What are the Primary Differences Between Leninism and Marxism?

Karl Marx was one of the key figures in the creation of the political ideology of communism. Vladimir Lenin on the other hand was the key orchestrator of the Revolution in Russia, which led to the founding of a new communistic government in Russia. Though Lenin acquired many of his beliefs and ideas from Marx himself, he added his own twist to the idea of communism, which is commonly known as Leninism. Bringing up the question: what are the primary differences between Leninism and Marxism?

The primary difference between Leninism and Marxism is that Marxism states the belief that communism will happen inevitably. Due to communism being the ideal political form of organization it will occur in the natural flow of history. Leninism on the other hand stated the opposite of the belief on how communism would be embodied into society. Lenin believed that society would never adopt communism on its own, that it needed a push for it to be embodied into society. People would never adopt communism on their own so they had to be forced to adopt it.

In conclusion, the primary differences between Leninism and Marxism was the belief in how communism would be embodied in society. Marx believed that society would ultimately adopt communism eventually, and Lenin believed that people would never adopt communism on their own, and the only way they would adopt it is if they were pushed to do so.

How Have Some Historians Argued that the Peace Settlement at the End of World War I Helped Pave the Way For World War II?

World War I officially ended in late 1918. Due to it being the end of a major war each country involved had to discuss and come up with specific arrangements for going forward. The main countries that came together that discussed the peace settlement were: France, Britain, United States, and Italy. Recent historians have argued that the peace settlement at the end of World War I helped pave the way for World War II, how did they argue this point?

The first issue that arose with the peace settlement was Germany not being allowed to be involved in any of the peace settlement discussions directly. This put Germany into a difficult position because they themselves could not directly discuss the terms of peace. The outcome of the peace settlement for Germany was that the country itself was broken into smaller parts, and divided between the countries of Italy, France, and Poland. Germany lost most of its outside territories and colonies. This in and of itself left much room for resentment and anger in the German people. Thus this was how some historians argued that the peace settlement at the end of World War I helped pave the way for World War II.

What was Kulturkampf?

Germany during the later half of the 19th century was under the control of the Prussians which was led by a man named Otto von Bismarck(1815-1898). Bismarck was heavily involved in the idea of reforming and changing Germany into a more modern country. A term that was used during this time in regards to Bismarck and his reforms to Germany is the term, Kulturkampf? What was Kulturkampf?

Kulturkampf means “culture war,” and was used to refer to the conflict between the Prussians and Catholics. This conflict began thanks to Bismarck seeing the Catholics as being backward, and needed to be reformed. This struggle between the two groups was mainly a struggle on religious and educational control, which the Catholic church had heavy influence upon.

In conclusion, Kulturkampf refers to the “culture war,” or conflict between the Catholics and Prussians in Germany during the later period of the 19th century. 

What Arguments Does Gladstone Make in Favor of Home Rule for Ireland?

William Gladstone was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1868-1894. He was primarily interested in domestic affairs, especially ones involving Ireland, which during this time, did not have good relations with England. Ireland at the time endured some unfair policies which were enforced by the English, such as a tax for Irish Catholics that had to be paid to the Protestant Church. Gladstone believed that Ireland should have some independence from England, and made arguments in favor of home rule for Ireland. What were the arguments that Gladstone made in favor of home rule for Ireland?

The first argument that Gladstone made was that home rule for Ireland would help improve the suffering relations between Ireland and England. He pointed out that putting more regulations, and unfair policies upon the Irish their relationship with Ireland would suffer further, and leave an opening for the Irish to rebel against England. His other argument was that giving more freedoms and the power of home rule to the Irish would prevent them from separating from Britain altogether. 

Though the arguments of Gladstone were reasonable enough, and may have helped with the poor relationship between Ireland and England, nothing was actually done. England and Ireland’s relationship continued to suffer on, which led to further conflicts down the line.

What were the Key Steps in the Process of German Unification?

Germany before 1871 was not a unified country, instead Germany consisted of smaller states that had very little in common culturally. This is rather similar to how things were in Italy. This was all to change though when a German man named Otto von Bismarck, who held Prussia’s interest in high regard wanted the situation in Germany to change.

The key steps in the process of German unification were three wars, which were carried out by Bismarck. The first war out of the three was between Denmark and Prussia/Austria, Austria ended up gaining some new territories from Denmark. Bismarck had much contempt towards Austria, which was especially seen when Prussia turned against Austria in the second war out of the three. Prussia defeated Austria, which made them an even stronger European power. France was not exactly thrilled by Prussia’s sudden advancement, which led to the third and final war which was between France and Prussia. Prussia was victorious, and ended up gaining more territory. This in turn was how Bismarck was able to succeed in the unifying of Germany. Thus, these were the key steps in the process of German unification.

What were the Key Steps in the Process of Italian Unification

Before Italy was a unified country like it is today, Italy actually was divided into many states, which were almost entirely independent from each other. This was the case in Italy for many centuries until 1852 when Count Camillo di Cavour(who was in favor of Italian unification), became prime minister of the Italian state of Piedmont, which brought forth the key steps in the process of Italian Unification.

