We're still reading Oliver H. Radkey's The Unknown Civil War
in Soviet Russia.
This is a story of the Green Movement in Soviet Russia in 1920-1921. Not an Al Gore type green movement, but a large population of peasants who saw communism for what it was and wanted no part of it.
They took up arms and were part of the most organized, and possibly the largest, peasant revolt in human history. Estimated strength of 25-50,000, these "bandits" threatened Lenin's hold on power when he was at his weakest. Had the revolts spread, the Bolsheviks would have been doomed.
We're reading about the last few months of the revolt. Lenin had sent his top general to the Tambov province to crush the uprising and had passed two laws to assist the government in its efforts. Order 130 and Order 171.
Order 130 allowed for families of Greens to be exiled, and for summary executions of anyone caught hiding arms or aiding the insurgents. But that law failed. Those who would have suffered disappeared, joined the insurgents, or when caught would not give their names. So Order 171 came to be.
Think of Order 171 as the Soviet version of Obamacare's Death Panels, but on a more efficient, evolved, and enlightened scale.
Order 171 is essentially collective punishment. A Green comes from a village, therefore the village is guilty.
Here are the 7 articles of Order 171 (Page 324):
1. "Bandits" refusing to give their names were to be shot on the spot without trial.
2. Hostages were to be taken from settlements where arms were hidden and were to be shot unless the weapons were given up.
3. From a household where a concealed weapon was found, the oldest worker would be taken and shot out of hand without trial.
4. A family giving shelter to a "bandit" was to be arrested and exiled from the province, its property confiscated, and it eldest breadwinner shot on the spot without trial.
5. A family giving shelter to members of a "bandit's" family or hiding the property of a "bandit" was to be considered itself as "bandit" and would have its eldest breadwinner shot forthwith without trial.
6. In case of the flight of a "bandit's" family, its possessions were to be distributed among peasants loyal to Soviet authority and the dwelling was to be burned.
7. The decree was to be read before village assemblies and was "mercilessly to be carried out".
This is what it looks like when you put a communist in a corner.