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Joseph Stalin: biography

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Joseph Stalin, whose real name is Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, was born on December 21, 1879 in the small town of Gori, Georgia. His family was poor and he was the only child of four to survive. His father was a shoemaker. He was a heavy drinker and died from wounds in a brawl when Stalin was 11 years old. His mother was a pious and hardworking woman. She wanted her son to have a good life so she entered him into priesthood. He attended elementary school run by the Orthodox Church and went on to the Orthodox theological seminary in Tiflis. There he joined a secret study group that opposed the Russian tsarist government. They discussed the radical ideas of Karl Marx and Stalin became a devout Marxist. Eventually, Stalin was expelled from the seminary, Then for the next 18 years he was a revolutionary. He wrote articles for Marxist newspapers, worked as a propagandist among workers, and organized strikes. This is what led to him becoming a politician.

Stalin and many other dictators at this time are becoming totalitarian dictators. This is because of many aspects about their lives they had and the state of the country they controlled. In Stalin’s case, Russia is in ruins and it is in chaos. He also has a life that molds him into a communist and paranoid person. He also using his administrative skills and maneuvering establishes a place for him in his party. So Stalin was successful in becoming a totalitarian dictator and turning Russia into a communist state because Russia was in chaos, he maneuvers to establish a powerful place in the communist party, and his reign of terror gets rid of all the enemies he has. Stalin is successful in turning Russia into a communist state because Russia is in chaos.

Russia was already in ruin because of World War I. Inflation and many other problems faced Russia. Not only was that but Russia being gripped by a wide scale revolution. Weakened by four long years of war the tsarist regime collapsed and a Provisional Government was set up to maintain control. In October of 1917 the Bolsheviks overthrew the provisional government and took over Moscow. Then in 1918 the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk made Russia give up large tracts of land to lots of countries. Then a civil war erupted between Bolsheviks, Reds, and anti-Bolsheviks, Whites. In northern Russia, British, French, and U.S troops are capturing cities, as well as in the Russian Far East. Then Russia declares a policy of war communism with the state taking control of the whole economy causing millions of peasants to starve to death because the army confiscates grain for it own needs. Lenin proposes New Economic Policy which partially returns the market economy and provides a period of stability. A union treaty joins Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and the Transcaucasia into the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union adopts a constitution based on dictatorship of the working class and the public ownership of land and the means of production. When Lenin dies, Joseph Stalin takes over. Stalin takes the situation of the Soviet Union and uses it to make himself in absolute control of the country. Joseph Stalin becomes a Totalitarian dictator by maneuvering to establish a powerful place in the party. By 1901, Stalin was a member in the Social Democratic Party. Then it split into two separate parties. Stalin supported the more radical Bolsheviks, led by Lenin. Eventually Lenin and Stalin became close. As a revolutionary Stalin got arrested eight times, six which he managed to escape.

Finally he was exiled to the gulag. He escaped and went back to Petrograd. He worked there as chief editor of main Bolshevik newspaper Pravda and recaptured a place in the Party’s Central Committee. Although he did not work in the front lines of revolution after he came back, he was a very vital part of the Party. He worked behind the scenes and became a special assistant to Lenin for special assignments. When the Bolsheviks took over Stalin was appointed Commissar of Nationality Affairs. During the civil war he played important roles on the military fronts and in the capital. He won the position of general secretary of the central committee of the party. He used the power to control the rank-and-file members and built a personal empire for himself. Then he expanded the leading Party organ with his supporters, who voted against his rivals.

So when Lenin died, Stalin had become the Leader of the Soviet Union.Stalin became a totalitarian dictator by getting rid of all who opposed him. When Stalin became dictator, he expanded government control which regulated every aspect of economic, culture, and social life. Stalin intervened in every enterprise. He became the single authoritative guide in art, history, literature, science, philosophy, etc. The entertainment was comparing him to the sun, moon, and stars. On top of that, Stalin had gotten rid of all the potential rivals by condemning them and then executing them. Then he put the Soviet Union through collectivization and industrialization. Millions of farmers were forced onto state farms. This alone killed 14.5 million people, and agricultural output was reduced 25%. In the 1930’s Stalin launched his Great Purge. This got rid from the communist party all of those who brought him to power. 1.2 million were arrested and of them 600,000 were killed by torture, execution, or gulag. Stalin also purged the military leadership, executing large numbers of officers that left Soviet Union completely unprepared for WWII. This obviously shows how paranoid he had been.

These purges left Stalin completely unopposed, giving him absolute control of the Soviet Union.In conclusion, Stalin became a totalitarian dictator and turned Russia into a communist state. Russia had been completely unstable until Stalin finally took over. He worked his way up the ladder to end up in the position of a dictator. He optimized his roles and skills to give him complete power. And when he finally was in power he made sure that anyone who would or could oppose him was removed so he was left unchallenged. He also created a climate of fear to keep everyone in check. Although it seems that he was a horrible leader, he did many things for Russia. He made Russia from being one of the weakest and rural country to being one of the most powerful and industrial country in the world. He stabilized the country. When he died, many people wept. They were sad that their leader had left them. Now it all depends on if the good outweighed the evil. He did do some good things but he also did very horrific things as well.

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