, it produced 6,600,000 pairs of shoes of 
various kinds; last year it boosted its output to 10,000,000 pairs. 
and next year it will turn out 14,000,000 pairs. There is no 
slack season, the great plant roars away ceaselessly at its work. 
The 7-hour workday and the uninterrupted work week will be 
introduced shortly. The 5-Year Plan quota will be exceeded 
within the 4-year period. 

The old factory is being gradually rebuilt and renovated. The 
former primitive machinery and methods are being rapidly dis- 
carded and the most modern systems installed. Constantly new- 
shipments of machinery are being received from the United States 
and Germany. This machinery is tested and studied in a special 
experimental section before being installed in the general system 
of the factory. Already a number of the departments are 
equipped with conveyor systems and they operate with an efficiency 
equal to that of the best American factories. 

Daily wages in this factory range from 4V2 roubles for the 
unskilled to 6 to 7 for the skilled. The 5-Year Plan provides 
for a 30 per cent wage increase. It is no exaggeration to say 
the bulk of the Russian shoe workers have already achieved 
higher wage and living standards than have American shoe 
workers — not to speak of the Russians' incomparably better po- 
litical situation. 

The necessity to import machinery for the shoe industry and 
others constitutes a traditional weakness in the Russian industrial 
system which would be especially crucial in case of war. That 
is why such heroic efforts are now being made to develop the 



IN THE SOVIET UNION 



37 



basic industries, especially those producing machinery, chemicals. 
electrical apparatus, etc. Vast progress has already been made in 
ihis respect. The new Russian machines, built according to the 
very latest technique, are beginning to appear in all the industries. 
They are pioneers of the new Socialist order and the workers 
greet them with real enthusiasm. It gives one a genuine revo- 
lutionary thrill to see these new evidences of the victory of the 
Russian workers over untold obstacles. The workers exhibit 
their Russian-made machines with justifiable pride. In viewing 
these new machines and nourishing industries, one cannot help 
thinking what a great distance has been travelled since 1921 
when, with the industries wrecked by the wars, long rows of 
idle locomotives stood on the tracks and machinery everywhere 
was out of commission for want of even the simplest metal parts. 

(d) The Red Flag Textile Mill 

This is a huge Leningrad enterprise. It is built around the 
core of an old mill; but there is little left of the latter except 
its tradition. Great new additions, of massive concrete, have 
been built, with the most modern systems of lighting, heating, 
and ventilating. There is hardly a finer textile mill anywhere 
in the United States. The red director is a former metal worker, 
yj years old. 

The plant now employs about 6000 workers. 80 per cent of 
whom are women. It will have at least 15,000 by 1933. It ex- 
hibits the usual stupendous growth in production. In 1923 the 
value-product of the mill was 4 million roubles ; in 1928 it was 
l 5Y2 millions; last year it was 27% million (6 per cent above 
the quota) and at the end of the 5-Year Plan it will be 150 
millions. The enthusiastic director was sure they could accom- 
plish the 5 -Year Plan in 4 years. 

Just two weeks before I visited this plant the 7-hour day and 
the uninterrupted work week were introduced. Already great 
economies were manifest. Average wages are about 2V2 roubles 
per day, with a 50 per cent wage increase foreseen in the 5- Year 
Plan. Socialist competition is well developed between groups 
of workers in individual departments and between departments. 
The mill as a whole is in competition with a big Moscow textile 



38 VICTORIOUS SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 



"W 



factory. These textile workers are also undoubtedly ahead of 
many American textile workers, despite the myriad difficulties 
they have confronted. In 5 years they will be far better off 
regarding wages (not to speak of hours, working condtions, 
social insurance, and general political situation) than American 
textile workers generally. 

