This chapter explores the reasons behind the collapse of Soviet Russia's economy as a result of Bolshevik policies. Much as agricultural production sank to near zero when the Kremlin stepped up its war on the peasantry after defeating the White armies in the Civil War, so too did the output of industrial and consumer goods in Russia experience an abrupt drop in response to Moscow's efforts to ban market activity by force. A series of Soviet decrees between 1918 and 1920 outlawed private trade and retail, while nationalizing not only agriculture but also industry, mining, banking, and joint-stock companies that held concessions for foreign distribution and sales. Even money was formally abolished, and the private possession of hard currency, jewels, and other valuables was outlawed.
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