During the New Economic Policy (NEP) overseen by Joseph Stalin, the concept of Collectivization was introduced. Collectivization was part of the plan of the economic development of what Stalin hoped would be part of the new Russian.
Stalin wanted to install Collectivization because it created a more reliable and steady income of grain supply to help keep all of the Russian people fed and happy. Before collectivization, peasants each had their own plot of land that they worked and tended to. Some peasants were more affluent than others and there was a social stratosphere within the peasant population. This micro-social tier within the working class was going against the equalization and communization characteristics that were trying to be instilled in the “new” Russia. Once Collectivization was implemented by Stalin, there was not only a change economically but socially.
The social implications of Collectivization meant that the wealthiest of the peasants had to share their land, tools, crops, etc. with peasants of a lower class. The wealthiest of peasants were unhappy to give up their land, crops, and tools because they had everything they needed. They had no incentives to collectivize, thus they fought it. This was exemplified in the story we read in class about the Kulaks who had to give up their horse for Collectivization. The story showed how reluctant the family was to give up their horse but did anyway. There were was a war between the government and these rich peasants (the rich peasants were called the “Kulaks”). There was mass resistance amongst the peasants leading them to burn their crops and their land so that the government could not get to them. The goal for the government, in terms of fighting the Kulaks, was to “eliminate” them “as a class”. The government ended up winning out and as a result the micro-tiers in the peasant class were eliminated and terrible living conditions floundered from the mess. Stalin preached that the current conditions were going to be miserable, but promised a better future.
The mass resistance by the peasants against the collectivization movement left the government trying to spread propaganda against the peasants–particularly the Kulaks–and promoting Collectivization. This is where the poster above comes from. The poster reads: “Strengthen working discipline in collective farms”. It shows three men in the forefront of the poster–drawn in red and white–and another three men who are trying to sneak away with presumably stolen goods. There are rows of laboring peasants in the background working in what is a collective farm. The poster is basically advocating for everyone to adhere to the system of collectivization and not to steal or be lazy. They have drawn the three men in the forefront (one of whom is stopping one of the thieves) as big, brawny men with work tools to show that they work hard and are exemplifying the proper traits by stopping the thieves. There are also machines (tractors) in the background of the poster which show the industrialization of Russia and the movement forward technologically as a nation. The thieves, who sre stealing what looks like gasoline, cigarettes, and another item, are all heavy and drawn in black, portraying them in a negative light to show that what they’re doing is frowned upon.
This poster was from Tashkent,Uzbekistan around the year 1933. I wasn’t very sure what the language was but after doing some research I found that the language was Uzbek.
This poster is fairly straight forward but told me a lot about the time. It gave a lot of information and was a good example of the propaganda issued by the government to support Collectivization and proper etiquette on the farms.