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A Brief History of Communism in Russia

A Brief History of Communism in Russia

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A Brief History of Communism in Russia

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  1. A Brief History of Communism in Russia

  2. Mid 1800’s – capitalism flourishing in Europe and America. Profits were made at expense of workers who labored 14-18 hours/day under unsafe conditions. • 1847 – CommunistLeague – purpose was to unite working classes of Europe. They asked Karl Marx to draw up a plan for their party – The Manifesto of the Communist Party.

  3. Marx envisioned a worker’s revolt followed by an utopia where each person would work according to his ability and receive according to his need. End result – worldwide economic equality. • New laws resulted in more tolerable working conditions in Western Europe and America, and a world wide revolution never came to pass.

  4. Moderates (legislation) Socialist party split Marx adherents

  5. Russia under czarist gov’t • Russian people still underpaid • “Communists” – small extremist group w/in socialist movement • Leon Trotsky – socialist revolutionary (forced to flee Russia twice because of anti-Czarist activities)

  6. 1917 – Bolshevik Party successfully overthrew the Czar (Nicholas II). • Bolshevik’s led by Nikolai Lenin. • Communist Party gains control of gov’t. • Trotsky returns and takes a prominent position in gov’t.

  7. Lenin dies. • Power struggle between Trotsky and Stalin. • Stalin gains control. • Trotsky flees to Mexico – eventually assassinated. • Stalin deports all who disagree with him to Siberia. • Used secret police, arbitrary arrests, torture, and mass executions to maintain dictatorship.

  8. The idealism of Revolution turned into a system no less terrifying than rule by the Czars. No freedom in the new system. Forced labor created wealth for the few, while workers’ conditions changed little or grew worse.

  9. The aim of totalitarianism … • to make people less and less conscious, less able to distinguish between truth and falsehood, and unable to draw logical conclusions. This is exactly what happens to the animal-workers in Animal Farm. (The farm itself stands for Russia.)

  10. 5 Essential Ingredients in a Successful Totalitarian Regime 1. Censorship • Propoganda - the manipulation and control of language

  11. Censorship and Propaganda are essential methods of controlling the proletariat (the working class) and convincing them that they are on the right path while those in other political systems are fools! While propaganda is an essential ingredient in a successful totalitarian regime, other elements need to be present for a dictator to take control:

  12. 5 Essential Ingredients in a Successful Totalitarian Regime • 3. Supporters – the masses must be behind the leader and feel that the new ideas will make a real difference in their lives.

  13. 5 Essential Ingredients in a Successful Totalitarian Regime • 4. Ignorance of Followers – it is important that the followers not be too educated. They must follow blindly and without question.

  14. 5 Essential Ingredients in a Successful Totalitarian Regime • 5. Scapegoat – there must be something or someone to blame for all of the bad conditions the leader wants to change. (Usually it is the leadership in power.) Later, any problems which arise can be blamed on the scapegoat.

  15. Vocabulary • Bourgeoisie – the middle class (the social group opposed to the proletariat in class struggle). • Idealist – one who sees things as they could be rather than as they really are. • Broker – person paid a fee for acting as an agent in making sales.

  16. Vocabulary • Allegory – a story in which there is a one-to-one correspondence between characters and events and a deeper level of meaning. There is a plot on the surface, and an underlying meaning that the plot conveys.

  17. Vocabulary • Fable – • -         gay, light-hearted humor • -         full of comedy and laughter • -         removed from reality so as not to • create bitterness • -         ascribes human qualities and • phraseology to animals • -         author must have a genuine love of animals • -         purpose of the fable is to tell a lesson

  18. Most critics use both terms (Allegory and Fable) to describe Animal Farm, but the bitterness is only thinly disguised by humor.