The Regime of Stalin

During the 1900s, a man under the name of Stalin rose to power, making him, contrary to popular belief, the worst dictator in that period. Unlike the infamously renowned Hitler who had attempted to eliminate all the Jews in the 1900s, Stalin made all the wrong decisions from the very start. Before he came to power, he used trickery and guile in order to gain his place at the top.Then, when he found his way to being the ruler of Russia, Stalin remained distant and separated from his people because of his unkempt, disheveled appearance and poor speaking skills – something most great leaders in history cannot do without. Stalin led his country as a terribly paranoid man whose decisions ended up killing millions of people and costing him the war. The only reason his people did not revolt was because Stalin cleverly devised a cult of personality with his propaganda department which allowed the poorly illiterate and misinformed Russians to trust in his false image of perfection.Without any honest means of earning it, Stalin became a totalitarian dictator by the 1930s. Stalin came into this world named as Joseph Dzhugashvili, who was a normal kid that grew up as a hard-working young man. He was born on December 6, 1878 in a small Georgian town of Gorgi from a shoemaker father and a washerwoman mother. However, he had to “[begin] life as a proletarian revolutionary… disadvantaged and unprivileged” (Overy 6). During his childhood, life was rough for him and he ironically started out in the working class.As Stalin continued to attend school, people were amazed by his “remarkable memory” and promoted him to higher leveled schools where he began to learn about the Marxism that began to shape his grim future (Overy 6). Then, when Joseph turned eighteen, he adopted the name Stalin, meaning “man of steel” and became engrossed in his studies until the point he became the tsar’s trusted secretary (Ryan). Although he started out with good intentions, Stalin turned into a bloodthirsty man in the end. Stalin went from being that pure teenager into a power-hungry man who did everything he could in order to get to the top of his country during the 1920s.When Lenin, the previous successor and leader of the Communist Party of Russia, had begun to fall ill, Stalin was able to gain power only “by exploiting his rivalries among the party’s executive body” (Ryan). With an unfair advantage and the KGB, or the secret police that used force to make the people believe in the government, on his side, Stalin “succeeded in ejecting his chief rival, Leon Trotsky, from the Communist Party” (Ryan) expelling him to Mexico where he was murdered with a pickax to the head “no doubt on Stalin’s orders” (Spielvogel 846-847).With his capabilities, Stalin was only able to beat his rivals and gain power by exploiting his resources and cheating his way to the top. Then the previous ruler of Russia, Lenin, did not want Stalin to be the next ruler of the Communist Party. He declared in his wise words in his will to “suggest that the comrades consider a way of transferring Stalin from the post [of general secretary] and appointing in his place another man who differs from Comrade Stalin in having one advantage, namely that of being more patient, more loyal, more polite, and more helpful to comrades, less unpredictable, and so on” (Gellately 151-152).Lenin had wisely deduced that if Stalin were given the power to change the country, he would abuse his position and misuse that power. Yet despite Lenin’s efforts, Stalin became the man in charge through treachery. During Stalin’s time as Lenin’s secretary, Lenin “had allegedly recommended his removal in documents that were later suppressed or destroyed by Stalin” (Ryan). Stalin was able to sacrifice the trust he and his superior had in order to get what he wanted.By the time he had become the dictator of Russia, Stalin had already stained his reputation with murder and deceit. Even in his position as ruler, Stalin did not have the common traits of a leader, beginning as a disheveled man and growing into a soft-spoken, almost silent ruler. His first appearance as a political figure had been crude and misplaced. The dictator was, as one man describes, “thick-set, of medium height [with] a drooping moustache, thick hair, [a] narrow forehead, and rather short legs… [he was] a rather fanatical man” (Overy 7).Due to their first impression of him, many of his future followers believed that Stalin was someone who could not take care of himself, much less an entire country. Then Stalin’s biggest handicap among famous dictators was his oratory skills. Unlike most leaders, “his voice was remembered as ‘toneless’; his oratorical skills were feeble [and he read] slowly from prepared scripts, with occasional pauses and stutters and just sufficient inflection to add emphasis where needed to text that [was] methodical or formulaic” (Overy 9).Although Stalin was exceptionally well-versed on paper, he was a poor excuse of a vocalist for his well-organized thoughts, thus making the connection