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Prominent Documents of Our Time
The documents adopted by the Meeting of Representatives of the Communist and Workers' Parties, held in Moscow in November 1960, are of truly epoch-making international significance. The Statement of the 81 Parties and their Appeal to the Peoples of the World contain a profound scientific analysis of the present era and theoretical conclusions on the fundamental problems of contemporary social development.
The editorial reveals the basic contents of these documents and draws attention to the principal theoretical conclusions contained in the Statement, which are of paramount importance to historical research.
One of the important tasks confronting Soviet historians, the leading article points out, is to increase the number of scientific publications generalizing the historical experience and example of the Soviet Union and its Communist Party in the struggle for socialism and communism, for the consolidation of peace. Paramount importance should likewise be attached to analyzing the laws governing the development of the world socialist system, illustrating the powerful influence exerted by the socialist camp on the course of world history, studying the history of the struggle waged by the Communist and Workers' Parties and the working people of the capitalist countries against imperialism and militarism, for peace, democracy and socialism, and bringing out the distinguishing features of the new stage in the development of the general crisis of capitalism.
The documents of the Moscow meeting map out a number of important tasks for the scientists making research into the history of the Asian, African and Latin-American peoples. The research workers' efforts must be directed towards re-establishing the centuries-old history of these peoples and their heroic struggle for national independence, which resulted in the collapse of the colonial system.
The article draws the attention of Soviet historians to the need of intensifying the struggle against anti-Communism-that poisoned weapon of the bourgeoisie. The chief purpose of anti-Communism is to distort and slander the Marxist-Leninist teaching, to indulge in vicious attacks against the socialist social system and present a distorted picture of Communist policy and aims. Hence, resolute exposure of anti-Communism is one of the important and urgent tasks facing Soviet historians.
Soviet historians must dedicate themselves to the task of creating scientific works giving a profound analysis of the processes taking place in the present day world. At the same time they are in duty bound to take the most active part in the work of explaining to the labouring masses the ideas set forth in the documents of the Moscow meeting.
Correspondent-member of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences M. P. KIM, A. V. FADEYEV. On the Main Problems of Native History.
The article sets forth the basic problems to be highlighted in the "History of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics," a new many-volume edition now being compiled bv a large group of Soviet scientists, whose publication is scheduled to be completed towards the 50th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution.
Lavishly illustrated, the new voluminous edition of the "History of the U.S.S.R." will be distinguished by strictly scientific exposition of the material, most up-to-date and authentic factual data and profound analysis of historical events, coupled with a vivid style of narration, sharply drawn, precise characteristics and a rich variety of methods employed in the treatment of historical material. The first six volumes of the new edition are planned to cover the country's history from the earliest times to the revolution of February 1917. The next five volumes will be devoted to the history of Soviet society, beginning with the victory of the October Revolution and ending with 1965. The new collective work will be based on comprehensive historical research carried on by Soviet scientists over a period of many years.
The authors of the article chiefly dwell on those problems that will form the ideological pivot of the new edition. The exposition of the material will be aimed at bringing home the idea that the process of social development is governed by objective laws. Moreover, parallel with analyzing the general laws of history the new work will bring out the distinctive national features in the development of different Soviet peoples and nationalities. The new edition of the "History of the U.S.S.R." will reflect the pattern of relations between the popular masses of the mother country and its colonial outlands-relations characteristic of pre-revolutionary Russia, which served as one of the basic factors contributing to the formation of a militant alliance of the revolutionary forces of the Russian ?nd all other peoples inhabiting our country. It will show the historical prerequisites for the close ties of friendship binding the peoples of the U.S.S.R.
One of the most important tasks of the new edition is to disclose as fully as possible the genuine role played in history by the popular masses. Another "pivotal problem" of the newly-compiled "History of the U.S.S.R." is to show the place and role of Russia, particularly of the U.S.S.R., in world history, to bring out the influence exerted by the events in Russia and the U.S.S.R. on historical destinies of the peoples of the world.
Much space in the article is given to problems comprehensively examined in the volumes devoted to the history of Soviet society. They will enable the reader to form a clear and allround idea of the rich experience gained by the peoples of the U.S.S.R. under the leadership of the Communist Party in the sphere of revolutionary transformations and peaceful construction in the years of Soviet government. An objective study of this experience acquires immense significance in our days, when the world socialist system is becoming the decisive factor in the development of human society. One of the cardinal tasks confronting the authors of the many-volume edition is to show the reader that the triumph of the Great October Socialist Revolution, the victory of socialism in the U.S.S.R. and the country's transition to the extensive building of communist society are links in the same law-governed process of historical development. The authors compiling the volumes relating to the Soviet period will cite concrete facts to bring out the sum and substance of such fundamental laws governing the development of socialist society as the creative activity of the popular masses, the organizing and directing role of the Communist Party.
