Break Stalin Essay Research Paper Break StalinDestalinization

Break Stalin Essay, Research Paper

Break Stalin

Destalinization: A Wise Political Strategy Although many of his ideas did not bring the expected results, Nikita Khrushchev policies of de-Stalinization were politically wise. He went against many of Stalin s tyrannical policies and gave the people a much greater sense of freedom. In the process known as de-Stalinization , legal procedures were restored, some greater degree of meaningful public controversy was permitted, forced labor camps were closed and the secret police tactics of Stalin s era were erased. Stalin s method of personal rule was replaced by group rule and more orderly processes of government, the terror apparatus was largely dismantled, the economy was notably modernized and foreign policy was conducted with much greater diplomatic initiative and flexibility. There was free political discussion, a standard forty-hour work week where people were free to change jobs, better government planning on production, and eased travel restrictions over the Iron Curtain . In the process of de-Stalinization the cities that were once named in honor of Stalin were given new names or returned to their old names1. The statues and pictures of Stalin were destroyed and letters were sent to families of those who were killed in battle, which criticized Stalin s weak leadership during the time of the war. Stalin s grave was vandalized during this process, and Khrushchev gained approval from the West. These policies were used to erase the past and ease the minds of those who suffered under the dictator2. Khrushchev worked to denounce his former leaders doings and clean up the image of the nation on a worldwide scale. Khrushchev worked hard to be agreeable with the majority of people he ruled. He sought to contrast his own present policies with the extremities of Stalinism, and therefore restore public confidence in the Soviet system.3 Perhaps the most notable example of de-Stalinization was where Khrushchev denounced Stalin and criticized the dictator along with those who agreed with his views. These views which murdered so many Russian Citizens. At the 20th All-Union Party Congress (1956) where Khrushchev delivered a secret report on The Personality Cult and Its Consequences, bitterly denouncing the rule, policies, and personality of Stalin.4 The speech was supposedly kept a secret so that the Capitalist media would not receive word of it and gain an edge over the Communists if they knew of the problems occurring within the party. Khrushchev accused Stalin of being responsible for mass murders and deportations, the German invasion during World War II (1939-1945), and the USSR s break with Yugoslavia. During this period the public was given a say in the government, even though an extremely minor one, and the judicial system eased it s aggressiveness allowing a defendant a better chance of defending themselves. This was called The Associates Credit Card ServicesThe Associates Credit Card Services thaw, which meant the relaxation of police terror, the release of hundreds of thousands from labor camps, and the relaxation of censorship. A new policy of economy was brought in known as New Course . Khrushchev concerned himself with bettering the troubles of the individual, attempting to increase the supply of food and making goods such as home appliances, making automobiles somewhat available, and providing more housing. A new policy of efficiency and quality control was brought in. Leadership was somewhat decentralized to allow common managers and directors more power to run their production units. It helped to balance the agriculture and increase food production so there were less food shortages. Machine and Tractor Stations (MTSs) were set up in the countryside with skilled mechanics employed to provide and service agricultural machinery. The districts were allowed to decide on what crops to plant and when, rather than being directed from the center. Quotas for compulsory sale to the state were eased. Thousands of young people and Party workers were dispatched as labor and supervisory personnel to do the job. Also Khrushchev initiated the Virgin Lands Program in 1953, introducing intensive irrigation to increase arable land and thus raise food production bringing into cultivation 32 million acres of previously uncultivated land in Kazakhstan and southwestern Siberia. 85,000,000 additional acres of land were under cultivation by 1956.. All these measures were identified with Khrushchev, who evidently took over agricultural policy from Malenkov in September 1953. In January 1955 Khrushchev demanded that around seventy million acres be planted in corn for fodder in order to increase livestock production. The resulting cornfields, on flat and hilly country, in cold and warm regions, earned him the nickname of kukuruzchik ( the corn enthusiast ). Soil erosion and unpredictable weather wiped out whole harvests, and by the mid-1960s sandstorms became a serious problem. Despite everything, the project of expanding agriculture into the virgin lands succeeded, and to this day form a major part of the region s grain sources. In 1954, the virgin lands provided 37 million tons of the country s 85 million tons of grain. In 1956, 63m of a total of 125m tons; in 1962, 56m of a total of 140m; in 1963, 38m of 108m; in 1964, 66m of 152m. Khrushchev wanted a peaceful coexistence between the US and the Soviet Union, and met with the American leadership on several occasions. He cancelled a summit meeting in Paris when an American plane was shot down while spying on the Soviet Union. It helped the war-battered nation avoid further war with the West. Most importantly, he proclaimed the necessity of coexistence with the west and declared that a nuclear war would mean he end of both capitalism and socialism. In relations with the west, Khrushchev s tenure was marked by sudden shifts and a series of high stakes crises such as the U2 affair, the building of the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Through it all he consistently maintained the need for peaceful coexistence in the nuclear age.5 He toured the United States in 1959 and met with President Eisenhower at Camp David, thus helping to ameliorate the international tensions created by his threat to sign a separate peace with East Germany. Thousands of settlers were brought in from European Russia7. The Geneva Summit of 1955 among Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States, and the Camp David Summit of 1959 between Eisenhower and Khrushchev raised hopes of a more cooperative spirit between East and West. Khrushchev explained the doctrine of peaceful co-existence to a reception at the Albanian Embassy in April 1957, in this way: In our relations with the capitalist countries we steadfastly adhere to Lenin s principle of peaceful coexistence. … We shall never take up arms to force the ideas of communism upon anybody. We do not need to do that, for the ideas of communism express the vital interests of the popular masses. Our ideas, the ideas of communism have such great vitality that no weapon can destroy them, that not even the nuclear weapon can hold up the development of these progressive ideas. Our ideas will capture the minds of mankind. The attempts of the imperialist to arrest the spread of the ideas of communism by force of arms are doomed to failure. … 8 Or, as Khrushchev explained the policy to the Supreme Soviet on 31 October 1959: The Soviet Union and all the socialist countries have opened up for humanity the road for a socialist development without war on the basis of peaceful collaboration.

