The socialist internationalism of Marxism and Bolshevism is based upon class struggle and a peoples' transcending nationalism, ethnocentrism, and religion—the intellectual obstacles to progressive class consciousness—which are the cultural status quo that the capitalist ruling class manipulate in order to politically divide the working classes and the peasant classes. To overcome that barrier to establishing socialism, Lenin said that acknowledging nationalism, as a peoples' right of self-determination and right of secession, naturally would allow socialist states to transcend the political limitations of nationalism to form a federation. In The Question of Nationalities, or 'Autonomisation' (1923), Lenin said:
The counter-action against Stalin aligned with Lenin's advocacy of the right of self-determination for the national and ethnic groups of the deposed Tsarist Empire. Lenin warned the Party that Stalin has "unlimited authority concentrated in his hands, and I am not sure whether he will always be capable of using that authority with sufficient caution", and formed a faction with Leon Trotsky to remove Stalin as the General Secretary of the Communist Party.
To that end followed proposals reducing the administrative powers of party posts in order to reduce bureaucratic influence upon the policies of the Communist Party. Lenin advised Trotsky to emphasise Stalin's recent bureaucratic alignment in such matters (e.g. undermining the anti-bureaucratic workers' and peasants' Inspection) and argued to depose Stalin as General Secretary. Despite advice to refuse "any rotten compromise," Trotsky did not heed Lenin's advice and General Secretary Stalin retained power over the Communist Party and the bureaucracy of the soviet government.