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“Collectivisation was a political success but an economic failure and a human disaster” discuss.

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Introduction

"Collectivisation was a political success but an economic failure and a human disaster" discuss. Well, where does one begin to discuss three views that are completely open to interpretation, and with one of those views being as extreme to say that the human cost was a 'disaster', at least it is going to be easier to write about collectivisation in retrospect than I'm sure it was for Stalin who had to deal with the problem head on there and then. To open this essay first I feel it important that everyone knows what exactly the term collectivisation is. The Merriam-Webmaster Online dictionary tells us it is: a political or economic theory advocating collective control especially over production and distribution. This basically means that the Russian government was planning to merge all the small privately owned farms under one central power that will control all production and all the finances of said farm, these groups of farms will be known as collectives. Each collective will be given a set targets to reach within a set time, failure to complete said target could mean a lot of punishment for the peasants working on these collective farms. This was a huge scale event involving 120 million people living in 600,000 villages, 25 million private holdings where turned into 240,000 state-controlled collective farms in a matter of months. ...read more.

Middle

Now we shall take a look at the economic side of collectivisation. The statement in the title of this essay lays claim to it being an economic failure, other sources I have looked at would say as much as an economic disaster. These comments are not without reason; by looking at figures for the grain harvest and grain procurement we can see disturbing trends. Trends such as grain harvest never getting over the amount harvested by the peasants in Tsarist Russia, and when you compare figures we also find that even though grain production dropped, grain procurement did not, this left the peasants with very high demands and would obviously leave them feeling disgruntled. Fear of famine because grain was not meeting the required targets lead to Stalin having to intervene in an attempt to appease the people, using Article 107 he was able to justify seizures of large amounts of grain, further enraging the peasants. The loss of animal livestock must also be noted, a loss that Russia did not recover from until after the Second World War. Now with the negativities out of the way we should look at the more positive side of the collectivisation program with regards to the economic well being of Russia. ...read more.

Conclusion

So you can take the perspective of comparing the human death toll to what the death rate among the Russian people was in Tsarist Russia, or you could look at it compared to what it might have been if they did not during the war. Personally I would not call it a disaster, because there are positives and in my mind a disaster has to be total devastation. I understand this viewpoint may breed controversy but I don't believe it should generate anymore than the point that it's a disaster. I will close this section with a famous quote that sums up this section well 'The death of one individual is a tragedy, death to millions is a statistic' Joseph Stalin To conclude, just because the arguments I have put forward differ from that of the original statement, it does not mean that mine are wrong, or indeed theirs is wrong, it simply proves the point that all of history is open to interpretation with different quotes and actions seen differently from person to person. This final quotation to end this essay seems appropriate 'What happened between November 1929 and December 1931 cannot be grasped merely by reciting statistics... a socio-economic system in existence for five hundred years vanished for ever.' C. Ward, Stalin's Russia 1993 ?? ?? ?? ?? Toby Osbourn 13EB History 28/04/07 1. ...read more.

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