The conflict between the two systems must and can be resolved by peaceful

means … Coexistence is something real, flowing from the existing world

situation of human society … Several well-known personalities, and in the first

place President Eisenhower, want to find ways of reinforcing peace 9 Under

his direction the soviets made great advances in the science, particularly in

nuclear energy and space exploration. During the Khrushchev period there

was an all-out program to increase the production of energy.10 Between

1954 and 1965, electrical power generation grew from 150m Mw to 507m

Mw, oil from 53m tons to 347m tons, coal from 347m tons to 578m tons.11

At the same time, steel production was increased from 41m tons to 91m

tons. There was also a sharp turn to the development of science and

technology. Soviet science had almost died in the early 1930s as a result of

Stalin s policy of dictation of the line in science, which had wiped out whole

branches of science, and left others in the realm of pseudo-science. In the

interval, the bare minimum of scientific research required for military purposes

had been carried out in the labor camps.12 Very significant resources were

now provided to science, including fundamental research. Living standards

improved markedly during Khrushchev s period. More and more people

were able to receive tertiary education, although this was generally available

either after working for a number of years, or at night school. More freedom

of movement between jobs was allowed.13 Pensions were increased, with a

qualifying age of 65 for men, 60 for women, but available for men with 25

years seniority in their job, 20 years for women, substantially better than in

the West. Additional pension rights were granted to bureaucrats, police and

scientific researchers.14 The length of the working week was reduced by two

hours and maternity leave extended from 70 to 112 days. Between 1953 and

1964 the area of housing space was doubled, although it still remained in very

short supply, and less on average than the minimum prescribed by US prison

regulations at the time. The minimum wage was doubled, although social

service professionals remained among the lowest paid.15 From the

excitement of the Khrushchev era, with his remonstrations at the UN,

demagogic speeches, the confrontations, the spectacular achievements in

space, the huge new hydroelectric schemes, the colonization of the virgin

lands and decentralization of planning, Stalinism moved into the dull grayness

of decline16. Although Khrushchev was peacefully removed from office by a

triumvirate in October 1964 and many of his plans failed, his initial goal was

reached. That night he returned home and exclaimed, Well, that s it. I m

retired now. Perhaps the most important thing I did was just this that they

were able to get rid of me simply by voting, whereas Stalin would have had

them all arrested .


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