Lenin vs. Stalin

The main difference between Lenin and Stalin is that Lenin allowed some private business while Stalin created a command economy.

Comparison Chart

Basis of Distinction Lenin Stalin
Definition Russian communist revolutionary leader who served as head of the government than USSR from 1917 to 1924 Soviet Union leader during 1928 to until his death in 1953
Era 1917-1924 1928-1953
Chief Goal Overthrow the provisional government Move the Soviet Union into a modern industrialized nation
Standard of Living Standard of living rises for works and peasants Standard of living falls for workers and peasants
Ideology Introduced communism Spread communism
Life Under Both Word World I to Rev 1917 and Civil War, famine, cheka, people made great sacrifices Censorship, eliminated all opponents, secret police, propaganda used to control the people
Complete Name Vladimir Lenin Joseph Stalin
Bolshevik Revolution Leader Follower
Political Theory Leninism Stalinism
Nationality Russian Empire Soviet Union, Georgian
Political Party Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, Russian Communist Party Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Religion Nor atheist nor critic of religion Atheism, previous Georgian Orthodox


Lenin, complete name Vladimir Lenin, was a Russian communist revolutionary leader who served as head of the government than USSR from 1917 to 1924. He was the first head of government of Russia who formed a one-party communist state by the name of Russian Communist Party. Lenin was influenced by the political theory of Karl Marx. Along with Marxism and his policies, he founded a new political theory Leninism. Leninism comprises socialist political and economic theories. Lenin born to a wealthy middle-class family and embraced revolutionary socialist politics following his brother’s execution in 1987. His government was led by the Bolsheviks that were later on renamed as Communist Party. His chief goals were to overthrow the provisional government. According to some historians, the standard of living rises for works and peasants. His religion beliefs were soft. He was neither atheist nor critic of religion. His era of government was from 1917 to 1924.


Stalin, the complete name Joseph Stalin, was the Soviet Union leader during 1928 to until his death in 1953. His political career was properly started from holding the post of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and was the powerful dictator of the Russian State. After the death of Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin managed to consolidate power by bypassing some ideologies of Lenin and expanding the functions of his role and eliminating all kind of opposition. His attitudes towards his opponents were very harsh. Under his regime, the concept of Socialism in One Country became a central tenet of Soviet society. He gradually replaced the economy policy system introduced by the Lenin with a highly centralized economy. Stalin in Russia first introduced the concept of collectivization and industrialization. The main goal of Stalin was to move the Soviet Union into modern industrialization nation. According to some historians, the standard of living falls for workers and peasants.

Key Differences between Lenin and Stalin

  1. The rights of women were not equal in the era of Lenin, however, Stalin in his era mad the rights of women almost equal.
  2. Lenin created a socialist economy with conditions of large businesses only controlled by the government. Stalin tried to build an industrial powerhouse forgetting about the basic needs of the people.
  3. Lenin redistributed the land while Stalin took land and introduced collectivization.
  4. Lenin created an internal security force to collect intelligence and arrest opponents while Stalin used terror to annihilate party opponents.
  5. Lenin sought a gradual transition to a command economy while Stalin pursued a three-part economic revolution.
  6. Stalin could not continue the progress path introduced by Lenin in terms of standard of living. The era of Lenin was better in improving the standard of living.
  7. Lenin was more of a socialist dictator, and his ideology was more socialist than Stalin who was the leader of the communist party.
  8. Lenin was the founder of the USSR while Stalin ruled over the readymade system.
  9. Lenin was more liberal than Stalin who allowed some people in business to have their private business.
  10. In Lenin era, farmers were allowed to have their lands while Stalin forced farmers to work on state farms.
  11. Lenin was a revolutionary leader while Stalin was more of a politician.
  12. Lenin policies and attitudes towards his opponents were fair to some extent while Stalin had just crushed the opponents of his party.
  13. Lenin adopted the Marxism as political theory and carried forward it as Leninism. Stalin’s policies and ideology based on totalitarianism, centralization and the pursuit of communism.
  14. Lenin was a law graduate. The educational background of Stalin is not clear; however, he got admission in Tiflis Orthodox Theological Seminary.
  15. Lenin was born in a wealthy middle-class family while Stalin was the son of a poor cobbler.

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