Inside a Totalitarian Regime: Key features of Stalinism Essay

1652 Words7 Pages
Stalin’s rule lasted almost thirty years, from the middle of the 1920’s until his death in 1953. His rule deeply transformed the USSR and destalinization is still not fully achieved today. While Stalinism and Nazism are often compared because they were the two totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, the Stalinist regime lasted for decades while Nazism collapsed after 12 years, thus raising several questions concerning the particular nature of the Stalinist Society. What were the key features of Stalinism, thus differentiating Stalin’s policy from Lenin’s and Marx’s theory? Was Stalinism a logical outcome of the Marxist theory or a betrayal of communism? In this perspective, one must analyze Stalin’s key policies, collectivization,…show more content…
W. Davies 1989, 1036) and the use of the agricultural production to finance the industrial expansion. Despite Bolsheviks encouraging collectivization in the early years of the revolution, collective farms had remained anecdotic . Stalin’s arrival to power marked the start of a forced and often violent campaign of collectivization. In agreement with his doctrine of Communism in one country, Stalin aimed at developing a self-sufficient agricultural system based on the Marxist theory of collective property of means of productions. In 1929, kolkhozy (farmers owned cooperative) and sovkhozy (state owned farm employing farm workers) were created. Collectivization was as quick as brutal and symbolized the inefficiency of the Soviet agricultural policy. Indeed, while collective farms quickly became the majority agricultural model , thousands of prosperous peasants, the kulaks, were expropriated, deported and executed: “More than one million peasant families—five million people, at least – were dekulakized” (Viola 1996, 86). However, despite an increased workforce, the interwar years’ Soviet agricultural production never reached the prerevolutionary levels. Indeed, in 1937 which was the best interwar harvest, the agricultural production increased by 8.1 percent compared to 1928 while the population increased by 12 percent in the same period (Davies 1989, 1030). Furthermore, the agricultural production was used to fuel the growing industry. Peasants were

More about Inside a Totalitarian Regime: Key features of Stalinism Essay

Open Document