Stalin on the Compromise with the Peasantry on Private Plots, 1936.


Stalin, “From a Speech to the Commission of the 2nd All-Union Congress of Collective Farm Shockworkers,” 15 February, 1935, I. V. Stalin: Socheneniia, vol 14, Stanford: Hoover Institution, 1967, pp. 53 - 54.


            If you want to strengthen the artel, if you want to have a massive collective farm movement, which must embrace millions of farms, and not ones and hundreds, if you want this to get this, then under present conditions you must necessarily take into account the individual interests of the collective farmers as well as their general interests…

            You are by no means considering the individual interests of the collective farmers, when you say that no more than one tenth of a hectare [private] plot of ground to is given to a collective farmer. Some think that it is impossible to give a cow, others think that it is impossible to give a sow. In general you want to squeeze the collective farmer. This action will not come off. This is incorrect.

            You people are the vanguard. I understand that you are very concerned about the collective farm system, about the collective farm economy. But are all collective farmers really like you? You are already a minority in the collective farm. The majority thinks somewhat differently. Is it necessary to take them into account or not? I think that they must be taken into account.

[54]      If you still have in the artels no abundance of products and you are not able to give individual collective farmers and their families all that they need, then the collective farm cannot take on itself to satisfy both social needs and individual ones. Then it is better to say directly that such and such area of work is social, and such and such is individual. It is better to admit directly, openly, and honestly that the collective farmer must have his individual farm [khoziaistvo], small, but individual. It is better to proceed from what an artel farm is: social, big, large-scale and decisive, necessary for satisfaction of social needs, and at the same time what a small individual farm is: necessary for the satisfaction of individual needs, necessary for the satisfaction of the individual needs of the collective farmer. As soon as there are families, children, individual needs and individual tastes, then it is impossible not consider them. And you do not have the right not to consider them with the individual household interests of the collective farmers. Without this it is impossible to consolidate the collective farms.

            The combination of the individual interests of the collective farmers with the social interests of the collective farms – that is the key to consolidating the collective farms.


From a 1935 Law on Collective Farms:

            Land remains state property, but is given to the collective farms for perpetual use; each collective farmer can have for individual needs a plot of land of a size from a quarter to a half a hectare [5/8ths to 1-1/4th acres] (in some raions, up to one hectare), to contain a cow with two calves, one or two pigs, up to ten sheep, an unrestricted quantity of chickens and rabbits, and up to twenty beehives. All these numbers are increased in the raions where cattle breeding predominates rather than farming.

            --quoted in D. Boffa, Istoriia Sovetskogo Soiuza, Moscow: “Medzunarodnye otnosheniia,” 1994, vol. 1, p. 486.


From the 1936 Constitution of the U.S.S.R.

Article 7. ... In addition to its basic income from the public collective-farm enterprise, every household in a collective farm has for its personal use a small plot of land attached to the dwelling and, as its personal property, a subsidiary establishment on the plot, a dwelling house, livestock, poultry and minor agricultural implements in accordance with the statutes of the agricultural artel.



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