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Ideology and 19th century Soviet Union

1. What was important about the Russian Communist Revolution?

The Russian Communist Revolution in Russia was a very important event for the world and its history because it clearly presents the implications of ideological implementation, and that it can be desirable and productive, but with the contrasting argument that the society that it was implemented was not ready for such a change. The main ideology which was conceived was thought to cause positive societal change, and this ideology was Marxist Communism. While many people, including high ranking officials, believed that Marxist Communism could not be successfully implemented in Russia, leaders like Lenin advocated it, and saw no reasons why Marxist Communism could not be applied.

Critical thinkers opposed this ideology and its implementation because they thought that is Marxism was to succeed and be beneficial, it needed to be implemented to the letter. A proper literal Marxist interpretation required the right set of circumstances across the Russian nation before any implementation was made. For example, one such circumstance would be that Russia needed a proletariat (or working class) revolution against the affluent Russian middle class, or the bourgeoisie. The high class went against the idea of Marxism and so needed to be addressed, and the circumstance of the bourgeoisie owning most of the nations production, would be the grounding for a revolution. This revolution would also achieve a greater unification of national identity, and a common goal for all. The revolution would be much easier with the opposition of the ruling bourgeoisie in the minds of the people, and would have a much greater chance of surviving the first stages of implementation, as they new proletariat would be able to write the history of the oppressive rule of the bourgeois.

2. What is the major connection between Fascism and Communism?

While many individuals believe that Fascism and Communism are strictly opposing ideological beliefs, they do actually hold a number of striking similarities, and it can be argued that Marxist and Engel's communism was the precursor, if only partly, to Fascism. While at first glance the nature of rule in a Fascist society seems to mirror exactly the same bourgeoisie rule, and be the thing that Marxism opposed, where power is condensed for only a few, in reality this can be seen as not to be the case. Fascists may agree or disagree with this strict form of governance as central to the Fascist system, but those that agree see the similarities not in the relationship between the rulers and the ruled in a nation, but over the world entirely. In this way, it can be seen that a less economically powerful nation is seen in the wider scheme of things, as a proletariat nation amongst nations of more economic power, or in other words, bourgeois nations. Having this kind of view justifies the Fascist inclination, giving the power needed to turn a nation into a Fascist nation, to improve that nation and make it more competitive on the world stage.

3. Explain the nature of Totalitarianism

While we can view Totalitarianism as clearly defined in the Bolshevik Revolution, it in-fact has its historical roots in the French Revolution of the 1800's, and other European political situations around that time. It began as the result of want for drastic and sweeping change across the political, economic and social landscape. The central attribute of Totalitarianism is to promote rapid national growth in industry and commerce, without thought of the human costs and the material costs. It is also defined by its rule enforcement, with secret police using terror tactics and draconian forms of punishment to keep the citizens under control, the productivity of the nation high, and the rulers in power. For example, there would be Collectivized agriculture to maintain political control, and control over productivity, and likewise the control over social, intellectual and political life. Totalitarianism is thus the creation of a large scale political movement that participates not in decision making, but rather in the fruition of those decisions, with the guise of social motivation as opposed to private motivation and self-interest.

4. How and to what extent does Ideology matter?

Ideology mattered much for society in the 19th century Russian revolution. In this time, there were many Idealist thinkers and philosophers in Russia who held a belief over all other beliefs. That belief was in the power of the idea, and the fact that ideas are highly powerful and influential constructs because without them, existence would be completely different. They argued that this made them more real and significant that everyday life. This was an important notion because it could be easily sympathized by the proletariat class who worked an everyday life. For the big thinkers, idealism meant holding the power of the mind in our hands, so that they could be implemented for the good of the world, from nation to nation, to the world at large.

In the case of the Soviet Union, the demise of Marxist idealism was in the inability of the nation to properly implement these ideas through the rule of Stalin and Lenin. After such a vigorous start by the movement, after a while it was realized that many of the ideals could not be reached, and this caused many people to become jaded and lose faith in the movement. As such, the ground work was laid for the dismantling of the Communist Soviet Union, and the same for the ideals of the Marxist revolution which gave birth to it.