14 results back to index

pages: 934 words: 232,651

Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945-1956 by Anne Applebaum


affirmative action, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, centre right, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, land reform, language of flowers, means of production, New Urbanism, Potemkin village, price mechanism, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Slavoj Žižek, stakhanovite, strikebreaker, union organizing, urban planning

Their model was Alexi Stakhanov, a Donbass miner who on August 31, 1935, supposedly dug 102 tons of coal in five hours and forty-five minutes, fourteen times his assigned production quota. Stakhanov’s achievement was brought to Stalin’s attention, and subsequently turned into a miniature cult of personality. There were articles, books, and posters about Stakhanov as well as Stakhanov streets and Stakhanov squares. A Ukrainian town was renamed Stakhanov in his honor. Heroes of Labor were renamed Stakhanovites after him too, and Stakhanovite competitions were held all over the Soviet Union. The Eastern European communists would have known the Stakhanov cult very well, and some of them imitated this model with great precision. Eastern Germany’s Stakhanov was Adolf Hennecke, a coal miner who astonished his comrades in 1948 and dug 287 percent of his production quota. This was far lower than Stakhanov’s record—a German could not be expected to surpass a Russian—but Hennecke’s name soon appeared on posters and pamphlets anyway.

Their names appeared on signs and billboards. They were celebrated in the newspapers and on the radio, and they featured in public events, newsreels, and parades. Sometimes they received unexpected perks, as one female Polish textile worker remembered: In 1950 or 1952 … I don’t remember exactly … I was chosen as the best Stakhanovite in my factory. I did 250 percent of the quota … One day I went to work, of course in my daily clothes, because you do not go to work in Sunday clothes. And they gave me a ticket saying that I am going to the Stakhanovite ball. I said I was not going because I was not dressed up, but they ordered me to go. So I went with the others. It was an amazing experience: me, an ordinary worker of a sewing department, visited President Bierut himself. Bierut welcomed us, and thanked us for our good work. I received a letter of commendation.

And when she started to believe, she was proud, so proud.61 Yet in purely economic terms, the shock worker movement was a failure. For one, it created perverse incentives: workers competed to finish quickly and ignored quality. As a result, “socialist competitions” never made the economy more productive, in the Soviet Union or anywhere else. The economic historian Paul Gregory reckons that in the USSR the Stakhanovite movement had no impact on labor productivity whatsoever: the cost of the expensive prizes and higher wages for the Stakhanovites canceled out whatever value industry might have gained from the superhuman effort of individual workers.62 In political terms, the movement’s impact was more mixed. In some places, the daily quotas became a bone of contention, particularly as they began to rise faster than wages and living standards, and the party had to invent new techniques to stop the complaining.


pages: 323 words: 94,406

To the Edge of the World: The Story of the Trans-Siberian Express, the World's Greatest Railroad by Christian Wolmar


anti-communist, Cape to Cairo, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, railway mania, refrigerator car, stakhanovite, trade route, transcontinental railway, urban planning

Of course, to some extent this had the desired effect, because railway managers were terrified of delaying trains unnecessarily in case they received a knock on the door in the middle of the night, so they strove to keep the system going. Not surprisingly, as a result, the accident rate rose; and even minor mishaps could easily result in the hapless local manager being accused of being a ‘wrecker’ bent on destroying socialist society, the worst possible accusation. Under Kaganovich, too, Stakhanovite efforts were encouraged to improve productivity. Named after a miner who supposedly carved out more than 100 tons of coal in a single shift, which was, in fact, an obvious charade, Stakhanovite efforts were imposed on the railways, but to terrible effect. Specially selected train drivers were set up to ensure their locomotives pulled greater loads, or used less coal per verst, but as Westwood suggests, this usually meant that all the engineer did was ‘drive his engine badly, “thrashing” it so it produced a third more steam per hour’; but while this did increase the speed, it simply meant it ‘raised fuel consumption per horsepower to a much higher rate and brought his fireman [who had to shovel the coal into the fire box] to a state of collapse’.20 Even the relatively neglected passenger services improved in the 1930s, thanks to the investment on the line.

