How Far Were the Divisions over the Continuation of the New Economic Policy Responsible for the Outcome of the Power Struggle in the Years 1924

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'How far were the divisions over the continuation of the New Economic Policy responsible for the outcome of the power struggle in the years 1924-1929? ‘ The New Economic Policy (NEP) was introduced in 1921 by Bukharin and Lenin, primarily due to Russia’s urgent need for food, which offered the peasantry a partial response to small-scale capitalism and a free market economy. The aim of this was to win over the poor peasantry to the side of the proletarian dictatorship. The NEP divided the CPSU, as many believed that it was “anti-communist”, as it allowed a capitalist structure under a communist party. In order to prevent the NEP tearing his Bolshevik party apart, however, Lenin introduced a “ban on factionalism”, and this stifled criticism of the NEP. I do not believe that the divisions over the NEP were the most important factor for the outcome of Stalin emerging victorious from the power struggle, as I believe that Stalin’s power base within the party, due to his power of patronage, was the most important factor in the outcome of the power struggle. I also believe that the ban on factionalism was a very important factor in the power struggle, along with Stalin’s character and introduction of the Five Year Plan (FYP). There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the divisions created within the CPSU over the issue of the NEP are the most important factor in the outcome of the power struggle between 1924-29 which eventually saw Stalin emerge as Lenin’s successor, as the policy allowed Stalin to weaken the reputation of his opponents, due to the fact that any attack from the left upon the NEP was seen as an attack upon Lenin. After Lenin’s death, it could be said that he was seen as a “God” within the CPSU, therefore, any attack upon the policy was seen as a “betrayal” to the party. To this end, Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev joined together in 1925 to emphasise that
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