European and Soviet Modernity and Socialism

Within David L. Hoffman’s article about European Modernity and Soviet Socialism he explores the many ways that the European governments viewed their populations. He further explores the many different policies and regulations that they put upon their populations. To view the history of Russia and its take on its population one must understand that while England and France were transforming into liberal, democratic, and a industrial  capitalistic state, Russia did not follow suit. Russia remained a absolute monarchy under the tzars . It was not until the october revolution of 1917 that Russia’s government shifted into a socialist state. As different as the governments and economic systems of the west and the Soviet government where the leaders of each system had a similar view on their population. As modern Soviet and Western powers entered the modern age they began to see not only the opportunities but also the resource of having a large and healthy population. The governments understood that in order to maintain power a government must have its people healthy and educated this in turn would benefit the society and the country as a whole. Each country began to initiate well fair programs for the benefit of the population and with the aim to increase the population size and safety. In 1936 the Commissar of health in the Soviet Union justified the ban on abortion as curtail to increasing the population of the country which would lead to an increase of nationalism. In other countries the government took a darker approach to maintaining their population. In Nazi Germany the regime began a eugenics program aimed at sterilizing the members of the population with disabilities both physically and mentally. As most people think only of the Nazi regime committing this crime it is also true that the Stain regime also committed this crime. However unlike the Nazis Stalin sent his political enemies and minorities to Siberian  work camps. Zygmunt Bauman has argued that the reason why Hitler and Stalins victims were killed was because they didn’t fit into the scheme of a perfect society. It is impossible to put all the blame of these crimes on modernity it is true that modernity enabled the industrialization of nations which led to governments taking an increased concern with their populations.

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