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  1. Joined
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    10 Mar '16 18:05
    http://dbzer0.com/blog/misunderstanding-communism-its-not-ussr/

    Quoting in entirety:

    Overwhelmingly, most people’s understanding of what Communism is, comes from an extremely propagandistic presentation of the Soviet Union, generally by US right-wing sources. This would give you the idea that communism is supposed to be very authoritarian, rigidly collectivistic and anti-democratic.

    This misconception is unfortunately so wide-spread that it’s not infrequent to be called a mass murderer wannabe for simply bringing it up and even though it is trivial to find out what Communism really is and how it works, this exasperatingly wrong view of it nevertheless persists in even otherwise brilliant minds.

    So let me say this first: Whatever view you may have of the USSR (and there are quite a few supporters of Stalinism out there), it was not Communism.

    Now, before you hasten to leave me a comment about Scotsmen and the like, it is important to know that the original thoughts of Marx and Engels were indeed the absolute opposite of Stalinism, Maoism etc. The fact that one can create a system and label it “Communism” does not make it so, anymore than North Korea is a “Democracy” or a “Republic”. Perhaps one can label it “Socialism” but this term is by itself ambiguous and does not necessarily equate to Marxism.

    That is not to say that Russia did not really attempt Communism. It did, and it managed to achieve socialism for a very short while immediately after the revolution. But this newly-fledged socialism was defeated in the most humilating way. Not only did the counter-revolution won over the communists but it kept the name and the symbols to the overjoy of the capitalist of the rest of the world. Russian communism ceased to exist as soon as Stalin came to power.

    But if USSR was not Communism what was it? Well, by the way it actually worked, the most fitting description for it is State Capitalism. Simply, the state took on the role of the ultimate Capitalist and set about exploiting the workers. [see my comment below] Some of the practices it had, like the suppression of individuality, the strict hierarchical spread of power and the like, are identical to the ones within a common Capitalist corporation anyway. Others, like it’s inability to work efficiently or its large bureaucracy are problems that any sufficiently large corporation has as well. There hasn’t been a corporation of the sheer size of the Soviet Union of course so a direct comparison is impossible, but looking at the dinosauric movements of some of the biggest ones certainly points to that direction.

    Another common opinion on this Communism = USSR misunderstanding is the claim that Communism has proven to be a failure. This attempts to show that the path Russia took in the early 20th century is the only possible result any attempt for Communism can achieve and thus it is not worth struggling towards it. But this is not simply wrong, it is intellectually dishonest. This assumes that the very unique situation Russia had to struggle is the common situation any communist revolution will have to face which is simply absurd.

    Not only was the situation unique but their attempt was doomed from the start. The reason for this is that Communism requires Capitalism to exist before it can take over. It needs the hugely increased level of production achieved with it and the exploitation of the workers is what creates the revolutionary force. Russia attempted to jump directly from Feudalism (with a small growing capitalist class) to Communism while skipping the phase in between and ended up dislocating itself1. This is also the case with China as well. An agrarian society simply cannot support Communism, especially not when opposed from the rest of the world.

    To extrapolate from these example to anything that may happen during our age is simply disingenuous. Not only do we have the production required to not suffer the same fate but we have many tools in our disposal that the Revolutionaries of last century couldn’t even dream of. The instant, international information exchange we can achieve now can easily be the most important.

    It is simply practically impossible at this point for any attempt at communism to take even a similar path to the one of USSR and if it is achieved, it will look nothing like it.

    end quote:

    comment regarding the sentence I italicized:

    The comparison to capitalism is apt only if the capitalist also has a monopoly on the use of force. A better example of where the USSR was headed (and Russia may still be) would be a sort of gangster capitalism, where there is a monopoly or oligarchy with the military and police power to enforce.
  2. Standard membersh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
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    10 Mar '16 19:161 edit
    Originally posted by JS357
    http://dbzer0.com/blog/misunderstanding-communism-its-not-ussr/

    Quoting in entirety:

    Overwhelmingly, most people’s understanding of what Communism is, comes from an extremely propagandistic presentation of the Soviet Union, generally by US right-wing sources. This would give you the idea that communism is supposed to be very authoritarian, rigidly collec ...[text shortened]... apitalism, where there is a monopoly or oligarchy with the military and police power to enforce.
    Of course not.

    They weren't true Scotsmen either.

    Edit: Calling the USSR's system "gangster capitalism" is practically Orwellian double-talk.

    Oldthinkers unbellyfeel Russoc
  3. Subscribersonhouse
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    10 Mar '16 19:32
    Originally posted by sh76
    Of course not.

    They weren't true Scotsmen either.

    Edit: Calling the USSR's system "gangster capitalism" is practically Orwellian double-talk.

    Oldthinkers unbellyfeel Russoc
    What would you have called the Soviet empire? I assume they are talking about the cold war era.
  4. Standard membersh76
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    10 Mar '16 19:36
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    What would you have called the Soviet empire? I assume they are talking about the cold war era.
    ummm...

