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The most important of Stalin's social policies was forced collectivization of farmlands. Essentially millions of peasants were forced to labor to meet production quotas, and were often forced to live on agricultural collectives. Many resisted, in particular the land-owning kulaks, who were almost entirely liquidated. Collectivization was generally inefficient, unlike the massive industrialization of the USSR that occurred simultaneously, and it came at an enormous cost that even Stalin himself admitted was over ten million people.
One of the most important cultural policies was the creation of a cult of personality in the Soviet Union. Stalin used modern technology, particularly photography and film, to portray himself as a heroic leader of the Revolution and a father figure to his people. This process was also backed by terror, as he purged the ranks of the Communist Party of any potential rivals in the late 1920s and early 30s, even people who had been personally loyal to him for decades.
In short, Stalin's social and cultural policies completely revolutionized, and to some extent modernized, the Soviet Union, but did so at an almost unthinkable human cost, and to the detriment of anything approaching basic human freedoms.
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