Rise of Joseph Stalin - Wikipedia
Even after suffering a stroke, Lenin fought Stalin from the isolation of world problem: What should be the relation of the new Russian state . But they also served a political purpose. Enraged, Lenin tried to enlist his fellow revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky's support in his struggle against Stalin, but his . Joseph Stalin was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central . Not even by did Stalin think of having Trotsky or any other possible while Lenin and Stalin had more of a political and apparatical relationship. . Stalin sanctioned the formation of troikas for the purpose of extrajudicial. Leon Trotsky and that in their place would appear all kinds of 'freedoms' proper to bourgeois relations. This traditional reference to the “ultimate goal” sufficiently Stalin was a totally different type of Bolshevik, both in his.
His pseudonym, Stalin, means "man of the steel hand". In the Russian Civil War that followed, Stalin forged connections with various Red Army generals and eventually acquired military powers of his own. He brutally suppressed counter-revolutionaries and bandits. After winning the civil war, the Bolsheviks moved to expand the revolution into Europe, starting with Polandwhich was fighting the Red Army in Ukraine. As joint commander of an army in Ukraine and later in Poland itself, Stalin's actions in the war were later criticized by many, including Leon Trotsky.
Invasion of Georgia and General Secretary[ edit ] In latewith the crises in society following the Russian Civil WarTrotsky argued for the trade unions to be incorporated more and more into the workers' state, and for the workers' state to completely control the industrial sectors.
Lenin's position was one where the trade unions were subordinate to the workers' state, but separate, with Lenin accusing Trotsky of "bureaucratically nagging the trade unions". Fearing a backlash from the trade unions, Lenin asked Stalin to build a support base in the Workers' and Peasants' Inspectorate Rabkrin against bureaucratism.
Frustrated by the squabbling factions within the Communist Party during what he saw as a time of crisis, Lenin convinced the Tenth Congress to pass a ban on any opposition to official Central Committee policy the Ban on Factionsa law which Stalin would later exploit to expel his enemies. Following the invasion, Stalin adopted particularly hardline, centralist policies towards Soviet Georgiawhich included severe repression of opposition to the Bolsheviks, and to opposition within the local Communist Party e.
Stalin still held his posts in the Orgburothe Workers' and Peasants' Inspectorate and the Commassariat for Nationalities Affairs, though he agreed to delegate his workload to subordinates. With this power, he would steadily place his supporters in positions of authority. On 25 MayLenin suffered a stroke while recovering from surgery to remove a bullet lodged in his neck since a failed assassination attempt in August Severely debilitated, he went into semi-retirement and moved to his dacha in Gorki.
After this, prominent Bolsheviks were concerned about who would take over if Lenin actually died. Lenin and Trotsky had more of a personal and theoretical relationship, while Lenin and Stalin had more of a political and apparatical relationship.
Yet, Stalin visited Lenin often, acting as his intermediary with the outside world. One day, Stalin verbally swore at Lenin's wife, Nadezhda Krupskayafor breaching Politburo orders by helping Lenin communicate with Trotsky and others about politics;  this greatly offended Lenin.
As their relationship deteriorated, Lenin dictated increasingly disparaging notes on Stalin in what would become his testament. Lenin criticised Stalin's rude manners, excessive power, ambition and politics, and suggested that Stalin should be removed from the position of General Secretary. One of Lenin's secretaries showed Stalin the notes, whose contents shocked him. Lenin died on 21 January Stalin was given the honour of organizing his funeral. Upon Lenin's death, Stalin was officially hailed as his successor as the leader of the ruling Communist Party and of the Soviet Union itself.
Against Lenin's wishes, he was given a lavish funeral and his body was embalmed and put on display. Thanks to Kamenev and Zinoviev's influence, the Central Committee decided that Lenin's Testament should not be made public. At the Thirteenth Party Congress in Mayit was read out only to the heads of the provincial delegations. Trotsky did not want to appear divisive so soon after Lenin's death and did not seize the opportunity to demand Stalin's removal.
While the triumvirate remained intact throughout and the early months ofZinoviev and Kamenev did not regard Stalin highly as a revolutionary theorist, and often disparaged him in private even as they had aided him publicly against Trotsky and the Left Opposition. For his part, Stalin was cautious about where the political situation was heading, and often felt that Zinoviev's volatile rhetoric against Trotsky was going too far, especially when Zinoviev demanded Trotsky's expulsion from the Communist Party in January Stalin opposed Zinoviev's demand, and skillfully played the role of a moderate.