In this big textile mill, which was a veritable hive of activity, 
the institution could be seen growing under one's very eyes. 
Building was going on everywhere, with new power plants, new 
factory sections, etc., being erected. In the vast newly com- 
pleted buildings rows of new looms were being installed, like 
fresh soldiers joining the battlef ront, and these were being manned 
with freshly recruited workers. The whole business made one 
fairly gasp in astonishment. All the machinery being installed is 
of the very latest type, mostly German. The new big dyeing 
plants are American. The workers exhibitted as curiosities the 
old Russian machinery, the unbelieveable primitive dyeing, drying, 
weaving apparatus, etc., which they are discarding. Much of the 
new machinery is now being made in the Soviet Union. The 
Red Flag mill was an inspiration, a glowing demonstration of the 
power of the workers, and of the victory of the revolution. 

The foregoing facts give a general idea of how Leningrad's 
workers fight on and win in the great struggle for Socialist 
Construction. And what takes place in Leningrad is being re- 
peated in many other industrial centers. In Leningrad, as else- 
where, the situation is very difficult. But the workers, steeled in 
long years of revolutionary struggle, are not appalled. In their 
ranks is only enthusiasm, courage, determination. They battle 
ahead irresistably, smashing every obstacle. They are a worthy 
section of the heroic Russian working class whose accomplish- 
ments in building Socialism are now astounding the whole world. 



Victories Won — Struggles Ahead- 
Union Unity League 



-The Trade 



(a) A Record of Victory 

The progress of the Russian revolution has been made in 
the face of tremendous problems and severest world capitalist 
opposition. Especially vicious has been the enmity of the So- 
cialists, or social fascists of the A. F. of L. and S. P. stripe. They 
have urged, as tools of the bosses, that the revolution must fail, 
that it means only starvation, chaos, misery. Their aim is to turn 
the workers against the revolution and to win them for their 
own program of supporting the rotten capitalist system under the 
guise of reforming it. They are the bitterest enemies of the 
Soviet Union. They always support every capitalist attack against 
it. 

First, the seizure of power by the workers in 1917, they said, 
was all wrong. The workers should have supported the capi- 
talist Kerensky government and continued the war. Then, they 
said, that the workers could not defend their revolutionary gov- 
ernment against the capitalist attacks, attacks which the Russian 
socialists aided with arms. But again their counter-revolutionary 
aims and hopes were frustrated. The building of the Red 
Army and the defeating of all the counter-revolutionary armies, 
those of the United States, Great Britain, etc., as well as of 
Wrangel, Yudenitch, Koltchack, etc., was one of the greatest 
military achievements in history. 

Next the Social Democrats declared that it would be impos- 
sible for the Russian workers to reconstruct the wrecked indus- 
tries and to operate them. The economic blockade, the political 
isolation of the Soviet Government by the capitalist world, th« 
great famine, the intricate problems of managing industry, the 
sabotage of the engineers, the setting up of labor discipline in 
the industries, the stabilization of the rouble and balancing oi 
the state budget, etc., were all insoluble problems and sentenced 
the revolution to death. How the Social Democrats gloated in 

[39] 



4 o VICTORIOUS SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 

1921 when the Soviet Government adopted the New Economic 
Policy, which permitted private trade and industry within cer- 
tain limits. This, they said together with the capitalists of the 
world, was surely the end. The great revolution was over, the 
workers were turning back to capitalism. 

But the workers utterly wrecked these counter-revolutionary 
hopes. They smashed the economic blockade and they also 
forced every important country in the world except the U. S. to 
give them diplomatic recognition. They overcame the famine. 
They mastered the intricacies of industrial management. They 
defeated the sabotage of the engineers. They established an 
unequalled labor discipline, stabilized the currency, balanced the 
budget, exploited the NEP, as Lenin foresaw, to build the new- 
industries, etc. They overcame a thousand problems which the 
capitalist and their reactionary labor tools said were hopeless. 

