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Peasants under SiegeThe Collectivization of Romanian Agriculture, 1949-1962$
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Gail Kligman and Katherine Verdery

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691149721

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691149721.001.0001

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The Soviet Blueprint

The Soviet Blueprint

(p.49) Chapter 1 The Soviet Blueprint
Peasants under Siege

Gail Kligman

Katherine Verdery

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the Soviet blueprint, which established the technology of collectivization that East European leaders followed, with variations, during the 1950s. As the first country in the world to be founded on Marxist–Leninist principles, the Soviet Union had myriad problems to solve. The leaders' ambitious program of social engineering required developing a variety of techniques for carrying out specific tasks, such as obtaining food requisitions, collectivizing agriculture, and so on. These techniques formed the basis for creating “replica” regimes in Eastern Europe following World War II, in a process of technology transfer of almost unparalleled scope. This technological package may be called “the Soviet blueprint,” of which collectivization was a major part. Although the results varied considerably, each East European country was pressed into adopting more or less the same package. Nowhere, however, did the blueprint fully succeed against recalcitrant local realities—not even in the Soviet Union itself.

Keywords:   Soviet blueprint, collectivization, Eastern Europe, Marxist–Leninist principles, Soviet Union, social engineering, replica regimes

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