Transport delays – particularly on the Trans-Siberian, which was now expected to carry a much heavier load than previously – were an all too visible reflection of the society’s inefficiency, and as J. N. Westwood, the Russian railway historian, suggests, ‘Government and Party remained unconvinced that the railways were working anywhere near their real limit, a conflict that was almost inevitable . . . the two weapons [in government hands] were the purge and the Stakhanovite movement.’18 Kaganovich had more blood on his hands than almost any other of his contemporary Communist leaders, having organized forced grain confiscations during the starvation deliberately brought on by the regime in the early 1930s in Ukraine as a punishment. He was one of those who took the hardest line against the slightly better-off peasants characterized as kulaks (rich peasants, but often misused as a way of identifying those reluctant to hand over grain) by the regime, a group that was almost exterminated under Stalin’s forced collectivization of agriculture.

., 94 Newby, Eric, xix, 30, 253–4 Nicholas I, Tsar, 2–3, 5, 11 and railways, 13–21, 24 Nicholas II, Tsar, 58, 70, 249 foreign tour, 59–60 and railways, 59–62 and Russo-Japanese War, 139–41 Nikolaevsk, 113, 200–1 Nikolayev Railway, 16–24, 74 fares, 22 finance, 21 gauge, 18–19 lack of connections, 23 route, 18, 20 speed of construction, 21 topography, 20 travelling conditions, 22 volume of traffic, 21 Nizhneudinsk, 198 Nizhny-Novgorod, 29, 31, 39 Nizhny Tagil, 12 North Korea, 245 Novokuznetsk, 217, 219, 222 Novonikolayevsk, 73, 84–6, 156, 198, 218 see also Novosibirsk Novosibirsk, 219, 260 station architecture, 220 see also Novonikolayevsk Novosibirsk Railway Museum, 108 Ob, river, 42, 68, 73, 82, 84–5, 101, 220 Ob River–Krasnoyarsk line, 65 October Manifesto, 139–40 Odessa, 24–5, 80, 86, 184–5 Odessa Railway, 49–50 Odessa University, 48 oil, 159, 174, 246 and environmental damage, 243–4 Old Believers, 144–5 Omsk, 73–4, 81–2, 161, 260 and civil war, 184, 187–8, 190, 195–8 coal thefts, 119–20 garden city, 156 panorama, 110 population increase, 155 station architecture, 92, 253 Omsk paper currency, 197 Omsk–River Ob line, 65 Orenburg, 42, 190 Orient Express, 109 Orthodox Church, 144–5 Orwell, George, 236 Ozerlag camp complex, 234 Pacific Fleet, Russian, 38, 56, 167 Page, Martin, 93–4 Panama Canal, 75 panoramas, 109–10 Paris, 25, 51 Paris Exposition Universelle, 84, 109–10, 114 passports, internal, 1, 21, 147–9 Pasternak, Boris, 193 Pauker, General German Egorovich, 44 Pavlovsk, 15 Peking–Paris road race, 162–3 Penrose, Richard, 152–3 Penza, 140, 180 Perm, 29, 39, 41–2, 192, 195, 209 permafrost, 65, 69, 103, 125, 