I've seen a couple threads asking the same first question, but people never seem to propose what they would've done differently. Also, as an extra question: how possible do you think your proposal could've been. Very possible, or completely idealistic?
Where exactly did the USSR go wrong and what would've you done
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It's not about where the USSR went wrong, it's about where the entire global socialist movement went wrong. Simply put: it was fucked from the start.
Socialists at the time, though they might have paid lip service to Marx or democratic organization, were little more than trade-unionists whose credentials even in that field was quickly evaporating. Bolshevism was the product of their lack of vision.
Very convenient way to excuse and dissociate yourself from it. No user, the bolsheviks were genuine communists, I'm sorry, you have to be arsed to engage in a historical analysis.
By you saying "fucked by the start", do you have any other proposal as to how socialism could have been unfucked, or is socialism itself to you fucked?
It had a bloody start but did stablize and even thrive for a while. I think Gorbachev made a giant mistake by trusting the Americans which is what led to its downfall.
Shut the fuck up, idiot.
Stalin was pretty good at it though, could have been way worse.
Just a shitshow all around.
I'm sure there's more but ask yourself if anything the USSR did compares to the Anglo's Asian Adventures.
I think we all know the answer to that question, OP.
Not quite from the start. Right up to WWI IMHO, we could've realistically used the outbreak of war as the final straw to justify a general strike so massive as to wholly dissolve the petty liberal nation states of Europe. The FUCKING ROSES who balked at capitalism, and went along with WWI, were the moment socialism was irreparably fucked.
Agreed. Hold your nose around the rose indeed. To be fair though, even Kropotkin wrote in defense of WWI.
It went wrong with the Spartacus uprising in Germany failing, this ultimately led to the a isolated Russia and at that point the fate of the USSR was sealed. it would inevitably led to bureaucratic elite, this elite would start to want the privileges of their western counterparts leading to more capitalist reforms.
You can't be idealistic about the revolution and aftermath of it. Revolutions are often romanticized, showing it as some sort of happy-happening, where everybody is joyous and full of positive energy. But back to the topic- in order to understand authoritarian aspect of USSR you have to understand historical conditions and international relations at the time. About conditions- Tzarist Russia was highly underdeveloped, largely agriculturally based country, with more than 100 milion peasants, while urban proletariat numbered only 14 milion (numbers as on census of 1897) . There is much debate about whether Russia was still feudal state or a capitalist one, which divided the left. Lenin argued faithfully that capitalism is much better developed than people think (indirectly confronting Marx's analysis, as he thought that Russia is counter-revolutionary and if revolution happens, it would turn the country into liberal or republican state rather than a socialist one).
Anyway, once the Bolsheviks took the power, they faced a country in ruins, with economic crisis, food shortages, and war still going on, which resulted in millions of causalities (although Bolsheviks kept their promise and ended the war pretty quickly with Brest-Litovsk treaty). Not only that, they faced the huge White Army in civil war, which erupted in 7th of November 1917 and lasted 6 years. The war was a tragedy for Bolsheviks- they won the pyrrhic victory, losing huge number of their comrades, who would be a vital help in creating new system in Russia. To make things worse, one after one, revolutions in Europe failed, which left Soviet Russia alone. Lenin understood that they are in dire situation, probably the worst one that he could think of. There is a lot to write about- Cheka, repressions, GULAG's, concentrating all the power in hands of the party- all of this was result of Soviet Russia (from 1922- Soviet Union) situation- the communist party of soviet union tried to preserve the revolution (and somewhat using the rhetoric that end justifies the needs). This wasn't a big change for Russians- they lived in authoritarian state before , so lack of democratic freedoms (that Bolsheviks promised) didn't affect them as a much as we may think.
