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Individual & Society: Stalin ~ Hitler ~ Mussolini

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Individual & Society: Stalin ~ Hitler ~ Mussolini

The relationship between the individual and society in Europe in the early 20th century, as it pertained to Fascism, Nazism, and Totalitarianism, was based primarily on the fact that there was no individual in the eyes of the state. Individual liberties and expressions were eliminated in order to improve the welfare of the country. Leaders taught conventional ideals and murdered enemies, so as to create one state, composed of individuals whose lives were involuntarily centered around the creation of that State.

In 1922, Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the Russian Communist party, suffered the first of many strokes that would relieve him of his authority. After leading the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, Lenin had established Communism to reinstate order in the crumbling Russia and protect the rights of the oppressed proletariat. He believed that, only in a Communist society, "'the state ceases to exist,' and 'it becomes possible to speak of freedom.'"1 Lenin stood by the idea that Communism would "render the state absolutely unnecessary" because "no one in the sense of a class" would be suppressed.2

Lenin's successor, Josef Stalin, took the elimination of proletarian suppression to extremes. Stalin and Leon Trotsky-who was with Lenin in forming the Russian Revolution and led the Red Army in the Civil War of 1918-vied for leadership of the Communist party after Lenin's stroke. Although Trotsky seemed to be the inevitable successor, Stalin's status as general secretary of the Communist party gave him "control over the administrative levers of the party" and "allowed him to eliminate all rivals."3 Stalin relieved Trotsky of his authority in the Communist party and exiled him t...

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...e Hall, 1996), 263.

2. Ibid., p. 264.

3. Ibid., p. 266.

4. Ibid., p. 267.

5. Ibid., p. 272.

6. Ibid.

7. Ibid., p. 279.

8. Ibid.

9. Ibid., p. 283.

10. Ibid., p. 284.

11. Donald Kagan, et al, The Western Heritage, Brief Edition, Volume II, Since 1715

(Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996), 644.

12. Ibid., p. 646.

13. Perry M. Rogers, Aspects of Western Civilization: Problems and Sources in History.

(Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1996), 300-301.

14. Ibid., p. 301.

15. Ibid.

16. Ibid.

17. Donald Kagan, et al, The Western Heritage, Brief Edition, Volume II, Since 1715

(Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996), 653.

18. Perry M. Rogers, Aspects of Western Civilization: Problems and Sources in History.

(Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1996), 316.

19. Ibid., p. 328.
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