Did the Soviet government under Stalin represent a continuity with the policies of Lenin, or did it represent a disjuncture with Lenin's policies?
Give concrete examples with reference to the policies of both leaders.
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In one very important way, at least, Stalin's policies were very different from those of Lenin. This difference can be seen in the move from Lenin's "New Economic Policy" to Stalin's first Five Year Plan. In this area, at least, Stalin was much more radical than Lenin was.
In the New Economic Policy, Lenin had been trying to open the Soviet economy a bit and move it towards what he called "state capitalism." There was to be more tolerance of small-scale private businesses, for example. The major industries and banks would remain in the hands of the state, but there would be more economic freedom at the lower levels.
Stalin, by contrast, believed that the Soviet economy needed to be forcibly and quickly modernized. Because of this, he believed in the need for complete central planning of the economy. This led to his Five Year Plan in which the Soviet Union's economy was carefully controlled so as to make it industrialize and modernize more rapidly.
In this way, Stalin's policies represented a disjuncture with those of Lenin.
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