One of the ways how Stalin defeated the left side of the party was to make an alliance with Bukharin. This ended with Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev losing their power bases. This gave Stalin a lot more power and meant there was no real threat left. I know from my own knowledge that Trotsky formed the alliance with Zinoviev and Kamenev because Stalin was a big threat. Stalin was more popular because of Trotsky’s “political paralysis” he couldn’t be a good public speaker.
One key piece of evidence in favour of this is the Pravda article â€œdizzy with successâ€ which suggests that the purges spiralled out of Stalinâ€™s control. The Purges thrust the whole of Russia into a state of fear of what would happen to them. It affected all sectors of society and even a seemingly insignificant act could result in arrest. For example one woman was arrested for saying that Tukhachevsky, a high ranking military officer, was handsome after he was arrested. One key reason other than Stalinâ€™s personal paranoia for the Purges was to cleanse the party of careerists, yet dissidents and doubters were also at risk.
Stalin was engulfed by a sort-of paranoia, which didn’t always work against him but it did generally mean he was constantly worried by the thought of being thrown out of power, especially by those within his party. This lead to him using purges as a way to enforce his power and secure his position. His constant worry over the potential loss of power is clearly illustrated by the fact his purges initially began internally and also, if we’re to run with the idea that he was responsible for the murder of Kirov, the kirov case of 1934. Purges wasn’t a new method of eliminating those who did not follow the ideology put forward, Lenin in fact was infamous for using this technique. What was new was the purges being utilized as a weapon to eliminate those within the party.
Another very important reason in why Stalin emerged as leader was Tactical maneuvering of Stalin and his making and breaking of alliances. Stalin was so determined to take power he was quite prepared to use dishonourable tactics in his bid for power and started a campaign against his strongest rival, Bukharin. He attacked Bukharin’s followers at lower levels of the Party. He also was very good at manipulating the Party for instance telling Trotsky the wrong date for Lenin’s funeral to reduce his popularity. This helped him seize power as
Lenin’s real opinion of Stalin was highly negative. He was so concerned about Stalin becoming leader that he made a plea in his testament to do anything to stop this. ‘I suggest that the comrades think about a way of removing Stalin from that post and appointing another man in his stead.’ As well as his view to not see him as leader, Lenin described Stalin as ‘rude’, but more importantly, favored Trotsky to be his successor in the testament, stating that he was ‘most capable’ individual to lead Russia. If it wasn’t for Stalin using his role as secretary of state to keep this document hidden, these opinions of Lenin would have influenced the public hugely, as his death alone attracted millions of people to pay their respects. Stalin not only stopped a negative opinion of him costing leadership, but he completely turned that opinion upside down, persuading the public that he was very close to the much loved Lenin.
However I think more important factors such as luck for Stalin like how Lenin’s death came at the right time, Stalin’s ideologies and how he support the right policies at the right time and in my judgement the most important factor was Stalin’s devious malicious and devious tactics against his opponents such as fooling Trotsky when Lenin’s funeral was and making him look aloof and his constant side swapping to suit his popularity. One of the reason Stalin defeat his opponents was because of their own personalities. Compare to Stalin who was a simple character which meant he could be underestimate and therefore manipulate people easily. His opponents were seen as negative. Firstly Trotsky was Jewish , which made him unpopular and many thought he would have a negative impact on Russia if he was in charge due to his arrogance and also untrustworthiness as he’d only joined the party in 1917.
In 1924 Lenin dies leaving the role as leader of the communist open. Lenin did not want Stalin, but Trotsky to take over his position. But as Lenin’s strokes got worse, he lost the ability to participate in the CC (Central Committee). Lenin had information about Stalin that could have been very damaging if it was released in public. Stalin had many calculated methods to achieve the power of Russia.
According to Lenin’s will, Trotsky appeared to the natural successor while Stalin was described as power hungry and should not be put into power. Yet Stalin was the General Secretary of the Bolshevik Part y which allowed him to undermine Trotsky’s support and gain more support for himself. He expelled the younger, wilder and more radical elements more likely to support Trotsky while he placed his supporter of powerful position which would allow him to win more votes in the Congress. Trotsky, on the other hand, was the leader of the Red Army and therefore had their support and of the younger party members, but the older communists did not support him and were worried about him becoming the leader as they were concerned that he would become a dictator especially with the support of the Red Army. They doubted his loyalty to the party as he did not join until November 1917.
For example the Mensheviks and the supporters of the Tsar would have disagreed on many terms; this may have made it hard for them to work as an organised unit. The fact that the leader of the movement only represented one of the factions also built up the tension between them. However I think that the leadership of Lenin and Trotsky was a larger contributing factor. The men were more loyal to the cause if not from belief but because their families had been taken hostage by Trotsky. Furthermore the Trotsky permitted the assassination of the Tsar; this was a good tactic as it immediately killed the cause of a large proportion of the White army.
This particular political skill would become one of the key factors in his rise to power. The others include the political weakness and errors of his rivals, issues brought up within the politburo such as the N.E.P, and the fact that more often than not he had luck on his side. Stalin’s main rival, Trotsky, was the early choice to gain the position of leader of the party, having been Lenin’s personal favourite. However, Trotsky lost himself a large amount of support when he criticised the N.E.P, and Lenin. He was also tricked by Stalin into not attending Lenin’s funeral.