How Successful Were Stalin’s Attempts to Modernize the Ussr After 1928?

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’If we are backward and weak, we may be beaten and enslaved. But if we are powerful, people must beware of us. We are 50 to 100 years behind the advanced countries of the West. We must make up this gap in 10 years. Either we do this or they crush us.’’ Stalin wanted the USSR to modernise at such a fast rate that it would make up the 50-year gap in 10 years. The industry had to be developed to such an extent that the country, which had all along depended mostly on agriculture or farming, had to depend on industry more. Although Russia was recovering from war, its production from heavy industries was still low compared to other countries. Stalin felt that this needed to be improved if they were to survive any possible attack that might come from the capitalist West attempting to destroy Communist Russia. The USSR needed to invest in materials like coal, iron, steel and power to defend itself properly. In order to become a strong industrial economy, the agricultural sector had to be modernised and made more efficient so it could produce enough food to meet the needs of the workforce. It would also be able to raise money needed for industrialisation. Surplus had to be exported and money used to buy machinery and such. Fewer workers could then be used on the farms and industrialisation could take place more rapidly by transferring more workers from the countryside to the factories. Unfortunately, Lenin's NEP was not achieving the results that they wanted. Stalin dubbed the NEP as an impediment to communism and had to be scrapped. This rapid industrialisation would also bring about two political results. Communist support would increase as the workers were the Communists' greatest supporters and remaining opposition would be eliminated, in particular the class of rich peasants, the kulaks. The first five year plan concentrated on the heavy industries
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