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The Following Are Equally Important Reasons Why Stalin Was Able To Hold Onto Power In The Soviet Union:

1493 words - 6 pages

The following are equally important reasons why Stalin was able to
hold onto power in the Soviet Union:

The purges and show trials

The secret police

Propaganda and the cult of personality

Stalin’s economic policies.

Explain how far you agree with this statement.

Stalin used to methods to hold onto power in the Soviet Union these
were fear / coercion and persuasion / consent. If people were not
persuaded by Stalin’s personality and economic policies they would be
scared into supporting him.

From the outset Stalin was particularly aware of his image and the
importance and power of propaganda. He came to power partly as a
result of his creation of a cult of ‘Leninism’ and by persuading the
people that he was ‘ the best, the staunchest, the comrade in arms, of
Lenin’. That awareness of the importance and power and propaganda
continued throughout the thirty plus years that he led the Soviet
Union. The impression he made on the party, the Soviet people and the
rest of the world all affected the way in which he could govern. He
carefully nurtured his image allowing him to be portrayed at all times
as he wanted to be seen. He stressed qualities he believed would make
people respect him and hide those which might have damaged his
reputation. An example of this is a statue of Lenin and Stalin
supposed to portrait a photo of the two of them together but subtly
changed to make it appear from the statue as if the men were much
closer friends than would have seemed to have been the case from the
photo. Stalin was also a passed master at rewriting history and
blaming events on now out of favour members of the party often in a
breath takingly unjust manner. In many cases one area of overlap
between the use of the secret police and the show trials was to
justify this rewriting of history by publicly trying and extracting
admissions of guilt. An example was the first of the great show trials
where sixteen ‘old Bolsheviks’ and hero’s of the civil war including
Kamenev and Zinoveiv were but on trial accused of being directly
responsible for the assassination of Kirov, a popular leading
Communist, in 1934. Although Historians believe it is more likely that
Stalin was responsible for the murder and extremely unlikely that
Zinoveiv or Kamenev had anything to do with it. They all confessed to
their crimes.

Stalin propagated an image of himself as the father / protector of the
nation with posters and statues of himself in many Russian town and
cities. He also ruthlessly controlled the media to ensure that the
Russian people were only given such information as he saw fit. An
example of this is the fact that Trotsky’s vehement criticisms of
Stalin from the various countries he lived in abroad were kept from
the Russia people and indeed Trotsky who had been true hero of the
...

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