Blood and Iron: Gastev’s Socialist Message

Aleksei Gastev takes values of strength and perseverance to new heights with his factory-oriented socialist poem, We Grow Out of Iron.” A laborer himself, Gastev knew full well the hardships found on the factory floor, and took advantage of his experiences to maximize the relatability of his poetic works. Drawing on the iron aesthetic of the workspace, Gastev’s verses support the rhythm of the piece exactly as the cross-beams he references support the factory. Between the beam’s demands for greater strength and the pouring iron blood of the workers, Gastev makes it clear that there is no strength without sacrifice.… Read the rest here

Hoffman on Europe, The Soviets, and Socialism

Hoffman presents the Soviet Union much like any other state in Europe during the post enlightenment era of the 19th and 20th centuries: development oriented, with a focus on medical and industrial innovation, especially among the peasant class. Hoffman points out, however, that Russia (first Imperial, then Soviet) arrived “late to the party” so to speak when compared to their European counterparts. The peasants in France took it upon themselves to cast off the shackles of the monarchy at the end of the 18th century, while Great Britain systemically phased out the power of the monarchy through a series of elections, rendering the King all but a figurehead by the beginning of the First World War.… Read the rest here