By Michael Lynch
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Extra info for Access to History. Stalin's Russia 1924-53
Recent history had shown that a strong industrial base was an absolute essential for a modern state and there was common agreement among Soviet Communists about that. The quarrel was not over whether the USSR should industrialise, but over how and at what speed. History had further shown that the industrial expansion that had taken place in the previous century, in such countries as Germany and Britain, had relied on a ready supply of resources and the availability of capital for investment. Russia was rich in natural resources, but these had yet to be effectively exploited, and it certainly did not possess large amounts of capital.
In practice, there was little difference between the two. Both types of farm were to be the means by which private peasantownership would be ended and agriculture made to serve the interests of the Soviet state. The plan was to group between 50 and 100 holdings into one unit. It was believed that large farms would be more efficient and would encourage the effective use of agricultural machinery. Indeed, the motorised tractor became the outstanding symbol of this mechanising of Soviet farming. Key question How did Stalin plan to pay for industrialisation?
Organisation • The difficulty experienced by the Right in advancing their views was the same as that which had confronted the Left. How could they impress their ideas upon the Party while Stalin remained master of the Party’s organisation? • Bukharin and his colleagues wanted to remain good Party men and it was this sense of loyalty that weakened them in their attempts to oppose Stalin. Fearful of creating ‘factionalism’, they hoped that they could win the whole Party round to their way of thinking without causing deep divisions.