The article points out that in the new edition the history of Soviet society will be highlighted by combining materials pertaining to the whole country with factual data illustrative of the development of individual Soviet republics and peoples welded into one close-knit family by the community of aims and indestructible bonds of friendship. The new work will show the vital necessity and absolute correctness of the policy of socialist industrialization and reorganization of the country's agriculture on the basis of Lenin's cooperative plan. The greatest attention, in this connection, will be devoted to the present-day stage of the Soviet Union's industrial development and the establishment of the material and technical base of communism, as well as to the steep increase in agricultural production effected in recent years and the process of converting the collective-farm-cooperative form of property into public property.
Another major problem to be dealt with in the series of volumes devoted to the Soviet period, the authors of the article write, is the history of the progress made by socialist democracy, the gradual development of socialist statehood into a communist form of public self-government. The problem of the cultural revolution as a law-governed process in the period of transition from capitalism to socialism should likewise be regarded as a key problem of the history of Soviet society. Special chapters will be devoted to the outstanding achievements in the field of cultural development registered by the peoples of the U.S.S.R., particularly those peoples and nationalities that made a giant leap from medieval backwardness to the summits of socialist culture. The authors of the new work will also clearly define the initial and final boundaries of the cultural revolution in the U.S.S.R.
The five volumes devoted to the history of the U.S.S.R. will contain a detailed examination of the Soviet Union's international position and foreign policy, with special emphasis given to the following major periods: 1. from the Great October Socialist Revolution, when the U.S.S.R. was the only socialist country in the world, to the emergence of the world socialist system; 2. from the rise and development of the world socialist camp, when a number of new socialist countries maintaining the closest ties of friendship with the U.S.S.R. appeared on the international arena. The new edition will graphically illustrate the mutual relations within the socialist camp, representing an entirely new and hitherto unknown type of relations among different states and nations; it will reveal the ever-growing influence exerted on the destinies of all nations by the Soviet Union's policy of peaceful coexistence of countries with differing social systems.
An important place in each volume will be given to a critical analysis of different works on the history of the U.S.S.R. published in this country and abroad, particularly to the criticism of diverse bourgeois conceptions on the history of the Soviet peoples.
The article also examines a number of specific problems and concrete questions to be dealt with in one or another volume of the new edition. The article is supplemented by summarized contents of the first ten volumes embracing the country's history from the earliest times up to 1958.
F. D. KRETOV. Certain Aspects of Compiling a Many-Volume Edition of the "History of the U.S.S.R."
The article is devoted to certain problems arising in connection with the work of compiling a many-volume edition of the "History of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics." The author makes a number of suggestions aimed at improving the exposition of the history of the Soviet peoples in the new edition.
Soviet historians regard the history of their country primarily as the history of the peoples inhabiting it. Contrary to the conceptions dividing the peoples into "historical" and "non-historical," Soviet scientists proceed from the principle that all the peoples have always been the makers of their own history. Hence, the past of the peoples and nationalities inhabiting the U.S.S.R. must be reflected in the new edition of the "History of the U.S.S.R." not only because they once became the object of the aggressive policy and predatory wars waged by Russian landlords and capitalists but, first and foremost, as the makers of their own history. What this actually means is that the history of each people inhabiting the Soviet territory should be included in the general history of the U.S.S.R. from the time of its appearance on the historical scene, not from the moment of its reunion with Russia.
Soviet historians are far removed from the view that all peoples and nationalities play the same role in history. In actual fact the place and role of individual peoples and nationalities in the development of the productive forces, science and engineering, art and literature, social and national-liberation struggle, etc., differ widely owing to a number of reasons that should be specially studied and analyzed. As is generally known, the Russian people advanced to a prominent place in world history a comparatively long time ago. In their efforts to present the Russian people's history in all its grandeur Soviet historians endeavour to reveal it most fully and show its closest organic connection with the history of the other Soviet peoples, emphasizing in every way the basic factors that helped to bring them closer together and cement their friendship. The history of human society is a profoundly international sphere of scientific research. That explains why the new fundamental work on the history of the U.S.S.R. must be compiled in such a way as to disseminate the idea of closer unity among the masses, stimulate their solidarity and contribute to the strengthening of international friendship and fraternal cooperation. The establishment and development of historical ties between the peoples of the U.S.S.R. is of great scientific significance. A careful analysis and re-establishment of the real course of events enables the scientist to trace the essential causes of individual historical events, without which it is absolutely impossible in many cases to decipher certain "blank spots" of the historical process as a whole.
