When Stalin got Trotsky exiled, he removed all the other original Bolsheviks from key positions in order to establish complete control, in 1928. Stalin could then become an absolute dictator. People were, "subjects." They had no responsibilities, no rights, no freedom. They worked for the state and were controlled by the state. Stalin's policies were bound to bring opposition. Anyone who spoke against the Plans or against Stalin could be arrested by the secret police. Being a Kulak or the son of a Kulak was a crime sentenced to 10 to twenty-five years spent in labour camps. There they worked on dams, canals, factories and hydro-electric power stations. They had no wages and scarce food. The harsh climate and famine killed many. The NKVD would simply replace them with others. In the 1930's, eight and a half million people were arrested by the NKVD of whom about a million were shot, others just disappeared. The actions taken by the secret police were meant to frighten the people into doing their work properly, without complaint. .
Stalin wanted to modernize Russia making it an advanced industrial country he had to cover agriculture as well as industry and wanted to bring peasants under state control. In 1931 he claims, "we are fifty to a hundred years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this distance in 10 years (.) Either we do it, or we shall be crushed." Russia was to become a self-sufficient country. As a result, he prepared a 5 year plan for it's survival. Gosplan laid down production targets for each main industry: electricity, coal, oil, pig-iron and steel, to be reached in 5 years. He had very ambitious plans as he wanted to multiply by two or three the production. Only the oil industry reached its targets. However, in all figures there was a massive increase of 500% to 700%. As opposed to the 1937 plans which had an even more important growth.
For the 5 year plans to work they needed new cities and more workers.