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Author Topic: View on Communism  (Read 11372 times)

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Offline Pointless Digression

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2011, 12:43:21 PM »
I don't know that anything more true has ever been written on the internets.

I think HairyHeretic wants to win the Internet or something.

Offline Dashenka

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2011, 05:17:41 PM »
Having lived in a communist country I think there are actually two misconceptions about communism.

The first is very simple what the media created. In my case, the USSR was a communism and overall, worked quite well. The problems with it, was the general idea in the western world that the Soviet Union was poor, uncivilized, not free, etc etc. In that time, people were 'as free as they wanted to be'. For the western countries the country wasn't free but in the USSR, most people were 'happy'. The state owned everything and everybody worked for the state and everybody had a job. There was no poverty or wealth, it was all the same. Only when Mr. Gorbatchov decided to shed all those ideals did things go wrong. The world could suddenly see Russia and the other countries and saw poverty, created by the void that Communism left.

The second thing is that Communism as Marx decribed it is Utopia. It's unreal and impossible to ever implement, so to take it back to the start, which kind of communism do you mean? The Communism the Soviet Union had and China has? Or as Marx described it?

Communism as it was in the USSR, it worked for a country that size and people had a house, a life, a family and were happy for their standards. But also here there are two different sides to the tale. Lenin was a 'good' leader. He was a good man and led his people right. Stalin on the other hand was not a leader but a dictator. For Russians this is a delicate subject as some see Stalin as the victor of WWII and others see him a ruthless dictator. But that's a different story I guess :)

The leader is also the weak point of the whole communism ideal. We now all want elections to choose who our leader is going to be and in a communism there is no room for elections because everybody is equal so in theory everybody could run for president. Or another theory, a country with no leader and a common, widespread 'belief'. If every human being on this planet would indeed be equal and we all had the same idea's, no leader would be needed. Unfortunately when Marx dreamed up his Utopia called Communism he didn't think about the human itself. Nobody is identical and thus nobody is equal.

Bit of a long story but in general, the Utopia is nice but nothing more than a Utopia. Communism as it was in the Soviet Union or in China is in my opinion a better form of government than for example the many different party system where the majority of the votes always gets left behind.

Offline Zakharra

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #27 on: May 04, 2011, 10:17:38 PM »
 The communism of the USSR and China was put in place and been enforced at the barrel of a gun. It has for it's entire history. The allied stated of the USSR were not pleasant places to live. In fact millions died under the communist regime. Hungary tried to break away and the USSR, blessed communist nation it was, crushed that movement under an iron fist.

 If it was such a nice place to live, why was it so hard for people to get in or out?

Offline Dashenka

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2011, 04:30:39 AM »
There are always people who don't like it but I know enough people who had a better life with communism than they have now. Many cities in former Soviet countries only excisted because of communism. Now that the state money is gone, those towns had hardly get around and people live in poverty. What you say about the enforcement is true, although I believe with Lenin much less than with Stalin.

Communism in the Soviet Union and China is flawed in comparison with the Utopia Marx has created but isn't every other form of government flawed as well?

I meant to say that people should look at communism in perspective. Not judge it from a Western point of view and I never meant to say it was a nice place to live. I can't judge for people what is a nice place to live.

Online Vekseid

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2011, 04:51:10 AM »
The leader problem is an important one, though. You have enough issues with sociopaths and narcissists getting power in the United States, but at least transparency and a free press can bring them down. You could, in principle, use a strong constitution to guard against this, so I don't think this makes Soviet or Chinese-style socialism 'completely' doomed. The Chinese have obviously learned the lesson of the Soviet Union and aren't making the mistake of trying to compete against US heavy industry without also having light and agricultural industrial support, but the root of the USSR's problems were in the ability of the ego of individual party members to trump good sense. In the USSR, this caused a massive overinvestment in heavy industry.

In China's case, I suspect we're going to see something that, for awhile, works better, but in the long run China's large-scale agility is going to be compromised compared to the United States, which has a track record of throwing off corruption when it finally needs to every eighty years or so.

Offline Dashenka

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2011, 05:05:51 AM »
I think you just named the two biggest concerns with Communism. Corruption, for the obvious reason and investment in 'useless' things. They would build cities at nuclear facilities or small mining or logging camps. Greatest examples are Pripyat near Chernobyl, solely build to house the workers of the nuclear plant and in a certain way, Mirny in Russia which was build around a diamond mine. Those cities have no other lifeline than the industry they were build for and when that falters, which it eventually will, those cities will have no future.

