18 April 2023

What is kulaks? – Learn the meaning of the term kulaks

By Donald

‘Kulaks’ is a term that has great importance in the history of the Soviet Union and that still generates controversy and debate today. In this article we will delve into the definition of kulaks and we will explore its historical and political importance in pre-revolutionary Russia and the Soviet Union, as well as its legacy today.

What does the word kulak mean?

Kulak is a Russian word that means ‘fist’ or ‘handful’and was originally used to refer to peasants who owned a significant number of lands and livestock.

Over time, the word kulak took on a broader meaning, referring to the well-to-do peasants in generalregardless of the size of your property. However, during the time of the Russian Revolution and the subsequent consolidation of the communist regime in the Soviet Union, the word kulak acquired a negative connotation.

In the days of the Soviet Union, the term kulak was used to stigmatize peasants who opposed to the policies of the communist regime, particularly the forced collectivization of agriculture.

He soviet government he considered private land ownership an obstacle to the country’s modernization, and collectivization was seen as a means to increase agricultural productivity and efficiency. The kulaks thus became a symbol of resistance to state policies.

The kulak chase it had serious consequences for the Soviet economy and society. Many peasants abandoned their land instead of handing it over to the state, resulting in a decline in agricultural production and food shortages across the country. In addition, the repression and genocide of kulaks led to the loss of human life and the destruction of communities whole in rural areas.

Today, the term kulak is still the subject of debate and controversy in Russia and other countries that experienced the forced collectivization of agriculture. Some see it as a resistance symbol against state oppression, while others see it as a form of privilege and exploitation of the poorest peasants.

What is the history of the kulaks?

The history of the kulaks goes back to the pre-revolutionary Russia of the 19th century, when the peasantry was divided into different social strata. The kulaks were a social group of well-to-do peasants who owned a significant amount of land and livestock, and often enjoyed greater access to education and other resources.

With the October Revolution From 1917 and the subsequent consolidation of the communist regime in the Soviet Union, the kulaks became a social group enemy of the people, due to their opposition to the forced collectivization of agriculture. The Soviet government considered private ownership of land to be a obstacle to the modernization of the countryand collectivization was seen as a means to increase agricultural productivity and efficiency.

In the 1920sthe Soviet government launched a series of campaigns to confiscate the lands and properties of the kulaks, and subject them to forced collectivization.

Finally, in the 1930sthe kulaks were officially eliminated as a social class in the Soviet Union, although the term ‘kulak’ continued to be used to stigmatize peasants who opposed such policies of the communist regime.

What are the kulaks for Makarenko?

Anton Makarenko was a Soviet educator and pedagogue who developed a theory and practice of education for work and life in common. In his work ‘The Pedagogy of Collectivism’Makárenko uses the term ‘kulak’ to refer to a selfish and distrustful attitude in the collective sphere, which opposes the spirit of solidarity and collaboration that he considered essential for the success of any common enterprise.

For Makarenko, the kulaks were not necessarily well-to-do peasants or political enemies of the state, but any person who clings to his own interests and was not willing to sacrifice them for the common good.

Makárenko argued that education was key to overcoming ‘Kulakism’ and fostering a collective spirit among people. He proposed a pedagogy based on the formation of educational communities and in the practice of collective work, in which individuals learned to cooperate and trust each other to achieve common goals. In this way, Makarenko hoped to create a new generation of socialist citizenscommitted to building a fair and supportive society.

In addition, the educator also considered that the fight against kulakism it could not be just an educational issue, but had to be addressed by politics and economics. In this sense, Makárenko supported the policies of the Soviet Union to collectivize agriculture and abolish private ownership of land. For him, the collective property of the land was a fundamental element for the development of collective work and the elimination of the selfish individualism that characterized kulakism.