Stalin:
I held an array of posts even before General Secretary. From 1917 to 1923 I was already Commissar for Nationalities, in 1919 I was appointed as Liaison Officer (allowing me to monitor party personnel and policy), head of Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspectorate (allowing me to oversee work of all govt. dept.s). I did not, however secure the role of Gen. Secretary until 1922, giving me access to a wealth of information on party members, as well as the right of patronage (allowing me to promote my supporters to key positions). For example, in 1926 I replaced the disloyal Zinoviev with Kirov.

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