Did Stalin Betray Lenin?

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To what extent did Stalin betray Lenin? There are two varying schools of thought on the relationship between Leninism and Stalinism. Orlando Figes argues that there is much continuity, “…the basic elements of the Stalinist regime – the one party state, the system of terror and the cult of personality – were all in place by 1924” (Figes 1996: 807). However, in this essay, I am going to argue that there is much discontinuity between the two leaderships. To do this, I will compare and contrast the elements in Figes’ argument to show that they were in fact, two very different leaders; therefore concluding that Stalin did in fact betray Lenin. Firstly, I will talk about the concept of the one-party state…show more content…
Admittedly, Lenin had begun to use the Cheka and had set up show trials before Stalin came to power, but some historians such as Stephen Cohen, see this as a response to the awful civil war in Russia, in which, Lenin needed to extend his control over the whole of the Russian people. It is seen by some historians as more of a necessary act of control to keep the country together, and the Bolsheviks in power, rather than a vicious attack on the potential threat of the Russian people. In “The History of Terrorism” the historians argue that “For Lenin, terror was not the principal instrument” that he wanted to use to gain control. This reveals that perhaps he only used it in times of need, rather than simply because he was able…show more content…
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