between him and his people almost impossible. His lack of organization as an influential and responsible leader made him indifferent to his people and led to the cult of personality he established around him. During his reign, Stalin was quickly able to establish a permanent barrier between him and his country without losing the trust of the deceived population by using a cult of personality.He was easily able to lie about himself and his true identity with the help of the propaganda department working under him. With these cleverly devised lies, “Stalin’s regime employed phrases such as ‘genius of age’ and ‘wisest man alive’ designed to create a cult of personality around a leader who could do no wrong and to legitimize a dictator whose qualifications and motives were questionable at best” (Ryan). Stalin’s goal was absolute power, and with this in mind, he was able to win over the hearts of the majority by creating a God-like figure for himself.It was also because of his cult of personality that no nations could interfere with Stalin’s unjust doings beforehand, for Stalin’s personality “[gravitated] wildly between the images of an implacably cruel despot, devoid of human qualities and the portrait of a quiet, unassuming, warm human being, the kind of man whose knee, as the American enjoy Joseph Davies put it, ‘a child would like to sit on’” (Overy 5).Since his true nature was so deeply hidden within his cult, the international leaders during the time of Stalin’s life were unable to stop his wrongdoings as they did with Hitler, and only discovered the depth of his evil after his death in 1953. It was also said that not only was the cult of personality necessary for the people of Russia to trust Stalin, but for the tsar himself. The overbearing words for Stalin were “needed for his fragile self-esteem to be puffed up by crude expressions of glorification” (Overy 124).His cult not only prolonged the ignorance of his people, but the ignorance of Stalin to himself, for he was denying the fact that he was a hesitant, imperfect leader, believing solely in the lies that his own propaganda department created. Stalin’s cult of personality proved to cut his true self off from the people and from himself, thus perpetuating his era of Stalinism. Stalin is mainly known for all his reprehensible acts that caused the people of his country who trusted him to die by the millions. When Stalin first came to be the dictator of Russia, he had a plan in mind to completely remodel the country’s economy.Instead of having a rural nation with agriculture being the center for profit, Stalin wished to inherit the western ways of industrialization. However, the problem was that he wanted to jump into that era after only five years. This was a dramatic and almost impossible feat for the Russians. Nonetheless, they went to work for many hours at a time in order to achieve this goal. However, despite the rise in economy, “little provision was made for caring for the expended labor force in the cities… [and] the result was that millions of workers and their families lived in pitiful conditions” (Spielvogel 847).Instead of Stalin’s people being benefitted from this change, the high labor caused them to suffer in a poor home environment. Another method Stalin wrongly chose was the idea of collectivization. This was the method Stalin chose to unite the independent farmers of Russia into one collective farm in order to accumulate all the revenues for purely exporting and government reasons. His new act was met with heavy resistance. However, the opposition was quickly cut off with a savage isolation from food, causing widespread starvation, especially in the Ukraine.In less than a year, Stalin’s harsh methods left “Ukraine politically, socially, and psychologically traumatized” (Library of Congress). Despite the will of his people, Stalin continued on with his oppressive ideas even when his country’s population began to starve to death. Then, the last great action that Stalin issued was the Great Purges. With his own emotions guiding him, “a paranoid Stalin instituted a large-scale purge of the Communist party. In a four-year period, remembered as the ‘Great Terror’, more than half the party’s members, as well as millions of other ‘enemies of the people’ were arrested, tried, or killed” Ryan). Stalin was selfish in his acts for he did not want to risk himself getting killed and due to this; millions were accused of a crime that they did not commit, forcing them to live in a constant fear. One man recalls how they “all trembled because there was no way of getting out” of the cloud of suspicion that came along with the Great Terror (Kreis). His entire country was living in fear. Along with the innocent citizens accused were the main driving forces of the government, who were also killed and this ultimately led to Russia’s loss in the World Wars.The dictator of Russia betrayed his people as well as the trust between him and his council just because of his paranoia, resulting in a massive loss for his country. Many people