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Why did Stalin succeed and nobody else?

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Why did Stalin succeed and nobody else? There has always been debates on whether Stalin had a long term plan to achieve power carefully worked out from the beginning of the 1920s or if he took advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves between 1923 and 1929? My personal opinion is that I don't think Stalin had a long term plan. I am surer that he was determined to defend his position in the power stakes and be an important player at the top of the Communist Party, because he began building his power base in the party from 1922 onwards. One of the things, being a party secretary, gave him control to some extent of the business of the Politburo. Like, drawing up agendas and papers for the Politburo meetings gave him control over what was discussed and what information other members received. Having positions in orgburo and the secretariat gave him control of appointments to positions of responsibility in the party structure. ...read more.


In 1923 Stalin had been on the point of political ruin. In 1924 he was one among equals, but without any outright supporters in the full membership of the Politburo. In six years Stalin outmanoeuvred a series of opponents; first in alliance with the rest of his colleagues, he opposed and demoted Trotsky. The truth is that Trotsky refrained from attacking Stalin because he felt secure. No contemporary, and he at least of all, saw in the Stalin of 1923 the menacing and towering figure he was to become. It seemed to Trotsky almost a bad joke that Stalin, the wilful and sly but shabby and inarticulate man in the background, should be his rival. Stalin also had luck on his side. Luck favoured Stalin rather than Trotsky. Had Lenin not died Stalin would probably have been sent to the provinces to work for the Party. Stalin made full use of Lenin's funeral to advance his position. He tricked Trotsky into not attending the funeral. ...read more.


Like the other contenders, he underestimated Stalin and was outmanoeuvred by him. He did not like getting involved in the politics. He was not good at it, by making alliances, but Stalin was. It was very lucky for Stalin that Lenin's Testament was not read out and that Trotsky was ill for most of the power struggle. All Bolsheviks were trying to find their feet in an unfamiliar and unanticipated world, and the doctrine of socialism in one country at least had the merit of describing things as they really were. The theory evoked a sympathetic response from two groups, the new sub-elites advanced by the crises of the immediate post-evolutionary years and workers sickened by the manifold injustices and inequalities of the NEP. The latter were men and women indifferent to factional squabbles and impatient for socialist reconstruction; the former were people for who the revolution was primarily Russian achievement- soviet patriotism sat easily with the enjoyment of the fruits of offices. A Stalinist constituency was in the process of formation and Stalin's rapid industrialisation and collectivisation (left turn) brought most of them round to his way of thinking. ...read more.

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