Primary Source Analysis
Lenin and Stalin
The USSR in the 1920’s was celebrating its revolution following the overthrow after World War II. In 1923 Lenin wrote the Communist party to discuss who should cede him in power. Trotsky and Stalin had emerged as the leaders of the communist party underneath Lenin. Inside his Lenin’s testament he discusses the strengths and cons of each candidate. He warns against Stalin’s aggression and his true intentions. Furthermore, predicted the clash that would inevitably happen between Trotsky and Stalin. Of course, his predictions were true, and in the description of the propaganda poster of 1930, it talks of Stalin’s ruthlessness of the five year plans. Lenin predicted many times and tried to warn the communist party of how Stalin would attempt to change the party to what he wanted. He would lead them away from the communism of now and change it into something bad and something away from the ideals in which Lenin had created in the Revolution. Lenin’s testament and the explanation of his propaganda create an air of uncertainty as Stalin takes over and all of Lenin’s warnings come to light.
December 22 Lenin writes a letter to the Communist Party as letter to congress to inform them on the state of the Union. He stresses the, “growth of the bureaucracy and the danger of polarization within the party” (Testament, 160). The testament criticized both Stalin and Trotsky and their potentials as leaders and any problems they each may have. By 1922 Stalin had been appointed to be a member of the politburo, on which he began to decide governmental policy etc. January of the following year, Lenin adds a postscript in which he condemns Stalin’s ambitions. Lenin calls Stalin out for being distrustful and not knowing how to handle the enormous amounts of power. He goes so far as to suggest that Stalin should be removed from his position. He would not know how handle it with caution. Although Trotsky appears to be Stalin’s favorite, he still is criticized for being overzealous, and over reaching attitude on leadership. Lenin completely predicted the confrontation between these two giants in the Communist Party. The two person struggle for power would be so great it would essentially create a rift within the Communist Party. Although trashing both Trotsky and Stalin, Lenin somehow refrains from including any other alternative. He includes the name of other party officials such as Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin, but are dismissed immediately. He also wants to extend the size of the party but again fails to suggest a proper successor (Testament, 160). Lenin’s attack on Stalin was denounced by Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin. The group of them three and Stalin began to discredit Trotsky and other opposition as well as manipulate opponents and friends. After the split between Trotsky and Stalin, the communist party began to create different sides as the two leaders struggled for pow...