• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Identified within this study is the argument that whilst many of Lenin's theories and practices were continued under Stalin, many were in fact developed and extended to new levels, possibly reflecting different motives: what Pipes refers to as Stalin's...

Extracts from this document...


Identified within this study is the argument that whilst many of Lenin's theories and practices were continued under Stalin, many were in fact developed and extended to new levels, possibly reflecting different motives: what Pipes refers to as Stalin's 'personality of excesses'. Although for many years, numerous historians including both members of the Western school of thought (such as Pipes), along with the official Soviet historians of the time believed that Stalin was the natural heir of Lenin, opinions have changed with time. As more evidence came out of Stalin's mass atrocities, the Soviet historians soon began to see Stalin as the betrayer of the revolution as Trotsky had always maintained, and in an attempt to save Lenin's reputation, they were also keen to point out how Lenin himself was unsure about Stalin, stating in his famous testament that 'I am not sure whether he (Stalin) will always be capable of using authority with sufficient caution'. The wealth of information released since the dissolution of the communist regime, and also Gorbachev's policy of Glasnost In recent years, has lead to the revisionist school of thought coming about (and with it such historians as Sheila Fitzpatrick). Acting almost as mediator between the now opposing views of Soviet and right wing Western historians, revisionists identify both changes and lines of similarity. In order to assess the extent of continuity it was necessary to look first at the ideology and principles of Leninism, and secondly the way these were put in to practice. In particular, it was crucial to consider whether key policies such as the one-party state, use of terror, party control, purges, central economic planning ...read more.


as large as possible. A parallel can be drawn between Lenin and Stalin through their economic policy, with central planning being key to both. Keeping the economy within the hands of the state was a major feature of Lenin's policy, and he wanted this to evolve so that the state was given increasing power over it. Even during his NEP (new economic policy), which reintroduced market mechanisms, the state not only controlled key industries and banking but also regulated agriculture, by fixing prices for example. Stalin abandoned the NEP in favour of the 'Great Turn', increasing the power of the state to direct the economy and keeping everything within a single plan, and also collectivising agriculture, doing (as Pipes puts it) exactly 'as Lenin had desired'. Stalin's five year plans can be seen even more as a result of Lenin if the substantially more socialist economic policy of War communism is seen as their foundation. Pipes also stresses the fact that both Lenin and Stalin made sure that all autonomous labour organisations (such as trade unions and factory committees) were made wholly ineffectual which again highlights continuity. E.H. Carr is also of this view, stating that Stalin's industrialisation through his five-year plans was 'inevitable'. However, Roy Medvedev is of quite the opposite opinion, stating that in returning to the methods of War Communism, 'Stalin acted not in line with Lenin's clear instructions, but in defiance of them'6. Although giving many examples to illustrate this, he focuses on Stalin's 'hasty policy of forced collectivisation' and 'mainly administrative rather than economic methods to carry out industrialisation'. ...read more.


Whilst Western Right Wing historians are quick to point out how Lenin's hunger for power was littered with empty promises on the way to the October revolution, his writings show that he truly had continuous commitment to the revolution right up to his last days. In Stalin's case, it is clear that he did build on Lenin's blueprint with Pipes stating that he carried out Lenin's agenda 'to a successful conclusion'11 . However, he attempted this in too explicit a manner, and in creating the 'cult of Lenin', he ended up going directly against Lenin's wishes for such an idea not to be perpetuated, something symptomatic of Stalin's whole career as the USSR's megalomaniacal leader. Although justifying every single action against Lenin's principles to the people, his drive became far too polluted by his own personal views and impulses. Therefore, despite the fact that some aspects of Lenin's approach to power clearly influenced Stalin, he cannot be seen as the sole begetter. 1 Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Russian Revolution, 2nd edition (1994) p98 2 Stephen J. Lee, Lenin and Revolutionary Russia (2003) p98 3 Lenin quoted in 'The Unknown Lenin' (1996) Document 24, p.50 4 R.Pipes, Three Whys of the Russian Revolution (1988) p.83 5C. P. S. U. - History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1939) p229 6 R.Medvedev, 'The Political Biography of Stalin' in R.C. Tucker (ed.) Stalinism, Essays in Historical Interpretation (1977) 7 Geoffrey Swain - Lenin: Tyrant or Saviour (Modern History Review) p.4 8 http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/staterev/index.htm 9 Stalin, quoted in 'From Lenin to Stalin', Victor Serge, (1937) 10 I.Deutscher, The Prophet Unarmed: Trotsky 1921-1929 (1959) - p.465 11 R.Pipes, Three Whys of the Russian Revolution (1988) p.83 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. The Significance of Lenin in the Bolshevik Revolution (1917-1923)

    The inability of the White armies to cooperate and work together efficiently gave the Bolsheviks a vital advantage. With a tougher opposition they may not have held their political position long, let alone win the War. The Whites divide and dispersion over large areas of Russia presented the Bolsheviks with problems of supply.

  2. How far do you agree Communist ideology influenced Stalin's decision to implement Collectivisation in ...

    This highlights how important Stalin saw the use of Collectivisation as a way of modernising the USSR; firstly it would allow Stalin to have a greater control of the grain procurement rates, as on Collective farms there would be fewer collection points and each farm would have Communist supporters who would know how much had been produced.

  1. Compare the characters and beliefs of Lenin and Stalin Both Vladimir Lenin and Joseph ...

    who read them books not sanctioned by the Seminary authorities, in view of which the students were searched". Entries in the Conduct Book of the Seminary (Coursework Booklet) Stalin at school was not very disciplined and his attitude towards teachers and classmates was very disrespectful: "Djugashvili is generally disrespectful and rude towards persons in authority".

  2. .Compare the Characters and beliefs of Lenin and Stalin. Lenin and Stalin had many ...

    Other examples are setting up CHEKA and Labour Camps and putting down rebellions such as the Krondstadt Naval Base mutiny of 1921. This was despite the fact they had supported the communists in1917. However in my opinion Lenin did not remotely approach Stalin when it came to the barbarous, callous, and merciless treatment metered out to the people.

  1. Causes of show trials + purges of 1930s.

    for crimes against the Party and as many as 680 thousand were executed.[58] Among many of these arrests, arose confessions from the accused, which are widely believed to be false, with the accused being bribed with prison sentences instead of execution if they confessed to the crimes which they were

  2. To what extent was equality achieved under Stalin?

    more equal than ever; they all experienced fear, terror and resented "the rigid police and party controls which penetrate even their personal lives".51 Perversely, it was felt that confessions were required in order to legitimise arrests and prove that the state was correct.

  1. Evaluate historical comparisons of Hitler and Stalin and their regimes

    Bullock's first section of his book focuses on Hitler and Stalin separately and discusses their different backgrounds and their individual rise to power. Hitler originally was an artist who found himself thrown into politics because of his unsuccessful career, his dissatisfaction with the Weimar Republic and his hatred towards the Treaty of Versailles.

  2. Lenin and the Bolshevik revolution.

    The Mezhraionsty had of course failed to perform this task, and ended up becoming another splinter group. The group, which had 4,000 members and printed its own newspaper, Vpered, did not officially join the Bolsheviks until August 1917. However, Trotsky had been impressed by Lenin's programme from the moment of

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work