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Compare the characters and beliefs of Lenin and Stalin.

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Introduction

Compare the characters and beliefs of Lenin and Stalin. In terms of character, both Stalin and Lenin were politically skilled leaders. It was largely due to Lenin that the Bolsheviks were able to stay in power after 1917. He had good political judgement and was able to adapt to changing circumstances. During the Civil War in 1918, he introduced the War Communism policy, which kept the Red Army supplied with food and armament and he allowed Trotsky to rule the army as he wished. Without these changes the Communists perhaps would have lost the war. Stalin as well proved to be politically skilled, as he anticipated World War 2, and by introducing the 5 Year Plans, he managed to arm Russia well enough to defeat the Germans and to emerge as one of the winners of World War 2. He also managed to won the power struggle between him and Trotsky due to his manipulation of opponents. A more negative aspect of their character, was that both of them proved to be quite ruthless. Lenin used ruthless methods and terror to stay in power. He had as the secret police the Cheka, which carried out tortures and executions, arresting people that were considered to be dangerous. Stalin continued along the same way, he just merely altering the name- in 1922 the Cheka became the OGPU and in 1933 it was called the NKVD. ...read more.

Middle

Neither Stalin, nor Lenin had any religious beliefs, and both of them tried to reduce as much as possible the power of the Orthodox Church in Russia. Lenin closed down the churches in Russia, and Stalin opened them only during the World War 2, to boost the moral of the people, but afterwards, closed them once again. Both of the leaders' political beliefs were Communistic ones -with slight alterations- and both ruled Russia using a command economy -again with slight differences. Even though both Lenin's and Stalin's political- and economical- beliefs are adapted from Marx's ideas about Communism, there are some differences between Stalinism and Leninism. In the beginning of the twentieth century, Russia was just in the very early stages of Capitalism and was just moving out of Feudalism. However, Lenin decided to hasten this stage and 'jumped' into Socialism. He also believed that the Socialist Revolution should be a world-wide event and often spoke about spreading out Communism all over the world and each Communist country helping each other in this process. This was known as a 'Permanent Revolution'. However, Stalin had a very different view. He believed in 'Socialism in one country'- that the Russians could built up a Communist state without the aid of people from the outside. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another feature of Stalinism, which wasn't present in Leninism is the extensive use of propaganda to establish a personality cult around an absolute dictator , as well as a very active secret police to maintain social submission and silence political dissent. Although Lenin had his own secret police, the Cheka's activities were restricted after War Communism and the Red Terror was ended shortly afterwards. Also Stalin executed millions of people during the Great Purges, even his party members, a thing which Lenin never did. Therefore we can see that Stalin's and Lenin's character differed to a large extent. Lenin was mainly known as a charismatic, ideological and modest intellectual, while Stalin was an ambitious, manipulative and paranoid mediocre. The only thing which they had in common was their ruthlessness and very good political skills. In terms of beliefs they have a number of things in common: they believed in Communism, state planned economy, but not in any kind of religion. However, the way they put the first two into practice is a different matter. Lenin's command economy was a more flexile one and he believed that the workers should lead a revolution with the help of a strong Communist Party. Stalin on the other hand was more strict. He never altered too much on his tough policies- Industrialisation and Collectivisation- and he turned Russia into a totalitarian state with an extensive use of propaganda, 'Cult of Personality' and the secret police. ?? ?? ?? ?? Diana Lucaci ...read more.

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