THE ECONOMY OF THE UUSR UNDER STALIN 1928-53
1. Reasons and aims, general successes and failures
• Economic: USSR was 100 years behind Europe and USA but needs to catch up in 15 years, NEP failed to develop new factories and by 1927 it was failing.
• Political: Lenin was a great leader as he had lead the political revolution but Stalin wanted to be viewed as great for leading the industrial revolution and modernizing the USSR.
• Ideological: Get rid of capitalism, Nepmen and Kulaks.
• Aims: Modernize the economy and develop industry, and catch up with the well advanced west.
• Gosplan, the Soviet central planning agency, set out production targets for every region, factory, work unit and individual worker.
• Successes: From 1927 to 1940 coal production increased from 35.5 to 166 million tones, and steel production from 4 to 18.3 million tones. And many new industrial sites were built like Magnitogorsk. Transport was developed and rearmament took place.
• Failures: Lack of planning of what to do with produce, quality sacrificed for quantity, lack of consumer goods (queues could be 1000s of people long), poor housing and working conditions.
• Focus: Heavy industry, rapid industrialization and industrial cities built like Magnitogorsk in 1931. Dams to provide HEP.
• Successes: Production figures rose, cities like Magnitogorsk population developed from 2 dozen to 200,000.
• Failures: Low labour productivity due to low pay, long hours and lack of incentives. Too focused on heavy industry and living standards dropped.
• Focus: Heavy industry, but also transport and communications, more focus on living standards.
• Successes: Moscow metro system opened in 1935 – workers can travel easily, Moscow-Volga Canal opened 1937. Labour productivity increases as wages are higher and a reward system is introduced.
• Failures: Still not much focus on living standards and consumer goods.
• Focus: Rearmament as threat of war from Germany increases.
• Successes: By 1930 1/3 of government investment was on the military. 9 military…