People under communism; The men who make the Migs, part 2 of 2
Three deeply camera director. Let's. Look at. The new scam. What do you do with that stethoscope. Do it in Radio Moscow. Three deeply. Exhale. This is Alex and Cholas again. A doctor holds a very critical position in the Soviet Union. A certificate of illness from a doctor is just about the only accepted excuse for a Soviet worker if he's late or absent from work. Otherwise the worker gets fined or imprisoned the fine is stiff. Usually a quarter of his paycheck for six months and it literally means a semi starvation diet for the man and his family. The Soviet trade union offers the worker no
protection against such finds. The only hope is a certificate of illness from a doctor. That's it. Have you been overworked. Work have a stop then night pushing to meet the plan. Very serious situation. This is the last month. Every machine every man is needed. I am aware of the factory's production problems. I was reprimanded by the District Health Committee on this matter three months ago. I'm sorry about that. Some people are awfully blunt you know I'm sure that if someone had only come to you and said Dr Gone us again we are faced with a serious problem in meeting the plan. We need every work and then nothing further would be necessary.
After all we're both administrators you have the clinic I have the factory. We understand these problems. I take it you are suggesting we postpone treatment. Let us say that we should reserve judgement in certain cases. On to the plan is meant. But what if the worker was really sick then the illness may become aggravated. The worker instead of spending two days at home winds up in the hospital for two or three weeks reserving judgment in such cases works against production and does a great disservice to the state. Of course we're all concerned with service to the state but allow me to explore what you say a bit. Maybe this workout does become hospitalized loses two weeks as you say. Then again maybe he doesn't maybe finds out he's not so sick after all. Isn't it logical to expect that when men are tired from working long hours sickness is likely to increase. Some are sick some only looking for an easy way out. There are people you know
try to take advantage of our government's free medical care. It is not always easy to know who is sick and who is not sick come the director. If I send a man back to work and he collapses or has an accident on the job I can be brought to trial charged with neglect of duty. An enemy of the people. What are you afraid of your shadow afraid to move. I want a factory B if I didn't take a few chances. You think the plan would be met Soviet administrator must be results for. But I am more than an administrator I'm a doctor. A doctor must think of his patients first. He must believe in his patient. Human beings suffers he suffers and the doctor reaches out not to scold him or push him but to understand to help an idealist a comrade director. Doctors search their lists on such small seller in our country
one gets paid by the material he works with. You work with the machine and with a human being. All this talk about the human being is me. What you know there's a plan to meet. How do you pick up such nonsense not nonsense. My training tells me that the patient not production but the patient first. There is a basic tenet of Russian medicine which says that doctor is better if he loves his patients more. For without love there is no confidence in a doctor. What would you have us do. Sacrifice production in the interest of the community for a handful of individuals. Individuals come and go but the people remain. A doctor must be socially minded. We must not look at things too narrowly. We must see things how do they say it must see things not as they are but as they will be tomorrow.
If a man comes to me and says Help me I'm exhausted I'm sick I cannot say to him. You are looking at things too narrowly. You are not important it's the people that count. I cannot say tomorrow tomorrow. This may be all good and true but the patient will not appreciate it listen do you think I enjoy pushing people. Well I don't but I know if I don't push someone else will. And harder much harder. If the plan isn't met they'll be trouble for everyone. WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. Of course we here in the clinic want to have them take care in giving out these certificates of illness. You know if you continue to get out so many Someone at party headquarters is liable to think you're trying to sabotage production stop. Well that's not so nasty word. And of course untrue. But some people are quick to jump to conclusions. They're liable to think you're against the Soviet system. This is not true. It's not.
