Even Trotsky, a friend of Lenin and a staunch opponent of Stalin, grudgingly admits that "Stalinism did issue from Bolshevism" (Trotsky). Stalin's policy of socialism in one country, his use of terror to eliminate opposition, and his suppression of democracy and the soviets were all characteristics of Lenin well before they were characteristic of Stalin. Although some of Stalin's policies were different from those of Lenin, what difference Stalinism did show from Leninism were either policies which Lenin had called for but never put into action, or logical continuations of Lenin's original principles, but modified to suit the demands of the time. One of Stalin's main focuses was on the concept of "socialism in one country" - that is, the focus on the betterment exclusively of his own country rather than on the international communist revolution. "Socialism in one country" began with Lenin.
The main source of conflict between USA and USSR was the future status of Europe. The USA wanted a democratic capitalist continent that it could influence. The USSR wanted to spread Communism and prevent the disasters of World War II recurring again. While Stalin was a brutal and ruthless dictator responsible for millions of deaths, feared and resented by many eastern Europeans, he actually did not intend to conquer the world. This was the basic misunderstanding which fueled the Cold War: the U.S. government, as well as many private citizens, believed that the Russians were engaged in a world-wide con... ... middle of paper ... ...e of 1954, West Germany was permitted to join NATO.
Stalin's success was seen as the beginning of creating Russian aggressions. The Western view seen Stalin... ... middle of paper ... ...other in territorial gain. Stalin was part of the Cold War because of him creating aggression and tension through other countries. No single side is solely responsible for the Cold War. The United States cannot be blamed without also blaming the USSR and Vice Versa.
In conclusion, Marxism was distorted many times during the Russian Revolution and used by those seeking to create a socialist society. First, Lenin heavily warped Marxian views and instated a vanguard to take charge of the revolution. Trotsky followed, however he was considerably more Marxists than Lenin, and joined the Bolsheviks in espousing Marxism to the masses. Even after the Revolution, supposed ‘Marxism’ was used to oppose Stalin. Though, Trotsky made a horrific mistake in defining the workers state and, in doing so, diverged from socialism from below (the original Marxist view) and unknowingly began siding with socialism from above.
His image had been demonized by the propaganda of Stalin as he posed a serious threat to his leadership. This is evident, as Stalin eventually had him killed in Mexico in 1940. Trotsky’s active role throughout the Bolshevik party had exemplified adequate examples of Trotsky’s talent and ability to lead. However, Trotsky’s attitude and perceived intellectual superiority in the party developed a stringent and difficult personality among the Bolsheviks. He had shown more then glimpses of his talent and ability to be a leader, and rightfully earned his position to succeed Lenin.
When describing Stalin, Lenin felt that he had showed "…unlimited authority… in his hands and whether he will always be capable of using that authority with sufficient caution." The content of Lenin's Testament eventually became more damaging to Trotsky than Stalin, allowing Stalin to accumulate even more power. Together with Lenin unintentionally praising Stalin, Stalin manipulated the content of the Testament to enhance... ... middle of paper ... ...e 1930s. He decided and persuaded the people that the former leaders and allies, such as Kamenev and Zenoviev, were plotting against the Party with Trotsky. The purpose of the purges, according to N. Mandelstam4, was not to secure power Stalin’s position, but to intimidate the nation.
Two specific factors were considered – Stalin’s removal of political opposition through the trial, and the injection of fear, perpetuated from the trial’s blatant terrorism, into society. These factors effectively enabled Stalin’s preservation of power, preserving his rule as despot of the USSR. The removal of key political figures, reduced the possibility of usurpation, and concentrated party support for him alone, while the injection of fear prevented further uprising against his rule. As Conquest asserts, the trial “brought together publicly every type of opposition, terror, sabotage, treachery, and espionage, and turned them into branches of one single great conspiracy” with the sole purpose of maintaining his autocratic
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.
As relations changed between Russia and the rest of the world, so did the main historical schools of thought. Following Stalins death, hostilities between the capitalist powers and the USSR, along with an increased awareness of the atrocities that were previously hidden and ignored, led to a split in the opinions of Soviet and Western Liberal historians. In Russia, he was seen, as Trotsky had always maintained, as a betrayer of the revolution, therefore as much distance as possible was placed between himself and Lenin in the schoolbooks of the 50s and early 60s in the USSR. These historians point to Stalin’s killing of fellow communists as a marked difference between himself and his predecessor. Trotsky himself remarked that ‘The present purge draws between Bolshevism and Stalinism… a whole river of blood’.