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The role of the Individual in a Regime of terror - Essay Example

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Clients Name Name of Professor Name of Class Date The Role of the Individual in a Regime of Terror Stalinist Russia fell into a state of terror when the social rules began to become violated on the whim of the state. In order to assert his own reality upon the people of his nation, Joseph Stalin began to use arrest and torture as a way in which to create a sense of control over the thoughts of his people…
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The role of the Individual in a Regime of terror
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"The role of the Individual in a Regime of terror"

The individual is a vital part of the experience of terror as it is the willingness of the individual to abandon principles and join the collective that allows for the control to be asserted through terroristic techniques to control a culture. Terror is a method of control through which an authority sacrifices some in order to instill the fear that anyone could be next. The force of terror is not what is done to those who are directly hurt by terroristic actions, but in the flow of fear that engorges the sense of security with sludge that disrupts the belief of safety within a culture. That kind of fear will drive out principles, loyalties, and faith in the system. There are two kinds of victims in a terrorist regime. The first is the victim who is directly assaulted, their life torn asunder in order to serve as an example to the masses. The second victim lies within the masses, each individual life structured by the fear that he or she may be next within a collective of fear. The strongest power of terror as a force among a people is in the spread among the masses of those fears. It is the individual’s need to preserve his or her self that becomes the fuel that spreads that fear across a culture. Ulam discusses how the control of people through terror will occur. He states that “absolute power joined to an ideology…is the root cause of the evil of our times” (Ulam 316). He goes on to relate how the tragedy of Stalin’s regime is in how not only the physical being of the individuals within the realm were conquered, but the minds of the people were spiraled toward the control of Stalin. Ulam states that “through terror Stalin almost succeeded in imposing his own version of reality on an entire nation” (320). The effect of creating a state of terror is to create a control on how individuals will act within that state. Stalin creates a world of his own by instilling within the people a fear of being contradictory to his vision. Although individuals were taken and tortured, they were not directly killed because it was through their continuation in a state of agony that the example was made to the rest of the nation. Marx stated that “The classes and the races too weak to master the conditions of life must give way…they must perish in the revolutionary holocaust”. This belief backs the idea that in order to create revolution, some must be sacrificed who cannot conform to the spirit of that revolution. This statement suggests that revolution means conformity and it is through oppression that revolutionary thought is propagated. What happens to the individual is the key to the creation of terror. The mass terror story is only as powerful as the story of the individual who serves as an example. Terror engulfs a culture of people when fairness becomes immaterial to experience. A sense of security is created in a state through a sense that the world is fair and that as long as the rules are followed, safety is achieved. Terror becomes a tool of ideology when the state of fairness becomes unstable. The individual, however, has the opportunity to create their own stability within difficult circumstances. In Gulag by Anne Applebaum she relates the stories of those working in the prison camps, suggesting that work ethic was relatable to the level of experience that the individual had within the Read More
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