Share this article with friends
S. P. TOLSTOV and T. A. ZHDANKO. The Paths of Development and Problems of Soviet Ethnography
The authors highlight the progress of Soviet ethnographical science in connection with the Seventh International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnographical Sciences which is scheduled to be held in August 1964. The article points out that Soviet ethnographical science imbibed the finest traditions of progressive ethnography in pre-revolutionary Russia. Developing in the Soviet period on the basis of Marxist-Leninist methodology, ethnography crystallized in the system of social sciences as a specialized historical science on distinctive national customs and traditions of the peoples of the world, which studies their geographical location, origin (entogenesis), way of life, social system, cultural and historical interconnections, the shaping of their material and spiritual culture. Not restricting itself to a mere description of different peoples, ethnography studies various phenomena of their life and historical development, bringing out diverse features that are common to the contemporary period, elements of the new and survivals of the old, obsolete customs and traditions which act as a brake on social progress.
The authors single out the following principal trends of research carried on by Soviet ethnographers: a) Research in the ethnic composition and geographical settlement of the peoples of the world; directly connected with this trend is the publication of a fundamental many-volume "Peoples of the World" series, the elaboration of ethnolinguistic classifications of the peoples of the globe, publication of ethnographical maps and historico-ethnographic monographs devoted to individual peoples and countries; b) Changes in the everyday life and culture of the peoples of the U. S. S. R. in the period of transition from socialism to communism. This process is traced among the rural population and the working class inhabiting different national republics and territories of the Soviet Union. A close analysis is made of diverse ties existing between town and country and of the gradual obliteration of essential distinctions in the way of life and culture of the rural and urban population. The authors emphasize that the close study and generalization of historical experience in the field of socialist refashioning of life of the multi-national population of the U.S.S.R. is of vast scientific and practical significance for the countries of the socialist system and for the former colonial peoples that have smashed the chains of colonial slavery and have chosen the socialist path of development; c) The processes of developing and cementing closer fraternal bonds among the socialist nations in the U. S. S. R.; this trend of research is devoted to the history of the rise and development of socialist nations; it investigates the contemporary ethnical processes taking place in their midst, which find their manifestation in the local ethnographical groups (tribal, racial, etc.) gradually discarding their former aloofness and isolation, in the small national minorities drawing closer and merging with bigger nations, etc. The available ethnographical material also contributes to research in the developing rapprochement between different nations, their mutual influences in the sphere of culture and way of life, their growing internationalism and fraternal friendship; d) Elaboration of historical problems on the basis of ethnographical data. One of the main problems in this field is research in the history of primitive society, which embraces the study of diverse social institutions, material and spiritual culture of the primitive-communal system through the historical analysis of its survivals in the life of the backward peoples inhabiting different countries and continents, the customs, traditions, rites and religious beliefs whose roots go back to hoary antiquity. This trend also embraces research in the entogenesis of different nations and in the history of material culture, notably by means of compiling historico-ethnographic atlases according to major ethno-cultural areas.
In conclusion the authors make a point of stressing that Soviet ethnography appears as a science contributing to mutual acquaintance and better knowledge of the peoples, serving the cause of peace, rapprochement and friendship among people of all races and nationalities.
Y. A. FOLYAKOV. Certain Aspects of the New Economic Policy
Y. A. Polyakov's article is devoted to the preliminary steps of the Communist Party and the Soviet government designed to pave the way for the transition to the new economic policy. It examines the most important questions connected with this transition: the Party's careful consideration of the incentives needed to stimulate the development of small-scale peasant farming, determining the extent of concessions to be granted to private capital and the rate of socialist construction.
V. I. Lenin linked the transition to the new economic policy with the need to give the peasant a definite stimulus, to interest the tiller economically, thereby strengthening the alliance between the working class and the toiling peasantry on an economic basis. The article graphically shows how the Leninist principle of providing material incentives for the peasantry - one of the cardinal principles of socialist construction - was gradually assuming tangible shape and form in the process of persistent quests and practical testing. Realistically assessing the situation, carefully weighing and considering every minor detail and relying o"n practical experience, Lenin approached the question of stimulating the development of individual peasant farming very seriously, attaching vast importance to the problem of material incentives. This is borne out by numerous facts cited in the article.
