By Michael Geyer, Sheila Fitzpatrick
In essays written together through experts on Soviet and German background, the participants to this booklet reconsider and remodel the character of Stalinism and Nazism and determine a brand new technique for viewing their histories that is going way past the now-outdated twentieth-century types of totalitarianism, ideology, and character. Doing the exertions of comparability provides us the capacity to check the historicity of the 2 notable regimes and the wreckage they've got left. With the top of the chilly warfare and the cave in of the Soviet Union, students of Europe are not any longer harassed with the political luggage that constricted examine and conditioned interpretation and feature entry to hitherto closed files. The time is correct for a clean examine the 2 great dictatorships of the 20 th century and for a go back to the unique motive of proposal on totalitarian regimes - knowing the intertwined trajectories of socialism and nationalism in eu and international historical past.
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Additional resources for Cambridge Beyond Totalitarianism Stalinism And Nazism Compared
Overy, The Dictators: Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004); Gellately, Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe. 90 On one hand, the two regimes, despite their mutual and implacable ideological enmity, appear so incredibly similar that it seems only a matter of putting the two sides together to establish their commonality. Yes, their worldviews were inimical. But the fact that they both were “ideology”driven joins them together, or so it is argued.
They also tentatively point to the transnational quality of these ascriptive categories and note their intrinsic differences. Class, after all, is a universal category, whereas race is categorically not. They are, however, skeptical of the more far-reaching claims of a categorical confusion (in which each regime takes over attributes of the other) and, instead, emphasize the effectiveness of the nation remade in war to create distinct postwar national identities. The double irony is that not only was it war and sacrifice that ultimately ascribed identity, but that the more exclusive German-volkish ¨ identity mutated into a cosmopolitan transnationalism after defeat, while the universal ideals of class disappeared into Soviet nationalism and, as far as Eastern Europe was concerned, imperialism.
They appeared unprecedented and unpredictable in their utter ruthlessness. 88 Arendt, Friedrich, and Castoriadis/Lefort are worlds apart analytically and politically. However, putting the Nazi and the Soviet regime together seemed to all of them the intelligent thing to do, because these regimes appeared to them both frightening and unprecedented – and while we may no longer experience that fear or, for that matter, the puzzlement, the historicity of the experience reflects on the subject matter.
Cambridge Beyond Totalitarianism Stalinism And Nazism Compared by Michael Geyer, Sheila Fitzpatrick