Was Stalinism Inevitable?

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Was Stalinism Inevitable?
Introduction
"Let's replace Long Live Leninism with Long Live Stalinism!” This declaration by a communist leader and staunch Stalin supporter Lazar Kaganovich perhaps best summarizes the popularity and personality cult of Joseph Stalin which overtook and in some cases, replaced the precepts of Marxism-Leninism. Although many see Stalinism as the natural heir and iteration of Leninism, others see it as a gross deviation from the principles of Marxism-Leninism, deeming Stalinism as all those steps and policies that lead to the formation of a society based on the vision, principles and ideals of Joseph Stalin, while maintaining a threadbare association or even using as a cover the adherence to Marxist-Leninist’s philosophy.
Stalinist policies include, but are not limited to:
- Rapid Industrialization: ‘Socialism in one country’- the doctrine of political construction that internalized all efforts of the Soviet Union instead of reaching outwards to faltering revolutions the world over;
- Collectivization of agriculture - which transferred ownership of land and agriculture from wealthy individuals and families to the community and to the people at large, dominating Soviet agricultural landscape up till 1991; a rigid, secretive and tyrannical party system that placed importance and emphasis on the Communist party as the foremost representative of the people, the Soviet nation and the ideals of Marxism-Leninism.
Another defining feature of Stalinism was the liberal and unchecked usage of state violence against so-called enemies of the state, saboteurs, foreign spies and any and all individuals that were deemed, almost always arbitrarily, as being harmful to the state. Class violence was another unique feature...

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Was this inevitable? Perhaps. Perhaps not. There are a massive number of factors at play in the answer to this simple question. Should Trotsky have shown more ambition? Should Lenin have looked more closely, given lesser freedom to Stalin? Should the Central Party leadership have put aside their petty concerns of political considerations for the nobler purpose of Russia’s well-being? The calculations, permutations and combinations are manifold but what is certain is that what Stalinism was and who Stalin became and what became of the Soviet Union under his command was a complete and utter betrayal of Lenin and his commandments. It was a betrayal on the same par as anyone has seen throughout history and mythology and one that has altered history and left the very real and achievable utopia of a workers state to be consigned to the dusty pages of ‘what if?’

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