Nazi-Soviet Pact

1. The treaty was signed on August 23rd, 1939. Hitler’s Nazi Germany invaded Poland on September 1st shortly after. This pact was the final step the Nazi’s had to pursue in order to execute their expansionist agenda. Hitler knew if he had to fight a two front war, he would undoubtedly lose.

2. The treaty does not only take into consideration the emphasis on the non-violence/aggression aspects that were very important to avoiding a two front war, but considered the possibility of inadvertent war as a product of alternative foreign pacts.… Read the rest here

Shrinkage of the Aral Sea: Detrimental Effects

Elizabeth Lowman

When the Bolsheviks came to power in 1917, their rule was marked by the desire to control everything, including nature. What resulted is what demographers Murray Feshbach and Alfred Friendly referred to as “a sixty-year pattern of ecocide by design.”[1] Ecocide is the practice of destroying an environment’s ecosystems. Alternatively, sustainability is the practice of taking no more from the environment than can later be replaced. The Soviet Union abandoned the idea of giving back to the earth by taking as much as they could to make a profit.… Read the rest here

Working Women in Russia

The women’s double burden of simultaneously juggling their working life with their domestic lives has not improved much since 1936 in Russia. Up until the late 1970s, women practically had twice the workload as men. In the 1930s, the Soviet state basically falsely advertised women’s emancipation by massively increasing women’s participation in the workforce while undermining their facade by cutting wages in half and reversing the importance of the states role in child raising and placed it on the Russian family.… Read the rest here

Shhhh…It’s a Secret Speech

Khrushchev’s secret speech, given to party officials but not published for the general public, showed his desire for de-Stalinization.  Basically, Khrushchev has the same criticisms about Stalin that the rest of the world had: he was paranoid, rude, and killed too many people. Khrushchev believed that Stalin had given the world a bad example of socialism.  He also stated that many innocent lives had been lost.

When Khrushchev is speaking, he is careful to maintain the language of the party.  … Read the rest here

Soviet Union ideologies in a post WWII era.

In post World War II Soviet society, the Party’s power seized the reigns on cultural movements including arts and sciences. Through his prior connections with Stalin, Zhdanov ascended to power in an autocratic, post war environment, where he would constrict ideological parameters. Zhdanov’s imposition in the scientific sphere ultimately led to the repression of Soviet genetics research, which remained postponed until the 1960’s. This was because Stalin and other Party officials saw Lysenkoism, a farming method in which the seed is conditioned with cold water in order to maximize production, as more important than genetics research, despite the method’s lack of evidence.… Read the rest here

Dizzy with Success

In “Dizzy with Success” (1930) Stalin discusses the need to temper growing enthusiasm in the socialist state and the socialist system. It is interesting to note that this was necessary. In America, students are still raised on ideas born of the Cold War: communism is evil; the people are never happy under communism. This piece contradicts these foundational American ideas.
In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Soviet citizens were ecstatic in the changes to their economy.… Read the rest here

Stalin’s New Collectivation

In Joseph Stalin’s Industrialization of the Country, 1928, the main argument of the article is to push forward the ideology of communism through the agrarian ways of the Soviet 1920s. It commonly sites the failures of capitalism to fairly protect the farmers, as well as the previous Tsarist government to modernize in technology and political rule over the 1920s and 1930s. In Stalin’s piece he goes over the failure of the new agricultural policy in an attempt to reform it within collectivization and the new Soviet style.… Read the rest here

Shrinkage of the Aral Sea

My final report is about the shrinkage of the Aral Sea.  I will be concentrating on four points.    The first point is the cause of the shrinkage of the Aral Sea.  I will discuss how the Soviets in Moscow wanted to harvest great quantities of cotton from Central Asia.  In order to do this, they used the Aral Sea for irrigation to such an extent that the sea’s area shrank by 44%.  This caused many health and environmental consequences for Central Asia.… Read the rest here

Mussolini, “What is Fascism”

Benito Mussolini’s “What is Fascism” (1932) outlines that basic principles and guiding ideals of Fascism as he perceived and created this political ideology. He maintains throughout this piece that Fascism and Marxism (specifically Marxian Socialism) are “complete opposite[s].” In many ways this is true. These two ideologies have opposing beliefs and ideals, but each is underlined by many of the same opinions as well.

The Foundation Pit by Andrei Platonov is a novel based in the USSR during the early 1920s.… Read the rest here

Beating the System: Socialist Realism

During the Soviet Union, especially the Stalin era, the state controlled members of all professions- including artists, architects, writers, musicians, and directors.  Members of these professions were forced to join unions and would be expelled from the unions if they did not follow their strict rules.  Basically, the rules stated that all art had to glorify the state.  Artists who wrote about other topics were expelled from the unions and their careers were ruined.  Artists who dared criticize the state were sent to the gulags.… Read the rest here