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Dear Brotherly and Sisterly Comrades

Speaking as a Socialist, I feel the need to clear up some ideas on history to gain perspective of what transpired during the Russian experiment. I feel that many self-proclaimed Socialists like to compare the leaders of Socialism, so my intent is to address the concerns of Bolshevik Russia.

It's common to hear people talk about how Socialism is a successful practice, but that one person ruined the entire project. The Soviet Union is usually referenced. Most critics will blame Stalin's brutality, for instance, and talk about his deviation from the purity of Marx and Lenin. Other critics will suggest that Lenin and Stalin persued Bolshevism, which is distinctively different from Marxist orthodoxy and not in alignment with Marxist principles.

Khrushchev made a secret speech against Stalin. Castro made a secret speech against Khrushchev. So now I make my own 'secret' speech against our old 'Comrades' of Marx, Lenin and Stalin with the benefit of hindsight, of course.

The main points that I have associated with Marx, Lenin and Stalin:
1. They were calculating pragmatists that primarily focused on bringing revolution, rather than offering policy solutions.
2. They were highly self-interested personalities that demanded loyalty to their leadership or returned hostility to their own party comrades.
3. They would greatly deviate from orthodoxy only for the purpose of perserving their own position of power and prestige within their group
4. They made major miscalculations about the peasants role in bringing revolution
5. They claimed to work toward destroying the old system. But they only attacked the Monarchy and Nobility, and meanwhile, they kept the burgeoisie intact and sometimes utilizing them.
6. Their efforts to bring their brand of Socialism actually countered already existing socialistic elements that was progressing toward a well-being for the average person. This point is the all encompassing point of this post.

Alexander II and the Emancipation of the Serfs

There is much debate in using the word emancipation or abolition. The point is that in 1861, Czar Alexander did away with serfdom at the same time Abraham Lincoln was abolishing "serfdom" in the U.S. South. Clearly, times were changing with the emergence of industrial capitalism, and serfdom existing in two very large nations meant below-capacity global productivity. International traders and financiers saw a large opportunity to capitalize upon, no pun intended.

Alexander II and Abraham Lincoln kept in contact about preserving their nations from international banking cartels. Alexander stated that he would declare war on England, if they should interfere in the American Civil war. However, Western burgeois ideas were reaching the Russian peasantry. Alexander II did not underestimate the idea of a peasant revolt because he had the Pugachev Revolt as an example.

Eventually, Alexander II abolished serfdom with a strategic mindset. According to economist Alexander Gerschenkron, "there was a question of the magnitude of the quitrents to be paid by the peasants as compensation for land allotments." The political-economic view demonstrates that there was considerable influence in Alexander II decision. While the European Banking cartels were buying up land and "emancipating" the peasants by charging mortgage interest, also, Alexander played the same game. The exception however was Alexander and the nobility would collect mortgage interest. So it was a cosmetic change that appealed to the peasant masses by promising them land to boost their agricultural productivity, or gave them an option to leave for the city to work. Above all, the status quo of the Romanov rulership was maintained.

For example, look at today's home ownership in the U.S. Most buyers take out a loan and cannot afford to buy a home oughtright with cash. Whatever price the home sells for, the buyer usually is paying 3 times more with compound interest and amortization. Most loans are 30 years. Under Alexander II, the peasant would likely own their land in 49 years and would work harder to achieve thier goal.

The Double Standards of Marx

Speaking to my fellow Socialists, I know Marx is revered as a "Prophet of the Proletariat." I personally find Marx's Das Kapital to be an outstanding critique that reveals the true nature of Capitalism. In fact, looking at a Marx-Engels Reader book, which is a collection of his writings, he spends more time critiqing other Socialists (240 pages) rather than implementing his Socialist plan (93 pages). Marx seems more intrigued about Capitalism's awesome productive potential.

The Manifesto and the Gotha Plan

I wrote this portion for the intentions for the Socialist to see the differences of Socialist views and to see which agrees more with what Socialism ought to be. But also, I referenced the Marx's manifesto The first part is Marx's manifesto:

[size=xx-small]1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
2.A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3.Abolition of all right of inheritance.
4.Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5.Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6.Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
7.Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8.Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9.Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of the population over the country.
10.Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.


The second part is the Gotha program of 1875 by Germany's Social Democratic Party:

[1] Labor is the source of all wealth, and of all civilization; and since it is only through society that generally productive labor is possible, the whole product of labor, where there is a general obligation to work, belongs to society, - that is, to all its members, by equal right, to each according to his reasonable needs.
[2] In the society of today the means of production are a monopoly of the capitalistic class; the dependence of the working classes which results from this is the cause of misery and of servitude in all its forms.
[3] The emancipation of labor requires the conversion of the means of production into the common property of society and the social regulation of all labor and its application for the general good, together with the just distribution of the product of labor.
[4] The emancipation of labor must be the work of the laboring class itself, opposed to which all other classes are reactionary groups.
[5] Proceeding from these principles, the socialist labor party of Germany endeavors by every lawful means to bring about a free state and a socialistic society, to effect the destruction of the iron law of wages by doing away with the system of wage labor, to abolish exploitation of every kind, and to extinguish all social and political inequality.
[6] The socialist labor party of Germany, although for the time being confining its activity within national bounds, is fully conscious of the international character of the labor movement, and is resolved to meet all the obligations which this lays upon the laborer, in order to bring the brotherhood of all mankind to a full realization.
[7] The Socialist labor party of Germany, in order to prepare the way for the solution of the social question, demands the establishment of socialistic productive associations; with the support of the state and under the democratic control of the working people. These productive associations, for both industry and agriculture, are to be created to such an extent that the socialistic organization of all labor may result therefrom.
[8] [In addition to the demand for universal suffrage for all above twenty years of age, secret ballot, freedom of the press, free and compulsory education, etc.,] the socialist labor party of Germany demands the following reforms in the present social organization: (1) the greatest possible extension of political rights and freedom in the sense of the above-mentioned demands; (2) a single progressive income tax, both state and local, instead of all the existing taxes, especially the indirect ones, which weigh heavily upon the people; (3) unlimited right of association; (4) a (619) normal working day corresponding with the needs of society, and the prohibition of work on Sunday; (5) prohibition of child labor and all forms of labor by women which are dangerous to health or morality; (6) laws for the protection of the life and health of workmen, sanitary control of workmen's houses, inspection of mines, factories, workshops, and domestic industries by officials chosen by the workmen themselves, and an effective system of enforcement of the same; (7) regulation of prison labor.


