This article written by Joseph Stalin in 1928 is a examination of Soviet economic development, and the issues it faced in comparison to other western powers. Stalin wanted to combine the “backward” economy of the peasants with a “large scale and united socialist industry”. Stalin was aware of how far behind Russia was in relation to Germany, France and other large western countries, in regards to the technological advances in each country. Stalin believed that a combination of the Soviet system and Soviet power with advanced technology would trump any nation.
The beginning of the article struck me in particular. In this section Stalin makes a direct comparison of Russia and Germany. He makes this relation in a rather competitive nature, and he writes that the only reason for Russia’s inability to produce like Germany is the head start Germany got in creating a industrial economy. It is obvious to all that Russia and Germany engaged in war only 13 years later. This section could be read as a direct challenge to Germany and an example of the tensions that existed between the two lands. There was another aspect that I thought of however. That is the technological agreements between the two before the war. Could this article have been an acceptance of Germany’s ability in this field and a plea for help? Or was it a combination of grudging respect and a deep desire to achieve success? I think this is a section that can be viewed from a few different historical angles, coming from Stalin himself the rhetoric feels that much more meaningful.