W H Y
WE R E
S TA L I N’ S
OPP ONENT S
U NAB LE
In 1924, Stalin had begun his rise to power properly. At this time he was also one of the seven members of the Politburo. The seven members of the politburo were: Stalin, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Trotsky, Bukharin, Rkyov and Trotsky. By 1930 he would overshadow them and by 1940 out live them. His success political success in the USSR can be attributed to his amazing political skill and the errors and weaknesses of his opponents. His political skill and ideology of politics can be in turn attributed to his pragmatism. Meaning that he was able to change sides for his own political gain, as and when he sought to do so. !
Stalin’s opponents were unable to defeat him as they were also concerned about their position in the Politburo. This is shown in 1923 when, when Lenin introduced ‘Lenin enrollment’, in dong this 250,000 people were elected into the Bolshevik Party. Stalin used this to his advantage later as he was able to put people into places of political power to gain supporters and thus greater political power. Then in 1924, after Lenin’s death, the Politburo decided not to publish Lenin’s testament. His testament wasn’t published because the Politburo saw that it criticised all of them along with calling for the dismissal of Stalin. The party members did this because they were afraid that their places in the Politburo would be compromised as well. In protecting their places, they also protected Stalin’s place in the Politburo. If Stalin had lost his place in the Politburo he would have also lost significant power and influence over the Bolshevik Party. This links Stalin’s opponents being unable to prevent his gain of power because they were ignorant (as they were too concerned about their seats in the Politburo) to the results of not publishing the testament of Lenin and thus letting Stalin progress in his political position.! Stalin’s opponents were also unable to defeat him as his opponents were unable to see what he was doing and thus did not take action. Stalin was also undefeated as Trotsky made lots of errors which allowed Stalin to advance his position further. This is shown in 1922 when Trotsky denied the position of deputy to Lenin.This is also related to his not building up his power-base and thus being no match to Stalin later. Trotsky did not accept the offer as he believed that it would cause issue within the Bolshevik party and increase the opposition towards him. This was attributed to the fact that Anti-Semitism was still rife in 1922 with the USSR. In 1925, Trotsky published his policy on ‘Permanent Revolution’ which then gave Stalin the opportunity to display him as advocating and being a peddler of a dangerous policy. Stalin did this to show Trotsky in a bad light to his supporters. Because Trotsky did not build H i s t o r y - S t a l i n ’s R u s s i a
up his power-base, Stalin was able to use his residual power to overtake Trotsky using this loophole. This was created by Trotsky himself and thus an error of Trotsky. Stalin had been building up his powerbase and maneuvering himself into a position to overtake Trotsky from 1923 to 1925. This links to Stalin’s opponents being unable to stop him because even with the belief that Trotsky had of being Lenin’s natural successor, he was still unable to defeat Stalin and his political skill. Trotsky made multiple errors which benefited Stalin and his rise to power. For example, he joined the Bolshevik party in 1917 after he had been in the minority party;the Menshevik Party. This contributed to his catalogue of errors as Stalin later used this to degrade his ideology as he had previously been a Menshevik Party member. ! Stalin’s opponents were also unable to defeat him because of their weaknesses and insufficient outlook on the situation of Stalin’s gain of power. The Right...
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