168 and construction of BAM, 232–3, 239–40, 243, 247 Pertsov, Alexander, 134–5 Peter the Great, Emperor, 9, 20 Peyton, Mr, 32 photography, 253–4 Plehve, Vyacheslav von, 141 Pogranichny, 122 Pokrovskaya, Vera, 81 Polish provinces, 14, 24, 28, 144 Poltava, 151 Polyanski (agent), 51 Port Arthur, 109, 114, 123, 126, 129, 131, 133–4, 137, 139, 165 Port Baikal, 89, 101, 135 post houses, 4–5 Postyshevo, 233 Posyet, Konstantin, 39–40, 44, 52 Primorye region, 36–7, 40–1 prisoners of war, 226, 234, 246 Progressive Tours, 253 propaganda, 203–7, 252 Pushechnikov, Alexander, 88–9, 96, 122 Putin, Vladimir, 244 Pyasetsky, Pawel, 109–10 rails, convex, 12 railway administrators, enlightened, 151–2 ‘railway barons’, 26, 42, 50 railway colonies, 93 railway currency, 213 Railway Guard, 127–8, 130 railway managers, and Stalin’s purges, 221–3, 225 railway troops, 238 railway workers, 117–20, 156–7 wages, 118–19 railways, horse-drawn, 11–13, 30 railways, military, 24, 45 Ransome, Arthur, 206–7 Ready, Oliver, 114 Reid, Arnot, 102–3 roads, 2–3, 5–6, 13, 20, 98, 162, 257 Rosanov, Sergei, 186 Rothschilds, 46 rouble, linked to gold, 57 Royal Engineers, 95 Russia absolutism, 1 advent of railways, 27–8 censorship, 111 collapse of communism, 247–8, 257, 259 economy, 1–3, 26, 28, 55–6, 58, 95, 97–8, 255 expansion of railway network, 41–2 expansionist policies, 122–4, 130, 139 first horse-drawn railway, 11–12 German invasion, 224–5, 232, 258 industrialization, 55, 57, 95, 207, 211, 216–19, 221, 256, 258 land reforms, 154 liberalization, 21–2, 154 opposition to railways, 13–14, 16 unified railway network, 53 Russian civil war, xvi, 133, 138, 171–201, 223 Russian Revolution (1905), xvi, 154 (1917), xvi, 9, 121, 172, 174–8, 214 Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, 199–201 Russian Technical Society, 67 Russo-Japanese War, xvi, 91, 94, 107, 121, 129–42, 154, 161, 163, 165 peace treaties and aftermath, 139, 166–7, 213–14 Russo-Turkish War, 19, 36–7, 40, 49, 140–1 St John’s, Newfoundland, 64 Saint Nicholas, 73 St Petersburg assassination of von Plehve, 141 construction of, 20 massacre of demonstrators, 139 meat deliveries to, 158 renamed Petrograd, 162 St Petersburg–Moscow highway, 2 St Petersburg–Moscow Railway, see Nikolayev Railway St Petersburg time, 115 St Petersburg–Warsaw Railway, 24–5, 28 saints’ days, 104 Sakhalin Island, 31, 80, 199, 201, 242, 249 Samara, 140 see also Kuibyshev Samarkand, 39 San Francisco, 32 Schaffhausen-Schönberg och Schaufuss, Nikolai, 168 schools, building of, 157–8 Sea of Japan, 2, 7, 31, 173 Second World War, 19, 133, 200, 218–19, 221, 223–7, 229–30, 233 Semipalatinsk, 218 Semipalatinsk Cossacks, 185 Semyonov, Gregori, 182–5, 192, 