Textbook notes Russia

Textbook notes Russia - Russia - - - contemporary Russian...

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Russia - contemporary Russian interest gropus have been shaped by the ideology and instiutions imposed by Vladimir Lenin and his followers from 1917 to 1991 - USSR failed ideological experiment to design an alternative anticapitalist model of industrial society. - Karl Marx born in 1818 o Invented the idea of communism - Communist Manifesto he discussed historical materialism and argued that economic forces have ultimately determined the course of human social history o How wealth is divided up o The ruling class always decides o There are those who own property and the workers o The upper class takes the surplus value created by the workers o Workers struggling for necessities to survive o Types of society – feudalism, slavery, capitalism o Says capitalism is simply another form of exploitation because profits go to the ruling class o Thought revolution was inevitable and that proletariat class would unite Because though ppl would become unhappy under capitalism o Paradox of total revolution or improving conditions within capitalism - No communits revolution ever in capitalist country - In Russia before 1917 80% peaseants 8% industrial workers - Problems with capitalism had been resolved in most countries - But at beginning of 20 th century Russia was still in early stages of industrialization o Disregard for worker health and safety o Lack of legal channels for worker representation o Low wages - Russian intellectuals saw in Marxism a way to escape their country’s economic an dmilitary backwardness without adopting Western capitalist system - Socialism is first stage - Vision of communism powerful in weak, poor and corrpupt tsarist empire Lenin - history of opposing tsar - 1900 – joined Russian Marxists in exile in Switzerland - 1902- essay What is to be done? o Three main arguments o 1. working class could never make a successful anticapitalist revolution because workers would be satisfied by gains in local wages, benefits, and representation o 2. movement must be led by Marxist intellectuals devoted at all times to the revolution o 3. insisted that this body of intellectuals must be oraganized as a strictly hierarchichal, disciplined, and unified body
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o DEMOCRATIC CENTRALISM – debate within the party ends with the Central Committee makes the decision - Lenin’s insistence on his model in 1903 led to split between the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks - Bolsheviks – agree with Lenin’s model - Mensheviks – want more decentralized and inclusive of workers - Terrible loses in WW1 made bolshevism more attractive - Lenin was one of the few socialist factions that denounced the war for the beginning - In 1917, battlefield loses, break riots, and peaseant uprisings caused the Tsar Nicholas II to abdicate o FEBRUARY REVOLUTION - A provisional government made up of former members of the tsarist parliament tried with support of US France and Britain to continue war effort and revive the economy but it had little authority o Real authority devolved t othe SOVIETS
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This note was uploaded on 12/06/2011 for the course POLI 211 taught by Professor Sabetti during the Spring '08 term at McGill.

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Textbook notes Russia - Russia - - - contemporary Russian...

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