Why did NEP fail? I should like to distinguish three ways in which this question\ud has been answered, indicating why the third appears to me to be the most\ud satisfactory. In the first view, NEP was abandoned because it was inconsistent with\ud any further industrial development of a socialist kind, and its abandonment was\ud therefore a rational economic decision. In the second view, strongly reacting against\ud the first, NEP is seen as consistent with a wide variety of development patterns,\ud including the industrial development actually achieved in the inter-war Five Year\ud Plans. Therefore the abandonment of NEP had no strictly economic rationale, but\ud was an outcome of brute political struggles and the formation of the Stalinist\ud political system. In the third view, NEP is seen as inconsistent with the degree and\ud rate of industrialization actually undertaken from 1928 onwards, but contained the\ud possibility of alternative development patterns involving a lesser commitment to\ud industrial growth. In this case, the abandonment of NEP was neither simply rational\ud (according to the first view) nor irrational (according to the second), but was the\ud outcome of a political conflict over the course of Soviet economic development
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