Just Modernity Things

Blog Post 9/13/2016

Carl Marquis-Olson

We Grow Out of Iron and The Ion Messiah

              Gastev’s poem and his background represent a modernizing Russia. Gastev was a factory work, a member of the proletariat which was the fastest growing class of people and the new face of Russia in the early 20th century. He was a peasant who became literate and politically active. His profession and class play an increasingly important role in Russian society and according to Marxists, his class occupies the most politically crucial role in the new socialist order.… Read the rest here

The Fallacy of Industry

Both Vladimir Kirillov and Aleksei Gastev express their admiration of the growing collectivization of industry in revolutionary Russia through their free verse poetry. The poets envision industry as the cure to class struggles that plagued revolutionary Russia, for under a rational and efficient system of production, all workers will be equal. Kirillov tells his readers that the leader of Russian industry may be a common man, “From the suburbs,”1 with enough power and charisma to bring citizens “to eternal fraternity”2.… Read the rest here

Magnitogorsk: semi-realized city

Magnitogorsk_steel_production_facility_1930s

Magnitogorsk Steel Production Facility 1930, courtesy of wikicommons

 

The city of Magnitogorsk was founded as a center of industrialization, however even as it failed on many fronts it was a progressive center of industrialization. In the 1930’s the Soviet Union was in need of industry, and so the plan to create industrial cities was implemented. Detailed in the article Peopling Magnitostroi: The Politics of Demography by Stephen Kkotkin is the reasoning, creation and outcome of Magnitogorsk as both an industrial city and as a “factory for remaking people”.… Read the rest here

The Process of “Peopling” in Industrialization

Stephen Kotkin’s article Peopling Magnitostroi explores the industrialization period of the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, specifically regarding the newly built industrial city of Magnitostroi. Located in a remote area of the steppe, the soviet regime mobilized and recruited the masses to come and work at this factory center. The workers sent there – a mix of skilled workers, unskilled peasants or exiled kulaks, and seasonal workers, otkhodniki, were overall reluctant to go there, especially those sent there from other factories in the cities.… Read the rest here

The Psychopolitics of a Metallurgic Mecca: Social and Demographic Transformations

"For the Industrial Plan; for completing a five-year plan in only four; against religion" Yurij Pimenov, 1930 (http://en.doppiozero.com/materiali/interviste/putin-and-russian-spirit-interview-with-gian-piero-piretto)

“For the Industrial Plan; for completing a five-year plan in only four” Yurij Pimenov, 1930 (source)

The construction of the Magnetostroi, an envisioned beacon of industrial prowess and microcosm of the idealized egalitarian society, was an enormous undertaking by the Soviet government in the 1930s that engendered massive paradigmatic shifts in demographics, economics, and the relationship between central authority and the proletarian masses. The frequently irrational ambition of the Bolshevik government sparked a variety of obstacles that were often met with rather paradoxical schemes in an attempt to rapidly and efficiently allocate human resources.… Read the rest here

The Harsh Conditions of an Industrial Worker in Nineteenth Century England

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The working conditions endured by these workers were absolutely not ideal to any human. These children and adults were subjected to strenuous working hours and horrible conditions in the factory. The factories were without any air conditioning so it was a very heated atmosphere.[i] This caused harsh conditions because each worker was subjected to one position for the duration of their work day. In children, this caused serious growth issues. A child sitting in one place for thirteen hours a day caused the spine to become deformed and bulge out laterally.… Read the rest here

The Victims of Industrialization

The nineteenth century saw an explosion of industrialization which spurred innovation, but had grave consequences for the growing working class. Child labor was rampant and the conditions in factories were detestable. Richard Oastler, a proponent for the ten hour working day, bemoaned the new economic system under which parents had to send their children off to the factory in order to make ends meet. He claimed that children laboring in factories destroyed familial connection as their parents became nothing but a wakeup call and someone to put them to bed after a thirteen hour or longer work day.… Read the rest here

Tsirk (1936), Soviets Avoid “Backwardness”

The film Tsirk (1936), though a skillfully crafted story, was without a doubt a propaganda vehicle for the Soviet Union.  The main character Mary appears to be an escapee of an apparently backwards society where she was chased out by an angry mob for having an interracial child. In order to escape from the mob, she jumped on a train where she met what appeared to be a circus actor who took her under his wing.… Read the rest here

Industrialization- Five Year Fail

The first five year plan was doomed to fail from the start.  It was not directly correlated to the policy of mass collectivization (which also resulted in failure) and or the agricultural crisis as a whole.  But rather the five year plan failed due to lack of logistics and special knowledge to operate heavy machinery.  This coupled with weak national agriculture and widespread food shortage led to hungry workers and no means to refuel lost energy of factory workers. … Read the rest here

Mass Culture in Soviet Russia

Art and culture seems to have been parallel with the greatest of the political philosophy Russia was seeing at the time. Russia had already begun to emerge a little bit on the international stage, but not enough. These artists wanted to explode this emergence and make the Russian art known throughout the world. This puts an emphasis on each individual in their part of the whole. Revolutionaries wanted to remake the world and believed that they could this new world into one in which things are unified.… Read the rest here