Stalinism and Leninism - Essay Example

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XX century was the bloodiest time in the history of human civilization. The conflicts of nations and social groups were expressed in shooting wars and maintained by the diversity of ideologies. There is well known that the developments of Marxism transformed into Leninism and later in Stalinism (McCualey, 2003; Kotkin, 1997; Fitzpatrick, 2000) influenced the world history…
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Stalinism and Leninism
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"Stalinism and Leninism"

Download file to see previous pages There is no generally accepted point of view. The adherents of the continuity theory believe that Stalinism was the direct continuation of Leninism whereas their opponents do not (Evans, 1993). Paradoxically but they use the same citations and rhetoric to approve their believes. Stalin was a deserving successor of his teacher and comrade thus many phenomena of Stalinism had their roots in the theoretical postulates proposed by Lenin. Such conceptual views like democratic centralism in the governing, expectation of international revolution, and single party rule (ibid) are characteristic both for Leninism and Stalinism. However some Stalin's contributions are distinctive of Lenin's views. Thus he supported thesis of the possibility to built socialism in one country, and developed the theory of "aggravation of the class struggle along with the development of socialism" (Stalin, 1933).
The critics of Stalinism (e.g. Leon Trotsky and his followers) as well as the historians Discontinuity who support alternative theory argue that Stalinism discontinued the development of Lenin's ideas. Lenin proposed the rule of party and dictatorship of the revolutionary proletariat while Stalin replaced this thesis with the absolute power of party leader. Theoretical achievements of Stalin's works were non-significant thus Stalinism is more related to the style of governing than to true political theories (Fitzpatrick, 2000).
Some researchers found the relation between the traditional Russian autocracy (Tzar's government) and Stalinism (Kotkin, 1997; McCauley, 2003). They consider that Stalin adopted traditions to the new ideology and built the cult of own person. Contrarily Lenin never emphasized his own role in the Bolsheviks party.
Of course, many features of Stalinism could be linked to the trends occurred during Lenin's rule. Thus Red Terror developed the tools and infrastructure for the further repressions. Lenin wrote in 1917 "One out of every ten idlers will be shot on the spot". He gave hundreds orders for repressions and murders but he never use his weapon and deterrent against members of his party - they could be exiled from Russia but their lives were preserved. Nevertheless the idea of political control through terror is related Lenin. "It was Lenin who laid the police state foundations which made Stalin's monstrous feats technically possible" (Leggett, 1981, cited by D02C143HP, 2003).
Stalin was not too liberal, he "killed more Communists than Hitler, Mussolini and Franco together. He destroyed Lenin's Bolshevik Party and murdered all its leaders" (Woods, 2004). During the "purges" thousands of people were expelled from the Bolshevik Party and then arrested, imprisoned or persecuted later. But the number of Stalinism victims was estimated at the millions. They put their lives to the basement of Soviet Empire and its leader, Stalin.
There is interestingly that Lenin understood the dangerosity of his comrade, Stalin, for Bolshevik Party. He wrote in his Testament:
"Comrade Stalin, having become General Secretary has immeasurable power concentrated in his hands, and I am not sure that he always knows how to use that power with sufficient control" (Lenin, 1922)
Lenin and Stalin demonstrated different approaches in the economic policy of Communist State. Vladimir Lenin introduced the New Economic Policy and restored the agricultural and industrial ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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