Monday, October 7, 2013
Communism and Fascism
The high point of both was the 20 century.
Liberalism and its Crisis
Long 19 century is peak of liberalism’s appeal.
If you did not have liberal institution, you were deemed a political savage.
Liberal institutions develop even where social basis is not obviously present.
Liberalism and the Working Class
Extension of the franchise (the right to vote).
At first its was based on property requirements, the gender requirements, then
Rise of social democracy in Western Europe. Evolutionary socialism and
reconciliation with liberal democracy: electoral socialism.
What about the Revolution?
Lenin: the revolutionary movement under conditions of authoritarianism- Russia.
Up until the 20 century Russia was still run by a king without a constitution.
You had to have a conspiracy party that was underground because the czar
would just have you arrested and shipped out.
Workers only capable of “trade union consciousness”.
Lenin thought that the creation of a welfare state was not a socialist act, but
rather the opposite.
Need “party” to bring them the truth: what this means for Marxism.
Marxism and Economic Backwardness
Russia- one of the most backward countries in Europe.
Working class revolution, with small working class.
1917: World War and Revolution.
World Revolution or World Power
World revolution fails to materialize.
Russians leave the war and the Germans take their land.
After the civil war in Russia it became clear there wasn’t going to be a world
revolution. From insurrectionism to statism- supporting communism means supporting the
But what is communism or socialism? What will this kind of economy look like:
Lenin: “communism= soviet power + electrification”.
It still didn’t solve the problem.
Stalinism: Terror and Progress
Terror and Secret police
Purges and famine…
Soviet Russia still saw themselves as socially threatened from the outside world
from 1918- 1921 and thought they had to build a strong army. This was made
possible by industrialization.
Stalin was made head of the general secretarianship by Lenin.
While working this position over the years, he made sure all replacements were
loyal to him