Fiasco of First Five-Year Plan and Start of Repressions
30 December, 2010
Fiasco of First Five-Year Plan and Start of Repressions

It had not taken Stalin too long to put all the responsibility for every failure on the shoulders of Intelligentsia – the old guard of specialists and scientists. He stigmatized them as ‘public enemies’, harm-doers’ and ‘Trotskyites’ who presumably wanted to deliberately trigger the discontent in the public, thus instigating the confrontation between the people and the Soviet Power. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.
GJ – The first five-year plan, made by Stalin and the Soviet authorities failed to be fulfilled.

The economic reforms suggested by them had not given any results, but the government was still responsible to explain the failure to the people, wasn’t it?
SM – Yes, the first five-year plan was a complete fiasco – the country-side was simply devastated, the industry in the urban areas was at a standstill, the old equipment in factories and mills were falling out of commission and the new equipment was nowhere to come from. Peasants were hungry, workers were discontent, and the fear for survival was overwhelming among the populace. Stalin knew quite well what the matter was, but he would never own up the failure. A scapegoat was to be found in the situation. And the reasons of failure had to be explained to people. And the authorities were supposed to perceive ‘correctly’ the reasons of failure of the young Soviet state. This would at least make way for the fulfillment of the next five-year plan.
GJ – And who was that scapegoat?
SM – Stalin blamed the Intelligentsia – the old guard of specialists and scientist – in deliberate spreading of various diseases of plants and animals which had triggered the crisis in agriculture. He insisted that the harm-doers were breaking the factory machinery intentionally. He was trying to prove that bad projects that were created would keep the intended constructions from implementation. He stigmatized the Intelligentsia as ‘public enemies’, harm-doers’ and ‘Trotskyites’ who presumably wanted to deliberately trigger the discontent in the public, thus instigating the confrontation between the people and the Soviet Power. Such was the myth which Stalin had fabricated to justify his failed policies.
GJ – Did the Soviet people believe the myth?
SM – Somebody believed and somebody didn’t. It so happened that even the authorities - at least part of them – did not believe a word of the story. In a word, in 1932 a lot of specialists, labeled as ‘harm-doers’ and ‘public enemies’ were apprehended, many of them were shot and many were exiled, but this was followed by certain confrontations on part of the political elite. Incidentally, many of those specialists were not the ones who were functioning in the Tsarist Russia. The information about the 1932 arrests reached Abel Enukidze who was not a great liberal or an enthused champion of the Georgian Cause. He used to be an ethnic Georgian working in the Kremlin as secretary of the Central Executive Committee and monitored the Kremlin security system as a major party autocrat. What he did was that he simply informed the Politburo member Sergo Orjonikidze about the vain arrest of several persons. By Sergo’s order, there came to Georgia the investigator of special cases Lenin’s sister Mariam Ulyanova to revise some of the indictments. After having talked with one of  the apprehended people (I am talking about my great grand father), she let go free about 2000 persons. 
GJ – So, Ulyanova found out that those people were arrested without any reason for that . . .  
SM – She clearly saw that criminal cases were fabricated against them and she ordered to immediately set free the prisoners. This fact is just about enough to make a conclusion that in the years between 1932 and 1934 there appeared clear signs of rift within Stalin’s regime. Many people understood that the mechanism of the Stalinist rule was faulty. Rural and urban areas were devastated, the industry was working just on the production of combat weapons, and standard of living was stagnated at a critical level. The only goal Stalin pursued was invasion of the world to rule it all by his own volition.   
GJ – Although Stalin was an indisputable leader of the Soviet state, it still sounds inconceivable that this was all the whims and mistakes of just one person . . .
SM – He was certainly not alone. Next to him were Molotov, Voroshilov, Mikoyan and others who remained faithful to him right to the end. There were also people in his entourage who thought that Stalin’s doings were wrong and ugly. 
GJ – Where there any old Bolsheviks and revolutionaries who tried to defy the Stalinist ways?
SM – Certainly! Those were self-same Kamenev, Zinoviev, Enukidze and some others, who had already achieved perfect standard of living and could not very well perceive Stalin’s actions. They could not understand what Stalin had wanted after all. Maybe he wished to create the Soviet Socialist Republics of the World with the Russian language as the dominant tongue. Who knows! There were other nuances too which had triggering confusion among Stalin’s fellow- revolutionaries. Stalin adored Lisenko, for example.
GJ – But who was that Lisenko?
SM – He was a scientist working on changing the direction of genetics in science. He came up with the theory of altering the functions of species.
GJ – Why was the Soviet Leader so fascinated with Lisenko’s ideas? He must have had a reason for this . . . SM – Here is what Lisenko was working on specifically: he would freeze a seed of a plant which was indigenous in the south, and then tried to let it grow in the North. There was a slight possibility of success in the experiment, but only in case of certain plants, notwithstanding the quality of the received fruit of course. Extrapolating this method on every plant and finally on humans, was totally unjustified.
GJ – What do you mean by ‘humans’? Were they experimenting on people too? 
SM – That was the gist of the idea. This is exactly why Stalin liked and venerated Lisenko. Let’s now imagine the development of the Lisenko theory in social practice. Take for example, an ethnic Georgian of an aristocratic descent who is also a progeny of a prominent scientist. If through Lisenko’s experiment he was made oblivious of all these facts about him and got used instead to the idea that he was a Russian and also a child of a Russian worker, finally planted in the Russian environment, the subject of the experiment would form into a typical Russian person. Eventually, the life and the genetics proved that this may not happen so easily. One can achieve some success to a certain extent but people who are bred in the incubator would never be the same qualitative personalities as those who grew up in natural circumstance. Moreover, the result may not be achieved at all – an individual may not even become a personality at all, even on a biological level. Stalin died having never abandoned the idea.
GJ – Does this mean that Stalin wanted to utterly stereotype the Soviet citizens? 
SM – Probably! He wanted to create a new type of a Russian, a Soviet person and desired to spread this theory all over the world. He was nursing that idea of invading the entire world.

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