Hist 259 Ids

Hist 259 Ids - IDS Liberal Democracy and the middle...

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IDS Liberal Democracy and the middle class/bourgeoisie: Liberal Democracy – 19 th century political and economic liberalism; advocated laissez-faire capitalism (government is best which governs least). Emphasis on individual (employees/employers meet in free market to discuss wages based on supply and demand), enlightenment, progress. Exemplified by “Masters” in Rules of the Game heavily favored the Middle Class . Most notably present in Western Europe (Britain, France) and the USA. This political ideology suffered greatly during the Depression (created a huge gap between rich and poor). Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini greatly opposed it, which lead to an upsurge in their popularity among the people. Socialism and the working class: Socialism, (right end of political spectrum) as proposed by Marx, was the political state that comes naturally after capitalism (natural progression). Working class would increase as capitalism spread. Powerful upper middle class would gain control, set wages where workers become poppers à peasants overthrow capitalists and institute socialist society that is more classless/ progressive. Its aim was to bring wage earners into politics as a class and allow that class to grow into the decisive power of the land. It gained following in Britain, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy and most notably Russia w/ 1917 Bolshevik revolution. Fascism and Lower Middle Class – Fascism proposed a strong state ruled by a powerful leader who would revive the nation’s forces through vigorous foreign and military power. At its basis was a denial of class and dismissal of parliamentary politics. This appealed to the lower middle class (retail merchants, artisans, and other lower independent professions) who felt abandoned during the Depression. They didn’t make money like the upper middle class/bourgeoisie, but didn’t’ have unions or welfare legislation like the working class to back them up. At the same time didn’t want to identify with the lower class (as Socialism would have demanded). To them, Fascism offered the security and chance to bring organized labor to a heel in a classless society. This idea was most prominent in Nazi and Germany and Fascist Italy during the Great Depression and leading up to WWII. National Socialism –
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Hist 259 Ids - IDS Liberal Democracy and the middle...

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