ThirdTerm wrote:Had he lived longer, Stalin would have been assassinated by his associates eventually as he made a lot of enemies in his inner circle. It's said that his own aides did not ask for medical assistance when Stalin had a stroke and was left immobile in his own room, making sure that Stalin would be dead when the doctor finally arrived a day later. The Kremlin was known for thought control and politically correct (политкорректно) was originally a Kremlin term for toeing the party line. Perhaps this term is the biggest cultural export from Soviet Russia to the West and many lefties in the US may have actually been Soviet spies during the Cold War.
Doctors weren't called because doctors were distrusted and being implicated in subversive anti-Bolshevik habits (the 'doctors plot')
Smilin' Dave wrote:If as some posters have suggested there were another purge, it probably wouldn't have been run by Stalin but by someone else - possible a product of the infighting with Beria and the other security chiefs. Such a purge would be unlikely to be particularly neat and tidy, and would tend to benefit the people calling the shots, rather than the Soviet Union as a whole. For example Khrushchev might have gotten arrested, and you might initially think thats a good thing... but if you consider Beria and Malenkov could have been at the controls for longer post-Stalin as a result, it doesn't seem as positive from a Soviet perspective.
Hadn't Beria lost control over parts of the intelligence service? Stalin had started to appoint people who weren't 'his'.
With the devolution of the Politburo to a Presidium of 25 members, it would seem it would disperse the power of the older members and increase Stalin's influence.
I don't think Stalin having lived longer would have done anything. He was the primary issue of the USSR and sowed the issues for its fall. The tilt towards further repression after WWII is ridiculous; rejecting the liberal freedom movement just placed the USSR in a weak position. He was ruling over a multinational country and promoted Russian nationalism. I can't determine a justification in Socialist texts for either of these political decisions; all they did is sow a desire for political change.
I can't see how a rule based upon terror can survive when people aren't willing to use terror. Stalin was a genius in his political movements; but he hadn't built something sustainable.
It would have been interesting if Beria had remained in power after his death and the (possible) rapprochement with America.