Also the leaders in the Soviet Union, especially during the Cold War, only had 1 thing in their agenda. Beat the US on everything they do, causing the over investment in industry.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2011, 07:07:19 AM »
The communism of the USSR and China was put in place and been enforced at the barrel of a gun. It has for it's entire history. The allied stated of the USSR were not pleasant places to live. In fact millions died under the communist regime. Hungary tried to break away and the USSR, blessed communist nation it was, crushed that movement under an iron fist.

 If it was such a nice place to live, why was it so hard for people to get in or out?

And In the United States we have homelessness, people going hungry, good young people unable to afford college who should be going, millions without proper medical coverage and make war on everyone we don't like if we can find a reason.

Russia saw everyone with a home, job, food, clothing, education up to the university level and beyond if they could just pass the entrance tests and job training for others and they never fought an aggressive war. Russia did and got creamed but that was once. And most citizens were content they didn't have lots of things but didn't have want either.

And most Russians didn't have cars so building a community near important assets was important since everyone was entitled to a home they had to provide one and other services.

I will note the safety net now gone is leaving Russians homeless, hungry and without health care so I don't see Capitalism helping much there its killing people and community diseases are coming back with a vengence. I will note some EU nations have a Communist Party (in some form) in them and strong socialist ideals trying to balance the two maybe that is the best thing. Provide for all to a certain level yet allow for people to have the freedom to work and be productive and make more money if they can and want to.

Offline Zakharra

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #32 on: May 05, 2011, 12:27:05 PM »
And In the United States we have homelessness, people going hungry, good young people unable to afford college who should be going, millions without proper medical coverage and make war on everyone we don't like if we can find a reason.

Russia saw everyone with a home, job, food, clothing, education up to the university level and beyond if they could just pass the entrance tests and job training for others and they never fought an aggressive war. Russia did and got creamed but that was once. And most citizens were content they didn't have lots of things but didn't have want either.

 As long as they did as they were told, yes. But step outside of that line and you were punished. The government controlled everything. As I understand it, the population had NO choise in what they did or could do. The state made the decisions on where they lived and what they worked at.

 Need a few thousand workers? round up the nearestgroup of peasants and put them to work. Some of the lip off? Shoot them or put them in a gulag.  Need a factory built? Send a bunch of workers to built it, so what if you uproot them from where they were living.

 In order to have the 'quality' of life in the USSR, the population was at the mercy of the State.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #33 on: May 06, 2011, 08:45:52 AM »
And we are at the mercy of big business and those on government welfare are still slaves to the state, so its different how?

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #34 on: May 06, 2011, 09:18:26 AM »
Privilege and opportunity come to mind - there's still a booming business in micro-entrepreneurs and startup businesses, even after the dot-com bust. Under Soviet communism, that sort of innovation was actively crushed and suppressed unless you had the patronage or support (or lineage) to a Party official.

Offline Zakharra

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #35 on: May 06, 2011, 10:35:29 AM »
And we are at the mercy of big business and those on government welfare are still slaves to the state, so its different how?

 This;
Privilege and opportunity come to mind - there's still a booming business in micro-entrepreneurs and startup businesses, even after the dot-com bust. Under Soviet communism, that sort of innovation was actively crushed and suppressed unless you had the patronage or support (or lineage) to a Party official.

 ... and freedom of movement. If you do not like an area/place, you can pick up and  move to another place. YOU have the choice of what job you can go for. You can buy what you want, watch and read what you want. Hell, you even have access to the Internet. Something the USSR would have either forbidden or very very heavily regulated.

 Here, we have something those in the USSR never had. A choice.

Offline Noelle

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #36 on: May 06, 2011, 06:39:39 PM »
And we are at the mercy of big business and those on government welfare are still slaves to the state, so its different how?

I would be very curious to see your real-life examples of how the United States is even remotely comparable to Soviet citizens being rounded up and put in gulags, if you could be so kind as to provide them. I am curious to know how our country as it is is even in the same ranks as a defunct government that shot its citizens, uprooted them at will, and offered no citizen a choice in the matter.

If not, then this is a gross, misleading, and unfair exaggeration.

Offline Zakharra

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #37 on: May 06, 2011, 09:08:00 PM »
 It's come to my attention that Russia also has a rather severe population drop off. Not enough babies are being born to replace the dying population. This has picked up since the fall of the USSR.

 Evidently in Soviet Russia, they made you have lots of babies.