Stalin proposed the theory of Socialism in One Country in Octoberwhich Bukharin soon elaborated upon to give it a theoretical justification. Zinoviev and Kamenev suddenly found themselves in a minority at the Fourteenth Party Conference in Aprilover their belief that socialism could only be achieved internationally, which resulted in the triumvirate splitting up.
This saw a strengthening of Stalin's alliance with Bukharin. With Trotsky mostly sidelined with a persistent illness duringZinoviev and Kamenev then formed the New Opposition against Stalin.
Stalin's revelation made Zinoviev, in particular, very unpopular with many inside the Communist Party. Trotsky remained silent throughout this Congress. In earlyZinoviev and Kamenev drew closer to Trotsky and the Left Opposition, forming an alliance which became known as the United Opposition.
The United Opposition demanded, among other things, greater freedom of expression within the Communist Party and less bureaucracy. In OctoberStalin's supporters voted Trotsky out of the Politburo. During the years of andSoviet policy toward the Chinese Revolution became the ideological line of demarcation between Stalin and the United Opposition. In reality, however, the Republic controlled very little of the country.
Much of China was divided between various regional warlords. The Republican government established a new "nationalist people's army and a national people's party" — the Kuomintang.
Inthe Kuomintang opened relations with Soviet Russia. With Soviet help, the Republic of China built up the nationalist people's army. With the development of the nationalist army, a Northern Expedition was planned to smash the power of the warlords of the northern part of the country.
He smiled a good-natured reproach, looked at his watch, and from time to time doubtless gave an unrestrained yawn.
The echo of the last greeting had not died away, when this unusual guest let loose upon that audience a cataract of passionate thought which at times sounded almost like a lashing. At that period the stenographic art was not yet open to Bolshevism. All were too absorbed in what was happening. The speeches have not been preserved. There remain only general impressions in the memoirs of the listeners. And these have been edited by the lapse of time; rapture has been added to them, and fright washed away.
All the accepted formulas, which with innumerable repetition had acquired in the course of a month a seemingly unshakeable permanence, were exploded one after another before the eyes of that audience. The short Leninist reply at the station, tossed out over the head of the startled Cheidze, was here developed into a two hour speech addressed directly to the Petrograd cadres of Bolshevism.
The non-party socialist, Sukhanov, was accidentally present at this meeting as a guest — admitted by the good-natured Kamenev, although Lenin was intolerant of such indulgences. Thanks to this we have a description made by an outsider — half-hostile and half-ecstatic — of the first meeting of Lenin with the Petersburg Bolsheviks.
I assert that nobody there had expected anything of the kind. It seemed as if all the elements and the spirit of universal destruction had risen from their lairs, knowing neither barriers nor doubts nor personal difficulties nor personal considerations, to hover through the banquet chambers of Kshesinskaia above the heads of the bewitched disciples.
Not the elements were hovering in that banquet hall, but human thoughts — and they were not embarrassed by the elements, but were trying to understand in order to control them.
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But never mind — the impression is clearly conveyed. We are far from that, it seems. But let us not give up the hope that it will happen, that we shall not escape it. It seemed a sinister joke. But Lenin was not joking, nor was the revolution joking. He spoke for an organised seizure of the land by the peasants, not anticipating That alone was enough in those days to make his listeners dizzy!
The most responsible workers were here. But for them too the words of Ilych were a veritable revelation. They laid down a Rubicon between the tactics of yesterday and today. There was no discussion of the speech. All were too much astounded, and each wanted a chance to collect his thoughts. Only one thing was clear: There was no place for me, a non-party man, beside Lenin! The next day Lenin presented to the party a short written exposition of his views, which under the name of Theses of April 4 has become one of the most important documents of the revolution.
The theses expressed simple thoughts in simple words comprehensible to all: The republic which has issued from the February revolution is not our republic, and the war which it is now waging is not our war, The task of the Bolsheviks is to overthrow the imperialist government.Trotsky VS Lenin (The Facts: history and theoretical views)
But this government rests upon the support of the Social Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, who in turn are supported by the trustfulness of the masses of the people. We are in the minority. In these circumstances there can be no talk of violence from our side. We must teach the masses not to trust the Compromisers and defensists. We will break absolutely with capital, publish its secret treaties, and summon the workers of the whole world to cast loose from the bourgeoisie and put an end to the war.
