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5. Communism in the History of the Twentieth Century
About this Lecture
In this lecture, we think about the fate of communism as a political ideology in the twentieth century, focusing in particular on: (i) attempts to bring about communism in the real world, such as in the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, and the issue of realising communism in one state in a capitalist global system; (ii) the tendency towards militarism and autocracy that this brought about; (iii) the Cold War between the capitalist USA and communist Soviet Union; (iv) the collapse of the Soviet Union and the relevance of Marx today.
In this course, Dr Ross Abbinnett (University of Birmingham) explores Karl Marx’s theory of society. In the first lecture, we consider Marx’s analysis of labour, its importance to humanity, and alienation from labour under capitalism. In the second lecture, we look at how Marx approaches history and social change, particularly his base and superstructure model and his notion of modes of production. In the third lecture, we think about Marx’s account of capitalism’s emergence and characteristics. Next, we think about the political forces which lead society from capitalism to communism. In the fifth and final lecture, we consider efforts to bring communism about in the real world, such as those of the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China.
Dr Ross Abbinnett is Senior Lecturer in Social and Political Theory at the University of Birmingham. His recent publications include The Neoliberal Imagination: Politics, Aesthetics, and Economics in the Evolution of Hyper-Industrial Capitalism (2021), The Thought of Bernard Stiegler: Capitalism, Technology and the Politics of Spirit (2018) and Marxism After Modernity: Politics, Technology and Social Transformation (2006).
Cite this Lecture
Abbinnett, R. (2021, August 31). Marxist Social Theory - Communism in the History of the Twentieth Century [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/marxist-social-theory/communism-in-the-history-of-the-twentieth-century
Abbinnett, R. "Marxist Social Theory – Communism in the History of the Twentieth Century." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 31 Aug 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/marxist-social-theory/communism-in-the-history-of-the-twentieth-century