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POLI 211 Comp Poli Textbook - Russia Summary Notes

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 211
Fillippo Sabetti

Introquick collapse from world superpower to weak statelargest country in the worldmostly urbanized populationhighly educatedtechnologically backwardsinefficient industrylack of basic serviceseconomy overly dependent on natural resourcesa mysteryThesis contemporary Russian interests shaped by ideological identity and institutions imposed by Lenin USSR was a failed experiment and with its collapse Russia is again faced with the same problems of economic backwardness ethnic conflict and international insecurity that it faced a century ago Marxism historical materialism human history shaped by economic forcesruling philosophy of each period of societyphilosophy of ruling group historyclass struggle where landowners extracted surplus value from workersthis would eventually lead to social revolution and a new mode of economic organizationslaveryfeudalismcapitalismcommunismCommunist revolution would overlook race ethnicity religion and nationality and would unite the whole world to overthrow global capitalismappealed to Russia because workers there still suffered under poor conditions versus Western Europe where conditions have improved and regulations have passed also seen by intellectuals as a way for Russia to escape backwardism and leapfrog over England and France in developmentLeninthree main argumentsWorkers will never rise up on their own as they have a tradeunionist consciousness rather than a revolutionary consciousness that is they will be eternally appeased by incremental increases in wages and conditionsrevolution must be led by a vanguardist party of Marxist intellectuals and professional revolutionariesparty must be maintained in a disciplined hierarchical structuredemocratic centralism
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