Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions
Prereq: Read the WSWS.ORG
World capitalist order, established by the US at the end of World War II and based on its economic hegemony, has crashed and the United States is at the center of economic and political convulsions. The American ruling elite is trying to reverse its long-term economic decline through frenetic military interventions in Ukraine, the Middle East and elsewhere, and by exporting its crisis to competitors. Inside the US the ruling oligarchy is dismantling all our democratic institutions and rights. Collapse of the Soviet Union and other so-called "socialist" states has exacerbated rivalries among the advanced capitalist countries and flashpoints of future wars are growing around the world.
2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the Russian revolution and this class series will be devoted mainly to the history of Russia and the Soviet Union. We strongly suggest these readings: wsws.org, the Marxist daily newspaper; Leon Trotsky's books: "History of the Russian revolution" and "Revolution Betrayed".
Contact: Felix Kreisel, NW21-109, 617 253-8625, FJK@MIT.EDU
American "democracy" has a new face: Trump. We are seeing the collapse of the two-party system as both parties fielded their most hated candidates. Our mad rulers want to impoverish and enslave the American workers to make American capitalism competitive. Abroad, the ruling elite is provoking endless new wars in a desperate attempt to reverse its economic decline and conquer the world.
The election of Donald Trump, its meaning for the world and in Russia. Current tensions with the US and NATO. World historic significance of the Russian revolution 100 years on.
History of the huge empire of the tsars and of its collapse. Dead end of capitalist development of Russia, emergence of the revolutionary working class and the Bolsheviks. What was the Bolshevik program?
Suggested reading: Trotsky's "History of the Russian Revolution".
We shall introduce and view a documentary film "From Tsar to Lenin", with original footage from the Russian Revolution. The preview can be seen here: http://tsartolenin.com/ The film will be followed by discussion. Suggested reading: Trotsky's "History of the Russian Revolution".
We shall examine the early history of the Soviet state, from 1917 till the Nazi invasion of 1941. The two revolutions of 1917, the Civil War, its internal contradictions, great strides forward, achievements and bitter defeats, the ruling Stalinist regime's crimes against its own people and its betrayal of socialism. Suggested reading: Leon Trotsky's "The Revolution Betrayed".
Soviet Union during and following World War II. Division of Europe marked a grand bargain of Stalinism with imperialism. While Stalin agreed to restore capitalism in the West, the US and Britain agreed to Soviet Union's domination in the East. We shall examine the history of the Cold War, the post-war decades in the life of the Soviet Union and its satellites, and the unravelling of this setup.
A Russian journalist will describe the changes in life and economy in one region of southern Russia over the quarter century of capitalist restoration.
Three years ago the West had overthrown an elected government in Kiev using militant and agressive nationalists as shock troops. Since then, Ukraine's economy has collapsed, regional divisions are tearing the country apart, and the ruling elites have only one remedy: militant nationalism and war.