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POL101Y1 Lecture Notes - Vladimir Lenin, Secret Police

Political Science
Course Code
Jeffrey Kopstein

of 2
October 7, 2013
POL 101
Communism and Fascism
Liberalism and its Crisis: ex. WW1. British established this in the 19th century, was the peak of
liberalisms appeal
Hungary tried to copy this system and failed
You needed parliament, elections, constitutions
Liberal institiutions develop even where social bias isn’t present
These systems did not work because most people were poor and illiterate
Election were corrupt, same party voted in again and again
The franchise (right to vote) started with the working class, barriers (racial, gender etc.) were
Revolutionary systems became Evolutionary, socialism
Marx felt socialsm developed the means of
Marxists expected socialism to take root
Vladimir Lenin was a Russian revolutionary in socialism
Russia was still run by a king
The Czar would arrest his opponents, socialst parties had t be underground
Lenin said workers were only capable of “trade union consciousness”
Lenin thought wage increases were anti socialist
Lenin didn’t agree with Marx, Capitalism was necessary
The working class in Russia was a minority, it was not ideal for this revolution
High illiteracy rates and low percentage of people living in urban areas
Lenin says capitalism was developing at arapid rate in Russia
Stages of history could be ‘telescoped’, did not have to follow Marx exactly
Russia was unlike Germany which already had democratic elements
Revolutionaries work full time, it was a job meant to ‘change history’
In World War 1, Russian state is weak. Czar must resign and a makeshift government of mixed
parties was in power, except Lenin
Stayed in the war as the were obligated to other Western countries
Lenin’s party eventually take power after Lenin agitates in Germany
Russia leaves the war; Negotiate with Germans over property
The world revolution failed to materialize
Civil war between communists and ‘Whites’ saw Communists win ad revolution fail
Lenin: Communism= Soviet power + electrification (economic modernization)
Marxists believe capitalism will eventually fail
Lenin’s group had to modernize economy without capitalism
Stalinism: terror and progress Industrialization, Collecticization, Terror and Secret police,
Purges and Famine
Lenin proposed that Communism would take time; poor people had to get rich and industrialize
and move to cities
Lenin dies in 1923, writes a testament about new leadership saying that nobody is good
enough to succeed him
Stalin was leader of the General Secretary (HR of communist party)
When Lenin dies, Stalin has people loyal to him
There was no proper way to pick leaders
Stalin felt need to industrialize, to collectivize agriculture, build factories and move people to
Stalin sets up secret police and a terror system
Stalin sets up purges, mass arrests and mass shootings
He wanted to be Lenin, had to prove himself
People were starved to death by millions
Stalin had considered himself a Marxist, but this had become a police and militarized state
They felt the system was justified by the success in WWII
Soviet Union spent 15-17% of GNP to military spending during the 80’s
Spending was higher in the 70’s
Germany unified as a state late, in 1871
Germany was France’s ‘Mexico’
Caught up to Britiain economically but not politically
The question is whether to adapt to the exisin world order or try to change it?Germany
attempted to adapt to world order until WWI
By the end of WWI liberalism was discredited
Capitalism was supposed to be peaceful, but capitalist countries were all fighting
Became a hypocritical ideology
Communism was considered equality, Nazism was a Heirarchy
Great Depression showed that Liberal Democrats could not govern capitalist society
Hitler came in and wanted to return to anti-democratic and militarized
Hitler saw race as a social construct, some were made to rule, some to be ruled and some were
at the very bottom (Jews)
Jews were a very small population, they were involved in commerce and literate, but not rich
Jews were competition for locals as they modernized society
Anti-Judaism (dislike of religion) evolved into Anti-Semitism (hate of Jews as an ethnic group)
Holocaust was impersonal in the West but much more personal in the East