About the international relations- The Cold War wasn't for SU guts. SU's economy wast 5 times smaller than US's, yet they spent almost as much money (or even more) for arms. Space race, giving subsidies to keep loyality of developing countries, sponsoring communist parties and leftist terrorist organisations across the globe, corruption within the party, revisionism, rejecting cult of cybernetics and many other things are reason SU failed. But despite all it's flaws, I think that SU was a "good shot"and socialism (angry leftcoms incoming). It largely improved lifes of ordinary people, providing housing, jobs, free healthcare and education, rights for women and lots of other oportunities. It is shame that things went this way, but we can't be idealistic- the next revolution will be bloody as well.
GET THE FUCK OFF MY BOARD REEE
tl;dr: resist Technocratic reaction.
Keep the purges going, until sufficient amount of specialists is trained to make existing specialists replaceable. Then it becomes possible to proceed from increased popular oversight over key posts in economy to making decision-making process increasingly cooperative.
"Idealistic" is not the proper term here.
I disagree with this. Since economy requires participation of the whole world, the control over the process should also belong to the whole world. Consequently, centralization to the level of "World Government" is simply unavoidable regardless of the resistance of Capitalists.
It went wrong in many places, the failure of the Germans, Kronsdadt, NEP, opprtunist parties in yuropoor.
Moved to Lebanon or Mexico and fuck qts. The revolution failed because of many factors, an additional actor wouldn't have caused it to succeed.
Lenin didn't do anything wrong. The russian revolution was a near perfect proletariat revolution. But because of the failure of the socialist revolution in other countrys the bolsheviks were isolated and coudn't reach socialism.
This. Compared to its contemporaries, most of which were trying to destroy it from day one, they did a pretty good job despite the two worst wars in history devastating the heartland.
I would've shot Lenin a lot earlier than Fanny Kaplan
I would have instituted actual socialism: democratic control of the means of production. And don't give me any of that bullshit about needing capitalism first. If the Basque region could develop from nothing in the '40s and '50s a planned economy could surely have pulled it off too.
it didn't achieve geographic security. What I would've done different is transport back in time blueprints, tolerance sheets, and tooling info for the AK-103, RPG-16, and PK machine gun. Now the Iron Curtain hangs at the English Channel and Japan makes communist Anime. The middle east is secular and blossoming, Indonesia and Thailand are socialist federations, and the Soviets are funding a full blown Civil war in Australia.
The text contained in these images is perfect, what is the source?
It's based Parenti
Yes because socialism has nothing to do with material conditions and you can just institute it.
read marx m8
This is "muh not real socialisms" in it's purest form.
So everything is materially determined except communism?
They implemented communism; public/state ownership of the MoP and anyone that isn't religiously attached to the ideology could obviously see that this would either lead to a complete disaster or a reign of shininess until everyone loses faith in the system and it eventually collapses.
Russia in 1917 was still in the weird place that is between late stage feudalism and early stage capitalism. Although serfdom was technically over it effectively persisted, while at the same time the reforms of Stolypin, Witte were creating the beginnings of industry.
The revolution was a reaction against capitalism, which drew support partly from urban proles, but also the army, esp junior officers, enlisted. It didn't create socialism, it effectively created a form of feudalism based not on divine right but "Marxism-Leninism" which in practice meant whatever the state thought was best. This allowed for an aggressive programme of modernisation, which, like modernisation in practically every country lead to a decline in food supply and population for the countryside, and vice versa for the cities.
This meant Russia went from a backwater shithole, losing wars to countries like Japan, to the world's second largest empire (yeah I said it), in which your place in society reflected your relation to party hierarchy. After WWII a rudimentary capitalist system increasingly took hold in the form of the black market ("second economy"), which was ofc accelarated by the end of the cold war and the oligarchs.
surely all it took for socialism to work in the USSR was revamping the political landscape in the midst of a catastrophic war. I'm sorry anarchists I really find it hard to truly sympathize with the kronstadt sailors.
That poster was sarcastic user. What he implied was that on the contrary, Communism need the proper material conditions to appear.
