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Communism and Facism

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science

POL101 Oct. 25 , 2010 Communism and Fascism All but gone from the world, however; not completely – exists in some places Communism and Fascism once represented legitimate alternatives to liberal democracy Politics that cast off the restraints of liberal democracy; politics of violence 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: th 19 century is peak of liberalism’s appeal Liberal institutions develop even where social basis is not obviously present 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 Conspiracy 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 Lenin’s Bolshevik Party takes power in 1917 in a coup d’Øtat (state of workers and peasants) World Revolution or World Power: World revolution fails to materialize Facing the situation of the fact that there isn’t 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
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