Joseph Stalin

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Joseph Stalin ruled the Soviet Union from 1922 until his death in 1954. He is widely recognized as a dictator, an oppressor, and a ruthless ruler who took the Soviet Union from economic shambles to a superpower, but with the high cost of human sacrifice and his paranoia of opposition. Stalin saw himself as the natural successor of Leninism-Marxism, but in actuality he created a system of his own which did not go according to the philosophy of Karl Marx and Engels. Stalin’s early political career began just like everyone else who gained prominence in the Bolshevik takeover of the Russian Empire. Lenin had successfully launched his revolution in October, 1917 and became the leader of the Russian Communist Party until his death in January 1924. Stalin played only a minor role in the October Revolution and a relatively inconspicuous part in the Civil War (Lee 1). Stalin was sent to exile in Siberia for committing crimes in Russia, and after his return he became a member of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party in 1912. Stalin worked to gain support in the Communist party during its early stages. He created close contacts that he would later betray, and others which he would use to help him become the next leader of the Soviet Union. He accumulated the posts of People’s Commissar for Nationalities in 1917, liaison official between the Politburo and the Orgburo in 1919, and General Secretary of the Party in 1922 (Lee 1). Soviet books and propaganda always portrayed Stalin having a close relationship with Lenin, as seen in textbooks, propaganda posters, and Stalin himself who always spoke highly of his friendship with Lenin. However, Lenin and the Bolsheviks thought differently of Stalin.

The 1920s and early 1930s saw the rise a...

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...’s unorthodox rise to power, to his brutal economic policy, it was a form of true dictatorship and turned the Soviet Union into a totalitarian state. Karl Marx wrote that the techniques of exploitation by the bourgeoisie would lead to a violent revolution by the proletariat, and it would change the economic and social order of the state. In this case, Stalin exploited his proletariat and acted as a bourgeoisie, using the labor force for his personal gain and what he thought would be the best way the Soviet Union would ever become a superpower. Joseph Stalin took the idea of Marxism and added his own theory to it, distorting it and creating a new system of politics that is coined “Stalinism.” It has its similarities, but largely it is a split in ideology that would cause the deaths of 20 million people during his rule, something Karl Marx, or Lenin never intended.
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