Quick History of Soviet Economy

soviet_propagandashorterIn 1917 the Soviet Union came into existence. With it came a whole new set of rules and regulations. One of which was a new concept of economy. This new economy was based more in socialism. The idea was that no one person owned anything. The state would hold in common everything except labor. Socialism was supposed to play out fairly. The workers would be able to trade what they had produced for stuffs that others had produced in the community and the system would move forward by inertia alone. Unfortunately, this did not work. The state had to step in and plan out what had to be achieved for their community to survive then promoted competitiveness between the workers and the industries to achieve its goals. This interventionism was the birth of the NEP or the New Economic Policy that Lenin, top Soviet Leader at that time, needed to see his vision of a more socialist nation emerge. After all, a large civil war and a subsequent famine left many Soviet citizens in the hands of the state. Continue reading

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Khrushchev

khruschevThe book Khrushchev: the Years in Power could adequately be renamed Khrushchev: the Years in Agriculture. Roy and Zhores Medvedev, twin soviet dissidents alive during the subsequent rise, rule and fall of Khrushchev, make an interesting case in their book that Khrushchev’s power was solidified by Agriculture.

It is surprising to this author that two soviet dissidents would decide to focus on this agricultural aspect of soviet power, and that they would dredge on about it for more than one hundred pages, yet in the end after much debate and deliberation it did make sense. Particularly in two ways:  The first having to do with the actual process by which agriculture reflected on the economics of soviet society and the second being the manor in which soviet society during 1970’s handled matters of dissidents.

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рукописи не горят

masterandmargarita(Manuscripts Don’t Burn)
The Master and Margarita Response Paper

In  1966 readers of Moscow Magazine were in for a shock of their lives. There amongst the variety of pages and articles was published the beginning of a new intrepid tail that satirically outlined life in Soviet Russia. But even more shockingly it was supposedly penned by one of the most famous and established writers in the Soviet Union. One that people thought had no more stories left to tell— Mikhail Bulgakov.   Continue reading

Why “Three ‘Whys’ of the Russian Revolution”:

3whysFrom the onset of the revolution in the early part of the 20th century, Russia and her significance has captured the hearts, minds and intellects of many a people. Richard Pipes, one of the emir authors of Soviet History, is no different. His book “Three Why’s of the Russian Revolution” is an ode three main questions of early Soviet history- Why tsarism fell, why the Bolsheviks gained power, and why Stalin succeeded Lenin. Unfortunately, his text is a quick, overly simplistic catechism of three large invariantly complex conditions. Take his chapter on tsarism for example. Continue reading

1002 Tales of Scheherazade

Some cultural concepts do not translate well. One such concept is that of the Harem and/ or the Harem women. Fatema Mernissi, the author of Scheherazade Goes West, provides a pivoting albeit surprising look at Harems and the women bound by them.

While promoting her book Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood, Mernissi came across a cultural ideology that she was not quite familiar with. This ideology clash focused heavily on how both the Arab and the West viewed the boundaries (frontiers as Mernissi calls them) that men place on women. Continue reading

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