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Encyclopedia > War Communism

War communism or wartime communism (Russian: Военный коммунизм; 1918 - 1921) was the economic policy adopted by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War with the aim of keeping towns and the Red Army supplied with weapons and food, in conditions when all normal economic mechanisms and relations were being destroyed by the war. "War communism", which began in June 1918, was enforced by the Supreme Economic Council, known as the Vesenkha. It ended on March 21, 1921 with the beginning of the NEP (New Economic Policy), which lasted until 1928. Not to be confused with Political economy. ... For other uses, see Bolshevik (disambiguation). ... Combatants Local Soviet powers led by Russian SFSR and Red Army Chinese mercenaries White Movement Central Powers (1917-1918): Austria-Hungary Ottoman Empire German Empire Allied Intervention: (1918-1922) Japan Czechoslovakia Greece  United States  Canada Serbia Romania UK  France Foreign volunteers: Polish Italian Local nationalist movements, national states, and decentralist... Ronda, Spain Main street in Bastrop, Texas, United States, a small town A town is a community of people ranging from a few hundred to several thousands, although it may be applied loosely even to huge metropolitan areas. ... For other organizations known as the Red Army, see Red Army (disambiguation). ... The supply and demand model describes how prices vary as a result of a balance between product availability at each price (supply) and the desires of those with purchasing power at each price (demand). ... For other uses, see Weapon (disambiguation). ... Vesenkha (VSNKh) (Russian: Высший совет народного хозяйства (ВСНХ) trans. ... is the 80th day of the year (81st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1921 (MCMXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar). ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...

War communism included the following policies:

  1. All industry was nationalized and strict centralized management was introduced.
  2. State monopoly on foreign trade was introduced.
  3. Discipline for workers was strict, and strikers could be shot.
  4. Obligatory labour duty was imposed onto "non-working classes".
  5. Prodrazvyorstka – requisition of agricultural surpluses from peasants in excess of absolute minimum for centralized distribution among the remaining population.
  6. Food and most commodities were rationed and distributed in a centralized way.
  7. Private enterprise became illegal.
  8. Military-like control of railroads was introduced.

Because all of these measures were implemented in a time of civil war, they were far less coherent and coordinated in practice than they might appear on paper. Large areas of Russia were outside the Bolsheviks' control, and poor communications meant that even those regions loyal to the Bolshevik government often had to act on their own, lacking any orders or central coordination from Moscow. It has long been debated whether "war communism" represented an actual economic policy in the proper sense of the word or merely a set of desperate measures intended to win the civil war at any cost. [1] Strike action, often simply called a strike, is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal by employees to perform work. ... Prodrazvyorstka (prodovolstvennaya razvyorstka) (Продразвёрстка, продовольственная развёрстка in Russian, or food apportionment) was... In a detail of Brueghels Land of Cockaigne (1567) a soft-boiled egg has little feet to rush to the luxuriating peasant who catches drops of honey on his tongue, while roast pigs roam wild: in fact, hunger and harsh winters were realities for the average European in the... Gas ration stamps being printed as a result of the 1973 oil crisis Rationing is the controlled distribution of resources and scarce goods or services: it restricts how much people are allowed to buy or consume. ... This is the top-level page of WikiProject trains Rail tracks Rail transport refers to the land transport of passengers and goods along railways or railroads. ...

The goals of the Bolsheviks in implementing war communism are a matter of controversy. As noted above, some commentators, including a number of Bolsheviks, have argued that its sole purpose was to win the war. Others hold different views. The historian Richard Pipes, for example, has argued that War communism was actually an attempt to immediately implement communist economics and that the Bolshevik leaders expected an immediate and large scale increase in economic output. It may be that different Bolsheviks had different goals in mind. Richard Pipes, Warsaw (Poland), October 20, 2004 Richard Edgar Pipes (b. ...

Although war communism helped achieve the aim of winning the war, it aggravated many hardships experienced by the population as a result of the war. Peasants refused to co-operate in producing food, as the government took away far too much of it. Workers began migrating from the cities to the countryside, where the chances to feed oneself were higher, thus further decreasing the possibility of the fair trade of industrial goods for food and worsening the plight of the remaining urban population. Between 1918 and 1920, Petrograd lost 75% of its population, whilst Moscow lost 50%. A black market emerged in Russia, despite the threat of the martial law against profiteering. The ruble collapsed and was replaced by a system of bartering and, by 1921, heavy industry had fallen to output levels of 20% of those in 1913. 90% of all wages were "paid in Kind" (payment in form of goods, rather than money). 70% of locomotives were in need of repair and the food requisitioning, combined with the effects of 7 years of war and a severe drought, contributed to a famine that caused between 3 and 10 million deaths.[1] Cities with at least a million inhabitants in 2006 An urban area is an area with an increased density of human-created structures in comparison to the areas surrounding it. ... 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ... Saint Petersburg  listen (Russian: Санкт-Петербу́рг, English transliteration: Sankt-Peterburg), colloquially known as Питер (transliterated Piter), formerly known as Leningrad (Ленингра́д, 1924–1991... For other uses, see Moscow (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into underground economy. ... For other uses, see Martial law (disambiguation). ... ISO 4217 Code RUB User(s) Russia and self-proclaimed Abkhazia and South Ossetia Inflation 7% Source Rosstat, 2007 Subunit 1/100 kopek (копейка) Symbol руб kopek (копейка) к Plural The language(s) of this currency is of the Slavic languages. ... Barter is a simple form of trade where goods or services are exchanged for a certain amount of other goods or services, i. ... Year 1921 (MCMXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar). ... Great Western Railway No. ...

As a result, a series of workers' strikes and peasants' rebellions, such as the Tambov rebellion rolled over the country. The turning point was the Kronstadt rebellion at the naval base in early March, 1921. The rebellion had a startling effect on Lenin, because the Kronstadt sailors had been among the strongest supporters of the Bolsheviks. After the end of the civil war the policy of War Communism was replaced with the New Economic Policy. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Antonovschina. ... Combatants Soviet Sailors Red Army Commanders Stepan Petrichenko Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky Strength c. ... Year 1921 (MCMXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar). ... Vladimir Ilyich Lenin ( Russian: Влади́мир Ильи́ч Ле́нин  listen?), original surname Ulyanov (Улья́нов) ( April 22 (April 10 ( O.S.)), 1870 – January 21, 1924), was a... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...


  1. ^ See Nicolas Werth, Histoire de l'Union Soviétique de Lénine à Staline, 1995 (French)


See also

  Results from FactBites:
::War Communism:: (1403 words)
War Communism was the name given to the economic system that existed in Russia from 1918 to 1921.
War Communism was introduced by Lenin to combat the economic problems brought on by the civil war in Russia.
One of the first measures of War Communism was the nationalisation of land.
  More results at FactBites »



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