The most popular criticism of capitalism is that it makes people cogs in the machine; wake up, go to work, screw bolts in place for 8 hours, go home, repeat for 40 years. Life is decided from cradle to grave, everyone lives in identikit suburbs, nothing ever happens.
Why then, was this pinnacle of capitalist alienation; fordism and taylorism, at its most hegemonic, brutal and inescapable in the communist controlled soviet union? In contrast to the representative political system of the U.S with its plurality of interests, the soviet union was ruled by a board of directors, having control over their workforce beyond the wildest dreams of any American megacorp. In the U.S at least, one could attempt to make a living for himself as craftsman or trader, one could brutally criticize this system, one could emigrate, one could strike, one could call the president an ass, none of which was allowed in the soviet union.
Because that's not really a great criticism of capitalism.
You mean like those handegg athletes who kneel the anthem and everybody is losing their shit because muh anthem
Because massive modern economies rely on bureaucracies layer caked on bureaucracies to run. This is the sad truth of both economic systems at their most successful moments.
Economics alone doesn't guarantee freedom, it's an aspect to freedom and a happy lifestyle, but it's always a bit myopic and utopian to think absolute free markets or absolute workers control will lead to a paradise. I obviously think more workers control leads to better overall outcomes but simply focusing on this alone wouldn't make for a great society.
you mean american protesters who got shot with popular support well into the seventies yes I love hamburgerland liberty bro
So why are only two presidential candidates allowed to go on tv debating? Is that democracy? Debates in my country always feauture each and every candidate.
Like dude let's just drop out man.
That's another difference, in America you just have to obey the law or be thrown in jail, in the soviet union you had to love the law and love stalin for being so wise to throw you into the gulag if you broke it.
I mean like people on this very board do, like the people who wave communist flags and call for revolution do. The situation would only be comparable if all identifiable protesters were either executed or sentenced to 20 years of penal labor.
This isn't true, the soviet plantations for example were an organisational disaster compared to how agriculture was run under freeholders and tenants.
This isn't really addressing what I was saying even tenuously as this is one instance and I was talking about the broad history of both modern economies. Even evaluating this statement for what it is I disagree. Even if you hate communism and or the Soviet Union the planning done under the new regime was far better and more efficient than the pre-soviet days. People were living in serf conditions and constant famines were killing people because of inefficiency before the Soviet Union, kids were literally afraid to leave their house because they thought roving bands of bums might kidnap them and eat them in the period before the first world war and conditions only got worse after that. People often blame Lenin's economic plans on the failures of communism but a lot of what they blame on him was shit that was already happening before the Soviet Union could really even enact his plans. The reality is by the time Stalin took over Agriculture and industrial work was far more efficient and effective than it had ever been under the feudal system or the brief interim of capitalism before the strikes and now after when the country is going to shit. People had a subsistence level of living and their was far more of an opportunity for growth than what they had before which was nothing and unlike the capitalist west everyone was guaranteed a job.
You deserve to remain plebbian
There were no constant famines in both the Ukraine and the whole of Russia, the only famine Russia experienced in the 19th century, the famine of 1891-92, was caused by extraordinarily bad weather, government export quota's on grain and the estate system. Ukraine, the region that was hit the worst by the soviet famine used to be one of Europe's most agriculturally productive regions, this was not only due to the fertility of the region, but also because Ukraine largely consisted of freehold farmers (kulaks) instead of the estates that were dominant in Russia. Freehold farms are more efficient than the soviet collective farms because they benefit from local knowledge, a motivation to invest and show initiative ("Everything that belongs to kolkhoz, belongs to me'' being a line of a popular song reflecting the attitude of those forced into red serdom and had no opportunity for growth) and a more efficient distribution of labour (Russian agriculture still suffers from the fordist model in which all tasks are split up into menial jobs). The reality is that a highly productive region was devastated by decree. That this decree wasn't merely based on the utter ignorance of people who knew nothing about farming is evidenced by a decade of soviet propaganda against the kulaks which demonized them as enemies of people who needed to be destroyed, the exporting of grain from Ukraine during the famine and the quarantining of the afflicted area.
Your clumsy use of soviet era politically correct phrasing for people forced into serfdom tells me that you aren't just being a disingenuous apologist, but that you honestly believe all of this. I study history so the accounts of history received by others interest me, can you tell where you got all of this from, and provide links and sources where possible?
Yeah, go back to Holla Forums. We'll see you back in a couple of years when your business, like almost every business, goes bankrupt inevitably.
You seem to be focusing on the Ukraine a lot and I admittedly don't know much about the Ukraine as a singular entity before the rise of the Soviet Union. I'm also not a memer' who thinks every kulak deserved to die. I'd like to think you're doing this for good reasons, but it seems like goal post shifting when I was talking about the Soviet Union in general and not regions within it in particular. Were also talking about drastically disparate stretches of time, again I'm talking about the whole of something and you're talking about particulars in a very specific time set. It's possible Kulaks had a magical system of farming that lasted for a few years in a region of the country no one cared about until the Soviets gave them the boot, but it seems unlikely to me for a lot of reasons. The geography, the political conditions of the country and their meager resistance to a far weaker productive state (If I'm to believe your argument for a second.)
