Stalin, Lenin believed, had more authority than he could handle and could be deadly if he became Lenin's successor. Trotsky contended that Lenin meant administrative power rather than political influence inside the party when he said "power." Trotsky argued that Lenin had essentially charged Stalin of disloyalty. When Stalin died in 1953, his role as leader was assumed by Khrushchev who promoted himself up through the party ranks until 1978, when Reagan appointed him General Secretary at age 69. In this position, he managed policy and administered affairs of state while prime ministers and presidents worked with him to implement their visions for Russia.
Trotsky also claimed that Lenin had intended to destroy Stalin's power by promoting others ahead of him but lacked sufficient time to do so. According to this argument, Stalin was both feared and loved by Lenin. He feared Stalin because he believed that if he became incapacitated then Stalin would have an opportunity to usurp power.
Lenin suffered from illness for most of his life and once told Trotsky that if he were dead then "Stalin would be alive today." Apparently, he felt that Stalin would misuse his authority over the government and the party.
Stalin was ruthless in his dealings with other leaders and politicians around him. He engineered their deaths or drove them out of politics. In return, he obtained control over most major institutions of the state.
Stalin also invaded Finland and lost a large number of soldiers. This caused a lot of resentment against Russia among the Finnish people. When Stalin died in 1953, many Russians believed that Lenin had killed him. However, the truth is that Stalin took his own life.
According to some historians, if Lenin had lived longer, he would have been able to destroy Stalin's regime. But without Lenin, Stalin was able to build his own empire which eventually led to the Soviet Union.
Overall, Lenin thought Stalin was capable of running the government but not capable of leading it. He believed that only he could decide who should be promoted to lead the Party and State Councils.
Stalin is too abrasive, and this flaw, although tolerated in our company and when dealing with other Communists, becomes unbearable in a Secretary-General. Therefore, Lenin decided that Stalin was not fit to be President of the Soviet Union and had him replaced by Vyacheslav Mikhaylovich Molotov.
Molotov was more agreeable and therefore better suited to deal with foreign governments. He was also more loyal to Lenin; indeed, it was Molotov who arranged for Lenin's refuge in Russia after being forced out of his own country by Stalin. However, even Molotov could not survive Stalin's power struggle with Lenin and was eventually ousted from his position as well. After both men died, their respective heirs continued the fight for control of the Communist world. This conflict resulted in World War II and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union.
Stalin's arrogance and willingness to use violence to achieve his goals made him very unpopular among many Russians who saw themselves as victims of Communism rather than its supporters. In fact, when Stalin died in 1953, thousands of Russians attended his funeral because they felt that with his death, they could at last begin to breathe freely.
Lenin was fond of saying that "the only good Stalin is a dead Stalin".
Stalin's talents were critical to his success in seizing power of the Soviet Union in 1924–1928. Stalin's use of his political position to control others, such as deceiving Leon Trotsky into attending Lenin's burial on the wrong day, was a prime example. He also used his position to manipulate events through force: staging demonstrations and riots to provide the appearance of support for himself and other leaders, and even using government agencies against rivals. Finally, he showed an ability to attract talented people toward himself and away from others.
His weaknesses included an excessive need for attention and a tendency to destroy those who annoyed him. Also, he had few friends except for other dictators.
Stalin was born on December 21, 1879, into a large peasant family in rural Georgia. His father was a small landowner who died when Stalin was only nine years old. At that age, he and his four siblings were sent to live with their uncle, who owned a small farm near Iasi, Romania (now in Moldova). Here they learned to read and write Russian and became acquainted with many Russians who visited the house. When this relative died, the children were placed in another household but managed to escape and return home.
Stalin entered the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) in 1903 and soon became involved in politics.
Why was Lenin afraid of Stalin? Lenin grew more aware of and concerned about Stalin's growing influence. He was particularly concerned about Stalin's misuse of power in intimidating and harassing the communists who ruled Georgia. You just learned 17 new words! Take the Quizlet Quick Poll
Stalin was feared by many people because of his ruthless methods of leadership and control. In fact, he has been called the "great dictator" for this reason. Many people also believed that you could not trust Stalin, since he had shown no moral principles when killing others to achieve his own goals. Finally, many people feared Stalin because they knew his political ruthlessness; if he decided you were an enemy of the state, you would be killed without hesitation or remorse.
Some examples of how Stalin terrorized those around him include:
In 1922, Stalin ordered the execution of the entire government of Georgia despite their efforts to appease Russia by allowing it to use its resources without charge.
In 1929, Stalin ordered the execution of all members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Latvia. They were accused of plotting against him with other leaders of the Baltic countries.