23 March 2010
The Regime of Stalin
During the 1900s, a man under the name of Stalin rose to power, making him, contrary to popular belief, the worst dictator in that period. Unlike the infamously renowned Hitler who had attempted to eliminate all the Jews in the 1900s, Stalin made all the wrong decisions from the very start. Before he came to power, he used trickery and guile in order to gain his place at the top. Then, when he found his way to being the ruler of Russia, Stalin remained distant and separated from his people because of his unkempt, disheveled appearance and poor speaking skills – something most great leaders in history cannot do without. Stalin led his country as a terribly paranoid man whose decisions ended up killing millions of people and costing him the war. The only reason his people did not revolt was because Stalin cleverly devised a cult of personality with his propaganda department which allowed the poorly illiterate and misinformed Russians to trust in his false image of perfection. Without any honest means of earning it, Stalin became a totalitarian dictator by the 1930s.
Stalin came into this world named as Joseph Dzhugashvili, who was a normal kid that grew up as a hard-working young man. He was born on December 6, 1878 in a small Georgian town of Gorgi from a shoemaker father and a washerwoman mother. However, he had to “[begin] life as a proletarian revolutionary… disadvantaged and unprivileged” (Overy 6). During his childhood, life was rough for him and he ironically started out in the working class. As Stalin continued to attend school, people were amazed by his “remarkable memory” and promoted him to higher leveled schools where he began to learn about the Marxism that began to shape his grim future (Overy 6). Then, when Joseph turned eighteen, he adopted the name Stalin, meaning “man of steel” and became engrossed in his studies until the point he became the tsar’s trusted secretary (Ryan). Although he started out with good intentions, Stalin turned into a bloodthirsty man in the end.
Stalin went from being that pure teenager into a power-hungry man who did everything he could in order to get to the top of his country during the 1920s. When Lenin, the previous successor and leader of the Communist Party of Russia, had begun to fall ill, Stalin was able to gain power only “by exploiting his rivalries among the party’s executive body” (Ryan). With an unfair advantage and the KGB, or the secret police that used force to make the people believe in the government, on his side, Stalin “succeeded in ejecting his chief rival, Leon Trotsky, from the Communist Party” (Ryan) expelling him to Mexico where he was murdered with a pickax to the head “no doubt on Stalin’s orders” (Spielvogel 846-847). With his capabilities, Stalin was only able to beat his rivals and gain power by exploiting his resources and cheating his way to the top. Then the previous ruler of Russia, Lenin, did not want Stalin to be the next ruler of the Communist Party. He declared in his wise words in his will to “suggest that the comrades consider a way of transferring Stalin from the post [of general secretary] and appointing in his place another man who differs from Comrade Stalin in having one advantage, namely that of being more patient, more loyal, more polite, and more helpful to comrades, less unpredictable, and so on” (Gellately 151-152). Lenin had wisely deduced that if Stalin were given the power to change the country, he would abuse his position and misuse that power. Yet despite Lenin’s efforts, Stalin became the man in charge through treachery. During Stalin’s time as Lenin’s secretary, Lenin “had allegedly recommended his removal in documents that were later suppressed or destroyed by Stalin” (Ryan). Stalin was able to sacrifice the trust he and his superior had in order to get what he wanted. By the time he had become the dictator of Russia, Stalin had already stained...