Marx wrote the Critique of the Gotha Plan in an effort to explain why the Social Democratic Party of Germany were utopian idealists without any concept of historical materialism, which is a Marxian invented concept. In reality, Marx embraces a culture of crtique, by giving a point by point summation of the Gotha Program in triviality and tedium. The Gotha program was influenced by Marx's rival, Fredinand Lasalle. Marx was likely jealous because Lasalle founded the first German labor party (ADAV), with its only stated purpose was to winning equal, universal and direct suffrage through peaceful and legal means. Marx's supporters did not join ADAV, and it shows Marx was actually more of a utopian socialist than he accused others to be.

For the sake of pure conjecture, I am saying that Marx is a glory hog. Marx took Hegel's broad philosophy of Dialecticism and reduced it to only analyzing the historical factors of production, to fit his own ideas. Furthermore, Marx would also draw upon Proudhon's The Philosophy of Poverty and critcize it in The Poverty of Philosophy. Apparently, Marx feels that only he can enlighten the people and save them, since he doesn't believe in God.

The Path to Socialism: Orthodoxy versus the Russian example

Again, I've included Marx's Manifesto to demonstrate his deviation from Orthodoxy whenever it could potentially enhance his prestige in his favor. Marx viewed that industrial capitalism would degrade the worker to the point of achieving dictatorship of the proletariat. Marx viewed Socialism capable in the United States, Britain and possibly the Netherlands. Yet, most of his participtory agitation on behalf of workers occured in newly industrializing German states that seek unification as one nation.

However, Marx offers a nuanced approach to Socialism for Russia. Marx learned to speak Russian. He read Nikolai Chernyshevski, and corresponded with other Russian Socialists.

In 1877, Marx suggested that Russia could escape Capitalism and move directly to Socialism IF capitalist elements were destroyed within the peasant society and IF proletarian revolutions erupted soon in Western Europe. In 1881, Marx was anxious to overthrow the Russian Monarchy. Marx said that he was convinced that the peasant communes would be "the mainspring of Russia's social regeneration" if it could, "eliminate the deletrious influences which assail it from every quarter." Fredrich Engels, speaking after Marx's death, said that the aforementioned conditions were not met in Russia, and it was doomed to undergo Capitalism.

My point is that Marx and Engels proved to be hesistant Marxists. They advocate one way, and practice something else. But I think it is clear, after German Unification, Marx's vision of Socialist Germany was broken by Bismarck and Laselles influence. So, Marx's hope hinged on an unknown Russia and he probably became a Bolshevik by default while reading Chernyshevski.

Chernyshevski: the Precursor of Vanguardism

Chernyshevski was a Russian intellectual influenced by the idealism of French Socialists, like Fourier. In 1863, he wrote, What is to be Done. He stressed that intellectuals have a duty to educate and lead the "toiling masses." In regards to Russia, Chernyshevski viewed the peasant commune as the basis for decentralized agrarian socialism, that could bypass capitalism, directly toward Socialism.

Enter Vladimir Lenin

Lenin admits to be influenced by both Chernyshevski and Marx. Lenin seemed highly concerned about preventing Capitalism in Russia and stressed prevention through revolution. However, he provides a prognosis of Russian society, in that, capitalist development is undermining the peasant commune. He also explains that the Populists were wrong in, Who Are the Friends of the People? (1894).

The key point I want to make is Lenin is focused on revolution and how to achieve it, rather than policy implementation. The Populists writers, like Chernyshevski, thought that the peasants would bring revolution. However, Lenin wrote in, The Development of Russia (1899), that a differentiation of rural proletariat and rural burgeoisie was disintegrating the peasant commune. This means Lenin seeks a revolutionary strategy through dividng the peasants. During 1917 however, Lenin utilizes the Petrograd workers as and soldiers as the main social forces to bring Revolution because the peasants were usually illiterate and far from news information.

Midway reflective thoughts

Marx's manifesto focused more on capitalism, rather than socialism. Marx initially exhibited hubris and attempted to stifle other Socialist thought, until Germany's unification. Marx's manifesto of revolution was intended for industrialized countries and stressed the importance of economic development. Yet, Marx's revolutionary actions during his life occured in countries that were not industrially developed yet. Marx diverges from Orthodoxy in the case for Russia, and adopts the pre-Bolshevik ideas of Chernyshevski, of bypassing the stage of Capitalism. Lenin, at this point, has unclear intentions, other than he doesn't find the peasantry reliable to bring revolution, and focuses on the workers.

Did Marx and Lenin really believe capitalism's development is desirable and necessary to bring Socialism? Or were they only focused on a strategy for revolution?

1905 Russian Revolution to 1914

A real revolution occured in Russia from liberal-democratic movements, much like the European revolutions of 1848. The catalyst incident involved the priest Father George Gapon leading factory workers from St. Petersburg to deflect them from revolutionary ideas. Gapon urged the workers to end the war with Japan, make a constituent assembly, grant civil rights, and establish an 8-hour workday, all of which were goals of the Liberationists. The Tsar's uncle ordered troops to fire on the crowd and thus Bloody Sunday occured.

