THE AMERICANIZATION OF SOVIET INDUSTRY

This was the Americanization of Soviet Industry. Industrial death camps and wheat fields as far as the eye could see but who in America heard the screams of raped, killed and exiled victims of the Soviet state communist system built with American and western technology, credits and loans? Ukrainians were targeted by Stalin because of their strong Slavic national and cultural ethnicity, a serious break-away threat of national resistance. The peasants hated the communists! Young children, old men– few were spared. Death scarred the fertile land with the tides of repression during three decades of Soviet terror. The Consortium had taken the former Russian empire with all its vast and mostly untapped resources, impoverished by institutionalized fear and mistrust, ingrained with centuries of serfdom and the lack of freedom intrinsic to Czarist bureaucracy, and controlled its fate in an arrangement where almost anything was permitted as long as the spies were kept at home. In three decades Tsarist Russia was transformed into a world superpower, a feat not possible without capital, technology and management expertise from the western Consortium players.

At what cost to human life? At what cost to human posterity?

The figures boggle the mind. The Terror-Famine led to even more terrible repressions – and denial. Stalin raised a great hue and cry claiming the whole party was in danger, having been “penetrated” by Trotsky’s spies and foreign agents. Mass arrests, deportations to forced labor camps, and executions included not only the suspects, but also their families, supporters, friends and acquaintances. Guilt by association was reason enough for long prison terms or death. Soviet writer and a former prisoner of the Gulag Alexander I. Solzhenitsyn (b.1918) estimated that some 40 million Soviet citizens lost their lives under Stalin’s rule. The minimum estimate, including the war, stands at 53 million, including World War II, estimated at least at some 27 million lives. However, the exact total number of those killed during collectivization, in the purges up to Stalin’s death in March 1953, and the Second World War is disputed and may never be known. (A. I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956)

Even in Ukraine the name of Rockefeller carries legendary awe and fascination of an impossible dream. While the country slides back into “mafia-type post-communism” and the average salary stagnates under $400 a month the ordinary Ukrainian cannot imagine the capital wealth and power of that much money possessed by a single man. Perhaps, except for Bill Gates who has an uphill battle to end computer piracy where any student for less than two dollars can obtain a complete Microsoft Windows pirate copy CD.

The Rockefeller-Khrushchev story may be more fact than fiction. In 1963, a bad harvest year, it became clear that the central government had not managed to accumulate the reserves of grain required to resist the event of natural calamity. Did the Consortium Rockefeller gang push Khrushchev out during his precipitous departure?

There were frequent bread shortages in many parts of the Soviet Union. After the Patriotic War, in 1947, once again, as in the Holodomor thirties, long lines formed as bread sales were rationed in the gulag state. The southern parts of the country suffered terrible famine, especially, areas such as the Northern Caucasus and southern Ukraine.

Under Khrushchev the Soviet central government began massive purchases of grain from abroad draining available gold reserves. More than 13 million tons of grain are bought. Khrushchev will soon be severely attacked for it; in Stalin’s time the citizens would simply have been left to swell up and die of starvation. But now Rockefeller and the Consortium have new players and a modified agenda. Khrushchev’s Politburo opts to exchange gold for bread distancing himself and his government further from the crimes of Stalin.

The Holodomor grates at the memory of its surviving son who had participated in the Terror-Famine Genocide. The Great Patriotic War ends, the Red Army saves Moscow and takes Berlin, and in less than a decade the immortal and invincible Stalin is dead as a door and eulogized into myth and madness. Ironically Khrushchev’s last desperate attempt to find a way out of the agricultural impasse is connected with the drought and the bad harvest of 1963. His hopes for the extensive development of agriculture through the use of the new lands, particularly in Kazakhstan and Siberia fail. The entire agricultural system has to be transformed. But in order for this to work agriculture had to be intensive even for a country as large and diverse as the USSR. The example of the United States, where 3.5 percent of the population produces enough not only to feed the country but to export huge quantities of food is reason enough that other more efficient methods promise a better way. To some extent Khrushchev hoped to duplicate the American experience, if not surpass it, but his approach is too bombastic and his methods are mechanically unsound. The differences between the two superpowers both economically and socially are so great that the peasant Premier grossly miscalculates the hunger for freedom of its people terrorized and living in a state of stunted growth and deprivation and fear.

