The Stalinist Criticism And The Economic Policies Of Stalin

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Contemporary historians tend to dismiss the economic policies of Stalin as being illogical and overly fantastical. While their beliefs may have some basis, it is important to understand the political atmosphere during Stalin’s time in order to further comprehend the Stalinist rationality. When Stalin rose to power, he deviated from Lenin through his desire to achieve socialism in one country; he believed that the Soviets had to be capable of being self-reliant before being able to help other nation attain socialism. Further, he perceived that the Soviet Union was far behind the West in terms of industrialization and sought to match their level within the shortest amount of time. Thus, Stalin drastically reconstructed the economic system of …show more content…
Although the State did allow small plots of land to be owned, they disapproved of the kulaks’ private ownership of land as it was discordant with the Party’s beliefs. In fact, Stalin classified kulaks as class enemies as he believed that their economic principles were based on the capitalistic notion of “exploit[ing] the working class” (160). As the kulaks as hostile entities who were “sworn enemies of the collective-farm movement” and of socialism, Stalin wanted to eliminate them completely (179). Thus, he undertook this endeavor in an aggressive manner: he confiscated the kulaks’ land and properties. Moreover, he legislated a mass extermination of the kulaks or had them exiled to Siberia or remote regions within the Soviet Union. Stalin notes that the “masses of poor and middle peasants,” who were “putting solid collectivization into practice,” were expropriating the kulaks; thus, the offence against the kulaks was an integral aspect of the “formation and development of the collective farms” as it positively contributed to collectivization (179). Although his actions were immensely violent, Stalin viewed it as a necessary sacrifice for the betterment of the Soviet Union since unlike Bukharin, he did not think the kulaks would “grow into socialism” (171). Accordingly, he …show more content…
Stalin believed that the Soviets were lagging behind the West in terms of industrialization, to such an extent that he aimed for a two hundred and fifty percent increase in production during his first Five Year Plan. Stalin stated that progress in the development of industry would contribute to ““a new stronghold” of working class” that would invariably bolster its position in the “fight against the petty-bourgeois element” and the “capitalist elements in the economy” (Lenin qtd. in Daniels 161). Further, Stalin saw a need for a rapid growth of the industry not only for the purposes of industrial production but also for “agriculture” and the peasantry, who needed “tractors, agricultural machinery and fertilizers” to achieve maximal crop yield (161). Given that Stalin wanted to perfect socialism and a closed economic system, it would make sense that he would attempt to achieve rapid industrialization by any means, even if such aspirations were wildly idealistic. Stalin notes that he could have, “for the sake of greater caution,” focused more on the development of the “light industry,” which primarily produced for the peasant market, as opposed to concentrating his efforts on the “heavy industry”; however, such course of action would have been “suicidal” as it would have

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