A cruel and cunning man, Joseph Stalin, brought the Soviets from a peasant society to a world superpower.
This was done in a quick manner but with a horrendous cost. Literally millions of his people died from this industrial revolution. Joseph Stalin’s politics were harsh, cruel, and unrelenting but truly effective. Joseph Stalin grew up as a poor peasant in the state of Georgia. His mother washed clothing for a living, and his father was a shoemaker.
This house was not peaceful by any stretch. His father was a violent drunk, and Stalin despised his mother. At age nine he was forced to stay at a church to become a priest, and Stalin would never forgive his mother. Although this is true, he did very well at this school and acquired a free scholarship to Tiflis Theological Seminary. From here, Stalin discovered the ideas of Karl Marx, and it all went downhill from there.
Vladimir Lenin, the revolutionist of Marxism, founded the Bolshevik party in Russia. Lenin believed in a small party of primary leaders with a large fringe of supporters and non-party sympathizers. This ensured dominating power of the government, and Lenin thought this was correct for his platform. Joseph Stalin joined this regime, and he became a close colleague of Lenin. Eventually Stalin moved up in rank within the Bolsheviks to the Commissar of Nationalities. This was a crucial position because nearly half of Russian citizens were immigrants.
Lenin put him in the position to deal with all of these citizens. At first Stalin didn’t do too well but eventually improved his diplomacy. Stalin played an important administrative role during the Civil War. This is where his true terror began to show through. He was malicious to all that stepped in his way and even those who didn’t. This is when the Bolshevik party began to become unpopular.
With this knowledge, Lenin implicated a new economic plan allowing some forms of capitalism to be involved. This brought the popularity up to par very quickly. After so long, Lenin found himself too exhausted to lead the communist party alone. Because of this, Stalin was appointed to the newly formed position of General Secretary. This position was deemed unimportant until Lenin entered the hospital.
While Lenin was ill Stalin took full control of his newly found power in the party. He began ridding of many different politicians. His main focus was the supporters of Leon Trotsky, his political rival. Stalin took so much control that Lenin began to fear Stalin’s leadership. Lenin eventually threw his support to Trotsky, and Stalin was so enraged that he yelled and screamed at Lenin’s wife concerning the fact the Lenin “couldn’t write when he was so sick”.
Lenin wrote a final “will and testament” urging that Stalin be removed from leadership; however, this last wish was not fulfilled. Once Stalin was appointed to the leading position in the government he continued Lenin’s New Economic Plan. There were some traces of capitalism and the farmers were allowed to sell their yields in a free market as they pleased. This economic freedom did not last forever. Eventually Stalin began endorsing collective farming and forcing this policy upon his people.
The results were disastrous. Millions of farmers were exported and executed because they weren’t supportive of Stalin’s new idea; however, the people eventually supported this policy out of pure fear. Following the death of Vladimir Lenin, the race for power fell between Trotsky and Stalin. Stalin gathered a heap of supporters, but Lenin had a secret weapon. Just before Lenin passed away he implored the government to restrict the power of Stalin. This will was eventually released publicly but did not halt Stalin’s rise.
In an audacious attempt for power, Stalin threatened to resign without the head seat. Sure enough, Stalin was given the reigns of Russia, and Lenin’s final request was denied. In 1925 Trotsky was removed from power and eventually exiled to Kazhakstan. Being a war commissar, many people implored that Trotsky would gather a military coup; however, Trotsky denied and cooperated with Stalin’s orders. After the riddance of Trotsky, Stalin began to extinguish loads of other government official (including those who had been in long-time support of Stalin).
He switched up his politics drastically, and those who did not agree with him were absolutely abolished. Stalin claimed that this would cause disunity within the party and convinced others that anyone who disagreed with any of the politics must be ridden. The least harsh act committed towards those who disagreed with him would be to force the signing of statements promising to refrain from speaking against official policies. In 1928 Stalin released a new 5 year economic plan. This plan consisted of outlandish requirements of output, and those citizens who failed to meet the goals he set were either shot or sent to work camps.
Stalin justified these acts by claiming that if Russia didn’t aim for such industrial greatness, they would be overtaken by a greater world power. Stalin’s totalitarianism didn’t stop here; in fact, his harsh policies sped faster than a canary yellow Corvette ZR1 on I-95. Virtually every church within Russia was destroyed. Stalin agreed with the statement- “Religion is the opiate of the masses”- and decided to take advantage of this truth. Everything having to do with religion was replaced by one thing: the face of Stalin. Stalin basically forced his people to worship him and treat him as a God.
Stalin over run the entire institution of religion in Russia.