High Stalinism

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James von Goldern “cult of leadership” gives us a little look into Stalin’s mindset. Stalin was in every sense of the way a strong man leader who took control from the country from his political enemies. He had to keep the country his however. We know the Soviet Union is a multinational state that is united under the communist regime. Stalin of course knew this very well, and with world war two underway and the Germans showing early success Stalin needed a message to keep moral up. The “Cult of Leadership” describes how Stalin wanted to be like Churchill a bit using echo’s from the past. Yet this isn’t soviet behavior. The past was the struggle of the proletariat and their struggle. It would be counter productive to use that as a echo from the past simply because it would bring up suffering. Yet he really didn’t have a choice and used state nationalism as the cry to rally the Soviet men and women to push against the fascist regime. Stalin ruled in a way to make sure the people who lived under him were manipulated and intoxicated with Soviet might. The essay goes further into how Stalin very much looked into Ivan the Terrible’s way of ruling. Drawing parallels to how he conquered places and brought them into the empire the same way he did. Stalinism needed a strong military leader which is what Stalin was just like Ivan. He needed people to worship him in a way and view him as a savior. Kind of like how the Czar was viewed. Propaganda was used to show him as the Father of the Union. His face was seen everywhere and the government wanted a cult following. This more or less became the culture and political life of the Soviet Union. Propaganda of Father Stalin. Enemies of Stalin were viewed as enemies of the State and would be killed or sentenced to Siberia to die. Stalinism was a time of fear and total control. He wanted to be seen as the Lenin’s true successor. Most people who were around in the old revolution soon disappeared because Stalin saw them as a threat. Soon enough all those left in the political circle were Stalin’s closest “allies” who occasionally disappeared because they were seen as a threat. Summing up “High Stalinism” it was a era of fear. Driven by a cult personality. One that would engulf a state and allow for a brutal dictator to kill thousands of people while citifying his own control. Fear, propaganda, and power dominated the Soviet union under Stalin’s reign.

“The Cult of Leadership.” Seventeen Moments in Soviet History, 18 June 2017, soviethistory.msu.edu/1943-2/the-cult-of-leadership/.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Stalinism.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 8 Oct. 2013, http://www.britannica.com/topic/Stalinism.

4 thoughts on “High Stalinism

  1. Thanks for writing about this! Your post helps us transition from the struggle to win the Great Patriotic war to the equally difficult effort to rebuild after 1945. What role do you think the war had on the development of the “cult of personality”? Check back in Fuller (the chapter in the Freeze text) on Stalin’s role in securing victory. This is fascinating stuff!


  2. Hey Kellen, Your post was very interesting. I really enjoyed the explanation to why Stalin that of himself so near to Ivan The Terrible because that man was pretty…. terrible. Correct me if I’m wrong but Ivan was destined to be a monster so maybe Stalin had the same destiny. Regardless, very good post. I really enjoyed it!


  3. That was a very great read and it shows how paranoid and ego driven he was to eliminate essentially those that watch him rise to power as he saw them as a threat because in his mind I imagine they saw a difference between him and Lenin and did not want to have the opposite happen to him. Plus he with victor in WWII it probably drove people to be even more loyal to him as they saw him as a hero who helped rid the evil even though he was not far from that himself.


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