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How was Stalin's industrialization drive connected to the Soviet foreign policy?

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v44smr | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted August 5, 2012 at 5:17 PM via web

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How was Stalin's industrialization drive connected to the Soviet foreign policy?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 6, 2012 at 12:40 AM (Answer #1)

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In his speech on Soviet Industrialization, Stalin made it very clear that the foreign policy that it must pursue sets itself up against the Western capitalist nations that have to be seen as a threat.  At the conclusion of his speech, Stalin brings this out as a way to make clear that his desire for a fast paced drive for industrialization is carved out of a fear of the Western capitalist nations that are fundamentally threatened by the Soviet Union:

In the past we had no fatherland, nor could we have one. But now that we have overthrown capitalism and power is in our hands, in the hands of the people, we have a fatherland, and we will defend its independence. Do you want our socialist fatherland to be beaten and to lose its independence? 

In this idea, Stalin makes it clear that the foreign policy of the Soviet Union is one in which the capitalist nations of the West are seen as a threat, something to be overcome.  The need for a fast paced and intense industrialization plan is to prevent being overtaken by the West, something that is brought out in the conclusion of the speech:

We are fifty or a hundred years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this distance in ten years. Either we do it, or we shall be crushed.

This concept constructs foreign policy in the manner where the fundamental, existential threat of capitalism in the West challenges the Soviet Union.  If it is not faced and mastered through the intense pace of Soviet Industrialization, Stalin's argument is that the nation will be threatened.  In this, the foreign policy objective of Stalin is revealed.

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