Introduction to the country: Have a map of the area of study.
Joseph Stalin has dominated the Soviet Union for years in communism and the country has remained in our history from 1922 to 1991 with Stalin’s occupation from 1929 to 1953. Soviet Union was the biggest country in the world and its field was comparable to North America continent. 75% of the area consisted of Asia and the rest was based in Europe. The land they occupied was almost one sixth of the planet’s territory. Following is the map of the Soviet Union:
As shown in the diagram, there were diverse climates which was unique characteristic that they still have. Small percentage of the land was available for farming while the rest were regions were mostly tundra, forest, woodland and grassland. However, such various climate has supplied them every key natural resource for development. This made Soviet Union to be the leader of iron, gold, mercury, oil, natural gas and other resources which other countries cannot produce without import.
A small paragraph of the main aims of Communism.
Communism of Soviet Union can be referred as their initiatives in economic equality by eliminating confidential property. Karl Marx, a German philosopher and revolutionary socialist, focused on the significance of class conflict and danger of instability capitalism created. He thought that communism will bring to a situation where there is no one with power over another and everyone having equal rights.
Two or three paragraphs on the main policies of either Stalin or Mao: Look at the social and economic aspects of the country.
In order to modernize Soviet Union, Stalin undertook two main polices: collectivization and five-year industrialization. More specifically, he wanted Soviet Union to be self-sufficient with strong military and liberal state. This would improve the living standards by efficient agricultural aspect and he develops it by production of machinery. Also, he wanted to convince the capitalist nations that communism can surpass their production efficiency.
During Stalin’s occupation, the farmers used horse drawn ploughs which resulted poor agriculture efficiency in the Soviet Union. This also led to the grain shortage of 20 million tons for the citizens. To solve this serious issue, Stalin decides to revolutionize agriculture via collectivization. His ideas were to change the methods of agriculture so that he could control the crop production. As the price of the crops were controlled by richer laborers, he decides to limit their power, which is the main concept of communism.
Hence, Stalin joins small farms into huge collectives (90% of products goes to state while 10% goes to rich) and it was promoted through propaganda. On the contrary, many resisted as did not want communist commander to take charge of the local farms. Unlike Stalin’s purpose, not many agreed to his idea which lead to a chaos and its impacts will be explained in later paragraphs of impact section.
Stalin’s another main policy related to economic aspect is the ‘Industrialization’. The total three industrialization (first plan from 1928 to 1932, second plan from 1932 to 1938 and third plan from 1938 to 1941) occurred to modernize USSR.
First plan concentrated on heavy industry, harsh targets with governance for workers, propaganda, and increasing production. New barrier and hydro-electric plants were constructed to start new industries which caused shortages in other consumer goods. Targets were set to each industry as specific as possible to accomplish Stalin’s plans. However, most targets were not achieved leaving higher quantities with less quality. Factories opened 24/7 with workers who rotate to have full production. One propaganda campaign, Stakhanovism, has encouraged workers as they gave them higher wages and medal when they achieve more. On the contrary, government stopped advocating the campaign as it was not compelling. In a longer term, total coal and steel production increased, and it had overwhelmed both Britain and Germany.
Second plan continued its focus on heavy industries but soon branched out into new areas. As the country needed more workers, Stalin encouraged women into wok. Later, 40% of labor force were women which led to sexual equality in USSR. However, there were no women in higher office in Stalin government, and they insisted motherhood and marriage. Not only that, Stalin has also recruited foreign experts and engineers to initiate new industries for further development.
Third plan focused more on consumer goods to raise the quality of life and goods produced. Health and education were supplied free to the public and there was more and more access for greater population. However, their economic growth stopped from Germany invasion in June 1941.
Stalin’s social policy consists of media control, imbue education, women rights and minority rights. These factors have in sum have given more impacts compared to other Stalin’s policies on public.
Media was the common method that Stalin used to promote his message. These include mass media such as radio, film and television. Photographs were edited to disgrace his rival and counter-revolutionary and lionize his significance.
Education was mandatory, and the government controlled everything. If teachers or students question about the validity of communist history, they lost jobs or faced imprisonment. The materials covered in school were related to industrialization to encourage the students to improve country’s productivity.
Women also were encouraged to work for country in order to improve the productivity and give benefits. During twentieth century, from Stalin’s policy, women had equal rights to man which no other countries had before Soviet Union.
Conclusion on how far do you think Stalin or Mao created a real Communist society?
Stalin has created a real Communist society from the impacts he gave from his policies regarding social and economic aspects of the country.
One of his economic policies, Collectivization, has given huge impact on the country. Ones who resisted were sent to labor camps in Siberia and despite Stalin’s purpose, he caused 10 million died from starvation and the food production declined. Most surprisingly, majority suffered from starvation who lived in Kazakhstan and Ukraine where it had the largest agricultural region in USSR.
Even though the chaos happened, Stalin continued the policy which increased amount of grain in the country. However, there were no rich left from the policy and farmers who followed the policy were supplied by the states. Soon, all the agricultural land in Soviet Union turned into collectives and this have given rewards to people with skills.
The social polices made by Stalin has improved proficiency rates due to compulsory education. Also, the arts and cultural scene was affected from Stalin’s policies. Women had more rights than any other countries in the world. However, the standard of living in USSR was poor compared to capitalist countries.
Overall, despite Stalin had various policies to have an ideal society, the result was not the initial ideology that communist wanted which proves that Stalin has failed to have a real communist society. For USSR to have a communist society in the past, the leader should not have made any decisions by himself but from debates with other politicians.