Definitions for kulakkʊˈlɑk, -ˈlæk; ˈku lɑk, -læk
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word kulak
A prosperous peasant in the Russian Empire or the Soviet Union, who owned land and could hire workers.
Origin: 1877. From кулак, from Turkic. Compare also Russian раскулачивание, подкулачник.
Kulaks were a category of relatively affluent farmers in the later Russian Empire, Soviet Russia, and early Soviet Union. The word kulak originally referred to independent farmers in the Russian Empire who emerged from the peasantry and became wealthy following the Stolypin reform, which began in 1906. The label of kulak was broadened in 1918 to include any peasant who resisted handing over their grain to detachments from Moscow. During 1929-1933, the Stalin leadership's total campaign to collectivize the peasantry meant that "peasants with a couple of cows or five or six acres more than their neighbors" were being labeled 'kulaks'. According to the political theory of Marxism-Leninism of the early 20th century, the kulaks were class enemies of the poorer peasants. Vladimir Lenin described them as "bloodsuckers, vampires, plunderers of the people and profiteers, who batten on famine.” Marxism-Leninism had intended a revolution to liberate poor peasants and farm laborers alongside the proletariat. In addition, the planned economy of Soviet Bolshevism required the collectivization of farms and land to allow industrialization or conversion to large-scale agricultural production. In practice, these Marxist-Leninist theories led to the ruination of the agricultural economy as government officials violently seized kulak farms and murdered resistors; others were deported to labor camps. Beginning in 1932-33, great famines ensued, with several million dying in the Ukraine famine alone. Documents uncovered in recent decades from this time period show that "the Stalin leadership" was aware of what was occurring in the countryside, and were actually using the "famine as a means of terror, and of revenge, against the peasantry."
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