The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe
Capitalism was the idea of a Scottish born philosopher and political economist Adam Smith. According to his writings, Capitalism was accepted in most of the western countries. It advocated small governments which cared for general security and the welfare of its people without interfering with their free lives. In addition, it promoted a free trade zone and advocated for specialization and division of labor (Johnson et al 112).
Another form of ideology that was experienced in Europe was communism or Marxism. The idea started in Germany, where its founding father, Karl Max, was born, around 1818. Marxism featured other branches that were advocated by Max in Germany and other countries which later accepted the ideology in Europe. The branches were named according to what they advocated. Materialism was one of the ideas; it stated that the engine that drives any society is its economy. He also stated that a country’s economy also influences how its people think. Materialism further states that man’s existence is not due to consciousness, but through social being. The other branch of Communism as advocated by Karl Max was class struggle; it stated that the ideas of politics, such as democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy, are mere illusions; rather, they were avenues of different classes fighting one another. He called it the competition of different social classes for the control of the state. He advocated that every child should be given an opportunity to succeed in life on a level starting field. Max stated that children should be provided with food, shelter, health, and education. The ideas of Karl Max, however dogmatic in perception, were highly espoused by the Russian revolutionaries in Europe.
Another form of ideology that came up in Europe was Fascism. This was a political ideology that combined radical nationalism and social policy. When Adolf Hitler assumed power in Munich, in southern Germany, he adopted the system of fascism. In Rome, Italy, another Leader Benito Mussolini took premiership, and the two leaders worked closely since they were advocating the same political ideology. Hitler was later arrested, and a year later, after his release, he formed a socialist party and began an anti Marxist campaign; the new standoff between Hitler and Mussolini was one the ingredients of the Second World War. Fascism was adopted by some revolutionaries in Europe, who believed that some people or classes are superior and more edified than others. Hitler later turned Fascism into Nazism, arguing that some people are so inferior and should be exterminated (Johnson et al 76).
These words go hand in hand with Karl Max’s ideas, and are meant to elicit the feeling of revolution among workers who should advocate for equal distribution and ownership of factors of production, and that the ownership should not be among the rich few capitalist masters who were also government officers. He advocated for a working environment that was dictated by the high and mighty capitalists and predicted that a protest against oppression by capitalists, who were also the statesmen, would bear fruit since the oppression cut across race, color, gender religion and all boundaries. He believed the uprising could easily bring to an end the ideology of capitalism.
The ideas of Karl Max that readily appeal are the ones advocating for the weak, the oppressed, and the poor. He advocates for a government that provides equal opportunities to children in terms of providing food, shelter, and education to prepare them for a successful future. This involves advocacy for a government that provides healthy living for citizens (Westad 98).
Adam Smith’s ideas that are appealing are those of an environment where there is free competition and free trade. This ensures that an individual becomes very hard-working since there is no government interference in their activities. It also enables an individual to be more focused in his/her activities and not wait for the government to fix both domestic and social problems.
Fascism and racism have a lot of disparities in terms of what they advocate for. Firstly, Fascism suggests that some races are superior to others, and this proclamation is not tied to color or gender orientation. Racism, on the other hand, specifies that some races are superior to others in terms of color, gender, or racial orientation. Fascism suggests that all the inferior human races should be annihilated so that the world only remains with the superior races. Racism, on the other hand, leads to discrimination and segregation of the human race in the form of color, gender, or race, without doing away with them totally (Eyal et al 121).
It is noted that in the video Stalin, he managed to convert the ideologies relating to Karl Max to communism and socialism. He was an ardent believer in dictatorship by his predecessor, Vladimir Lenin, who advocated for one government which will enforce Marxism ideas. Consequently, Stalin rebutted Lenin’s idea fostered through the new economic policy and replaced it with the command economy, which was generally directed to building socialism through Russia (Kang 57).
Eyal, Gil, Ivan Szelenyi, and Eleanor R. Townsley. Making Capitalism Without Capitalists: Class Formation and Elite Struggles in Post-Communist Central Europe. London: Verso, 2000. Print.
Johnson, Rilry, and Parta, Wright. Cold War Broadcasting: Impact on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe : a Collection of Studies and Documents. Budapest: Central European University Press, 2010. Print
Kang, David C. Crony Capitalism: Corruption and Development in South Korea and the Philippines. Cambridge [u.a.: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2002. Print
Westad, Odd A. The Soviet Union in Eastern Europe, 1945-89. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1994. Print.