By Daniel Thorniley
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Additional info for The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Rural Communist Party, 1927–39
61 The urban influxes to which we have already referred as one measure in the party's programme for the countryside in 1928, affected the composition of the rural cell cadres, specifically the post of cell secretary. 2 per cent were workers by occupation;62 a year later the former had risen to 29 per cent. 63 This suggests that people with a non-rural background were introduced from outside to lead a significant number of cells. On arrival at their cells, the new secretaries would take up employment either in some form of rural administration or co-operative or work in the agricultural household of 20 The Soviet Rural Communist Party, 1927-39 relatives who had remained on the land; this explains why the number of workers by occupation was quite low.
Without a precise term of definition, grandiose claims have been made for the number of non-party peasant 'aktiv'. F. 5 million in mid-1930. 68 This does not mean that there were, in addition to the rural party and komsomol, almost five million genuine, committed supporters The Soviet Communist Party and the Rural Scene 21 of radical social change in the countryside. If there had been, the collectivisation programme would not have been as problematic as it was. The grain procurement crisis of 1928 proved to be a major experience for the rural party.
It The Rural Communist Party 1929-32 33 appears that well-to-do communists, who had more to lose financially from the socialisation of property and were therefore believed to be more likely to resist the process, were singled out. 6 per cent among the poorest groups who were freed from taxation. A. 8 per cent of those purged in the first half of 1929 were excluded on the basis of their economic position and class. 8 per cent of individual peasants were expelled. 15 Thus the purge rid the party ranks of many of those who had prospered in the NEP years, those most likely to disapprove of the regime's new course.
The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Rural Communist Party, 1927–39 by Daniel Thorniley