Josef Stalin and His Economic Policies Essay

Josef Stalin and His Economic Policies Essay

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After establishing himself as Lenin’s successor, Stalin ruthlessly increased his power and pushed forward with all his policies. What resulted was an extreme totalitarian dictatorship. Stalin imposed his stamp on Russia. He employed greater control over the communist party, and to guarantee its longevity, he unleashed a flood of fear and coercion which had never been seen before. He eliminated any threats to his position via the NKVD and the purges which resulted in the death of millions of soviet people. This also enabled him to proceed with his major economic changes in the form of collectivisation and industrialisation through three, Five Year Plans. These plans were merely reactivating the earlier ideas and policies of the Bolsheviks, policies which Stalin had condemned Trotsky to exile.
The improvement of the economy was Stalin’s biggest priority. He intended to transform the soviet union into a superpower, equipping it with a huge industrial base. This radical change began in 1929 and continued until his death in 1953. The previous policy introduced by Lenin (NEP) allowed peasantry to attain a plot of land under licence, this policy had gained widespread support. However, a handful of people supported the idea of collectivisation particularly Trotsky. Stalin at first supported and favoured the continuation of the NEP. However by 1928 Stalin had reversed the policy, associating socialism in one country with collectivisation and industrialization.
Stalin was determined to go ahead with this radicalism through economic and social change. His totalitarian leadership however was far from perfect, it was in fact a political system that was defectively flawed. The main issue was the lack of control the administration and party h...


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... on discipline. Firstly, he needed to be sure of the loyalty of subordinates and officials, which he did by introducing rewards and punishments, the incentive of rewards increased momentum, however because targets were so high and nearly impossible the only beneficiaries were the Stakhanovites (workers who exceeded their quota). Secondly he ended wage equalisation, claiming that equality caused chaos.
Stalin’s policies were both a success and a failure whether as a result of his direct orders or as a result of his policies. Nethertheless, the success they achieved came at a huge price with nearly 20 million death’s during his reign; It was seen as a small price to pay as Stalin achevied what he set out to do, turning an undeveloped nation into an industrial super power, it was due to his policy’s that Russia became one of the most powerful nations in the world.

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