In many ways, Stalins policies in the 1920s differed massively from Marxist theories. For example, when Stalin had invaded Georgia, he had gone against the Marxist idea of internationalism in favour of invading Georgia and taking of the republic for the interests of Russian Nationalism. As well as this, after Lenin’s death, Stalin wanted to employ a policy of ‘Socialism in One Country’. This meant that he wanted socialism in only the USSR.
This again differed from Marxist ideas as it went against internationalism. It was also in contrast with Trotsky, who wanted a ‘Permanent Revolution’ across the world. The main reason Stalin did this was to agree with Lenin’s ideas, as he was trying to appear to be the natural successor to Lenin. In fact, Stalin was so intent on gaining power, that he created the cult of Lenin. This was the elevation of Lenin, his ideas and his life to an almost divine status. This was contrary to Marxist ideas of ‘leadership’.
Marx believed in the dictatorship of the proletariat, which would give way to a communist Utopia where there would be no leadership and no state. Also, in 1924, Stalin wanted to keep the NEP going, even though it went against Marxism as the NEP meant that a mixed economy in which there were features of capitalism. The main reason Stalin did this was because it was a measure brought in by Lenin, and at the time, Stalin wished to make himself seem as loyal to Lenin as possible, to appear to be the natural heir.
The introduction of collectivization and industrialization by Stalin were both supposed to end ideological compromise and come closer to Marxist theory. However, many historians have made it clear that these policies created a socialist Soviet Economy which was the opposite of Marx’s theory. State control of the economy was a key feature of Stalin’s totalitarian rule. To conclude, it is quite clear that Stalins theories differed greatly from that of Marx. It is also clear, however, to see that Stalins theories differed purely to try to be as much like Lenin as possible.