have claimed that Hitler was the worst leader of the 1900s, yet they do not realize that Stalin’s actions were unseemly and clumsy in comparison to the German dictator’s. Hitler had many traits similar to the best leaders in history and “like them, he was undoubtedly a genius. But it must be added at once that he was an evil genius, one of the cruelest, most bloodthirsty and barbarous tyrants who ever lived” (Shirer 4).Even though Hitler had foul intentions, his actions were plausible and helped him to achieve his ultimate goal in the end; unlike Stalin who made reckless decisions at a moment’s notice. Another reason that makes Hitler a better dictator was his extreme nationalism. One of Hitler’s main goals was “vengeance; revenge not only against the betrayal of Germany by Jews and socialists in 1918… but revenge against all the enemies of the movement and traitors against the new Germany” (Overy 179).Stalin’s actions came from his yearning to gain power and raise the economy, but Hitler took on the actions he did in order to better his people, even if it meant pouring the blame unjustly onto the Jews. This led to a strong trust between Hitler and Germany, something Stalin was greatly lacking with Russia. When he first came to rule, the majority of people saw Hitler as a bloodthirsty tyrant, “and yet the overwhelming majority of the German people eventually came to revere and even worship him” for his charisma and the economic results born off his efforts (Shirer 66).Hitler and Stalin could not have been more different with taking care of their countries; for Hitler obsessed over it while Stalin let his people die by the millions. Both dictators made a huge impact on history in different parts of the world, but comparing them to each other, Stalin’s actions led to a greater loss of people than Hitler. All in all, Stalin turned out to be a horrid dictator, and his actions can certainly prove that he was just that as both a leader and a man. Without cheating his way through things, Stalin would have never come to power and his rivals would have never died such cruel, unfair deaths.Even when he gained his seat as the ruler of Russia, Stalin was first viewed as an unkempt man that did not speak well and did not have the potential to rule over an entire country. This led the timid Stalin to create a cult of personality that completely tricked every uneducated person within his rule to think of him as a godly ruler without a pretense; when in actuality, he was only hurting and lying to his people. Acting off his emotions and feeling unnecessarily pressured, Stalin made poor plans and methods in his haste to boost economy and keep his power in place.Some such examples are collectivization, the Great Purges, and the Five Year Plan, that resulted in more than ten million deaths all within his country. People speak harshly of Hitler because he deliberately tried to eliminate an entire race, creating the Holocaust, a terrible time of suffering that has left a huge impact on history. However, Stalin was the polar opposite of the German ruler and was apathetic to the people that relied on him, causing so many more deaths in his country than what Hitler had ever eliminated with the Jews.Despite both of their corrupted hearts, Stalin turned out to be the worst leader of the 1900s for his lack of helpful actions, and his poor contributions to the people. In conclusion, Joseph Stalin was a terrifying man who made the nightmares of many come to life. As a boy, he was hard-working and true to his words. Yet as he aged and became Lenin’s apprentice, he had his first taste of power. It was then Stalin tuned out the rest of the world and focused on his ultimate goal – to have complete control.He betrayed his leader, Lenin, in a disrespectful act, and had Leon Trotsky murdered, even after he was expelled from his homeland. Then, when he came to rule over Russia, he made countless mistakes and millions of innocent lives were stolen due to his poor decisions. It shows how a regular person can yearn for something so greatly that they’ll go to any length to get it. For Stalin, he crossed the line with murder and broke the limits with lies and betrayal. In his own fear, Stalin also went overboard in eliminating the standing officers of his government.This turned out to be quite consequential to the Russian dictator when the two World Wars came about because ironically, Stalin had killed the men who were supposed to defend him in international battles, and this handicap on Russia eventually led to the Cold War. Stalin’s actions were thought out in a clumsy and hasty manner, and his weary life finally fell short from sickness in his old age. It was the end of a life lived with power, and ruled with terror rather than respect. Stalin’s cruel deeds will always continue to affect the future and those who have been impacted by his foolishness.Between Hitler and Stalin, the two demon dictators of the 1900s, the Russian dictator proved to be the worst leader for he acted not on headstrong action, but on ignorant mistakes.