Kimerling A. S. Fight for yield: mobilization campaigns in village in 1946-1953 (on the example of Molotov region) (.pdf)


Political campaigns were a common way of governing the country in the Stalin era. As a management mechanism, they help to understand the political problems of that time. Mobilization political campaigns had a certain structure: an ideological message through the central and then the local press; organizational stage; mobilization of masses; realization of the goals of the campaign accompanied by the support of the press; report on progress (with publications in newspapers as well). Harvesting and sowing were typical mobilization political campaigns. The example of the Molotov region helps to examine the content of these campaigns in the post-war years, as well as some elements of the everyday life of the village that influenced the course of the campaigns. The Pravda newspaper, along with other central newspapers, regularly published articles aimed at stimulating the development of the mobilization campaign on grain procurements and socialist obligations. Party organizations, clubs, and readers’ clubs had to conduct active propaganda work in the countryside; they organized general meetings, lectures, talks and developed radio networks. The collective farmers gave increased obligations, but the plans were not implemented and the authors of newspaper articles regularly criticized them; nevertheless, the report on the results was always optimistic. The reasons for the failure of the plans were different: they varied from problems with technology to simple theft. People were not materially interested in over-fulfilling plans; they tried to survive, as evidenced by rural everyday life.


Key words: the Stalin era, agrarian policy, the mobilization political campaign, the management mechanism, the socialist obligation, the collective farm, the collective farmers, the Soviet village, the post-war years.


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