Dizzy with Success

In the late 1920s the Soviet government began to collectivize agriculture within the country. In this document Stalin boasts about the rapid success of this newly implemented program in regards to agricultural output. Since the program has had such a swift and unexpected success, Stalin attempts to dissuade the public from being lured into feeling of contentment and complacency. He wishes to promote further advancement of the the country’s agricultural potential in order to obtain the “full victory of socialism.”

Although the collectivization of agriculture in the Soviet Union did succeed in several regards, it was a highly controversial program as well. Stalin wrote that “even our enemies are forced to admit that the successes are substantial,” in order to make opponents of the policy reevaluate their criticisms. He needed to defend the collectivization program because it was met by heavy opposition from propertied individuals who would be required to forfeit their lands. Many peasants  knew that the state would benefit from having large quantities of cheap grain continually available, but these same peasants also realized that this same policy would have a negative impact on them as individuals because they would be forced to sell their grain at cheap, state dictated prices.

Did the impressive immediate results of collectivization effectively dissuade many of the programs critics? Or did most of them realize that it was merely a short run phenomena that would be difficult to expand and sustain?

What is Fascism, 1932

In Mussolini’s What is Fascism, he attempts to portray the fascist agenda and how these ideals can be applied to Italy society. He emphasized how fascism and socialism were opposites on the political spectrum. The nineteenth century overwhelmingly stressed liberal ideals and democratic initiatives towards government. Mussolini wished to break this trend and create an Italian collectivist society that views the state as an absolute; individuals would be regarded solely by their relation to the state. Expansion and empire building were also essential components of Mussolini’s doctrine because he believed that growth of the empire is “an essential manifestation of vitality.”

Mussolini stressed how the nation was in dire need of for a fascist state to provide authority, direction and order. After World War One Europe as a whole attempted to incorporate liberal ideals towards governance. The success of these governments was oftentimes very short lived, leaving countries in a dismal state of affairs. People were forced to consider other form of government that would better tackle the problems of the time. I believe that fascism was easily accepted in Italy because an overwhelming percent of the population believed that it is preferable to exchange the right to some natural freedoms in order to obtain the benefits of political order.

Both Hitler and Mussolini believed that expansion of the nation was a vital component of rebuilding their respective countries. In hindsight, do you believe that the international community should have been able to predict the impending war that would break out? After all, in order to expand the nation the land must be taken from somewhere/somebody, thus causing unavoidable violence.