I know that Russia was one of the most inept countries culturally and economically aside from a few slightly modernized cities before the rise of the SU. Most history books will basically say this was the case so I don't really see a point in citing specific sources. Most of the other players in World War 1 thought Russia was going to be comp stomped because they weren't as mechanized and as industrial a power as Prussia/Germany but as per usual the unique harsh geography of the country helped them. Basically all the literature of era describes non-stop famines and hardship for the average people in scenes that are reminiscent of Dickensian malaise but with less technology and industrial power. There was a reason every day people were ok with the Czar being overthrown in favor of a vanguard party. They basically were begging for any change that might be beneficial to them. The war finally caused just enough over exhaustion of the current system to jolt the country in a new direction with a help of people who were waiting in the wings.
I'm also always reticent to cite a source on board arguments like this because literally anything I give can be said to be quackery or propaganda without the other person really giving a good reason why that criteria might fit here. It's the same reason I don't bother making lists when people say name one "good " example of "x" thing in argument here, because anything I say can just be dismissed as shit in a one word comment and then all the effort is wasted. I'm jaded and I've been on these boards to long to think people actually give a shit, sorry.
This isn't the most popular criticism of capitalism at all. The most popular criticism of capitalism is inequality. It is easily proven by your stupid dilemma. Because for all intent and purposes, Marxism suggests a more integrated and more managed society than even capitalism, and if people didn't like it about capitalism to begin with, Marxism would never fly.
Because all Marxism is communism, all communism is the USSR, all USSR is Stalin's USSR, all Stalin's USSR is years 1937-1946. Soviet collective farms were inferior to American or Western European agriculture, but superior to the agriculture of Russian Empire. Generally speaking, it wasn't the weakest point of the Soviet economy. The weakest point was agricultural retailing.
If you only have the vaguest sense of a generality, with me having more particular knowledge of said generality that concerns the subject of discussion at hand, then me demonstrating this knowledge is not "moving the goalposts". Moving the goalposts is what you are doing by stating that Russian empire was often struck by famine, to then state that I am talking about "drastically disparate stretches of time" and a "very specific time set" when mentioning the years in which the only recorded famine of the time period you yourself referred to took place. This argument doesn't even work in your favour, as the technology available in the 1930's was vastly superior in productive power to that of the 1890's.
Ukraine was not a place no one cared about, it was one of the most contested regions in Europe, being fought over by the Poles, Austrians, Lithuanians, Russians, Cossacks, Tartars and Ottomans from 1400-1920. Like the soviet leadership (and pretty much any marxist), you show yourself ignorant of the actual matter of business -farming- and instead base your judgement on it on what you guess to be the likely amount of resistance to the Russian state that Ukraine having a high productive state should have caused (what "amount" and why?), its geography (odd, because the soil of Ukraine largely being made up of chernozem is what makes it so productive, and if there is one fact about Ukraine's geography that is well known, it is this) and its political conditions (What political conditions and how?). These are all things of which you are ignorant also, thereby basing your judgement of something you're ignorant about on guesses of the consequences of things you're ignorant about. I do hope that you reconsider this method of analysis in judging agricultural methods and historical events.
Russia indeed knew a Dickensian malaise (which does not constitute to famine), though this didn't mean that there was a hatred towards the czar. In Russia there is a saying tsar good, bad boyars roughly meaning that underlings are used as scapegoats, this stems from the veneration of the czar as an ethereal figure by the Russian people, with his apparent failings being blamed on evil boyars (the nobility they actually had to deal with). What broke this veneration by the rural masses was the disaster of the first world war (and also the Rasputin saga in my view) poverty they had always known and actually strengthened their orthodox faith and its veneration of the czar. Still, they weren't begging for the soviets, whom did poorly at elections and never gained mass appeal. What gave the soviets victory was them being the only ones who were truly driven when everyone else was overcome by hopeless apathy.
Your sources being crap doesn't make me less interested in them, where you get all of this from and why you believe it is exactly what interests me. To study history does not only mean asking the question what happened? but also why is this what we believe to have happened?
I didn't make a comment on the quality of your knowledge, you're infusing a bit too much of yourself into the argument here. What I'm saying is my original comment was about something extremely general, to which you replied with something that was tenuously connected at best and then you continued along with a similar tactic in your follow up to that. It's like if I took part in a conversation about "cookies" in a general sense but for some reason you kept wanting to talk about mint chip cookies from Zimbabwe made in the year 1948. You can argue that they're slightly related to the original topic but the over focus on them seems strange given how broad the original subject matter is.
If evaluating the value or the perceived value of land is "people fought over it" then basically every speck of dirt on this earth is worth more than gold. I'm sure the Ukraine had unique positive properties about it and continues to but the reality at the end of the day is none of this was good enough to stop them from being subsumed into a larger empire, which by your own argumentation should have been economically and militarily weaker than the Kulaks and their magic farming.
People often scapegoat the wrong people and conversely miss-attribute goodness to leaders. A lot of Trump supporters still think he wants to drain the swamp. So it's easy to understand the sentiment you describe, but at the same time it's also a bit contrary to what I know to be the case to an extent. There was large scale disillusionment with the Czar and by extension the government he represented among the military, intellectuals and serf classes. Enough that the October revolution was hardly the first attempt to unseat the government, there were a few failed revolutions (many of them not communist related) and attempts at coups for a while before this. Enough that people around the Czar thought he was delusional for not being more paranoid than he was about the possibility of a revolution or an uprising within his own house.
Communism is supposed to be a repurposing of the existing "capitalist" infrastructure. They're not supposed to actually make improvements to workflow, merely to change ownership and I guess pay managers less and workers more.