The Cult of Stalin

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Marxist Theories on Leadership:

The Marxist theory was against a leadership Cult, preferring a dictatorship of the proletariat over hero worship or reverence towards a leader.

Stalin as a leader:

He was already referred to as Vozhd (boss) by those who worked with him.

- 1925: Petrograd was renamed Leningrad, this helped push the focus on key individuals rather than just an idea.

Stalin used Pravda to promote the Cult and the edition on 29th Dec 1929 was devoted to him, praising him as the 'Lenin of today'.

The cult promoted the idea that Stalin could not do wrong, he was a living-God in the USSR.

Why did the Cult develop?

Psychological need:

- Russia led by Tsrars for 100's of years. Typical Russian peasant home contained a cross and an icon on the Tsar.

- Wished to behave the same as others, and take part in the same mass activities.

- Once the people had invested…


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