The article shows how the Party, exposing both the "Left" and Right elements, invariably guided itself by Lenin's directives on the possibility, in appropriate conditions, of making concessions and compromises without in any way infringing on the fundamental principles of socialism.
The successes in socialist construction achieved by the Soviet people in the period of the new economic policy and the subsequent epoch-making victories which enabled our country to launch on the full-scale building of communist society, the author writes in conclusion, irrefutably prove the correctness of the Leninist strategy and tactics in the transition period. Our experience in this field is of inestimable value not only to our country but to many other nations which are effecting the historic transition from capitalism to socialism.
V. A. KRUTALEVICH. Certain Historical Aspects of the Formation of the Byelorussian S.S.R.
Written by way of discussion, the article subjects to criticism certain viewpoints and conceptions on the history of the formation of the Byelorussian S.S.R. which appeared in historical literature in the period of the Stalin personality cult. The basic idea of the article is to highlight the role played by the working people of Byelorussia in the establishment of their national Soviet republic.
Analyzing the decisions of district and provincial congresses of Soviets and local Party organizations, the resolutions of workers' meetings and other materials, V. A. Krutalevich, contrary to the fairly widespread opinion, draws the conclusion that at the time of the Great October Socialist Revolution the Byelorussian workers and peasants did not yet raise the question of the need to proclaim their national statehood. The so-called Byelorussian Congress convened by the nationaliets in Minsk in December 1917, is regarded in the article as an attempt on the part of the counter- revolutionary forces to prevent the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat in Byelorussia. The author characterizes the political aims of the congress and shows the reasons for its failure.
The formation, in November 1917, of the Western Region comprising provinces with predominantly Byelorussian population, the author stresses, was an important step towards the establishment of Byelorussian national statehood. However, the leadership of the Western Region failed to appreciate the need for effecting a transition from regional government to an independent sovereign Byelorussian Soviet Republic at the close of 1918. The Party's Central Committee helped the regional leadership to adopt correct positions on the national question.
The materials cited in the article are illustrative of the attention and concern shown by the Central Committee of the Party and V. I. Lenin for the needs and aspirations of the working people of Byelorussia. The formation of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic was a vivid manifestation of the great viability of the Leninist national policy.
V. S. PARSADANOVA. The Victory of Popular Rule in Poland (The Twentieth Anniversary of the Polish People's Republic)
Drawing on archive and other materials, the author of this article re-creates the history of the establishment and consolidation of popular government in Poland in July 1944 - May 1945, analyzing the objective and subjective factors which contributed to the development of the national-liberation and class struggle of the occupation period into a popular-democratic revolution and examining the process of taking over state power by the National Democratic Front based on a firm alliance of the working class and the toiling peasantry, with leadership exercised by the working class and its Marxist- Leninist vanguard in the shape of the Polish Workers' Party. From the viewpoint of its class content the National Democratic Front represented a revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the working class and the peasantry. The July Manifesto of the Polish Committee of National Liberation served as a programme for the building of the new state. A characteristic feature of the revolutionary processes taking place during the first year of popular government was the close intertwining of general democratic and socialist transformations. These months witnessed the complete liberation of Poland from nazi occupation, the reunion of all traditionally Polish lands in a single state with the active military, political and diplomatic assistance of the U.S.S.R., the carrying out of a far-reaching agrarian reform which liquidated the landlord class, the refashioning of the entire social and political life along democratic lines. The very process of liberation was accompanied by the factual nationalization of large-scale and medium industries, transport facilities and banks, which signified practical solution of the basic economic task of the socialist revolution. The establishment of the socialist sector in the national economy provided a firm foundation for the popular-democratic system in Poland and created the economic basis for proletarian dictatorship. The victory of the popular-democratic revolution and the advent of popular rule in Poland paved the way for the establishment of proletarian dictatorship and for the beginning of the socialist revolution.
