Could we have a thread about the Soviet Union with some actual discourse for once...

Could we have a thread about the Soviet Union with some actual discourse for once? Where do we think the Soviet Union went wrong?

Personally, I am starting to see merit to the views that the SU experienced problems with revisionism. There was a substantive change in the mode of production (from capitalist to socialist) under the auspices of the so-called hardline faction under Stalin. I hesitate to say just Stalin because he is really the leader of a movement, not the sole decision maker. Do his views on development not triumph over the course of extended debate in the 14th and 15th Party Congresses? I believe I am also correct by stating that his views mostly accord to Lenin's, expressed both privately and publicly.

Bukharin's revisionist ideas never quite disappeared after being soundly rejected at the 15h Party Congress. In fact Khrushchev, in his "eternal" wisdom, rehabilitated a lot of ideas that Bukharin, who had swung RADICALLY to the right, often expressed. These would be:

The rehabilitation of Bukharinite ideas and rapid change towards production of consumer goods lead to massive problems in the Soviet economy which I can explicate more if you'd like.

Anyway, what do you think?

Tips for quality discussion: simply saying "it was statist" is not an argument. You're going to need to…
1. Define what you mean by this term.
2. Explain what is so reprehensible about utilizing a state to pursue class interests.

I will try to provide counter examples and hopefully we can have a debate without resorting to shit posting.


Wrong thread?

The problem was Lenin either had no intention to build the world he talked about in state and revolution or died to soon to try.

What makes you say this?

Russian still basically had feudalism and wasn't yet ready for socialism. The bolsheviks could have come to power peacefully in an election if there had just been less peasants.

When you compare what Lenin talked about to what actually happened its pretty different. I think he might have just died to soon and power was taken by the wrong person. A lot of the things he wrote about were very libertarian and he himself was quite authoritarian.

I warned you about states bro

You give the people you put in power the possiblity of pursuing their own interests instead of the interests of the class they represent. Meaning, you give them the power to set themselves up as the rulling class, instead of abolishing all classes.
If we say that porky will never give up his power voluntarily, what makes us think that a ruler will do the same?

IMO it was a legitimate proletarian revolution that succumbed to outside pressure in the slide forward bureaucratic dictatorship and Stalin's failure to prepare a truly revolutionary class to succeed him on his death.

He died of a stroke and his guard was to afraid to check on him for a few hours so he died before they could get medical help. That's what happens when you kill everyone that makes you mad.

Did the communist party own the means of production? Were they exploiting workers? If no, then they were not a class.

Many members of the Communist party came directly from factories and collective farms. You're spewing ideology without even knowing it.

This was the type of shit posting I was hoping to avoid.


There was a lot of intense outside pressure from capitalist powers but that only became a problem when class collaborators sprung up in the leadership of the CPSU (Khrushchev, Gorbachev, Yeltsin, etc.)

There certainly were bureaucratic problems in the SU but I'm not really sure what bureaucratic dictatorship means.

As far as truly revolutionary leadership after Stalin, I wouldn't lay the blame on him totally. We can't forget how many millions of communists died in the second World War. And there were good communists like Molotov who consistently opposed Khrushchev's revisionism. In fact, Andropov could be seen as the ideological successor to Stalin and Molotov. Too bad he had kidney problems.

This is irrelevant. One must admit that they still gained from being in power. It was in their personal interests to remain in power. To ignore this is pure foolishness. Especialy when we have many empirical examples of this.

This is an exceptionally undialectic way of looking at things. You are ignoring the class realities of the Soviet Union.

Who's personal interests? What did they gain? Are you aware that the wealth divide between managers and workers in the SU was actually very low? The managers of the economy only became beneficiaries of it when private enterprise, legal and illegal, began to form a second economy. It operated by greasing the wheels of party officials. And even when this began happening, many in the party railed against this corruption and tried to fix it, including Andropov and the early Gorbachev (before he went full revisionist).

