Industrialisation and Gosplan - Coggle Diagram
Industrialisation and Gosplan
Stalin was the nickname of Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili. It meant "man of steel". The NEP was not industrialising Russia fast enough for the Communist leadership. In 1927, the first Five-Year plan was announced to drive forward the process of industrialisation.
Abandonment of the NEP
The 1927 war scare (between Russia and European powers) caused concerns about industry because Russia would have needed the industrial capacity to produce weapons in order to compete with the capitalist West.
Stalin also believed that if the Soviet Union was going to survive as a major power, it needed to industrialise rapidly.
Stalin saw industrialisation as a way for him to win the power struggle within the party.
Abandoning the NEP was also popular with the workers.
Gosplan was the committee responsible for delivering the 5 year plans. It had existed since 1920 but now became more important.
It set targets for factory managers and workers and worked to ensure they were achieved. Five thousand new factories were created between 1928 and 1937.
The success of five year plans
The first two Five-Year Plans were completed each within 4 years. This was a great success.
The first focused on heavy industries, whilst the second looked to use resources more efficiently, and to provide consumer goods.
Aleksey Stakhanov was the son of a peasant from Ukraine. There was a story that in August 1935 he managed to mine 102 tons of coal in under 6 hours. This was 14 times more than his quota.
He was held up as an example to other workers, and became a national hero.
He travelled the country and appeared the cover of Time magazine in the west.
He received two Orders of Lenin and the Order of the Red Banner.
Stakhanov as propaganda
In reality, Stakhanov had assistants to help him in this work, and he had better equipment.
In practice, those who tried to copy him disrupted the smooth running of their factories in pursuit of personal gain.
He was used by the Soviet Union as an example of a Soviet worker.
Stephen Kotkin (1999): Stakhanovism was rife in the Soviet Union. "Turning work into sport seems to have captured the imagination of an emerging soviet working class."
by December 1936 more than half of the workers at Magnitogorsk were shock workers or Stakhanovites.
One man said "working at the blooming mill is a contagious disease" in reference to the addictive nature of meeting and exceeding targets.
The regime would try and raise productivity by making neighbouring factories compete.