To What Extent Did Stalin Transform the Society and Economy of the Ussr?

To what extent did Stalin transform the society and economy of the Soviet Union?

Joseph Stalin ceased power after the death of Lenin in 1924; by 1928 Stalin was a prominent figure in the Communist party and was ready to implement his transformation of the USSR. He transformed the Soviet Union to an immense degree; he brought about total change. Stalin introduced a command economy after the introduction of Socialism in one country; the command economy was when all the decisions were made only by the government and Stalin himself.   Stalin felt that Russia could no longer rely on world Revolution as Lenin believed (permanent revolution). Stalin believed that priority had to be given to the industrialization of Russia or it could be defeated by hostile powers which surrounded it, ‘’we are 50 or 100 years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this lag in 10 years or be crushed.’’   Stalin hence put forward his theory of ‘’Socialism in one country’’ in which he argued that all that was needed was a strategy involving creating an industrial nation with a heavy emphasis on coal, iron and vast public works, collectivization and rule with an iron fist.. Propaganda portrayed all Stalin did as a great success for the new Russia but society was to change dramatically through the intense use of terror and slave labour.
Stalin’s first 5-year plan, 1928-32, emphasized heavy industry such as coal and iron. Stalin set unrealistic goals for the workers such as a 250% increase in overall industrial development and a 330% expansion in heavy industry. Many new industrial centers were built, predominantly in the East Ural Mountains; the iron and steel works at the new industrial city Magnitogorsk were being made. Magnitogorsk was a huge project and a massive success, Stalin rapidly changed from an agricultural state to a modern industrial society. Tractor factories at Stalingrad and Kharkov were constructed, a vast plant for agricultural machinery at Sverdlovsk was...