Compare and contrast the economic policies of Lenin and Stalin and evaluate their success.

Essay by benelvisA-, May 2004

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Compare and contrast the economic policies of Lenin and Stalin and evaluate their success.

Comparing Lenin and Stalin one finds that both were following a communist ideal but what is the communist ideal? The main principal is to share a country's wealth amongst its people. This is the theoretical side of the communist idea; the practical side requires a careful planning of the country's economy and also a system that makes sure that everybody is treated equally.

When Lenin and the communist party took over power, following the revolution in 1917, Lenin made sure that a council took over the planning of the economy. The council was called the "Vesenkha" and established a planning commission in 1921 called the "Gosplan".

Following his succession to power in 1924, Stalin promised the Russian people that he would carry on Lenin's legacy, which meant continuing with Lenin's policies and also his aim to establish communism throughout the Soviet Union and the rest of the world.

However, comparing their strategies, one finds that Stalin moved away from Lenin's ideals, War Communism and his New Economic Policies (NEP).

In order to evaluate the success, or to some extent the failure, of their economic policies, it is necessary to consider their personal ambitions, if any, and the internal and external circumstances facing the USSR that influenced economic policy making. (Miss Daley's essay)

Lenin and the communist party only had a vague idea how the communist philosophy should be put into practise. This included especially the economic proposals of the communist philosophy. The first economic ideas to be put into practise were reactionary and were formulated to please the Bolsheviks (the communist party). One of these ideas was the Land Decree of 1917 which was a radical change for Russia. It abolished all private ownership...