By the late 1920s, Stalin, who had been general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s (CPSU) Central Committee since 1922, was finally able to assert his authority against his party rivals.

During this time, Stalin described his own position as “Leninism”: as “Marxism in the epoch of imperialism”. In addition to the brutal persecution of independent and “dissident” Marxists, this led to the establishment of a canonised form of Leninism that culminated in 1938 with the History of the Comunist Pary of the Sovjet Union. Short Course, which was declared as mandatory reading. Despite the “de-Stalinisation” that took place after the XX Party Congress in 1956, the dominance of the Soviet state and party bureaucracy continued.