Help me guys trotskyists just keep convincing me
How about ensure 80+ of the Bolsheviks weren’t Jewish in the fucking first place?
the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result
Actually, the definition of insanity the state of being seriously mentally ill; madness
Help with what? USSR getting stuck alone in the darkness and facing nothing but hostility, even from other "socialists", to the point it gave up on internationalism isn't their fault, but did ultimate seal their fate. It's like expecting the kid everybody in class bullies to turn out mentally healthy.
What were they expecting, socialists had been at each other's throats decades before 1917. Expecting other socialists, even those of the same or similar tendency, to not have some measure of hostility to a hypothetical socialist territory would be naive.
Socialists are slow learners, but they should realize by now it's either Left Unity or Left Irrelevancy.
I would be more willing to accept the argument that the situation was unviable for elections and the reinstatement of political freedoms if the Bolsheviks had lived up to those things after the war ended. I mean if I were a Bolshevik in 1921 I probably would have accepted authoritarian measures to safeguard the revolution, but it’s obvious that those measures are what lead to the death of proletarian democracy and of the revolution itself. This isn’t really the fault of the Bolsheviks, after all they couldn’t have foreseen how that would turn out, but ultimately it was the wrong decision.
Some of the Purges were a bit extreme.
Did the leaders of the Esperanto movement have to be eliminated? Yes, a long with other counterrevolutionary cosmopolitans.
But targeting people just for being speakers of Esperanto went too far.
When Marx split the left between socialists and anarchists by expelling Bakunin. When the Paris Commune didn't take the government jewgolds by force. When Social-Democrats betrayed the workers by supporting WW1. When the Social-Democrats betrayed the workers again by suppressing the German Revolution. When the SRs and Mensheviks insisted on carrying on with a genocidal war, stalled land reform and were absolutely hellbent on killing socialism and installing a bourgeois republic. When the SRs and Mensheviks, even tho not deserving it, had the chance to join the Soviet government but shat their boots and became saboteurs instead.
But these are all individual events. The number 1 cause is the absolutely catastrophic situation in Russia in all aspects of life at the time. Lenin knew he had been dealt a really bad hand, and when it was clear the German Revolution was doomed, he saw the Bolsheviks in an extremely unenviable position of trying to build socialism in one of the least propitious civilized countries for it, and had to bend over backwards to do it. Worse, in order to fight monsters, he had to become a monster, and was denied a chance at redemption. What's more, had he lived longer, he (or someone else, for that matter) might have dismantled the authoritarian State necessary to win the revolution and the civil war, but then we get into the other can of worms: whether a more libertarian USSR could have survived against foreign enemies.
Do you think Krondstat was justified?
I think the best argument against the Bolsheviks and their ilk is simply that once authoritarianism is put in place, there is zero historical precedent for it peacefully surrendering power to any form of democracy.
Any excuse for dictatorship, even during wartime, is faulty simply because it is a path that invariably leads to defeat, whether at the enemy's hands or your own.
Agreed, but I think that last question can certainly be answered: Regardless of whether it can survive subversion from outside, an attempt at libertarianism must be made to ward off corruption from within.
you must be a time traveller. Congratulations, in this timeline, The Bolsheviks were mostly goyim.
Stalin didn't groom a proper successor so they became revisionist
Isn't that basically what revisionism is?
Lenin himself said that the state would "wither away" because there's no point having a state when you've abolished classes. I think one of the major problems of the ML state is that the DOTP actually eliminates classes pretty fucking fast inside its own borders, and thus, people living in the DOTP experience the contradiction of the state even though the state is simultaneously still trying to fight the bourgeoisie imperialists abroad. The fact that so many ML states (tragically) fell apart after six or seven decades is actually a confirmation that they can have a smooth transition to higher stages of communism AS LONG AS there actually is a world revolution. If the imperialist class is still dominant, the withering-away of the state can only lead to ruin, but if the imperialists have been decisively smashed the world over, it will obviously mean the transition to higher-stage communism.
This interpretation of the withering-away of the DOTP also explains why DPRK and Cuba remain. For such isolated and threatened states, the contradiction of imperialism is prominent enough in the minds of the masses that they can still recognize the need for the state. In contrast, people living in the USSR were largely insulated from imperialism and thus they lost faith in the DOTP.
