Reconstruction, Reaction, and Continuing Revolution

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Political Science, Fascism
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Reconstruction, Reaction, and Continuing Revolution: The 1920s and 1930s The West CHAPTER 25

The Waste Land • Heightened anxiety and loss of certainty colored much literature, philosophy and theology, after 1918 • Existentialism taught that existence was a prison and that the universe was devoid of meaning • A sense of absurdity and waste dominated visual arts

Building Something Better • Growth in utopian vision and hope for improvement in literature, art and architecture • Belief that art could serve a social purpose • Celebration of the transforming power of technology - movement and speed • Development of airline and automobile industries, and Hollywood cinema

The Reconstruction of Russia • Between 1917 and 1921, Russia was wracked by civil war and economic disintegration • Bolsheviks turned to authoritarian methods and terror, to impose order • Modification of Marxist theory banned political debate and disagreement • Retreat from communist economic policies

The Reconstruction of Central and Eastern Europe • Continuing ethnic divisions and economic underdevelopment led to the collapse of democracy, across Eastern Europe • A formidable anti-democratic force in the military and bureaucracy endured, in Germany • Resentment of the punitive peace settlement of 1918 and of the economic crisis of 1923-1924 fueled popular support for anti-democratic movements in Germany

The Reconstruction of Gender • Emergence of the “New Woman” physically, economically and sexually independent • Extension of franchise to women and increase in employment opportunities • Strong, concerted effort to re-impose traditional roles by religious, political and commercial leaders

The Fascist Alternative • Fascism - condemned liberalism and socialism, identified the nation as the dominant social reality • Under Benito Mussolini, the fascists transformed Italy into a one-party state that reinforced élite interests • Mussolini utilized modern mass media and ageold rituals to create a cult of personality and an elaborate political theater

The Great Depression and the Spread of Fascism • By 1925, American investment was keeping European economies functioning - US became the financial center of the West • 1929 US stock market crash led to collapse of European economies - the Great Depression became a global event • Political and social disorder of the Great Depression enhanced the appeal of fascism

The Nazi Revolution • Nazism combined fascist ideas with a racialized view of German political history and an apocalyptic vision for Germany • Under Adolf Hitler, Germany became a Nazi dictatorship, with all authority centered in Hitler’s hands • Nazi rule restored economic prosperity and national pride, and promoted a cultural revolution in the German identity • “Nazification” - the violent repression of groups considered biologically inferior, especially Jews

Women and the Radical Right • In fascist ideology, the restoration of order meant the return of women to homes, as wives and mothers • Nazi régime used incentives to encourage motherhood, and systematically excluded women from professional advancement • In Fascist Italy, incentives and penalties to encourage marriage and parenthood targeted both men and women

The Soviet Union Under Stalin • Josef Stalin advocated the total socialization of the economy and fast-paced industrialization • Industrialization was achieved by severe discipline of workers, and forced labor • The Great Purge, 1934-1939 - mass executions and deportations of perceived enemies • Development of a personality cult around Stalin and restoration of Russian nationalism

The Search for Middle Ground • Beginnings of social democratic thought, as a third way between fascism and communism • Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal laid the basis for the US welfare system • John Maynard Keynes articulated a theory of deficit spending to stimulate economic growth, in times of depression

The Spanish Civil War • Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy actively supported the right-wing rebels against the Republican government • Soviet support for the Spanish government split the Republican cause and prevented official support from Britain, France and the US • Defeat of the Republicans became symbolic of the advance of the radical right in Europe

The Expansion of Empire • Creation of new British and French Mandates, in the Middle East • Development of unique national identities and parliamentary autonomy, in British dominions, seen as expanding the West • New emphasis on the necessity of empire for economic prosperity

The Erosion of Empire • Independence of the majority of Ireland, 1921 • Industrialization in the colonies and the Great Depression fueled anti-Western sentiment and nationalist movements • Especially in China, the export of communist ideology from the Soviet Union helped the spread of nationalism

The Question of Westernization • Non-Western nationalists sought political independence and economic modernization • Mustafa Kemal Pasha pursued a policy of nationalism and modernization that attempted to Westernize Turkey • Mohandas Gandhi emphasized Indian customs and identities to build a nationalist movement that pursued non-Western modernization

The Power of Primitive • Following the First World War, many Europeans lost faith in the idea of Western superiority • Freud and Carl Jung’s psychological ideas dissolved the boundary between “civilized” and “primitive” • Influence and celebration of African and Asian traditions in Western intellectual and artistic pursuits

The Kingdom of Corpses • Dramatic re-evaluation of Western cultural and political assumptions • Soviet communism, fascism and Nazism all rejected Western ideas of individual rights and the rule of law • The legacy of war, the global economic crisis and the failure of democracy fueled a sense of despair about Western civilization

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