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

Is it Ethical?

The readings for this week were quite upsetting. All of the reading focused on the abuse that people, children in particular experienced during the mid 1800s at the height of the Industrial Revolution. The first text, The Life of the Industrial Worker in the 19th Century-England exposed the harsh circumstances people were working under in factories. The workers are often described as pale and sickly looking due to the immense amount of hours they were working each day.Read the rest here

A classic struggle of “us against them”

In her article “Us Against Them” in Fitzpatrick’s Stalinism: New Directions, Sarah Davies describes a society in the Soviet Union that is fraught with discontent. In the mid to late 1930’s the elite party leaders were attempting to reconstruct a class system–albeit a different one than before–and the people were growing weary.

The long-term goal of the revolutionaries was to abolish the class system and bring to fruition a country ruled by the working class, but it was a goal that proved to be nearly impossible. … Read the rest here

Working Conditions in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis

Fritz Lang’s 1927 science-fiction masterpiece Metropolis depicts a futuristic dystopia ridden with class-struggle. Made in Weimar Germany, the films follows Freder, the son of the city’s overlord, and Maria, his love interest, as they try to disenfranchise the classist nature of this urban society. Throughout the film, there is a stark contrast between the scene’s of the workers slaving endlessly to power the city, and the pleasured lives of rich. The city eventually crumbles due to the rocky internal nature and ends with a reconciliation (despite total destruction) of “head” and “heart.”

The scene that stood out to me the most was when Freder explained the horrific details of an accident on of the machine rooms to his father, Fredersen.… Read the rest here