The debate about agricultural change

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  • The debate about agricultural change
    • Some argued that the peasants should be encouraged to grow more and sell more grain by giving them fairer prices.
    • This might take longer to create capital for investment and industry would have to make the good peasants wanted to buy, but that way a sound economy would develop.
    • The peasants would gradually be won over by the benefits of Socialism and a new, fair society would emerge.
    • Others argued that this would take too long. The Soviet Union could not wait.
    • Somehow the peasants had to be forced into growing more, handling over more of their produce, and providing the labour force for industry. They had repeatedly shown they were not reliable political supporters of the Bolsheviks.
    • Industry needed a clear plan. This could only be done on the basis of guaranteed food supplies for the cities, and guaranteed income from food exports.
    • Collectivisation, it was argued, would make it easier to control the peasants - they had always been a conservative force and a limiting factor in Russian economic growth.
    • They would always remain selfish and put their own interests first, so the Communist Party needed to bring them into line.
    • It would be easier to control collective farms or state farms than milliona of individual landholdings.

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