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Stalin's Collectivisation

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I'm revising for the paper 2, and I find it extremely confusing to sort out the results of collectivization under Stalin. I know that politically, it can be considered a success for eliminating the kulaks, but economically, how successful was it, say, by WWII? The information I've been seeing on the Internet seems to be contradictory to each other. Some claim it a great success while others claimed that production declined towards the end, or even that production started out poorly but improved greatly by the time war broke out.

I'm really confused because economic results should be very quantifiable and statistically-based. Which is the truth??

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One of the biggest issues with Stalin's collectivization is that any results that you do find are very likely to be fabricated. If I remember my studies correctly, throughout the duration of the program, the CPSU gave unrealistic demands and threatened imprisonment if they were not met. This led to many people topping up their quotas (they were faced with decades in a gulag otherwise so what did they have to lose). I would assume this led to many of these not being included in textbooks because we don't know which are true and which aren't!

The other issue is that the soviet government was extremely secretive, it's not hard to believe that they wouldn't release this information to anyone outside of the party. Despite Gorbachev's perestroika and de-Stalinization decades later, I wouldn't doubt this information could have been lost.

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Collectivization is often considered an economic success in that it industrialized the Soviet Union and made them a world power. Normally stats make economics easier to interpret. However, much of the stats were faked and/or doctored to reflect quotas so they aren't always indicative of success or failure. 

Roy A Medvedev writes quite a bit on Stalinism and the five year plans. (If you have time, I would suggest reading his work) Citing that during the first year things were going great but after that it started to go south from there. 

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17 minutes ago, IB_taking_over said:

Collectivization is often considered an economic success in that it industrialized the Soviet Union and made them a world power. Normally stats make economics easier to interpret. However, much of the stats were faked and/or doctored to reflect quotas so they aren't always indicative of success or failure. 

Roy A Medvedev writes quite a bit on Stalinism and the five year plans. (If you have time, I would suggest reading his work) Citing that during the first year things were going great but after that it started to go south from there. 

Thanks for the author suggestion, I'll have to check his pieces out once I'm free from this years exams.

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