The Work Situation: Pressures from Above

  • Nicholas Lampert
Part of the Studies in Soviet History and Society book series (SSHS)


So far, the relationship between the technical intelligentsia and the Soviet state has been explored by examining the political attack on professional neutrality and by looking at some of the sources and consequences of recruitment to the expanding managerial and technical positions. Underlying the changes described was a major shift in the pattern of state domination. This transformation was an effect of the struggle to establish a particular form of political control over production in the course of industrialisation. To consider in greater depth the impact of this shift on the technical intelligentsia, attention will now be focused more closely on the work situation of enterprise managers and technical staff. Their position was defined by the emergence of a system of directive or ‘ command’ planning and by the activities of a variety of agencies which were instructed to assist in carrying out plans and overcoming obstacles in the way of industrial expansion.


Work Situation Technical Personnel Enterprise Level Chief Engineer Party Organisation 
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  1. 5.
    L. Ginzburg in Sovetskaya Iustitsiya (1931), no. 20, pp. 16–17.Google Scholar
  2. 8.
    See for example Ordzhonikidze’s remarks to the central committee Za Ind. (18 January 1933) and his attack on the ‘rotten talk of some managers about the unreality of the plan’ Za Ind. (21 April 1933).Google Scholar
  3. 12.
    See, for instance, Ordzhonikidze, address to Moscow party conference (September 1929)—Stati i Rechi, vol. 2, p. 179; VKP v Rezolyutsiyakh, vol. 2, p. 273; appeal to managers and party and trade union organisations—Za Ind. (3 September 1930).Google Scholar
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    See, for example, Kaganovich’s account in Pravda (13 July 1933).Google Scholar
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    A. Serebrovsky in Front Nauki i Tekhniki (1931), no. 7–8, p. 15.Google Scholar
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    Syrtsov, speech to a session of VTsIK, Izvestiya (23 November 1929).Google Scholar
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    This tension is discussed in M. Lewin, ‘The social background of Stalinism’ and in R. Sharlet, ‘Stalinism and Soviet legal culture’, both in R. Tucker (1977).Google Scholar
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    Ya. Berman in Za Sots. Zak (1934:), no. 11, p. 15.Google Scholar
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    A. Liberman in Za Sots. Zak(1935), no. P. 38.Google Scholar

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© Nicholas Lampert 1979

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  • Nicholas Lampert

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