After reading about Stalin’s rise to power and his style of ruling the USSR, I could not help but wonder if he essentially replaced the bourgeoisie as the new “exploiting” party. In Stalin’s Soviet society, the proletariat appeared to have a lesser say in government affairs than they did under the previous Russian monarchy. Stalin even stated that political power does not ultimately come from the people but from government officials through his quote, “The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.” In consequence, the Russian people replaced a monarch that was imposing beneficial reforms and listened to the voices of his people for a controlling dictator. Additionally, Stalin industrializes Russia just as the bourgeois would have, and imposes tough demands on the working people that they cannot meet under his Five Year Plans. In the process of industrialization, Stalin harms the poor peasant through collectivization measures and nearly brings Russia back to the days of peasant communes that the rural laborers fought so hard to eradicate from Russian society in the years prior to Stalin’s ascendancy to political dominance. I cannot help but question whether or not the Russian people made any gains as a result of the 1917 Revolution, because while Stalin is responsible for Russia’s large-scale industrialization, he is also responsible for food shortages and and increased government control of all aspects of daily life in the USSR. Do you feel that Stalin benefited our harmed Russia? Was Stalin just exploiting Russians in a different way than the previous ruling class did, or did he fulfill the requirements of a socialist state in the sense that he served his people’s needs?