Kristen Rogheh Ghodsee (born April 26, 1970) is an American ethnographer and Professor of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pennsylvania known primarily for her ethnographic work on post-communist Bulgaria as well as being a contributor to the field of postsocialist gender studies. Contrary to the prevailing opinion of most feminist scholars in the 1990s who believed that women would be disproportionately harmed by the collapse of communism, Ghodsee argued that many East European women would actually fare better than men in newly competitive labor markets because of the cultural capital that they had acquired before 1989. She was critical of the role of Western feminist nongovernmental organizations doing work among East European women in the 1990s. She examined the shifting gender relations of Muslim minorities after communism, and the intersections of Islamic beliefs and practices with the ideological remains of Marxism–Leninism.
Kristen Ghodsee in 2011
Kristen Rogheh Ghodsee
April 26, 1970
|Alma mater||University of California at Berkeley|
University of California at Santa Cruz
|Institutions||University of Pennsylvania|
Ghodsee received her B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. She has been awarded numerous research fellowships, including those from the National Science Foundation, Fulbright, the American Council of Learned Societies, the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX), and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research. She was a resident fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS). In 2012, she was elected president of the Society for Humanistic Anthropology.
In 2004, Ghodsee published one of the first articles considering the gendered aspects of the growing nostalgia for the communist era in Eastern Europe. Already beginning in the late 1990s, various scholars were examining the phenomenon of Ostalgie in former East Germany and what had been called “Yugo-nostalgia” in the successor states of the former Yugoslavia. This earlier work on the emergence of communist nostalgia focused on its consumer aspects and considered the phenomenon a necessary phase that post-socialist populations needed to pass through in order to fully break with their communist pasts. In contrast, her concept of "red nostalgia" considered how individual men and women experienced the loss of the real material benefits of the socialist past. Rather than just a wistful glance back at a lost youth, red nostalgia formed the basis of an emerging critique of the political and economic upheavals that characterized the post-socialist era. More recently, Ghodsee has explored the politics of public memory about communism, World War II, and the Bulgarian Holocaust.
In her 2017 book Red Hangover: Legacies of Twentieth-Century Communism, Ghodsee posits that the triumphalist attitudes of Western powers at the end of the Cold War, and the fixation with linking all leftist and socialist political ideals with the horrors of Stalinism, allowed neoliberalism to fill the void, which undermined democratic institutions and reforms, leaving a trail of economic misery, unemployment, hopelessness and rising inequality throughout the former Eastern Bloc and much of the West in the following decades that has fueled the rise of extremist nationalism in both the former and the latter. She says that the time has come "to rethink the democratic project and finally do the work necessary to either rescue it from the death grip of neoliberalism, or replace it with a new political ideal that leads us forward to a new stage of human history."
Ghodsee's later work combines traditional ethnography with a literary sensibility, employing the stylistic conventions of creative nonfiction to produce academic texts that are meant to be accessible to a wider audience. Inspired by the work of Clifford Geertz and the conventions of “thick description”, she is a proponent of “literary ethnography.” This genre uses narrative tension, dialogue and lyrical prose in the presentation of ethnographic data. Furthermore, Ghodsee argues that literary ethnographies are often “documentary ethnographies,” i.e. ethnographies whose primary purpose is to explore the inner working of a particular culture without necessarily subsuming these observations to a specific theoretical agenda.
Ghodsee's third book, Lost in Transition: Ethnographies of Everyday Life After Communism, combines personal ethnographic essays with ethnographic fiction to paint a human portrait of the political and economic transition from communism. While some reviewers have found the book “compelling and highly readable,” and “an enchanting, deeply intimate and experimental ethnographic narrative,” others have faulted the book for telling a story “at the expense of theory.” That the book was judged "remarkably free of academic jargon and neologisms” produced very “mixed feelings” within the scholarly community with one critic stating that “the somewhat unconventional technique of incorporating fiction alongside her [Ghodsee's] ethnographic vignettes feels a bit forced.” Outside of academia, however, one reviewer claimed that Lost in Transition "is very easy to read and is, in fact, impossible to put down, largely because it is so well-written."
