Energizing the Everyday

Chapter 7 of Beyond Totalitarianism ,“Energizing the Everyday”, by Sheila Fitzpatrick and Alf Lüdtke explores bonds between people and bonds to Nazism and Stalinism. The authors attempt to explore the range of possibilities within society in each regime’s sphere. An area of this essay I found particularly interesting was Sociability Outside the Workplace.

 This section focuses on the difference between sociability in Russia and Germany, as they are strikingly dissimilar. In Russia during the Stalin period, there was great control over activities outside of Soviet productivity. When the New Economic Policy ended in the late 1920s, private industry closed down and the state created substitutes for this private sector. Contrastingly, in Germany, there was much reorganization of recreational activities. Sporting clubs and singing groups just to name a few were allowed in Nazi Germany. However, the incorporation of the swastika and Nazi ideals ensued. Although there was this reorganization, the fundamentals and inner-workings of each club did not change. Although there was a change in social structure in society both in Russia and Germany, there were underground scenes for things such as drinking and religion. I think one of the main reasons, at least in Russia, that this social elimination and/or reorganization occurred all leads to the productivity of each citizen. By eliminating areas in which citizens could become brainwashed or not in their best state of mind, the State gained more power for ideology infiltration.