The point is not to focus too much on the causes but more on the effects. Clearly, Russia was industrializing at this point in time. Nicholas II didn't want to lose productivity. The Monarchy had the spectre of fear of the populated countryside being whipped up by another "Pugachev" or Alexander Herzin's populism, the friend of the House of Rothschild. Nicholas may have overestimated the situation and did not have Lenin's insight about Revolutionary feeling in the society, at the time. Indeed, the autocracy was broken when Sergei Witte drafted the October Manifesto.

Political reform

A Duma monarchy was formed but the parliaments power was still weak. Some wordings in the constitution were changed. The Emperor was was not an unlimited autocrat anymore, but just an autocrat. The Emperor could declare war and appoint and dismiss ministers. Article 87 allowed him to rule by decree. Essentially, the legislature could not operate with such limitations over the executive.

The first elections demonstrated the popularity of the liberal-democratic Kadet party with a leading 180 seats. The Trudovik party represented labor and peasants with 100 seats. Both parties wanted land reform and civil rights, but neither were radical. The Social Democrats, led by Lenin, were divided on whether to participate. Although Lenin wanted to participate to criticize the government, his Bolshevik faction rejected participation. The Menshevik faction did participate and won 18 seats.

The point is that all of the parties reflected the general mood of the country by supporting reforms within the system. But the Bolsheviks and Social Revolutionaries demanded the violent overthrow of the Monarchy.

The first Duma was dissolved soon and the Kadets lost favor. The second Duma was shortlived with Social Democrats and Social Revolutionaries paticipating and comprising half the seats but were declared illegal by Stolypin. The third duma only had 2.5% of the electorate participating and the conservative Octoberist party won the majority. Social Democrats had only 14 seats. The third duma was allowed to serve its full 5 years term. The fourth duma was even more conservative with half of the members being noblemen. Each time the Duma was turned over, it became more conservative.

Petr Stolypin and the Great Agrarian Reform

Stolypin was executive of the duma. At the end of the second duma, he had his agrarian reform debated within the duma, which further isolated Bolshevik polemics. The Stolypin reform in 1906, coupled with industrial growth, was lifting Russia's economic development.

Stolypin abolished the peasant commune and fostered early cooperative farming. A householder could claim ownership of all plow land worked. If a peasant applied for an ownership deed, then all of the land in it became private. The farmsteads were consolidated and scattered strip farming were gone. No more collectivization. Farmers could keep their surplus and trade it. In 1914, the European Russian peasantry owned four times as much land as the nobility (460 versus 108 million acres) By 1915, over half of Russian households had hereditary ownership of their own alloted land and 10 percent consolidated their land. By 1917, most Russian crop land was in the hands of peasants.

Stolypin said the reforms needed 20 years of peace to achieve full success. Unfortunately, the reforms were halted in 1915 due to war. The point is that Lenin was afraid of these successes because the peasants would become satisfied as a class of loyal, conservative peasant proprietors.

World War I collapses Russian Monarchy System

There was serious social tension and major worker upsurge early 1914 due to the tactical failures of the Russian military. The war was not popular. Russia's newly constructed urban industries were empty because workers were sent to battle. The forward progressing industrial production was Russia's positive factor and now it was lost.

Unlike the 1905 revolution, to call 1861 or 1917 a "revoutionary situation", is in my view, misleading. Only future intellegentsia of the Soviet Union would have us believe otherwise.

The key is to understand the polarizing effects of urbanization, and its alienation from the peasantry. As mentioned earlier, Lenin saw this critical and tactical demographic for his revolution. Lenin would stress the cajoling of the urban workers and neglect the uneducated peasants in his strategy.

Provisional Government and the return of the Bolsheviks

At this stage of history, Lenin is definitely a pragmatic opportunist that sought revolution for merely the sake of change, and was a reactionary politician. I would even say that Lenin is a diabolical strategist, at some points.

Later on, an ambigious Bolshevik foreign policy would cause confusion in the Duma. Later on, the Bolshevik ambiguity on foreign policy will plague future leadership and will be the sticking point for the Stalin's hostilities toward Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev and Bukharin. Although Nicholas II had abdicated, nobody was sure if Russia would continue fighting World War I.

Bolsheviks are Rightists! Very quickly!

Lev Kamenev and Joseph Stalin returned to Petrograd in March 1917. Briefly, the Bolsheviks turned Rightist by continuing to support the Provisional Government's war against Germany. Stalin tried to remain ambigious about the aims of war, much like Lenin.
Lenin had returned to Russia in April, after spending time in the banking capital of Switzerland. Lenin was as determined as ever to bring revolution and he saw the opportunity with the current Provisional Government. In his writings, Collected Works, volume 23; Lenin telegraphed his party comrades, "Our tactic: absolute lack of confidence, no support for the new government."

Lenin negotiated with the German government and was consented to return to Russia if he overthrew the Pro-Allied Russian government and ended their participation in the war. Lenin recieved a reciept of German gold and along with other Russian Socialists exiles, passed through Germany on a sealed train.

Was Lenin a "German agent", as some say? I think he has a shady history. Maybe he was a German agent, but maybe he wasn't. The point is Lenin was an opportunist that was infatuated by leading a revolution of change and would have sought anybody's help fulfill his dreams.

The arrival of Lenin

When Lenin returned to Petrograd on April 16, he was given a triumphal welcome, despite having no involvement in the Soviet or Duma. The Soviet Chairmen Chkheidze greeted Lenin and said, "We think that the principal task of revolutionary democracy is now the defense of the revolution from any encroachment, either within or without..., the closing of democratic ranks. We hope that you will persue these goals together with us."

