Candidates for leadership after Lenin

Stalin's Russia

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Bukharin

  • Unofficial Party Theorist
  • His book 'The ABC of Communism' was considered to be the Party's ideological handbook
  • Editor of 'Pravda' and 'Communist' - Communist's most important newspapers
  • Responsible for all city newspapers - he could influence Party opinions and deny opponents press access
  • Responsible for Communist education academies - designed to give ideological education to Party workers
  • Leading light in 1917 Moscow Communist Party
  • Often at ideological loggerheads with Lenin
  • Headed first Communist opposition group - Left Communists
  • Embraced the NEP
  • Had a reputation for "honesty, fairness and incorruptibility"
  • Lenin's testament - "golden boy of the Communist Party", "the favourite of the whole Party"
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Trotsky

  • Head of Red Army - won him the support and respect of the Communist Party
  • Leading figure in St. Petersburg Soviet of November 1905 
  • Responsible for consolidating Communist rule
  • Lenin's principal lieutenant 
  • Rejected Lenin's belief in disciplined, secretive and professional political party
  • Agreed with Lenin on restoring discipline to the Red Army
  • Lenin's testament - "no better communist" and "most able man in present Central Committee"
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Zinoviev

  • Head of Petrograd Communist Party branch
  • Head of Comintern - boosted his status and authority
  • Worked on a number of books and pamphlets with Lenin
  • Violently disagreed with Lenin twice - Communism seizure of power and sharing power with other Parties
  • One of Lenin's most loyal henchman
  • Good speaker
  • Political failings
  • Vain
  • Lenin's testament - "I will only remind you that the October episode of Zinoviev and Kamenev was not, of course, accidental"
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Stalin

  • General Secretary and Head of Secretariat
  • Recognised as a "superb administrator" and was relied upon by Lenin
  • Head of Central Control Commission - power to investigate and discipline members
  • Commissar for Nationalities (in Sovnarkom) - responsible for communicating with USSR officials
  • Committee member during October revolution
  • Refused to accept Trotsky's authority
  • Power to advance careers in Communist Party
  • Prepared to appeal to national pride
  • Opposed Lenin when he fell ill
  • Lenin's testament - "along with Trotsky, he was one of the most able figures of the Central Committee", "that wonderful Georgian"
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Kamenev

  • Head of Moscow Communist Party branch
  • Poor local administrator 
  • Failed to earn respect
  • Acting Chair of the Sovnarkom during Lenin's illness
  • Acting Head of Soviet Government
  • Chairman of Central Committee - highly influential role
  • No revolutionary record
  • Lenin's closest friend and collaborator
  • One of the most senior Communists
  • Little personal ambition
  • Saw no need to consolidate support base
  • Intellectual but uninspiring speaker
  • Reputation for compromise and giving up easily
  • Played a notable part in the Civil War
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Oppositions

Zinoviev

Triumvirate

Kamenev                                                                                                                        Stalin

  • Duumvirate - Bukharin and Stalin
  • Left opposition - Trotsky
  • New opposition - Zinoviev and Kamenev
  • United opposition - Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev
  • Right opposition - Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky 
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