I say all this for your own good. It is a messy thing to be investigated by the secret police. So be sensible. Doctor can you see that your clinic cuts down way down on these certificates of illness. Is Dr. Cornell in need of a reprimand become a director that would not be necessary comment party secretary I had a long talk with it this morning. I know she assures me we have a complete cooperation. You know some of these people we talk and talk to and then sometimes we have to stop talking and do something that will not be necessary. You seem much more confident today Dmitri about a bitch you know I was worried about you last night you were so so nervous. Don't worry so much about me comment but don't worry about the agitated and the fact that so many workers are not meeting the daily work quotas. What about what those agitated agitators are well-prepared for the lunch talks to the
workers. Well we'll soon see about that. And let's go out into the shops and see what had telling the way news. All right so we must work hard to strengthen our country against attack in the capitalist countries it is a mad almost race with kind of a piece for a new war and the preaching preaching of imperialist power politics of plunder death and destruction. Some people may ask why I hate the time why hurry but they ain't gonna see that computer field that doesn't want me to beat up rankling I thought I'm pretty neat beautifying of Allah. But we must work up to realize these goals. What can I call friend. Oh yeah oh yeah. Hakim
who don't bring us well today. I'm grad. To beautify All right. We must really look I walk. This is Alex Inglis. As you can see the Soviet worker shares his lunch hour with the agitator or a worker from his own shop whose added duty it is to carry the message of the Communist Party to the workers. There are two basic themes on which the agitator bases his appeal. The first is fear fear of attack from the capitalist countries. The second is hope hope for a better life. These two themes have been used for 30 years by the Soviet regime to push and pull the work is to great to f it. Listen to what one Soviet refugee a woman worker told us about these agitations
sessions. They told us that we had patted us and that the capital this work was hungry and was dying at an early age from overwork. I actually believed we were in paradise and the situation was the way it was because it had to be. They told us when communism would come we would all work according to our abilities and receive according to our needs. They said that cleaning woman who got 60 rubles not would get a thousand rubles that. Sometimes I actually believe that. After a five year plans we would have communism and it would be such a wonderful life. It's believed that those who knew a little about politics if they wanted to say something against it they were unable to
do you a self believe these things. I did not usually but I had to quiet my soul. I had a very exciting life. I had to do something so sometimes I thought well maybe it really will come true. Less than an hour to go I must go faster to break the record and your hopes how fate of all the workers who fail afraid call your buckets record will raise next year's quota make the more kata. Let them work. They can't compete with me. Too bad for them. I'll show them I'll get ahead no one will stop me when I break the record. Attack party secretary to the shop chief maybe even the director
will praise me or talk about call you back and work at the party and Communist Youth League headquarters. I would be like I belong. I'll be one of them. Want me home. Covered up on a secretary with the robot that I got to go through and address I'm shocked. Oh oh how much I know. Demitri of an average things have been going well for you today. Fine until I give you. The mechanical engineer the doctor the agitators are all in line now we're all pulling together. I don't know why I worry so we have a good team with a factory and a good chief engineer.
Truer words were never spoken. And to prove it I've got good news for you. The supply troubleshooter called it looks like he may be able to finagle those fan belts for the new machines. We may have to swap some valves for them no that's all right. We'll have no trouble covering that up. You know the party secretary isn't too bad. He gave the troubleshooter the tip on where to go. Blend fulfillment and an IOU. It makes accomplices of us he gets judged by the factories records. Things are looking good my friend. We're going to meet the plane and not only military but nonmilitary and spare parts. We have men and machines and extra supplies tucked away for just such an emergency. Where would we be if we didn't hold out a little on the ministry. Yeah. Some day Dimitri of Out of age. We sure won't go of course
would be better but. Vodka would be better but here I have some in my desk. I'm my own man to go against the will of my director. So this is the bottle. But only one glass. Oh no wait here's another. And they're a toast to the machines with the machines that are huge you know. Speaking about machines. When I talk to our comrade the mechanical engineer this morning. He looks out of his little office window where the Communist Youth League boy what's his name again. Call your back. Yes he looks at this and says to me see that ball I says he's going to break a record on my machine. They'll take his picture and call him a hero. But what if the machine nobody takes a picture of them with.
Was. Alright this way toward the camera. I've got to keep my eye on the machine and not mind the machine. This is for the secretary. Are you in the picture. Oh no there must be only a rotten hero in this picture. It is making history in the story you wrote for the paper. If you would kindly get out of the way so I can have the big course.
Director a mechanical engineer to see you he's all excited. Is anything the matter. He's done it he's done it broke the record broke the machine. GUNNER. That's what this guy did to my machine. It was working all right. Then the noise bang bang bang it was a noise I didn't know what was wrong I lost my head I guess I could think to turn the machine off and come to a terrible grinding stop by itself. I don't know what went wrong I tell you it was working all right. I'll tell you I think that at the speed it was running that machine. Is it any wonder it broke down when I went I didn't have it on at that speed all day. Just near the end see like I had to be sure I had to be sure I'd break the record.
You think this is the way the party wants you to break a record. Racing a machine. What kind of a stick out of I tell you. Any fool can turn up the speed picks a great white man to devise new methods to up production. Look look at the shaft twisted. Twisted Where will I get this. Look I didn't mean to do anything like this in my back and this is what they do to my machine. I'm sorry I'm sorry. That doesn't fix that twisted chaffed What do you do. I guess in the confusion I banged it against the boy. You better go to the clinic and have them fix it up for you all right. Yes come at the right go with you to the clinic. You know I have to show you his gun to the chief of the special section.
