I mean, it's universally agreed that farmers in rural areas in Russia suffered the most after 1917. Grain requisitioning during war communism had destroyed the economy in the villiages. Even after Lenin introduced New Economic Policy, the infrustructure in villiages were backward and peasants found price of consumer goods very high.

Question: Why did Lenin focus mainly on improving cities instead of rural areas?

  • 5
    Is there a reason to think he cares? His main base of support was urban workers.
    – Semaphore
    Jan 21, 2018 at 13:21
  • 3
    Lenin was not interested in improving anybody's life. His principal interests before his death were a) how to hold power, and b) how to arrange the world revolution.
    – Alex
    Jan 21, 2018 at 13:28
  • Why would Lenin improve rural areas? What possible motivation was there for him to do something so silly? He had no responsibility or accountability to the peasants, any more than he did to other animals. The government served Lenin first, then Lenin's vision of the worldwide communist ideology second, and with all the energy left over, suppressed anything that wasn't Lenin. improving the lives of rural villagers would have been as silly as hand feeding mosquitoes. Anyone who suggested anything so bizarre would have been executed or put to productive work, advancing Lenin.
    – MCW
    Jan 21, 2018 at 20:28
  • Why are you using metaphor instead of saying something directly? I dislike this style.
    – Ma Joad
    Jan 21, 2018 at 23:02
  • 3
    Peasants - this is 90% of the country's population. The Red Army is an army of peasants. 90% of the Bolsheviks are peasants. How did the 20 old Bolsheviks capture a huge country? Fear? Armed peasants (the Red Army) are afraid of 20 old Bolsheviks? Where is the logic? "The Provisional Government" has not gained popularity. However, the old Bolsheviks received many supporters. You do not see logic. Your statements are wrong initially. And since you can not find logic, you explain this by miracles or stupidity of Russian people.
    – Konstantin
    Jan 22, 2018 at 9:08

1 Answer 1


Lenin, and all the Bolsheviks, believed that the USSR needed to industrialise very rapidly, so that it could defend itself effectively against foreign attacks. The Russian Empire had performed poorly against the Germans. The allies attacked the Bolsheviks, and arguably only failed because their countries were war-weary.

There were two camps here. Bukharin believed that they should focus on rural prosperity, and that as farmers worked to increase their productivity, this in turn would lead to demand for industrial products and industrial growth.

Everybody else believed they should keep the peasants under the thumb and extract the maximum amount of grain out of them, and use it to feed industrial workers in the cities. Lenin, Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamanev were all in this camp, and any one of them was more influential than Bukharin.

  • 1
    Yeah, that's right, just my brain-fart while typing :)
    – Ne Mo
    Jan 21, 2018 at 15:14
  • My pleasure. Every writer is better with an editor. After a few re-reads I was pretty confident this was the intended meaning. Jan 21, 2018 at 15:20

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