Offline Oniya

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Re: View on Communism
« Reply #38 on: May 06, 2011, 09:12:49 PM »
Hmm.  What leisure activities were available in Soviet Russia?  What leisure activities are now available in post-Soviet Russia that weren't before?

When there's nothing else to do...

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #39 on: May 06, 2011, 09:16:19 PM »
In Soviet Russia, love made you?

Offline Zakharra

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #40 on: May 06, 2011, 09:21:12 PM »
In Soviet Russia, love made you?

 In Soviet Russia, babies have you.

Offline Oniya

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Re: View on Communism
« Reply #41 on: May 06, 2011, 09:28:28 PM »
Well, the Ukraine girls really knock me out
They leave the West behind
And Moscow girls make me scream and shout
And Georgia's always on my-my-my-my-mind...

Offline Dashenka

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #42 on: May 07, 2011, 05:06:28 AM »
Well, the Ukraine girls really knock me out
They leave the West behind
And Moscow girls make me scream and shout
And Georgia's always on my-my-my-my-mind...


Scream and shout in a good way?? If so... start screaming and shouting...


It's come to my attention that Russia also has a rather severe population drop off. Not enough babies are being born to replace the dying population. This has picked up since the fall of the USSR.

 Evidently in Soviet Russia, they made you have lots of babies.

I'm sorry but that is utter bullsh...

What do you base that statement on??

Offline Sure

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #43 on: May 07, 2011, 08:44:48 AM »
I'm sorry but that is utter bullsh...

What do you base that statement on??

Do you mean that the USSR had a breeding program or that Russia's population is rapidly declining? Because the later is pretty undeniably true. I've never heard the former.

Anyway, to me pure Communism such as Marx described was a combination of a reaction to the Liberal Revolutions and an attempt to grapple with post-scarcity economics. It was extremely well done for its time but nowadays there are flaws that can be picked out, partially because we're getting closer. The social implications also seem to me to be a bit idealistic, to say the least..

Offline Dashenka

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #44 on: May 07, 2011, 08:54:40 AM »
The breeding programme, it's nonsense.

It's both related though. In Communist times having a child meant that the state would care for it... Currently a lot of people have no certainty that they can provide a future for their child so they don't have one. Or they are too busy making carreer, or they leave the country all together.

Offline Zakharra

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #45 on: May 07, 2011, 09:11:49 AM »
 I'm certain the USSR did not have a breeding program. I was being facetious about that. The population fall off though, that is true. Every first world nation is suffering from a declining population, except for the US, which has a growing population (births and immigration). Russia and Japan have the fastest drop off. not enough babies are being born to offset the older population. Europe's population is dropping. Not real fast, but it is dropping. I think the only growth is from minority immigrants that are having more kids than the natives.

Offline Oniya

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Re: View on Communism
« Reply #46 on: May 07, 2011, 12:55:50 PM »

Scream and shout in a good way?? If so... start screaming and shouting...

I was quoting Sir Paul - the Beatles' 'Back in the U.S.S.R.'  :-)  From the rest of the song, it's certainly the good way.

Offline Xenophile

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #47 on: May 08, 2011, 02:58:07 PM »
I would be very curious to see your real-life examples of how the United States is even remotely comparable to Soviet citizens being rounded up and put in gulags, if you could be so kind as to provide them. I am curious to know how our country as it is is even in the same ranks as a defunct government that shot its citizens, uprooted them at will, and offered no citizen a choice in the matter.

If not, then this is a gross, misleading, and unfair exaggeration.

Well, we got the WW2 internment of US citizens of Japanese descent, the forced removal of Mexicans from the, at the time, newly conquered territories from Mexico. Those are the closest (not so close, but 'close' is close enough to count as close) examples that I can think of without making a search on Wikipedia.

If you will excuse me, I will have to find Winds of Change on youtube.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2011, 03:01:19 PM by Xenophile »

Offline Oniya

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Re: View on Communism
« Reply #48 on: May 08, 2011, 03:07:45 PM »
There's also the Trail of Tears, the massacre at Wounded Knee and other similar incidents - of course the government at the time didn't consider the First People 'citizens'.

Offline Noelle

Re: View on Communism
« Reply #49 on: May 08, 2011, 03:11:30 PM »
Yes, those are all great examples of some pretty crappy things our government has done, but I believe what Ruby is referring to is life as we know it today being comparable to the USSR's treatment of their citizens. I'm saying that most talk about "the man" and "corporate slavery" as was implied is exaggerated.