Why did Stalin win?

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  • Why did Stalin win?
    • Stalin had luck on his side. Had Lenin not died Stalin would probably have been sent to the provinces to work for the Party.
    • Dzerzhinsky, the head of the Cheka, from its inception to his death in 1926 was never one of Stalin's fans.
    • The centralised nature of the Party made it relatively easy for Stalin as General secretary to control it through the Secretariat. This had begun under Lenin.
    • Stalin possessed the organistional skill to develop the Party secretariat into a major power base.
    • Stalin was the only member of the Politburo, as well as the Orgburo.
    • Stalin listened in to the private Kremlin telephone network and thus was well informed about what his colleagues thought.
    • Stalin was based in Moscow from 1921 onwards so he knew about everything that was going on.
    • Stalin liked to play the role of mediator in the early phase of the revolution. He would listen to their arguments and then propose a compromise solution. In this way he came to be seen as moderate, no threat.
    • Through his position as General Secretary, Stalin had the ability to recruit persons who wanted a career and preferred working in the Party apparatus to working in a factory. They owed the advantages of party memebership to him and supported him.
    • Poorly educated new Party memebers were easy to dominate.
    • Stalin's control over personnel through the Party secretariat permitted him to sack those who sided with the opposition. Every time a leading politician lost, this would followed by a purge of his supporters.
    • The low level of culture in Russia, espically among Bolshevik supporters, made it easier to misrepresent opponents' points of view.


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