Considerations on a Voyage to Russia – Part 6 of 9

In the foundations of the Soviet worker state there is a deep fissure: it is due to the Russian peasant. Even his existence is opposed to that of the state. The state is conscious of this incompatibility. By all logic, it wants to get rid of it; with a firm hand, it wants put it to an end there. As it finds itself before an alternative: continue its life or let the peasant continue theirs, it evidently decided against the peasant. The latter does not fit with the worker state. Thus, he must disappear. It is necessary that the peasant becomes a worker. That is the solution! The mechanization of agriculture gives the means. When it will be organized like an industrial enterprise, the mentality of the peasant will change. He will find his place in the kolkhoz as the worker finds his in the factory. With the little character of the peasant, such that it figures in Soviet statistics, they have already removed his high fur hat. Henceforth, he wears the cap of the proletarian.

When the peasant fights, he must bear it, but they must deal with them. All compromise would be mortal for the worker state. In many regions, the kolkhoz represents progress in relation to the misery in which the peasants had lived until the present. That is a fact from which the worker state can benefit. Everyday the sabotage of farming and agricultural deliveries bears a slur on the state. The experts on Russian questions fear the worst for the food supply of the country during the next winter.

The worker state knows that it is at risk. The kulak is the type of peasant that, by reason of his character, is in fundamental opposition with the state. They inculcate the Russians that this same kulak is a traitor to his country, to his people, that he is a corrupter. Thus, the peasant is liquidated in the psychological scheme. They can no longer be a true peasant, in good conscience. The man of the country has lost his assurance. He mistrusts the model that, until the present, corresponded to his nature. He is sensitized to another model that they recommend to him daily with words, writings, loud speakers, and microphones, that is to say, the model of the Soviet citizen who is and wants to be a worker. The city seizes the country, the technology of nature. The worker state forms men according to its needs, it transforms an entire people. The spirit of technology subjugates 140 million peasants and makes them the comrades of the workers who, in their factories, are integrated to the rhythm of work on the line. Work with organic material is put under the same plan as that with inorganic, lifeless material. In the factory, it suffices to know how to press a button to light up a light, to use electrical energy. There is a fundamental difference, indisputable – this difference is precisely denied. The peasant must be intoxicated with mechanization and find – like the worker – a new assurance.

On the virgin soil of America was born the farmer, a sort of rural portrait of the bourgeois of towns. This farmer ultimately has a townsman’s character and considers his lands as a means of capitalist production. Russia tries, in an analogous manner, to place on the side on the urban proletarian a corresponding rural image, an image that is must be born in the kolkhoz. This new type of Russian rural proletarian is situated in relation to the farmer as the urban proletarian is to the urban capitalist. However, these two rural types have nothing in common with the German version of the peasant.

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