Then these capitalist elements thought they saw the down- 
fall of the Soviet regime through internal dissension, through 
the fights against Trotsky and Bucharin and their opportu- 
nistic programs. But again bitter disappointment for the foes of 
the Soviet Union. The revolution emerged stronger than ever 
from these struggles. The goal of the workers was clarified, 
their ranks unified still more solidly. 

When reconstruction of the old industries tiad been completed 
and the building of new industries started, the defeatist chorus 
of the Social Democrats came again. The thing could not 
be done. The workers had no capital, no experience, the 5- Year 
Plan was a joke. But again defeat for these bosses' tools. The 
enormous success of the 5- Year Plan is the revolutionary an- 
swer of the workers.* 

But the Enemies of the Soviet Union still had what they 
all along thought was a real "ace in the hole" — the peasantry. 
Never, they said will, the Communist Party be able to draw 
these masses into the program of Socialism. How the A.F. of L. 
leaders and the "scientific" S.P.ites harped on this string. But, 
now also, even this hope is gone with the monster growth of the 
state farms and collectives. This was the hardest blow of all. 



IN THE SOVIET UNION 



41 



(b) The Struggle Ahead 

Great are the victories of the Russian workers. But the 
fight is not yet won. The major struggle still lies ahead — the 
overthrowing of world capitalism by the international working 
class. The battle for Socialism is a world battle. Only when the 
power of the big imperialist governments is broken internationally 
will it be possible to bring Socialism to its full fruition in the 
Soviet Union and in other countries. 

The capitalists of the world, realizing that in the Soviet Union, 
covering one-sixth of the world's surface, the workers have a 
powerful fortress, are systematically preparing a military attack 
against the Soviet Union. They have made an armed camp of 
Poland and other states bordering the Soviet Union. This is 
only a continuation of their long anti-Soviet policy. They await 
only a favorable opportunity to launch the attack. They thought 
they had this chance when their tools, the Chinese war lords, 
recently seized the Chinese Eastern Railroad in Manchuria; but 
the Russians were able to turn this incident into a splendid vic- 
tory. The danger of the capitalist assault upon the Soviet Union 
becomes all the more acute with the great success of the 5-Year 
Plan, which not only undermines capitalism economically but in- 
spires the workers of the world to struggle against it politically. 
The main reliance of the capitalists in their never-ending 
struggle against the Soviet Union has always been the Social 
fascists— that is labor leaders of the A. F. of L. and S. P. type. 
These elements, with their fake "labor" program of reforming 
capitalism ; in reality of supporting it militantly, are often more 
bitter enemies of the Soviet Union than the very capitalists 
themselves. The historical role of such misleaders of labor is to 
serve as the last bulwark of the capitalist system. The danger 
of war against the Soviet Union becomes more imminent with the 
accession to power of the "Socialist" Government in Germany 
and the Labor Government in England. When the capitalists 
make their big assault on the Soviet Union it will be such fake 
labor elements that will lead it. 

The defense of the Soviet Union is the major political task 
of the world's workers. The overthrow of the Soviet Govern- 



42 VICTORIOUS SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 

ment would usher in international fascism and would be the most 
terrific defeat the workers have ever suffered. On the other hand 
its maintainance means a tremendous stimulation of the growing 
world offensive against capitalism. The Soviet Union is the 
leader and stronghold of the world revolution. The fight to 
defend the Soviet Union is inextricably bound up with the 
struggle against imperialist war. Every imperialist war, as for 
example, between Great Britain and the United States, would be 
bound to develop into a war against the Soviet Union, which the 
capitalist countries, in spite of their rivalries, always recognize as 
their major enemy. 

