Stalin’s Cult of Personality: Its Origins and Progression

The York Historian

Nikita Khrushchev’s ‘Secret Speech’ given at the Twentieth Party Congress in February 1956 denounced Josef Stalin for “[perverting] Party principles” by creating a “cult of the person of Stalin”. Though the term ‘cult of personality’ was coined in the 19th century, it was popularised in its use as a referral to Josef Stalin’s regime. For me, ‘cult of personality’ means the veneration of one omnipotent, infallible leader – a belief ingrained in society, visually and culturally. Autocratic totalitarianism, enshrined in propaganda. This article will take us through an analysis of how Stalin established and maintained a cult of personality, touching on how successful it was.

Establishing a ‘Cult of Personality’ – the legacy of autocracy

Looking backwards from the rule of Stalin, to Lenin and the Tsarist regime, it is clear that modern Russia had a history of autocratic rule, making it easier for Stalin to establish himself as…

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8 thoughts on “Stalin’s Cult of Personality: Its Origins and Progression

  1. How are you, Steve? Are you coming to Sochi? I’m crazy about St Pete but too cold.


    On Sat, May 13, 2017 at 3:39 PM, Life in Russia wrote:

    > archecotech posted: ” ” >

    1. I agree… and not just politicians.

      But there were many aspects of Stalin’s life to grieve over, above and beyond the cult of personality. From an alcoholic brutal father and an impoverished mother on, Stalin was groomed by life for racism, paranoia and mass executions.

      1. Pls provide the cridible proves about:

        1)Mass executions. What mass exactly? Numbers pls and source of numbers. Comparing to whom or to what in +\-25years timeline?

        2)Evidences about racism.

        And about paranoia – yes, there was some kind of it, but his paranoia and was very well grounded.

  2. There are a lot of inaccuracies in this article and mistaken assumptions. Practically all the claims made by Khrushchev in his “secret speech” have been completely debunked by Dr. Grover Furr and others.

    Stalin never claimed to be infallible. Children were not sentenced to the “gulag” – a word that basically just means prison. I could go on and on, but to the degree that there is a “cult” (another problematic word) of personality phenomena, it is a human problem and not just a socialist one by any stretch of the imagination.

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