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Subject: Re: OT Russian history bit, delete if not interested
From: Alison Pacuska <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.
Date:Sun, 21 Jul 2002 11:04:08 -0400
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>I think the "grand idea" of collectivism was rather interesting,
>sharing out everything for the greater good.

IT alas, wasn't so grand  Collectivization was designed solely to reinstate
(so to speak) serfdom (by forbidding the farmers from having internal
passports, and requiring that they receive permission to leave the farms) in
order to guarantee food for the populace and fund industrisalizatoin and the
military-industrial complex.

>In Russian lit I was taken by_What Must Be Done_ (this title is not >quite
>correct, as I've checked it in the LOC and it doesn't come up.

Which one?  (Correct Translation is "What is to be Done?" regardless of
author)  LEnin, Stalin, Solzhentiysyn, Stolypin, and a pyriad of others have
published a book under this title.  (I can presume you mean Lenin's, I also
have a copy).  Lenin is almost palatable, until you read his other works.

>Written pre-revolution, it had a positive view of what things
>would be like in a "new society," and I found it very convincing.

Certainly, until you read it in context with such things as Capitalism ,the
Ultimate Stage of Imperialism (Lenin); or his letters and dictums during the
Revolution.  Stalin didn't get the idea od purges from himself -- Lenin
started that process with some very vicious troikas during the Civil War.
FUrther, at no time was the farmer/peasant considered to be a part of the
'masses'.  THe idea of "bread" was tacked on to get more support as the
Revolution truly was designed for adn intended for "the worker".

>I don't see that much improved.

Ahhh, but you do miss certian things which cannot be discounted.  Under the
Empire there was little to no upward mobility.  Ther ewas no guarantee of
edcation, employment, or health care.  Under the Soviets infrastructure was
drastically improved and (in the case of Russia) the world too k greater
note of theat vast land expanse.  The average poverty level did in fact rise
to a greater number, and even the most poor could still be assured of
adequate food, employment, and a pension.  There was electricity, plumbing,
and a place to live (even if it was often communal) and that could not be
taken away from you (unles you committed a crime).

The events of the mid to late 80's are not exemplary of the entire 70 yer
period.

>But as I said, I'm speaking in broad terms, more as an outside >observer,
>and certainly not someone who's studied Russian society to >any great
>extent.

IF you'd like some good reference reading, let me know and I can toss out a
few across a decent spectrum (I'll even try to avoid my pet specialty in the
subject for you. ;p)

Aleksa

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