V.B. KHYAZHINSKY and V.G. TRUKHANOVSKY. The Problem of War and Peace In Contemporary History
The article is devoted to one of the most urgent and vital problems of our "time-the problem of war and peace. On the basis of a comprehensive analysis of the laws governing the process of social development the article shows the chief trends in the solution of the problem of war and peace in the present era and reveals the historic mission devolving upon the working class of liberating mankind from the calamities of war. The authors resolutely expose and rebuff the attempts of reactionary scientists to present war as a kind of eternal category and to sow distrust in the possibility of averting war.
The article convincingly shows that with the rise and development of the world's first socialist state, subsequently augmented by the emergence of the world socialist system, there has been a steady change in the relation of forces of war and peace in the international arena, resulting in a gradual restriction of the sphere of operation and manifestation of the laws of imperialism-that breeding ground of war. The authors emphasize that at the present stage the chief factor that determines the basic content, the main trend and the most important specific features of historical development of society is no longer imperialism but the world socialist system and the forces fighting against imperialism. Imperialism is powerless to check the onward march of history.
Drawing on extensive factual material, the authors bring out the sum and substance of the policy of peaceful coexistence conducted by the socialist states and show its outstanding role in mobilizing and rallying the peace-loving forces all over the world. The article trenchantly criticizes the views advocated by reactionary bourgeois historians in their effort to justify and substantiate the imperialist cold war policy.
The ushering in of a new and higher stage in the development of the world socialist system and the beginning of a new stage in the development of the general crisis of capitalism, the article stresses, hold out the prospect of new qualitative changes in the relation of peace and war forces. As a result of the steady and uninterrupted growth of the might of the socialist camp and its enhanced influence on the alignment of world forces, the authors point out, mankind has now reached an historical stage when it is in a position to cope with some of the problems that could not be solved by the preceding generations. The authors illustrate the historical significance of the conclusion drawn by the Twentieth CPSU Congress that in our days war can no longer be regarded as a fatal inevitability, that it is fully possible to avert it. That conclusion was reaffirmed by the Meetings of Representatives of the Communist and Workers' Parties held in 1957 and 1960. The article analyzes in great detail the concrete program of measures to ensure durable and lasting peace that was put forward by the Head of the Soviet government, N.S. Khrushchov, at the Fifteenth Session of the United Nations General Assembly, showing its historical necessity and full conformity to the requirements of social development.
Particular attention in the article is devoted to the confirmation of the fact that ever wider and increasingly active participation of the popular masses in every part of the world in the struggle for peace is a natural historical process. In this connection the authors emphasize the role of the international working-class movement headed by Communist and Workers' Parties. They bring out the historical significance of the documents adopted by the Moscow Meeting of Representatives of the Communist and Workers' Parties in November 1960 for the solution of the problem of war and peace in the interests of the whole of mankind.
I.B. BERKHIN. Certain Historlographlcal Aspects of the New Economic Policy in the U.S.S.R.
The article under review is devoted to the historiography of one of the problems relating to the period of transition from capitalism to socialism-the introduction of the New Economic Policy (NEP) and analyzing its essence.
V.I. Lenin's works give a profound scientific analysis and substantiation of the fundamental theoretical aspects of this problem: the reasons for the country's transition to NEP, the essence of the New Economic Policy as a plan and one of the methods of socialist construction, the international significance of NEP, etc.
The article graphically shows that the New Economic Policy charted by V.I. Lenin and the Communist Party ensured a durable economic alliance between town and country, envisaged the enlistment of millions of working people in the work of socialist construction, presupposed a proper combination of public and personal interests, the revolutionary enthusiasm of the masses and persona! material interest of immediate producers in securing a steady growth of labour productivity.