Balts and Jews were overrepresented as bolshies, but it's not a conspiracy.
Almost like Jews were in a particularly precarious position in the late Russian Empire and tended to be on the side that opposed pogroms.
Or that their shitty treatment throughout history caused them to reject mainstream political discourse and that’s why they’re over represented in both radical right and left wing political movements.
I think the Menshies had an even bigger Jewsish overpresentation anyway.
But its not like Bolsheviks were a "miniature Russia" in any way, industrial workers were overpresented as heck as well. I can't find any definite information on it, but I would guess that the "intelligentsia" or some relatively well-to-do group was also overpresented compared to the general population.
You misinterpret the "withering away" that happened in USSR. It is not natural continuation of transition to Communism, but degeneration of Socialism back into Capitalism.
See here (and following posts):
> No Communist ever (Lenin included) wanted to achieve Anarchism. The idea is a "stateless society" - which is understood differently (in much more precise way) from vague Anarchist understanding of the term. "Stateless society" is when state (in Marxist understanding of the term; see Engels) simply cannot function, since there are no different classes involved in production (economic life). That doesn't mean that all the trinkets that we associate with the State today are gone - as Anarchists expect. In fact, if Anarchist understanding of the State is used, it is not abolished, but becomes all-pervasive, encompassing all aspects of social life. I.e. ultimate totalitarianism (except real, not the fake one of Fascists - who left crucial bits of social life in private property of Capitalists).
Attempt to invade Finland immediately after wiping out the officer corps
Not attempted to invade Finland immediately after wiping out the officer corps
They should have developed long range bombers and nuclear weapons sooner.
Early Stalinism suffered from being simply too violent. If you're conducting purges where you send "shoot so many people" quota regardless of proven crimes (Order 00447), you're doing something wrong . The latter day soviet union, from a disconnect between the party elites and the people, which allowed certain party elites to hijack power and dissolve the soviet union all the while filling their pockets at the expense of the people.
Quotas were the absolute maximum of people that locals were allowed to persecute under emergency law.
Got numbers? The ones I have suggest otherwise.
Enjoy not having Leningrad.
But they were consistently exceeded…
And then people responsible for it got shot. Coincidence?
Look, this is exactly what I mean: first you hand out directives to shoot so many people, then you shoot the people who did the shooting for exceeding their target. The whole idea of resorting primarily to violence to solve issues is is no way to run a country.
Kruschev's coup is what went wrong. His revisionism and destalinisation of the land is what began the slow descent into death for that country. It would've gone better if Zhukov had taken up the role of GSCPU like he was supposed to until Nikita swiped it out from under him.
Also: giving Prussia to Poland was a huge mistake
What I'm saying is that if you don't successfully eliminate global capitalism, your proletarian state might wither away anyway and just collapse back into capitalism.
Which didn't happen.
How is it bad to punish criminals?
I'm sorry, do you suggest to not use any violence to enforce laws?
Why aren't you using AnCap flag?
Yes, I understood. My point is that even if global capitalism was eliminated, the Soviet "withering away" would've collapsed back into Capitalism.
I.e. I am saying you are wrong.
I think a good general rule is "if you're executing or imprisoning whole-digit percentages of your population en-masse, you dun goofed"
I think you have no idea what was going on in Soviet Union and just copy-pasting some retarded Cold War tales.
The only thing that went wrong was the failure of other European revolutions for not following Leninist principles.
Conservative estimates based on archival research in the 90' and 00's put the executions during the purge years at 700.000-1.500.000. That's l literally a percent of the population at the time.
The actual number was 681,692, but that's about 0.4% of the soviet population in 1937
Maximum (exact is uncertain) number of actually executed that is supported by evidence is around 700,000 (~682.000). That's 0.4% of population. Not "whole-digit percentages", as you claimed.
