THE question of the succession to Lenin became actual in 1922 in consequence of his long illness. It was obvious that his work could not be carried on by any particular individual or individuals, but that his heir must be the Bolshevik Party as a whole. In practice this would mean the government of the 'Old Guard', who in the years succeeding to 1903 had built up the Party in common with Lenin. Lenin's cloak thus fell upon the shoulders of Zinoviev and Kamenev. Since, however, they were both politicians and ideologues, they needed the assistance of a practical organizer. Such a one was found in Stalin. Stalin had for years been a member of the Party and was a Georgian, or Grusian (as they called themselves), from the Caucasus. The Georgians have contributed a whole series of brilliant men to the Russian revolutionary and Socialist movement. There were many Georgians among the influential Mensheviks in 1917. In the revolutionary movement in the days of the Tsars nationality played no part and Great Russians, Ukrainians, Jews, Poles, Letts, and Georgians worked together with no thought save of the common cause.
Stalin is an educated Russian revolutionary of the pre-War type. The fact that he belonged by blood to the small nation of Georgians was at the most responsible for his special interest in the problem of Socialism and Nationalism. It is an exaggeration to connect Stalin in any way with Circassian romances. In February 1913, in a letter written from Galicia to Maxim Gorki, Lenin said that he agreed with his opinion that it was essential to take Nationalism seriously. Lenin continued: 'We have here a fine type of Grusian' working on a great study of the question of nationalities for which he has collected the entire Austrian material. The 'Grusian' was Stalin, who had just succeeded in escaping from Siberia and who lived for a time in Cracow and Vienna. After 1917 Stalin gradually became more and more prominent as an organizer. In the spring of 1917 he still belonged to the