    Communist?
  5. SubscriberKingDavid403
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    10 Mar '16 20:061 edit
    What I find funny, is that all the people and corporations that scream about capitalism is the greatest; have no problem shipping their corporations and jobs to Communist countries such as China. They do this so they can control their workers under a Communist dictatorship and treat their workers as slaves with extremely low pay and no benefits. Then they will scream in America that all abortions are murder and move their corporations to a communist country where they often force women to have abortions. A good example is Carly Fiorina. Go figure...
  6. Subscribersonhouse
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    10 Mar '16 20:30
    Originally posted by KingDavid403
    What I find funny, is that all the people and corporations that scream about capitalism is the greatest; have no problem shipping their corporations and jobs to Communist countries such as China. They do this so they can control their workers under a Communist dictatorship and treat their workers as slaves with extremely low pay and no benefits. Then t ...[text shortened]... y where they often force women to have abortions. A good example is Carly Fiorina. Go figure...
    Isn't that the American way? Hey world, WE aren't the slavers......
  7. Standard membersh76
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    10 Mar '16 20:38
    Originally posted by KingDavid403
    What I find funny, is that all the people and corporations that scream about capitalism is the greatest; have no problem shipping their corporations and jobs to Communist countries such as China. They do this so they can control their workers under a Communist dictatorship and treat their workers as slaves with extremely low pay and no benefits. Then t ...[text shortened]... y where they often force women to have abortions. A good example is Carly Fiorina. Go figure...
    China is CINO
  8. Joined
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    10 Mar '16 20:53
    Originally posted by sh76
    ummm...

    Communist?
    I know of no state that I would opine is now, or ever was, a communist state. A successful "communist revolution" seems always to leave a cadre in charge who has to operate as a dictatorship "for a while", and then can't quite ever stop being dictatorial, with the cause, and effect, being that the communist state never materializes.

    I formed this opinion in reaction to the Americanism Versus Communism course I was required to take in high school (it was propaganda a la J. Edgar Hoover) and it hasn't changed.
  9. Germany
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    10 Mar '16 21:36
    Originally posted by JS357
    I know of no state that I would opine is now, or ever was, a communist state.
    Reeks an awful lot like what you might read on these forums: "yeah, but it's not true capitalism... under true capitalism everything would be fine and dandy."
  10. Joined
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    10 Mar '16 23:372 edits
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Reeks an awful lot like what you might read on these forums: "yeah, but it's not true capitalism... under true capitalism everything would be fine and dandy."
    I don't think the writer is trying to make that point.

    He says, "Simply, the state took on the role of the ultimate Capitalist and set about exploiting the workers."

    And it may still be doing that, except that now, it is Russia, not the USSR, and the strong man is a populist, not an oppressive dictator.

    Maybe you can show me where your conclusion comes from.
  11. The Catbird's Seat
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    10 Mar '16 23:57
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    What would you have called the Soviet empire? I assume they are talking about the cold war era.
    How about "the Soviet empire"?
  12. Joined
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    11 Mar '16 00:22
    Originally posted by sh76
    Of course not.

    They weren't true Scotsmen either.

    Edit: Calling the USSR's system "gangster capitalism" is practically Orwellian double-talk.

    Oldthinkers unbellyfeel Russoc
    Gangster capitalism?

    Damn, I thought that was the Nazi regime.

    We all know Hitler loved capitalism even though he swore to destroy it accused Jews of benefiting from it.
  13. Joined
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    11 Mar '16 00:23
    Originally posted by normbenign
    How about "the Soviet empire"?
    All socialism/communism is gansta, except for what Bernie Sanders is offering us, cuz he's a true Scottsman/Jew.
  14. The Catbird's Seat
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    11 Mar '16 00:24
    Originally posted by JS357
    I don't think the writer is trying to make that point.

    He says, "Simply, the state took on the role of the ultimate Capitalist and set about exploiting the workers."

    And it may still be doing that, except that now, it is Russia, not the USSR, and the strong man is a populist, not an oppressive dictator.

    Maybe you can show me where your conclusion comes from.
    I think it is human nature for at least some in any society to game the system, that is to play it to their personal advantage. That is why I prefer capitalism over control. Control systems still have those who exploit the workers.

    My suggestion? Don't work, if you aren't going to be paid what your worth. Shop around. None of us buys stuff that is over priced, so why should we sell our labor cheap? What happens, is that when we confront reality, we find our value on the market isn't what we thought, or that someone told us it was. It may be more, or less.

    I found in "fixing" computer for friends, most had unrealistic expectations of pricing. I was doing it as a favor, and they actually thought that tossing a $20 my way was thoughtful. It was in fact insulting. Just the time picking up a PC, and returning it "fixed", if your close by is probably $50. If the "fix" was replacing hardware, or running software, minimally $100 to $150. I repair buggered up laptops as a distraction, a hobby, not as any practical capitalistic notion. The machine I'm using now was priced brand new just north of $100. Fixing computers just isn't that profitable.
  15. The Catbird's Seat
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    11 Mar '16 00:25
    Originally posted by whodey
    All socialism/communism is gansta, except for what Bernie Sanders is offering us, cuz he's a true Scottsman/Jew.
    Humans love gangsta! Always have.
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