And initial total quota (for the whole Soviet Union) was 72.950 people. I.e. maximum of people that might get executed was set at less than 73 thousand people. That's what government (of which Stalin was part of) was expecting to happen, and that is number you might accuse him of.
That’s assuming that the Finns would have joined the war without the Soviets attacking them first, or that Germany wouldn’t have attacked much later without the Soviets embrasssing themselves so badly in Finland.
What kind of fucked up question is this? The soviet union was created to destroy people from within and it was wildly successful project.
Our Ivan and Boris can attest to this by drinking vodka every day.
I am absolutely certain they would've joined the war.
Both the history (several invasions into USSR), development of early Finland (mass murders of Finnish Communists and Socialists in general), general ideology (Lapua movement might've been too radical for majority, but it represented the general attitude of Finnish Bourgeoisie - radically nationalist), diplomatic relations (all anti-Soviet), and actual preparations (excessively anti-Soviet; for example - construction of massive coastal artillery to blockade gulf of Finland together with Estonia) - all speaks volumes about intentions of ruling elite to participate in an invasion into USSR and create Greater Finland.
Likewise, there was no reason for contemporaries to assume that Finland would've sat out WWII.
First and foremost, "embarrassment" is more of a hindsight thing (and quite a bit of fudging of actual events). As far as the world was aware, Soviet invaded Finland and got what they were demanding before the invasion. The reason for not taking the whole of Finland was ambiguous - English were preparing to declare war on Soviets and launch full-scale invasion into Scandinavia.
Secondly, Soviets soundly crushed Japan not too long ago. I.e. they were giving mixed signals at worst.
Thirdly, Third Reich did not have any other choice other than for invading Soviet Union - or invading England and invading USSR afterwards. Their economy would not allow anything else.
Finally, Third Reich had already challenged combined forces of England and France - universally recognized as superior to Soviet army.
Your sentiment stems from the Liberal opposition to the Marxism: attempt to blame WWII on Communists, since Communists were arguing that world wars are inevitable consequence of Capitalism since before WWI. Hence, an attempt to shift blame.
Let us assume it was the low 700.000 you claim. Do you honestly believe that 0.4% of the population were not just engaged in criminal activity, but criminal activity meriting death? In peacetime at that!
The question was if government's direct decision that led to those executions. My posts were refuting this.
I am assuming I did prove my point - and you did not attempt to challenge my point.
Why are you basing your new question on the unspoken assumption that I am wrong?
Answer the question, you autist. The issue at hand is if the scale of killing was excessive. The question whether 700.000 or 1.500.000 does not change the calculation, both numbers are of the same magnitude.
Not autistic, but schizophrenic. And not me, but you.
The issue at hand that you are trying to pin it on specific people contrary to all evidence.
Why aren't you trying to accuse Communists of India famine of 1943? Unlike Holodomor it was deliberately engineered. I.e. it was actual killing, and it was excessive. According to your logic Communists had to be complicit in it as well.
Well you obviously do have something wrong, that is fairly evident. And I don't care about the famines in the SU, those were not at issue. The initial statement was, early Stalinism was too violent. And we end up agreeing that 700.000 people were executed in a short amount of time. The Stalinists were very much in power at the time, and if you resort to explaining it by concluding that the initial executioners who were later themselves executed were just a lot of bad apples, you're straining credulity. They shot 700.000 people because they functioned within a system that encouraged exactly that.
As to the famine in India, are you dense? Communists were not in power in India.
it was a proletariat revolution but after a while it became just a bourgoise revolution to bring russia from fuedalism to capitalism.
I was talking about famine in India (British Raj).
Which was soundly disproved. Moreover, early "Stalinism" is 1929-1934 (first Five-Year Plan).
Not really. By 1936 Stalinist faction primarily controlled economy and economy-related affairs (well, and the theoretical discourse, obviously). There was minor presence in military (Voroshilov & Budyonny) and negligible in internal security as such (Andreyev was in Control Commission).
Why? When Communists started forming hivemind?
Their subsequent execution contradicts this "encouragement".
You did not prove that Communists organized 1937 either.