The article emphasizes the decisive significance of the Soviet Union's fraternal assistance to the Polish people in the years of the second world war. The Soviet- Polish Treaty of Friendship, Mutual Assistance and Postwar Cooperation, signed on April 21, 1945, was one of the first acts which juridically consolidated the formation of the world socialist system.
N. I. LEBEDEV. The Rumanian Communist Party - The Organizer of the Anti-Fascist Struggle and the Victorious Armed Uprising of August 23, 1944 (The 20th Anniversary of Rumania's Liberation)
The article is devoted to one of the most important periods in the history of the Rumanian people - the anti-fascist uprising of August 23, 1944, which marked the beginning of the popular revolution. This uprising and the entire anti-fascist struggle were headed by the Rumanian Communist Party.
Based on extensive archive materials and documents, the article traces the principal stages in the Rumanian people's struggle against fascism and war, beginning with 1939 and ending with the victory of the armed uprising of August 23, 1944. The author stresses that the Communist Party of Rumania was the only political party in the country which resolutely and consistently opposed Rumania's participation in the predatory war unleashed by German fascism. Undaunted by the brutal reign of terror and persecution, the Rumanian Communists steadfastly carried on their self- sacrificing struggle for putting an end to the anti-Soviet war and for the overthrow of the fascist regime.
The author devotes much attention to illustrating the Communist Party's struggle for the establishment of a united anti-fascist front and for exposing the policy pursued by the leadership of the bourgeois-landlord parties which did their utmost to sabotage the Resistance movement in Rumania. The crushing defeat inflicted on the German fascist troops by the Soviet Army in the Volga area greatly stimulated the liberation struggle in Rumania. Operating in difficult underground conditions, the Communist Party launched active preparations for an armed uprising in August 1943.
The powerful offensive launched by the Soviet Army in the Jassy-Kishinev direction on August 20, 1944, created favourable opportunities for organizing an armed uprising on August 23, 1944. The Communist Party roused the army and the entire people for the armed struggle against the nazis and thwarted the attempts of Rumania's reactionary forces headed by the king to foil the armed uprising by means of a secret collusion with
the German fascist command. In conclusion the author stresses that by crushing the main nazi forces the Red Army played a decisive role in liberating Rumania from the fascist yoke. Under the leadership of the Communist Party the Rumanian people overthrew Antonescu's fascist dictatorship and carried out a people's revolution which radically changed the country's destiny.
K. B. VINOGRADOV. Certain Results of Research into the Origin of the First World War
Written to mark the 50th anniversary of the first world war, the article makes an attempt to generalize the results of bourgeois and Soviet historiographical research into the origin of the war. Way back in 1914 - 1918 there appeared two diametrically opposite conceptions concerning the origin of the first world war. One of these concepts was put forward by V. I. Lenin. Having discovered the law of the uneven and leap-like character of economic and political development of the capitalist countries in the era of imperialism, Lenin convincingly demonstrated that this period must inevitably give rise to aggressive wars in connection with the struggle between powerful monopoly groupings for a redivision of the already divided world. Bourgeois historiography has always tried to conceal the truth about the origin of the war, to camouflage its class nature and imperialist character. The bourgeois scientific conception concerning the root causes of the war can well be called an imperialist one. The entire period since the outbreak of the first world war has been marked by the struggle between these two concepts.
Among the exponents of the imperialist conception the author singles out two principal groupings which reflected the struggle between the imperialist powers on the world arena. The followers of the pro-Entente trend endeavoured to prove that Germany and her allies were alone responsible for unleashing the war. German historians belonging to another, so-called revisionist trend demanded revision of the clauses in the Versailles Treaty pertaining to Germany's special responsibility. Another group came out in favour of a compromise treatment of events. Historians belonging to this trend wrote of especial responsibility devolving on Russia and Serbia, spread allegations about "Slavonic menace," etc. There also existed the Radical and pacifist trends which contributed their share to research in the origin of the first world war. While not touching on the essence of capitalism in their "criticism," the adherents of these two trends cited in their works extensive material exposing the armament-manufacturing firms, politicians and diplomats responsible for unleashing the war. The proponents of the imperialist conception viciously attacked all those who did riot subscribe to their views.