We are beginning the international revolution. These theses of Lenin were published in his own name and his only. The central institutions of the party met them with a hostility softened only by bewilderment. Nobody — not one organisation, group or individual — affixed his signature to them. Even Zinoviev, arriving with Lenin from abroad, where for ten years his ideas had been forming under the immediate and daily influence of Lenin, silently stepped aside, Nor was this side-stepping a surprise to the teacher, who knew his closest disciple all too well.
But not only that. Lacking inner discipline, his mind is completely incapable of theoretical work, and his thoughts dissolve into formless intuitions of the agitator. Thanks to an exceptionally quick scent, he can catch out of the air whatever formulas are necessary to him — those which will exercise the most the most effective influence on the masses.
Both as journalist and orator he remains an agitator, with only this difference — that in his articles you usually see his weaker side, and in oral speech his stronger.
Although far more bold and unbridled in agitation than any other Bolshevik, Zinoviev is even less capable than Kamenev of revolutionary initiative.
He is, like all demagogues, indecisive. Passing from the arena of factional debate to that of direct mass fighting, Zinoviev almost involuntarily separated from his teacher. There have been plenty of attempts of late years to prove that the April party crisis was a passing and almost accidental confusion. They all go to pieces at first contact with the facts. Simultaneously with the All-Russian Conference of representatives of 82 soviets, where Kamenev and Stalin voted for the resolution on sovereignty introduced by the Social Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, there took place in Petrograd a party conference of Bolsheviks assembled from all over Russia.
This conference, at the very end of which Lenin arrived, has an exceptional interest for anyone wishing to characterize the mood and opinions of the party and all its upper layers as they issued from the war.
A reading of the reports, to this day unpublished, frequently produces a feeling of amazement: A month had already passed since the uprising — a long period for a revolution, as also for a war. Nevertheless opinions were not defined in the party on the most basic questions of the revolution.
Extreme patriots such as Voitinsky, Eliava, and others, participated in the conference alongside of those who considered themselves internationalists. The percentage of outspoken patriots, incomparably less than among the Mensheviks, was nevertheless considerable.
The conference as a whole did not decide the question whether to break with its own patriots or unite with the patriots of Menshevism. In an interval between sessions of the Bolshevik conference there was held a united session of Bolsheviks and Mensheviks — delegates to the Soviet conference — to consider the war question. The most furious Menshevik-patriot, Lieber, announced at this session: All of them together, Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, patriots and internationalists, were seeking a common formula for their attitude to the war.
The views of the Bolshevik conference undoubtedly found their most adequate expression in the report of Stalin on relations with the Provisional Government. It is necessary to introduce here the central thought of this speech, which, like the reports as a whole, is not yet published. There is debate and struggle between them, and there ought to be. The Soviet has in fact taken the initiative in the revolutionary transformation; the Soviet is the revolutionary leader of the insurrectionary people; an organ controlling the Provisional Government.
The Soviet mobilizes the forces, and controls. This situation has disadvantageous, but also advantageous sides.
It is not to our advantage at present to force events, hastening the process of repelling the bourgeois layers, who will in the future inevitably withdraw from us. We recognize here the traditional conception of the Mensheviks, incorrectly modelled after the events of The idea that it is disadvantageous to hasten the withdrawal of the bourgeoisie from the revolution, has always been the guiding principle of the whole policy of the Mensheviks. In action this means blunting and weakening the movement of the masses in order not to frighten away the liberal allies.
The right Bolshevik Nogin declared: There is a conspiracy of the Provisional Government against the people and the revolution. The delegate from Saratov, Vassiliev, not untruthfully declared: Although he eliminated the open mention of support, Stalin did not eliminate support.
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Krassikov did not hesitate to seize the bull by the horns. Is this then a dictatorship of the proletariat you are about to inaugurate? But the conference passed over his irony, and along with it passed over this question as one not deserving attention. The next day they considered the proposal of Tseretelli for a union of Bolsheviks and Mensheviks.