Lenin disregarded Chkeidze, turned to the Soviet delegation and said, "Dear Comrades, Soldiers, Sailors and Workers! I amhappy to greet in your persons the victorious Russian revolution, and greet you as the vanguard of the worldwide proletarian army. The piratical imperialist war is the beginning of civil war throughout Europe... the Worldwide Socialist Revolution has already dawned... Germany is seething... Any day now the whole of European capitalism may crash. The Russian revolution accomplished by you has prepared the way and opened a new epoch. Long live the worldwide Socialist revolution."

The following day, April 17, Lenin presented a series of proposals known as the, April Theses. He explained, "The basic question is our attitude toward the war." The Provisional Government favored to continue World War I, but Lenin condemned it as "imperialistic" and stressed that, "...Russians must transform this 'imperialist war' into a civil war against Capitalism."

The arrival of Trotsky

In May, Leon Trotsky returned from exile in New York. He quickly joined the Bolsheviks with a naive optimism for his own plans of Worldwide Revolution. This is where I believe Lenin's cunning plans to trick the Provisional Government had led to confusion later on within the Bolshevik party...

Speaking to my fellow Socialists, its common for Trotsky supporters to claim Lenin stole the idea of Worldwide Revolution for the sake of winning popular support. But, I argue that this view is misinterpreted.

In my view, the situation during the Provisional Government was to continue supporting the war, as an abstract concept. But there was different motives for supporting the war.

Kerensky supported the war to maintain a Western alliance since Russia had received much capital investment from England and France. Lenin supported the war because he personally knew that the war would lead to failure, he could then blame the current Provisional government, thus enhancing his own personal power within Russia, along with the Bolsheviks. Trotsky, Kamenev, and the other Bolsheviks that promoted Worldwide revolution thought they could fulfill Marxist orthodoxy and better maintain a Socialist system if other nations also followed.

But Stalin, the "grey blur", remained inscrutable in his motives for war, at this time. But in my view, Stalin is a cunning pragmatic strategist that understands Lenin's thinking. In Lenin's mind, a capitalist civil war focuses on anti-bolshevik forces within Russia's geopolitical sphere. Trotsky, and his like, do not understand Lenin, and rather they focus on a 'civil war' beyond Russia's geopolitical sphere. Later, Stalin would use Lenin's denunciation of an imperialist war and attribute it to Trotsky and his other opponents.

Bolshevik turn back to the Left!

Lenin's prognosis comes to fruitation. Kerensky continues the war, with the facade of Bolshevik support, and the Russian army gets battered in Galicia by Austrian and German troops. Demoralized Russian forces flee from battle. Meanwhile, Lenin and the Bolsheviks have anti-war demonstrations and command the loyalty of the workers within the main industrial center of Petrograd, who also oppose fighting.

Kornilov affair divides Provisional Government into pieces

Without going into too much detail, I am in agreement with Professor Richard Pipes view that the Kornilov affair undermined the government and the Bolsheviks seized the opportunities based on the mistakes of others.

Lavr Kornilov was appointed commander in chief of the army by Kerensky. Kornilov and his supporters wanted to continue the war and declared Lenin a German agent and wanted the Bolsheviks for hanged for treason. Lenin escapes, Trostsky is arrested and the Bolsheviks suffer a short setback. But the Workers in Petrograd, which was Lenin's base for his revolution, had increased their sympathy for the Bolshevik's anti-war position.

Kornilov thought Kerensky's support was weak, so he decided on a military coup against Kerensky. Because Kornilov had the military support, Kerensky was desperate for defenders of his government. Kerensky then had to release the Bolsheviks to gain backing from the Red Guard workers militia. Kornilov and his forces failed. The Bolsheviks now were in charge of Russian security and Kerensky's influence was marginalized.

In my view, this proves that when State propaganda and State-officials are stripped as plausible public actors, the root of the State is it's Junta.

The 1917 Coup, er... Revolution

This period demonstrates the true ambitions of Lenin. Lenin deviates from Marxist Orthodoxy. Lenin's visions are not "Democratic-centralism" because his actions are completely undemocratic. Lenin sees Russia as a large tract of land in which he needs to secure his power over it from those who disagree with him.

Lenin secures his base support in Petrograd and Kronstadt by signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. The Russian people are worn out from the war and seek peace. Then, Lenin creates an all-Bolshevik Soviet Central Committee, without conferring with the Kadets, the Mensheviks or the Socialist Revolutionaries. However, an uneasy calm is maintained because the parties within the Constituent Assembly expect Lenin to hold elections to see who wins majority.

For the first time in Russian history, an election occurs with universal suffrage and that is contended by multiple-parties. More than 40 million votes were casted. But the there is a problem for Lenin. The Socialist Revolutionaries win 58% of the vote. The Bolsheviks gain 25% of the vote, and the Kadets gain about 13%.

So what does Lenin do? Lenin dissolves the Constituent Assembly. Lenin then banned the Kadets for being counterrevolutionary and arrested the Right SRs. Finally, the Constituent Assembly warned Lenin that it must accept the Soviet measures or be dissolved.
When the Assembly convened on January 18th, 1918, it was surrounded by sharpshooters and armed Red soldiers. The Bolsheviks tried to advance their resolutions with coercion, but they failed. When Socialist Revolutionary, Victor Mikhailovich Chernov was elected President, the Bolsheviks left the assembly. The following day, the Bolshevik guards told Chernov to suspend the Assembly session and the building was closed down. Later, the Socialist Revolutionaries attempted to inform the peasantry about the situation in vain.

Lenin continues his ruthless policy of enhancing his self-power and crushing potential challengers. He hypocritically used decrees, like the Czar and abolished the senate. He sent the sinister secret police, known as the Cheka to begin a Red terror under Felix Dzhezhinsky. The Romanov family was abducted and murdered by Lenin's orders.

