CHY 4U 2014: Music/ A Tale of Two States

Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, Tianenmen Square, Beijing via Flickr, by SteveCadman

Ladies and Gents,

  • we will begin by having your new Fascist or Communist state address its people (I’ve put the content from yesterday below, just in case)
  • next we will attempt a lecture about music in the 20th century. I hope you brought your listening ears.


If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face – forever.

George Orwell

Congratulations! You and your group have just gained control over your very own state. Still, it is too early to throw a party for yourselves, because you need to deal with a troublesome group: the people. It seems that they don’t understand that they need to do exactly what you tell them. In fact, they seem to think they should have some input into the way government functions. Before you begin building opulent palaces and imposing statues of yourselves in every town square, you need to get the people under control.

Step 1:

‘Name your country. The name should reflect utopian ideals that your government will completely ignore. For example, states with the term People in their official names often have little interest in the well-being of the people. Write a short declaration, roughly a paragraph long, stating the ideals that your people will value. Remember that you are under no obligation to actually adhere to any of these ideals. You can use one of two approaches:

  • Constantly refer to the good of the people, and how the government serves all equally.
  • Constantly refer to the nation/state, and how its success is the goal of every citizen.

You should refer to the nation as either the Fatherland or the Motherland.

Step 2 (20 minutes):

If you chose number 1, you have created a Communist state. You need to learn what you can about the rise of Joseph Stalin and work collectively to summarize Stalin’s rule (working collectively is an essential part of Communism, so this should be easy for you).

If you chose number 2, you have created a Fascist state. Before you start rewriting the historical record and completely deceiving your own people, you need to figure out how Hitler and Mussolini accomplished the very same goals.

Step 3:

In point form, explain how you will deal with all of the issues listed below. For each solution, create a term to describe your policy. Make sure the term is suitably positive and unoffending, and yet hides the true nature of the policy. For example, governments use the term friendly fire to describe the accidental killing of soldiers by their own troops. How might the use of this term shape public opinion of such an event?

  • ‘How will you cajole/force people into contributing to your economy?
  • ‘How will force people into fulfilling the societal roles you set out for them?
  • ‘How can you control what people think?
  • ‘How can technology help you shape the way people act and behave?
  • ‘What can you do to distract people so that they do not focus on key issues like freedom and good government?
  • ‘How can the police/military help you maintain control?
  • ‘How can you get the people to monitor themselves, and turn lawbreakers in to the authorities?

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