In some ways the NEP was a success:
It helped the Bolshevik government survive the problems of 1921 – there were no new revolts, and the government was able to establish itself securely in power.
It made the peasants and small traders happy – gave them a little more money in their pockets.
It stimulated production, which went back to 1913 levels.
It helped the country recover from the Civil War.
It produced more food – in 1921 there had been a famine; by 1923 there was enough food going into the towns.
In other ways it was a huge failure:
It caused splits in the Communist Party – many Bolsheviks resigned. In his leadership struggle with Trotsky, Stalin was able to use these splits to seize power.
It was a massive ideological retreat. During ‘War Communism’ Russia had been governed by pure Communist ideals. The NEP allowed free enterprise and personal profit – it was almost an admission that Communism did not work.
It fed the existing population, but it did not provide the ‘agricultural revolution’ that was needed to support a huge growth in Russia ’s population, industry and power.
It did not produce extra food for sale abroad – and Russia needed to generate income to spend on investment in industry.
The did not stimulate the investment and modernisation that was needed – the Russian economy remained poor and backward compared with western countries.
The kulaks grew rich – and they resisted strenuously when Stalin tried to collectivise the farms. g.
Conditions for the proletariat (working class in the towns) did not improve.
by 1927 there was growth in the economy compared with 1921 but:
the NEP was not pure Communism and
it did not provide the basis for the rapid developments that were needed if Russia was to defeat Nazi Germany.
You have to look at the stated aims of War Communism to decide whether or not it was a success.
The aims were:
To socialise the economy - to nationalise all industry and the banks. To feed the cities.
It had eight principles:
1 All large factories to be controlled by the government.
2 Production planned and organised by the government.
3 Discipline for workers were strict and striker could be shot. 4 Obligatory labour duty was imposed onto "non-working classes". 5 prodrazvyorstka -- requisition of agricultural surpluses from peasants in excess of absolute minimum for centralised distribution among the remaining population. 6 Food and most commodities were rationed and distributed in a centralised way. 7 Private enterprise became illegal.
8 Military-like control of railroads was introduced.
According to the aims, War Communism was a partial success. The economy was taken into the hands of the state, and food was brought into the cities. But, by every other measure it was a failure. Production dropped to pre-war levels, especially in agriculture - as peasants had no incentive to produce crops as the Red Guard simply stole whatever they could find. War Communism was the name given to the economic system that existed in Russia from 1918 to 1921. War Communism was introduced by Lenin to combat the economic problems brought on by the civil war in Russia. It was a combination of emergency measures and socialist dogma. One of the first measures of War Communism was the nationalisation of land. Banks and shipping were also nationalised and foreign trade was declared a state monopoly. This was the response when Lenin realised that the Bolsheviks were simply unprepared to take over the whole economic system of Russia. Lenin stressed the importance of the workers showing discipline and a will to work hard if the revolution was to survive. There were those in the Bolshevik hierarchy who wanted factory managers removed and the workers to take over the factories for themselves but on behalf of the people. It was felt that the workers would work better if they believed they were working...
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