What’d you think Marx would’ve said if he’d lived to see the Russian revolution and Moscow’s collectivization programs?
You’ll answer two identification and two riddles. We want your identifications to hit three bases. First, locate the keyword in time and space. Second, explain the keyword’s main features with evidence. Third, step back and explain the word’s significance.
EXAMPLE OF IDENTIFICATION
The industrial revolution was an economic transformation that began in England in the late eighteenth century, spread to other countries like Germany, France, and the United States in the nineteen century, and lasted well into the twentieth century. In a general sense, the industrial revolution was characterized by: (1) technological innovation by a new strata of entrepreneurs and (2) the mass production of standardized things in factories. The start of the industrial revolution was a slow process, tied to the rise of a new class of commercial traders and financiers in Europe during the eighteenth century. The first industrial revolution is often associated with textiles and the second revolution is typically associated with railways and heavy machinery, but it’s important to underscore that steam power was essential to both revolutions. The industrial revolution effected society in many ways. It caused new tensions among elites, as wealthy businessmen challenged the leadership and moral authority of land aristocrats. It also prompted urbanization to industrial cities and led to creation of new payment methods like wage labor, which contributed to the decline of skilled artisans and the rise of unskilled labor. Finally, the industrial revolution encouraged new types of discontent—typically by workers who felt exploited in factory settings—as well as new ideas about nationalism, most often by elites who sought to foster unity in the face of economic change.
For the riddles, we expect the equivalent of a three or four-paragraph essay. Answer the question clearly and then substantiate your position with relevant evidence from the lectures and readings. Your answer
Must be well-reasoned and well-written.
EXAMPLE OF RIDDLE ANSWER:
Was Lenin a Marxist? What’d you think Marx would’ve said if he’d lived to see the Russian revolution
and Moscow’s collectivization programs?
Vladimir Lenin was not a Marxist. First, I think Marx would have been confused by the idea that a communist revolution was even possible in Russia. The country hadn’t even gone through the industrial revolution – it was a country of peasant farmers! Second, I think the collectivization programs that were theorized by Lenin and then implemented by Josef Stalin would have confused Marx. It’s more accurate to say that Lenin and his followers were anti-capitalists who worked to create an industrial, self-sufficient Russia. In practice, they ruled in a way that would’ve made more sense to the Tsar Nicholas III than Karl Marx.
People who think of Lenin as a Marxist don’t understand Marx. Like many intellectuals who wrote about the industrial revolution, Marx was interested in creating a better version of capitalism. His writings were wide-ranging, but he was primarily interested in the historical process whereby corporations (and elites, generally) “alienated” everyday people from their labor. He framed this argument within a long narrative about the stages of capitalist development, but the gist of his theory was that workers were losing control over their lives because capitalism was becoming more and more complex. Eventually, he posited, the situation would get so bad that (a) workers would revolt and (b) inequality would make the system impossible to support. From the ashes, a more egalitarian order would emerge. In theory, industrial technology wouldn’t disappear, but local communes would take over factories – i.e. everyday people would regain control of their lives from corporations and financiers.
Lenin revised Marx’s ideas. First, while Marx was content to let this revolution happen on its own terms, Lenin actively plotted the overthrow of elite society, especially in Russia. Second, Lenin argued that Marx
had missed the ‘imperial stage’ of capitalism, which allegedly revealed itself in the late nineteenth
This stage saw elites use (a) nationalism to manipulate populations, (b) labor reform to dampen worker
unrest, and (c) imperialism to spread capitalism into new continents. In Lenin’s mind, because imperialism had made capitalism a truly global phenomenon—with tentacles in Asia, Africa, and beyond—it followed that a revolution anywhere would lead to revolution everywhere. He was wrong. Even worse, in an effort to promote Russian industrialization (which, in theory, was the prerequisite of Marx’s idealized ‘communes’), the Bolsheviks presided over enormous collectivization programs that literally stole farmland away from peasants in the 1920s and 1930s. The centralization of farming was supposed to pay for industrialization. To a certain extent it worked, but the cost was mass starvation. Translated: an ideology (Marxism) that existed to combat the alienation of man from his labor was used in Russia to justify the greatest alienation of man from his labor in human history. It was ironic, and held together only by tragic levels of state-sanctioned
Do all identifications and riddles as we do not know which ones will be on the test
Each identification should be about 2 paragraphs long and each riddle should be about a page long
Please separate each identification as well as each riddle with a title so I know which one is which
The potential identifications include:
Keynesianism, Washington Consensus, Big Science, Glasnost/Perestroika, War on Terror, and Green Revolution.
The potential riddles include:
First, how did liberal capitalism change after the 1970s? Second, why did the Cold War end? Third, why did the 9/11 attacks happen? Fourth, why did the world population expand so dramatically in the twentieth century? Finally, can our planet survive without order?