Thursday, October 18, 2012

Statues of Russia

Who are the people immortalized as statues in Russia?  Or, more accurately, whose statues are allowed to remain standing in Russia these days?   This is, of course, not an exhaustive list, but I found at least the following.

There was a statue of Peter the Great (1672-1725), as a horseman, in St. Petersburg.  He turned Russia into a huge empire.  He tried to turn a medieval Russia into a modern European power.  He was the founder of St. Petersburg, on the Baltic Sea, and moved the Russian capital over there, so that it is more accessible from Europe.  The snake that tries to bite the heel of his horse symbolizes his enemies.

A statue of Karl Marx (1818-1883) stood in Moscow, a couple of streets away from the Kremlin.  In his time, his analysis of the inhuman condition of factory labour led to the development of the theory of dialectic of class struggle - the conflict between the class of wealthy factory owners and the exploited class of factory labourers. He predicted it will lead inevitably to socialism and eventually, communism. He is widely considered the spiritual godfather of the Soviet Union, and Communist China.

“The man selling hats”, actually Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924), stood in a square in St. Petersburg.  He was the leader of the October Revolution in 1917, which overthrew the monarchy in Russia, and brought the Communist into power.  He was widely considered the father of the Soviet Union.

A statue of Georgy Zhukov (1898-1974) stood right outside the Kremlin, much closer to the Kremlin than Marx.  He was told by Stalin to save Leningrad (St. Petersburg) from the German army in the Second World War, and Leningrad did not fall, despite a 900 day siege.  He also led the successful defense of Moscow and Stalingrad.  Later, he led the Red Army to the conquer of Berlin.

A pair of a male and female workers holding up a hammer and a sickle stood in Moscow. The plight of the workers inspired Marx, and gave rise to Socialism and Communism, which is supposed to liberate the workers from exploitation by the wealthy factory owners.

Now that Communism has long triumphed in mainland China, it should have become a paradise for workers.  Why is it that workers are still being exploited by wealthy factory owners in mainland China, much more so than in Capitalist economies?  Doesn't that mean that Communism has failed to liberate the workers from exploitation?  In that case, why do some people still insist on Communism?  Perhaps it isn't really for the benefit for the workers, but rather it is for the benefit of the owners and the people in power?


Anonymous said...

An insightful entry! Congrats!

StephenC said...

Thank you.

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