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Account for the development of totalitarianism under Stalin between 1928 and 1945 By 1928, Stalin had become the undisputed successor to Lenin, and leader of the CPSU. Stalin's

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Introduction

Account for the development of totalitarianism under Stalin between 1928 and 1945 By 1928, Stalin had become the undisputed successor to Lenin, and leader of the CPSU. Stalin's power of appointment had filled the aisles of the Party Congress and Politburo with Stalinist supporters. Political discussion slowly faded away from the Party, and this led to the development of the totalitarian state of the USSR. Stalin, through the Party and bureaucracy was able to extend his personal authority and the Party's control over the people. The cult of personality was a bizarre semi religious institution that emerged following Stalin's assumption of power. Stalin helped further the cult of personality by institutionalising art and culture. ...read more.

Middle

Stalin, through the coercive machinery helped mute out all opposition, and purge all his personal opponents. The OGPU [later to become the NKVD] were used to purge the political dissidents in the USSR. The Great Purges led to thousands of party members, military officials and civilians being executed or sent to the GULAGS. Whether the purges did remove enemies of Stalin is questionable, due to the fantastical methods of the NKVD. The NKVD were set quotas, and operated using public informers. By 1936 it is estimated 1 in 5 people were NKVD informers. This Red Terror had the effect of turning the people into bizarre worshippers of Stalin and the Party. ...read more.

Conclusion

The state command of industry put close to 20million people employed by the Party. Thus, by transforming the economy into a command economy and militarising the workforce, the Party was able to impose its authority on the workers. The freedom of workers was limited by abolishing trade unions. Collectivisation had appalling results, but succeeded in extending the Party's authority in the countryside. Stalin used famine as a deliberate policy instrument. One party official quoted "it took a famine to show them [peasantry] who is the master here". By 1941 98% of the peasantry were locked into collectives. By imposing collectivisation, the peasants were no longer able to hold the Party ransom, by choosing not to sow crops. The State planned how much was sowed, harvested and requisitioned. ...read more.

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