Kristen Ghodsee's 2010 book, Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe: Gender, Ethnicity and the Transformation of Islam in Postsocialist Bulgaria was awarded the 2010 Barbara Heldt Prize for the best book by a woman in Slavic/Eurasian/East European Studies, the 2011 Harvard University/Davis Center Book Prize from the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, the 2011 John D. Bell Book Prize from the Bulgarian Studies Association and the 2011 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology from the Society for the Anthropology of Europe of the American Anthropological Association.
Ghodsee also won the 2011 Ethnographic Fiction Prize  from the Society for Humanistic Anthropology for the short story "Tito Trivia," included in her book, Lost in Transition: Ethnographies of Everyday Life After Communism. Together with co-author, Charles Dorn, Ghodsee was awarded the 2012 Best Article Prize from the History of Education Society (HES) for Dorn and Ghodsee's article in the journal Diplomatic History: “The Cold War Politicization of Literacy: UNESCO, Communism, and the World Bank.”
Ghodsee's scholarly work on gender and everyday life during and after socialism has drawn criticism from both Western feminists and communists. In a 2014 essay in the European Journal of Women’s Studies, philosopher Nanette Funk included Ghodsee among a handful of “Revisionist Feminist Scholars” who uncritically tout the achievements of communist era women's organizations, ignoring the oppressive nature of authoritarian regimes in Eastern Europe. Funk argued that the “Feminist Revisionists” are too eager in their “desire to find women’s agency in an anti-capitalist Marxist past,” and that this “leads to distortions” and “making overly bold claims” about the possibilities for feminist activism under communism.
In response, Ghodsee asserts that her scholarship seeks to expand the idea of feminism beyond the attainment of "personal self-actualization", asserting that "if the goal of feminism is to improve women’s lives, along with eliminating discrimination and promoting equality with men, then there is ample room to reconsider what Krassimira Daskalova calls the ‘women-friendly’ policies of state socialist women's organizations." She notes that "the goal of much recent scholarship on state socialist women’s organizations is to show how the communist ideology could lead to real improvements in women’s literacy, education, professional training, as well as access to health care, the extension of paid maternity leave, and a reduction of their economic dependence on men (facts that even Funk does not deny)."
Anti-communism is opposition to communism. Organized anti-communism developed after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and it reached global dimensions during the Cold War, when the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in an intense rivalry. Anti-communism has been an element of movements holding many different political positions, including nationalist, social democratic, liberal, libertarian, conservative, fascist, capitalist, anarchist and even socialist viewpoints.
The first organization specifically dedicated to opposing communism was the Russian White movement, which fought in the Russian Civil War starting in 1918 against the recently established Communist government. The White movement was supported militarily by several allied foreign governments, which represented the first instance of anti-communism as a government policy. Nevertheless, the Communist Red Army defeated the White movement and the Soviet Union was created in 1922. During the existence of the Soviet Union, anti-communism became an important feature of many different political movements and governments across the world.
In the United States, anti-communism came to prominence with the First Red Scare of 1919–1920. During the 1920s and 1930s, opposition to communism in Europe was promoted by conservatives, social democrats, liberals and fascists. Fascist governments rose to prominence as major opponents of communism in the 1930s and they founded the Anti-Comintern Pact in 1936 as an anti-communist alliance. In Asia, the Empire of Japan and the Kuomintang (the Chinese Nationalist Party) were the leading anti-communist forces in this period.
After World War II, fascism ceased to be a major political movement due to the defeat of the Axis powers. The victorious Allies were an international coalition led primarily by the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, but after the war this alliance quickly broke down into two opposing camps: a Communist one led by the Soviet Union and a capitalist one led by the United States. The rivalry between the two sides came to be known as the Cold War and during this period the United States government played a leading role in supporting global anti-communism as part of its containment policy. There were numerous military conflicts between Communists and anti-Communists in various parts of the world, including the Chinese Civil War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Soviet–Afghan War. NATO was founded as an anti-communist military alliance in 1949 and continued throughout the Cold War.
