What good things did Stalin do?

Question by Rose H: What good things did Stalin do for Russia?
Like economically, politically, strategically, anything. I know he was bad towards his people, but was it justified by the other good things he did? After all, Russia became a world power after his rule.
So- how did Stalin improve Russia?

First Answers:

Answer by poornakumar b

Long ago the venerable James Jeans wrote a book popularising Science(Astronomy, Cosmology, Atomic Physics). On the front page was this caption “A Russian school boy can understand this; can you?”.
First, a national leader enables his country to prosper by his ideology, philosophy and methods; but not pleasing every busybody in the world.
Russia (& Czarist Empire later turned into USSR) were a backward agrarian economy with hardly any industries worth the name. Most of the population were serfs working hard to fatten the aristocracy. After that Stalin progressed it by adapting the 5 year plan regime(Pyatiletka) in economy and by the time of his death (1953) USSR was so advanced that it was on the verge of becoming the other superpower to challenge American supremacy. Industries were producing to excess capacity, all weapons & even Atomic (and Hydrogen) Bombs that wouldn’t be possible if there is no sound Science research infrastructure. I am not viewing it from ‘human rights’ angle.
Criticism of USSR and its regimes have become a Western Industry. Judging by Western standard of ‘Profit & Loss’ accounts (monetarist) is irrelevant as their system deliberately by passed it There is frequent talk that Russians stole secrets, blue prints etc of bombs technology and all that. Any person with some brains will admit that you can’t build a whole edifice of technology on just thievery. It is ridiculous and stupid. During the process of developing a system the developer hits a ‘snag’ that may be apparently unsurmountable but a ‘solution’ might be at some inaccessible or unreachable place. It becomes the grounds for such a thievery, but not otherwise. Russians found
however, some remarkable and equally workable alternatives (like the one they have as alternative for V/STOL of Sea Harrier, the Carrier borne aircraft). All this instead of denigrating, lofts their technological acumen to a higher plane. It is true that they didn’t indulge in things like production of ‘Denims’ etc. Most of the latest, new-fangled household appliances and items of daily use were not there in Soviet Russia as these smack of Consumerism/Capitalism. If it is a thing to ‘gloat’ over, so be it!
Stalin’s singular contribution (though the germ of the idea was shared with Lenin) was making cheap power available and abundantly. In their scheme of things everything produced needs to be low-cost and functionally adequate. He harnessed the Hydro-electric potential of mighty Rivers Ob (7th longest), Yenisei (5th longest)& Lena (11th longest). He had a formula
Marxism+ Electric Power = Communism.
Power is needed for industries, employment & so to prosperity. Central Government underwriting every expenditure, there was no wrangling about costs, finances etc. Trade was carried out by paying ‘hard’ cash or even gold. With some countries, and their currencies very much invited (welcome), much of their imports and exports were balanced. India was one such with which Russia had Rupee payment deal. It is almost like a barter-trade with money as an intermediate standard. In Communist block Indian Rupee commanded premium. For instance Russian technical textbooks (highly rated and better content-wise) were available for a sixth or tenth of the cost of a McGraw-Hill textbook on Metallurgy or Electronics. Imported ‘Linen’ as a fabric material was (in 1960s) dirt cheap, while now I find it at least twenty times costly.
The proof of the pudding is in eating- Soviet Russia could and did all Space, War related things that America did, better than Canada, the Netherlands or Italy. Although, she didn’t produce a decent pair of Denim trousers. Stalin managed the Economy so well.

Answer by Joseph the Second 

Hold on… -I’ll think of Something… Eventually…

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!


  1. Nikolai says

    People Saying The Best Thing He Did Was To Die, Not True.

    If He Didn’t Industrialize Russia, German Would Have Dominated Russia In Early Year, Even Worse Russia Might Have Not Even Been a Threat and All Soldier Who Fought In The East Front, All The Tanks, Troops and Air force would have Been Bearing Down on The Western Front Instead Of Fighting Russia, Nearly 60-80% More Force`s To Deal With.

    And The Nazi At That Point Would Have Crushed France and Great Briton, You Owe Russia A Great Debt, And The People Who Died In World War 2 A Great Deal More!!

  2. MUKUND says

    it was becuase of stalin —————that communism spread around the world ————–and it was becuase of stalin that USSR emerged as super power after world war 2————–

    it was becuase of stalin that two power blocks arose ———–the soviet block led by stalin———and the american block led by americans———-

    NATO and other oraganistaions and stationing of american missiles and soldiers in europe was due to fear of stalin overunning weaker eoropean states ——

    all in all————-stalin did commit horrendous crimes———–but lifted ussr to great heights

    it took failures like gorbachev and yeltsin to dismantle the soviet union

    but now president vladimir putin ———–is building russia back in to a super power


  3. JosF says

    Die. That was absolutely the best thing he ever did for Russia.
    His death saved countless lives. He was planning to do another round of purges, making the ones in the 30s look like kindergarten stuff. Something called the plot of the doctors. Fortunately, his death prevailed.

    Therefore, the best thing Stalin ever did for the USSR was to die.

  4. Spellbound says

    Whilst it is not easy to find many good things to say about Stalin – deaths of millions, having his close comrades arrested & shot, abandoning one wife and so humiliating his second wife that she commits suicide and his reaction to his son’s capture by the Nazis – he did one thing that everyone in the World should be grateful for; he defeated the Nazis.
    True many other countries were involved, but the Soviets absorbed the greatest blow, and, largely through her own efforts, kicked them all the way back to Berlin. Had Stalin’s Five Year Plans not involved the mobilisation of the entire country, and had he been too moralistic to use prisoners (effectively slaves) to build the new factories, then WWII would have ended very differently.
    One other good thing that came out of Stalin’s rule was the total discrediting of Stalinism as a political system. After Khrushchev’s 1956 Secret Speech was published around the World, support for Communist ideas fell away sharply, never to fully recover.

  5. phloyd says

    Stalin brought rapid industrialisation by forcing the 5 year plans on the Russian people. Without this Russia would never have been able to compete with Germany’s war machine in 1941 and would more than likely have capitulated straight away. Its also possible that Stalin’s brutality during the war was a necessary evil in order to defeat an even greater evil, that of Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany was such a well oiled war machine that maybe it took someone as brutal and determined as Stalin to defeat it.

  6. hk54 says

    He set goals for within a 5 year period. In that period, dissenters and people who were suspected of anything bad were sent to gulags. Gulags were basically work camps. He brutally used them to modernize Russia. Many dams and bridges were built connecting cities in the Soviet Union (it was a vast territory.) He built up the military and supressed the many factions that vied for power in Russia bringing a sense of security. He united Russia against the so called “evils of capitalism” He brought Russia’s economy up. For one instance his countrymen were starving yet he took the farmers’ grain and exported it all for cash. What we did was brutal but before he came in Russia, was a hundred years behind the leading powers. In a period of 15 or so years he brought it to # 2 in the world next to Britain, and the U.S.

  7. merely_me says

    he reduced the population [killed em]..so economically thats good right..not much pplz to feed etc…
    other than that..nothing

  8. mattapan26 says

    They did drive the Germans out of Russia in World War II, so he must have allowed the Soviet Army to organize a defense without the constant fear of purges that it had had to endure during the 20s and 30s.

  9. Digs says

    he forced them to revolutionize. without his iron grip russia would have taken much longer to get out of the dark ages