But the word "perestroika" from the mouth of the secretary general sounded precisely in Togliatti. Then the secretary general said: “You must begin first with a restructuring in thinking and psychology, in organization, in style and ways of working. I will say frankly, if we do not restructure ourselves, I am deeply convinced of this, then we will not rebuild both the economy and our social life. ”
New word almost instantly replicated the media. And Gorbachev himself was very optimistic. At a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, which took place on April 10, he stated: “The people believed in the restructuring, society was set in motion. A depressing position in capital construction, in equipping light industry enterprises. Tensions in the social sphere (housing shortage, food rations). Frames podzalis, there is no pain for the people. People need to strengthen discipline and fight drunkenness. "
Indeed, the course towards perestroika aroused a wave of enthusiasm among the masses — not, however, as strong as the preceding waves. Although even initially there was some skepticism. Connoisseurs of Leninist quotations unearthed one, very inconvenient for “foremen of perestroika”, saying:
"We have terribly many hunters to rebuild in any way, and from these reorganizations such a disaster is obtained that I did not know any greater disaster in my life."
("On the domestic and foreign policy of the republic. Report of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the CPC to the IX All-Russian Congress of Soviets 23 of December 1921 of the Year").
These caustic Leninist words were then distributed in typewritten form, almost as covertly as dissident leaflets. Perestroika has already begun, but before “pluralism” was still far away.
Acceleration without conversion
Before “perestroika” came, the main emphasis was on “acceleration”. This new strategy was announced by 23 on April 1985 of the year, at the famous plenum of the Central Committee, from which Gorbachev's transformations are counted. Although here we can recall another “Andropov” plenum of the Central Committee (November 1982), when the parties and the country reported: “It is planned to accelerate the pace of economic development, increase the absolute size of the increase in national income ... Tense tasks should be performed with a relatively smaller increase in material costs and labor resources ".
Acceleration strongly resembled another slogan: “catch up and overtake”. Sometimes he is credited with N.S. Khrushchev, but he had nothing to do with it. Nikita Sergeevich used it in the 1959 year, referring to the need to “do” the US in the field of “food policy” - in the production of meat, milk and butter. And the slogan itself was formulated by V.I. Lenin, and even before the October Revolution, in the article "The coming catastrophe and how to fight it." Then the leader put the party before a choice: "Either die, or overtake the advanced countries and overtake them also economically." And in the 1929 year, at the November Plenum of the Central Committee, this slogan threw into the “masses” I.V. Stalin:
“We caught up and overtook the advanced capitalist countries in the sense of establishing a new political system, the Soviet system. It's good. But this is not enough. In order to achieve the final victory of socialism, it is also necessary to overtake and overtake these countries also in technical and economic terms. ”
By the way, researchers are inclined to believe that the “acceleration” was an attempt to carry out the modernization of the country on an authoritarian-mobilization basis. There are even parallels with the Stalin era, which was characterized by over-mobilization of various resources. There is some similarity, but it is insignificant. Before conducting his "acceleration" (industrialization), Stalin reorganized the entire system of national economy management. So, the All-Union Council of National Economy (VSNH) was replaced by industrial people's commissariats, which served as the engines of industrial modernization. That is, Stalin just carried out his structural restructuring, while the acceleration took place in the presence of old structures.
You can still draw parallels with the Stalinist purges, pointing to the "personnel revolution" in the party-state apparatus, which began just in the midst of acceleration. So, in September 1985, N.A. left the post of Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers. Tikhonov, who was replaced by N.I. Ryzhkov. Further frames were updated in an expedited manner. Already by 1987, the 70% Politburo, 40% CC, 70% secretaries of regional committees were replaced. Such rates, in fact, resemble Stalin's. However, under Stalin, the top was “cleaned up” in 1937 – 1938, after the creation of an industrial base. And here they combined the beginning of the acceleration and the personnel revolution - without any structural changes. Here is how the then personnel leapfrog A.P. Shevyakov: “After a long stagnation in the frames, their continuous rotation began. She went under the flag of replacing the corrupt and decayed top. But it was carried out very selectively, precisely adjusted. In Moscow, they took people who did not always fit their new job. After all, leadership, or at least work in the central apparatus, requires other skills, an understanding of the scale of the whole country. And given that the USSR was also a superpower, then this leadership was the solution and global problems. This implies that such people should have an understanding of the political space and its expansion to the scale of the whole Earth!