Apparently safe in his lofty perch on top of Lenin’s mausoleum in the Kremlin’s Red Square, Stalin,– and here reader allow this reflection in reference to the work of the brilliant religious historian and philosopher Mircea Eliade – “consoled himself for the terror of History”– by transforming into an untouchable modern Asiatic despot. Shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War, FDR is obliged to let multimillionaire industrialist W. Averell (“Ave”) Harriman oversee American military aid to the Moscow front. After the Nazi invasion in June 1941, FDR appoints Harriman with Harry Hopkins to run America’s wartime Lend-Lease emergency war provisions program to London and Moscow and subsequently appointed him ambassador to help Stalin cross his last and final bridge, his Rubicon. After repulsing the German invasion, while insisting for years the West launch a second front, Stalin continued to benefit from massive American wartime equipment one half of which was available for postwar reconstruction and the Cold War. (re. “terror of History”, “Mythologies of Memory and Forgetting”, M. Eliade, Myth and Reality, 137)

In fact, any serious accounting the great Barbarossa invasion of Soviet Russia by Hitler’s generals at the outset is horrifyingly extraordinary and the worst ever battle casualties of any war ever in the recorded history of mankind, well over half-million Russian losses in less than three weeks of fighting. That’s more than the Americans lost in the entire Second World War of 1941 to 1945. For example, Chris Bellamy writes, “The ‘border’ or ‘frontier’ battles lasted from 22 June to 9 July in the Baltic (North-West Front) and Belorussian (Western Front) areas, and until 6 July in western Ukraine and, later, Moldova (the South-Western Front and Southern Front’s Eighteenth Army). The average daily losses were 23,207 in Belorussia, against Army Group Centre, and 16,106 in Western Ukraine, against Army Group South, with some also falling to Ukrainian nationalists.” To the Russians it is called the Great Patriotic War.

The losses were terrifying. An attacking force, with only a modest superiority in numbers of men, and inferior in numbers of tanks, guns and aircraft, had been able to drive the defending Russians back between 300 and 600 kilometers and inflict irrecoverable looses – killed, prisoners and missing, officially numbered at 589,537 in between fifteen and eighteen days. According to that arithmetic, losing more than 44,000 men a day, how much longer could the Soviet Union last”. Bellamy observes that in the first three weeks of combat the Wehrmacht had lost 92,120 or some 3.6 percent of its total strength, killing “one to twelve or thirteen, overall, but only one to five in the air” suffering “only a fraction – between a sixth or a seventh – of the Red Army, air force and NKVD casualties”. (C. Bellamy, 206)

The economic industrial growth of the U.S.S.R, according to G. Warren Nutter’s book, The Growth of Industrial Production in the Soviet Union (1962) in fact greatly benefited from the stimulus of those Consortium Lend-Lease provisions supplying the Soviets with one-third of its prewar industrial output. Separately, writers Sutton and Nutter both traced the emergence of the USSR from the utter destruction and ruin by the War with a powerfully devastating factor concealed in the apparent and immediate advantage assured them by America’s Lend-Lease “pipeline agreement” providing that Lend-Lease supplies continued after the war through 1947 at a time of extreme postwar deprivation and outrageous repressions by Stalin who denied the good Russian people the fruits of their hard sacrifice and victory over Nazi fascism.

Sutton in a similar light concludes, “There is no question that the Soviets ended World War II with greater industrial capacity than in 1940 – in spite of the war damage – and on a technical parity with the United States.” Furthermore, capital flows from the occupied countries significantly contributed to rebuilding the postwar Soviet economy. Soviet forces stripped and transported whatever they could salvage in the reconstruction effort. Sutton found that 25 percent of the economy of the USSR was destroyed by the Germans. Still, Russian factories “were far better off in terms of both capacity and technology by 1946 than before the war when at that time its steel production compared with 70 percent of the Americans. Destroyed facilities were more than replaced by debt repayments and Lend-Lease, and more, importantly, replaced with equipment 10 to 15 years more advanced.” Nor were these observations overlooked by the British and American war strategists. (A. C. Sutton, Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development 1917 to 1930, Hoover Institution Press, Stanford Univ., CA. 345-6. v. II, 1968; G. Warren Nutter, The Growth of Industrial Production in the Soviet Union, Princeton, 1962)