Stalin And Trotsky Patrons Of World Domination

Stalin And Trotsky: Patrons Of World Domination Essay, Research Paper

Stalin and Trotsky: Patrons of world domination

One of the most well known countries in the world is Russia. Since the Paleolithic Period, Russia has faced misfortune and difficulties through its brutal leaders. Every change that has made this country more inclusive has been won with toil, tears, and blood. The year of 1879 was the beginning of another “great new chapter” (Flachmann p. 357) in Russia’s history. It was the year two patrons of world domination were born. These patrons were Joseph Stalin, born Dzhugashvili, and Leon Trotsky, born Bronstein. They would soon become two of Russia’s most important leaders who altered the world in many ways. Stalin and Trotsky were the same age, and both had once been members of the Russian Social Democratic Party. These two dedicated Communists shared similar viewpoints such as their commitment to the “unity of theory and practice” (McClellan p. 62) and both prospered on spreading Communism throughout the world. However, each had a unique childhood that gave them both special qualities, which influenced them to live different lives. The tension between Trotsky and Stalin worsened into a life-and-death fight as Lenin got sick and died. Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky were two committed communists who represented the strength of the Soviet Union during the early 20th Century.

Leon Trotsky was born on October 26, 1879 in the Southern Ulkaine. His real name was Lev Davidovich Bronstein. Leon’s parents were simple Jewish farmers who lived better than most peasants at the time. At the age of 9, Leon moved to Odessa to live with some relatives and attend a prestigious private school. His father hoped that Leon would return home as an engineer, but instead he became attracted to radical politics. At 17, Trotsky began a path of success and failure after becoming a Marxist, a follower of the beliefs from Karl Marx. Soon after Leon joined a study group, where he met Alexandra Sokolovskaya, a fellow Marxist who later became his wife. Together Leon and Alexandra founded the Southern Workers Union and began to distribute pamphlets condemning the terrible factory conditions occurring. Unfortunately, in 1898, Trotsky was arrested by police and sent to serve over one year in jail and sentenced to four years in Siberia. Since he had married Alexandra in jail, they were both sent together to Siberia. However, Trotsky escaped two years later to London, England, leaving his beloved wife and new children behind.

While in London, Trotsky joined VI Lenin and was assigned his first duty. His assignment was to go on a fundraising trip for the newspaper Iskra to different regions around Europe. On a stop at Paris, France, Leon met Natalia Sedov, who became his second wife. Then in 1903, he participated in the Second Congress of Russian Social Democratic Worker’s Party in London, where the separation between the Bolsheviks led by Lenin and the Mensheviks led by Julius Martiv. Trotsky believed Lenin’s stubbornness caused the split between the parties to worsen and warned that government discipline would lead to tyranny.

With little of himself and Lenin, Trotsky admitted his error on the issue of organization and decided to join the Bolsheviks. The Petrograd Soviet elected Trotsky as president. Leon then led the October Revolution in 1917 where “he would fight to the limit of endurance” (Flachmann p. 359). A year later, Trotsky was assigned to organize the military. Then he built a Red Army of five million soldiers.

Although Trotsky enjoyed prestige as a military leader, Stalin controlled the party organization. After Lenin’s death, Stalin established an alliance with Grigory Zinovyev and Lev Kamenev, other communist leaders. Together the three turned against their threat as leader, Leon Trotsky. Leon was unable to defend himself against damaging criticism he was facing, and in 1925, he lost his position as commissar of war. In 1929, Stalin ordered Trotsky to leave the USSR. Again in exile, Trotsky became the “most perspective critic of the Stalin regime” (Commine p. 17). Trotsky’s old friends, his daughters, sons, and former wife all suffered imprisonment or death at Stain’s hands. Trotsky lived in constant danger of assassination. Fearing for his life, Leon fled to Mexico where he continued to promote world revolution. Unfortunately, Leon Trotsky was murdered on August 21, 1940, in Mexico reportedly on Stalin’s orders.

As one of Russia’s most brilliant Marxist leaders, Trotsky was a man of action, a thinker, and a writer, “whose political and literary activity spanned the first four decades of the 20th Century” (Commine p. 24). His writing on Marxism, Bolshevism, and world revolution made an important contribution to both “political theory” and “historic theory” (Commine p. 24). However, Trotsky had a major flaw that would plague him throughout his career and may be why he failed politically. He was always too worried about his image. For instance, Lenin wrote Trotsky a letter, which harshly criticized Stalin, but Trotsky did not want to be a snitch so he did not read it to the Communist Committee until after Lenin’s death. By then, it could not be verified, and Stalin claimed it was all lies.

The bitter, savage, and merciless fight between Stalin and Trotsky began because of their difference of opinion of communism, Though they both thrived on spreading communism throughout the world, they differed in their ways of doing it. Trotsky followed the strict Marxist belief that revolution should take place all over the world. Stalin, however, advocated “socialism in one country” (Laquer p. 52), the USSR only. Stalin believed that after socialism succeeded there, the revolution would spread to the rest of the world.

Unlike Trotsky, Joseph Stalin was a ruthless dictator who did not let anyone stand in his way. Throughout his life, Stalin had shown a tendency to be an austere, spiteful, and perhaps even an insane authoritarian. He earned those brutal titles after stunning the world by ordering countless millions of his own countrymen to their deaths. Stalin liquidated millions of peasants. He also accused nationalities of treason and either forced them into labor camps or deported them and eliminated their national republics. Stalin felt that only terror and force could “secure his goals” (Laquer p. 52) of the revolution. However, Stalin was not simply a power crazed manic. He was in fact a very intelligent leader who had “mastered the art of international and domestic politics” (Laquer p. 26). Whether they may have seemed to be evil or pure genius, Stalin had qualities that lifted him to the heights of power and, once there, made him one of history’s worst tyrants.