And here at the table, from where the whole world is visible, a man appears, with the mind of the secretary of the district committee or even less ... From the backwoods, newcomers were pulled up, who were later used by the capital puppeteers.
The hand of an experienced director chose someone, pulled out of the provincial wilderness, brought a novice to the stage, and at first he only looked around, being in the center of attention to his person. This newcomer was beginning to think that now the country would not be without him, he began to build himself a great bosses, everyone gets scared, and he doesn’t succeed. They begin to point fingers at him, criticize him, then get rid of him - and this happens relatively easily. He retires without understanding anything. And he was simply called on the stage so that he would play his part, discredit his post, his office, after which he was not needed and instead of him a new actor would play his exact same role. ” (“How they killed the USSR.“ The greatest geopolitical catastrophe ”).
“There is no end to revolution”
2 August 1986, at a meeting with the Khabarovsk Communist Party, Gorbachev said that he put an “equal sign between the words“ restructuring and revolution ”. It was a very serious application, which especially shocked those who delved into the essence of official terminology, relating it to the "ever-living teachings of Marx, Engels and Lenin." After all, revolution meant the change of the entire social system. It turned out something incongruous - it means you need to change the Soviet system ?!
Gorbachev himself reassured people, in his book “Perestroika and new thinking for our country and the whole world” the following explanation was given: “Of course, we are not going to change the Soviet power, we will not retreat from its fundamental principles. But changes are necessary, and those that strengthen socialism, make it politically richer and more dynamic. ”
It turns out that some people began to doubt whether perestroika will preserve Soviet power (as later events will show, not without reason). By the way, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Council A.A. Gromyko (who did a lot for the “accession” of Gorbachev), in a conversation with his son, noticed that this statement of the secretary general was “lightweight” and “misleading”: “Instead of creating, we can again go with this approach to destruction. There is much to change in the country, but not the social system. ”
An experienced diplomat and apparatchik, Gromyko realized that it was he who was going to change the whole device. And the dissident A.A. Zinoviev spoke very harshly:
“When the Soviet party apparatchiators who got used to Marxism and the Marxist-Leninist theorists who justify their activity begin to deal so easily with the most important categories of Soviet state ideology, then doubt involuntarily creeps in: are these people in their minds?
Nobody objected to Gorbachev, although the inconsistencies were simply obvious. Doubts began to be expressed later, in a somewhat veiled form. “In fact, Soviet social scientists have noticed sedition,” writes N. Eliseeva. - In June, 1988 of the year ... the publishing house Progress published a collection of articles by leading Soviet scientists under the symbolic title “There is no other way” ... In the article “On the revolutionary restructuring of state and administrative socialism”, the Soviet philosopher A. Butenko wrote: aspects of our social life, they call restructuring a revolutionary process or just a revolution ... however, expressing all this, they pretend not to notice, or consciously turn away from the fact that as a result of such formulas, slogans Soviet sociology calls for a growing complex of logical contradictions, a number of misunderstandings and unresolved issues persist, disorienting not only beginning propagandists, but also many ... social scientists ... Why do we call perestroika a revolution if Karl Marx’s idea that after political revolution of the working class ... "when there are no more classes and class antagonism, social evolution will cease to be a political revolution" ... It must be admitted: or Marx was not equal to, or restructuring, we do not call a revolution according to Marx. " (“The revolution as a reformist strategy of the restructuring of the USSR: 1985 – 1991 years” // Gefter.Ru).
It turned out that the USSR was oriented toward a revolutionary change in the social system as early as 1986, when they only proclaimed restructuring, but did not really begin to rebuild anything. Of course, the question arises that this is simply “lightness” or a conscious desire to somehow program the coming explosion in the consciousness and subconscious? Many researchers are convinced that the “foremen of perestroika” sought to dismantle socialism from the very beginning. Be that as it may, the very word "revolution" has sounded.
