Stalin's Corruption

Topics: Joseph Stalin, Marxism, Soviet Union Pages: 5 (1558 words) Published: May 15, 2013
"I believe in one thing only, the power of human will" said Stalin once. He certainly did have cause to believe in the power of a human's will as he experienced it in himself firsthand, having had extraordinary willpower and perseverance (He didn't call himself "Man of Steel" for nothing, folks), rising up from the lowly station of alcoholic's son in Georgia to one of the biggest monsters in human history, supposedly killing more than Hitler. Exactly how did he do this? Why? And how did his corruption reach such extents as to do all this for power?

Josef Stalin (originally named Josef Djugashvili) was born in Gori, a violent town in eastern Georgia, on the twenty-first of December, in 1878, to his parents Ketevan Geladze and Besarion Jughashvili. He lived for seventy-four more years, and in his time living became the totalitarian dictator over all of the Soviet Union. By the time he died in 1953, he was extremely corrupt. How, in these seventy-four years, did he get so corrupt? This essay answers this.

Stalin took advantage of the weakness of the early Communist system to attain power. He did this because of his ambitious and power-hungry personality which, in part, had been caused by his troubled personal history.

The corrupt actions of Joseph Stalin were made possible by the newly employed and therefore rather weak political system of Communism but were mostly caused by his power-hungry personality and troubled personal history, which led to the power having an extreme effect on him. The actual power did the corrupting, but these personal factors primed him for it.

Stalin took advantage of the youth of the Communist system to gain power. He gained power from this because the rules of Communism weren't set in stone, firmly established, and not everybody was thoroughly educated about Communism, and this way he could lie about the system's rules or develop his own to suit himself. In other words, Stalin got an almost clean slate to work off of.

Stalin taking advantage of Communism's novelty is shown when he simplified (or, perhaps more accurately, simply lied about) the words and works of Lenin. As it says in a well-informed article--"In bringing the message from the stratosphere to the ground, Stalin did for Lenin what, in a different context, Lenin had done for Marx" (Pereira, 2). What did they do? Simplify. Twist meanings. Each time the message got into new hands, the meaning changed a little bit to suit their interests, but they still credited the respected people before them, so that they would seem like these people. Stalin took concepts over common folk's heads, and brought it down to be understandable, in black and white without any gray tones, basically paraphrasing Lenin's works (tweaking a bit here and there), making it simpler and easier for mass consumption. He gave people 'junk food' speeches. He did this because he didn't care whether people were actually informed about the system they were living in, as long as they had reverence--according to Isaac Deutscher, he believed in information being "pushed down their [the people's] throats" (Pereira, 4).

Some of the key words in all of this are "tweaking a bit", because tweak, Stalin did. After Lenin died, Stalin played the part of impromptu spokesperson for him, giving speeches like the famous oath of devotion to the just-deceased Lenin in which he said that "In leaving us, Comrade Lenin ordered us to hold high and keep pure the great title of member of the Party. We vow to thee, Comrade Lenin, that we shall honourably fulfil this thy commandment... In leaving us, Comrade Lenin ordered us to guard the unity of our Party like the apple of our eye. We vow to thee, Comrade Lenin, that we shall fulfil this thy commandment, too... In leaving us, Comrade Lenin ordered us to guard and strengthen the dictatorship of the proletariat", etcetera. In this speech he made many feel-good generalizations, similar to the propaganda technique "Glittering...
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