War Communism and NEP By Hye Moon Kim, Kelvin Ma and Lorraine Dawance
War Communism, what is it? • War Communism can also be referred to as socialism. It was the name given to the economic system that existed in Russia from 1918 to 1924. • It was introduced by Lenin so they could fight their economic problems brought by the civil war in Russia. He introduced this when he realized that the Bolsheviks were un-prepared to take over the whole economic system of Russia. • It was a way of ruling Russia.
War Communism’s 6 principles · The production should be run by the state. Private ownership had to be kept to a minimum. Any houses which were owned by someone, not the state was confiscated by the state. · Once a military army had finished their work, they would become a labour army. This means they would have to control the labour of every citizen, this was ordered by the state. · The state should produce everything under its own actions. · Extreme centralization was introduced. This was when the economic life was controlled by the Bolsheviks and was put into the hands of a few other organizations. · The Commissariats took what they needed to meet demands. The people were divided into four groups- manual workers in harmful places, workers who had to do hard, physical labour, workers in light tasks and housewives and professional people. · War Communism tried to abolish money as means of exchanging. The Bolsheviks wanted to do a system of ‘natural economy’ where no one bought things anymore with money, everyone had to exchange goods. The only tax allowed was the ‘Extraordinary Revolutionary Tax’, which was for the rich, not the workers. E.g. if you need grain and you are a hammer maker, you would exchange your hammers with grain, or if you own some animals, you would exchange those to peasants for grain.
The effects of War Communism • By 1921, after they had the ‘natural economy’ where everyone exchanged, the value of Roubles had dropped and exchanging had been introduced. The government’s income was pretty poor as they had abolished taxes. What happened to the peasants- • The state would come along to the peasants and take their extra grain to feed the soldiers and the workers who worked in the factories. • The next year, the peasants were saying that they shouldn’t put the effort to make extra grain which would be taken by the state for the other people, not even for them. • So, they decided to grow just enough grain for them, not enough for the soldiers and the workers. • The government then realized what the peasants had done and came up with the conclusion of just taking the peasants grain anyway. • This then led to a hug famine since the peasants had no grain to feed their families.
Cont. What happened to the workers- • -Some Bolsheviks in the hierarchy group wanted to get rid of all the factory managers and make the workers run the factories, but on behalf of the people. • -It was said that the workers would work better if they believed they were working for the poor, a system which had made some rich but many poor people. • The workers were starving as the peasants weren’t growing any grain for them, so the workers said that it would be better if they moved to the countryside and grow their own grain. = Between 1916 and 1920, the central and northern cities of Russia had lost 33% of their population which had moved to the countryside. • Under War Communism, the number of those working in the factories and mines dropped by 50%. Even though the manual class was the favoured class, they still got the very little food. A lot of the people in the professional class just starved. On the 20th of 1918, the Bolsheviks decided that all the extra grain made by the peasants should be given to the state. In 1920 to 1921, the state owned about 6 million tons of grain.
About the NEP • NEP stands for New (sometimes also National) Economic Policy. • NEP was a new policy for the Russia economy. Like trading, farming, etc. NEP raised up the economy after it was adopted because the nation’s economy was in terrible shape. • Lenin came to conclusion that "only by coming to an agreement with the peasants can we save the socialist revolution" • Lenin introduced the NEP on march, 1921. • Joseph Stalin got rid of the NEP policy and replaced it with 5year plan.
The NEP’s rules • Farmers were allowed to sell food in the open market. • They (peasants) could give a job to other people who would work for them. • NEP also allowed internal trade. • Peasants could sell their surplus grain after the government took half. • Small factories were handed back to private ownership. • Small good trading was banned.