The Western Mail, April 7th, 1931
COMMUNISTS FIVE-YEAR PLAN.
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HOW IT IS WORKING IN RUSSIA.
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ITS ORIGIN AND PURPOSE NO MORE COMPROMISE WITH CAPITALISM
By GARETH JONES.
In a series of five articles the first of which is given below, the
writer examines Russia's Five-Year Plan of economic recovery which has
now been in operation two and half years. Political and economic motives
behind the Plan are described in this article. Further articles will be
published daily in these columns this week.
Two men were standing on the roof of a grey, straight-lined
skyscraper in Moscow.
One of them was a tall dark Russian
Communist with narrow slit eyes of a semi-Asiatic. The other was a Welshman
looking just like any other Welshman in the streets of a Glamorgan port
or mining town. One of them had been educated in the Communist Academy,
Moscow; the other had been to an elementary and to a secondary school
in Wales. The Russian had spent thirteen years in a revolutionary State
which was Building up Socialism. The Welshman had lived in a capitalist
State where the shops and the factories the mines and the railway were
run by private enterprise.
WHAT THE COMMUNIST SAID
The Communist turned to the Welshman
and said: You are a man of the past. I am a man of the future. You
belong to the capitalist world which is fast crashing. I belong to the
Communist world, which is soon to triumph. Look at Moscow, which lies
around us. What you see is symbolic of the trend of world history. Ill
tell you why.
The two men looked at the Red
Capital which stretched on every side. They saw some broken-down wooden
huts cheek by jowl with a line new electric station. To the south near
the river the ancient towers and spires of the Kremlin-the large, closely-guarded
citadel in the centre of the town-stood out. On its highest pinnacle floated
a large red flag with a yellow sickle and hammer in one corner. A newly
built dazzling white skyscraper contrast between the Russian buildings
of the Middle Ages and the engineering feat of the twentieth century.
The young Bolshevik continued:
The old and the new are standing side by side and the new is triumphing.
Next to the wooden hovels of the past you have the modern skyscraper of
the Communist regime. That electric station over there is symbolic of
the efforts of the Bolshevik revolution to build a new industrialised
Russian where the machine will take the place of God.
THE THIRD ACT IN A DRAMA OF REVOLUTION.
He paused and his little Asiatic eyes twinkled with
excitement and enthusiasm revealing a glimpse of the fanatic. He went
on: Thats what we are doing to Russia and its going
to shake the whole world to its foundations. The World Revolution will
break out. The globe will become the World Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Mark my words. Not a single man or woman, whether in New Zealand or China
or Wales, will be untouched by what is happening to-day in Russia. We
are going to prove to the world that Communism can build up a powerful
Do you know what our weapon
is? Its our FIVE-YEAR PLAN.
The Five-Year Plan begins the
third act in the thrilling drama of the Bolshevik Revolution.
The first act opened with the
thunder of the guns and the blood of November, 1917, when the Revolution
broke out. It was the period of military Communism. There was war on all
sides-against the Whites, against the Allies, against the Poles. Ruthless
terror sent thousands to their death. The Communists put their principles
into practice by abolishing banks, money, private trading, and by preventing
the peasants from selling their grain except to the State. The curtain
of the first act goes down upon the bodies of millions of. Russians dead
or dying in the terrible famine of 1921.
Then came the second act, the
recovery, 1921-1927. Lenin, the realist, made a compromise with Capitalism
and allowed peasants and shopkeepers to sell their goods openly and make
a profit. This is called the New Economic Policy (N.E.P.) in the middle
of this act there was poignant scene when the great Lenin died in January
The third act began in 1928,
and was the period of re-construction or the Act of the Five-Year Plan.
This plan is in reality a new revolution, a revolution lasting over a
period of five years.
A MORE FAR-REACHING MOVE
It is not so dramatic as the show and fighting of 1917,
but more far-reaching in its effects. This Revolution of the Five-Year
Plan is now stirring every village, every street, every factory to its
depths and affecting the life of every man, woman, and child in the Soviet
In 1927 the Communist party considered
that, the general level of production was about the same as in 1913. But,
to the horror of the Bolsheviks, Capitalism was growing in the country.
Private trade, as opposed to the Stalin and co-operative shops, was stilt
powerful. Worst of all, the Revolution had turned the peasants into capitalistic
small-holders. The big estates which had produced millions of tons of
grain for export had been divided into innumerable tiny patches. The vast
stretches of laud which used to supply time towns and the Army with food
had been split up. The Communist Revolution had led to the increase of
Capitalism! It had led to a shortage of grain, for it is difficult to
collect grain front 26,000,000 different small proprietors. It had led
to the increasing strength of the capitalist class of richer peasants,
the Kulaks who hated Communism.
The cry went, round among the communists: The
time has come for Change! Forward to pure Communism! No more compromise
with Capitalism. We must try to introduce Communism within five years.
We must build a strong industrial State and turn the millions of peasants
patches into vast Socialist farms."
BRINGING IT HOME TO SOUTH WALES
Exports and scientists hurried
from all parts of the Soviet Union. Conferences were held to plan the
life of the Communist State for the next five years. This was done tinder
the auspices of the State Planning Commission. They drew up a tremendous
plan for the development of the whole life of the Soviet Union.
Imagine a Commission sitting
in London with full power to do whatever they liked in transforming the
whole of Great Britain. They could say: "Ten new factories must be
built at Cardiff within two years. A railway must be constructed between
Swansea and Caernarvon by 1932. Eighty-five per cent. of the mines of
South Wales must be provided with the latest machinery by March 1, 1933.
Carmarthen must produce 46,824 tons of grain within ten months time. Fifty-four
thousand Welsh miners must be sent to East Africa by December 1st this
Imagine this Commission working out exactly what must
be produced in boots, coal, eggs, matches, butter, steel, ships, and sowing
machines for a period of five years! That is what the Five-Year Plan is
attempting to do for Russia.
THE POLITICAL AND THE ECONOMIC MOTIVES.
The Pravda (the paper
of the Communist party describes it thus: The Five-Year Plan is
an important part of the offensive of the proletariat of the world against
Capitalism; it is a plan tending to undermine capitalist stabilisation;
it a great plan of World Revolution.
That is the political motive
of the Plan.
But at present, the economic
motive seems far more vital to the majority of the Communists. They want
to build up a new Russia. They want to plan the destinies of 153,000,000
people. They want to construct factories here, steel works there. They
want to go full speed ahead at turning the Soviet Union into a rich, industrialised
Socialist State. They want to transform backward Russia into a Communist
version of the United States. Well beat America!
That is the battle-cry of the
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