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Stalin S Five Year Plan Speech

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Primary Source for 04/28/2010, Joseph Stalin:
Joseph Stalin became the leader of the Soviet Union after Lenin’s death in 1924. In 1928 Stalin began the First Five-Year Plan, an ambitious attempt to quickly modernize the Soviet economy. In the speech below, given in 1933 to the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Stalin explained the goals and results of the Five-Year Plan.

The fundamental task of the Five-Year Plan was to convert the U.S.S.R. from an agrarian and weak country, dependent upon the caprices of the capitalist countries, into an industrial and powerful country, fully self-reliant and independent of the caprices of world capitalism.

The fundamental task of the Five-Year Plan was, in converting the U.S.S.R. into an
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And as a result of all this our country has been converted from an agrarian into an industrial country; for the proportion of industrial output, as compared with agricultural output, has risen from 48 per cent of the total in the beginning of the Five-Year Plan period (1928) to 70 per cent at the end of the fourth year of the Five-Year Plan period (1932)….

Finally, as a result of all this the Soviet Union has been converted from a weak country, unprepared for defense, into a country mighty in defense, a country prepared for every contingency, a country capable of producing on a mass scale all modern weapons of defense and of equipping its army with them in the event of an attack from without….

We are told: This is all very well; but it would have been far better to have abandoned the policy of industrialization,…and to have produced more cotton, cloth, shoes, clothing, and other articles of general use. The output of articles of general use has been smaller than is required, and this created certain difficulties.

But, then, we must know and take into account where such a policy of relegating the task of industrialization to the background would have led us. Of course, out of the 1,500,000,000 rubles in foreign currency that we spent on purchasing equipment for our heavy industries, we could have set apart a half for the purpose of importing raw cotton, hides, wool, rubber, etc. Then we would now have more cotton cloth, shoes
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