Moscow – Сustom Literature essay

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The Emergence of Capitalist Economy in Russia Noen H. Loqui~no I. Introduction: A Newfound Freedom II. The Beginnings of Socialism A. Karl Marx and the Communist Manifesto B. The Theory of Socialism C. The Dual Revolution in Russia III. History of the Soviet Union A. The Early Years B. Stalin's Reformation C. World War II D. The Soviet Union's Postbellum Period E. The Cold War IV. The Fall of Communism A. Gorbachev's Visions B. The Reunification of Germany C. Freedom for the Republics V. An Economy In Transition A. A Newborn Economy B. Five Years' Progress VI. Solutions for the Future A. Western Intervention B. Yeltsin's Re-election and Future Reform VII. Conclusion: Return to Glory Bibliography I. Introduction: A Newfound Freedom Imagine you are a high school student just about to graduate. You are about to leave your parents, who have directed your actions for your entire life. However, you have never had to make your own decisions, and are having trouble handling your new situation.

Now imagine that on a larger scale. An entire nation released from the control of its 'parents' with no idea how to use its newfound freedom. The Russian Federation is only a shell of its former glory as the U. S. S. R. because it had to withstand just such a change. The 'high school student', a socialist market in which the government makes all the rules, recently was overhauled. The new economic condition in Russia is a free market. However, the people had no experience in handling the independence that they acquired as the capitalist market was established

It had been a long hard journey to get where they were, and now a longer, harder journey is beginning - the journey into capitalism. II. The Beginnings of Socialism Russia did not exist as a nation just seven years ago. It was formed from the ruins of a greater nation. Russia's current troubles are based on problems it found, or created, during the years it operated under socialism. This theory, which proposes equality and the means of achieving it, has been scorned by the Western world.

One must wonder why such a grand conception has failed. A. Karl Marx and the Communist Manifesto By far, the most important document in the development of socialism was The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx and Frederik Engels in 1848. (Berki) This document was published as a reply to politicians who would accuse their opponents of being Communist for the sake of scaring the public. (Marx) Marx's Manifesto was the driving force behind socialism and Communism in Russia.

In it, he described the fall of capitalism at the hands of the working classes. (Berki) The following paragraphs are excerpts from that work. 'The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-masters and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended either in a revolutionary reconstruction of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes. (Marx) 'Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other - bourgeoisie and proletariat... The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations.

It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley ties that bound man to his 'natural superiors', and has left no other bond between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous 'cash payment'. (Marx) 'Wage labor rests exclusively on competition between the laborers. The advance of industry, whose involuntary promoter is the bourgeoisie, replaces the isolation of their laborers, due to competition, by their revolutionary combination, due to association. The development of modern industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie, therefore, produces above all are its own gave-diggers.

Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable. (Marx) 'In short, the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things. In all these movements they bring to the front as the leading question in each case the property question, no matter what its degree of development at the time. Finally, they labor everywhere for the union and agreement of the democratic parties of all countries. The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their aims can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.

Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution, The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains, They have a world to win. Workingmen of all countries, unite!' (Marx) B. The Theory of Socialism Socialism is a set of beliefs about the most desirable possible government. Socialists claim that their doctrines are superior because they would create total equality. A perfectly socialist state would incorporate cooperation, progress, and individual freedom as well. In a socialist state, all free enterprise would be abolished, and in its place would be a system of 'public ownership'. The state would control production and distribution.

(Berki) The basic principles of socialism developed from the writings of Plato and parts of the Old Testament. However, modern socialism is considered by most scholars to be a product of the French Revolution of 1789 and the second Industrial Revolution in England. These two events created a democratically governed region with vast potential for economic growth. In this environment, the beginnings of a conflict between the property owners, known as the bourgeoisie, and the working classes, called the proletariat, developed. (Berki) Socialists propose a solution for this conflict. (Berki) All means of production and distribution are controlled by a central organization, likely a branch of the government.

These people instruct all those within the state as to how their capital should be managed. In exchange, all wealth within the state are distributed equally. The government also controls prices, ensuring that all people have the same amount of wealth. This eliminated both the rich and poor from society. As one might expect from such a system, the people with the most to gain - those under the poverty line - were the most staunch supporters of socialism.

The wealthy, who would lose much of their money in a socialist society, were strongly opposed to the theory. This division of support created an poor image for socialists, as the lower classes were the primary adherents to the socialist theory. Socialism has a number of benefits, especially in that it would truly create greater equality. However, there are fatal flaws in this theory. The black market is one major flaw.

Citizens may be able to purchase goods at lower prices from non-governmental dealers. Also, because of the immense amount of power which the government has, socialism is a system extremely susceptible to corruption. (Fry) C. The Dual Revolution in Russia In March of 1917, the 300-year-old Romanov dynasty was overthrown. (Lih) Massive discontent with the czarist state, an ongoing revolutionary movement, and the onset of World War I all contributed to the outbreak of fighting in Russia. Since peasants were freed from servitude in 1861, poverty was widespread in the nation, and inadequate resources pried apart the classes.

(Rosenberg) Early in the twentieth century, Russians divided into unofficial political organizations. The Marxist Social Democratic Labor party was organized in 1898. Populists, which had previously existed in the rural areas, and socialists combined to form the Socialist Revolutionary Party by 1901. In 1903, the Marxist party split in two: the Mensheviks, who favored mass rule; and the Bolsheviks (below), led by Vladimir I. Lenin, who wanted more organization. In 1905, middle-class liberals formed the Constitutional Labor Party.




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