The history of the U.S.S.R. should not be separated from world history, of which it is a component part. There has always existed real causal interconnection between individual events in world history and the history of the U.S.S.R. However, the close connection existing between the history of the U.S.S.R. and world history should not be reduced solely to the ties with the history of Western Europe, in total disregard of the links with the history of the East. It is high time to put an end to all manifestations of Eurocentrism, to the attempts to reduce world history to the history of Europe and completely "liquidate" the history of the Eastern peoples.
It is generally known that the principal motive force in the development of all antagonistic social systems is the class struggle. Hence, responsibility for the strife, mutual distrust, hostility and military conflicts among the nations rests not with the peoples themselves but with the exploiting classes. The Russian people was not the only one to establish its domination over other peoples and nationalities in the distant historical past; in different periods the Mongols, Tatars and other invaders assumed the same role on the territory of Russia. All these facts are very important for explaining the roots of the dominant-nation chauvinism and local nationalism. The working people were the most active and consistent fighters against foreign invaders and oppressors. The fight for independence and national-liberation struggle are always closely interconnected and linked with the struggle for social emancipation. That explains why in the periods of profound "internal crises" and mortally dangerous "social upheavals" the exploiting classes invariably became the betrayers of "their own" peoples and countries. This simple truth was graphically confirmed by the history of the Civil War and foreign military intervention in Soviet Russia.
The Great October Socialist Revolution not only liberated the peoples of our country from national oppression and destroyed the "prison of nations," but created a firm foundation for their unity and solidarity and mapped out ways and means of their unification within a single multi-national state. The establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which signified the triumph of the Leninist national policy, was predetermined by the entire course of the Russian peoples' history as the natural and logical result of their joint struggle for complete liberation from social and national oppression. The indestructible alliance of the working people of all nationalities that has been established in the Soviet Union and has been steadily gaining in strength, owes its origin to the correct and far-seeing leadership of the Communist Party.
Genuine history is made by the people and proceeds in accordance with the objective laws of social development. Hence, the arrangement of the material in the new edition o[
the "History of the U.S.S.R." should fully correspond to the principle of the consecutive change of the social-economic systems, beginning with the history of the people which attained the highest level of progress in its development at a given period and which exerts a determining influence on the life and destinies of other peoples. It should be borne in mind, in this connection, that the earliest state formations on the U.S.S.R. territory appeared in Central Asia and Transcaucasia, not in Eastern Europe. The new many-volume edition of the "History of the U.S.S.R." must also analyze the ethnogeny of every people inhabiting the U.S.S.R. and the process of the formation of nations. Particular attention should be devoted to illustrating the process of formation of the socialist nations and showing the rapid development and flourishing of their cultures-cultures that are national in form and socialist in content. The new edition must also adequately reflect the development of all elements of culture (engineering, science, the arts, etc.).
In conclusion the author writes that the new, many-volume edition of the "History of the U.S.S.R." must conform to the requirements of genuine social history, embrace every aspect of the historical development of each people, illustrate the cultural progress made by each people and by the whole country as a simultaneous and organically interconnected process, give a sufficiently clear and comprehensive idea of the cultural treasures inherited from the past, Joster the spirit of Soviet patriotism and proletarian internationalism.
P. I. KLIMOV. From the History of the Emergence and Development of Inter-Collective-Farm Production Contacts
The author convincingly shows that the history of the emergence and development of inter-collective-farm production contacts is of great scientific and practical significance. The Communist Party and Soviet government warmly approved and supported this new development in the life of the Soviet countryside and adopted a number of measures to extend and strengthen inter-collective-farm production contacts, rightly regarding them as an important means of approximating more closely the collective-farm-cooperative and public forms of socialist property. In N. S. Khrushchov's report to the Twenty-First CPSU Congress and in the Congress decisions this problem was further elaborated on the basis of theoretical generalization of the practice of communist construction and progressive experience gained by the foremost collective farms.
Although the origin of inter-collective-farm production contacts dates back to the prewar period, they began to develop on an extensive scale only after the historic decisions adopted by the Plenary Meeting of the CPSU Central Committee in September 1953. The rapid development of agricultural production strengthened the economy of the collective farms and increased their incomes. Many collective farms formerly distinguished for their economic backwardness were converted into powerful and highly developed agricultural enterprises. The collective farmers began to allocate substantial sums to the non-distributable funds and launched an extensive construction program. All this created the necessary conditions for a rapid development of inter-collective-farm production contacts. The forms of these contacts are many and varied, and the author's attention is focussed on their analysis.
