Nikolai Osinsky 1932

The Fourth Year of the Five-Year Plan

Source: International Press Correspondence, Vol. 12 No. 2, January 14, 1932, pp. 35-36; The Communist, Vol. XI, No. 3, March 1932, pp. 201-205.
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"THE third, decisive year," of the Five-Year Plan has come to an end. The fourth, the crowning year, is beginning. For, according to Bolshevist dialectical arithmetic, the Five-Year Plan must be, and will be, accomplished in four years. Hitherto, this was the general slogan. Now it becomes the concrete immediate task of the beginning year; it forms part of the operative industrial and financial plans of 1932. It will be supported by the plans from below; it will become the axle of Socialist competition and shock brigade work.

In fact, this means that we are completing the transition - in time, and not in space - into a new country, a country different from that in which we were born and grew up, into a country where the foundation of Socialism is firmly established, and where on its basis, there will rapidly come into being a more and more developed system of Socialist economy and social life.

To go on with the journey simile, one must say that it is no less distant and complicated than any "great migration of peoples" that happened in the history of mankind; and its historical results are immeasurably greater. For it means that over one hundred peoples who constitute the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics - among them nations, who are on the lowest rungs of economic and social developments - under the leadership of the proletariat, and in the midst of ruthless class struggle between the workers and the former oppressors, are approaching Socialism, pointing the way onward to the whole of mankind. Such is the stage, represented by the year 1932, in the history of the whole world.

Nineteen hundred and thirty-two is the year of the completion of a series of magnificent attempts that were developing in the preceding three years, and were given a special impetus in the past year. We do not yet perceive and realize them sufficiently, for the enormous edifice is still surrounded by scaffolding, and its general perspective cannot be taken in directly with the naked eye. Moreover, the changes in the "building area" are exceptionally rapid and varied, so that they cannot be taken in at once. But this is, for instance, what a series of comparisons with the technically advanced bourgeois countries, as well as with pre-war conditions in our own country, show.

In 1931 - despite breaks in the first half-year - we produced twice as much coal as in 1913 (and by 21 per cent more than in 1930). We have outdone France, which occupied fourth place in the world, and have in front of us only the United States, Great Britain and Germany. If one adds up the yield of coal, oil and peat, planned for 1932, it exceeds already the German yield of fuel in the past year.

With regard to oil, in 1931 it exceeds the pre-war yield two and one-half times. Venezuela is beaten by at least 40 per cent, and in America they already talk of the time when we shall be even with the United States.

Although with regard to black metallurgy, the breaks of the first half-year were made good by us later and less adequately than in the coal industry (the delay in setting going Magnitogorsk and Kuznetzk had something to do with this) it remains a fact that in 1931 the Soviet Union outdid Great Britain in regard to pig iron. Magnitaya and Kuznetzk are to be set going in the very beginning of 1932. With regard to black metallurgy, 1932 must be a year of great progress; the Soviet Union must rise from 5 million tons to 9 million. This is guaranteed through the construction and exploitation of 24 new blast furnaces, in addition to the existing 92. Moreover, the new furnaces are so powerful, that their holding capacity is as 74 : 100 compared with the general holding capacity of all the old furnaces. In substance, the forthcoming year will be a year when the Soviet Union's working class will reap the fruits of the enormous efforts made in regard to the reconstruction of our metallurgy in 1930-1931, and at the same time a year of new enormous investments of capital that pave the way to the further development of the heavy industry. Simultaneously, 1932 will be for the Soviet Union a year of struggle for first place regarding metallurgy in Europe, and for the second place in the world.

Despite considerable efforts on the part of Mr. Leslie Urquhart's agents (prior to their exposure) to retard Soviet production of copper, in this domain the Soviet Union has nevertheless considerably exceeded the pre-war level in 1931, and is exceeding it many times over in 1932. It must be pointed out that 1932 will be the year when non-ferrous metallurgy and a considerable electro-metallurgy will be properly developed on Soviet territory; entry into a new phase of metallurgical culture also in this line.

Engineering has enormous successes to its credit in 1931 in regard to the volume of production, as well as in regard to mastering new objects and methods of production. One can say that 1931 was the year when Soviet engineers had already learned how to set going new works and utilize new machinery, when they realized that such a task is not beyond them, when they, so to speak, got rid of novice timidity before the task of mastering foreign technique; more than that: they already felt themselves capable of continuing independently technical production culture that was being transformed into Socialist culture. This is probably the most characteristic feature of 1931 in regard to the leaders in the economic and technical domains, and also in regard to the whole mass of workers. Comrade Stalin's urgent appeal to master technique fell on an exceptionally fertile ground, gave a definite form and organized the internally matured progress.

In this connection, one has to point out, by way of illustration, that in regard to the production of agricultural machinery, the Soviet Union firmly occupies second place in the world, and has mastered production of new agricultural equipment, adapted to tractor power, that the electrical industry has firmly occupied third or fourth place in the world and has become a mature, technically up-to-date branch of industry; 41,000 tractors have been constructed in 1931, instead of the 13,100 in 1930, which entitles the Soviet Union to the second place in the world after the U. S. A.

But already one need not be ashamed to speak of the place we hold in regard to the production of motor cars (though their output is still quite inadequate). It is just in regard to the production of motors that we have outdistanced in 1931 Czecho-Slovakia, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, etc., and are just behind Italy, having still in front of us (in consecutive order) Germany, France and Great Britain. However, the 1932 program pushes us ahead of Italy and Germany, so that we occupy already third place in Europe, and fifth place in the world (including also in the list U. S. A. and Canada).

