If given a choice, would you live in Stalin's Russia or Mussolini's Italy?

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Q. If given a choice, would you prefer to live in Stalin's Russia or Mussolini's Italy?

Ans.        Where I would prefer to live would depend greatly on where in the social hierarchy I would belong to.

        For example, had I been born a worker, I would choose to live in Russia. There is no doubt that the life of workers in Russia was hard with long working hours and a great lack of safety precautions. Thousands died owing to poor living conditions as well as the cold. Many people were forced to work in labor camps, and subjected to harsh punishments in order to instill discipline and reach set targets, and could be subjected to the even more fearsome gulags.

        Yet, despite such a bleak picture, there was still hope that Russia would soon become an egalitarian society with equality promised in the future. With rewards given to the hardworking, such as the Stakhnovites, there was more incentive. Also, Stalin's appealing to Russian nationalism was a driving force in working for a socialist state where there was at the very last, a promise of food, clothing and shelter.

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        Mussolini's Italy promised the same hardships as in Russia such as long working hours and a rather low standard of living. Furthermore, there was also greater unemployment in Italy owing to the global economic recession which had not affected communist Russia and despite Mussolini's attempts to create more jobs by state public working schemes, there were still 2 million unemployed.

        The outlawing of trade unions meant that the rights of the workers were not adequately defended. Since the fascists were strongly anti-socialist, the right to strike was banned and the workers lost even more rights. During the period of Mussolini's ...

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