To what extent were Stalin's economic policies successful?
Stalin's economic policies mainly resided on the Five- Year plans and collectivization (which part of the plans). He wanted to carry out these policies in order to turn the Soviet Union into a modern world power, to demonstrate the superiority of a communist State and to improve the living standards of the population. Stalin accomplished to industrialize the country and compete with Western powers, as well as being successful at putting rural and urban areas under state control, but at terrible human and social costs and also agriculture was successful to some extent in certain aspects, but it had a set back.
Stalin's policies were highly efficacious in terms of political control of the party over the country and its people, since the economic policies were set by GOSPLAN, whose instructions and demands passed down to all factories and farms, which gave more political control to Stalin, as they were obliged to obey GOSPLAN.
With the collectivization, rural areas were put into the state's control because land wouldn't be of the peasant own use anymore and it would be shared, with the usage of tractors loaned by the Motor Tractor Stations, owned by the state, and monitored by the secret police. Stalin was able to control the production, since before the NEP and Kulaks, who were seen as threats, had controlled prices of grain, making them always high. By 1943 there were no Kulaks, who were seen as threats because they were conservative and had private holdings of lands (which was contrary to the Communist ideology), left since the surplus could not be sold, no peasant would be richer, and they were being sent to labor camps, as well as anyone who objected, this way, eliminating the one opposed to Stalin`s communism...