State acceptance against the economy
The introduction of a system of state inspectors for the supervision of the quality of industrial products was, perhaps, the only structural transformation of the era of "acceleration" and the earliest restructuring. On May 12, the Council of Ministers adopted a resolution “On the approval of the Regulation on State Product Acceptance in Associations and Enterprises”. The factories were introduced at the factories, which was intended to replace the so-called. "Departments of technical control" (Quality Department). They obeyed the administration, and therefore could not be a reliable barrier to the distribution of low-quality products. They, however, themselves did not need any kind of rigor. Indeed, in the event of a marriage, the “supervisors” lost the prize — along with the workers and engineers. But the "state acceptance" was a separate department, independent of the directorate. They got down to business fairly quickly, and by 1987, the state inspectors acted at every large enterprise.
However, the state acceptance did not give the expected effect and brought only harm. Soviet industry was dealt a powerful blow. “The whole army of state receivers has launched its activities at all major industrial enterprises, rejecting and returning products that do not meet industrial standards for revision,” writes I.Ya. Froyanov. - Of course, this could have been foreseen in advance, since the “shaft” of poor-quality products grew noticeably in the conditions of the so-called “acceleration”. So, at the top they knew about the consequences, but, nevertheless, they went to just such a command way of "improving" its quality. As was to be expected, due to the accumulation in the warehouses of "arrested" and not reaching consumer products (sometimes, it was calculated 80 — 90%), the country's economy suffered severe damage. Often, due to the lack of components, related production stopped. The industry was in an upset state. ” ("Immersion in the abyss").
But everything could have been done differently. First, they would raise the quality of products, and then they would speed up production itself. But this is not so bad - keep the state receivers in the same enthusiasm. However, in the end, the administration was able to persuade the controllers to "mutually beneficial cooperation."
This, by the way, was greatly facilitated by the fact that government receivers were party registered at those enterprises whose work they controlled. For some reason, this “trifle”, when organizing “independent” state acceptance, was forgotten.
At the XXVII Congress of the CPSU (February 25 - March 6) an ambitious task was set - to ensure the advance (as much as 1,7 times) development of mechanical engineering in relation to the entire Soviet industry. It was supposed to keep the annual growth rate not lower than 4% per year.
Alas, all these “hulk plans” remained only on paper. For heavy industry and in import purchases for it have made huge investments. However, this did not produce any positive effect on the commodity and food market. On the contrary, the "acceleration" painfully hit the Soviet consumer. The fact is that the increase in purchases of imported equipment led to a reduction in imports of food and consumer goods. Probably, during the ascetic times of Stalin’s industrialization it was relatively easy to force people to tighten their belts, but the Soviet 1980-man was already used to a rather high standard of living. And he quite naturally demanded his increase.
As a result of a very expensive experiment with the acceleration, the state budget deficit has increased threefold (back in 1985, it was about 18 billion rubles).
Of course, it was not only acceleration. The Chernobyl accident dealt a huge blow to the budget. Only to eliminate its consequences, the state was forced to spend 14 billion rubles. The decline in world oil prices led to a reduction in income from its imports by a third. The “anti-alcohol campaign” also affected - in 1985 – 1988, the budget was missing 67 billion rubles.
By the way, about this campaign. Gorbachev here was not so original at all. And before him, the Soviet general secretaries considered it necessary to conduct noisy campaigns against the "green serpent", during which the latter invariably won. In 1929, in the USSR, many cereal places, converted into canteens and tea rooms, were closed. In addition, a special edition of "Sobriety and Culture." Khrushchev also led the struggle for a sober lifestyle, during which vodka was banned in 1959 in all catering establishments located near railway stations, airports, etc. (an exception was made only for restaurants). In addition, it was impossible to sell vodka next to factories, schools, kindergartens, etc. Finally, L.I. challenged the “serpent”. Brezhnev, at which they raised the price of alcohol, limited the time of sale of strong alcohol from 11 to 19 hours, and also introduced well-known medical and labor dispensaries (LTPs).
