How Successful Were Stalin's Economic Policies in the 1930s?

1530 Words Oct 31st, 2012 7 Pages
How successful were Stalin’s economic policies in the 1930s?

Although it is unarguable to deny that there was certain economic progress in Stalinist Russia throughout the 1930s, it is understandable to postulate that the policies implicated under Stalin’s regime were merely introduced primarily to consolidate his political hold on the USSR. During this period, Stalin placed particular emphasis on Industrialisation and the abolition of older methods of peasant-controlled farming to be replaced with state-controlled collectives. It is debatable as to whether these policies can be viewed as successful, for example; the conditions of the Soviet industrial workers were marginally lower than in 1928. Yet whatever hardships the workers faced,
…show more content…
These people were, in actuality, only the best farmers who had naturally begun to rise above their peers as a result of their superior traits. They were not the exploiting landowners made out to be by state propaganda. The subsequent “de-Kulakistation’ that followed suit could be seen as counter-productive overall. Stalin had merely purged the new collective farms of their finest and most competent workers severely hindering his agricultural productivity.

Indeed, not only did this process hinder the effectiveness of agricultural production by the elimination of the state’s most capable farmers, the period between 1929 and 1930 in which mass disturbances occurred throughout the whole USSR shows that the attitudes of the peasantry towards collectivisation was extraordinarily negative. As the peasants made up 80% of Russia’s populace, their support could seen as near-essential were modernisation to be effective. In the aforementioned years, there were over 30,000 arson attacks and organised rural disturbances increased by one-third from 172 to 229. Bewildered and confused, the peasants would often refuse to co-operate in the deliberate destruction of their traditional way of life. As a result, the majority of the peasants would eat their own crops and slaughter their livestock in protest. Despite the lack of crops and livestock, Soviet authorities instead responded with even fiercer coercion,
Open Document