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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) The basic (permanent) staff of trained, qualified workers in enterprises, institutions, party, trade union, and public organizations engaged in some area of work. Broadly all the permanent members of a staff. (2) In a state’s armed forces, all the officers and enlisted men on active duty.

The main political and economic problems in socialist society can be solved only through the proper placement of cadres and their expedient use so that each worker contributes to the maximum extent that his education, work experience, and personal qualities allow. Lenin felt that no policy could be carried out unless it was expressed in the assignment and relocation of personnel, that is, in the distribution of party forces (see Poln. sobr. sock, 5th ed., vol. 40, p. 237). Cadres are evaluated and placed according to their political and practical qualities. The policy of the CPSU and the Soviet government in regard to cadres is aimed at promoting talented, politically conscious, educated, and professionally trained personnel. While solicitous of older cadres and making maximum use of their experience and knowledge, party and state agencies also promote younger prospective cadres, which is necessary for the continuity of the political lines of the Communist Party and its revolutionary traditions.

In the process of eliminating the actual inequality in economy and culture among big and small nations, the Communist Party and the Soviet government, in the course of socialist construction, have trained highly qualified national cadres in the Union republics.

Table 1. Specialists with higher education employed in the USSR national economy (by Union-republic nationalities)

In the USSR women take an active part, on an equal footing with men, in economic, government, cultural, and sociopolitical life. Women predominate in some spheres of activity; for example, in 1970, 85 percent of the personnel in public health and social security and 72 percent in education and culture were women. The degree of need for specific cadres is determined by the planning agencies. The USSR has a system for training cadres that incorporates secondary general schools, vocational schools, technicums, higher educational institutions, military schools, academies, and graduate courses. There are other areas of specialized education as well—for example, pedagogy and agriculture. The number of specialists with higher education employed in the national economy grew from 136, 000 in 1913 to 6, 853, 000 in 1970, and those with secondary education increased from 54, 000 to 9, 988, 000.

In the years 1929-32 the average number of workers graduated yearly from factory schools and schools of that type was 113, 000. In 1970, 1, 781,000 graduated from vocational schools. The training of cadres in a socialist state is not only a question of acquiring professional knowledge but also of developing a Marxist-Leninist world outlook and a communist attitude toward labor. Thus, special educational institutions also exist for training administrative officials and party, trade union, and Komsomol personnel.

The creation of the material and technical base for communism within the context of the scientific and technical revolution has placed increased demands on cadre training. Technical progress has fundamentally altered the character of labor. The number of skilled cadres has grown rapidly, new professions have appeared, the tasks of managing the economy have grown more complex, and automatic control systems have been introduced. Economic education and the training of cadres in the new and long-range directions of science and technology have acquired primary importance.

The CPSU considers it necessary “to consistently extend and unceasingly improve the system of training and retraining cadres —the organizers of production at all levels, including the highest leadership cadres, and above all in the field of Marxist-Leninist economic theory, the theory and practice of management, and the scientific organization of labor and new methods of planning, economic incentive, and economic mathematics techniques and modern computer technology” (Materialy XXIVs”ezda KPSS, 1971, p. 298).

Cadres receive advanced training at institutes for the improvement of skills and in special departments and courses in all fields of education. Particularly great demands are made of the leadership cadres, who are expected to have a mastery of modern managerial methods, a feel for new developments and their long-term prospects, and an ability to use the most efficient means of problem-solving and to draw on the knowledge and experience of others. The Institute for the Management of the National Economy opened in February 1971 in Moscow. It perfects the training of leadership cadres, including ministers, in industry

The best training ground for cadres in all spheres of activity is the struggle to make all workers highly skilled and to raise significantly the cultural and technical level of the working class and kolkhoz peasantry. In kolkhozes in 1970, some 1.7 million people learned new professions or specialties or raised their skill levels.

Table 2. Training and improvement of skills in the USSR for industrial and office workers in enterprises, institutions, and organizations
Total industrial and office workers trained in new professions or areas of specialization2,600,0005,000,000
industrial workers...............2,300,0004,500,000
Total industrial and office workers completing training in the improvement of skills...............5,000,00012,000,000
industrial workers...............3,500,0009,000,000

The growing demand for highly qualified specialists in all levels of the party and state apparatus and in all fields of the economy, science, culture, and the arts has created an increased responsibility of the cadres to society for the quality of the work they perform. An important means for training cadres and improving their work is self-criticism and criticism, particularly from below. The party works with cadres toward creating congenial conditions in an atmosphere of trust combined with highly exacting and close scrutiny to see that party and government decisions are implemented. A resolution of the Twenty-fourth Congress of the CPSU specifies: “We must raise the cadres’ sense of responsibility in regard to tasks assigned to them and take the necessary measures in regard to those who violate discipline, who do not draw the necessary conclusions from criticism, and who conduct themselves incorrectly. Every functionary should remember that socialist discipline is equally obligatory for all” (ibid., p. 210). The correct policies of the CPSU in educating, selecting, and placing cadres have assured the victory of socialism and the great successes of communist construction in the USSR.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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