Autumn 2017 edition - page 14-15

We always think of Stalin as a very evil
person, and I do not disagree with that, but in this
article I will be trying to view him from a different,
more positive, perspective.
In 1928, Stalin began the first 5 year plan.
This was because manyWestern nations started
closing down diplomatic relations with the Soviet
Union. Stalin took this as a sign of war and needed
to industrialize the Soviet Union to give themmore
firepower in war. One of the primary ideas of the
five-year plan was to establish a collective agricul-
tural system to help support the industrialisation to
come. The plan worked to some extent, the USSR
managed to resist Hitler’s upcoming invasion be-
cause of the plan. In 10 years coal, oil electricity and
steel more than tripled (according to Stalin’s figures
– his statisticians were said to overestimate figures
by approximately a third), and there were new
improvements in medicine transport and educa-
tion. However these long term benefits did come at
a horrific human cost, over 1 million people died of
famine because collective agriculture failed. How-
ever in 10 years, Stalin did make the Soviet Union in
to a superpower, ready for war.
Industrialisation was the main part of Sta-
lin’s plan. He wanted to change Russia into a com-
munist state, however Russia was a former capital-
ist state, so to establish communism would be very
difficult and require industrialisation on a massive
scale. This was another goal of the five year plan. To
do this, Stalin set extremely high production goals
to encourage workers, and famously created large
amounts of propaganda. The optimism of this was a
large success, there was a 50% increase in industrial
production and the workforce almost doubled. This
success could be primarily credited to the enthusi-
asm Stalin brought to the factories.
Stalin – the necessary evil?
An appalling amount of people died under
Stalin’s reign, but with long term affects in mind,
Stalin did help the Soviet Union a lot. In a very short
amount of time, Stalin built the Soviet Union into
one of the most powerful countries in the world
(along with America and Britain at the time).
I am not trying to say the good outweighs
the bad here, I am not denying Stalin was respon-
sible for over 30 million deaths, and I’m not trying
to say that any of this was necessary, I am simply
trying to show the good that came from all the bad.
Without Stalin, WWII may have been lost and Rus-
sia may not be as powerful as it is today. Stalin may
not have been a good person, but he certainly (even
if through bad methods) built the Soviet Union into
a superpower, capable of winning the war.
Alex G
Stalin in the 1930s
A 1934 propaganda poster titled “peasants can
live like a human”
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