And so you see Comrade it was all like I said it was just a mistake. But you see I didn't mean any harm by running the machine so fast it wasn't my fault. Well I just made a mistake a mistake that was all. It might be a mistake. But then it might be something else. But you don't understand I'm a Communist Youth League. Look here you see my card. There's my card. I was trying to break a record double my quota that's all that is no justification. Great leader comrade Studien warns us that the new record of production will be just such a person as you call your book. You would be a good worker a youth league or party member active in every respect. This will be the new record. No. You know I tell you if it was only a mistake I didn't mean it I didn't mean it I tell you don't try to justify yourself.
Your justification would be in your action. You will do as a little favor. We are concerned about some of the workers in your shop. They don't fulfill their work quotas. Maybe something here and then again it may not. But we must be ever on the lookout for those who are against the Soviet system. That's why I'm here as a representative of the secret police in this factory. And that's why you will help us. You will make careful note of all the loose talk you will hear from the workers in your shop and secretly come and report to me. You will do is this little favor. Through a. Glass of a good idea of an image
Yes I did. That's the news. Just when you think you have your problems licked situation and hand goes up in your face. My life was one long crisis. Too bad about that machine. Of all the machines it had to be the one manufacturing valves for the Meigs you know sometimes I dream of the day and there won't be any last minute assignments here. Make pipe fittings for three months. There won't be phone calls from those guys in Moscow. Everything will be quiet. And then to get supplies supplies will arrive on time and we won't have to press the machines like crazy you know the man party
secretary will stay out of my hair and everybody will live a good dream Dimitry Ivanovich. But I'm afraid that's all. You know sometimes I wish we were completely in military production not just halfway. And it would be a different story. We have better materials to work with and have a headache over supplies and priorities. But it's very unhealthy in military production when anything goes wrong. What have we here. One crisis after another. Oh calm calm Dimitrios. Don't despair things aren't so bad not so good either. This is the last month the last month. Listen I have an idea. We'll discontinue work on spare parts for a while and throw everything into basic production. Of course this will mean we under full field spare parts but you know what basic production they worry about in Moscow. Good idea that we would be sure of at least meeting our military commitments under the
plan and if our supply trouble shooter shows up with those fan belts we won't have any worries about fulfilling non military production. Maybe we'll get the bonus after all. Don't worry about that when the nonmilitary. You can maybe do a little for niggling. Counselor January's production with this year. Well the bookkeeper go along. He looked the other way. We pulled through another crisis. We're going to meet the bland Yes and we will meet the plan. Sometimes I wonder what it's all about these crises. We go through month after month year after year. Who cares about crises when there's a bonus at the end of the road you know. I must confess to you my friend I suffer from the weakness of the flesh. I like my privileges. Bonuses and extra privileges of that is that
enough. If you want me something more Dimitri of on a beach where engineers we build build factories dams and blast furnace is every where we engineers go we leave our mark. Yes we have been told that is some consolation. Sometimes when I'm alone at home I ask myself. Why am I doing. What is it all about. And I find that building is no longer enough. Must be something. So the plan will be met at least that part which has to do with military production.
The valves will be delivered and the MIGs will fly in the sky over Korea. It is in the nature of a to tell a Tarion regime that it can mobilize all resources to push through the programs which the all powerful leaders regard as crucial. That is the fundamental strength of a totalitarian regime. But at what cost in machines in men and in the last analysis in the loyalty of its harassed citizens there lies the great weakness of the totalitarian regime. The shadow of doubt which crosses the mind of directed toward King. When he asks himself What is it all about. Why am I doing this. Is a corrosive acid which eats away at the roots of loyalty. For it is just such doubts which lead the Soviet citizen to begin examining the nature of the society in which he lives. And it is the progressive realisation of just what kind of a society it really is that leads men and women to break
away from the Soviet regime. It is to such men and women that we are indebted for our ability to tell this story. What kind of a regime have they exposed to our view. What are the themes of Soviet industrial life which they called to our attention. Above all there is the requirement of planned fulfillment. It is this requirement coupled with the pervasive scarcity of materials machines and man power which pushes the director to use illegal means to fulfill the plan. Indeed one of the most shocking discoveries which former Soviet citizens have enabled us to make is the extent to which in all walks of life Soviet citizens are forced to take illegal action if they are conscientiously to fulfill the demands which the system makes on them and to make ends meet in their personal lives. Among the other themes are the haste which forces the mechanical engineer to
