Reform or Bust

 

In 1921, Lenin introduced the New Economic Policy in order to rebuild Russia’s devastated economy. The Russian Civil War left Russia in pieces, especially the economy. Furthermore, citizens faced terrible economic hardships. As a result, there was a strong decline in Bolshevik support. Lenin realized that he needed to do something. Thus, the War Communism Polity was ousted and Lenin moved away from his socialistic policies in order to maintain power for the Bolsheviks. The New Economic Policy was to remedy all of these concerns.

The New Economic Policy was supposed to be temporary and its core objectives were to improve the economy, ease growing social strains, and strengthen the communist government. Ironically, this economic policy seemed to encourage a capitalist mindset. Even though the New Economic Policy established economic balance, it resulted in a recurrence of capitalism that made the justification of this policy challenging when Russia was striving for socialism. The Bolsheviks weren’t keen on the idea of having an open market in their socialist economy despite the fact that the famine and material shortages had forced many citizens to utilize the black market. Lenin claimed the New Economic Policy was a crucial step towards complete socialism.

Prodnalog was a vital factor of the New Economic Policy. It was a tax on food. Essentially, it allowed peasants to sell their food surpluses on the open market, instead of having their surplus claimed by the state. As a result of using this tax, people could keep the rest of the food that they produced and do whatever they wanted with it. People could sell the food or keep it. Thus, helping to revitalize the Russian economy. In addition to the peasants having an incentive to yield more grain, the New Economic Policy allowed the denationalization of many small-scale industries.

The New Economic Policy could be considered a success. The economy recovered despite the devastating effects of all the previous wars. The citizens went from undergoing famine at one point to no longer being anxious; agriculture soared. The Bolshevik party was split due to the New Economic Plan. Many people were against the fact that they had to resort to capitalist policies to get the economy to flourish. Lenin had never intended for the New Economic Policy to be long lasting, but it’s considered indispensable in turning the economy back into Communism.

 

Bibliography:  

The New Economic Policy

Moscow from ARA to NEP

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/history/mwh/russia/theneprev1.shtml

http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/history/new-economic-policy.html