Every group, party and country has an ultimate advisor or leader. This person is responsible for making educated decisions based upon the best interests of their members, followers and citizens. Leaders set goals and create objectives that the people they control will work towards. For any type of group to be successful, it is required that there is one individual to consent or eliminate the ideas proposed. However, sometimes there are leaders who desire to obtain something with so much integrity that the best interests of the party are not met or are overruled.
The leader will merely use its party to obtain the goals he or she wants, and abuse the rights and privileges of the party. Joseph Stalin, leader of the USSR from 1922 to 1953, would vastly expand the ideas of communism and collectivism. Collectivism is a term used to denote a political or economic system in which the means of production and the distribution of goods and services are controlled by the government. Communism is a form of collectivism that is a concept of society in which major resources and means of production are owned by the government rather than by individuals.
Joseph Stalin stretches these concepts to the extreme and leaves an impact on society by increasing Russian production, forcing the USSR into famine and through the executions of many USSR citizens. Firstly, Stalin imprints society by increasing the USSR’s production. Under Stalin’s rule, five hundred new factories are built during the global economic depression in the 1930’s. Also, one quarter of the total coal production in the USSR comes from the new pit’s Stalin has made.
A twenty five percent increase is noted in the number of new oil wells. Steel production is increased from four million tons annually to seventeen million tons. Heavy industry production is increased four hundred percent under Stalin’s dictatorship. Stalin creates an enormous production boom, which greatly effects the nation. With more produce there is more employment resulting in the growth of Russia’s wealth. Furthermore, mass production provides more materials available for export. This gains Russia wealth, trade partners and allies.
Stalin transforms Russia into a major nation, and is the only one in his lifetime to rival the United States as a nuclear superpower. This makes Russia appear more intimidating and successful, causing many countries to re-evaluate their position as allies and enemies. Great gains are made in living standards, literacy, medical care and nutrition as a result of mass production. During Stalin’s leadership, life for millions of Russians is improved on a material level through his successes of production. Secondly, Stalin impacts the way of Russian life through the famine he causes.
During Stalin’s attempt of mass food production, he executes five million agriculturists, and imprisons five percent of Russia’s peasants. This does not leave enough farmers to produce the vast quantity of food necessary. Stalin however demands that the remaining peasants account for all of their work as well as the missing peasants. This is an impossible task. Many peasants die of hunger and exhaustion. More so, with the lagging production of food many people go hungry. There is not enough food for everyone, thus, it drives Russia into a great famine.
Another estimated five million Russian citizens die of starvation under Stalin’s command. Not only did this impact the families that lost loved ones, or those that lost their lives, Russia had previously exported food and would now have to import food for many decades to come in order to feed it’s people. This decreases the wealth of Russia, and all previous efforts to rise the USSR into higher power are lost. Had Stalin imposed other methods of encouraging his peasants to work perhaps this would not have happened.
The great famine that Stalin caused, went on to effect many countries for along time. Other countries would now gain wealth as a result of the famine. Thirdly, Stalin not only shocks the world, but also leaves one of the most deviating impacts Russia will ever encounter. Throughout his rule, Stalin becomes responsible for the deaths of twenty million USSR citizens. Stalin is held accountable for the famine, thus, also being responsible for the five million deaths that came as a result. In his later years, Stalin becomes extremely suspicious of everyone.
Stalin accuses millions of people as being spies, and exiles thousands of them to the Arctic region of Siberia. All those exiled die of starvation, disease or simply freeze to death. Many others that are accused, are sent to prison camps. Here they are not fed, and ordered to do work, as they are now government slaves. The majority of these prisoners die of brutal conditions, disease and starvation. Furthermore, not only does Stalin place his citizens in situations where the majority will die, he also begins to execute and murder people.
Stalin slaughters a variety of citizens. When Sergei Kirov becomes a threat to Stalin’s power, he has him killed. Stalin then conspires and blames the crime on two other Bolshevik members so he can execute them as well. His paranoia then leads him to kill another fourteen members of the Communist party. When Stalin begins to become suspicious of government employees he begins to execute them. Later, he moves on to killing middle-level factory workers, priests, teachers of foreign language, writers, artists and even those who have relatives or friends in foreign countries.
By the late 1930’s Stalin has murders every high ranking Bolshevik that was involved in the October Revolution in 1917. As Stalin gets worse, so do his casualties, an estimated twenty five thousand military officers were executed under Stalin’s demand. “I will kill people as long as it is necessary, for you cannot make a revolution with silk gloves on” (Dunn 97). Stalin’s insanity will not stop until he dies, for he sees his actions as justified. These actions leave the Russian civilization feeling powerless and devastated. It will take years before Russia can heal her wounds.