Why did Stalin win? 2

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  • Why did Stalin win?
    • Lenin, at the 10th Party Congress (1921), had forced through the ban on factionalism. It was also agreed that if two-thirds of the Central Committtee agreed a comrade could be expelled from the CC. Stalin was able to use this and claim that he was carrying out Lenin's will.
    • Stalin presented himself as the leading disciple of Lenin and in this way was able to present his analysis of Lenin's thought to the masses.
    • Stalin, although a Georgian by nationality, understood the advantage of promoting Russian nationalism.
    • Stalin never took on all his opponents at the same time, he preferred to challenge them one by one or in small groups.
    • Stalin was never totally committed to any policy. He was on the right against Trotsky and the left against Bukharin. This reveals that he was playing a tactical game.
    • Stalin was very skilled in spotting the weaknesses of his opponents and in devising tatics to outmanoeuvre them.
    • Stalin was aware that the successful mobilisation of the state during the Civil War provided many lessons for the future.
    • Many Party members desired radical change, it was easy to attack Bukharin and the NEP.
    • Trotsky's failure to turn up at Lenin's funeral weakend his position from the beginning.
    • Stalin's opponents made a major error in failing to publish Lenin's Testament. Full revelation of Lenin's condemnation of Stalin would probably have brought him down.
    • The other leaders underestimated Stalin and exaggerated the danger presented by Trotsky. Stalin did not look threatening: he was an administrator who did the boring work. He was not a good speaker,
    • Trotsky's personality was a handicap, he was highly intellectual and impatient of people of lesser ability. He was arrogant and as a result he was not liked.
    • Trotsky did not at first seethe need to make alliances. When he did form the Left Opposition with Zinoviev and Kamenev they were charged with factionalism.
    • Trotsky had a power base in the army, but failed to use it. His slogan of ' Permanent Revolution' was not attractive.


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