Modern Mobilization

What makes a regime a modern mobilization state and not a colonial empire? Adeeb Khalid answers this question in Backwardness and the Quest for Colonization: Early Soviet Central Asia in Comparative Perspective. Khalid states that empires, such as Britain, France and the Netherlands “were based on the perpetuation of difference between rulers and the ruled”, where as modern mobilization states “homogenize populations in order to attain universal goals”. Examples of modern mobilization include the Soviet Union and the Kemalist regime in Turkey. These two modern mobilization regimes both emerged after World War I after the collapse of the European political order, and both regimes pursued shock modernization in an attempt to quickly modernize and create a universal culture. Modern mobilization worked to transform the citizens of the regimes to create unification and equality for all, but in the attempt to equalize citizens many rights were taken away from different groups. In the Soviet Union ideas on new government were being spread through propaganda. Many were attracted to these new ideas quickly replaced the old transforming the life’s of citizens.

2 thoughts on “Modern Mobilization

  1. This article definitely expresses the importance of the strain between the revolutionary vision and old traditional Russian ideas in the late 1920. When one forms a socialist state, the majority of people might gain rights, but there are also big losers. Not only were wealthier people with connections to tradition attacked, but also religious groups, such as Islams, were targeted and labeled as enemies to the revolution. The principle of socialism is to unite all under consistent universal ideas. Groups such as the Jadids aimed to spread their ideas slowly through education and propaganda in efforts to build steady support. Was socialism a way for revolutionaries to create a homogenous Russian population and can it really work in a empire as diverse in Russia?,

  2. Many of these shortcomings of the new Soviet State can be seen in the literature at that time. For example, the novella “Envy” establishes a narrative in which the old Russia cannot keep up with the ‘new soviet man’. This creates the feeling of uselessness for the characters that embody this dichotomy.

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