Rise of Stalin to Power
The rise of Joseph Stalin to a position of power in 1929 was not an instantaneous achievement. Like many leaders trying to climb the political ladder, his success was gained rung-by-rung, triumph-by-triumph. In retrospect, there were numerous reasons that Stalin's game played out the way it did, in an unforeseeable way.
The first reason was Stalin's rank as General secretary of Communist party. This meant that any information going through to the top dogs of the party, had to go through Stalin first, and any information going from the party to the people, could be manipulated by Stalin as well. He had access to all the information necessary to get him valuable leg-ups, and he also had control of machinery. This allowed Stalin to propose laws and policies he knew would be supported, without facing rejection and uncertainty of lack of support. He was trusted with this role because of the seeming closeness between him and Lenin, and tried to create as many parallels as he could between himself and Lenin.
Nobody wanted the job of General Secretary as it was considered unimportant and tedious, so this role was very easy for him to attain. Once he had done so, he packed the political offices with friends, family and henchmen; people loyal to Stalin. This set into action the circular flow of power, when Stalin could put people in political offices in return for insured votes and support.
Stalin was not a radical, however, by any means. He acted very much like a tsar, telling people how to do things, when to do them, in the authoritarian way the people had become so accustomed to. Stalin spoke to the majority of Russia; the peasants and the illiterates, by promising them food and peace, and establishing...