Stalin was wholly in favour of the proposal: It is necessary to define our proposal for a basis of union; union is possible on the basis of Zimmerwald-Kienthal. Tseretelli wants to unite heterogeneous elements, he himself calls himself Zimmerwaldist; a union on that basis is wrong. But Stalin stuck to his guns: There is no party life without disagreements. We will live down petty disagreements within the party.
In September Lenin had written through Shliapnikov to Petrograd with special insistence: This furnishes the best criterion for an appraisal of the views held by Stalin at that time.
On April 4 Lenin appeared at the party conference. At the Soviet conference not long before that, Steklov had confusedly explained the reasons for abstaining from the power: That we have to acknowledge. The material force was in the hands of the proletariat, but the bourgeoisie was conscious and ready. That is the monstrous fact. But it is necessary to acknowledge it frankly, and say to the people straight out that we did not seize the power because we were unorganised and not conscious.
The proletariat did not seize the power in February because the Bolshevik Party was not equal to its objective task, and could not prevent the Compromisers from expropriating the popular masses politically for the benefit of the bourgeoisie. The day before that, lawyer Krassikov had said challengingly: We unquestionably have the physical force for a seizure of power.
But Lenin thought that, as the sole practical question, the question of preparing the dictatorship of the proletariat was exactly in order. A dictatorship of the proletariat exists, but nobody knows what to do with it. They whispered to each other that Ilych had stayed too long abroad, had not had time, to look around and familiarize himself with things. But the speech of Stalin on the ingenious division of labour between the government and the Soviet sank out of sight once and for ever.
Stalin himself remained silent. From now on he will have to be silent for a long time. Kamenev alone will man the defences. Lenin had already given warning in letters from Geneva that he was ready to break with anybody who made concessions on the question of war, chauvinism and compromise with the bourgeoisie.
Now, face to face with the leading circles of the party he opens an attack all along the line. But at the beginning he does not name a single Bolshevik by name. If he has need of a living model of equivocation and half-wayness, he points his finger at the non-party men, or at Steklov or Cheidze. That was the customary method of Lenin: Kamenev and Stalin had thought that in participating in the war after February, the soldiers and workers were defending the revolution. Lenin thinks that, as before, the soldier and the worker take part in the war as the conscripted slaves of capital.
Only the fumes of the revolution can explain that. That is the death of socialism I prefer to remain in the minority. Although naming neither Kamenev nor Stalin, Lenin was obliged to name the paper: To demand from the government of the capitalists that it renounce annexation is nonsense, flagrant mockery. But the orator immediately takes himself in hand: Incidentally and in passing, Lenin gives incomparable rules for revolutionary statesmanship: When Guchkov and Lvov say they do not want conquests, they are deceivers!
When a worker says that he wants the defense of the country, what speaks in him is the instinct of the oppressed. But the difficulty is to call it by its right name in time. There is nothing to it but phrases. Speaking of the International, it never indicated which International.
We declare that we created a left and broke with the centre The left Zimmerwald tendency exists in all the countries of the world. The masses ought to realize that socialism has split throughout the world I think it would be better to stand alone like Liebknecht — one against a hundred and ten.
In opposition to Stalin who thought it was possible to unite with the Mensheviks, Lenin thought it was unpermissible to share with them any longer the name of Social Democrat. Have the will to build a new party We must proceed to practical sober work! The more condescending shrugged their shoulders: This man evidently fell down from the moon; hardly off the steps of the Finland station after a ten-year absence he starts preaching the seizure of power by the proletariat.
The less good-natured among the patriots made references to the sealed train. Now he is in plain sight Now he will refute himself. Exactly for this reason, it seemed to the democrats a fantastic skimming of the surface. He did not intend either to lose himself in the masses or to act behind their backs. Even if it is necessary to remain in a minority — so be it.
It is a good thing to give up for a time the position of leadership; we must not be afraid to remain in the minority. In the Soviet our party is the minority What can we do? All we can do is to explain patiently, insistently, systematically the error of their tactics. So long as we are in the minority, we will carry on the work of criticism, in order to free the masses from deceit.
We do not want the masses to believe us just on our say so; we are not charlatans. We want the masses to be freed by experience from their mistakes. Not for ever, but for a time. The hour of Bolshevism will strike.
All the oppressed will come to us, because the war will bring them to us.