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The Soviet Union, The Truth

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Killer300
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Post: #1
The Soviet Union, The Truth

Okay, I know we talked about some of this before in the Planned Economics thread, however it's time once again to talk about the Soviet Union. However, this time I bring a new message. The Soviet Union was not only not Communist, it wasn't Socialist either. It was State Capitalism, because they replaced all the bosses with just one, the state. You see, big firms, like Exxon for example, plan like a planned economy state does.

Therefore, it doesn't make sense to critisize Socialism based on the Soviet Union. Hell, here's a good definition of Socialism, "Socialism is an economic and political theory advocating public or common ownership and cooperative management of the means of production and allocation of resources." Okay, if it's cooperative management, that implies someone besides the state. That can also imply democracy. An excellent quote by Trotsky illustrates this. "Socialism needs democracy like the human body needs oxygen."

With all of this in mind, we need to realize that the Soviet Union wasn't Socialist at all, or Communist. Sweden, and countries like Iceland are far more socialist than the Soviet Union ever was. The Soviet Union is closer to a mega corporation as depicted in cyberpunk than to Socialism.

With all of this in mind, it may be time to look at Socialism with new eyes. Now, I did say not to look to the past too much in another thread, and I keep that here, however a lot of great ideas were, and still are, rejected just because they are,"Socialist." Or worse, are called, "Communist," because that is now a bad thing despite Communism never really existing before. Now, true Communism would probably be in Council Communism, or in Anarcho-Communism. Not only does Communism not need the State, but the State is inherantely toxic to it. To achieve ultimate equality, you can't have a government, therefore until humanity can become anarchist, Communism can't really arise either.

Another thing to keep in mind with this now is that all the atrocities committed by the Soviet Union, all the people it killed and all the damage it did enviromentally speaking, for those of us who are enviromentalists among us, were really not that much different than a corporation seeking more profit. Coal Towns owned by Coal Companies were good representations of what Communism would one day look like.

Finally, we need to realize that capitalism poses just as much threat to democracy as socialism does, if not far more. If democracy gets in the way of profits, companies will seek to weaken and/or get around democracy. We see this with the dictatorships sprung up in South America to support corporations, and we see the decay in Russian and former Soviet bloc countries like Molodova that never recovered. That's because laize-fair capitalism doesn't work any better than the Soviet Union, worse in a lot of ways. So, we need to give Socialism a second chance, and use Co-Opts instead of Nationalization when we do to avoid the mistakes of the past.

05.03.2011 05:25
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Lord Weasel
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Post: #2
RE: The Soviet Union, The Truth

I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis of the Soviet Union, it was very far from socialism. Even if it did embody some of socialisms essential tenants, such as the excellent soviet education system and much greater social mobility than is seen in the West.

Sadly given the control of our media and the state of the powers that be I don't think that socialism can be re-examined with fresh eyes until it is rebranded under another name. The word socialism has negative connotations even with many of the libertarian left leaning people I have encountered in my life.

I think that the closest one can get to socialism in the current world is a co-op, in which all of the employees elect their leaders and have direct influence on the corporations policies.

All nationalisation ever does (except perhaps in the case of the health service, or public transport) is concentrate too much power in the hands of unelected civil servants, and politicians who already have too large a remit to be effective managers. It also does nothing to change the relationship between employer and employee and nothing to make the businesses viable enterprises again.

The results of capitalism are far more insidious than tin pot dictators. I think that capitalism allows an oligarchy of bankers and businessmen to control elections in western nations through ownership of the media, and through the donations they choose to make to political parties. In order to get large enough donations/good media coverage to run an effective election campaign any given political party has to field policies which are attractive to this small oligarchy. Unfortunately this oligarchy is made up of self professed right wing moguls such as Rupert Murdoch or Lord Tesco.

I think that this has led to there being no left wing in many nations politics anymore, in Britain our leaders talk of co-operation and make a big thing of the fact its no longer a question of left and right to hide the fact that their policies are almost identical and all Thatcherite.

The effect of lassaiz fair capitalism on Russia has been to ruin an amazing, highly egalitarian education system and a good health service which the mega corporation gave its people. I can't comment much beyond that as in the west we have only the biased view of our media to give our information about Russian politics, papers which can make a big thing out of a minute protest outside of the trial of a corrupt Russian businessman whilst ignoring a much larger riot the week before about the corruption of the police.

05.03.2011 16:10
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Killer300
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Post: #3
RE: The Soviet Union, The Truth

The key to getting forgivance for Socialism is to first off spread this message, and secondly to show people a kind of Socialism that works. Finally, show people the REAL history of socialism, the real history of capitalism, and the real history of democracy. The American Revolution had more to do with rebelling against a mega corporation, the East India Trading Company in this case, than Great Britain itself.
As for the name, well, I call myself a Libertarian Socialist, which should get people to at least listen to what I have to say hopefully.