With the Revolutions of 1989 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, most of the world's Communist governments were overthrown and the Cold War ended. Nevertheless, anti-communism remains an important intellectual element of many contemporary political movements and organized anti-communism is a factor in the domestic opposition found to varying degrees within the People's Republic of China and other countries governed by Communist parties.Bulgarian Muslims
The Bulgarian Muslims or Muslim Bulgarians (Bulgarian: Българи-мохамедани, Bǎlgari-mohamedani, as of recently also Българи-мюсюлмани, Bǎlgari-mjusjulmani, locally called pomak, ahryan, poganets, marvak, or poturnak) are Bulgarians of Islamic faith. They are generally thought to be the descendents of the local Slavs who converted to Islam during Ottoman rule. Most scholars have agreed that the Bulgarian Muslims are a "religious group of Bulgarian Slavs who speak Bulgarian as their mother tongue and do not understand Turkish, but whose religion and customs are Islamic". Bulgarian Muslims live mostly in the Rhodopes – Smolyan Province, the southern part of the Pazardzhik and Kardzhali Provinces and the eastern part of the Blagoevgrad Province in Southern Bulgaria. They also live in a group of villages in the Lovech Province in Northern Bulgaria. The name Pomak is pejorative in Bulgarian and is resented by most members of the community, especially by non-practising Muslims. The name adopted and used instead of Pomak is Bulgarian Muslims.Bulgarian Muslims do not represent a homogenous community and have a multitude of ethnic and religious identities. A clear majority of them (127,350 according to the latest census in 2001) declare themselves to be ethnic Bulgarians of Islamic faith. However, a significant percentage, in particular in the Central and Eastern Rhodopes (the Smolyan and Kardzhali Province), are not religious or choose to disassociate themselves from Islam. Thus, the Smolyan Province, which is largely populated by Bulgarian Muslims (approximately 117,000 or 71% of the population according to the Ministry of Interior in 1989), has the highest number of people who did not declare any religion in the 2001 Census—39,003 or 27.8% of the population of the province—compared to a national average of only 3.6%. Considering the insignificant change in the number of Bulgarian Christians (from approximately 47,000 in 1989 to 41,792 in 2001), the total number of ethnic Bulgarians in the province (122,806 or 87.7%) and that only 58,758 people or 41.9% of the population of the province declared to profess Islam in 2001, the vast majority of the undeclared must be of Bulgarian Muslim extraction.A similar phenomenon is observed in the Kardzhali Province (approximately 30,000 Bulgarian Muslims in 1989) and the Lovech Province (approximately 8,000 Bulgarian Muslims in 1989), where the percentage of the undeclared is also well above the national average: 13,430 or 8.2% for Kardzhali and 10,739 or 6.3% for Lovech, respectively. In both provinces, the number of ethnic Bulgarians is higher (for Kardzhali, significantly higher) than the number of Orthodox Christians - 55,930 Bulgarians compared with 35,551 Orthodox Christians for Kardzhali and 152,194 Bulgarians compared with 148,023 Orthodox Christians for Lovech.An additional, though smaller, number of Bulgarian Muslims, also from the Central and Eastern Rhodopes, have converted into Orthodox Christianity or have adopted a Christian identity since 1990. The process of conversion has affected mostly Muslim Bulgarians living among or next to ethnic Turks, i.e. the regions of Nedelino, Kirkovo, Zlatograd and Krumovgrad. In some cases, the conversion has affected whole villages, which have adopted a Christian Bulgarian identity, as in the case of Zabardo in the Chepelare Municipality or the younger generations in a village, as in the case with the village of Pripek in the Dzhebel Municipality. Use of Bulgarian names among Muslims is common. For example, only one-third of the Muslim Bulgarian population of the region of Kirkovo, mostly people aged over 60, have Turkish or Arabic names.Unlike the Bulgarian Muslims in the Central and Eastern Rhodopes, who usually have a Bulgarian identity and are mostly secular Muslims, non-religious or have even adopted Christianity, the ones living on the western fringes of the Rhodopes (in the provinces of Pazardzhik and Blagoevgrad) are strongly religious and have preserved the Muslim customs and clothing. For example, out of 62,431 self-declared Muslims in the Blagoevgrad Province in 2001, 31,857 (more than half) have opted for Turkish ethnicity although the self-declared speakers of Turkish as a mother tongue are only 19,819. Considering that mother tongue in the Bulgarian census is counted on the basis of a declaration of the respondent and not on actual proof of what language this person speaks at home and that an inquiry of the Ministry of the Interior in 1989 gave only 3,689 ethnic Turks and 56,191 Pomaks for the Blagoevgrad Province, it is highly likely that the vast majority of the Turks in the province are actually Pomaks. A similar phenomenon exists in the Pazardzhik Province where there may be between 10,000 and 15,000 Pomaks.
