Tax on trees was a tax imposed in USSR in 1944 on fruit trees. The tax made it expensive to have trees on a farm, and had the unintended consequence of causing a mass felling of trees by Soviet farmers. This subsequently led to shortage of fruit.
A tax is a mandatory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed upon a taxpayer by a governmental organization in order to fund various public expenditures. A failure to pay, along with evasion of or resistance to taxation, is punishable by law. Taxes consist of direct or indirect taxes and may be paid in money or as its labour equivalent.
The idea proposed by the Minister Arseny Zverev, and Joseph Stalin failed to foresee the problems it would produce. The tax was repealed in 1954, by Georgy Malenkov, when taxes were reduced by 60 per cent for farmers.
Arseny Grigoryevich Zverev was a Soviet Russian politician, economist and statesman whose career spanned the rules of Stalin and Khrushchev, but culminated during the Stalin years. Zverev was born in a little village just outside Moscow. After years in local politics, he rose to prominence as a Deputy Commissar of Finance, but he also held other lesser posts such as a member of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union.
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet politician. He led the Soviet Union from the mid–1920s until 1953 as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1952) and Premier (1941–1953). While initially presiding over a collective leadership as first among equals, he ultimately consolidated enough power to become the country's de facto dictator by the 1930s. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin helped to formalise these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own policies became known as Stalinism.
Georgy Maximilianovich Malenkov was a Soviet politician who briefly succeeded Joseph Stalin as the absolute leader of the Soviet Union. However, at the insistence of the rest of the Presidium, he relinquished control over the party in exchange for remaining first among equals as the country's Premier. Subsequently, Malenkov became embroiled in a power struggle ultimately culminating in his removal from the premiership in 1955 and the Presidium in 1957.
Animal Farm is an allegorical novella by George Orwell, first published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the fable reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. Orwell, a democratic socialist, was a critic of Joseph Stalin and hostile to Moscow-directed Stalinism, an attitude that was critically shaped by his experiences during the Spanish Civil War. The Soviet Union, he believed, had become a brutal dictatorship, built upon a cult of personality and enforced by a reign of terror. In a letter to Yvonne Davet, Orwell described Animal Farm as a satirical tale against Stalin, and in his essay "Why I Write" (1946), wrote that Animal Farm was the first book in which he tried, with full consciousness of what he was doing, "to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole".
Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria was a Soviet politician, Marshal of the Soviet Union and state security administrator, chief of the Soviet security and secret police apparatus (NKVD) under Joseph Stalin during World War II, and promoted to deputy premier under Stalin from 1941. He later officially joined the Politburo in 1946.
In political science, Marxism–Leninism was the official state ideology of the Soviet Union (USSR), the political parties of the Communist International, and of contemporary Stalinist political parties. Combining Leninist political praxis and Marxist socio-economics, the purpose of Marxism–Leninism is the two-stage revolutionary development of a capitalist state into a socialist state, guided by the leadership of a vanguard party of professional revolutionaries from the working class and the proletariat. The socialist state is instituted and governed by way of the dictatorship of the proletariat, which determines policy with democratic centralism.
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 30 December 1922 to 26 December 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk.
Stalinism is the means of governing and related policies implemented from around 1927 to 1953 by Joseph Stalin (1878–1953). Stalinist policies and ideas as developed in the Soviet Union included rapid industrialization, the theory of socialism in one country, a totalitarian state, collectivization of agriculture, a cult of personality and subordination of the interests of foreign communist parties to those of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, deemed by Stalinism to be the leading vanguard party of communist revolution at the time.
Trofim Denisovich Lysenko was a Soviet agronomist and biologist. As a student Lysenko found himself interested in agriculture, where he worked on a few different projects, one involving the effects of temperature variation on the life-cycle of plants. This later led him to consider how he might use this work to convert winter wheat into spring wheat. He named the process "jarovization" in Russian, and later translated it as "vernalization". Lysenko was a strong proponent of soft inheritance and rejected Mendelian genetics in favor of pseudoscientific ideas termed Lysenkoism.
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov was a Soviet politician and diplomat, an Old Bolshevik, and a leading figure in the Soviet government from the 1920s, when he rose to power as a protégé of Joseph Stalin. Molotov served as Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars (Premier) from 1930 to 1941, and as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1939 to 1949 and from 1953 to 1956. He served as First Deputy Premier from 1942 to 1957, when he was dismissed from the Presidium of the Central Committee by Nikita Khrushchev. Molotov was removed from all positions in 1961 after several years of obscurity.
In the USSR, during the eleven-year period from the death of Joseph Stalin (1953) to the political ouster of Nikita Khrushchev (1964), the national politics were dominated by the Cold War, the ideological U.S.–USSR struggle for the planetary domination of their respective socio-economic systems, and the defense of hegemonic spheres of influence. Nonetheless, since the mid-1950s, despite the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) having disowned Stalinism, the political culture of Stalinism—a very powerful General Secretary of the CPSU—remained in place, albeit weakened.
