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Political Science

STAGES IN SOVIET MODERNIZATION PROJECT Summary of Soviet & Russian Federation Period 1. Militant Communism (1918-1920) (Lenin) 2. New Economic Policy (1921-1928) (Lenin) 3. Great Transformation (1928-1953) (Stalin) 4. Reform (1953-1964) (Khrushchev) 5. Reaction (1964-1985) (Brezhnev) 6. Reconstruction (Perestroika) (1985-1991) (Gorbachev) 7. Shock Therapy (1992-1999) (Eltsin) 8. Reassertion of State (2000- ?) Putin / Medvedev 1. REVOLUTION (November 1917) (Lenin)  Seize power in name of ‘socialist’ revolution;  Party directs transfer of power and sets agenda;  New state structure: • ‘dictatorship of proletariat’; • withering away of state as instrument of class rule; • state & planning substitute for private sector & market;  New social structure: • elimination of major sources of exploitation (classes, national identities, etc); • society governed by principles of equality, harmony, etc; • creation of individual, collective, community identity: New Soviet Person; • significant increase in industrial base, urbanization, technology  high level of material well-being; • “From each according to ability to each according to needs”; • Four stages: dictatorship of proletariat; building socialism; socialism; communism.  General Comments: • Vague and indeterminate vision; • Lack of plan, methods, time frame; • Attraction: Russian leads way of industrialized world into future (unique Russian path + catching up to & surpassing West). 2. MILITANT COMMUNISM (1918 – 1921) (Lenin) o End war and reconsolidate control over former territories; o Control land to extract surplus production; o Rapid nationalization of key sectors of economy (banks, heavy industry, transport, resources); o Universal labour duty & strictly imposed discipline; o Monopoly of political power (Party, ban bourgeois & socialist parties, Soviets, CHEKA, Red Army etc). Result: tensions between regime and workers / peasants. 3. NEW ECONOMIC POLICY (1921 -1928) (Lenin) o Reinforce party monopoly of political power (precondition):  Strengthen internal party unity (ban on party factions);  Strengthen party control over other organizations (unions); o Federal state structure (Treaty of Union 1922 /Constitution 1924); o Major concessions to private sector:  Peasants: tax-in-kind  monetary tax;  Bourgeoisie: limited return to manufacturing & trade;  Limited market; o Party / State retain control over “commanding heights”. Result: tension. Debate over modernization strategy between desire for rapid modernization and control over economic and human resources (Preobrazhensky) and gradual transformation with balance between public and private sectors (Bukharin). 4. STALINIST TRANSFORMATION (1928 – 1953) [Lenin dies 1924. Stalin uses administrative power of Party General Secretary to consolidate power & eliminate opponents.] Stalin imposes strategy of rapid modernization through centralized state-planned / state-administered development: (“command- administrative system”):  Market set aside for state (political / administrative decisions on investment, pricing, sectoral balances, regional development, etc  Planning: 5 year cycles; physical quantities / balances;  Party (rukovodstvo) – State (upravlenie);  Industrialization (heavy industry, large projects, urban development); heavy capital investment & defense spending; low investment in consumer sectors.  Agriculture (collectivization, kolkhoz / sovkhoz);
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