The failures of the Five Year Plans.


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The failures of the : First, Second & Third Five-Year Plans.
First Five Year Plan.
Meeting targets ­ official targets were never met; although local administrators lied
about the amount of production so it allowed Stalin to claim that the plan had been
`overfilled'. Those local party officials that didn't meet targets were demoted, sacked
or sometimes put on trial and executed; to prevent this they lied amount of
production. Targets directly related to production ­ not quality. Many products were
useless the quality was that poor.
Living and working under the plan ­ improving conditions was never part of the plan,
so it could be argued that it wasn't a failure; however it was still an effect of the plan.
Rations provided a significantly poor diet compared to that under the NEP. Consumer
goods disappeared; queuing became part of mundane life. 7 day working week, Stalin
failed to recognise Sunday as a day of rest due to his hatred for religion. Hastily
constructed factories. Miners allowed to work in unsafe conditions due to the rush
to meet targets. Labour discipline was harsh. Lateness was criminalised. Strikes,
outlawed. Breaking machinery, accused of being capitalist saboteurs, exiled to labour
camps. Absenteeism & low productivity increased under the plan.
Abolition of the free market- encouraged the growth of the black market. It was so
widespread it was impossible to police it effectively. Speculators were the subject of
show trials which ended in them being exiled and forced to labour camps.
Second Five Year Plan.
There was little coordination between the different branches of industry. An example
of the poor coordination is the lack of spare parts to fix broken machinery; this
resulted in idle machines and a decreased level of productivity. Fear of execution
meant that nobody was prepared to criticise the Plan, report errors show that
targets were unattainable. Practice of lying about figures still continued in the Second
Five Year Plan. Shortage of essential items remained a daily reality, such as shoes;
government outlawed private production of shoes due to the leather shortage.
Housing and amenities were still an issue; many new houses, built in the Second Five
Year Plan, were without running water or sewage.
Social inequalities ­ socialism did not entail wage equality (Stalin). Emphasis on
incentives , only the hardworking would receive these incentives. The Communist
Party Members had a much better living condition than that of factory workers;
chauffer driven limo's, private houses, holiday homes and reserved seating at the
cinema. Also, had access to `secret shops' that sold goods not available to the
general public.
Third Five Year Plan.
. Administration was complicated by Stalin's purges. Purges ­ meant the execution
and removal of experienced industrial managers, return to the planning chaos as seen
in the First Five Year Plan.

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Politburo. These people had been able to
offer creative solutions which led to improved productivity. Due to their absence,
the failures of the Third Five Year Plan went unchallenged. Stalin reverted to terror to
motivate workers to meet targets.
.…read more


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