What was finally adopted as the policy of the Soviet Government had its keynote in the rapid industrialisation of the country: in the transformation of the country from a backward agricultural land to a land of modern industry, equipped with electrical power and developed natural resources—swapping horses, as Lenin had once expressed it, from “the sorry, pinched and starved nag bequeathed to us by an impoverished land where the vast majority of the population is of peasant origin to the fine steed of large-scale industry, electrification, utilisation of waterways, etc.” This required the investment of an immense volume of resources (both materials and labour-power) in construction-work—in building new factories and railways and sinking mines, and in particular in developing heavy industry and electrical power production. But the cornerstone of this imposing arch was the policy with regard to agriculture. This policy was clearly an act of political genius, comparable to Lenin’s decision eight years before with regard to NEP and his decision in 1917 that, despite Russia’s backwardness, the situation was ripe for a seizure of power by the Soviets. It consisted in nothing less than the transformation of peasant agriculture on to the basis of co-operative or collective farming in large units, on which up-to-date and mechanised methods of cultivation could be employed: a revolution in the social and economic basis of the village, within the space of half a decade, on a scale that history can rarely, if ever, have witnessed before. Few would dispute that it was an act of great political courage as well as of genius.