Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution. Marx stated that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles ", something that he believed was happening between the bourgeoisie the select few upper class and upper middle class who then controlled society and the proletariat the working class masses who toiled to produce everything but who had no political control.
Under War Communism, the Bolshevik Party practiced class warfare against the peasants and justified the use of force to carry out grain requisitioning. Although this led to repression and sparked violent disturbances in the countryside, the Bolsheviks relied on these methods to retain power and win the war.
The violence caused by War Communism convinced Lenin that a new economic approach was needed and he instituted a series of economic concessions known as the New Economic Policy NEP. For the peasants, NEP replaced grain requisitions with a fixed grain tax and allowed peasants to sell grain at free-market prices.
To ward off these arguments Lenin insisted that a hostile peasantry would doom the revolution and thus concessions, however unpalatable, were indispensable to stabilizing the economy.
While all Bolsheviks believed in the eventual collectivization of agriculture, they differed in approach. The Rightist faction headed by Nikolai Bukharin favored a slow approach towards collectivization and wanted to maintain NEP policies.
Peasants and villages were organized either into state farm Russias collectivization vs chinas cultural revolution essay, known as sovkhozy, which were owned outright by the state and paid peasant farmers as hired labor, or volunteer co-operative collective farms called kolkhozy.
The collectivization campaign was brutal and aroused strong peasant resistance, and while the Soviet state often couched this resistance in terms of kulaks fighting against socialism, most historians agree that resistance was widespread. Framed in this aggressive language, the historiography of collectivization can largely be broken down into two categories — those studies examining the state and actions it took to carry out collectivization and the scholarship focusing on the peasantry and the peasant reactions to collectivization.
Within these two larger categories, interpretation and emphasis vary, but the scholarship can largely be categorized as either revisionist or post revisionist. The early revisionist scholars challenged the totalitarian model of interpretation prevalent during the early Cold War period; however, they still overtly focus on the state.
On the other hand, second wave revisionists explore the dynamic interaction between state and society. The third model of interpretation focusing on collectivization is the radical social model which seeks to remove the state from the interpretation of collectivization and focus specifically on society.
This essay will review the English language interpretations of collectivization and examine the larger trends in the historiography.
At the conclusion, it will offer suggestions for further study.
The first major works on Soviet collectivization focus on the state and the policies and methods the state used to carry out collectivization. Mostly written prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the opening of Russian archives, this scholarship relies heavily on official documents released by the Soviet Government and state backed journals, newspapers, and publications.
Based on these official state sources, these historians investigate state mechanisms and depict the actions of Politburo members and the nameless bureaucrats who instituted and enforced the collectivization policy.
This revisionist model does not exclude peasant society and the violence that occurred during the implementation of collectivization; however, it does depict peasant society as a static featureless object which is shaped by the state. Although the revisionist interpretations center their analysis on state level decision making, the majority of these historians reject the totalitarian model of Soviet scholarship that dominated the field during the early years of the Cold War and reveal the debate and interaction within the Politburo and the ability of mid-level bureaucrats to take independent action.
By rejecting the totalitarian model, these scholars are characterized as revisionist and often attempt to rehabilitate both Lenin and Bukharin while still firmly denouncing Stalinist practices. Lewin examines the policies of the Left under Trotsky which emphasized pre-planning for socialization and favored industry over agriculture but not to the extent that Stalin finally implemented.
He also depicts the concepts proposed by Bukharin and the Rightist which advocated for fostering social revolution in the countryside to compliment the urban revolution, but revive War Communism.
However, both these factions lost out to Stalin and his supporters who viewed the grain crisis of as problem created by the peasants, particularly kulaks, who speculated in grain prices rather than sell to the state.
Setting up the peasants as a class enemy, these individuals wanted to combat the peasants by instituting collectivization and industrialization.
This organization allows the state to dominate his study leaving only a brief final chapter to discuss the effects of collectivization and dekulakization. In this chapter, he does briefly discuss methods of peasant resistance, but he does not place peasant actions into the context of peasant society.
Rather, these are immediate actions taken by the peasants as the collectivization policy was enacted by the Soviet state. Although he appropriates the language of social history, his focus largely remains on the state administration and is best described as a social history of the party and the actions it took to institute collectivization.
Moreover, Davies assertion that mid-level bureaucrats were overenthusiastic during the collectivization drive is supported by other scholars, but the Politburo is equally at fault as it did not immediately pull on the reigns when collectivization went beyond their expectations.
These attempts to absolve the Soviet leadership clearly mark Davies as a sympathetic leftist historian who supports the basic tenets of socialism.
In stark contrast to Davies work, Robert Conquest pulls no punches in his study Harvest of Sorrow which critically attacks revisionist minded scholars for denying the full extent of Soviet policies.
With this mindset, Conquest reverts back to the totalitarian paradigm laying the blame for the terror-famine at the feet of Stalin. Conquest particularly focuses his study around the famine in the Ukraine, known as the Holodomor, which he declares was a deliberate act of mass murder and therefore genocide.
Although most historians agree that the terror-famine was a consequence of state hostility towards the peasantry, some scholars do reject this premise and suggest that the harvest was much smaller than official numbers state which exacerbated the already hostile requisition process.
Moreover, Conquest rejects the arguments put forth by Lewin and Davies that alternatives to rapid collectivization existed. As James Hughes shows in his study on Siberia discussed below, local party officials largely did as they saw fit, often ignored the threats from Moscow, and negotiated for themselves and their regions in Moscow.
She voiced her dissatisfaction with those studies that asserted the primacy of politics and advocated for the study of Soviet Society. But this is the only kind of social response that is generally discussed, and Social processes unrelated to state intervention are virtually absent from the literature.
Instead, he argues that historians such as Moshe Lewin and R. Davies have addressed the social implications of Stalinist policies. The collapse of the Soviet Union in had important ramification on historical research as previously off-limits archives opened to both Russian and Western researchers.China’s Cultural Revolution Amy Freedman Department of Government Franklin and Marshall College [email protected] Table of Contents 1.
Themes and Goals.
Keywords: cultural revolution essay, chinese cultural revolution The Cultural Revolution left an imprint on China for Decades and really shaped and influenced all political things that took place in China and also to an extent left a large direct effect on China itself and a lasting legacy that resonated in mainland China and outside China that influenced many different things.
Maoism and the Cultural Revolution in China Main articles: Maoism and Cultural Revolution The Cultural Revolution was an upheaval that targeted intellectuals and . Collectivization had been encouraged since the revolution, but in , only about one percent of farm land was collectivized, and despite efforts to encourage and coerce collectivization, the rather optimistic first five-year plan only forecast 15 percent of farms to be run collectively.
Watch video · The Cultural Revolution’s official handbook was the Little Red Book, a pocket-sized collection of quotations from Mao that offered a design for Red Guard life.
Chinese Cultural Revolution essaysThe Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was a ten-year political campaign with objectives to revolutionize china with the cultural and political ideologies of Mao Zedong.
Mao Zedong launched the Great Leap Forward in , which was a complete disaster. To help br.