One of the most important and widespread forms of inter-collective-farm production contacts is the joint construction and exploitation of inter-collective-farm electric power stations which now exist in all the Union and Autonomous Republics, Territories and Regions. The Twenty-First CPSU Congress mapped out an extensive program for the further electrification of our socialist agriculture. By the close of the seven-year period it :s planned to complete, in the main, the electrification of all the collective farms in the U.S.S.R., while the electrification of the state farms and tractor-repair stations will be completed earlier still. A prominent part in this vast undertaking will be played by the collective farms themselves: their funds will be used extensively for the construction of inter-collective-farm and inter-district power stations.
The establishment of inter-collective-farm building organizations, which embraced nearly 18,500 collective farms in 1959, is another most widespread form of inter-collective-farm contacts. These building organizations are set up to carry out capital construction in the collective farms that founded them. This makes it possible to eliminate the primitive organization of building work in the countryside, sharply reduce construction costs, use standard-type projects on an extensive scale, widely introduce new machines and mechanisms, train building workers from among the collective farmers, etc.
Another form of inter-collective-farm production contacts that has become fairly widespread in many Republics, Territories and Regions is the joint construction of inter-collective-farm enterprises for the manufacture of building materials. In 1958 there were 426 such enterprises catering to 3,765 collective farms in the U.S.S.R., and in 1959 their number continued to increase. In connection with the reorganization of the machine and tractor stations and the sale of farm machinery and implements directly to the collective farms there emerged a new form of inter-collective-farm contacts-the inter-collective-farm mechanical repair shops. Inter-collective-farm organizations for the construction of reservoirs are being established in a number of republics and regions.
New achievements in the development of socialist agriculture have given rise to new forms of inter-collective-farm production contacts-hog-fattening centres and poultry farms, which play an important part in increasing the output of meat and other farm products.
Apart from the construction of production premises and dwelling houses, inter-collective-farm organizations build many cultural institutions. It is highly significant, for example, that in a number of districts inter-collective-farm boarding schools, clubs, theatres, rest homes, Young Pioneer camps and hospitals catering to many collective farms are now being built.
Inter-collective-farm production contacts are not confined to individual districts. A new stage in the development of these contacts is the establishment of inter-collective-farm Regional Councils for the management of construction and production of local building materials. They are being established on the basis of the district inter-collective-farm building organizations with the aim of making a better and more effective use of collective-farm funds and resources in the construction of projects of great economic significance.
Inter-collective-farm property created in the process of developing and extending inter-collective-farm production contacts, the author concludes, represents an important step forward in raising the level of collective-farm property to that of public property, for its level of socialization is much broader than that of individual collective farms and more" closely approximates public property. Inter-collective-farm building organizations and enterprises satisfy the needs and requirements of many collective farms, districts and even whole regions.
Another important factor that greatly stimulates the process of raising the level of socialization of collective-farm property and bringing it closer to public property is the steadily increasing participation of the state in the organization of inter-collective-farm enterprises.
P. A. ZAIONCHKOVSKY. Soviet Historiography of the 1861 Reform
The article sums up certain results of research into one of the most important historical problems of 19th-century Russia-the downfall of serfdom.
The liberation of peasants in Russia was a problem that was moved to the forefront by the whole course of the country's economic development. The tsarist government was compelled to make preparations for a reform by the revolutionary situation prevailing in Russia. Serfdom in Russia was not abolished by revolutionary means because the peasant masses were unable to rise to a conscious struggle for their emancipation. To all intents and purposes, the 1861 reform was of a serfowning character, for it was carried out by the landlords and their government. However, it fully retained its objectively bourgeois essence and resulted in creating the conditions for the rise of capitalism, although the process of capitalist development was still hampered by strong and deep-rooted survivals of serfdom.
Much attention to the abolition of serfdom in Russia was devoted by the classics of Marxism-Leninism. Every single aspect of this problem was theoretically elaborated and substantiated in V. I. Lenin's works, which provided the methodological basis for further scientific development of this problem by Soviet historians. The factual history of the abolition of serfdom remained practically uninvestigated by pre-revolutionary historians. In the early years of Soviet government research into this problem was hampered by the erroneous approach to its solution by the Pokrovsky "school," which denied the bourgeois essence of the 1861 reform. According to the author, no serious progress was made in investigating the history of the abolition of serfdom until mid-1930's, when the influence of the Pokrovsky "school" was overcome. The only noteworthy feature that deserves attention was the first attempt at analyzing the charters of regulations (charters regulating the mutual relations between the landlord and his liberated serfs) according to the scheme elaborated by I. I. Polosin towards the close of the 1920's. The works by A. M. Pankratova, M. V. Nechkina and other historians, published in the thirties, gave a correct appraisal of the revolutionary democrats' attitude towards the reform. This period also witnessed the first efforts to study the effects produced by the reform in the national areas (A. V. Fadeyev, G. A. Kokiyev). A prominent part in studying the problem from the positions of Marxism-Leninism belonged to E. A. Morokhovets, who wrote a popular scientific survey of the 1861 reform in 1937 and published materials on the peasant movement in the period of the abolition of serfdom, which refuted the views of pre-revolutionary historians on the peasants' attitude to this act initiated by the tsarist government.