American workers must mobilize their full power to fight 
against imperialist war, and especially war against the Soviet 
Union. This implies in the first place a relentless struggle against 
the social fascist leaders of the A. F. of L. and S. P. stripe, the 
so-called "progressive" wing of the A. F. of L., the Muste group, 
included. One very important way to do this is to acquaint the 
most working masses with the great achievements now being 
made by the Russian workers. The A. F. of L. and S\ P. lead- 
ers have lied for a dozen years against the Soviet Union, sup- 
porting every capitalist attack against it, repeating every capi- 
talist slander. They have tried to make the workers believe that 
revolution means for the workers misery, hunger, and demorali- 
zation. They held up the Soviet Union as the world's horrible 
example. But now, with the overwhelming success of the 5-Year 
Plan, is the strategic time to ram these lies down their own 
throats, to expose these capitalistic labor misleaders before the 
workers, and to inspire the masses with the great message of 
hope and struggle now being voiced by the course of events in 
the Soviet Union. More than that, it is necessary to put into 
effect the whole program of the Trade Union Unity League. 
• 
(c) The Trade Union Unity League 

The Trade Union Unity League mobilizes the workers for 
struggle to defend their immediate interests now and for the even- 
tual overthrow of the capitalist system. The conditions of the 
American working class constantly grow worse. Many millions 



IN THE SOVIET UNION 



43 



now walk the streets unemployed, and those who do have work 
are driven at an unheard of speed, literally burning them up. 
Wage cuts are the order of the day. Hunger and want are the 
portion of the useful producers. Resentment, radicalization, de- 
termination to struggle, grows among the workers. They begin to 
fight, to take the initiative against their employers. This is typ- 
ical of the world-wide growing offensive of the working masses 
against capitalism, which intensifies as the crisis of capitalism 
sharpens. More and more the capitalists make use of the courts, 
the troops, the police, etc. Increasingly they turn to fascist vio- 
lence to beat back the workers. This is true of the United States 
as well as of other parts of the world. 

The A. F. of L. cannot and will not organize and lead these 
discontented masses. It has organized only a small fraction of 
the workers, principally the skilled. It does not fight the em- 
ployers, but "cooperates" with them. This "cooperation" de- 
generates it into a mere auxiliary of the rationalization (speed 
up of industry) and war programs of American imperialism. 
It becomes practically a strike-breaking agency, to beat back the 
struggles of the unorganized and unskilled workers, the great 
masses of the unemployed. The recent Hoover-A. F. of L. 
agreement for no wage increases during the economic crisis is 
but the latest of its strike-breaking tactics. The A. F. of L. 
leadership, corrupt to the core, is an unblushing agency of the 
employers, an enemy of the working class. 

The so-called "progressive" wing of the A. F. of L., the 
Muste group composed mostly of Socialists and former labor 
partyites, only serves with its pretence at radicalism, to put a 
more acceptable mass front upon the A. F. of L. leadership, to 
cover up the latter's corruption and treachery, and to deceive and 
draw masses of workers under its control. Basically, the Muste 
program is the same as that of the official A. F. of L., cooper- 
ation with the employers. It is the insidious enemy of all mili- 
tant struggle and organization among the workers. The TUUL 
fights aggressively against both the Green-Woll and Muste-S.P. 
sections of the A. F. of L. bureaucracy. The T. U. U. L. also 
fights against the Lovestone and Cannon renegade Communist 



44 VICTORIOUS SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 

groups whose policy feeds the Muste group and tends to under- 
mine the fighting spirit of the workers. 

Only the Trade Union Unity League can and does lead the 
workers in struggle against the employers and the state as a 
trade union organization. The TUUL is based upon the princi- 
ples of class struggle. It fights militantly against the treacherous 
A. F. of L.— S. P. policy of collaboration and arbitration with the 
bosses, which means surrender of the workers to the unbridled 
exploitation of the employers. The TUUL is the national center 
for all revolutionary trade unions and also of the left wing group* 
m the conservative unions. 

