In Zamyatin’s bizarre and ingeniously sobering novel of “We”,1 rationality triumphs emotion as mathematics reigns as the supreme dogma of the individual’s life and mind. Of course, in this case, the term “individual” refers to the collective mass of workers known as ciphers who exist as mere figures in the long string of omnipotent code that is the dull and gray One State. Freedom is condemned as an uncouth crime while whimsical dreams and fits of inspiration are cruelly filed under the category of epileptic anomaly.… Read the rest here
The Decembrist movement, named after the month of the failed revolution, was a movement championed by military men of higher standing from educated backgrounds. The leaders of the movement were officers who couched their positions in the military amidst assumed political responsibility derived from positions in secret societies. The “Northern Society,” responsible for the formation in the Senate Square in St. Petersburg, kept the rank and file men supporting them unaware of the purpose for their insurrection. … Read the rest here
Revolutionaries are those who stand up for what they believe in and fight for their political rights and beliefs. They must be held to complete secrecy. This secrecy allows for further planning and for ideas to progress without prevention. While reading What is to be Done, 1902 by Lenin, He establishes that revolutionaries are an essential part of forming the revolution. During this, he greatly discusses how he disagrees in every aspect with the economist’s perspective.… Read the rest here
Vladmir Lenin, a Russian Communist and revolutionary, was one of the most crucial, yet controversial, individuals of the twentieth century. Despite being born into a wealthy middle class family, he became interested in socialism and communism after Russian officials executed his brother in 1887. Lenin wrote the text, What is to Be Done, just before the split of his party, the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, into the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. In his writing, Lenin depicted the type of revolutionary and system of organization that he wanted most and thought would work the best.… Read the rest here
In Lenin’s What Makes a Revolution, he discussed the differences between the economic and socialist view of a revolutionary. His friend, an economist, discussed revolutionaries in terms of trade unions and mutual aid societies. However, a true revolutionary, in the eyes of Lenin, is far more than a union member. Unions, while they may be illegal, still have certain standards they must uphold. In addition, unions have goals such as improving wages or working conditions, but they do not seek to change to system entirely.… Read the rest here
Yevgeny Zamyatin’s “We” is an iconic example of a dystopian society that is threatened by individuality. The One State and its inhabitants were a supposed perfect population who had found happiness through conformity and rationality. The citizens of the One State were kept under the watchful eye of the Benefactor as well as his secret police force, the Guardians. In order to eliminate individuality, people were given numbers instead of names (D-503 and I-330), as well as a large sum of rules and regulations to abide by throughout their lives. … Read the rest here
Johann Gottlieb Fichte, was a Germany Philosopher, and reformer, who was also a great supporter of the French Revolution. Fichte would have been considered a liberal at the time who wanted to see the lower classes rise up, and take a portion of prosperity for themselves. His ideals came from the area of Europe in which he lived. Fichte was a resident of Berlin, which was not part of one specific nation. Berlin was much like an Italian City-State during the Renaissance because it was not always under control of one nation or kingdom.… Read the rest here
The French Revolution was in itself, a catalyst for political and cultural change. The classes; clergy, nobles, and third estate were amongst a ruler that had no interest in creating change that benefited all. Thus, the third estate and other groups banded together to influence the changes in their society. These changes were a necessity to bring about the new political and cultural views that were seen in this new society, from a new calendar system to the way individuals wore their clothing.… Read the rest here
When asked about Russian art the mind typically thinks of Byzantine Russian icons or matruschki dolls, not the ground breaking art made by the avant-garde artists of the early twentieth century. In reality, however, there was an artistic explosion in Russia from 1907-1917. But how did this artistic revolution develop in a country commonly ignored by Western Europe?
By the early twentieth century, economic change had come to Russia but the old soslovie social system remained the same.… Read the rest here
This book is a composition of 5 essays; the first four are Timothy Ash’s first- hand accounts of the East European “Revolutions” in in Poland, Hungary, East Germany and Czechoslovakia, and the fifth and last essay is his conclusions based on the observations he made in the first four essays.
■ As a historical observer, Ash describes meeting opposition leaders, and the evolvement of the Solidarity movement as an opposition to the Eastern Bloc (AKA Soviet Bloc).… Read the rest here