Dizzy with Success

In the late 1920s the Soviet government began to collectivize agriculture within the country. In this document Stalin boasts about the rapid success of this newly implemented program in regards to agricultural output. Since the program has had such a swift and unexpected success, Stalin attempts to dissuade the public from being lured into feeling of contentment and complacency. He wishes to promote further advancement of the the country’s agricultural potential in order to obtain the “full victory of socialism.”

Although the collectivization of agriculture in the Soviet Union did succeed in several regards, it was a highly controversial program as well. Stalin wrote that “even our enemies are forced to admit that the successes are substantial,” in order to make opponents of the policy reevaluate their criticisms. He needed to defend the collectivization program because it was met by heavy opposition from propertied individuals who would be required to forfeit their lands. Many peasants ¬†knew that the state would benefit from having large quantities of cheap grain continually available, but these same peasants also realized that this same policy would have a negative impact on them as individuals because they would be forced to sell their grain at cheap, state dictated prices.

Did the impressive immediate results of collectivization effectively dissuade many of the programs critics? Or did most of them realize that it was merely a short run phenomena that would be difficult to expand and sustain?

3 thoughts on “Dizzy with Success

  1. I think you make a mistake in taking Stalin at his word. When he writes about “his staunchest critics” I think he does not necessarily know or care who they are. They represent an abstract notion of the enemy, who only exist insofar as Stalin can demonize them and repudiate their criticisms.

  2. I think that some of them were dissuaded by the program success, but others still did not believe in it and were against it. However, as mentioned in the previous comment, I don’t think that Stalin cared about the opinion of the people criticizing his programs. He simply imposed his opinion, and got rid of those who opposed him by killing, or imprisoning them.

  3. I think many critics were dissuaded by Stalin himself rather than the program itself. If you disagreed about any ideas or that your political ideology was different from the State, then you most likely would have been sent to a prison camp, as the last two comments say. I honestly feel that Stalin did not need to defend it. The State was the ultimate authority.

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