Nationalism in a Multiethnic Country

Karl Marx writes on how the revolution of the proletariat will bring down national boundaries, and that class will unite and bring people together in the same way that nations did in the past. With a land mass as extensive as the Soviet Union had, the number of cultures, languages, and traditions are nearly infinite. However, the problem that the Bolsheviks faced was that they needed to unite the peasants in some manner to get them to overthrow the tsarist regime, so they attempted to unite under a common Russian identity. … Read the rest here

Power of the Masses: How Regional Government Organs Shaped Collectivization in the USSR

Though at first Stalin and the Central Committee argued that it was necessary to collectivize and mobilized the 25,000ers in order to promote controlled collectivization in the countryside, collectivization in rural areas often became controlled by local government organs. The 25,000ers themselves were not influential in these regions because these “rural offices” outnumbered them.1 Further, when members of the 25,000 attempted to provide feedback to the Central Committee’s Department of Agitation and Mass Campaigns regarding unclear government policies on the gathering of seeds for sowing , they were often rejected from the party.… Read the rest here

Purging for the Good of the State

Stalin had a clear agenda for what he wanted to get done in the Soviet economy. The base of the society rests on if they can get food, so naturally agriculture is very important to the success of an economy. Due to the poor results he was getting from the agricultural sector, he sought to find new ways to inspire production from the Soviet people.

Interestingly, the dominant force within Soviet argriculture were the kulaks, the peasants who controlled the majority of production or were doing well for themselves.… Read the rest here

At the Crossroads of Lenin and Stalin

(( Soviet Union 1922-1928 : Socialist republics – National powers. Digital image. Hisatlas – Map of Soviet Union 1922-1928. Accessed February 21, 2016. http://www.euratlas.net/history/hisatlas/ussr/192822URSS.html. ))

 

During the Russian Civil War, nationalist uprisings and criticisms left Bolshevik leadership with some important questions and decisions to make. They had to determine whether to grant different ethnicities and nationalities sovereignty, how to cope with those that did not receive as such, and how to make the union of soviet socialist republics stronger and well-connected.… Read the rest here

Question for Commenters

I am not scheduled to blog for today, but I had a question that came to me in my reading that maybe some commentators could debate. The speeches by Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin are in direct correspondence with one another. In Churchill’s speech, he hinted at the possibility of continuing friendships and maintaining good terms with the USSR, especially highlighting sympathy. Stalin on the other hand, completely rebuffed Churchill and attacked him, comparing him to the new Hitler.… Read the rest here

Fascism and the Inevitability of War & Stalin’s Master Plan

Fascism and the Inevitability of War & Stalin’s Master Plan

 

When representatives from Germany and the USSR established the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, it is difficult to tell whether the Soviets actually believed in the treaty lasting. The fact that the war resulted in a victory for the Allies and the USSR probably allowed the Soviets to see the war differently than the Axis powers, certainly with a different bias. In Joseph Stalin’s 1946 speech, he seemed to think that because the Germans were fascist with the Nazi Party at the helm, war was inevitable.… Read the rest here

Stalin Against Capitalism and Churchill

Throughout Stalin’s speech, given at a meeting of voters of the Stalin electoral district, Stalin continually mentions the superiority of the Soviet system and its greatness. This is also evident in his response to Winston S. Churchill’s speech on the “Iron Curtain”, given in 1946. In both of these speeches Stalin makes frequent comments on the inefficiencies of capitalism. This further proves that Stalin was not a fan of capitalism and its capitalistic ideas. In his speech to the voters of the Stalin electoral district, Stalin blamed the Second World War on the development of world economic and political forces on the basis of present-day monopolistic capitalism, mentioned that the capitalistic system contains some aspects of a general crisis and military conflicts and almost never proceeds smoothly.… Read the rest here

The best/worst of two evils

After reading Churchill’s speech and Stalin’s response on it, I wonder what a smart orator Soviet leader was. They both were trying to convince their audience in the idea that another one is a possible threat for the world, but do it in a very different way, and, from my point of view, Stalin is more effective in that.

Churchill introduced some facts, like growing influence of communists parties on the other side of the Iron Curtain, and then just added the claims that it was bad, dangerous for the world piece, destroying, etc.
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Stalin’s Speech

In his 1946 speech, Joseph Stalin reflected on the events that occurred in Europe the last few years by ripping into the Capitalist system, praising the strength of the Soviet People, and discussing the positives of the war on the Soviet Union.  Of the items that Stalin covered in his speech, his praising of the Soviet people stood out to me the most.

During his discussion of the second World War, he noted that the war “was the fiercest and most arduous ever fought in the history of our Motherland.” (Stalin Speech: http://www.marx2mao.com/Stalin/SS46.html))  Highlighting the fact that the Soviet state had endured so much death and destruction from the invasion of the Nazis, Stalin recognized the fact that the Soviet Union had survived because of the determination of its people.  … Read the rest here

Indirect Correspondence between Stalin and Churchill

Winston Churchill speaks extremely highly of the Ally powers in his speech discussing the Iron Curtain and his desire to unite the English speaking commonwealth with the United States.  Although his main goal appears to be a peaceful settlement with the Soviet Union and elimination of their “expansionist” policies, he focuses much more on global security and the strength of the United States and England.  For instance, he opens his speech with the phrase “The United States stands at this time at the pinnacle of world power.”  Churchill does so not as a warning or criticism, but rather offers praise and strategic help.  … Read the rest here