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21. Stalinism

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Uploaded on Sep 2, 2009

European Civilization, 1648-1945 (HIST 202)

One of the central questions in assessing Stalinism is whether or not the abuses of the latter were already present in the first years of the Russian Revolution. The archival evidence suggests that this is partly the case, and that even in its early stages Soviet Russia actively persecuted not just those who were believed to have profited unfairly, without laboring, but also non-Russian ethnic groups. Stalin, although not an ethnic Russian himself, was committed to the assimilation of national identity, and universal identification with the Soviet State. This commitment, coupled with his paranoia, lead to executions and deportations aimed at solidifying the state through exclusion of "undesirable" or politically suspect elements. Throughout years of economic hardship and violent purges, Soviet rhetoric consistently emphasized a glorious future in order to justify the miseries of the present. Such a future proved, in many ways, to be an illusion.

00:00 - Chapter 1. The Formation of the Leninist State: Democratic Centralism and the New Economic Policy
12:25 - Chapter 2. From Leninism to Stalinism
25:03 - Chapter 3. Societies of Exclusion
38:07 - Chapter 4. The Vision of the Radiant Future: High Hopes and Hard Reality

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Fall 2008.

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