As a point of emphasis and to show Lenin's diabolical posturing, he will concoct a short-term plan. Lenin anticipates a backlash from rival parties in response to his ruthless policies. Knowing that the Social Revolutionaries have a strong peasant support, he implements a program to divide the peasantry against each other. Lenin allows the peasantry to seize landowners' estates and divide them into small holdings, in an effort to win peasantry support away from the Social Revolutionaries. Then, Lenin gives himself an insurance policy; he drafts a constitution giving the urban workers weighted votes to counter the numerical superiority of the peasants, just in case he can't gain their popular support.

The Disaster of War Communism

Jacob Sverdlov admitted that the Bolsheviks could survive, "only if we can split the vilage into two irreconciliable hostile camps, if we succeed in rousing the village poor against the village burgeoisie."
Lenin made a program of nationalization, grain requisitioning and labor mobilization. The Red Army detachments, by inconsequentially following Herzin's populism of "Going to the People", aided committees of the poor in the countryside. All "surplus" grain beyond a bare minimum subsistence were to be seized by Red-backed peasants, from the middle peasants and Kulaks. By 1920, Russia's production fell to 20% of the 1913 levels.

Rebellions of Tambov and Kronstadt

When the words concetration camp and gases come up, people usually don't think about Russia. But the former Socialist Revolutionary comrades became enemies of the Bolshviks, which meant they needed to be liquidated. In Tambov, the Red Army used poison gases against SRs hiding in the forests. Thousands of SRs were placed in concentration camps. The Bolsheviks ignored the Petropavlosk Resolution by the Kronstadt mutineers and were forcibly put down by Trostsky. This proved Lenin's insincerity in helping the peasants, but rather, selectively attacking former comrades seeking autonomy from his rule.

The Bolsheviks became a repressive tyranny, in which, Lenin admitted that Kronstadt, "lit up reality better than anything else." Lenin focused on new needs for Bolshevik Russia after the Civil War ended.

The Double Standards of Lenin

Earlier, I mentioned that Marx thought industrial capitalism would be a means to Socialism. When Marx lost confidence, he adopted the view of Chernyshevski, explaining that Socialism can be achieved through bypassing Capitalism. Lenin would adopt this approach.

Here is where Lenin's double standard is shown: For all his earlier works about saving Russia from capitalism and an oppressive old system, Lenin moves forward with the New Economic Policy...

The New Economic Policy

...with Capitalist organizational development. Lenin ended grain requisitioning and approved a fixed tax rate per acre, which was what the Tambov rebels wanted, in the first place. Then, Lenin led the peasantry back to strip farming, which was already existing under the Monarchy. The freedom and surpluses that the farmers achieved with the Stolypin reforms were lost.

Lenin's doctrines changed considerably after acheiving leadership. Before the November coup he had declared in his writing, State and Revolution, that a new bureaucratic regime would break up the officialdom of the old bureaucratic regime. But, under the NEP, capitalism simplified government functions because workers could perform their own tasks.

Lenin also discarded his hostility toward the burgeois in 1920 when he admitted, "We have to administer with the help of people belonging to the class we have overthrown."

Who was the "real" Lenin?

Only God knows. My intentions were to prove that Lenin was a self-interested pragmatist, that knew how to seize social opportunities like a sociopath. After 1917, Lenin administered reactionary policies that were unorthodox and the same or worse than the people he sought to overthrow. Perhaps Lenin was a remarkable theorotician and a clueless administrator.

Stalin and the Bolshevik Legacy

Stalin did really bad things in regards to human rights. He oversaw an impressive bureaucracy that was trying to maintain stability within a vast Russian country. The first thing, is to admit the crimes of Stalin. I also want to say that repression was an inalienable part of Bolshevism. The arbitrary arrests and detentions were intensified during Stalin's rule. The massive purges led to many fatalities.

I agree with Alexander Solzhenitsyn's view. When people talk about the abuses of Soviet Russia, they tend to focus on 1937-1938. Solzhenitsyn says, "It is well known that any organ withers away if it is not used." He goes into say that the security organs, much like tenticles, were flexed from the beginning and gained much muscular strength from constant exercise.

The Cheka was instituted since Lenin and later evolved into the NKVD. Solzhenitsyn says, "And so an entirely new form was adopted: extrajudicial reprisal, and this thankless job was self-sacraficingly assumed by the Cheka... the only punative organ in human history which cobined on one set of hands investigation, arrest, interrogation, prosecution, trial an execution of verdict."
Solzhenitsyn also says, "But even before there was any Civil War, it could be seen that Russia... was obviously not suited for any sort of socialism whatsoever." This view would contradict Lenin's view.

Collectivization of Agriculture

One of the most dramatic events of history occured when Russian agriculture transformed 25 million individual farms into several hundred thousand collective and state farms. Stalin had decided to eliminate the NEP, which was implemented during Lenin. But what exactly did Stalin envision with his views collectivism and socialism? How do most people interpret Stalin's actions? Was Stalin's agriculture policy more aligned with Stolypin or Lenin?

Speaking of forced collectivization, Stalin declared, "The characteristic feature of the present collective farm movement is that not only are the collective farms being joined by individual groups of poor peasants...but...by the mass of middle peasants as well. This means that the collective farm movement has been transformed from a movement of individual groups and sections of the laboring peasants into a movement of millions and millions of the main mass of peasantry..."

So, Stalin's agricultural plan consolidates the land, like Stolypin, as opposed to Lenin. But, it differs from Stolypin's plan in that the farmers do not keep their surplus. Under the NEP, the peasants could keep their surplus and be taxed annually.

Stalin says, "...In a whole number of areas we have succeeded in turning the main mass of the peasantry away from the old, capitalist path... to the new socialist path of development, which ousts the rich and the capitalists and reequips the middle and poor peasants... with modern implements... so as to enable them them to climb out of poverty and enslavement to the kulaks and onto the high road of cooperative, collective cultivation of the land..."