In 1920's, the Communist Party and Communist historians exposed and defeated the anti-Leninist conceptions of NEP: the bourgeois conception of NEP as restoration of capitalism in Soviet Russia (expounded by Rafalovich, Kondratyev, Chayanov, Makarov and others), which regarded NEP as the first step in the country's transition to the capitalist path of economic development and demanded complete restoration of capitalism in the USSR., the Trotskyire-Bukharlnite concept of NEP as continuation of the policy of War Communism (Larin, Kritsman, et al.). The exponents of this basically counter-revolutionary concept actually refused to recognize NEP as a plan, as a method of socialist construction. The article reveals how these anti-Leninist conceptions of NEP were exposed and defeated.
In 1950's (especially after the decisions of the Twentieth CPSU Congress), against the background of a new general upsurge of Soviet historical science, the elaboration of the problems of NEP reached a new stage. Guided by the Leninist conception of NEP, Soviet historians concentrate their attention on concrete historical research into the problem of the preparation and carrying out of the New Economic Policy, trace the process of the reorganization of the economic and political apparatus along the lines of NEP, study the alignment of the class forces and the progress of the class struggle in the period of NEP, devote serious attention to the question of strengthening the alliance between the working class and the toiling peasantry, etc.
As distinct from the period between 1920's and 1940's, when the social-economic literature on the subject was dominated by popular-scientific and publicistic works popularizing the Leninist conception of NEP and exposing the anti-Leninist interpretations of NEP, the 1950's witnessed the publication of a series of research works devoted to NEP.
I.B. Berkhin's article contains an objective appraisal of this literature, defines the questions that have already been solved and, at the same time, singles out certain problems still awaiting solution. The following problems are placed by the author into this category: the correlation between NEP and the preceding stages of Soviet economic policy, the development of the New Economic Policy in the period of its practical implementation and consummation, the policy of the Communist Party and the Soviet state in connection with the introduction of NEP, etc.
L.V. FOKIN. From the History of the Moscow Inventors' and Production Innovators' Struggle for Technical Progress
Drawing on extensive factual material, the author shows the important contribution made by the inventors and rationalizers of Moscow to the nation-wide effort now being made to increase output by effecting technical re-equipment of Soviet industrial enterprises and employing most up-to-date production technology.
The Soviet people's creative labour is one of the most important factors making for technical progress. At every stage of socialist construction in our country the Communist Party unreservedly supported and encouraged the widespread movement for new technical achievements, inventions and rationalization of production.
The author points out that the decisions adopted by the Plenary Meeting of the CPSU Central Committee in July 1955 and by the Twentieth Party Congress as well as the measures carried out in the field of reorganizing the system of management in industry and construction, were of especial significance in stimulating the activity of inventors and production innovators. The movement for the introduction of new technical achievements in industry was gradually gaining in strength and scope. In 1959 one out of every seven workers employed at industrial enterprises belonging to the Moscow Economic Council was a rationalizer of production. The article highlights the outstanding role played by the Moscow Committee of the CPSU and the Moscow Economic Council in guiding the Inventors' and rationalizers' activity, the important assistance rendered by the city trade union councils and the U.S.S.R. Association of Inventors and Rationalizers and the active participation of workers, engineers, technicians, women and youth in the movement.
A new important stage in the struggle for technical progress was ushered in by the decisions of the Twenty-First CPSU Congress. The extensive building of communist society demanded a still faster rate of the technical re-equipment and modernization of production; it required more creative activity and initiative on the part of the working people.
The article graphically shows how the vast creative upsurge in the field of technical innovations, stimulated by the impressive program of communist construction, found its vivid manifestation in a series of patriotic movements started by inventors and rationalizers of production. For example, the inventors and rationalizers of the Caoutchouc plant
made a suggestion to establish a rationalization proposals fund named after the seven-year plan. The rationalizers of production at the Moscow Cable Plant initiated a movement for drawing up personal plans of participation in communist construction. The initiative displayed by the front-rankers of production rapidly spread all over the country. The rationalizers and inventors brought into being a mass socialist emulation drive for contributing not less than 100,000 million rubles to the seven-year-plan rationalization proposals fund, including 8,000 million rubles (in old rubles) to be contributed by Moscow. This obligation is being successfully fulfilled. In 1959 the rationalization proposals and inventions introduced in the Soviet Union's industrial establishments effected a saving amounting to some 12,000 million rubles.
