Progress Rooted in Past Art

"Peasants Dancing" Goncharova (1911) http://nga.gov.au/international/catalogue/Images/LRG/156812.jpg

“Peasants Dancing” Goncharova (1911) http://nga.gov.au/international/catalogue/Images/LRG/156812.jpg

The end of the nineteenth century ushered in new movements in Russian poetry, art, dance, and music, which continued to grow throughout the early twentieth century. The movement sought to unify all forms of art and promoted collaboration amongst artists. Companies such as the Ballets Russes merged artists of all disciplines, from painters to musicians, in their shows. As this new wave of Russian art progressed, the past was often rejected in favor of a belief in progress through the unification of the Russian people.… Read the rest here

Unity of All Laborers: Soviet Ideals in the Wake of Post-February Revolution Independence Movements

The Red Army occupying Moscow, during the Russian Civil War

The Red Army occupying Moscow, during the Russian Civil War

 

((Bolsheviks in Moscow. Digital image. The Russian Civil War: 1917-1920. Accessed February 7, 2016. http://www.emersonkent.com/wars_and_battles_in_history/russian_civil_war.htm))

In the U.S., there seems to be a commonly held misconception about the emergence of Soviet Russia and its relationship with its surrounding neighbors. From my history classes, I remember learning about Russia leaving World War I and the basics of the Russian Revolution. However, after that period, it seems that Russian history just disappears until World War II.… Read the rest here

Nazi-Soviet Pact/Stalin’s Speech

The first of Wednesday’s readings, the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, was a document that created a mutually beneficial, albeit brief, truce between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia. Although both countries had fundamentally different political systems and ambitions, Russia favored entering into a non-aggression pact because it knew that Germany was a highly industrialized, blossoming state that posed them a significant threat. Stalin knew that if Hitler chose to strike Russia, they would not be adequately prepared to defend themselves.… Read the rest here

Adolf Hitler

In today’s readings: The Speech of April 12th, 1921, Mein Kampf, and The 25 Points of 1920, Adolf Hitler expressed many of the tenets of his political ideology, which was still in its fledgling stage. In this National Socialist ideology Hitler rejected both leftist and rightist ideologies alike. He stated, “the condition which must precede every act is the will and the courage to speak the truth-and that we do not see today in either the Right or in the Left.” Hitler despised capitalism because he believed that the Jews were able to harness it as a tool to oppress the German population through economic means.… Read the rest here

We

The book We was written by Yevgeny Zamyatin in 1921 in early Soviet Russia. Zamyatin became a Bolshevik in the early 1900’s, working with the Bolsheviks throughout the years leading up to the October Revolution and being exiled multiple times by the Russian government. Zamyatin was an Old Bolshevik and he truly believed that Russian society had to change, so he supported the October Revolution and was present in St. Petersburg when it took place. However, in the years following the October Revolution, the Communist Party began to become more oppressive, primarily regarding censorship.… Read the rest here

Commissars: Senior Leaders

Dmitry Furmanov was a Russian writer who would become a commissar for the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War.  A commissar was a position in the Bolshevik movement that encompassed multiple appendant bodies of representation (military, political, etc) but all represented the same organization: Communist idealism.  It was the job of the commissariat to ensure that the party interests were being realized on day to day operations in all of their respective fields of work.  For example, a commissar attached to a Bolshevik military battalion had the duty and obligation of working not only to recruit more to the cause, but also to ensure that the communist vision is realized by executing and planning phases of actions against the enemy. … Read the rest here

Brain Slave to the Machine

I found this reading to be invaluable insight into both the zeitgeist of the Soviet Union in the 1930’s and human psychology. Being born in the United States in 1993, I found this article to be both very fascinating and disturbing. Part of what I have been taught growing up is that it takes until somewhere in early adulthood to obtain a grasp of what you’re identity is as a person, and many never understand. I see the journey to understanding ones self as a fluid part of life, shapeless and easily distorted by pressure, but ultimately liberating.… Read the rest here