Consequently, at the close of the thirties Soviet historians made definite progress in the elaboration of this problem. On the whole, it found a faithful and correct reflection in popular-scientific and educational literature; it was at that period, too, that Soviet historians began their study of certain aspects of the problem on the basis of archive sources showing how the reform had affected the country's individual areas.
A really comprehensive study of the history of the 1861 reform began in the postwar years. At the present time our historians have" investigated in great detail the peasant
movement in the period of the preparation and carrying out of the reform and the history of the abolition of serfdom in a number of Russia's national areas. The next important task is to study the questions connected with the practical implementation of the reform as well as with its social and economic consequences. One of the shortcomings characteristic of the postwar research in this field, the author writes, is that in the process of analyzing the problem the authors do not compare the events which took place in Russia with similar processes in other countries.
In examining individual works on the peasant movement in 1859 - 1863 (by Y. I. Linkov, M. E. Naidenov, N. N. Leshchenko and others), the author of the article emphasizes that one of the major defects common to all these works is the marked tendency to exaggerate the scope of the peasant movement in the period of the preparation and carrying out of the reform-a tendency that contradicts Lenin's definition of the character of the peasant movements in that period. The revolutionary democrats' attitude to the reform is adequately and comprehensively reflected in the works by M. V. Nechkina, B. P. Kozmin, Z. P. Bazileva and other historians, which appeared in the postwar period. Much space is devoted by the author to a detailed analysis of the monographs, articles and theses on the history of the abolition of serfdom in Russia's individual provinces and districts. All these works are divided by the author into two groups: a) works devoted primarily to the preparation and drafting of the reform; b) research works aimed at studying the problem as a whole, including the results produced by the reform. The author criticizes a number of works which are predominantly based on the illustrative method of historical research and give a patently wrong appraisal of the results produced by the reform. As for researches devoted to the abolition of serfdom in Russia's national areas, their chief shortcoming is that they give no analysis of the charters of regulations and redemption arrangements (the peasants' redemption payments to the landlords).
The methods of studying these valuable sources have now been amply elaborated and already employed in many researches, mostly in theses. In some of them the results of the reform are summed up on the basis of a simplified analysis of the charters of regulations. Others are based on a detailed analysis of this source (for example, the theses by B. G. Litvak, D. I. Budayev, A. G. Karevskaya, V. G. Zimina), which signifies an important step forward in studying the problem. But the materials provided by another extensive source-redemption arrangements-are still inadequately used by our researchers. That explains the immense significance of the effort now being made to systematize the existing charters of regulations and redemption arrangements and prepare them for publication. A group of teachers and research workers of Leningrad have already systematized more than 30,000 charters of regulations and redemption arrangements. The author believes that the work accomplished by Soviet historians during the past decade testifies to impressive achievements in the field of studying the peasant reform of 1861.
In conclusion the article outlines the tasks confronting Soviet historians in the further elucidation of this problem. The completion of the work of systematizing the charters of regulations and redemption arrangements according to Russia's internal provinces, which is essential for a detailed study of the process of the development of capitalism in the country's agriculture in the sixties and seventies of the 19th century, is regarded by the author as the first and principal task. Another important problem is the study of the so-called allotment grants (the land granted to freed peasants by their former masters), particularly in connection with the study of the early post-reform period, when the peasants were obliged to rent land from the landlords on most onerous terms, and the development of the rural bourgeoisie. It is also necessary to continue the study of the peasant movement in the period of the preparation and carrying out of the reform. The next problem is to analyze and systematize the charters of regulations and redemption arrangements in the North Caucasus and Transcaucasia and continue research work in this field in Lithuania, Byelorussia and the part of the Ukraine situated on the right bank of the Dnieper. The fulfilment of these tasks is of paramount importance to the study of the process of capitalist development in Russia in the post-reform period. Invaluable assistance in the elaboration of these problems, in the author's opinion, can be rendered by students and post-graduate students of history departments of universities and pedagogical institutes under the guidance of experienced researchers.
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