“Look out or you’ll be harmed!”: On the social-political reasons for Stalin’s collectivization

Aleksandrov K.M. “Look out or you’ll be harmed!”. On the social-political reasons for Stalin’s collectivization // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2020. V.5. №3. P. 70-96.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2020-5-3-70-96


The article presents the results of the comprehensive analysis of the negative consequences of socialist transformations in the Soviet village for both society and national economy. The article is based on a wide range of sources and works on the reasons for collectivization in the USSR. The historiographic findings provide grounds for broad discussions that take into account different aspects, approaches and concepts—depending on the assessments of the priorities of I.V. Stalin and other leaders of the CPSU (b) at the turn of the 1920s—1930s: from the necessary and forced development of the industry at the expense of the rural population exploitation to the establishment of the personal dictatorship of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) and eradication of the peasant economic independence. The author suggests to search for an answer to the conceptual question about the meaning and reasonability of collectivization not so much in the economic conditions as in the social realities of the late 1920s as related to the peculiarities of the one-party state and to the sharp deterioration in the political situation under the grain-procurement crises determined by the artificial restrictions on the private initiative in the previous period. The main beneficiaries of the collective-farm system, which was imposed on the village by the unprecedented violence, were thousands of appointees of the CPSU (b), who sought to preserve their power, privileges and state property in their possession by introducing the ‘second serfdom’ and the all-Union system of forced labor, which put an end to the Russian Revolution of 1917.


collectivization, collective farms, peasant resistance, I.V. Stalin, V.M. Molotov, appointees, XVII Congress of the CPSU (b), grain procurement crises

About the author

Aleksandrov Kirill M., PhD (History), Associate Professor, St. Philaret’s Christian Orthodox Institute. Pokrovka St., 29, Moscow, 105062, Russia.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


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