The Wealth of Nations and Essay on Population

An Inquiry into the Nature and Cause of the Wealth of Nations

Author: Adam Smith. A pioneering economist who developed revolutionary concepts associated with free market economic theory. He argued that rational people, acting in their own self-interest, could create en efficient economic system. He studied in England but was of Scottish decent. He was influenced by the Scottish Enlightenment.

Context: The work was published in 1776. It was published during the beginning of the industrial revolution in response to the outdated economic ideas of the time.… Read the rest here

Consequences of the Industrial Revolution through “Silesian Weavers”

“A curse on this lying father-nation/ Where thrive only shame and degradation”

With a great deal of good always comes a fair amount of bad. So when the Industrial Revolution took off, along with the economy and development of machinery, the poor treatment of workers came to light. This neglect for the welfare of laborers is brought to attention by Heinrich Heine, author of “Silesian Weavers”. In this poem, Heine uses strong negative diction to impassion his audience, in turn sparking the development of a constitution for Prussia.… Read the rest here

Disappearing Culture: Indigenous Tribes in the Noril’sk Region of Siberia

Early in the Soviet era, the government paid little attention to the indigenous tribes of Siberia and did not take into account whether their policies for modernization would have a negative effect on the native peoples. Collectivization and the push for industrialization directly affected the tribes’ economic activity, traditional lifestyle, and the environment in which they lived.  Industrialization took place across the Soviet Union, however I have chosen to focus on the city of Noril’sk, located in Krasnoyarsk Krai in northern Siberia, between the Yenisei River and the Taimyr Peninsula.… Read the rest here

Stalin’s Industrialization of the Country

In Stalin’s Industrialization of the Country, 1928, he states, “Look at the capitalist countries and you will see that their technology is not only advancing, but advancing by leaps and bounds, outstripping the old forms of industrial technique.” This statement refers to Stalin’s fear that the Soviet Union’s industry was lagging behind other European countries, and as a result, the country will be unable to achieve socialism. In this statement, he argued that the reason for the success of various capitalist countries was due to the fact that they were far ahead of the Soviet Union in terms of technological advancement.… Read the rest here

Gulag Archipelago and Labor Camp

In the Gulag Archipelago,  Solzhenitsynt describes the labor camps in which mass numbers of prisoners and political undesirables were literally worked to death. The first question this article elicits from me is if these prison workers had the same frame of mind Podlubnyi had in his diaries. The labor process was used as a means of rehabilitation for the mind of a law breaker or political deviant, and maximum efforts were vehemently supported by the state.… Read the rest here

Philosophy and Metropolis

Metropolis, created in 1927, is the grandfather work of the dystopian genre and reminds me of the epistemology of Rene Descartes and The Matrix (1999), which has deep philosophical roots which revolve around skepticism. The central theme of this movie is about capitalism, and the stark contrast it can create between the working class and the elite, and class relations in general.

Rene Descartes, a famous 17th century French philosopher who questioned the legitimacy of our sensory perception in relation to what was considered “real”, may have had influenced Fritz Lang, the writer and director of Metropolis.… Read the rest here

“Chapaev” and “We Grow Out of Iron”: Industrialization and Revolutionary Thoughts

In both “Chapaev” and “We Grow Out of Iron”, the authors are teaching the audience about industrialism and revolutionary thoughts. After the revolution in 1917, new thoughts on modernity emerged.

In Gastev’s poem, “We Grow Out of Iron”, symbols of factories and iron structures elude to society changes, both literal and metaphorically. Gastev describes the buildings are very large and indestructible. The author also describes them as ever-growing structures. After the revolution of 1917, new definitions of modernity emerged.… Read the rest here

The Cherry Orchard: Foreshadow of the Russia to Come?

While reading Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard I found examples of the many types of struggles Russia would face in the 20th Century. There were so many seemingly direct allusions to these struggles that when I remembered the play was written in 1904, I was shocked. Many of these foreshadows are related to sustainability, and The Cherry Orchard touches on sustainability in multiple ways: preserving the environment, maintaining economic prosperity and keeping old traditions and ways of life alive.… Read the rest here