To What Extent Can Stalin’s Industrial Policies Be

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To what extent can Stalin’s industrial policies be said to have been successful? Stalin’s Five Year’s Plans were designed to strengthen the USSR’s economy to make the nation self-sufficient. Stalin claimed that the USSR was ’50-100 years behind’, and therefore they had to gain ground on their western counterparts, and fast. Stalin planned to advance 100 years in 10 – this was because Stalin felt vulnerable to attack and he believed that the USSR must ‘overtake and outstrip the capitalist countries’. He believed in ‘Socialism in one country’ where the USSR would become strong enough to survive, then would take over the rest of the world. There is no doubt that his plans were successful in many ways, but would it be logical to call this phase an overall success when we consider the human cost, chaos, un-organization and the slip in overall living conditions in everyday life? Or are those flaws completely irrelevant as Stalin was a tyrannical leader who did what was necessary for the country to move the country forward and the deaths would probably be viewed as a necessary statistic. Stalin’s first plan (October 1928 – December 1932) was extremely far fetched, the plan lacked reality and rather random enormous statistics were demanded for the factories to produce. This was largely down to the two groups involved in the construction of the plan; the Gosplan (in charge of the wider plan – not the specifics) and the Vensenka (who were in charge of the specifics e.g. the numbers and percentage increase) These two groups would compete against each other- trying to impress Stalin by promising more and more. This inevitably caused huge problems, as the demand on the industry was huge, way too high. They industrial plants couldn’t keep up with the amount they were expected to achieve. This lead to corruption in all levels of the country; the factory owners would bribe
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