The whole truth about what the Soviet intellectuals did when they went "for potatoes"

15-10-2017, 14:32
In the USSR, there existed, at first glance, a strange and purely “sovkovaya” (according to the degree of meaninglessness) tradition: several times a year employees were sent into the countryside, where they were temporarily turned into collective farmers. In fact, it was not the Soviet Union who invented it.
Where does that grow
The whole truth about what the Soviet intellectuals did when they went "for potatoes"
In the middle of the 17th century, a strike broke out at the Bakhmut Salt Plant (now the territory of the Donetsk Region). The hard workers are tired of breaking away from their usual activities and helping the peasants to harvest their crops in compulsion.
Hitler liked to involve the broad masses in agricultural work. After gaining power, he ordered in 1933: all the guys, aged 16 to 21, should help the village. Since 1937, soldiers joined the young men.
In the Soviet Union, the “potato” was at first a student's duty, and from the late 60s, the working intelligentsia began to be sent to it.The majority of the population lived in the cities, they did not have enough hands in the countryside, and the collective farmers themselves were not particularly happy for the harvest, because it was bought by the state for almost nothing. And collected, and kept it as something. Therefore, a package with so rotten potatoes that about half of the contents could be put into action was commonplace in Soviet stores.
I must say that labor landings did not greatly improve the picture. Neither students nor intellectuals suffered over every tuber. And although at times it was more fun in the free air than in stifling audiences and scientific research institutes, it strained the process of this “voluntary-compulsory” assistance.
It was impossible to refuse to go to the collective farm. Engineers, editors, laboratory assistants - in the USSR they could all boldly say about themselves: “We dug!”. People were massively removed from work, loaded in the morning early in motor transport, and were taken to hell - to do what they were not taught in institutions or universities.
Joke
They introduced it into the Soviet secret research institute of the American spy, and he was on the verge of failure. I decided to go to the head of the scientific research institute and write a confession. The boss read, sighed and said:
- Go away! To which only people do not go in order not to go to the collective farm!
For a modest reward
The whole truth about what the Soviet intellectuals did when they went "for potatoes"
As a bonus for non-specialty work, people were graciously allowed to buy a certain amount of vegetables or fruits at a low price. People bought, of course - for they knew that until this product reached the vegetable shops, it would have to be done well and grow in price at the same time.
Some bought, and some took just. Before leaving home, people, of course, were checked for stolen goods. But people, naturally, still stole — in a country where “everything is collective and everything is mine”, almost everyone did. Stolen hid under the seat - and happily drove home.
The collective farm is romantic
If adults and educated people often went to the fields for a few days, the students were driven into collective farms for several weeks. The students were funny people, they perfectly knew how to get the most out of such trips - they burned bonfires, sang songs with a guitar, visited local discos (which often ended in a fight with local guys) and started romance with classmates. At times, agricultural crops contributed to the creation of new cells in society.
Joke
In the collective farm club read a lecture about Alexander the Great. The lecturer shows three skulls: - This is the skull of Macedon in childhood, this is his skull at the age of twenty, and this one at the time of death. A voice from the last row: - One person has three skulls ??? Lecturer (annoyed): - So, and you in general - who? - I am an engineer from the city, sent "on potatoes". - Well, what came, it was clearly stated in the announcement - a lecture for collective farmers!
All paid!
The whole truth about what the Soviet intellectuals did when they went "for potatoes"
Students were either not paid at all for collective farm workdays or paid a penny. But the Soviet employees for the work "in the field" was the salary in full. For them, the harvest was paid the same way as, say, the development of new drugs or labor in the accounting department. Collective farmers who coped with agricultural labor objectively better than engineers and chemists, earned per unit of time is clearly less than the large number of intellectuals.
Life in art
About this strange, purely Soviet phenomenon, Vladimir Vysotsky wrote a beautiful song - "Comrades Scientists". Her lyrical hero, the villager himself, convinces knowledge workers to quit doing nonsense and go "on potatoes."And in return, he promises that if anything happens, the collective farmers will help the scientists - they will come “with shovels and pitchforks” on demand.
There is a whole layer of oral folk art dedicated to the collective farm life of students and intellectuals. People still tell each other in different ways, exactly how in their student detachment the whole beet machine was shipped (in other variants - potatoes, or eggplants), where a short intake word of three letters was carefully cut out of each vegetable. Of course, the culprit was never found, the witty comrades stood to death on the fact that they had nothing to do with: "Comrade chairman, yes, this is just a sort of such!" Or how we went for moonshine to a neighboring village on a K-700 tractor and inadvertently plowed the road. Some students - future doctors and lawyers called the collection of root crops "the exhumation of potatoes buried in the spring" - collective farms often collected it exactly as much as they planted.
Many people now recall trips to collective farms with warmth. “What will pass, it will be nice” - this is a classic very correctly noticed. Responding with tears of emotion about the dank days spent on the collective farm fields, people remember their youth.And youth is always beautiful.

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