198, 200 serfs, 12, 16–18, 34, 74, 141, 178 emancipation of, 11, 34, 145, 147 Sevastopol, siege of, 24, 37 Severobaikalsk, 231, 235, 241 Severomuysky Tunnel, 241, 244, 246 Shanghai, 114, 164 Shika, river, 69, 88, 101 Shoemaker, Michael Myers, 115 shovels, 81 Siberia Allied intervention, 172–201 architecture, 156–7 area, 7–8 cartography, 66–7 climate, 1, 7–8, 243, 246 economy, 31, 36, 207 fire damage, 243 first railway, 42–3 immigration, 143–60, 207, 220 increased productivity, 158–9 indigenous peoples, 11, 65, 118, 145–6, 149 industrialization, 207, 211, 216–19, 220–2, 256, 258 infrastructure improvements, 59, 61, 83, 98, 159 population, 1, 7, 10–11, 143, 159, 219 regionalist movement, 35 and Russian Empire, 34–6 time zones, 7 travel, 3–7, 32 urbanization, 154–6 Siberian Committee, 33–4 signallers, 118–19 Simpson, James, 150–1 Sino-Japanese War, 70–1 slaves, American, 35 sleepers, 64, 81, 84, 103, 106, 239 Sleigh, Mr, 31 sleighs, 3, 6, 32 Slyudyanka, 228 snowdrifts, 104 Sofiysk, 31 Solzhenitsyn, Alexander, 231 Some Like It Hot, 116 South Manchuria Railway, 126, 128–9, 137–9, 164, 214 Southwestern Railway, 50 Sovetskaya Gavan, 231, 233, 248 Soviet Sociology, 237 Soviets, 179 Sretensk, 38, 41, 88–9, 101, 108, 121–2, 168 Stakhanovite movement, 222–3 Stalin, Joseph, 10, 177, 215, 224–6, 229–30, 235 his death, 226, 234, 242 escape route from Moscow, 226 industrialization under, 207, 211, 216–19, 220–2, 256, 258 his train, 212, 252 Standard newspaper, 133 Stankevich, Andrei, 152 stations, 27, 74, 91–3, 156–7, 219–20, 257 architecture, 92, 157, 220 catering, 103, 107–8, 209–10 military areas, 157 steamboats, 4, 13 Stephenson, George and Robert, 12 Stevens, John F., 191 Stolypin, Pyotr, 154 submarine warfare, 176 submarines, 173 Suchan coal mines, 187 Sudan, 64 Suez Canal, 37, 70, 86, 164 suicides, 10 Suprenenko, Governor, 30 Sverdlovsk, 219 see also Yekaterinburg Swedish Red Cross, 185 Syzran, 42 taiga, 68, 78–9, 83–4, 236, 238, 243 tarantasses, 3–4, 6, 32, 91, 106 Tashkent, 218 Tayga, 155 Taylor, Richard, 204, 207 Tayshet, 231, 233–4, 239, 246 Tblisi, 48 telegas, 3 telegraph systems, 33, 140, 179, 194 Tibet, 233 tigers, 80 timber, shortages of, 64, 73, 84, 124, 126 Times, The, 22, 165 Timireva, Anna, 197 Tokyo, 161, 188 Tomsk, 38, 41, 68, 86, 107, 155–6, 217 First World War bottleneck, 172, 175 and railway administration, 68, 120 Tomsk province, 155 track gauge, 15–16, 18–19, 137–8, 256–7 trains armoured trains, xvi, 179, 183, 193, 203 butter trains, 158 coal trains, 172 Lux Blue Express, 212 luxury trains, 108–11, 114, 163–4, 252 propaganda trains, 203–7 Rossiya, 117, 257–8 troop trains, 133–4 tsar’s train, 44, 113, 198 ‘typhus trains’, 197–8 V.


