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Chapter 17

History 1401E Chapter Notes - Chapter 17: Bourgeoisie, Khrushchev Thaw, Proletariat

Course Code
HIS 1401E
Eli Nathans

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1. While reading Lenin's text, please pay attention to the way he describes
"bourgeois!democracy". What arguments does he use to prove that "bourgeois democracy"
is not a true democracy?!
Lenin states that bourgeoisie democracy, although a historical advance, will remain
restricted, false, and hypocritical due to it being a part of capitalism. Additionally, Lenin states
that it is all a big scam to fool the workers into thinking they are being treated fairly and the idea
of capitalism was working
b. What does "true democracy" means for Lenin?
Lenin believed that the true democracy was communism, and that bourgeoisie
democracy was nothing but a scam to trick the proletariat that the current governmental system
was surviving.
2. On what grounds does Khruschev condemn the policy of collectivization and purges?
N.B. Please pay attention to the time when the book was written. What is Khruschev's
Khrushchev states that he first saw the truth of collectivization in 1930 when he visited
the country on a business trip. There, he witnessed starving farmers who could not afford food
for themselves, as the money they earned was dedicated to buying new farm equipment.
Khrushchev is also appalled that Red Army soldiers are doing the delicate work of farmers, and
because of this crops of sugar beets may be destroyed, furthering the famine. Being from near
the Ukraine-Soviet border, this hit home for him, as he imagined the famine in Ukraine when
food had been plentiful only years before.
In regards to purges, Khrushchev says that it represents a “fairly primitive, slavish
mentality to say that people will not work unless there’s someone standing over them, cracking
a whip above their heads.” (76). He says that personally, he thinks that the claim that people will
revolt if not kept in line is faulty, stating that the people make history, not singular political
b. What is the name for Khruschev's era in Soviet history? (just google this, so that you know)
When searching this online, I came across the name “The Khrushchev Thaw” for
Khrushchev’s era in the Soviet Union, where Stalin’s death allowed Khrushchev to claim power
and the “mess” Stalin created was cleaned up.
3. !While reading Arzhilovsky's diary please pay attention to the way he criticizes Soviet system.
What are his arguments?
Arzhilovsky states that new songs are sung in the country, such as “I Know no Other
Such Land Where a Man Can Breathe so Free”, but then he goes on to question the validity of
this statement. He states that, “a man breathes free in our country, but he also starves for free
— no one prevents him. [He] Starves and freezes.” This criticizes the system, showing that the
men may be free, but is freedom better than being sufficiently supported financially so that you
can afford food for a family?
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