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In 1917, the Russian Revolution eventually led to the overthrowing of the Czarist system. The Russian Revolution was mainly led by the Bolsheviks, which gave rise to the Soviet Union. After the death of Vladimir Lenin in 1924, Joseph Stalin took over as the General Secretary of the Communist Party. Joseph Stalin instilled fear and propaganda on their citizens, giving relevance to the Czar’s rule. The irony behind the title “red czar” is that red color symbolizes communism. Under the ideals of communism, Bolsheviks initiated a revolution against the czars under the leadership of Lenin. Russian citizens supported this revolution as a means of ending all the suffering and mass killings. Unfortunately, the rise of Stalin led to a rule which was relevant to the czar’s rule. Stalin referred to as “red czar” is accurate, giving relevance to his autocratic rule, dictatorship, and his collectivist policies.
Stalin’s autocratic policies were very similar to czar’s autocratic rule. In Czarism, autocracy was defined as a rule by a supreme leader, the Czar, who makes major decisions and has the power of life and death over his subjects. Czar was given a divine status, In Stalinism, autocracy was defined as Stalin being the supreme leader of the Soviet Union, with power to sign death warrants. He was portrayed as a god-like figure in the cult of the personality. Likewise,
Stalin ensured that all his opponents to power were destroyed and he was able to strengthen his authority in the Soviet Union, which is relevant to Czar’s rule. In addition, both relied on the secret police to destroy political opposition and silence critical voices. This eventually led to the rise of dictatorship.
In 1928, Stalin removed Lenin’s policy of economy and put in a new system of central planning which took the course of dictatorship. This kind of planning dictated everything in the government from where industrial units should be located, how they should be built, and how crops should be planted by farmers. In addition, Stalin authorized the distribution of resources for the development of industries at the expense of foregoing the products of end users. This gives relevance to Czar’s dictatorship, where Czar’s had all the political and social authority over Russia. Furthermore, in both forms of dictatorship, censorship was limited. There was no place for freedom of speech and political debate. They used criminal codes to arrest dissidents with anti-state crimes and instilled fear of execution to shut down the press. Executions eventually gave rise to mass murders, persecutions, and depression.
Stalin introduced a collectivist policy which created the ownership of lands by the government. With the introduction of this policy, Stalin faced a lot of rebellion from the Kulaks who were against collectivism. However, Stalin was a dictator and he would not pay attention to his peoples’ complaints. Stalin wanted to industrialize the USSR, thus introducing his Five-Year plans which emphasized “Socialism in One Country”. In the early stages of collectivism, the industrial production did not do well and Stalin blamed the failure to the rich peasants who strongly resisted collectivism. Due to this, Stalin ordered their persecution and execution in the year 1930. Similar to the Czar kind of leadership, Stalin affected the lives of many poor peasants in Russia.
In conclusion, Stalin’s autocracy, dictatorship, and collectivist policies were relevant to Czar’s rule. Both Czarist and Stalinist systems had a supreme or cult of personality like figure who ruled with complete dominance and authority. Both systems opposed any opponents and executed anyone who came between their rule. Under Czar’s and Stalin, censorship was limited and the usage of secret police led to mass killings and executions. By taking evidence into account, Stalin referred to as the “red czar” is accurate.