Finally, there are those Bulgarian Muslims who have chosen not to declare their ethnicity in the 2001 Census. The percentage of undeclared in the Smolyan Province (9,696 or 6.9%), the Kardzhali Province (4,565 or 2.8%) and the Blagoevgrad Province (4,242 or 1.2%) is well above the national average of 0.8%. These are most likely to be Muslim Bulgarians who would have opted for another ethnicity, for example "Pomak" or "Muslim", if these were allowed as answers at the census or are unclear themselves about their own ethnic identity.
Due to the multitude of different ethnic and religious identities of the Muslim Bulgarians, it is extremely difficult to calculate the exact number of the members of the community in Bulgaria. An inquiry conducted by the Bulgarian Ministry of the Interior in 1989 estimated their number at 269,000. A summation of the different groups with different religious and ethnic identities (approximately 130,000 Muslim Bulgarians, approximately 55,000-65,000 non-religious Bulgarians, up to 50,000 Muslim Turks, 15,000 to 20,000 undeclared and an unclear number, probably at least several thousands, of Christian Bulgarians) yields approximately the same number. Despite the multitude of different ethnic and religious affiliations, the predominant ethnic identity would be Bulgarian (approximately 200,000 or three-quarters of the total population) and the predominant religious identity would be Muslim (again approximately 200,000 or three-quarters of the total population). However, if only self-consciousness and self-declaration are taken into consideration, the number of Muslim Bulgarians would be only 131,531, i.e. the ones who have declared as such at the 2001 census.
Muslim Bulgarians in the Rhodopes speak a variety of archaic Bulgarian dialects. Under the influence of mass media and school education, the dialects have been almost completely unified with standard Bulgarian among Muslim Bulgarians living in Bulgaria.Comparison of Nazism and Stalinism
A number of authors have carried out comparisons of Nazism and Stalinism, in which they have considered the similarities and differences of the two ideologies and political systems, what relationship existed between the two regimes, and why both of them came to prominence at the same time. During the 20th century, the comparison of Stalinism and Nazism was made on the topics of totalitarianism, ideology, and personality cult. Both regimes were seen in contrast to the liberal West, with an emphasis on the similarities between the two. The political scientists Zbigniew Brzezinski, Hannah Arendt and Carl Friedrich and historian Robert Conquest were prominent advocates of applying the "totalitarian" concept to compare Nazism and Stalinism.Cultural feminism
Cultural feminism is the view that there is a "female nature" or "female essence" or related attempts to revalidate attributes ascribed to femaleness. It is also used to describe theories that commend innate differences between women and men.Elena Lagadinova
Elena Lagadinova (Bulgarian: Елена Атанасова Лагадинова, May 9, 1930 – October 29, 2017) was a Bulgarian agronomist, genetic engineer, and politician.
