12. Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin became dictator of the Soviet Union after Lenin died, winning in a race-to-the-top against his rivals. He forced the communization of the Union’s farms, and murdered farmers who refused to hand their land over.
Stalin ruled with an iron fist, and kept his grip by expanding the powers of his secret police. They could kill, imprison, and spy on anyone they pleased. Stalin even empowered civilians to spy and inform on each other, to further rid the Union of those he deemed undesirable.
Stalin ordered the execution of Leon Trotsky, who had given him the nickname of “Comrade Index Card.” The moniker referred to Stalin’s inability to remember speeches.