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The Purpose of the Soviet Economic Policy Was to Spread Bolshevik Ideas Rather Than Developing the Economy. Assess the Validity of This View

Autor:   •  November 23, 2016  •  Essay  •  1,465 Words (6 Pages)  •  406 Views

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‘The purpose of the Soviet economic policy was to spread Bolshevik ideas rather than developing the economy.’ Assess the validity of this view

In 1924, Stalin won the power struggle to become the leader of the Soviet Union and with him he brought the ideology of Socialism in One Country, which believed that Lenin’s revolution needed to be consolidated and that the USSR needed to be turned into a modern state, that is capable of defending itself against internal and external threats. Stalin’s two main economic policies were collectivisation and industrialisation, which agreed with the aims of the idea of Socialism in One Country and also aimed to prove that by following socialism, a country can the outputs of a country following capitalism. This Great Turn in policy was established in 1928, with the introduction of the Five-Year Plans, that set the strategy for fulfilling the aims of collectivisation and industrialisation. Both of economic policies directly focused on improving the economy, through increased agricultural production and increased industrial production, however Bolsheviks ideology was fundamental in the creation and functioning of the policies.

The view that ‘the purpose of the Soviet economic policy was to spread Bolshevik ideology rather than developing the economy’ is to an extent valid as one of the main reasons for Stalin’s introduction of the economic policies was to demonstrate the superiority of communism over capitalism, by proving that a modern USSR could out produce the leading capitalist nations. When Stalin assumed power he believed that Lenin’s New Economic Policy undermined communist and socialist ideologies, as it revoked the nationalisation achieved by War Communism and allowed for private individuals to buy, own and run private companies, which benefitted the individual in charge not the state. Even though the NEP was crucial in sparing the Soviet Union from more conflict and famine and improving standard of living and the economy, Stalin believed that it was now hindering the consolidation of socialism and needed to be replaced. This movement away from communism prompted Stalin to completely change the direction of the Russian economic policy. This shift in industrial and economic direction is called the Great Turn of 1928 and marked the active shift towards a consolidated socialist Soviet Union. For this move towards true socialism self sufficiency was vital, resulting in accelerated collectivisation and industrialisation. This means that the economic policy was chosen, with the aim of being able to consolidate Russian socialism and also to prove to capitalist powers that a country following communism or socialism in just as capable and powerful as one following the concept of capitalism, proving the validity of the view. The economic policies were created with the lengthier aim of consolidating socialism; they were just used as a means to a sought-after end.

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