During the Second World War, Lagadinova contributed to the Bulgarian resistance against Nazi occupation, earning the nickname “Амазонка” or “The Amazon.” She was the younger female fighter in Bulgaria, beginning her contributions to the war effort at 11 years old and actively fighting at age 14.Following the Allied victory in 1945, she pursued a PhD in agrobiology, before serving as a research scientist at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. There, she developed a new strain of wheat, Triticale, which helped to boost the productivity of collective farms. For this discovery, she was awarded the Order of Cyril and Methods by the Bulgarian Government.In 1968, Lagadinova accepted the position as Secretary of the Fatherland Front and President of the Committee of the Bulgarian Women’s Movement. In these roles, she played a significant role in the creation and enforcement of legislation to benefit women in the workplace, including maternity leave laws. She was also a notable figure in global politics, working with other international activists to forge a coalition of national women’s organisations, and becoming a member of the UN Institute for Training Women in 1985.She died on October 29, 2017, in a retirement facility in Sofia, Bulgaria.Ethnography
Ethnography (from Greek ἔθνος ethnos "folk, people, nation" and γράφω grapho "I write") is the systematic study of people and cultures. It is designed to explore cultural phenomena where the researcher observes society from the point of view of the subject of the study. An ethnography is a means to represent graphically and in writing the culture of a group. The word can thus be said to have a double meaning, which partly depends on whether it is used as a count noun or uncountable. The resulting field study or a case report reflects the knowledge and the system of meanings in the lives of a cultural group.As a method of data collection, ethnography entails examining the behaviour of the participants in a certain specific social situation and also understanding their interpretation of such behaviour. Dewan (2018) further elaborates that this behaviour may be shaped by the constraints the participants feel because of the situations they are in or by the society in which they belong. Ethnography, as the presentation of empirical data on human societies and cultures, was pioneered in the biological, social, and cultural branches of anthropology, but it has also become popular in the social sciences in general—sociology, communication studies, history—wherever people study ethnic groups, formations, compositions, resettlements, social welfare characteristics, materiality, spirituality, and a people's ethnogenesis. The typical ethnography is a holistic study and so includes a brief history, and an analysis of the terrain, the climate, and the habitat. In all cases, it should be reflexive, make a substantial contribution toward the understanding of the social life of humans, have an aesthetic impact on the reader, and express a credible reality. An ethnography records all observed behavior and describes all symbol-meaning relations, using concepts that avoid causal explanations. Traditionally, ethnography was focussed on the western gaze towards the far 'exotic' east, but now researchers are undertaking ethnography in their own social environment. According to Dewan (2018), even if we are the other, the ‘another’ or the ‘native’, we are still ‘another’ because there are many facades of ourselves that connect us to people and other facades that highlight our differences.Frank Thompson (SOE officer)
Major William Frank Thompson (17 August 1920 – 10 June 1944) was a British officer who acted as a liaison between the British Army and the Bulgarian partisans during the Second World War.Heldt Prize
Heldt Prize is a literary award from the Association for Women in Slavic Studies named in honor of Barbara Heldt. The award has been given variously in the following categories:
Best book in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Women's Studies
Best Book by a Woman in Any Area of Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Studies
Best Translation by a Woman in Any Area of Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Studies
Best article in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Women's studiesChristine Worobec is the only twice recipient of the award.Mother Serbia
Mother Serbia (Serbian: Мајка Србија / Majka Srbija, Србија мати / Srbija mati; German: Mutter Serbien), Serb Mother (Serbian: Српска мајка / Srpska majka) or Mother of All Serbs (Serbian: Мајка свих Срба / Majka svih Srba), is a national personification of Serbia, which is the nation-state of Serbs. It was used as the metaphoric mother of all Serbs. Serbian national myths and poems constantly invoke Mother Serbia.The territories inhabited by ethnic Serbs outside Serbia can be represented as the children of Mother Serbia. Serbia may also be described as a daughter of Mother Serbia, alongside other Serb territories, as in Dragoslav Knežević's poem Mother Serbia: "One sister younger than the older Montenegro and Serbia, In peacetime and in war Krajina joins the Serbian flock".Neoliberalism