pages: 31 words: 7,670

Why America Must Not Follow Europe by Daniel Hannan


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, obamacare, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, stakhanovite, Upton Sinclair

In 2000, for example, they committed themselves to something called the Lisbon Agenda, designed to give the EU “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion, and respect for the environment by 2010.” To which it is tempting to remark, as Sarah Palin might put it, How’s that working out for y’all? Then again, no one ever really believed that the Lisbon Agenda would have much impact in the real world. It was intended in the spirit of one of those Soviet slogans about higher production: a Stakhanovite statement of intent. The French philosopher René Descartes famously imagined that everything we thought we could see was in fact being manipulated by a malicious demon who controlled our senses. Eurocrats evidently see themselves in the role of that demon. The EU they describe is one of high growth, full democracy, and growing global influence. But this EU exists only in European Commission communiqués, in European Council press releases, in European Parliament resolutions.


pages: 206 words: 67,030

Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches: The Riddles of Culture by Marvin Harris


colonial exploitation, land tenure, Louis Pasteur, stakhanovite, the market place, Thorstein Veblen, trade route

On threat of being reduced to commoner status, each big man is obliged to busy himself with plans and preparations for the next feast. Since there are several big men per village and community, these plans and preparations often lead to complex competitive maneuvering for the allegiance of relatives and neighbors. The big men work harder, worry more, and consume less than anybody else. Prestige is their only reward. The big man can be described as a worker-entrepreneur—the Russians call them “Stakhanovites”—who renders important services to society by raising the level of production. As a result of the big man’s craving for status, more people work harder and produce more food and other valuables. Under conditions where everyone has equal access to the means of subsistence, competitive feasting serves the practical function of preventing the labor force from falling back to levels of productivity that offer no margin of safety in crises such as war and crop failures.

Lee found, for example, that his Bushmen worked at subsistence for only ten to fifteen hours a week. This discovery effectively destroys one of the shoddiest myths of industrial society—namely that we have more leisure today than ever before. Primitive hunters and gatherers work less than we do—without benefit of a single labor union—because their ecosystems cannot tolerate weeks and months of intensive extra effort. Among the Bushmen, Stakhanovite personalities who would run about getting friends and relatives to work harder by promising them a big feast would constitute a definite menace to society. If he got his followers to work like the Kaoka for a month, an aspiring Bushman big man would kill or scare off every game animal for miles around and starve his people to death before the end of the year. So reciprocity and not redistribution predominates among the Bushmen, and the highest prestige falls to the quietly dependable hunter who never boasts about his achievements and who avoids any hint that he is giving a gift when he divides up an animal he has killed.


pages: 352 words: 104,411

Rush Hour by Iain Gately


Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, blue-collar work, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, car-free, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, connected car, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Dean Kamen, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, extreme commuting, Google bus, Henri Poincaré, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, low skilled workers, postnationalism / post nation state, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remote working, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, telepresence, Tesla Model S, urban planning, éminence grise

Although, in theory, every comrade over the age of eighteen was entitled to order a new car, a Volga cost six times the average worker’s annual salary, and there was a waiting list of eight to ten years. Indeed, the only types of people likely to be able to drive to work in Russia in the 1950s and 1960s were members of the elite – artists with international reputations, Olympic champions, military and party officials and Stakhanovites*4 who could jump the queues and get a car straight away. Second-hand cars were equally hard to come by for the average worker. Once people had a Volga, they were reluctant to sell them and they also had to go through official centres to do so, where ‘a commission of specialists evaluated the car and set a price’. People who wanted to purchase a used vehicle then registered with the centre, whose cadres chose the lucky individual who would be allowed to buy.

They decided that as ‘a fundamental norm’ the desirable time for trips to work should not exceed 30–40 minutes for medium-sized cities, or an hour for larger ones. Beyond these limits productivity seemed to fall by 2.5 to 3 per cent for each extra ten minutes spent in transit. Official disapproval and the general absence of facilities notwithstanding, commuting crept into the Soviet Union in the last decade of its ‘great stagnation’ (1964–85). The Stakhanovites of freedom of movement appeared in the main in small cities. They were categorized as ‘young, low-skilled workers, occupying positions requiring low qualifications and yielding low wages’, and served as cannon fodder during the USSR’s last, futile attempt to win the Cold War through communist economics. Their mobility was permitted by the state because it was cheaper than having to build new tower blocks in the cities, and ‘substituting migration with commuting’ became official policy.


pages: 631 words: 171,391

One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War by Michael Dobbs


air freight, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doomsday Clock, global village, Google Earth, kremlinology, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, stakhanovite

What a joke, thought Anatoly Gribkov, the General Staff represen- tative. "Only someone with no military background, and no understanding of the paraphernalia that accompanied the rockets themselves, could have reached such a conclusion." The most Soviet commanders on Cuba could do was order a crash program to bring all the missiles to combat readiness as quickly as possible. Soviet soldiers were accustomed to Stakhanovite labor campaigns, organized bursts of mass enthusiasm designed to "fulfill and overfulfill the plan." Fortunately, the R-12 regiments were almost at full strength. By October 23, 42,822 Soviet soldiers had arrived in Cuba—out of a planned deployment of around 45,000. Overnight, the missile sites swarmed with laborers. It took one regiment three and a half hours to erect the first semicircular beam for a nuclear warhead shelter.

