V. I. Lenin
Part III: Tenth Congress of the R.C.P.(B.)
Report On The Substitution Of
A Tax In Kind For
The Surplus Grain Appropriation System
A word or two on the theoretical significance of, or the theoretical approach to, this issue. There is no doubt that in a country where the overwhelming majority of the population consists of small agricultural producers, a socialist revolution can be carried out only through the implementation of a whole series of special transitional measures which would be superfluous in highly developed capitalist countries where wage-workers in industry and agriculture make up the vast majority. Highly developed capitalist countries have a class of agricultural wage-workers that has taken shape over many decades. Only such a class can socially, economically, and politically support a direct transition to socialism. Only in countries where this class is sufficiently developed is it possible to pass directly from capitalism to socialism, without any special country-wide transitional measures.
Only One Way to Build an Economy
While all eyes are fixed on the next move by Vladimir Putin, I should remind everyone of the Russian Revolution in our very midst, and how it might play out in the coming years. In the aftermath of the October Revolution, Vladimir Lenin discovered that it was a lot easier to talk about a command economy, then to implement one. The divisions between peasants and townspeople became problematic, and in the process created an omnipotent concern for revolution. With commerce wrecked, and the aftermath of civil war, a barter economy evolved.
The townspeople would take clothing and other items on trains to rural areas and exchange them for foodstuffs. These bagmen became ubiquitous on the railways and caused a stir among Bolshevik planners, who decided to take over the grain and foodstuff from the peasants through a harsh requisition program.
By demonizing "rich" farmers known as "Kulaks," Vladimir Lenin imposed War Communism, a centrally planned economy that would focus on the needs of the army by prohibiting private trade, and nationalizing all large industries. By 1920, even money was replaced with a system of state rationing.