Stalin was dominant in the Party?

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  • Stalin was now dominant in the Party?
    • He had outmanoeuvered all potential leadership rivals. He controlled the Party apparatus, and had done so since 1922, so many people in the Party owned their positions to him.
    • The economy had been recovering well under the NEP, although there had been a major crisis over grain procurement in 1927-28.
    • The peasants were growing  plently of grain, but they were not selling it to the State at the low prices on offer.
    • The main reason was that there were few goods available for the peasants to buy with their roubles. They preferred to stockpile their crops in case of a future poor harvest.
    • So-calleed Nepmen were making a lot of money and this was creating further poor harvest.
    • Electrication and investment in state-owned heavy industry was growing, but not as fast as many would like.
    • All Bolsheviks agreed on the need for an economy based on industry to ensure the maintenance of the world's first socialist state.
    • The question that taxed the party was how to maximise investment income.
    • Borrowing from the West was out - when they came to power the Bolsheviks repudiated all the loans the Tsar had taken from the Capitalist powers, and all the war debts.
    • No one was likely to lend money to Soviet Union.
    • The only way open to Stalin was to generate the income internally, and that meant from the countryside, where 80% of the population lived.
    • If cash could be raised by selling agricultural produce abroad, the Soviet Union would be able to buy the technology necessary to modernise industry.

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