There are several key points I would like to mention about what Stalin means. Collectivization is like the old peasant commune system under Alexander, in a sense. But the peasant commune only shared agriculture in localities. However, Stalin is saying that the entire Russian agriculture is now a commune. Secondly, Stalin is defining Socialism with two aspects: 1) Russia is now one big division of laboring peasants. 2) The importance of modern implements, or scientific advancements in technology has allowed for higher productivity. The higher the productivity, the more the wealth can spread around. Stalin further says, "...All objections raised by 'science' against the possibility and expediency of organizing large grain factorys of 40,000 and 50,000 hectares each have collapsed..."

Stalin's scientific socialism differs from Marx's scientific socialism. The former emphasizes technology and the latter emphasized social theories... Although, Marxist Orthodoxy claims that Capitalism will eventually lead to Socialism, clearly speaking, Stalin was fufilling that by avoiding a capitalistic organization of labor by eliminating the Kulaks from hiring peasant farmers. Stalin discovered how to bypass "capitalism".

Forced Collectivization?

There is numerous allegations against Stalin and the NKVD for terrorizing the peasants and coercing them into collectivization. Although, I do believe that Stalin was overly concerned about making individuals submit to the State, but I think the coercion was based on administrative circumstance, rather than police intervention. Stalin actually admits this and says, "It is neccessary... to implant in the village large socialist farms, collective and state farms, as bases of socialism which, with the socialist city in the vanguad, can drag along the masses of peasants."

Essentially, the State farms had all of Russia's latest agricultural technology. The peasants sought to utilize the equipment to make surpluses rather than trade with the kulaks. So Stalin's plan is not so much welfare, but a levereged incentive. However, I do not want to minimize the cases of police intervention.

The Challenges of Collectivization

Remember, Lenin realized the social impact of class alienation between city and countryside during his quest for power. Stalin also recognized this social class alienation when attempting to industrialize Russia, which Lenin failed. The NEP allowed farmers to keep their surpluses for profit but they rarely had access to city markets. So city goods and rural goods had a massive price differential and that caused stagnation in the economy. Farmers simply ate more food during the NEP.

Stalin's challenge to create a modern industrial economy was to diminish the social classes of urban and rural. The city's were producing the equipment for the farmers. Now, the farmers just needed to get the food to the city. An ignition was needed. That's probably Stalin's motive for forced collectivization. Who knows? Maybe after the urban and rural exchange occurs, Stalin could provide farmer subsidies in the future as insurance.

Nevertheless, forced collectivization created resistance among some farmers who slaughtered more animals or traded surplus grain without reporting to the State. So, Stalin needed bureaucratic oversight. But there are challenges with auditing over 20 million square kilometers of land and there could be accounting errors. But Stalin had little choice and created a huge bureaucracy that may have upset the "Old Bolsheviks" in the party.

A Proper Perspective on Stalinism

In this section, I provide the perspective of two historians, J. Arch Getty and Robert W. Thurston.

Getty suggests that the Bolshevik Party was far from being totalitarian, and while Stalin was the dominant figure he was not omnipotent, and the terror was not the product of his careful personal planning. Getty argues that the great terror was a bloody and ad hoc result of Moscow's efforts to stabilize power in the country.

Getty says, "It is not neccessary for us to put Stalin in day-to-day control of events to judge him. A chaotic local bureaucracy, a quasi-feudal network of politicians accustomed to arresting people and a set of perhaps insoluble political and social problems created an atmosphere conducive to violence."

Basically, Stalin's opinions were catalytic and the chain of institutional bureaucracy would have an uncontrolled explosion. Getty futher says, "...the 'Great Purges' should be redefined. It was not the result of a petrified bureaucracy's stamping out dissent and annihilating old radical revolutionaries. In fact, it may have been the opposite. It is not inconsistent that the 'Great Purges' was rather a radical, even hysterical, reaction to bureaucracy. The entrenched officeholders were destroyed from above and below in a chaotic wave of voluntarism and revolutionary puritanism."

Basically, there was a bureaucratic implosion of self-righteousness, by my interpretation.

Robert Thurston provides his account of Stalinism and, in my view, supplants my argument that Stalin's self-interest politics aligns himself with Bolshevik legacy.

Thurston says, "Stalinism in the second half of the 1930s was characterized not by reliance on any one practice but a series of rapid, profound shifts. The pattern reflects the great ability of the country's leader to set policies in motion, if not control their outcome. The Stalin of these pages was a evil man, but a man nonetheless....The evidence is strong that he did not plan the terror."

Thurston also rejects that Stalin's great terror had a massive effect on the populous.

Thurston says, "...In any case, terror touched a minority of citizens, albeit a substantial one, and the violence was concentrated among the country's elite. Many citizens, however, did not experience or even notice the Terror except in newspapers and speeches."

Then Thurston concludes, "It is doubtful that any state could adinister its people by imposing terror on them; assuing that a regime might try, severe contradictions and wide-spread avoidance behavior would quickly arise. Only an invading army might rule by terror, and then perhaps only for a limited time. Countries become enemies of the West may be labeled systems of terror, but this judgement is of little help in understanding their internal workings."

The point is that we ought to look beyond Critical Theorists at the Frankfurt School by reducing every dictators actions through psychoanalysis...

A Holocaust and Denial?

In dealing with the violence in Russia, I wanted to take a serious approach. I know many Socialist comrades will want to blame Stalin for everything. However, we must realize that history is not static and is subject to change in light of new facts. We must be able to investigate the truths of the matter to properly understand humanity. So, if there are Socialists that question the existence of God. But we should also be able to question the extent of historical events.