Neoliberalism or neo-liberalism is the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism and free market capitalism. While it is most often associated with such ideas, the defining features of neoliberalism in both thought and practice has been the subject of substantial scholarly discourse. These ideas include economic liberalization policies such as privatization, austerity, deregulation, free trade and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society. These market-based ideas and the policies they inspired constitute a paradigm shift away from the post-war Keynesian consensus which lasted from 1945 to 1980.English-speakers have used the term "neoliberalism" since the start of the 20th century with different meanings, but it became more prevalent in its current meaning in the 1970s and 1980s, used by scholars in a wide variety of social sciences as well as by critics. Modern advocates of free market policies avoid the term "neoliberal" and some scholars have described the term as meaning different things to different people as neoliberalism "mutated" into geopolitically distinct hybrids as it travelled around the world. As such, neoliberalism shares many attributes with other concepts that have contested meanings, including democracy.The definition and usage of the term have changed over time. As an economic philosophy, neoliberalism emerged among European liberal scholars in the 1930s as they attempted to trace a so-called "third" or "middle" way between the conflicting philosophies of classical liberalism and socialist planning. The impetus for this development arose from a desire to avoid repeating the economic failures of the early 1930s, which neoliberals mostly blamed on the economic policy of classical liberalism. In the decades that followed, the use of the term "neoliberal" tended to refer to theories which diverged from the more laissez-faire doctrine of classical liberalism and which promoted instead a market economy under the guidance and rules of a strong state, a model which came to be known as the social market economy.
In the 1960s, usage of the term "neoliberal" heavily declined. When the term re-appeared in the 1980s in connection with Augusto Pinochet's economic reforms in Chile, the usage of the term had shifted. It had not only become a term with negative connotations employed principally by critics of market reform, but it also had shifted in meaning from a moderate form of liberalism to a more radical and laissez-faire capitalist set of ideas. Scholars now tended to associate it with the theories of Mont Pelerin Society economists Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and James M. Buchanan, along with politicians and policy-makers such as Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Alan Greenspan. Once the new meaning of neoliberalism became established as a common usage among Spanish-speaking scholars, it diffused into the English-language study of political economy. By 1994, with the passage of NAFTA and with the Zapatistas' reaction to this development in Chiapas, the term entered global circulation. Scholarship on the phenomenon of neoliberalism has been growing over the last couple of decades.Nostalgia for the Soviet Union
Nostalgia for the Soviet Union (Russian: ностальгия по СССР) or Soviet nostalgia is a social phenomenon of nostalgia for the Soviet era, whether its politics, its society, its culture, or simply its aesthetics. Such nostalgia is observed among people in Russia and the other post-Soviet states, as well as persons born in the Soviet Union but long since living abroad.
In 2004 a television channel Nostalgiya stylized with a hammer and sickle was launched in Russia.Pomaks
Pomaks (Bulgarian: Помаци, translit. Pomatsi; Greek: Πομάκοι, translit. Pomákoi; Turkish: Pomaklar) is a term used for Slavic Muslims inhabiting Bulgaria, northeastern Greece and mainly northwestern Turkey, mainly referring to the ca. 220,000 strong ethno-confessional minority in Bulgaria known officially as Bulgarian Muslims. The term has also been used as a wider designation, including also the Slavic Muslim populations of North Macedonia and Albania. Their language, a Bulgarian dialect, is referred to in Greece and Turkey as the Pomak language. The community in Greece is commonly fluent in Greek, and in Turkey, Turkish, while the communities in these two countries, especially in Turkey, are increasingly adopting Turkish as their first language as a result of education and family links with the Turkish people. The origin of the Pomaks has been debated; but they are generally considered descendants of native Eastern Orthodox Bulgarian Slavs who converted to Islam during the Ottoman rule of the Balkans. Information through Ottoman registers supports this theory.They are not officially recognized as one people with the ethnonym of Pomaks. The term is widely used colloquially for Eastern South Slavic Muslims, considered derogatory. However, in Greece and Turkey the practice for declaring the ethnic group at census has been abolished for decades. Different members of the group today declare a variety of ethnic identities: Bulgarian, Pomak, Muslim, Turkish and other.Socialism
Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management, as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership can be public, collective or cooperative ownership, or citizen ownership of equity. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, with social ownership being the common element shared by its various forms.Socialist systems are divided into non-market and market forms. Non-market socialism involves the substitution of factor markets and money with engineering and technical criteria based on calculation performed in-kind, thereby producing an economic mechanism that functions according to different economic laws from those of capitalism. Non-market socialism aims to circumvent the inefficiencies and crises traditionally associated with capital accumulation and the profit system. By contrast, market socialism retains the use of monetary prices, factor markets and in some cases the profit motive, with respect to the operation of socially owned enterprises and the allocation of capital goods between them. Profits generated by these firms would be controlled directly by the workforce of each firm, or accrue to society at large in the form of a social dividend. The socialist calculation debate concerns the feasibility and methods of resource allocation for a socialist system.