05.03.2011 16:17
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Helsworth
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Post: #4
RE: The Soviet Union, The Truth

Russia has not been subjected to laissez faire economics, but to financial scam economics. The oligarchs that emerged from the traitorous revisionists corrupted most of the whole system. While the government acted as the mob boss and sometimes the underboos, depending on context. The collapse of the Soviet Union was planned long before it happened.
@Killer
Great Britain was acting diplomatically, fiscally and militarilly for the East India Com, when a nation emerges under the boot of an empire, it does so at a harm for the empire, such is the way when peacefull revolution is not allowed.


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This post was last modified: 05.03.2011 17:43 by Helsworth.

05.03.2011 17:41
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Theolor
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Post: #5
RE: The Soviet Union, The Truth


First Consul of the Earth Republic, First Consul of the National Coalition of Ecology and Peace , First Consul of the Green Party of the Earth Republic
05.03.2011 19:26
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Lord Weasel
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Post: #6
RE: The Soviet Union, The Truth

Essentially I think what happened was the criminal element who had operated the black market in Russia where empowered after the collapse of the planned economy, and the sell off of state assets, by the virtue of being the only people with the spare capital to purchase those assets. Therefore what you end up with is the mafia moving into legitimate business. I think that this is why Russian modern business can resemble the Mafia as Helsworth points out.

Great Britain was also acting under the leadership of incompetent drunks who spent as much time on country retreats as they did trying to run the country/empire.

When I say rebranding I mean the dropping of the label socialist alltogether because It has too many connotations. Whilst I would also label myself as a libertarian socialist, I do not think that the layperson would look past the word socialist.

05.03.2011 19:29
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Killer300
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Post: #7
RE: The Soviet Union, The Truth

Well, here's the key, we need to remove the connations, one by one. Now, I do have a synonom you should try though, which is Syndicalism. That doesn't have any connations, and I know many libertarian socialists who called themselves that. So, we should perhaps call our ideals Syndicalism until the connations associated with Socialism go away.

05.03.2011 19:32
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Helsworth
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Post: #8
RE: The Soviet Union, The Truth

LOL, from Theolor's image it reads "Communism is fighting freedom" Lachweg


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05.03.2011 19:42
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Killer300
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Post: #9
RE: The Soviet Union, The Truth

Yeah, that was uninentionally kind of ridiculous, the propaganda post in that case. I do however find that the Soviet Union hyme is, freaking awesome if you ignore its origins.

Anyway, moving on from entertainment stuff, another thing to keep in mind with the Soviet Union was that while it was bad, don't get me wrong, it wasn't as bad as a lot of people think it is. America commited just as many, if not more, atrocities throughout the Cold War as the Soviet Union in the name of Anti-Communism basically. We crushed legit democracies in South America, committed terrorism against Cuba during the beginning times of Castro, and turned the Middle East into the religious fundmentalist thing it is today because of the crap we did over there to, "fight communism."
Besides that, Lord Weasel pointed out some things they did pretty well, although their education system didn't concentrate enough on primary from what I've read. Also, they industrialized faster than any other nation, when they did. Now, yes, this was partially because of gulags, however, it was also because of the advantages planned economics has at times. Also, keep in mind that when America and Britain industrialized, they quite liberally used child labor and, at least in our case, chattel slavery to accomplish it. Not to mention the horrible conditions of most of the Industrial Revolution and that most immigrants basically lived in wage slavery, however I've already gone over this in other threads. Not to mention that books like, "The Jungle," do this better than I can really. The point is that while the Soviet Union was bad, it actually wasn't particularly bad compared to other nations of its type. Nazi Germany, I would argue, caused more lasting damage as Fascism is the worst system. They were both totalitarianisms, yes, however the Soviet Union's had more, advantages lets say. Look, Eastern Europe now, mostly, has lower GDP than it did while under the Soviet Union. So, why are capitalists critizising the Soviet Union when it apparently beat capitalism at its own game, GDP? I know the reason why obviously, however something to keep in mind.

05.03.2011 19:55
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Lord Weasel
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Post: #10
RE: The Soviet Union, The Truth

That is an awesome poster.

I am aware of the syndicalism label, if I'm correct then it another word for the idea of the co-operative. Co ownership of the means of production by employees of the company in question through democratic election. In other words socialism.

My girlfriends parents are scientists who were educated under the soviet system. Her father comes from a very poor background, and yet could afford to go to the university of Moscow. Her mother is from a marginal area of the ex ussr, and yet also ended up in Moscow university. They had systems in place to find and encourage those with academic potential which are unrivalled in the west.

The Gulags and political control were problems in Stalins time, but afterwards rapidly declined, in fact by the 70's commissars and the political manipulation of the state were widely regarded as a joke, like the idea of the independence of the media in the west today.

Thats an ironic statement about the GDP decline, do you have any figures available to corroborate it?

05.03.2011 21:03
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