The so-called "Second Revolution" refers to the changes brought to the USSR by Stalin, in particular his industrial drive. In your view was it a success or a failure? Be certain to evaluate both the positive and negative dimensions of his program.
Stalin’s goal to build a stronger industrial economy was a success; however his methods to achieve his industrial goals were a complete failure. While evaluating Stalin’s “Second Revolution,” especially his industrial drive, I found it difficult to decide if what Stalin achieved was a complete success or complete failure.
The definition of success in this case, is measured by Stalin’s plan to make the USSR one of the worlds leading industrial nations. By the end of Stalin’s Five Year Plan oil, coal, electricity and steel production had all risen, important new industries were developed, along with new sources of raw material. Modern weapons and transportation improvements also helped the USSR in its effort to show the world Russia’s new developments.
Although Stalin was victorious in his extreme and rapid industrialization of the USSR, the way in which he achieved them was anything but successful.
Due to most investments going toward industrialization, a shortage in consumer products caused a negative effect on the economy. Russia was left with poor-quality, useless goods. Most of the labor-force was poorly trained. Precious resources were wasted to make room for more industrialization. During collectivization Stalin and his followers implemented gruesome and fatal attacks on peasants, especially the kulaks during Dekulakization. Kulaks were the best and most efficient farmers and could have been extremely useful on the collective farms. Peasant revolts bought economic catastrophe by destroying crops, and slaughtering cattle. Stalin had failed socially and culturally during this “Second Revolution.”
Does the death of millions of innocent people override Stalin’s industrial success? In my opinion, yes. By following Bukharin methods, Stalin might have been able to become just as successful in industrializing the USSR, without having to slaughter peasants and destroy resources.