Posted 9 декабря 2021, 15:20

Published 9 декабря 2021, 15:20

Modified 25 декабря 2022, 20:55

Updated 25 декабря 2022, 20:55

Cadres are all-important! Who worked at the "construction sites of communism"

9 декабря 2021, 15:20
Алексей Чадаев
The Soviet Union existed for so long only because the state had a huge reserve of cheap labor - the Gulag contingent

Alexey Chadayev, political analyst

Today is St. George's Day, and, by coincidence, a discussion on social networks about the reasons for the death of the USSR made me remember the fate of my own uncle, my father's younger brother, Uncle Yura. He died of a heart attack in 1989, when I was only 11, but managed to teach me a little about arc welding - I still keep a welding machine at home and periodically refresh my skill. He was a highly qualified welder, although he initially acquired this profession in the colony, where he landed as a youngster for a fight. And only then he improved his qualifications, working at various construction sites throughout the USSR.

In the late 60s, Uncle Yura was able to buy a car with the money he earned on these very construction sites. Already in the mid-70s, I rode it to the Crimea, on vacation. And, gape, knocked down a 12-year-old girl who ran out onto the road. The girl got off with bruises, her parents wrote a waiver of claims - but, of course, they opened a case against her uncle - and, as a "repeat offender", was jailed. The grandmother, trying to get her son out of prison, bypassed all instances until she reached the former “Kalinin” reception room of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. And there the "understanding person" took her aside and quietly explained why there was no chance of a suspended sentence. “He's a welder, but an unspoken order has passed through the courts that people with working professions are needed. So excuse me, without a chance, he will sit, work on the construction sites of communism. "

He worked as a prisoner on the construction of the BAM. Later, with hatred, he told how Komsomol volunteers came to the facilities built by the prisoners - to take pictures with flags-posters for central newspapers. But this is an everyday matter, and this story has surfaced for this reason.

During discussions in the Politburo of the late 60s and early 70s, one of the main arguments of the opponents of the Kosygin “market experiments” and other “socialism with a human face” in Hungarian / Yugoslavian was the crisis of the Soviet mobilization mechanisms. It was impossible to recruit people who were ready to go to hell and where to the "construction sites of communism" in the required number either with a stick or a carrot - neither party / Komsomol kits, nor "distributions", nor fabulous salaries in Soviet terms helped. And imagine, the generals of Soviet industry said, what would happen if we return the artels and allow private enterprises. Then people will have the opportunity to earn money where they live, and then we will not mobilize anyone anywhere. No "development of virgin lands", no "new cities in the taiga" will work - forget it. The Hungarians and Yugoslavs do not need to build the BAM and the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power station, but we do.

Moreover, many are now discussing the paradox that under Stalin the share of the private sector and the “market” in general in the economy was much greater than under Khrushchev-Brezhnev. The same construction - I mean residential - was until 1957 more than half private. But the state, on the other hand, had a huge reserve of cheap manpower mobilized by it for almost any task - the GULAG contingent itself. And the paradox for the Brezhnev Politburo was that if the "market reforms" began then, in the late 60s, the "party and government" would inevitably have to: either again plant as much as they did in the 30s - or wind up " construction sites of communism ". And that means, and admit defeat in the race with the United States.

Brezhnev's comrades were not ready either to build a new GULAG, or to abandon the "construction projects of communism". This means that the entire "Kosygin" line on gradual market reforms was, in the final analysis, doomed to an apparatus defeat.

In short, "cadres decide everything," or "here's to you, grandmother, and St. George's Day".

Original is here.