chapter  8
31 Pages

The New Economic Policies of the 1920s

War communism's requisitions of the ancients' agricultural output were not exchanges; they involved no prices (Carr 1985, vol. 2,150; Dobb 1966, 102-103). Little or nothing was given in return for requisitioned output. Without requisitioning, their surpluses would have remained available for farmers to secure their ancient class structures (for repairs, insurance and contingency funds, more equipment, and so on). State requisitions were thus a compulsory ancient subsumed class revenue-SSCR(A)-that ancient farmers paid to the state. 1 This payment supplemented the surplus values that the state appropriated from the productive laborers in state capitalist industrial enterprises. Taken together these two different surpluses comprised the key revenue flows enabling the state to survive militarily. However, deprived of their surplus, the farmers' ancient class structures were jeopardized as was their personal survival. Thus, while initially successful, the requisitioning strategy eventually undermined the alliance between peasants and workers that had achieved the October Revolution. Undermining this alliance constituted the "Achilles' heel of War Communism" (Dobb 1966,103).