The TUUL leads in the organization of the unorganized. It 

establishes its unions in the various industries. It builds strike 
committees, action committees and shop committees to facilitate 
the organization and struggle of the unorganized masses. It 
builds left wing groups in the reactionary unions to fight against 

the social fascist leadership there. The TUUL bases itself pri- 
marily upon the great masses of unskilled and sem-skilled work- 
ers, the most exploited sections of the workers. Especially it 
devotes itself to the organization of the youth, Negroes, and 
women workers, doubly exploited sections of the working class, 
who are systematically betrayed by the A. F. of L. It bases its 
organizations upon the principle of industrial unionism, com- 
batting the craft unionism, high dues, high initiation fees and 
high salary practices of the A. F. of L. 

The TUUL fights against unemployment. It organizes the 
unorganized into councils of the unemployed and connects up 
their struggles with those of the employed. Against unemploy- 
ment it demands chiefly the introduction of the 7-hour day, 5- 
day week, and a comprehensive system of state unemployment 
benifits to be paid for by the capitalists and the government and 
administered by" the workers. "Work or Wages" is the TUUL 
slogan. 

The TUUL fights against capitalist rationalization of indus- 
try (speed-up), for wage increases and against wage cuts. One 
of its major aims is to lead the Negro workers in the struggle. 
For Negroes it demands full social, political, and racial equality. 



IN THE SOVIET UNION 



45 



f 



and the right of self-determination. It puts forward special de- 
mands for women workers. It organizes the young workers as 
one of the basic tasks confronting the working class. Self 
criticism, the frank acknowledgement before the masses of mis- 
takes made in the struggle, is one of the main policies of 
the TUUL. 

The TUUL is a revolutionary organization. Its aim is to 
broaden and deepen the everyday struggles of the workers into 
a revolutionary fight against the capitalist system itself. To 
this end it seeks to politicalize the struggles of the workers, to 
give them a class character, to direct them against the capitalist 
state as well as against individual employers. It works for the 
mass political strike and supports the revolutionary political or- 
ganization and action of the workers. It combats the Muste-S. P. 
proposals for a Labor Party as a maneuvre that would only 
play into the hands of the employers and their tools, the social 
fascists. In its fight against the increasing fascist violence, the 
T. U. U. L. advocates the formation of workers' defense corps. 

The TUUL, recognizing that the American working class 
movement is an integral part of the world battle against capi- 
talism, works in cooperation with the struggling workers in all 
countries. It is the American section of the Red International 
of Labor Unions, which leads the world trade union struggle of 
the workers. The TUUL cooperates with the struggling masses 
in the colonial countries, first of all in Latin America, in their 
battle against American imperialism. It supports the revolu- 
tionary Latin American Confederation of Labor and combats 
the imperialistic Pan-American Federation of Labor. It is affili- 
ated to the Pan-Pacific Trade Union Secretariat, and its respec- 
tive industrial unions and leagues are connected up with the 
corresponding industrial sections of the RILU. The TUUL 
fights shoulder to shoulder with the workers of the world against 
the war danger, for the defense of the Soviet Union, for the 
overthrow of world imperialism. It is the expression in the 
United States of the revolutionary movement which now shows, 
by the great victories in the Soviet Union, its tremendous possi- 
bilities for the working class. 

Every real battle of the working class finds the TUUL in 



46 VICTORIOUS SOCIALIST CONSTRUCTION 

the forefront. The TUUL leads wherever tthe workers are in 
struggle against the bosses and their agents, the social fascists 
of the A. F. of L. and S. P. In Gastonia, in New Bedford, in 
Passaic, m the coal fields of Southern Illinois and Pennsylvania, 
in the needle trades of New York, in the present big movements 
of the unemployed, in innumerable battles against the misleaders 
inside and outside of the reactionary trade unions, the TUUL 
has written its name indelibly in the history of the American 
working class. But all these battles are only skirmishes com- 
pared with the giant struggles that are soon to come and in which 
the TUUL will play the leading role as the revolutionary trade 
union organization. The place for every worker, eager to fight 
for better conditions now and for the abolition of the capitalist 
system, is in the ranks of the Trade Union Unity League. 



READ T. U. U. L. BOOKS 

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