The new tasks facing the country required a thorough reorganization of industrial rationalization activities. The initiative of the masses has given rise to collective rationalization brigades which are particularly widespread at the Moscow factories and mills. The Vladimir Ilyich plant has initiated a movement for comprehensive improvement of production, in which the collectives of whole shops and departments actively participate. This popular initiative yields immense economic effect, thereby accelerating the Soviet people's triumphant advance to a brighter future.
As a result of this mighty upsurge of creative activity and initiative of Soviet inventors and rationalizers and the truly nation-wide movement for technical progress, the author writes m concision, the working people of Moscow have achieved outstanding successes in the technical improvement of production, raising labour productivity and increasing industrial output. The article cites facts and figures illustrative of these successes.
L. V. DANILOVA. Russian Medieval History in Contemporary American Historiography
The article makes a critical analysis of the methodology and ideological-political essence of present-day American historiography devoted to the study of Russia's medieval history.
The works by American authors devoted to the history of feudalism in Russia graphically illustrate the idealist, subjectivist approach to the interpretation of the process of historical development, which is so characteristic of the crisis of contemporary bourgeois historiography. An objective study of the laws governing the process of social development is substituted in these works by all kinds of eclectic theories which put forward geographical, political, ethnological, psychological and diverse other "factors" as the chief motive force of historical process. Moreover, there is no system whatever on which the selection of these factors is based-they are chosen arbitrarily. The American historians make practically no effort to reflect in their works the attempts of contemporary bourgeois historiographers and sociologists to bring out the common laws operative in the history of various countries and peoples, even though such attempts are based on idealist philosophy. In the use of factual material, concrete observations and conclusions the American authors working in the field of Russia's medieval history draw primarily on historical studies of pre-revolutionary Russia. In this respect the American historians have undoubtedly been influenced by the Russian emigre school. The view (borrowed from Solovyov and Klyuchevsky) regarding Russia's geographical peculiarities as the basic factor in interpreting her history; putting Russia in opposition to the "West"-a method advanced by the Slavophiles and carried to the extreme by Milukov; exaggerating the influence exerted by the nomad tribes of Asia on the ethnogeny and history of the Russian people; the theory of the enslavement of the estates; the viewpoint (advanced by historians belonging to the state-juridical school) regarding the state as the maker of history-all these "theories" and "ideas" are invariably put forward in one or another form by all American authors whose works are dedicated to the history of feudal Russia.
The fact that a number of historians deliberately try to avoid theoretical problems and refuse to elaborate the methods of synthesizing the process of historical development can be regarded as another vivid manifestation of the crisis of bourgeois historical thought in the U.S.A.
In the theory of feudalism contemporary American historiography has even made a step back compared with classical bourgeois historiography of the Middle Ages. Regarding feudalism as a system of vassalage and political dismemberment, Fustelle de Coulanges, F. Guizot, K. Lamprecht and Pavlov-Silvansky recognized its connection with a definite structure of land ownership and definite forms of proprietor and peasant economy. Characteristic of the American works published in the past two decades is the clearly manifested tendency to rob the interpretation of feudalism of its social-economic content. Taking "civilization" as the basic sociological concept, American bourgeois historians reduce feudalism to a political system arising in conditions of the decentralization of state power under any economic basis. What is more, the role of the popular masses is wholly ignored and the feudal relations are regarded exclusively as relations within the ruling class. The majority of contemporary American historians deny the existence of feudal relations in Russia.
The article convincingly shows that the elaboration of various problems of Russia's medieval history by reactionary American historians (and they constitute an overwhelming majority) is subordinated to the aims of ideological propaganda. Glossing over the most important problems of Russia's historical development in the period of feudalism (the degree of development reached by the productive forces, the forms and methods of exploiting the producers of material values, different aspects of the class struggle, etc.), American authors concentrate their attention on various problems of political and cultural history, using the latter to prove the patently false thesis that the course of historical development in Russia followed its own distinctive pattern differing from that of any other country, seek pseudo-scientific historical roots of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the absolute autocracy of the Russian tsars, give a distorted picture of our country's foreign policy by characterizing it as traditionally aggressive, expansionist, etc.