But, maybe, even this is not the most characteristic and important point, but rather that in 1931 two blooming plants were constructed for the first time in the Soviet Union, and the construction of six is already planned for 1932; that in 1932 we are undertaking the construction of 19 rolling mills, never produced by us before; that, having made a beginning with the production of hewing machines in 1929, we already turned out 300 in 1931, and propose to turn out 1,000 in 1932; that, having produced the first specimen combines in 1930, we turned out 3,600 in 1931 (we are occupying now already second place in the production of combines), and propose to turn out 22,000 in 1932; that we have learned, on the one hand, to manufacture exceptionally light and effective electro-motors, and on the other hand, fine, large turbine-generators of high power (in Kharkov a giant works is springing up now that will specialize in their production).

In this connection, the power basis of the Socialist economy - the power of our electrical stations has made great progress (an advance of 40 per cent in 1931). The power of our electrical stations is now almost four times higher than the pre-war power, and next year it is expected to exceed it five times and more. Finally, yet one more fruit of long years' endeavor will mature in 1932 - the Dnieper electrical station, first of all. And do we fully realize that the completion of Dnieprostroy means a thorough change of a whole enormous district, that it means a whole electrical Dnieper, which begins to flow through the conductors, that it means streams of high-grade steel and aluminum, the opening of a large waterway for shipping, etc.? And yet, it is precisely this that will meet our eyes in 1932, when, for us, the scaffolding around the Dnieprostroy will be removed!

Let us also realize what is actually going on in the agricultural domain. In 1932 an acreage of 144 million hectares, compared with the pre-war acreage of 114 million; 106,000 tractors on the fields of the Soviet Union already in the Spring of 1931 to which no less than 30,000 have been added since then, our tractor industry being already able to add no less than 16,000 every quarter (last quarter in 1931) ; 900 million roubles invested in equipment in 1932, whereas in 1928 all agricultural machinery was valued at 1,058 million roubles; tenfold production of super-phosphate, compared with the pre-war period, still quite inadequate, and colossally increased in 1932, etc.

Alongside of this, 62 per cent peasant farms are collectivized, and there exists the prospect that in 1932 the percentage will be 75; 79 per cent of the whole acreage already falls to the socialized sector, and in 1932 this will increase to 88 per cent. Endeavors are being made to overcome the deficiencies in the sphere of cattle breeding caused by the resistance of the kulaks to the Socialist advance in the agricultural domain, etc. In 1932 the new collectivized village will be given its final definite form, and by the end of this year we shall have before us an utterly different type of agriculture and rural life, an utterly different rural population to the one in whose midst we hitherto lived and worked.

But the towns, too, are also assuming a different aspect; since 1931 they have been rapidly changing. True, this process is still in its initial stages, but considerable progress will be made on this line already in 1932.

Already in 1931 there was considerable alleviation of the difficulties that characterized the 1928-30 period, with regard to the food and supply question. This improvement was, after all, due to the fact that the Socialist offensive of the proletariat and poor peasantry, supported by the middle peasants, overcame the resistance of the remnants of the former ruling classes, that the Socialist method of production began to develop on a large scale. The 1932 economic plan provides for a series of measures that will help to overcome these difficulties (through the development of agricultural production) of the food and light industries in general, etc.; it is also proposed to raise wages in accord with the growth of the productivity of labor. There can be hardly any doubt whatever that 1932, even to a greater extent than 1931, will be the year of improvement in the conditions of the Soviet Union workers, the year when many of the present difficulties will be relegated to the limbo of the past.

Nineteen hundred and thirty-one was the year when we learned to work and control work in the new way, when Comrade Stalin's six classical conditions were being energetically inculcated into the life of the people - conditions that alone can guarantee the development of the complicated industrial economy of the Socialist epoch, with its millions of collective masters, rapidity and effectiveness being necessary features of this Socialist economic development. In 1932 must be the year when these conditions are to be fulfilled. This will mean that we are really building up a well-developed system of Socialist economy and social life.

Nineteen hundred and thirty-two is the last year of the struggle for the first Five-Year Plan. Struggle for metal, for the reorganization and reconstruction of transport, for the completion of the development of engineering - such are the three "shock" points on which attention will be specially concentrated in the new year. The methods of this struggle were already laid down in 1931. Broad development of Socialist competition and shock brigade activity, work for mastery over technique, full application of the "Six Conditions." But just because the fundamental points and fundamental methods have been tested and assimilated, the struggle must be even more energetic and decisive than in the past year, it must produce still better results. Although the task that the Soviet Union has set itself for 1932 - to raise the standard of industrial production by 37 per cent - is not an easy task, the objective guarantee of its fulfillment is the fact that the ways and methods have been tested and that there is an accumulation of forces and means created through the efforts of the preceding years.

Before us is one more year of Bolshevik attack, of decisive struggle for the Socialist industrialization of the country. When we shall sum up next year what has been done, out of the removed scaffoldings, on the cleared building sites, there will arise before our eyes, in harmonious perspective, the mighty edifice of the completed Five-Year Plan - a new Socialist country, reconstructed by the indomitable will and inexhaustible strength of the proletariat, headed by its Bolshevist vanguard!