Excerpts from Dalia Grybauskaite’s dissertation “Connections between communal and personal property in the functioning of personal subsistence farming” for the candidate of economic sciences degree, passed in 1988 in The Academy of Social Sciences at the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in Moscow.
“Taking on the goal of building socialism with the help of a big socialistic neighbor in the 1940’s had its benefits for Lithuania. The republic began reorganizing its agriculture at a time, when the other USSR republics had already finished that process. The reorganization happened when USSR had already built a strong resource and technological basis, so the republic did not need to start from industrializing its economy. […]
Soviet rule won in a bourgeois country with pronounced nationalistic policies and traditionally bad views of USSR. The bourgeois leaders led a slanderous campaign against the process of collectivization in the country. The long-standing ties between smallholders and their land provided fertile ground for this propaganda. Members of the clergy had a hand in this propaganda, they had a great influence on the Christian masses, seeing, as many Lithuanians were active supporters of the Catholic church.
Socialistic reorganization of the countryside was stopped by war and occupation, which lasted almost three years. During the wartime, all reorganizations were suspended. The land was given to its previous owners and German colonists, who considered Lithuania a possible new place of residence. […]
In terms of class war tensions, the 1940-1941 reform went by rather peaceful and was done in merely half a year. After the war, the situation changed drastically. The reform went on in tense class confrontation and took four years, until 1948. Class enemies tried to stop the socialistic reorganizations with extreme terrorism, threats, blackmail, extermination of Kolkhoz movement organizers, soviet and party activists. More than 13 thousand people died at the hand of the class enemy in the postwar period. This long conflict was worsened by outside intervention, done by radio propaganda, weapon and food shipments across the border. The peasants were too scared to even take the land, let alone join into cooperatives or kolkhozes.
The active process of collectivization began in 1949 and was mostly complete in 1950. The bourgeois class was completely destroyed and socialist product relations were established in the countryside. In 1951 the Kolkhoz way won in the republic. Preparing the conditions for agricultural reorganization in these new circumstances took 4-5 years, which is almost twice as less than in the country as a whole […]
Lately there is a trend of people returning to the countryside in the republic. This is due to the higher opportunities of receiving income outside the public sector, better living conditions, better roads and particular characteristics of the urbanization process in the republic as a whole. There is an active process of improving public services in villages. New settlements are built at a fast pace. Currently almost 48% of the rural population live in villages, the rest live in farms. […]
The differences between cities and the countryside remain, but the rate of these differences evening out is increasing. The amount of money on savings accounts of rural population grows because of the increased income. The average savings in the republic in 1986 in urban areas was 2062 rubles, with 2374 rubles in rural areas. This shows the increased income and also the lack of products they could spend it on. On the other side, this income increase creates certain benefits for rural population over urban population. […]
In the All-Union division of work, the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic specialized on the production of milk and meat (livestock and pork). In terms of meat production on a single citizen, the republic was the best in the country. Animal husbandry made up 65% of gross production and almost 90% of all agricultural production. Productions based on beef and dairy cattle and bacon pigs made up 87% gross production and 92% commodity production in animal husbandry. […]
V.I. Lenin thought that with national property on land, personal use of land and various types of small ownership of land would lead to speculation of agricultural products and that would have adverse consequences. The form of commodity-money relations itself sometimes creates relations foreign to socialism, for example renting living rooms in government houses or the use of communal property in selfish interests. […]
Receiving unreasonably high income by part of the population leads to market psychology and money-grubbing spirits.”
*Excerpts from Dalia Grybauskaite’s dissertation “Connections between communal and personal property in the functioning of personal subsistence farming” for the candidate of economic sciences degree, passed in 1988 in The Academy of Social Sciences at the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in Moscow.
Перевод статьи: Павел Шамшиев.