discovered, he destroys them in cold blood and with complete un-
It is Stalin who draws up the list of members of the Political Bureau
and the members of the Central Committee. It is Stalin who designates the
all-powerful governors of the provinces and the large cities—that is, the
secretaries of the Party committees. It is Stalin who names the Commissars
of the People and all the high functionaries of the State, each of whom is
a master in his own sphere, each of whom designates, in his turn, devoted
directors in the secondary spheres.
In this hierarchy, appointed and controlled from top to bottom, resides the incomparable homogeneity of the Party and the Soviet regime.
Many books have been written about the man who thus holds centralized in his hands the most formidable power in history. We know of
only one serious book on the subject: Stalin by Boris Souvarine, a former
important member of the Hid International. This book, unequalled in any
language, summarizes and clarifies an immense amount of documentation
on the entire Russian Revolution.
Stalin, a native of Georgia, was a student in a religious seminary.
After receiving a religious education up to the age of 17, he joined the
socialist movement when the first social-democratic groups were being
formed in Georgia.
In the course of his activity, he received several sentences and was
deported to Siberia between the first and second revolution. He is one of
the very few Bolshevik leaders who were never abroad.
In Lenin's day, Stalin was a professional revolutionary of the second
or third rank. Therefore, his accession to power, after Lenin's death, was for
many entirely unexpected. At that time, all the Bolshevik tendencies struggled over power in the Party. So many illustrious names, figuring in the
past struggles, were inscribed at the head of the contending groups that
the victory of the obscure Stalin was like a thunder-clap.
The following will explain Stalin's victory. While the various rivals
were destroying one another. Stalin was biding his time. His position as
the supreme Party secretary made him master of the files of the Central
Committee. He knew how to use it to prepare the "very spicy dish" that
Lenin foresaw. While his rivals tried to win by means of their talents as
polemicists, orators or writers, Stalin contented himself with manipulating
the Party file.
He created positions. He placed his henchmen at strategic points. One
way or another, Party functionaries became his men. As a result of favors,
displacements and promotions, he won for himself the Party machinery.
Stalin became the master.
This termite's labor lasted years. After Lenin's death, the great Bolshevik leaders, who were to divide Lenin's succession, were Zinoviev,
Trotskv. Boukharin, Kameniev, Rykov, Tomsky. To begin with, all formed
a coalition against Trotsky, the strongest. Trotsky was defeated in 1924-
1925. The victors then divided themselves into two opposing camps: the