Lysenkoism was a political campaign conducted by Trofim Lysenko, his followers and Soviet authorities against genetics and science-based agriculture. Lysenko served as the director of the Soviet Union's Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Lysenkoism began in the late 1920s and formally ended in 1964.
Andrei Alexandrovich Zhdanov was a Soviet Communist Party leader and cultural ideologist. After World War II, Zhdanov was thought to be the successor-in-waiting to Joseph Stalin, but he died before Stalin. He has been described as the ‘propagandist-in-chief’ of the Soviet Union in the period 1945 to 1948.
The Soviet government forced the collectivization of its agricultural sector between 1928 and 1940 during the ascendancy of Joseph Stalin. It began during and was part of the first five-year plan. The policy aimed to consolidate individual landholdings and labour into collective farms: mainly kolkhozy and sovkhozy. The Soviet leadership confidently expected that the replacement of individual peasant farms by collective ones would immediately increase the food supply for the urban population, the supply of raw materials for processing industry, and agricultural exports. Planners regarded collectivization as the solution to the crisis of agricultural distribution that had developed from 1927. This problem became more acute as the Soviet Union pressed ahead with its ambitious industrialization program, meaning that more food needed to be produced to keep up with urban demand.
Agriculture in the Soviet Union was mostly collectivized, with some limited cultivation of private plots. It is often viewed as one of the more inefficient sectors of the economy of the Soviet Union. A number of food taxes were introduced in the early Soviet period despite the Decree on Land that immediately followed the October Revolution. The forced collectivization and class war against "kulaks" under Stalinism greatly disrupted farm output in the 1920s and 1930s, contributing to the Soviet famine of 1932–33. A system of state and collective farms, known as sovkhozes and kolkhozes respectively, placed the rural population in a system intended to be unprecedentedly productive and fair but which turned out to be chronically inefficient and lacking in fairness. Under the administrations of Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev, and Mikhail Gorbachev, a large number of reforms were enacted as attempts to defray the inefficiencies of the Stalinist agricultural system. However, Marxist–Leninist ideology did not allow for any substantial amount of market mechanism to coexist alongside central planning, so the private plot fraction of Soviet agriculture, which was its most productive, remained confined to a limited role. Throughout its later decades the Soviet Union never stopped using substantial portions of the precious metals mined each year in Siberia to pay for grain imports, which has been taken by various authors as an economic indicator showing that the country's agriculture was never as successful as it ought to have been. The real numbers, however, were treated as state secrets at the time, so accurate analysis of the sector's performance was limited outside the USSR and nearly impossible to assemble within its borders. However, Soviet citizens as consumers were familiar with the fact that foods, especially meats, were often noticeably scarce, to the point that not lack of money so much as lack of things to buy with it was the limiting factor in their standard of living.
The Soviet famine of 1932–33 was a major famine that killed millions of people in the major grain-producing areas of the Soviet Union, including Ukraine, Northern Caucasus, Volga Region and Kazakhstan, the South Urals, and West Siberia. The Holodomor in Ukraine and Kazakh famine of 1932–33 have been seen as genocide committed by Joseph Stalin's government ; it is estimated between 3.3 and 7.5 million died in Ukraine and ~2,000,000 died in Kazakhstan.
The NEPmen were businesspeople in the young Soviet Union who took advantage of the opportunities for private trade and small-scale manufacturing provided under the New Economic Policy. The Famine of 1921-1922 epitomized the adverse effects of War Communism, and to remedy or mitigate such effects Vladimir Lenin took, what the communist party saw as, “a step backwards.” Lenin responded by instituting the NEP, which encouraged private buying and selling, even to, as one official (Bukharin) put it, "enrich yourselves". The biggest group of the 3 million or so NEPmen were engaged in handicrafts in the countryside, but it was those who traded or ran small businesses in the city that faced the most negative attitudes, since some amassed considerable fortunes.
The New Course was an economic policy that aimed to improve the standard of living, increase the availability of consumer goods in East Germany, lower the price of foodstuffs, small businesses and farms would be returned to the private sector.
The Great Plan for the Transformation of Nature, also known as Stalin's plan for the transformation of nature, was proposed by Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union in the second half of the 1940s, for land development, agricultural practices and water projects to improve agriculture in the nation. Its propaganda motto and catchphrase was “the great transformation of nature”.
The New Economic Policy was an economic policy of Soviet Russia proposed by Vladimir Lenin in 1921 as a temporary expedient. Lenin characterized the NEP in 1922 as an economic system that would include "a free market and capitalism, both subject to state control", while socialized state enterprises would operate on "a profit basis".
The kulaks were a category of affluent peasants in the later Russian Empire, Soviet Russia and the early Soviet Union. The word kulak originally referred to independent farmers in the Russian Empire who emerged from the peasantry and became wealthy following the Stolypin reform, which began in 1906. The label of kulak was broadened in 1918 to include any peasant who resisted handing over their grain to detachments from Moscow. During 1929–1933, Joseph Stalin's leadership of the total campaign to collectivize the peasantry meant that "peasants with a couple of cows or five or six acres more than their neighbors" were labeled "kulaks".