Thursday, March 15, 2007

Why was the general so shocked to hear that Tietjen is a socialist?

a propaganda postcard of WWI illustrating Lenin and socialism, titled "end of puppet show"

"Of course, refusing property is a sign of being one of these fellows" (443)
"But...give all his goods to the poor!" (444)

- Socialism is defined as production being owned by the workers rather than by the rich minorities. A socialist society can control production unlike capitalism and production is for the common good rather than for individual profit. This way, workers are also owners and recieve the "full fruits" of their labour by participating fully.

- Therefore, it makes sense that Tietjen is refusing wealth as socialists believe that it is wrong for one individual to be wealthy, everyone should be equally wealthy in a socialist society.

"dirty minded Socialist" (442)

- socialism was significant in Germany. The following is a quotation during the ends of WWI from German politician (and president during 1919-1925), Friedrich Ebert:
"Germany can still do the world many services. It was a German who gave the workers of the world scientific Socialism. We are on the way to leading the world once again in Socialism, since we serve that Socialism which alone can be permanent, which increases the prosperity and the Kultur of the people - Socialism in process of realization."

- The largest socialist party, SPD, had become quite popular in Germany leading up to the first world war, and it became the largest party in 1914.

- Socialism was also linked to being unpatriotic as social class was much more important than country. They had many anti-war movements that expressed how the war heightened extremem patriotism and racism. Moreover, many socialists opposed how ridiculously patriotic the government was.
- As a Military General of Great Britian, socialism was utterly disgusting because it was linked to the enemy and not having the loyalty to support the country.

"I always knew he had a screw loose...But...Not a Socialist!" (442)

- The socialists demonstrated many anti-war movements during WWI, especially when it came from workers or students who felt that the society was barbaric for fighting. They were upset that the taxes were raised, welfare was cut, presses were censored and conscriptions were introduced. They were especially angry at how the war effected workers, such as lowered wages, lengthened working hours and strikes were banned.

- They worked to stop WWI by questioning how to get rid of the system which produces war and what caused the war in the first place. Lenin, a Russian revolutionary and later the leader of the October Revolution, argued that wars cannot be abolished unless classes are abolished and socialism is created. For Lenin and the socialists, the most effective way of fighting against the war was to intensify the struggle against the ruling classes.

- Socialists believed that workers can change society and the war will end by the struggle between the working class and the ruling class. In a way, WWI did end in this way as the revolution took place in Russia and Great Britian lost most of it's upper class members.

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