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To what extent is it accurate to describe the Soviet Union as a totalitarian empire - Essay Example

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The extent to which it is accurate to describe the Soviet Union as a totalitarian empire is the subject of much debate between revisionist and totalitarian theorists. …
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To what extent is it accurate to describe the Soviet Union as a totalitarian empire
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Download file to see previous pages its political ideology and practices were in large part a result of the Cold War which froze Soviet society in a manner that was both “defensive” and “repressive”. For the most part revisionists argue that the characterization of the Soviet Union as a totalitarian empire was a mere matter of the West and particularly the US labeling its post-war enemy.

It is submitted that there are certainly periods in Soviet history in which intermittent and often protracted reigns of terror accurately present the Soviet Union as a totalitarian empire. The Bolshevik reign of terror from 1918 -1922 under Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin’s authoritarian rule from 1922-1953 were inescapably totalitarian in nature. However, to carry over Bolshevism and Stalinism over to Communism is unfair and does not accurately depict the true nature of the Soviet Union as an empire as a whole. In other words, under Bolshevism and Stalinism, it is accurate to describe the Soviet Union as a totalitarian empire. However, in the post-Stalin era and up to the Cold War, it is largely incorrect to characterize the Soviet Union as a totalitarian empire and any such label may be largely self-serving. This paper demonstrates this conclusion by analyzing the totalitarian and revisionist debates on the issues.

The theory of totalitarianism first emerged during the 1930s and the 1940s and encapsulated a Western ideology of “the total state” and was largely used to characterize the dictatorships of Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin. From the Western perspective, Hitler’s Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Communist Soviet Union epitomized the totalitarian state. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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