Class Notes (1,100,000)
CA (630,000)
UTSG (50,000)
POL101Y1 (1,000)
T A (20)

POL101Y1 Lecture Notes - Liberal Democracy, Social Democracy, Statism

Political Science
Course Code

of 4
Oct. 25th, 2010
Communism and Fascism
All but gone from the world, however; not completely exists in some
Communism and Fascism once represented legitimate alternatives to
liberal democracy
Politics that cast off the restraints of liberal democracy; politics of
Millions of people that died under Communism & Fascism: represents
the world that we live in today
Most people do not know what it is to live in fear
Liberal democratic politics is really about politics beyond the realm of
physical safety
Liberalism and its Crisis:
19th century is peak of liberalisms appeal
Liberal institutions develop even where social basis is not obviously
Some people had the trappings of liberal democracy
Countries in Eastern Europe were nowhere near ready for democracy
This was the era in which democracy and liberalism was charismatic;
had appeal everywhere
Liberalism and the Working Class:
Biggest group not integrated into political life (i.e. the Proletariat)
Wanted an extension of the franchise (the vote)
This points to the rise of social democracy in Western Europe.
Evolutionary socialism and reconciliation with liberal democracy:
electoral socialism
Key point of Marxism: you could have socialism w/o a revolution
Bernstein argued that you could cure all the problems of capitalism
By WW1 everyone could vote
What about the revolution?
The revolution will happen when there is no more capitalism
Most Russians did not know what a constitution was
What Lenin argues is for a revolutionary movement under conditions of
authoritarianism Russia
Most people could not be revolutionaries; especially the workers
(workers left on their own will never achieve anything more than
trade union consciousness”)
Workers are corruptible outside force has to bring consciousness
Lenin was a political entrepreneur played high-stakes poker with a
repressive regime
Marxism and Economic Backwardness:
Russia was a country of peasants who could not read or write; one of
the most backward countries in Europe
Working class revolution, with small working class
1917: World War and Revolution
Must look at capitalism as a global system Russia is the weakest link
Lenins Bolshevik Party takes power in 1917 in a coup détat (state of
workers and peasants)
World Revolution or World Power:
World revolution fails to materialize
Facing the situation of the fact that there isnt going to be a world
revolution Russia builds the Soviet Union
From insurrection to statism supporting communism means
supporting the Soviet Union
But what is communism or socialism? What will this kind of economy
look like? Lenin; Communism = Soviet power + electrification
But still does not solve the problem
Stalinism: Terror and Progress
Terror and secret police
Purges and famine
Russia decides to industrialize rapidly collectivizes agriculture, force
peasants to give up their grain and land (sell it to global economy,
getting what they need in order to start Communism)
Secret police were everywhere creating a society of fear, brutality
(Russia went from being a rural country to an urban one)
Stalin and After:
Succeeded in creating a militarized state
Balance sheet. Won WW2 and created an empire that lasted until 1991
Economic record of Eastern Europe under Communism
Communism did not improve the conditions of these countries.
Stalin knew his policies would produce some kind of resistance (i.e. in
the Ukraine where there was a famine) these people were simply killed
(Military Expenditure):
Soviet Union devoted between 15 and 17% of its annual gross national
product to military spending during the 1980s
1970-79, however, spending on the military was higher, usually
fluctuating between 21.5 (1973) & 18.6 (1978)
Initial institutions (i.e. secret police) built by Communism was the Stalinist
Late state unification 1871
Catching up with Britain: economic modernization without political
Industrializes without ever democratizing
Always the question remains: Do you adapt to the existing world order
OR try to change it?
World War 1: discrediting of liberalism (all capitalist countries that are
supposed to be rational fighting one another)
After losing the war, decide to have a democratic government, old
German class hate democracy, prospects did not look very good in the
future (was a democracy with few democrats)