Question one: “Communism is the death of the soul. It is the organization of total conformity -- in short, of tryanny -- and it is committed to making tyranny universal”
Clearly stated thesis:
Evidence from the readings:
It is committed to spreading its existence (communism, not yet determined if it’s spreading tyranny) as we can see that the Soviet Union assisted the CCP in its rise to power.
“Mao increasingly insisted on following his own insights and judgements and began to intervene in daily policymaking, therefore betraying the principle of collective decision-making.
“In 1957, Mao invited intellectuals to criticize CCP errors...he retaliated by attacking these educated people”
“Mao’s great leap forward caused famine”.
“Peasants proved to be bad workers on the collectives because individual effort bore no relationship to reward and an increase in total output would simply boost government claims on that output” SOCIAL LOAFING
Khrushchev took an opposite approach and even vilified Stalin which suggests that the rulers really have total arbitrary control of their state.
“Stalin pursued his ambitious program through a powerful, party-controlled state apparatus. It was totalitarian in the sense that it was supposed to be able to shape every facet of Soviet life.
“The security apparatus made arrests without legal restrainst and either executed class enemies or dispatched them to brutal labor camps”
“Stalin insisted on ideological conformity, not just in politics but also literature, science, and the social sciences --- with himself the ultimate arbiter.”
Krushchev called Stalin’s crimes and the “conditions of insecurity, fear, and even desperation” created by this “sickly suspicious” seader.
The Soviet Union had to choose between Guns or Butter (military or public goods).
Nationalism could also be considered total conformity as every man dies for his country and willingly dies for their leader/country.
“Thanks to CCP initiatives, peasants overall lived healthier, longer, and better lives than they had before 1949.”
CCP promoted equal rights for women. They became more important and their work was recognized.
“In contrast to the economic exploitation and social disruption associated with capitalism, socialists called for labor, given respect, and protected from abuse. A strong state run by a communist party and speaking in the name of the working class could better serve the broad public rather than the narrow interests of the privileged few. “
They tyrant is not necessarily malevolent as the ideals of communism are appealing to all even if not practical or possible.
“Second, communist leaders were not moved by simple malevolence but rather by the faith that a new, highly centralized system could transform Russia into a superpower as well as create a better life for many under Soviet sway”
“The cult made Stalin into a demi-god in the eyes of many, even those whose families had felt the sting of loss from war or purges”
China was able to surpass India in per capita GDP because they controlled their population.
Question two: “Communism was incompatible with nationalism (that is, national independence) between 1945-1968.”
Nationalism defined to be something like seeing yourself as only part of your country rather than the entire world or your continent. Communism as seeing yourself as a member of humanity so you can join forces across country borders.
Clearly stated thesis:
Evidence from the readings:
Looking at China. Specifically the Nationalists fought the CCP.
The united states, relatively nationalist, supported the nationalist party in the civil war in China.
The united states’ constant wrestling with the Soviet Union.
In 1945, the Nationalists weren’t interested in sharing power with the CCP.
“Nationalism would intensify anti-colonial feelings, speed the rapid triumph of liberation movements, and inspire some of the major revolutions of the postwar era, including China’s and Cuba’s”
Nationalist countries really only recognize other nationalist countries because they see communist countries as headless and lacking in vigor.
“Sharpening the demands for change was pervasive nationalist resentment against U.S. domination.” Change after WWII about inequalities and fascism. It’s almost as if communism needed an enemy in order to rise up.
Arbenz was the president of Guatemala: Arbenz was not alone in resenting US arrogance and attributing Guatemala’s economic backwardness, at least in part, to the dominant influence of American capitalists and their alliance with the landed elite.
The united states sent the CIA to destroy the army protecting the communist party in Guatemala.
Nationalist aligns everyone by geography, communism aligns everyone by class.
Mao said in 1948 after his party, the CCP, came into power that “Our nation will never again be an insulted nation”. This suggests that Mao was nationalist.
Similarities exist between Nationalism and Communism, both result in the unity of people, one (nationalism) is simply more geographically specific than the other. But, the importance is not the result, but the intent (as this is what yields incompatibility and conflict).