Cavour, in an attempt to be in the good favor of France which was under the rule of Napoleon III at the time, contributed some troops to the Crimean War effort on the side of France. This was relatively successful. Eventually when Austria attempted to take Piedmont a couple of years later France stepped in to prevent Austria from taking the state. Cavour because of this was able to gain the Italian state of Lombardy which had been under the control of Austria. Cavour was unsatisfied with just Lombardy and began building fraudulent plebiscites in Tuscany and Romanga, to attempt to persuade them to join the unification of Italy.

A very important turning point though was when the very respected general Giuseppe Garibaldi took some of the southern Italian states and gifted them to Piedmont. In the later portion of the 1860s the Papal states and Venetia were claimed by Piedmont, this was the final step in the Italian unification.

To conclude these were the key steps in the unification of Italy, to what it is as a country today. 

Two Weak Points in the Views of Karl Marx

Karl Marx was an economic and political philosopher during the 19th century. He was a significant advocate of the political ideology of communism. Though the ideas in the ideology of communism were nothing new, Marx was important in compiling these ideas and making them influential. Though many can agree that communism does not work and is a faulty ideology, it is important to point out the specific points in an ideology, which moves on to the question: what are two weak points in the views of Karl Marx?

It is difficult to point out two specific weak points of the beliefs of Marx because communism has many weak points, and is rather impossible to carry out fully. One weak point in the views of Marx is how he believed that people in a communistic society can choose whatever career or job they want at any time. For example, say if I was good at writing, I could have a career in writing, but if I am also skilled at baking, that can also be a job for me. This is rather impossible in a communistic economy. In a communistic economy, everything is pre-planned, which means that there is little room for people to be changing careers constantly, whenever they please.

Another weak point in Marx’s viewpoint is his view on business owners or bosses. He believed that bosses were selfish, money-hungry, and lazy. This in and of itself is a very large assumption that by no means applies to most bosses. To become a boss, business owner, or manager in a capitalistic economy a person must work his way up. Once a person becomes a boss, that does not mean that they just sit around taking advantage of people, they actually probably have more work on their plate now that they are boss. 

In conclusion, there are many weak points in the views of Karl Marx; two of these weak points are: people are able to switch jobs or careers whenever they want in a communistic society, and that business owners, bosses, or managers are selfish, money-hungry, and lazy. Both of these views are faulty for numerous reasons and contradict each other within themselves. 

Are Boccaccio’s Decameron and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales Closer in Outlook to Greek and Roman Literature than They are to Hebrew, Christian, and Medieval Literature?

The comparison of pieces of literature to literary genres or other pieces of literature is an educational exercise that helps you better understand the piece of literature you are comparing. Two pieces of literature that were written in a similar time period(late medieval period), are Boccaccio’s Decameron and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. In the note of comparison, are Boccaccio’s Decameron and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales closer in outlook to Greek and Roman literature than they are to Hebrew, Christian, and Medieval Literature?

Boccaccio’s Decameron, is a story collection written in the late 14th century during the period of the catastrophic Black Death or Bubonic Plague. The story collection begins with a story of ten men and women who attempt to escape the Black Death by staying in an abandoned home. During their stay in this abandoned house, these ten individuals over the course of the days each share a story each day, which is thus why there are a total of 100 stories in the collection. Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is another late medieval period, story collection. Similar to the Decameron the Canterbury Tales is a story collection that begins with twenty-nine pilgrims who are journeying to a shrine of a Saint. These pilgrims decide to each share a couple of stories each day of the journey. The collection itself only contained twenty-four stories which most likely meant that Chaucer did not finish the collection. Both of these pieces of literature are very similar to each other in style, structure, and even context; but are these pieces of literature closer in outlook to Greek and Roman literature than they are to Hebrew, Christian, and Medieval Literature?

Greek literature, meaning literature written in the period of ancient Greece is a literary period that comprised of epic poems, plays, and prose. Ancient Greek literature usually revolved around the mythological, or revolved around philosophic thought. Examples of Ancient Greek literature include the famous and well-known Iliad and Odyssey by Homer, to The Republic, by Plato. Similar to ancient Greek literature is the genre of Roman Literature; literature written in the period of the Roman empire. Like ancient Greek literature; Roman literature was a literary period that had a mythological light or leaned to a more intellectual or philosophical light. Some Roman literature pieces also had a warlike theme to them. War was a key aspect of the culture of the Romans. Many of the pieces of literature written in the Roman period were inspired by the previous ancient Greek literary pieces. An example of Roman Literature is the, Aeneid: an epic poem written by Virgil.