After the second world war there appeared a number of well-documented research works, based on extensive archive material, by such prominent scientists as F. Fischer, W. Carlgren, A. Marder, H. Granfelt and others. But the appearance of this literature does not yet mean a radical turning point in bourgeois historiography's approach to the prehistory of the war. The author notes that the imperialist conception is still fairly widespread in the West, although attempts are being made to adjust it to the monopolists' present-day requirements in the sphere of ideology.
The article also examines major research works by Soviet historians.
V. T. PASHUTO. The Agrarian Question in Russia as Reflected in Contemporary Bourgeois Historiography
The article notes that the agrarian question in Russia has not yet received the attention it deserves in bourgeois historiography. This clearly superficial attitude to one of the pivotal problems relating to the history of pre-revolutionary Russia should be attributed to the methodological principles and sociological basis of bourgeois historiography, notably to its rejection of feudalism as a law-governed link in mankind's history.
Regarding Russia's "Europeariization" (R. Coleborn, O. Brunner, et al.) or "modernization" (C. Black) as the underlying foundation of her history, these sociologists and historians (H. Rimscha, M. Ren, W. Clarkson and others), the author writes, turn the agrarian question into an appendage of political history. V. T. Pashuto points out that one of the features typical of bourgeois historiographers is their attempts to substitute a close historical analysis of the country's economy by speculative compositions of K. Witvogel, N. Chirovsky, V. Chebotareva-Bill and other authors. But, V. T. Pashuto stresses, the achievements of Soviet historians are beginning to exert an increasing influence, on bourgeois science.
New, more progressive tendencies are beginning to emerge in bourgeois science, as is graphically illustrated by the appearance of a series of valuable research works and publications by R. Smith, M. Confino, M. Scheftel and other historians, as well as of generalized works by D. Blum, H. Stockl and other authors, which devote more attention to the latest conclusions of Soviet historiography.
In the concluding part of his article the author points to the process of reappraisal now taking place in the minds of many bourgeois scientists who put erudition above anti- communism. Soviet historians, the author stresses, must extend their creative dialogue with these progressive-minded representatives of bourgeois science.
S. L. UTCHENKO. The Rise and Development of the Roman Empire and the Problem of Social Revolution
The article is devoted to the question of whether the transition from the Roman republic to the Empire can be regarded as a social revolution. Defining more precisely certain aspects of the concept "social revolution," the author arrives at the conclusion that social revolutions are quite possible within the bounds of one and the same socio- economic formation, that the concept of social revolution implies not only social upheavals which deliver the main, decisive blow to the formation that has already outlived its day, but also those which prepare this blow or bring it to its logical conclusion. This thesis is applied by the author to certain events in the history of ancient Rome. Closely associating the crisis of the Roman republic with the process of disintegration of the principal and most typical features of the city-state organization, the author analyzes the character of transition from the republic to the empire, examining in this connection the viewpoints of M. Rostovtzeff, R. Syme, N. A. Mashkin, A. B. Ranovich and S. I. Kovalyov. The author believes that the rise and development of the Roman Empire signified a social revolution, but the concept of "social revolution" is applied in the article not to the Civil Wars of the second half of the first century B.C. which directly resulted in the institution of the imperial political regime, but to much earlier events, notably the movement of the Italian peasantry which reached its climax in the years of the Allied War. In conclusion the author makes an attempt to establish the interconnection between the peasant movement and the risings of the slaves. The author shows that these two lines - the plebeian-peasant and slave, though engendered by the same causes, developed independently, without intertwining with each other.
Permanent link to this publication:
LRussia LWorld Y G