Why was Stalin able to defeat his political rivals so easily in the years 1924–29? The main contenders to Stalin in the struggle for power were: Bukharin, Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev who all played a significant role in the success of Stalin as the leader of the Communist Party. The main reasons, however, include Stalin’s political position, Stalin’s manipulation of the Party machine and Stalin’s exploitation of the internal divisions of the Party. One reason as to why Stalin succeeded Lenin was his political powerbase and he showed this dominance in two ways. Firstly, he capitalised on the ‘Cult of Lenin’ by painting himself as a natural successor to Lenin. The ‘Cult of Lenin’ as he decided to adopt his ideologies and his life This was a smart move by Stalin as he could show that he was closely aligned to an almost perfect figure such as Lenin then by doing this he would able to win the popularity of ordinary Russians who were, to an extent, indoctrinated via this method. Therefore Stalin was able to consolidate his power by being seen as Lenin’s natural successor. In this sense, it wasn’t the political shortcomings of his opponents that allowed Stalin victory as it was the way in which he moulded and manipulated his powerbase to increase popularity. Divisions in Communist Party during the 1920’s were due to the formation of left and right wing Communism. The left wing who were led by Trotsky and his allies, were seen as radical and idealistic and wanted an Almost back to war communism regime for Russia whereas the right wing headed by Bukharin and his supporters wanted Russia to have elements of capitalism in order to industrialise . Stalin intelligently avoided taking a position on neither the left wing nor the right wing this is in complete contrast to Trotsky who was often at the centre of heated debates regarding issues from New Economic Policy. Stalin was often seen as a voice of trust and reason and therefore Stalin’s...
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