I have a quick question for those more versed in the early history of the Soviet Union than I am. What would have been the outcome of the post Lenin struggle for succession in the absense of Stalin? My admittedly limited knowledge suggests that he was uniquely situated to appeal to the rest of the leadership, and had generally placed himself in the most favorable position to lead the USSR after Lenin. I am curious who would emerge the leader in a more contentious succession to Lenin. To further define my terms, and although this is probably handwaving to an absurd degree, what would have happened had Stalin died shortly before Lenin did. Admittedly, I do not know how such an event could have happened, and I apologize if this is an utterly implausible divergence. In any event, who might have filled the vacuum, and what would the succession struggle have looked like?