Few dictators in modern World History have been as feared and rivaled as Josef Stalin (Iosif Dzhugashvili); being probably one of the most discrepant leaders in the 20th century, he served as the head of the Bolshevik party and Soviet government, Lenin's companion-in-arms and organizer of the Soviet subjugation of '30-40's, during the course of which thousands of people were arrested then used to industrialize the Russian economy, all under the pretense of Stalin's ideology: Marxism-Leninism. Stalin had a knack of foreseeing potential rivalries during his rise to power, and had successfully ousted anyone who he deemed to be a threat to him, effectively eliminating all five members of the original Politburo: four of the five were executed while the fifth, Leon Trotsky was sent to Mexico and was later assassinated. The strength of Stalin's ruthless character contributed more to his rise as a dictator than did the weaknesses of his rivals as he was able to effectively eliminate any opposition while maintaining a blind following from the same people he was purging and arresting.
[...] As known by historians, Stalin was a man of great wit, as he knew that simply removing Trotsky from the political scene was not enough leverage for him to seize power: he had to deprecate from his ideas, especially the ones which rendered the theory of a worldwide communist revolution. Stalin's allies, Zinoviev and Kamenev, who helped him in his crusade against Trotsky, shared similar beliefs as Trotsky that if communism did not spread to other Western countries, it would vanish quickly and be replaced by capitalism. [...]
[...] Hitler was an example of a historical figure that was able to challenge Stalin's pretense, and had it not been for the play of the cards (i.e. German defeat in WWII), historians agree that Hitler would have severely damaged the then-unindustrialized USSR. In summarization, as ruler and dictator of the USSR from 1929 until his death in 1953, Joseph Stalin was without doubt a of Steel,” starting out as secretary general of the Communist Party and using his position to maneuver himself over any potential rivals in [...]
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