By Michael David-Fox
Discussions of Soviet modernity have tended to work out the Soviet nation both as an archaic holdover from the Russian previous, or as in basic terms one other type of traditional modernity. David-Fox as a substitute considers the Soviet Union in its personal light—as a seismic shift from tsarist society that attracted influential viewers from the pacifist Left to the fascist correct. by way of reassembling Russian legacies, as he exhibits, the Soviet procedure developed right into a complicated “intelligentsia-statist” shape that brought an array of novel agendas and practices, many embodied within the detailed constructions of the party-state. Crossing Borders demonstrates the want for a brand new interpretation of the Russian-Soviet ancient trajectory—one that moves a stability among the actual and the universal.
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Additional info for Crossing Borders: Modernity, Ideology, and Culture in Russia and the Soviet Union
For example, a study by Götz Aly and Susanne Heim stressed the economic and demographic motivations behind the Holocaust, thus locating its impetus in the rationality and utilitarianism of capitalism previously emphasized by the intellectuals of the Frankfurt School. 25 Those first making the case for Stalinist modernity did not confront the fact that earlier arguments for Nazi modernity were controversial for containing a certain critique of modern civilization, which enabled illiberal atrocities.
Second, the post-Soviet engagement with modernity in the Russian and Soviet context by its very nature necessitated not associating modernity exclusively with liberal democracy and the market, themselves tightly linked to the history of the West. For the Russian/Soviet field, the embrace of modernity (and, by implication, multiple roads to modernity) meant that historians, whether by intention or not, began to operate on three macro-levels of analysis: the generic, the illiberal, and the civilizational.
26 In this sense, a tacit political implication lurked just below the surface in certain parts of the post-Soviet literature, the same one that in its day so exercised the German critics of Nazi modernity: if a regime so murderous is identified so closely with processes common to modernity in the West, then modernity itself in some sense bears the burden of the regime’s horrors, rather than factors or aberrations specific to the regime or country. ”27 Other writers argued not for illiberal comparisons but for the systemic, oppressive sameness of modernity regardless of the political or ideological order.
Crossing Borders: Modernity, Ideology, and Culture in Russia and the Soviet Union by Michael David-Fox