Shumkov, Nikolai Siberia Sidorov, Ivan Sierra del Cristal Mountains Sierra del Rosario Sierra Madre Sierra Maestra Mountains Sigint (signals intelligence) Silver Bank Passage Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) Siskiyou County Airport 613th Tactical Fighter Squadron Skagerrak Strait Sochi Sokolov, Aleksandr Solovyev, Yuri Sopkas Sorensen, Theodore Khrushchev letter drafts merged by Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) Southeast Asia South Pacific, nuclear tests in Soviet soldiers, Cuban views on Soviet Union Berlin and China's schism with CIA revelation of Cuban missile sites of in Cuba Cuba's defense agreement with demise of economy of Hungary's relations with intelligence problems of nuclear equality pursued in nuclear tests of RFK's visit to "Task 1 targets" in U-2s over U.S. north vs. south defense against weakness of in World War II Spain Spanish-American War Special Group (Augmented) spetsnaz alerts Sputnik Stakhanovite labor campaigns Stalin, Joseph World War II and Standard Oil of New Jersey State Department, U.S. decoys from Dobrynin summoned to "further action" and Khrushchev correspondence and planning of Cuban government in U-2 loss and Statsenko, Igor Stern, Sheldon Steuart Motor Company building Stevenson, Adlai Strategic Air Command (SAC) B-52s and DEFCON-2 of DEFCON-3 of LeMay's creation of Minuteman missiles and in search for Grozny U-2 loss over Soviet Union and Strategic Rocket Forces strategic weapons, Soviet disadvantage in submarines, Soviet Foxtrot, see Foxtrot submarines naval blockade and U.S.


pages: 309 words: 92,177

The Ghost by Robert Harris


airport security, carbon footprint,, stakhanovite

“He wouldn’t have got nearly such a large advance.” “Two years after leaving office? He wouldn’t have got even half.” “And nobody saw this coming?” “I raised it with Adam every so often. But history doesn’t really interest him—it never has, not even his own. He was much more concerned with getting his foundation established.” I sat back in my seat. I could see how easily it all must have happened: McAra, the party hack turned Stakhanovite of the archive, blindly riveting together his vast and useless sheets of facts; Lang, always a man for the bigger picture—“the future not the past”: wasn’t that one of his slogans—being feted around the American lecture circuit, preferring to live, not relive, his life; and then the horrible realization that the great memoir project was in trouble, followed, I assumed, by recriminations, the sundering of old friendships, and suicidal anxiety.


pages: 357 words: 95,986

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work by Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams


3D printing, additive manufacturing, air freight, algorithmic trading, anti-work, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, battle of ideas, blockchain, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, late capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, patent troll, pattern recognition, post scarcity, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Slavoj Žižek, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, surplus humans, the built environment, The Chicago School, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wages for housework, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

What a Demand Can Do’, Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, 2014, at 4.Weeks, Problem with Work, pp. 218–24, 175. 5.This is one aspect that distinguishes them from the concept of ‘transitional demands’ articulated by Trotsky. See Trott, ‘Walking in the Right Direction?’; Leon Trotsky, The Transitional Program: Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth International (London: Bolshevik Publications, 1999). 6.On the criteria of desirability, viability and achievability, see Erik Olin Wright, Envisioning Real Utopias (London: Verso, 2010), pp. 20–5. 7.For an example of the former, see the Stakhanovite movement, or Lenin’s comments on Taylorist management methods: ‘The Russian is a bad worker compared with people in advanced countries … We must organise in Russia the study and teaching of the Taylor system and systematically try it out and adapt it to our own ends.’ Vladimir Lenin, ‘The Immediate Tasks of the Soviet Government’, 1918, Marxists Internet Archive, at; Lewis H. Siegelbaum, Stakhanovism and the Politics of Productivity in the USSR, 1935–1941 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).


