Joseph Stalin’s dictatorship was characterized by Russia’s ideological transformation of Communism under his reign. Widely regarded as a tyrant, Stalin was responsible for massive repression of his people. However Russians remember Stalin for his leadership, advances in technologies, and victory in World War II. His usage of powerful leadership attributes created fear and promoted a tense paranoid feeling during his dictatorship. Under his leadership, Russia experienced a return to pre-revolutionary nationalism, while ancient themes and symbols were brought back. Stalin, as a result, led by creating his own myth, while terrorizing his followers into submission. The Stalinist regime should be considered amongst the most tyrannical regimes in human history. It is not surprising that individuals are fascinated by the genesis of Stalin’s command style economy, personality, and nature of his regime. Questions such as how was such a system of fear was successfully organized, how it worked, and what measure of influence was exerted in order to gain the results necessary. These questions have a wider significance because the nature of the political regime had a direct bearing on the way in which policy was formulated, and on the way in which the system evolved over time. These three questions ultimately boil down to one significant fact. Under Stalin, Russia successfully turned around their society, which in turn allowed them to prepare for arguably some of greatest battles and in history. Whether not the victorious ends justified the tragic means is another question entirely; however, under Stalin’s leadership the terror filled steps were necessary in order to obtain full domination under his rule. Prior to Stalin’s emergence, during the turn of the 20th century, the Soviet economy consisted of few economic targets. However, the economy, under Stalin’s five year “Gosplan,” helped in propelling the economic capabilities of Russia. Combined with an increased attention towards military armour and strategy, Stalin prepared the Russian nation towards victory in historically the largest scale war known to man.
More specifically, Stalin’s personal role in defining the nature of the Soviet society was seen through economic and social programs, political means (terror), and military enlargement. Through these facets of Russian societal change, Stalin lifted Russia out of its economic backward state, while preparing the influential “Eastern Front” against Germany’s attempted European and subsequent world domination. Without the help of Stalin’s Russian forces in creating a two front war, the outcome of World War II would have read drastically different. Therefore, a large section of this essay will delve into specific Stalin-led military actions, initiatives, and plans during WWII, which aided in stopping Hitler’s destruction, and therefore was a deciding factor in the outcome of the war. The world’s first administrative-command economy was created by more than one person. In the mid 1920s, Joseph Stalin joined the “moderate” majority and was far from the dominant political figure. After defeating his former moderate allies in 1929, Stalin was first among equals in the ruling elite. It was not until the mid 1930s that Stalin became the leading force of Russia. Stalin despite his growing power, continued to involve his immediate associates in decision making, and was influenced greatly by their arguments. On the other hand, Stalin crafted and maintained his faithful assistants and elites through intelligence, threats, manipulation, blackmail, and the ability to employ extreme and brutal methods which could not be opposed. Slowly as Stalin ascended to power through elimination of all oppositions, he carefully laid down his dream for a greater Russia. His dream consisted of his view towards positive changes for the Russian society, which include collectivization amongst peasant crops, social changes such...
Cited: Hingley, Ronald. Joseph Stalin: Man and Legend. Hutchinson of London: England, 1974
Gregory, Paul. The Political Economy of Stalinism. Cambridge Press: New York, 2004
Seaton, Albert. Stalin: As a Military Commander. Praeger: New York, 1975
Berghahn Books: Oxford, England, 1997
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 Wegner, Bernd. From Peace to War: Germany, Soviet Russia and the World, 1939-41, 227
 Paul, Gregory
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