The American reactionary authors deliberately ignore the important research carried on in this field by Soviet historians and Marxist historians in other countries. However, their thankless job is rendered increasingly difficult by the steadily mounting interest in the U.S.S.R. manifested all over the world and by the growing popularity of Marxist historiography. It is highly indicative that in recent years there has been a steady increase in the number of articles and books published in the U.S.A. with the sole aim of discrediting Soviet historiography. But the efforts of the reactionary historians, who have placed science in the service of imperialism, fail to produce the desired result even among bourgeois scientists. Scientific publications written from the positions of bourgeois objectivism and paying due regard to the achievements of Soviet historical science are coming to play a definite part in contemporary American historiography of feudal Russia. While remaining faithful to bourgeois methodology, such American bourgeois historians as M. Rajeff O. Backus, H. Dewey and others have come out against the distortion of historical reality, against rude attempts at garbling historical facts. However, owing to their small number and attention given to specific questions of comparatively minor importance, the works of the above-named historians cannot as yet determine the general trend of American historiography devoted to Russia's medieval history. For the time being, the reactionary trend continues to prevail in American bourgeois historiography.
The article analyzes the chief factors responsible for this sad state of affairs characteristic of contemporary American research in the history of Russia. The author makes a point of stressing that the causes should be sought, first and foremost, in the general political situation now prevailing in the U.S.A. The monopolies and government institutions which finance scientific-research centres and control the publishing business are exerting every effort to flood the country's book market with publications, the political essence of which accords with the class interests of imperialist bourgeoisie and meets the requirements of America's ruling circles.
G.P. MOROZOV. The Paris Workers' Trade Union Organizations and the Commune of 1871
The purpose of this article is to establish the role, place and significance of the Paris trade union organizations in the activity of the workers' government which was in power from March to May 1871. The author shows the level of trade union organization of the Paris proletariat on the eve of the revolution of March 18, 1871, the attitude of workers' unions to the revolution, the forms of their participation in the many-sided activities of the Commune and the importance of their contribution to the heroic defence of the proletarian government against the counter-revolutionary forces.
The author points out that the Commune advanced the French proletariat's trade union movement to a new and higher level. The revolution of March 18, 1871, ushered in unparalleled democratic freedoms in France and enabled the Paris proletariat to display its initiative to the full. In the second half of March there were 34 syndicalist chambers, 45 industrial associations and more than 10 other trade union organizations in Paris. From the very first days of the revolution the labour unions sided with the revolutionary govern ment. They maintained close contacts with the Paris sections of the First International The labour unions' cooperation with the sections of the First International tended to heighten the unions' activity and contributed to their growth and organizational consolidation. Wide-scale participation of the trade union organizations in the activity of the Commune marked the beginning of the process of liberating the French proletariat from the pernicious influence of Proudhonist ideology which hampered the development of the working-class trade union movement in France.
G.P. Morozov writes that the government of the Commune promoted the development of the Paris workers' trade union movement in every possible way. The close contact established by the government of the Commune with the working masses enabled it to enlist the workers' immediate assistance in the practical implementation of important government decrees by submitting them to workers for broad discussion prior to their enforcement. The trade unions enlisted the working, people's participation in the organizational and economic activity carried on by the workers' state. Particularly widespread was the movement of the labour unions for the enforcement of a decree passed by the
Commune on April 16, under which all enterprises whose former owners had fled abroad were to be taken over by workers' associations.
The labour unions also made a distinctive contribution to the Communards' heroic struggle against the combined forces of the Versailles counter-revolution and the German interventionists. This contribution found its vivid manifestation in the heroic labour feats accomplished by the members of the labour unions in the process of manufacturing armaments and ammunition, in sponsoring the collection of relief funds for the families of the fallen Communards, in the erection of barricades and direct participation in the armed struggle against the enemies of the Commune.
Paris press reports dating back to the period of the Commune and Soviet documentary publications devoted to the Commune served as the basic source for this important research.
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