I have offered two perspective on the extent of the number of victims of the USSR between 1937-1938.

Robert Conquest's figures: 8 million arrests, 1 million executed, 2.6 million died in camps.
Robert Thurston's figures: 1,575,259 arrests and 681,692 executed

While Thurston uses official archive reports after 1953 from executive fact-finding commissions. Conquest, however, claims complete accuracy is not attainable because some records were lost and some never existed.

Conclusion

Dear Comrades. My hopes were to reveal a fair perspective on Socialism. My view is that the cult Bolshevism allowed for such reckless and brutal behavior to evolve. Of course some members were much more responsible for crimes, than others.

I tried to link the behavior, motives and actions of Marx, Lenin and Stalin to maybe spark debate. All 3 were pragmatic and almost enigmatic in their cause. My skepticism of their actions had led me to shed light on their nuances and I hope that others see that as well.

Marx was a magnificent analyst. Lenin was a good speaker and a better theoratician. Stalin was a good organizer and administrator. But all three in practice showed intolerance for sharing power and being undemocratic. All three pronounced a violent revolution to bring forth their ideals. They all had their mistakes.

We need to stop comparing and contrasting old leaders against each other. Neither of these men could politically exist in today's world. We need to look beyond the mainstream literature to gather ideas about Socialism. We also need to look to ourselves now and see the future. There are examples like the recent Landless Peasants Party in Brazil. The province of Kerala in India is excellent insight. The Mondragon Cooperative is a viable alternative to big Corporations. The best working example for a model economy is the Swedish Social Democrats from 1900-1970. Socialism is alive and well.[/size]


[Note: I expressed my view on this matter. The title is intended to be provacative. Feel free to agree or disagree, if you manage to read the entire post]
These men did not hold a gestalt vision for their country or the world for that matter. All they saw, was associationist utilitarianist ambitions. The means didn't matter, the ends could change quickly to serve their purpose, while others took the blame for lost objectives, which weren't objectives in the first place, just pretexts. It also has something to do with dialectic materialism, while the dialectic side of it is ok, the materialist side of it is not, because materialism tries to explain everything as processes of kinematics and give a mechanicist answer to everything. The greatest problem with evolution is contained in its name. It is a theory of evolution, not of creation or birth or incipience. It proposes a mechanism for how life changes, not how it begins. To be a variant answer to Genesis, it would have to propose a mechanism for the beginnings of life, and this it does not even pretend to do. Religious people are often or usually very ignorant, it is true, but scientists are only marginally less ignorant.
During those times, hard core communists who literally hated the bourgeoisie and any other forms of empowering the masses except through violent means (all or nothing thinking) thought of themselves and their ideology as alpha and omega. They acted and criticized the past as if they held the answers to everything and held the absolute authority to pass judgement on the past, present and future. Any kind of dogmatism is dangerous when it rallies behind it, executive, legislative and judicial powers, but it is equally true, that undogmatic pragmatism creates crimes just as easily. Men who actually love life and sacrifice themselves so that others may have it, can never start off such violence, terror and crimes.

Triniteras

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTkf22bIkAQ

If I start out Georgia with a red flag,
Then I can go anywhere with every one
I've been spreading and hoping for communism
Men'sheviki can't even touch me
Lenin is dead, Boooon!
Immediately, purge old party members
Send all the rebels to Siberia!

Immediately, purge old party members
Send all the rebels to Siberia!
On one sunny day, Baba Yaga's curse Pours limitlessly;
it's not impossible
What meet you tomorrow, it'll be a camp in Siberia Group agriculture!
I don't care for stavation
Heavy industry is the top priority
Purge the rebels, now!

Various predictions can seem to but cannot imagine what the war is like
German little mustache has got to invade Russia.
Too much purge on the Red Army! It's too weak!
Everyone gives me disparate eyes
T34, Byuuuuun!

On one snowy day in Stalingrad,
Roll up and destroy the Krauts; it's not impossible
With the infinite Lend-Lease, we have plenty materials!
For real, Roosevelt is a sucker!
Finland was a kind of miscalculation,
But I don't care
Because we have Manchuria
(Oh, comrade Berija, I found my pen)
(It's too late comrade Stalin. 20 suspects have confessed)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f67vXMHE-yo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kH3Ht-gJsJU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzxRCbCXlz0
Overall I share your starting perspective, Mr. Helsworth

Helsworth: These men did not hold a gestalt vision for their country or the world for that matter. All they saw, was associationist utilitarianist ambitions. The means didn't matter, the ends could change quickly to serve their purpose, while others took the blame for lost objectives, which weren't objectives in the first place, just pretexts.

Okay. (If I am assuming your Gestalt context correctly..) But do these men understand the "totality factor" of Gestalt by choosing a successful organization that they thought would "better" the world?

In Stalin's case, he could probably get party support from various high-ranking officials to use Russia to ignite worldwide revolution. Did he understand the "totality" of the situation: public support? military capability? Is Stalin really utilitarian?

Generally speaking, I think the problem with the Bolsheviks is morality and ethics. But based on Gestalt's view, if a person understands totality, do they exhibit traces of morality?

Helsworth: It also has something to do with dialectic materialism... It proposes a mechanism for how life changes, not how it begins.

Okay. (You are saying dialectic materialism and the theory of evolution are analogous?) Marx wanted to move debates from the metaphysical to change the physical world from capitalism's inequalities. He saw that the world was being shaped by a value for material.

I am sensing that your view of dialectical materialism as interpreting the world inevitably in conflict over material, would influence Marx, Lenin and Stalin to embrace the very thing they are criticizing?

As I mentioned in the first post, Marx reduces Hegel's dialecticism. Do you think it's possible to be "ideal" about the metaphysical and the physical? To simply theorize about what the metaphysical "could be" and the physical "ought to be", without making it dichotomous?

