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Social Darwinism

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Question1.

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The Soviet Union deteriorated towards the end of 1991. There are lots of reasons that led to the disintegration of the union.  This demise stunned several people all over the world.  Its dissolution also brought the Cold War to an end. People started arguing that the demise was because of some governments (Marples, 2004). However, the real causes of the Union’s deterioration are deeply rooted in its own political dynamics.  In this case, the policies as well as politics of the Western politicians should be ignored for the better understanding some of these causes. To begin with, the stagnation of the economy began earlier in the 1980s and contributed to this issue. There were strains on the economy that could not be controlled by mere leaders.  There was need to deal with this issue in order to over-turn the economic crises. The state planners were not able to manage the Soviet’s economy.  Corruption and technological lag interfered with the process of development in the Union.  The officials became dishonest and frequently provided false information to the economic planners. This meant that no one could diagnose the real problems and design the remedy. The quality of lives during the Soviet times became poor day by day (Darraj, 2010). Computer was not embraced by the leaders. It was difficult to compete technologically with other countries. The life expectancy decreased as the economy became uncertain. The USSR was, however, able to enjoy the military superiority because they relied on the Western mechanization. Ronald Reagan predicted that Soviet Union would die its natural death if the West withdrew their financial support.  There was no need to apply force to defeat the Union. The fall was coming from within. Afghan quagmire played minor role in the deterioration of the USSR.  The support that Afghans received from America and the Arab Guerillas became a significant blow to the Soviets. Several lives were lost during the battle.  They had to spend a lot of cash to redeem themselves but it was too late. Initially, they supported the Afghan government and even spplied them with war machines and a great number of troops. Later, this support has changed to invasion. 

The reforms of Gorbachev to restructure the economy after succeeding Chernenko in 1985 were not brilliant. The period of reforms was called “perestroika”. He realized that there was need to improve economy of the Soviet Union. Free markets were launched while Gorbachev was trying to save the economy. However, this was not enough to change the economy completely.  He encouraged people to express their thoughts and even hold openly intellectual debates (Darraj, 2010). During late 1980s, Gorbachev realized that he had to deal with both social and political schemes to improve the status of the Soviets. By permitting openness, especially with the media, there were a lot of revelations to the public. The public understood that the regime was not worthy of support as there were failures in health sectors, and leadership systems among others.  The strong party members opposed to all these reforms especially to democracy and decentralization of politics. Some members expressed their protests to resign from being party officials. The political reforms became successful so the rebels formed a new political class. This group, however, had no intentions to save the Soviet Union. Instead, they made it collapse as they destroyed the mechanisms of Communist Party. The local nationalism instilled selfishness among these leaders as well.  In order to understand these issues, a research on the internal Soviet history should be conducted.

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Question 2.

Industrialism has declined in Europe probably because of the technological progress that worked efficiently.  This enhanced the productivity as the output equally increased.  On the other hand, these innovations replaced the human labor and this meant that capital had to swell.  When this happens for a long period of time, then profit decreases. Another factor that may also contribute to decline of industrialization is restructuring economy (Sivers, & Desnoyers, 2012). Infrastructure improvements such as communiication, transportation networks as well as information, technology may also result in deindustrialization. In order to understand the issue of deindustrialization, a research on the countries that are affected and the history of the profits that has been accumulated within the years should be conducted.

3. How does division of labor, religion and social Darwinism relate to social behavior and organization in society?

According to Emile Durkheim, division of labor led to social integration of individuals in the society. The behavior of individuals depends on the level of integration. He argued that multiplicity of individuals created societies that have either different or similar ways of life. Through mechanical solidarity where people feel same emotions, they are not differentiated in any way. Organic solidarity shows how consensus between individuals comes from differentiation. Weber believed that bureaucracy involved people doing rational social actions. He also believed bureaucratic organizations made up modern industrial societies (Weber, Henderson, and Parsons, 2012). Spencer argued that organization in society is depended on capability and intelligence to survive. Over time, societies improved because less capable generations have died remaining only the capable ones (Spencer, 1963).

4. What were some of the basic theories of these sociologists?

Max W. focused on religion as the central force in social change. His comparison of the Roman Catholic and protestant countries showed that Protestantism undermined people’s spiritual security. Romans believed they were church members on the road to heaven unlike the Protestants who started to live frugal lives and save money in order to make more. This, according to Weber, created capitalism. Herbert Spencer believed that helping the lower class is interference in the natural process (Spencer, 1969). The fittest members will survive and continue the society. This may not be true if “well-wishers” assist the less fortunate to survive. This principle he called survival of the fittest.

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