pages: 385 words: 105,627

The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom by Simon Winchester


Berlin Wall, British Empire, David Attenborough, Deng Xiaoping, double helix, Etonian, Fellow of the Royal Society, index card, invention of gunpowder, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, New Urbanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, stakhanovite, Stephen Hawking, Ted Kaczynski, trade route

And the offending car-door was thereafter secured with a dog-chain. Despite Needham’s occasional air of autocratic disdain, people were eternally eager to help him, support him, and surround him with care. He employed a woman whom he called Auntie Violet to make him breakfast and tea: she worked for him, buttering the crumpets he liked to toast on his electric fire, until she was well over ninety. And once it was realized that even a Stakhanovite like Needham could be tempted to join others for afternoon tea, a variety of distinguished men and women, crumpet lovers and tea drinkers all, would stop by to dine informally with him, often memorably. One professor stopped in to talk about rain gauges—whereupon Needham discovered for him, quite accidentally, a reference to what turned out to be the first rain gauge ever made, in a book on mathematics in the Yuan dynasty.


pages: 224 words: 91,918

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe


Bonfire of the Vanities, Buckminster Fuller, edge city, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, Menlo Park, Ronald Reagan, stakhanovite, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen

The scene breaks up in a covey of Flag People bobbing off the bus... Never trust a Prankster! ... Shit! ... That shakes them up all over again in Haight-Ashbury, there's no getting around that. A whole new inflammation of paranoia. The lunger heads are slithering up and down the store fronts on Haight Street. They're hunkered down gabbling in the India-print living rooms. The whole thing takes a Stakhanovite left turn. Kesey is not a right deviationist but a left deviationist. He's not going to cop out by telling the kids to stop taking LSD, that's just the cover story. Instead he's going to pull a monster prank that will wreck the psychedelic movement once and for all... Well, the acid heads in Haight-Ashbury are like a tribe in one respect, anyway, I can see that. It's all jungle drums and gossip with them, they love it, they swim in it, like fish in a stream in a cave ...


pages: 514 words: 152,903

The Best Business Writing 2013 by Dean Starkman


Asperger Syndrome, bank run, Basel III, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Columbine, computer vision, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, factory automation, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, jimmy wales, job automation, late fees, London Whale, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, price stability, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, the payments system, too big to fail, Vanguard fund, wage slave, Y2K

Today TED is an insatiable kingpin of international meme laundering—a place where ideas, regardless of their quality, go to seek celebrity, to live in the form of videos, tweets, and now e-books. In the world of TED—or, to use their argot, in the TED “ecosystem”—books become talks, talks become memes, memes become projects, projects become talks, talks become books—and so it goes ad infinitum in the sizzling Stakhanovite cycle of memetics, until any shade of depth or nuance disappears into the virtual void. Richard Dawkins, the father of memetics, should be very proud. Perhaps he can explain how “ideas worth spreading” become “ideas no footnotes can support.” The Khannas’ book is not the only piece of literary rubbish carrying the TED brand. Another recently published TED book called The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It—coauthored by Philip Zimbardo, of the Stanford Prison Experiment fame, is an apt example of what transpires when TED ideas happen to good people.


pages: 606 words: 157,120

To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov


3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village,, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel,, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

Want to price my car rental or car insurance? Let me share with you my regular car’s ‘black box’ data to prove I am a safe driver. Want me to prove I will be a diligent, responsible employee? Let me share with you my real time blood alcohol content, how carefully I manage my diabetes, or my lifelong productivity records.” In other words, there are very good reasons why those with excellent health, impressive driving habits, and Stakhanovite productivity will be excited to track and share their data. But what about the poor and the sick? What about those who don’t have the time or the stamina—which those who work three daily jobs to stay afloat might lack—to engage in self-tracking? And what if the poor and the sick do embrace self-monitoring? What are they likely to discover? That they eat food high in calories and saturated fat and that they never “check in” at their local gym because the membership fees are too high or because they never have the time with all the odd jobs they are working?


