Stalin’s race to become the all mighty ruler fully started after lenin died of a stroke on the 21st of January 1924. With lenin gone, Stalin started to eliminate the other members of the Communist Party: Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Rykov, Tomsky, and Bukharin. He very cleverly switched between the left wing and the right wing, by making alliances with one wing, going against everything that they had just achieved. Stalin knocked out all other party members along the way even those who were considered to be his friend. His violent childhood, misguided early life and the death of his first wife caused him to lose all sense of emotion turning him into a vicious competitor in the Communist Party. Trotsky was one of Stalin’s major competitors for the title of all ruling leader, however even he could not stop this man of steel, a name that Stalin quite fittingly gave to himself as he joined the party.
One of the main reasons as to why Stalin came to power and not Trotsky, was the Trotsky did not attend Lenin’s funeral. This was due to the fact that Trotsky himself was sick and so he took a rest holiday in Sukhumi in the south of Russia. Stalin told Trotsky the wrong date for the funeral, so he thought he would not be able to make it back in time. However, Trotsky could have made it to the funeral but Stalin used this against him. He made Trotsky look like he had committed a cardinal sin, disrespecting Lenin’s death. Stalin made it look as it Trotsky was sunbathing in Sukhumi and could not be bothered to come to the funeral. This accusation seriously damaged Trotsky’s political reputation and was ultimately the beginning of Trotsky’s downfall. With Trotsky not at the funeral, Stalin was able to proclaim himself Lenin’s disciple, saying he would carry on ruling for the sake of their once great leader. One of the ways Stalin paid his “respects” to Lenin was one of his political policies. “Pay your respects to our once great leader by voting for Stalin.” The people started to vote for Stalin in their masses, thinking that they were respecting Lenin but really they were giving Stalin a massive advantage over his political rivals.
Because Trotsky missed Lenin’s funeral it caused all sorts of problems for Trotsky in the future. He was thought to be insecure. He came across as being unable to stand up for himself in a political fight, he preferred to sort things out in writing. Another apparent insecurity of Trotsky’s was that he was a Jew and was very conscious of this. Of course Stalin took advantage of this and joined forces with Zinoviev and Kamenev to stop Trotsky becoming a major competitor in the race to the Commissar of the USSR. With the combined force of Stalin, Zinoviev and Kamenev voters, Trotsky was easily outvoted. As well as out voting Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev also questioned his loyalty to the Communist Party, raising his opposition to Lenin. This caused Trotsky to then retaliate by bringing up the lessons of October, The lesson of October happened in 1924, Lenin encouraged it but Zinoviev and Kamenev opposed it. With three of the occupied, arguing Stalin could advance further in the party without much problem.