In fairness, I must say that these measures did bring a certain effect, the serpent received significant injuries. This also applies to the Gorbachev campaign, which was accompanied by a reduction in mortality, an increase in the birth rate and a longer life span.
During the anti-alcohol ruling in the country, every year more than a thousand people were born on 500 than in previous 30 years. Male lifespan increased by 2, 6 of the year - and that was the maximum for all history Russia.
However, the campaign itself was too absurd. What is it worth cutting the vineyards! And most importantly, no mechanisms were found that made it possible to fully compensate for the economic losses from the sharp contraction of the alcohol market.
On the threshold of the market
In the first half of 1986, the country did not have any serious movement towards economic transformation in the spirit of “market socialism”. The only exception was two shy steps in this direction made by the country's leadership. So, 1 February 1986 was adopted a resolution on measures for the development of consumer cooperation. Now cooperatives allowed to create and in order to improve supply. Thus, truth on a very small scale, non-state trade was allowed.
And 27 March issued a decree "On the transfer of associations, enterprises and organizations of individual ministries and departments to the logistics of the wholesale trade." The distribution of funds to the funds is now replaced (partially) by the wholesale trade.
However, very soon there was a rollback from the "market". May 15 The Council of Ministers adopts a decree "On measures to strengthen the fight against unearned income". He was even supported by the relevant resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU of 28 in May. “In fact, people who understood the market speeches of the party leadership as an announcement of the new NEP and tried to sell their services got under the new campaign,” writes A.V. Subin. “However, the prohibitive legislation was not repealed, and law enforcement agencies received a signal for reprisals against semi-legal artisans, drivers who competed taxis, sellers of flowers grown on their land, etc. Thus, this campaign was directed just against sprouts of market relations. Private entrepreneurship, which began to appear a little from the underground under the guise of cooperatives and individual labor activity (the term will enter into official use at the end of the year), has now been destroyed and went underground, under the wing of criminal groups. The refusal of the Perestroika declarations to the authoritarian practice of “acceleration” was evident ”. ("Paradoxes of Perestroika. The Lost Chance of the USSR").
But then the pendulum swung back toward economic reform. So, 14 of August was allowed to organize cooperatives for the collection and recycling of recyclables under local councils. Four days later, they passed a resolution according to which some ministries and enterprises were able to directly enter the foreign market and create joint ventures with foreigners.
It was already a breakthrough. And very soon a real run towards foreign capital began in this direction. Back in 1990, economist A.K. Tsikunov (A. Kuzmich, who wrote under the pseudonym) noted about this: “The first stage of restructuring can be called the period of initial accumulation of capital. When the ship is sinking, everything that comes to hand is dragged from it and the more expensive the better. In January, the 1987 of the year by decision of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the USSR Council of Ministers partially lifted the restriction in foreign trade and without the DVK (differentiated currency ratios) allowed the company and individuals to sell abroad all scarce goods, food, consumer goods, raw materials, energy, gold, chemical goods. Even the "meat horses" were included in this unfortunate list! By resolutions of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the USSR Council of Ministers of September and October 1987, enterprises had already been given “mandatory directives” to sell deficits abroad. This created a lack of interest in the domestic market, the leaching of goods began, the ruble depreciated, and after the decisions of 1987 on joint ventures with foreigners and the 1988 Cooperation Act of the Year, our store shelves began to descend, international speculation assumed unprecedented dimensions. ” ("Russia and the market").
Finally, on November 19, 1986 was adopted the USSR Law on the Individual Labor Activity. He gave the green light to private handicraftsmen and cooperatives involved in the sphere of small-scale production, trade and the provision of services to the population. True, this law came into force only with 1 May 1987.
The policy of acceleration and early restructuring was extremely controversial, which led to its complete failure. The leadership of that time discredited the very idea of gradual transformations within the framework of the socialist system.
The excesses of the “emergency” (state acceptance, anti-alcohol campaign, the fight against unearned income, etc.) caused an aversion to the administrative measures themselves, which could be used wisely.
Now the society was ready for the “revolutionary restructuring”, which was proclaimed in January 1987. However, this is a topic for another conversation.