Stalin was a retard who killed many brilliant theoreticians and dedicated revolutionaries and crippled the army in the face of a foreign invasion leading to tens of millions of deaths. Any hope of the revolution leading anywhere decent were ruined when he was appointed General Secretary and made the bureaucracy his plaything.

Sources? This sounds like an opinion.

That would be because I don't buy into the whole dialectics thing. It seems unempirical.

I'm not actually talking about the managers, but the people in high positions of government. During the civil war, they gained, for example, the ability to remain well fed when the rest of the country was starving. Not to mention easier access to luxury goods, and being able to use whatever power they had for their own gains (which we call "corruption").

Also, are you saying Gorbachov actually wanted communism "before he went full revisionist"? Because that's like peak tankie.

They overthrew the Tzar and killed 60 million of their own people through artificially engineered famines and death camps.
Also, run by psychopaths.

I'm definitely opposed to the Soviet union and honestly think that Marxist Leninism has set back revolution more than any singular other thing.

However to say there is no merit in the Soviet union is wrong,much as Marx saw merit in capitalism as necessary period the Soviet union ended feudalism and performed one of the greatest mass industrialisations in human history.The state capitalism allowed for the 5 year plans to be put into effect and have a colossal build up of industry that ended up saving potentially millions of lives as without this buildup who knows what Hitler may have been able to achieve.

Lenin was,once , a communist but if you ask me it's clear once he had power he had no intentions of using it and that's why he dissolved the works councils and never handed over the means of production over to the Proletariat. He was in a extremely difficult scenareo from the get go and had to centralise all power so he could levy it against the interventionist forces and against the whites, this is what ended socialism in Russia. Socialism is worker control,not state beuracrat control of the MoP. Stalin, and his successors, had no real plans to build up capital and then let the state decay,the state is what gave them power and the bureaucrats were essentially bourgeoisie who had no reason to hand over power

Stalin was just a pragmatic man who wanted the power but knew that he had to keep the imagery of Lenin and the revolution around as to secure his legitimacy. Stalin was no leftist, but I don't think Trotsky was for that matter either. Trotsky was right about internationalism being needed to oppose capitalist hegemony,as seen by the eventual fall of the eastern block, but I don't think he would have been any different to Stalin in a Marxist way, the MoP would have still been under the state and not in the hands of the workers, and it still would have been an autocracy.I do think though That Trotsky would have sent a lot more help to Spain and potentially to Rosa as well.

I'm not as educated about the inner workings of the Soviet Union in the period after the death of Stalin so i will admit my ignorance here, but I think unless you're the most hardcore of tankies, unironic support for the DPRK and Assad levels of tankie, Don't think that Khrushchev was a socialist.

tsar Nicholas II was going to be overthrown. The Russian people were starving and stuck in a war which they were loosing on their front. As for whether a civil war would have sparked between some liberal democracy and Tsarists loyalists is an interesting question, but tsar Nicholas II was always going to be the last tsar

What the hell? The source is Stalin openly doing these things in plain sight. He had like all the remaining Old Bolsheviks executed or assassinated: Rykov, Trotsky, Bukharin, Kamenev, Zinoviev, etc. Then he also proceeded to purge the army, including brilliant officers like Tukhachevsky, and reduced the Red Army from a fighting force which was at the forefront of the development of armored warfare to a crippled mess that could barely defeat Finland. This isn't an opinion, this what he openly and unapologetically did. His use of the party bureaucracy to accumulate power is also uncontroversial and self-admitted in statements like:
This really isn't controversial. Even Stalinists will shoot for the angle that all this murder was necessary and justified rather than that Stalin did not do these things.

NKVD diddn do nuffin. Those generals and officers fell on the bullets

Daily reminder that all of Lenin's cabinet and associates were shot under Stalin's regime. Yet tankies will defend this.

Sorry I was away, my kids were acting up all afternoon. I'm back to try to respond to and answer questions.

Dialectics is more of a method that utilizes empirical analysis than a replacement for it. All dialectical analysis is empirical but not all empirical analysis is framed dialectically.

I don't know very much about this so I may not be the best to answer but I'm under the impression most grain went to the army for fight the white forces who were busy butchering innocent civilians.

