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Lecture 6

POL101Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Liberal Democracy, Social Democracy, Statism


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL101Y1
Professor
Jeffrey Kopstein
Lecture
6

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Lecture 6 (Communism and Fascism)
Western democracies definition of itself is in stark contrast with Communism and Fascism
Liberalism and its Crisis
Over the course of the 19th century, Britain demonstrated the epitome of structured, liberal
democracy.
Liberal institutions developed even where social basis was not obviously present, such as
Hungary.
Liberalism and the Working Class
There was an ever widening of the right to the vote. The right to vote used to be based on social
status, race, property ownership and etc… The working class was being granted the right to vote.
Rise of social democracy in Western Europe. Evolutionary socialism and reconciliation with
liberal democracy: electoral socialism.
This was largely the story of Western Europe.
What about the Revolution?
However in Eastern Europe, a much different ideology was being cultivated. Karl Marx was a
big advocate of getting means of production to the working class.
Lenin: revolutionary movement under conditions of authoritarianism Russia
Lenin’s answer was that if you were to rule under an Autocracy and try to form a revolution you
would have to do so with a secret police and under conspiracy.
Workers left on their own would never achieve their own social consciousness. Workers were
only capable of “trade union consciousness”.
Lenin believed this social revolution would not just happen naturally but rather needed a party to
guide its ideology.
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