Punishment without crime? The Gulag as a worker-discipline device

Marcus Miller, Jennifer Smith 10 January 2008

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In the 1930s, when Western economies were laid low by mass unemployment, Stalin could claim to have found a cure: a command economy with ambitious five-year plans to promote rapid industrialisation. Deficient demand was not a problem, but what about supply? Stalin, who was planning for great increases in productivity, faced a problem: how was he to motivate workers with low levels of skill – including millions pouring in from the countryside who were entirely lacking in training or experience of the rigour and rhythms of life in a factory or on a construction site?

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Topics:  Labour markets

Tags:  Russia, Gulag, Stalin, worker discipline