Socialist politics has been both internationalist and nationalist in orientation; organised through political parties and opposed to party politics; at times overlapping with trade unions, and at other times independent and critical of unions; and present in both industrialised and developing nations. Originating within the socialist movement, social democracy has embraced a mixed economy with a market that includes substantial state intervention in the form of income redistribution, regulation, and a welfare state. Economic democracy proposes a sort of market socialism where there is more decentralised control of companies, currencies, investments, and natural resources.
The socialist political movement includes a set of political philosophies that originated in the revolutionary movements of the mid-to-late 18th century and out of concern for the social problems that were associated with capitalism. By the late 19th century, after the work of Karl Marx and his collaborator Friedrich Engels, socialism had come to signify opposition to capitalism and advocacy for a post-capitalist system based on some form of social ownership of the means of production. By the 1920s, social democracy and communism had become the two dominant political tendencies within the international socialist movement. By this time, socialism emerged as "the most influential secular movement of the twentieth century, worldwide. It is a political ideology (or world view), a wide and divided political movement" and while the emergence of the Soviet Union as the world's first nominally socialist state led to socialism's widespread association with the Soviet economic model, some economists and intellectuals argued that in practice the model functioned as a form of state capitalism or a non-planned administrative or command economy. Socialist parties and ideas remain a political force with varying degrees of power and influence on all continents, heading national governments in many countries around the world. Today, some socialists have also adopted the causes of other social movements, such as environmentalism, feminism and progressivism. In 21st century America, the term socialism, without clear definition, has become a pejorative used by conservatives to taint liberal and progressive policies, proposals, and public figures.Whataboutism
Whataboutism (also known as whataboutery) is a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy that attempts to discredit an opponent's position by charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument, which in the United States is particularly associated with Soviet and Russian propaganda. When criticisms were leveled at the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the Soviet response would often be "What about..." followed by an event in the Western world.The term "whataboutery" has been used in Britain and Ireland since the period of the Troubles (conflict) in Northern Ireland. Lexicographers date the first appearance of the variant whataboutism to the 1990s or 1970s, while other historians state that during the Cold War, Western officials referred to the Soviet propaganda strategy by that term. The tactic saw a resurgence in post-Soviet Russia, relating to human rights violations committed by, and criticisms of, the Russian government. The technique received new attention during Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and military intervention in Ukraine. Usage of the tactic extended to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov.The Guardian deemed whataboutism, as used in Russia, "practically a national ideology". Journalist Julia Ioffe wrote that "Anyone who has ever studied the Soviet Union" was aware of the technique, citing the Soviet rejoinder to criticism, And you are lynching Negroes, as a "classic" example of the tactic. Writing for Bloomberg News,
Leonid Bershidsky called whataboutism a "Russian tradition", while The New Yorker described the technique as "a strategy of false moral equivalences". Jill Dougherty called whataboutism a "sacred Russian tactic", and compared it to accusing the pot of calling the kettle black.