Pensare il Gulag: la Russia, la modernità, la rivoluzione bolscevica

ANNO 53 2012
Maria Ferretti

Considering the Gulag
The essay analyzes the genesis of the Gulag, placing it at the crossroads of various historical threads: the long spans of Russian history, characterized – starting from the westernising break imposed upon the turbulent nation by Peter the Great – by a special brand of authoritarian or repressive modernization based on forced labour and repression, which was at the origin of the separation between modernity and freedom; the extended, though somewhat less lengthy, duration of European modernism and its crisis, laid brutally bare by World War I; the short spell of Bolshevik revolution, with its particular political culture shaped profoundly by the war; and lastly, the brief flare of socio-political crisis brought on by a fast-paced national shift towards industrialization in the latter half of the 1920s, a prelude to the rise of the Stalin’s dictatorship.

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