The compelling and hateful qualities that led Joseph Stalin to be a man of action developed as a young child. Stalin, born Vissarionovich Dzhugashvil, grew up in a poor two-room hut in the small Georgian village of Gori. He was the oldest child of a cobbler and a housekeeper. Stalin’s father, Vissarion Ivanovich, drank excessively. Growing up with an alcoholic father may have influenced Stalin’s intolerable attitude. At the age of 11, little Joseph’s heart was shattered into pieces with the agonizing death of his father, who had died in a barroom fight. With nothing left of his heart, the confused young Stalin subsequently turned into a man of steel, who locked away his compassion for others. However, from his mother, Joseph learned ambition and the value of hard work. Stalin’s mother was a religious, hard-working woman who wanted her son to be well educated and eventually enter priesthood. Though she had very little money, Joseph’s mother made certain he attend the best elementary school ran by the Othrodox church. She pushed him to be the top student. With the help of his mother’s persistence, Joseph Stalin received a scholarship to enter the Orthodox theological seminary in Tbilisi, a major city in Georgia.

Stalin began his studies as a believer in Othrodox Christianity. He made a quick shift from top student to a dropout when he was exposed to the radical ideas of fellow students. Stalin began to read illegal literature based on the works of German philosopher Karl Marx. Joseph joined other students in secret study groups that were opposed to the Russian tsarist government. In 1899, Stalin devoted his time to the revolution movement occurring against the Russian monarchy and gave up his religious education just as he was about to graduate.

For the next 18 years, Stalin’s career slowly prospered, as a “professional revolutionary”. He became a member of the illegal Russian Social Democratic Party (RSDP) and was living and working in the underground. The “professional revolutionary” began writing articles for Marxist newspapers, organizing strikes, and working as a propagandist among industrial workers. Stalin excelled at conspiratorial tasks and organized a number of notorious bank robberies, in order to raise funds and destabilize the tsarist regime. Consequently, Stalin was hunted down and arrested by police. A year later he was sentence to exile in the Russian region of Siberia. Yet, the intelligent Joseph managed to escape and was back in Georgia shortly after.

Joseph Stalin’s career prospered further in 1903 after the RSDP separated into two. Stain support the more radical Bolsheviks led by VI Lenin, because he like Lenin’s military style. Two years later, Stalin married Yekaterina Svanidze, a Georgian woman. At the same time the newly wed, Joseph, promoted the Bolshevik line, and finally caught the attention of Lenin in 1912. Therefore, Stalin was immediately promoted editor of the Party newspaper, Pravda, and was brought into the Party Central Committee by Lenin. A while later, Joseph, whose first wife had died in 1907, married Nadezhda Alliluyeva in 1918 and moved with the government from Petrograd to Moscow.

Stalin’s role in the revolution of 1917 was important but not heroic. For instance, he did not go out into the streets and rally workers, peasants, and soldiers. He was not a very popular or charismatic leader who stirred crowds with words of encouragement and bravery, as Leon Trotsky did. Stalin preferred to work within Part committees and soon became Lenin’s special assistant. In October of 1917, when the Bolsheviks, led by Trotsky, seized power in the name of the soviets, Stalin played a small role. He did however, receive a job in the new government as commissar of Nationality Affairs.

Shortly after Lenin’s death, a struggle for succession began. Stalin had emerged five years later as the new leader of the Communist Party. He had triumphed over his four rivals, including Leon Trotsky, by “skillfully outmaneuvering them with his political instincts and ambition” (Lewis and Whithead p. 47) to be the new Lenin. Stalin built the Soviet into an “industrialized nation” and a “dominant world power” (Lewis and Whithead p. 48). Unlike Lenin, the “triumph of {Stalin} turned into the tragedy of an entire nation” (Dmitri Volkogonov).

Finally in 1953, the regime of terror ended in the Soviet Union with the death of Joseph Stalin. It is difficult to compare the lives of Stalin (illustration 1) and Trotsky (illustration 2), for Stalin achieved sole power while Trotsky was exiled. Joseph Stalin was one of the most ruthless dictators in modern history, who built the Soviet Union into an “industrialized nation” and a “dominant world power” (Lewis and Whithead p. 48), but whose brutal regime sacrificed millions of lives. On the other hand, Leon Trotsky was a Russian socialist whose “political and literary [movements] stretched the first four decades of the 20th Century” (Commine p. 24). Trotsky also founded the “global opposition” (Commine p. 35) to Stalin’s regime. Despite his ability to be ruthless, Trotsky was no match for Stalin when it came to struggle for political power that ensued after Lenin’s death. The antagonisms between the two were very little but there were some. For example, both Stalin and Trotsky were “philosophical materialists” (McClellan p. 77) who were once in the same Russian Social Democratic Party as youths. In addition, they both competed for Lenin’s place in office. However, the personal differences between the two were the reason for their rivalry. As committed communists, Stalin and Trotsky both believed in the revolution but conflicted in their different strategies for it to take place. Despite their personal differences and antagonisms, but Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky became two patrons of world domination, neither to be beyond recollection.


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