Hebrew literature was literature mainly written by the Hebrews. This area of literature consisted of a variety of topics but the common theme was that these topics had a religious theme to them. On the note of religious themes Christain literature also highly revolved around religion. A key example of Christain literature is the Christian Bible itself, which is the key book that the majority of Christians today use as a written guide for their faith. A subset of Christian you could say is seen in Medieval literature which had many literary pieces that had Christian themes, even in the pieces of literature that in and of themselves would not be considered religious. Medieval literature is a vast collection of literature with a variety of pieces, which either consist of myth-like stories with a moral ending, religious stories, etc. 

But how do these genres of literature listed above apply to Decameron and the Canterbury Tales? Which literary style is most similar in outlook to the Decameron and the Canterbury Tales? Regardless, both of these pieces of literature because they were written in the medieval period would fall into the category of medieval literature, which is a wide area of literature. An example of a story in the Decameron itself is a story of a sinful man who on his deathbed provides a false confession to a priest. The priest who believed this false confession in turn influenced this sinful man to become a Saint. Though at first, this story would seem to fit the category of Christian literature this story itself shows the loss of faith in the structure of the Church. Clearly, how could one trust the judgment of the Church if the Church allowed this sinful man to become a Saint? Many of the stories in this collection use satire to show the shortcomings or flaws of the Catholic Church during that period. In the Decameron, there are many stories that are more secular(do not have religious themes), such as displaying the collapse of society during the Black Death, which in a sense is similar to ancient Greek and even Roman literature.

The Canterbury Tales, like the Decameron, had stories that had Christian themes, even including a widely anti-Semitic story of how a group of Jews killed a young Christian boy. This story even though it does have Christian themes the structure itself makes it clear that it is similar to Greek and Roman Literature. Another story in the Canterbury Tales, which further shows that this collection of stories is similar in outlook to Greek and Roman Literature is the Pardoner’s Tale. This story is about three men who set off to kill Death itself. Ultimately in the end of this story, Death tricks the characters, and the three men end up murdering each other instead. The Pardoner’s Tale, is a story that is clearly not factual and contains similar themes to some of the Greek and Roman myths. If this story had been written in the Greek and Roman periods of literature it would be believable.

With these points in mind, Boccaccio’s Decameron, and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, are medieval literary pieces that are more similar in outlook to Greek and Roman literature than Hebrew and Christian literature. Both of these pieces of literature do have aspects of Christian themes, overall these stories are more secular. Hence, why they are more similar in outlook to Greek and Roman literature. 

If I Were Flying Across the Country, Would I Rather Sit in First Class, or Would I Rather My Parents Give Me the Difference Between the First-Class Fare and the Coach Fare? 

Airline travel is very common today and highly relied on. A downside of airline travel is that it is highly costly, and even the cheapest ticket for the cheapest seat is still very costly. With this in mind, if I were traveling across the country, would I rather sit in first class, or would I rather my parents give me the difference between the first-class fare and the coach fare?

If I had the financial funds or the means to pay for a first-class flight, especially for a flight across the country or overseas I would. A first-class seat is more comfortable than the coach seat which has limited legroom, and in general, is not comfortable to sleep in. Of course, if I did not have the means for a first-class flight I would make the sacrifice for comfort for a standard coach flight. If my parents gave me the difference between the first-class fare and the coach, would I rather sit in first class?

This is a complicated question since it depends on the circumstances. If I was a college student who did not have a lot of money and my parents wanted to give me the difference between the first-class fare and the coach fare I would take their offer and sit in coach. On the other hand, if I had the personal funds to afford a first-class flight I would prefer the first-class option.

In conclusion, if I were flying across the country, and had the means to do so I would sit in first class. On the other hand, if I did not have the funds to fly first class I would rather my parents give me the difference between the first-class fare and the coach fare.

Are Voters Informed? If or Why Not? According to Professor Caplan, is the Problem Ignorance or Irrationality?

Today there is still an ongoing debate on the question: are voters informed? A man who dove into this question and explained it further is Professor Caplan, who went as far to also ask and answer the question: if voters are uninformed is the problem ignorance or irrationality? 

The common agreement is that the majority of voters are uninformed, which is unsurprising. Most voters make many errors in their voting and continue on to make those same mistakes throughout their voting days, the reason why they continue to make the same mistakes is that the consequences are not direct because individual votes do not count. Professor Bryan brought up the question: is the problem with the lack of informed voters due to ignorance or irrationality?

Byran argued that the mistakes that voters make are systemic, not random, in other words, the problem is mainly due to irrationality, not ignorance(though that does not mean that ignorance does not play a role whatsoever). The reason why Byran believed that was because most voting errors are made in the direction of a personal bias. Another reason why voters make errors that relate to irrationality is that “false beliefs are cheap.” Because individual votes do not dictate the outcome of an election, having false political beliefs do not carry much weight and do not really affect the voter’s life. If it did matter to be informed when it comes to voting, and those false beliefs do carry weight and can affect the voter, then most likely most voters would be informed. But that is not the case.

 Voters in general are usually uninformed because the consequences of an individual vote are minuscule to the individual. Professor Caplan believed that the problem in the matter of uninformed voters is due to irrationality, not ignorance.