Keep in mind, which I didn't mention in my post, Lenin did much to reverse the Church's role in society. Stalin actually brought the Russian Orthodox Church back in societal affairs. Perhaps Stalin understood the human neccesity of metaphysical pondering during war that deals with life and death?
Well it's mostly about reductionist thinking. Human beings aren;t just producers and consumers, there's a lot more to the human being. As for Marx, he was a disciple of Adam Smith, Marx's, ideology had that time bomb implanted in it.
Income equality among people isn't the mission of humanity, welfare is, decensy is, opportunity is. What matters is for people to get equal opportunities and live a decent life. I don't like Marx or Engels as characters, Marx said "Philosophy is to reality as masturbation is to sex", and I highly doubt that they really gave a damn about the poor. The mission of mankind is to foster human creativity as much as possible, and that means rendering to every individual the chance of participation in creation (noosphere and its consequences to the shaping of the biosphere). Marx wrote a lot about labor, but virtually didn't do any labor himself.
I like Rosa Luxemburg a lot though, because she put real emphasis on the individual human mind, I'll give a few of her quotes:
-Only through the conscious action of the working masses in city and country can it be brought to life, only through the people's highest intellectual maturity and inexhaustible idealism can it be brought safely through all storms and find its way to port.
-The masses are in reality their own leaders, dialectically creating their own development process.
-The more that social democracy develops, grows, and becomes stronger, the more the enlightened masses of workers will take their own destinies, the leadership of their movement, and the determination of its direction into their own hands.

Quote:
Helsworth: Well it's mostly about reductionist thinking. Human beings aren;t just producers and consumers, there's a lot more to the human being.


Right. We are more than only producers and consumers. Marx's dialectical historicism infers a sense of inevitable conflict for material as being the central desire of human wants. Marx, Lenin and Stalin, in my view, are the epitome of Realism, which is was my a point I underscored in the first post.

I think we can theorize phenomenon and act on our ideals. Do you suppose Marx, through a reductionist view, saw capitalism as phenomenon with natural steam-powered machines providing greater material output for all of humanity?

Quote:
Helsworth: As for Marx, he was a disciple of Adam Smith, Marx's, ideology had that time bomb implanted in it.


In what way?

Commissar Wrote:

Quote:
Helsworth: Well it's mostly about reductionist thinking. Human beings aren;t just producers and consumers, there's a lot more to the human being.


Right. We are more than only producers and consumers. Marx's dialectical historicism infers a sense of inevitable conflict for material as being the central desire of human wants. Marx, Lenin and Stalin, in my view, are the epitome of Realism, which is was my a point I underscored in the first post.

I think we can theorize phenomenon and act on our ideals. Do you suppose Marx, through a reductionist view, saw capitalism as phenomenon with natural steam-powered machines providing greater material output for all of humanity?

Quote:
Helsworth: As for Marx, he was a disciple of Adam Smith, Marx's, ideology had that time bomb implanted in it.


In what way?

I think Marx bent with the wind to strengthen what he wanted the people to think he believed in. Just because he was contextually antimalthusian doesn't make him a hero. One who rejects statements because he percieves them only as propaganda warfare is less than the man who rejects them on scientific grounds on research and application.
The time bomb was Smith's Theory of moral sentiments. Karl Marx represents a branch of the British East India Company’s Haileybury School. Under strong advice from that English processor of slave-produced cotton, Frederick Engels, Marx was induced, during the 1840’s, to become a savage opponent of the American System of political-economy of, first, Friedrich List, and, during the 1860’s, the same Henry C. Carey whom Marx otherwise tended to admire as an economist: that on precisely this same crucial point. Lets not forget that Marx is a british school economist, like Smith, Ricardo and Malthus.
PS: I edited my earlier post.

Killer300

My bigger issue with Marx is he took a lot of his core beliefs from Prouhdon, who argued them better arguably. Also, Max Stirner had a quite stinging criticism of Helgalism that I think we all must take into account. But then, Max Stirner is sadly not read nearly as much as he should be.

As for Lenin, don't really know enough about him to talk about him. Now, Stalin is... a left-wing Fascist, if that makes any sense at all. Okay, the politics of Third Positionist(proto-Fascist at least with left-wing elements) are quite similar to Stalinism.

Quote:
Helsworth: I think Marx bent with the wind to strengthen what he wanted the people to think he believed in...One who rejects statements because he percieves them only as propaganda warfare is less than the man who rejects them on scientific grounds on research and application.


I do mention Marx's shift from Orthodoxy and then accepting Chernyshevski's view. I don't know the answer to this, so that's why I asked you if you thought it was possible that Marx looks at machinery, the harnessing of atomic particles for massive output, as a phenomenon?

Quote:
Helsworth: "...Marx was induced, during the 1840’s, to become a savage opponent of the American System...Lets not forget that Marx is a british school economist, like Smith, Ricardo and Malthus."


My first post talks about Alexander II and Lincoln's struggle against international elements. Also, one of my main points was that while Marx prescribed his Manifesto for revolution in England, U.S. and Netherlands, he is only an activist in Germany, a potentially emerging power. I agree that Marx isn't some random grassroots activist. Neither was Lenin.

Where do you see Marx, Lenin and Stalin deviating from "Marxist-Leninist" Orthodoxy? If you agree with my thesis of united legacy, what do you think characterizes Bolshevism?

Triniteras

Helsworth Wrote:
Well it's mostly about reductionist thinking. Human beings aren;t just producers and consumers, there's a lot more to the human being.

A lot less. A machine can sustain continued production, whereas you cannot; you will revolt so you can go watch TV, and in the end you are conquered by international corporations or another country. A machine has more integrity and unity. You are a divided machine, and you do not have the conciousness to maintain a semblance of unity.

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