How can you describe the New Economic Policy (NEP) that was implemented by Lenin in March, 1921?
Due to this, Lenin introduced the New Economic Policy (NEP) during the tenth party congress in March 1921. Features included reduced central economic control, abandonment of grain requisitioning, and small private trade to be restored. Lenin, along with Kamenev and Zinoviev, viewed this policy as a divergence from the socialist state that they were trying to create. This resulted in the formation of the ‘Platform of 46’. This was a group of left communists, led by Trotsky, criticized the policy relentlessly and wanted a return to the to the more centralized control over the economy. This was countered by Bukharin, on the ‘right,’ who thought that the NEP would help the peasants to have a better way of life, and would lead to a better economy; since higher earnings would allow more money to be spent on products and result in quicker cash flow. During this disagreement, Stalin changed his opinion, was non-committal to any train of thought, and supported each side in turn in order to isolate his opponents, starting with Trotsky. This tactic is seen as a strength by Gill who observes that Stalin was ‘more adept at the manipulative maneuvering that was an essential part of party politics.’ This was observed first-hand by Kamenev, who in the notes of his discussion with Bukharin in July 1928 sited that Stalin ‘changes his theory according to whom he needs to get rid of.’
This, therefore, suggests that Stalin’s political acumen played a key role in his rise to power, as his ability to judge political situations to work to his best advantage allowed him to defeat other powerful rivals, in order for him to succeed the current power. This is supported by Wolfe who claims that Stalin’s actions were merely devices to get rid of his opponents and make himself dictator.