Simply not true. The lifestyles of Soviet leaders were, at least not until Chernenko, grand at all.

I'm familiar with corruption, thank you. In fact, many of members of the communist party were too. And in fact very attuned to it's *ahem* corrupting *ahem* influence. If you actually were to bother studying the inner workings of the Soviet Union you would see that corruption only started to infiltrate the ranks of the communist party once private enterprise was allowed to function, legally or illegally. Under Stalin, there was very simply little corruption because there was no private enterprise to speak of. When corruption did creep in, under Khrushchev and the stagnation of Brezhnev, it was because a class petite bourgeoisie working for their own personal gain needed to bribe public officials while they pilfered from the public trusts and industries.

Sorry if I gave that impression. I don't think that. I believe that Gorbachev didn't really know what he wanted at the beginning. He was very indecisive and relied on the advice of his confidants to steer his opinions. Increasingly, those people became advocates of free markets instead of those who adhered to policies set forth by the likes of Andropov.

t. Boris Q. Romanov.

I'd like to see some sources for those assertions.

Jews genocided the Slavs, the end.

t. Aryan

Their economy took a massive dump when they tried to invade Afghanistan.

why the fuck anyone would spend that much money on a proxy war with a major world power to civilize a barren stretch of desert populated by zealous lumpens is well beyond me

No Socialism is the abolition of the value form and with it, the abolition of class. Simple worker control without an abolition of the market will directly lead to the reinstatement of capitalism. Examples of this include Yugoslavia, late SU, China, etc. Please read Anti-Duhring by Engels.

You need to be more precise with your terminology. Were the Soviet leaders appropriating the surplus value of the workers? No. Was there a restoration of capitalist property relations in the Stalinist era? No. Was there a capitalist market where exchange values were transferred with money exchange? No. It's almost as if you haven't read any Marxist theory at all.

This is profoundly un-historical. If you look at what was actually being debated in the 14th and 15th Party Congresses, you will see that Stalin, and his supporters, were following the line set forth by Lenin that the NEP was a temporary necessity to be done away with when it had served it's purpose, to rebuild the SU after a terribly destructive foreign invasion and civil war. He won the debate despite being assailed from the "left" by opportunists such as Trotsky, who was quickly showing his true colors to many in the SU, and "right" ideologues such as Bukharin, whose ideas eventually lead to the destruction of the SU from within.

Khrushchev was not a socialist, no. But the USSR was not capitalist during this period either. If they had pursued the kind of objectives that Khrushchev (and Bukharin) had called for, they would have. Gorbachev proves this.

Why exactly do people blame Gorby, by the way?

At worst he was a well-intentioned (you have to be pretty deep tankie to not defend glasnost) idiot that enabled the real culprits like yeltsin

The economy was not in crisis when Gorbachev took power. Were there severe secular problems (innovation, corruption related to private enterprise, productivity) but these are not so severe to be qualified as a crisis on the scale that the US faced in the great depression or hyper inflation in Germany. Reform was initially undertaken by Andropov to try to rectify these problems in a socialist manner. He died. Gorbachev fucks up by opening up the economy to more private enterprise and forfeits the ideological instruments of power (putting literal anti-socialists in charge of bureaus like Agitprop).

How do you think idiots like Yeltsin got into power in the first place? Gorbachev put them there because they were his ideological allies. Yeltsin would have had no leg to stand on if Gorbachev wasn't so ideologically compromised. In reality, Gorbachev was a very weak leader who was from a relative backwater, had probably never read Marx or Engels (quite like many posters here), and relied on his advisors greatly. In fact, he sought their approval for most of what he did.

Glasnost was initially a policy put forward by Andropov that advocated for more self criticism, doing away with excessive formality, self aggrandizing/excessive praising, and more accessibility. This was twisted by Gorbachev to mean questioning the very ideological underpinnings of the society. He opened the flood gates for anti-socialist propaganda like Radio Free Europe to flood into the USSR. You have to be pretty stupid to defend Gorbachev's Glasnost.