08. The legacy of the Cold War part 1: the post-World War II context

08. The legacy of the Cold War part 1: the post-World War II context

00:00 / 00:58:05

“…social democracy recognizes the need for the state to put some band-aids on some sores, right? Democratic socialism comes along and says, that doesn’t work. That’s not enough. That really, that we need to change society institutionally.”

—big mike

Listen: iTunes, Spotify, Mixcloud | Transcript

In this episode:

00:00 A brief recap of last episode: how can the uprising of communism and fascism in the 20th century be seen as responses to the crises of capitalism?

05:26 Why is it important for us to think about the history of the Cold War, and how we think about the history of the Cold War (and beforehand)? Why was the Russian Revolution such a massive, world-historical event?

12:50 How does the Western response to the Russian Revolution (and the ensuing civil war) shape the trajectory of Soviet communism towards state power? How does the need to accumulate capital lead to a communism that, when lived on the ground, is essentially like fascism?

26:14 How does the brief, tenuous alliance between the Soviet Union and the U.S. during World War II collapse into the Cold War? Post-WWII, how and why do perceptions form, at least in Northern and Western Europe, of communism as more viable and powerful than capitalism, a perception immensely foreign to us in the U.S.? How does this lead to the rise of social democracy, or at least social democratic party and policy, in Europe?

35:26 What’s social democracy, and how does it differ from ‘ameliorated capitalism’? How is the role of charities in ameliorated capitalism similar to the role of the state in social democracy?

39:29 What is the move that takes us from social democracy to democratic socialism? Why is a fundamental restructuring and redistribution of resources necessary to democratic socialism, and what are some historical examples of this?

46:31 If America is heading towards further and further privatization, how does that create problems over who has the power to make decisions over economic and political life? How do those tensions over equality of power also exist in a democratic socialist society in which the state has control over resources and distribution?

56:26 If we’re going to have the structural changes needed to face our crises and still respect everyone’s autonomy? How will this require changes in the way we live, and the way we think about how we live?

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