Stalin’s Barber by Paul M. Levitt

Consciously or not, Stalin conjoins religion and politics. Why?

Religion, especially the monotheistic religions profess the idea of damnation and divine retribution for sinners. Stalin must have thought that where bullets and the baton are inadequate in suppressing dissent, the fear of God would serve as a complete deterrent. Another explanation for Stalin’s mixing of politics and religion is to develop cult followership. In religion, we find how the revealed word of God is never contested. It would suit Stalin’s totalitarian agenda quite well to have the citizens worship him as a cult figure. By encouraging religion, Stalin is promoting certain personality traits that are complementary to running a totalitarian regime.

What is the point of having numerous Stalins? (the plaster of Paris busts in the basement)

Although Stalin was a man in possession of enormous political power, deep inside he was very insecure. Some consider . . . Read More

Continue Reading

Against Marx and Engels’ criticism of private ownership

One of the cornerstones of Marxist economic theory is the abolition of private property and in its stead have common communal rights.  This is a noble and idealistic idea but one suffering from lack of applicability.  It has been proven true on many occasions that people are motivated to work hard when they are offered material incentives.  The possibility and potential to own a house or a car or a jewel is what motivates most of us to work.  Such being human psychology, it is futile to think of idealistic conceptions espoused by Marx and Engels.  A cursory look at the state of commons underscores the ineffectiveness of this mode of ownership.  For example, our environment is degrading at a rapid pace.  The quality water in the oceans and rivers, the pollution levels in the air we breathe and the steady destruction of erstwhile pristine ecosystems can all be attributed to lack of private ownership.  If only all these resources were privately owned, it is difficult to foresee . . . Read More

Continue Reading

Gorbachev’s analysis of the problems confronting the USSR

“Perestroika is a pressing necessity that has arisen out of the profound processes taking place in the course of the development of our socialist society. That society is ripe for change-one might say it has suffered enough. Any delay in pursuing Perestroika could lead in the very near future to a deterioration in the situation in Russia.” (Gorbachev, in a public address in 1987, as quoted in Hylarides, 2008, p.379)

These words of Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev underlined the pressing need for reform in the Russia of 1980s. Gorbachev is one of the most influential leaders of Soviet Russia during the Cold War era. Both his personal qualities and political policies endeared him to the Western leadership during the final years of the Cold War. The key operative words during his reformative regime were perestroika, glasnost and demokratizatsiya. Perestroika was intended to bring sweeping changes to the economy, “including efforts to stamp out . . . Read More

Continue Reading

‘United States Foreign Policy from 1945- 1991 was overwhelmingly concerned with USSR’. Explain.

A Portrait of the White HouseYes, the foreign policy of the United States has been predominantly concerned with the balance of power with USSR from 1945 to 1991.  The rest of this essay will present facts and arguments in support of this assertion.

Right through its history, America has not hesitated to use force under the pretexts of principles, sovereignty and justice.  American military intervention in world affairs has risen drastically since the end of the Second World War.  The period following the Second World War saw America assume the role of a . . . Read More

Continue Reading

1984 by George Orwell – An Analysis

Nineteen Eighty Four is widely considered to be the definitive novel about the concept of Dystopia. The novel is set in a totalitarian world comprising of three major superpowers namely Eastasia, Eurasia, and Oceania. The region in which the chief protagonist lives and narrates this story is Oceania that includes most of Western Europe.

The chief character in the novel – Winston Smith – is a 39 year old, physically weak person, who uncannily resembles author Orwell himself in terms of physical attributes. Appropriate to a totalitarian political system there is only one Party in Oceania, in complete control of the ruling oligarchy. During the . . . Read More

Continue Reading