postpone proper maintenance of his machines. The pervasive controls exercised by the ministry and the party the ever present threat of terror of sudden arrest deportation to a slave labor camp or worse at the hands of the secret police who manned the special section. There is in addition the interlocking of responsibility which makes each man director engineer party secretary his brother's keeper. Finally there is the overriding of ethical and human considerations which will oblige is the doctor to cut down on medical excuses for the workers. These are all various forms of the grinding pressure which the regime places on its people. But Lenin giving his own twist to the old theory of the carrot in the stick. The clarity that the Soviet system rested on a combination of force and persuasion the agitator war with his appeals and exhortations to the workers is the prime
example of persuasion in the factory. But there are other more subtle means available to the regime. The bonus which the director and the chief engineer hope to earn. The appeal to self aggrandizement which motivates the young communist worker Colia Bok keen to try to break the production record even though it means pushing up the production quotas for the other workers. The encouragement of skill and energy and the stimulus to excel in production and management which motivate the director and the engineer. Thus the view of the Soviet factory which we have again from the reports of numerous former Soviet managers engineers and workers is more complex than the concept many of us had before this first hand information became available. More complex in that Soviet reality does not fit either of the two most common stereotype pictures of the Soviet factory which many of us have in our
minds eye for it is neither point dominantly a kind of industrial prison in which all the workers are chained slaves working under the constant prodding of OM guards. Nor is it predominantly a well-oiled smoothly working machine manned by zealous communists cheerfully overcoming all obstacles for the greater glory of Stalin and the Soviet regime. Soviet reality is a much more complex blend of these and other elements as we have learned from incidents recounted by former Soviet citizens and depicted in this documentary. It is true that the workers are regimented and lack enthusiasm but also know that many have personal standards of high workmanship and trying to do a good job. Similarly managers although resentful of the constant supervision from the party and oppressed by the flood of regulations which pours out of Moscow and consequently often seeking to evade the regulations and to
deceive their communist bosses and supervisors still do so in order to be able to keep production going and in the last analysis that is to the Kremlin's advantage. We should not forget that despite the serious flaws which we have seen despite the heavy price in men machines and loyalties. Moscow's ambitious production plans have generally been met with impressive regularity at least in heavy industry and in armaments. Despite the complexities there is one respect in which the picture of the Soviet factory which former Soviet citizens have given us is perhaps simpler than the image we previously carried about in our heads for on the basis of their reports. We can now realize more fully and clearly how important human factors continue to be even indeed particularly under the conditions of Soviet to tell a
Tarion ism from our documentary we learn that somehow even on the communism the people continue to be a fact which must be reckoned with. They are silent naysaying slows down the ability of the regime to push its programme forward at full speed. At the same time the universal human desire to get on with the business of living which former Soviet citizens expressed as the desire to live quietly live peacefully makes it possible for the regime to win at least a minimum of the necessary effort and obedience in order to keep Soviet society going. But many Soviet citizens found that however much they may have wished it they could not live peacefully. The system did not permit it. Sometimes it was the harsh treatment meted out by the regime for the slightest slip. The most innocent remark would shatter the individual's peace.
Sometimes it was the slow corrosive effect of the progressive realisation that justice and human dignity were not to be found in Soviet society which turned people against the regime. If one were to attempt to sum up in a single sentence the reaction of the common people to the Soviet regime it would be in the oft repeated query of former Soviet citizens. Why doesn't the Soviet government trust us its people without such trust on the part of the regime. There can be no true loyalty of the people to the government. The absence of that loyalty in so many of its citizens is the great weakness of Soviet totalitarianism. You have just heard. A man who makes me one in a
- People under communism
- Producing Organization
- National Association of Educational Broadcasters
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- Part two of the third episode in this series, dramatizes flaws in the Soviet system, as well as the pressures that Soviet citizens are under in order to get by professionally and personally.
- Other Description
- A series of documentaries, interviews and talks based upon documented evidence and expert knowledge about the power and intentions of the Soviet Union.
- Politics and Government
- MiG (Fighter planes)
- Media type
Advisor: Inkeles, Alex, 1920-
Advisor: Hoover Institute and Library on War, Revolution, and Peace
Advisor: Columbia University. Russian Institute
Advisor: Harvard University. Russian Research Center
Funder: Fund for Adult Education (U.S.)
Host: Inkeles, Alex, 1920-
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Writer: Tangney, Ralph
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 52-38-3 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “People under communism; The men who make the Migs, part 2 of 2,” 1952-12-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 12, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-hh6c6j6g.
- MLA: “People under communism; The men who make the Migs, part 2 of 2.” 1952-12-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 12, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-hh6c6j6g>.
- APA: People under communism; The men who make the Migs, part 2 of 2. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-hh6c6j6g