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Thesis Synopsis:

Thesis: It is clear through an examination of Stalin’s cult of personality, his
economic transformation of his nation, and his strategic renovation of the military
that Joseph Stalin was necessary for Russia.

Counter Argument:
      1) Mentally unstable and insane obsession with power made him unfitting to be a
         great leader
      2) The mass crimes against humanity committed under his reign ultimately
         transforming the USSR into a totalitarian state of oppression and terror

Argument 1: The cult Stalin fabricated through his meticulously crafted personality
infused hope and nationalism throughout the population of the Soviet Union
       i)     Stalin portraying his personality as perfect symbolically elevated himself
              much above others
                      On a jubilee album produced in 1939 recognizing his sixtieth
                      birthday, it pronounced:
                              “Comrade Stalin always combines the belief in the masses
                              with great love for the people, for the creators of new life,
                              and with enormous modesty, which makes characterizes
                              him as the greatest leader of the popular masses.”1

                        ii)                     Stalin’s personality was perfect
                                                        An American diplomat, Joseph Davies, wrote in 1940 when
                                                        visiting Stalin that:
                                                                "He greeted me cordially with a smile and with great
                                                                simplicity, but also with a real dignity.... His brown eye is
                                                                exceedingly kindly and gentle. A child would like to sit in
                                                                his lap and a dog would sidle up to him."2

       iii) The role symbolism and art played in subconsciously deceiving the population
into worshipping Stalin

Argument 2: The much-needed transformation of the economy of the USSR
     i)     Production Quotas
            a. During 1928-1938, coal production grew from 36 million tons to 130
               million tons, iron from 3 million tones to 15 million, oil from 2 million
               tones to 29 million tons and finally, electricity, from 5000 million to
               36 000 million kilowatts. By 1937, the industrial output was 5.8 times
               larger than that of 1913.

                                                      ii)                                                    Employment Rate and Urbanization increased rapidly
 Joseph Davies, American lawyer and diplomat (1876-1958); Chairman (1915-16) and Vice-Chairman
(1916-18) of Federal Trade Commission; Ambassador to Moscow (1936-38), to Belgium (1938-39)

                                                                                                             a. Between 1926 and 1932 the urban population grew from 26 million to
                                                                                                                38.7 million. Between 1928 and 1932 the number of employed jumped
                                                                                                                from 11.5 million to 24 million3.

                                                      iii)                                                   Due to the success of the Five Year Plans, Stalin’s personality was
                                                                                                             elevated and he was able to motivate the people to the point where they
                                                                                                             were blinded by the true injustices of his economic transformations. Even
                                                                                                             today, the people recognize the crimes of his reign, but his legacy and
                                                                                                             strong tactics for change are what gave the Russians an identity
                                                                                                             a. Vladimir Putin, the recently elected Russian president articulates the
                                                                                                                 belief of many Russians today when he stated in 2009, “It's true, there
                                                                                                                 was no peasantry left after that," Putin said. "Everything that happened
                                                                                                                 in this sphere did not have any positive effect on the villages. But after
                                                                                                                 all we did get industrialization."4

 Argument 3: Stalin’s ability to decipher tactics and drive for absolute power
transformed the disorganized and corrupt Red Army into the most impressive army
on Earth.
       i)    Annexations of the Baltic States
             a. Stalin and his army of 450 000 men, 8000 guns, over 3000 tanks and
                 500 armored cars, annexed Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. On June 14th
                 1940, the Soviets issued an ultimatum Lithuania, and invade one day
                 later. On June 16th 1940, the USSR invades Estonia and Latvia and in
                 a matter of a few days approximately 500 000 Soviet troops had
                 occupied three Baltic States.5

                                                      ii)                                                    Clear superiority and ultimate transformation in artillery, efficiency, and
                                                                                                             tactics against the Nazis
                                                                                                             a.    “The Russians introduced their giant Klim Voroshilov tanks into
                                                                                                             action near Raseiniai [Lithuania]. Models weighing 43 and 52 tons
                                                                                                             surprised the Germans, who found the KVs nearly unstoppable. One of
                                                                                                             these Russian tanks took 70 direct hits, but none penetrated its armor.”6

                                                      ii)                                                    The victory against the Nazis gave the USSR a more dominant role in
                                                                                                             world affairs and in American relations
                                                                                                             a. "The year 1942 was a year of blood and strength," reported Time. "The
                                                                                                                man whose name means steel in Russian, whose few words of English

          Simon, and Moscow. "Rehabilitating Joseph Stalin." Time. Time, 22 Dec. 2009. Web. 03 June
2012. <,8599,1949500,00.html>.
     "POWER POLITICS: Germany Over All." Time Magazine 24 June 1940. Web.
  Michaels, Daniel W. "Stalin's Plan to Conquer Europe." Stalin's Plan to Conquer Europe. Journal of

Historical Review. Web. 03 June 2012. <>.

                                                                                                                                         include the American expression 'tough guy' was the man of 1942...
                                                                                                                                         Stalin's methods were tough, but they paid off."7

                                                                                                             b. The USSR was given a permanent seat in the Security Council in the
                                                                                                                United Nations, a seat where only five other nations have the power to
                                                                                                                veto any resolution passed by the United Nations


      "INTERNATIONAL: Die, But Do Not Retreat." Time Magazine 04 Jan. 1943.Time Magazine.
Web. <http://,9171,790648,00.html>.

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