pages: 388 words: 125,472

The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It by Owen Jones


anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, citizen journalism, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Etonian, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, housing crisis, inflation targeting, investor state dispute settlement, James Dyson, laissez-faire capitalism, market fundamentalism, Monroe Doctrine, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, stakhanovite, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transfer pricing, union organizing, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent

But in an attempt to contradict his further claim that ‘all writers are vain, selfish and lazy’, I want to make clear that this struggle was far from my own: all books are collective efforts, and this one is far from an exception. Firstly, a very special thanks to my editor, Tom Penn. Tom edited my first book, Chavs, and ensured it was a success, but his efforts in editing this book have been truly Stakhanovite. He hammered the text into shape, challenged and prodded me, and often seemed to know what I was trying to say better than myself. Then there’s my brilliant agent, Andrew Gordon. I owe everything to Andrew: he inexplicably took a punt on me, dragged me from obscurity, and gave me the chance to be a writer. It was a big risk and it took huge faith on his part, and I am unable to thank him enough.


pages: 1,509 words: 416,377

Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty by Bradley K. Martin


anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, failed state, four colour theorem, illegal immigration, informal economy, kremlinology, land reform, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Potemkin village, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, special economic zone, stakhanovite, UNCLOS, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce

Historian Kathryn Weathersby has found that a large part of the archival record of Soviet–North Korean relations during the period consists of messages from Pyongyang—often from Kim Il-sung himself—asking Moscow to send specialists.45 As the state took over some 90 percent of industry in 1946, it outlawed many of the labor abuses of the past. A new law set standard working hours and mandated sexual equality in pay levels. Kim’s government proceeded with Soviet-style economic planning from 1947. Soviet assistance poured in. The regime called upon the hard work and enthusiasm of those subjects who felt grateful for the end of the old order and the dawn of the new. Stakhanovite campaigns urged industrial workers to sacrifice for productivity. One highly publicized group of locomotive factory workers marched off as “storm-troopers” and reopened an abandoned coal mine, to cope with a coal shortage that was keeping trains from running. A campaign exhorted farmers to turn over portions of their rice harvests for “patriotic” use in emulation of a farmer named Kim Je-won; he supposedly had been so moved by land reform that he donated thirty bales out of his rice harvest, leaving only enough to feed his family for the following year.46 Kim Il-sung traveled far and wide to give “on-the-spot guidance” to his subjects.

In the dark days of 1951, Kim supposedly came up with a vision for the rebuilt Pyongyang and called in an architect to discuss it as planes buzzed and anti-aircraft guns boomed. “Already his eyes saw the splendid, the magnificent streets extending one beyond the other, … the beautiful parks where children frolicked and cultural institutions of marble and granite stood.”12 When the time came to transform the vision into reality, Kim turned the capital’s reconstruction into a nationwide “battle,” in the Soviet Stakhanovite pattern, with college students and office workers pressed into service to keep the building sites humming day and night.13 Other “battles” ensued, to rebuild factories and transportation facilities as Pyongyang fully nationalized the country’s industry. Clearing away the ashes and ruins of war, North Koreans laid an impressive base for economic development. between 1954 and 1958, Pyongyang reported that combined output from mining, manufacturing and power transmission increased more than threefold.14 Industry’s role in generating national income rapidly outdistanced that of agriculture—a key indication of industrial development.15 between 1947 and 1967, per capita income was reported to have grown at an average rate of 13.1 percent a year.16 Other communist countries helped, but there is a debate whether that help came in the philanthropic form of foreign aid or in simple trade and investment.